read: 25 January 2005
I both loved and did not love this book. I loved it because it covers all those weird little out of the way places that have freaky stories about it and is a great collection of trivia, odd pictures and first hand accounts of strange goings on. I knew some of the places being talked about and others were all new to me, to be added to me “to see” list. I did not love it for a few strong reasons: no index by state, or helpful map of locations if you actually wanted to see some of these places, lack of captions for a lot of the pictures, and an annoying intro that states that veracity was not a prerequisite for inclusion. I can see this being the case about a ghost story but the disclaimer was phrased in a such a way that essentially stated “this may be true, this may be lies, who knows?” For some reason, I’m much more interested in weird true stories than weird made up ones, so that dampened the usefulness of this book for me. That said it’s a gorgeous book chock full of weird stories and first hand accounts of places with names like The Gates of Hell or Blood Road or Midgetvilles. The authors supplement their own knowledge with letters and emails from locals who describe some of the places and include fun stories of childhood or teenaged visits to them when creepy stuff happened. There’s an odd mix of ghost stories, real life museums and collections of outsider art that will probably contain something for everyone.
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