A spooky children’s book just in time for Halloween
Review: “The Ghostly Tales of the Adirondacks,” by Karen Emily Miller
If you have a reluctant reader aged 8-12 in your family or neighborhood, the Spooky America series might just change their mind. This series guides readers through haunted lighthouses, homes and inns, along with abandoned forts and local legends in all 50 states. Current titles are listed on their website: www.arcadiapublishing.com/navigation/series/apseries/spooky-america.
One title in this series, “The Ghostly Tales of the Adirondacks,” by Karen Emily Miller, takes young readers on a quest searching for ghosts at the Sagamore Resort in Lake George, hauntings at Brightside Training Center on Raquette Lake, paranormal activity in the Stagecoach Inn in Lake Placid, a seance at Woodgate Free Library in Woodgate, and friendly spirits at Van Auken’s Inne in Old Forge. There are ghosts of soldiers at Fort William Henry, feisty spirits at the Toboggan Inn in Eagle Bay, the ghosts of Mary and Phillip Rhinelander at their estate in Lake Pleasant, a ghost cat at Hotel Saranac in Saranac Lake, and even Bigfoot in Ohio, New York.
Miller writes in second person, inviting the reader — you! — to become a ghost hunter searching for clues and identifying paranormal activities. The tone is lighthearted rather than frightening, generating curiosity rather than fear.
For example, when visiting Brightside Training Center, an old hotel situated on an island on Raquette Lake, you learn about the legend of a young man who wanders into a dense fog and is never found. His wife, of course, dies of a broken heart. You are instructed to interview one of the hotel’s construction workers, who proceeds to tell you a spooky tale. He finds an old-fashioned lady’s coat hanging in a closet and donates it to charity, but when he returns the coat is back in the closet. Miller writes: “Then you have your own ghostly experience.” You venture into the basement of the hotel where, in the 1880s, the coroner stored dead bodies when the frozen lake was inaccessible to boats. “You know the bodies were stored there for only a few weeks or months before they were removed.
“But, you wonder, could there be some ghostly energy left behind? It’s just a minute or two before you feel the supernatural. Your stomach knots.”
For school-aged children who enjoy being scared just a little bit, “The Ghostly Tales of the Adirondacks” might do the trick. The Spooky America series details legends of ghosts and hauntings in New York and Vermont in the following titles: “The Ghostly Tales of Saratoga,” … of Long Island, … of the Finger Lakes, … Sleepy Hollow, and … of Burlington. Young readers may decide they want to conduct some detective work themselves after reading ghostly tales about the region in which they live.