Book Review: On Haunted Ground

12982848Title: On Haunted Ground
Author: Lisa Rogers
Genre: Non-Fiction, True Haunting
Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide
Publication Date: May 8th, 2012
Rating: 3,5 stars
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Review copy provided by the publisher through Netgalley.

Lisa Rogers sensed that the house she bought with her husband Wes came with a ghost. But nothing prepared them for doors slamming on their own, objects flying, and the nightly appearance of a freaky green orb in their bedroom. Their two children had opposing views on the paranormal activity. While Keshia grew attached to the grandmotherly ghost who taught her not to be afraid of thunderstorms and the Native American spirit that tucked her into bed, her brother Troy wasn’t quick to believe in their unearthly guests.

This amazing true story details two decades of terrifying, funny, and heartwarming paranormal encounters–the mischievous entity that imitated the voice of each family member, the spool that “came to life” to chase the kids, the shocking events that shake Wes and Troy’s skepticism–and the enduring love that keeps the family together through it all.

On Haunted Ground tells the experiences of author Lisa Rogers while she lives in a house, haunted not by one, but by several different ghosts, some more powerful than others. While some of these experiences are creepy enough to make shivers run down your spine, they’re not all malicious in nature. Lisa Rogers has an intriguing narrator’s voice, and she builds up the tension perfectly throughout her book. Even if a book is non-fiction, it’s still important to keep a reader hooked, and Lisa definitely succeeds in that.

I have mixed opinions about all the specters haunting Lisa’s house though, but that’s probably the skeptic in me again. I have no trouble believing a house is haunted. Even if there are more than two ghosts involved, I can live with that. But the phantoms in Lisa’s house seem to vary as time progresses, and there are about five of them, if not more. There’s a ghost who can strangely imitate people’s voice and who occassionally picks up the phone, for instance. I’ve never heard of any ghosts behaving this way. Sure, they can perhaps imitate a voice ones, but this frequently? And even when picking up the phone. It’s both disturbing and unreal, and I’m not sure if I completely believe it. It could be that this particular experience is a bit exaggerated. Or it could be completely truthful, who am I to judge?

It just confuses me that not all ghosts would be present at the same time, and that the amount of specters living in a house varies over time. It’s like the house Lisa Rogers lives in is more like a hotel for people stuck in the afterlife than anything else. I would’ve preferred if the author delved more into the why. Why is that particular house so terribly haunted? I feel like I have more questions than answers at the end of this book.

The book also felt a little superificial to me, probably because the author tried to talk about 20 years of paranormal activity in the course of one book. But I could live with that. It gave the book a more ‘scientific’ feel, which I thought helped add to the book’s credibility.

Of all the true haunting novels I’ve read so far, On Haunted Ground is perhaps my favorite. It holds the middle between being too exaggerated to be believable and being so dry and uneventful it can’t be anything but true. The writing style is fluent, and I enjoyed Lisa’s turmoils, not only with the ghosts but also with her family. It’s very clear that she has a loving and caring family, with or without the ghosts included. I will definitely read more books by this author if given the chance.

Comments

  1. A hotel for the afterlife..sounds like a CW tv series..LOL. Great review!

  2. I love a good ghost story! I’ll have to read this one. I like your honesty about certain things that bothered you with the book, but in the end you consider it a favorite. Great review!

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