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4.3 out of 5 stars
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on October 22, 2006
Some time ago I read one of this author's other books and it was undoubtedly one of, if not the best book of this type that I had ever read. I was therefore understandably excited when I found this book and began to read because I expected another masterpiece of the ghostly kind. What I found however was something quite good but just not up to the standards that I had set for this author. I must admit that I may be being a little unfair here because if I had come across a book this good by almost any other author I would have been impressed but from Jeff Belanger I just expected a little more. This grand master of the ghost hunter world has just set the bar so high in his previous works that it's going to be almost impossible for him to reach the same level of perfection with every new book. I guess that I'm just going to have to accept that fact, whether I want to or not.

Over the years I have come to the conclusion that eyewitness accounts are indispensable to this type of book and that without them all you really end up with is a bunch of old legends. Belanger has a history of excellence in this area and this book is no exception. If anything he takes eyewitness accounts a little to the extreme in this case. The stories in this book are made up exclusively of interviews with eyewitnesses and these first person accounts are generally excellent. One pitfall of this style is evident in this book however and that pitfall is that some of the interviews will obviously be better than others. In other words, some people are just naturally more articulate than others while others are very articulate in person but their words seem to become less clear on paper. Overall though the interviews were excellent and were conducted in a very professional manner.

The biggest problem that I had with this book however was that the author relied far too much on the eyewitnesses for the possible history behind the haunts. In some cases this worked just fine and the subjects were intimately familiar with the background of the ghosts in question. In other cases though there was little or no history to be found and it is sometimes hard to really get a feeling for a haunt without knowing what might have caused it. A little research by the author would have added immeasurably to a few of the stories but once again I may be being picky because this author has shown himself to be a more than capable researcher and I found that I really missed his work in this area.

Still, this is one fine book of ghost stories and one that any ghost enthusiast will want to read and own. The interview with George Lutz alone is worth the price of the book and I must applaud Jeff for having the courage to take on such a controversial subject. Also included is an interview with a nephew of Ed and Lorraine Warren (another controversial subject) that is quite frankly marvelous. This is without doubt a five star book so I just regret that I couldn't give the last book I read by this author six stars.
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VINE VOICEon July 13, 2006
If you like your paranormal served up hot n' tasty, always watch for a new book by Ghostvillage.com's Jeff Belanger. This one includes the eye-openingly excellent interview with the late George (Amityville) Lutz that puts a far more realistic spin on the man than the popular press likes to present. Unknowingly, Jeff gave this man the honest epitaph he deserves.

I knew GL and had heard in private the things that Jeff coaxed out of him for the interview in this book. Having co-interviewed him on the radio, I also knew it was virtually impossible to get at the truth in that medium. It didn't make for ratings to talk about twisted-around metaphors being taken literally and publishing/production companies zinging things up. And George, easily baited, was quick to feed the fire whether he meant to or not.

The poor guy's dead -- he deserves a break. Everyone judged him by what others said, but here, Jeff lets him speak for himself. It's a Win-win thing.

As for the other items in this book, well, let's put it this way: There are only two paranormal non-fiction writers' books I'll buy sight unseen -- Loyd Auerbach's and Jeff Belanger's.
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on February 6, 2008
I highly recommend this book! The stories are believable and scary!! I couldn't go to bed at night without feeling a little nervous! It is a very good read for a trip, as the book is simply filled with short stories. The author does a great job of grouping them together in categories. You won't be sorry you bought this!
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on October 28, 2007
Apparently, we are NOT alone. In virtually every corner of the world, reports of supernatural occurrences have flourished, sparking heated debates between believers eager to share their experiences and skeptics just as eager to shoot them down.?In Our Haunted Lives, paranormal researcher Jeff Belanger shares with readers the haunting experiences of people from all over the U.S. and abroad. These "allegedly" true stories, recited in interview format, read like conversations told over coffee to a trusted friend.

While readers will gain an understanding of the witnesses need to share their experiences, you can almost feel their anxiety and fear. A 57-year-old factory worker from Illinois shares her vivid encounters in the house where she resided in 1966, with her in-laws. During one particular incident, she was lying in bed when something grabbed her hair and the hanging light on the ceiling started spinning.

Her sister-in-law's boyfriend shot and killed himself in the basement and in 1968, after her divorce, her husband murdered his father in the kitchen.

A man from Toronto, Canada, recalls his time with "spooks" at the house he lived in as a child. "Very soon after we moved in, we started experiencing the phenomena of doors closing by them selves, which at first we thought was the house settling," he says, "except for the fact that the doors would lock." At times, they would hear footsteps walking up the driveway, prompting them to look out the window, only to see no one.

These are but two of the dozens of firsthand accounts found in this treasure of a book. Individuals from all walks of life, ages, cultures, and religious backgrounds bravely reveal their stories in vivid detail. "Over the years I've heard from hundreds of people who have experienced a brush with the supernatural," says Belanger. "My objective was to capture not only the experiences, but the nature and nuances of the language people use to relate these profound events."

The way in which Belanger documents these ghostly encounters gives readers the opportunity to experience the full emotion, and at times trauma, of the individuals sharing their stories. Rarely does a book prompt me to sleep with a light on, but this one did!
Mysteries Magazine
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on November 4, 2006
Jeff Belanger's OUR HAUNTED LIVES: TRUE LIFE GHOST ENCOUNTERS results from interviews with dozens of witnesses to supernatural phenomena, providing a fine collection of testimonies of experience from those who have seen and sometimes communicated with ghosts. From famous ghosts to ghosts on the job, OUR HAUNTED LIVES will intrigue and interest any interested in the supernatural experience: reality, not tales.
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on November 27, 2007
I loved this book! Light, easy to read first person interviews. No trumped up, tricked out horror stories, just real experiences of real people. I even liked that some were less than dramatic. My only complaint, the book is way too short :) I could have read hundreds more pages.
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This is a collection of stories of people who have experienced ghostly phenomena. How you will feel about this book depends entirely on what you are looking for. Are you looking for interviews about ghostly experiences? Then this book is for you. Are you looking for well-woven ghost stories? Then is book is not for you.

Our Haunted Lives is told in mostly interview-style writing that consists of mostly questions and answers. It was interesting to read, but not chilling or frightening, and most definitely didn't cause any goosebumps. To the writer's credit, he did manage to capture the style of speaking of his interview subjects. However, there is a missed opportunity here (the reason for a 4 instead of a 5). A skilled writer can take true stories from interviews with people and weave those stories in a more readable, enjoyable way. No it's not necessary to break things down into the question and answer stories that dominate this book. Instead, these interviews could have been rendered in a more narrative style that would perhaps elevate this book to what many are looking for - a true-to-life narrative that would give chills and thrills.

My first paragraph above says it all - depending on your expectations, you may or may not wish to invest in this book.
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on November 10, 2006
If you are interested in the paranormal, Then you would enjoy reading this book,I did.

Just read the different accounts and make up your own mind as to their authenticity.
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on January 10, 2011
Santa left this in my 12 year old son's stocking this Christmas, after my son expressed a recent interest in true ghost stories. We've actually both been reading it at that same time. The stories are definitely interesting, and the interview format is a plus. I like the way Mr. Belanger remains objective, allowing the interviewee to simply answer the questions asked. There were times I wished Mr. Belanger had asked more involved follow-up questions or provided some history of the houses/hotels presented. One story in particular concerned a haunted house that the interviewee described as different from the other houses in the neighborhood because it sat upon a mound, in the middle of flat land. I would have liked to have learned more about the history of the town (could the mound have been a Native American burial ground?), but Mr. Belanger didn't provide historical data regarding the haunted sites. In the end, the stories are interesting personal accounts - nothing more, nothing less.
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on August 17, 2011
I came upon this book with the intention of learning about unique experiences with the subject matter most commonly known as the paranormal. With the field being of high interest to myself and with a personal ghostly encounter in the past to boot I came to realize that everyone has their own perspective in which to invigorate their own and others minds to new possibilities and ideas which will do nothing but service and strengthen our own courage and perseverance in our quest for answers. The interviews written from the many eyewitness accounts are well documented and the author has spent a good deal researching the subject matter in question and getting to know and trust his sources. I feel that everyone can gain some new points of view in their thoughts of life after death and religion by reading this book.
Although I must say the author has a tendency to end the chapters following the conclusion of the interview without a update on the condition of the interviewee or a description on how their lives turned out or were changed following their paranormal encounter.
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