Hauntings of the Underground Railroad: Ghosts of the Midwest by Jane Simon Ammeson

Hauntings of the Underground Railroad: Ghosts of the Midwest by Jane Simon Ammeson combines history and ghost lore into a fascinating book. Ammeson states in the foreword that although she is not a historian, she was raised in a family of history buffs. It shows. She researched extensively. She visited each of the sites and learned about the history of the setting along with the story. Primarily a freelance writer and photographer specializing in travel, food, and personalities, Ammeson tells these stories in an entertaining while informative manner.
It is hard to decide which stories to cite here. They are all so good. Guess I’ll go with that most important man of the times, Abraham Lincoln. Ammeson tells of Lincoln’s neighbor who ferried slaves on the Underground Railroad then recounts the tales of Lincoln’s ghost wandering around Springfield, Illinois. She closes that section with Vachel Lindsay’s marvelous poem, “Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight.”
The Willard Carpenter House in Evansville, Indiana has an historical marker in the front yard which tells of the home’s history as a stop on the Underground Railroad. It was also the subject of several paranormal investigations by the Southern Indiana Paranormal Investigators. Ammeson relates how the group investigated for paranormal activities in the house and what they learned.
Ammerson also researched and tells the tale of the ghosts in the Wolf Mansion in Valparaiso, Indiana. The story is amazing and sad. Ammerson’s research indicated that the story was a bit too amazing to be true. She recounts all the evidence that proves that this particular tale is based on speculation and gossip. I’m so glad it wasn’t true.
Hauntings of the Underground railroad: Ghosts of the Midwest will be an excellent addition to the libraries of those who enjoy local history and hauntings. It is available at Bookmamas, 9 Johnson Avenue.