*Note, while I will try to avoid major spoilers, I sometimes won't be able to help it.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

"Ghost Stories of California" by Barbara Smith (and other ghost stories too!)

Trying to decide how to review a book of ghost stories is far more difficult than I expected.  Stories and books from this genre that I particularly enjoy and have collected over the years come from Lone Pine Publishing.  I picked up my first book of ghost stories during a trip to California where I appropriately purchased a copy of Barbara Smith’s Ghost Stories of California.  I found it while browsing the gift shop at the Winchester Mystery House and appropriately mysterious stories from there and more can be found within the book.  As with many books, I immediately began to read (and be a little scared).  Since that day I have picked up many other volumes including Ghost Stories of the Rocky Mountains (Volumes I and II), Ghost Stories of Arizona and New Mexico and (though I haven’t had a chance to read it yet) Ghost Stories of Christmas.  The books have various authors; some give historical facts as to what led to each place to be haunted and what has been witnessed there and some offer chilling tales to tell around the campfire, but wither way, I have yet to find one that I have not enjoyed.

I have tried other books of ghost stories over the years, but these still remain my favorite.  I am always pleased to find one when I am on a trip so that I can read up on the places I am about to visit to see if I may come across a ghost or spirit (however, I’ve had no such luck).  These are the types of books I prefer to read in the middle of the day, in a very well lit room.  However, on occasion, I have found myself curled up under a blanket, unable to sleep because the stories and legends are swirling in my head.  And this, at least in my opinion, is the sign of a great ghost story.

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