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Haunted Houses of California: A Ghostly Guide (Tetra) Paperback – September 14, 1993

3.9 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Series: Tetra
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Wide World Publishing, Tetra; Second Edition edition (September 14, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0933174918
  • ISBN-13: 978-0933174917
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #688,679 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on November 2, 2000
Format: Paperback
I collect books on hauntings, and a major problem I often find is that the telling of the "incident" or "occurence" can be either dry or so wordy you are bored to tears. This is not a problem with this book. The author attempts the bring the location alive with history and accounts of what (may have) taken place to cause the phenomena. However, it's greatest asset is also it's greatest flaw. As others have stated, some "ghost" stories have very little documentation of the actual hauntings, which is disappointing. Personally, I really enjoyed this book. I would recommend it, especially if you are from Califonia. I used it to plan "haunted tours" with friends, and it provides information about each location (address, ph#, when and if it's open to the public) for those who want to experience it themselves. If you know the area(s), familiarity adds to the fun. If you are looking for an in depth study, I wouldn't say this book is for you. It's a fun, spooky, simple read, not an in depth study. But overall, I think people have been too hard on it, I've owned my copy since 1993, and reread it many times. It's pretty much what it claims to be. And really it's the only book I have read so far that is focused exclusively on (the entire) state of California.
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Format: Paperback
Listing Sylvia Browne as one of the authors is somewhat misleading; she writes the forward, and although she is mentioned many times in the book, I believe Antoinette May does most of the talking here. Despite Ms. May's introduction, promising detailed historic fact-finding, etc. for each house described, it seems that most of her information is solely dependent on how much information is available on corresponding travel/tourist brochures. To give an example, most of the information from The Winchester Mystery House [which I've had the pleasure to visit since it's in my town] seemed to be lifted directly from the speeches given by the tour guides. There seems to be no conjecture from the author at all, as to if any of her fact[oids] are even correct or just purely urban legend/myth. The only time she does make a comment is to [flippantly] conclude each chapter; this last aspect of Ms. May's writing is disconcerting considering that she has just finished describing what is sometimes a very grizzly demise of what is now a restless soul.
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The history of the Haunted Houses of California is fascinating. The Kohl Mansion in Burlingame is one of the most beautiful example of Tudor architecture on the San Francisco Peninsula. Then there is the story of the unfortunate life of Freddy Kohl, the owner, a man destroyed by the women in his life. The histories come to life under Antoinette May's skillful pen.
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I'm from California and am familiar with a lot of the places mentioned in this book. While the book was interesting, it was more a historical read than a really haunted house read. It was all right, but I have read better.
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Format: Paperback
While I do, to a degree agree with those who disliked this book, I find that for it's breadth of haunted locales in the Bay Area and California, it cannot be beat. It covers so many locations that it would be hard to cover with more depth. Also, the book focuses more on the HISTORY of the sites then the hauntings themselves. However, the story of Red, White and Blue beach made me have to visit!
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Fun book and great for Halloween. I really enjoy reading this. It's fun and informative. Just right to get you into a Halloween mood but good also if your like me and just like to read these interesting stories. Most are short chapters so great to read when you only have a short period of time.
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Format: Paperback
I wasn't expecting a research manual, but it could have been a bit more detailed about the haunted locations. That gripe aside, it is a fun read for anyone including those with a passing interest in the paranormal.
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Format: Paperback
This book was a dissapointment, but I love the subject of haunted houses, so I keep it around. Antoinette May concentrated more on the history of the actual buildings than on the hauntings themselves, and in one case (a story about Hollywood actress Thelma Todd) she treats the story like a who-done-it rather than account for any haunting. She goes on for six and a half pages about who killed Thelma Todd, and finishes up with ONE PARAGRAPH about building workers who say they've seen a ghost.
The story of the Red, White, and Blue beach is the only readable story in the book, and is the ONLY reason I give this book 2 stars, but even that could have backed with research or better pictures or SOMETHING, ANYTHING. The story was chilling, all the details the physics were picking up, and the fear they all felt, but again, I was left dissapointed with the story overall.
This is a light read, and if you have nothing better to do, and are in some tourist information about California, then by all means pick it up. If you are looking for depth and insight into hauntings and haunted houses, I suggest you look elseware.
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