Campus News

Ghosts Lurking in the Bluegrass


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 25, 2010) − Kentucky has a few skeletons in the closet, and a few ghosts in the attic as well. Two new books from University Press of Kentucky (UPK), "Spookiest Stories Ever: Four Seasons of Kentucky Ghosts" and "Tales of Kentucky Ghosts," hope to haunt readers with creepy tales featuring Bluegrass ghosts.

"Spookiest Stories Ever: Four Seasons of Kentucky Ghosts" tells frightening anecdotes about real-life encounters with the paranormal right here in the Commonwealth. Unsettling incidents of murder, suicide, suffering patients, vanishing hitchhikers and other ghostly entities make up a few of the book's eerie entries.

Authors Roberta Simpson Brown and Lonnie E. Brown invite readers to share this collection of ghostly tales that they have drawn from friends, family and their own personal memories. In "Spookiest Stories Ever," the Browns show that human desires for love, justice and revenge are all capable of transcending the grave.

Readers will recognize many of the Kentucky landmarks scattered throughout the book, including Berea College, the Belle of Louisville, Mammoth Cave, the Seelbach Hotel, the Palace Theater in Louisville, and Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill. The Browns also explore one of the most haunted places in the world, Waverly Hill Sanatorium, also located in Louisville.

The Browns prove that ghost stories aren't just for Halloween, as their book incorporates tales from all four seasons. From gruesome ghost encounters to haunting demonic spirits, "Spookiest Stories Ever" is designed to thrill.

The book also exposes a friendlier side of Bluegrass ghosts. In "Love Lives On," Roberta Brown recounts the tale of a close friend whose recently deceased husband visited her and his daughter to help them move on from their grief, and to show them that the strength of his love surpasses the boundaries of death.

In "Tales of Kentucky Ghosts," renowned folklorist William Lynwood Montell combines more than 250 ghost stories he collected from all over the Commonwealth. After interviewing people from 70 different counties across Kentucky, Montell combines the narratives to give readers a comprehensive look at regional legends.

In writing the stories, Montell maintained the voices of the original storytellers with little or no modification in order to preserve the tale in its truest form. The tales range from chilling to comical, from horrific road-side murders to "foot-tickling" ghosts.

Readers can easily locate the ghostly Kentucky counties in the book's index and spook themselves with frightening tales from their own hometowns. The book hits home for Lexington residents with three tales from Fayette County. In "A Spooky House," a woman tells the story of an old haunted house on Tahoma Road, which is located near campus right behind the University of Kentucky Arboretum.

Readers in the Louisville area will have several opportunities to meet these authors at book signings throughout the week. The Browns will do two signings of "Spookiest Stories Ever," including one scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 26, at the Middletown Public Library, in Louisville. The Browns' other signing is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 28, at the Southwest Branch of the Louisville Free Public Library, in Valley Station. William Lynwood Montell will sign "Tales from Kentucky Ghosts" at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30, at the Borders bookstore, located at 400 S. 4th St., in Louisville.

Offices for the administrative, editorial, production and marketing departments of UPK are found at the University of Kentucky, which provides financial support toward the operating expenses of the publishing operation.

For more information or to purchase "Spookiest Stories Ever" or "Tales of Kentucky Ghosts," visit the University Press of Kentucky website at