Haunted Massachusetts by Thomas D'Agostino

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Haunted Massachusetts by Thomas D'Agostino is a "non-fiction" book about haunted places in Massachusetts. Before I go any further, I have to admit to Cracked Spines' readers that I am an unabashed skeptic. I have seen things that I could have easily written off as paranormal, but I do not believe for a second that there are ghosts. I believe that those who claim to have seen ghosts are doing what I refused to do–explaining away perfectly normal things by attributing them to lost spirits. That being said, I love a good ghost story. Having been born and raised in Massachusetts, it is hard for me not to be interested in ghost stories, especially historic ones and Haunted Massachusetts is full of them.

Sadly, Haunted Massachusetts by Thomas D'Agostino was very predictable for me. It contained an awful lot of "orb" talk and unconfirmed rumors that explained supposed hauntings. For me, that is not enough. I have taken plenty of pictures with orbs in them–none in places that are so much as rumored to be haunted. I could easily concoct a story about a dastardly deed that was committed in one of these innocuous places and poof! you have a ghost story. You are going to have to do better than that, Mr. D'Agostino.

Now, Thomas D'Agostino did pick up on the fact that you do not have to rely on rumors to write a good book about hauntings in Massachusetts. Enough bad things have happened in this commonwealth without making stuff up. We have Salem, the home of the Salem Witch Trials. We have Boston, which is also connected to the Salem Witch Trials and has been the scene of countless murders on top of an American Revolution battle or two. Haunted Massachusetts touches on some of these places where confirmed murders have taken place. Are they haunted? I doubt it, but the energy the history of these places gives off almost guarantees that people will think they are.

If you are a ghost enthusiast, this book is so-so. It contains a lot of good locations and information about how to get there, but you could get a guidebook for that. I would prefer a Stephen King book, for to me, Haunted Massachusetts might as well be labeled fiction for the amount of rumor to be found within.

Shelly Barclay

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