2009-09-03 / Front Page

Urban legends and ghost stories needed for festival

"It was a dark and stormy night — the house sat silently on the hill, watching and waiting. The thunder and rain were merely background noise as the car loaded with Gap-clad teenagers squealed into the driveway. The house shuddered because it never missed anything...a lonely raven, the ivy crawling around the widow's walk, the dragging gait of the caretaker, or an opportunity to..."

The Lincolnton-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce and the Lincoln County Development Authority are collecting local urban legends and ghost stories.

Urban legends are defined as "stories of unknown origin involving incidents in the past that include supernatural elements and tend to be believed as true by the local community. These stories are generally passed on by word of mouth."

Whether it is Halloween night or simply sitting around a campfire with close friends, telling ghost stories and urban legends is a popular American tradition. Now, the chamber of commerce and the development authority are asking people in the county to write down these local legends.

"We are looking for stories that are historical and entertaining in nature, involve a supernatural event, and are believed to have a non-fiction origin," said Susan Banks, executive director of the chamber of commerce. "The stories should include details in regard to the time, place, characters, and plot."

The stories will then be featured at a Halloween mini-festival set for Saturday, October 31, from 5 until 8 p.m. at the Welcome Center.

"Everybody knows at least a few urban legends — we strongly encourage local residents to share their stories with other members of the community by participating in this special project," said Banks.

Not only will the stories serve to entertain, amuse, and even frighten just a bit, they will provide the audience and posterity with an informal record of the folklore in circulation in Lincoln County. Following the festival, the stories will be archived in the genealogy department at the Lincoln County Library.

The spooky stories and urban legends may be dropped off at the Welcome Center, faxed to the chamber at 706-359-5477, or emailed to following address: sbanks@lincoln countyga.com. The deadline is Friday, October 9, at 5 p.m.

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