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An American History in Haunted Places

Ghostland by Colin Dickey
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One of NPR's Great Reads of 2016

“A lively assemblage and smart analysis of dozens of haunting stories… absorbing…[and] intellectually intriguing.”—The New York Times Book Review

An intellectual feast for fans of offbeat history, Ghostland takes readers on a road trip through some of the country's most infamously haunted placesand deep into the dark side of our history.

Colin Dickey is on the trail of America's ghosts. Crammed into old houses and hotels, abandoned prisons and empty hospitals, the spirits that linger continue to capture our collective imagination, but why? His own fascination piqued by a house hunt in Los Angeles that revealed derelict foreclosures and "zombie homes," Dickey embarks on a journey across the continental United States to decode and unpack the American history repressed in our most famous haunted places. Some have established reputations as "the most haunted mansion in America," or "the most haunted prison"; others, like the haunted Indian burial grounds in West Virginia, evoke memories from the past our collective nation tries to forget.     
       With boundless curiosity, Dickey conjures the dead by focusing on questions of the livinghow do we, the living, deal with stories about ghosts, and how do we inhabit and move through spaces that have been deemed, for whatever reason, haunted? Paying attention not only to the true facts behind a ghost story, but also to the ways in which changes to those facts are madeand why those changes are madeDickey paints a version of American history left out of the textbooks, one of things left undone, crimes left unsolved.
       Spellbinding, scary, and wickedly insightful, Ghostland discovers the past we're most afraid to speak of aloud in the bright light of day is the same past that tends to linger in the ghost stories we whisper in the dark.
Penguin Publishing Group; October 2016
336 pages; ISBN 9781101980217
Read online, or download in secure EPUB
Title: Ghostland
Author: Colin Dickey
  • News
Book review: 'Ghostland' - Knoxville News Sentinel
Fri, 14 Oct 2016 11:09:36 -0700
Knoxville News SentinelBook review: 'Ghostland'Knoxville News SentinelShould you be troubled by things that go bump in ...
Ghostland searches for the truth behind tales of haunted places - KALW
Wed, 05 Oct 2016 17:40:59 -0700
KALWGhostland searches for the truth behind tales of haunted placesKALWBelief isn't all that important, according to Colin ...
Cathedral Park is among the stops in 'Ghostland,' a tour of haunted places -
Fri, 07 Oct 2016 11:19:28 -0700
OregonLive.comCathedral Park is among the stops in 'Ghostland,' a tour of haunted placesOregonLive.comColin Dickey ...