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Tuesday, October 31st, 2006 by

“Kathryn Tucker Windham loves Halloween,” says the Florence Times-Daily newspaper. And Kathryn certainly does: she’s the author of eight books of Southern ghost story collections (along with her personal ghost, Jeffrey), including her newest, Jeffrey’s Favorite 13 Ghost Stories. Says the article, “Although she’s not sure if the South is more haunted than any other region of the country, Windham is sure of one thing: ‘We may not have more, but our ghosts are better.'” From the article:

As she’s gathered these bits and pieces of oral history, mostly from Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee, there have been those stories that have touched her more deeply than others.

“I couldn’t pick one, you understand,” she said. “That would be like asking me which of my children I like best.”

Windham made sure as she gathered pieces of the stories together to listen to as many retellings as possible. From them, she would write a version that was the most plausible.

“I’d write a version of the story, but all of them are based on fact, and I tried to create one that would work,” she said.

The author was also careful to avoid tales of gore and fright. As a result, her ghost stories have been the most popular with school children and get told time and again as the leaves on the trees fall, days get shorter and Halloween approaches.

“You don’t need a special time to tell these stories,” Windham said. “But there’s something special about a fall night with a full moon and a little wind blowing and strange noises on the periphery just outside the campfire.

“These stories can stand alone in any setting, and that’s why they’ve endured.”

Read the full article, “Author says South ‘may not have more, but our ghosts are better'” at the Times Daily.

Jeffrey’s Favorite 13 Ghost Stories is available directly from NewSouth Books, Amazon.com, or your favorite local or online bookseller.

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