Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Spooks of the Valley

"Spooks of the Valley" was written in 1947 by Louis C. Jones and illustrated by Erwin H. Austin. It's a relatively tame story about two boys who make the acquaintance of a restless spirit named George.

George tells the boys the story of his own murder and haphazard burial and requests the boys the favor of digging him up and burying him in a proper location so he can finally rest.  The highlight of this book are the pen and ink drawings by Erwin Austin.

Pleased with the boys' service, George introduces them to some of his "friends".

There, the ghosts spin ghostly tales and legends from the Catskills and the Hudson Valley all wrapped within a central story line of a search for Captain Kidd's treasure.

Some of the stories probably seem familiar, such as "The Hitchhiking Dancer" and "The Most Haunted House".  In fact, these appeared in the "Strangely Enough" collection by C. B. Colby I blogged about last year.

There's even a variation on the Headless Horseman legend.

Eventually, "Aunt Sally", the ghost of a former slave and the daughter of a witch doctor conjures up Captain Kidd who reveals the location of the treasure.  

The Captain explains that unfortunately, the treasure is cursed and should never be possessed.  However, he gives each boy a silver coin which he says will bring them good fortune their whole life.


  1. i wonder how far back that hitchhiking story goes. it seems to have been around for a long, long time. those illustrations were great!

  2. wow old memories. i was in 4th grade around 1962 when i read this book, on loan from my library card at the Valatie free library. no computers back then, no technology. i remember sitting on dads knee driving the 53 Pontiac. whats a boster seat?
    grew up in Columbia county off kinderhook lake
    born in 1952

    1. Thanks for commenting, Unknown. I would have loved to have read this book as a child.


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