Review: (3.00 / 5) Grave’s End: A True Ghost Story is, well, a nonfiction novel published in 2001 by Llewellyn Publications. Prior to entering an MFA Program centered on popular fiction, I read almost exclusively, nonfiction. As you can imagine, I was excited to read a “True Ghost Story.” It was written by Elaine Mercado, a Registered Nurse in a New York City ER, about her life living in a home haunted by numerous spirits.
I guess I should start by saying that the book fell short of my expectations. To be frank, I’m surprised it made it passed editors and the publisher. There are so many things wrong with the way its written, I can’t imagine it would have got the thumbs up from the mentors of SHU. I lost count on how many times Mercado stated somebody was watching her, how that she felt like someone was sitting on her chest, or that her marriage had issues. If she got a dollar for every time she repeated it, she’d probably exceed her book advance. And that was just in the first half of the book.
The story read as a memoir of their personal experience living in the home. What I found disappointing was the author had so many opportunities to show the reader what was happening, but instead told us what she wanted us to know. What boggles me is that Mercado stayed in the home, despite countless supernatural activity. There were many incidents that I believe any sane person would have left, especially when the spirits assaulted the children. It took Mercado 12 years to call in a professional medium for help.
So with so many negatives, you might wonder what I enjoyed. Well, there is one thing that stands out above all, the part on “sleep paralysis.” As some of my peers in the Horror RIG know from previous posts, I’ve stated that I’ve had three encounters with the unknown, but I only elaborated on two. I’ve said several times that I don’t like to talk about the third, because I didn’t think people would believe me. Reading Grave’s End provided me that explanation for what I experienced. I didn’t even know the action had a name. Everything Mercado described is EXACTLY what happened to me, however I’ll save the details for a later post.
In the end, Grave’s End: A True Ghost Story has the opportunity to be a good novel, however the writer needs help on writing in a manner that let’s the reader experience the events that were happening in the home.