Wednesday, October 11, 2017

How folks had Halloween fun in October 1971

Here's a clipping from the October 17, 1971, edition of The Philadelphia Inquirer that could easily be Page 1 of a script from a 1970s horror flick about the dangers of messing around with the paranormal in suburbia.

Adi-Kent Thomas Jeffrey was also the author of The Bermuda Triangle and They Dared the Devil's Triangle. But it was her ghost books that my mom loved. Ghosts in the Valley and More Ghosts in the Valley, a pair of staplebound books about "real-life" hauntings around southeastern Pennsylvania, were well-worn and remained on Mom's bookshelf until she died.

On the "About the Author" page of Mom's old copy of Ghosts in the Valley, we are informed that Jeffrey was "a well-entrenched 'ghost-chaser', author and lecturer in the Delaware Valley area. Of Hungarian descent, she has brought the love of ghostly lore from an ancestral valley at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains in Hungary to the shadowed vales of the Delaware Valley."

I don't know how Jeffrey's in-home occult demonstrations worked, but author Stephanie Hoover wrote the following in an extensive 2012 appreciation of Jeffrey:
"Newspapers of the day announced her public appearances by telling readers that the 'Mistress of the Macabre' was scheduled to speak at one locale or another. Three-hundred people turned up for an appearance at a Ridley Township library where she demonstrated divining rods and discussed her view that many people have gifts such as ESP but keep quiet out of fear of ridicule. She also told the group this: 'I don't believe any spirits ever come back. Spirits are projected thoughts that come from the mind.'"
There is a Ghosts in the Valley website where you can learn more about Jeffrey's books, though it looks like it hasn't been updated since 2011.

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