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Ghost Stories of Pets and Animals    by Darren Zenko order for
Ghost Stories of Pets and Animals
by Darren Zenko
Order:  USA  Can
Lone Pine, 2004 (2004)

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* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Freelance journalist Darren Zenko admits that his 'lifelong fascination with the paranormal' began in grade school. His initial idea for Ghost Stories of Pets and Animals 'began as a project to document the immortal bond between people and their beloved pets'. However Zenko's finished project became much more than he anticipated and goes far beyond simply discussing the 'afterlife comforts of a favorite animal companion'.

Zenko breaks his book into six trim chapters: History and Mystery, Black Dogs, Animal Spirits of American History, Strange Tales from Today, Pranks Gone Bad, and Pets Return. The most memorable are the first and third chapters. In the former, the author showcases stories ranging from the whimsical (The Boy Who Drew Cats) to the spooky (The Tower of Anguish). And this trio of stories in Chapter 3 stand out: Ghost Horses of Palo Duro Canyon, Old Raridan and The Red Ghost. Each is poignant in its own right and also very difficult to finish; all illustrate the cruelties humans have perpetrated against animals whether it's slaughtering a herd of over 1000 Kiowa war ponies, or ruthlessly hunting down the last majestic wolf pair roaming the Ohio hills. But for every disturbing tale Denko presents, he gives us another that's fanciful, thought provoking or downright mystical.

Anyone who loves animals or has an interest in things paranormal will surely find the thirty-five accounts that Darren Zenko presents in Ghost Stories of Pets and Animals to be interesting and enlightening reads.

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