Review: Ghostly Tales of Route 66 (Chicago to Oklahoma)

NVF Magazine, November, 2008

Collection co-authored by Connie (Corcoran) Wilson & Michael McCarty

Quixote Press, 138 pages/$9.95

When I was first sent a copy of this first volume of a planned two-volume set of ghost stories set along Route 66, I automatically pictured a massive volume of ghastly, ghostly tales of haunting and possessions, co-written with other authors. Upon receiving the book, however, I was taken aback at first, sitting there holding in my hands a book of (supposedly) real-life events that (supposedly) happened on the infamous Route 66 that used to stretch from Chicago to California. (The first Volume stops in Oklahoma, with Oklahoma to California to follow).

Although the Mother Road is no longer used, it still, after all these decades, lives on in the hearts and minds of many who once traveled it and lived to tell bout it. And, fortunately for a lot of other avid ghost story fans and me, Wilson and McCarty decided to put together a collection of fifteen of these tales for our reading enjoyment.

Although it clocks in at only 138 pages, this neat little package still packs a sweet and creepy little wallop. The tales are short but sweet, and guaranteed to elicit a shiver or two. Although I am not a big fan of ghost stories, I do so enjoy a well-written, well-constructed ghost story collection with stories like “Rachel & David,” so, to me this book was a real guilty little pleasure.

The opening tale, “Resurrection Mary,” the tale of a young beauty killed on her way to a ballroom dance, is one of the real gems of the collection along with “Rachel & David” by Wilson, containing most of the key elements essential to a good old-fashioned “campfire tale” type ghost story: the sad and very dead girl, haunting the area of her demise, a waif-like beauty dressed in flowing white, hitchhiking along Route 66, haunting the ballroom where she danced in real life, searching for rest…peace…love?

It’s all here, as the tales seem to just float on by, late into the wee hours of the night, the reader unable to put the book down…

This book brought back childhood memories and a strong sense of nostalgia as I remembered the good old days, my friends and I huddled around a campfire, telling creepy tales late into the night, though not as good as these, of course.

I sincerely believe that this book would be a welcome addition to the personal library shelves of such literary masters as Stephen King and Peter Straub.

It is most definitely a welcome edition to mine.

Rating: 4 stars. Order by calling 1-800-571-2665.