Haunted Webster Groves by Patrick Dorsey
(Factual Planet, 2015, 131 pages)
This book by Patrick Dorsey provides fourteen riveting accounts as told to him of unquiet spirits in and near the area of Webster Groves, Missouri. As a ghost agnostic, I am generally fascinated by and open to hearing people’s accounts of interactions with ghosts. This 131-page book is divided into two main section: “Legends,” being more a compilation of experiences that many people have had over many years, and “Firsthand Accounts,” in which Dorsey interviews several Webster Groves-area residents about their up-close-and-personal experiences with these spirits.
Regarding the writing style of the book, sometimes I was charmed by the way in which the author inserted his own editorial commentary into the stories; at other times, I wanted him to get out of the way a little more and simply let the stories speak for themselves. However, a book of this nature is at least in part personality-driven, and the playful treatment of this subject matter provides a bit of non-ghostly levity to the stories. Dorsey notes that he is “a storyteller and a writer, not a ghost hunter” (p. 10), and that the reader will thus find more story and less science. This book is good reading for the casual ghost hunter looking for an entertaining and spooky evening, particularly one familiar with or interested in the Webster Groves/St. Louis County area.