Ghost Stories of Manitoba – Barbara Smith

This is another book that I’ve owned for years and never read.  With the close proximity to Halloween and the fact that I am currently working on a supernatural story, I decided it was time to read this book.  It is a non-fiction account of ghost stories around the province of Manitoba, as it’s name so accurately attests.  It reads very much like a newspaper article.  The reports are very dry and as matter-of-fact as one can get when dealing with paranormal events.


It was interesting to read about cases of hauntings so near where I live but I have to wonder if this book could not have been written in a different way.  For the type o book it is, an anthology of supposed true accounts of apparitions and unexplained auditory and ocular experiences, it serves its purpose well, but I wish it had been written differently.


I suppose what I have discovered about myself as a reader and supernatural enthusiast, is that I prefer analyses rather than simple recounting of a tale.  In some cases this would not apply, but in the case of places like the Hotel Fort Garry or the Manitoba Archives could there not have been scientific verification of the story.  That is, could we not have ruled out trickers by using the scientific method.


I think another detractor from the story for me was Smith’s writing style.  She would take time out in the middle of a narrative to say something like – electronic devices are often attractive to ghosts or specters.  More than once she made the point that children and teenagers are more attuned to, and this more likely to experience, the supernatural.  These are both fair and valid points but she makes the same point several times across at least a half-dozen stories each.  Talk about trying to drive the point home.


All in all it was interesting to read the recounting of these stories, but I don’t know if any of them swayed me into a stronger belief in the supernatural – and I Want To Believe in the first place.  Ah, perhaps the insight provided by shows like the X-Files have spoiled me to anything but a grounding in scientific fact.


The Ghost Stories Of series are interesting although not terribly informative series it seems.  If you want some light and enjoyable reading I’m sure these books are available at your local libraries.


Happy Halloween.


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