Ghostlore Review  

Haunting Sunshine: Ghostly Tales from Florida’s Shadows
By Jack Powell
Pineapple Press, 2001
ISBN:  1-56164-220-7

 

Some of the most fun books come from someone’s passion for a subject.  That is what one discovers in Haunting Sunshine: Ghostly Tales from Florida’s Shadows.  After a career as a military pediatrician and pediatric cardiologist, Jack Powell retired to a smaller practice in a rural Florida locale, where he began collecting folklore. 

A tour of Florida’s celebrated haunts as well as those unfamiliar is offered.  Theaters appear to be full of ghosts.  The Tampa Theatre is famous for ghost of projectionist Foster “Fink” Finley, who continues to play pranks on the living.  There is the tender tale at the Daytona Playhouse where lovers were separated by death, and today haunt the playhouse unaware that the spirit of the other is nearby. 

A trip to Florida isn’t complete without a visit to Spook Hill in Lake Wales.  According to legend, the site is haunted by Seminole Chief Cufcomellax and a large gator that fought to the death at the spot.  Since pioneer days, vehicles roll uphill.  Try it.  Next time at Spook Hill put your car in neutral on the white line and wait for the ghostly ride.

The collection includes famous historical haunts such as St. Augustine’s Huguenot Cemetery, Castillo de San Marcos, the Skyway Bridge hitchhiker, and the Biltmore Hotel.  There are also the tales of antebellum mansions and Confederate spirits.

Haunting Sunshine is a collection of ghostlore that is presented with research and humor.  Even those who Powell interviewed about their hauntings appear to use humor as a means of facing the unknown.

Joyce Dixon
Southern Scribe Reviews

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