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Ghost in the Mirror: Real Cases of Spirit Encounters Paperback – August 1, 2008
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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About the Author
Leslie Rule is a professional photographer and the author of seven books with paranormal themes. She has also written dozens of articles for national magazines, includingReader's Digest. The daughter of best-selling true-crime author Ann Rule, Leslie grew up in a haunted house where her lifelong fascination with the paranormal began. She lives in the Seattle, Washington, area.
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Just about every case discussed reads like a worn cliché of the genre - there are little girls who had an "imaginary friend" - but could it really have been a ghost? There's the standard, "She felt a creepy cold hand touch her foot under the bed covers!" and the hackneyed: "The area where they lived was once inhabited by Indians before white settlers drove them out, the Indians tragically died, and so now ...lah, la, lah, la, lah ..."
And let's not forget the hospital that was converted into a hotel, and thousands of people probably died in the hospital, and so now maybe the hotel rooms are infested by the confused dead. An especially egregious sin (in my mind) occurs after the hospital-to-hotel story -- there appears (by golly!)the name of the hotel, the number you can call to make a reservation, and for a kicker, the web site where travelers can get more information!
That's right! Nothing helps establish credibility like a little advertising pitch along with your chilling ghost tale.
Sure, the author interviews real people, names real names and places them in real locations, but this hardly helps because there is no real meta-analysis of each encounter, just incredibly bland speculation, as in, "is it possible a little girl died in the house and is now seeking attention ...?"
For me, every page reads like a very general paranormal fluff piece the editors of Woman's World or Parade magazines might place in between recipes and house cleaning tips in their October Halloween issues.
If you have only a casual interest in paranormal subject matter, and have not read widely in the field, this book may intrigue you. Those looking for some juicy paranormal "red meat" won't find it here.
My first big complaint ... I got from the title and from the intro that this would be ghost stories about ghost who appeared in mirrors, but there are very few such stories in this book. That could perhaps just be an error on my part??? I thought there would be more stories in that theme and I am disappointed to read so few, especially considering how it is said that so many ghosts appear this way.
Second, the stories themselves jump around all over the country, but seem to cover some cities extensively and randomly. Perhaps this book should have been called "Vague Ghost Encounters in Denver and Washington State" also Rule uses a tour guide in Denver as a signifigant source in many stories, this is at best second, third hand accounts - she could not get more first hand accounts? Also, I don't like the jumping around from place to place. Perhaps she should have organized this book by region than type of building??? It's very poorly orgnaized and the sources are lazy at best.
Also, the stories themselves are brief, sometimes that actual ghost encounter part is a few lines, then Rule states she exhaustevely researched the site and came up with no evidence to sustain the ghost story...but mentions if a person died in or around the building. I don't like all the "this is a likely candidate" stuff. Honestly many of her likely candidates are horrible shots in the dark and frankly from what we know about ghost hauntings, the person does not have to die at or near a building to haunt it, so it seems her suggestions are flimsy at best.
It seems to me that Ms. Rule would have been better off focusing on a few more in depth ghost stories, with more personal (first person) accounts of multiple incidents instead of what we have here. Also, perhaps talking more about the process of research instead of just saying "I researched" and many of the accounts of hauntings are from these "paranormal research groups.." I find these organizations shady at best, we don't know their practices or what they consider "scientific".
To me the book comes off as almost a middle school essay report of random accounts of poorly researched ghost stories. It's hardly worth the $6 I paid for it.
The other thing I had a problem with is focusing on the investigators. This is a book about ghosts not those who hunt them. While a book about these people could be warranted and quite interesting, bringing them up here only distracts from the subject matter. This also leads into her putting forth modern ghost theories and techniques. Once again this steers away from the subject matter and into the realm of current belief.
To me a ghost story is about the human drama of those who have gone on and the drama of those who are alive who witness the past via the hauntings. When this book focuses on that it shine but as I have said too often it ignores for the author's own theories and stories of the investigators.