Monday, January 01, 2007

Haunted Places of York County, by Leo Motter

I got a couple of Borders gift cards for Christmas, and I decided to use them today. One of the books I got was a local book called Haunted Places of York County Pennsylvania. It's a fairly interesting bit of local lore.

Some of the stories in it were familiar to me, like the gates of Hell in Hellam, or see the post from earlier today for the Hex Murder. There were some lengthy digressions into other areas of local history--the story of the burning of the bridge over the Susquehanna River during the Civil War is a familiar one. I found the author's style to be occasionally grating.

Still, I like this book. The story of "The Imp of Clarke Alley" was great, even if the author compares it to a poltergeist for no apparent reason (it seems far more like a Pooka to me). I also liked liked "Cannibal," about the ghost of a Fiji warrior. Even if there weren't any ghosts in it, the story of Freeborn Garrettson was pretty good too.

Unfortunately, some of the stories weren't that good. "The Elmwood Mansion" basically boils down there being a house where a ghostly Confederate soldier and a girl in Civil War era clothes have been seen. It's not really much of a story. "The Ghost Students of Lewisberry" is basically a gravity hill--a type of illusion whereby a downhill slope looks like an uphill slope--with a corny ghost story attached to it.

Still, this book is at least as good as Weird Pennsylvania, and I'm actually giving it a slightly better rating, because it has a bibliography, which is always a useful thing in these types of books. I give this one four yo-yos. If you live in or near York County Pennsylvania, you should buy it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

e are sitting rightr now reading the book sitting next to the author.

Enjoyong the book and the story behind it.