Some people fantasize about trips to tropical islands or tours the great cities of the world. Fans of the supernatural, on the other hand, might prefer exploring the most haunted houses and public buildings across the globe. Such a trip would prove far too costly for most of us, but this book could serve as an affordable substitute.
From the experts
Although nothing is quite as good as actually being in a haunted location, Encyclopedia of Haunted Places
has the advantage of covering a lot of ground, from North America to Europe to the Middle East and Asia. Moreover, the articles in this book, compiled by Jeff Belanger (founder of GhostVillage.com
), were written by many of the top paranormal investigators around the world who have
been to these places where restless spirits linger.
Places familiar and strange
You'll find all of your favorite haunts here, including: Sachs Bridge at Gettysburg where Civil War spirits have been seen and heard; Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia where ghosts of inmates still lurk; The Myrtles Plantation in St. Francisville, Louisianna, still the home of Chloe, the turban-wearing ghost of a slave girl; the Birdcage Theater in Tombstone, Arizona, where apparitions walk the dark stage; and even the White House, which has numerous ghosts, including Abe Lincoln's.
Those are the places lots of tourists visit hoping to spot a spook. What's most valuable about this compilation, however, is that it also takes us to the lesser-known haunted locations, such as:
- Harry's Road House in Asbury Park, New Jersey, where the spectre of an old woman haunts the basement.
- Ball Cemetery in Springfield, Nebraska, where a tall, dark figure stalks among the gravestones.
- The Baker Hotel in Mineral Wells, Texas, where the ghostly form of a suicided woman appears in the moonlight.
- The abandoned Charles Camsell Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta, where the anguished scream of some long-dead patient was recorded.
And there are many more.
The ghost hunters
If the book has one shortcoming, it's that its primary focus is on North America. The greater part of the book consists of write-ups about locations in the U.S. and Canada, and has only a sprinkling of cases from the rest of the world. It would be great to hear of more stories from Eastern Europe, for example, or Asia.
A bonus feature of the Encyclopedia are the profiles of various paranormal investigators, including Troy Taylor, author of The Ghost Hunter's Guidebook ; famed demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren; Loyd Auerbach, author of numerous books on ghost hunting; and the dean of all ghost hunters, Dr. Hans Holzer.
All in all, this is an excellent reference work for any ghost enthusiast's bookshelf.