Monday, May 16, 2011

Non-Fiction: Ghost A Day, Author: Maureen Wood, Ron Kolek

“Terrifying Tidbit:
Batteries are often drained in haunted locations. Paranormal investigators believe that spirits consume the batteries’ energy to manifest.” (Ghost A Day by Maureen Wood and Ron Kolek)

This is certainly the book for ghost lovers. It has 365 ghost stories that are 2 or 3 paragraphs long. One could read it daily like a meditation book. And throughout the book are “Terrifying Tidbits” like this one:

“Terrifying Tidbit:
Spectral evidence is a form of evidence based on dreams or visions that was used during the Salem witch trials to convict the accused. When it was declared invalid, no more witches were convicted.” (Ghost A Day by Maureen Wood and Ron Kolek)

It is terrifying to think that one could be burned at the stake based on someone’s dreams or visions.

Some of the tidbits are more interesting than terrifying - like this one -

“Terrifying Tidbit:
Clover is a plant used as a protection against witchcraft and fairy enchantments. The ‘lucky’ few to find a four leaf clover, it was believed, were given the ability to recognize evil.” (Ghost A Day by Maureen Wood and Ron Kolek)

Nice to know where the lucky four leaf clover idea might have come from.

“Terrifying Tidbit:
Animals are thought to be sensitive to paranormal activity, which is why they can often be seen staring intently off into the distance.” (Ghost A Day by Maureen Wood and Ron Kolek)

All I can say to that is - well, duh! Humans appear to be one of the most oblivious animals.

“Terrifying Tidbit:
Smudging is a ceremony in which a bundle of herbs, most commonly sage, cedar and sweetgrass, is burned to drive out a negative energy or entity from entering a space.” (Ghost A Day by Maureen Wood and Ron Kolek)

And it smells good, too.

This one is just plain BIZARRE -

“Terrifying Tidbit:
The late president of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, wrote four romance novels - some written by himself, others by ghostwriters.” (Ghost A Day by Maureen Wood and Ron Kolek)

Do you suppose he followed the rules and gave his readers an HEA?

And here’s a couple of ten dollar words that might prove useful -

“Terrifying Tidbit:
If you’re afraid to be in total darkness you’re said to have lygophobia.” (Ghost A Day by Maureen Wood and Ron Kolek)

“Terrifying Tidbit:
If you are afraid of ghosts you are said to have phasomophobia.” (Ghost A Day by Maureen Wood and Ron Kolek)

I’m not usually interested in ghosts. I checked this book out of the library as part of my research for the modern gothic romance novel I’m serializing here on this blog. (Hungry Ghosts; a new installment appears every Friday.)

Surprisingly the book is very entertaining and informative. There is a chilling ghost story concerning the late David Carradine.

And there are the “Terrifying Tidbits.” I haven’t even given you the best or most terrifying ones as I plan to use those in my novel.

What are some truly weird books you’ve read?

If you write, how do you research and how much?

At the moment that I’m writing this, I’m still trying to find the damn house these people and ghosts in my novel will live in. Talk about your research nightmare!


  1. I research everything. Mostly, I do it on the internet, but I'll find books if I have to. I write contemporary fantasy, so most of my research is factual (i.e. weather/flora/fauna/architecture in certain parts of the world). Google street view is a wonderful thing.

    I find four-leafed clovers all the time. Maybe I should hire out my Evil Spotting skillz.

  2. I MUST read this book! But wait, do you think it would just piss me off? That does sometimes happen.
    Dee, I love that about you! Seriously, it means something. Haven't figured out what yet, but I know it does.

  3. Weird book: The homes of dictators. (THis link has the "look inside" feature.)

    Library, new books, second hand books (online), wiki, google books (you can read old magazines from the 1910s and stuff), and internet sites. I use Scrivener software because you can put all the research into it, and write in it, and everything's in one spot, well organized. I research a looooot so it's a challenge to keep it all together.

  4. So lots of research for the writers and Julie likes weird books.
    It was an interesting little book. I found it very amusing that there could be people who would read a ghost story a day just like people read a meditation a day.

  5. Judy, the only place I've been published so far (see that optimistic "so far"?) has been in an anthology titled "Daily Bites of Flesh." Daily horror stories. My kind of meditation. ;P

  6. Judy, Judy, JudyMay 18, 2011 at 10:06 PM

    Delia - lol I forgot about that!