Today I finished Haunted Pennsylvania, and found it to be pretty enjoyable.
Reporter and researcher Patty A. Wilson has compiled dozens and dozens of absolutely true and terrifying tales from Pennsylvania's past. Some stories go back hundreds of years and some happened just yesterday...
- The Elmhurst estate in Ebensburg, haunted by the ghosts of a notorious glamour girl and her wealthy but murderous husband
- The ghostly galleons and spectral ships of Lake Erie
- The old hag of Route 22
- The phantoms of the INN Philadelphia who play practical jokes
- The ghosts of Gettysburg who showed up during the filming of a movie
- The gray creature of Ridge Road
- The half-dozen dead denizens of the Jean Bonnet tavern
Haunted Pennsylvania by Patty A. Wilson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I stumbled upon this book on my bookshelf a few days ago and decided that I should give it a read. When I was younger I was obsessed with ghost stories, especially those of places that I had been. So when Patty A. Wilson (a relatively local author) came to visit and present at my junior high's reading club the October of my eighth grade year, I remember I was so excited. I begged my parents for the money to buy a copy of her book, and she even signed it for me. I remember her and her partner were very kind to all of us kids.
Anyway, about the book. I enjoyed it. Heck, I got so scared the one night reading this that I had to put the book down or else I wouldn't have slept. After that, I pretty much read this book during the day. Not all of the stories were that frightening, but I could see how they'd be fun to tell around a campfire or at a sleepover or something. The ones that really shook me up though were the ones that were close to me or that were in places that I've been many times. It was the Baker Mansion story that shook me up so badly that night. I did like the way that Wilson told the stories. She told each story with a narrative, creating characters and situations for the reader to envision, rather than just the cold, hard facts (or "facts," for the skeptics out there). While this wasn't an absolutely riveting read, it certainly held my attention and I found myself not really wanting to put the book down but rather wanting to move onto the next story. The only thing that really truly bothered me about this book was its apparent lack of editing (or editing skills). I understand that this book was published by a small publishing company, but there were quite a few errors, and they stood out to me each time. I suppose, though, for the average PA resident who this book was probably aimed towards, these errors wouldn't stand out. But to any avid reader, they could become irritating. Other than that though, I really enjoyed reading this book of ghost stories from places where I've frequented, and it was a neat experience to gain some knowledge about statewide lore thanks to the apparent hard work done by Ms. Wilson.
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