Halloween Books About Ghosts, Wierd Places, a Mummy’s Curse, Strange Facts, and the Grossest Places in America — and, Yes, Arizona Made the Cutby Larry Cox on Oct. 25, 2012, under Uncategorized
The World’s Weirdest Places by Nick Redfern (New Page, $15.99)
Nick Redfern has explored a wide range of unsolved mysteries in his previous books including such bestsellers as “The Pyramids and the Pentagon” and “Memoirs of a Monster Hunter.” His latest literary focus serves up a chilling compendium of stories about strange and scary places. In this collection, twenty-five diabolical, paranormal locales around the planet are revealed.
If you have wondered about the Bermuda Triangle, or the strange creatures roam the Caucasus Mountains of Russia, or why there are so many UFO sightings, this is the book for you, especially as we approach Halloween.
Redfern’s book is filled with spine-tingling stories written in his goose-bump-inducing style. Standouts include the legendary Loch Ness monster, the dark waters of Devil’s Sea of Japan, the ghosts of Jefferson, Texas, and closer to home, the notorious power vortexes of Sedona.
London’s Curse: Murder, Black Magic, and Tutankhamun in the 1920s, West End by Mark Beynon (The History Press, $34.95)
Shortly after the tomb of Tutankhamun was discovered in Egypt, the excitement throughout the world built to a fever pitch, especially so in London. While many celebrated the find, 20 people involved with the tomb’s exhumation began to die, several under bizarre and mysterious circumstances. Was this due to an ancient curse or simply a series of misfortunes? That is the main question in this intriguing book by Mark Beynon, a British-based writer best known for his military histories.
In this blend of meticulous research and educated conjecture, Beynon turns armchair detective as he sifts through a wealth of unpublished materials to determine what was behind the fatalities.
Giving Up the Ghost: A Story About Friendship, 80s Rock, a Lost Scrap of Paper, and What it Means to be Haunted by Eric Nuzum (The Dial Press, $15)
While growing up in Canton, Ohio, during the early 1980s, Eric Nuzum, currently a Vice-President of Programming for National Public Radio, was convinced he was haunted by a ghost. Not just any ghost but a little girl in a blue dress who floated about in his parent’s attic.
The “haunting” triggered his downward spiral into drug addiction his life quickly became an emotional train wreck. Convinced the ghost was a harbinger of his own self-destruction, he considered suicide and eventually checked in at a mental hospital for observation.
How he reclaimed this sanity and later established himself as a functioning member of society is at the core of this crisply written little book.
Shades of Souls Passed: True Accounts of Ghostly Encounters in Madison County, New York by Teresa R. Andrews with illustrations by Jacqueline Andrews (Andrews Publication, $12.50)
This thin volume contains what the author claims are nine encounters of ghosts with the living, all which supposedly occurred in Madison County, New York. Whether a malevolent poltergeist, a mischievous little girl or a spooky meeting during a stormy night, these are spirits that send shivers down the spine. This collection came about when word began to circulate that Andrews was writing a book about ghosts and she quickly discovered that people were excited to share their unworldly experiences. The end result is, of course, this highly readable book.
Theresa can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dead Strange: The Bizarre Truths Behind 50 World-Famous Mysteries by Matt Lamy (Zest Books, $12.99)
Matt Lamy examines 50 of the most world-famous mysteries, alphabetically from alchemy to zombies. If you’ve ever pondered the identity of Jack the Ripper, the true origin of zombies, the back story of Dracula, or who built those strange stone figurines on Easter Island, this entertaining book examines those examples and many others. Sometimes arriving at the truth isn’t easiest thing to do. For example, it has been said that King Arthur was born some time during the fifth century but the big question remains not when he was born but if he was born since much of what has been recorded about King Arthur and His Court is clouded by legend, not actual historical fact.
Other subjects covered by Lamy include Ouija Boards, séances, demonic possession, crystals, and even Big Foot.
Gross America: Your Coast-to-Coast Guide to All Things Gross featuring Brains in Jars, Frozen Dead Guys, Candy-Coasted Insects, the World’s Only Poop-Fueled Streetlamp, and Much More by Richard Faulk (Tarcher/Penguin, $13.95)
If you’ve been wondering about this next year’s vacation destinations, you might consider the last remaining plastic-vomit factory near Chicago, maybe a poop-fueled streetlamp in Cambridge, Massachusetts, or perhaps a twenty-seven-foot model of the human intestinal tract in Houston. Or maybe not.
Richard Faulk, a freelance writer and editor, traveled throughout the country to identify the grossest places in America. And, yes, Arizona made the cut. At the Arizona Snowbowl in the Coconino National Forest, Faulk points out the snow is made from reclaimed sewer water. We have always been told not to eat yellow snow but is it OK to ski on it?