Saturday, September 26, 2009

Ghosts of Ottawa - Glen Shackleton

Ghosts of Ottawa
Glen Shackleton
Trafford Publishing
Copyright Date: 2008
9781425147983

The back jacket cover description:
Ghosts, graveyards, hangings and haunts
Do restless spirits haunt the nation's capital?

Since 1996, tour guides from Haunted Walks Inc. have been entertaining and educating the public with Ottawa's darker history and many ghost stories. Our guides are easily recongizable by their dark cloaks as they lead their groups through the quiet streets of historic Ottawa by lantern light.

In this volume of supernatural tales from our favorite haunted buildings and places, we share the very best of over a decade's worth of research and investigation. Read about the trickster ghost of the Bytown Museum, the numerous haunted souls who lived and died in terror at the old Carleton County Jail, and the frightening personal accounts of supernatural events witnessed by our very own tour guides. These and many other real-life ghost stories and tragic tales are to be found inside.

First off: this book cannot be found to the best of my knowledge on amazon.com or chapters/indigo.ca. I've searched in a half a dozen different ways. It can be found at the Haunted Walk kiosk in Ottawa when open in the evenings, and also at the Haunted Walk gift store. I found my copy in the Chapters on Rideau St. I've found the page on the publisher's website if you're not from Ottawa as well, or it can be ordered from the Haunted Walks Inc website.

Ghosts of Ottawa is the book to go with several of the walks offered by Haunted Walks in Ottawa: there's stories I recognize from the Original Haunted Walk, which I did a couple of days ago, and there's some that are clearly from their other walks as well. The stories are given in much more detail, and believe me - reading them in the daylight won't help if you're afraid to sleep afterwards!

Maybe it's my own fault. I went on the walk, and loved it, so I bought the book as another souvenir yesterday and read it last night. Needless to say, it was several hours later before I got to sleep! And, what's more, I wasn't staying in one of the locations on the tour. It was just the stories themselves that kept me awake and jumping at the slightest sound.

The stories are well told, the pages and print are high quality, and there's even illustrations of the buildings, or (where known) of the figures believed to be the ghosts. The book could stand to be longer: aside from the bibliography/further reading pages, it's only a hundred and thirty pages, but it's worth the price.

Between them, the book and the walk certainly give a different picture of the capital city of Canada. I highly recommend both the book and the walk as a very different and fun experience.
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