Book Review: Ghosts of Lincoln: Discovering His Paranormal Legacy by Adam Selzer

23364517Title: Ghosts of Lincoln: Discovering His Paranormal Legacy
Author: Adam Selzer
Genre: Non-Fiction, Ghosts & Hauntings

Age Group: Adult
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Abraham Lincoln may have never set out to be the Great Emancipator, and he certainly never set out to become the Johnny Appleseed of ghosts. But he turned out to be both. He and John Wilkes Booth, his assassin, sure seem to be haunting a lot of places these days. Indeed, perhaps no event in American history brought death – and the paranormal – to the forefront of people’s minds quite like the Civil War. Somewhere between half a million and a million people died in the war. A single battle claimed more American soldiers than all previous American wars combined. All over the country, men left home to fight for their country and never returned. And Lincoln and Booth were, in their ways, among those men. Lincoln left Illinois to save the Union and never returned. Booth confidently expected to be considered a hero throughout the South when he came back from killing Lincoln. With the rise of spiritualism and interest in the paranormal neatly coinciding with it, there came to be rumors that Lincoln was consulting with spiritualists at the White House. Whether Lincoln himself took seances seriously or not is a subject of debate today, but stories that he did made for considerable press at the time. And Lincoln does seem to have spoken about having dreams of his own assassination. And then there are the ghosts. Lincoln is reported in locations all over. Booth is, as well. And with the rise of spiritualism after the Civil War, Booth and Lincoln both become popular spirits to “contact.”

Ghosts of Lincoln mixes the historical with the paranormal. After Abraham Lincoln’s dead, there have been many sightings of his ghosts. The book describes some of those sightings, but also dives deep into the life of Lincoln, from his birth to his childhood years to early adulthood, adulthood and eventually his death. It focuses on his visions of his premature death, how the paranormal influenced his life, his proclaimed presence at various séances, as well as the sightings of his spirit after his passing.

I previously read The Ghosts of Chicago by Adam Selzer, and so I looked forward to reading more by this author. Well, first off, the mix of a historical biography of one of the United States’ greatest presidents and the paranormal worked well. I was a bit surprised at how well it worked, to be honest. Adam Selzer has an interesting writing voice and although the book contains a lot of information, it’s never presented in a dull way.

The author obviously did a lot of research into Lincoln’s life prior to writing this book, and it shows. I already knew some things about Abraham Lincoln but not being an American myself, I probably didn’t know as much as the average American. Either way , I learned a lot through reading this book. When some sources are not exactly reputable, Selzer is not afraid to mention that, leaving it up to the reader to decide whether they believe the account or not.

An interesting, witty read, and highly recommended if you want to learn more about Lincoln, especially the paranormal aspects of his life.

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