D.P. Roseberry & Laurie Hill,
Cape May Haunts: Elaine's Haunted Mansion & Other Eerie Beach Tales
(Schiffer, 2008)

Cape May has much to recommend itself for a vacation spot, with its beaches and Victorian architecture, but apparently it is also an area rich in haunting. Roseberry, the writer, and Hill, the psychic, describe the lore behind the hauntings as well as recounting encounters with the spirits.

The layout of this book is delightful. Each chapter is set up like a guidebook, giving the name address and website of each location, directions for getting there and the ghostly aspects to be expected at each site. For the most part, each chapter is dedicated to one site such as Elaine's Haunted Mansion, the Southern Mansion, the Queen Victoria Bed & Breakfast Inn, or Cabana's Beach Bar & Grill. The last couple of chapters group a number of sites together.

After the information, which includes a photograph of the exterior, the narrative describes the location, more information of and background for the ghostly aspects, and either the author's or the psychic's experiences with the ghosts. Almost half of the book is dedicated to Elaine's Haunted Mansion with its lonely child ghost who seeks attention by playing pranks and other aural and visual manifestations, some supposedly captured with specialized photography.

Another site visited is the Queen Victoria Bed & Breakfast Inn, where a ghostly woman haunts the third floor. Guests get eerie feelings and sometimes find their rooms rearranged and belongings scattered about. A toilet was said to have exploded on the third floor as well, certainly a curious manifestation.

Whether one believes in ghosts, the writing is engaging and the organization makes it a pleasure to read. Roseberry certainly makes it easy to find these places for readers to make up their own minds.

review by
Donna Scanlon

26 September 2009

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