This collection of tales each claim to be true. But is there a plausible explanation for each story?
Gr 5 Up--The nine "full-length" accounts in True Ghost Stories include familiar tales of "The Flying Dutchman" and "The Cock Lane Ghost" (poltergeist fraud) as well as several stories of apparitions and hauntings from England, Scotland, Wales, and Australia. "Ghostly Thoughts" at each story's end propose rational explanations for the phenomena. In True Horror Stories, Burke and Hare turn from newly dead to freshly killed bodies to increase their profits from sales to Scottish physicians for anatomy instruction; Lizzie Borden's parents are gruesomely murdered; and a family flees in terror from their dream home in Amityville, NY. These oft-told stories and eight additional tales are related in an entertaining fictional style.. Foreboding, atmospheric pen-and-ink drawings set the mood for each account. In both books, occasional "Fact File" sections provide supplementary information. All of the tales deliver chills with generally more descriptive detail than is found in Daniel Cohen's Ghostly Tales of Love and Revenge (Putnam, 1992) and Great Ghosts (Cobblehill, 1990). American readers may be confused by some of the British words and phrases, but should be able to determine their meaning from the context. There is plenty of terror and gore here to delight horror-film fans and enough notes of reality to make them think before accepting a purely spiritual explanation for the mysterious.
Ann G. Brouse, Big Flats Branch Library, Big Flats, NY
Copyright 1997 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.