Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Book Review - Ghosts of Old Louisville

I am participating in the 'Fall Into Reading 2008' challenge hosted by Katrina. It's been great visiting all the other participating bloggers and seeing their reading goals. After checking out their lists, I've found several books that sound very interesting and will have to be added to my ever-growing "to be read" pile. This morning, I finished one of the books on my own list, and thought I would share a quick review.

Ghosts of Old Louisville by David Domine - It revolves around one of the oldest Victorian neighborhoods in America, Old Louisville. This particular neighborhood is not far from the area of Louisville in which I grew up (about a 15 minute drive), so, of course, these local stories were of particular interest to me. I don't know if I believe in ghosts or spirits, but, I do like to think anything is possible. "Ghost stories" have always fascinated me, even as a child. The author tells stories pertaining to hauntings in Old Louisville. Some are told to him firsthand, others are legends that have been passed along through the generations. Still yet, he even tells of his own personal experience, moving into a "haunted" house. I was entertained by the ghost stories, but, even more, I learned a lot about this local area that I didn't know. For instance, the great Southern Exposition was held in Louisville back in the 1880's. This was the first time that electricity was used in a nighttime event of this nature. Thomas Edison himself flipped the switch, showing off the use of 4600 lamps. The Southern Exposition was kind of like the "world's fair" of that time. People from all over traveled to see the famous exhibitions. You can go here or here to read more about The Southern Exposition. Also, another location mentioned in the book, is the infamous Waverly Hills Sanitorium. Waverly Hills was a tuberculosis hospital that is reputed to be one of the most haunted sites in the country. During the TB epidemic, thousands died in this building. It is located just a few minutes away from the house I lived in as a child and teen. Many, many years ago, way before I was born, my grandfather actually worked there, for a short time, as an orderly. I really enjoyed the book, and even hope to take a drive around town and actually get a peek at some of the locations mentioned. If you like stories about ghosts, spirits, or the supernatural, or you are a history buff, I think you would enjoy this quick and easy read. The author has such a flair with words and descriptions of scenes, that you can almost feel like you are back in time, standing in one of the beautiful Victorian mansions.