MACON — The Peach State's specters — if one is inclined to believe in such spooks — come in many forms.
In a new book about Georgia's ghosts, there are phantoms for every county — at least 159 of them in all.
Author Jim Miles scoured the state for tales that fill a trio of books about ghosts in north, central and south Georgia.
His entry for Bibb County recalls past accounts of an apparition at the Big House, the famed former haunt of the Allman Brothers Band on Vineville Avenue in Macon.
The ghost there has been written about in other publications over the years, including Macon Magazine and the book "Macon Ghosts."
Miles' recounting of the revenant there mentions how past owners have had the place blessed "apparently to no avail."
There are numerous accounts of some presence in the house that on occasion involve people being shoved on a stairway.
The ghost also supposedly makes a door swing open.
Miles' book "Haunted Central Georgia" tells how a house sitter there "once watched a shadow move rapidly up the stairs" and how a resident has seen the face of "a female ghost hovering over her bed.
"When the resident asked the ghost who it was, the ghost reportedly replied that the place was "my daddy's house."
Miles' entry for Houston County comes from a Telegraph article in the mid-1990s. A woman who lived near Perry said she had seen a "smoky, milky spirit, about 6 feet high. ... It stays in the kitchen with me a lot. It's tapped me on the shoulder, it's given me a light push, it's moved things around in the house."
Miles, a retired high school history teacher who lives in Warner Robins, has written several Civil War books and a notable compendium of oddities titled "Weird Georgia."
"People," Miles said recently, "come up to me and say, 'I've got a story for you, but you won't believe it.' And I'll say, 'Sure I do.'"
He thinks folks will forever be drawn to ghost tales.
"Every human being is intrigued by what lies beyond this life," Miles said, "and if those who have gone before us can come back and interact with us. It's a yearning for something beyond the grave, and it's also something that takes our attention. We like to be distracted by stories that are beyond the simple, ordinary things of life."