Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Coming Soon: Seeking the Spirits: Find, Researching and Telling Ghost and Paranormal Stories

In 3 days! Storyteller Jason Burns and I will be presenting a workshop and hosting a concert on March 1-2 in Sistersville, West Virginia on a topic dear to my heart, as long-time readers here know: ghost stories.

The workshop kicks off with a storytelling concert at the historic and rumored-to-be-haunted Gaslight Theater at 7:00pm on Friday, March 1. Storytellers will be Jason and myself, Katie Ross, Mikalena Zuckett, Danny McMillion, Sue Atkinson, Judi Tarowsky and perhaps a few others. Our topic for the concert will be historical stories--tales found or rooted in history. Why? Because adjacent to the Gaslight Theater is the Golden Derrick Gallery, and owner (of both places) Terry Wiley is staging an exhibit of historic Sistersville photos focusing on the many floods that have ravaged the area over the years, courtesy of the town's bordering neighbor, the Ohio River.

We will stay overnight at the historic and rumored-to-be-haunted Wells Inn, one of the oldest inns in West Virginia and one of its must beautiful, in my opinion. Storytellers for this event get a special room rate because we were the very first to book rooms in the hotel as a group after Charles Winslow took it over and began extensive renovations in 2010. Renovations continue but the hotel is fully operational, and the food is both delicious, affordable and served in an attractive and comfortable setting. It's like coming home when I go to the Wells, and I try to stop by whenever I'm traveling through the area.

The following day, Saturday, March 2nd, we will be in the meeting room of the Wells Inn, getting down to work. Well, not work really because storytelling and stories are a fascinating topic and storytellers themselves are a fun group anyway. Each person will either bring a story idea with them--some thread of a tale they've heard, a story they've told but want to improve or deepen in some way, or as a last resort a story from one of the books I will have available.

Jason and I will both share a story and discuss why we tell it and how we "grew" the story. Then we'll ask questions of our participants about the stories they've brought with them, have them tell the story in "bones" form and find out what they want to do with the story. We'll share some resources and ideas for researching a story. Then we'll break for lunch.

After lunch, weather permitting, we might make a field trip to one of several possible sites in the area. Because, you know, to tell a ghost story means soaking in the atmosphere of a place, listening, noticing, and feeling the place.



Then we'll be back to work on their stories, having our group work a bit on their stories and then telling them once again and seeing how what they learned during the day impacted their perception of the story and what areas they identified for strengthening and enriching the tale.

It will be a great time. Maybe you can come! If you're interested, please contact Jo Ann Dadisman at jdadisman at aol.com, or email me at susannaholstein at yahoo.com. Room reservations can be made by calling the Wells Inn directly at 304-652-1312.


Copyright 2013 Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.

1 comment:

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

Your ghost story event must be as much fun for the story tellers and the listeners. Your photo of the little country church with the shutters is beautiful. I think it is one of the nicest little country churches that I have seen. Enjoyed -- barbara

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