Book Review: Haunted Bridges by Rich Newman

28700191Title: Haunted Bridges
Author: Rich Newman
Genre: Nonfiction, True Haunting
Age Group: Adult
Rating: 1 star
Purchase: Amazon

Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Restless Spirits and Supernatural Thrills

More than 300 bridges with eerie phenomenon that span space and time

Across the country hundreds of bridges harbor some of the creepiest paranormal activity known to man. Invisible hands reach out and touch unsuspecting travelers. Residual ghosts haunt scenes of murders, accidents, hangings, and suicides. At some bridges a voice cries out in the darkness that sends a chill down the spine of anyone who hears it.

Haunted Bridges tells the kinds of stories that are told in hushed tones around hearths and campfires as we ponder the unknown late into the night. The stories are at once mesmerizing, unique, and unexpectedly familiar, as if we all know deep down that fate keeps some spirits bound to earth. If you can endure the fear and you don’t look away, you will experience the dread and mystery of the unexplained.

Cities and states are listed for 324 public locations so readers can look up specific bridges.

When I started reading Haunted Bridges, I was really curious. I had thought the book would tell stories of the hauntings related to the bridges, focus on the background/history of the bridge, tell readers the location of the bridge, and ideally also provide some witness accounts, or the author’s first hand experiences.

Uhm, not so much. First, the book is really quite ambitious. It focuses on more than 300 bridges, but only shares a page at most about each bridge. The stories are repetitive and boring, so much so that it would be better if the author focused on 2-3 bridges per chapter, and then just added in a paragraph along the lines of “(insert numerous other bridges) share a similar story. You can visit them at (insert locations)” or something like that. Now, it’s basically the same after the discussion of a bridge or two, and I found myself skipping entire pages.

The book has zero thrill factor. It’s actually quite boring. The information is short, and you scarcely find more than you would have found by a quick Google search. More information on a smaller number of bridges would be a lot more interesting.

This book is an example of where the author chose quantity over quality, providing the reader with a dry run-down of haunted bridges that makes for a dry, dull read. I didn’t finish this one, just skimmed through it.

Mini-Review: The Agony That Remains, A Strange Little Place, The Haunted Pub


Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.

The Agony That Remains

Tite: The Agony That Remains

Author: Brandon Callahan

Genre: Nonfiction, True Haunting

Rating: 1 star

Purchase: Amazon

In the northeast corner of Oklahoma, where the Trail of Tears ends and where one of the world’s largest clusters of ley lines intersect, there’s a place of extreme paranormal activity that has received little attention from the outside world. Join Brandon Callahan and his crew as they investigate the horrifying legacy of a bloody and brutal past, where generations of families have been terrorized by ghosts, demons, UFOs, Sasquatch, and countless other paranormal manifestations.

Partnering with a family that’s been driven from their land, Brandon and his team discover energies that have no fear. As dark forces take hold of the investigators’ lives, Brandon must attempt to salvage what’s left of his team’s—and his own—sanity.

Review: One of the most over-the-top, exaggerated, implausible paranormal cases I’ve ever read about. Sure, give me a ghost. Give me a demon. But don’t give me ghosts, demons, aliens, and even death itself dropping by for a visit. It’s like the author’s imagination just went completely wild, and there’s no reason at all why I would believe the author’s claims in this book. It’s just not realistic, and too over the top. Also, the writing is bland, and it’s too obvious the majority of this book is fiction.

A Strange Little Place

Title: A Strange Little Place

Author: Brennan Storr

Genre: Nonfiction, True Haunting

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Revelstoke: Where the worlds of the living, dead, and extraordinary collide

Embark on a fascinating journey into Revelstoke, Canada, a world-renowned ski destination with a well-kept secret: it has a long and active paranormal history just as breathtaking as its mountain views. Packed with stories of hauntings, UFOs, Sasquatch, missing time, and much more, A Strange Little Place takes you into a small town full of thrilling secrets and bizarre encounters.

Chronicling over seventy years of unusual occurrences in his hometown, Brennan Storr provides exciting, first-hand accounts of unexplainable phenomena. Discover the sinister mysteries of Rogers Pass, the strange craft and spectral music of the Arrow Lakes, and generations of hauntings in the infamous Holten House. As a magnet for the supernatural, Revelstoke invites you to experience things you never thought possible.

Review: I want to visit Revelstoke. Right now, please. While UFO’s usually aren’t my thing, the author had a great way of describing what was happening, along with witness testimony and background info. I also loved the accounts of paranormal happenings. It’s obvious the author’s research took up a lot of time, but it makes the book all the better for it.

The Haunted Pub

Title: The Haunted Pub

Author: Melanie Tushmore

Genre: Paranormal, Ghosts, Romance

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

When young cad Finlay Saunders spurns the wrong lover, he is murdered, his soul now tied to the place where his life ended. Though the building changes over the years, Finlay’s haunting of the living becomes so bad, that a priest is called in, trapping him in the wall of his ‘death room’.

Ninety-three years later, Finlay’s room is unwittingly reopened, and given to a twenty year old boy suffering from depression. His negative energy feeds Finlay’s soul, and as soon as the first crackle of blaring rock music fills the room, his ghost is free once again to wreak havoc upon the living.

Review: An intriguing ghost story and gay romance mixed in one. Finlay was an interesting ghost, and his background story made me compelled to understand him better. All characters were realistic, and the writing was very gripping.

Book Review: Dark Spirits by Stephen Lancaster

26796653Title: Dark Spirtis: A Man Terrorized by the Supernatural

Author: Stephen Lancaster

Genre: Nonfiction, True Haunting, Ghosts & Hauntings

Age Group: Adult

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Stephen Lancaster has been investigating haunted locations for the past 15 years, and these are some of his darkest cases, which have an eerie connection/familiarity. It also focuses on how the cases/investigations affect his life and what happens when an entity follows you home.

In Dark Spirits, Stephen Lancaster talks about some of his scariest cases to date. From a haunted plantation house to a spirit that possibly followed him home, all the cases are memorable. Some are a bit over the top, and don’t seem all that believable, but I’m willing to give the author the benefit of the doubt.
I do feel that in some cases, as with the spirit possibly following the author home, there might also be an edge of paranoia to the stories. Even if something is haunting you at home, it’s a bit irrationable to immediately think it’s the same ghost you met x number of days/weeks ago somewhere else. I didn’t immediately see why it would be that ghost, and not something else.
Anyway, despite showcasing the author’s scariest adventures, I wasn’t really terrified – not even freaked out to admit. Most of the accounts were just too over the top, and the repetitive writing (serioulsy, things were repeating A LOT of times) made the book lose its tension, and it wasn’t as scary as I had hoped and anticipated.
Nevertheless, if you enjoy true haunting books, I would recommend you give this one a shot. The writing isn’t bad, and the stories are entertaining.

Book Review: Something Wicked by Debi Chestnut

26796654Title: Something Wicked
Author: Debi Chestnut
Genre: True Haunting, Ghosts & Hauntings, Non-Fiction
Age Group: Adult
Rating: 1 star
Purchase: Amazon

Forget what you know or think you know about negative entities. Unless you are one of the few who have encountered a demon, it’s almost impossible to grasp the depth and scope of such pure evil and how these creatures can enter someone’s life and completely turn it upside down. Something Wicked explores the topic of negative energies, dark forces, and exorcisms with fresh eyes so that you may come to your own conclusions.

I read a few books by Debi Chestnut already, and usually I find them quite enjoyable. However, Something Wicked missed the ball for me. I didn’t enjoy the book at all. From the synopsis, I thought the author would give an explanation about negative entities, more in particular demons, and then would go on to detail some cases she worked on. While the author does mention some cases, it’s rather vague, and doesn’t give out a lot of details, making it rather boring.

I understand the need to protect the people involved, but still, if you don’t give out any details whatsoever and just a basic rundown, then it makes for rather boring reading. Also, the book was very, very repetitive. It paraphrased sections from what the Vatican said about demonic possession, for example, and then underneath, explained the already paraphrased sections again.

It just felt as if someone without any experience could’ve written the same book. It all stayed very much on the surface, rephrasing knowledge already known to most people with an inkling of interest in the paranormal world. The writing was dull, and it’s more than a manual than anything – except not a very enjoyable manual to read.

I have to say it was a dissapointment, and I expected more. I read it to the end because I forced myself to, but I didn’t enjoy it at all, in fact, I was bored ofr most of it. I would muh rather recommend “Stalking Shadows” or another book by this author.

Mini-Reviews: Haunted by the Abyss, The Haunting of Tenth Avenue Theater, The Mirror Chronicles


Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.

Haunted by the Abyss

Tite: Haunted by the Abyss

Author: Sarah Soderlund

Genre: Non-Fiction, True Haunting

Rating: 3,5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Journey into the terrifying abyss, where malevolent spirits and otherworldly beasts lurk. From childhood experiences with demons and aliens to a Missouri cemetery filled with phantom drums and territorial ghosts, these first-hand accounts of paranormal phenomena will chill your bones and thrill your mind.

Sarah Soderlund, also known as Paranormal Sarah, has been psychically gifted since childhood. Her intuitive abilities, coupled with her education and extensive astral world investigative skills, provide a unique and fascinating perspective into the supernatural. She describes not only what happened in her haunted childhood home, but also why some houses are “alive” and how ghost energy can slam doors, whisper your name, or even manifest as a full-blown or partial apparition. Haunted by the Abyss takes you deep into Sarah’s investigations, where you’ll discover that these stories aren’t just scary . . . they’re real.

Review: An interesting account of Sarah Soderlund, Paranormal Sarah as she’s nicknamed, her gift to see spirits and her experience with the supernatural. She talks about the things she went through growing up in a haunted home, and then her experiences afterward – and she sure has a lot of experience. The book was an easy, quik read, but entertaining nevertheless.

The Haunting of the Tenth Avenue Theater

Title: The Haunting of the Tenth Avenue Theater

Author: Alex Matsuo

Genre: Non-Fiction, True Haunting

Rating: 2,5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Is San Diego’s renowned Tenth Avenue Theater home to an unlikely cast of ghosts—and if so, what has kept the spirits of the dead bound to this venue of entertainment and illusion? From reports of a child’s tragic death on the premises to a suicide stemming from overwhelming guilt, there is grief, turmoil, and unfinished business lingering within these walls.

Alex Matsuo, an actress by day and a ghost hunter by night, was granted unlimited access to the haunted property where she has performed as an actor and staged professional readings of her plays. Investigating the popular and thriving theater she has always considered home, Alex must unravel the turbulent history of the building in order to find out why the ghosts of the Tenth never want to leave.

Review: Having never heard of this theater or the ghosts that haunt it, I was intrigued to learn more. However, the story involved a lot more around the author and her thoughts, feelings and perceptions than it did around the ghost stories. The actual history and research of the ghost sightings was also not extensive enough, as if the author just briefly glanced over it. The writing wasn’t stellar either.

The Bell Between Worlds

Title: The Bell Between Worlds

Author: Ian Johnstone

Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Half of your soul is missing.
The lost part is in the mirror.
And unless Sylas Tate can save you, you will never be whole again.

Sylas Tate leads a lonely existence since his mother died. But then the tolling of a giant bell draws him into another world known as the Other, where he discovers not only that he has an inborn talent for the nature-influenced magic of the Fourth Way, but also that his mother might just have come from this strange parallel place.
Meanwhile, evil forces are stirring, and an astounding revelation awaits Sylas as to the true nature of the Other. As violence looms and the stakes get ever higher, Sylas must seek out a girl called Naeo who might just be the other half of his soul – otherwise the entire universe may fall…
Review: Sylas felt like a real person, so alive and realistic that I could just picture him being an actual person. He was flawed too, and those flaws made him more realistic. The writing was haunting and imaginative, and the story unique and original, with excellent world-building. The only downside I’d say would be the author’s tendency to use long descriptions sometimes, derailing the narrative.

Mini-Review: Encounters with Spirits, Chronicles of the Unexplained, As Red as Blood


Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.

Encounters with Spirits

Tite: Encounters with Spirits

Author:CAN ũa Waya

Genre: Non-Fiction, Spirituality

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

I have never been to heaven and neither have I ever been to hell, but both have come to me.

Amidst an exotic landscape of distant lands, intra-clan rivalries, and family legacies begins the honest, humble, and achingly sincere autobiography and testimony of CAN ũa Waya. While most stories begin in the “ordinary world,” Waya’s ordinary world was populated by witchdoctors, werewolves, and shape-shifters.

In this book he tells of his life in which spirituality—in some form or other—has been inextricable from the everyday events of his life since earliest childhood. Waya has experienced the many faces of God as he journeyed through complicated relationships with his family and encountered both catastrophic and mundane obstacles, yet he still arrived at an unconditional, unshakable faith in God.

Though Waya examines demonology, extraterrestrials, and the occult with an uncommon intimacy, his main goal and purpose is to point those seeking lasting freedom from demonic oppression to Christ Jesus, whose compassion remains unchanged.

“Do you want to be helped?”

I answered and said, “Yes. Please help me, Lord.”

And that was all the praying I did that morning.

There may be no prayer dearer to the heart of God.

Review: An okay read, but very wordy, and a little over the top for my tastes. I find it hard to believe some of the things the author experiences. I can live with spirits and demons, but werewolves? Witchdoctors? I was skeptic, and the book didn’t convince me to change my view.


Title: Chronicles of the Unexplained

Author: Gary Gillepsie

Genre: Non-Fiction, True Haunting

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Chronicles of the Unexplained presents a lifetime of true paranormal experiences. The stories are from a broad range of individuals, many of whom would be the last people you would expect to be willing to communicate with anyone on such subjects. The true tales are interspersed with the story of the author’s own battle with a not-so-hospitable entity and the unforeseen circumstances that were associated with the completion of this book.

Review: An okay read of true haunting tales, but not a lot of details on them, and no references or investigation into any of the hauntings. Most interesting were the stories that did come with witness interviews, and the ones the author personally experienced.

As Red as Blood

Title:  As Red as Blood

Author: Salla Simukka

Genre: Young Adult, Thriller, Mystery

Rating: 2 stars

Purchase: Amazon

In the midst of the freezing Arctic winter, seventeen-year-old Lumikki Andersson walks into her school’s dark room and finds a stash of wet, crimson-colored money. Thousands of Euros left to dry—splattered with someone’s blood.

Lumikki lives alone in a studio apartment far from her parents and the past she left behind. She transferred into a prestigious art school, and she’s singularly focused on studying and graduating. Lumikki ignores the cliques, the gossip, and the parties held by the school’s most popular and beautiful boys and girls.

But finding the blood-stained money changes everything. Suddenly, Lumikki is swept into a whirlpool of events as she finds herself helping to trace the origins of the money. Events turn even more deadly when evidence points to dirty cops and a notorious drug kingpin best known for the brutality with which he runs his business.

As Lumikki loses control of her carefully constructed world, she discovers that she’s been blind to the forces swirling around her—and she’s running out of time to set them right. When she sees the stark red of blood on snow, it may be too late to save her friends or herself.

Review: A fast-paced read that is miles away from an actual fairytale retelling, but still somewhat intriguing. Lumikki is an engaging, complex main character and the Finnish setting offered an extra layer. However, Lumikki’s skills are over the top (James Bond can hold no match to her), and the villains are completely laughable. Everyone except Lumikki seems to miss half a brain. Interesting, but not my cup of tea.

Book Review: Haunted Ontario 4 by Terry Boyle

23322788Title: Haunted Ontario 4

Author: Terry Boyle

Genre: Non-Fiction, True Haunting, Ghosts & Hauntings

Age Group: Adult

Rating: 3,5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Terry Boyle returns with a new book of spine-tingling paranormal adventures. Part the dimensional veil and follow Terry into the world of spirits, beyond time and space. Meet the forever-beautiful spectre of Marilyn Monroe, who came to the French River seeking sanctuary from fame and fans, and decided to stay forever. Search Canoe Lake for the ghost of Tom Thomson. Visit the Ottawa Carleton County Gaol, where hundreds of lost souls wander the corridors and still occupy their cells. Enter the secret underground tunnels beneath Scarborough’s Guild Inn, and relive the heart-stopping moment the elevator door seals shut! Journey to the remarkable Victorian Beild House Inn in Collingwood, sleep in the bed of King Edward VIII of England, and wait for the deceased doctor to make a room call. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, get ready for a chilling experience — and keep the lights on!

I previously read and reviewed Haunted Ontario 3, which focused on Black Creek Pioneer Village, and I enjoyed it, so looked forward to reading Haunted Ontario 4. I’m not that familiar with Ontario – I’m here for the ghost stories – but if I were to visit it, then these books would prove excellent guides for which spots I’d need to visit. The fourth book has a wider area of interest, focusing on places in Toronto, Burlington, Straftford, Gravenhurt, French River, and even a random chapter on Time Travellers. For that, I found it more interesting than the previous book, which focused on one area only.

The author went to visit all of the places he describes, which is an excellent bonus. He didn’t always induct investigations, but did so most of the time, and if not, he at least took the time to interrogate staff members, home owners, visitors and the likes. The writing is a bit on the dull side though, and I sometimes had to take breaks while reading to keep myself interested. I expect that if I’d seen the places myself, I might be more intrigued and eager to read on, but since I haven’t and had to rely on the storytelling ability of the author, some of the history was a little lengthy (I like history, but keep it interesting, not a dry run down of events) and the writing was a bit wonky here and there.

All in all, a good read for fans of true haunting stories, and a definite must if you live in Ontario or plan to visit, so you know which museums, B&Bs and hotels to visit.

Book Review: Ghost Soldiers of Gettysburg by Patrick Burke and Jack Roth

20605414Title: Ghost Soldiers of Gettysburg
Author: Patrick Burke and Jack Roth
Genre: Non-Fiction, True Haunting, Ghosts and Hauntings
Age Group: Adult
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Discover the paranormal legacy of one of America’s most celebrated historical sites. Based on scores of investigations conducted at the battlefield, Ghost Soldiers of Gettysburg presents a wealth of fascinating Civil War history and compelling, first-hand encounters with ghost soldiers. Meticulously researched and respectful, this book reveals the mysteries of the spirit world while bringing the stories of this notorious battle to life.
Follow investigators who listen to the testimonies of soldiers before helping them cross to the other side. Experience personal and thrilling stories, such as the fallen soldier who allows a present-day tourist a glimpse into his last moments on earth. These true encounters, and many more, are found within this amazing collection of the trials and triumphs at the Battle of Gettysburg.
Includes thirty-five photos!

When I started reading Ghost Soldiers of Gettysburg, I didn’t have high expectations. I’m not that familiar with the history of Gettysburg – the American Civil War isn’t compulsory history class material over here besides the absolute basics. But I’m a history and paranormal nut, so I wanted to give this book a shot. Turns out it didn’t dissapoint at all.

It tells the story of the ghosts of Gettysburg from two perspective: we get heaps of historical info, and at the same time, we also learn about the paranormal events going on. We read testimonies from the soldiers, their personal stories about what happened to them.

The paranormal investigations are discussed in great detail, adding to their credibility. The photos are a great bonus too, as they help set the vibe for the entire book.

An interesting mix of history and paranormal, decent writing, and highly entertaining.

Book Review: Forevermore by Kristy Robinett

20605423Title: Forevermore

Author: Kristy Robinett

Genre: Non-Fiction, True Haunting, Ghosts and Hauntings

Age Group: Adult

Rating: 3,5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Kristy Robinett has always had helpers in spirit, but when she was thirteen, she met the most fascinating spirit guide of all–Edgar Allan Poe. Forevermore tells the true story of how Edgar Allan Poe helps Kristy heal her soul so that she is able to fulfill her destiny.

Always reluctant to be known as a psychic, Kristy Robinett is shocked when Poe begins helping her discover information about her past lives. Not only does he encourage her to become a writer, but he also teaches her about his life so she is able to help him in his journey as a spirit guide, affirming the comforting fact that we are all given the chance to learn and grow on the other side.

Forevermore is the story of Kristy Robinett, who’s always had spirit helpers, one of them being an Indian, another a woman, but the most important one being Edgar Allan Poe. In Forevermore, Poe helps her discovers not only more about Poe’s life and his own tragic death, but also about Kristy’s past lives, and the role she played in Poe’s life back in the nineteenth century.

I was unsure what to think of the book, considering Kristy Robinett is convinced she talked not just to one spirit guide but several, and one of them is none other than Poe. It’s a stiff claim, and makes one think if the author is perhaps a little cocky to think the ghost of Poe would talk to her. However…I’m not convinced it’s all in Robinett’s mind. If it’s all true…I’m not sure either. But the author sounded sincere enough to convince me up to some point. She definitely believes what she’s writing, that’s for sure.

The book is part true haunting, part history novel. Robinett visits Baltimore, and other prominent places in Poe’s life, and tries to discover what happened to him, how he died, and what their connection is. Even if you don’t believe in ghosts, or anything of the sorts, it’s still entertaining, and a must read for fans of Poe. I knew a lot about Poe – at least, I thought I did – but I discovered something new every few pages, so my Poe knowledge is more limited than I thought, and I’m glad I learned more about the famous author.

The writing was solid, and like I said, the book is entertaining. I’m still not convinced it’s all true, but it made a good read nonetheless.

Book Review: Meeting Place of the Dead by Richard Palmisano

20791449Title: Meeting Place of the Dead

Author: Richard Palmisano

Genre: True Haunting, Non-Fiction, Ghosts and Hauntings

Age Group: Adult

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Come with us as we investigate a place that has so many spirits it is impossible to even hazard a count. A place that seems warm and inviting, but this is only an illusion a ghostly trap to lure you in. On this journey we discover hidden secrets, violent ghosts who find enjoyment in attacking the living, and entities that disguise themselves as children. Discover why a paranormal investigation group with more than thirty years of experience had to shut down its investigations and walk away from an incredibly haunted property.

Meeting Place of the Dead has a logical build up: we start with the first investigation, then go on to the next, etc. We get a rundown of everything that happened during a specific investigation, and sometimes we get smaller chapters in between that deals with research into the property the group is investigating and its history, or about what happened on cameras the investigators installed during a previous investigations.

So while the build up is logical, and that would suggest that the book would be a strong, non-fictional account of what happened at this particular house, it lacks credibility. Let me explain. We follow a group of paranormal enthusiasts as they enter a supposedly-haunted house, equipped with high-tech video cameras, a ghostbox, and EVP meters. From the first minute they arrive there, they establish a connection with the entities (plural) that inhabit the house. Now, one entity I’m willing to believe. Two, sure. Three? Maybe. But we’re talking dozens of entities here. Ghosts who may not have any connection with the house at all, but who just dropped by to have a chat with our paranormal group.

Maybe something is wrong with their equipment, I don’t know, but it sounds like one heck of a coincedence that they encounter this many ghosts in a house not even reputedly haunted. The house’s reputation is a bit tainted, but it’s nowhere near as horrible as one would expect from a house inhabited by this many spirits.

Then the group brings in a bunch of mediums who more-or-less tell the same thing, except with some twists here and there. They find a spot where they suspect a child’s corpse is hidden, but nothing is there, with leads me to question the mediums’ credibility. Also, the way the author tells us everything is more like a video transcript, like he’s just typing whatever happened on video.

The story is repetitive, mostly because of the strange video-transcript-like writing style, and overall, lacks credibility. The focus is mostly on investigating, which is good, but completely lacks in the historical research department. I would’ve like to learn more about the house’s history.