Haunted Plantatins of the South by Richard Southall
Rating: 4 Stars
Description: When you hear the word "plantations" most people think of grand homes with pillars and sweeping staircases. These houses of grandeur were located all through the South in the days before the Civil War, and there are some that still resonate with the loveliness they still had in their heyday. These majestic homes have a long history, and some of those who lived in these houses remain today. The ghosts of soldiers, slaves,and the elite family who lived in the plantation home still wander the halls. (from Goodreads)
Why I Picked This Book: I love ghost stories and this one looked intriguing.
My Impression: Pretty much from the beginning I knew this was going to be an enjoyable read. I was sitting out on the deck and the weather was just warm enough to be comfortable but not quite warm enough for the mosquitoes to come visit. I was immediately hooked by Southall's casual story teller tone and settled right in for a lovely read. It opens with a interesting introduction explaining what a plantation really is. He talks about the family, the way the family made their money and the architecture of the house itself. After a quick rundown on all the different building styles we switch over to the ghost side of things. There's some talk about just hauntings in general and what factors seem to be required for a haunting. This is more chatty and theory then academic. There's a quick reminder about being respectful to the property itself and whoever actually currently owns the property and then we get to the good stuff! The haunted plantations are divided by state and stick to Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. If you live in or near any of these states now is the time to make sure you have something to take notes with! If you're looking for a keep you up all night scary campfire book this isn't the book for you. Each state has about a dozen plantations and each plantation gets a couple of pages. While Southall does talk about the haunting and what visitors and residents have reported he mostly focuses on the history of the house itself. We learn the story of the people who lived in or visited the house and who supposedly for many different reasons have decided to stay. He also lists if the plantation or the grounds are closed to the public or open for tours. While this wasn't a scary book about bumps in the night I thoroughly enjoyed getting a little history mixed with a dash of ghost story. And I can pretty much guarantee I'll be driving by the houses he talks about that are in my area!
Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Yes definitely! Apparently he has another book about haunted places on Route 66 that I'd love to get if I ever head that direction!
Would I Recommend this Book?: Yes, if you're looking for light history with a little bit of ghost story. This wouldn't work if you're wanting spooky.