Customer Reviews: Haunted Air
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on May 13, 2013
Old pictures have always given me a strange feeling for one reason or another. It can be a simple picture of a family or some scenery, but the grainy-ness manages to give me an uneasy feeling that I have trouble putting into words. Maybe it's the lack of color. Not knowing exactly how these images looked in-person is just one of those weird things that leaves me staring at such pictures for longer than it probably should. Haunted Air is a collection of Halloween-themed photographs from 1875-1955, presented neatly like a photo album. As you can see in my video, the book has one picture on a page, very rarely using the back of the page to display another picture. I'm 50/50 on this, as leaving it blank ensures that the picture shown will be getting your full attention, but at the same time, it's mentioned in the introduction that the man who collected all of these pictures, Ossian Brown, had many more than what's shown here. These just happen to be some of his favorites. The guy did a great job picking photographs that will keep your interest though, that's for sure.

Maybe it's just me, but looking at these pictures of long gone people in crude masks and costumes, there's something strange about it all. And yet, they're just posing for a picture! Once again, it's the lack of color and picture quality that causes me to create stories in my head of what could possibly be going on. A child dressed up as a cat on all fours by himself, a group posed in front of the American flag, several people in the back of a truck...what exactly were these people doing? Nothing bad, I'm sure, but I still can't help but think. It sounds paranoid, I know. Just look at some of the images and see for yourself, and let your mind run free with the images.

There are only a very few photographs with any writing or text on them. The one that caught me by surprise was one towards the end of the book. It's a picture of four people dressed up, except we can't make out their faces/masks. The top portion of the photo has a heavy shadow over everything, and you can only make out an eye here and there. Above the picture someone wrote "Four of your old friends" and their names after that.

Don't get me wrong- the book didn't give me nightmares, and I'm not scared of it. It's just weird going back in time like this with one theme. Definitely a cool book that I'm happy to own.
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on February 25, 2013
...than the other reviewers! My husband and I are avid readers of the UK publication, "Fortean Times." That's how we found out about this book; one of the Halloween photos was on the cover of Fortean Times and we were intrigued. We REALLY wanted to like this book but it's a HUGE disappointment for both of us. The commentary at the beginning and end of the book is wonderful. It's what's in-between that's disappointing. Each page of this book is, basically, a white canvas with a TINY (did I mention tiny?) vintage Halloween photo in the center. Why weren't the photos enlarged so they could be fully appreciated? Some of these photos are 2"x2" and feature multiple subjects in costume. Really? Anything "haunting" about these photos is completely lost. Granted, the photo on the cover of "Fortean Times" was blown up to magazine-size, which probably wouldn't be possible for a book. That said, it WAS the "haunted" look in the eyes of a boy in the "Fortean Times" photo that inspired us to buy this book. Believe me, you can't see ANY features in the book photos. Because there is no text on the book pages, I'm assuming it was the author's intent for the reader to "experience" the photos for themselves instead of being "led" through the book. We were waiting to be transported but, alas, without a magnifying glass, that simply wasn't possible.
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on June 18, 2013
Upon receiving my box of goodies from Amazon, I stood at my table, box open, checking each item. Upon lifting HAUNTED AIR up and the obligatory couple-of-pages-flip-though, I couldn't put it down. I stood there for almost 30 minutes - staring at each page...getting goosebumps and the tingle of eerie sentimentalism. I couldn't stop thinking and wondering if these people knew how creepy and weird their "get-ups" were?? Of course, the photos, each in black and white, certainly add to the stunning and haunting air. Love it. Love it. Love it. As to the 2-star review below...the photos are reprinted most likely, in their original sizes, which I think can only do justice for these beauties. I wouldn't change a thing for this book (just more photos!)...Thank you to everyone who put this gem together. Sharing it with the world. (And the glossy reprint of the photos...again, it just compliments the photos and their original counterparts. Many photos of those days were printed on glossy paper). Guess you can only please MOST PEOPLE. I am one of the "most people". 5 stars.
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on October 28, 2013
This is a beautiful presentation lacking enough ingredients, and parceled out like an overpriced meal. The plate is sparsely occupied but stylish, and all the cool people said it was the best ever, so you just have to agree if you want in the club.

I'll pass on membership. It looks like maybe they printed the images in the size they were when created (old pictures used to be very small), and they put one image every two pages, I guess so you could really get into that one miniscule haunt, but maybe it was because they could make a bigger book. The decision to not enlarge the images is beyond stupid.

It's nicely printed, but the editorial choices were flat out retarded. I'd be satisfied if I had paid $10, I guess, but I cannot get past the feeling of being duped and just plain disappointed that I cannot utilize the book for reference material as I had intended.
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on December 25, 2010
A well-crafted and rare collection of vintage halloween photos that you could not find anywhere else but here. A stunning look at the costumes of America's Past. Great conversation piece for a coffee table book, or for anyone in love with Halloween!
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on January 20, 2013
A glimpse into the lives of people that had nothing and made the most of it. Creepy homemade costumes, worn by the very human men, women and children dressing up and (hopefully) enjoying themselves. Pictures speaking thousands of words and leaving thousands more questions.
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on November 4, 2012
This book is filled with vintage Halloween pics of costumed kids and adults from an era gone by. It makes me feel sentimental to flip through it. This is a coffee table book in my home and it sets the tone for this horror author and paranormal investigator.
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on June 21, 2016
This speaks to my dark side and how I love to creep myself out. The photos are disturbing and quite beautiful, haunting. Some are also funny. I find it interesting that then, these were palatable costumes, today they would scare the bejesus out of kids for sure and most adults, perhaps they are even more disturbing to adults. This book has been presented beautifully. The subjects of the photographs have been respected in this presentation and I appreciate that. If the cover of it appeals to you, buy it.
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on October 6, 2014
Yes, the photos are interesting, for the atmosphere as much as anything, but they are all reproduced small - I guess close to their original size? - so it's hard to see them very well. As another reviewer noted there is no accompanying text to the photos, which might be expected since a lot of these may be found items, but some general dating might have been interesting.

My biggest complaint is the price. For what the book is, it's pretty overpriced. I read about this in an issue of Fortean Times, and had expected much more for the price.
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on April 7, 2015
This book will not be everybody's cup of tea, for as previous reviewers have stated, the photos are very small, probably left at their original size, rather than being blown up. To me i appreciate something about that, as if I am viewing it for the first time the way the person who took the photograph might have. Despite the small size, the printing is glossy, highly detailed, and of great quality.

The foreword by David Lynch is a perfect preface to flipping through this book is very emotive and slightly mysterious, i can hear him speaking it in his nasal voice. The photos are from the collection of Ossian Brown, best known as one of the full time musicians in Coil. His hobby in collecting and presenting these photos seems to have been meticulous.

Some of the photos are masterworks of amateur photography, and some poorly shot and out of focus, but all with a sort of out-of-time sense of the macabre that will appeal to vintage photo collectors and fans of Halloween alike. The photos are mostly of children, which adds an air of innocence and playfulness to the eeriness.
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