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Posted September 13, 2013
interesting if you like ghost stories
First of all, let me say that I simply do NOT believe in ghosts, at least in the normal sense of that term, and my conviction is based on Biblical principles. God certainly has the power to send the spirits of the dead to earth if He chooses to do so, as he did in the case of Samuel’s appearance to King Saul, and Moses’s and Elijah’s appearances at the transfiguration of Jesus. But apart from such specifically revealed occurrences, the Bible just does not teach that the spirits of the dead roam the earth and haunt people. What happens at death? “Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:7). What happens after death? “…It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). Not a lot of room there for any hauntings. Besides, when the rich man wanted to have Lazarus sent back from the dead to warn his brothers, he was told that they had Moses and the prophets and that if they wouldn’t hear Moses and they prophets, they wouldn’t believe if someone went back from the dead (see Luke 16:27-31).
Having said all that, I will also say that I enjoy a good ghost story as well as the next person. This book, which I picked up at a state park gift shop in Indiana, is divided into seven sections, Haunted Houses, Ghosts in Public, Haunted Universities, Historically Haunted, Bridges and Transport, Haunted Cemeteries, and ghostly Legends of Indiana, with each section containing several stories. There is a number 8 on the spine, indicating that it is the eighth book of a series. The back lists several other books in the series, Ghost Stories of America Vol. 1 by Thay and Dan Asfar; Ghost Stories of Ohio by Thay; Ghost Stories of Michigan by Asfar; Ghost Stories of Minnesota by Gina Teel; and Campfire Ghost Stories Vol. 1 by Jo-Anne Christensen. Recently, I was at a state park gift shop in Kentucky and saw Ghost Stories of Kentucky as well, but I didn’t buy it.
The stories are told matter-of-factly, as if they were real, but to give wiggle room they are nearly always couched in the language of tall tales, with words and phrases like “legend has it,” “no one knows for sure whether the story is actually true,” “it’s not known if there’s any truth to the story,” “rumors started,” “reportedly,” and “allegedly.” In fact, Thay says at one point, “It’s difficult to know which stories have been exaggerated and which have not.” When it comes to ghosts, all kinds of claims fly here and there, but no actual, solid evidence is ever really given, just nebulous “reports” and “rumors.” There is really nothing overly gruesome in the book. Of course, people who don’t like ghost stories will want to avoid it, but if you enjoy ghost stories, whether you believe in ghosts or not, you would probably find it interesting, especially for those who live in or are from Indiana and those who are studying Indiana history.