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Things that go bump in the night

Ironton resident and librarian Lori Shafer displays her local literary tribute named “Haunted Tri-State.” Her book features strange and unusual stories from around Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia.

Ironton resident and librarian Lori Shafer displays her local literary tribute named “Haunted Tri-State.” Her book features strange and unusual stories from around Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia.

 

The woman is in deep mourning, hands clasped to her breast, looking down at the grave of her beloved.

Now, whether there are paranormal vibes around this statue of a Grecian lady at a gravesite in Ashland Cemetery is explored in Lori Shafer’s latest book, “Haunted Tri-State.”

“She is on a bench holding a rose to her chest that will change color if you photograph it,” said Shafer, adult services librarian of Briggs Lawrence County Library. “It is not visible from everywhere. When I got my picture, it was kind of disturbing. Had it moved or someone had said something I would have run like crazy.”

Each year the statue is supposed to bend closer to the ground. Legend has it that if the statue reaches the ground, the world will come to an end, Shafer said.

Another disturbing tale concerns the true story of Mary Magdalene Pitts, a Greenup, Kentucky, 3-year-old child who was tortured to death by her father and his common-law wife in 1927. This was the first publicly acknowledged case of child abuse and drew 20,000 to her funeral. Even today, people will leave trinkets on her gravestone.

“She is not at rest,” Shafer said. “There are cries where the house used to be.”

This latest book was a result of a previous one Shafer wrote about ghost stories.

“When I did it, I knew I would probably get more stories,” she said. “The stories are some people have told me. Local legends. Others were reported in newspapers or history books or different resources.”

There are five stories from each county in the region including one about a woman who was buried alive in a Lawrence County country cemetery.

“They thought she had died,” Shafer said. “But they were concerned and disturbed. In her coffin there was evidence that she was alive.”

On Saturday, Nov. 21, Shafer will have a book-signing at the Proctorville branch of the Briggs library from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Shafer plans a second volume for next year.