Garden State Ghosts Highlighted in Rowan Professor?s <+>Haunted New Jersey<+>September 02, 2004
Everyone loves a good New Jersey ghost story and has an interesting one to tell. At least that?s what Rowan University geography professor Dr. Charles A. Stansfield, Jr. and co-author Patricia Martinelli discovered when writing "Haunted New Jersey: Ghosts and Strange Phenomena of the Garden State."
?Finding material for 'Haunted New Jersey' was the easiest part of compiling this book,? said Stansfield of Pitman. ?Everyone had great stories to share about long-abandoned houses in their neighborhoods or unexplained sounds or sightings they had either experienced or heard about through the years. The difficulty came in deciding which stories we could fit into just one book.?
The stories that made the cut are definitely worth a read. In "Haunted New Jersey" (Stackpole Books, $9.95), Stansfield and Martinelli have amassed a diverse collection of stories spanning the length and breadth of the state, chronicling happenings ranging from the mundane to the outrageous. The book includes classics such as the ?Jersey Devil? and the ?Woman in White,? as well as UFO sightings and shipwreck and seaside hauntings.
Unlike similar books, "Haunted New Jersey" is a serious record of historical accounts long shared word-of-mouth. In a recent review, Publisher?s Weekly praises Stansfield and Martinelli?s sober approach, saying the collection ??should appeal to residents of the Garden State interested in local lore as well as American historians.?
'Haunted New Jersey" is a collaboration birthed in the Rowan Geography Department nearly 30 years ago. Stansfield was a young professor seeking a typist and editor for his textbook manuscripts and Martinelli was a Rowan student looking for opportunities to earn extra money for college. Now a historian at Batsto Village, a 200-year-old Pinelands historic site, Martinelli has many times served as typist and editor for Stansfield?s manuscripts about New Jersey and geography. "Haunted New Jersey" is the first book co-authored by the two friends.
"When Charlie and I started this project last year, we never expected to unearth such a fascinating array of stories,? said Vineland native Martinelli. ?I hope 'Haunted New Jersey' not only encourages people to explore new areas of the state, but to take a closer look at what has happened right in their own region."