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“I had a daughter” “My daughter… Raymunda… I never heard the word “mommy”.” These are some of the phrases recorded by a team of parapsychologists at one of the most famous haunted houses in the world: the Linares Palace, right in the heart of Madrid. Some say that the recordings are false but others still think that they are true. The first owners of this palace, which was built around 1900, had a tragic story: José de Murga married his own sister, Raymunda Osorio, without knowing. Raymunda was the product of an affair that Jose’s father had in the past. José and Raymunda had a miserable life: stigmatized by society, secluded in their palace, they carried a feeling of guilt and embarrassment that accompanied them until their grave. All the following owners of this palace since then have been murdered or have suffered through very rough health or financial problems.
In the United States a renowned haunted house is the Winchester Mystery House, in San José, California. The house was built after Sarah Winchester was advised by a medium to provide a home for the spirits of all those killed by Winchester guns.
In some cases, there is not only one haunted house in a community, but an entire neighborhood could be haunted, like in the case of Old Louisville, Kentucky. Old Louisville is considered the most haunted neighborhood in the country.
Haunted houses exist around the world and they also play an important role in literature. If you want to get in the mood for Halloween, here are some ideas of books you might want to check out:
The shining by Stephen King
House by Frank Peretti
From the dust returned: a family remembrance by Ray Bradbury
In a dark season by Vicki Lane
Deadly night by Heather Graham
If you would like to visit some of these houses, we also have some materials that can help you with your ghostly adventure:
Haunted Houses (DVD)
Finally, if you want to go ghost hunting yourself, here is a book that tells you how:
Good luck with that and happy Halloween!
As we know, the Nobel Price for Literature went to Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio. He is one of the most translated French authors or our time, whose work is hard to categorize. His revolutionary writing style and the freedom to pick the topics for his works gave him the title of one of the most important avant-garde writers.
The topics of his books are varied: ecology, philosophy, the clash of cultures, insanity, immigration, traveling, memory, and exile among others. His work consists of more than 40 books published in French, a dozen in English, as well as some publications in Swedish and German. The Nobel Prize Academy considers him, “an author of new departures, poetic adventure and sensual ecstasy,” and his work as, "the best and most imaginative prose work of the year."
When looking as his biography, it is easy to understand the richness of his work. Le Clezio was born in France but spent his childhood in Nigeria. As a young adult he studied in England and France. He moved to the United States where he worked as a teacher but was then sent to Thailand and Mexico for his military service. Later he lived with the Embera-Wounaan Indians in Panamá. He has taught at numerous universities in countries around the world: México, South Korea, Bangkok, Boston, Austin, and Albuquerque.
If you haven’t read any books by this author, here are some of the titles available at our libraries:
In case you want to read his works in French here are some ideas:
Ourania : roman.
Do you know what the top 10 sleepiest animals are? How about the top 10 longest-running programs on National Public Radio or 10 longest words in the Oxford English Dictionary?
You can find all of these and the answers to other interesting questions on the Top 10 of Everything book. The first edition of this book was published in 1989. Since then, this book has been printed annually and special editions dedicated to specific topics have been also released. For example: Top 10 of Sport, Top 10 of Music and Top 10 of Film, among others.
Russell Ash, the author of this book, is a British author that has also published other similar books for children and adults. So, if you want to have a fun light read at the library, feel free to browse our 2009 edition or to take home one of the previous ones.