Book Review: Haunted Prescott, by Parker Anderson and Darlene Wilson
Reviewed by Susan Lang, Peregrine Book Company Event Coordinator
Just in time for Halloween, local and logical historian Parker Anderson teamed up with highly credentialed paranormal expert Darlene Wilson to produce a uniquely balanced perspective on the many legendary paranormal phenomena that haunt Prescott. “Haunted Prescott” fully covers the documented historical contexts surrounding the many sightings, at times debunking any unsubstantiated stories, yet leaving intact plenty of the unexplained phenomena, some credibly documented, including with professional photographs of mysterious orbs.
The authors begin with several Whiskey Row sightings and legends, including the mysterious and controversial tunnels, tracing the stories back in time through the three courthouse buildings (along with documented hangings) and rebuildings, along with various row hotels, saloons and changing businesses involved of each era, most with buildings still extant today. Of course the authors also include off-row hotels, such as the Vendome with its famous Abby and other ghost sightings, the Hassayampa’s Faith, the St. Michael and Head Hotels’ mysteries among them, moving on to the Elks and several other of Prescott’s historical buildings. They eventually follow the ghostly trail to its inevitable conclusion at Prescott’s historic cemeteries.
I confess to being somewhat a skeptic of such ghostly goings on and picked up the book partly because of the unique pairing of two such divergent authorial sources, each credible in his and her own individual field — and partly because, after all, it is almost Halloween. Yet I found myself fascinated by the stories. I greatly enjoyed the detailed historical contexts and the relationships that had to do with the sightings. I also enjoyed the stories of so many people who were fairly terrified by each of the many unexplained (and often reoccurring) phenomenon. And I couldn’t help by wonder and imagine what conversations might have taken place between two authors with such highly divergent perspectives. I intend to ask them about that when the pair comes to discuss their book at the Peregrine Book Company at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28 — three days before Halloween. You might want to show up as well, either to get a copy of this delightful book. Or come in ahead of time to get it, then show up with questions of your own.