Tennessee

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.

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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

 

Radio Interview @ Paranormal Kool-Aid July 15th

I’ll be appearing on the “Paranormal Kool-Aid” radio show July 15th at 9P Eastern / 8P Central. The discussion will center on two local haunts near and dear to my heart, The Thomas House and Octagon Hall, and why they should be on everyone’s paranormal bucket list.

A “listen live” link will be posted closer to showtime. Make your plans to listen now. Get your spook on.

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

Progress Report on Forthcoming “Bell Witch” Title

I’ve been busy typing away on the update and complete rewrite of The Bell Witch: The Full Account, scheduled for release on October 13, 2013. The book’s first edition debuted on Friday, October 13, 2000. Yes, Friday the thirteenth of October, in the year 2000.

The 2013 update, which is a full rewrite available in both paperback and eBook formats, coincides with the book’s thirteenth anniversary. There’s just something about that number–thirteen.

Two weeks have elapsed since I [finally] located the book’s original file–created in Word 97–and opened it for the first time in thirteen years. I could’ve sworn my computer’s screen turned yellow and began to smell musty, it has been that long. Here is what I’ve done over the past two weeks:

  • Reduced the page count from 406 to 348!
  • Removed three entire sections (not reflected in revised page count).
  • Added 24 new pieces of new information about the case.

The copy and developmental editing will continue over the summer. New covers, both front and back, will also be added. The promotional campaign will begin in May. Also this year, I have two more books to finish and a busy lecture/signing schedule. Please send prayers and coffee.