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Record Type: Review   ID: 43

Ghost Notes: Haunted Happenings on California’s Historic Monterey Peninsula

Reinstedt, Randall A.

 Reinstedt is a historian who teaches California and Monterey history. He has known the Monterey region since childhood and lives there today. This is his fifth book on Monterey’s haunted places and happenings. It is based on notes taken of accounts of experiences told to him by Monterey natives and visitors. He wrote an article on Monterey ghosts in 1970, Monterey’s bicentennial year. As a result, many people who had been fearful to share their stories felt safe in telling him. His initial notes tended to be less informative than later ones, written after he had gained some experience in ferreting out and noting pertinent details. Although this book is based on his notes, he has also added to them where appropriate. The notes are arranged in chronological sections: Setting the Scene, In the Beginning (1970-1976), and More Ghosts (1977-1990). In an interesting postscript, Reinstedt urges everyone to query old-timers in their own locales not only to discover "ghostly tales" but an important component of the history of place usually ignored. "Without all of the accounts," history remains incomplete. As to whether he himself believes the accounts, he is agnostic as to "ghosts," but in part this is a matter of semantics, as he honestly admits he is unsure what a "ghost" is. There are many ways of interpreting the word. However, he avers that he does not doubt that some inexplicable events occurred in the past and continue to occur today. It could be argued that this is a collection of folktales and lore. And so, we could say, is history. I look forward to the day when the extent to which people’s exceptional experiences impinge on public history, and the role they played will be an accepted part of that history. And even when the experiences and their import remain purely personal, they will be an acknowledged part of that person’s individual history. What our studies of EHEs has revealed thus far, however, is that an exceptional experience that is incorporated in one’s life becomes a life-changing experience and in most cases the experience will eventually affect the public world (i.e., history in the making) in some manner that would not have eventuated had they not had the EE and assimilated it so that it could flower as an EHE. It occurs to me that this means that EHEs are not only life-changing but history-making experiences.
Publisher Information:Carmel, CA: Ghost Town Publications (P.O. Drawer 59981, Carmell, CA 93921), 1991. 190p. 21 illus; Index of locations: 189-190
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