Children’s book focuses on Virginia City ghost stories

A map depicting hauntings in Virginia City from author Stacia Deutsch’s new book of ghost tales.

A map depicting hauntings in Virginia City from author Stacia Deutsch’s new book of ghost tales.
Courtesy of Arcadia Publishing

A veteran children’s author has turned her sights onto Virginia City for a new middle-grade book. “The Ghostly Tales of Virginia City” was released by Arcadia Publishing in August, just in time for Halloween.
For young readers not quite old enough for late-teen or adult fiction, the book comes with 16 chapters, each containing a ghost story.
“I love ghost stories,” author Stacia Deutsch said by email. “My husband says he sees ghosts all the time, and he’s the first to say it’s not scary like on TV and the movies. He just sees ghostly figures in passing, and they are doing their own thing. So when it came to writing ghost stories, I wasn’t scared going in.”
Deutsch, who lives in Temecula, Calif., is no stranger to middle-grade fiction. She has written more than 300 children’s books, including “The Jessie Files,” a spin-off of the Boxcar Children mystery series, and movie tie-in novels like “Boss Baby 2” and “Hotel Transylvania.”
A member of her local historical society, Deutsch said she was drawn to Virginia City’s historical – and spooky – reputation.
“Virginia City is declared to be ‘The Most Haunted City in America,’” she said. “That caught my attention. I was excited to hear more, learn more, and write this book.”
Deutsch adapted the book from “Haunted Virginia City” by Janice Oberding, which is published by Arcadia’s adult-market arm. Deutsch said adapting for younger readers is her forte.
“I took the adult novels, brought down the word count, tried to figure out which stories would be most interesting to kids, and then did a lot of my own research to confirm what I wanted to share,” she said. “The source material was really great. The authors of the adult novels worked hard, and I was thrilled to be part of the adaptation for these publications.”
Of all the ghost stories in her new book, Deutsch likes those revolving around the Gold Hill Hotel and Saloon best.
“It seems like every room there is haunted,” she said. “The question is, would you stay at a haunted hotel? Would I? I know I said a minute ago that my husband likes to tell me he sees ghosts and they are kind and fine and generally mind their own business. But I have to admit, that doesn’t mean I am going out looking for them.”
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