Eugene & Mary Kuryla Yelchin,
Ghost Files: The Haunting Truth
(HarperCollins, 2008)

Ghost Files: The Haunting Truth purports to be the archives of the secret Ghost Society, which endeavors to track down and verify reports of hauntings around the world. In reality, this book is a collection of ghost stories, often vague and lacking in detail, many I suspect sprung entirely from the imaginations of Eugene and Mary Kuryla Yelchin, whose writing credits are hard to find in the back of the book.

But this book isn't really a serious study for ghost hunters to reference. Rather, it's the presentation that makes this book a treat.

The stories here aren't just text on a page. Instead, the Yelchins have crafted their tales into a collection of windows that slide, packets that fold out and letters you can remove from their envelopes, all making Ghost Files seem very much like a ghost hunter's scrapbook. There's even a variant on a Ouija board tucked in the back.

Eugene Yelchin provides lavish, ghoulish illustrations throughout.

Besides a few stories, such as an exploration of the bloody history at Glamis Castle, the book contains tips on recognizing ghosts, spirits, poltergeists and other apparitions that might lurk about famous sites or even your very own house. Obviously designed more for the young-adult reader (young children might be a trifle unsettled by some of the stories and images here), Ghost Files is an original, well-thought-out package that makes ghost-hunting fun.

review by
Tom Knapp

25 October 2008

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