Book Review: Mysterious Minnesota by Adrian Lee

13757071Title: Mysterious Minnesota
Author: Adrian Lee
Genre: Non-Fiction, True Haunting
Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide
Publication Date: August 8th 2012
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Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Where humanity leaves its footprints, paranormal activity will follow.
From Fort Snelling’s resident poltergeist to the Wabasha Street Caves’ ghostly gangsters, Minnesota’s famous sites are rich in paranormal activity. Ghost hunter and historian Adrian Lee offers a unique and compelling tour of the state’s most haunted historic treasures. Along with his chilling, firsthand investigations of each location, you’ll find details on the history of the building, major events of the time, and the people involved. This fascinating historical context offers a deeper understanding of these paranormal hot spots and their restless spirits—Native American warriors, murder victims, convicted criminals, and others.
Clashes with indigenous tribes, lavish parties during the roaring twenties, botched public executions at Minneapolis City Hall, and the legend of John Dillinger are all explored in this one-of-a-kind guide to Minnesota’s haunted landmarks.

Mysterious Minnesota details a number of paranormal investigations in Minnesota, ranging from old hotels to caves to abandoned factories. What I enjoyed most about this book is that, as opposed to jumping from place to place rapidly, it focused on thirteen sites in particular and investigated them in great detail, talking about their history and the paranormal investigation by a large team.

The writing style of this book was very fluent. It was also very detailed, and vividly described. In some scenes, I actually could imagine myself standing there, in that old hotel room, or that creepy-looking factory, and feel shivers run down my spine. I also like how the author seems to take a step back and tell the readers about the hauntings almost matter-of-factly. There are obvious emotions in the accounts, but they never take over, and as a reader I had plenty of space to make up for myself what I chose to believe and what I didn’t. For me, this was one of the main reasons why I enjoyed the book. Detailed, with real, historical research at the base of most hauntings, and with scientific equipment such as a ‘ghost box’ (although I’m not sure how scientific that really is) to help the investigators communicate with spirits from the beyond.

I also liked how the book never goes over the top. It talks about paranormal phenomena, sometimes even communcating with spirits, but there’s nothing outrageous, such as ghosts trying to kill someone, a myriad of full-body apparitions or entire hordes of ghosts. For some reason, I found this book a lot more believable than some of the true haunting books I previously read, although I can’t exactly pinpoint why. Maybe it’s the historical research, or how the author doesn’t try to convince me. He doesn’t scream: look, this happened, now believe me! Instead, he calmly recites what happens, drawing me in more and more every page.

I was a bit sad the book was over. I wouldn’t have minded if it were longer (and it’s already quite long, over 300 pages) because I was seriously engrossed in the witness accounts and paranormal investigations detailed in this book. I definitely wouldn’t mind reading more true haunting books by this author. He has a keen eye for research and doesn’t go into “preaching” mode, enforcing his beliefs on the reader. Instead, he remains surprisingly neutral, but his writing style is intriguing and enjoyable.

If you like true haunting books, you don’t want to miss out on Mysterious Minnesota. If you’re one of the lucky people living in or near Minnesota, you definitely want to read this one, and then go visit the places mentioned and maybe meet up with some century-old ghosts. Recommended to all fans of true hauntings.

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