13 Georgia Ghosts and Jeffrey by Kathryn Tucker Windham

By Kathryn Tucker Windham

Jeffrey is the mischievous “something” that has headquarters within the Windham domestic in Selma. He first made his presence identified in October 1966, and because then he has persevered, at abnormal and rare periods, to clump down the corridor, slam doorways, rock in a chair, frighten the relatives cat (now deceased—through no fault of Jeffrey), flow heavy items of furnishings, reason digital apparatus to malfunction, and conceal gadgets. He often accompanies Mrs. Windham on her travels, and stories of Jeffrey’s antics are greatly acknowledged. “Nobody has ever been frightened of Jeffrey,” Mrs. Windham says. “He is particularly handy to have—we blame every thing that is going awry on him. His purely objective for latest (if that notice is right) is to prod me into accumulating and maintaining ‘true’ ghost tales from in the course of the South.”  

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It has not made them happy to be reminded that almost all theatres of note have ghosts, not just plain ghosts but splendid spirits whose dramatic exploits provide exciting material worthy of presentation by a live theatrical troupe. There is, for example, the ghost in the theatre in nearby Auburn, Alabama, a ghost named Sydney who had become such an accepted and widely-known member of the Auburn Players that the theatre department awards are named for him, the Sydney Awards. Columbus theatre lovers have wearied of hearing about Sydney.

Mrs. Tattnall knew that something most extraordinary had occurred to take her husband away from his guests. The guests, too, were aware that something was amiss, but, being polite, they continued the meal. In a very few minutes, Mr. Tattnall returned to the dining room and said calmly, "Ladies and gentlemen, I must apologize to you. We will have a slight interruption in our dinner. "Please rise and follow me out into the garden. My servants will bring the table and chairs outside, and we will continue our dinner there.

The spring's still there all right," someone else spoke up, "but I doubt that he'd recognize it. It has a permanent shelter over it, and the water is piped outside to a drinking fountain. " His listeners laughed, grateful for a touch of humor to shake from their thoughts the images of suffering that talk of Andersonville conjured up. Then someone suggested, mainly in jest, that the ghost could be the spirit of the freedom-minded prisoner whose escape tunnel surfaced right in the middle of a Confederate campfire.

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13 Georgia Ghosts and Jeffrey by Kathryn Tucker Windham
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