Tag: Ghosts

  1. Haunting Views

    “Nah, there’s nothing to be scared of in there,” she told them. Her crooked, bone-thin finger pointed toward Daisy Town, the group’s ultimate destination.

    It was easy to see that her reflection in glass had once undoubtedly inspired poets. Flowing in gray waves down her ever-so-slightly twisted back, her hair evoked memories of raven’s wings. Her cheekbones stood as high as the Alps atop two identically sunken valleys cascading toward her strong jawline. The years had left marks; unflinchingly, she displayed them all.

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  2. Of Boogers and Boogermen

    In their landmark book, Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English, authors Michael Montgomery and Joseph Hall define booger as “a demon or ghost; a person having a ghostlike, disheveled, or mischievous appearance. The term is often used to threaten children to make them behave.” Likewise, a “boogerman” is a “Ghost or hobgoblin; the devil.”

    Many residents of the Great Smoky Mountains have been quoted with using the term, including Horace Kephart, Hodge Mathes, Sam Styles, Glenn Cardwell, and Sara Cole. Yet the word did not originate here. Nearly every culture has some sort of bogeyman used by parents and guardians to persuade children to follow the straight and narrow. One of the most closely related terms, bugge, comes from Middle English and describes a ghost or hobgoblin.

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  3. How to avoid trouble with ghosts in the Smokies

    One of our favorite historians, Joseph S. Hall, not only recorded bits of mountain speech and music, he also documented a fair number of Smoky Mountain ghost stories. His 1970 article in the Tennessee Folklore Bulletin offers the following tips on what to do when encountering specters in the Smokies.

    For one, avoid the following places and circumstances, as these are common lurking places for ghosts, boogers, and other varieties of “ha’nts”: haunted churches, haunted houses, haunted schoolhouses, graveyards, and dark stretches of road (especially while transporting moonshine).

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