Nicole Bray & Robert DuShane,
Paranormal Lansing
(Schiffer, 2009)

Using stories gleaned from message boards, direct email responses, investigative paranormal groups' research results (including their own) and direct interviews with witnesses, authors Nicole Bray and the Rev. Robert DuShane offer up some great ghostly tales in Paranormal Lansing that you can really sink your teeth into. Doors open and close, ghostly footsteps abound and apparitions are found around every corner. Come dare to take a look into another side of Michigan's state capital!

While some stories seem to be urban legend, and in some cases it is unclear if the tale was directly reported to the authors, when the same stories surface across generations, it has to make you wonder if where there's smoke, there's also fire. In this vein, I appreciate the authors' efforts to debunk persistent legends that are based more in rumor than fact, such as the popular "Dungeons & Dragons" myth. The authors have completely debunked this popular tale with some very simple research.

However, true ghostly tales are in the majority here, and they're not in short supply. Some of my favorite stories are those of the many haunted houses in the area. The inhabitants and former residents of these homes are more than happy to share their experiences. Some have investigated noises in the kitchen only to find every kitchen cupboard door standing open -- that happened to me! -- while others have had items hidden and moved, only to find them much later in the oddest of places (yep, me too). One person even had missing keys fall right out of thin air in front of him (that's the second time I've heard of that exact same thing happening). An evil abandoned church, UFOs and haunted frat houses and cemeteries make an appearance, too.

There is some solid, interesting and verifiable history here as well, such as The Bath School Massacre, The Hotel Kern disaster and Michigan's poorhouses, which are all recounted in detail. The present-day hauntings of these historical locations are well documented.

This book is a delight for true-ghost-story fans. Countless ghostly apparitions and disembodied voices abound, with plenty of witnesses. There's a bit of speculation going on, but for the most part, Bray and DuShane have done a great job of digging into all the nooks and crannies of the Lansing area with some great results. This book will be of interest to many, skeptics and the curious alike. For the rest of us believers, it's just more verification that we're not nuts!

book review by
Lee Lukaszewicz

12 September 2015

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