A Paranormal Library – Your Neighborhood Gives Me The Creeps
January 13, 2012 Leave a comment
I would like to preface my review by stating that I have purchased all the books I review for the public. I am in no way being paid for my reviews, but I am sharing my favorite paranormal books for your reading pleasure. The opinions expressed in these books do not always reflect my own personal opinion, but I do find these topics fascinating. Your purchases of these books do not monetarily benefit me, nor do I gain points with your readership or purchase. I am sure, however, that the authors do enjoy your patronage. Happy reading Dreamers!
This disclaimer is in reference of my use of the word “paranormal.” My use of the word “paranormal” refers to anything that is not normal, be it ghosts, conspiracy theories or aliens. If the topic is not part of conventional beliefs, then it is paranormal. So please do not bombard me with comments about how something is or is not paranormal.
Your Neighborhood Gives Me the Creeps, by Adam Selzer
Seriously, this book is not what it seems, you think going in it’s about a neighborhood covered in conspiracy of bodies hiding in the ground, and of developers hiding the fact from unsuspecting home owners until they dig a pool in their backyard and find caskets buried beneath the earth. Well, that is marginally true if you lived in the Urban areas of Chicago, Illinois close to Navy Pier and Lake Michigan. This is where our author Adam Selzer takes us on a ride from the point of view of an accidental ghost hunter.
Adam Selzer is a Young Adult novelist, having written books such as How to Get Suspended and Influence People, The Smart Alec’s Guide to American History, I Kissed a Zombie and I Liked It, Pirates of the Retail Wasteland, I Put A Spell On You and wrote the screenplay for At Last, Okemah! Nominated for several awards for Middle School and Young Adult novels, and you can find a list of his novels on the Children’s Reading list and the Banned Books Reading List. He used to work for the Weird Chicago Tours as a tour-guide and a ghost hunter and is a self-proclaimed full-blown skeptic.
Adam opens the book with a prologue with a person on his tour asking whether or not he believes in ghosts. Adam adamantly believes that most things “(Except Bob Dylan)” are explained by science. While he does tell people that he doesn’t believe everything he hears, he does explain that he has seen some pretty weird things, but he’s not about to proclaim these strange happenings are ghosts. This sets the theme of book, the discussion of strange happenings, the scientific backgrounds of this pseudoscience, and how Skeptic Adam was roped into all of this because he needed a job.
The book was highly entertaining, a nice autobiography on someone who was (and still is) a complete skeptic who became a ghost hunter due to the fact the tour group he worked for, had some members who went and researched the history of the supposedly haunted structure and went on an investigation to research some of those facts. The Group basically tried to debunk the haunting and those that proved too weird were added to their tour. In the book, Adam tries to dispel the idea that all Ghost Hunters are serious investigators, in fact, he proclaims that most ghost hunters are just geeks gone wild!
The stories written in the book are testimonials to the experiences he has had in various locations in Chicago. One such experience happened in an old Funeral Parlor turned tattoo parlor. In the tattoo parlor, the owner, Tapeworm, had experienced some things that were either trying to kill him or were watching his amorous activities in his bedroom above the shop. Tapeworm even described an event that prompted him to call Adam Selzer’s group, known to those who ask as Spooky McGuffin and his Paranormal Posse, to come and check out the shop. Tapeworm claimed that whatever it was inside the shop tried to push him down the stairs, trying to kill him.
Adam stated that there were strange voices caught on EVP, and weird photos at this first investigation of the Tattoo Parlor. After the investigation, Adam received a call from a group member, stating that Tapeworm had passed away from a heart attack next to the stairs where he always felt something trying to push him down. In honor of Tapeworm, the group set out again to investigate the tattoo parlor, and as they were taking flash photography photos downstairs in the basement, in a far corner they spotted a shadow that looked exactly like Tapeworm. As Adam stated, he’s not sure that this was really the spirit of Tapeworm, but it sure did scare him.
As a skeptic, he knows that most people tell stories of ghosts because of the attention they receive, that, and ghosts do not go “WoOoOo.” He categorizes the people who do tell this kind of story as:
1. The Witness is lying (or stoned)(or both).
2. It is, in fact, just the wind blowing through a hole in the wall or something, creating an effect not unlike the one you get by blowing over the rim of a pop bottle or moonshine jug.
3. It’s not a ghost at all–it’s Old Man Peters, the man who ran the haunted amusement park! And he would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for those meddling kids!
Yeah, he’s pretty skeptic.
I liked the way this book was set up, kind of like a selection of Essays based on his life as a Tour Guide, a starving writer, and someone who is trying to keep his mind clear of things like ghosts and other such nonsense while trying to disprove haunting, even though strange things happened to him on investigations and on tours.
At this one location, several people on tours have picked up something strange on their cameras and some children have even noted a ghostly child wandering the grounds.
Now, I made the mistake of selling this book back to Half Price Books, because I needed the money short notice, but I will definitely re-purchase this book, because of the part skepticism and part geek reference fest (trust me there’s a lot), you’ll enjoy this book almost as much I have!
PS. I’ll make it a regular post, I’m trying out email posting!
Update: I made this post look like the others with a picture of the book, thanks for being patient!!!