Anyway, this was one of several books that really grabbed me hard when I was in grade school; in fact, my copy is from that very same school library. When they moved the grade schools at Horse Cave and neighboring Cave City together, creating Caverna Elementary School in a nice new building back in 1973, they decided not to take every book from the two libraries, leaving those that were beat up or in not-so-great condition. One of the teachers remembered that I was fond of this one and a couple others, and put them aside for me and now I get to share with you!
As you can probably gather from the title, there are 13 stories in this tome; what little info I could get about Spicer tells me that she apparently was a folklorist of some sort and published other collections like this with the "13" theme- 13 Goblins and the like. I've never had the pleasure of reading any of the others. The stories contained therein are "The Phantom Ship", kind of a Flying Dutchman tale from the Netherlands; "The Ghostly Hand of Spital House" (featuring a hand of glory), from England; "The Spider Specter of the Pool", from Japan; "Jack O'Leary's Plow", from Ireland; "The Hopping Lights of Devil's Hill", from the Netherlands, and one of my favorite stories about two ghosts that cause trouble in a small village; "The Weeping Lady of Llyn Glasfryn" a Welsh tale of a tragic young lady and a supernatural flood; "The Coffin That Moved Itself", again from Netherlands (lots of spooks over there, I guess); "Old Nanny's Ghost" (England); "The White Lady of Pumphul", about one of a number of ghostly apparitions- this one a weaving lady- that sometimes lead to treasure, again from Netherlands; "Vania and the Vampire", a corking good and somewhat creepy Vamp story from Russia; "The Black Bearded Brownies of Boneburg" (Netherlands, apparently the nexus of all supernatural activity); "Timothy and the Buggane Ghost", (Isle of Man), about a tailor and a monster in an old church- no idea what "buggane" is; and lastly "The Ghost Goblins' Gold", another Welsh tale about ghostly goblins. And gold.
I was about 6 or 7 when I first started reading this book, and I was already interested in tales of ghosts and monsters- this added fuel to the fire. I remember drawing characters from these stories, and trying to come up with variations on them of my own. Of course, looking at them now as a theoretical adult, I can see that they're written in a simple fashion, but Spicer's language is evocative and they still grab the imagination. As far as I can tell, this collection has been out of print for many years; I saw one or two copies on sale at eBay and places like that. I'm glad that I was able to get a copy- it's nice to refer to from time to time.