There’s a reason Tracy Adkins is holding back the release of her latest book in Athena’s graduation the hotel. The property, which houses the infamous Hoyt House, is considered by the local author to be one of the most haunted places in Athens.
Available Thursday at retailers like Avid Bookshop and Amazon, “Ghosts of Athens and Beyond: History and Haunting of North Georgia” is Adkins’ follow-up to her 2016 debut, “Ghosts of Athens.” The launch ceremony is scheduled for the graduates on October 6.
The event will include a meeting and greeting with Adkins and a reading from the new book, and guests will have the opportunity to purchase tickets for a “ghost tour” of Athens by local expert Jeff Clark which will take place after the reading.
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“The chapter I’m going to read from (Ghosts of Athena and Beyond) deals specifically with the Graduate Hotel, which is one of the reasons I launched the book there,” Adkins told the Banner-Herald. “There are a lot of stories about where to stay.”
One such story is an account of the frightening events in Hoyt House, a building built in 1829 that moved from Oglethorpe County to the estate in 1974 when the old brick foundry at 295 East Dougherty St. The complex that has been remodeled and renamed over time.
Adkins said the ghost of “Mr. Hoyt” Reverend Nathan Hoyt, who named the house after him, “loves to turn people’s hair dryers on and off again.”
“The Ghosts of Athena and Beyond” is divided into seven sections. The first is dedicated to inhabited sites in the County of Athens Clark. The second updated information on several stories from Adkins’ first book. The rest focuses on tales from Oconee, Oglethorpe, Wilkes, and White counties with a final section focusing on places in northern Georgia.
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Some of the new stories include Ashford Manor, REM steeple, Oconee County Welcome Center, and Berry College.
Adkins said the new book was the result of the success of the first “Ghosts of Athena” group, which she wasn’t expecting to get so much interest in.
“I didn’t even make an ‘About the Author’ page because I thought my mom and I would read it, and that was about it,” Adkins said. “After it was published, people started coming forward to me with their own experiences, and people who had not spoken to me when I was writing it, changed their minds.”
At 475 pages and left out from a whopping 60 interviews, “The Ghosts of Athena and Beyond” is twice the size of its predecessor. Adkins said she was able to tell the most legitimate stories of the stalking by how reluctant the people involved were to talk about what they saw, usually out of concern that they would be seen as “crazy.”
When asked if she ever experienced crawling while writing her books, Adkins said the excitement of compiling stories and making interview transcripts allowed some sort of separation from the topic. However, Adkins admitted that she gets wills if she sits around thinking about the unexplained.
“People are witnessing these things that are completely against the laws of physics as we understand them,” Adkins said. “Ninety-nine percent of this stalking can be explained in perfectly rational ways, but sometimes they can’t. It’s troubling and frightening.”
For complete information about the book launch of “The Ghosts of Athena and Beyond” and all related events, visit facebook.com/ghostsofathens/events.