Trucker Ghost Stories: Eerie tales by travelers

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fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsTrucker Ghost Stories, And Other True Tales of Haunted Highways, Weird Encounters, and Legends of the Road edited by Annie WilderTrucker Ghost Stories, And Other True Tales of Haunted Highways, Weird Encounters, and Legends of the Road edited by Annie Wilder

I’ve always been a fan of ghost stories, both the literary kind, as written by M.R. James and Russell Kirk, to name a couple, and those related by a friend or acquaintance over a campfire or a cup of coffee on a late night. Annie Wilder has compiled a collection of the latter in her latest book Trucker Ghost Stories, And Other True Tales of Haunted Highways, Weird Encounters, and Legends of the Road.

These are “ghost stories” as related by average everyday folks, not (in most cases) professional writers. In what I suspect is an effort to present these encounters in the authentic voice of their relators as much as possible, Wilder has kept editing to a minimum. This makes for uneven stories, but that is actually part of the charm for me when reading this collection. It truly has the feel of a group of folks sitting around a campfire out in the dark woods, listening to various people relate their stories. Some are, of course better storytellers than others.

As the complete title of the book implies, these are more than “just ghost stories” involving truck drivers — the book is a compilation of eerie happenings that travelers have experienced while traveling the roads. In some cases the storytellers are relating a personal experience, and in others they’re relating something someone else passed on to them.

Trucker Ghost Stories is divided into four sections: “1) Just Plain Weird, 2) Messages and Assistance from the Spirit World, 3) Haunted Highways, Legends and Lore of the Road, 4) Time Slips.” My favorite sections were the last two. I learned a few things while reading these two sections. For instance, before reading about it in “Old Highway 666 in New Mexico,” I never realized that from the 1920’s until 2003, when it was renamed, there was actually a U.S. Highway 666 running through several western states. One of the book’s more poignant stories is by contributor Terry L. Aldershof in the “Time Slips” section. Aldershof tells of an encounter in a late night diner with a young marine whose name is later discovered on the Vietnam Memorial Wall. Aldershof also contributed a story in the first section of the book as well as the Foreword.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsAnnie Wilder’s previous book is House of Spirits and Whispers, about her experiences living in a haunted house and working with paranormal investigators. At the end of Trucker Ghost Stories, there’s a call to readers to share their own “haunted road stories” with her “Trucker Ghost Story Project” so for those interested there is the possibility of seeing their own story in print at some future date.

In summation, Trucker Ghost Stories, And Other True Tales of Haunted Highways, Weird Encounters, and Legends of the Road is different from the usual speculative fiction we review, and it may not be all our readers’ “cup of tea” so to speak, but I think it delivers what it advertises — a collection of ghost stories and other eerie happenings told by travelers stories along the roads. I read it in what is traditionally the “ghost story season” of the fall, but I think it’d work well any time of year for devotees of eerie stories or weird tales. As with any oral history (which this book is, in a sense), the reader is the one who can choose to believe these stories or to be a skeptic. Regardless of your persuasion, I recommend taking a look at Trucker Ghost Stories.


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Guest reviewer STEVEN HARBIN is an educator who is currently a counselor at an alternative school. He was formerly a world history and literature teacher. He lives with several cats and dogs, two children, a loyal saint of a spouse, and a large number of books scattered all about his house. He discovered science fiction and fantasy in the 1960′s when his school librarian suggested he read the works of Robert Heinlein, Andre Norton, and J.R.R. Tolkien.

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  1. Steven chats with Annie Wilder | Fantasy Literature: Fantasy and Science Fiction Book and Audiobook Reviews - [...] book, Spirits Out of Time, recounted her own extended family’s experiences with the supernatural. I enjoyed her latest book, Trucker…
  2. Steven chats with Annie Wilder | Fantasy Literature: Fantasy and Science Fiction Book and Audiobook Reviews - […] book, Spirits Out of Time, recounted her own extended family’s experiences with the supernatural. I enjoyed her latest book, Trucker…

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