Jason Burns grew up in a holler near Riverton,WV.
Throughout his life, he listened to the many types of stories told by his family. His large family and his
Appalachian heritage are strong influences in his life and in his storytelling - with many of his friends and family starring
as characters in the tales he tells. While he performs many types of stories, ghost and monster tales are closest
to his heart.
After completing a BA in journalism from Bridgewater College, he gained dual
Master's degrees in Sociology and Educational Leadership from West Virginia University. He currently lives in Morgantown,
Jason is the driving force behind the West Virginia
Spectral Heritage Project, which is involved in researching, preserving, and performing ghost and monster stories from
around the state of West Virginia. At last count, the project has amassed nearly 500 stories from around West Virginia!
The tales collected reflect the region's cultural diversity - many
can be traced back to the original stories that have been passed down through the generations. There are ghost
stories of all types - banshees, poltergeists, headless horsemen, and others.
The monster stories contain almost every possible type of creature:
giant Thunderbirds, river monsters, space aliens, giant cats, vampires, werewolves, and many others. In addition, many
stories of magic and witchcraft abound in the state.
Ghost and monster tales are not simply a source of entertainment, but
as a way of understanding humanity. Burns seeks to teach as well as entertain, and through his storytelling the audiences
learn about WV culture and history. All the stories, in addition to being recorded for posterity, are thoroughly researched
to add a historical and cultural aspect that enriches the tales.
Some of the more famous ghost & monster stories in his lexicon
are the ghosts of West Virginia University, the ghost of Margaret Blennerhassett, John Henry's ghost, Mothman, John Brown's
ghost, the ghost of Sid Hatfield, and the Snallygaster.
In addition to storytelling, Jason also enjoys ghost hunts,
which he takes with friends throughout the state. His travels and storytelling performance have taken him to every
single county in West Virginia, and he is constantly on the lookout for new stories.