________________ CM . . . . Volume XVI Number 13. . . .November 27, 2009.


Canadian Hauntings: A Haunted Canada Book.

Michael Norman & Beth Scott.
Toronto, ON: Scholastic Canada, 2009.
131 pp., pbk., $7.99.
ISBN 978-0-439-93875-4.

Subject Headings:
Haunted places-Canada-Juvenile literature.
Ghosts-Canada-Juvenile literature.

Grades 4 and up / Ages 9 and up.

Review by Libby McKeever.





His name was Johnny.

For a period of time in the 1970s, he was the best friend of a little boy who lived in a Premier Street condominium with his single mother.

Johnny was every lonely boy’s dream pal. Tall and rugged looking, he made the child laugh out loud as he talked about all kinds of good stuff for hours on end, even if these chats did take place after midnight, which his other did not especially appreciate.

Unfortunately, Johnny presented a problem for the little boy’s mother. He was a ghost with whom only her son could communicate. And she most certainly did not appreciate his presence.

This collection of 38 stories documents strange and disturbing tales from small villages to large cities across Canada. Many of the stories depict unnatural and odd occurrences once new people move into a home or office where a restless ghost resides. For example, the old bed that, when slept in, caused the occupant to suffer terrible tragedy, or Father Wood who would often revisit his church, warming the space where a trouble pastor might be pondering on a problem, or the laundry that zoomed out a window and danced across a lawn of a Quebec farmhouse, and the baby who was mysteriously soothed and tucked in although the mother hadn’t visited the baby’s room.

     It seems that many of the tales involves the spirits of people who are unhappy with a situation. For example, when the old gravestones that were used to pave a neighbourhood walk were subsequently returned to the hospital cemetery, the odd disturbances and ghostly sightings ceased. This is also true of the ghost of a university student that hitchhikes from the spot she was killed in a car accident. She disappears once she is driven home.

     Author Michael Norman has taught at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls for more than 20 years and currently chairs the Department of Journalism there. Beth Scott, who passed away in 1994, was a full-time freelance writer for over 35 years.

     Other books in the series “Haunted Canada” include these titles by various authors: Haunted Canada: True Ghost Stories, Haunted Canada 2: True Tales of Terror, Haunted Canada 3: More True Ghost Stories, Grim and Ghostly Stories: A Haunted Canada Book, Strange and Spooky Stories: A Haunted Canada Book and The Unexplained: A Haunted Canada Book.


Libby McKeever is the Youth Services Coordinator at Whistler Public Library in Whistler, B.C.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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