Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places by Colin Dickey

Check out if you’re intrigued by historical hauntings, background on some of America’s most famous ghosts and why people are so drawn to the paranormal.

I enjoyed Colin Dickey’s book The Unidentified so much that I chose to pick up another one of his. This time he focuses his efforts on hauntings in America. Usually, when people think about the paranormal, they belong to one of three camps: belief in spirits, nonbelief in spirits, or a general “I’m not sure either way”. I’m in the “I’m not sure” camp, but I sure do love reading about the unknown. At this point it’s obvious.

The author breaks this book into sections of different haunted places across America. The best parts of the book were learning the history behind these hauntings and how they came to be. I especially liked the chapters on the Sarah Winchester house and the Shockoe Bottom neighborhood in Richmond, Virginia.

 After reading Ghostland, I’m still in the “I’m not sure” camp but this book illustrates so much more than that. It really allows the reader a glimpse into how these stories begin and take on legend of their own. It’s worth reading (and again, maybe re-reading) purely for the historical information and background on various hauntings. Just like in The Unidentified, Dickey breaks down something that can seem so obscure into a precise and meaningful study in human behavior when dealing with the mysterious and unknown.

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