True Haunting

( 42 )

Overview

This is the story of a true haunting. It was the first ever filmed and televised by NBC in 1971. A young couple purchases a building that was built and occupied by a single family that refused to relinquish their hold, even after death. Investigated and verified by experts, this residence brought chaos to the lives of those who chose to reside there. Unlike a horror novel, this chronicles what a real ghostly experience would resemble. Long before the laws of disclosure, a young couple winds up in the midst of ...
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Overview

This is the story of a true haunting. It was the first ever filmed and televised by NBC in 1971. A young couple purchases a building that was built and occupied by a single family that refused to relinquish their hold, even after death. Investigated and verified by experts, this residence brought chaos to the lives of those who chose to reside there. Unlike a horror novel, this chronicles what a real ghostly experience would resemble. Long before the laws of disclosure, a young couple winds up in the midst of strange occurrences prior to the term 'paranormal' becoming a common description. Searching for help at time when supernatural events were a taboo subject and being ignored by the Church, sent them into a desperate search for any assistance.
Only a little known organization came to their aid. Author Tom Valentine, brought in a nationally known psychic, Joseph DeLouise, who then asked assistance of an exorcist from England, Reverend William Derl-Davis. Together, they gave their best effort at exorcising the multiple spirits inhabiting the building and disrupting the lives of the living. Events were filmed by NBC, who sent their most prominent Chicago journalist, Carole Simpson, to cover the event.
Follow a young couple with a newborn as they attempt to cope with inexplicable events, experience denial, plead for help from their Church, and step into the world of the paranormal. Understand why ghosts cannot be exorcised and a true example of their strong sense of domain, even after death. Learn what experts and gifted people did in a failed attempt to assist this desperate couple. There is no happy ending, as the young couple suffers emotionally, are physically threatened, have their pets terrorized, and eventually suffer financially by actually "giving" their building away. What was intended as a financial answer to their prayers became, instead, a curse to be abolished.
Learn many of the various manifestations that can be common in haunting. Ghosts can be seen and heard. They can propel objects and interrupt utilities. They can affect your moods and feed off of your emotions. They can appear as solid as you and me. They can react and become hostile if threatened or violated. Most important, as this young couple learned, they can harm you and cannot be removed. This is a firsthand accounting of what a true haunting is like. There are certain subtle occurrences you may find the most frightening, because you just might relate and recognize them. If so, guess what? You may have a ghost!
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781463408626
  • Publisher: AuthorHouse
  • Publication date: 7/27/2011
  • Pages: 184
  • Sales rank: 252,629
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.42 (d)

Read an Excerpt

True Haunting


By Edwin F. Becker

AuthorHouse

Copyright © 2011 Edwin F. Becker
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4634-0862-6


Chapter One

A Naïve Purchase

It was July 25th, 1970, when I saw the real estate advertisement for a two-flat apartment building on the near-north side of Chicago. A "two-flat" is an apartment building with two separate residences. It was offered as an heir estate, which (to me) meant that they were liquidating the property and would be more flexible on the price and terms. It was also my 24th birthday and a Sunday, but I would skip any celebration and I would soon be on my way to appraise this property, for my wife and I were desperate to find a new place to call home.

The reason for my desperation was my wife, Marsha, was seven months pregnant, and we had been given an ultimatum to move by our landlady, the kindly Mrs. Newaski, who was a wonderful old woman that owned our apartment building. She was not so kind, however, when she coldly informed me that she didn't want kids in her apartments. This was a common attitude of landlords during this period of history. It was a time when landlords could dictate most anything and be within their rights. I will never forget driving to her home in a near suburb to pay the rent for the month of June. It was at that time that I happily announced the fact that I was about to become a new father. Instead of the expected congratulations, Mrs. Newaski, the dear old Polish lady, stared at me and flatly stated, "So you'll be moving out soon?" I understood perfectly what she meant. In her own way, she was stating that no children were allowed. My drive home was not very pleasant.

Looking for a new apartment was difficult and near impossible. As I scanned the classified section week after week, the best apartments clearly advertised for no children. This was absolutely legal in its day. We had been married three years, but had saved very little money, so purchasing a house would be near impossible, as a conventional mortgage required a 20% down payment. I was earning a meager salary as a computer programmer in the second year of my career. Computers were new at that time, and few companies could afford one. So I was fortunate to even have a job in my chosen field. Automation was not the lucrative field that it would become in a just a few more years with the explosion of new technology.

Yes, these were the "old" days, when a fax machine was the latest ground-breaking office tool, and people were beginning to talk about a new device called "calculators". We still had typewriters, comptometers, and cash registers that had numbered levers as keys. Secretaries still had to know short hand, because there were no hand held tape recorders-only bulky dictating machines. We used lots of carbon paper for copies, and record keeping was mostly done manually in various handwritten methods.

"Heir estate" clearly meant that someone had died, and the building was being liquidated by their heirs. I would proceed to go and take a look on my own, as Marsha didn't feel well and was suffering from symptoms of her pregnancy. She was barely five feet tall and already was as big as beach ball, with two more months yet to go. She was also still working as a keypunch operator. Keypunching was an early form of data entry. She typed data- little holes-into cards that were then fed to giant accounting machines, or to the original huge computers. This was long before video monitors, or "CRT's," became common in the workplace. Marsha was working 50 hours a week and was trying to continue right up to the last weeks of her pregnancy. She certainly was entitled to rest on this day. I had no qualms about making a commitment on my own, should the opportunity develop.

I called the real estate company and was told the building was having an open house and that I could proceed directly to the address. I kissed my wife goodbye and was off on my adventure. We lived on the far northwest side of Chicago, which meant that I had a 20 minute drive to the inner-city. I was somewhat familiar with the area, for at one time in my childhood, my family lived a half mile from the Campbell Street address. I knew it was within a short distance of the Catholic Church.

This neighborhood was just southeast of Logan Square, which was (then) primarily a Polish area of the city. As I drove through Logan Square, it brought back the memories of the trips I had taken with my Grandmother, who would shop at the various ethnic stores on Milwaukee Avenue. These were some of my fondest early-childhood memories.

The drive also brought back other childhood memories not so pleasant. I had grown up in Chicago, primarily in the inner-city. My mother and father were separated for most of their marriage; thus, I was shuttled between the two of them, living here and there throughout the city. Yes, I knew exactly where I was going. My destination was once a German/Polish neighborhood, and was now changing over to a racial mixing pot. This didn't bother me, but I worried about how Marsha would accept it. Marsha had grown up in Tulsa, Oklahoma; a clean, spacious modern City-quite different from Chicago, and this big city frightened her. As I drove, I knew that if I could acquire this building for a very small down payment, I would make it viable, one way or another.

I viewed it as a mere stepping stone. We could live there for five or six years and then move up to a better neighborhood or a nicer suburb. My plan was that if we could rent out one apartment, it would help pay the mortgage and we could live a much easier life, financially. In five or six years we would develop equity, and possibly the building would appreciate in value. Then we could add to our savings and allow the property to take us to the next level. This was the optimism I was armed with as I drove. I was prepared for anything. If the building needed work, I could fix it up. As I drove past the old Church, I soon made the turn onto Campbell Street.

Just a short distance from the Church was the Campbell Street apartment building. It was just down from the corner. On the corner was a frame two story building with a store front. Years before, it was common for every neighborhood to have a corner store where you could get a gallon of milk, morning paper, and a loaf of bread, plus the kids could buy candy. Those years had clearly passed. Quick and convenient stores had put the little mom & pop shops out of business. This one was deserted and boarded up.

A few doors down was a three story apartment building. Expensive in its day, it was a large, well kept brown brick structure. Wedged between these two buildings was the Campbell Street two-flat. Even on this sunny July day, the building looked gloomy. I attributed that to its dirty gray color, combined with the fact that it sat in the shade of a huge Elm tree that was positioned between the sidewalk and the street. It was also dwarfed by the larger brick three story.

It was a dirty, plain, old building. The architecture resembled something simple; it was as if it had been designed by a child. A tall rectangular box; functional, but not fancy. Had I known the term in that day, I would have described it as "Amish" in design. It was straight up and down, a few windows on each floor, and certainly nothing to brag about. It sat on cinder blocks, with a seven-step walk up to the first floor porch, which was a small, 5x6 ft area. Sitting on the steps was the real estate agent. He appeared as though he had lost the lottery, and earned this dismal field duty. Red faced and overweight, he sat, sweating on the front steps. As I approached, he spotted his potential victim, and greeted me in a friendly manner. "Hi, I'm Art. How are you?" We shook hands. I had never tried to purchase any real estate, and at age 24, I was inexperienced and fumbling for words.

"Could I see-er, look at the building?" I was clearly uncomfortable.

He sensed my inexperience and took command. I believe I was just the victim he had been waiting for; young, naïve, and desperate. "Sure! Let's start on the second floor, because a member of the family still lives on the first floor. She's as crazy as a loon, so don't pay any attention to her," he stated in a matter-of-fact manner.

We entered the hallway, and to the right was the door that led to the first floor apartment. It was a short jog to the left, and I was led to an enclosed stairway that took us to the second floor. As we started up the stairs, the door on the first floor flew open. Out pounced a dirty old woman that looked as if she hadn't bathed or washed her clothes in months. Her hair was a filthy, matted gray. The only thing dirtier in sight was the tiny poodle she cradled against her shoulder, like a baby. She appeared the perfect image of an evil, old witch, with the poodle as her familiar. She immediately started screaming. "Sons-a Bitches, you sons-a-bitches! Get out! What are you doing here? Sons-a-bitches, get out!"

I watched, dumbfounded, as she glared at us, also noticing the tiny poodle nipping at her filthy hair, as if biting at fleas.

Art was quick to respond with disrespect and authority. "Myra, get your ass back in there and shut up. You hear me? Get back in your apartment right now!"

As she slammed the door, I could still hear her muttering. "Sons-a-bitches! You sons-a-bitches ..."

"Don't pay any attention to her. If you buy this place, she'll be gone anyway." Art assured me. By his quick and deliberate reaction, it gave me the feeling that he had been through this routine with Myra more than a just few times. It also seemed by the tone of his voice that he was tiring of this familiar routine. I stayed quiet in a bit of shock, because I was brought up to never speak to a woman in that manner, much less an elder.

The staircase going to the second floor was steep, dimly lit, and looked ominous, for it appeared dead ended, but turned sharply to the right nearing the top, leading to a landing and the entrance to the second floor apartment. The entrance opened to the dining room. Once inside, I recognized what was a complete disaster. Still partially furnished, everything was torn apart as if having undergone some type of vandalism. There was debris strewn everywhere. The floor plan was as simple and straight forward as the design of the building. From front to back, there were three main rooms; a living room, dining room, and kitchen. Off to the side of each main room was a doorway leading to three tiny bedrooms. Right next to the entrance was a door that led to the closet. Additionally, there was a single bathroom off the dining room, and a small pantry off the kitchen.

All the plumbing fixtures were ancient. The bathtub was a free standing type, with clawed feet. Today it might be considered trendy, but in 1970 it was just plain old. The sinks in the bathroom and kitchen were porcelain and iron, and supported by legs. Today, they might be considered "chic", but in 1970 (again) just old fashioned. Other than a homemade cupboard that served as a counter and an all purpose cabinet, the kitchen was bare. There was not much to see. As I looked around, my optimism told me that it was nothing that paint, wallpaper, and carpeting couldn't solve. We exited to the enclosed back porch. As we walked out, I looked up to a trap door on the ceiling that led to the attic. I was assured there was nothing up there to see and of course, I believed.

We proceeded down the back stairs and out the back door to the outside basement entrance. We were met by a musty odor. I could tell by the concrete work that the basement was built sometime after the house. The house was originally set on cinder blocks, then the crawl space under the house was dug out and concrete poured to create the basement. It only had a 6 foot height, so being near 6'3", I hunched over a bit as we toured. I could smell the residue of coal. It was a familiar smell, as years ago many buildings were heated with coal, which was normally stored in the basement.

Besides a laundry tub sink, there were three rooms partitioned at the side. These were called sheds. They were made up of nothing more than boards nailed together as partitioned areas. One was padlocked, one was empty and clean, and the third was the one used for coal storage years ago, and was filled with soot. At the front of the basement was a finished room, containing a large pot belly stove stamped U.S. ARMY. The smell of burning wood filled the room. The odor was so strong that I opened the stove, checking for something smoldering. Examining it, I could see it hadn't been used for years. 'Curious ...' I thought. I took notice of the fact that it was very cool in the basement, but this was not all that unusual. Unfortunately, I didn't pay much attention to my goose bumps. Art seemed nervous and didn't talk much, which was a change. He allowed me to wander around, freely inspecting everything. I did notice his nervous feet always moving, as if ready to leave. I had the distinct impression that I was keeping him from something. I never noticed his nervousness was only apparent when inside the building.

We climbed the inside stairway leading directly up and into the dining room of the first floor apartment. Myra greeted us in the same manner as before. "Sons-a-bitches!" she yelled. Art yelled right back at her, and it seemed he had hit his limit of tolerance.

"Shut the fuck up, will you?" As they yelled back and forth at each other, I quietly continued my tour. Actually, I found the exchange to be almost humorous, as I went about examining her apartment. With the exception of the location of the front entrance door, which entered into the living room, the apartments were very much the same. I only took the time to peek into every room. I noticed that one bedroom was noticeably cooler than the rest. Again, I got a bad case of goose bumps, but it was dark in the room and I didn't think the temperature difference was significant at the time. In fact, given this hot July afternoon and in this un-air conditioned building, the cool air seemed a treat, if not a benefit.

We exited the back door of the apartment to the enclosed porch, and then we headed across the back yard and into the garage. It was completely filled with junk. "Needs work, but it could be a decent building." Art was now trying his best to sell me. What Art didn't know, was that he didn't need to expend the effort, for I was already sold. All I cared about was whether I could buy the building with practically nothing for a down payment. I didn't see anything that hard work couldn't solve.

The standard down payment for a conventional mortgage at $16,500.00 was a minimum of 20% down payment; so the odds of coming up with $3300.00 were zero. I wondered if the owners would sell it to me on a private contract, but Art explained getting all the heirs to agree was a definite impossibility. For an instant, I thought I was out of luck. Then Art began talking about a government mortgage program.

Within minutes, we were talking about an FHA loan for 5% down on a purchase price of 16,500.00. $825 for a down payment sure sounded more like reality. The only drawback, according to Art, was that FHA took four months or more to approve loans. I saw that as my advantage, not a drawback. I needed more money to close, for I only had about $200 to my name, aside from the money reserved to pay the hospital and doctor bills for our expected child, as we also had no insurance. If I could put the $200 down, I would have four months to get the balance by closing time. [FYI, I was earning $82 a week after taxes and deductions] I explained my situation, and Art felt it was not a problem. He told me the building had been for sale for a while now, and everyone would be flexible in putting a deal together. Even for the time, the building was priced right, but the question of why it was for sale for such a long period of time never entered my naïve mind. We quickly left for his office.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from True Haunting by Edwin F. Becker Copyright © 2011 by Edwin F. Becker. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 42 )
Rating Distribution

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(36)

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(5)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 42 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2012

    Truly Scary!

    I grew up in a haunted house in a suburb of Chicago, and this book is the most authentic account of a haunting that I've ever read. I experienced many of the same things that the author and his wife did, and I've spent years trying to come terms with it. Knowing that someone else has gone through the same thing and understands has been a healing experience for me.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 18, 2011

    Chilling and refreshing!

    I first bought this on my kindle, then I bought the hardcover. It's a keeper! A true account of a young couple who bought a very haunted place located in Chicago, in the 70's. What comes next is a slew of events that begin to build over time. The author approaches the "problems" with a skeptic mind, before accepting the fact that ghosts exist. He then begins to tease the ghosts, which spark some interesting accounts. I'd love to see the NBC interview that aired on tv!!! A must read!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 6, 2011

    Reality is the most frightening!

    This scared me. I now question the noises in the night and misplaced items that I used to take for granted. This is the most realistic accounting I have ever read, complete with the emotional aspects. Unfortunately, for those involved there was no happy ending. No doubt the people involved stamp this as a certified haunting. Televised at time long before the general public and media interest, I have no doubt the author held back and seemed to work at making this far removed from fantasy. This builds and becomes a page turner and the author puts you in his shoes in this first hand report. The copy of him literally giving this building away, puts an exclaimation point on their desperation. I WANT THE HARD COVER!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2012

    Must read true haunted house

    Excellent book and well written! Heard the author on Darkness Radio and wanted to read about his experience, wasnt let down!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2012

    What a read!

    I couldn't put this book down! If your looking for a creep facror in a book, this is it! If you've ever had experiences of the paranormal kind then this is a book you may be able to relate to in some aspects!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2013

    Great book!

    I lived in a haunted house for 10 years in Indiana and can relate to a lot of this story. Would absolutely recommend this book!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 15, 2012

    This book was fascinating, well-written and I liked it so much I

    This book was fascinating, well-written and I liked it so much I am rereading it and ordered additional copies to give to friends. Even more intriguing if you are from Chicago, but a damn good ghost story no matter what!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 2, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    SCARIEST TRUE STORY EVER! OUTSTANDING WRITING AND TERRIFYING ENDING!

    A REAL GHOST STORY THAT WILL HAUNT YOU! Ed and his wife purchase a two story home in 1971. It was so cold that during summer no AC was needed. The wood burning stove in the basement always smelled like wood. The cat and dogs would hiss and bark and things in the night in the hallway and finally ran off and never came back. Two prior tenants went insane including Ed's sister. Ouija board was found in closet. Objects moved in the air and crashed. The phone would keep coming off the hook. The bathtub stopper kept coming out and Ed's keys would disappear and be bent. There were four know deaths of the prior family in this house. One of the black demonic shadows was very evil and intent was to harm. I've read hundreds and hundreds of true ghost stories and this is the best of the best. I couldn't put it down and read it in two days. I'm reading it again. Also, go to youtube and see on the 1 minute and 48 second mark theres an entity behind the glass door and actually moves it! "This is the story of a true haunting. It was the first ever filmed and televised by NBC in 1971. A young couple purchases a building that was built and occupied by a single family that refused to relinquish their hold, even after death. Investigated and verified by experts, this residence brought chaos to the lives of those who chose to reside there. Unlike a horror novel, this chronicles what a real ghostly experience would resemble. Long before the laws of disclosure, a young couple winds up in the midst of strange occurrences prior to the term 'paranormal' becoming a common description. Searching for help at time when supernatural events were a taboo subject and being ignored by the Church, sent them into a desperate search for any assistance. Only a little known organization came to their aid. Author Tom Valentine, brought in a nationally known psychic, Joseph DeLouise, who then asked assistance of an exorcist from England, Reverend William Derl-Davis. Together, they gave their best effort at exorcising the multiple spirits inhabiting the building and disrupting the lives of the living. Events were filmed by NBC, who sent their most prominent Chicago journalist, Carole Simpson, to cover the event. Understand why ghosts cannot be exorcised and a true example of their strong sense of domain, even after death. Learn what experts and gifted people did in a failed attempt to assist this desperate couple. There is no happy ending, as the young couple suffers emotionally, are physically threatened, have their pets terrorized, and eventually suffer financially by actually "giving" their building away. What was intended as a financial answer to their prayers became, instead, a curse to be abolished. I give this book my higest recommendation ever!!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2012

    An extraordinary ghost story

    A true haunting. Excellent book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2011

    A Great Honest Ghost Story!

    This is great book. I could not put it down. It was if the writer was speaking directly to me. So many of the things in this book I could relate to. I really felt for the fact that they had to stay there. I do believe that ghosts can not be exorcised. I hope his family recovered. Well done! I hope he writes a second one.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 22, 2011

    WOW! This book is awesome!!

    This is truely an amazing story. I don't think I was a true believer until I read this book. It's hard to imagine what Marsha must have gone thru day in and day out. She lived with this 7 days a week 24 hours a day! How did she manage to keep her sanity?? She must be a very strong woman and love her husband very much! Because I think I would've stayed with my Mother until he sold the place!! Excellent read and VERY highly recommended!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 12, 2011

    Hair Raising!!

    My head spun and I got goose bumps when I started reading of all the encounters Mr Becker and his family endured. You often hear about haunted places in one town or another, but when the writer brought his own story to life, I found myself realizing what a haunted world we live in. He took on an enormous job to try to convince my own skeptic mind that ghosts do exist. After reading this account, I believe they do. This book pretty much says it all--it's a small, haunted world! It's a keeper!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 12, 2013

    Recommended

    I liked the no nonsense style of writing. It was creepy because he told it like it was. It was also thoughtful.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2013

    I enjoyed this book and it is true to fact. But it is not too sc

    I enjoyed this book and it is true to fact. But it is not too scary. I may be jaded because nothing scares me anymore. But it is a nice and enjoyable read and I appreciate the fact that he told the story and did not embellish it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2013

    Do ghosts make investigators of us all?

    This young couple invested in what they thought would take care of their problems...finding a bigger home and how to pay for it.

    If the hair stands up on the back of your neck, you get goosebumps or you get that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach.....best to turn around and leave and find something else!

    I recommend this book. It is because of stories like this that there are real estates laws that require full disclosure on selling homes.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2013

    Whoa!

    This is an amazing book. No drama, no crap, just an experience that I found truly interesting. It helped me understand some of the goings on in my own 109 year old home, things I did NOT believe in to say the least. Hard to put this down once you start it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2012

    Thank You, What a great book "True Haunting" is! Ther

    Thank You, What a great book "True Haunting" is!
    There was a article in the local paper here in Jacksonville, and to my surprise my wife brought your work to my attention.( She is not a fan of my obsessive reading, and the fact that I down load books so convieniently on my Nook)....
    I do hope you continue to write, I am always on the look-out for a great author, and am happy to add you to that list! "Banished" will be next, and then the rest.
    Will definitly post on FB a recommendation. Oh, and I am definitly going to watch the old footage on youtube! Will look forward to possible correspondance, have a couple of oddities myself that happened in my youth.
    Thank You Again,

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2012

    True haunting is a very good book

    I love the part where he thought...tap tap no take backs! I would love to see the NBC footage on this. Oh and to the person that said this wasnt scary in their review, this is a REAL story not a fictitious one that an author wrote and isnt one that is suppose to entertain you, this was real events thst happened to this family and that alone is scary!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2011

    Excellent

    I would recommend this book to anyone interested in true hauntings.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2011

    Finally a Believable Ghost Story

    This is a great accounting of how people would react to forces they can't control. I would hate to think of being in their place. Well written as I could hardly put it down. Very honest.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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