Forevermore is the story of Kristy Robinett, who’s always had spirit helpers, one of them being an Indian, another a woman, but the most important one being Edgar Allan Poe. In Forevermore, Poe helps her discovers not only more about Poe’s life and his own tragic death, but also about Kristy’s past lives, and the role she played in Poe’s life back in the nineteenth century.
I was unsure what to think of the book, considering Kristy Robinett is convinced she talked not just to one spirit guide but several, and one of them is none other than Poe. It’s a stiff claim, and makes one think if the author is perhaps a little cocky to think the ghost of Poe would talk to her. However…I’m not convinced it’s all in Robinett’s mind. If it’s all true…I’m not sure either. But the author sounded sincere enough to convince me up to some point. She definitely believes what she’s writing, that’s for sure.
The book is part true haunting, part history novel. Robinett visits Baltimore, and other prominent places in Poe’s life, and tries to discover what happened to him, how he died, and what their connection is. Even if you don’t believe in ghosts, or anything of the sorts, it’s still entertaining, and a must read for fans of Poe. I knew a lot about Poe – at least, I thought I did – but I discovered something new every few pages, so my Poe knowledge is more limited than I thought, and I’m glad I learned more about the famous author.
The writing was solid, and like I said, the book is entertaining. I’m still not convinced it’s all true, but it made a good read nonetheless. ...more
When I started reading Ghost Soldiers of Gettysburg, I didn’t have high expectations. I’m not that familiar with the history of Gettysburg – the American Civil War isn’t compulsory history class material over here besides the absolute basics. But I’m a history and paranormal nut, so I wanted to give this book a shot. Turns out it didn’t dissapoint at all.
It tells the story of the ghosts of Gettysburg from two perspective: we get heaps of historical info, and at the same time, we also learn about the paranormal events going on. We read testimonies from the soldiers, their personal stories about what happened to them.
The paranormal investigations are discussed in great detail, adding to their credibility. The photos are a great bonus too, as they help set the vibe for the entire book.
An interesting mix of history and paranormal, decent writing, and highly entertaining. ...more
I wasn’t sure what to expect from The House Where Evil Lurks. The description seemed a little over the top, but I’m a huge fan of true haunting books, so I gave it a shot anyway. This is supposedly the author’s most terrifying case to date. It failed to scare me, though.
Let’s start with the book’s first major flaw – it focuses too much on the author, instead of on the house and on what’s happening. Instead of focusing on this one investigation, we get more info about the author’s journey, how he became a paranormal investigator, and so on. By the time we get to the actual meat of the story, any potential fear is gone.
The writing is dry, dull, repetitive, and could use another thorough edit. Now, this is an ARC, so a lot of errors can still get fixed by the time the book is released, but for now, the writing is distraction. I kept having to reread sentences. The story lacked continuity as well – sometimes it jumped from one chapter to the other, without making much sense, or without the two chapters or hauntings connecting in any way.
Overall, I wasn’t scared. I was, in fact, bored. We find out next to nothing about the history of the house, the investigators believe every answer they get through EVP (although the general consensus on EVP is that it can’t always be trusted as a resource), the house doesn’t seem all that scary, and there’s no solution at the end. Now, this is real life, so I understand some things can’t be solved. But they don’t even try. In the end, they decide to leave the case open, just because.
To say I’m dissapointed in this book would be an understatement. With a title like that, I expected a lot more. ...more
This is my second review of a book by Debi Chestnut, the first being How To Clear Your Home of Ghosts and Spirits. Whereas that one was a rather general guide about how to deal with ghosts, Stalking Shadows talks about the cases Debi Chestnut encountered over the years as a paranormal investigator.
Some of the stories were interesting, and the author didn’t just focus on the scary things that happened, or the ghostly encounters, but also mentioned the hours waiting and getting no, or almost no, results. Some authors never mentioned that, but it’s the reality of being a paranormal investigator. You spent more hours researching the case beforehand, and waiting for something to happen, then you spend communicating with spirits.
Other cases were not that memorable, and the author didn’t offer more information than could’ve been found online. If there’d been slightly more information, or research, or background story about some of the cases, then I would’ve enjoyed this book more.
An okay read in the true haunting genre. The stories come across as believable, and they’re not over the top. The writing is okay overall, but gets a little sloppy toward the end.
Meeting Place of the Dead has a logical build up: we start with the first investigation, then go on to the next, etc. We get a rundown of everything that happened during a specific investigation, and sometimes we get smaller chapters in between that deals with research into the property the group is investigating and its history, or about what happened on cameras the investigators installed during a previous investigations.
So while the build up is logical, and that would suggest that the book would be a strong, non-fictional account of what happened at this particular house, it lacks credibility. Let me explain. We follow a group of paranormal enthusiasts as they enter a supposedly-haunted house, equipped with high-tech video cameras, a ghostbox, and EVP meters. From the first minute they arrive there, they establish a connection with the entities (plural) that inhabit the house. Now, one entity I’m willing to believe. Two, sure. Three? Maybe. But we’re talking dozens of entities here. Ghosts who may not have any connection with the house at all, but who just dropped by to have a chat with our paranormal group.
Maybe something is wrong with their equipment, I don’t know, but it sounds like one heck of a coincedence that they encounter this many ghosts in a house not even reputedly haunted. The house’s reputation is a bit tainted, but it’s nowhere near as horrible as one would expect from a house inhabited by this many spirits.
Then the group brings in a bunch of mediums who more-or-less tell the same thing, except with some twists here and there. They find a spot where they suspect a child’s corpse is hidden, but nothing is there, with leads me to question the mediums’ credibility. Also, the way the author tells us everything is more like a video transcript, like he’s just typing whatever happened on video.
The story is repetitive, mostly because of the strange video-transcript-like writing style, and overall, lacks credibility. The focus is mostly on investigating, which is good, but completely lacks in the historical research department. I would’ve like to learn more about the house’s history. ...more
The Dead Are Watching is the second book I read by Debra Robinson, and I enjoyed it. Debra has a vast collection of stories to share, and all of those storeis deal with the supernatural. This book was filled with dozens of accounts, some of them more interesting than others.
I wish there were more facts presented though, more history about the cases. Often we get cold readings, or just the author’s impressions of what’s going on. While interesting, it’s not a lot to rely on – if we could get history, or people’s ideas about it, that might help. A lot of the stories focused on James as well, Debra’s deceased son. While I understand her need to write about this, I wouldn’t have minded if there had been more variation in the cases she discusses in this book, since her first book largely focused on James as well.
The writing is solid, and engaging. It has a light undertone though, which caused me to feel not even a single chill, although I was reading about ghosts and the like, and if there’s anything that usually manages to scare me, it’s ghosts. I did find most of the accounts believable (although, like I mentioned, other witnesses or a history of what was happening could’ve helped).
If you’re a fan of true haunting books, this one is a good choice. Not the best I read, but definitely one of the better ones. Doesn’t go over-the-top in Hollywood-horror style, but instead focuses on the afterlife and ghosts in an entirely different way – with warmth and compassion....more
Blessed Are The Wicked is perhaps one of the worst true haunting books I’ve read. Why? Because it’s not about the haunting. It’s not about what happened at The Union Screaming House – which, by the way, is barely touched upon – and I, having not read the first book, barely understood what had happened there. It’s not even about the aftermath, about dealing with demonic possession and the occassional resurfacing of demons and ghosts. No. It’s about the author and his family, and that’s mostly it.
There’s not enough about the haunting here, and way too many mundane details about the author and his family. The story itself seems over the top and fabricated – if a house was truly that wicked, it would be worldwide news, especially in today’s era. The author offers little proof for what happened besides his own word (no real search for the history of the house, no other witness accounts). This book reads like a horror movie, or an episode of Goosebumps, except then for grown ups. It’s too over the top not to be fabricated. Even Hollywood is more down to earth when they make horror movies ‘inspired by real events’.
I’m willing to keep an open mind, but when you have poltergeist-like phenomena, demonic possession, satanic rituals in the basement….well, then you know you’ve just stumbled into lalalala-land (aka fiction territory).
The author also has a very black/white view on just about everyone. He classifies people as “good” and “bad” and leaves out everything in between. The writing is boring and sloppy, the author focuses too much on himself instead of on what’s happening, the haunting sounds fake, and all in all, there was nothing scary about it....more
Haunted Stuff was a ‘blah’ read. It covers a lot of ground, but doesn’t mention the accounts in detail, and a lot of things mentioned in the book have been mentioned elsewhere, over a bazillion times. It lacks originality, and the cases aren’t interesting either. There’s no new perspective. Everything is just rehashed from material that can be found elsewhere. The author didn’t do investigations on site, and she has no experiences with haunted stuff herself, or if she does, she doesnt elaborate them here.
The stories were familiar for the most part. Some were new, but those didn’t even make up a quarter of the book. It’s nothing more than a mish-mash of urban legends that have been recycled a dozen times, or the more famous hauntings everyone knows about. I was hoping for original cases the author investigated herself, or cases that didn’t make it to the headlines at least a dozen times before.
The Ghost in the Coal Cellar takes a scientific approach to hauntings. Andrea Mesich starts out by offering the history of a supposedly-haunted location. Then she describes the location or object, the entities supposedly haunting it, and she shares eyewitness accounts. This build up makes sure that there’s something for everyone. For the history buffs, there’s the historical background, which additionally gives insight into the haunting. The eyewitness accounts are kind of like urban legends, and entertaining to read. But the most intriguing part are the paranormal investigations themselves.
Tons of places Andrea mentions in her book, she’s visited herself, and conducted a paranormal investigation in them. This offers an intriguing insight, and a nice end to each chapter. I liked the mix of science, history, and the author’s own experiences: it’s a mix that works every time. The author is also very thorough in her investigation, and visit some locations several times to get a clear idea of what’s going on there. She also tried scientific approaches first, and looked for logical explanations.
The writing is great, and a lot of thought obviously went into how each chapter was created. The book overall reads like a very logical explanation of what’s going on. There’s also suggested further reading for those interested in the topic.
One of the best true haunting books I’ve read all year. A solid recommendation....more
Vanquishing Ghosts and Demons tells us about the experiences of Sandrae Mosses, a spiritual medium, who battles ghosts, ghouls and even demons, along with her colleagues. Sandrea has lots of experience, and the cases she presents in this book range from tame, regular hauntings, to demon attacks that are downright creepy.
I found some of the terminology in this book strange, and I had trouble understanding how the demons/ghosts were pictured to Sandrae. Sometimes they appeared small, sometimes large. Either way, the spirits metioned were very cunning, and Sandrae’s own spirit guides often had to help her, or intervene.
I’m used to reading more scientifically-based true haunting books, but even the ones I’ve read before that deal with mediums, used different methods than Sandrae and her group. It was good to see a different perspective, and a different way of handling things.
Although I still prefer the scientific method, and find it far more credible, this book was a pleasant read with good writing....more
In Missing & Presumed Dead, Gale St. John talks about her experiences as a psychic working with law enforcement, where she helps find missing people. She works along with police officers, or sometimes takes on jobs all on her own. The victims she tracks down range from children to Mafia bosses, to innocent housewives. Gale St. John reveals her methods: how she tunes in to a missing person, how she follows her senses, describes what she sees, hears and feels to get an idea of where the person is at and if he/she is still alive. And most of all, this book shows that the dead aren’t always just gone, and that they might help solve their own murder, even from beyond the grave.
The writing was excellent for this type of book, and Gale always stayed down-to-earth. I liked how she took up the initiative to train dogs to help her find missing persons – alive and dead. A lot of time goes into training those dogs, but for Gale, it’s truly a pasison, a calling in life, to help those who have disappeard, and their families, so she trains her dogs, every week, year in, year out. Truly admirable.
I did find a lot of the focus of the book was on the dogs. And although interesting at times, I wanted to read more about the psychic cases, about the missing persons. Training dogs is a vital part of that, I understand, but the focus should’ve been on Gale being a medium, and how she locates her victims.
All in all, a good read, and different than I’m used to. I like to read about true hauntings, but missing cases solved by a psychic, I’m digging that topic as well....more
Intriguing book about, well, as the title suggests, the creepiest places in the world. The author goes into great detail, offering history and background story for each of the locations. I liked that the book didn’t limited itself to the USA, but instead focused on creepy places all over the world....more
The story weren’t detailed enough for me to really enjoy them. The author skips over historical details, and the ghost stories aren’t backed up with interviews, or with the author’s own experiences. The collection seems thrown together, and not all stories are connected....more
Eerie America is a travel guide of the macabre. The author takes the reader on a ride through America, through all the States, and stops by to visit the most macabre spots out there. With beautiful photographs and an atmospheric layout design, this is a great guide for people wanting to experience the more macabre side of the United States.
However, as a person more interested in the hauntings than the traveling itself, I found the book lacking depth and detail in regards to the hauntings. For example, the book would mention an inn was haunted by a ghost named Mary, but there would be no history on the ghost, no eyewitness account, no evidence. And with thousands of ghosts named Mary (seriously, half of the time, the ghosts mentioned in the book, were called Mary), it quickly became repetitive. I would’ve preferred if the author focused on a few locations in detail, like say, one or two locations per state.
But if you want a quick guide for haunted locations across the states, then this book definitely works. It’s organized by state, and each state has a recommended place to stay and place to eat....more
In Policing the Paranormal, author Paul Hope tells us about the hauntings going on in Virginia, especially in the Virginia State Capitol. Since I’m not an American, and have been nowhere near Virginia ever in my life, I started out knowing absolutely zero about the Virginia State Capitol Building or its surroundings, but I got a good impression from it based on Paul Hope’s descriptions. And well, even if I hadn’t, I’m not here for a sightseeing tour – I’m here for some ghost stories. And boy, I definitely got enough of those.
Paul Hope was a police officer himself, who worked the graveyard shift in the Virginia State Capitol Building. So some of the stories are his own, others he heard from colleagues. He tells all the stories in a down-to-earth style, which makes them sound all the more believable. The stories aren’t over hte top either, they’re what you’d expect from a standard type of haunting. Creeping doors, disembodied voices, you know the drill.
As a downside though, it took about thirty pages before I felt really invested into the book. It had a slow start. But once I passed those first thirty-so pages, I just had to keep on reading.
A solid read for fans of true ghost encounters. The writing needed some work here and there, but I enjoyed it....more
I’ve never been to the Canada, let alone Ontario. But after reading this book, I really, really, really want to go. Sounds to me like they have more haunted spots there in half of Europe. Or maybe we need more ghost hunters here. Just saying.
Either way, Haunted Ontario 3 focuses mostly on Black Creek Pioneer Village, and several buildings there. Most of those buildings are, presumably, haunted. We get eye witness accounts, and some pictures that are really helpful to imagine how the buildings look like. I would’ve liked it though if the author included more of his own conclusions. He visited all the sites mentioned in this book, so I would’ve liked to know what he thought, and whether or not he did some actual investigating there. Sometimes he gives us his opinion, but it’s always rather short, and gets lost in the opinion and stories of others. I would’ve loved to read a longer description of one of his ghost hunts in the locations mentioned.
I imagine that if you know the Ontario area, and have the possibility to go to the areas mentioned in the book, that it must be three times as interesting to read about the tales of hauntings going on at the various locations. Since I’m not in that position, I would’ve liked less description of the sites, and more focus on the ghosts, their history, and some actual ghost hunting.
Nevertheless, it was an interesting read, and the author has a clear, basic writing style that fits this type of book. I’m kind of bummed this is the third book though, which is probably my OCD kicking in, but I wished I could read all three books in the series. I’m eager to read about more the hauntings, and about the author’s adventures while ghosthunting.
A solid book for fans of ghost hunting books, and true haunting books. If you’re heading to the area, then you should definitely read this book before going out there, so you know what spirits to look for, and where....more
Ghostly Tales wasn’t what I expected at all. I request almost any true haunting book I can get my hands on, because I love the genre. But for this one, I’ll make an exception. It doesn’t sound like a true haunting book at all – and that’s my major issue with the book. The stories in here are just stories. There’s no claim to the truth of the stories, we don’t even know if they’re real, or if the author just made them up. The stories are short, we feel no connection to the people mentioned in the stories, and in general, they could just be campfire stories, rather than real life accounts by a ghost hunter.
Some of the stories are downright ridiculous. I remember at the start there was a story about a man who’d passed away and visited his own funeral…yeah, and how would you know that?
Basically this reads more like an anthology of scary short stories than a non-fiction book. I’m not convinced at all that any of the stories mentioned here are true, since there’s no, or little, research, and some stories are very farfetched. Not impressed....more
In Fighting Malevolent Spirits, author Samantha E. Harris talks about evil spirits, the ones who have zero good intention and are focused on destroying everyone who stands in their way. The author talks about her darkest, creepiest and most terrifying encounters, ranging from poltergeists to demons. While I’m still skeptical about whether or not demons exist, I enjoyed all parts of this book, including the ones focused on demonic activity.
Some of the encounters sound a bit over the top, and too sensational to be real, but it still sounds more real than half of the ghost hunter shows on TV nowadays. The author tells the reader, time and time again, how dangerous it is to go up against a demon, poltergeist, or malicious spirit, alone and unprepared. She then goes on to give some tips on how one can prepare themselves for a supernatural encounter, which are actually rather helpful.
This is one of the scariest true haunting books I’ve read in a while. I couldn’t cope with reading the book at night, so I had to run it in the middle of the day. To imagine being really face to face with the haunts described here, that must be terrifying. Even when reading the book, I got goosebumps all over, and that creepy sense of being watched.
A solid read if you like true haunting books, and/or if you think your house may be infested with something malicious....more
I was hesitant to pick up Haunted Rock & Roll because, while I do enjoy rock music, I’m not the world’s greatest fan. I know of the connection between rock & roll music and hauntings and curses, but I was skeptical about it. I’m glad I picked up this book, because not only did I learn a ton about some of our world’s greatest rock & roll legends, I also began to suspect the curse may not be make-believe after all. But even if you don’t believe in curses, hauntings or anything supernatural, then you can still read this book for the wealth of knowledge it provides about rock & roll artists.
This is one of the best true haunting books I’ve read in terms of writing style. The author has a great way with words, and with submerging the reader into the story. He also has a vast knowledge of the world of rock & roll, but instead of just dumping that info on the reader, he tells us stories about some of the most famous and most haunted people to have walked our earth. I particularly enjoyed the stories about the deals at the crossroads and the 27 club. Even though I’m still not entirely convinced there is actually a demon responding to people who ask them for favors at crossroads, I must admit some of the accounts mentioned in the book are suspicious to say the least.
All the stories about the 27 club – a “club” of famous singers who passed away at the age of 27, of which notable members include Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse – are more than a little creepy. The toll of fame must be pretty high.
Some of the stories are more sad than creepy, and it shows there’s a thin line between a “curse” and something that is just a natural cause of living a life in the spotlights. But in some stories, there are way too many coincedences, which made me wonder if some supernatural power was involved after all.
A decent read for anyone who enjoys true haunting books, and especially for those with an additional interest in the world of rock and roll....more
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
When I started reading How to Clear Your Home of Ghosts & Spirits, I was rather skeptical. I’ve read a lot of true haunting books, and I thought I knew pretty well how to handle ghosts and spirits in a home. I thought I wasn’t going to learn anything new. Imagine my surprise when I picked up quite a few things I hadn’t known before.
Author Debi Chestnut starts with looking for logical explenations for the proclaimed haunting, which is a big bonus. Half of the time, people suspect their house is haunted, while in reality, it’s nothing more than a squeaky door, loose floorboards, or even rats and mice. Then she goes on to explain the different types of haunting, using her personal experience.
Some parts were a bit repetitive, but the author manages to give the reader a clear, concise rundown of different types of hauntings, and what to do when they think their house might be haunted. She also gives her email address in case anyone needs help, which I thought was very generous, and showed her sincerity.
I didn’t always agree with the author’s point of view, or the way she classified the different types of hauntings – I would’ve used a different classification – but she explains everything so even people completely new to the world of hauntings and paranormal phenomena, would understand it.
If you think your house might be haunted, pick up this book before you call in the Ghostbusters. It might save you some time, and you might learn a bit more about the specters inhabiting your home....more
In Forgotten Burial, Jodi Foster – not the actress – rented an apartment in her California hometown, and lived there along with her young daughter. She never imagined that the apartment was haunted. When lights turn on and offo n their own, her daughter’s wind-up doll starts screaming and Jodi begins having terrifying nightmares about a missing young woman, Madeline Isabella Johnson (name was changed, probably for privacy reasons), she begins tot suspect Madeline is reaching out from beyond the grave.
Working along with the police, Jodi tries to figure out what happened to Madeline, and what her connection is to a notorious couple, and to “The Girl in the Box”, Colleen Stan.
From that synopsis, you’d think the book is fiction. It’s not. It’s as non-fiction as it gets, a true encounter of Jodi’s nightmares about Madeline, the strange occurences in her apartment, and Madeline’s efforts to reach out from the beyond and try to get the truth out.
This is one of the best true haunting books I’ve read simply because it feels so real. Jodi is in contacts with the police about this, there’s a tie to a real-life case, so it sounds almost impossible not to be true. The writing was all right. The reader realizes early on Jodi is no real author, but more like a person who desperately wants to get their story out into the world. And you know what? I didn’t mind. This story is so good I had to read it. And Madeline deserves her justice, one way or another.
However, some things irked me. Why did Jodi wait so long to connect the dots, and to go to the police with her suspicions? If I’d led a semi-normal life up to some point, then moved into an apartment and started having vivid dreams about a murdered girl, and could somehow connect them to an actual disappearance, I’d be standing on the police’s doorstep in no time. Also, if I had such dreams several times after moving, I’d start investigating, and not wait until things got nearly out of hand. I can barely grasp how frustrating it must be for a spirit to put all your energy into contacting one person, and then have them do almost nothing for several months.
Plus, Jodi kept having dreams about a sign along the road, even getting coordinates at some point, if I recall correctly. She barely does anything with this info, except maybe tell the police about it. Considering how much Madeline told her from beyond the grave already, I’d probably just head over and start digging. I mean, come on, if a ghost contacts you for months, even years, then you have to act, not sit around and wait for things to explode.
Apart from my frustration about this – and I always wonder why people, in real life as well as in movies, tend to take so long before they do anything – I truly enjoyed reading this. I hope police manages to find Madeline, and that she finally has some rest, after all this time. ...more
In Battling Demons of Darkness, Brandon Boston gives an account of his experiences battling evil spirits and even demons. He witnessed his first exorcism at his local church while being a small child. His account of the events is so strange I wonder if he maybe imagined it all, seeing as he was a little kid. I’m open-minded, so I’m willing to believe in exorcisms and demons, but I’ve never heard of any exorcism ever performed the way he described it in this book. Either way, that aside, Mr. Boston has been tormented by evil spirits almost his entire life.
I find it a bit peculiar that from all Goodreads reviews this book has gotten so far, mostly 5-stars, these all come from users without an avatar, who’ve rated between 1-18 books, and gave all other books low ratings. Almost like sockpuppet accounts. Or maybe friends from the author. This book certainly doesn’t warrant a 5-star rating, as far as I’m concerned.
Mr. Boston deals with all issues by using his faith. When a demon appears, he calls out to Jesus to help him. I have no problem with that, except that maybe Mr. Boston goes a step too far. For every person he meets who is visited by demons he comes up with the same explanation: wavering faith. Whenever his own faith wavers, he’s visited by tempting demons. Right. Then how come atheists aren’t constantly the target of a demonic attack? Or have the demons already succeeded with the atheists because they no longer believe in God and Jesus? Right. For some reason, I’m not buying that.
I think Mr. Boston is a bit too eager to blame everything on demons. Footsteps in the middle of the night when no one is around? Demons. Objects moving on their own? Demons. While most paranormal investigators would claim these phenomenons are caused by poltergeist, Mr. Boston is happy to blame everything wrong with this world on demons.
Evidence is scarce and pseudo-scientific. Not enough explanation was given for me to truly believe it, and I had trouble with the constant blaming everything bad that happened on demons. Bad things happen to people every day, not because those people are supposedly tempted by demons, but just because that’s life.
I liked the book, and it was well-written, but I had plenty of criticism on it as well. A nice read if you like books about demons and spirits, but a little too heavy on religion for me. Mr. Boston’s faith is strong, which is admirable, but doesn’t convince me demons are real or that everything he’s battling are demons....more
The Ghosts of Chicago is one of the most thoroughly researched, in-depth books I’ve ever read about ghosts and hauntings. The book talks about all kinds of haunted locations in Chicago and the specters haunted them. Each chapter talks about a different location. He also gives addresses and locations of the sites he mentioned, which makes it a lot easier for non-locals to find them. He talks about the lore and history of each place, and only then starts talking about the ghost sightings over the years, sometimes including his own experiences.
There’s an entire chapter about H.H. Holmes and his murder castle, which made me google him and I spent several hours browsing through articles about the man. Murderers and their motives intrigue me almost as much as ghosts do, so this was a welcome distraction. There are also several stories included about Al Capone and his squad of gangsters, so it’s not all ghosts and no history – it’s a pleasant combination of both.
Mr. Selzer writes with a hint of humor, and his writing is very entertaining and not condescending at all (a complaint I often have about authors of true haunting books). He isn’t as interested in semi-scientific ghost hunter equipment like EVP meters and such as he is about feeling the vibe of a place, visiting the spots where stories originated from and figuring out for himself whether or not a place qualifies as creepy. I loved that. Sometimes ghost hunters lose themselves in semi-scientific rambling without staying focused on the task at hand: telling us about the ghosts. Mr. Selzer definitely has no problems with that.
I’m still amazed by how well-researched this book was, how the writing seemed to flow with an astonishing ease, and how much I enjoyed the overall experience. An excellent read for fans of traveling, ghosts, mystery and history....more
A Haunted Life is a tough book to review. It’s not just about ghosts and hauntings here. The author, Debra Robinson, lost her son in a terrible accident, and she’d had various sense of foreboding in the past and a few signs that something was out to get her son, James. His car was totaled twice while standing in front of their garage – in a normal road, so they could’ve hit any car – and once nearly burned down due to faulty heating in the car. She had a sense something bad was going to happen days before James’ accident, but couldn’t figure out what or who it would involve.
It’s impossible for me to understand Mrs. Robinson’s loss, but I had a better sense of understanding after reading her book. It must be terrible to lose a child, in any and all circumstances, especially if you feel like it may somehow be the result of your own struggle with the darkness, of your own psychic powers. While I understand the guilt and the pain (although not really, like I said, impossible to understand for anyone who hasn’t lost a child themselves, I’m quite sure of that) this isn’t the first time I’ve heard psychics blame ‘the darkness’ for major tragedies in their lives, and it always makes me frown.
First of all, I’m not sure why a psychic would be a better catch for the devil than any other regular person. I get tired of everyone blaming demons or the devil for what goes wrong in their life – unfortunately sometimes it’s just bad luck or destiny. Secondly, we all try to find reasons why. Why did this person I love have to die? But blaming “the darkness” never truly helps. All it does is make one afraid, come up with an imaginary struggle between good and bad, makes us believe that if only we fight for the good side, bad things won’t happen to us. It makes psychics afraid to use their gifts because they fear they might get drawn into the dark side.
That was the only thing that bothered me about this book though. Apart from that, it was an enjoyable, although at times saddening read. Debra Robinson portrays a lot of courage. She survived a haunted house on Fifth Street that tormented her day and night, she survived relationships with abusive boyfriends, the loss of her son and father and living with psychic gifts she never asked for. She’s a strong, admirable woman. I liked the passages about her clairvoyance and about the spirits the most, and sometimes they were much-needed breaks inbetween the sadness going on.
The sense I get from this book though is that it’s all true. People who’ve read my other reviews for ghosts and haunting books know that I tend to take these books with a grain of salt – some are just so spectacularly written that they make the plot of Poltergeist seem like an innocent ghost playing. But I got none of that here. Debra tells the story like it is, in a down-to-earth way that makes me relate to it all the more. The ghosts she describes, the clairvoyance she talks about, those are the kind of things I can believe in.
Just one warning before you start on this one though: keep the tissues ready...more
This House is Haunted: True Encounters with the World Beyond tells us the adventures of paranormal investigator Hans Holzer and he visits haunted houses and gives detailed accounts of his experiences there. Hans Holzer is a firm believer in mediums, so he brings along a medium on each of his visits, and then compares what the medium experiences with historical records, and the experiences of people living in the haunted house. He has a compelling writing style, but in my opinion, the book is simply too long. Halfway through, I wanted it to end. The book is nothing more than a case-by-case rundown of all Holzer’s haunted house cases, and it gets kind of boring at the halfway mark. At the end, I was glad the book was done.
Holzer was a pioneer in paranormal research. He brought along video equipment, wrote down notes during interviews, cross-checked with historical facts, and used psychics to conduct paranormal research. His methods were thought-through and he tried to use scientific methods whenever he could. I was a bit dissapointed to see how much he relied on psychics, but to each their own. Some of the cases were very similar, and by the end I had trouble keeping them apart. The photographs were the most interesting parts of the book for me, even if it was mostly orbs, and I’m not a huge believer in orbs.
The book was detailed and fluently written, and it intrigued me because most of the cases described were from the sixties, when paranormal investigation was in its baby shoes....more
Haunted Asylums, Prisons and Sanatoriums takes us inside some of the darkest places in history, where people suffered or were treated in a cruel, dehumanizing way. Throughout the book, we learn more about the history of these places, and their supposed hauntings, as the author conducts research to find out who the ghosts are haunting these spots. Each chapter is dedicated to a seperate location, and begins by talking about the location’s history, then its specters, and then the author and her team conduct a thorough ghost hunt of the place. At the end of each chapter is information on how to get to the place, if/how you can do ghost hunts on your own, etcetera.
This is one of the best non-fiction books about hauntings that I’ve read. The book is well-organized, and well-written. The author doesn’t lose herself in trivial details when talking about history, and instead what we learned is significant and intriguing. The stories are backed up with pictures, some of which made shivers crawl down my back. One picture in particular really set me on edge. The strange thing is that it’s not even talked about in the book. I mean, it’s included, and it’s mentioned that it’s a picture of the Farrar school, but Davis makes no mention of the two figures on the picture – one little girl and a larger person. It’s one of the clearest ghost pictures I’ve seen in a while, and really impressive! I hope I’m not the only one seeing it though, because that would be totally creepy.
The language is quite informal, like Mrs. Davis is telling us a story. This might not be for everyone, but I really liked it, basically like she’s operating as some sort of tour guide, which fit the theme of the book. I have some comments about the way Mrs. Davis and her team conduct ghost hunts though. They rely heavily on a flashlight, using them for flashlight conversations. It’s the first time I’ve heard someone use this method at such lengths, and it would’ve convinced me more had there been video evidence included (of course that’s tough for a book) but I wasn’t really convinced the flashlight responses were anything other than random spikes. I much prefer actually hearing voices on tape, or seeing pictures of ghosts. Also, the questions asked during the flashlight conversations weren’t always to the point, and sometimes had a double meaning ghosts may not be able to interpret. I thought more fitting questions should’ve been asked, and other research should’ve been conducted as well, rather than just the flashlight conversations.
As a travel guide, this book is extremely useful, especially with the info about each location at the end of each chapter. For people interested in ghost hunts and the author’s personal experiences, the book lacks vital info – I had the feeling much more research should’ve been done at each spot to get a good grip of what’s happening.
The book was a very pleasant, enjoyable, sometimes chilling read. I can’t wait to visit these haunted asylums, prisons and sanatoriums! ...more
Devil in the Delta was a confusing read for me. On the one hand, I kind of liked the author’s scientific approach, armed with cam recorders and voice recorders and how he’s not overly fond of psychics. He appears analytical and rational, the kind of ghost hunter who I wouldn’t mind inviting into my house if the other side went haywire. If this is Rich Newman’s most terrifying case to date, then I’m actually glad for him, because to me it didn’t sound all that terrifying. All right, some parts of it were enough to give me shivers, but it’s pretty tame all through-out.
Then there were parts of the book that thoroughly dissapointed me. For one, the house didn’t have such a violent past as the blurb made me believe. Secondly, the accusations of witchcraft and demonic possession. It’s obvious from the get-go that the trailer’s inhabitants are after some cash, and it makes their entire story a lot less believable, but thank God the author caught this. However, he jumps to demonic possession rather fast, and also to the witchcraft thing. It’s not because they were storing some items that look like they could be used in witchcraft that anyone was actually practising witchcraft on the premise, and even if they were, that doesn’t instantly mean they invited something evil into their house. It’s these thought-jumps, drawing conclusions where there shouldn’t have been any, that made me wary of this book.
All in all, the writing was good, straightforward, and for the most part the author appears as level-headed and rational and not someone who’s convinced the slightest breeze is a ghost. On the other hand, he draws conclusions fast, blaming demons for everything that remotely goes wrong, and this didn’t work in his favor. An enjoyable read, but the synopsis makes it sound a lot scarier than it is....more
Adam Nori is the founding member of a ghost hunter research group. He’s been hunting ghosts for years, and has been interesting by the paranormal ever
Adam Nori is the founding member of a ghost hunter research group. He’s been hunting ghosts for years, and has been interesting by the paranormal ever since he was a young kid. He already gave parapsychology classes by the time he finished high school. Some people just have an uncanny interest for the paranormal, and I guess Adam Nori is one of them. I’m impressed by his track record and how he managed to found a paranormal research group and find team members who were genuinely interested in what they were doing. As a hobbyist ghost hunter myself, I know how hard it is to put together a reliable team and create a bond tough enough to withstand any paranormal perils.
The writing is all right. It’s not overly descriptive, and it doesn’t fall back into the age-old trap of “telling instead of showing” too often. The book consists of several cases put together that showcase some of Adam and his team’s adventures in the world of the paranormal. I liked how it’s not over the top. Some self-proclaimed “true” haunting books I read tell stories so outrageous they can’t possibly be true or it would be all over the news. Here we see accounts that could actually happen, and aren’t over the top. The author’s voice is very genuine and real, and consistent all over the book. I also liked how he told the reader about the scientific material he uses. I’m not a big fan of mediums channeling the dead unless there’s actual proof they can do what they say they can, and I’ve always preferred scientific proof as opposed to what one person says. The author thinks about that the same way, and it made me all the more engaged in the book.
Lately with the rise of blockbuster shows like Ghost Hunters or Ghost Busters, some self-proclaimed ghost hunters rush into cases guns ablazing, taking over people’s homes with cameras and equipment and mediums who do more bad than good. However, Adam and his team work with respect for both the deceased and the people living with the spirits in their home, and that shows. It’s quite refreshing to read about. The book didn’t scare me either, mostly because everything was written in such respectful way. It was more of a hommage to the dead than a warning that all ghosts are evil, and I applaud it for that. All too often I read memoirs telling the ‘bad side’ of ghost hunting and completely forgetting the rewarding side.
I’m interested in reading more books from this author, and his adventures with the paranormal. If you’re a fan of true haunting books, check this one out. It offers a variation of cases from haunted houses to haunted musea, has an authentic, genuine voice and shows respect for all parties involved – living and dead. ...more
It’s hard to rate this book because it’s not exactly a memoir about ghostly encounters. It’s a field guide using the author’s expertise. By their natuIt’s hard to rate this book because it’s not exactly a memoir about ghostly encounters. It’s a field guide using the author’s expertise. By their nature, guides are more cut-and-dry. They don’t have a plot or characters, but they can be entertaining or boring, depending on how well-written they are and how they cover the subject matter. For me, So You Want to Hunt Ghosts? holds the middle between boring and entertaining. At times, I was very engrossed in the book, and other times I didn’t care that much.
I liked how the author described the different approaches to ghost hunting, like research-based and client-based. For a newbie ghost hunter, this book would’ve been a great guide. However, I had trouble with the author trying to press her own beliefs on to the reader sometimes. It wasn’t an overly pressing concern, it just seemed to me like the author kept giving hints at how her interpretation of certain things was the only plausible explanation, whereas I could’ve come up with several other explenations. Mind you, I’m not talking about the author’s religious beliefs, since these barely have anything to do with this book, but about her spiritual beliefs. I wish she would’ve been more open-minded about other people’s spiritual beliefs in this book.
Something else that bothered me is that, although the book is meant as a field guide, too much of it stems from the author’s personal experiences. While that is valuable, it’sn ot something I would’ve expected in a field guide. I did enjoy those passages though, so I didn’t mind too much, it was just a little pet peeve of mine.
Overall, as far as true haunting books go, this one was all right. Not the best I’ve read, not the worst either....more
Mysterious Minnesota details a number of paranormal investigations in Minnesota, ranging from old hotels to caves to abandoned factories. What I enjoyMysterious Minnesota details a number of paranormal investigations in Minnesota, ranging from old hotels to caves to abandoned factories. What I enjoyed most about this book is that, as opposed to jumping from place to place rapidly, it focused on thirteen sites in particular and investigated them in great detail, talking about their history and the paranormal investigation by a large team.
The writing style of this book was very fluent. It was also very detailed, and vividly described. In some scenes, I actually could imagine myself standing there, in that old hotel room, or that creepy-looking factory, and feel shivers run down my spine. I also like how the author seems to take a step back and tell the readers about the hauntings almost matter-of-factly. There are obvious emotions in the accounts, but they never take over, and as a reader I had plenty of space to make up for myself what I chose to believe and what I didn’t. For me, this was one of the main reasons why I enjoyed the book. Detailed, with real, historical research at the base of most hauntings, and with scientific equipment such as a ‘ghost box’ (although I’m not sure how scientific that really is) to help the investigators communicate with spirits from the beyond.
I also liked how the book never goes over the top. It talks about paranormal phenomena, sometimes even communcating with spirits, but there’s nothing outrageous, such as ghosts trying to kill someone, a myriad of full-body apparitions or entire hordes of ghosts. For some reason, I found this book a lot more believable than some of the true haunting books I previously read, although I can’t exactly pinpoint why. Maybe it’s the historical research, or how the author doesn’t try to convince me. He doesn’t scream: look, this happened, now believe me! Instead, he calmly recites what happens, drawing me in more and more every page.
I was a bit sad the book was over. I wouldn’t have minded if it were longer (and it’s already quite long, over 300 pages) because I was seriously engrossed in the witness accounts and paranormal investigations detailed in this book. I definitely wouldn’t mind reading more true haunting books by this author. He has a keen eye for research and doesn’t go into “preaching” mode, enforcing his beliefs on the reader. Instead, he remains surprisingly neutral, but his writing style is intriguing and enjoyable.
If you like true haunting books, you don’t want to miss out on Mysterious Minnesota. If you’re one of the lucky people living in or near Minnesota, you definitely want to read this one, and then go visit the places mentioned and maybe meet up with some century-old ghosts. Recommended to all fans of true hauntings....more