Review | Historic Haunts of Savannah by Michael Harris & Linda Sickler

As one of America’s most haunted cities, Savannah, Georgia, has a long list of stories of the supernatural, such as the story of the first two people hanged in colonial Savannah for the murder of their abusive master. Or James Stark, a tempestuous planter, and Dr. Philip Minis, who settled their dispute with a duel and still hang around the old building at Moon River Brewing Co. Or the terrifying “boy-giant,” Rene Rhondolia, who preys on young girls and
animals. Join authors Michael Harris and Linda Sickler as they navigate the chilling world of those who refuse to leave their Savannah homes.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Savannah is one of those places I haven’t yet visited, but definitely wanted to – so I was excited to pick this title up. I did enjoy the way the authors imagined how the stories leading to the ghost stories went and that they got versions of the legends from people in Savannah – but felt there may have been a little too much fiction. The researching of different aspects of each story and examining how possible it was that they transpired the way the stories are told was really interesting. I also really liked the talk about how life was at the time each of these stories happened, but because so much of it was this examination of history – there was very little description of what people are actually experiencing in these locations, which is something I always appreciate. Since there was so little about that it felt more like an examination of history rather than ghost stories – that being said it was still a pretty quick read and I did enjoy it.

Happy reading!

Review | Haunted Charleston by by Ed Macy & Geordie Buxton

On the historic streets of Charleston, where true life is stranger than fiction, narrators Ed Macy and Geordie Buxton leave embellishment by the wayside to let these stories–in ghastly and sometimes dreadful detail–tell themselves. Combing through the oft-forgotten enclaves of the Holy City, Macy and Buxton bring readers face to face with a group of orphans who haunt a College of Charleston dorm, a Citadel cadet who haunts a local hotel and the specter of William Drayton at Drayton Hall Plantation, to name just a few. Based on historic events and specific details that are often lost in most ghost stories, this collection of haunting tales sparks curiosity about what figure might still be lurking in the alleyways of Charleston’s storied streets.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I love a good collection about ghost stories, especially when they center on a certain location or region. I’ve been to Charleston and loved the time I spent in it, so I was especially excited to see stories about the original Citadel, since I’ve stayed in the hotel it’s become. The stories were well researched and I felt there was a good balance of history with the experiences that people have had. The writing style was really easy to read and flew by with each story. I also really liked how focused on a few specific locations the book was as it was able to dive fully into their history.

Happy reading!

Review | Spooked in Seattle by Ross Allison

Seattle may not be as old as some would expect from a haunted city. But it has a large number of haunted sites and stories. Spooked in Seattle will lead readers on a journey through Seattle’s neighborhoods and reveal the city’s public locations, history, and tales of strange encounters. For those who love to venture off into corners in search of ghosts and the unknown, this book will set readers forth in the right direction.

Spooked in Seattle features more than 150 haunted locations, historic and contemporary photos, top ten questions about ghosts, Seattle’s top ten most haunted places, location maps and addresses, Seattle history and haunted facts, Seattle cemeteries and tombstone symbols, and more.

Spooked in Seattle presents many locations throughout the city that are believed to be haunted, claim to have ghosts, or have undergone investigation. All of these stories are broken down into sections based on the city’s neighborhoods with corresponding addresses to make finding them easier for the ghost enthusiasts. Maps and photos help bring to life the locations, making the Seattle ghosthunting experience easy and enjoyable.

As someone who loves reading ghost story collections, I was really excited to dive into this one. Some things that I really enjoyed about it were how in depth some of the history was, there were some really great passages about the city’s beginnings and some of the historical figures associated with the city. The haunted facts sections at the end of chapters, with information on hauntings in general, were fun to read.

That being said this book was in dire of one thing – a proofreader. There were so many instances where the author clearly meant a different word, but the word in place of it was spelled correctly, so it wasn’t something spell check would catch. Some examples were “foots steps” instead of footsteps or “leather jack” instead of leather jacket. This is something that happened many many times throughout the book that always took me out of my reading enjoyment. A second pair of eyes looking over the book before it went to publication could have fixed it – and honestly could have bumped it up to 3-4 stars for me (yes, the history and stories were that interesting). I had a really hard time though because these errors stood out to me and would slow down my reading.

If you’re looking for a book with a lot of great background information on Seattle, this is a solid pick, but be aware of the errors.

Happy reading!

Review | Ghosts of Salem: Haunts of the Witch City by Sam Baltrusis

Nestled on the rocky coast of Massachusetts, Salem is a city steeped in history and legend. Famous for its witch trials, the storied North Shore seaport also has a dark history of smugglers and deadly fires. It is considered one of New England’s most haunted destinations. Inside Howard Street Cemetery, the ghost of accused witch Giles Corey wanders among the gravestones. Outside the Ropes Mansion, the ghost of Abigail Ropes can be seen peeking out of the windows. The Gardner-Pingree House on Essex Street is host to the spirit of sea captain Joseph White, a man whose murder in 1830 inspired literary giants like Edgar Allan Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne. Join author and paranormal journalist Sam Baltrusis on a chilling journey through the streets of Salem as he chronicles the historic haunts of the Witch City.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Well, first things first – anyone who uses Ghost Adventures as a source gets a little side eye from me… That being said, I didn’t have an issue with any of the actual quotes from Nick (of Ghost Adventures).

Now on to what I really thought – I really enjoyed this compilation of locations/stories from Salem. I felt the writing style was solid – with any book that deals with history and legends you are going to get some dryness and dense sections, but I felt it was balanced really well between history and story telling. There were some instances where things were repeated which threw me a little, but the author did usually have a note that the subjects were referenced elsewhere in the book. The pictures that went along with the different sections were interesting and definitely added an element to the book as it was helpful to see named locations. Also, most of the sources sounded really interesting (besides Ghost Adventures) so I now have a list of other books I’d like to track down and pick up.

Happy reading!

Review | Ghosthunting Oregon by Donna Stewart

As part of the America’s Haunted Road Trip series, Ghosthunting Oregon takes readers along on a guided tour of some of the Beaver State’s most haunted historic locations. Local author Donna Stewart researched each location thoroughly before visiting, digging up clues for the paranormal aspect of each site.

In Ghosthunting Oregon, Stewart takes readers to some of the spookiest haunts across the state including: Oaks Park in Portland, where visitors have reported a ghostly apparition of a child in a 1920s or 1930s style dress; the O’Kane Building in central Oregon, where people have reported seeing “ghostly smoke” and strange lights; and Pioneer Park in Pendleton, where some have reported apparitions and hearing voices.

With a copy of Ghosthunting Oregon in hand, readers can visit some of the spookiest haunts across the state and compare their experiences.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I did really enjoy the unique spin that this book and books in the series have in that they focus specifically on places that are open to the public or able to be visited. Most of them allow tours or have options of staying. I really enjoyed the first half of the book, but the writing style became more dry and didn’t flow as well in the last few sections, which made it really hard for me to read. I liked that the author talked about the history of each place and looked at the lore with an objective eye. I also really liked that there are resources in the back if you want to visit these places, but I’m sure as time goes on some of these resources may become outdated. All in all I did enjoy learning about the different places, but as it went on the writing did let me down a bit.

Happy reading!

Review | Lighthouse Ghosts by Norma Elizabeth

Thirteen tales of ghost haunting American lighthouses. Includes photographs of each lighthouse by Bruce Roberts. The lighthouses included are:

  • Old Presque Isle Lighthouse on Lake Huron, Michigan
  • Plymouth Lighthouse, Massachusetts
  • Heceta Head Lighthouse, near Florence, Oregon
  • Big Bay Point Lighthouse, Lake Superior, Michigan
  • St. Augustine Lighthouse, Florida
  • Batter Point Lighthouse, Crescent City, California
  • Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, Outer Banks, North Carolina
  • Seguin Island Lighthouse, near Georgetown, Maine
  • Seul Choix Point Lighthouse, Lake Michigan, Michigan
  • Old Port Boca Grande Lighthouse, Gasparilla Island, Florida
  • Minots Ledge Lighthouse, near Scituate and Cohasset, Massachusetts
  • Point Lookout Lighthouse, near St. Mary’s City, Maryland

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Anyone who knows me know that I have a special love for ghost story books, especially those that have a good mix of the factual history and the stories that have been passed down. I did feel that this one had a pretty good mix of those two elements, but there were some portions where the writing didn’t blend or flow as well as I would have liked it to. Still I did find all of the stories enjoyable and it’s a good addition to my ghost story books collection.

Happy reading!

Review: Battlefield Ghosts

A Confederate general peers out to sea: is he still guarding against a federal naval attack? A plaintive cry echoes at Antietam: did modern schoolboys meet the famous Irish Brigade? A collection of compact histories of important American battles — and the cries of the spirits that echo over the fields.

I love books that center around ghost stories in different regions, but this one unfortunately wasn’t one of my favorites. It was more of a historical book than a ghost story book, which is fine if that’s what you’re looking for. With each story I do recognize that you have to set up the story, but most of them only had a couple paragraphs at most about the ghost stories while the rest told the tale of the battles and people that fought in them.

Another thing that kind of affected my reading experience was that there were stories from both the Revolutionary War and Civil War, which isn’t a problem, but I had wished that they were in chronological order or separated into two sections. I was constantly having to double check which war things were happening in as some of them occurred in similar locations.

I am always down for a book of ghost stories and this one definitely had a number of very interesting experiences, it just wasn’t quite what I was expecting. If you’re looking for something much more historical detail heavy with a little bit of ghostly experiences, then you’d probably love this one as it does have a lot of great detail and is well written.

Happy reading!

Bookblogtober Day 16: Favorite Ghost Stories

Anyone who knows me knows that I love a good ghost story. When a place is supposedly haunted, I love to hear the history and story of it. I’ve always loved stories that were more creepy in nature and ghosts have been one of my favorite aspects of that genre.

Anytime someone is going on a trip and asks me if I would like anything, I often ask for them to look for books of ghost stories from the areas they are visiting. I have a good stack of ones that I’ve made my way through so I’m going to talk about some of my favorites.

Houses of Horror by Hans Holzer – Holzer is well known in the paranormal community as one of the original ghost hunters. He often visited locations with mediums and then researched anything that came through. He’s written a number of titles detailing his wide array of cases. I’ve only read two of them so far, but Houses of Horror is a good place to start. His writing can be a little dense, but the cases are intriguing and the history matching up with his mediums (or not matching) is always interesting.

Haunted Houses of California by Antoinette May – I picked this one up on a trip to the Winchester House in California. It includes a ton of information on different locations and the legends or stories associated with them. Sometimes those that are specific to certain areas are great because you get a concentrated section of stories. Tourist areas or gift shops are often a great place to find books of ghost stories, so keep a look out when traveling!

Ghost Stories of Oregon by Susan Smitten – This one isn’t so much this specific book as this is part of a much larger series of books published by Ghost House Books (the Oregon one is number 20). Whenever I see more of this series I pick them up. Again, they contain short stories that talk about the history of the location as well as the details of what people have reported happening there. Not all of them are state or location centered either, they have some such as Haunted Theaters or Haunted Highways that are more broad in area.

If you are into reading real ghost stories, you should definitely check some of these out, they were all really informative reads.

Happy reading!