The Moonlit Road - Ghost stories

The Moonlit Road


Reviewed By Christi Clancy

Ghost and strange southern folktales make up the basis for The Moonlit Road. This site is part of The Storytelling Ring. The Storytelling Ring is a group of sites dedicated to the art of storytelling. The credits for the actual site were not available when I reviewed the site, but all credits for each individual story were. These include the author and storyteller as well as other persons such as the image manipulator and graphic designer. All material is copywritten, but can be printed for personal use. Legal assistance was provided in setting up the website, so I assume they take copyright seriously.

There seems to be no fee for using the site. Membership is offered, but the link is under repair and construction. I do not see the immediate need or use for membership; it is not required to see or hear any of the stories.

The Moonlit Road updates its stories on a monthly basis, with the latest stories for February 2002. It archives all the past stories, but only in text format. The Moonlit Road offers the warning to read on a regular basis as to not miss out on the audio versions of the stories.

In addition to the stories, there are links to discussions on the stories. To help you better understand the stories, historical background is also offered for the tales. This historical and cultural background does include pictures to help visualize what is being read. Pictures also accompany the stories.

The Moonlit Road offers a wealth of stories that seem to span different age groups, with nothing being too scary for younger children.

Overall, this is an excellent site despite some things lacking. The historical background that helps readers or listeners understand the story helps you to overlook these deficiencies

 


Reviewed by Jimmy D. Fancher

This website is a great resource for ghost stories. In addition to reading the textual version of each story, an audio is also available. The audio recordings are first rate since professional storytellers tell them. For each story, the cultural background and story credits are offered. Users of the website can also chat about each story. A bookshop with related books is on the website, too. Each month several stories are featured, but to access past stories, the user must register with the website, which is free.

The writers themselves perform many of the audio versions, so the text is straight from the storyteller's mouth. Since this appears to be a professional website, I assume that the information is accurate. The website is produced by Craig Dominey. The graphic designer/multimedia developer is Vince Allen. Henry Howard for Audiocraft is the sound designer and Rob Hassett provides legal services.

All of the stories on this website are ghost stories and folktales from the American South. The goal of the website is to present mysterious Southern tales and it achieves this goal very well. The only advertising on the website is a mention of Amazon in the bookshop.

The website has been updated for November 2001, so it is current. The links that I checked out all worked. The only problem that I saw was on the membership link. There is a message about the database being upgraded, which has the membership system temporarily closed-I'm not sure how long this has been going on or when it will be ready. The links for additional information about the background of each story are helpful. One could easily spend several hours listening to stories and then researching the background of each story.

I highly recommend this website. To begin with, the appearance of the website is very appealing. The lanterns in the darkness really set the mood right off. The stories are not only fun to listen to, but there are some great photographs that really extend the mood of the stories. This is a wonderful resource for anyone interesting in finding ghost stories to add to their repertoire, too. Above all, this is just an enjoyable website for anyone that enjoys scary tales from the South.


The Moonlit Road

Reviewed By: Rachel Hinds

REVIEW

The Moon Lit Road is a delightfully spooky site dedicated to telling "ghost stories [that] haunt the moonlit backroads of the American South." This commercial site is maintained by a group of volunteer storytellers, writers, musicians, graphic artists, and engineers who enjoy the tales from the oral tradition of the south. The web site has received a many reviews and awards from such organizations as A & E Mysteries.com as the site of the day, USA Today "Hot Site", and the BBC Education Site of the Week, among many others. The visuals on the web site do a great deal to add to the overall spooky effect of the stories told. Graphics include opening gates of a cemetery inviting one to take a walk along the moonlit road. Other graphics show an old cabin in the woods and a rocking chair. Although the site is generally suitable for all ages, upper elementary children through adult will probably enjoy it the most as some stories may be a bit too spooky for small children. Each month the site offers a new group of featured stories told by professional storytellers; the web visitor may choose to listen to the story, delivered via Real Player, or read the text. Stories are professionally presented with musical introductions and there are links for credits and information on the origin of each tale, with additional links of interest. The Moon Lit Road also offers a forum for site visitors to share their own stories as well as discuss the featured stories. Signing up to be a member - at no charge - also gives the user the opportunity for unlimited access to web site archives of featured stories. As a member of The Storytelling Ring, The Moon Lit Road also provides links to other web sites dedicated to storytelling. This site is a MUST for lovers of ghost stories.


The Moonlit Road

Reviewed By: Jamie Jennings

REVIEW

The Moonlit Road (http://www.themoonlitroad.com/welcome001.asp) is a website created by a volunteer staff of “writers, storytellers, musicians, and graphic artists” who like to share stories. These are ghost stories and folklore from the South. The Moonlit Road is based out of Atlanta. It is updated monthly with new feature stories every month. Each feature story is available either in text form or streaming audio told by a Southern storyteller. At the end of each story, a link is provided to explain the origin of each story. There is also a link to post messages about the story. Some stories are adaptations from oral traditions, passed on from one Southerner to the next. Others are published works that are provided with the permission from the author.

The Moonlit Road site can be accessed by anyone. The stories are available for audiences for free. There is a copyright stipulation that says that people can use these stories for personal, non-commercial purposes. Past stories are archived, but one must join The Moonlit Road (for free) in order to gain access to past stories as well as a monthly newsletter. If one has any questions regarding the stories or just to contact The Moonlit Road, one can click on the Q&A icon or the Write to Us icon.

The Moonlit Road has only one, inconspicuous sponsor, Amazon.com. This is not evident unless you access the bookshop link, which discusses where a visitor might find a similar book at Amazon.com. The Moonlit Road is also a member of a large storytelling ring of 141 members. The icon for this link is broken, but one can reach the other sites by clicking on “list sites” underneath the icon. There, one can explore other storyteller’s sites.

The stories on The Moonlit Road are outstanding both in the text version as well as the audio version. The information given about the origin of the story is very thorough. In fact, some unfamiliar terms in the origin might be highlighted so that the visitor can click on it and he/she is linked to the definition/explanation of the unfamiliar term. The graphics are dark to set the “spookiness” of the site, yet the links are located on the left side so it allows for easy navigation. If one is looking for a good Southern folktale or ghost story, this is the site to visit.


Reviewed By: Julie Harper


Reviewed By: Denise Dalrymple

This URL opens to a page with a creepy, lantern lit gate that opens and closes. There is a welcoming introduction and a tester for computer monitor brightness. The Moonlit Road is a member of The Storytelling Ring, which is a group of sites dedicated to storytelling. There is a listing of its legal assistance, producers and directors, sound designers, and graphic designers with email links to each. The stories sent in are already professionally recorded. The site does not do its own recordings. There is a page devoted to the listing of this site’s many awards. Many of these stories from or about the Moonlit Road have been broadcast on various radio and television stations. There are multiple reviews of this site listed, including reviews by CNN and Education World. This site features monthly stories (last updated March 2003) and maintains and archive of past stories. Featured stories are in text and streaming audio versions, whereas archives appear to be in text only. Featured stories may be heard by anyone, but only members may access archives – membership is free. Email addresses given for membership are used to send 1-2 newsletters per month, and addresses are not given or sold to outside parties. Each story has a background of the culture where the story came from (if known), a complete listing of credits, and a forum to talk about the story. This site also has a bookshop linked to Amazon.com. In addition, there is a “frequently asked questions” link that explains what types of tapes they will accept and also gives a link for your stories that may not be professionally recorded. “Cool links” gives other ghost story sites, southern culture sites, and storytelling sites. This is a great site if you want to sit back, turn off the lights, and enjoy some great stories!


Reviewed By: Tiffany Hough


Reviewed By: Kathleen Basoco

AUTHORITY AND ACCESS: The producer of this website is Craig Dominey. The remainder of those involved in the development of the site (authors, graphic artists, and engineers) are volunteers. The main contacts – sound, graphics, hosting, etc. – are provided on the “credits” link. The site, its logo and name (‘Moonlit Road’) are trademarked and has been up and running since 1997. Email addresses are provided for contacting Mr. Dominey in order to obtain permission to use the materials on the site in any way that would be considered commercial or for questions concerning the technology or other user problems. The awards they list as sources to provide substantiation for their credibility did, in fact, prove reliable and authentic when a sampling of the sites – known to be credible – were used to search for these awards and reviews using the known site for searching. The ‘Moonlit Road’ provides direct links to many of the sites it lists as sources for credibility. Requiring no special technology to access, the stories can be saved and printed using your computers word processor. Visitors can “hear” the stories using RealPlayer technology (a link is provided if the user needs to download the free version of this software). ACCURACY: The site provides ghost stories and tales (in writing and in audio) from the American South – i.e., Alabama, South Carolina, etc. Proper grammar and spelling are used when colloquialisms are not needed for story purposes. The site provides a link called “bookshop” which provides a listing of books broken out by categories (Art & Photography, Folk Culture, Ghost Stories & Odd Tales, Interesting Places, Music and True Stories) that you can purchase using a provided link to Amazon.com. There are also links to other sources the user might find interesting (i.e., Ghost Village - http://www.ghostvillage.com/ and Haunted Places Directory - http://www.haunted-places.com/ as well as many others) as sources of additional stories and information on the paranormal. CURRENCY: The site was first created in 1997 and is updated at least monthly to provide new feature stories. Some of the links were not accessible, but the majority (over 80%) of those checked in a sampling were viable. Anyone can access the stories featured for the month. An archive is provided to member (free membership) for selection stories CONTENT AND COVERAGE: This site contains many original stories and stories based upon traditional tales passed down in the American South. It is provided for the enjoyment and personal (noncommercial use) of its visitors. The information is provided in both print and audio form and is designed to meet the needs of a wide audience – though the site does indicate “older children and adults” as it’s target audience on its “FAQ” page. The site indicates that most of its stories are adaptations of traditional folktales that have been shared via oral tradition and occasionally stories that have been produced in anther venue after obtaining permission from the author/publisher/etc. It does contain original stories as well from the storytellers associated with the site. These works are all copyrighted, though able to be used by the site visitor (per the user agreement) for noncommercial applications. The information contained on the site appears (based upon a search of the other sites linked) to be unique and only duplicated in print. Message boards and chat rooms are set up for the end user to submit their own stories and links for troubleshooting. OBJECTIVITY: The producers of this site indicate that it is being provided because the producers of the site like doing it! Their objective is to “entertain, enlighten and pass down” these stories ( http://www.themoonlitroad.com/copyright.asp ). There is very little advertising on – or associated – with the page. The only visible associations are the links provided to Amazon.com to purchase books listed on the site and a pop-up link to provide funding to the site itself in order to assist with it’s continuance (though this is not required by any visitor). As the site is the brainchild of a small group of storytelling enthusiasts and is not sponsored by any outside organization (governmental, commercial or otherwise) it is not intended to alter the beliefs of the user in any way – except to enjoy the stories! DESIGN AND APPEARANCE: The sites design is well suited to its’ subject. It uses a dark (black) background with intermittent black and white (sepia-esque) photos to enhance the stories and site – perfectly suited to create the ghostly atmosphere desired in which to enjoy the stories provided. It is easy to navigate using either the menu bar on the left side of the site or the menu listing on the bottom of each page. OVERALL THOUGHTS ON THE SITE: I found this site very credible and enjoyable. The stories were very similar to the ghost stories I heard as a child in Alabama and Texas. Many of the stories featured varying dialects in their telling to enhance the listeners experience. Story archives - though avaiilable only in text form - went all the way back to the beginning of the site and were as entertaining as those currently featured. This site is definitely useful for a storyteller interested in finding examples of ghost stories from the Southern states. I've bookmarked it myself!

Reviewed By: Rebecca Bendel

Storytelling has become a very popular event as evidenced by the upcroppings of storytelling groups lie the Squatty Pines Storytellers, the Austin Storytellers, Denton County Storytellers, the Rio Grande Storytellers Guild, the Bluebonnet Scops Storytelling Guild and this is just a few in Texas! There are storytellers in every nook and cranny of the world. During the month of October, storytelling becomes more prevalent in many circle due to the Halloween holiday.. Many campers and spend the night parties are spent with a flashlight and a sheet telling stories of ghost, goblins and other eerie happenings. This is a storytelling chapter I remember vividly from my own childhood. The Moonlit road website, produced and directed by Craig Dominey, provides a constant flow of ghost stories and folktales from the American South. It contains monthly stories in both text and audio. A new story is highlighted every month with link to each story so you can read the text, hear a storyteller, talk about the story and find out where it came from. The imagery on the website is eerie and ghostly. The even have a spooky and creaky storyteller's cabing with a rocking chair on the front porch! The stories are timely for the season but they provide a good taste of the scary year-round. On the October 2003 website, there were four feature stories listed. Eerie tales like Green Eyes, happenings at a haunted battle field or The Stranger in the Church, about a mysterious church in the woods. I you want to review any of the archived stories you must have a membership in the Moonlit Road offered free of charge. There is also a bookstore, which offers a variety of books and music related to spooky and eerie things. They list awards and reviews that have been done on the site and a great list of links about ghost and paranormal experiences. Some of the links I really enjoyed were: www.acs.ucalgaty.ca/~dkbrown/index/html, www.ghostchatter.com/ and www.prairieghost.com/. Go in for a good scare!:*


Reviewed By: Maria Ortiz

The Moonlit Road offers many stories that can be read or listened to through streaming files. This site is commercially owned. It lists the producer and director in the credits page. They mention that the Moonlit Road is a member of The Storytelling Ring, a group of web sites dedicated to the art of storytelling. They provide a link for writing to the producer and other members of the website. They do not include any of their educational background in storytelling but claim to be knowledgeable in the field and also state that the storytellers for the stories are the best in the area. They also provide a link to the awards and reviews that this website has received.

The last time this website was updated was in October of 2003 which is very current. It is updated frequently with new stories posted. It also offers links to the archived stories but one must become a member. Membership is free.

This website provides a way to communicate to the producer/creator by means of email. They also provide email addresses for all other contributing members. They provide this by means of a credits page. They also provide a write us page and openly ask for feedback.

When the visitor to this website wants to listen to a story the credits for the story are listed there for each individual story. Not only is the writer/creator of the story listed but the storyteller’s name is given as well as the other contributing members that make the story come alive.

The author gives a historical background to where some of the stories first originated. This is offered in a form of a link to the cultural background. When available, books of reference are given as well as additional links that offer information regarding the folktale.

This website offers storytellers a chance to print and use the stories in paper form as long as it is for educational and nonprofit use. There are many books that tell the stories being told on this website and the creator points them out in the links provided.

Along with the various awards/reviews links and the credits, use of website regulations and other helpful links, this site offers a bookshop link that offers many of the stories or related stories in book format available through them or other reputable bookstores.


Reviewed By: Julia Iturrino

Authority: Produced and maintained by Craig Dominez. His e-mail is available to send comments or suggestions. He also has a lawyer listed that gives him legal advice on site content. This site has won several website awards.

Scope: This site deals primarily with supernatural events and ghost stories that have supposedly occurred in the Southern United States.

Format and Presentation: This is a well organized webpage. This site gives you the option of either reading or listening to the ghost stories. A brief history on the origins of the story is available. Credit is given to the storyteller, audio controller, and photographer. There is an archive of past stories available. Sign-up is required, but it costs nothing to sign-up. A section for FAQ's is available. The pictures are appropriate for this site. They are dark, somber and somewhat eerie.

The site is available at all times.