Tag Archives: appalachian literature

Stories of Superstition: East TN’s Houston House

One evening Dr. Houston came in drunk. He sat with pistol cocked, waiting for the ghost. As the three knocks sounded on the door he bounded forward to meet it, and followed it up the stairs shooting and cursing volubly. The footsteps were not disturbed by the Doctor’s violence. They made their rounds with regular tread. As three farewell knocks sounded, Dr. Houston emptied his pistol into the outside darkness several times and closed the door.

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Jocassée. A Cherokee Legend from Upcountry South Carolina

Special thanks to Sonja Crone Eddleman of Williamston, SC,  for steering me back to the wonderful old 19th century tales of the South from William Gilmore Simms:   The Occonies and the Little Estatoees, or, rather, the Brown Vipers and the Green Birds, were both minor tribes of the Cherokee nation, between whom, as was not unfrequently the […]

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I’ve prayed for straight hair—or hair of a different color.

If you’ve never been to Plum Grove then you wouldn’t know about that road. It’s an awful road, with big ruts and mudholes where the coal wagons with them nar-rimmed wheels cut down. There is a lot of haw bushes along this road. It goes up and down two yaller banks. From Lima Whitehall’s house […]

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I guess I will just have to talk Sarah into being willin’

In this excerpt from her 1979 autobiography “What My Heart Wants to Tell,” Kentuckian Verna Mae Slone (1914-2009) relates the story of how her father Isom ‘Kitteneye’ Slone proposed to her mother, Sarah Owens Slone. Kitteneye finished his breakfast real fast, then, pushing his chair from the table, he hurried for the door. “Wait, son, […]

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For no reason he knew of he was coming alive with the garden

But, strange as it seemed to him, there were minutes — sometimes half-hours — when, without his knowing why, the black burden seemed to lift itself again and he knew he was a living man and not a dead one. Slowly — slowly — for no reason that he knew of — he was “coming […]

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