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on May 29, 2004
I got this book as a housewarming gift for my brother and his wife who were claiming to hear 'bumps in the night', and worse, after moving into their fixer-upper. It was originally bought to be a gag-gift from his skeptical sibling but I glanced through it before giving it to them and once I started to read this story I couldn't put the book down. In fact I read it twice before I finally handed it over to them.
My sister-in-law thanked me for getting them the book and said it helped knowing they weren't the only people to have weird experiences like that in an old haunted house.
Personally I've never had an unusual, or paranormal, encounter and never thought much about spirits or hauntings one way or the other before. But after listening to the stories of my brother's newly purchased old house I am now intrigued. I know my brother and his wife are honest people and if they claim to have seen and heard ghosts I believe them. I also believed the story told in "Haunted" because a lot of it seemed so similar to my own family members' experiences, especially how the majority of the spirits seemed to be children and how they interact with them.
If you live in your own haunted house or know someone who does this book will really be something that you can relate to.
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on September 22, 2003
First off, let me say that if some of the events in this book happened to me I'd most certainly flip out. I can't call myself a believer, and yet I want to believe. This book doesn't come within a mile of making me believe. I have to agree with a previous reviewer and mention the lack of any photo evidence, even though it supposedly exits.
The photos of the artifacts found in the yard that were included in the book were not the least bit interesting. Yep, that's a rusty nail. And an inkwell, and a jar! So? Yet a photo taken at a birthday party supposedly showed two strange orbs - why was that photo left out of the book? Another photo taken in the little boy's room showed a face looking head-on at the camera - that's the photo I want to see! Again, where is it?
Beyond the lack of interesting photos, while reading this book I couldn't help but think that if the woman's husband was living in the house at the time and didn't believe it was haunted, why should I? Another peeve: A neighbor has a sister who's a clairvoyant and she agrees to advise them regarding the house. She can't actually arrange a visit, so all of the information is passed through the neighbor. Are there no telephones in Canada? Could this woman not have phoned the neighbor's sister at her leisure? This really did not make sense to me at all.
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on July 3, 2004
I don't believe the "true" part of this story to be very convincing. Ms.Williams describes in detail, accounts of ghostly activity she and her family encounter throughout the few years they live in their Victorian home. She gives a detailed historical timeline of the house--even locates 14 names of previous owners dating back to the 1800's.Yet with all of this research and information, nowhere did she find any information on whether a fire occurred at the house. And this is supposedly the 'important' incident she claims the ghosts and two psychics are trying to communicate actually happened. The author speaks of consulting a ghost investigator via email. The investigator offers to fly out to investigate the hauntings but Ms.Williams claims the costs associated with the investigators services are too expensive. PLEASE. This makes absolutely no sense. Through her writing, Ms. Williams has created an image that this family indeed has money-and definitely enough money to spare for something as completely important as retaining the services of a ghost investigator! This family could afford to redecorate and restore the entire house (I live in SF and I know how expensive it is to restore and redecorate a Victorian home), even adding on an additional room in the back--of which they hired an architect for. Ms. Williams also writes of how they own a summer cottage that they travel to for vacations. They also plan to add a swimming pool to their backyard because their summer home is too far away. And at one point in the book, she and her husband discuss moving out of the house so they begin to look into building another home--a brand new home! I don't buy it for one second that they couldn't afford this investigators services. This is why I find this story difficult to believe. If my children were witnessing ghosts in their bedrooms I would make it top priority to fly an expert out to investigate. There is no ending to this story. Ms. Williams leaves the reader hanging--You don't find out whether or not they still live in the house or what has actually become of the ghosts.
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on January 24, 2003
This book was so much fun to read. Dorah L. Williams has written it just perfectly- she draws you in and is so convincing, you will believe every word of this scary tale. This is not a story about demon possession, as so many haunted house stories end up being. In fact, the majority of her ghosts seem to be children, which makes it all the more interesting. It's a good old fashioned ghost story that just happens to be true- and if you read it at night, you'll definitely find yourself looking over your shoulder!
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on August 1, 2003
I loved this book! It is well organized and thought out and conveys a creepy feeling without totally freaking out the reader. The story is about a Canadian family living in a haunted house that they bought and renovated. The story moves along smoothly getting creepier all the time and the author does an excellent job of conveying the confusion and self doubt triggered by supernatural events. I highly recommend this book.
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on May 6, 2007
I just finished reading this book, and felt compelled to write a review.

Once I started reading I could not put it down. I found it to be very interresting, and a real page turner. I thought that it was well written for an amateur author, and have to commend Ms. Willams on her recolection of the facts.

I did question at times, why she did not bring in a second psychic investigator after her first attempt did not reveal the answers she had been looking for...the offers were there, I wish she had taken one of them up on their repeated offers to visit (despite the cost). I know that I would have wanted (in her situation) to know the names of the people in the house...why they were there...what they wanted to tell them BEFORE sending them through the light. Especially if I was planning on writing a book about the experience.

As a mother of two small children I was conscerned about her son sleeping in the room that could have been a portal to the other side....I know that I would try hard to protect them form any undue stress. I was raised in a haunted house, and although the occurences in my home were far less frequent and less frightening than those described here...the memory of that house still lingers, and the recollection of the stress I felt as a child remains with me to this day. So because of that, I am a bit sad that her children were exposed to that kind of situation.

I did find the ending a bit sad...I did not want it to end, I felt there were a few strings left hanging, and a few questions left unanswered. But I guess because this is a true account, that sometimes happens. You don't get the answers you want, but instead are just relieved that the activity has subsided.

all round it is a very enjoyable read...more moving than truly frightening which I appreciated :)

I wish them well, and hope that if she gets any more information (from a psychic visit in the future), perhaps it can be shared in a second edition :)
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on March 3, 2004
Very respectable presentation of a familiy's experience with
paranormal events in an old house they renovated and moved into.
What sets Mrs William's account above so many others of a
similar nature is her attention to detail, her clarity of style,
and the matter-of-fact, concise, effective way in which she
presents each increasingly strange event.
Yes, many of these events are frightening,
but they are not taken advantage of for their "scariness" alone, instead are described plainly,
as part of a mysterious whole, which lends them greater believability and weight.
There is no attempt on Mrs. Williams' part to Amityville
Horror us, she seems much too honest and sincere for that.
And I must applaud her for her considerable peristance at detective work
in attempting to understand the nature of her family's predicament in their "dream" house.

For those who might complain about a lack of resolution to this
story, I must advise that hauntings of this sort are truly fascinating because they rarely are resolved.
The whys and wherefores of hauntings require a lifetime (or lifetimes!) of exploration and investigation.
But an excellent first-hand account like Dorah Williams' is a
terrific place to start -- or to enhance a journey already
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on November 1, 2003
Being an avid reader of ghost stories (as well as having had first hand experience in the matter), I found this book to be very intruiging. It was like reading a book that someone wrote about what my family and I went through.
It is written in a first-person view (that being of the mother/wife), which I find refreshing. It keeps you interested in the story, as I found myself not wanting to put it down for even a minute. Mind you it isn't very long (only 189 pages compared to the many books I have read containing anywhere up to 400 pages), but it gets to the heart of the story without cluttering up, making it extremely easy to read.
It tells of a family that purchases an old Victorian home "on the fly" (how many of us do that!) and soon discover that they got more than they bargained for, and I'm not talking about just the usual fixer-upper.
I don't want to give too much of it away, but I do suggest that if you are a lover of a good ghost story, that you buy yourself a copy to find out what happens.
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on September 22, 2003
I realize not everyone believes in spirits and no amount of proof, written or otherwise, will be enough to convince a skeptic. But, I do believe, even more so now, and I think this was a very compelling story.
I borrowed a copy of this book from my cousin and liked it so much I decided to purchase a copy of my own. I'm kind of surprised that a couple of the reviewers on this site seem to be troubled with what they feel is a lack of photographic evidence within the book. That thought never even entered my mind when I read "Haunted". I assume it would have been impossible to include photographic proof for every incident mentioned. It's probably the editors instead of the author who determined exactly what got included, but regardless of who chose them, I thought the photos that were in the book only added to the story. I do agree with another reviewer that it would have been interesting to see the shots mentioned that were taken at a party and in the son's bedroom, but they were well described in the book and I can see why photos of that nature might have been impossible to include without violating the family's privacy altogether by showing the interior of their home and pictures of their family and friends. And besides, with all the computer software programs such as Photoshop that are now available to edit and alter photographs I guess anyone could come up with as many ghost photos as they wanted to create, but that wouldn't necesarily mean they were real.
In my opinion this book was told in an honest and credible manner and I really thought it was good.
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on August 18, 2003
I love a good ghost story, and this book tells a good one.
This story is about a Canadian family that bought a beautiful old Victorian house that they decided to fix up. The cover of the book makes it sound as if this is an incredible occurrence that was arranged by forces from beyond, because the family had just built a new house. In fact, the family used to live in this neighborhood and loved it, and used to have a Victorian house that they previously renovated, and they loved that, too. Therefore, I don't feel the move was prompted by the house ghosts. I won't ruin the story, but the author did some investigations and has some theories about who her ghosts might have been in life, but the dates and descriptions of the ghosts don't all add up. She describes a ghost standing on the lawn looking at a certain tree, but then never investigates the land around the tree. When digging to put in a pool in the back yard, some items were found and these items were photographed. However, when the author talks about ghostly instances that are really incredible, such as a rosebush growing out of nowhere in a very short time and sprouting a rose in the middle of winter, there is no picture of the ghostly event, even though it would have been easy to get a camera and take a picture of the flower. I found a few of the passages to be frightening, but I felt a lot of the details of physical incidents were not backed up when they could have been easily documented.
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