The World of Lore: Dreadful Places by Aaron Mahnke

         Sometimes you walk into a room, a building, or even a town, and you feel it. Something seems off—an atmosphere that leaves you oddly unsettled, with a sense of lingering darkness. Join Aaron Mahnke, the host of the popular podcast Lore, as he explores some of these dreadful places and the history that haunts them.
Mahnke takes us to Colorado and the palatial Stanley Hotel, where wealthy guests enjoyed views of the Rocky Mountains at the turn of the twentieth century—and where, decades later, a restless author would awaken from a nightmare, inspired to write one of the most revered horror novels of all time. Mahnke also crosses land and sea to visit frightful sites—from New Orleans to Richmond, Virginia, to the brooding, ancient castles of England—each with its own echoes of dark deeds, horrible tragedies, and shocking evil still resounding.
Filled with evocative illustrations, this eerie tour of lurid landmarks and doomed destinations is just the ticket to take armchair travelers with a taste for the macabre to places they never thought they’d visit in their wildest, scariest dreams. (taken from Amazon)

          This book was spooky fun! There were ghosts, unsubstantiated rumors, and eerie feelings aplenty, all layered over true historic events. Not only were there the “haunted houses,” but Mahnke also explored lost travelers, castles, tragedies blamed on wizards…basically any place that is rumored to have a dreadful past.

What sets this book apart, in my opinion, is the unbridled enthusiasm which Mahnke obviously put into both his research, and his writing. It shines through on every page, making what could be ye random book of ghost stories into an engaging commentary on the lore, we- as humans- create to explain the inexplicable or the horrible.

The book reads like a conversation with the author. At the risk of sounding like a terrible person (the book is, after all, about the macabre), I found it highly enjoyable. This isn’t a hide-under-the-covers sort of horror. It’s the sort of book that I’d read around a campfire while eating s’mores. That’s infinitely better, I think. I’ll be looking for the other two Lore books. If they’re half as good as this book was, I’m in for a dreadfully good time.

Have you read this book? What did you think?

5 thoughts on “The World of Lore: Dreadful Places by Aaron Mahnke

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