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R.L. Stine
Oct 19, 2007

Stay Out of the Basement

Is there anything out there like Lake Monsters? I started Wounds and I'm not crazy about it. Too much like Ligotti's weirder cosmic puppet stuff. If there are other short collections in line with Lake Monsters or, for example, Ligotti's short The Bungalow House I'd be eager to check them out.


R.L. Stine
Oct 19, 2007

Stay Out of the Basement

I'm doing research for a project involving Tennessee (specifically the southeast border) and I'm looking for some creepy materials on rural southern Appalachia. Works by people native to the area would be a huge plus. Anything worth checking out? The exact location is kinda important, the border of the Tennessee Valley and the Blue Ridge Mountains is fairly significant to the work I'm doing and contains a lot of natural diversity. Really though, anything Appalachian is a thumbs up, fiction or otherwise. Classic ghost stories, monster stuff, hillbilly horror, all good good good.

Also Ballingrud will never top Lake Monsters. It's his Teatro Grottesco.

R.L. Stine
Oct 19, 2007

Stay Out of the Basement

Wow, I did not expect such thoughtful responses! Thank you all! I apologize for the vagueness of my post, I've been working on this thing for 3 years or so and it's become something incredibly complex, and I want to make sure I cover all my bases with genuine information. It's a little hard to describe exactly what I'm looking for, because I'm essentially looking for everything. The last time I set foot in the US was upper NY state maybe 15 years ago (it was dire) so lately I've been poring over topo maps from USGS, old DoD maps, JSTOR, journals about the area's ecosystem, and archived news articles. It's been surprisingly difficult to find books that aren't primarily about the aftermath of the industrial decline. All that's left is the spooky stuff, and you guys have nailed it in one.

Xiahou Dun posted:

I don't have books I can point to (they live in a box right now), but anything on Appalachian/Scotch-Irish folklore is gonna be a good start. Check out the Anthropology section out at your local library, or even better, a good college book-store.

The Scots-Irish folklore tip is a good one - it's a little embarrassing, my family being Scots-Irish, but I wasn't fully aware of the significance of Ulster Scots settling in America and there's a lot of great folklore and folk magic to sift through. It brings an entirely different dimension into the mix I wasn't prepared for - but it's a very welcome one.

Conrad_Birdie posted:

Hmm my mind immediately went to the Tailypo folktale, but that's one of the more famous Appalachia horror stories. Do you know it?

Edit: and obviously include "Wild Acre" if you're talking about Ballingrud and Blue Ridge Mountain horror

Double edit: it's on the NC side of things and maybe too far away from what you're looking for but there's a bridge people think is haunted in Asheville, they say a lady hung herself off the side of it. You're supposed to park under it and turn off your engine and wait for weird poo poo to happen. Used to do that all the time in college with my friends to really freak our poo poo out

I do know Tailypo but really only the standard "man gets mauled after maiming a scary demon dog" story. Looking deeper into the origins and themes has been honestly enlightening, I didn't realize how rich the history of the legend was.

nate fisher posted:

That is my home area. My family is from the mountains of WNC and I grew up mostly in East TN (Johnson City/Jonesborough area). Are you interested in non-supernatural stuff also? I assume you know about Murderous Mary (the elephant) and her hanging in Erwin. Two recent true horrifying stories are the Lillelid murders back in the 90's (family murdered by teenagers at a rest area on the way back to Knoxville from JC), and one of the sickest true accounts I have ever read in my life (I want to bleach my mind of it) is the Christian and Newsome murders in Knoxville. Also there is an insane story from Mountain City, TN about a girl who catfished (as a CIA agent) her mom and dad to brutally kill a couple she was jealous over.

There is tons of supernatural stuff from the area going back to Cherokee of course. The bald tops in the Roan Mountain area have several explanations of the supernatural kind (Cherokee said their God made them bald to serve as lookout for a monster bird that would carry off kids). Also in that area is the site of the Cloudland Hotel (it closed down in the early 1900's) and stories of ghost singing. Not far from there is the famous Brown Mountain Lights at Wiseman's View. I have actually seen them twice (it is worth a visit and I would go in the fall) and they even did an X-Files episode about them. In the JC area I would look into the story of Al Capone having a headquarters there (while I heard this story since I was young, no one can prove or disprove it). JC also has the Swingle Hospital story ( I had to google the name, cause I couldn't remember) which is typical word of mouth stuff.

Of course the Great Smoky Mountains has tons of the stories, and I would look into Jonesborough, TN, Boone, NC, and Hot Spring, NC areas also. I feel like I have told you nothing you don't already know. One possible suggestion is there is a writer named Michael Hardy in Avery County, NC. He wrote for the local paper and has several published books about the history of the area. He knows a lot about that area and he might be worth reaching out to. When the house my grandfather built in Crossnore, NC brunt down (the house was on National Register of Historic Places) I reached out to him and he was pretty helpful in getting me some information.

You've definitely added a whole lot I didn't know, and may PM you in the future if that's alright. While I'm definitely looking for supernatural tales the true crime you've brought out is fascinating and helpful beyond belief. It's a facet I wasn't expecting to explore but now that it's in front of me it's like, duh, this fits my needs and then some. The shout out to Michael Hardy is something I'll be following up on for sure. Thanks for sharing your own experiences and local legends.

Fitzy Fitz posted:

Please be writing a haunted account at Lake Winnepesaukah. Or about this thing:

I grew up on the GA/TN border outside the Cohuttas and wrote my history capstone about Cherokee history in the region, so I feel like I should have something helpful to add here, but nothing is coming to mind. Maybe check out New Echota's library has a lot of good material on Cherokee history (or at least they did ten years ago when I was doing research). The stone structure on Fort Mountain is spooky, but that's Georgia again.

spookiest plant:

Hah, Fields of the Wood happens to be less than an hour from where I've been gathering most of my regional information ;). I actually do have a few books Foxfire has published, and they've been a great help as well as just being good reads overall. I'm working through one of the folklore collections, but Appalachia in general is just fascinating. Also, the ghost plant is very very interesting and now I'm on a quest to find more examples of weird flora.

For the sake of the thread I'll actually contribute as well. I've been on a real classics kick lately, going back over M R James stories, R W Chambers, just a bunch of weird fiction before Lovecraft showed up. Some of them hold up surprisingly well, I had forgotten just how eerie James' stories could be. I have to give A Head Full of Ghosts another try, I couldn't really get into it a few years ago and it sounds like it'll be a complete 180 from the late 19th/early 20th century stuff I've been into recently. The contrast could end up being really good or really awful and that's kinda exciting on its own.

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