Here at Theresa’s Haunted History, I’ve always advocated a spirit of life-long learning when it comes to the paranormal field. No matter how experienced you may be, no matter how many years you’ve been chasing down the ghosts, there’s ALWAYS plenty left to be learned. One of my favorite ways to indulge this continuing education into the world of the unknown is to read everything I can possible get my hands on!
Reading a variety of books from different authors on different paranormal topics is how I got my first real taste of this field as a kid…and it’s how I continue to get my fix well into adulthood. However, not everything I read gets reviewed here on my blog’s Book Reviews page. I still wanted a way to share with you what I’ve been diving into when it comes to my paranormal nonfiction, so I thought the best way to do this would just be a quarterly re-cap, with links and a brief summary of the books I got around to finishing. As with so many of my projects, there just aren’t enough hours in the day to really get to EVERYTHING I want to, and unfortunately, I only read a mere 8 books on the paranormal from January 1st to March 31st!
1. Haunted Shenandoah Valley by Denver Michaels: Like the title would suggest, this book covers hauntings from all over the Shenandoah Valley, including a small section from West Virginia. Denver Michaels is a prolific author of the paranormal, so each story was well-written, interesting, and had plenty of historical background thrown in. This is a great book for anyone interested in the hauntings of that location, or even those interested in Civil War-based ghost tales, as there are quite a few from the Shenandoah Valley!
2. Strange Twist of Fate edited by Curtis Fuller: I found this battered paperback in an antique store for $2 and had to add it to my collection. As it is a collection of articles originally appearing in Fate Magazine, the topics range from ghosts to UFOs, to psychic ability and all sorts of other Fortean phenomena. And as such, some of the stories are really fascinating and well-written and some are rather…head-scratching.
3. The Wild Man of North America by Louis Petolicchio: Back in December, I picked up my signed copy of this book (and met the author!) while stopping by the Yeti Expo at the West Virginia Bigfoot Museum in Sutton. Unfortunately, the author passed away before I could return to the museum and let him know how much I enjoyed his book. This is a collection of vintage newspaper clippings from all over the country featuring stories of Wild Men, many of which we’d probably classify as a ‘Bigfoot’ today.
4. The Ghost Hunter’s Guide by Peter Underwood: Peter Underwood is another one of those super-prolific writers on the paranormal, and even though the publication date for this one is a little…dated…the information really isn’t. The basics of paranormal investigation and ghost hunting haven’t changed much since the days of Harry Price…and I can’t decide personally if that’s a good thing or not!
5. Men in Black by Conrad Bauer: I picked up the e-book version when it was being offered for free, and I’m really glad I did. Although it was a quick read, it was fairly thorough and well-researched, mentioning plenty of famous Men in Black cases, including some high strangeness associated with the Pt. Pleasant Mothman flap.
6. Paranormal Crimes by Conrad Bauer: Another free-to-me find by the same author as Men in Black, this one was actually pretty interesting as well. Relating paranormal phenomena to crime was a really unique concept, and it was fun to read. However, some of the ‘crimes’ were quite the stretch.
7. Ghosts of Hampshire and Isle of Wight by Peter Underwood: This was my second book by the legendary Peter Underwood that I finished this quarter. It is a huge compendium of haunted locations from Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. As I’m not familiar with these locations, there were times when the extensive history got a little dry for me, but it’s a great collection of ghost stories that can be enjoyed by anyone, no matter where they’re from.
8. Phantoms of Dixie by Hans Holzer: This was another battered, old paperback I picked up at a local antique store, and just one of the hundreds of books published by ghost hunter, Hans Holzer! This was actually a kind of weird read for me…I’m not entirely sure I agree with Holzer’s definition of ‘Dixie,’ as some of the deep south states only got a few pages dedicated to them, while Texas was over half the book…with a little Oklahoma?? thrown in. Still, you can’t go wrong with Hans Holzer and there were some great cases discussed.
So that’s my first quarter reading list! I’ve got a TBR pile a mile high of paranormal non-fiction I want to get to this summer, yet I continue to buy more and more books…from conventions, from thrift stores, and from free offers on my Kindle. There will never be enough time to read everything I want to read…but check back in 3 months to see what additional titles I was able to finish. Happy Reading…and as always, stay spooky!
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