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Jamie Davis Writes

On My Bookshelf: Deadfall Hotel, by Steve Rasnic Tem

Deadfall Hotel
Deadfall Hotel, by Steve Rasnic Tem

I read this book for the second time this year, and it was almost even more enjoyable! I highly recommend this one for those of you who like your literary fiction on the “haunted” side. I can’t help but be vaguely reminded of the animated “Hotel Transylvania” film franchises (which I enjoyed, thank you very much), although this really is not a romping good time at all (though it is not without hope and redemption).

The author can go a little surreal on you from time, and certainly does with the whole cat thing, but “The King of the Cats” in Chapter 3 is just about as perfect as it gets if you want to see an example of how to write the ordinary into sheer horror (how can a little kitty be scary, you ask? Just read.).

I have underlined so many passages, but I will leave you with this to chew on from Page 284:

Most ordinary people, certainly, were monsters…They dreamed all their lives, and in almost every instance they settled for something less than what they dreamed. They took the job they could get, they married the person who would have them, they did the things they knew they could do without pain or humiliation. They lived haunted by the ends to come…They settled.”

If that doesn’t concisely sum up contemporary real-deal American Horror, I don’t know what does. “This is what we have. You do what you can do.”

Wow.

Some of My Favorite Photos From Missouri State Pen & Tooele Hospital

Throwback to traveling days for Haunted Asylums, Prisons, and Sanatoriums. A sampling of some of my favorite photos!

Missouri State Pen

 

Tooele Hospital 

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To purchase your copy of Haunted Asylums, Prisons, and Sanatoriums, head on over to Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Haunted-Asylums-Prisons-Sanatoriums-Institutions/dp/073873750X/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

On My Bookshelf: Stoker’s Manuscript, by Royce Prouty

Stoker's Manuscript
Stoker’s Manuscript

For full synopsis, see: http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-399-15855-1

Royce Prouty penned this debut in 2013 and was a Bram Stoker Award Nominee for “first novels.” What a fun/scary ride! I love a book about a book, but throw the legendary Dracul family in the mix, and you have me up at night turning pages!

The elements that really worked for me were: the idea that an informer with inside knowledge into the Dracul family/vampire culture was actually giving Bram Stoker notes when he was writing “Dracula;” the idea that there were missing pieces from Stoker’s manuscript that needed to be found; that God created the vampire first before he created man, and after seeing what he did, gave man a soul; and the personalities/dialogue scenes between Radu/Joseph and Vlad/Joseph.

I’m not sure if this is what people call “fan fiction,” but if it is, I’m thinking this is the first piece of fan fiction that I enjoyed. Definitely time and money well spent!

Garnet Ghost Town – MT

“Never built to last.” Yet last it did.

A short look into MT’s most intact ghost town. Gold ore boomtown circa 1898 – population 1,000. By 1905, only 150 remained.

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Arriving – Garnet Ghost Town
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Welcome – Garnet Ghost Town
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Outside

 

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Looking In
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Okay, we know that I am wearing a green jacket, and it has been reflected back in the above photo. So who is this in the window all in black?! (We think it is the back side of Bob).

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J.H. Wells Hotel

And yes, I think it is haunted!

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Outside looking in – J.H. Wells Hotel (Garnet Ghost Town)

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Inside the old Garnet Jail

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Back view of the J.H. Wells Hotel – Garnet Ghost Town

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Flooded mine shaft – Garnet Ghost Town

As always, we were sure to update our analog travel journal. We use “Play” by Stealth Journals. “Play” is an indexed book journal that should be used to record all of your good times!

On My Bookshelf: The Thirteenth Tale, by Diane Setterfield

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The Thirteenth Tale – Diane Setterfield

This is my second reading, the first being not long after the book’s release date in 2006. I honestly could not remember a great deal of the plot or why I liked it so much the first time, so approximately ten years later I gave it another look. The second read did not let me down, but I must say that I am noticing that I am getting a little sensitive to violence and any general unpleasantness in my entertainment choices as I age.

The book is not light fare. There are dark family secrets to be unearthed, and you will not be disappointed with the mystery or the way in which it unravels. The 400 pages go by quickly, and I found myself caught up in the story and reading more than usual in long stretches in a desire to know how the story would end.

I almost think of it is a “Secret Garden” for adults, but I don’t know why. Must be the whole English Moors / old mansion thing. I really liked the way Setterfield used the character of Margaret as a biographer for the famous English author Vida Winter, to tell the story. A contemporary gothic mystery novel. I very much liked it still.

Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site, Philadelphia, PA

 

Some of My Favorite Photos from Mansfield (Ohio State Reformatory) & West Virginia Pen

Throwback to traveling days for Haunted Asylums, Prisons, and Sanatoriums. A sampling of some of my favorite exterior photos to get into the Halloween spirit!

Mansfield (Ohio State Reformatory)

Mansfield - The Ohio State Reformatory
Mansfield – The Ohio State Reformatory
Mansfield - The Ohio State Reformatory
Mansfield – The Ohio State Reformatory
Mansfield - The Ohio State Reformatory
Mansfield – The Ohio State Reformatory

Why is my favorite color “Institution Green” as seen above? Maybe I’ll just refer to it as “Seafoam,” or “Mint Green” when mixing among polite society.

West Virginia State Pen

West Virginia State Pen
West Virginia State Pen
West Virginia State Pen
West Virginia State Pen
West Virginia State Pen
West Virginia State Pen

To purchase your copy of Haunted Asylums, Prisons, and Sanatoriums, head on over to Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Haunted-Asylums-Prisons-Sanatoriums-Institutions/dp/073873750X/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

On My Bookshelf: Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury

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Something Wicked This Way Comes

A horror classic, but you will have to work for it! I probably spent five days trying to get through this book. Is it rewarding? Yes. But you will have to work for it! My best guess is that I became stalled because the writing is very poetic, and my brain didn’t logically follow the prose as quickly as I normally would. One example on Page 257: “Every glass threw javelins of light which invisibly pierced, sank deep, found heart, soul, lungs, to frost the veins, cut nerves, send Will to ruin, paralyze and then kick-football heart. Hamstrung, the old old man foundered to his knees, as did his suppliant images, his congregation of terrified selves one week, one month, two years, twenty, fifty, seventy, ninety years from now!”

Multiply that paragraph to fill up a 290 page book, and you can see why I did not exactly fly through this book. It was work for me, not an easy pleasure read.

There are plenty of terrifying scenes involving the carnival and its characters, and the book is absolutely a prime example of how “to get it right” if you are an author studying such things. I’m just saying read this when you have a caffeine buzz, and not when you are tired from having already worked all day!

I did enjoy the feel-good aspect of the father (a janitor in the town’s library) getting to play the hero to his son and his son’s friend, although some might say the Aw Shucks aspect of the early 1960’s does not translate so well to today’s times (which is a shame).

 

Some of My Favorite Photos From Yorktown Memorial Hospital & Farrar School

Throwback to traveling days for Haunted Asylums, Prisons, and Sanatoriums. A sampling of some of my favorite exterior photos to get into the Halloween spirit!

Yorktown Memorial Hospital – Yorktown, TX 

Yorktown Memorial Hospital
Yorktown Memorial Hospital
Yorktown Memorial Hospital
Yorktown Memorial Hospital

Yorktown Memorial Hospital

Yorktown Memorial Hospital

Farrar School – Maxwell, IA 

Farrar School
Farrar School
Farrar School
Farrar School
Farrar School
Farrar School

To purchase your copy of Haunted Asylums, Prisons, and Sanatoriums, head on over to Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Haunted-Asylums-Prisons-Sanatoriums-Institutions/dp/073873750X/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

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