Interesting, informative, and sometimes insulting.
I am somewhat torn about this book. There were some things to love about it and some things to hate as well.
Being someone who is intrigued by the spiritual and historical and having read/enjoyed some of Leanna’s fiction work, the premise and authors of this book intrigued me and led me to want to read it.
Quite a number of the ghost tales were known to me—in fact, one of them was very well known as I spent a semester at Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Alabama in high school in a program called Step Ahead where incoming high school seniors could take two classes (for credit) in the summer. I was pleased that one of the first tales told in this book was about the red lady from there. That summer I lived on campus, we used to walk down to the dorm (Pratt Hall) where the poor girl supposedly died and talk about how tragic that was. A few times, it seemed there was a face at one of the windows on the top floor. Perhaps a flight of fancy since we were told the room had been boarded up. Nevertheless, it was nice to see the story in this book.
Clearly, the authors did a wonderful job fully researching the various stories they chose to share. The way the tales were sorted into categories made sense and the organization was well done. The book had a nice flow to it and a good variety of stories.
Some of the prose was a bit too woke and strident for me. There were also some places that it seemed as if the authors were lecturing or looking down on the reader. It was odd to me for them to basically attempt to shame the very demographic of people who would be attracted to reading the subject matter of this book. It was also strange since one of the authors owns a ghost tour company and the other one leads ghost tours. If you make your living from the industry, how can you legitimately look down on your customers? Seems a bit cynical to me. I almost stopped reading a couple of times because of this, but eventually picked it up again as the actual ghost stories and histories of the places were intriguing.
Overall, I enjoyed this one. I recommend the book for the stories and thorough historical research. Just skim over the parts where the writers’ judgment of the reader is problematic. I’m giving this one 3.5 stars for the historical detail and quality of the tales.
I received a copy of the book from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review. September 27, 2022 release date.
Five friends with ambitions to become documentarians travel from London to an abandoned asylum on a Scottish island. The doctor who ran the asylum died sixty years prior and the hospital was closed and is rumored to be haunted.
The author is excellent at evoking atmosphere. The descriptions—first of the pub where the friends met the man who was taking them to the island—then of the island itself—and, finally, the inside of the asylum. The descriptions were creepy and very well done. Dark clouds hanging over the island and the storm complete with lightning added to the exquisite sense of anticipation of meeting some supernatural beings in the corridors or hospital rooms in the abandoned building. Peeling paint, dead leaves and icy wind whirling through the scenes were particularly evocative.
This reader enjoyed the suspense of the book for most of the novel. Figuring out an essential plot point early on was interesting and upped the anticipation of what was ahead.
What was unexpected was the shock of what happened later in the story, and without any spoilers, it’s hard to say what that was, but it was almost too much for this reader. I confess, I glossed over some of that, swiping my e-reader pages faster until the tale moved past that part. I imagine many readers of this genre would revel in that section, but not this one. It didn’t ruin the story for me, but it was disturbing.
The flashes back to the past added to the overall creepiness of the novel. The author is definitely gifted with a talent for descriptiveness. I could see all the places in the story and some made my skin crawl.
If you’re a fan of horror, you shouldn’t pass on this one. The ending was particularly disturbing. Just don’t read before bed or you might wake up at 2 a.m, like I did thinking I heard someone calling my name…..
Ghosts are definitely real. I’ve had enough of my own spiritual experiences to know that to be true, starting at age 16 and no, it was not a poltergeist. It was my grandmother’s spirit coming to comfort me like she always did when she was alive. It was not scary at all.
Other experiences have not been as comforting as that first one but I’m still not afraid. I believe there are lots of wonders in this world we can not see. Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not out there.
Heading out in a few minutes to the Pensacola Lighthouse for a ghost tour with the Ghost Seekers of Texas. This is my second time to do this. First time, son’s leg got really cold and I took a picture and got a great shot of a white blur across his pant leg. AND upstairs, he and I both heard a moan/groan at the same time. We were the last ones in the hall and it was a clear sound. There was no wind so it wasn’t that.
Tonight I’m going with paranormal writer and friend Cynthia Eden. Should be a blast. If I catch any good shots, I’ll edit this post with them.
EDITED TO ADD: Had a great time except for one chick that was so susceptible to the ‘power of suggestion’ that she heard and saw everything that was possible. We smelled tobacco a couple of times and got some EMF readings but not much else – Didn’t get any real good shots this time. But here is the lighthouse and us girls.