Book shines light on ghostly past

INDEPENDENCE -- Do you believe in ghosts?Many residents and business owners in Independence do.The highly popular Ghost Walk, part of the city's annual Hop and Heritage Festival, has given life to many of the stories about haunted happenings in Independence.Last year, Historic Press, a company based in Charleston, S.C., contacted longtime Independence resident Marilyn Morton to see if she would be interested in writing a book about the rich stories that she's been sharing since 2002, when the event that has drawn nationwide attention began.Morton agreed and took a trip to Lincoln City last December. Marilyn Morton "I stayed there for seven days and did nothing but write," she said.Morton admitted that she's always wanted to write a book and it's been at the top of a list of 25 things she'd like to do in her life."Haunted Independence, Oregon" features all of the stories that Morton has collected over the years from the tours she's given during the Ghost Walk.Morton said the Independence Historic Museum's website and the city of Independence's website were helpful when writing the book."I think the book is going to be really great for Independence. It will help promote some of the businesses in town, the festival and the Heritage Museum," said Peggy Smith, the museum's curator."The stories that a community tells and retells really reveals the character of the community," added Morton.The layout of the book follows the direction of a Ghost Walk, although Morton has more information in the 30-chapter book that is set to be released Sept. 21 and will be available to order on on Sept. 17.The book will also be available on E-Book and Morton said the book should be available at stores from Corvallis to Portland. Morton knows the Independence Public Library is planning a book-signing party and books will be available during this year's Ghost Walk."This is for entertainment purposes only," she added about the book."Storytellers have always had a backbone in society, especially in a small town," Morton said about the importance of stories, which is what her introduction focuses on.Morton, 60, admits that writing "Haunted Independence, Oregon" was much more intense than she expected."It was much better from hindsight. The work was done," she said.The book's focus is on the historic side of Independence."All of the stories that I've ever encountered are kind, friendly and a bit mischievous," Morton said. While Morton keeps herself busy as an Independence councilwoman, working at MINET, sitting on various committees and helping with events around the community, she's not sure what she'll do next."Sometimes the things that happen spontaneously are the most fun," she said.


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