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Horror in the Heartland: Strange and Gothic Tales from the Midwest

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Brace yourself for a journey into a creepy, dark side of the American Midwest you thought you knew--a side teeming with real-life surrealism and historical horror-comedy. From tales of the booming grave-robbing industry of late 19th-century Indiana to the story of a Michigan physician who left his estate to his pet monkeys, Keven McQueen investigates a spooky and twisted s Brace yourself for a journey into a creepy, dark side of the American Midwest you thought you knew--a side teeming with real-life surrealism and historical horror-comedy. From tales of the booming grave-robbing industry of late 19th-century Indiana to the story of a Michigan physician who left his estate to his pet monkeys, Keven McQueen investigates a spooky and twisted side of Indiana, Ohio, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Exploring burial customs, unexplained deaths, ghost stories, premature burials, the industry of grave robbing, bizarre murders, peculiar wills and much more, this creepy collection reveals the colorful untold stories of the region and offers intriguing, if sometimes macabre, insights into human nature and our history. A fun and frightful look at a vein of darkness running through the Midwest, Horror in the Heartland promises to send chills down your spine.


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Brace yourself for a journey into a creepy, dark side of the American Midwest you thought you knew--a side teeming with real-life surrealism and historical horror-comedy. From tales of the booming grave-robbing industry of late 19th-century Indiana to the story of a Michigan physician who left his estate to his pet monkeys, Keven McQueen investigates a spooky and twisted s Brace yourself for a journey into a creepy, dark side of the American Midwest you thought you knew--a side teeming with real-life surrealism and historical horror-comedy. From tales of the booming grave-robbing industry of late 19th-century Indiana to the story of a Michigan physician who left his estate to his pet monkeys, Keven McQueen investigates a spooky and twisted side of Indiana, Ohio, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Exploring burial customs, unexplained deaths, ghost stories, premature burials, the industry of grave robbing, bizarre murders, peculiar wills and much more, this creepy collection reveals the colorful untold stories of the region and offers intriguing, if sometimes macabre, insights into human nature and our history. A fun and frightful look at a vein of darkness running through the Midwest, Horror in the Heartland promises to send chills down your spine.

30 review for Horror in the Heartland: Strange and Gothic Tales from the Midwest

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nikki "The Crazie Betty" V.

    1.5-2 Stars Boring. I can’t say I technically read this whole book so I’m marking it as “skimmed” on my shelves. I thought there were going to be more fully fledged stories about different things that happened in the mid-west during the 1800s and early 1900s. What it ended up mostly being was short paragraphs, usually not more than 2 or 3 sentences, about body-snatching, grave-robbing, murder, suicide, and people being or almost being buried alive. There wasn’t any really story to any of these an 1.5-2 Stars Boring. I can’t say I technically read this whole book so I’m marking it as “skimmed” on my shelves. I thought there were going to be more fully fledged stories about different things that happened in the mid-west during the 1800s and early 1900s. What it ended up mostly being was short paragraphs, usually not more than 2 or 3 sentences, about body-snatching, grave-robbing, murder, suicide, and people being or almost being buried alive. There wasn’t any really story to any of these and instead was more like, “this person died. They were buried. Their body was exhumed and sold to a Dr.” These were all SUPER common things for the time-period. So, if you’ve done reading and research into these types of macabre events already, in any way, there isn’t going to be anything new here. There were a handful of stories that were longer than the others at a few pages, and those were the only interesting ones in the collection. As they went into more detail about the people involved and the circumstances themselves. Those stories were more of the true-crime stories that I was looking for. Rather than short little vignettes that weren’t any longer than an obituary.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    I am rather disappointed in this book though not really surprised. I choose this book because I am from the Midwest and was interested to see what strange stories there was about my state. After three rather long chapters from other states I discovered that my home state of Kansas was only given three pages and the states after that were also rather short though not as short as the chapter about Kansas. I can't say I am very surprised especially considering the other books the author has written I am rather disappointed in this book though not really surprised. I choose this book because I am from the Midwest and was interested to see what strange stories there was about my state. After three rather long chapters from other states I discovered that my home state of Kansas was only given three pages and the states after that were also rather short though not as short as the chapter about Kansas. I can't say I am very surprised especially considering the other books the author has written and an almost universal lack of interest in Kansas. The only thing that could of made this book better was to not have written. The first three states would of been better off in books like the authors previous works on different states and not placed together in one volume. By doing that the author would not have had to find a few other stories in states he has not written about before to fill this book. He either didn't do a whole lot of research of those states or he just found a few stories online and called it good. I do enjoy the authors works but he would do better to stick to states he has more interests in.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Batsheva

    Gruesome and strange events ripped from the newspaper headlines of 19th and 20th century American Midwest. These little snippets are a collection of weird things the researcher came across in his historical research. These short accounts (arranged by state) piqued my interest for the first a while, but I eventually experienced human depravity fatigue and merely skimmed the rest.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Bruce Blanchard

    Strange and Gothic Tales is a good description of the book and that's all they are. These be a gathering of snippets of stories that actually happened from around the time of the Civil War to around 1930. Horror is such a subjective term. Broke down by states it relates some gruesome things like being buried alive, grave robbing, creative suicides. Some states seem to get the short shrift with not a few pages while others are far more fascinating. I.E., serial killers in Ohio. Is it all worth yo Strange and Gothic Tales is a good description of the book and that's all they are. These be a gathering of snippets of stories that actually happened from around the time of the Civil War to around 1930. Horror is such a subjective term. Broke down by states it relates some gruesome things like being buried alive, grave robbing, creative suicides. Some states seem to get the short shrift with not a few pages while others are far more fascinating. I.E., serial killers in Ohio. Is it all worth your time? Yes, for the odd happenings and just to show heartland people can be quite odd and perverted. No, these are short and most have such a lack of depth the book isn't really worth it. Learned a lot but beyond that - it isn't any great shakes. Don't expect too much from it.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Debbi Smith

    I expected a lot more. No detail and reads like a kids book.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Paula Corregan

    Fascinating book! If you like the weird, the unusual and the bizarre, this is the book for you. It contained accounts of strange events, murders and odd phenomena. I highly recommend it to others interested in these subjects.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Angie (Bussen) Siedell

    Just... bad. As a Nebraskan and lover of the Midwest, and someone who likes to find something a little ghosty to read every October, I thought I’d found my Halloween spooky read. Ugh. Nope. Just a heartless collection of ironic deaths, not-so-clever epitaphs, a whole lot of suicide stories (What kind of sick lookie-loo wants to read story after story about suicides?), a sprinkling of grave robber stories. Almost no ghost stories. Not interesting, just gross. And you can believe I skipped anythin Just... bad. As a Nebraskan and lover of the Midwest, and someone who likes to find something a little ghosty to read every October, I thought I’d found my Halloween spooky read. Ugh. Nope. Just a heartless collection of ironic deaths, not-so-clever epitaphs, a whole lot of suicide stories (What kind of sick lookie-loo wants to read story after story about suicides?), a sprinkling of grave robber stories. Almost no ghost stories. Not interesting, just gross. And you can believe I skipped anything suicidal. Come on, really?

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ava

    Didn't finish this one. I gave it 2 stars instead of 1 for taking the time to research the history of Indiana, which few rarely do. However, his anecdotes have no indication of their sources or really, any nod to where they came from; for all I know, he just made them up as quaint historical anecdotes. I also didn't know some of the states he included in this collection were part of the Midwest...it felt like kind of a stretch, especially considering Indiana University Press published it and his Didn't finish this one. I gave it 2 stars instead of 1 for taking the time to research the history of Indiana, which few rarely do. However, his anecdotes have no indication of their sources or really, any nod to where they came from; for all I know, he just made them up as quaint historical anecdotes. I also didn't know some of the states he included in this collection were part of the Midwest...it felt like kind of a stretch, especially considering Indiana University Press published it and his Indiana section was pitifully small.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Kizer

    I read another book by this author and I just feel like as an author KM writes more like he probably spreading gossip. Really nothing substantial in either book. What captures my interest is the titles and wanting to find out more.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lynn

    Quirky, weird and strange tales of the Midwest states I found the book very strange, yet compelling because we all want to know the rest of the story. Sometimes funny,often macabre and always giving you just enough to keep going, you'll want to find out for yourself. Quirky, weird and strange tales of the Midwest states I found the book very strange, yet compelling because we all want to know the rest of the story. Sometimes funny,often macabre and always giving you just enough to keep going, you'll want to find out for yourself.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Tina

    3.5

  12. 4 out of 5

    Maggie May

    A fun collection of dark and bizarre stories taken from past newspapers and presented with a dash of humor.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ric Eberle

    Not horror like I had imagined, more just gruesome true tales from days gone by. More humorous than I expected.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Jackson

  15. 4 out of 5

    Karen Schulze-Hall

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jyotishka Sircar

  17. 4 out of 5

    Donna

  18. 5 out of 5

    Thiago Pés

  19. 4 out of 5

    Laura

  20. 5 out of 5

    Alicia

  21. 4 out of 5

    Karen Dandurant

  22. 4 out of 5

    Storm

  23. 5 out of 5

    Amelie

  24. 5 out of 5

    Douglas Reedy

  25. 4 out of 5

    BETTY SEARCY

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mrs K

  27. 4 out of 5

    Beth Thommesen

  28. 5 out of 5

    J.S. Bailey

  29. 4 out of 5

    Shaynah Kowitz

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jeanne

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