Spirits And Death In Niagara
Marcy Italiano

Schiffer, Publisher
Non-Fiction, Trade Paperback, $14.99

Most of us are familiar with the romantic, honeymoon image of Niagara Falls. Few of us are familiar with the dark side.

In Spirits And Death In Niagara, Marcy Italiano explores over sixty tales of ghosts, daredevils, suicides, and deadly accidents, all surrounding the Falls. After a wonderful introduction that includes an essay about Niagara written by Mark Twain, the book opens with a collection of ghost stories under the heading, Spirits.

Before she lets you get to the stories, though, Italiano takes a few pages to explain the categories of apparitions, address the skeptics, and slip in some additional material about Harry Houdini and James Randi. While mildly interesting, this section (as well as the section that leads into Part Two: Death) felt more like extraneous material than insightful material.

Once into the tales of ghosts and spirits, the book delivers what it promises. Readers will discover story of a woman and her brother who killed her abusive husband and now haunts, along with her husband, The Buttery. Or dish-throwing ghost at the Olde Angel Inn. If you’re intrigued at all by ghosts and hauntings, you’ll enjoy these true-life tales.

For me, however, I found the second section of the book, titled Death, the most interesting. There were suicides (even a suicide pact), deadly accidents and daredevil stunts.

Bottom line: if you’re interested in the dark side of Niagara’s history or if you enjoy genuine hauntings and mysterious deaths, you’ll probably enjoy Spirits And Death In Niagara.

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