Hoodoo, Haints, and Horror: Alabama's Historically Haunted Places (2006)

Alan Brown, English Instructor and Writing Center Director at the University of West Alabama, and member of the Alabama Humanities Foundation Resource Center program, presents "Hoodoo, Haints, and Horror: Alabama's Historically Haunted Places" on October 10, 2006 at 6:00 p.m. at Madison Public Library, Madison.

Alabama's reputation as a repository of haunted places was firmly established in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s through the work of Kathryn Tucker Windham. Brown's presentation not only updates the stories featured in Windham's books, it also shows that houses are not the only haunted sites in Alabama. The places featured in "Hoodoo, Haints, and Horror" include cemeteries, Bed & Breakfasts, highways, college campuses, schools, bridges, libraries, factories, and government buildings. Many of the stories, such as the haunting of radio station WZPQ in Jasper and Lucas Tavern in Montgomery, are not very well known outside of the communities in which they originated. Dr. Brown's lecture hopes to illustrate that Alabama's rich tradition of oral ghost narratives encompasses much more than spooky stories. These tales are an invaluable record of Alabama's history and folk heritage.

Alan Brown is Professor of English and Director of the Writing Center at the University of West Alabama. He has a D.A. in English from Illinois State University. Despite his rigorous academic schedule, Brown has devoted a great deal of energy to the public sector. He has directed summer teaching seminars funded by the AHF on the history and literature of racism; the gothic writing of Carson McCullers, Flannery O'Connor, and Eudora Welty; and most recently, on Alabama folklore. He also developed an exhibition on African American folklore entitled, "Ruby Pickens Tartt: An Alabama Original." His publications include Dim roads and Dark Nights: The Collected Folklore of Ruby Pickens Tartt (1993), The Face in the Window and Other Alabama Ghostlore (1996), and Shadows and Cypress: Southern Ghost Stories (2000).

The Alabama Humanities Foundation is a nonprofit organization funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (of which the AHF is the state affiliate), as well as by corporate and individual donors. The Foundation is dedicated to the promotion and celebration of the humanities throughout the state of Alabama and, to that end, conducts its own statewide programs and awards grants, on a competitive basis, to nonprofit organizations for humanities projects.