“They are… Moving human documents, with a strong literary appeal.” – Gertrude Ogden Tubby, Assistant Secretary, American Society for Psychical Research (ASPR).
Author Sidney Dickinson opens his preface with a provocative line:
“These stories are not “founded upon fact”; they “are” fact.”
Reading 220 pages of his collection of personal experiences of the
weird” and “supernatural,” you would be inclined to agree. The fact that all accounts are done in first person gives you little room for argument – how can you dispute a personal experience?
The accounts are fraught with detailed descriptions and background information of people and places mentioned in each story. This is apparently done to help the reader fully appreciate the significance of certain events that have taken an odd turn.
However, the lengthy accompanying explanations and descriptions unfortunately made the statements more long-winded than they should be. This is despite the fact that this book was published in 1920 – a time when long sentences were the norm in written works. As a result, the accounts are more yawn-inducing than interesting; one can get lost in the details and end up needing to backtrack in order to get a grip of what the author is actually trying to say.
As with the “strong literary appeal” endorsement, this may be seen in the way the author describes places, people, and circumstances. However, these descriptions distract one from the fact that the author is sharing an account of a strange event because the supposedly chill-inducing momentum is lost at times. It instead stimulates bouts of selective reading just to get past the overly descriptive parts.
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