Mysterious New England (book review)

Mysterious New EnglandMysterious New England, edited by Austin N. Stevens, is an older (1971) book of folklore and weird stories — including ghost stories — from around New England.  All of them appeared in Yankee magazine and were tremendously popular.

Mysterious New England probably won’t appeal to someone who wants ghost stories (and only ghost stories… no crypto, etc.), or only true stories.  This book is a mixture of fact, fiction and folklore, and many of the tales are masterfully told.

For the low price of a used copy — sometimes only one cent (at — I think this book is definitely worth buying.  I paid $2 for a hardcover copy at a yard sale, and I still consider it a bargain.

There are many good reasons to read this book. Here are just a few:

  • The gory tale of the Lizzie Borden murder mystery includes a fascinating (and often overlooked) addition provided by a reader of Yankee magazine.
  • C. B. Colby’s crypto zoology article, The “Black Panther” Never Dies, will make you wonder what else is in New England’s woods.
  • Village of 100 Witches, by Maria Dabrowski, shares a chilling overview of Dogtown, a New England settlement abandoned since 1830.

This is storytelling at its best, and it’s a good creepy book to read on a dark autumn night.

In addition, readers have a chance to enjoy short stories and true tales by writers such as the legendary Edward Rowe Snow, who describes the unsolved mystery of Boston’s Lady in Black.

If you’re looking for a fascinating book of strange tales and ghost stories, this book is a classic and worth owning.

Rating: 2-stars

Available from and Suitable for mature teens and adults, but only those who like classic literature and folklore.

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