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Historic Haunted America by Michael Norman & Beth Scott – review
If you’re a fan of Things That Go Bump In The Night and TV programs about hunting for ghosts, then Historic Haunted America by the writing duo of Michael Norman and Beth Scott may be just the book for you, especially as Halloween approaches! Beth Scott has sadly passed away, so this collaboration and exploration of haunted places (their fourth book written together) is their last one. Does it bring a spine-tingling feel to you as you read it? How does it match up to television programs like Ghost Adventures or Ghost Hunters? Read on to find out!
I’d definitely say that Historic Haunted America is a good non-fiction book about historic ghostly encounters across America, and also a great book to curl up with on chilly nights (or, really, at any time of the day and year). It’s mainly about historical hauntings, though, some of which are no longer continuiing, and some of the stories are about ghostly encounters that are infrequent at best. There are exceptions, however, like Sarah Winchester’s house in California and the Bell Witch Curse in Tennessee. Don’t confuse this with the Blair Witch Curse, as it’s entirely different, but the story is fascinating, and some people say the Bell family is cursed to this day by the witch and that strange things still occur in the Bell Witch Cave.
What I think is one of the coolest features about the book is that it deals with hauntings in every state in America as well as every province in Canada. I immediately looked up what it said about historical hauntings in the state I currently live in, Arkansas, and the state I was born in and lived most of my younger life in, Illinois. Looking up the hauntings in the book that have taken place in your own state is likely what you’ll want to do, also, as soon as you get the book in your hands.
The authors have done a lot of research, and there’s even a biliography included that details the sources they consulted during the writing of Historic Haunted America. There’s nothing in the book that will necessarily give you nightmares, but there are stories about gruesome murders that happened, bloody revenge, and curses that seemed to play out for generations, devastating everyone who was the subject of the curses.
It’s difficult for almost any book, no matter how well it’s written, to compare in shock factor to scary movies or television programs where people investigate paranormal activity. Some books (generally speaking, a handful of the best horror novels) can manage to give you nightmares, but unless you’re very susceptible to being frightened or are a fairly young reader, you probably won’t experience any bad dreams after reading Historic Haunted America.
But, that’s not really the point–the object of the book is not really to frighten the living daylights out of you. Instead, it’s just a pretty fun, entertaining (non-inclusive) look at some of the best-known historical sightings of ghosts across America and Canada.
So don’t buy Historic Haunted America thinking that it’s an horror book that’s been written with the intent to scare its readers. I would recommend Historic Haunted America highly to anyone who loves reading about true ghost stories, and the history behind them. Who knows? You might find out that there’s a haunted house or location somewhere near you!