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Missouri Ghosts: Spirits, Haunts and Related Lore (Show Me Missouri Series) Paperback – September, 1997
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As a boy I was thrilled and chilled by my grandmother's pre-Civil War ghost stories drawn from her Illinois farm life. I was so impressed that I once saw (or imagined) a white ghost horse by a small pond one winter night.
Joan Gilbert's Missouri Ghosts is a superb collection of nearly 100 ghost tales of every types and setting, urban and rural, throughout the state. Drawing on hundreds of sources, the author classifies and recounts, in 13 chapters, "otherworldly" character, events and experiences in a skillful, suspenseful style.
St. Louis (including the Lemp Mansion and Chase Hotel, Kansas City, St. Charles and Springfield are well represented with a host of smaller cities and towns. The Ozarks has a chapter of its own. Characters and participants range from the Missouri poet and mystic John Neihardt (in a chapter on Haunted Horses) to outlaw Jesse James (in a chapter on Haunted Hoses).
Joan Gilbert shows a fine mastery of storytelling. Well documented, with scores of quotations and illustrations, Missouri Ghosts has the elements of a classic of American folklore. -- Charles Guenther, The Ozarks Mountaineer, April/May 1998
From the Back Cover
"Whatever the truth of these stories, they opened my mind at an early age to the fact that human certainty has severe limitations. These stories also demonstrated that we shouldn't believe everything everybody says. Other stories-collected over a lifetime from a wider area and shared here-reinforced these lessons."
The heritage of Missouri is rich with the folklore of hauntings, superstitions and the uncanny . . . Reminiscent of the style of Vance Randolph, Joan Gilbert relates authentic accounts in a readable way making this a book with appeal to the interested reader as well as the serious folklorist.-Annette Weaver, Columbia Books