: Kathryn Tucker Windham

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A Southern treasure

Author Kathryn Tucker Windham speaks about ghosts, life and treasures

By Elizabeth Yarbrough

On Royal Street in Selma, Ala., lives a woman who will definitely go down in the Southerner's Hall of Fame. Kathryn Tucker Windam is a noted author, storyteller and photographer who adds a Southern touch to every piece of her work.

The series of Katheryn Windam's books that intrique both Southerners and other Americans are her ghost stories. Windam has written numerous books describing various ghost stories around the South and even has a ghost-in-residence at her Selma, Ala., home. Jeffery, the friendly ghost who first set-up shop in the Windham home in October 1966, is still a regular visitor, according to Windham.

"Nobody has ever been afraid of Jeffery," Mrs. Windham says. "He is very convenient to have - we blame everything that goes awry on him. His only purpose for existing (it that word is proper) is to prod me into collecting and preserving 'true' ghost stories from throughout the South.

"Jeffery likes all of the attention from his books," she says. "He gets real active when I devote my time to other things. He thinks I should only be dealing with ghost stories."

The South has always been a place of excitement, questions and mystery to those who have not been "born-and-raised" in the South. Windham is frequently sought out by journalists and others looking for an explanation on the ways of the South.

"Northerners just don't understand how we take things as lightly as we do. How we can still laugh. All good Southerners have a sense of humor," she said.

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