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Haints and Hauntings: Ghost tales at Boo!fest

By Staff | Nov 1, 2013

Nationally recognized storyteller Lyn Ford spooked a willing audience at the “Appalachian Haints and Hauntings,” event Tuesday evening.

As part of Boo!fest’s weeklong set of Halloween- themed activities and

co-sponsored by the West Virginia Humanities Council and Shepherd University’s Diversity and Equity Committee, the event featured some of Ford’s favorite folklore.

“I started telling stories, my mother said, at the ripe old age of three,” she said.

“At that age the stories were often called lies,” she told the audience of more than 50 people.

“By the time I was 10-years-old, I had gathered many many many stories,” she said.

Ford said she’s made a career out of her “creepy gifts,” from childhood.

“I realized that there was power in the way I used my words. That there was power in my gestures and the way I shared my voice. There was power in my ability to make a story my own,” she said.

On Tuesday Ford told stories inspired by her childhood, some that had been passed down from generations past and even some inspired by her own grandchildren.

A “combat storyteller,” Ford said she’s told tales in hospitals, juvenile detention centers and even prisons.

“They’re still children and they still want stories,” she said.

Tuesday night, Ford weaved narrative and song together, giving a unique “Affrilachian” storytelling perspective.

She told spooky variations of traditional children’s tales like Goldilocks and Three Bears and Jack and the Bean Stalk

Born in Mercer County Pennsylvania, though she’s now based in Ohio, Ford said her family stretches throughout Appalachia.

Ford stuck around after her performance to sign CDs and copies of her book “Affrilachian Tales.”

“I am so grateful that I was invited to come here,” Ford said.

“I hope you remember to keep your own stories and share them with others,” she said.

To find out more information about Lyn Ford, visit her official web site at www.storytellerlynford.com.