Big Read kicks off with speaker, Thriller event

Christy Howell-Hoots - [email protected]
W. Lynwood Montell signs copies of his books during the Big Read kickoff at the Russell Theatre on Wednesday. -

The Big Read kicked off Wednesday with a presentation by author W. Lynwood Montell and the first Thriller dance practice.

The event was held at the Russell Theatre in downtown Maysville and began at 6 p.m. with Montell discussing stories from his books. Montell’s books include Ghosts Across Kentucky, Ghosts of the Cumberland and many more.

Montell said he has written 28 books, one of which is in the sixth printing and is used in colleges and universities all over the United States.

During his talk, Montell told guests about his first experience with a spirit.

“I was 6 years old and sleeping in a bed,” he said. “There was no electricity there and I woke up at midnight. I looked up and I saw a figured walking along the wall. She stopped and looked into the fireplace. I remembered the exact colors of the gown she was wearing. The next day, I asked my mom who was in the room and she said no one was in there, so I told her about the woman in the gown. My mother’s face was white. She told me I didn’t see anything. I said I did and that was when she told me my grandmother wore a gown like the one I described. She had died in that very room when I was only 6 months old. My grandmother had come back to visit me.”

Montell discussed other stories he had encountered over the years that he has recorded in his books.

After his discussion, Michael Jackson’s Thriller was played on the large screen. After the video, Amanda Hankinson, media director with the Kentucky Gateway Museum Center, taught those who were present how to complete the first part of the dance.

“Tonight I’m just showing you the first part of it,” she said. “Each week, there will be a part one, part two and the whole dance. You can come as many times as you want. On the night of the walk, you’re all encouraged to dress up as your favorite zombie.”

The Zombie Walk will take place on Oct. 27, beginning at the corner of Market Street and going along West Second Street, ending at the museum center, where participants are invited to a Rave at the Grave in the cemetery behind the museum.

Part one practices will be Oct. 10, 15 and 22, part two will be Oct. 11, 16 and 24, while the whole dance practice will be Oct. 14, 21 and 26. All classes will be at the Mason County Intermediate School at 7 p.m. with the exception of Oct. 24, which will be held at the museum center.

The Wednesday event was a part of the October Big Read. The book for this year’s Big Read is Pretty Monsters by Kelly Link.

Other events for the Big Read will include Bigfoot Findings by Charles Raymond on Oct. 6 at the Mason County Public Library at 3 p.m.; The Spiderwick Chronicles movie at the Russell Theatre at 5 p.m. on Oct. 6 and Night of the Living Dead at 9 p.m. The Streets of Maysville Ghost Tour will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 6 and the Mourning Tea will be held on Oct. 9 at 6:30 p.m. at the museum center.

On Oct. 15, there will be an escape room challenge at the Fleming County Public Library. On Oct. 17, there will be an evening with Patti Starr, a ghost hunter, at 6 p.m. at MCPL and campfire storytelling will take place on Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. at the MCPL amphitheater.

On Oct. 20, A Night at the Museum begins at 5 p.m. at KYGMC; on Oct. 23, the October seminar with Robert Palmer will be held at KYGMC at 7 p.m. The topic will be planning your own funeral. On Oct. 24, Sean and Katie McHugh will hold a book signing at KYGMC from 5-7 p.m. There will be a book party at FCPL at 5 p.m. on Oct. 25 and on Oct. 27, The Russell Theatre will show The Wizard of Oz, followed by the Zombie Walk at 8 p.m. and the Rave at the Grave.

W. Lynwood Montell signs copies of his books during the Big Read kickoff at the Russell Theatre on Wednesday. Lynwood Montell signs copies of his books during the Big Read kickoff at the Russell Theatre on Wednesday.

Christy Howell-Hoots

[email protected]