- Gregg Clark -
GHOST COUNTRY - THE LOST HAUNTINGS OF SOUTHERN APPALACHIA
Gregg Clark was born in Sylva, NC (only because Sylva was the closest hospital) and Raised in Franklin, NC. Gregg can trace his lineage ten generations back on his mother’s side to the Swain County Regents. His grandfather’s side goes all the way back to Joseph Welch, one of the founders of Swain County.
Gregg and his wife Pauletta, are both teachers in Franklin - Gregg teaching both 8th grade English and History and Pauletta is a 3rd grade teacher.
Whenever traveling over the years, Gregg and family would often take the ghost tours in various states. "Sometimes they were good, more often they were not" - Gregg. It was six years ago at the locally famed tubing destination, Deep Creek in Bryson City, NC on a family excursion where they rented a rustic little cabin by the creek for the kids to have a bit of summer fun.There the idea of formally developing and sharing his stories first came to them. "We built a campfire that night after walking the downtown Bryson City streets earlier in the evening. Pauletta picked up a newspaper advertising that there was going to be an hour long ghost story telling, sit down event. Pauletta looked at me and said: “You should do something like this in Franklin.”
It was a good idea, but with Franklin being such a small town, the trepidation of garnering enough people that would care about a tour and the local lore was a valid concern. Gregg started digging, going to the local library, researching through the town curator, the museum, and old-fashioned gumshoe 'Q and A' around town. His diligence paid off, collecting numerous stories and historical gems such as: "I discovered the final surrender of the American Civil War happened in Franklin. Lee surrendered at Appomattox as we all learned in grade school; however, the last Confederates to surrender took place on Main Street. (A plaque resides on the location detailing the event) I realized I had enough for a tour now that I could conclude the tour with the final surrender here in town." That tiny seed planted by Pauletta has now fully grown six years later. Gregg and Pauletta own and operate:
Gregg recently released his first book GHOST COUNTRY and the crew here at GraciousRoots love it. Lest you assume Gregg is a 'rookie', his exhaustive research of Appalachian tales has been highlighted on the Travel Channel's WIERD TRAVELS and on various online radio broadcasts throughout the South.
The only people who can tell these stories properly are the natives of the Southern Highlands who have handed them down for generations - and stories have to be good to last that long! Like the Jack Tales, GHOST COUNTRY is a whole book full of stories culled from the region. I thoroughly enjoyed every one expertly told by Gregg Clark jumping off the pages. His style harkens a hint of prose from the late, great John Parris.