Monday, May 7

Karen Machado: Where Spirits Dwell

From the back of the book-
There are houses that are as seductive as lovers. There are houses that draw us close and never let us go, there are houses that haunt us. And then there are houses that are truly haunted, houses where spirits dwell. Are you ready to step inside?
Where Spirits Dwell unearths the creaking, spine-chilling moments when ghosts appear in suburbia. Alongside infamous Australian haunted houses, like Sydney's historic The Abbey, Karina Machado takes us away from stereotypical rundown mansions and into everyday homes-from far north Queensland to Sydney's north shore, from Tasmania's desolate coast to Melbourne's outer suburbs.
There are stories in this book that will chill you, shock you and break your heart. Meet the beautiful girl with honey-blonde hair, the stern old lady in a high-necked gown and the malignant poltergiest who lurks in a red-brick bungalow. Spirits dwell everywhere: inside restaurants, hospitals, shoping centres and even our hearts. If you dare, lose yourself in these true-life encounters of ghosts that terrorise, comfort, torment and console.
This collection of ghost stories is told in the words of those who experienced the events. While this gives the reports a ring of authenticity, it does mean they lack narrative flair. Undoubtedly the experiences were terrifying for those on the scene but the retelling, for the main part, doesn't convey a strong sense of atmophere to the reader.
The author does have a tendency to self reference an earlier work that I was not familiar with, something that would normally put me off but in this case has made me curious.
I quite like the fact that the stories were local and the settings mundane. In that respect the author has validated my own experience of growing up in a haunted house and hilighted the fact that not only grand old buildings are home to the unexplained.
An interesting collection of stories but not 'spooky'in the traditional sense.-Lynn

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