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Ghosts of the Wild West

Enlarged Edition, Including Five Never-Before-Published Stories

Nancy Roberts

Publication Year: 2012

Once deemed the "custodian of the twilight zone" by Southern Living, celebrated storyteller and ghost hunter Nancy Roberts returns to familiar subject matter in this newly expanded edition of her Ghosts of the Wild West, a finalist for the Spur Award of the Western Writers of America in its original edition. In these seventeen ghostly tales—including five new stories—Roberts expertly guides readers through eerie encounters and harrowing hauntings across Kansas, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and the Dakotas. Along the way her accounts intersect with the lives (and afterlives) of legendary figures such as Wild Bill Hickok, Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, and Doc Holliday. Roberts also justifies the fascination among ghost hunters, folklorists, and interested tourists with notoriously haunted locales such as Deadwood, Tombstone, and Abilene through her tales of paranormal legends linked to these gunslinger towns synonymous with violence and vice in Western lore. But not all of these encounters feature frightening specters or wandering souls. Roberts also details episodes of animal spirits, protective presences, and supernatural healings. Forever destined to be associated with adventure, romance, and risk taking, the Wild West of yore still haunts the American imagination. Roberts reminds us here that our imaginations aren't the only places where restless ghosts still roam.

Published by: University of South Carolina Press


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pp. 1-3

Title Page

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p. 4-4

Copyright Page

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p. 5-5

Table of Contents

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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-ix

"How did you become interested in writing ghost stories?" readers often ask. Most people want to know why an author has written a book, and they read the preface to find out. I write this for them. ...

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The Last Homesteaders

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pp. 1-5

They had been driving all day when the old Seth Thomas clock on the backseat began to tick. The clock was one of their prize wedding gifts, a family heirloom. The clock and the family homestead toward which they were heading, on the border of Colorado and Kansas, were two of the most unusual ...

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Deadwood, the Wildest Town in the West

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pp. 7-13

It was August of 1876 and Seth Bullock, sheriff of Montana's Lewis and Clark County, was becoming restless. He and his friend Sol Star were partners in a hardware store, but it held little promise. ...

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The Ghost and the Lost Treasure

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pp. 14-19

The West abounds with spine-chilling stories of ghosts and lost mines. Somewhere in a stream in Colorado is a wooden chest full of gold coins, and a ghost there may go on forever trying to reveal the location of the treasure. There are those who claim to have seen him, but dl anyone ever hear him? ...

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The Gambler of Cimarron

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pp. 20-26

"Last year we went to an island in the Caribbean. What would you think about our going on a trip out to the Southwest?" Roger asked. "Mmmm. Sounds interesting," Joan murmured with mild enthusiasm. "But nothing phony." ...

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The Enchanted Mesa

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pp. 27-33

For many years the two professors shared an interest in the supernatural. Now Cardoza stole a glance at Montana, who was driving, and for the first time he became uneasy. There was a fanatic look about his face, and all of Dr. Cardoza's efforts to joke about why they were driving out here in the middle of ...

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Wild Bill Hickok in Abilene

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pp. 34-39

Abilene was the wildest cattle town in the West, the town where the saloon keepers wore diamonds as big as hickory nuts and kept six-shooters behind the bar, where at any time a drunken cowboy might ride his horse into a saloon, pull his pistol, and shoot in the air. ...

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The Phantom Rider of the Butterfield Stage

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pp. 40-45

It was a gray, drizzly day in October of 1887. Bill Peets was a good stage driver, and he loved the short-grass country with its endless reaches of prairie. But on the last stretch toward Abilene he always whipped the horses into a frenzied gallop, for this was the area where bandits and Indians were likely to appear. ...

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The Lovely Apparition of Fort Davis

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pp. 47-50

Why should a lovely apparition haunt a desolate fort in Texas? The story is a strange one and began about the time of the Civil War. Across the West, from the Dakotas to the Texas border, fiom Kansas to California, are strung the forts that were once brave outposts of a wild and lonely frontier, manned by a courageous breed of men. ...

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Pancho Villa's Treasure and the Ghost Cat

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pp. 51-58

He awoke shivering with terror, perspiration pouring fiom him. The room was pitch black; the lamp he had left burning in his hotel room before retiring had gone out. Yet he was certain ...

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The Ghost of Cripple Creek

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pp. 59-66

... It was late at night, and the couple that stood in the moonlight staring curiously through the window of the old gold assay office were alone on the street. "Wait a minute," said the young man as he put his arm about the waist of his girl and drew her toward the window. "Do you see anything in there?" ...

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The Rider Wore a Green Habit

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pp. 67-72

"You are out of your mind if you think you are leaving Virginia to go with me, Emma," said Edward Dobbs. "The American Fur Trading Company is sending me to manage a remote trading post way out in Wyoming. I cannot take care of a headstrong daughter like you out there." ...

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Indians Who Won't Stay Dead

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pp. 73-75

It was a hot July evening in 1882 when the two prospectors decided to make camp just west of the Pecos River. The pair had been out for almost a month alone, and after they settled down under the shade of a mesquite, they began to cook their supper. ...

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The Ghost Light of Marfa

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pp. 76-82

... Before the turn of the century, when cattlemen drove their herds to the railroad at Alpine, the cowboys used the mysterious Marfa light as their guide. When they saw it, they knew the stockyards were just twenty miles away. ...

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The Sacred Earth at Chimayó

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pp. 83-88

Many will travel the winding road to Chimay6, and some will never be the same again. Each .year thousands of people visit the chapel in this Spanish village of northern New Mexico in search of a miracle. ...

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The Haunted Kimo Theater

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pp. 89-95

Many American immigrants arrived in this country with magnificent dreams, and Oreste Bachechi was one of them. He began his business career in a tent and some twenty years later built a flamboyant southwestern theater building in Albuquerque, New Mexico. ...

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Tombstone, Arizona, and Its Notorious Gunfighters

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pp. 96-104

Tombstone. . . . Tombstone, Arizona. A place that stirs the imagination. In the shadow of the desolate Dragoon Mountains, stronghold of Cochise, and home for a time of one of the West's most famous lawmen, Wyatt Earp. Tombstone has all the magic of the past-the Crystal Palace where Wyatt ...

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The Enchanted Rock

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pp. 105-110

Turning off on Highway 965 at Llano, Texas, was not a sudden decision for Terry Blackwelder. It was the road that led to a place that had always fascinated him-the Enchanted Rock. His interest in the rock and the dramatic batholith formations there began during an anthropology course in college when ...

E-ISBN-13: 9781611171235
Print-ISBN-13: 9781570037320

Page Count: 120
Publication Year: 2012