Storytelling is not uncommon in the Appalachians. You could ask most Appalachian people and they would be able to share a story passed down one or two generations. There are stories of haints (New word for the younger readers, look it up!), mad dogs and panthers. The back stories had usually come from a personal experience and they leave the listeners with creepy feelings.
There are many professional storytellers that travel all around to share their captivating stories. In "Our State: North Carolina" magazine they have featured many Storytellers that travel around. Some of them include Willa Brigham, Philip Gerard, Woody Durham, and Jeanne Robertson. These professionals have won Emmy's for their abilities in storytelling! I would love sit in on their stories.
Considering it is such a good day for storytelling, I figured it would be a good day to share a couple stories from Foxfire: Number 9.
"Ruth Holcomb: A long time ago, these people sent for this lady who was a midwife. The only way she had of getting to their house was to ride a horse. This panther came up behind her when she was riding to their house. She took off her scarf and throwed it down at him, trying to scare him off. It tore that scarf up and kept on coming. She kept her horse a-running and kept pulling off her clothes piece by piece, trying to stop that panther. When she reached the house where she was going she almost had all her clothes off and the panther was still right behind her."
"Jennie Arrowood: They said there was somebody that used to go across to Shooting Creek-- across that mountain over there-- and play the fiddle and make music for people. They said one time a painter (panther) got after him and he climbed a tree, and the only way he ever got down was to play the fiddle and scare it away. If he quite playing, it'd go to climbing the tree towards him!"
If you get a chance to listen to some stories past down from generations long ago, don't pass up the chance! You might just find yourself experiencing the best entertainment you've encountered in a long time!