Superstitious? The Haunting of 20th-Century America


a look at how paranormal events have impacted U.S. politics

by William J. Birnes and Joel Martin

and I’m giving away a copy, so read on…

Happy Friday the 13th! Are you superstitious? Maybe it’s because I was born on the thirteenth day of the month, but I’m not very. I walk under ladders. I don’t freak out over black cats. I did for a while think I had a poltergeist in my little 19th-century cottage in New Orleans, but have since decided I probably imagined it. Then again…

I haven’t ever thought about how superstition or paranormal activity—real or imagined—might have impacted American history, so I’m wandering off the usual path today and looking at a fascinating nonfiction title. Want to win a copy? Read on…

ABOUT THE BOOK: It’s history like you’ve never learned it before. In unearthing the roots of America’s fascination with the ghosts, goblins and demons that possess our imaginations and nightmares, bestselling authors Joel Martin and William J. Birnes show how the paranormal has driven America’s political, public, and military policies. The authors examine the social history of the United States through the lens of the paranormal and investigate the spiritual events that inspired momentous national decisions: UFOs that frightened the nation’s military into launching nuclear bomber squadrons toward the Soviet Union, out-of-body experiences used to gather sensitive iintelligence on other countries, and even spirits summoned to communicate with living politicians.  (Released September 2011, Forge Books)

Have you had your own paranormal event or are you superstitious about anything? One superstitious commenter will receive a trade paperback copy of The Haunting of Twentieth-Century America. You know the drill, grasshoppers: one entry for comment, a second for blog follow, third for Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson, and a fourth for a tweet or retweet.

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About Suzanne Johnson

Author of urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and suspense. As Suzanne Johnson, she is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series (Royal Street; River Road: Elysian Fields, Pirate's Alley, Belle Chasse, Frenchmen Street (March 2018). Writing as Susannah Sandlin, she is the author of the Penton Legacy series (Redemption; Absolution; Omega; Storm Force; Allegiance; ILLUMINATION); The Collectors series (Lovely, Dark, and Deep; Deadly, Calm, and Cold); and the Wilds of the Bayou series (Wild Man's Curse; Black Diamond).

12 thoughts on “Superstitious? The Haunting of 20th-Century America

  1. I am not really superstitious, though I do knock on wood when I say something that I don’t want to happen after all. Walking under ladders is something to avoid, because the man on that ladder, can spill paint or dirty water on you!

    auriansbooks at gmail dot com

    +1 for comment
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    +1 for following on twitter xAurianx

  2. I’m not superstitious at all, in fact the last house we lived in was number 13 and we were told that it was offered to another family before us who turned it down simply because it was number 13! Which I thought was ridiculous.
    +1 Comment
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    Thank you!

  3. I love those kinds of history books…There are enough books out there about the history of a particular battle, or whatever, but I always wonder about the different stuff. I found a book that was all about courtmartials for malpractice medicine during the civil war…I think it would be fun combine that with some ghost stories and write something…

  4. I am not really supersticious. It’s funny that Americans have Friday 13th whereas here in Italy it’s Friday 17th considered very unlucky!

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    aliasgirl at libero dot it

  5. I’m not superstitious either, but a lot of the superstitions have common sense reasons behind them – like another person mentioned about the ladder.
    I’m intrigued about how superstitions have impacted politics. Hmm… I’d really like to read this book!
    +1 comment
    +1 blog follower

  6. The book looks cool, and so does your blog. My superstitions may be sort of uncommon, like, NEVER refer to things as being “quiet” while at work, cuz that’s the surest way to make it busy.
    +1 twitter follow
    +1 retweet
    And do I get extra credit for having Amazon send my kindle a copy of “Hold Me If You Can”? 😉

  7. I’m not really superstitious, but I had one paranormal encounter with what could have been a ghost while visiting Savannah in May at the Marshall house. I wrote about the story on my blog in the fall:

    I must have been asleep for a few hours when something woke me from my sleep. Our room was pitch black with the exception of an illumination at the bottom of the bed. Something was there. I can’t see anything without my glasses so everything was blurry. I tried to move but I was frozen. We were in a king size bed so my husband might as well have been a mile away. I tried to yell for him, but I couldn’t speak. I panicked. I wanted to cry. I couldn’t speak or move for what seemed like hours.

    Finally, the light faded and I was able to yell out. My husband jumped up and I launched myself at him. I wouldn’t let go. I told him I had a bad dream so that I didn’t have to go into it with him. I had to go to the bathroom, but I was too scared to get of bed. Buffy’s poor bladder. The too-scared-to-go-to-the-bathroom-in-the-middle-of-the-night thing followed me the rest of the trip.

    It could have easily been a dream and it probably was, but I know three things: 1) I see perfectly well in all of my dreams. The ghost could have been carrying a sign that read, “I’m a ghost. Be afraid. Be very afraid,” and I wouldn’t have seen it. 2) I’ve never been so scared in all of my life and 3) Contrary to what you might think from my previous posts, I’m really quite sensible and not prone to hysteria. I still think about that night. Was it a dream or a ghost? I have no idea and I’ll never know.

    When I told my husband I was writing this post, he laughed and said, “You got haunted.” He thinks it’s funny. Maybe it is.

  8. Hi Buffy, if for some unknown reason you were so terribly scared, it certainly is not funny! I am very happy something like that has never happened to me, and I hope to never encounter it either. Sometimes I wish for paranormal gifts myself, when I read a good book, but deep down I am content with being normal/boring.