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Ghostland: An American History in Haunted…
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Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places (original 2016; udgave 2017)

af Colin Dickey (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
4903538,183 (3.59)19
Dickey, piqued by a house hunt in LA that revealed derelict foreclosures and "zombie houses", embarks on a journey across the continental United States to decode and unpack the American history repressed in our most famous haunted places. With boundless curiosity, Dickey conjures the dead by focusing on questions of the living -- how do we deal with stories about ghosts, and how do we inhabit and move through spaces that have been deemed haunted? Paying attention not only to the true facts behind a ghost story, but also to the ways in which changes are made to those facts and why, Dickey paints a version of American history left out of the textbooks, one of things left undone and crimes left unsolved. --… (mere)
Medlem:groovygrl3
Titel:Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places
Forfattere:Colin Dickey (Forfatter)
Info:Penguin Books (2017), Edition: Reprint, 336 pages
Samlinger:To Be Read, Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:Ingen

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Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places af Colin Dickey (2016)

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» Se også 19 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 34 (næste | vis alle)
I tried so hard to finish this book, but from the moment that the author quoted Freud in his introduction I knew it wasn’t meant to be. Dickey makes history exactly what it isn’t: dry. Don’t get me wrong, he’s obviously done an absolutely impressive amount of research but it does little to improve what I can only call “word soup.” If I wanted to read a book condemning social practices and shortcomings of the past I’d go looking for it, but I wanted to read a book of ghost stories and how they influenced American culture and how American culture influenced them. This isn’t that book. I managed to be bored while reading about the Winchester Mystery House. A feat, I assure you. Best of luck if you try to read this one. ( )
  cthuwu | Jul 28, 2021 |
3.5 stars

This isn’t just a book of ghost stories. The author digs deeper into the history of these haunted places and the some of people who supposedly haunt them. Not only that, he looks at supernatural history, in general. For instance, in the mid-19th century, Spiritualism became popular; current day, we see the fascination via ghost hunters and reality tv. Also current day (though he doesn’t go into detail on this, as it is in the epilogue), he talks a bit about technology – smart homes/devices, and social media.

Of course, there are plenty of ghost stories included, as well. Some of the places he looks at include homes, hotels (he stayed in one with a group of people where they all had infrared cameras), brothels, prisons, insane asylums, and more.

I found this quite interesting. There was a section on haunted towns/cities, as well, and I particularly liked the part on New Orleans, because I’ve been there. I had heard of some of the other stories/places he talked about. ( )
  LibraryCin | Feb 6, 2021 |
This was an interesting take on hauntings. The author did not discuss whether the hauntings were true or not (though he seems to have his doubts) but rather what they say about us as a society, as a country.

He discusses how some ghost stories may have a glimmer of truth in their origin but have been embellished to suit our purposes. The purpose may be to whitewash our history, to assuage our guilt about events that have happened. The purpose might be to draw attention to something in our past that needs to be addressed. The purpose might be to divert ourselves from more serious issues such as racism. The purpose might be as simple as drumming up tourism or scaring children into being good.

Colin Dickey traveled throughout the states, gathering these stories. Some I am very familiar with, others I had never heard of. He did put a good perspective on our hauntings, made me think about some new ideas. I never thought about our ghost stories as being part of our national mythology like this.

(I still like to be scared, so I think I'll stay less of a skeptic than he is.) ( )
  Chica3000 | Dec 11, 2020 |
Incredibly interesting. Not really about literal ghosts, but more figurative ghosts. ( )
  glenncvance | Aug 26, 2020 |
I read this for the "Haunted Houses" square. "Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places" by Colin Dickey.

I don't know what to say. This was a really well researched and thought out book by Colin Dickey. He provides enough information that made me want to do my own digging and research into some of the homes and other locations he mentions in this book. What I really do enjoy that there is something of an anthropologist/historian in Dickey's work that I really enjoyed. Besides looking at the supposed hauntings, he goes into backstories that would have led to a person or persons to believe a haunting was occurring.

This book goes into what I would call typical hauntings of homes, to hauntings of cemeteries, hotels, brothels (Mustang Ranch), cities, battlefields, and even a bridge. And the book wraps things up about how our next form of being haunted can be via social media. I personally remember being surprised one day when Facebook popped up with a memory of me with a friend who had passed away. I remember flinching and just feeling sad and hurt all over again about her passing away. It didn't even occur to me that one day, I too could be a ghost of sorts, haunting my friends and family via social media.

He also mixes in popular culture (American Horror Story) along with horror books that reference some of the hauntings that he provides more details on for readers.

I already said that I loved Dickey's look into the Salem Witch Trials by looking further at the "House of Seven Gables". I also loved his foray into Richmond, VA and it's ugly history of selling slaves. Heck, I loved Dickey for calling out the fact that it's weird in locations with a huge minority population or slaves, most of the ghosts were white. And or most of the hauntings surrounding women who were slaves, made them the aggressors (stealing a white man who was married) from the poor unsuspecting wife.

Dickey writes a book that is unflinching about what was, what is, and what could be our future as a country when it comes to how we all will be portrayed after our deaths.

He also turns a cynical eye towards so called ghost hunters who have morphed from an eclectic group of people who were interested in the history of a place, to people who are trying to gain some fame through reality television. And I loved that Dickey also debunked some of the hauntings in the book. ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
Viser 1-5 af 34 (næste | vis alle)
The most fascinating moments in “Ghostland” are Dickey’s etymological musings (on terms like “haunt,” “cemetery,” “ruin porn” and “ghost town”) and his many turns down unusual paths of American history. His discussion of the links between 19th-century Spiritualism, the early feminist movement and contemporary New Age beliefs; his account of the red dwarf who is said to have haunted Detroit since the city’s founding, in 1701; and his recognition that ghost stories can aid the work of historic preservation: All of these are absorbing. While many of the ghost stories he recounts can be found in academic treatments as well as lighthearted local guides, with “Ghostland,” Dickey achieves a capacious geographical synthesis that is both intellectually intriguing and politically instructive.
tilføjet af Lemeritus | RedigerThe New York Times, Tiya Miles (pay site) (Oct 27, 2016)
 
Throughout history, ghost stories have been used to make money, offer a moral, mark a location, and explain the unexplainable, among many other functions.... An intriguing but somewhat uneven exploration of things unseen.
tilføjet af Lemeritus | RedigerKirkus Review (Jul 31, 2016)
 
Grouping haunts into four categories—houses, hangouts, institutions, and entire towns—he shows how the persistence of these ghost stories, especially when their details change with the times, say more about the living than the dead.... Dickey embeds all of the fanciful tales he recounts in a context that speaks “to some larger facet of American consciousness.”
tilføjet af Lemeritus | RedigerPublishers Weekly (Jul 4, 2016)
 
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The main work of haunting is done by the living. - Judith Richardson
Ghostland lies beyond the jurisdiction of veracity. - Nathaniel Hawthorne
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August 1933, a summer's day in Manhattan's Lower East Side.
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A paranormal event without a story is tenuous, fragile. What makes it “real,” at least in a sense, is the story, the tale that grounds the event. That sense of the uncanny, of something not-quite-right, of things ever-so-slightly off, cries out for an explanation, and often we turn to ghosts for that explanation.
A spinster and one who seemed to resist time in a place as restless as New York City, Gertrude Tredwell embodies a set of ideas—and anxieties—about women, domesticity, and modernity. Likewise, in the ghost of threadbare Samuel Tredwell we have a story of disinheritance and filial failure that reflects how we as a culture treat men who don’t live up to certain concepts of masculinity. Add to this the overbearing portrait of Seabury himself, and what the Merchant’s House offers is an uncanny portrait of the American family, one that frustrates our basic assumptions about how a father and his children should act.
Our ghost stories center on unfinished endings, broken relationships, things left unexplained.
We like to view this country as a unified, cohesive whole based on progress, a perpetual refinement of values, and an arc of history bending toward justice—but the prevalence of ghosts suggests otherwise. The ghosts who haunt our woods, our cemeteries, our houses, and our cities appear at moments of anxiety and point to instability in our national and local identities.
Our country’s ghost stories are themselves the dreams (or nightmares) of a nation, the Freudian slips of whole communities: uncomfortable and unbidden expressions of things we’d assumed were long past and no longer important.
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Dickey, piqued by a house hunt in LA that revealed derelict foreclosures and "zombie houses", embarks on a journey across the continental United States to decode and unpack the American history repressed in our most famous haunted places. With boundless curiosity, Dickey conjures the dead by focusing on questions of the living -- how do we deal with stories about ghosts, and how do we inhabit and move through spaces that have been deemed haunted? Paying attention not only to the true facts behind a ghost story, but also to the ways in which changes are made to those facts and why, Dickey paints a version of American history left out of the textbooks, one of things left undone and crimes left unsolved. --

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