I must give up reading it

Jamie found a zip file of ghost stories because I love me some ghost stories. It was just a small handful and when we looked on Amazon, they were ones that were available for free, so my guess is the downside is that the author is not getting the hits? (I’m really not sure, sales figures are something I don’t know about).

Within the small handful of ghost stories, I ended up with this book:

True Ghost Stories, Vol. 3 by Rosemary Breen

I didn’t look up the description, because, really, why should I? If it says “True Ghost Stories,” I automatically assume it is the author’s real-life paranormal encounters of things. And hey, you’re up to volume 3, you must be a freaken lightening rod, tromp around through more areas than your average Travel/Discovery channel Halloween special, or you’re re-telling spooky stories of family members and friends along with your own. Ok, that sounds like fun.

It’s not.

These are 1 to 2 paragraphs of “I woke up in the middle of the night. There was a black shadow standing over me. I was very scared!” And variations thereof.

I told Jamie how terrible it was, but that it was so bad I was determined to attempt to finish the whole thing. I…can’t do it.

I gave up at 45%

I looked up the description and apparently it is this woman who did “The Largest Online Survey” for paranormal encounters. Yet, there are no names (I found two names, names of doctors, that were not omitted in a “story”), no notation  as to where these stories came from. The only way you know a story has changed is by a paragraph break and a bolded “title,” which is usually more descriptive than the paragraph-long “ghost story.”

Good grief. No wonder why it’s on “Volume 3.” And there’s little to no editing. I’m not saying like “this should be gone through with a fine-tooth comb,” I’m saying “did you not at least read through this to find where words don’t make sense?”

I give up.

This is not a “quick and easy” read. This is a book of Twitter updates. This is a brain-melting sludge of “are you fucking kidding me” and I can get a better description out of a grocery list than what came out of this.

I told Jamie that if I was to read “Real Life Ghost Stories! By Real Life People!” I was just going to go back onto Dave Juliano’s website (The Shadowlands) and read the thousands of submissions there. Some of them are exactly like what is in this book (e.g. I was reading a book. Someone tapped my shoulder. There was no one there!), but most of them have descriptions and some of them are downright creepy as fuck. Most of them are more than one paragraph, and there are names and it doesn’t make it seem like it’s one person “telling” a bunch of one-liners. Sure, I don’t think it’s been updated in a while, but there are thousands of stories on here and they’re pretty fascinating.

I guess if you read poorly described books or read books whose descriptions start out as “My name is ____ and blahblahblah,” then I guess this is a golden book. But if you read classic ghost stories (or even read about things like The Brown Lady, anything that happens at Eastern State Penn., the Tulip Staircase, etc), antiquarian horror, Stephen King, Clive Barker, Charles L Grant, MR James, or even if you’re just a casual fan of Poe, stay away from this unless you just really want to laugh awkwardly at it.

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