folklore

Sparta Event a Great Success and Lots of Fun

Many thanks to fans who braved the chilly weather to be a part of my storytelling and book signing events in Sparta, TN, yesterday and last night. I couldn’t have been more pleased with the turnout and everyone’s enthusiasm. As always, your interest and support are greatly appreciated; people like you are why I have been doing these and similar appearances for almost 40 years now. I hope you enjoyed yesterday’s events! We’ve only just begun.

 

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Recent Lectures and Upcoming Projects

It has been a busy yet productive fall, winter, and spring, and new BELL WITCH-related lectures, books, and other items are on this year’s horizon! More on that in the coming weeks. This is, of course, in addition to several other projects I am currently working on.

I will also be talking more about the Bell Witch development I posted recently, regarding an old, 1856 reprinted account of the BELL WITCH that recently surfaced, and its impact on a theory recently popularized by the skeptical community.

Meanwhile, I am leaving you with photos from two BELL WITCH lectures and storytelling sessions I did last fall–one in Sparta, Tennessee, and another at the McCracken County Public Library in Paducah, Kentucky. Enjoy.

Talk to you soon!

Big Development in the “Bell Witch” Case

Author’s note: This was originally posted to the Facebook fan page several months ago; I have recently decided to move forward with publishing it to a wider audience.  — Pat Fitzhugh

One of the more popular “Bell Witch theories” to emerge in recent years centers on the first book ever written about the case, published by Martin Ingram of Clarksville, Tennessee, back in 1894, seventy-five years after the supernatural disturbances allegedly happened.

A “first book” is often the starting point for those researching an old case, and the researcher’s first job is to try and validate the author’s claims. What happens if the author is deceased? What if the author’s sources were destroyed by the proverbial “courthouse fire,” or simply went missing? It comes as no surprise that many first-published accounts of allegedly true events are open to conflicting interpretations and harsh, relentless scrutiny. People read the accounts, draw their own conclusions, void of any proof, and then argue their conclusions as “fact.” Welcome to the Bell Witch case.

Because Martin Ingram is long deceased, and his source document–Richard Bell’s Our Family Trouble manuscript–has yet to be found, his Bell Witch book has become the prime target of inquisitives, conspiracy theorists, and skeptics alike. Many even think he made up the legend. Did he? Welcome to the jungle. (more…)

Frights on the Gallatin Ghost Walk

I was recently given the honor of co-hosting a special edition of the Gallatin Ghost Walk in Sumner County, Tennessee, a few miles northeast of Nashville. As Donna and Randy Lucas shared the haunted history of Gallatin’s many old buildings, I demonstrated how to use ghost investigation equipment by conducting a mini-investigation of each location we visited. The results were nothing short of amazing.

Gallatin Ghost Walk in Gallatin, TN / May 2017

Both the flashlight and the EMF meter are flashing on the window ledge of Andrew Jackson’s old law office in downtown Gallatin, TN.

Is there more information about the Gallatin Ghost Walk? What is the historical significance of Gallatin and Sumner County?

The Gallatin Ghost Walk intertwines Gallatin’s rich and diverse history with spine-tingling tales of haunts and eerie happenings. Its hosts, Donna and Randy, stroll around the Square and surrounding blocks, enlightening and enthralling their guests with spellbinding stories of old Sumner County and her illustrious former residents, many of whom still frequent the old buildings today.

Gallatin Ghost Walk in Gallatin, TN / May 2017

I had the honor of co-hosting a special edition of the Gallatin Ghost Walk back in May. As Donna and her husband–both dressed in period clothing–told the haunted history of Gallatin’s old buildings, I brought along ghost investigation equipment, explained how it us used, and conducted fast, “mini investigations” of each building we visited. The old buildings were so active that the batteries in all of my equipment died before the walk was over with. Incredible!

Eighty-six buildings in Gallatin’s Commercial Historic District were placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985, although some have since been torn down. Construction dates of the buildings range from the late 1790s to 1935, and their diverse architecture includes Art Deco, Classical, Victorian, and some unusual examples of Gothic Revival, Italianate, and Second Empire.

Gallatin Ghost Walk in Gallatin, TN / May 2017

The Gallatin Ghost Walk group sits and listens to Donna and Randy tell the chilling history of the old building in the background. And yes, Randy’s gun is real.

From the man who disappeared before his disbelieving family’s eyes in an open field, never to be seen again, to the 16 Confederate soldier spirits in Andrew Jackson’s old law office on Gallatin’s public square, the paranormal happenings in and around Gallatin are legion–and LEGEND!

Gallatin Ghost Walk in Gallatin, TN / May 2017

Ms. Donna telling about some of the old buildings and activity that has occurred there in recent years. Here, we are standing caddy-corner to a very old building that was once Andrew Jackson’s law office.

 

Gallatin Ghost Walk:  On Facebook  /  On Blogspot

 

Spring 2016 Update

It’s amazing how I can be shoveling January snow one day and observing Memorial Day the next. Time moves too quickly. I wish it would slow down or, better yet, recycle itself. For that matter, I wish I could, too. The past few months, while exciting beyond words, have kept me super busy.

I still have several books in progress, but I’ve decided to keep them on the back burner while I pursue some exciting new opportunities. But of course, “back burner,” in my realm, only means putting the book together (typesetting, layout, pagination, TOC and index, cover design, and so on). I write the books in my head, then commit them to memory; I save the dirty work until later.

Exciting things are happening behind the scenes, and will continue to happen on into next year and beyond. Hint: Keep an eye on the Appearances page and watch [some of it] unfold. That’s all for now.

Later………..

Word of Thanks to Batesville/Panola Folks

Giving a word of thanks to those who came out for the lecture and book signing at the Batesville, Mississippi, Public Library last Thursday. Thanks so much for coming. It was great, and we had a ball!

Oh, but there's just one more thing...

Oh, but there’s just one more thing…

The audience thought the woman in the drawing behind me was following me with her eyes throughout the presentation. A new stalker, perhaps?  Photo by "The Panolian" newspaper (www.panolian.com)

The audience thought the woman in the drawing behind me was following me with her eyes throughout the presentation. A new stalker, perhaps? Photo by “The Panolian” newspaper (www.panolian.com).

With some Batesville-area Bell family descendants. Photo by "The Panolian" newspaper (www.panolian.com)

With some Batesville-area Bell family descendants. Photo by “The Panolian” newspaper (www.panolian.com).

Lecture and Signing Event — Batesville, Mississippi

Thursday, April 23rd, 7:00 PM Central

Batesville Public Library
206 Highway 51 North
Batesville, MS

This free event is open to the public, and is being held in conjunction with a regular meeting of the Panola County Historical Society. The discussion will center on the “Bell Witch” legend, with special emphasis on its local Mississippi ties. The limited supply
of books to be sold and signed include, “The Bell Witch – The Full Account,” and “Ghostly Cries From Dixie.” Light refreshments will be served.

Photos From the Chattanooga, TN Lecture Event

Here are a couple photos from my lecture event in Chattanooga, TN on March 5th. The venue, a large retirement center, was situated atop a huge mountain. Talk about cold and windy…whoosh!

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More events will be announced soon!

Winter Update

Ice, bone-chilling temperatures, more ice, and very stressful driving. That’s what Tennessee winters are all about. We get little snow, but lots of ice. Kentucky’s weather isn’t any better.

I would like to extend a big thank-you to the many people who braved 5 inches of snow and 2-degree temperatures last Thursday night to attend my Bell Witch / Southern Ghosts lecture, Q&A, and book signing at the library in Bowling Green, Kentucky. After having done a TV filming in Adams, TN, earlier in the day, followed by a slow, 1.5-hour drive over Kentucky’s backroads toward Bowling Green, I was warmly relieved to find so many upbeat and welcoming people at the end of my journey. It was a lot of fun. Thank you!

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On March 5th, I will be traveling to Chattanooga, Tennessee, to give another lecture (to a private organization) and then spend the evening of March 6th performing paranormal research at possibly the Read House or the Choo Choo, followed by an investigation at UT Chattanooga and a nearby location. Then on March 14th, it will be an all-night paranormal research and investigative session at Octagon Hall in Franklin, Kentucky. The following week, I will likely return to The Thomas House for some research and possibly some writing. The rest of my year looks about the same as this; it’s going to be a very busy and productive year.

Several more lecture and signing appearances will be announced in the near future, including another visit to Kentucky (Owensboro) on October 15th. New book releases are also in the works. It’s going to be a fun year. Stay tuned!

 

About My Upcoming Title – The Outlaws and Ghosts of The Natchez Trace

The Outlaws and Ghosts of The Natchez Trace, a working title for now, will be released in 2015. Its release will culminate a long journey of intrigue and fascination that began in the early 1990s.

At the time, I lived just outside of Nashville, on McCrory Lane. Directly across the road from me was the northern terminus of the recently-completed Natchez Trace Parkway, a modern highway that roughly follows the path of the old Natchez Trace.

The Natchez Trace was a footpath that led from Nashville, Tennessee, to Natchez, Mississippi. Created by prehistoric animals and used by Native Americans for centuries, the Trace became a major trail for European and American explorers and traders in the late 1700s and early 1800s.

Despite the presence of today’s modern parkway and thousands of visitors each year, the Natchez Trace’s enduring sense of time, place, and mystery is ever present along its 440-mile path through the wilderness. Although the Trace is known for its natural beauty and rich history, it is also shrouded in mystery. Tragic, often savage events were common in its early days when foot travelers attempted to make the grueling, six-week trip from Natchez to Nashville.

Because most of those travelers carried large sums of money, the Natchez Trace became a haven for land pirates, thugs, and even cold-blooded killers. Some travelers managed to evade or fend off the hoodlums, only to succumb to disease, snake bites, or other perils of the wild before they could make it home.

With its sad and often bloody history, the Natchez Trace is the collective footprint of tragedies past. And, as one might expect, the horrendous events that occurred along its path over two-hundred years ago left behind a spiritual residue that still lingers today.

Ghosts of weary travelers, friendly innkeepers, and infamous outlaws keep a vigilant watch over the old Natchez Trace. Who were they? Why have they not moved on? Is there something they want to tell us?

~~~

As an avid, lifelong researcher of history and the paranormal–and a Southern author to boot–I have studied the Trace for many years. The place has always intrigued and fascinated me, and no fewer than one-hundred people have told me that I “definitely” need to write a book about the Trace. But that was easier said than done.

Although living on McCrory Lane had its advantages, such as spending every weekend and holiday driving the Trace and scouting all of its trappings, another book project lay in front of me, one that I had been researching ever since I was a child in the 1970s–the Bell Witch. After the 1999 “short version” was released, followed by the comprehensive, 406-page version some time later, pressure from the reading public forced my writing and research to take a more paranormal turn. So that, I did. And I still do. History and exploring historic locations is my first love, and the paranormal is my second.

It gives me great pleasure and satisfaction to finally be able to commence working on the Natchez Trace book. Although I will cover lots of paranormal locations and stories, the book’s common thread will be history. And, most notably, the history of those who MADE the Natchez Trace such a haunted location in the first place: the ruthless, throat-slitting, disemboweling scoundrels who made it their sinister playground.

I am looking forward to weaving this nasty and unnerving tapestry of greed, bloodshed, and the supernatural.

The Outlaws and Ghosts of The Natchez Trace
ISBN: 978-0-9705156-7-4
Coming in 2015!

Official Facebook page for updates, excerpts, and signing & lecture informationhttps://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Outlaws-and-Ghosts-of-The-Natchez-Trace/1574089829479013