Storytime for Grownups: Haunted Florida

by Adam Davis, Director of System Services for the Palm Beach County Library System

2Halloween has come and gone, but ghosts are forever. At least according to these books, the world is rife with paranormal activity… especially in Florida! Take a road trip down to the Keys or across the U.S. to see for yourself. Or, to be on the safe side, you may just want to read these books to know where you should stay away from. Either way, happy haunting!

Bader, Christopher D., F. Carson Mencken, & Joseph O. Baker. ” Paranormal America : ghost encounters, UFO sightings, Bigfoot hunts, and other curiosities in religion and culture”.

Paranormal America provides the definitive portrait of Americans who believe in or have experienced such phenomena as ghosts, Bigfoot, UFOs, psychic phenomena, astrology, and the power of mediums. However, unlike many books on the paranormal, this volume does not focus on proving or disproving the paranormal, but rather on understanding the people who believe and how those beliefs shape their lives.” Bowker®

Dickey, Colin. “Ghostland : an American history in haunted places”.

“The keys to understanding this book come from its subtitle, with its reference to American history, and from the author’s statement that he’s not interested in proving the veracity of ghost stories but, rather, in exploring how we process stories about the dead… Dickey focuses on several noted American ghost stories, showing how each of them provides insight into contemporaneous history. The Merchant’s House, in New York City, was built by a wealthy family in 1832; it’s allegedly haunted by the family, but it’s also a museum a perfectly preserved family home that looks today exactly the way it looked nearly 200 years ago. Similarly, the House of the Seven Gables is both a well-preserved seventeenth-century mansion in Salem, Massachusetts, and the site of one of the most enduring ghost stories…” — Pitt, David, Booklist.

Jenkins, Greg. “Florida’s ghostly legends and haunted folklore”.

“Haunting ancient cemeteries and primitive landmarks as well as modern apartment complexes and highway sides, ghosts and restless spirits abound… Explore fortress ruins in New Smyrna Beach, and keep an eye out for mysterious shadows and dark figures in the nearby forest; visit the island of Islamorada, where the ghostly remains of Flagler’s railway rumble over tracks destroyed in the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane; and, if you’re especially brave, walk through the eerie corridors of the mausoleum in Myrtle Hill Cemetery near Tampa, where you are sure to hear whispers from the dead or the muffled echoes of a music box. Delve into the unknown with Greg Jenkins as he examines the history, legend, and paranormal rationale behind strange occurrences in many of south and central Florida’s haunted locations. Get a fresh look at some of the state’s most famous ghost stories and learn never-before-heard tales of the strange and the supernatural as you take a trip through Haunted Florida.” Bowker®

Lapham, Dave. “Ghosthunting Florida”.

” Discover the scariest spots in the Sunshine State. Author Dave Lapham visits more than 30 legendary haunted places, all of which are open to the public so visitors can test their own ghosthunting skills. Join Dave as he visits each site, snooping around eerie rooms and dark corners, talking to people who swear to their paranormal experiences, and giving you a firsthand account. Enjoy Ghosthunting Florida from the safety of your armchair or hit the road, using the maps, “Haunted Places” travel guide with 50 more spooky sites and “Ghostly Resources.” Buckle up and get ready for the spookiest ride of your life.” Bowker®

 

Le Carrer, Olivier & Sibylle Le Carrer. “Atlas of cursed places : a travel guide to dangerous and frightful destinations”.

” Oliver Le Carrer brings us a fascinating history and armchair journey to the world’s most dangerous and frightful places, complete with vintage maps and period illustrations in a handsome volume. This alluring read includes 40 locations that are rife with disaster, chaos, paranormal activity, and death. The locations gathered here include the dangerous Strait of Messina, home of the mythical sea monsters Scylla and Charybdis; the coal town of Jharia, where the ground burns constantly with fire; Kasanka National Park in Zambia, where 8 million migrating bats darken the skies; the Nevada Triangle in the Sierra Nevada mountains, where hundreds of aircraft have disappeared; and Aokigahara Forest near Mount Fuji in Japan, the world’s second most popular suicide location following the Golden Gate Bridge.” Bowker®

 

Lehto, Steve. “American murder houses: a coast-to-coast tour of the most notorious houses of homicide”.

“There are places in the United States of America where violent acts of bloodshed have occurred. Years may pass-even centuries-but the mark of death remains. They are known as Murder Houses. From a colonial manse in New England to a small-town home in Iowa to a Beverly Hills mansion, these residences have taken on a life of their own, gaining everything from local lore and gossip to national-and even global-infamy. Here, writer Steve Lehto recounts the stories behind the houses where Lizzie Borden supposedly gave her stepmother “forty whacks,” where the real Amityville Horror was first unleashed by gunfire, and where the demented acts of the Manson Family horrified a nation-as well some lesser-known sites of murder that were no less ghastly. Exploring the past and present of more than twenty-five renowned homicide scenes, American Murder Houses is a tour through the real estate of some of the most grisly and fascinating crimes in American history.” Bowker®

Powell, Jack. “Haunting Sunshine”.

” Spectral visions, footsteps in the attic, thumps in the night. Who hasn’t witnessed or heard such things and not thought of ghosts? Join your guide, author Jack Powell, on a wild ride from Pensacola to Jacksonville and down to Key West, touring Florida’s places and history through some of its best ghost stories. Powell has woven together a creepy collection of tales. Explore the darker side of the Sunshine State. What horrible fate awaited the pirate’s lover in Pensacola? Care to check out the last crop Edgar Watson planted on his farm in the Everglades? When will the ghost leave baby Carly’s room?” Bowker®

Roach, Mary. “Spook : science tackles the afterlife”.

” Mary Roach is at it again. After studying what happens to dead bodies donated to science in Stiff, she turned her scientific eye to what happens to us after we die. In this meticulously researched nonfiction book, Roach attempts to use science to determine whether an afterlife even exists. Spook takes a look at mediums, the souls of reincarnated children, and ghosts with a mixture of fact and humor that makes for an infectious read.” — Cathering Kovach, www.bustle.com.

 

Sloan, David L. “Ghosts of Key West”.

” Key West’s past comes alive with thirteen incredible stories of the southernmost ghosts. From Victorian era spirits returning to claim what is rightfully theirs, to haunted dolls that continue to send chills down their visitors’ spines, Ghosts of Key West beautifully captures the true spirit of Florida’s second oldest city. Ghosts of cigar makers, pirates, wreckers and voodoo practitioners all await you. While their ghostly journeys continue through time, yours is just about to begin. Ghosts of Key West author David L. Sloan founded Key West’s original ghost tour and is the leading authority on the island’s hauntings.” Bowker®

Thuma, Cynthia & Catherine Lower. “Haunted Florida : ghosts and strange phenomena of the Sunshine State”.

” Florida’s sunny climate and tourist attractions draw plenty of visitors–some of whom never leave. This compilation of supernatural tales shows Florida to be a state rife with eerie occurrences and ghostly denizens. Stories include the spirit of Uncle Charlie at Fernandina Beach’s Palace Saloon, the infamous Chupacabras of south Florida, a count’s strange obsession with his dead wife, and the mysterious Skunk Ape of Collier County.” Bowker®

 

Zepke, Terrance. “A ghost hunter’s guide to the most haunted houses in America”.

“Through detailed history and documented paranormal activity, the old haunted homesteads featured in this guidebook are all shown to be unique and especially creepy–and most of them are open to the public! With dozens of photographs, fun facts, and full visitor information per site, these homes will prove unforgettable to even the bravest adventure traveler. The Winchester Mystery House has stairs leading nowhere, doors that open into walls, secret passageways, and a large séance room. The Villisca Axe Murder House was the site of one of the biggest unsolved mysteries in American history. Korner’s Folly was dubbed “the strangest house in the world” by a well-known architectural publication. The Hampton-Lillibridge House was the site of an exorcism to rid its resident evil spirit, but was it successful? And then there’s the Loretta Lynn Plantation, where countless lingering spirits have made themselves known to visitors who dare to touch the tribute wall. The brave and the fearless will find all the contact information and tour options they need throughout the book for each of these daunting dwellings, plus much more.” Bowker®

 

Not enough for you? The Palm Beach County Library System has dozens of electronic books, printed books both novels & non-fiction, audiobooks, and DVDs or Blu-ray discs to help you find all the spirits you want, and then some. Travel to your closest branch or find us on the web!