Chuckles here. I previously submitted a traumafession concerning my apocalyptic childhood viewing of the film THE RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD. However, reader Carly’s post concerning a book called “Horrible Histories” dredged up another horror that I had nearly forgotten. The culprit this time was the slim, heavily illustrated “All About Ghosts”, 1977, Maynard, Usborne Publishing. It was sort of a Time-Life book for kids about ghosts and hauntings and presented the topic in a very matter-of-fact fashion, noting the various phenomena associated with ghosts and documenting many ghostly tales.
This amusing and informative kids book scared the sh*t out of me. I really can’t remember what it was that freaked me out so much – it must have been some of the illustrations. I also recall a spread showing a bunch of alleged ghost photos – I think that there was one of the Brown Lady of Raynham Hall in there. Here was photographic PROOF that ghosts existed!
In order to rid myself of the accursed book, I “loaned” it to a friend down the block and conveniently forgot to ask for it back. Years later, when I was in my teens, this neighbor moves away but before she does, she comes by and returns the book! Talk about a sense of accountability! I recall that she was a Mormon – are they really good about returning stuff? Anyhow, I immediately went through the book and I simply could not figure out what it was that I had found so terrifying – it all seemed very innocuous.
Anyone else remember this book? Anyone else up all night after reading it when you were a tot?
AUNT JOHN SEZ: For more amazing imagery from “All About Ghosts” be sure to check out our brother from another mother, Brother Bill at THE HAUNTED CLOSET! Now as for books that did an elementary school number on me, I was obsessed with Seymour Simon’s “Ghosts,” “The Thing at the Foot of the Bed,” and anything by Daniel Cohen.