Halloween brings out a series of ghost tours throughout Virginia from Colonial Williamsburg to Alexandria, Fredericksburg, Portsmouth, and so on. But such tours have only become popular recently. They’re popular, and draw large crowds to Virginia’s many famous sites, but why were such tours frowned upon for so long?
Dr. Alena Pirok joins me to discuss Ghost Stories and their importance to Colonial Williamsburg as well as Virginia. She details how Ghost Stories influenced Colonial Williamsburg’s founding, as well as how Virginian’s have viewed ghosts historically. Her new book reveals just how important those stories were and still are to the Commonwealth. Without them, Virginia’s tourist industry would never be the same. In fact, those frowned upon stories paved the way for the largest history museum in the world’s creation. They might even ensure that such places continue to endure well into the future.
LINKS TO THE PODCAST:
LINKS TO DR. PIROK’S WORK:
- Pirok, Alena. The Spirit of Colonial Williamsburg: Ghosts and Interpreting the Recreated Past (Public History in Historical Perspective) Boston: University of Massachussetts Press, 2022.
- Pirok, Alena R., “The Common Uncanny: Ghostlore and the Creation of Virginia History”. USF Tampa Graduate Theses and Dissertations, 2017.
All photography used on this site is owned and copyrighted by the author unless otherwise noted. The featured image is Dr. Pirok’s new book.
Music used for this episode – Louis Armstrong and the Mills Brothers,”Carry Me Back to Old Virginia” available on iTunes, and Kevin MacLeod “Vanished” found on Soundcloud.