Saturday, November 21, 2015

Book Review: Southern Spirit Guide's Haunted Alabama: A Guide to Ghostlore, Legends and Haunted Places in the Heart of Dixie by Lewis O. Powell IV

Southern Spirit Guide's Haunted Alabama: A Guide to Ghostlore, Legends and Haunted Places in the Heart of Dixie
Author: Lewis O. Powell IV
Publisher: Southern Spirit Press
October 7, 2015
Ghosts and spirits punctuate the landscape of Alabama from Albertville to Wilsonville, Auburn to Tuscaloosa, and Birmingham to Dauphin Island. Southern Spirit Guide's Haunted Alabama is a county-by-county guide to ghostlore throughout Alabama. Utilizing the most reliable and up-to-date resources, this guide covers the history and hauntings of 300 haunted locales, complete with addresses and sources. Explore haunted plantations, mills with dark pasts, roadside revenants, spooklights, and creepy cemeteries deep in the Heart of Dixie.

I’ve read the blog, Southern Spirit Guide, for quite a while now, where author Lewis O. Powell IV blogs about ghost stories and legends of the southern United States. Many of us think it was about time that he write a ghost book about some of those Southern spooks. Which he did, released as Southern Spirit Guide’s Haunted Alabama: A Guide to Ghostlore, Legends and Haunted Places in the Heart of Dixie. Tales set particularly in the state of Alabama. Citing the authors and paranormal investigators who have written books and blogs about the various cities and counties where ghostly events have happened, he does inform readers to check these authors and their books especially, if they wanted more information on the hauntings than he had written. His is more of an armchair version of citing these stories, than going to these sites directly. One of the stories that intrigued me to check out further for myself was the mummy exhibited for a time at Bessemer Hall of the History Museum in Bessemer. A tale of murder, love, betrayal, and suicide, all ending in the murderer’s corpse being sent to a funeral home where it was forgotten and put in storage; the body grew mummified over time. National Geographic even produced a documentary about the mummy in 2002. The remains were eventually cremated. But paranormal activity in the building are possibly attributed to the mummy. Is it? It might be a possible trip on my bucket list of investigations to find out!

Besides this story, there are many stories about haunted theatres, libraries, cemeteries, battlefields (of course, it is the South and the Civil War was fought here as much as elsewhere in the South!), a furnace, hotels, roads, bridges, bed and breakfasts, homes, bookstores, colleges and schools, and many other places. Alabama is undead and kicking, with plenty of ghosts. The only disappointment I had with the book is this is more a reciting of stories and legends told. Maybe Mr. Powell’s next book will have him visiting the places and letting us hear what he experienced and what his thoughts would be on the matter.

For the paranormal investigator looking for spots and legends to investigate (with permission, something Mr. Powell does stress) or people who love to read ghosts stories, and then plan to explore the places, or maybe they just plan to visit spooky Alabama from an armchair, this is the book for you. What are you waiting for? The dead are waiting to welcome you to an Alabama most tourists never see.

I give Southern Spirit Guide's Haunted Alabama: A Guide to Ghostlore, Legends and Haunted Places in the Heart of Dixie 4 ‘keep the lights on!’ sheep.

Pamela K. Kinney

About the Author:
Coming from an old Southern family, Lewis O. Powell IV grew up hearing ghost stories told by family and friends. After he heard a storyteller relate tales from Kathryn Tucker Windham’s 13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey and 13 Georgia Ghosts and Jeffrey, he was hooked on Southern ghosts. From childhood into adulthood, Lewis collected “ghost books,” which eventually comprised his Southern Spirit Library.

Lewis graduated from Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia with a BFA in Theatre. After college, he was asked to edit and contribute to F. Clason Kyle’s book, In Order of Appearance, a history of performers at Columbus’ historic and haunted Springer Opera House. He soon began dreaming of writing his own book. In 2010 he began blogging about Southern ghosts with his blog, the Southern Spirit Guide ( This is his first book. He resides in West Georgia.

1 comment:

  1. While I'm not a believer in haunted houses and ghosts, I love learning about the stories and the history that goes along with them. Sounds interesting.