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Gray Zone Wanderers: The Haunted Places of Norway    by Cherri Dohlen order for
Gray Zone Wanderers
by Cherri Dohlen
Order:  USA  Can
Zumaya, 2005 (2005)
* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Cherri Dohlen says in her introduction to Gray Zone Wanderers: The Haunted Places of Norway, 'whether they believe in them or not, everyone loves a good ghost story, especially when purported to be true. These collected stories of apparitions seen throughout various provinces in Norway, have been authenticated. They really happened'.

Dohlen concentrates on the stories that she personally finds the most interesting, including hauntings in churches and cathedrals like 'The Pastor Wore Brown' and the 'Monk in the Cathedral'. She also looks at manor houses, large estates, museums and hotels, and wanders further afield to include haunted forests, lakes, bridges and mountains. One story, about Norway's own version of the flying Dutchman, centers on a small island called Herreholmen where, it is said, a phantom ship will suddenly appear out of nowhere and then glide west past the tiny island until it disappears once again.

Some of the stories include an historical note that adds depth to the short account of that particular haunting. Dohlen rounds out the volume with her own experiences with ghosts. She says that despite her interest in them, she's never really had a true sighting. Even so, she goes on to recount a few instances where, after the fact, she wonders if what she had seen could have been a ghostly apparition. In another interesting chapter, she asks individuals of varied ages, careers and occupations, their particular opinion about ghosts. The answers raise interesting questions and hypotheses.

I found Gray Zone Wanderers an intriguing and focused look at ghosts and apparitions that inhabit Norway. Perhaps the author will go on to produce other volumes that discuss ghosts and hauntings in the rest of Scandinavia.

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