Igloo Books, £12.99, ISBN 978-1-78810-450-0
I think it’s no secret that I’m a fan of spooky stuff. Horror movies, horror fiction, and supposedly nonfiction horror books – give me, give me, give me. So, when I found this in the bookstore at a discounted price, why not? I’m currently in a slump where romance and fantasy is concerned, so a little bit of occult matters may get me back in the mood.
Ghosts and the Paranormal – no author stated, so I guess the poor fellow must be paid by word or something – is clearly meant for kiddies, as the language is very simple and there is nothing particularly gory or explicit in the content. However, the topic is exactly what it says on the cover, so there’s still a possibility that some kids may end up getting a bit more scare than they expected. Which, come to think of it, is what the fun is all about, isn’t it?
This one is, as you can guess, a simple compilation of everything ghosts and spooky. The whole thing consists of roughly four types of encyclopedia-like entries: famous haunted places, famous ghosts and other woo-woos, famous mediums and various people linked to spiritualism, and various things associated with the spooky kind. The last spotlights things like Ouija boards, ghost hunter societies, and all. Most of the entries are about stuff in the US and Europe with the occasional mention of things here and there in Asia and Australia. That’s to be expected, of course, as for some reason Asians seem to shy away from doing a book like this that focuses on Asian-flavored spooks. I don’t know why, the closest I have found is this disappointing thing.
Back to this one, all the usual suspects – Glamis Castle, Borley Rectory, the Tower of London, that house in Amityville, the Aokigahara Forest in Japan, etc – are here, but there are some not-so-common ones such as an entry on the ghosts that haunt Mount Everest, that particular entry which makes Baguio City in the Philippines look like a ghost-filled place, and one on the Screaming Tunnel in Canada.
As I’ve mentioned, the entries by themselves are not explicit or gory, but this entire thing can be a scary read as the book is filled with seemingly innocuous photos that, either due to the light or the tinkering in the design software, look menacing and creepy nonetheless. The designs of the pages also serve to intensify the creepiness – some pages look like dried parchment, others have things like shadowy hands looking as if they are trying to push their way out of the page. I love this. Most of the content here are old news where I am concerned, but the book itself looks really nice as part of collection of spooky stuff books. As I’ve said earlier, some kinds may find the overall impact of this book a bit too intense for them, though.
Ghosts and the Paranormal seems to be unavailable on Amazon and it isn’t even listed on the publisher’s website, but still, I have a copy so it exists. Wait, or am I in some kind of bad jump-scare horror movie featuring a demonic book, and the dark forces that sent the book my way made me think it’s just some harmless book from some British publisher? Surely there is a reason that this one has a copyright date of 2018 but isn’t available anywhere… Anyway, it doesn’t matter. This one is so pretty in just the ways I like it, so it’s worth getting annoyed by a dumb long-haired ghost with bad posture if this one did turn out to be such a book.