Dr. Rosemary Guiley's encyclopedias of the paranormal, supernatural, magical and otherworldly realms are a treat to read as they are filled with lots of information based on meticulous research. I have several of her encyclopedias and find them informative and illuminating. This title compiles information on vampires, werewolves, and other monsters. The entries are arranged alphabetically, and there are many photographs and sketches included (all in B&W). The book itself is in an over-sized paperback format and the paper is of good quality for a paperback which I assume will hold up with frequent use (though I would have preferred a hardcover format with photographs and illustrations in a combination of color and B&W to enhance the reading experience).
Though this encyclopedia covers vampires, werewolves, and other monsters, the entries on vampires are the most detailed. The author does a credible job of covering the various forms of vampirism, the types of vampires, the mythology of vampires and vampirism in various cultures, and the portrayal of vampires in popular culture, for example in iconic shows such as Dark Shadows DVD Collection 1, Buffy The Vampire Slayer - Collector's Set (40 discs), movies featuring vampires such as Dracula (75th Anniversary Edition) (Universal Legacy Series), the legendary actors who have portrayed the Count, and many more. The author indicates that she has put in lots of research into her work, with entries of vampires as depicted in various cultures, e.g. African, Indian, Asian, Southeast Asian, etc. Despite this, I felt that some of the entries could have done with more elaboration. I hail from Southeast Asia myself and am quite familiar with the mythology of the vampire in SEA. I was glad to note the author included entries on 'pontianak' (female vampire), though it is far from complete. There is no mention that the pontianak is partial to the frangipani tree (a tree that has fragrant blooms) and also the banyan tree, or the belief that the pontianak can be turned back into a mortal female by driving a nail into the back of the creature's head. Nor it is mentioned that the pontianak is usually the result of a female who dies in childbirth as believed by many villagers in Southeast Asian countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia.
That aside, I felt that the coverage on werewolves and other monsters was underwhelming. I gathered from reading this encyclopedia that the other monsters were mainly shapeshifters, skinwalkers, etc. but once again the coverage was not exhaustive and the entries that were provided were not detailed, especially with reference to non-European cultures. On the whole though, I felt that the author deserves some praise for putting in the research for this book as there really aren't that many books or encyclopedias out there on this subject. This is not only entertaining and informative but also provides ideas for writers, and the bibliography provided under some entries are an added bonus for those keen on more research.