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Review: Haunts of Virginia's Blue Ridge Highlands

joe-tennis-book-signingFirst off – full disclosure.

I love ghost stories. My partner, photographer John Sheally, knows any mention of a spectral sighting signals that he should settle in and get comfy – we’re staying for the full story.

So Joe Tennis’s most recent book, “Haunts of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Highlands,” was a must read. A features writer/columnist with the Bristol Herald Courier, Tennis is a story-teller. He thrives on telling the back story – the history behind a bearded Confederate officer who still startles rangers in the caves of the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. He explores why a chandelier swings inexplicably at Emory and Henry College, why Wythe County locals suspect that the Gothic Major Graham Mansion is haunted and who might belong to the mysterious murmuring voices in Wolf Creek Indian Village.

Tennis has collected the big legends and small stories, history and folklore, over years of wandering the Blue Ridge. But we had to ask – how real are the ghosts to him? He believes in angels and leftover energy and recollects one instance of feeling he was not alone in a supposedly haunted homestead. But he leaves the ghost question to the reader, who, believer or not, will enjoy this collection of intriguing vignettes.


Haunts of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Highlands,” by Joe Tennis. $14.99. Published by Haunted America, a division of The History Press, 2010.

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