Spectral Edition: Ghost Reports from U.S. Newspapers, 1865-1917 is NOW AVAILABLE!

Spectral EditionI’m very happy to announce that the book version of Spectral Edition: Ghost Reports from U.S. Newspapers, 1865-1917 is now available for sale in paperback at Amazon.

While it’s not yet available in ebook form, that’s my next task. This is not my first book, but it is my first self-published book. It’s been quite a learning experience — a “parade of decisions,” as I started to call it. (I considered blogging about the experience here, but part of the problem I ran into is an over-saturation of “how to self-publish” advice online and elsewhere. I’m glad that advice is available — it was very helpful — but there’s so much to consider!)

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The book presents about 150 complete ghosts reports from the over 300 I’ve gathered over the years. It features the scariest, the oddest, the funniest, and the most intriguing of my collection.

I also include a well-researched Introduction, footnotes that I hope are useful and interesting, some of the rare newspaper illustrations I’ve unearthed, and an appendix that explores Memphis’s Brinkley Female College ghost with much greater depth that I was able to give it here at The Merry Ghost Hunter.

I hope you add Spectral Edition to your Halloween reading.

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A Ghost Report from the Pacific Commercial Advertiser on December 6, 1901

Spectral EditionThe last chapter in the book version of Spectral Edition: Ghost Reports from U.S. Newspapers, 1865-1917 features reports that provide a natural explanation for what had appeared to be a supernatural event. This report didn’t make it into that chapter because enough of them end with an animal of some kind being mistaken for a ghost.

Like this one, though, a number of the reports throughout the book mention of someone being driven to insanity by a ghostly encounter. I honestly don’t know what to think of these. Should we assume the reporters were exaggerating or outright fabricating the facts . . . or trust them?

1901-12-06 p3 Pacific Commercial Advertiser [Honolulu, Hawaii]

Each Wednesday, I post an actual ghost report from a U.S. newspaper published between 1865 and 1917. You can hear me read many of the ghost reports here, readings first heard on episodes of The Big Séance and the History Goes Bump podcasts.

UPDATE: Today’s the day I’m scheduled to receive the hard copy “proof” of Spectral Edition: Ghost Reports from U.S. Newspapers, 1865-1917. The stuff inside is well-checked, though, so I really only have to check how the cover looks — and hopefully I’ll give the go-ahead. After that, it’s not in my hands how quickly the book becomes available.

 

A Ghost Report from the Orleans County Monitor on February 17, 1873

Here’s an article I refer to in the Introduction of the forthcoming book, Spectral Edition: Ghost Reports from U.S. Newspapers, 1865-1917. I talk about how ghosts were often treated with the same tone and objectivity as other news.

A Vershire couple’s son dies in a fire. A vengeful ghost haunts a house in Bennington. A sheriff is reappointed in Lamoile County.

Apparently, it was just another day in Vermont…

Each Wednesday, I post an actual ghost report from a U.S. newspaper published between 1865 and 1917. You can hear me read many of the ghost reports here, readings first heard on episodes of The Big Séance and the History Goes Bump podcasts.

UPDATE: I’m pleased to report that the Spectral Edition book has been submitted — and resubmitted — to CreateSpace. Apparently, I had made one mistake with the spine of the cover the first time. That was easily fixed, though, and it’s now awaiting final approval. I think a pre-Halloween release is very likely.

A Ghost Report from The Sun on March 30, 1884

Spectral Edition

This report on a giant, “unmannerly” ghost in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, didn’t make it into the forthcoming Spectral Edition book.

It’s an interesting ghost report, but it was published in The Sun, which had a reputation for running fabricated stories just to sell papers. I didn’t avoid The Sun altogether in the book, but I was especially choosy when considering their articles.

1884-03-30 p1 The Sun [New York, New York]

Each Wednesday, I post an actual ghost report from a U.S. newspaper published between 1865 and 1917. You can hear me read many of the ghost reports here, readings first heard on episodes of The Big Séance and the History Goes Bump podcasts.

UPDATE: For the first time, I feel like I’m behind schedule. While the cover of the Spectral Edition book is ready to be submitted, I’m still triple-checking everything inside the book. I had hoped to have this done by the very start of October. I’m still hoping for a pre-Halloween release . . . but it might be closer than I had planned.

A Ghost Report from the Bridgeport Evening Farmer on September 1, 1911

Spectral EditionWas it swamp gas — or something supernatural?

The writer of this report seems to lean toward giving the strange, wandering light seen in Hillside Cemetery a natural explanation.

But it’s not definite enough for this ghost report to have earned a place in the Natural Explanations chapter of my Spectral Edition book.

1911-09-01 p6 Bridgeport Evening Farmer [Connecticu]

Each Wednesday, I post an actual ghost report from a U.S. newspaper published between 1865 and 1917. You can hear me read many of the ghost reports here, readings first heard on episodes of The Big Séance and the History Goes Bump podcasts.

UPDATE: Things are proceeding very well with Spectral Edition: Ghost Reports in U.S. Newspapers, 1865-1917. I have the cover finished (though I’m one to tinker with such things). My wife, an excellent editor, and I are giving the contents a final proofreading before I submit it to CreateSpace.

A Ghost Report from the Evening Star on July 25, 1887

Spectral EditionHere’s another ghost report that didn’t make it into the book. There’s some poltergeist activity described, but it’s not very impressive.

It might have fit into the “Natural Explanations” chapter, but there are too many tricksters afoot. Even so, not all of the ghostly evidence is explained.

1884-07-25 p3 Evening Star [Washington, DC]

Each Wednesday, I post an actual ghost report from a U.S. newspaper published between 1865 and 1917. You can hear me read many of the ghost reports here, readings first heard on episodes of The Big Séance and the History Goes Bump podcasts.

UPDATE: Formatting is still in progress with the book version of Spectral Edition: Ghost Reports in U.S. Newspapers, 1865-1917. Keeping the graphics looking good is proving to be difficult as I convert the Word document into a pdf. I’m still aiming for a pre-Halloween release, though.

A Ghost Report from the Brownsville Daily Herald on March 19, 1904

Spectral EditionI’ve found several reports of murderers haunted by the ghosts of their victims. It’s easy to attribute this to a guilty conscience. A few of these appear in the “Haunted People” chapter of my forthcoming Spectral Edition book.

But here’s an article that almost fits better into the chapter on “Natural Explanations” — or it would if it offered a clear-cut explanation for Susano Marmolejo’s ghostly visions of a man he had stabbed and left for dead.1904-03-19 p1 Brownsville Daily Herald [Texas]Each Wednesday, I post an actual ghost report from a U.S. newspaper published between 1865 and 1917. You can hear me read many of the ghost reports here, readings first heard on episodes of The Big Séance and the History Goes Bump podcasts.

UPDATE: I’m now at the slow, careful formatting stage with the book version of Spectral Edition: Ghost Reports in U.S. Newspapers, 1865-1917. I’m also gradually learning what’s needed to self-publish the book. All looks good for a pre-Halloween release!

A Ghost Report from the Nebraska Advertiser on October 31, 1902

Spectral EditionHere’s a good example of a ghost report that didn’t make its way into the upcoming book version of Spectral Edition: Ghost Reports from U.S. Newspaper, 1865-1917. I rejected any articles published on either April Fool’s Day or, as this one was, on Halloween. No trick reports, thank you.

And there’s not much ghostly activity here. A woman wearing black appeared on a porch one day. When addressed, she “disappeared.”  Does that mean she turned transparent — or she simply turned and ran off?

1902-10-31 p1 Nebraska Adverstiser [Nemaha City]Each Wednesday, I post an actual ghost report from a U.S. newspaper published between 1865 and 1917. You can hear me read many of the ghost reports here, readings first heard on episodes of The Big Séance and the History Goes Bump podcasts.

A Ghost Report from the Albuquerque Morning Journal on October 15, 1882

A stretch of the Virginia Midland Railroad is haunted.

At first, the phantom appeared with two ghostly horses. Afterward, it appeared alone, taunting and playing games with the train workers.

Then it appeared within the train cars beside those workers!

Each Wednesday, I post an actual ghost report from a U.S. newspaper published between 1865 and 1917. You can hear me read many of the ghost reports here, readings first heard on episodes of The Big Séance and the History Goes Bump podcasts.

UPDATE: The entire manuscript of Spectral Edition: Ghost Reports from U.S. Newspaper, 1865-1917 is complete. A couple of proofreaders will go over it, and no doubt I’ll tinker with it, too. This leaves me all of September and the start of October to learn how to self-publish — plenty of time to have the book available before Halloween. Look for updates on my progress here at The Merry Ghost Hunter site and on my Facebook author page.

A Ghost Report from the Sacramento Daily Record-Union on March 25, 1890

Spectral Edition

In a fit of jealousy, Harry Lebo murdered his wife in the backyard of his father-in-law’s house.

Now, one of the neighbors claims that mysterious groans woke her one night.

And then that neighbor saw the ghost of the victim — headless — in the spot where the murder had occurred.

1890-03-25 p4 Sacramento Daily Record-Union [California]

Each Wednesday, I post an actual ghost report from a U.S. newspaper published between 1865 and 1917. You can hear me read many of the ghost reports here, readings first heard on episodes of The Big Séance and the History Goes Bump podcasts.

UPDATE: The introduction and transcriptions of close to 150 ghost reports are complete for Spectral Edition: Ghost Reports from U.S. Newspaper, 1865-1917. I’m probably about halfway through an examination of the 1871 Memphis’s Brinkley College haunting — and the debates it stirred about whether or not newspapers should print ghost reports — which will go into an appendix at the end. Look for updates on my progress here at The Merry Ghost Hunter site and on my Facebook author page.