Telltale Lilac Bush and Other West Virginia Ghost Tales
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Telltale Lilac Bush and Other West Virginia Ghost Tales

4.2 of 5 stars 4.20  ·  rating details  ·  121 ratings  ·  13 reviews
" West Virginia boasts an unusually rich heritage of ghost tales. Originally West Virginians told these hundred stories not for idle amusement but to report supernatural experiences that defied ordinary human explanation. From jealous rivals and ghostly children to murdered kinsmen and omens of death, these tales reflect the inner lives -- the hopes, beliefs, and fears --...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published December 31st 1965 by University Press of Kentucky
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 186)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Sep 21, 2011 Tara rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: All West Virginians!
This book delves deep into the heart of nostalgia. Written in 1965, the book is a collection of ghost stories gathered over the years and submitted to the author through the use of various mediums. The cover is amazing in its loudness, Look at me, Look at me, style! Many generations have been exposed to it, passing word as the years go by. It would come as a shock for me to find out there exists a West Virginian out there that has not heard of this book or its counterpart ‘Coffin Hollow.’ Both w...more
Jul 12, 2008 Cat rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
Shelves: appalachia
If you enjoy good ghost stories (you know, never really grew out of the RL Stine, Christopher Pike phase) this book and its "sequel", _Coffin Hollow_ are toothsome delights. Full of folktale-style ghost stories dating back a hundred years and more, Musick has collected an exhaustive anthology of West Virginia (and ONLY West Virginia...impressive) spectres including Screaming Jenny and the Wizard of Middleway and so so so so many more. Truly, anyone who enjoys ghost stories will love this collect...more
Thank you, Bob Compton, for sending me Ruth Ann Musick's books when he found out I am related to Musicks! (I think she was a very distant cousin.) I enjoyed this and Coffin Hollow but I have to read them in small doses because, well, I'm afraid of ghosts and I live in the West Virginia woods right on the Mason Dixon line. You know somethin's out there! Anyway, I loved her introduction about the rich history of ghost stories in West Virginia and how she collected these stories through the years....more
Robert Beveridge
Ruth Ann Musick, The Telltale Lilac Bush and Other West Virginia Ghost Tales (University Press of Kentucky, 1965)

Musick presents us one hundred ghost stories from her extensive folklore collection. She makes no effort to doll them up (though she does say in her preface that she edited them, some heavily, to take out redundancy), and so they often read quite plain; those looking for a Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark-esque compendium will be disappointed here, as Musick chooses the stories she p...more
I only have two books about short stories involving ghosts and they both are filled with stories about my home state of West Virginia and I absolutely love them. I will read these stories to my kids. Some are so creepy an others are so heartwarming and sad. I can't stand ghost movies or shows but I have always loved this book of short stories. It's weird but these stories always draw me back in on a random night I will grab it and read trough it especially my favorites. Great for any age! I hope...more
Craig Halloran
One of my favorite books of all time. When I was a kid it came in a hardback purple cover (I have one courtesy of Abe Books). Anyhow, some of the first stuff I ever read. Dozens of short ghost and horror stories. It's worth picking up if you ever pass through West Virginia.
Justin Cales
I am a West Virginian and enjoyed reading this. Coal mines and the mountains be very super creepy. Now you aren't going to be scared stupid, but they are creepy, especially while camping out in the woods! Definantly worth reading!
Just to scare myself, I used to read this on my grandparents' sun porch which looked out on their lilac bush. And on my way home from their house I would always run really fast because the path went right by the lilac bush.
Justin Hayhurst
This book is a prerequisite to going camping anywhere in West Virginia. I can't remember a time when I was little that I didn't enjoy being freaked out by the creepy stories in this book.
Hey, if you’re a true West Virginian (like me), you owe it to yourself to read this book.

It should be noted that the author has a library named in her honor in Fairmont, WV.
My mom gave me this book when I was a little kid and it scared the crap out of me. If you're from WV, it's really creepy. If not, you probably won't be a fan.
Renee Winters
A must read for anyone who loves ghost storries. I still remeber the chills of trying to find where the hotel was in my hometown where one of the stories took place.
Kayla White
I'm just now adding these from October. I did a WV "ghost story" unit at school and we used four different texts. The students really enjoyed it. (:
This book used to freak me out when I was a kid. It's not written that well, but it's got some great old tales that are from West Virginia.
Karen Dodd
Karen Dodd marked it as to-read
Jul 28, 2014
Jenna marked it as to-read
Jul 04, 2014
jenna nims
jenna nims marked it as to-read
Jul 03, 2014
Megan marked it as to-read
Jun 25, 2014
Meghan Sexton
Meghan Sexton marked it as to-read
Apr 17, 2014
Michaelscotyoung marked it as to-read
Apr 15, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Coffin Hollow and Other Ghost Tales The Telltale Lilac Bush and Other West Virginia Ghost Tales Green Hills of Magic: West Virginia Folktales from Europe Coffin Hollow and Other Ghost Tales Coffin Hollow and Other Ghost Tales

Share This Book