The author of Mummies Exposed! (2019) digs up an array of spectral encounters, from the Flying Dutchman to personal brushes with the paranormal.
Though not quite able to abandon her own skepticism (“For the people who see them, ghosts are true. Very true”), Hollihan takes a respectful approach in this anecdotal ramble. Uncritically stirring in spirit photos, trailing a thick section of source notes, and brushing in broad historical contexts for each incident, her thematic chapters get underway with a list of no fewer than 193 Anglo-Saxon synonyms for ghosts or fairies. She then goes on to record apparitions, including the 15 “well-authenticated ghosts [that] infest” the U.S. Capitol; “vanishing hitchhiker[s]” met in Indiana and Somalia; “creepy and delicious” reports of spectral trains and ships; post-mortem appearances by Australia’s Ned Kelly and Alabama’s “Railroad Bill,” both seen as Robin Hood figures (the former White, the latter biracial Black/White); and angry or hungry ghosts in India, Korea, and Japan. She carefully acknowledges that different cultures regard their dead in different ways and links both modern Día de Muertos celebrations and La Llorona to Aztec beliefs and practices. The accounts are lively, and by closing with her own glimpse of two ghostly children, she makes common cause with readers eager to believe: “It’s all left me shaking my head in wonder.”
Mild chills for fans of all things “creepy and delicious.”(bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 10-13)