Thursday, February 24, 2011

Guest Post from J. L. Bryan

Today I have a guest post from J. L. Bryan - author of Jenny Pox and the newly released Haunted E-Book. He's having a lot of really fun giveaways to go along with the release of his latest book, and he's a great writer, as well as a terrifically swell guy. So enjoy his post, and check out his books.

Lesser-Known Ghosts of the Upper Midwest

For my Haunted E-book Tour stop today at Amanda’s blog, I thought it would be nice if I showed some research initiative and dug up some famous ghosts of the upper Midwest, which must have its share of them, with all those dark forests and desolate dairies.
But if they’re already famous, do they really need more press?  Instead, I decided to talk about some less well-known ghosts.  These ghosts are so little-known, in fact, that you probably won’t find much information about them, no matter how much time you spend researching them. 
So, here they are, in the order in which I invented them:

1.      The Polka Phantom.  Yes, he comes out at least once every Oktoberfest, playing his accordion and trying to lure the innocent out for a polka dance or two.  They say he’s the ghost of Johann Schnauzerhund, the worst accordion player in state history, who was driven from town to town and finally out into the arctic cold of a December night in Minnesota, because his accordion playing really was that annoying.  Late at night, when its more than twenty degrees below zero and you go out onto the frozen Minnesota tundra, if the wind dies down and the full moon comes out, you can still hear his ghost playing the accordion.  Badly.

2.       The Friday Fish Fry Fisherman.  He only comes on Fridays, and only if you’re having a fish fry.  They say the fisherman died on a cold winter night out, not because there was a storm or because he fell into the water and drowned, but because he was using a deep-fryer on the wooden deck of his ship, against the manufacturer’s warnings.  He became drunk and knocked over the vat of hot oil, and his ship caught on fire and sank beneath the water.  It remains there to this day, mainly because extracting it would be expensive and involve cranes.

Now, he wanders out on Friday nights in search of the deep-fried food he was denied in life.  To avoid being haunted by the fisherman, place a small piece of fried fish outside your front door every time you have a fish fry.  This will appease the fisherman’s ghost, but may attract cats.

3.       The Loonie Lumberjack.  This is alleged to be the ghost of Sven Thatguysson, a 19th-century lumberjack known for frequenting the rough “jack” bars in Minnesota and Wisconsin, where drunken shirtless wrestling fights often broke out.  Sven died rolling logs down a river to Lake Superior.  Sometimes he hurls logs at vacationers like that gorilla in Donkey Kong.  Sven’s body was never recovered, and they say that’s why the bottoms of the lakes in Minnesota stay cold all winter.  Because they’re haunted by his ghost.  Not because of the eternal lack of direct sunlight.

4.       The Mount Horeb Troll Ghost. The town of Mount Horeb, Wisconsin is full of trolls.  (I’m uncertain about its proximity to Förening.) Little-known story: one of these trolls allegedly tried to claim an interstate overpass as his own bridge, and got flattened by an eighteen-wheeler while attempting to shake it down for a toll.  Some nights, you can still see him on the overpass, still claiming that no one may cross the bridge without paying him.  If worse comes to worse, throw him a few coins and he’ll leave you alone.

I hope that this guide to very obscure ghosts has been educational.  However, I doubt it.
In the comments you below, you might mention some lesser-known ghosts in your area.  Or make some up.  I did.
Commenting on this post within seven days enters you for The Haunted E-book Tour Grand Prizes, including The Haunted Library and a Kindle (or two!).
It also enters you for the


Today we’ll have a special triple paperback giveaway.  One person who comments within seven days will win three paperbacks: Jenny Pox, The Haunted E-book and Hollowland.
Be sure to leave an email address, blog URL or other way to get in touch with you in case you win. 
Thanks so much to Amanda for hosting today’s blog tour stop!