Five Books That Might Convince You That Ghosts Are Real

To be totally honest, I'm not sure ghosts exist. But I'm also not sure they don't exist either. Many people all over the world have had some sort of experience that make them life-long believers. Not to mention all the many books as well as television shows that are dedicated to proving that there is life after death. And though I've watched a few of these shows and read a few of these books, I still remain a skeptic. Do ghosts really exist? The following books might convince you that they do.

Join ghost photographer and researcher Tim Scullion on a two-year tour of Colonial Williamsburg, America's haunted historic city of ghosts. Visit 43 creepy locations where Scullion describes his paranormal odyssey to capture and explain each apparition, a bit of historical and paranormal background of the building it appears in or over, and insights about these ghostly beings that he has learned from careful observation. With more eighteenth-century buildings and homes than any other place in America, Scullion has learned the secret to consistently capturing ghostly apparitions of all kinds on camera. Examine 230 paranormal images that are beautiful, ugly (if not horrifying!), bizarre, and defy explanation. He also provides historic accounts, ghost sightings, and narrative, insights, and introspection for each location. Colonial Williamsburg is a hotspot for ghosts!

Haunted Historic Colonial Willimasburg, Virginia is a great book for history lovers that like a bit of scandal to go with their ghost stories. As far at the "breakthrough photography" is concerned, I'm not convinced. You'll have to check out the images for yourself, but they seemed altered to me. For me, that made this book seem more fiction than fact.

Paranormal Provincetown: Legends and Lore of the Outer Capeby Sam Baltrusis | ISBN13: 9780764351532 | Schiffer Publishing

Known as the spot where the Pilgrims first set foot on Cape Cod in 1620, it's no surprise that Provincetown, Massachusetts, is a hotspot for tourists as well as hauntings including over twenty historic, crime, nightlife, overnight, secret, and Truro haunts. Take a stroll along Commercial Street where the historic Lancy mansion is allegedly haunted by an old woman who died in the late 1800s, but due to the frozen ground, she couldn't be buried, so her son kept her propped up at an open window all winter long. Learn about the historic "Black Flash" of Provincetown a grim reaper-type beast that would snatch children away in the 1930s. From the historic maritime-themed buildings lining Commercial Street to the shores of the Provincetown Harbor, it is clear that there is hardly a corner of the tip of Cape Cod where the paranormal cannot be experienced."

Provincetown, Massachusetts is a cool place to visit, but if you're into ghosts you may want to put it on the top of your destination list. Sam Baltrusis considers this town to be a hotspot of paranormal activity. And like many other books of this genre, Provincetown has a rich history that's worth checking out. Ghost lover or not, this would be an interesting place to visit.

Spirit Magnet in Texas: 20 Ghostly Encounters by Ann Bridges | ISBN13: 9780764350344 | Schiffer Publishing

From the clouds with ghostly faces in the Chisos Mountains to the spirits of the Alamo, follow in the footsteps of a "spirit magnet" as she takes a wild Western romp across haunted Texas and beyond. Meet Joshua's ghost in his creepy room in Mineral Wells and Sara, who is one of the most active spirits at the Menger Hotel in San Antonio. Did phantom soldiers holding swords of fire really save the Alamo from destruction by the Mexicans? Is it really Teddy Roosevelt's ghost that haunts the bar at the Menger? Be amazed at the phenomenal results from the Spirit Scanner. Find out in this factual and spine-tingling adventure across the Lone Star State.

Like the title suggests, Ann Bridges is a spirit magnet. She's had all sorts of interesting and spooky things happen to her. And she visits many interesting places. Some of the places she's visits are considered "ghost hotspots" where ghost tours are given. I'm skeptical of ghost tours because I feel that the integrity of the tour can be easily compromised by many different variables. But there are some cool stories in this book that you might not be familiar with.

Haunted Bridges: Over 300 of America's Creepiest Crossingsby Rich Newman | ISBN13: 9780738748474 | Llewellyn Publications  

More than 300 bridges with eerie phenomenon that span space and time

Across the country hundreds of bridges harbor some of the creepiest paranormal activity known to man. Invisible hands reach out and touch unsuspecting travelers. Residual ghosts haunt scenes of murders, accidents, hangings, and suicides. At some bridges a voice cries out in the darkness that sends a chill down the spine of anyone who hears it.

Haunted Bridges tells the kinds of stories that are told in hushed tones around hearths and campfires as we ponder the unknown late into the night. The stories are at once mesmerizing, unique, and unexpectedly familiar, as if we all know deep down that fate keeps some spirits bound to earth. If you can endure the fear and you don’t look away, you will experience the dread and mystery of the unexplained.

Cities and states are listed for 324 public locations so readers can look up specific bridges.

Every town has some sort of urban legend relating to a bridge--often tragic. Rich Newman's book, Haunted Bridges, is a guide for people who want to tour such bridges. This book is pretty comprehensive, but it is missing some things. I would have liked to see some images of some of the bridges. Also a few maps would have been a great addition. One thing Newman included that I thought was great was he cautioned explorers about some of the older, more dangerous bridges. Safety first!

America's Most Haunted Hotels: Checking in with Uninvited Guests
by Jamie Davis Whitmer | ISBN13: 9780738748009 | Llewellyn Publications

Join Jamie Davis Whitmer, author of Haunted Asylums, Prisons, and Sanatoriums, as she explores some of the most haunted hotels across the United States. From the Jerome Grand Hotel in Arizona to the Palmer House in Minnesota, each hotel is discussed in great detail, covering everything from the building’s history and legends to first-hand accounts of spooky sounds and smells, ghost sightings, EVP sessions, and more. You’ll also find photos, travel information, and everything else you need to plan your own visit to these iconic hotels.

Have you ever stayed at a haunted hotel? Would you ever book a room at a renowned haunted hotel? I'm not sure if I would or not. It's sounds exciting, but I'm not sure I would do much sleeping. Jamie Whitmer did just that. She stayed at some pretty amazing places that had some very interesting histories attached to them. A lot of what Jamie witnessed was not so much as a ghost encounter but more of negative feelings when she went into certain places. And though some of these places may be haunted, the skeptic in me wonders to what lengths the hotel owners will go to in order to keep up appearances that their hotels are in fact haunted. Color me not convinced.

These books were interesting even though they didn't convince me of paranormal activity. I love the fascinating and tragic stories that accompanied most of the stories. I'm not sure I could stay in the hotel that inspired The Shining, but it was cool to read about. I'm still a skeptic, but I remain open to the possibility that there might be ghosts.

Do you believe in ghosts?