Top positive review
68 people found this helpful
on June 29, 2005
First of all, it should be stated that this is not truly a book that covers the "World's Most Haunted Places" because there is only one story from continental Europe and none from Africa, Asia, or South America. Mostly, this is an account of some very haunted places in what could be termed the Anglo-Saxon world, in other words the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and the United States. Of course to do the extensive examination of each case that the author presents here and cover the entire world would require a tome of Biblical proportions or collection of many volumes. Maybe we can hope for the second possibility and can expect many more books from this very talented writer.
This is quite frankly one of the best ghost story books that I have come across in a very long time. The author has taken the time to do all of the three things that go into making a good book of this type. First he presents the history of the place where the haunting is located and does so accurately but without getting bogged down in detail. Therefore, the reader will learn something of the history of places like the Queen Mary, Big Nose Kate's Saloon or the White House but just enough to get a real feel for the place and not enough to make this into a history book. On top of this, Mr. Belanger has his facts straight and doesn't spout historical fallacies that are so glaring that the entire book's credibility is ruined.
Next, the author presents a clear and logical history of the haunt itself. He relates the story behind the ghost or ghosts in question by telling his readers the theories about whom the ghost might be. Sometimes there is more than one school of thought when it comes to this question and Belanger relates them all, letting the reader decide which theory best fits. He then proceeds to relate the early sightings involving the haunt he is writing about and some of these apparitions have been reported for hundreds of years.
Finally, each and every story related in this book is backed up with modern eyewitness accounts, a trait that is often missing from these books. Mr. Belanger has most certainly done his homework and has talked to at least one person who has experienced each haunt first hand, and in many cases he has testimony from several witnesses. Many of the cases covered in this book contain accounts of paranormal experiences that have occurred in the last five years and nowhere does the author rely on old legends which no living person can attest to. Some of the haunts to be found in the book are well known, such as the Whaley House and the Tower of London, but even with these well worn haunts Mr. Belanger is able to shed some new light. He does this once again by actually talking with people who have had some kind of experience is the last few years.
The author's writing style is pleasing, his research is meticulous and he has done the leg work necessary to bring his stories to life and make them believable. It has been a long time since I enjoyed a book of ghost stories as much as I have enjoyed this one. I wish that everybody who plans on writing a book of this type would read this book so that they could see how it should be done. This is as close to the perfect ghost story book as I think I am ever likely to read.