Monday, October 06, 2008

Ghost Files: The Haunting Truth

Ghost Files: The Haunting Truth, by the illustrious (fictional) Ghost Society is a really fun, interactive book about the paranormal. To give you an idea of the tone of this book, the title pages goes a lil somethin' like this:

Ghost Files: The Haunting Truth
For those who are very practical about identifying, documenting, and classifying apparitions, ghosts, and spirits from early men to our time OR
how to see a ghost when you much prefer to look away. And if you're very good, how to make contact.

Ghost Files is made up of single and double-page spreads dedicated to the basics of the paranormal--ectoplasm, poltergeists, doppelgangers, you name it--and "true" stories about supposedly haunted places.

In one double-page spread, the Ghost Society tackles the story of Glamis Castle, a very real attraction in Scotland, and its haunted history. A beautiful black and white illustration of the castle inhabits the center of the page, with pull tabs lined up along each side. As you read down the page you pull out a tab to read more juicy tidbits about the tragedies of Glamis Castle.

While I would find the story a little boring if it were written out as regular text, the interactive aspect helps bring some life to it. Other highlights of the book include a story of a meek teacher and her mysterious doppelganger accompanied by an mirror inset into the page to remind the reader of her double, and fold-out portions that supplement the story.

Whether it's moving pieces of the page, odd fold-outs or a captain's log attached to the page, it's a really beautifully constructed book full of surprises. One of my favorite parts was an attached envelope on the last page from the HarperCollins "editors" explaining how the mysterious book came to their office and their attempts to track down the Ghost Society turned up a "dead end"--a derelict building and no living society members.

If I had to describe this book in a phrase, I'd call it Stephen King's Rose Red meets Ghost Hunters...for kids! It's a fun Halloween book, for sure.
This is my second selection for Carl's RIP III Challenge.


  1. What a cool sounding book! I'll be on the lookout for it.

  2. It's really fun, Tammy!

  3. This sounds really cute. I love ghost stories and all that.

  4. Last night I was looking at this book at Chapters - it is awesome! The thing I liked most was the quality of the book itself. Most interactive books wouldn't last a day with a smaller child but this one seems quite sturdy.

    Sadly my hubs dragged me away (like a 3 year old) while explaining the concept of "only browsing" :0

  5. So a fictional work, posing as a factual work, then revealing that it's a fictional work, but making use of 'facts' to spice up the fict... you know, I think I may be getting a headache.

  6. Me too, Iliana. It's very atmospheric!

    BZ, it is a VERY hefty book! I was really impressed by that, too, and I think it would be relatively hard to destroy. :)

    You got it, Stu! I need a Tylenol.

  7. This sounds like a very, very fun book. I'll be keeping an eye out for it now when I go to the bookstore.


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