Ghost in My Suitcase, A (Book)

Vacations are supposed to be relaxing, carefree days to unwind and let the stress of the normal world melt away. For most people, looking for a vacation spot involves checking out amenities and the nearest golf course. For Mitchel Whitington, however, amenities include cobwebs, games are more of the hiding-in-the-dark kind, and the other guests are the sort that may never check out but are destined to leave an impression. It takes a special type of traveler to go where most fear to tread, and Whitington is just such a man.

A Ghost in My Suitcase is a travelogue of all fifty states in the USA, focusing on one particularly creepy spot in each. Told in a conversational style, the stories provide not only a brief history of the sites but also Whitington’s personal experiences in each. Some tales are tragic while others are downright terrifying. Whatever the histories, the end result are hotels where some never check out, taverns where the spirits aren’t just behind the bar, and manors where long shadows dance of their own accord.

The locations contained within are varied, providing points of interest to suit the tastes of almost anyone with an interest in the macabre. Among the more interesting sites are Louisiana’s LaLaurie Mansion, The Stone Lion Inn of Oklahoma, and Falcon Manor in Tennessee. No matter the state, Whitington provides a ghostly distraction for the traveler. Included are some of the more famous haunts such as the Lizzy Borden Bed and Breakfast and the Winchester House of Mystery. There are also places a bit more obscure for those that prefer their spirits a little less commercialized.

Perhaps the most telling section of A Ghost in My Suitcase is the portion about The Grove in Jefferson, Texas. Protected by the sprit of an old man with a long white beard and another fellow who’s known for smiling at guests, The Grove is probably best known for its elusive “Lady in White.” Whitington and his wife were so taken with the 160-year-old house that they bought it and live in it to this day.

For those who look beyond the regular tourist spots, one could scarcely ask for a better guide than this book. Well written and interesting to the last word, Whitington tells his tales in an engaging and intriguing way.

A Ghost in My Suitcase
by Mitchel Whitington
Atriad Press, 2005
241 Pages

4 ½ out of 5

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