Books by Daniel Cohen

GHOST IN THE HOUSE by Daniel Cohen
Released: Sept. 1, 1993

Nine brief tales of odd or supernatural doings in and around buildings—from the well-documented hauntings of Captain Despard's house in England and Vermont's Eddy farmhouse (the ``Spirit Capital of the World'') to the strange history of California's Winchester House and the many apparitions (including one of Dolley Madison) reported at Washington's Octagon. Cohen has delivered previous accounts of some of these incidents, but this simply phrased offering will draw less practiced readers. No source notes. Nicely mysterious, disturbing illustrations in dramatically graphic black and white. (Folklore. 10-13) Read full book review >
GHOSTS OF THE DEEP by Daniel Cohen
Released: June 23, 1993

Cohen adds to his corpus of corpses (Ghostly Tales of Love and Revenge, 1992, etc.) with an assortment of European and American nautical apparitions—some widely known (the Flying Dutchman; hammering aboard the Great Eastern, frequently presaging misfortune), others of local interest, including several tales of Cornish ghosts from 19th-century collector William Bottrell. Most of the incidents follow typical patterns: an admiral who goes down with his ship in the Mediterranean appears that evening at a London reception; a drowned woman haunts a Bahamian beach calling for her child; the faces of two sailors buried at sea ``follow'' their ship. The ghosts are mostly friendly or passive, but readers will still find cause for an occasional shudder (in one tale, a hotel guest wakes to find himself sharing a bed with a dead sailor), while Cohen's unsensational reportage adds, as usual, an air of credibility. The author closes with a chapter on the Constellation and the Queen Mary, both haunted ships that can be visited. No source notes. (Nonfiction. 11-13) Read full book review >
Released: June 3, 1992

Cohen's Ghosts of War (1990) were men; here, women's ghosts comprise most of the cast—women who died betrayed or abandoned, by murder or accident; who returned for love, vengeance, or (in one case) jewelry. Most haunt the British Isles, Japan, or the US and date back no more than a century or two; the ``Headless Lover'' of Brooke End and New York's ``Empire State Building Ghost'' are of particularly recent vintage. Cohen's lucid style is well-suited to creating chills, and he seasons his narrative with an occasional grisly touch—``His face had become a mask of skin tightly stretched over a grinning skull.'' ``Put aside your doubts,'' he advises, ``and read on.'' Perhaps not at night. (Nonfiction. 11-13) Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 1992

A showcase for a durable painter whose swirling fantasies bring back the days of psychedelic art. Each spread is given to a different monster (dragon, griffin, basilisk, kraken, chimera, etc.), introduced with a page of well-chosen words from the field's most recognized expert and illustrated with a striking full-page portrait. Cabat suspends his figures on flat, contrasting backgrounds in bright colors; and though he constructs them with elaborate serpentine flowers, details that echo Arabic or Hebrew calligraphy, and patterns of leaves, dots, and checkerboards, their fundamental forms and characters still sing out. This lacks the sophisticated range of styles and feelings Leonard Baskin's A Book of Dragons (1985) and Imps, Demons, Hobgoblins, Witches, Fairies and Elves (1984), but its visual extravagance will widen the eyes of browsers and budding artists alike. (Nonfiction/Picture book. 8+) Read full book review >
PROPHETS OF DOOM by Daniel Cohen
Released: March 15, 1992

The Second Millennium is at hand. Aren't you just a wee bit anxious? Cohen claims that, deep down, you probably are but (probably) shouldn't be, since one of the oldest features of Western culture is the recurrent and (so far) always mistaken conviction (or sneaking suspicion) that the end of the world is nigh. The author deftly analyzes the attractions of this belief, amidst a wide-ranging discussion of omens, oracles, millennial movements, natural disasters, plagues (including AIDS), pyramidology, UFOs, mass extinction theories, and a skeptical history of prophecy and prognostication from the ancient sibyls to Jeanne Dixon and Elizabeth Clare Prophet. He barely mentions the Old Testament prophets or Asian practices; devotes an entire chapter to the life and writings of Nostradamus; and closes with a reassuring message to readers, plus a relatively hefty bibliography. Illustrations not seen. (Nonfiction. 12-15) Read full book review >
Released: June 18, 1991

From the demon cat said to stalk the U.S. Capitol building's ``confusing tangle of...winding passageways'' to the swarming ``rats of the Rhine,'' who take terrible vengeance on a man who ordered a peasant massacre, Cohen presents an array of animals who die but refuse to rest, or appear from nowhere only to vanish mysteriously. As always, his reports are drawn from folklore (``King of the Cats''), accounts of psychic investigators, newspaper articles (the Nottingham lion, the recent Chicago kangaroo), or regional ghost story compilations; he relates them calmly, and in an evenhanded manner. Cohen doesn't include source notes; nor does he claim that everything here can be substantiated—but if readers ``happen to believe the story while...reading it, so much the better.'' (Nonfiction. 10-13) Read full book review >