Sunday, October 17, 2010

Graveyard True Hauntings From An Old New England Cemetery by Ed and Lorraine Warren with Robert David Chase

This book showcases some of the hauntings the Warrens and the New England Society for Psychical Research have investigated that are connected to cemeteries in some way.

The first half of the book focuses on Union Cemetery, a picturesque old Connecticut graveyard. There are tales of lust and obsession, demonic possession, a White Lady in an 19th century wedding gown who appears floating amongst the tombstones, the anguished apparition of a man driven to suicide by adultery, a phantom hobo who suddenly appears in the passenger seat of cars passing the cemetery late at night, and more.

Other tales, connected to other New England graveyards, include the story of an obnoxious radio host who became a believer after a phone call from the dead led him to meet the son he never knew, a satanic nanny who preys on young boys entrusted to her care, and a spirit, herself a rape and murder victim in life, who intervenes to save a young woman from suffering the same fate, and a Hollywood-handsome young man whose good looks conceal a cruel and twisted nature, and whose late night pranks on female hitchhikers backfire when he is lured into the graveyard by a sexy siren who all too soon turns into a ghoulish crone.

This is a brisk and easy read, and, refreshingly, the cases profiled here are not the famous ones almost everyone with an interest in such things is already familiar with. But those who just enjoy ghost stories, for the fun or the fright, will probably like this book better than those with a more serious investigative-focused interest will. Readers who hunger for facts and verifiable details will be disappointed as the Warrens relate their stories but in most cases offer few substantiating facts such as background histories to try to determine the identities of ghosts or whether events associated with the hauntings actually occurred. The book also, at times, has a rather alarmist tone, that may, or may not, amuse or annoy the reader, depending on what their personal beliefs are about such things, as the Warrens assert that Ouija Boards are "as dangerous as drugs" and urge parents to take care to "keep the tools of the Devil away from their children," and "satanic cults are on the rise."

Personally, I enjoyed the book, I read it with my cat, Tabby, on a dark stormy night. Tabby is terrified of thunder, which was quite loud that night, and seemed to enjoy the stories I read aloud to her. I have been interested in the paranormal since I was a little girl and would love to have the opportunity to travel and visit allegedly haunted sites, but since I cannot, I have always explored them and their histories in the pages of books and television documentaries. And though I would have liked to have seen a little more research and documentation about the cases profiled in this book, I nonetheless enjoyed these ghostly and demonic tales of the graveyards of New England.

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