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review 2017-09-06 14:18
What a Haunted Nation We Live In
Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places - Colin Dickey

I read this for the "Haunted Houses" square. "Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places" by Colin Dickey. 

 

I don't know what to say. This was a really well researched and thought out book by Colin Dickey. He provides enough information that made me want to do my own digging and research into some of the homes and other locations he mentions in this book. What I really do enjoy that there is something of an anthropologist/historian in Dickey's work that I really enjoyed. Besides looking at the supposed hauntings, he goes into backstories that would have led to a person or persons to believe a haunting was occurring. 

 

This book goes into what I would call typical hauntings of homes, to hauntings of cemeteries, hotels, brothels (Mustang Ranch), cities, battlefields, and even a bridge. And the book wraps things up about how our next form of being haunted can be via social media. I personally remember being surprised one day when Facebook popped up with a memory of me with a friend who had passed away. I remember flinching and just feeling sad and hurt all over again about her passing away. It didn't even occur to me that one day, I too could be a ghost of sorts, haunting my friends and family via social media. 

 

He also mixes in popular culture (American Horror Story) along with horror books that reference some of the hauntings that he provides more details on for readers. 

 

I already said that I loved Dickey's look into the Salem Witch Trials by looking further at the "House of Seven Gables". I also loved his foray into Richmond, VA and it's ugly history of selling slaves. Heck, I loved Dickey for calling out the fact that it's weird in locations with a huge minority population or slaves, most of the ghosts were white. And or most of the hauntings surrounding women who were slaves, made them the aggressors (stealing a white man who was married) from the poor unsuspecting wife. 

Dickey writes a book that is unflinching about what was, what is, and what could be our future as a country when it comes to how we all will be portrayed after our deaths.  

 

He also turns a cynical eye towards so called ghost hunters who have morphed from an eclectic group of people who were interested in the history of a place, to people who are trying to gain some fame through reality television. And I loved that Dickey also debunked some of the hauntings in the book. 

 

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text 2017-09-06 02:52
Reading progress update: I've read 69%.
Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places - Colin Dickey

Book completed at 69 percent. Remaining is notes. What was nice is that the notes in the body of the book are hyperlinked (bright blue) so you can toggle back and forth to the footnotes while reading and not lose your place. 

 

I really enjoyed this. Dickey does a great job of showing the history of a location and diving into it's supposed haunted beginnings. He ends on us all becoming ghosts one day due to us still living on in our social media presences which give me a quick shiver. 

 

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text 2017-09-06 01:16
Reading progress update: I've read 61%.
Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places - Colin Dickey

Still enjoying this. We've moved onto haunted hotels, brothels, cemeteries, and even cities. I'm fascinated with the idea of a city being haunted.

 

 

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text 2017-09-05 14:51
Reading progress update: I've read 40%.
Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places - Colin Dickey

Wow. There is so much information in this book. I am loving the historical details, the author's overall tone, and the ties to horror novels like "The Haunting of Hill House," "The Shining," and "Rose Red."

 

I really do wish though that he included photos of the homes that he takes an in depth look into.


So far I can't tell you what my favorite chapters are, I think it's a toss up between Salem, Massachusetts, and Shockoe Bottom in Richmond, Virginia.

 

 

The Salem, Massachusetts piece besides getting into the House of the Seven Gables, also looks at the Salem Witch Trials and how people used accusations of slavery to legally loot their neighbors home and land.

 

Image result for house of seven gables

House of Seven Gables, Salem

 

I actually took more from his look into the Salem Witch Trials and the aftermath than from that recent book I read that was about the Salem Witch Trials. 

 

Dickey calls out the hypocrisy of the South with regards to slavery in the Shockoe Bottom chapter (how prescient considering what is going on in the U.S. right now) and even gives a hard side eye to Thomas Jefferson.I didn't even know that this area in Richmond had a thriving slave trade and was clueless about the hauntings nearby that weirdly don't seem to be deceased slaves, just some unknown ghosts hanging around. 

 

Image result for shockoe bottom slave market

Correspondent G.H. Andrews depicting a man and woman with a child on an auction block, which accompanied an article describing slave sales in Richmond.

 

Dickey I get a sense wants to believe in ghosts, haunted houses and other locations (now reading about a haunted Toys R Us) but he does provide details on debunked locations (Amityville) and people (Sylvia Browne). 

 

He also goes into homes that ended up being sources of inspiration for writers like Stephen King and Shirley Jackson which I think is pretty cool. 

 

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text 2017-09-04 23:48
Reading progress update: I've read 1%.
Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places - Colin Dickey

Back from the gym and decided to start this. Also listening to House Hunters Renovations and yelling at the homeowners about making everything open planned. 

 

I am reading this for the "Haunted Houses" square. "Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places" by Colin Dickey. The synopsis says

 

"Ghostland takes readers on a road trip through some of the country's most infamously haunted places—and deep into the dark side of our history."

 

Sounds like it fits. 

 

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