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A Ghost in My Suitcase

A Ghost in My Suitcase: A Guide to Haunted Travel in Americaby Mitchel Whitington, 2005

This is a refreshing and delightful book written by someone who is obviously as intrigued by ghosts as many of us "ghost aficionados"!  He spent much time and money traveling to every state in the country to visit a haunted location- most of them inns or hotels.  Mr. Whitington's chapters convey his enjoyment and enthusiasm and make this a fun read as well as a travel resource.  I guess if I had to come up with some shortcoming, my only nit-picky one would be that I would have liked more photos, especially since he visited each site in person.  241pp., a small photo for most entries. 

Dinner and Spirits

Dinner and Spirits: A Guide to America's Most Haunted Restaurants, Taverns, and Innsby Robert James Wlordarski and Anne Powell Wlodarski, 2001

I bought this book because of its impressive length and amount of content: over 500 pages, and over 500 haunted locations in all 50 states. Unfortunately, each entry is quite brief and the entries are summaries of others' research and writeups. Although the authors give credit and citations, the descriptions are dry and sterile with no sense of personal involvement or excitement.  On some double page spreads parts of as many as four sites appear.  If you want a "telephone book" of locations, this will do it for you, but my advice would be to go to the authors' cited sources directly for books that will give you more indepth descriptions and also convey a sense of enthusiasm.  541pp, no photos.

Cape Encounters

 Cape Encounters: Contemporary Cape Cod Ghost Storiesby Dan Gordon & Gary Joseph, 2004
The authors of this book tracked down many personal accounts of weird experiences that happened to residents of Cape Cod, MA.  Most of the tales are told first person, and the reader gets a feel for the person relating the account almost as much as learning the facts of the encounter.  If you're looking for real chills, not every entry will satisfy you, but there is a wide variety and the book is entertaining.  The book is paperback, 208 pp.  No photos or illustrations.  

Ghosts of Old Louisville

  by David Domine,  2005

This is a well written and interesting book about a unique neighborhood.  The area of Old Louisville KY, filled with Victorian structures was destined to fall to developer's bulldozers in the name of modernization when the whole area was made a protected Preservation District that covers several square miles.  Mr. Domine has scouted out many ghosts who remain as well, and has written an entertaining book about his neighborhood which includes his own firsthand experience when he moved there.  After each chapter the author adds some information about a historical site that relates to the episode described, and is also haunted.  Worth reading for the history and  tales, this book has 191 pages and photos.     

Fear:  A Ghost Hunter's Story

  by Kriss Stephens, 2004

Ms. Stephens was the paranormal investigator used by the show Fear on MTV.  In this book she covers varied sites, from her haunted childhood home to Gettysburg, and back to her native New Orleans. I found the most interesting chapter to be about her MTV show related experiences.  Toward the end of the book, some write-ups began to feel repetitive to me.  I must say that this author gets the prize for most photos included in a book. Regarding the photos, though, I really would have liked captions for them and also tired of seeing shot after shot of an  orb.  I know some people think they are spirits, but I am of the camp that believes they are dust, dirt or insects.  In spite of some of these shortcomings, though I did enjoy this book overall, and liked Ms. Stephens relaxed style of narration.  This book is 234 pages. 

 

The Ghost Next Door

by Mark Alan Morris, 2003

This is a refreshingly simple and entertaining book of true ghost stories collected by the author from people he knows.  Most of the narrative is in the words of the subject of each tale, so each story has its own "personality."   There are no photos, but I didn't feel a need for them.  The chapters are short, but are to the point and not filled with extraneous history or details just to add pages. The book is short, and I would have liked a few more stories (who doesn't always want more?!) but I would still recommend it.  It's 100 pages of text with several blank pages at the end. Maybe you could use them to record your own spooky encounters! 

 

Haunted Highways: the Spirits of Route 66

by Ellen Robson and Dianne Halicki, 1999

If you're even thinking of traveling along Rte. 66, this book is for you. It has (not coincidentally?) 66  listings of spooky stops you can make as you travel. This guide has great maps, both general of the whole Route, and for each state so you have a very good idea of where these sites are. Each ghostly entry is 2-3 pages, with a good photo, description and directions. The book is paperback, 190pp including an index.

 

Dixie Spirits

by Christopher Coleman,2002

This book presents tales that are of interest for their supernatural content, while blending in an appealing folklore/historic slant.  Not only ghosts are covered, but voodoo, witches, Native American tales/legends and even an entry about werewolves.  Organized by state, the book is 278pp, and does not include photos.

 

Haunted Inns of the Southeast

by Sheila Turnage, 2001

This is one of those guide books that is not only very helpful to find a haunted inn to visit, but is fun just to read or browse through.  Each entry is not long, but is interesting and the author includes many, many  places.  Her region covers from Louisiana/Miss. over to Florida, and up north to Virginia and Tennessee.  228pp, includes photos and a nicely done index.

 

I Never Believed in Ghosts Until... :...

I Never Believed in Ghosts Until...
Collected by the Editors of USA Weekend,1992.

This is an absolutely wonderful book which resulted from a request by USA Weekend magazine for reader's own ghost stories for a halloween issue. They received more than five hundred stories but only had room to publish six. They took 100 of the best tales and compiled them in this book. The stories are varied, chilling and told in as many styles as there are entries. One of my favorites.

Green Mountain Ghosts, Ghouls & Unsolved...

Green Mountain Ghosts, Ghouls & Unsolved Mysteries, by Joseph A. Citro. 1994.

This book covers all kinds of oddities in Vermont, not just ghosts. It is organized by type of story, with major headings such as: Vermont's Ghostly Gallery, Here Monsters Dwell, Alien Skies, and Lingering Mysteries. I found this book well written, intriguing and fun to read. In 1996 Mr. Citro published another book, Passing Strange which covers all kinds of strangeness throughout New England and was also very entertaining.

Ghosts of the Northeast

by David J. Pitkin, 2002

This 396 page book covers all kinds of hauntings including houses, inns, colleges, apartments, lighthouses, cemeteries, restaurants, military sites and inanimate objects. While the book seemed slightly weighted toward coverage of upstate New York, all areas of the Northeast are covered.  Whether you are looking for places to visit, lots of interesting and spooky tales to entertain, or both, this is a worthwhile book with tons of entries. It also has a thorough index and lots of photos.

Lighthouse Ghosts : 13 Bona Fide..

by Norma Elizabeth and Bruce Roberts, 1999

This book presents well done writeups of 13 haunted lighthouses, from Michigan to the Atlantic Coast down to Florida. Detailed directions and contact info are provided. Excellent photographs accompany each chapter. The authors' love of and respect for lighthouses is apparent and contagious. 144pp.

Coast to Coast Ghosts

by Leslie Rule, 2001

Organized by type of ghost, Ms. Rule covers a wide breadth of hauntings (including the house she grew up in). Chapters include ghosts of children, animals, schools, the Gold Rush, and watery sites among many others. She visited each place, and each entry conveys her  personal interest.  The writing and photography (which she does herself) are very good and there are interesting sidebars throughout the book. This would be a nice book to curl up with on a gray weekend day.  249pp with photos.  Ms. Rule is currently working on a second book.

Welcome Inn

by Ed Okonowicz, 1995

This book is part of a series by Mr. Okonowicz called Spirits Between the Bays covering hauntings in the DelMarVa area. Although his volumes are thin, they are well written, entertaining and have interesting content. Welcome Inn has twelve chapters describing haunted inns. 90pp. Drawings of sites. Note: Another entry in this series, Possessed Possessions, is a worthwhile read.

Haunted Houses of California : A Ghostly...

By Antionette May, 1990, 1993.

This book is organized by geographic area. Ms. May does her own investigating and combines history, witness reports, and her own impressions in her coverage of a variety of sites. She also frequently has a psychic accompany her, notably Sylvia Browne. I liked this book very much. It is 231 pages and has many photos. My only (small) complaint is that a map page for each of her regional chapters with locations pinpointed would have been nice.

Haunted Ohio : Ghostly Tales from the...

Haunted Ohio (series), by Chris Woodyard, 1991.

This series by Ms. Woodyard consists of four books. The accounts in the Haunted Ohio books are entertaining and interesting. The author is a "ghosthunter" and many of the episodes are places she has explored. Her chapters are organized by type of haunting, such as haunted clothing or college ghosts. In Haunted Ohio II she has a chapter on haunted inns and taverns, including the Buxton Inn which many people are curious about. Her books have no photos, and run close to 200pp.

Haunted Lakes : Great Lakes Ghost...

by Frederick Stonehouse, 1997

In this book Stonehouse writes about all sorts of paranormal phenomena of the Great Lakes. After many years of compiling maritime history about the lakes, Stonehouse realized he had amassed many odd tales and set them down in their own volume. He writes about haunted lighthouses, ghostly ships, sea serpents, superstitions and more. This book is very well written, with interesting tales and information about what life was and is like on the lakes. The book is almost 200 pages, with photos, an index and a bibliography.

Haunted Heartland

by Beth Scott & Michael Norman, 1985.

Scott and Norman offer 468 pages of ghost stories of the Midwest. Their "day jobs" as college professors shows through. There is lots of historical background and their detailed research is obvious. Lots of ghost stories, including many from the 19th century as well as contemporary ones.

Haunted Hotels: A Guide to American and...

by Robin Mead, 1995.

Hotels/inns in the U.S. and Canada are described. Most states are included. Descriptions of the hotel are given, then the nature of the haunting. At the end of each entry Mead lists the address, telephone, facilities and price range. Nicely done with line drawings of the buildings for some of the listings. 218pp. At the end, the author lists other haunted places that he did not write chapters on. A handy reference book to have, especially if you like to travel.

 

Georgia Ghosts

by Nancy Roberts, 1997

This is an entertaining book covering many hauntings in Georgia. It is organized by geographic area and has some photos. Nancy Roberts is a well-known writer of ghostly folklore and her chapters in this book are written in a storyteller's style. The book is not only helpful in identifying haunted places, but is enjoyable just to read the tales.

 

Haunt Hunter's Guide to Florida

by Joyce Elson Moore, 1998

Moore's book has lost of entries, organized by geographic region and includes a map in the front, which is helpful. Each chapter has a general description of the place, then "Haunt History," "Visitng the Site," and "Directions." The chapters are short and to the point, but have all the information you'd need. I think this book would be a useful resource to find hauntings in a particular area you're interested in or will visit.

Ghost Stories of Washington

by Barbara Smith, 2000

Barbara Smith has written several books about ghosts in Canadian provinces and now turns her hand to the Pacific Northwest. She covers a variety of spooks, from haunted houses to inns, schools, roads, and theaters. While this book will not give you as many sites you can visit as some other books do, it will give you enough. Many of the stories are not contemporary but are still interesting to read. So, while not what I would view as a real "guidebook," this is still a good book to curl up with on a stormy day. 230pp, some photos.

Ghost Stalker's Guide To Haunted...

Ghost Stalker's Guide to Haunted California, by Richard Senate, 1998.

Ghost Stalker's Guide is not as well done as Antoinette May's book on CA, but may prove a useful book to have. Its contents are organized by type of site (lodgings, vessels, missions, restaurants, etc.). Many of the chapters are fairly short, averaging two full pages. Some entries (such as Whaley House and Alcatraz) cover only his own visit, neglecting others' ghostly experiences in those places. There are no photos of each site - one picture is at the start of each topic chapter. Senate does list lots of haunted places and this book should give you a long itinerary of locations to visit! 176 pp, with index.