The Ghost Wore Black: Ghastly Tales from the Past

The Ghost Wore Black: Ghastly Tales from the Past

The Ghost Wore Black: Ghastly Tales from the Past


THE GHOST WORE BLACK: Ghastly Tales from the Past

Selected and edited by Chris Woodyard

Publisher: Kestrel Publications, 1811 Stonewood Dr, Dayton, OH 45432-4002 (937) 426-5110

Publication Date: September 1 2013

ISBN 978-0-9881925-1-5

Pages and format: 256 pages (xiv + 242) 6 x 9”

Price: $16.95 trade pb

Features:  bibliography, sources, general index, index of stories by state.  Third in The Ghosts of the Past series.

Blurb: Ripped from the Headlines of the Past…

Chris Woodyard, author of the popular Haunted Ohio and Ghosts of the Past series, presents a new collection of all-American Victorian and Edwardian ghosts, evil entities, Fortean mysteries, and the paranormal  panics and obsessions of long ago. There are apparitions of fiery devils, giant ghosts with clubs, Men and Women in Black, death omens, uncanny objects, ghostly murder victims, and ghastly phantom faces peering in windows, all resurrected from original 19th-century sources.

The Ghost Wore Black includes:

  • The sinister Women in Black who terrorized communities across the country
  • Fiery devils roaming Bracken County, Kentucky
  • The Wild Man of Stamford—madman or myth?
  • Banshees in Indiana
  • The girl who married a ghost
  • A phantom bicyclist who raced with the living
  • The bloody handprints left by a ghost in San Francisco
  • An angel of death who appeared at a Louisville insane asylum
  • And many more long-lost tales of ghosts, hauntings, and mysteries from across America.


Introduction: Resurrecting the Long-Lost Fortean Tale

  1. The Ghost Who Wanted Her Hand Back: The Demanding Dead
  2. Death Angels and Banshees: Tokens of Death
  3. A Bowl of Bloody Water:  Traces of Terror
  4. The Hoodoo Hat and Other Horrors
  5. The Men In Black: Unearthly Entities
  6. Killed by a Specter: Jacks and Giants
  7. The Devil Went Down to Kentucky: Fiery Phantom Devils
  8. A Face Blue and Terrible: Phantom Window Peepers
  9. The Spook on a Bicycle: Spirits of Road and Trail
  10. A Vat of Acid: Homicidal Hauntings
  11. The Wild Man of Stamford and Other Fortean Mysteries
  12.  Daughters of Darkness: The Women in Black


General Index

Index by State

States included: Alabama, Alaska, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia,Wisconsin



FOR RELEASE BEFORE October 31, 2013

CONTACT: Louise Cantrell or Chris Woodyard, (937) 426-5110,

Kestrel Publications, 1811 Stonewood Drive, Beavercreek, OH 45432-4002

Kestrel Publications is terrified to announce publication of The Ghost Wore Black: Ghastly Tales from the Past, a new all-American collection from Ohio ghostwriter Chris Woodyard.

Have you ever heard of the horrifying Women in Black of the Pennsylvania coal country? The fiery devils of Bracken County, Kentucky? A ghost entered in a bicycle race? The Wild Man of Stamford?  These and many more strange tales have been long buried in the aptly named newspaper “morgues.”

“These stories were written by the Dead,” says Chris Woodyard, author of the 7-volume Haunted Ohio series and the Ghosts of the Past series. “Many of these accounts haven’t seen the light of day since they were first published over a hundred years ago.

Drawing on newspaper archives, antique books and journals, and county histories, Woodyard has unearthed a treasure trove of all-new tales that should find favor with fans of ghost stories, folklore, and history, and steampunk aficionados alike.

“Although I’ve done some editing and added notes, these are presented as the original newspapers printed them, often with a striking lack of political correctness,” says Woodyard. “Some of the reporting is quite heartless and gory.

“I was surprised by the many strange types of ghosts described—well beyond the traditional white-sheeted ghost. There were giant ghosts carrying clubs, black-cloaked attackers and Men in Black, fiery devils, phantom gnomes, and several completely unclassifiable Things. One thing that struck me is how modern some of the stories are: a dead man mysteriously appears in a family snapshot, poltergeists throw things and bang on walls, just as they are said to do today, and faces appear mysteriously on window panes—just as people in Florida saw the image of the Virgin in a window several years ago. There is even the story of a wild man that could be taken from a Bigfoot hunting TV show.”

The book contains over 130 true stories of ghosts, monsters, hoodoos, evil entities, road ghosts, omens of death, and Fortean mysteries from 32 of the 50 U.S. states. Future volumes in the series will include stories from additional states.

“I was able to uncover some horrifying tales, like the “Ghostess” in San Francisco who left behind bloody handprints, the serial killer ghost of Ridgeway, Wisconsin, and the veiled apparitions of women in mourning clothes that terrified people across the country.”

The Ghost Wore Black is the third in Woodyard’s Ghosts of the Past series. An upcoming book, entitled When the Banshee Howls, will include historic accounts of ghosts, monsters, and oddities from around the world.

The Ghost Wore Black is a look at the ghosts who haunted our ancestors,” said Woodyard. “It’s a window on the paranormal obsessions of the past.”

The Ghost Wore Black: Ghastly Tales from the Past, Chris Woodyard, 2013, 6 x9,” 256 pp., $16.95.


The Ghost Wore Black, Dr Beachcombing’s Bizarre History Blog, The Magonia Review of Books  Strange Company



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