Ghostly tales will be on tap on
Thursday, October 25th at Calhoun County Public Library in Grantsville.|
Storyteller Susanna Holstein will share stories of some of West Virginia's
best-known haunts as well as some lesser-known but equally eerie spirits.
"I find ghost stories all across West Virginia," said Holstein, who is also
known as "Granny Sue". While her repertoire focuses on Appalachian stories
and ballads, she also performs stories from around the world, and recently
developed a multimedia program of Celtic tales and folklore with fellow
storyteller Judi Tarowsky of St. Clairsville, Ohio.
"But ghost stories are my favorite kind of stories to tell. I think it is
because they make us think as we try to understand what might have or could
have happened." Often ghost stories are intertwined with history, and
Holstein includes that historical background in her storytelling.
"Often after a storytelling event, people tell me stories they've heard in
their families or neighborhood. Sometimes I can put pieces together, like a
puzzle. For example, while working on stories for the Ripley ghost walk I
came upon two stories related to Calhoun county. One was about a moonshiner
who hung himself in the Ripley jail; the other was about a young man from
Calhoun who was struck by lightning during the Civil War while his unit was
camped in Ripley.
Then there was a book called America's Best Ghost Stories,
published in 1910. In that book I found Calhoun's most famous ghost story
about the haunting at Cale Betts' house. Things like this just fascinate
me." These stories, along with others from across West Virginia will be
included in her performance at the library.
Holstein performs nationally as well as locally, and was a founding member
of the West Virginia Storytelling Guild. Her twenty-year career has included
such events as the National Storytelling Conference, West Virginia's
Sesquicentennial Celebration, Vandalia, Augusta Heritage Series, the
Mountain State Arts and Crafts Fair, WV Book Festival, and school, library,
conference and other performances. In 2015 she was named a West Virginia
The program will be held at the Calhoun County Library at 6:00 pm on
Thursday, October 25th. Please call the library for more information.