Well, I am completely bummed that that’s over. I don’t say this mildly, but that was the most fun I’ve had blogging in a long, long time. And I have some good times blogging. I thought they were fun, when I wrote them, but y’all really enjoyed them, which is such a rush, I can’t even tell you.
W. asked for a little background on each story, but I’m not sure what there is to give. “The Infamous Witch” is, of course, the Bell Witch, the most famous Tennessee haunting. The more you read into it, the clearer it is that, whatever kernel of truth there is to the legend, it’s almost certainly completely fake now. Anyone writing fake ghost stories about Tennessee has got to give it up to the original. “The Man in My Back Yard” is a slightly fictionalized story about my back yard, in which people have seen a man who doesn’t exist.
“Rachel Jackson” is completely made up. There are supposedly ghosts at the Hermitage, but I’ve never heard of her being one of them. “The Three Babies” is based on a true incident. They really did find bodies at that intersection. But the ghosts are made up. “Dodge City” is based on a story I heard in college, a girl told me about not being able to get an ambulance to come to her neighborhood in Chicago, and on a TV show I saw where a psychic was being given a tour of a prison by a man who had served time there; she picked out his cell because she said he still haunted it.
There were Native American remains on the site where the Brentwood library is. They were, as far as I know, all moved. The WSM story was told to me as true, but I have never been down there to see if I could hear it for myself. “Dead and Gone” is based, in part, on a ghost story some folks in Nashville actually tell, but, as in the story, the couple in the grave were happily married and now are dead in Mt. Olivet, moved when it became fashionable to be buried there. “The Widow Ledbetter” is completely made up, except for the basic facts about Frank James being in town and he and his wife staying with that family.
“Pressed into Service” I made up after seeing an x on the back of that particular grave and wondering about it. “Pebbles” is totally made up. “The Sylvan Heights Soldier” is in honor of the Ghosts of the Civil War, a long standing trope on Tiny Cat Pants. I blamed the Union soldiers who camped along the tracks that ended up being in my last back yard for stealing my awesome can opener. “Bacon Frying in the Pan” is based on a story I heard that actually supposedly happened here. “Granddad” I completely made up because I was so bummed to discover that a building as awesome as the Downtown Presbyterian Church doesn’t have a ghost.
“El Protector” is made up, but we have famous ghost lights just south of town. “Laura” is made up, but I had heard a story about houses that don’t exist calling 911 due to some glitch in the system and freaking out the 911 operators. “Opryland” is made up, but the parts of the old theme park are still there, some of them. Um, “The Devil Lives on Lewis Street, I Swear” is based on my love of Elizabeth Bennett and the fact that the Devil lives on Lewis Street, as Steve Earle will tell you.
“The Broken Mirror” is made up. But the Butcher’s friend works at Hooters, so I wanted to write a story she would get a kick out of. “The Home Depot Parking Lot” is based on the Jim Reeves’ Home being torn down and the frustration that a lot of preservationists felt at not being able to save the oldest house in Davidson County. “The Strange Case of Scenic Drive” is made up, but I liked the idea of two stories that fed into each other, without the people who had heard either story realizing it. “Adelicia Acklen” is based on a true story. I took some middle schoolers to the grave and had forgotten about the angel in there. Whew, that made them scream.
And then I guess we’ve just recently covered the rest of them.
Anyway, good times.
It doesn’t matter if some were completely made up or others were wild embellishments, your writing gave me the ability to suspend my disbelief for a little bit, and get into the story. I think they were really very good, and I liked that they trickled out one-a-day, because reading too much of ghost stuff at one go tends to make me cynical and sour. I wasn’t sure I’d like the effort at the beginning, but by the middle of the month, I was looking forward to them.
The maps were a nice touch, too.
(I’m very much a realist)