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Kathryn Windham at the 2010 National Storytelling Festival
13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey
Beyond the gate a rutted clay road leads across a rocky pasture, skirts a clump of tall cedars, and ends at the foot of an overgrown knoll. So imposing was its architecture—or so remote was its location—that Rocky Hill Castle escaped the fate of many of the other antebellum mansions in that area during the final months of the Civil War: deliberate burning by Federal troops. However, neglect and vandalism combined to destroy Rocky Hill Castle, leaving only a pile of rubble and a long, silent avenue of cedars to mark the spot where the castle stood. Rocky Hill Castle was the kind of house that invited—even required—ghosts. And the ghosts were there almost from the time Rocky Hill Castle was completed. In twenty-six-year-old James E.
The book contains thirteen ghost stories from the U. The book was the first in a series of seven Jeffrey books, most featuring ghost stories from a Southern state. Jeffrey in the book's title refers to a ghost that allegedly haunts Windham's home. The foreword of the book describes how Windham came to be interested in ghost stories. It began with ghostly incidents in the Windham family home in Selma that Windham attributed to a spirit she dubbed "Jeffrey". At first, the family heard footsteps in rooms that would later be found empty.
W hat is it about those 13 ghosts? Ghosts have come and ghosts have gone since the introduction of "13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey," but that's the book thousands of Alabamians recall from their childhoods. After penning a cookbook, she co-authored "13 Alabama Ghosts," which led to a series of six volumes of ghost tales that remain some of the most requested books in school libraries, teachers have said. Since then, Windham secured her name in the pages of Alabama history as a storyteller, and as a recorder of state history and folklore in a total of 20 books. Her children, Ben Windham and Dilcy Windham Hilley, wanted to ensure their mother's legacy continues and approached the University of Alabama Press about re-issuing the book of Alabama ghosts, which has been available in softcover but has been unavailable in hardback for decades. Hilley and her brother were asked to write an afterword for the new edition, which will be launched Wednesday, July 9, at the Alabama Booksmith in Birmingham. Jake Reiss, owner of the Booksmith, said the new edition is a clothbound hardcover and he is excited to host the party.