Death Lore: Texas Rituals, Superstitions, and Legends of the Hereafter

Overview

Death provides us with some of our very best folklore. Some fear it, some embrace it, and most have pretty firm ideas about what happens when we die. Although some people may not want to discuss dying, it happens to all of us—and there's no way to get around it.

This publication of the Texas Folklore Society examines the lore of death and whatever happens afterward. The first chapter examines places where people are buried, either permanently or temporarily. Chapter two features...

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Overview

Death provides us with some of our very best folklore. Some fear it, some embrace it, and most have pretty firm ideas about what happens when we die. Although some people may not want to discuss dying, it happens to all of us—and there's no way to get around it.

This publication of the Texas Folklore Society examines the lore of death and whatever happens afterward. The first chapter examines places where people are buried, either permanently or temporarily. Chapter two features articles about how people die and the rituals associated with funerals and burials. The third chapter explores some of the stranger stories about what happens after we're gone, and the last chapter offers some philosophical musings about death in general, as well as our connection to those who have gone before.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The variety of articles ensures that readers will find both anecdotal and analytical aspects of death tradition to further explore. Untiedt's organizing principle of death as a uniquely fascinating meeting point between the taboo and the familiar seems crucially important to the continued study of death lore."--Journal of American Folklore

"The selections offer jumping off points for further contemplation and discussion, which makes this text useful for engaging students in thinking about death and folklore, and the variety of topics ensures that no one topic feels overwrought. . . . Overall, the contributions are engagingly written, many with warmth and humor that make them highly accessible to a variety of readers."--Western Folklore

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Kenneth L. Untiedt is the Secretary-Editor of the Texas Folklore Society and teaches English at Stephen F. Austin State University. He earned bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees from Texas Tech University. He and his wife Tierney have four children and live in Nacogdoches, Texas.

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Table of Contents

Preface Kenneth L. Untiedt Untiedt, Kenneth L.

I Introduction

The Lore of Dead Kenneth L. Untiedt Untiedt, Kenneth L. 1

II "Final" Resting Places

Life and Death in Old Bexar David LaRo LaRo, David 15

The Past at Rest: Two Historic Austin Cemeteries L. Patrick Hughes Hughes, L. Patrick 31

Eden Cemetery Margaret A. Cox Cox, Margaret A. 41

Buried in Texas: Any and Every Which Way Henry Wolff, Jr. Wolff, Henry, Jr. 45

There's Something About Old Country Graveyards Jim H. Ainsworth Ainsworth, Jim H. 59

Who Is Digging on My Grave? The Corps of Engineers? Charles B. Martin Martin, Charles B. 65

III Getting There: Rituals, Ceremonies, and the Process of Dying

Most People in Texas Don 't Die Mildred Boren Sentell Sentell, Mildred Boren 79

Oakhill Cemetery Sue M. Friday Friday, Sue M. 89

A Most Unusual Upbringing A. C. Sanders Sanders, A. C. 95

Funereal Humor Kenneth W. Davis Davis, Kenneth W. 107

A Family Secret Herbert H. Sanders Sanders, Herbert H. 113

Death Behind the Walls: Rituals, Folktales, and True Stories Ruth Massingill Massingill, Ruth 119

Origins and Celebrations of El Dia de los Muertos J. Rhett Rushing Rushing, J. Rhett 147

From the Gallows: A Confession and Apology Jerry B. Lincecum Lincecum, Jerry B. 153

IV Superstitions, Strange Stories, and Voices from the "Other Side"

The Spirit That Walked Toward Hornsby's Bend" Charlie Oden Oden, Charlie 161

A Grave Mistake Jennifer O. Curtis Curtis, Jennifer O. 169

Larger Than Life, Even in Death Robert J. (Jack) Duncan Duncan, Robert J. (Jack) 173

Messages from the Spiritual World Mary Margaret Dougherty Campbell Campbell, Mary Margaret Dougherty 183

Chipita Rodriguez:The Only Woman Hanged in Texas During the Civil War Carolyn Arrington Arrington, Carolyn 199

Oscar - The Friendly Ghost Edward R. Raasch Raasch, Edward R. 205

V Thoughts, Musings, and Pure Speculation

Graveyard Meanderin'; Or, Things of Life Learned Among the Dead Leslie LaRo LaRo, Leslie 211

The Walking Dead: The Role of the Corpse in Western Myths David H. Zimmermann Zimmermann, David H. 217

The Yellow Flower of Death Hortense Warner Ward Ward, Hortense Warner 225

Grandmother's Uncle Brenda Black White White, Brenda Black 237

A Gift of Time Karen Clark Ristine Ristine, Karen Clark 239

Super Reality Faye Leeper Leeper, Faye 247

Contributors' Vitas 255

Index 265

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