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review 2017-02-24 17:48
Review: Ghostland: No Man's Land
Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places - Colin Dickey
Lily Dale: The True Story of the Town that Talks to the Dead - Christine Wicker

  I was quite excited to spend my monthly Audible credit on this book; what a fascinating idea--reframing American history by examining our relationship with our landmark haunted locales.

 

I, unfortunately, have returned it to Audible.

 

Each house is well-chosen: the Lemp mansion, for example, as a haunted touchstone in American history and culture...

and then debunked as an actual, or at least a full as-known haunting by the author. Chapter after chapter.

 

I hung on through the underlayer of smugness until the author stated repeatedly that Spiritualism didn't last, it was dead, it was no longer a thriving practice in the United States. Then I stopped reading. Why? I had reached the intolerable level of poor scholarship and research. There is an entire town of Spiritualists who live and work as such, in plain sight, and have done so for years: Lily Dale. Both a documentary and a book are available about Lily Dale, New York, and both are easy to find:

 

Lily Dale: The Town That Talks to the Dead * Christine Wicker

 

HBO Documentaries: No One Dies in Lily Dale

 

Side note: The author was also treated well by the Lemp Mansion's hosts, taken on their Haunted Tour, and given the choice room--one that is on the tour because it is reported to exhibit so much phenomena. His entire account of his Lemp tour and stay was mocking, in my opinion, disdainful of staff, location's history, and even his fellow tour group members! I feel as if I have been subjected to a history book written by a hipster: "Look, we're supposed to be enjoying this. OMG, all these people are really enjoying this! I cannot wait 'til I return to my cocktail and typewriter." Combined with the shoddy research, and some debunking claims without citations, this book is disappointedly unprofessional.

 

Also posted at The Dollop: American History Podcast

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text 2016-03-04 17:41
Recent entries on thedollop.net (with books, of course, so many suggested books)
On Witchcraft - Cotton Mather
DEAD PEOPLE POSING: The Mystery Behind Dead Photographs (FULL EDITION: Photographs explained) - Alexander Coil
Saddle the Wild Wind: The Saga of Squirrel Tooth Alice and Texas Billy Thompson - Laurence E. Gesell
The Run of His Life : The People versus O. J. Simpson - Jeffrey Toobin
Another City, Not My Own - Dominick Dunne
The Museum of Hoaxes - Alex Boese

Podcast Episode 156: The Marblehead Smallpox Riot: Smallpox Blankie, or Why Are My Neighbors Bumpy?

 

Podcast Episode 147: The Greenbrier Ghost: Meatless Mondays are Murder!, or Ghosts Make My Head Spin:

true story of the only known legal case where a ghost testified about her own murder

 

followup entry: Postmortem Photography: includes a premortem photography story about my great-grandfather

 

Podcast Episode 145: Squirrel Tooth Alice: No pithy Bullwinkle title because there are vintage nudes, yes sir you are welcome

 

Podcast Episode 126: RA Cunningham and Tambo: Nickels in the Dime Museum, or How to Buy Other People for Fun and Profit!

 

and, Resources: American Crime Story (and a personal fable, boogeyman and all): relates back to several episodes and ties them all together:

 

All of thedollop.net entries has the mp3 of the corresponding podcast episode embedded in the beginning of the blog entry, so you can easily listen as well as read. Also, all of the entries have many, many more suggested books to read than I have highlighted here. Because it's me.

 

Facebook page

Patreon (help me afford to be here much more often, and there)

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text 2015-10-20 22:18
Missed me? I am back, and have a new playground to share.
Mysterious America: The Ultimate Guide to the Nation's Weirdest Wonders, Strangest Spots, and Creepiest Creatures - Loren Coleman

I so need to catch up with you all, and I need to correct my read shelf...but I have a very good excuse. I have been knee-deep in an excellent project:

I am the webmaster and the librarian for the The Dollop Podcast's website. It's an American history podcast by two comedians, Dave Anthony and Gareth Reynolds. After they broadcast, I write so-you-want-to-know-more blog entries, pages, post original documents, etc.

 

Come check us out!

thedollop.net

the podcast on iTunes

Pinterest

Facebook: the guys, me

Twitter: the guys, me

book tag on thedollop.net

 

I've missed you guys. Now that I have this bad boy on an even keel, I can maintain both my reading journal and The Dollop. Time to catch uupppppppppp...

 

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