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Review: Chasing Ghosts by Marc Hartzman


Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Title: Chasing Ghosts: A Tour of Our Fascination with Spirits and the Supernatural
Author: Marc Hartzman
Genre: Nonfiction/Paranormal
Audience: Adult/All Ages
Format: Paperback
Length: 272 pages
Publisher: Quirk Books
Release Date: September 28, 2021
Source: Publisher
Recommended for fans of: ghost stories and paranormal podcasts


Take a spirited tour through the supernatural history of America, from its haunted sites to its famous ghosts to its ghost-obsessed pop culture.

Ghosts are everywhere—whether you believe in them or not. Every town has its local legends, and countless books, movies, and TV shows are haunted by their presence. But our obsession with ghosts runs deeper than we know—and is embedded in the very fabric of American history.

Writer and historian Marc Hartzman dons the mantle of tour guide, taking readers on a fascinating journey through supernatural history, including:

• The Fox Sisters and the rise of Spiritualism
• The supernatural obsessions of famous figures like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
• Famous haunted sites like the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia and the LaLaurie House in New Orleans
• Famous ghosts like the Bell Witch of Tennessee and the Greenbrier Ghost of West Virginia
• Paranormal investigators like Ed and Lorraine Warren

Deeply researched and highly entertaining, with archival images and black and white illustrations, Chasing Ghosts will satisfy believers and skeptics alike.


This is a really fun book for anyone interested in ghosts, real or fictional. It includes full-color photographs, illustrations, newspaper clippings, and other artifacts. It is divided into four sections: ancient & historical beliefs, Spiritualism, famous hauntings, and modern ghost investigations.

I was most fascinated by the first section, comparing different cultural beliefs about ghosts. The Spiritualism section definitely dragged, and I wish some of those pages had been devoted to other sections. I had already heard all the famous hauntings included on various paranormal podcasts, but this has a nice collection of tales all in one place. The last section about the science and technology of paranormal investigations was truly fascinating, showing how different natural phenomena can explain some paranormal encounters, but there is no one size fits all explanation.

This is the kind of book you can easily skip around and just read the parts that interest you.

Thank you to the publisher for the gifted finished copy.

Author: Caroline | Carolibrary

Hello! I’m Caroline! I am a teacher, a book lover, and a nerd. My passions include reading, writing, bookstagram, barre & yoga, baking, binging TV shows, and Star Wars. I love stories in all formats because they can transport you to a different world while helping you understand the world around you. I have always found books to be a particularly magical source of imagination.

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