CM . . .
. Volume XI Number 16 . . . . April 15, 2005
Haunted Cemeteries: True Tales from
Beyond the Grave.
Edmonton, AB: Ghost House Books/Lone Pine Publishing, 2004.
200 pp, pbk., $14.95.
7 and up / Ages 12 and up.
by Meredith MacKeen.
The War of 1812
was a conflict between the United States and the United Kingdom
that lasted for almost three years. The war was driven by an American
desire to annex the British colonies in North America and fulfill
its dream of westward expansion. Britain, of course, did not take
to the idea. The Canadian colonies were still British, after all
and Britain still had its own interests to protect on the North
American continent. The United States declared war on June 18, 1812.
According to many
ghost researchers and eyewitnesses, Drummond Hill cemetery is haunted
by not just one set, but two sets of different soldiers. When they
appear, one might be fooled into thinking that reenactors have taken
to the field. Of course, reenactors do not fade from the earth without
a trace of their passing. One set is a troop of five soldiers, dressed
in the uniform of the Royal Scots. They appear hurt, limping and
lurching their way across the former battlefield. Once they've made
their way towards the horizon, they fade from view. The other group
is composed of three British soldiers, clad in their distinctive
red uniforms, slowly making their way up the hill towards Drummond
Hill Cemetery. Once there, they settle into a steady march before
disappearing into the ether. While the Ontario Ghost and Hauntings
Research Society has written on the cemetery and is more than familiar
with the accounts of Drummond Hill cemetery, the society has yet
to conduct a complete and thorough investigation of the site. (p.
Thay, the author, researched 19 cemeteries, two in the Niagara peninsula
of Ontario, the Valley of the Kings in Egypt and the rest in the United
States, including Greenwood, resting place of Confederate soldiers
and various women. He recounts popularly held beliefs that they were
haunted or cursed. In summarizing the curse of King Tutankhamen, the
author notes that "it is a fascinating and grim story that speaks
to our darkest and deepest fears concerning death and the afterlife.
Its appeal is timeless and universal, regardless of whether people
believe in the mummy's curse, it has been a boon to Egyptologists
and country itself." In these stories, evidence is, of course,
anecdotal or recorded via blurry film from camcorders. Thay is careful
to note that many of the theories about the ghosts and hauntings may
not be anything more than speculation.
information provided about each of these cemeteries is the kind that
local tour guides would find useful. Where appropriate, descriptions
of key personalities or the horrors of war add flavour to the local
stories about ghosts, and so a lot of local history is been covered.
Those wanting more specific evidence will have to accept the reality
that ghosts are invisible and that reports of mysterious lights flashing
on the horizon may have a practical explanation. Black and white photos
add to the documentation concerning the ghosts described in the chapters.
of the stories are from 5 to 10 pages long, a reasonable pace for
students reading at a grade 7 or higher level. The subject matter
is of interest to certain students who will be glad to learn that
there is a whole body of research concerning ghosts and who may wish
to contact various organizations mentioned in the introduction, although
no addresses are provided. The book is recommended because the topic
has enormous recreational reading appeal.
MacKeen is a teacher-librarian at Glen Stewart School in Stratford,
on this title or this review, send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal
use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any
other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
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