Between the American Civil War and the nation’s entry into World War I, a wave of ghost reports appeared in U.S. newspapers. Haunted houses, haunted roads, haunted families, and other spectral manifestations were treated as legitimate news. Tim Prasil has collected hundreds of these articles, and Spectral Edition: Ghost Reports from U.S. Newspapers, 1865-1917 displays the scariest, strangest, funniest, and most intriguing of them.
Along with nearly 150 complete ghost reports, Prasil includes a well-researched Introduction, useful footnotes, rare newspaper illustrations, and an essay about how an alleged ghost encounter in Memphis ignited a debate about responsible journalism. Spectral Edition explores a curious chapter of U.S. newspapers and an era when the American press challenged scientific and religious skepticism with open-minded consideration of the possibility that specters return to haunt us!
236 pages, trade paperback
“It’s a neat book. . . . [Prasil] has gone through decades of ghost stories — and decades of old newspaper stories about ghosts and haunted places — and it’s fascinating. It’s fascinating to see what made it in the papers.”
Troy Taylor, American Hauntings Podcast
Read the Introduction
To get a sense of Spectral Edition, here’s a .pdf version of the introduction:
(Scholars: despite appearances, the pagination here is different from the actual book, so cite this source as a .pdf retrieved online.)
Hear My Interview about Spectral Edition
I was interviewed about Spectral Edition by Patrick Keller on his Big Séance Podcast. Follow this link to listen to that interview.
Listen to Sample Ghost Reports
You can listen to these reports here — or right-click on the title to download the .mp3 for offline listening. Visit the Tales Told When the Windows Rattle page for more readings!
Watch a Spectral Edition Video
In this video, two special guests and I read ghost reports not found in Spectral Edition. I open with background on how my spectral stairwell inspired the book.