storytelling

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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Book Excerpt: “From Turkey Creek – A Memoir”

As many already know, From Turkey Creek – A Memoir is a long-term work in progress. It is my childhood memoir of growing up at the most remote, fun, and wacky place in the world: Turkey Creek, in Humphreys County, Tennessee. This is a short, transitional chapter I wrote, which describes the “general stores” that dotted the countryside near Turkey Creek back in the day.

 

ON COUNTRY STORES

Nearly every dirt road out in the country had a general store. Within an eight-mile radius of Turkey Creek, there was Nolan Sulley Grocery, Thomas Freeland Grocery, George Harris Grocery, Leonard Barnes Grocery, Clyde Rose Grocery, Harold Smith Grocery, Dudley Jones Grocery, and William Covington Grocery. Usually named for their retiree owners, these rural mom-and-pop institutions were the places where good country folk met, talked politics, and engaged in long, serious talks about the lack or overabundance of rain. Women bought what they needed and left; the men stayed and gossiped.

(more…)

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).

Facebook Pages for Two New Books

The Facebook pages for two of my three upcoming books are now online. They’re new, and I’m still moving in, but please feel free to “like” those pages. By doing so, you will receive periodic updates on the progress of each book, as well as release dates, signings, and other events! Just click on the title.

The Outlaws and Ghosts of the Natchez Trace

MORE Ghostly Cries From Dixie

New Venture in Video: ParaTakes (First Segment: Bell Witch)

This is the first of many ParaTakes With Pat Fitzhugh that I intend to produce and distribute. A ParaTake is my short take on any topic related to the paranormal. The first few ParaTakes will cover popular myths and misconceptions associated with Tennessee’s infamous Bell Witch legend. Why the Bell Witch? Although there is more to my work than just the Bell Witch, I’ve spent two-thirds of my life researching the terrifying legend. Over the course of decades spent researching a legend, the researcher accumulates a list of pet peeves. And naturally, the researcher occasionally feels the urge to share them. Sounds like a job for ParaTakes!

Filmed in Mississippi, this first ParaTake segment features my analysis of the so-called abuse theory, which has been used in several recent attempts to “explain” the Bell Witch legend. Before we watch the video, please take moment to familiarize yourself with the story. Here’s the condensed version…

“From 1817 to 1821, a Tennessee family experienced a series of terrifying disturbances at the hands of an invisible, malevolent entity. Known as the Bell Witch, the entity beat on walls and floors, tugged on the children’s bedcovers, sang hymns, and predicted the future. Along the way, she mercilessly brutalized the family’s youngest daughter, Betsy, and killed her father.

“Scholars have attempted to explain the mystery for almost 200 years. Although nearly everyone has an opinion about the so-called Bell Witch, a provable explanation continues to elude researchers. A popular theory posed in recent years suggests that the entity evolved from Betsy Bell’s subconscious mind as the result of her [allegedly] having been abused by her father.

“In this ParaTake, author and longtime researcher Pat Fitzhugh provides his take on the oft-controversial abuse theory.”

And now, the video…

ParaTake #1: The Bell Witch Legend’s Abuse Theory — Fact or Speculation?

The Death of Sarah (An excerpt)

Below is a short paragraph excerpt from my forthcoming sequel to Ghostly Cries From Dixie. The excerpt comes from a chapter dealing with Tennessee’s infamous “Thomas House,” one of America’s most haunted places. Scheduled for release in the fall, the “Ghostly Cries” sequel follows in the terrifying footsteps of its predecessor by serving up a bewitching concoction of weird and ghostly tales from the American South.

The Death of Sarah

In the summer of 1929, eight-year-old Sarah Hanning and her parents visited the Cloyd Hotel and Spa in hopes of curing her rare stomach condition. Her doctor believed that bathing in the water from nearby springs would help her. She tried to stay active and cheerful throughout her stay at the resort, but her stomach ailment often brought intense pain and weakness.

Sarah’s daily trips to the spring did more harm than good; in just two weeks, the color had faded from her skin and a yellow puffiness had begun to fill her eyes. Her health deteriorated rapidly, and it wasn’t long before she couldn’t muster enough energy to get out of bed. One sultry July morning, Sarah began shaking violently and vomiting profusely. Over the next few minutes, she rolled around in her bed and covered her mouth with her hands to try to stop the vomiting, but to no avail. When the violent spell finally subsided, she developed severe chills and passed out. She lay motionless in her mother’s arms while her father and Mr. Cloyd went to fetch the local doctor. By the time they returned, Sarah was dead.

End

If you haven’t already snagged a copy of the first book, Ghostly Cries From Dixie, you can get eBook and paperback copies by clicking here and following the Amazon links. If you prefer a signed and personalized copy, click here. To keep tabs on all of my writing forays and initiatives, click here to join my official Facebook page.

Late Summer Update

Hey! Long time, no see! I’m sorry for the prolonged absence, but a half dozen projects have kept me busy. The “fun” projects include working on the Bell Witch Thirteenth Anniversary Edition, and editing Turkey Creek one last time before I send it off to the REAL editor. That poses a problem because I keep recollecting boyhood stories that I want to add, yet when I am editing, my goal is to cut, cut, cut. Since beginning my edits–and working through all seven passes–I’ve managed to cut about 200 pages. And the stories I want to add? They equal… about 200 pages.

The paperback copies of The Legend of Stuckey’s Bridge, signed by author Lori Crane, have arrived and are on sale. I will join Lori by signing and personalizing them (I wrote the foreword). You can snag your copy here. Any copies not sold online will be signed and sold at lectures and signings.

Speaking of book signings, I am proceeding with the fall signing and lecture tour, although I won’t be swinging by some of the regular, out-of-state venues. Projects, along with several local events and private engagements, are keeping me close to home this fall. In October, I will participate in a panel discussion about folklore and historical research, and I’ll discuss the methods I’ve used in researching the “Bell Witch” case over the last three decades. This is for the Tennessee Society of Historical Archivists, I believe. Several fall signing and lecture events are also in the works, and will be announced soon. Stay tuned.

Book Signing and Storytelling Event

Sunday, October 27th, 3-6 PM Central

Author Pat Fitzhugh will be on hand for Bell Witch storytelling and signing the books, “The Bell Witch: The Full Account,” “Ghostly Cries From Dixie,” and “The Legend of Stuckey’s Bridge.”

Chester’s Halloween Costume Ball and Karaoke
Shady Acres Activity Center — Old Rink Plaza
1649 Murfreesboro Rd.
Lebanon, Tennessee

Also: DJ and costume contest!
ADMISSION IS FREE!

Stuckey’s Bridge is Released!

GOOD NEWS!  “The Legend of Stuckey’s Bridge” is now released for the Amazon Kindle! The paperback and Nook editions will be available later this month.  What is Stuckey’s Bridge?

In 1901, the Virginia Bridge & Iron Company began re-building a fifty-year-old Mississippi bridge. In the middle of the project, they began discovering bodies buried on the banks of the river.

Legend has it, he was so evil, he was even thrown out of the notorious Dalton Gang. Years later, he opened an inn near the river, and on foggy nights, boatmen witnessed him pacing back and forth across the bridge, waving his lantern, offering travelers a hot meal and a soft bed.

Those unfortunate enough to take him up on the hospitality were often never seen again.

To this day, eerie experiences are still reported around the bridge that now bears his name. If you travel down to Stuckey’s Bridge, be careful, for not much else is known about the man locals refer to as Old Man Stuckey…until now.

Pleasant dreams.

The Legend of Stuckey’s Bridge
by Lori Crane
Foreword by Pat Fitzhugh

If you have a Kindle, you can download this thrilling eBook RIGHT NOW, for less than the price you’d pay for a cup of Starbucks!  To order, just click
the link, below:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Legend-Stuckeys-Bridge-ebook/dp/B00DGHNU1K

“Stuckey’s Bridge” Video Trailer Released

The video trailer of “The Legend of Stuckey’s Bridge” is now online!

The Legend of Stuckey’s Bridge
by Lori Crane, with foreword by Pat Fitzhugh

In 1901, the Virginia Bridge & Iron Company began re-building a fifty-year-old Mississippi bridge. In the middle of the project, they discovered more than a dozen bodies buried in the banks of the river.

Legend has it, he was so evil, he was even thrown out of the notorious Dalton Gang. Years later, he opened an inn near the river, and on foggy nights, boatmen witnessed him pacing back and forth across the bridge, waving his lantern, offering travelers a hot meal and a soft bed.

Those unfortunate enough to take him up on the hospitality were often never seen again.

To this day, eerie experiences are still reported around the bridge that now bears his name. If you travel down to Stuckey’s Bridge, be careful, for not much else is known about the man locals refer to as Old Man Stuckey…until now.

The Legend of Stuckey’s Bridge – available June 2013 in paperback, Kindle and Nook.