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The President's Vampire

3.21 of 5 stars 3.21  ·  rating details  ·  72 ratings  ·  13 reviews
THE PRESIDENT'S VAMPIRE is proof positive that an inordinate number of very strange things happen from sea to shining sea in the place known as the United States of America. It contains scrupulously documented accounts of ghosts, monsters, murderers, and hoaxes so improbable they will fascinate believers, skeptics, and anyone interested in the more obscure corners of Ameri ...more
Paperback, 232 pages
Published November 1st 2005 by Anomalist Books
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Like others who have reviewed this book, I was intrigued by the title story, only to be disappointed -- featuring it as a "strange but true" mystery is misleading, as the "vampire" in the tale was simply a murderer. Anything unusual or supernatural in this story was apparently trumped up by reporters at the time. While it is interesting and odd that this man would receive a commuted sentence from President Andrew Johnson, there is nothing to suggest anything paranormal.

As a whole, this book is d
Dec 17, 2007 Michael rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of C2C AM
Shelves: 2007_read
I am not quite sure what to make of this book. At times it seems like a light-hearted collection of oddities yet at others times seemed as if it attempted to be a research paper. In addition, it seemed to point at proof of the weird in the world and at other times a book on debunking. It was all of these things, yet none at all. There were a few interesting parts like the phantom of Baltimore and Pedro, but the story of "The President's Vampire" was weak at best, and the Bye-bye Man story seemed ...more
S. Wilson
In the past, I have often found that many books and anthologies on unexplained phenomena and bizarre events are either sensationalized accounts with vague descriptions and no concrete details, or dry and inspirational regurgitation of other source materials with more footnotes than original material. So it was with great pleasure that I discovered Robert Damon Schneck's book The President's Vampire.

Schneck's approach is far from exploitational. His attention to detail and devotion to searching o
A moderately interesting handful of odd and mysterious stories collected from three hundred so years of American history. Ranging from purely mysterious (the chapter on "The Lost Boys," five teenagers who disappeared without a trace from Newark, NJ in 1978) to the purely paranormal, (the creepy story of "The Bridge to Body Island," in which a group of friends in Wisconsin experiment with divination only to attract the awareness of the sinister "Bye-Bye Man"). Robert Schneck, the editor, approach ...more
Mindy Houston
This was actually a difficult read. I appreciate what the author was trying to do, but each section was it's own beast, without a joining theme other than 'strange-but-true'. Or implausible. However, good idea fodder for other authors, so I thank him for that!
Ian Callahan
This is the best 'strange-but-true' book I've read. I used to read, and re-read, them as a kid. 'Vampire' is a more substantial, thoughtful take on the genre, even if the analytical parts of the book come off as a little silly at times. I am a skeptic, and there's nothing here that even comes close to changing my mind, but there are some genuinely creepy tales that bring out interesting (and factual) historical details.
Why isn't this kind of book ever any good?

Anyway: Collection of folk tales, mostly debunked by the author. Also, a long and stupid account of his friends' Halloween party story about screwing around with a Ouija board.

What I learned: These books are always lame, unless they were written by Charles Fort.
Maybe it's non-fiction maybe it's fiction - who knows. Most of the stories seem plausible and the author has a healthy skepticism about his subjects - except for the last entry. But it WAS spooky - Ouija boards give me the creeps.
Brad T.
this book was so boring, i dreaded reading it. I really only started it because of the President's Vampire chapter. The rest were claims of supernatural occurrences that just seemed like trumped up local legends.
Casey Danielson
I read the Bye-bye Man story alone in a big old brownstone in the middle of the day and had to invite someone over because I was so freaked out. The rest of the book was less potent.
A fun quick read. This is clear proof that some of the "truth" of American history is stranger than fiction. The story about Body Island is downright creepy.
Jenn Baggett
i actually never finished it. just couldn't. maybe one day.
Interesting take on a vampire theme. Looking forward to the next one.
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