I’m not in to seeing or experiences ghosts myself, but I sure do enjoy reading ghost stories and watching programs such as Ghost Hunters, so I thought I might really enjoy this guidebook to haunted sites in our neighboring Ontario. Unfortunately, the book fell short of my expectations.
Part guidebook, part history lesson, part memoir, part ghost stories — part of the problem is a lack of focus as to just what the intention of the book is.
The tag line about the book (on Goodreads, and on the publishers web site) reads: “Prepare to be scared out of your wits with the stories behind these and other hauntings.” Umm…no. Scared? Not even a slight shiver. Author Terry Boyle tells the stories of each unique haunted place rather dispassionately, using historical facts, supernatural supposition, and relating WAY too many third-party encounters (how many times can I read about “feeling a cold presence when I reached the area where…” or someone “getting a feeling” about a place).
I found that I much more enjoyed the history research on some of the sites much more than the relating of its haunts. But the haunted aspects read like a clinical deposition, despite trying to end each with some sort of hook to try to personalize it (ie: “…if you see that yellow dress, do say hello” or “Perhaps you may see through the veil of time and embrace the past too” or “If there should be a disagreement between you it will pass away quickly, for your souls will be unaffected”).
I wanted to connect to this book, but it just never drew me in. I suspect that this book will sell moderately well at gift shops in some of the haunted locations mentioned, but it won’t have much of a life beyond that.
Looking for a good book? If you want a guide to eerie locations in Ontario, this is the right book; but if you want that tingly feeling that climbs your spine when reading true-life ghost stories, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
* * * * * *
Haunted Ontario 3
author: Terry Boyle
paperback, 248 pages