Thursday, 9 April 2015

Review: 'Haunted Plantations of the South' by Richard Southall

Who doesn't like reading about haunted plantations? I mean, they're fascinating and scary, which is a great combination for any read! Unfortunately Haunted Plantations of the South hasn't really got that spark to make this an exciting read. Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this book.

Pub. Date: 8/06/2015
Publisher: Llewwellyn Worldwide Ltd.
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.
I had expected that a certain amount of suspension of disbelief would be necessary, but I hadn't expected that within the first few pages Southall would state these hauntings as facts and then continue to, rather dispassionately, display the different facts of each plantation. I myself am a skeptic when it comes to the supernatural and I could have done with a bit more effort to convince. However, Haunted Plantations of the South is clearly not a book meant for those who still need to be convinced. Rather I'd consider it something of an inventory of historic sites throughout the South of America, which is incredibly well-researched. It is something to occasionally pick up and have a glance through in order to find places to visit rather than something to read all at once. What I did enjoy about Haunted Plantations of the South was that it drew a very interesting picture of the way the South was, pre-Civil War. Southall goes into the architecture of plantations and also discusses the effects of the Civil War on the people of the South.

There were some really interesting plantations mentioned, who have a fascinating history and were events took place that would have deserved more than just a few paragraphs. What I would have enjoyed more was if Southall had picked one or two plantations per Southern state and had then really discussed them in detail. At this rate, the book feels rather like a summary of supernatural events and happenings rather than a real book. Nothing really captures the attention to carry you through the whole book unless you're looking for a specific plantation to eventually pop up.

Something I would have greatly enjoyed would have been if there had been more pictures throughout the novel. When Southall discusses some really fascinating aspects of houses or histories of specific places it would be beneficial if the reader could actually see these places. The main strength of Haunted Plantations of the South is Southall's extensive knowledge of the places and events and it would be great to see that strength pushed as far as possible! I hope the finished product actually contains more pictures.

I give this book...

2 Universes!

Although Haunted Plantations of the South was interesting, it didn't hold my interest. It was fun to glance at, to read a page or two, but not to really read. If you are a reader who believes in the supernatural and needs a book to pick out their next holiday goals, then this is the book for you! If you want a book which will really grab you by the throat and scare you, then this book isn't the one for your!

1 comment:

  1. Well, that's disappointing! I love ghost stories and I really love historic plantations but this does sound a bit boring and not as well done as it could have been. Oh well...I'm sure there's a few other good plantation haunting books out there!

    Vicarious Caytastrophe!