Regional Ghost Story Books

Ghosts of St. Augustine
by Dave Lapham

Florida's Ghostly Legends and Haunted Folklore Volume 2
by Greg Jenkins

During a vacation, people proceed to gift shops often to buy gifts for those friends and family that were not able to make the trip and to take home a remembrance of a time of relaxation and exploration. When I go to the gift shops, I look for books, which will extract me from my mundane life into blissful memories. I was fortunate to discover some regional ghost story books in St. Augustine, FL. These books will be a great addition to my other regional ghost story book collection.

Last night in Key Largo there was a thunderstorm, and I just could not sleep, so I decided to read a few stories from both books. "Florida’s Ghostly Legends and Haunted Folklore" Volume 2, has a more detail description of the ghostly historical locations than "Ghost of St. Augustine" although the latter is entirely dedicated to St. Augustine.

Dexter, an inmate of the Old Jail in St. Augustine haunts the prison looking forlorn for all his nefarious activities. Legends say that tour visitors sometimes sense cold spots or a pungent smell of anonymous insanitary prisoners of bygone days. When I took the animated tour of the Old Jail, I sensed nothing. I have yet to experience anything paranormal; however, it does not discourage me from enjoying eerie tales. A tale from "Ghosts of St. Augustine", Flagler College the former Hotel Ponce de Leon is haunted by the philanthropist that founded most of St. Augustine, Henry Flagler. A student once had the luck to meet his acquaintance after being called upon through rubbing a tile delineating Flagler’s countenance. Viewing Flagler College from a trolley tour bus, I saw college students gamboling on the front lawn caked in shaving cream. Oh, how I wish my undergraduate days were like that.

Take care my small audience, from under a coconut tree.


Historical St. Augustine Desktop Wallpaper

Currently, I am on vacation. I enjoy traveling to historical destinations; yesterday, I visited the oldest European settlement in North America, St. Augustine, FL. It is a fallacy that Jamestown, VA is the oldest European settlement as well as the glorious fight of Col. George A. Custer also known as Custer's Last Stand or the latter (I prefer) The Battle of Little Bighorn.

Photograph of part of Castillo da San Marcos National Monument (Fort)

Photograph of three palm trees on the grounds of Castillo da San Marcos.

Click on image obtain larger image 2560 X 1600.


The Suicide Collectors

The Suicide Collectors
by David Oppegaard

In 1995, Stephen King’s television two-part movie The Langoliers (published in Four Past Midnight) aired on ABC. Since viewing The Langoliers, I became captivated by apocalyptic novels. I would assume most people would feel a sense of bereft being the only or among the few people left in the world. However, when I was a teenager, I daydreamed about what I would do if the Earth population dwindled. I would read and enjoy the downtempo silence, but of course sooner or later the silence would be a monotonous surging of frustration.

The Suicide Collector by David Appeared is an apocalyptic novel. The world’s diminishing population is due to multitude of suicide. Narrated through Norman the main character, travels to Seattle after hearing that there is a new flourishing community with a cure for the despair. Along his journey with neighbor Pops, they encounter a variety of people demonstrating an array of coping strategies such as a gangs, feral children, and a cult. Throughout the story Oppegaard keeps the reader interested through giving titbits of information about the mysterious dark cloaked suicide collector, who peculiarly knows when someone has given in to the despair. The million-dollar question, what has caused the despair also coaxes the reader on to the next page. Even though I enjoyed reading majority of Oppegaard’s first novel, the conclusion felt short and cheated. In fiction, sometimes there should be more.

So, I will be looking for another apocalyptic novel that can quench my thirst for a catastrophe with a few good characters. It should be stated Oppegaard’s characters were likeable and believable through his use of riveting flashbacks.