Reading Level: Adult
Length: 240 pages
Publisher: Quirk Books
Release Date: October 1, 2013
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: Reveiw copy from Edelweiss
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
I got a copy of this book to review from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This was a decent collection of tales involving ghosts, UFOS, murderers, serial killers and other strangeness all set in suburban settings.
The book is broken into seven sections:
1. InHumanly Houseguests.
2. The Ghoul Next Door
3. Hellish Commutes
4. Backyard Beasts
5. Really Desperate Housewives
6. Law of the Dead
7. Sundry Cul-de-sacs
The stories are told in a very reporter like style, but with a tone of irony. They all start out by giving the location, date, time, and people involved.
The stories themselves are a bit inconsistent throughout. That is to say, some of the legends are debunked and some aren’t…some of them are very thoroughly researched and reported on and some are just based on hearsay. Some are quite detailed and lengthy, while others are just quick snippets.
I really did not enjoy the first chapter of the book, the one on poltergeists. These stories were extremely repetitive and got very boring to read. The next section on serial killers was much more well done. Maybe it’s because the serial killers are real people and these stories involved a lot more pictures and real data and just seemed much more interesting. There is only so much you can say about poltergeists, since by definition they are all kind of the same phenomenon.
I also enjoyed the references to external sources. Like for the snake house, you were given information to look up the YouTube video on The Snake House (which I recommend watching, it’s super creepy). It was kind of nice to be able to go out and get more information on the stories that were interesting to you.
The other thing I enjoyed were the pictures. Some of the stories have pictures throughout, they really drive home just how creepy these houses and people are.
As with many of these types of books much of what is talked about is only supported by heresay and conjecture. Stall does try to back the story up with facts when they exist. I still found some of the stories to be a bit hokey at times.
Overall it is a decent read if you like reading about creepy and unsavory things. It is a non-fiction account (at least as much as ghost haunting and UFOs can be non-fiction). To be honest though you could find out about any of these things by yourself if you did a quick wikipedia search (which I did on a couple of the stories to get more information) and the stories are a bit inconsistent in both quality of writing and content. Still, it’s kind of fun to have all the craziness and creepiness in one book though and would make a great coffee table book or gift for the resident conspiracy or supernatural fanatic in your life.