Friday, October 3, 2014

Book Review for Haunted Jersey Shore

Title: Haunted Jersey Shore--Ghosts and Strange Phenomena of the Garden State Coast
Author: Charles A. Stansfield, Jr.
Published by Stackpole Books (2006)
Amazon Info (Also available on Kindle)

My boyfriend was born in Red Bank, New Jersey, so we were both delighted--and rather surprised--to find a copy of this book at our local Goodwill store. I have to say, it was the best 50 cents I have spent in a long time!

At 114 pages, this book is short, but that makes it a perfect, quick read for this time of year!  I had my reservations at first, because I had previously read other books by different authors in this publisher's same series.  While still pretty good, these books tended to be a little sparse when it came to the actual number of stories covered.  This book was the complete opposite!  Divided by geographical area, there are several dozen stories packed between its covers. 

Most of the tales are only about half a page in length, and therefore, there's not a lot of history or extraneous information detracting from the meat of the story.  As a historian for my paranormal investigation group, I really value and appreciate a thorough historical profile for my research, but sometimes I just want to read the good parts and enjoy a good scare!  Again, that makes this the perfect little book to read during the Halloween season as it focuses on the spooky part, and doesn't worry about proving or disproving the tales.  Of course, enough details are given so that anyone interested in learning more can do their own research with or without the aide of the bibliography.  Also included in the text are links to different area paranormal groups and websites, and information about how to find companies that conduct ghost tours in the area.

If you have any ties to the Jersey Coast, definitely pick this one up for some spooky reading!  But, if you're NOT familiar with the area, don't be intimidated; its still a very enjoyable read that doesn't rely on a previous understanding of the history or geography of the area.  And could you not love the cover illustration of the Jersey Devil?

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