Haunted Tuscaloosa is the latest in a line of nonfiction books published by Haunted America, a division of The History Press. Author David Higdon is the founder and lead investigator for the Tuscaloosa Paranormal Research Group, and a proud member of the TAPS family – SyFy TV network’s Ghost Hunters television series. Co-author Brett J. Talley graduated from the University of Alabama before going on to Harvard University Law School. He is now an attorney and also the author of That Which Should Not Be, a finalist for the Horror Writers Association’s Bram Stoker Award® for Best First Novel last year, and just released his second, critically acclaimed novel, The Void.
When well done, these books are not only great fun, but are an enjoyable learning experience and an interesting travel guide to areas and places that you’ve likely never been. Haunted Tuscaloosa is very well written and focuses upon the city of Tuscaloosa, AL and the campus of the University of Alabama, located within Tuscaloosa. I guess that it is no real surprise that such a historic and relatively (for the USA) old city as Tuscaloosa (founded in 1819), and university (the University of Alabama was founded back in 1831), would also have a long and storied history as a haunted place.
The book, written in a non-judgmental manner, describes a number of the most haunted places and structures both within the city and upon the university campus itself. The various stories and/or legends behind the hauntings and what has been reported by witnesses at the various sites are described in a way that makes the sites and stories come alive for the reader. Additionally, the scenic description is done so well that this reviewer, who has never been to Alabama, let alone Tuscaloosa, found himself discovering the city and environs both so interesting and so beautiful that he hopes to be able to visit there someday soon. I think that the authors’ exceptional narratives will instill a similar desire to visit the area in the majority of readers who peruse the book. The book also serves very well as a guide to the many haunted locales contained therein and those who do decide to visit can utilize the book very effectively to locate and explore the many opportunities for observing and experiencing real paranormal behavior described therein.
In conclusion, in addition to being a very interesting and evocative travel guide to the City of Tuscaloosa and its University of Alabama campus, Haunted Tuscaloosa also manages to engage and even titillate readers with stories of real hauntings and paranormal activity that provides an extra frisson of excitement and tension exceeding that of even the best fiction. Those who might want to combine a vacation to a beautiful location within the USA with being able to potentially experiences for themselves actual hauntings, poltergeist, and other paranormal activity as well as those who just wish to read about the same, will all find great pleasure from reading this book.