Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places

By Colin Dickey
Read by Jon Lindstrom

10.80 Hours 10/04/2016 unabridged
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    ISBN: 9781524703653

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An intellectual feast for fans of offbeat history, Ghostland takes readers on a road trip through some of the country’s most infamously haunted places—and deep into the dark side of our history. Colin Dickey is on the trail of America’s ghosts. Crammed into old houses and hotels, abandoned prisons and empty hospitals, the spirits that linger continue to capture our collective imagination, but why? His own fascination piqued by a house hunt in Los Angeles that revealed derelict foreclosures and “zombie homes,” Dickey embarks on a journey across the continental United States to decode and unpack the American historyrepressed in our most famous haunted places. Some have established reputations as “the most haunted mansion in America,” or “the most haunted prison”; others, like the haunted Indian burial grounds in West Virginia, evoke memories from the past our collective nation tries to forget. With boundless curiosity, Dickey conjures the dead by focusing on questions of the living—how do we, the living, deal with stories about ghosts, and how do we inhabit and move through spaces that have been deemed, for whatever reason, haunted? Paying attention not only to the true facts behind a ghost story, but also to the ways in which changes to those facts are made—and why those changes are made—Dickey paints a version of American history left out of the textbooks, one of things left undone, crimes left unsolved. Spellbinding, scary, and wickedly insightful, Ghostland discovers the past we’re most afraid to speak of aloud in the bright light of day is the same past that tends to linger in the ghost stories we whisper in the dark.

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Summary

Summary

An NPR Pick of Great Reads for 2016

A Shelf Awareness Best Books of the Year

An intellectual feast for fans of offbeat history, Ghostland takes readers on a road trip through some of the country’s most infamously haunted places—and deep into the dark side of our history.

Colin Dickey is on the trail of America’s ghosts. Crammed into old houses and hotels, abandoned prisons and empty hospitals, the spirits that linger continue to capture our collective imagination, but why? His own fascination piqued by a house hunt in Los Angeles that revealed derelict foreclosures and “zombie homes,” Dickey embarks on a journey across the continental United States to decode and unpack the American historyrepressed in our most famous haunted places. Some have established reputations as “the most haunted mansion in America,” or “the most haunted prison”; others, like the haunted Indian burial grounds in West Virginia, evoke memories from the past our collective nation tries to forget.

With boundless curiosity, Dickey conjures the dead by focusing on questions of the living—how do we, the living, deal with stories about ghosts, and how do we inhabit and move through spaces that have been deemed, for whatever reason, haunted? Paying attention not only to the true facts behind a ghost story, but also to the ways in which changes to those facts are made—and why those changes are made—Dickey paints a version of American history left out of the textbooks, one of things left undone, crimes left unsolved.

Spellbinding, scary, and wickedly insightful, Ghostland discovers the past we’re most afraid to speak of aloud in the bright light of day is the same past that tends to linger in the ghost stories we whisper in the dark.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“A lively assemblage and smart analysis of dozens of haunting stories…Absorbing…[and] intellectually intriguing.” New York Times Book Review
“Dickey visits with Salem’s witches, spectral lights at a Nevada brothel, and the eccentric widow who designed the sprawling, never-finished Winchester Mystery House…[to] suggest that by analyzing them we can learn a great deal about ourselves." Wall Street Journal
“One might expect that listening to a book about ghosts should be avoided at night. However, Colin Dickey’s history is more academic than scary, and Jon Lindstrom’s narration reflects that approach. As such, there’s no risk of sensationalizing the topic…Lindstrom’s voice is comfortable and reassuring.” AudioFile

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Author

Author Bio: Colin Dickey

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download
Category: Nonfiction/History
Runtime: 10.80
Audience: Adult
Edition: English