Book Review: Haunted Plantations of the South by Richard Southall

24808097Title: Haunted Plantations of the South

Author: Richard Southall

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

Age Group: Adult

Rating: 2 stars

Purchase: Amazon

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

When you hears the word “plantations,” most people think of grand homes with pillars and sweeping staircases. These houses of grandeur were located all through the South in the days before the Civil War, and there are some that still resonate with the loveliness they had in their heyday. These majestic homes have a long history, and some of those who lived in these homes remain today. The ghosts of soldiers, slaves, and the elite family who lived in the plantation homes still wander the halls.

Richard Southall explores gorgeous plantation homes and those that are abandoned and in decay to present a colorful history of the ghosts that linger there.

In Haunted Plantations of the South, author Richard Southall describes various plantations from the south (as the title suggests), and the ghost stories connected to them. The book first describes various building styles, which I thought was interesting and a nice touch, and then the book is divided in chapters, a chapter per state: South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and so on. Each chapter focuses on a handful of plantations, in short describing the history (who built it, who bought it after, what happened to the plantation during the Civil War), and then on a few of the ghost stories connected with the plantation. The book reads more like a summary than anything else, a rundown of potentially-haunted places. Each plantation gets a page or two, some a little more, some a little less. None of the information is very memorable, and in fact, the book is quite boring and bland. It reads too clynical, like a history book.

It feels like the author tried to focus on too much at once, without giving enough details. Had he focused on four or five plantations, really done his research about them (and with that, I mean also actual ghost hunting research, as in visiting the plantations, listening for EVPs, and conducting his own investigation), then it would be much more interesting. Now the book reads like a boring travel guide.

Also, what’s annoying is that occasionally the book mentions “oh yeah, someone took a great picture of a ghost here”. Great. Now show it. But the book has no images (except one or two at the start), so it doesn’t really say much if you casually mention a great picture exists of a ghost but then you don’t show it. Also, pictures of the plantations would’ve been great too – even if it’s nothing but a ruin.

Usually when I read these types of books, I get a chill, here, I got bored. After a while, even the ghost stories start to sound similar. The writing is as dispassionate as the rest of the book. Not a memorable book, I’m afraid.

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