Haunted Norman author hosts Oct. 22 event 

click to enlarge Jeff Provine. (Provided)
  • Provided
  • Jeff Provine.

The History Press will hold a book signing for author Jeff Provine at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 22 at Full Circle Bookstore, 1900 Northwest Expressway.

Provine celebrates the release of his new book, Haunted Norman, Oklahoma, an unsettling journey through some of Norman’s most paranormal sights. The book is a follow-up to Provine’s Campus Ghosts of Norman, Oklahoma and part of The History Press’ Haunted America book line.

“I like sharing the stories,” Provine said. “I was very surprised and kind of shocked about all the history and different things around. Seeing that shock on other people’s faces is really cool.”

At 33 years old, Provine is an instructor at the University of Oklahoma (OU), teaching the history of comics as well as teaching composition as an adjunct. A graduate of OU, the author and teacher has both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in journalism.

Haunted Norman, Oklahoma reads like a Halloween History Channel special. Each page delves into the unique, abstract and historically bizarre that encapsulates one of Oklahoma’s most distinctive cities.

The book is more than a collection of ghost stories. Provine’s immense attention to detail and his sure-handed weaving of historical fact and interest with local hearsay and stories of paranormal activity make the book a quick read.

The guts of Haunted Norman, Oklahoma start with a history lesson, one that begins in Norman during the land run of 1889. Provine sets the stage for what is now downtown Norman and then jumps headlong into haunting stories of suicidal barbers with strait razors, a lady in white who eternally descends the east stairs at the Sooner Theatre and other stories.

After a dark yet informative tour through downtown, Provine explores haunted houses around Norman, hallowed halls and odd locations throughout the metropolitan city that will make a believer out of any skeptic. The crypt of infamous gangster Murray Humphreys and Crybaby Bridge are just a few of the consecrated stops along Provine’s sinister trip.

The book’s tone relishes in the odd stories Norman has generated throughout its history; however, the historical element is what drives the book. Provine artistically illustrates the estranged stories of locals but also attaches an indulgent history to each haunted location that makes it an easy read. Finishing Haunted Norman, Oklahoma gives readers a satisfaction that only comes from gaining knowledge and understanding of a town steeped in Oklahoma history.

Print headline: Haunting grounds, A new book examines Norman’s ghostly past.

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