Friday, January 2, 2009

All About Ghosts (1977, Maynard)

All About Ghosts (1977, Maynard, Usborne Publishing), one of three books in the World of the Unknown series (I previously posted on All About Monsters). A slim (32 pages), but well-illustrated look at a variety of topics relating to ghosts, from traditional spirits that appear in folklore and literature, to supposed real-life hauntings from the modern era, and even known ghost-hoax methods.



Here's an illustration of the Pepper's Ghost effect...a centuries old illusion using reflections on a large pane of glass. The effect can be viewed today in the ballroom section of Disneyland's Haunted Mansion.

I always liked this 2-page spread detailing all the elements you might expect to encounter in an actual haunted house. With the numbered pictures spread across the house exterior, it resembles some kind of haunted house board game. Oops! I landed on the screaming skull (7)...lose a turn!

Here are details of all the haunted encounters:

The book was republished in 1999 by Tiger Books International with a new cover (the interior pages are identical to the original 1977 edition).

17 comments:

Ann said...

Oh. My. GAWD! You have just fulfilled a lifelong search! I checked out both Ghosts and Monsters dozens of times from my elementary school library. As an adult I wanted them but for the life of me couldn't remember the titles. I thought they might have been Time Life books. Found you through Kindertrauma, keep up the awesome work! Thank you so much!

Anthony said...

Holy Cow! Just like the other post I have been searching the internet for these books! Thank-you thank-you thank-you!!!!!

Marc said...

Ditto re. the previous comments! I have many fond memories of this book from my childhood. Thanks.

Chris said...

So glad to see this book again! It caused me many sleepless nights hiding under the covers. Seem to remember I had UFO and Monster books from the same range.

Eileen G said...

this book is awesome! likewise have been searching the net for this for weeks! my colleague and I both rememebr this book as a child, although we remember this as part of a larger book called monsters ghosts and ufos. I love the ghost part, especially Geoff the Talking mongoose!!!

Brother Bill said...

Eileen G:

I believe at some point the 3 volumes from the series were compiled into a single large volume. I've only seen them as individual books, though. I covered All About Monsters in another post.

Mafferz said...

The 3 volume compendium was called
'Mysteries Of The Unknown:
Monsters Ghosts & UFO's'
(by Carey Miller) and is very easy to find.

Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/0860201457/ref=tmm_hrd_used_olp_0?ie=UTF8&condition=used&tag=0200-20

eBay.uk:
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Mysteries-Unknown-World-unknown-Carey-/180542187157

I still have my childhood copy which is missing a page and very tatty, so I have bought a replacement copy for 1p! (plus postage):
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/offer-listing/0860204928/ref=sr_1_1_olp?ie=UTF8&s=gateway&qid=1281367965&sr=8-1&condition=used&tag=0200-20

This is the cover image:
http://www.amartapura.com/uploadimg/f_m/mysteriesoftheunknownmonstersghostsufos_10192.jpg

gregz said...

hey all,

I loved this book too when i was a kid in the 70's, checked it out of the school library lotsa times. Memorized it, didn't see it since 1979, then finally found it with the help of "name that book" over at Librarything. Very cool. To the author of the blog, can you post every page of this book?

gregz said...

Hey all,

This was a true treasure to find on the internet, had to enlist the help of the good folks at http://www.librarything.com/groups/namethatbook#forums to help me remember what exact title this had.
I too checked this out of the elementary school library many times, saw it last in 1979. The author sure knew how to get a kids attention and make'em stay awake all night thinking about stuff, eh?

cheers.

Greg said...

I can't thank you enough for posting this. THIS IS WHAT THE INTERNETS IS FOR. I'm 37, and I LOVED this book. I attribute it to all the literature and movies that I love (all with a dark edge). The memories I had and still do... and I just re-ordered it.

FYI, this book was fairly gruesome if I remember right... far scarier than any other fare I've seen. From Gef's claws poking out from cracks, or the screaming skull, or just the little filler images of a specter pointing at someone... chilling.

Recovering Emo said...

I had the same experience as everyone else. I used to love this series. I used to read Ghost before I went to bed and terrify myself stupid. (I had to wake up my brother and make him turn off the light.) I ordered all the books and received the first one a couple of days ago, UFOs. They are still just as fascinating now as they were in the 1980's. I ended up on a tram with a guy from work and asked if he knew about them. He did and had the same experience of borrowing them about repetitively. I just had a strange feeling he would know what I was talking about. Thanks for your help in finding these. I can't wait for Ghosts to arrive. Everyday my expectation grows as I approach the mailbox. Ah, the sweet aged wine of nostalgia.

dashanna said...

There was also a large POSTER version in the UK!
It came from the Scholastic Book Club, and I remember scaring myself with the illustrations of the Brocken Spectre and the ancient Mesopotamian ghosts, even the Tay Bridge disaster.

It was on my wall for ages, but seemed to... disappear.

Would love to see it again.

Skullptor said...

HOLY JUMPING BALD-HEADED JUDAS PRIESTS!!! YOU HAVE FOUND TWO OF THE BOOKS I HAVE BEEN SEARCHING FOR EVER SINCE I WAS A CHILD BROWSING THROUGH THE SCHOOL LIBRARY ISLES!!! OMG! I CANT BELIEVE THIS! THANK YOU SO VERY VERY VERY MUCH!!!!

CAE357 said...

Is there a website where I can purchase this book? Thanks...

Stu Clegg said...

Like others here, I vividly remember this book from my childhood. The pic of the ghost at the end of the woman's bed used to scare the hell out of me!

Stuart,
Australia

TK said...

Thank you for the post I've been looking for this book series since the dawn of time I remember reading these as a kid at the local school library and checking them out the illustrations are beautiful and the descriptions are amazing thank you again.

Guillaume said...

Gosh I LOVE this book. The other two of the series (on monsters and UFOs0, I used to like, but this one I LOVED. Thank you for posting the images, it brings me back to my childhood.