Ghosts of Lincoln: Discovering His Paranormal Legacy by Adam Selzer
Usually, I am not at a loss for words… ever. (Be quiet, Nell!) But I am after reading Ghosts of Lincoln: Discovering his Paranormal Legacy.
Title: Ghosts of Lincoln: Discovering his Paranormal Legacy
Author: Adam Selzer
Publish Date: August 8, 2015
Genre: Paranormal Nonfiction
Publisher’s Description: Abraham Lincoln may have never set out to be the Great Emancipator, and he certainly never set out to become the Johnny Appleseed of ghosts. But he turned out to be both. He and John Wilkes Booth, his assassin, sure seem to be haunting a lot of places these days.
Indeed, perhaps no event in American history brought death – and the paranormal – to the forefront of people’s minds quite like the Civil War. Somewhere between half a million and a million people died in the war. A single battle claimed more American soldiers than all previous American wars combined. All over the country, men left home to fight for their country and never returned. And Lincoln and Booth were, in their ways, among those men.
Lincoln left Illinois to save the Union and never returned. Booth confidently expected to be considered a hero throughout the South when he came back from killing Lincoln. With the rise of spiritualism and interest in the paranormal neatly coinciding with it, there came to be rumors that Lincoln was consulting with spiritualists at the White House. Whether Lincoln himself took seances seriously or not is a subject of debate today, but stories that he did made for considerable press at the time. And Lincoln does seem to have spoken about having dreams of his own assassination.
And then there are the ghosts. Lincoln is reported in locations all over. Booth is, as well. And with the rise of spiritualism after the Civil War, Booth and Lincoln both become popular spirits to “contact.”
Possible spoilers beyond this point.
This book is like no other paranormal book I have ever read. So to give it a fair review I am going to use a different review format that appears to work well.
Things I Liked: This is a very well written book but not in a textbook sort of way. I felt like me and the author were sitting down with a beer and talking about the latest research that he had discovered. Ghosts of Lincoln is not a typical paranormal book. Adam Selzer looks at every supernatural rumor, story, or legend about Abraham Lincoln through the lens of the time period, who started the story, when they said it, and what type of documentation there to support it happening. The best and oddest thing about this book is that I never felt like he was talking down to me or patronizing me for believing in the possibility of ghosts. I could feel that he wanted some of these legends to be true but he desired his readers to have the whole story.
Things I Didn’t Like: I felt that this was an excellent book written by a spectacular author but this was not a book I enjoyed. It didn’t give me the main thing that I look for in a book which is an escape from reality. In fact, it gave me more reality, and while it was interesting, it never sucked me into the story. However it did cause a few creepy feelings while reading it that caused me to turn on a light.
Conclusion: I am giving Ghosts of Lincoln a four rating. I know I said that I didn’t enjoy it but that doesn’t mean I should downgrade a truly outstanding book that does a great service to the realm of paranormal research. This is truly the most referenced book about ghosts I have ever read and I know that Adam worked very hard to make sure that both sides of the story were told. Any lover of history and the paranormal will truly do well to have this book in their collection.
3 paw prints – Finally, we read a book without romance. I was starting to wonder if Ruby had any of those in her Kindle. The only problem with this book is that it is based in reality. Ghost stories are some of the prime tools us demon cats use to scare humankind into submission. Now if people start researching and actually thinking rationally about these stories, I could be out of a job. What would we scare people with? Amway Salesmen?
If you like this book…
- The Ghosts of Chicago: The Windy City’s Most Famous Haunts by Adam Selzer
- The Smart Aleck’s Guide to American History by Adam Selzer