Book Review: Devil in the Delta by Rich Newman

16249290Title: Devil in the Delta
Author: Rich Newman
Genre: Non-Fiction / Ghosts & Hauntings
Age Group: Adult
Rating: 3,5 stars
Purchase: Llewellyn, Amazon, B&N
Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

A television that shoots fire. Objects flying through the air. A demonic possession. A ghost hunter’s worst nightmare.

When author Rich Newman first arrives at the battered doublewide trailer deep in the Mississippi Delta, it’s clear that this is no ordinary haunting. Called from Memphis to assist a local ghost hunting team, Newman’s investigation of the Martin house has become his most terrifying and mysterious case to date.
What starts out as a malicious assault quickly spirals into a story of obsession, possession, witchcraft, and murder. When the evidence becomes overwhelming, long-buried memories from Newman’s past come back to haunt him–memories he’d rather forget. Collecting physical evidence, researching the violent history of the property, and interviewing the world’s most famous demonologists, Newman’s investigation of the Martin house plunges him into the darkest depths of the unknown.

Devil in the Delta was a confusing read for me. On the one hand,  I kind of liked the author’s scientific approach, armed with cam recorders and voice recorders and how he’s not overly fond of psychics. He appears analytical and rational, the kind of ghost hunter who I wouldn’t mind inviting into my house if the other side went haywire. If this is Rich Newman’s most terrifying case to date, then I’m actually glad for him, because to me it didn’t sound all that terrifying. All right, some parts of it were enough to give me shivers, but it’s pretty tame all through-out.

Then there were parts of the book that thoroughly dissapointed me. For one, the house didn’t have such a violent past as the blurb made me believe. Secondly, the accusations of witchcraft and demonic possession. It’s obvious from the get-go that the trailer’s inhabitants are after some cash, and it makes their entire story a lot less believable, but thank God the author caught this. However, he jumps to demonic possession rather fast, and also to the witchcraft thing. It’s not because they were storing some items that look like they could be used in witchcraft that anyone was actually practising witchcraft on the premise, and even if they were, that doesn’t instantly mean they invited something evil into their house. It’s these thought-jumps, drawing conclusions where there shouldn’t have been any, that made me wary of this book.

All in all, the writing was good, straightforward, and for the most part the author appears as level-headed and rational and not someone who’s convinced the slightest breeze is a ghost. On the other hand, he draws conclusions fast, blaming demons for everything that remotely goes wrong, and this didn’t work in his favor. An enjoyable read, but the synopsis makes it sound a lot scarier than it is.


  1. Is it a true story?

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