As a die-hard fan of cheesy ghost hunting TV shows, this book was everything I expected it to be. There were jump scares. There were psychic trances and possessions (well...obsessions). Nearly every other sentence was a supernatural-related pun.
The Ghost Chronicles sells itself on the fact that the lead investigator is a "down-to-earth" science major. You know these places are really haunted, because if he believes it, it has to be true. Did I mention he's devoutly Catholic, and had a near-death experience that made him believe in the supernatural?
The introduction of the book promises a comprehensive supplement of information, pictures, and videos if you look at their website while you're reading. I was incredibly disappointed - out of seventeen cases, only seven had any sort of additional information. Most of the pictures on the website were already in the book. Only two chapters had any sort of audio accompaniment - one was a slideshow with a voiceover, the other was a radio broadcast. There was basically no video footage.
I found that especially disappointing, since the second, third, fourth, and fifth cases were all filmed and aired on a news show, for a Halloween segment.
And that's the main problem with this book. Despite the whole "scientific investigators" they're trying to pull off, each case just ended up feeling hokey, due to lack of details. Invariably nothing happens that can be scientifically proven - there's a few pictures of shiny things on infrared camera, but that's seriously the most "scientific proof" you're given. Most of the cases are Maureen Wood feeling things and channeling the dead. In one case, they concluded that the place was haunted because Maureen had a feeling of a little girl being present, and then she did a tarot reading and decided to draw an extra card, and it was a card with a little girl on it.
Also, they seriously need someone to fix their website: http://www.ghostchroniclesthebook.com/Episode%207.htm. You've got to highlight the entire first paragraph on each page to be able to read anything at all.
The narrative jumped between Maureen and Ron with no warning whatsoever. Very often, the only clue I had that the perspective had changed would be because suddenly Maureen's name would appear, and she wouldn't be the "I" anymore.
There's very little detail on the cases themselves. I'd say a good half of each case was Maureen getting overwhelmed by spirit energy, and Ron rushing to make sure she was okay.
As far as ghosts go, I'll admit that I'm no skeptic - I don't believe they exist at all. I've never had any "experiences", even living in New Orleans, which my co-workers constantly remind me is one of the most haunted cities in the US.
I love hearing the stories, though. There's something about a well-told ghost story that just grabs you in. Maybe it's the fact that you're dealing with something not of this world. Maybe it's the lure of picturing the things that go bump in the night - the addictive rush of adrenalin when we get good and scared. Or maybe it's the fact that each story is a testament to life after death, a fable that humanity clutches onto as hope for something better - something more. Ghost stories stick with us because they assure us that death is not the end.
...hmm. That was a bit too thoughtful for one of my reviews.
Pole-dancing trannie ghosts!
There we go. Much better!