I loved <b>Pat Hancock’s</b> <i>“Crazy Canadian Trivia”</i>. I modestly enjoyed “<b>Haunted Canada: True Ghost Stories</b>”. I praise its sampling. It is frustrating if the same places are favoured. <b>Pat’s</b> coverage of our country is excellent and not just of cities but little places. There are three reasons for my lack of elation. I understand that ensembles like these aren’t a study of one case or province and the vignettes are merely short summaries. Sometimes that’s all there is to the documentation of a paranormal case. However I know some of these cases from other books or because I am a Winnipegger for instance and at least the telling of my city’s haunted locales was lacking.
Regarding the Walker Theatre, the raconteuse of <i>“Manitoba Ghost Stories”</i> gets across that its atmosphere is actually frightening. What I know of ghostly activity at the Fort Garry Hotel is far more thrilling and undisputable than the ‘boyfriend story’ <b>Pat</b> printed here. She keeps using words like ‘alleged’. It has a whole floor of prime real estate that is kept in disuse: to preserve a haunted printing press! The Scott frightened to death in a cemetery is an urban legend well-known elsewhere. It amounts to pinning one’s own clothing to the ground and thinking it’s a spectre. She released many other haunted books so perhaps those gathered better paranormal records.
The rub for me is the author’s disclaimer that she doesn’t believe in ghosts. Why compile ghost stories? Certainly, many unexplained observations can only be ‘alleged’, like noises. However the seriousness of all her articles was minimized by words like that in every instance. If an experience or sighting was credibly documented; don’t downgrade the report by writing: <i>“They say they saw it”</i>. Declare that they saw it! It isn’t sceptics who covet these records.