Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places by Colin Dickey is a book I picked up in 2016 thanks to Liberty Hardy and her podcast, All The Books. I must not have been paying attention when she gave her glowing recommendation because this book is not anything like what I expected. That’s not a bad thing, though.

This is less a tale of hauntings and more a look at why we attribute supernatural events to certain places. It’s more psychology/sociology focused than I anticipated, and it’s wonderful. Dickey looks at a variety of places, from homes to hospitals, prisons to entire cities, and discusses how elements of architecture and historic events play into the development of lore and tales of hauntings. The concept of “ruin porn”, particularly as it relates to cities like Detroit, was especially interesting and heartbreaking.

If you have an interest in history and what it says about the human condition, I highly recommend this book. It’s not scary, in a horror novel way, but it will make you think. Real people are the scariest monsters in my opinion.

~ by Rachel on October 25, 2018.

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