Edrick Thay,
Haunted Cemeteries:
True Tales from Beyond the Grave

(Ghost House, 2004)

Nineteen stories don't actually reveal the absolute truth of whether there are ghosts in the cemeteries listed or not. However, author Edrick Thay did take time to approach a great number of people and places in order to write the book, and what follows is an interesting collection of stories, revelations and investigations about resident ghosts in cemeteries across the U.S., Egypt and Canada.

A lot of history and facts about the cemeteries are told. To add to the interest, not only are ghosts mentioned but local dignitaries buried there -- some who are infamous, such as Al Capone, or Hollywood royalty such as Princess Sylvia Ashley.

Historical research done on who the ghosts might be also makes the book a worthwhile read. Some ghosts were mainly known by only a title, such as the Pink Lady, and Thay talks to locals who might have a few ideas or to a psychic researcher who has spent time on the case.

What interested me most of all is how different cemeteries operate. A Catholic one outside of Chicago, or a town-owned one in a little rural area, or one now partly beneath a highway or town street -- each type of cemetery and its own history was a great revelation to me. Also, some of the research methods were quite interesting, and to learn of societies that conduct and support such searching was eye-opening.

The ghost stories were the icing on the cake. You can decide yourself whether they are true or not.

This is a cozy little read, 200 pages, softcover, very factual, not eerie or spookily enhanced. Its tone is conversational and fits an oral storytelling tradition that is lost in so many cities. Most of the stories give you enough information to go digging around yourself. Or perhaps you'll look twice at that cemetery down the road: so many interesting people have their lives marked there.

by Virginia MacIsaac
5 August 2006

Buy it from Amazon.com.