Book Reviews

Book Review: Skeleton Keys by John Klann



This book was reviewed via Netgalley


Do the dead still walk amongst us, sharing their old homes, or jobs, with coworkers. John Klann has set about to explore that very question. Skeleton Keys is a collection of terrifying, true tales of workplace hauntings. Most are recounted from the person to whom they happened. A few are Klann’s own experiences.


The intro states science cannot explain what happens after death. Perhaps not, but Einstein’s statement that matter/energy cannot be destroyed, but merely flow one to the other, suggests that our spirit, that energy which drives our body, is merely released from its mortal coil. It’s still out there. I’m a metaphysicist and my husband is a theoretical physicist. We are in agreement that the spirit energy that propels the body is still there, and still sentient. Deeper philosophical and spiritual discussion doesn’t have it’s place here, but suffice to say, we both believe. Jonas is fascinated with spooky stuff, both real accounts, and movies with a supernatural theme a la Paranormal Activity or The Exorcist.


The stories Jonas and I quite enjoyed. We had many delightful discussions spring from reading them. I think I would have bought the house in the first story, provided the energy felt, at the least, neutral. I know Jonas would love it. Spooky happenings don’t bother me, so long as it doesn’t get violent.


I am an innkeep at a fairly young hotel, yet despite its youth, we’ve had happenings on the property. I work overnight. Gives me time to be an author and reviewer. I’ve heard odd things, and had guests tell me of incidents. Not all that long ago, I had a sheepish young man come down. With a furtive, bewildered look, he said he would like to check out. Given his demeanour, and the fact he’d only checked in about an hour hence, I asked if everything was okay. In a rushed mutter, the gentleman asked if anyone had ever had run-ins with ghosts here. He looked so relieved when I said yes. I moved him to a new room on a different floor, where he suffered no further issues. An EVP session by the morning shift person, a paranormal investigator, captured a female voice, and that co-worker also suffered other activity in the same room.


I’ve had light bulbs shatter when no-one was around. I went to check and discovered it was a type of large fluorescent we don’t use, and none of the light bulb sockets in the ceiling was missing a bulb. I have security monitors that detect motion. There would have been a trail of lights following movement had it been a person. The bulb crashing didn’t set off the monitor either, which is odd. I certainly did.  A different day, in the early morning, I kid you not, there came the sound of some….thing taking a major whiz on the carpet. Of course, no-one saw anything, the cameras captured no movement, and the floor was dry as the summer sands of Death Valley.


I quite loved the second story. Our hotel won’t play up being haunted, but I live very close to the Moss Beach Distillery, with its legend of the Blue Lady. Of course, there was nothing for it, but that we go dine there one night. No sightings, but it was a good deal of fun. It was, as the author says, a minor adventure.


I must say, the ‘Finders Keepers’ story sounds more like the work of faeries or land spirits, than it does of hauntings. According to legend and myth, fae folk love to steal objects, which are returned later. Most are playful and mischievous. Rarely are they dangerous.


Two of the stories focused on an historic building known as Haldeman House. Klann gives nice background the house’s history. Klann’s description of the Haldeman House is hauntingly beautiful. ‘A monument to the sad reality of success’ mortality….. {Haldeman House} sits heavily on its foundation, a slain and silent hulk.’


The first story regards a docent/caretaker who runs night-time paranormal investigations. One night she had quite the run-in with a spirit in the room known as the Summer Kitchen. Unfortunately, she suffered severe brain damage, allegedly from that supernatural encounter. The second story is Klann’s own night-time investigation. While not finding the level of activity being reported by others at Haldeman House. He did report capturing several EVPs.


All I have to say is now I wanna visit Haldeman House, myself. I’ve been to Winchester House before. It certainly had an odd energy going on. The densest darkest energy I ever felt though was at Alcatraz, in the mess hall. I had to walk out right away, and this is the biggest and most open area inside the prison today. Klann’s description of the Haldeman House is hauntingly beautiful. ‘A monument to the sad reality of success’ mortality….. {Haldeman House} sits heavily on its foundation, a slain and silent hulk.’

????? Highly recommended for those who enjoy reading true accounts of the supernatural and paranormal, and those who enjoy such shows and movies as The X-Files, White Noise, Session 9, Destination Truth, and Ghost Hunters.

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