I love collecting stories of the strange and supernatural and much as I love writing them. Most of the stories in my book, Haunted Northwest Georgia, came from ordinary people sharing their experiences with me. Those are the best stories in my opinion. These aren’t something you can find all over the internet or in every book on the paranormal.
When someone shares a story with me, I get excited! I always keep their names private if they wish. After all, some people fear ridicule for sharing. (Hey, I get ridiculed for writing about the paranormal. It isn’t always easy living in the Bible belt!) When a person shares a story with me, that person becomes very special in my eyes. After all, our stories and experiences are an intimate part of ourselves. In my case, the person is often sharing a terrifying time in their lives.
Do I use every story I receive? Well, not yet….but someday. For instance, there is a particular cemetery deemed to be haunted. I’d LOVE to include it’s story. I’ve been intrigued by the place since my first visit, back in the 90s. However, when I ask if anyone has had an experience there, all I can get is, “I got orbs.” I haven’t thrown these experiences out… I’m just waiting to get a little more.
I also get a few experiences where the teller saw a deceased love one or stranger at the foot of their bed. Without a history or story behind the apparition, there is little I can do. I could make something up…but if you read my posts, you know how I feel about that. It takes away more than it adds, in my opinion. I’d rather wait…if nothing else, I may save these and include them in one chapter some day.
I have made quite a few friends by collecting stories. I’ll never forget the times I spent talking with Debby Brown, one of the best historians and storytellers in the area. When she left this earth, it was a very sad day for me and all the other people who loved her. I’ll always treasure the time I spent listening to her stories and learning from her.
Sure, it’s a thrill to have my book coming out in December! It’s a dream come true! But if asked what I loved most about what I do…. I’d say meeting new people and collecting their stories.
In researching tales of the southern states, I came across a tale that takes place in Cloudland Canyon State Park- a hidden gem in Rising Fawn, GA. According to legend, the park is haunted at night by the ghost of a Native American on Horseback. Campers often see him as he quietly passes through the park. However, this spirit doesn’t incite fear in guests. Evidently, he makes them feel safe- as if he is watching over visitors to the park.
Here’s the thing- In searching the web and the Heritage Room at Sarah Hightower Library, I can find nothing on this haunting. I posted the haunting on my FB page Ghosts of Northwest Georgia. No comments. No takers. SO… I am beginning to wonder- is this a true tale, or did someone make this up? And for what reason? To gain readership? To gain visitors to the park?
Maybe the ghost is for real. Maybe he just has a small following….
Have you ever heard of the ghost of Cloudland Canyon? Have you seen him?
I thought more than once about starting this blog. I wavered back and forth for some time. I knew I wanted to write about ghosts. I began a collection of ghost tales from Northwest Georgia a while back. My Facebook page, Ghosts of Northwest Georgia , has developed a small following. I love the emails, stories, and comments I get there. (I hope to publish my collection of Northwest Georgia tales very soon.) My page has brought me a great deal more enjoyment that I ever expected. I love hearing from people who, like me, love true ghost stories.
I guess, then, this blog is one more step in a natural progression. I’ve always loved ghost stories and tales of the unexplained. In elementary school, I devoured every book of ghost stories I could find- in my school library, my local library, monthly class book orders… I couldn’t get enough! Why this interest in the supernatural? Who knows? It’s just a part of who I am. I’ve never lost my interest and, combined with my love of writing, this is where I am today.
I hope to spark discussions, learn new stories, and explore old and little-known tales of the American South. I’d love to hear from others who are like-minded. I’d love to hear any tales you’d like to share.
Add your comments, email me with your tales…..