„When you hears the word „plantations,“ most people think of grand homes with pillars and sweeping staircases. These houses of grandeur were located all through the South in the days before the Civil War, and there are some that still resonate with the loveliness they had in their heyday. These majestic homes have a long history, and some of those who lived in these homes remain today. The ghosts of soldiers, slaves, and the elite family who lived in the plantation homes still wander the halls.
Richard Southall explores gorgeous plantation homes and those that are abandoned and in decay to present a colorful history of the ghosts that linger there.“
Going into books like these, be it haunted plantations, asylums or other types of buildings, I always have high hopes. I really need to stop that, and these books might make a better impression on me.
Don’t get me wrong, Richard Southall’s book „Haunted Plantations of the South“ is not bad, not by a long shot. It does a great job at collecting all important information on the haunted plantations. I particularly liked that he included a lot of historical facts about the people who built and owned the plantations, what lives they lived and what struggle they went through. Trying to show the reasons that kept some of their spirits lingering behind. Some people forget that „hauntings“ are often just people that one’s lived there, energy that had such a huge impact on the property that it can sometimes still be seen today.
What I was missing were pictures. Old photographs or painting of the people he mentions, and especially of the buildings or the property. No pictures of ghosts or the activity, just a few from the building or old family photos, to create an atmosphere, something the book is sadly lacking .As it is, it’s just some huge paragraphs with facts and figures, it almost feels like a book for a history class in school, and sometimes I did skip a few facts to get to the interesting bits about the hauntings.
And this is where it is always disappointing for me. Reading the description of the book, it said „Richard Southall explores gorgeous plantation homes and those that are abandoned and in decay to present a colorful history of the ghosts that linger there.“ For me that meant he did some „actual exploring“, and is writing about his own experiences from paranormal investigations. Or other experiences he had when he visited the plantations, with actual, colorful pictures and things to flesh out his experience for me. Sadly, he doesn’t do that.
Looking at the „References“ in the back of the book, all he did was collect stories off the internet and other books and put them all together. Which is great, if you are planning to tour some of these places yourself and don’t want to do all the hard work on the internet. Richard Southall has collected all the hot spots for paranormal activity and historical facts and figures and packed them into this neat little book. And you won’t even miss any pictures, because you’d be there to take them yourself.
I was just expecting this to be more than a guide book, more of an experience for me (someone who is probably never going to visit any of these places because they are too far away). I gave it 3 stars because it is an interesting book, it just didn’t seem like it was enough.