The Unhappy Grizzly, Other Tall Tales, and Outright Lies

The Old Willow-Tree
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Christopher Myers love for telling stories continues the tradition of storytelling that his grandfather and famous father, Walter Dean Myers, began early in his life. He found the stories compiled by Zora Neale Hurston in a government office which he irreverently states as the source of all lies. This is delightful. Coming from an extended family of gifted story tellers, I found myself smiling at the exaggerations. I think it could be used to encourage children to tell their own tall tales, and perhaps more seriously to discuss the difference between a devious lie and a silly embellishment.

May 20, Kathleen Garber rated it it was ok Shelves: picturebooks , not-recommended. It is very weird. I understand keeping it that way for historical fiction but reading this book just hurt my head. I know a man so big that when he went to whip his boy, the boy runned under his stomach and stayed hid under there six months. NOT Recommended Aug 30, Callie Risse rated it liked it Shelves: folklore , trade-books. This is a collection of tall tales, such as "I saw the wind blow so hard, a man's nose blew off!

The Writings of Keith Foster, Pt 6

Sep 28, Kevin Evans rated it did not like it Shelves: southern , multicultrual , folklore , mythology. I would not let students in a classrooom read this book. There are derogatory words in the book. Not only that but their are refrences to sexism and racism. There was a joke more or less about a dark-skinned man.. Apr 27, Amanda R rated it liked it. Simply a collection of "I once knew a guy who Don't have much else to say about it. It was ok. Aug 10, George rated it did not like it Shelves: picture-books , folktale , bit-scary , ar-level Sep 07, Laura rated it really liked it.

Zora knew how to capture the "African diasporic shared essence" through recording Southern Blacks story telling and folklore. Some of the stories brought me right back to the "Yo Mamma" jokes told in school, Saturday nights watching Uptown Comedy club or listening to a Jamaican woman trace; witty and a tall stretch from the truth but just the ingenuity of putting that all together made you laugh. The illustrations had a Jacob Lawrence feel and suited these stories whose origins bridged both the Zora knew how to capture the "African diasporic shared essence" through recording Southern Blacks story telling and folklore.

The illustrations had a Jacob Lawrence feel and suited these stories whose origins bridged both the Great Migration Blacks and those who remained in the South. Nov 28, Tessa Duncan rated it liked it Shelves: tall-tales. This is a collection of tall tales that are a bit outlandish and interesting to read. Each tall tale introduces the next perfectly and the book flows like a conversation. The book is written to sound like how tall tales may be told and often don't use "correct" grammar.

Could be used to help children write their own tall tale and share them with their peers. Oct 24, Shelli rated it really liked it Shelves: fairy-tales-fables , picture-books. Christopher Myers adaptation of stories collected by Zora Neale Hurston is a wonderful rendition of this storytelling of time long past. I would highly recommend parents and educators to pick up a mini-biography on Ms. Hurston and share her remarkable story as well. Jun 28, Mari rated it it was amazing Shelves: picture-books.

May 04, Tim Hackbarth added it Shelves: traditional-literature , multicultural. Zora Neale Hurston compiled this collection of lies that were part of the cultural of her childhood. Tall tales from the mouths of trusted adults! The book does a wonderful job of exploring cultural stereotypes in a positive way. The book is a fun look at a very different cultural experience. The explicit purpose is to show the ridiculous lies that children are told to make a point. The implicit purpose is to highlight a cultural narrative that is seldom heard.

I would use it in a comparative setting with other another piece in order to give the children an opportunity to compare and contrast the experiences in the respective stories. Sep 26, Erin rated it it was amazing Shelves: library. I'm a huge fan of Zora Neale Hurston's work and am familiar with her anthropological studies of local folklore. I was so excited to find this book at the library to read to my 2 year old.

Yes, the grammar is "poor" and the language "colorful". But that's the point. Hurston was going for accuracy with these lies not political or grammatical correctness. The language paints a picture that is only complemented by the artwork. Of course, I don't want my daughter repeating the stories about jackasses I'm a huge fan of Zora Neale Hurston's work and am familiar with her anthropological studies of local folklore. Of course, I don't want my daughter repeating the stories about jackasses or someone being "so black".

A once prosperous town, Lone Tree is now occupied by one person, the family's patriarch who lives in a hotel along the railroad tracks. Morris creates a fascinating cast of characters, including one based loosely upon Charles Starkweather, the man whose weeklong killing spree across the state terrified Nebraskans in early This dark comedy offers an intriguing examination of Nebraska during the s. Winner of the National Book Award in , Morris traces three generations of Nebraskan women and their lives beginning in the late nineteenth century.

In doing so, Morris offers vivid and fascinating insights into women's experiences on the plains. Moulton's definitive thirteen-volume rendering of the Lewis and Clark journals, as well as an atlas and the journals of enlisted men John Ordway, Charles Floyd, Patrick Gass and Joseph Whitehouse serve as a milestone in historical editing. Its rich details of editorial comment add further value to the original passages and the cumulative index vol. This one-volume abridgment will serve the needs of the casual print reader.

This rare gem is an essential tool for researchers and casual readers who wish to know more about eastern Nebraska and bordering states along the Missouri River during the two decades before Lewis and Clark traveled upriver. Most of the contents are translations of important Spanish documents, but Nasatir's lengthy Introduction and editorial notes make the collection even more valuable. Although Richard Lowitt has penned a three-volume exhaustive study of Norris' career, the general reader might be better served by reading Norris' own words about his Nebraska roots, political philosophies and distinguished public career.

Although no systematic interpretation is offered, this book provides accounts of the blizzard in Nebraska by survivors who recalled the death, devastation and resourcefulness of people. An excellent study of this Spanish-American fur trader who helped found the Missouri Fur Company and who, for a time, operated from the area of present-day Omaha. The book is especially strong at identifying the reasons for company retrenchment and eventual sale to competitors.

A moving tale of growing up on a northwestern Nebraska homestead under the Kinkaid Act and later in Rushville, as well as relations with the nearby Oglala Sioux. This is a good book to compare with Mari Sandoz's Old Jules since they overlap in time and place. Excellent biography of Morton's important Nebraska political career, his role in formulating Arbor Day, and his building of Nebraska City's Arbor Lodge.

This solid interpretation of government relations with the Lakota people demonstrates federal duplicity, pioneer pressures on the Indian land base, and the assault on native culture by well-intentioned but myopic reformers. In precise detail it treats all the important events from the war on the Bozeman Trail through the Wounded Knee Massacre of This remains the best overview of Nebraska from prehistoric peoples to the present, both in terms of readability and accuracy.

It assumes a chronological approach and the lengthy "Suggestions for Further Reading" section offers readers an excellent guide for following up the discussion of specific topics. Although Opie looks at all landscapes that are affected by the Ogallala Aquifer - Nebraska, Wyoming, Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico - much of his attention is devoted to Nebraska, which encompasses the largest share of the aquifer.

He examines not only traditional concerns about irrigation and water allotment to communities, but also the more recent impact of industrial hog farming in Plains states. Ostler partially rejects the notion that greater economic disparity explains why Kansas and Nebraska welcomed Populism while Iowa remained somewhat distant from the agrarian protest movement. He argues that Iowa's Republican and Democratic parties responded more favorably to farmers' demands than did the same parties in Kansas and Nebraska, so much of the drive for political activism was deflected. The earlier of Overton's two masterful economic studies is about the acquisition of large land holdings by the railroad, their sale to private and corporate entities, and the accompanying sales techniques used to advertise and dispose of the lands.

The later volume is an exhaustive financial history of the Burlington rail system from its modest beginnings in the pre-Civil War era through the end of World War II. Because of the complexities of financial dealings in acquiring other lines over time and modifying the system, this book is a difficult read but a rewarding one for the persistent scholar. His account of that adventure thrilled readers in the East and it remains one of the most valuable accounts of trail life along the Platte River even today.

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This anthology of a dozen articles, ten of which were previously published in Nebraska History , offers a good overview of military relations with the Sioux and Northern Cheyenne during major phases of the Indian wars. Original endnotes are printed with the articles that were written for researchers and general audiences alike.

This competent biography of the Democratic Party is organized around specific time periods, but it focuses upon the contributions of key party leaders. In this book, she describes her experience working with refugees from Somalia, Bosnia, Iraq and other global trouble spots, helping them adapt and survive in their new home. Transplanted from often horrifying circumstances, many suffer from a deep malaise despite their awareness of new possibilities.

Pipher offers practical ways to empathize. After a beef-processing plant worker suffers brain damage in an automobile accident, his sister hires a famed neurologist to help nurse him to recovery against the backdrop of the sandhill crane migration along the Platte river. Winner of the National Book Award, this is an ambitious, complex and rich novel of emotional cognition.

Reidel traces the life of Nebraskan and literati Weldon Kees from his childhood days in Beatrice to his tragic disappearance and probable suicide in July when his car was found abandoned near the Golden Gate Bridge. This book offers an incisive portrait of the talented and enigmatic Kees, in addition to the broader twentieth-century and post-war American cultural milieu.

Many homesteaders viewed Richards as a wealthy cattle baron who blocked their chances to acquire their fair share of land and water in Nebraska's Sandhills. But among cattlemen he was a champion who fought the unrealistic and unjust land laws that favored agriculturalists. Although Sandoz took liberties with the facts and accepted some rumors uncritically, she crafted one of the most empathetic biographies of a Plains Indian leader.

On a more positive note, she made good use of the rich E. This is a "must-read" for persons who wish to better understand the pioneering experience in Nebraska's Panhandle during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Mari wrote about her entrepreneurial father Jules Ami Sandoz who made so many outsiders feel welcome in the pursuit of homesteads, while simultaneously abusing his four wives and children.

One cannot read this family story without being strongly affected by it. This collection of fourteen separately authored articles treats a variety of Great Plains archeological topics, but the essays by R. Peter Winham, Edward J. Lueck, Jeffrey L. Eighmy and Patricia J. O'Brien remain the most relevant for Nebraska.

They primarily address a scholarly audience that is familiar with the archeological debates and previously published sources. During the 19th century, the Missouri River served as a natural highway for people and commerce to the Northern Plains and beyond, and it also defined settlement patterns in eastern Nebraska. The Pick-Sloan series of dams, established during the midth century, defined the river's uses for good and ill to the present.

Although this book is too brief and superficial to serve as the definitive interpretation of the Pony Express, it provides a good read for general audiences. The firm of Russell, Majors and Waddell dominated freighting along the Platte River Road during the late s and s, and it operated a second headquarters at Nebraska City. Its effort to gain the largest share of the federal mail contract by creation of the short-lived Pony Express in spelled further debt for the company and eventual extinction.

A masterfully detailed and well-documented study that begins with Indian land titles and then provides chapters on issues such as preemption and land warrants, railroad grants, scrip, Homestead Act, Kinkaid Act, conflicts between farmers and cattlemen, frauds, state lands, and new policies in the early s. This remains the best of the early efforts to relate the state's history in a massive way 2, pages. The first volume treats in detail a full range of chronological topics from Nebraska Indians not so good to the Political Campaign of much better.

Volumes 2 and 3 offer extensive biographical profiles about prominent leaders within the state. Snyder recalls her childhood in a Custer County sod house and the rigors of homesteading in a pioneer agricultural environment. Following her marriage, she moved to a ranch in the Sandhills. In later life she became nationally known for her folk art expressed in quilt making. The important network of trails that developed during the late s linked the Union Pacific Railroad at Cheyenne, Wyoming, with the newly opened Black Hills mining areas.

The westernmost counties of Nebraska profited considerably from the commerce along these routes, but they also felt the lawlessness associated with the growing prosperity. Standing Bear pledged to return the body of his deceased son for burial to Nebraska's Niobrara River valley, setting in motion a series of events that led to the first U.

A sympathetic view of Sandoz and her struggle to gain literary fame by writing about the people and realities she experienced in her own life. She emerged as a prolific author of both history and fiction. Set in the late 19th century, this picaresque novel follows the adventures of a young girl sold by her father into slavery to a Pawnee Indian in order to settle a gambling debt.

The premise provides a unique perspective on women, race and culture on the Plains. This reference work lists books, articles, government documents, master's theses and doctoral dissertations on all phases of Nebraska life, ranging from geology to literature. Annotations alert researchers to the strengths and weaknesses of individual sources, and provide brief descriptions of contents. Tate finds that these encounters were far more often characterized by cooperation than conflict, even in the s.

He seeks to dispel the persistent cultural stereotype of Indians as the pioneers' worst enemy. This warm treatment of the life of the nation's first female Native American medical doctor examines her traditional Omaha tribal culture, her education in eastern boarding schools, and her unwavering service to her own Omaha people. She not only provided years of medical service, but also was a promoter of social reform and an advocate for native land rights. This prize-winning book is absolutely essential for understanding all phases of the overland migration across Nebraska to Oregon, California and Salt Lake City.

Throughout its massive assembly of detail, it remains very engaging and it provides strong bibliographical sections to spur further research. The most comprehensive critical biography of William Cody in forty years, Warren places American's most renowned showman in the context of his cultural worlds in the Far West, in the East and in Europe. A revealing biography and social history of a cultural icon. Although chapters 3 and 4 of this book are outdated and racially biased, this remains one of the true classics in interpreting the development of the American West. Webb's theme of "institutional and technological adaptability" west of the 98th meridian provided a departure point for so many other interpretations of the Great Plains that were published after his.

As Nebraska's best-known folklorist today, Welsch has long kept his eye peeled and his ears open to the voices of people at the grassroots level. From them he has assembled a collection of tall tales, lies and comic descriptions of Plains life. In My Nebraska , he trains his insightful eye and wit on rural and small town daily life in the state.

Grizzly tales for gruesome Kids - Spoilsport

This book represents the definitive edition of the Duke of Wurttemberg's immensely valuable journals of his ascent of the Missouri River. His lengthy descriptions of eastern Nebraska scenes, Native Americans, fur traders and Ft. Atkinson soldiers are virtually unmatched for that era.

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They cut down mammoth trees and watched them crash into the thick snow in exactly the place where they said the trees would land. Only listen to what a poor, but honest elder-bush tells you. Then they shall close their tops over you: no sun shall shine, no rain shall fall upon you; and you shall die, as a punishment for your presumption. However, I'm in college and as they say, stuff happens in fact, I've had a few close calls at parties and stuff so despite the fact that I don't really intend to have sex any time soon, part of me feels like I should be prepared for the possibility.. Goetzmann and an Artist's Biography by William J.

Intended for "weekend historians" wishing to visit important Nebraska sites, and it provides brief data about each site, with directions and tips for visiting the location. With 1, entries contributed by more than one thousand scholars, this reference work captures what is vital and interesting about the Great Plains--from its temperamental climate to its images and icons, its historical character, its folklore and its politics. An excellent interpretation of western Nebraska's major role in the early fur trade, and the Bellevue-Omaha area's role as supply center.

This meticulous and judicious study of the decline of native land bases in Nebraska during the 19th century exceeds the quality of all previous sources. Wishart focuses upon the Pawnee, Omaha, Oto-Missouria, and Ponca tribes in relation to treaty cessions, allotment, government payments, and outside pressures to liquidate the Indian domain.

This valuable source recounts the Mackay-Evans expedition up the Missouri River in to build an Indian trading post in northeastern Nebraska while the area was still under Spanish imperial control. Lewis and Clark borrowed from the Mackay maps and reports for their expedition. He later carried the mail, worked as a cowboy, participated in the Nebraska range wars, managed the Flying V Ranch, and maintained relationships with Sioux on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Excellent study, which includes such legal issues as tax exemptions, Sunday laws, degree of religious instruction in public schools, and state relationships with religious schools.

This comprehensive biography begins with Ike's Kansas boyhood and follows through his life as a World War II general and ultimately president of the United States. Against the backdrop of Brown v. A precocious ten year old, daughter of a brooding psychiatrist recently immigrated to Topeka to work at the famous Menninger Clinic, Eva works hard to understand her parents' awkwardness in the new country, the race relations of her new community, and the role of charity and goodness after her mother takes in a "redneck" family from across the river.

The accumulation these concurrent events make Eva's challenge great, her understanding deep. These two coming of age novels are set in Kansas City and the fictional Scottish immigrant town of Glasgow, Kansas. Wes Hingler's father runs the Tsil Cafe, and cooks only with foodstuffs indigenous to the Western Hemisphere before Columbus; his mother runs Buen AppeTito catering, specializing in Italian food.

Ewan MacPherson's love story has a backdrop of bagpiping, Robert Burns' poetry and single-malt Scotch. This collection of affectionate pieces traces the positives of landscape, people, culture and history from the perspectives of such writers as William Allen White, Karl Menninger, Robert Day and William Least-Heat Moon. In the midst of the Depression, banker and confidence man Ronald Finney bilked the state of Kansas in addition to individual banks and depositors in excess of one million dollars. In what has become known as the "Great Bond Scandal," the author explores the genesis of the affair and the subsequent trial and aftermath.

While outlining the scandal and fallout, the author offers a fascinating image of Kansas in the s. Bader's book traces the rise and fall of the cultural image of Kansas from within and outside the state. At the beginning of the twentieth century, Kansas was perceived as the forefront of political thought and a cultural barometer of the nation, the result of its history of populism, progressivism, and prohibition.

The onset of the Depression and the devastation of agriculture during the Dust Bowl left Kansas weakened in the eyes of the nation, shifting its elevated status to the brunt of jokes and an object of cultural derision. Bader concludes the survey by urging people to reassess the often overlooked strengths of the state.

In the s American society and political institutions experienced fundamental changes. In contrast to general studies or local studies that focus on such places as Berkeley, San Francisco, or Greenwich Village, Beth Bailey examines how life and behavior in Lawrence, Kansas was transformed by the sixties. The author examines the social and cultural life of Lawrence, Kansas, and argues that the social changes and sexual revolution that reshaped American life are more complicated than is generally believed.

This is an essential book for those wishing to understand the roots of contemporary American society. Journalist Bair grew up on a western Kansas wheat farm and writes a chip-on-the-shoulder account of life with a difficult father in a difficult landscape during a time of transition to bigger and bigger farms. These essays meditate on the challenges of family dynamics, farming in western Kansas, and the complexity of gender roles that enter into both.

This book provides a feminine perspective of the family story, which is also recounted in Bair's brother Bruce's sardonic memoir, Good Land. Although this classic from needs no introduction, the book should not be confused with the film. In the book, Kansas may be nightmare, but Oz is not a dream. And Dorothy, in her genuine desire to return home to reality, shows all the virtues of a true Kansas pioneer-she is practical, accepting, a believer in justice, democratic, focused and unflappable.

The authors of this book are all members of the Kansas Grassroots Art Association-the oldest organization in the U. With more than photographs of the familiar Garden of Eden, Lucas and the unfamiliar, this book is dedicated to help us understand, appreciate and preserve this unique form of art that seems to bloom all over the Great Plains.

Thoroughly researched and elegantly illustrated, the book moves from the historical past to the quilting groups of today. As the introduction claims, the history of quilts helps tell the history of women in Kansas. John Gary Brown is a photographer and intrepid traveler to cemeteries all over the Midwest, motivated in part by his discoveries of the uniqueness of cemetery art: among them an Egyptian sphinx, a gigantic baseball, a salesman's suitcase, a rolltop desk, a car engine shrine and plexiglass-enclosed dolls.

The more traditional statuary-the hovering marble angels, the elaborate wrought iron crosses, the granite and marble-also tell their stories of grief and hope, of the deaths that prompt the desire not to be forgotten. Certainly, Brown finds the memorable. This is the definitive field guide to the various grassland habitats throughout North America, with particular emphasis on the American Great Plains. In addition to including detailed descriptions of vegetation, wildlife, climate, physical features and range of grasslands, this book has an extensive collection of color photographs to aid in identification.

Durable, portable, and informative, Grasslands is a great volume to take hiking, camping, and exploring. This guide travels along nine major by-ways of Kansas, pointing out geological formations and historical landmarks along the way. A compendium of information and anecdotes about old forts, frontier trails, sinkholes, limestone cliffs, and other interesting features, this book also includes an abundance of photographs and helpful maps. Filled with photos, figures, drawings, and maps, this geological guide to the state is written for the general reader. This book is an accessible introduction to the geological features of Kansas and their formation, including sections on regional landscapes, sedimentary rocks, and the vast array of fossils to be found in the state.

When Gen. Winfield Scott Hancock led a military expedition across Kansas, Colorado and Nebraska in , his purpose was to intimidate the Indian tribes -- mostly southern Cheyennes, Lakotas, southern Arapahoes and Kiowas -- and curtail raiding sparked by the Sand Creek massacre of But the havoc Hancock wrought on the Plains only served to inflame passions on both sides, disrupting United States-Indian relations for more than a decade.

In the foreword, Jerome Greene says "Chalfant offers the most comprehensive, well-documented and accurate treatment of the so-called Expedition for the Plains to date. Using techniques that have defined his other works about Indian-white warfare on the Plains, Chalfant employs Indian and non-Indian sources to create a narrative reflecting multiple cultural perspectives.

This fine work will stand as a literary cornerstone in the history of the West. Thomas Cox probes deeper into the exoduster migration in which thousands of ex-slaves migrated to Kansas to escape debt and racial animosity. Building on Nell Irvin Painter's pioneering work that is also on this list, the author traces not only the reasons and realities of the exodus to Kansas but also examines the development of the black community in Topeka.

A mile-marker by mile-marker guide to landmarks, historical movements, industry, people and the significant events of Kansas as they intersect with the Interstate. When persons unknown killed Herb Cluttter and his family in Holcomb, Kansas, in , Capote set out for Kansas determined to write what he would call the "nonfiction novel. After Charles Kuralt said that there was "nothing to eat" in the "gastronomic wasteland of America" between Kansas City and Denver, the authors of this book put out a call for recipes from Kansas.

They serve up a wonderful season of Kansas menus, from the traditional midwestern fare of fried chicken and cherry pies to the food that reflects the ethnic diversity of the state's population-from cassoulet to kabob to Croatioan povotica. Kansas achieved statehood just two and a half months before the onset of the Civil War. A free state, Kansas was embattled from the east by slave state Missourians and many border skirmishes took place.

In its infancy, the first four years of statehood, Kansas was forged by the experience of the Civil War. Winner of the Center for Great Plains Studies Distinguished Book Prize for , Chalfant offers the most comprehensive and accurate treatment of the so-called Expedition for the Plains to date.

General Winfield Scott Hancock led a military expedition across Kansas, Colorado and Nebraska in to intimidate the tribes--mostly southern Cheyennes, Lakotas, southern Arapahoes and Kiowas. But the havoc he wrought served to inflame passions on both sides and led to the wars of Chalfant employes Indian and non-Indian sources to describe the vastly different ways of life that separated the Cheyennes and U.

Clair's group of connected stories tell the coming of age of Irene Wilson in the context of her all black neighborhood, called Rattlebone, a part of Kansas City, Kansas, in the s. In the course of the stories, Irene must weather racial prejudice, adulterous parents, death, her own budding sexuality, and challenges to her friendships-all towards realizing her own promise and standing up for herself. Subtitled "Religion, Gender, and Education in a German-Lutheran Community, ," Coburn's book about Block, Kansas, traces the power of ethnicity, religion and social cohesion in a small town.

Coburn shows both the inner life of a rural community as well as the exterior pressures, particularly after World War II, that work against community. A saga of the tallgrass land of Kansas, this novel spans from the arrival of the Spanish Conquistadors through the nineteenth-century pioneer boom. This story encompasses the lives of the native peoples, a freed slave who travels with the Corp of Discovery, as well as those who come to settle from other lands.

Perhaps most importantly, Tallgrass tells the story of Kansas itself. Because of its central location in North America, Kansas is home to an astonishing variety of wildlife. This guide offers full color photographs accompanied by descriptions of habitats and behavior of the many species that inhabit the state. Evan Connell, who grew up in Southeast Kansas, writes wonderfully insightful fiction about there and the University of Kansas in The Anatomy Lesson in addition to Kansas City's Country Club Plaza in the years between the world wars in the classic Mrs.

Bridge , and its companion Mr. Bridge , In a luxurious world of things and money, India Bridge and her husband Walter both yearn for more-more meaning, more intimacy, more understanding of themselves-and yet they are trapped by formalities, obligations, social pressure and niceties. These are deeply felt, yet satiric novels. This book explores and celebrates the experiences of the women who educated the children in isolated, rural areas from the s through the s.

Cordier provides a detailed portrait of the physical and social landscapes in which these women worked to meet their students' needs as well as to extend their own educations. In May of , a band of Missourians rode into Kansas and perpetrated what became known as the Marais des Cygnes Massacre against eleven men they rounded up for being "Free-staters.

A thoroughly researched, well-written account of the role fire, both its presence and its absence, has played in shaping the ecology, history and landscape of the North American plains, from pre-history to the present. This novel celebrates the supportive network of a quilting circle in Depression-era Kansas. These women gather together to quilt, gossip, and help each other throughout historically and personally challenging times.

In photographs, one of Kansas' best photographers captures the state in its four seasons. As Dancer himself says, "Much of my adventures in Kansas have been spent in pursuit of what I call 'wild space'-uncluttered landscapes that embody a quiet beauty that eludes the hurried and undiscriminating eye. Kansas abounds in such beauty, and the photographs I've chosen for this book are intended to celebrate its abundance and variety.

Besides the wonderful humor and the accurate geography, the novel is an excellent introduction to the big differences between Eastern and Western Kansas. This anthology contains brief biographies and analyses of the work of twenty-six Kansans whose lives had a national or international impact. Arranged chronologically from Territorial times to post-World War II, the essays, each written by a different author, are about men and women who were military leaders, politicians, journalists, artists, business leaders, social leaders--all of them visionaries. He returned for family stories, for his own past and for the story of the Great Plains-its settlement, its depopulation, its stories of victory and defeat.

Populated with birdcall and bones, cottonwoods and canvases, this collection of poems gazes intensely at and listens intently to the natural world, rendering it with lyricism and deep respect. This essay collection leads readers into complex and varied American landscapes, ranging from islands to prairies, mountains to marshes.

Thoughtfully observed and finely detailed, Dodd's view of ecosystems and cultures radiates from the centering influence of her home in the Flint Hills of Kansas. These six short stories, set in Southeast Kansas between the world wars, concern themselves with abused women and neglected children, poor blacks and other people at the fringes of the small towns and communities in which they live. Edythe Draper was well-published and honored as a story writer, then became the Oswego correspondent to the Parsons Sun in the last part of her life.

An introduction by Jeffrey Ann Goudie puts Draper's stories in the context of her interesting and unusual life. In what remains a classic, Robert Dykstra explores the development and transformation of Kansas's cattle towns from the emergence of the cattle industry in the late s to its heyday when cattle were driven north on trails to the cattle towns in the s, to the relative decline that occurred with the arrival of the railroad and farmers.

In addition to exploring economic development, Dykstra traces the development of local society and the dynamics of community building in the nineteenth-century cattle towns. Americans typically assume that the first sit-in protest occurred in at a local Woolworth drug store in Greensboro, North Carolina. Gretchen Cassel-Eick, however, situates the origins of a new phase in the civil rights in a boycott against a Wichita drugstore in She examines how the interplay between local and national politics caused fundamental social and political change in the s.

Etcheson's Bleeding Kansas is a keen examination of how the Kansas Territory became the proving grounds for the warring ideologies that fueled the nation's greatest internal conflict. This book goes beyond just the moral and economic considerations behind the free-state movement to look at concerns regarding the threat to self-governance and political liberties. Evans is known for her prairie photography; however, this collection of photographs distinguishes itself by not merely beholding only the landscape but by noticing the effects caused by its inhabitants.

We can see how people have cut roads and fields into the land and examine the presence of cemeteries and grazing cattle and deer - all shaping and changing the environment. Fairchild depicts the aspirations of working people-farmers, machinists, welders, even Latin professors.

Not since Phillip Levine has there been such a thorough and probing exploration of work in America, particularly the work of the Midwest. During the "make work" of the s, the WPA put writers, photographers, historians and folklorists to work creating state guides. The Kansas guide is full of history, folklore, songs, poetry, travel tips and all kinds of facts and lore about the state.

The University Press of Kansas had the wisdom to reprint the guide, with an introduction by cultural geographer James Shortridge, and though some of what is here is dated or disappeared, the book is a wonderful document of what once was, and what, in ruin, shade, or survival, still is here. After the Kansas Territory was opened for settlement in , scores of towns sprouted up across the prairie. Many, however, fell victim to the frontier boom to bust economy, eventually dwindled and were abandoned. This traveler's guide is equipped with maps and directions to former town sites many of which have reverted to pasture , as well as lots of black and white photos of the towns during their heydays.

This book doubles as a biography for the Menninger family and a history of the world famous psychiatric clinic. This account takes the reader from the foundation of the clinic by brothers Karl and Will to its establishment as a corporation by Will's son, Roy. The once strong and prominent mental health care mecca has since left its long-time home in Topeka for Houston, Texas, but this biography serves as a chronicle of its Kansas roots.

The photographs compiled, selected by Kansas! Magazine , are remarkable in their variety, emblematizing the seasons, subjects, and regions of Kansas. Our fields are so chock full of potatoes that you can hear them grumbling when you stick your ear on the ground. It's not hard to catch a meal in New Hampshire, no sir. Take my neighbor, Old Man Moses, who lives down a piece from me. One morning, Old Man Moses went out his kitchen door and found twelve turkeys on his fence A visitor to Mississippi decided to take a walk along the river in the cool of the evening.

His host warned him that the mosquitoes in the area had been acting up lately, tormenting the alligators until they moved down the river. But the visitor just laughed and told his host he wasn't to be put off from his evening constitutional by a few mosquitoes One day, Jean Sot's mother wanted to go to town.

Once, a Kansas farmer sent his son Jack to check on the growth of the corn in the field. Now Jack was not a tall lad, so he decided to take a ladder with him. When he found a nice big stalk of corn, he leaned the ladder against it and climbed up until he could reach the first joint. From there, he proceeded to the top of the cornstalk, and looked out over the field.

There was enough corn there for a rich harvest Now the Pennsylvania hoop snake is something to be reckoned with. It is long, and its colors vary with the type of whisky you've been drinking. But everyone agrees that you can tell a hoop snake from a regular snake by the way it moves. When a hoop snake travels around, it grabs its tail with the poison stinger at the end in its mouth and rolls along until it sees something it wants to sting. Then it whips the stinger out of its mouth quick enough and lashes out with its tail Well now, there was a chap that got real sick of working in the big city.

One day, he quit his job, packed up his wife and kiddies, and hi-tailed it out to Kansas to become a farmer. Bought a big parcel of land with a grand old barn and some fields just ready to plow and plant Now it happened that there was a mining camp in Colorado where more than an average number of the miners were bald. An enterprising hair tonic salesman from Kentucky decided to take advantage of this golden opportunity, so he made the trip north. It was a rainy summer evening.

The salesman was headed towards the mining camp with four bottles of hair tonic under his arm. As he was crossing one of the trout streams which lead to the Arkansas River, the salesman slipped and dropped two bottles of hair tonic into the water. The bottles broke, and the hair tonic spilled into the stream Following the Homestead Act of , many Scandinavians pioneered the lands of the mid-West. These frontier settlers worked hard, and were justly proud of their new home in America. They were not above boasting about their new country, especially to settlers who came from the old According to the latest reports, there is a crystal mountain residing somewhere in Wyoming.

You can't see nothing of it, it being clear straight through.

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But folks hereabouts reckon its about three miles around at the base, on account of all the bones of birds which killed themselves crashing into the danged thing Well now, you've probably heard it rumored that here in Deadwood we have such a tough neighborhood that our babies teeth on guns. And the fact of the matter is, this is the very truth. I happen to know the lady who was responsible for the start of this rumor Joaquin Murietta and wife Rosita lived with his older brother Carlos in California. The three Mexican immigrants were living on a small, successful farm and the men were also working a claim near Hangtown.

However, the other miners living nearby tried to run them off, telling them that it was illegal for Mexicans to pan for gold or hold a claim. The Murietta brother's ignored their threats and continued to live peacefully on their farm and work in the gold-fields. One day, as Jesse James and his gang were riding through Missouri, they saw a farmhouse and stopped to ask for something to eat. A widow lived there with three small children. She didn't have much in the house, but shared with them what she had. Davy Crockett done married the prettiest, the sassiest, the toughest gal in the West, don't ya know!

She was tougher than a grumpy she-bear and faster than a wildcat with his tail on fire and sweeter than honey, so that even hornets would let her use their nest for a Sunday-go-to-Meeting hat. One day Old Stormalong, the ultimate sailor, was sailing the Courser through the deepest part of the Atlantic Ocean when a particularly large wave knocked the anchor loose.

The anchor plunged right down to the bottom before the sailors could reel her in, and it got caught on something. Now everyone knows that Alfred Bulltop Stormalong was the ultimate sailor. He was the captain of a mighty ship known as the Courser, which was so wide that she couldn't sail into Boston Harbor and so tall that the mast was hinged into the middle so it could be taken down to avoid the sun and the moon whenever they passed by.

Johnny Appleseed was a hermit and a wanderer who was welcomed wherever he went in the Ohio territory. Everyone loved him, in spite of his unkempt appearance. He always carried a sack full of apple seeds to plant, and walked barefoot all year round. He knew the frontier woods better than anyone. Even the Indians respected Johnny Appleseed for his courage. Ethan Allen, the leader of the Green Mountain Boys, who defeated the British at Fort Ticonderoga, was known as a gruff-mannered, hard-drinking man.

But Ethan Allen had a gallant streak which would exhibit itself in unexpected ways. Late one night, Daniel Boone and a friend went out fire hunting. Fire hunting involves the shining of the light from a fire pan a pan full of blazing pine knots into the woods. The light reflects in the eyes of the deer, which is too dazzled to run and the hunters can shoot it. After cow punching for nigh on fifty years, a Texas cowboy went on to his reward.

There was considerable excitement in heaven when he reached the pearly gates One rainy autumn, a traveler got lost in the mountains of Arkansas. He was tired and hungry, and so was his horse. Night was approaching. All at once, he saw a cabin. A squatter sat on the porch fiddling the same tune over and over I roam alone in the woods, listening to the enchanted children's voices calling to me.

Sometimes I hear them from the window of my room. They giggle and whisper words that I cannot make out. They sound like so much fun that I run outside my house as fast as I can to try to catch them. I plunge into the woods, calling back to the children, but no one answers. So I stand still as a mouse, trying to hear where they are hiding. The Master of the plantation was a firm supporter of the Confederate President and had committed to send as much food as he could to the Southern army.

Things were going well at first, until the Yankees began attacking the Master's supply lines. The Master suspected a traitor among his slaves, and soon discovered that the Yankee spy was a slave-woman named Big Liz. Now, Pecos Bill didn't live forever. Nope, not even Bill could figure out how to do that. Here's how he died Now, Pecos Bill had a way with wimmen. No doubt. He had dozens of wives during his time. But his one true love was Slue-foot Sue. She was his first wife - and she could ride almost as good as Bill himself Well now, Texas jest became too tame for Pecos Bill once he killed off all the bad men, so he struck out for New Mexico, looking for a hard outfit.

He asked an old trapper he met on the way where he could find a hard outfit, and the trapper directed Bill to a place where the fellers bit nails in half for fun. It sounded like a promisin' place to Bill, so he set off. But his durned fool hoss got its neck broke on the way, and Bill found himself afoot Well now Pecos Bill was born in the usual way to a real nice cowpoke and his wife who were journeying west with their eighteen children. Bill's Ma knew right from the start that he was something else.

He started talkin' before he was a month old, did his teething on his Pa's bowie knife and rode his first horse jest as soon as he learned to sit up on his own. When he started to crawl, Pecos Bill would slither out of the wagon while his Mama was cookin' supper and wrestle with the bear cubs and other wild animals that roamed the prairies We were up-river with a tour group looking at all the natural beauties here on the Rogue River when I spied a young sasquatch hiding in the shadow of a tree near a gravel bank.

I swung the tour-boat around so we could get a better look, and all the tourists exclaimed and took pictures. They say that the Wampus cat used to be a beautiful Indian woman. The men of her tribe were always going on hunting trips, but the women had to stay home. The Indian woman secretly followed her husband one day when he went hunting with the other men. She hid herself behind a rock, clutching the hide of a mountain cat around her, and spied on the men as they sat around their campfires telling sacred stories and doing magic She took delight in the misery of others, and made things miserable for the folks living near her.

If a neighbor slighted her, she would sour their milk. If anyone called her a witch, she made their dogs turn vicious. People were very cautious around Moll De Grow Away down South, an old custom dictates that if someone comes up to you on Christmas Day and says "Christmas gift" before y'all do, why y'all are obliged to give that person a present. Mind you, the custom does not say what sort of present y'all should give! But those of us who hail from the South consider ourselves to be gentlefolk. The gifts given and received in this manner are good enough to keep the custom alive and well Now Colonel Buck was not what you'd call the most virtuous man in town.

No sir! He had an eye for the ladies, did Colonel Buck, and he would chase them 'til he got what he wanted. Then he would drop them like a hot brick Aunty Greenleaf was a scrawny old woman with a wild thatch of gray hair and a crooked nose. She lived in a hut surrounded by pines just outside Brookhaven, and she sold herbal remedies to the folks in town. Mostly, people avoided her, except when someone got sick because it was said that Aunty Greenleaf was a witch. Her home remedies worked too well to be natural. Folks figured she had to have help from the devil or one of his familiars Once long ago, Dog was married to Cat.

They were happy together, but every night when Dog came home from work, Cat said she was too sick to make him dinner Well now, when old Johnson came to town, I knew there'd be trouble. That Yankee Peddler was a scoundrel if ever I saw one. But I was laid up with my rheumatism when he arrived, so I couldn't do anything about it. Now, here in the South, we all do not approve of your so-called Connecticut Yankee peddlers. So when one appeared in the yard of my tavern, I was not of a mind to give him room for the night.

go site He was a scrawny fellow with a mop of white hair and a withered face. He did not seem like a crafty Yankee peddler. Now Wishpoosh the monster beaver lived in the beautiful Lake Cle-el-lum which was full of fish. Every day, the animal people would come to the lake, wanting to catch some fish, but Wishpoosh the giant beaver drove them away with many threats and great splashing. If they refused to leave, Wishpoosh would kill the animal people by dragging them deep into the lake so that they drowned.

One day, Coyote was walking along. The sun was shining brightly, and Coyote felt very hot. So a cloud came and made some shade for Coyote. Coyote was not satisfied. Long ago, there were a number of lonely lumberjacks working in the center of a very large forest. They cut down mammoth trees and watched them crash into the thick snow in exactly the place where they said the trees would land. They would cut up the trees and haul them hither and thither. They worked hard, Mon Dieu, very hard indeed!

But they were lonely for the women they had left behind. Now there once was a man named Jean Dubroise who never did a lick of work, but his house and his barn and his crops were still the best in the whole land. This puzzled people, since Jean had no family and no hired men to help him. No one could figure out how he managed to have the best trapping lines in winter, and have fences and barns in perfect repair at all times with no one working his farm. A fisherman from Newfoundland was having difficulty finding someone to assist him.

Help was scarce, and he couldn't find a soul to hire. Then one day he saw a handsome fellow in fancy city clothes walking along the docks. This was obviously not a man looking for work, but the fisherman still called out, half in jest: "Are ye looking for some work? When the new priest came to the poor parish, there was no house or church for him. A farmer took him in, while the men built him a small shack in which to live.

The priest, a true saint with no false pride, was happy in his new parish. But the people wanted more for their priest, so they decided to build a church. The priest was pleased with their noble idea, but troubled because the work of hauling stone was back-breaking without a horse. Long, long ago, when the world was still new, the Inuit lived in darkness in their home in the fastness of the north. They had never heard of daylight, and when it was first explained to them by Crow, who traveled back and forth between the northlands and the south, they did not believe him. A man and his family were constantly on the move, hunting for beaver.

They traveled from lake to lake, stream to stream, never staying any place long enough for it to become a home. The woman sometimes silently wished that they would find a village and settle down somewhere with their little baby, but her husband was restless, and so they kept moving. Once a Spanish soldier married a beautiful native woman and they had two children whom the soldier loved very much. However, the soldier came from a rich family. His parents and relations disapproved of his wife and threatened to disown him unless he married a Spanish woman After getting the lay of the land, so to speak, frontier man Bigfoot Wallace moved from Austin to San Antonio, which was considered the extreme edge of the frontier, to sign up as a Texas Ranger under Jack Hayes.

In them days, Texas was as wild as the west could get. There was danger from the south from the Mexicans, danger to the wet and north from the wild frontier filled with Indians and desperados, and to the east the settlements still had problems with the Cherokee Nation Bigfoot Wallace was as crazy an individual as they come.

He could spin a yarn better than anyone, and while he was a dangerous foe to his enemies, he was also a jovial giant, who was always on the lookout for a good laugh. What with hunting and fishing and fighting Comanches and avoiding rattlesnakes, Wallace had the time of his life in Texas. He hungered for adventure, and he found it. First he fought against Mexican General Adrian Woll's invasion of Texas in , then he volunteered for the retaliatory raid across the Rio Grande Bigfoot Wallace — that wild and wacky Texas Ranger -- returned to the wilds of frontier life once the United States won the war with Mexico, and it suited him as nothing else could do.

Soon he was freighting mail six hundred miles from San Antonio to El Paso, and it was the wildest stretch in the Wild West! Wallace was the only man who could do it. Anyone else who tried was scared off by attacking Comanche and Apache warriors or killed outright Well now, Bigfoot Wallace was jest about the roughest, toughest Texas Ranger that ever rode west of the Pecos.

We didn't believe in ghosts, so when the fellow checking us in warned us that our room on the sixth floor was haunted, we just laughed. There were a lot of crazy people out there who believed in ghosts and wanted to stay in a haunted hotel, but Marie and I weren't two of them. I'd chosen the Mizpah for our weekend getaway because I'd like the description of the hotel and it amenities, not because it had a phantom.

One night, in , a fierce storm broke over the Des Moines river valley. The storm raged through the night, flooding the river and the nearby creeks. Along about 11 p. After it passed the home of the Shelley family, a railroad widow raising five children, the family heard a terrible crashing sound. The bridge over Honey Creek had collapsed, taking the pusher train with it.

Now John Henry was a mighty man, yes sir. He was born a slave in the 's but was freed after the war. And John Henry was the strongest, the most powerful man working the rails. The train rumbled around him as he adjusted the throttle. The night shift was always the toughest, in the engineer's mind.

He had rumbled through Timpas a few minutes ago and was on his way to Thatcher. Casey Jones, that heroic railroad engineer of the Cannonball, was known as the man who always brought the train in on time. He would blow the whistle so it started off soft but would increase to a wail louder than a banshee before dying off. Got so as people would recognize that whistle and know when Casey was driving past.

There once lived an armadillo who loved music more than anything else in the world. After every rainfall, the armadillo would drag his shell over to the large pond filled with frogs and he would listen to the big green frogs singing back and forth, back and forth to each other in the most amazing voices. So, what is folklore, anyway? What exactly is the difference between a myth and a legend? A folktale and a tall tale? Where do you draw the line between a fable and a fairytale?

What is the difference between a normal legend and an urban one? For those of you who have spent many a sleepless night pondering such mysteries, I have written up a quick folklore vocabulary list to help solve the murky intricacies of folklore and allow you to sleep at night. A lesson plan on writing for grades which introduces different types of story beginnings to students, allows students to write different beginnings, and engages students in the process of revision. Here is a list of lesson plans that have been created using stories from the American Folklore site or appropriate for use with the Spooky Series by S.

Michigan winds are fiercest in the spring. Why, just last year, the wind knocked one of our mountains over into a valley. Folks woke up the next day to find themselves living on a plain. Now everyone in the West knows that Pecos Bill could ride anything. No bronco could throw him, no sir! Fact is, I only heard of Bill getting' throwed once in his whole career as a cowboy. Yep, it was that time he was up Kansas way and decided to ride him a tornado.

To say that the weather in Oklahoma is subject to extremes is an understatement. Instead of rain storms, we get dust storms. On the same day, one man can die of sunstroke at noon while his neighbor freezes to death that night. California must be the healthiest state in the union, yes sir! I know of one chap who's grandfather lived to be years old. The old man got awful tired of living after awhile, but couldn't seem to sicken and die. One winter, it was so cold that the dawn froze solid. The sun got caught between two ice blocks, and the earth iced up so much that it couldn't turn.

The first rays of sunlight froze halfway over the mountain tops. They looked like yellow icicles dripping towards the ground. You can talk 'til you're blue in the face about the thickest of fogs in ye merry olde England, but I'm tellin' you now, sure as I'm standing here, that England's fogs don't hold nothing over them thick fogs which roll in over the Bay of Fundy here in Maine. Back in the early days, the Plains folk were often in need of a good drought buster during the hot summer months.

The sun would shine and shine, and the clouds would scuttle right quick over the Plains without dropping rain. One year, it got so bad that Febold Feboldson, that legendary Swede who could bust the driest drought in a day, got annoyed. I got up at the crack of dawn and drove to Larry's place to pick him up.

We were going hiking along our favorite trail in the back of beyond. It was a sunny day, but not too hot; a perfect day for hiking. Larry and I walked along the rugged path leading into the woods, chatting off and on as the mood struck us His mind was full of dark thoughts and the demons spoke to him. His wild eyes and words frightened his people, and he became an outcast, shunned by all.

One day in a fury of rage and pain, he attacked old Kan-He-Kan, a local wise man. The demon-possessed man killed the venerable sage on the shores of a beautiful lake near his home, and then ran away, afraid of what the people would do to him when they found out Oksana lived in a small house on the edge of town with her father, her stepmother and her stepsister.

Oksana's stepmother disliked Oksana, favoring her true daughter, Olena The monster looks like a huge brown snake and is nearly 90 feet long. It has ears that stick out from the side of its skinny head and a mouth big enough to eat a man. According to some, it has small legs and it kind of scurries when it ventures out on land. But in the water - watch out! Tommy Knockers are the spirits of departed miners that help miners find ore.

They also knock on the walls of the mines right before a cave-in. When you hear a Tommy Knocker knocking, it's best to depart the area right quick. They have saved the life of many a miner who has been in a danger. Some folks say that the very first man to hear the sound is jinxed, but that is not always the case We were on our way back to Yuma following a futile attempt to find Pegleg's lost gold mine out in the heat and dust of the desert. We stopped to make camp for the night between a rock and a hard place, and soon my friend Eddie was snoring loud enough to wake the dead.

I drifted off myself, and started dreaming about the pretty girl I was engaged to marry The infamous Red Dwarf Nain Rouge of Detroit was reputed to be the foul offspring of the Stone God, who only appeared when there was to be trouble. Cadillac, founder of Detroit, encountered the Nain Rouge while sitting on the bank of the Detroit River. A couple of Welsh miners came to Nevada to help mine the Comstock Load.

They were quite a pair of tricksters, yes sir! It got so bad that no one would believe anything they said, 'cause if'n they did, the Welshman would make them look like a fool. But they were popular. The miners dearly loved a laugh after a hard day working in the mine Many and many a year ago, two Micmac warriors from rival villages got into a terrible argument. Harsh words were exchanged, and then knives were pulled. The warriors battled back and forth on the banks of a small creek Well, some folks don't like the weather in Arizona, but I ain't one of 'em.

Why, the air in Arizona is so fine, tourists stop over the state line just to fill their tires with it. Course, Arizona does get rather hot. But since we started shippin' in ice from California, our hens don't lay hard boiled eggs no more. Looking to do a little weather forcasting? These old proverbs claim to predict stormy weather. If after a rain you can see enough blue sky to make a man a pair of pants, it will clear, at least according to some weather predictors.

Read them all and see which ones work for you. The legendary Jersey Devil is a dragon-like creature, with a head like a horse, a snake-like body and bat's wings. The Jersey Devil is rumored to inhabit the Pine Barrens in southern New Jersey, and has been known to cause chaos and panic whenever it rears its unattractive head; though there are some who consider its appearance as the herald of good luck. It was a week of pandemonium! In January of , the Jersey Devil emerged from the Pine Barrens and began terrorizing the local communities, both in New Jersey and in Pennsylvania.

Devil hunts failed to catch the flying creature, which danced on rooftops, stalked small animals, and frightened the good people of the area with its unexpected appearances in their yards and businesses. The newspapers carried the reports along with sketches of the unusual creature. Joseph Bonaparte, the brother of Napoleon, was the King of Spain. Unsuccessful in defending Spain against England during the Peninsular Wars, he was forced to abdicate his throne in Following Napoleon's defeat, he went into exile in America.

Joseph purchased eight-hundred acres at Bordentown, New Jersey because it was between the two great sea ports of New York and Philadelphia. From this place, he could obtain the very latest news from France and Spain. A storm was raging that night in , when Mother Leeds was brought to bed in childbirth.

The room was full of woman folk gathered to help her, more out of curiosity than good will. They had all heard the rumors that Mother Leeds was involved in witchcraft, and had sworn she would give birth to a devil. She has been telling stories since she was a child, when games of "let's pretend" quickly built themselves into full-length tales acted out with friends. I was awakened for by soft strains of music that seemed to come from everywhere at once. As I listened, the haunting melody faded away. And then I heard my wife screaming. Instead, a frantic woman's voice rang over the connection: "We need you to come at once.

There is a terrible ghost in our house and we want you to remove it! He was nervous about passing the graveyard, remembering the rumors of a galloping ghost that he had heard at the tavern.

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He stumbled along, humming to himself to keep up his courage. Suddenly, his eye was caught by a light rising from the ground in the cemetery. He stopped, his heart pounding in fear. Before his startled eyes, a white mist burst forth from an unmarked grave and formed into a large horse carrying a headless rider. Standing just inside the gate was a hooded form, blacker than the blackest shadow. Two white-blue eyes blazed out of the cowl that covered its head, and skeletal fingers gripped a large scythe. The air around the figure seemed to crackle with the energy of a thousand bolts of lightning, its robes whipped in an unseen wind, and its skeletal feet were half-buried in swirling gray clouds that stretched back and back into eternity.

Millie gasped in horror and clutched Sam's shoulder as the figure slowly raised an arm and pointed a skeletal finger at them Once there was a widow who wished to marry a rich nobleman. However, the nobleman did not want to raise another man's children and he dismissed her. The widow was determined to have the nobleman for her own, so the widow drowned her children to be free of them.

When she told the nobleman what she had done, he was horrified and would have nothing more to do with her.

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He gradually became aware that the words in the article he was reading were following a faint, rhythmic pattern that ebbed and flowed around a soft, steady beat. It sounded like a heart beat. It sounded like Polly's heart beat. Jason screamed in terror and flung himself out of the house, running toward the bridge as the heart beat grew louder and louder in his ears. It comes! The villagers drew back, wives shrinking behind their husbands; children huddling against their mothers' skirts.

Only the chief dared face the frenzied wise woman. She turned her glowing, silvery eyes upon him. Charlie was startled awake by a familiar sound. He sat bolt upright with an oath. It sounded just like Myrtle playing on the piano. But this was impossible, since she was buried behind the woodshed I stopped the car to take a look, and I saw a figure moving among the gravestones. She was walking slowly as if she bore a heavy weight and she was glowing from the inside Rosa lit a kerosene lantern to give the digging men more light.

Suddenly, I saw a white figure rise up from the ground right beside Alberto. The familiar shaking began in my knees and spread to the rest of my body, clenching my stomach. Alberto whirled around and the handle of his shovel went right through the body of the ghost There was an oddly metallic smell in the air - the smell of blood.

Something was wrong! Lucille wrenched the doors open and stepped into the barn, the light from her lantern flickering across the dusty floor. Then she saw the broken body of her husband lying a few feet away Slowly, two eyes burned themselves into the paper, and a wide grinning mouth with the shattered remains of teeth took shape.

Meet the ghost of a murdered wife who returns from the grave to destroy her faithless husband. Join us for another season of Spooky stories at AmericanFolklore. Author S. Schlosser retells spooky tales and scary urban legends from across the United States in this countdown that is guaranteed to frighten all but the most stout of hearts! One dark, windy night, the town drunk was meandering his way home after the bar closed. Somehow he got turned around and ended up walking through the churchyard instead of taking the road home A preacher was riding to one of the churches on his circuit when darkness fell.

It was about to storm, and the only house nearby was an old mansion which was reputed to be haunted. The preacher clutched his Bible and said: "The Lawd will take care o' me" There once was a crazy ghost over Poughkeepsie way that got folks so plumb scared that nobody would stay more than one night in its house. It was a nice old place, or was, until the ghost began making its presence known.

It got so no one would enter the house, not even kids on a dare, and you know what they are like! Well now, old Sam Gibb, he didn't believe in ghosts. Not one bit. Everyone in town knew the old log cabin back in the woods was haunted, but Sam Gibb just laughed whenever folks talked about it. Finally, the blacksmith dared Sam Gibb to spend the night in the haunted log cabin I have a fascination with genealogy, which is what started all the trouble. My next-door neighbor and I were fellow hobbyists, and we often supported each others search for long-lost ancestors.

We would spend hours pouring over stacks of dusty country records, wandering through poison-ivy strewn graveyards, and getting lost on back lanes trying to find the homes of retirees who remembered what our forbearers were like way back when By the time he finished his daily tasks, the light was failing. But everything he needed to accomplish before he made the journey to visit his betrothed was complete.