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Weird Ohio: Your Travel Guide to Ohio's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets Hardcover – January 15, 2006


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Weird Ohio: Your Travel Guide to Ohio's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets + Strange Tales from Ohio: True Stories of Remarkable People, Places, and Events in Ohio History
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling (January 15, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402733828
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402733826
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #312,551 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Not since the Headless Horseman went charging through Sleepy Hollow has something come out of the Hudson Highlands of upstate New York as thrilling and chilling as author and paranormal researcher James A. Willis.

Fueled by a steady childhood diet of Boo Berry cereal, Creepy magazine, and late-night Vincent Price movies, Willis soon developed a taste for the unexplained and quickly began seeking out all things strange and spooky. When he wasn't trying to coax the boogeyman out from under his bed for a photo shoot, Willis pondered such eternal questions as what happens to us when we die, is there life on other planets, and what possesses someone to decorate their house with 1,001 milk jugs?

In 1999, after spending more than 15 years chasing after ghosts and visiting crybaby bridges, Willis moved to Ohio and founded The Ghosts of Ohio (ghostsofohio.org), a nationally recognized paranormal research organization. Willis has grown the organization to well over 35 members in three divisions throughout the state: Columbus, Cleveland, and Cincinnati.

In 2004, in what seemed to be destiny, Mark Moran and Mark Sceurman, the brainchilds of the Weird US series of books, approached Willis and asked him to contribute to their latest volume, Weird US. To date, Willis has been involved with 6 books in the Weird US series. He is the co-author of Weird Ohio (2005) and Weird Indiana (2008) and was also a contributing author to Weird US (2004), Weird Hauntings (2006), Weird US II: The ODDyssey Continues (2008), and Weird Encounters (2010). Willis' unique and offbeat writing style was officially recognized in 2006 with his induction into the Grand Order of Weird Writers. In addition, Willis has been a contributing author to several books in the Armchair Reader series, beginning with Weird, Scary & Unusual (2008) and continuing with Armchair Reader Goes Hollywood (2010), Armchair Reader's All About Ohio (2010), Armchair Reader: The Mammoth Reader (2010), and Armchair Reader: Haunted America (2011).

A sought-after public speaker, Willis has given presentations throughout the United States, during which he has educated and entertained tens of thousands of people of all ages in crowd sizes ranging from 10 to well over 600. He has also been featured in more than 50 media sources, including CNN, USA Today, Columbus Business First, Midwest Living, The Canadian Press, and even the Kuwait Times. He is also currently a contributing author to Mysteries Magazine.

Willis currently resides in Columbus, Ohio, with his wife and daughter, a Queen-loving parrot, and three narcoleptic cats.

Customer Reviews

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This, of course, makes it a great coffee table book.
Wuchak
For those of you living close..there are so many things to look at or do in Ohio.
C. Briggs
I just got the book on Monday and I have read 238 of the 277 pages of the book.
Kristin Robinson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Rainey on January 18, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I was riveted to this book from the first page. Very visually appealing and written in a light-hearted way, it is a great guide for "ghost-chasers" and those who just love to see weird places. I also love how the authors never judge someone based on their personal testimony about places and events in the book and believe me, there are some wacked-out stories that you think just can't be true! I have only owned the book for a week and already have visited about 1/2 dozen of the places mentioned. I have even planned future weekend trips around some of the creepier areas in the book. Great fun! It is hard to tell where some of the things mentioned are at...specific directions are few and far between and that would be my only problem with the book. You won't be sorry you bought this book...it has something for everyone.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Wuchak on February 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I happened upon "Weird Ohio" at an Amish store and naturally started leafing through it. It looked so interesting and professionally put together, there was no way I could walk out of the store without it (paying full price -- 20 bucks -- which you don't have to do here at Amazon).

Ohio is a land of lush, deep forests interspersed with great cities like Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinatti, as well as smaller cities like Toledo, Dayton and Akron. The Eastern side of the state is part of the Appalachian Plateau with nice rolling hills, whereas the Western side is part of the Till Plains and is relatively flat, a great place for farms. The Southern and Southeastern parts of the state are bordered by the mighty Ohio River, whereas the North is part of the Eastern Great Lakes Lowland with 310 miles of coastline on Lake Erie.

Unlike "Weird Pennsylvania," which unfortunately focuses mostly on the Eastern side of that great state, "Weird Ohio" provides a balanced overview of the weird elements of the Buckeye State.

Let me emphasize how attractive and professionally put together "Weird Ohio" is. The book features colored photos or illustrations on practically every page; and many pages have two or three such items. This, of course, makes it a great coffee table book. But a full 60% is text, written with an informative and entertaining flair. This naturally makes it a perfect bathroom book, which another reviewer rightly points out.

As to be expected, "Weird Ohio" addresses the weird elements of the state -- creatures on the loose (lions, panthers, Bigfoot, the Mothman, etc.), ghost stories, crime stories, heroes, urban and rural legends, unexplained phenomena, ancient mysteries (like the great Serpent Mound), oddities, etc.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jason Mierek on January 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Despite having hack writer and former Decaturian Troy Taylor at the helm, Weird Illinois--a companion to this volume--makes for great bathroom reading. The production values and colorful images more than compensate for Taylor's leaden prose and inane editorializing. I love this book so much that every time I visit my best friend's Chicago apartment, I make time to secrete myself away in the john and hunch over it. I got to wondering what I would think of the book if the writing were as good as the production, and so I decided to check out another book in the series and see.

Luckily, I picked an absolute winner with *Haunted Ohio.* The writing is great, and not just because I'm comparing it with Taylor's ham-fisted oeuvre. The three co-authors balance a love of a good scare story with a desire to know the available facts about any site they describe; it constantly amazed me how they could debunk a particular legend with one or two salient, documented facts without ever abandoning the joy of repeating the original legend."Who cares if it isn't exactly true?" they seem to suggest, "If you're reading a book of weird stories, you're probably into it more for the chill it send down your spine than for any empirically verifiable facts it may reveal." As mentioned before in the context of *Haunted Illinois,* the production values are superb, and the addition of stories supplied by readers and locals really capture something uniquely Midwestern about these weird people and places.

The sections of the book deal with various weird topics like local legends, ancient mysteries (e.g., the Serpent Mound), fabled people and places, unexplained phenomena (e.g.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Emma on April 15, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I started reading this book at a friend's house (even though I'm pretty sure it's just a coffee table book), and when I got home I knew I had to buy it. It's so interesting! I love all that stuff, knowing about hauntings, histories of places, paranormal encounters, I find it so interesting. So if you have these interests, definitely get it, you will love it, it's a good book to just pick through. If you don't, I'm not sure how much you will like it, but you will most likely find something from your area in Ohio, which makes it all the more interesting.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By C. Briggs on February 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I saw the book in an office. Flipped though a page or two and I was hooked.
For those of you living close..there are so many things to look at or do in Ohio. Our daughter even took it to school and the teacher went over places for two weeks!It was a Christmas gift for my husbands Dad and he didn't put it down. We are waiting to read the whole book..we didn't because it is not right to give a used Christmas present! Places are close and great for a Sunday drive, just to say you have been there and be a part of history!
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