Author Barbara Smith has writing style that's clean and keeps interest, but GHOST STORIES OF HOLLYWOOD was a disappointment. Much of the information she reports comes from sources this reviewer is already familiar with and Smith's historical integrity is dubious. This Hollywood theme collection of ghost folk tales are sorted by their various settings, including the spirits' former homes, hotels, forms of transportation, public places, graveyards, theaters, and studios. Some legendary greats and forgotten souls of the film and TV industry appear as central characters in these stories, either as ghosts or witnesses. This volume is also liberally illustrated with black and white photos of the haunted sites and superior pencil portraits by Arlana Anderson-Hale. Jayne Mansfield is still seen sunbathing by the pool of her celebrated home, the Pink Palace, and no matter how many times subsequent owner Ringo Starr tried to repaint the walls, her favorite color still bled through. John Wayne visits his beloved yacht, THE WILD GOOSE. Sharon Tate had a precognitive vision of "the image of a human form tied to the stair rail, bleeding from slashes to the throat and quite obviously dying." For many years, a mysterious woman in black regularly visited the final resting place of Rudolph Valentino, who some believe frequents the costume department of Paramount Studios. The lack of research effort put into this 2000 volume is painfully obvious. With the exception of personal experiences Smith relates, there is little consultation with primary sources, such as direct interviews with eyewitnesses or references to documents with first-hand accounts. Most of the stories she delivers are amalgamations of material that's been published before and not even accurate.Read more ›
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Haunted hollywood reviewOct. 25 2007
Steven Earl Mader
- Published on Amazon.com
While this is an interesting read and accurate, it seemed as though the author was in a hurry to write this. She could have given more information in a lot of areas. It was kind of a Reader's Digest type of treatment. Some areas your interest would be picked and you'd want to know more only to find more wasn't forthcoming. Still an interesting read.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Not a great entry to the "Ghost Stories of" series.Nov. 5 2009
- Published on Amazon.com
The book was enjoyable enough, and it was interesting to read about the supposed haunts of this epicenter of the rich and famous. However, the author's details were frequently incorrect. In one instance, she stated that the Pantages Theater was haunted by the ghost of Howard Hughes, citing that he was a heavy smoker and the smell of his cigarettes lingers on. Wrong! Hughes detested smoking and was once seen plucking a cigarette from then-girlfriend Katharine Hepburn's mouth. The "Ghost Stories of" series generally has accurate details about the areas in which the stories take place, or about their backgrounds, but this one did not. In my mind, its credibility is dubious at best, and I would not recommend it.