Here we go, a slew of reviews on books I have read recently and a few thoughts I want to share. When possible, books will be grouped in posts by subject.
Rating: 2 Stars
The cover is creepy AF though, right? I actually had to keep this one face-down when I was not reading it. It ended up being a tough one to rate at first, because some of the stories were really interesting, but the title was misleading. Some of the places discussed had nothing to do with the Underground Railroad. Other stories had great background and activity reported. Still others were simply stated, "We think the ghost might be a slave who helped others escape." I am of the opinion that when you don't have enough information to even provide much background, it is not a story to include. That is the very issue with writing about ghosts and the UGRR (as the author referred to it several times); we don't know so many of the names of the men, women, and children kept in captivity, worked to near-death. There is simply no way to ever recover those names. I did, however, appreciate the use of contemporary documents when they were available. It really aided those stories an fleshed them out a bit more.
The one flaw I can not forgive is the mention of Ghost Adventures being on SyFy. NO. Ghost HUNTERS is on SyFy. Ghost Adventures and that ridiculous are are on Travel (at least, when I had cable a few years ago, that was the case).
Rating: 3 Stars
I think I enjoyed the historical background as much, if not more then, some of these hauntings. There were tons of great places included - some of my favorites that have been investigated by my favorite team, Ghost Hunters. There were also plenty of places I was unfamiliar with, that would be amazing to explore.
My only complaint is relatively minor. In the introduction one of the authors discussed how the book was originally intended to be about hospitals, prisons, and such. They found that they had enough material on hospitals alone, which made sense. What did not make sense though, was the inclusion at the end of brief snippets related to a few prisons. I found this unnecessary because the authors could easily do the same, and write a new book focused just on haunted prisons.
Rating: 4 Stars
I could not put this one down. It still sends shivers down my spine when I think about it, and I read it a few months ago. This is one of the only paranormal books I have read that has thus far been able to spook me - to the point I turned on all the lights in the apartment just to read it. Yeah right, as if some light is going to stop a ghost from being spooky. I feel like one of the reasons it did get under my skin so was that it was about one location and incredibly in-depth. The documentation of the building as a former jail, the consistent reports of the activity going on there, made it so much more real - real enough to make the hairs on the back of neck stand up! I'd love to know so much more about the history of The Cage, but given the length of its existence, much of that has been lost to time. While I remain skeptical of certain communication techniques (dowsing rods, Ouija boards, anything easily manipulated by human touch), I still found much of their evidence credible.
The only thing I don't really understand is why the owner stayed so long, especially when her mother lived only two minutes away. There is no way on earth I could live there as long as she did, even with roommates. Not s chance. And I absolutely could not have been able to bring a newborn into that place. I'd have been moving out the minute I found out I was pregnant.
There you have it, my first set of mini reviews. Hopefully this strategy will help me be more productive.