Horror Guide to Massachusetts Paperback – 22 Jun 2014
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The book is set up alphabetically by town, city, or geographical location, with a paragraph or two (sometimes more when there is a large amount of information) detailing the relevant local horrors or mysteries. For instance, we start with the short story, The Southwest Chamber, by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman, published in, Everybody’s Magazine in April 1903. The town the story is located in was, Acton.
At the far end of the alphabet we learn that in the town of, Westford, a memorial surrounded by stanchions and chains is actually a full sized image of a knight, and that he’d be, Sir Henry Sinclair, a 12th century Scottish explorer.
Those two towns bookend the guide, and in between the two there is an amazing wealth of information. For horror trivia lovers, the amount of information on Boston alone is a treasure trove.
The movie and television references span from the well known to the obscure. Who remembered that the movie, The Reincarnation of Peter Proud took place in Holyoke? How about that Twilight Zone episode, ‘Will The Real Martian Please Stand Up?’ Does anyone recall that it took place in Hook’s Landing, Massachusetts?
One of the unexpected highlights of the guide for me was the subtle humor in the descriptions of each location. It usually came near the end of the paragraphs when summing up an event or a movie plot. Examples like this end-line when describing the great molasses tsunami that happened in Boston in 1919: ‘Locals claim that on hot summer days, a trace of molasses still lingers in the air’. Or, when describing a scene in, Stephen King’s, Cell, when a plane is trying to make an emergency landing on Charles Street: ‘If the plane didn’t collide with a building, it might have worked’. While these types of lines won’t have you in hysterics, they will bring a smile to your face or induce a silent chuckle as you breeze through the book.
For those that live in New England and profess a love for all things horror, the Horror Guide To Massachusetts is a must have for book shelves or electronic devices. And, as a bonus, Massachusetts dark fiction legend and best selling author, Greg Gifune, has written the introduction to the guide. (The good folks at Horror World have allowed me to re-post this review on Amazon).