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Witches, Ghosts, and Signs: Folklore of the Southern Appalachians Paperback – March 25, 2008


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Witches, Ghosts, and Signs: Folklore of the Southern Appalachians + Appalachian Folklore Omens, Signs and Superstitions + Ozark Magic and Folklore
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 220 pages
  • Publisher: Vandalia Press; 2nd Edition edition (March 25, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933202203
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933202204
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #850,589 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Since the material in this book has come from the traditions of the people who live among the hills and mountains of West Virginia, people who are proud to be called mountaineers, I feel that it is important to tell something about these people whose ancestors chose as the motto of their state, 'Mountaineers Are Always Free.'" Patrick W. Gainer

From the Back Cover

Witches, Ghosts, and Signs: Folklore of the Southern Appalachians by the renowned West Virginia folklorist and former West Virginia University English professor Patrick W. Gainer not only highlights stories that both amuse and raise goosebumps, but also begins with a description of the people and culture of the state. Based on material Gainer collected from over fifty years of field research in West Virginia and the region, Witches, Ghosts, and Signs presents the rich heritage of the southern Appalachians in a way that has never been equaled. Strange and supernatural tales of ghosts, witches, hauntings, disappearances, and unexplained murders that have been passed down from generation to generation from as far back as the earliest settlers in the region are included in this collection that will send chills down the spine.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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This book gets five stars from me.
Pepper Kat zz7
It's chocked full of surprising and interesting West Virginia folklore such as superstitions, home remedies, ghost stories, appalachian dialect and more.
Amazon Customer
All I can say is that I doubt any one who reads this book will disagree with me.
PATRICK

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 24, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I LOVE this book. It's chocked full of surprising and interesting West Virginia folklore such as superstitions, home remedies, ghost stories, appalachian dialect and more. It's highly reminiscent and entertaining. This book is a real treat. Availability is increasingly limited. I am from the same town as the author (now deceased) & had to order my copy from FL. Even his family didn't have a copy to spare.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Frances G. Davey on March 25, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Full disclosure: I am one of Dr. Gainer's many grandchildren. Throughout the years of my childhood, we would trundle over the mountains from the Tidewater of Virginia, to my grandparents' house in Gilmer County, WV, for our Summer Vacation. "Papa" Gainer was a wonder to children. He was funny and loved to sing and tell funny stories. Invariably, he would load us up on the local ghost lore, always prefacing a story with, "Now this story is absolutely true, it happened to so-and-so (insert name of neighbor or relative here) just on the other side of that ridge (pointing out the living room window)." I'm not sure if he realized how hard it was to sleep the night of one of those story-telling sessions! Many years later, we were thrilled to have a book that contained those very stories.

While my perspective as to the value of this book is colored by the privilege I had of being able to hear much of the subject matter first-hand from the author, I feel proud that the book is first and foremost of high scholarly value. It, and "Folk Songs From the West Virginia Hills" is a compilation of his field work and of his lectures during his time as a professor at West Virginia University. To see one of Dr. Gainer's works translated to Kindle is particularly pleasing to me, because it not only signifies the worth of the text, but it makes me wonder what he would have thought of an electronic reader. Having the Kindle edition available insures that this text will always be available to students and to anyone who wants to know more about early Appalachian culture.

I hope that "Folk Songs From the West Virginia Hills" also will be preserved in Kindle edition some day, for generations of students to come.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By PATRICK on July 12, 2008
Format: Paperback
I am Patrick A. Gainer, whose name my late father, Dr. Patrick W. Gainer gave me so I would not be called "Junior". Any review I might give would be biased by my love and respect for him and his scholarship. All I can say is that I doubt any one who reads this book will disagree with me.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Granny Sue on June 6, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This collection is a rare treat. The information contained in its 177 pages is a goldmine for writers, folklorists, and storytellers. Want to know how to cure a wart, stop a bleeding nose, or to tell when rain is coming? It's all here. Ghost stories, tales of witches, weather and nature lore, tradtional mountain social activities and folk remedies combine for a great read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The stories and superstitions are great in the book, and the little language guide is tons of fun. I hear quite a few of the words in the book while working in Southern WV. Love It.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book and a must have addition to any collection of Appalachian Folklore. In addition to the ghost stories and the witch stories there is a interesting section on folk medicine and a section on the dialect of the old time Mountaineers.
This book takes me back to my childhood,when the old folks would regale of of tales of ghosts and also of how they once lived.
This book gets five stars from me.
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By moonwillow on February 10, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is greqt book for those of us who are native to the Southern Appalachia Mountains and enjoy read about our regions rich history.

A sincere thank you to the author Patrick W. Garnier, I will be searching for other books written by Gainer to purchase and read.

Thank you, Moonwillow
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