The Weird Old South is an anthology of southern short stories edited by Tim Westover. The twenty-four narratives contained within are tales of monsters and haints, ghosts and witches, and the just plain unexplainable. It is a collection of short-stories, though, which almost by definition means that there will be varying degrees of “good.” And which stories are considered good will change from person to person, but that’s what’s great about this type of collection—you’re bound to find at least a couple of stories that you enjoy.
My two favorites are “Ghost Dog of Georgia” by Camille Alexa and “Murdock” by Chris Dezarn, and I enjoyed them for very different reasons. Alexa’s story is about a ghost dog that saves people with each story revolving around fire and smoke. Dezarn’s story is a bit creepier and has a deeper meaning about greed and sacrifice.
In my mind, there was only one story that didn’t quite fit in with the others and that was the last, “Florida Natural.” It’s a story of violence and mayhem that’s all based off a goofy orange juice commercial from 2006. The source material is too obscure and the story that it inspires is just a bit too “out there” for me, but hey, that’s just me. It might be someone else’s favorite.
If you’re into ghost stories or southern lit, I suggest picking this title up. It is a great addition to any library and good for a quick read or to just pick up when the mood for something odd or spooky strikes. This book would be a perfect book to leave for guests in the many rental cabins that dot the Southern Appalachian area.