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Guilty Pleasures: True Ghosts 1, 2, and 3:

Minnesota: Llewellyn Publications, c2009 $15.95 ISBN 9780738715865 v.1; 
c2010, $15.95 ISBN 9780738722948 v.2; c2011, $15.95 ISBN 9780738725871 v.3

Haunting Tales From The Vaults of FATE Magazine 
by KC Redding-Gonzalez

Nobody does it like Fate Magazine…If true ghost stories without the exclamation points is what you are after, this is a treasure trove direct from the “vaults” of the preeminent paranormal magazine of the United States founded in 1948 and in mostly continuous publication ever since despite several changes in ownership, publisher and experiments in format.

One has to keep in mind the nature of ghosts, however. This is not a white-knuckle ride through the cobwebs. It is, however, more in keeping with what real ghostly encounters are like: frequently in slow motion, typically understated, but always leaving a slightly disturbed imprint in the dust. Book one is edited by Andrew Honigman; books 2 and 3 by David Godwin. All three consist of vignettes of personal sighting and experiences, some contributing reporters articles, and a variety of supernatural encounters that range from apparitions, haunted houses, angels, animal spirits, time-slips, time travel, miracles and premonitions. While not written to keep the reader awake nights, there is something sufficiently unsettling to keep people like me buying the books multiplying in the series. The accounts range from stories of events that occurred in the 1800’s to this decade, from cities to rural farm country. But always they carry that special ambiance that Fate Magazine spent years carefully cultivating and which kept a fascinated public buying their product.

For those who want to understand how the paranormal really affects people and places, this is a solid series for delivering the goods. For those thinking about the indistinct mysteries that surround our corporeal world, are curious about the paranormal from a more or less practical side and don’t mind a good urban myth or two sprinkled in with their psychic investigations and the occasional folktale, Fate is the ticket. Always a fun read, and frequently “light” in implications, these revelations are somewhat standard fare for the ghost hunter. For the collector of ghost stories, they are must-haves, if only for the pleasure of having a piece of paranormal history on your shelf or in your Kindle. This is the way collecting ghost stories used to be done…without trick photography or fancy editorial twists. The only thing better than this might have been a collection of their mythic monster articles and UFO stories… As for me, I know a guilty pleasure when I see it for $15.95 each… I heartily give the series three tentacles up.

1 comment:

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

Lulz. Three tentacles are a Lovecraft lover aren't you?