Tim Krepp dressed as Beau Hickman, a 19th-century con artist buried at Congressional. (Garrett Peck/Garrett Peck)

In the race for D.C. delegate to Congress, independent candidate Tim Krepp doesn’t have a ghost of a chance against longtime incumbent Eleanor Holmes Norton. But Krepp, a local tour guide, is something of an expert on ghosts. He’s the author of “Capitol Hill Haunts” and “Ghosts of Georgetown.” Like any Washington power broker, he knows where the bodies are buried — and he knows where they don’t stay buried.

“History creates ghosts,” he says. “Ghosts, or more pedantically, ghost stories, are part of the imprint the past has left on the present. That’s why I chose Georgetown and Capitol Hill for my books. They have probably the most intact historic fabric of any neighborhoods in Washington.”

Cemeteries might have all the creepy atmosphere, but they aren’t the hot spots for wandering spirits that you might think. “Ghosts tend to lurk where people lived — or died gruesome deaths,” Krepp says. “They don’t tend to follow the body to the grave.”

That’s one reason that the preservation of historic buildings is so important. “Old houses, buildings, whatever, attract ghosts and their stories by virtue of their longevity,” he says. “If you tear down that fabric, there’s nothing for the story to latch onto. No one wants to listen to a story that starts, ‘On this parking lot, once stood the home of . . . ’ ”

Krepp remains agnostic himself. “I’m neither a believer nor a disbeliever,” he says. “But I 100 percent believe in the stories. They’re real, and they have power. Like any good folk history or oral tradition, they can tell us so much not just about their subjects, but about the tellers.”

Then he adds: “My grandfather totally haunts his house up near Buffalo, and no one can tell me otherwise.”

A howling good time

In spooky anticipation of Halloween, the latest issue of One Teen Story contains a werewolf tale by Ted Thompson called “The Beasts of St. Andrew’s” about two ninth-graders at a ritzy boarding school. (One Teen Story, the younger sibling of One Story magazine, sends out a cool new story each month during the school year for readers 14 and up.)

St. Andrew’s is as beautiful as it is intolerant, a place seething with competition and sexual anxiety. “Bruce was always one step away from social suicide,” the narrator says, “and I did what I could to protect him. So you can imagine my concern when he returned from Thanksgiving break to announce that he had something to tell me — namely that he . . . was a werewolf.”

Think of this as “A Separate Peace With Fur.” Or, after Bruce bites off somebody’s finger, “A Separate Piece.”

Thompson confesses he hasn’t read any of the “Twilight” novels, but he admits that lycanthropy makes an irresistibly appropriate metaphor for the teen years: “Both the poor soul entering puberty and the one becoming a wolf tend to have these states thrust upon them by some force they can’t control. There’s no stopping it once it starts and no easy explanation for why it’s happening. It’s as though the body takes over, and we’re along for the ride.”

This Halloween, Thompson and his wife will be getting ready for a transformation of their own — their first child is coming in December. “We’ll be home drinking caffeine-free tea and watching ‘The Shining,’ which is our annual tradition.”

Ron Charles is the editor of Book World.