The Black Hope Horror: The True Story of a Haunting Hardcover – 1 May 1991
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Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I do believe this story to be true.
I saw the movie on tv and patty Duke did a great job playing Jean Williams. This is a story about houses built over a graveyard but the people that bought these houses did not know it at the time.
A lot of very scary things happen to them.
I read this book over the weekend and could not put it down.
anyone that wants to read a true ghost story this is it.
A very good read.the movie is called Grave Secrets and it is very good also!
Assuming this story is true (and handfuls of families don't just leave homes and their investments behind and let their properties be foreclosed upon without good reasons), it is quite an interesting, somewhat nontraditional haunting. Two things about this book pose a small problem in my mind, though. First and foremost is the style of the narrative. This is basically the Williams' story as told to John Bruce Shoemaker, and he writes of these events as if he were there recording everything that happened along the way. Memories, especially negative ones such as these, become distorted rather quickly, and I find the plethora of direct quotations from multiple family members, including some this author never met, somewhat laughable. I think the story would be more believable if it was simply described in standard, objective narrative form. Secondly, there is far too much emphasis placed on peripheral events; I refer especially to the very unusual number of emotional problems, sicknesses, and deaths that affected the Williams' while they lived in the house. I just think too many things are blamed on the "haunting." The fact that a couple visits the house a time or two just doesn't seem to explain the breakup of marriages. While it is quite remarkable to see six close family members die in a period of only three years or so, it does not mean the "things" were causing all of the problems. After all, Jean and Ben never got sick or divorced and they lived in the house for several years.
This is a vivid, sometimes fascinating tale of undeniably bizarre events; there aren't as many goose pimple sections as you might find in a more traditional haunting account, but clearly something of a very unusual nature took place on this area of land that was once Black Hope Cemetery. I don't think this book will change anyone's opinion about ghosts or unduly frighten anyone, but certainly there are elements here of high strangeness that make for a compelling read. Even if you set aside the whole haunting premise, what you have left is a pretty powerful human interest story.