Staff Picks: Haunting Reads
The leaves are taking on brilliant shades of red and yellow, pumpkins adorn porches throughout the county and there’s a distinct chill in the early morning air. Autumn is definitely upon us and with Halloween just a few days away I’m excited to share a few of my favorite books about local legends and hauntings!
Virginia Ghosts by Marguerite du Pont Lee
Growing up, Marguerite du Pont Lee’s Virginia Ghosts always had a special place in my family’s home library. It’s out of print now, but we’re lucky to have a few copies available for you to peruse at the library! Be sure to look for one of my favorite tales “The Haunted Kitchen” which happened on Culpeper Street in old town Warrenton.
Virginia Folk Legends by Thomas E. Barden
You might have heard about the Works Progress Administration which built roads and bridges and established community areas in the 1930’s, but did you know the WPA also documented local folklore? Thomas E. Barden’s Virginia Folk Legends is full of these tales and several of the stories hale from right here in Fauquier. Look for the very sweet 1941 retelling of “The Dancing Couple” which takes place in the Bull Run Mountains.
Ghosts of Virginia by L. B. Taylor
Any list of Virginia haunted stories would be incomplete without a mention of L. B. Taylor’s works. From his Ghosts of Virginia series (all 13 volumes of them!) to his Treasury of True Ghostly Humor, Taylor recounts many, many legends of Fauquier hauntings.
Fauquier’s Haunted History
History books might seem an odd choice for spooky reads, but they’re chock full of odd and macabre local legends. For instance, did you know that Markham’s Dr. James Ambler died near the North Pole in 1881, when the hull of his ship was crushed by ice? Or that Warrenton resident, Frances Grayson, disappeared during a 1927 attempt to become the first woman to complete a trans-Atlantic flight? For more about these stories and many others, check out the Diary of Court House Square by Lee Moffett and Fauquier County, Virginia, 1759 – 1959.
Ghosts in the News
Still can’t get enough local ghost stories? Why not try searching our database of historic newspapers! I’m a huge fan of ProQuest Historical Washington Post. A quick search for the word “ghost” will turn up thousands of articles featuring phantoms, séances and all sorts of strange stories from around the area.
For even more spooky stories check out our new list of haunting reads featuring local folklore and more! You can also pick one up at the reference desk of your local library.
∼ Frances Allshouse, Clerk, Bealeton Branch Fauquier County Public Library
Looking for more book lists and staff suggestions? Stop by the reference desk at your local library. Keep up-to-date on library programs and events by subscribing to bookmarks, our monthly eNewsletter, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.