SOURCE: Author John Parsons

Author John Parsons

May 17, 2011 15:02 ET

Ghost of Civil War Veteran Guides Great-Great Grandson

Author Recounts How Apparition Guided Him in Writing Civil War Tale

ROCHESTER, NY--(Marketwire - May 17, 2011) - Today, most ghost stories are told on reality TV with fake lighting, bad video and poor sound, and a wink and a nod that it's really all just for entertainment.

But John Parsons lived his ghost story. Sharing an eerie, yet poignant, connection with his great-great grandfather, a Civil War combatant, he chronicled a tale based on real letters written by Civil War soldiers. Parsons, author of "Unselfish: A Civil War Saga" (, said that his great-great grandfather, Joseph Corning, appeared to him repeatedly as he wrote his story.

"I started transcribing my great-great grandfather's letters, about 150 of them, in 1997," Parsons said. "During that time, my wife and I would often hear footsteps going across the computer room floor above our living room when we were sitting in the evening. Our house was built five years after the Civil War, and being that old, it is easy to hear footfalls moving around within it. When I'd go upstairs to check on the noise, no one would be in the room. This went on for about two years as I transcribed the letters."

But Parsons' strongest connection came about a year or two later after a dream he had about his ancestors.

"I dreamt of a vision of my entire ancestry, parents, cousins, uncles, aunts, etc., all previously deceased, standing along a beautiful garden path," he added. "I thought when I awoke that maybe my time had come, and they were beckoning me. Part of the group included my great-great grandfather Joseph dressed in his Civil War uniform and that image stuck in my mind for many months. In April of 2009, 148 years to the month that the Civil War rhetoric heated up, I felt a strong urge to write Joseph's story. During the writing of the book the footsteps repeated and I often felt a strong presence guiding and encouraging me. The motion light would mysteriously turn itself on and off quite often, as well."

Since completing the book, all has been quiet.

About John Parsons

John Parsons is a retired educator and administrator. He holds a Master's degree in educational administration. He taught industrial arts and math and was a school administrator for 31 years. He lives in upstate New York with his wife of 57 years.

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