Quickie Review of Ghostland by Colin Dickey

Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places

Published: October 4th 2016 by Viking

Length: 320 pages

Genre: Nonfiction History

Source: eBook borrowed from library

My rating: 3 1/2 stars

From Goodreads:

Colin Dickey is on the trail of America’s ghosts. Crammed into old houses and hotels, abandoned prisons and empty hospitals, the spirits that linger continue to capture our collective imagination, but why? His own fascination piqued by a house hunt in Los Angeles that revealed derelict foreclosures and “zombie homes,” Dickey embarks on a journey across the continental United States to decode and unpack the American history repressed in our most famous haunted places. Some have established reputations as “the most haunted mansion in America,” or “the most haunted prison”; others, like the haunted Indian burial grounds in West Virginia, evoke memories from the past our collective nation tries to forget.

This book has been on my TBR wish list since early September. Because if there is one thing I love it’s ghost stories. And, yes, that includes fiction, but I have an extreme love of true ghost stories. And all through the 90’s and early 2000’s I watched ghost hunter type stories all the time. Lately, though, I’ve watched them less and less until I don’t’ think I’ve watched a “ghost hunter” type TV show in years. But that doesn’t mean I don’t still enjoy them.

And because  I do enjoy them I enjoyed this book. And this book, while not perfect, I enjoyed it a lot. It is refreshing to read a book by someone who takes the hauntings seriously, but also look for historical facts to explain the origin of the hauntings. And that does mean that some of my favorite ghost stories that I first learned about on the ghost hunting shows are fact checked and exposed. Which does make me sad. In spite of this, I enjoy the analysis of the the hauntings and how the stories function in our society in both positive and negative ways. And Dickey has thoughts on ghost hunting shows and groups that is interesting. Also, Dickey left out enough famous hauntings that he could write another volume. I would like to see his thoughts on the Bell Witch haunting in Tennessee, for example.

Would I recommend this book? Yes. If you enjoy “true” ghost stories and are intrigued by the factual history behind these hauntings, you will enjoy this book.

What do you think? Would you enjoy this book? Have you read it? What did you think about it? Let me know in the comments below.


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