“In a matter of almost forty years, I stumbled – purely by accident – into ghostly and phantasmal locals and places at every single stop, in every single year and in every venue that the realm of the paranormal offers. For a time, I became paranoid and almost convinced that some unseen force was guiding me from haunted situation to haunted situation everywhere I went. However, the solution to this mystery-life of mine was far more veiled and prosaic: I lived in Illinois. It took me a long time, loads of research and numerous relocations within this beautiful state to fully come to terms with just how many exceptional haunted locations could be found everywhere throughout the state. Illinois is a weird place!”
- Scott Maruna, in The Illinois Road Guide to Haunted Locations
In these posts, I will provide a list of books I think anyone interested in the paranormal would benefit from reading. Each list will be arranged by topic and will be accompanied by some notes of my own. Enjoy!
- Brown, Alan. Haunted Places in the American South. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2002.
- Brown, Alan. Stories from the Haunted South. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2004.
- Buxton, Geordie. Haunted Plantations: Ghosts of Slavery and Legends of the Cotton Kingdoms. Charleston: Arcadia, 2007.
- Coleman, Christopher K. Dixie Spirits: True Tales of the Strange and Supernatural in the South. Nashville: Cumberland House, 2002.
- Domine, David. Phantoms of Old Louisville: Ghostly Tales from America’s Most Haunted Neighborhood. Kuttawa: McClanahan, 2006.
- Roberts, Nancy. The Haunted South: Where Ghosts Still Roam. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1988.
The past ten years has seen an explosion of books on ghostlore from all over the country. In my opinion, Illinois has been ground zero in this renaissance. Authors have overturned every rock to document our ghost stories. But now, this passion has traveled to every corner of the country. Our books for this month focus on the haunted South. The southeast has some of the oldest settlements in the country, and the history of the South is filled with romance and tragedy. Generally, Southern culture lends itself to interesting storytelling. There are plenty of books on individual cities, but these are a few that deal with the region in general.
Interested in the ghostly legends and lore of Illinois? Check out Michael Kleen’s book Paranormal Illinois. Paranormal Illinois presents in-depth and original research on some of Illinois’ most unusual tales, including the phantom lady of Kennedy Hill Road, the headless horseman of Lakey’s Creek, and the ghost of Ange Milner. Chapters on Archer Avenue, Manteno State Hospital, Ashmore Estates, Airtight Bridge, Devil’s Gate, and other infamous places present information and interviews never before seen in print. Fun, informative, and greatly entertaining, this painstakingly researched book leaves no ghost unturned.
As the heavy thump of boots rained down on the stairs above their heads, Davin felt Misa’s teeth press against his neck near his jugular vein, and he tugged on Greg’s shirt. At first, Greg brushed him off, but sensing his friend’s urgency, he turned his head just in time to see what was happening by the faint glow provided by the sheriff deputy’s flashlight. The deputy, by that time, stood parallel with the staircase, just a few feet away. Using the noise from the ascent of the deputy’s partner as cover, Greg backhanded Misa in the forehead. God, I’ve wanted to do that for a while, he thought. Misa jerked back in surprise and released her hold on Davin.
The sheriff’s deputy hadn’t heard a thing. He walked past the stairs and entered the main hallway, and Greg and Davin breathed a sigh of relief. Misa, although clearly upset, regained her balance and bit her tongue. If she got caught, she knew even more than Greg or Davin, or even Mike, it would mean spending the rest of her life in a hospital, fed a steady diet of Thorazine. Furthermore, she knew she had temporarily lost control, and if Greg hadn’t acted, being caught trespassing would have been the least of their worries. Still, it took all her willpower to stop from lashing out in retribution.
As the footsteps of the deputies disappeared deep into the interior of the abandoned hotel, The Fallen allowed themselves to relax. They shifted position, so that Misa stood in front of Greg and Davin. Davin rubbed his neck bitterly, and checked his hand to make sure no blood had been drawn. Finally, after a moment, Greg gently pushed Misa and whispered “let’s go,” in her ear.
What happened next? Click here to order the entire issue (.pdf) and find out!
Legends and Lore of Illinois Vol. 4 – on Kindle!
Or, order all 11 issues of the Legends and Lore of Illinois from 2010 for only $5.00 in a special Kindle edition. Places covered in Vol. 4 include Western Illinois University’s Simpkins Hall, the Seventh Avenue Dead End, Illinois State University, Willow Creek Farm, Vishnu Springs, the Cambridge Death Curve, Crybaby Bridge, Archer Avenue, Rockford College, Starved Rock State Park and more. Plus, read letters from our readers, the latest adventures of The Fallen, skeptic’s corner, and put your knowledge of these locations to the test with challenging trivia questions.
Order it today on Amazon.com.
Note: Amazon Kindle required.
Legends and Lore of Illinois: The Fallen Chronicles
This special collection consists of the saga of The Fallen, spanning 47 issues of the Legends and Lore of Illinois, arranged in chronological order. For the first time, our readers can follow the epic journey of Mike, Aurelia, Davin, Greg, and Emmer from their first appearance at Bachelor’s Grove to their closing act at the summit of Starved Rock. Will The Fallen escape from a shadowy entity lurking in the tunnels under Manteno State Hospital, or will they be upstaged by their ghost-hunting rivals at Greenwood Cemetery? Follow all their adventures, twists, and turns in one convenient book! You will never look at Illinois the same way -
Order it today on Amazon.com!
Note: Amazon Kindle required.
Don’t have a Kindle reader? Check out all our print-edition books here.