Salem Museum Speaker Series—Tales and Trails


Author Joe Tennis combines two favorite October activities—hiking and haunting—into an engaging online presentation for the Salem Museum. On Thursday, October 8 at 7 pm, Tennis will tell stories from two of his most popular books, Virginia Rail Trails and Haunts of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Highlands. His talk, “Tales and Trails,” will be presented on Zoom. Visit the Museum’s website at for the Zoom link. The waiting room will open at 6:45.

Across Virginia, former rail lines have been converted to trails for hikers, bikers, and even horseback riders. These trails pass waterfalls and majestic scenery once viewed only by train engineers or a few lucky passengers. Tennis will talk about his favorite trails and lesser known sights around southwest Virginia. Each trail has a personality and grandeur all its own.

Tennis has also become well known for his popular ghost books, including Haunts of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Highlands. The wispy woman of Roanoke College. A Confederate soldier forever lost at Cumberland Gap. The spectral horse that runs the streets of Abingdon.

These are just a few of the restless spirits of southwestern Virginia whose stories Joe Tennis has recorded. His books are popular with adults and children alike, spanning both sides of the Blue Ridge to explore the ghostly tales of Appalachia and the Crooked Road, the New Castle Murder Hole, the mysteries of Mountain Lake, and the lost graves of Wise County.

Joe Tennis grew up in Virginia Beach, Virginia, where he began writing while in elementary school—first a book on Elvis Presley, then a comical satire of his fellow fifth grade students. He has since written thousands of articles for newspapers and magazines about places from California to Florida, but he has become best known as an expert on the history and folklore of Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina.

Tennis is a Radford University graduate and the author of nearly a dozen books.