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Spooky New Jersey: Tales Of Hauntings, Strange Happenings, And Other Local Lore 1st Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0762739950
ISBN-10: 0762739959
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Author S.E. Schlosser has been telling stories since she was a child, when games of "let's pretend" quickly built themselves into full-length stories. A graduate of the Institute of Children's Literature and Rutgers University, she also created and maintains the website AmericanFolklore.net, where she shares a wealth of stories from all fifty states, some dating back to the origins of America. She is the author of six other books in the Spooky series.

Artist Paul Hoffman studied painting and printmaking, completing his first extensive illustration work on assignment in Egypt, drawing ancient wall reliefs for the University of Chicago. His work graces books of many genres--children's titles, textbooks, short story collections, natural history volumes, and numerous cookbooks. For Spooky New Jersey, he employed a scratchboard technique and an active imagination.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Public Assist
North Plainfield

It was late October, and we were relaxing in the common room of the firehouse, watching TV, when the phone rang. It was nine o'clock. A call at that time of night usually meant a fire or a public assist of some kind. There were only three of us on duty at the moment; the lieutenant, Joe, and me. I like to be first at things - first to go into a burning house, first to answer the phone, first to the dinner table - so I jogged into the bunk room to the nearest extension to answer the call.
"North Plainfield Fire Department," I said into the phone, expecting the dispatcher's voice, calling us to a fire.
Instead, a woman started babbling to me half in English and half in Spanish about some emergency she was having at her house. I couldn't understand what she was saying, except for the words "ghost" and "haunted". I asked her to slow down and tell me what the emergency was.
The woman took a deep breath and said: "We need you to come at once. There is a terrible ghost in our house and we want you to remove it."
"A ghost?" I said aloud in an incredulous tone.
The lieutenant's head appeared around the frame of the door. He looked intrigued. "What is it?" he asked. I motioned him to silence and said into the phone: "Lady, this is the fire department. Do you have a fire or an emergency of some kind?"
"An emergency, yes!" the woman said at once. "We have a ghost. Please come!"
She sounded really frightened. I glanced over at the lieutenant, who was bursting with curiosity by this time, and covered the mouthpiece of the phone.
"It's a public assist. Some woman wants us to get rid of a ghost in her house," I told him.
"A ghost?" the lieutenant's face lit up with glee. "Oh, we gotta take this call!" ....
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Product Details

  • Series: Spooky
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Globe Pequot Press; 1st edition (May 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762739959
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762739950
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,149,174 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Spooky New Jersey captures your interest from the first story to the last. No New Jersey folklore book is complete without a New Jersey Devil story. The author of this book has adventures of the Jersey Devil in a 1909 setting. The Devil's activities are presented in an interesting and straight forward manner. Another story that captured my interest is named Brotherly Love. The setting is in Springfield, N J. The time frame is the Civil War, one brother fought for the north the other brother fought for the south, Lincoln has been assinated and his funeral train has made it to New York City and the brother's pay their respects to the president and interact with each other.

The Ghost in the Storm is a story about George Washington when his troops were wintering in Jockey Hollow.

An entertaining story is The Treasure Trove.

A pirate story involving Captain Kidd is called Dem Bones.

If you want to look for treasure the story Blackbeard's Treasure may hold some helpful clues.

I enjoyed the story of The White Stag, but my favorite was in The Sweet By and By.

I enjoyed reading every story in the book and wish it was longer.
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Format: Paperback
This is truly a terrible book. I don't mean to sound hyperbolic and give the impression that I was subject to some inhuman torture by reading this book, after all, nobody forced me to do so. However, being interested in the folklore of my home state (even to the point of reading yet another interpretation of the Jersey Devil myth) I read through "Spooky New Jersey" over the course of a few evenings.

First, I think it's important to review the book with all context set aside (this might sound counter-productive but bear with me) ignoring any quality the book may have as a nostalgic or regional recount of local legends to my fellow native New Jerseyians, Miss Schlosser is not a good writer. It's usually a bad sign when someone identifies themselves as a story-teller, rather than a writer. In my opinion, story-tellers tell stories, the oral tradition doesn't have a place in a printed and bound book without a qualified writer entering the equation. The mechanics at play here are very, very poor. In all honesty, this book reads like a middle school student wrote it. The phrasing is clumsy, and often needlessly expository and wordy. There's something to be said for brevity, just ask Hemingway, but the wrong kind of brevity is present in SNJ. Rather than the sum boiled down to the smallest possible particle of a thought, and the rest left to the reader to fill in, the elements of pacing and development are discarded in lieu of shoe-horned in passages that attempt to cover ground more gracefully covered by more competent writers. Character development is the worst part about writing. Or I should say, the least fun for the writer. The story is a complete work in the author's head (usually) and dwelling on the vanilla details is rarely as exciting as potent action.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I actually read this book in one evening.Some neat stories of the supernatural that are creepy and entertaining but are not gory. Each story is different and they are set in various time periods in history. Neat black and white illustrations are also included. Definitely will make you think about things differently the next time you take a hike through the woods or drive down that desolate country lane.
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Format: Paperback
I really disliked this book. First, its written in pseudi-first person, which makes it difficult to read from story to story. I also thought the story telling was lacking, and I had difficulty maintaining interest in them. I never finished the book, and am so glad I got it from the library rather than paying for it.
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