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Monthly Book Review
Welcome to Book Review! Each month we will feature a book review of the latest and best paranormal, spiritual and metaphysical books around. By none other then the Best Resident Par normal Book Reviewer around The Great Christopher Balzano.

Zombies: A Field Guide to the Walking Dead

Zombies: A Field Guide to the Walking Dead

Buy it here now!


BY Bob Curran (Author), Ian Daniels (Illustrator)
New Page Books; September 2008

In the paranormal world there is a movement to classify and understand everything. Local and national titles look to shed light on all the dark places of the world and demystify what we have always had a hard time explaining. What happens to those elements of the supernatural that cannot be classified easily? They often get lumped together and fall into the heading, the unexplained within the unexplained. Zombie stories usually end up there, and Zombies: A Field Guide to the Walking Dead by Bob Curran looks to explore that crack and see where these stories might live.

Dr. Curran has long been known in the field for his titles on British myths and vampires, and he has previously touched upon the subject of the undead, but Zombies is his first work to explore the phenomena from a literary and sociological angle. It would be hard to give a complete picture of the history of the undead without this approach, and Curran’s academic side allows the reader to be firmly placed with both feet on the ground while understanding there might be something behind the folklore that rings true.

Zombies tells the history of the supernatural being, from ancient Egypt to fairly modern times, all the while offering the reader a chance to admit the stories might be nothing more than the remains of oral history. Zombies are such a crucial element to some cultures, and the collected accounts say something about the societies that create them. In uncovering some of these old myths, Curran has a platform to discuss the issues of those cultures. This at times can be redundant, but the stories themselves keep the reader invested.

One of the more historically relevant chapters of the book recounts the people who made their living in the early days of European medicine by stealing bodies. From hopeful young doctors to kings of the lower classes, these hunters looked to advance our understanding of the human body, and line their own pockets, by digging up and dragging the dead. Curran lifts some of the darker characters in history to the level of twisted Robin Hoods, and the comparison is both eerie and literary brilliant. The same hand skillfully tells the tales of the half-dead, or criminals who were unsuccessfully executed and lived to tell the tale.

The book follows in the tradition of field guides by New Page and other publishers who merely look to get the information out there, and for that reason should not be purchased by people looking to zombie hunt or to use it as an actual field guide. There is little mention of stories in the past decade and very little attention given to American cases. The book is much more about the big picture and less about scary stories to keep you up at night.

Zombies: A Field Guide to the Walking Dead is proof there is still room in the paranormal field for books that look at the old mysteries, and acts as a reference book for people who have a general interest in the unexplained. Dr. Bob Curran uses the vehicle of zombies to tell is something about ourselves, and if zombies do in fact say something about who we are, perhaps the fact they continue to escape a clear classification points to just how mysterious our civilization is.



About Christopher Balzano

Christopher Balzano

Christopher Balzano is now Haunted America Tours resident Book and Media Reviewer. Balzano is the founder and director of Massachusetts Paranormal Crossroads, an online collection of legends and ghost stories from Massachusetts and the surrounding states. He has been investigating the paranormal for more than ten years and has been writing about those experiences for the past five. He has been a contributor to Jeff Belanger's Encyclopedia of Haunted Places and Weird Massachusetts and was one of the writers behind Weird Hauntings. His writing has been featured in Haunted Times and Mystery Magazine and has been covered by the Boston Globe, the Boston Herald, the Standard Times, and Worcester Magazine.

Balzano is the author of several books about regional hauntings, including Dark Woods: Cults, Crime, and Paranormal in the Freetown State Forest and Ghosts of the Bridgewater Triangle, as well as the collection of true ghosts stories Ghostly Adventures and the new how-to paranormal book Picture Yourself Ghost Hunting. He has appeared on radio stations in Massachusetts and throughout the Internet, as well as being called upon by television shows to comment on ghosts and urban legends. He now runs the paranormal news from Ghostvillage, one of the oldest and largest web sites dedicated to the paranormal.

Please Also see: 20 Questions with Christopher Balzano



Picture Yourself Ghost Hunting by Christopher Balzano

Picture Yourself Ghost Hunting by Christopher Balzano


"Picture Yourself Ghost Hunting: Step-by-Step Instruction for Exploring Haunts and Finding Spirits, Spooks, and Specters" introduces novice paranormal explorers to the history, techniques, and equipment used in the search for proof of life after death, or simply, ghosts. Written like a field guide to ghost hunting, the book begins by examining what a ghost is, and isn't, and presents a brief history of ghosts and the pioneers of the ghost hunting field. You'll review what has already been discovered and the tried and true methods and tricks that have been successfully used by seasoned ghost hunters and their outcomes. You'll also take a look at the different types of equipment used to both search for and communicate with ghosts, as well as how to approach the hunt depending on the location. Finally, you'll learn how to assess the evidence that you've gathered and what it all means, and how to avoid the pitfalls that are the stuff of popular ghost legends. Written by an avid and experienced paranormal researcher, "Picture Yourself Ghost Hunting" is filled with firsthand tips and advice, including a 90-minute interactive DVD featuring tutorials and interviews, and is both a reference and a source of helpful inspiration for any aspiring ghost hunter.

Ghostly Adventures: Chilling True Stories from America's Haunted Hot Spots by Christopher Balzano


There are certain towns that we all associate with ghost stories and sightings. But creepy encounters happen everyday all throughout this country-in towns that you may never have heard of, to normal people, just like you!

With Ghostly Adventures, you can travel to these terrifying towns and share in the scare. Let ghost guru, Christopher Balzano, be your guide through the jaw-dropping true tales that happen all around the U.S., in places like:

In the Boston hotel where old Mr. Parker returns to check on his guests
the lost village of Dudleytown, Connecticut, where all residents vanished without a trace
the Summerwind Mansion in northeast Wisconsin, whose secret compartment housed a man's corpse for years

Terrifying true tales and frightening facts come together to create hours of eerie entertainment that you can read on your own or out loud with friends. With Ghostly Adventures, you can stop just wondering about ghosts and get to know them yourself!

Christopher Balzano: is a teacher and folklorist. He has been investigating the unknown for twelve years and is currently running the Massachusetts Paranormal Crossroads website. His writing has appeared in The Haunted Times, Mystery Magazine, as well as Unexplained Paranormal Magazine. His investigations have been covered by The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald, The Standard Times, and Worchester Magazine. Balzano lives in Boston, MA.

Dark Woods: Cults, Crime, and the Paranormal in the Freetown State Forest, Massachusetts By Christopher Balzano



Throughout its long history, Freetown, Massachusetts, has been a hotbed of criminal and supernatural occurrences in the town's State Forest. This is the first account of how its darker side connects hauntings with violent crime and local cults. Native American ghosts roam here and evil lurks, making the forest a haven for nasty creatures (the Pukwudgies). A witch looks for favors from young men, satan cults thrive, and killers kill. Read first-hand accounts from police officials and criminals about the forest. Learn why hauntings continue today. Many come here to enjoy the beauty of Freetown State Forest; these are the stories of those who cannot leave.

Ghosts of the Bridgewater Triangle by Christopher Balzano




Massachusetts  Paranomal Crossroads


"Your One Stop Paranormal Resource Center"



Gina Lanier

Also read: Is It Really Paranormal? Questioning The Unknown Side Of Ghosts And Demonic Possession - With tales of being raped or beaten by ghosts, to stories of even a ghost giving a person a loan of some cash. I ask myself do these things really happen? --

The Ghost Girls






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