More than any actual history, it's often folklore that defines a nation, and nothing captures regional color like a ghost story. Colin Dickey's Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places is a travelogue in sixteen essays. The author and co-editor of The Morbid Anatomy Anthology embarks on a coast-to-coast, ghost-to-ghost tour of the U.S., investigating sightings from Salem to Los Angeles, down to the Mississippi Delta and up to Detroit. He explores the usual locales — haunted houses, cemeteries, prisons — alongside less predictable places, like a Toys "R" Us store. But whatever the paranormal activity may be, Dickey pays equal attention to the psychology and cultural significance behind it; he's more interested in what hauntings say about the living than the dead. Here he discusses how the macabre has shaped our nation with Rest in Pieces author Bess Lovejoy.


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