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Haunted: The Incredible True Story of a Canadian Family’s Experience Living in a Haunted House

by Dorah L. Williams

She’s no Stephen King. And she’s no John Robert Colombo (author of a series of books about haunted Ontario). Yet this chilling memoir by Dorah Williams, an ordinary housewife and mother of three, still manages to scare the socks off you, possibly because the writing in Haunted is so simple, straightforward, and devoid of unnecessary analysis.

Williams’ adventure began a few years ago when her family moved into an old Victorian house in a small town in Ontario. Fans of the paranormal will recognize symptoms of a haunting early on in the book – the family’s mysterious attraction to the place, the sudden appearance of small coins everywhere, broken clocks, screaming fire alarms, strange smells, flickering lights, cold spots, and a household pet that refuses to go up the stairs. These events are written with the cautious precision of someone desperate to be believed.

Things go from enchanting to Satanic when musical snowglobes start tinkling by themselves, candles light themselves, and ghostly faces show up in photographs. Williams’ family, for the most part, gets along with the spirits, until some artifacts are dug up in the back yard. That’s when several dead people, still wearing the Victorian clothing they wore when they died, materialize at night and try to make contact with the house’s occupants.

With the help of a psychic and a smudging ritual, the family finally manages to make peace with their astral squatters, who thank Williams for attempting to communicate with them by giving her a gift of a rosebush that never stops producing blooms. Still, one wishes that Williams would divulge the exact location of her home so that others can say with equal credibility “I see dead people.”


Reviewer: Donna Lypchuk

Publisher: Dundurn Press


Price: $19.99

Page Count: 192 pp

Format: Paper

ISBN: 1-55002-378-0

Released: May

Issue Date: 2002-6

Categories: Memoir & Biography