Legends and Ghost Stories from the South

Presented by John Williams.

(Presentation can be tailored to meet the needs of your organization.)

The South has a rich tradition of folk literature that draws upon oral tradition and colorful language for its substance. Legends, folk history, songs, foodways, customs, and unique dialects permeate the ghost stories of South Carolina and other Southern states. Dr. Williams draws upon the numerous collections of ghost stories and scary tales to create an evening of haunted enjoyment for young and old. Not just a Halloween event, this presentation promises to inform and delight and maybe evoke a few screams from all participants. Beginning with brief spellbinding recitations from Coleridge and Poe, Dr. Williams discusses the cathartic power of fear and horror in the human experience. Citing the night riders of southern history as examples of “real ghosts,” Dr. Williams discusses the use of fear as a psychological tool to control an ethnic minority group. All the usual “haints” are here too. Dr. Williams summons up all the ghosts that appear along the Atlantic seacoast from Georgia to the Carolinas beginning with the uncanny spectral ships that were often seen in Charleston Harbor. You are bound to hear the voice of a ghost from your neighborhood, so be prepared to jump out of your skin!

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