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Ghostly Book Highlights Local Tales

By Staff | Jan 20, 2010

Haunted Tales from the Holler by Grace Morrow and Susan Doll tell ghostly stories passed down by generations in Tyler County and the surrounding area.

On these cold winter days it’s very common to bundle up and enjoy a good book. This year one should consider cozying up to Haunted Tales from the Holler, a new book of old stories certain to entertain and provoke conversation this season. Authors Grace Morrow and Susan Doll have put together a collaboration of haunting stories from Tyler and surrounding counties that teach the region’s parahistory-that is, paranormal stories that relate to local historical events.

The authors chose to write about the ghosts of Tyler County because they have ties to the people of the region. After hearing so many spooky stories from residents of the area, authors Morrow and Doll thought it would be a unique opportunity to write about the region’s history. As the book’s introduction explains, most folklorists examine paranormal tales in the interest of the stories’ narrative structures. But Haunted Tales from the Holler has a different objective-to preserve the local history attached to the stories.

The book is made up of first-person ghostly accounts as well as tales passed down. The 13 short stories range from seeing apparitions and place images, to feeling the touch of a spirit and speaking to them. Popular stories include the Wells Inn’s ghoulish guests, the restless spirits at the old Pratt farm, and ghostly encounters at New Martinsville’s old Williams Cemetery. “Whether the stories are true or not is less important than what they teach us about the past” says authors Morrow and Doll. “History books tend to leave out the trials and tribulations of the common folk. And when told with rich detail and bold expression, they serve as a window into the past.”

The stories are as unique as their authors. Many of the authors are locals sharing their favorite tales or recounting a personal paranormal experience. Among these laymen, so to speak, is a local bona fide paranormal psychic who shares a few of her countless encounters with restless souls.

The book can be purchased in Sistersville at King’s Corner, in Middlebourne at Did’s Designs, and in Tyler City at the Country Store. Also, interested persons can e-mail Susan Doll at dollsuzi@yahoo.com and the book can be sent through the mail. The books sell for $7.50 each or $5 for a purchase of five or more at one time.

The authors stress the book is a breeze to read at any age level and the short stories are a great way to read little bits at a time alone or aloud with a group. The book also makes a unique gift for those interested in history or for those who like scary stories.