Ed & Lorraine Warren, |
Graveyard: True Hauntings
from an Old New England Cemetery
(St. Martin's, 1992)
Graveyard consists of a number of cemetery-related ghost stories. The first third of the book addresses stories surrounding Union Cemetery in the Warrens' home state of Connecticut, while the remaining two-thirds of the book is made up of similar graveyard tales from all over.
The book was basically written by Robert David Chase, but Ed and Lorraine Warren clearly determined the content and offered many of their own opinions and stories throughout the narrative. The Warrens are well-known ghost hunters, and this fact can be something of a double-edged sword. Name recognition alone will draw some to this book while turning others away. The Warrens are a very active and outspoken couple, and many of their beliefs and theories are rather extreme.
Personally, I believe in ghosts, but my own beliefs do not stretch as far as those of the Warrens. The famous couple seems to find ghosts everywhere; they go into a cemetery with a tape recorder or video camera and come out with evidence of spiritual contact, evidence that is rarely laid out specifically for those they are speaking to or detectable in the evidence they offer. In addition, they often assume facts that still remain up in the air to many of those interested in the subject at hand. I find them overzealous at best. For instance, Ed talks about having filmed a ghost in Union Cemetery that could easily be seen on the video he took of it, yet no picture of this sort is included in the eight pages of black-and-white photos in this book. All claims aside, there really is no proof offered for any of the stories told in this book.
Graveyard should be viewed as a collection of ghost stories and nothing more. In that capacity, the book works reasonably well. A number of very different ghostly experiences are described here, several of which do have the potential to raise goosebumps. Almost all of these stories are interesting if not fascinating, and the centrality of cemeteries in each story makes this a somewhat unusual book of ghost tales. Taken in this vein and viewed primarily in terms of entertainment, Graveyard is a successful book. If you expect more than that from the Warrens, you may be disappointed, as this book is not constructed on a solid foundation of credibility.