Edward Lodi, |
The Haunted Violin:
True New England Ghost Stories
(Rock Village, 2005)
Edward Lodi must have a reputation for polite storytelling. The Haunted Violin is Lodi's third collection of ghost stories from New England, and the slim volume is a pleasant trip to the locations he describes. Lodi has a laidback, affable manner to his tales, even as he relates the spooky goings-on in houses and bogs, graveyards, inns and even a public library.
Often, Lodi cites another story -- something similar, perhaps, or related in some way to his own narrative. Rather than telling the story himself, however, Lodi refers his readers to the books of other ghost-story collectors. This must make him very popular among his peers, and fans of the genre have to appreciate the useful bibliography he provides of additional sources.
Lodi's own stories collected here include an assortment of unexplained events, from the untimely arrival of a dead man to a gathering, to a spectral pirate guarding long-hidden treasure. There's a trickster ghost who pretends to fall beneath the wheels of your car -- and laughs when you fall for his prank -- and the violin that produced strange effects when a particular melody was played. A swarm of bees announces the death of the beekeeper in a most alarming way, and ghostly sounds are captured on tape in a haunted library.
The book also includes several tales from David Trifilo's chapbook on hauntings in Voluntown, Conn., as well as a few brief stories from a Charles M. Skinner collection first printed in 1896.
All in all, The Haunted Violin is a satisfying volume of spooky tales.
by Tom Knapp