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Monday, February 19, 2018

Haunted Route 66 - Richard Southall

Historic Route 66 ran 2,448 miles from Chicago, Illinois through six states until finally ending Santa Monica, California. It has many nicknames including Will Rogers Highway, the Main Street of America and the Mother Road. Most of Route 66 is gone, falling into disrepair in favor of modern highways. And many of the towns have disappeared with the disuse of the road.

Illinois, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, and California all contain a plethora of disturbing stories and hauntings along the highway, but Kansas and Texas do not. Kansas only contains a mere 13 miles of the route and the towns along the route in Texas are completely gone. In order to make up for it Southall includes tales from areas that are within 3 hours distance of the highway for both Kansas and Texas.

I have mixed feelings about how the author decided to expand his search for hauntings with Kansas and Texas. I think it was a good decision to include something for those states, especially for those who may want to do a haunted road trip, but the events don't actually exist along the route which seems a bit disingenuous even with disclosure.

The tone of the book is straightforward and matter-of-fact in the telling of events and what people experience when they are haunted. They aren't in the narrative of ghost stories that I so often read. For those who want to learn more about the paranormal history of Route 66, this is a good read.

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