PUBLISHED: 1:17 PM on Wednesday, November 1, 2006
Halloween gone but the frights waiting in 'Haunted Homeland'

"Oh, my! You look as if you've seen a ghost!"

How many times have you heard that really weak statement on TV or in movies?

People say it all the time and it's really kind of silly....

.... unless you really have seen a ghost.

In the new book "Haunted Homeland" by Michael Norman, you'll read about ghost sightings around the United States, and a few legends from Great Britain that have passed across the ocean and taken hold here.

Starting as far north as you can go, Norman tells of the Lady in Blue from Sitka, Alaska. It seems that an extraordinarily beautiful Russian princess walks Castle Hill, looking for her lost love.

The problem is that she's been dead for centuries. Grown men have sworn that the princess ghost is real, but is she?

While the Russian princess quietly wanders around Sitka with a sad look on her wispy face, not all ghosts are as gentle.

Norman writes of malevolent spectres, bells from the underworld, poltergeists with mean streaks, and dozens of other terrifying tales.

A few years ago in Mississippi, there stood a mansion that wasn't very old, but was very haunted. The family that lived there heard agonizing moans and snarling dogs, and the youngest son once complained about a "bogeyman" near his closet.

After the house burned down under suspicious circumstances, one former owner was contacted by a spirit who made a chilling demand.

In North Carolina, workers found bits of bone and cloth in an unmarked grave.

Did those earthly remains belong to the spirit who pulled the bedclothes from the bed of the newest owners of a nearby mansion?

Or could it be the ghost who followed the female owner from her old apartment to her new home?

So you say that none of this scares you.

It's only a bunch of stories, right?

Just a bunch of overactive imaginations, huh? Well, then - if you dare - read the story of the Texas ghost steer with an eerie brand on his backside.

Check out the story of the Maryland family who allowed a psychic to perform a séance.

Settle in with the Oklahoma tale of the woman who was haunted by the guilt-inducing ghost of the man she loved and murdered.

Ah, there's nothing like a dim light, a cold night, and a good ghost story.

These are perfect: "Haunted Homeland" practically begs to be read around the campfire, in a darkened dorm, or aloud at your Halloween party this year.

Author Michael Norman has written and co-written (with the late Beth Scott) several books on this very same subject, and this one won't disappoint fans.

The stories are detailed enough and the "eyewitness" reports are vivid enough to make skeptics wonder and ghost-hunters even surer that there is "something out there".

Just not necessarily something friendly.

Pick up a copy of this book, then grab a flashlight, turn out the lights, and be prepared to be spooked.