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Folklore & Ghosts

The Granny Curse by Randy Russell & Janet Barnett

The Granny Curse and Other Ghosts and Legends
from East Tennessee

Randy Russell and Janet Barnett

John F. Blair, Publisher
$10.95 paperback
5 ½ x 8 ½   
146 pages
Published in 1999

2000 Storytelling Awards Honor Title

Witches who fly down chimneys. A chair that won’t release its occupant until a drop of blood stains the floor. A mountain that grew—and continues to grow—from the grave of a woman who was larger than life. The ghost of a woman who jumps on the bumpers of cars driving past the graveyard where she is buried. An apple tree that growls at people who pick its fruit. A woman who rose from her grave each night to get food for a baby born to her after she was buried. A peach tree that grows on the head of a deer. These and other legends and ghost stories handed down for generations are contained in this collection of 25 tales from East Tennessee.

The locales for these stories range from Roan Mountain to Chattanooga; from Cades Cove to Hancock County, where the Melungeons live; from the Sequatchie Valley to the Cumberland Plateau. The stories themselves are enhanced by Appalachian folk wisdom and tidbits about mountain traditions.

Whether your family has lived in this region since early settlement or whether you’re here on a vacation, you will find that these tales about supernatural happenings will stay with you for a long time to come.


“I have other books on Appalachia folklore, and this is at the top of the list. It's fun, colorful, and gives you the creeps! Like the late Charles Edwin Price, Randy Russell and Janet Barnett have compiled a rich array of stories from East Tennessee; the perfect book to read—whether to yourself or to others—on those ‘dark, stormy nights.’” reviewer

“First of all, I like ghost stories rooted in history and place. All 25 stories in this collection are wonderful examples of folklore and of the people of the Cumberland and Blue Ridge mountains of Tennessee. You can almost touch the trees in the forest and hear the water moving over rocks. Did you know you can tell your future by counting the number of seeds in an apple? One story here tells you how. More importantly for me as a professional storyteller, I found the authors had a very good ear for dialogue and voice. I have already used two of the stories, ‘Footprints in The Snow’ (Pigeon Forge)—and the title story ‘Granny Curse’, and both met with very good success! Great for reading aloud—but don't read them alone at night.” reviewer


Visit Randy Russell's website at

More ghost titles from Randy Russell:
Ghost Cats of the South

More ghost titles from Randy Russell with Janet Barnett:
Ghost Dogs of the South
Mountain Ghost Stories and Curious Tales of Western North Carolina