The Haunting of Cape Cod and the Islands
The fog-shrouded islands of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket are filled with New England apparitions steeped in the seafaring traditions of their earthly homes. Seth Freeman Swift served as the first minister of the Second Congregational Meeting House Society in Nantucket from 1810-1833. Among the twenty-first century parishioners and staff there is a clear consensus: he’s baaack! He’s joined by preachers and pirates, sea captains and sailors, lovers and rogues, witches, glass gaffers, and the innocents whose birthdays number far too few. These Yankee ghosts are staunch and stubborn. They’re here, whether you believe or not: they ride the waves, gallop on horseback, stroll along the beach, dance naked in a cupola, sweep the decks, pilfer makeup, stop a clock, make a glass flower come to life, block doors, and rattle windows. They are integral to the history of the Cape and islands, woven into myth and legend, but steadfastly steering their ghostly vessels through the treacherous shoals of the present day. A list of the addresses of all of the haunted sites is included at the back of the book.
“Encounter the friendly spirits and irritable phantoms of Cape Cod. Secret padded rooms, candles that relight themselves, and furniture that moves are only a few of the abnormalities to be discovered. Ranging from whimsical to ominous, each ghost has its own story. Using extensive interviews and research, author Barbara Sillery recounts both the written and oral spectral histories of each location.”
Excerpt: Chapter 12 Who Let the Dogs Out
The Haunting of Mississippi
The Magnolia State possesses a rich past that fuels the haunted lore of the present. Interviews with owners, tour guides, and visitors reveal vivid firsthand accounts of paranormal activity at more than twenty historic sites. In Vicksburg, the cavorting spirits at McRaven House have been known to smack at least one tour guide. The ghosts at Cedar Grove Inn toss glasses, slam doors, and smoke cigars. A restless couple at Anchuca wanted out of the attic, so they set off an indoor waterfall. In Natchez, Longwood’s lonely master calls out to visitors. Greenville’s lost ghost remains on guard duty at the former armory. King’s Tavern, Magnolia Hall, Merrehope, Rowan Oak, Linden, Mount Holly, Stanton Hall, Beauvoir, Glenburnie, the Lyric Theatre, the Old Capital Museum, Rosedale, and Waverley all have tales to tell and lively spirits who won’t lie still. Author Barbara Sillery has personally visited each site and agrees with the philosophical attitude of owner Dixie Butler of Temple Heights in Columbus, Mississippi: “When it comes to the subject of ghosts, well, there are a lot of things you just can’t rationalize away.” A list of the addresses of all of the haunted sites is included at the back of the book.
“The Haunting of Mississippi by Barbara Sillery sucked me right in to Mississippi’s rich, haunted history. Sillery eloquently describes the settings of her stories.”
“The Haunting of Mississippi is a great travel planning guide for anyone who wants to spend a few days touring the state and stopping off at historical locations believed to be home to paranormal activities. The trip you plan as a result of reading this book will appeal to history buffs and those interested in Southern culture, as well as those with a penchant for the paranormal.”
Excerpt: Chapter 14 Rowan Oak
Faulkner delighted in repeating the supernatural yarn of a tragic spirit who haunted the gardens. “The one interesting thing about Faulkner’s favorite ghost is that he never wrote the story down, so I’ve heard five or six different versions,” says William Griffith, the Curator of Rowan Oak. “One version is that the daughter of the original owner, Colonel Robert Sheegog, fell in love with two soldiers and couldn’t decide which one to marry. They killed each other in a duel and Judith threw herself off the balcony because there would be no one to court her anymore. Another twist on the tale is that Judith was killed by a stray bullet when the two soldiers fought over her.” A sly smile slips out as the curator delivers version number three: “One was a Confederate soldier, the other was Union−he was the one Judith really loved and when he was killed in battle, she threw herself off the balcony.” And, for a final bit of drama, there is option number four: Judith was climbing down a rope ladder tied to the balcony to elope with her beloved Union soldier. She slipped and fell to her death. Curator Griffith settles into a worn armchair in a back hallway of Rowan Oak. “They are all great stories with one common denominator: Judith dies in every one. She ends up buried in the garden in the front of the house and the garden is haunted.” The curator’s thin frame is nearly lost among the oversized chair cushions. Dressed in a rumpled white shirt and slacks, he is every inch the distracted scholar focused on facts, not fashion… “Faulkner loved ghost stories. Who doesn’t? Especially in a house like this, you’d expect it to be haunted, have a ghost. You’d want it to have a ghost.”
The Haunting of Louisiana
There are as many ghostly inhabitants in Louisiana as real ones. Pirates, voodoo queens, Civil War soldiers, singing monks, the loup garou, and a little girl trapped in a mirror are a few of the legendary spirits you’ll encounter within these pages. From America’s most haunted home, the Myrtles Plantation in St. Francisville, Louisiana, to a castle in Baton Rouge, and onto the fabled streets of the French Quarter, the folklore is a living part of the state’s legendary past. The book is based on the PBS documentary of the same title, which was awarded a Telly, two Press Club awards, and a regional Emmy nomination. The book also includes intriguing behind-the-scenes incidents that happened to the author and crew during the filming of the documentary. A list of the addresses of all of the haunted sites is included at the back of the book.
“Sillery weaves her stories with a seamless twist of narrative and dialogue.”
Excerpt: Chapter I America’s Most Haunted Home
Teeta Moss took pictures to document the proximity of adjacent buildings to the home [Myrtles Plantation] for a fire-code rating…an alert employee noted something curious in one of the photos. A slim turbaned female form could be seen lurking in the passageway between the main house and the old kitchen building. The staff member was unnerved—the figure in the photo was transparent; the clapboard siding of the house was clearly visible through her body. Teeta Moss was dubious. Convinced it must be a defect or shadow, she carefully checked the remaining photos. The detailed scrutiny of the photos held a few more surprises—two to be exact—the silhouettes of two small children kneeling on the roof of the main house. Teeta Moss has no rational explanation. “That can just really raise the hair on the back of your neck because it is so real.” In a clear and precise voice, Teeta swears that when she took the pictures it was a quiet Sunday morning. No one was on the grounds…an enlargement of the original photo with measurements marked in red is on display at the Myrtles for those who wish to draw their own conclusions.Author’s note: Chloe, a former slave, was accused of poisoning the wife and children of the second owner, Judge Clark Woodruff. The judge’s wife and two of the children died. Chloe was hung from a tree on the property. Chloe’s stubborn spirit has never left.
Biloxi Memories captures an era in time when visitors flocked to the Gulf Coast community of Biloxi to savor the delights of sun, sand, and seafood along with a healthy dose of gambling and star-studded nightclubs. Elvis, Jayne Mansfield, Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Denzel Washington, John Grisham—Biloxi played host to a myriad of celebrities. In 2005, Hurricanes Camille and Katrina left the city in tatters, but her people are resilient. Today, Biloxi is second only to Las Vegas as a gambling mecca, yet somehow retains her small town charm. Lavishly illustrated with photographs, vintage postcards, and memorabilia, Biloxi Memories is based on the critically acclaimed documentary Biloxi Memories and the Broadwater Beach Hotel, which aired on PBS stations WYES-TV, WLPB-TV, MPB-TV.
“Sillery…breathes new life into this coastal resort.”
Excerpt: Chapter 12 Gus, Elvis, and Jayne
Get in touch with the author when you have any questions about her supernatural stories. Based in Cape Cod, she travels nationwide for her work.