Friday, October 10, 2014

Book Reviews II: Haunted Alaska: Ghost Stories from the Far North

Today's book for review is Haunted Alaska: Ghost Stories from the Far North, by Ron Wendt (2002, Epicenter Press).

(Note: I am in no way affiliated with Ron Wendt, Epicenter Press, or Alaska Book Adventures. I am reviewing this book from my own personal first edition copy I bought in Alaska. I am not being commissioned or compensated in any way.)

For those of you that like numbers and stars, this book gets 4 stars out of 5. It's good, it's a good casual paranormal read.

The book is short, perfect take along with you size, and just under $10 if you get it new. It consists of 15 loosely themed chapters, named for the first story in each, and each containing two, or more commonly three, stories. Usually there's a little history, then a fairly recent account of activity. The third story is usually in italics, and appears to have been quoted in their entirety from some interview or communique. A note explaining that better would have been nice.

Speaking of notes, the beware notes on/in this book are a little unnecessary and cliché, but don't really detract from the experience. The artwork is okay, though only slightly relevant, but I didn't buy it for the artwork anyways. I would have preferred pictures of the public locations myself.

At the front of this book you'll find a map, giving rough locations for all the events within the book. This is really nice, especially if you want to look up or visit, the public locations mentioned, like the Alaskan Hotel. And in the back, you'll find the usual source list, this one containing more personal names than usual. In fact many stories appear to be hearsay with no other documentation to back them up, however this is a fairly common problem in paranormal research.

Some of the stories don't actually take place in Alaska, but rather British Columbia and the Yukon. But that's really nothing to complain about.

My only real grip relates to the situations where there was more official documentation, but it's not mentioned save in the sources section. It would have been nice to know when the author had (or hadn't) found evidence that such-and-such ever existed in the first place.

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