Book Review: Living Ghosts & Mischievous Monsters by Dan SaSuWeh Jones

Perfect for fans of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark! A shiver-inducing collection of short stories to read under the covers, from a breadth of American Indian nations.

Dark figures in the night. An owl’s cry on the wind. Monsters watching from the edge of the wood.

Some of the creatures in these pages might only have a message for you, but some are the stuff of nightmares. These thirty-two short stories — from tales passed down for generations to accounts that could have happened yesterday — are collected from the thriving tradition of ghost stories from American Indian cultures across North America. Prepare for stories of witches and walking dolls, hungry skeletons, La Llorona and Deer Woman, and other supernatural beings ready to chill you to the bone.

Dan SaSuWeh Jones (Ponca Nation) tells of his own encounters and selects his favorite spooky, eerie, surprising, and spine-tingling stories, all paired with haunting art by Weshoyot Alvitre (Tongva).

So dim the lights (or maybe turn them all on) and pick up a story…if you dare.

Amazon

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy from the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

These 32 short stories from American Indians are truly scary, especially since some of them are true. Dan SaSuWeh Jones tells stories of his own experiences and of people he knows as well as stories that have passed down through the generations by different tribes.

Children and adults alike will find stories that will scare them, or at least give them pause. From the first story to the last, there are tales to catch your interest. They’re grouped into categories: Ghosts, Spirits, Witches, Monsters, and The Supernatural. Each story has a paragraph at the beginning that explains where it came from. There are also pencil drawings by Weshoyot Alvitre that are great and go well with these stories.

Some of my favorites are “My Great-Aunt’s Last 10a.m. Visit,” “The Graveyard,” “The Garage Sale,” and the terrifying “The Vampire of Sleeping Child Hot Springs.” There’s a wide range of stories. I recommend this book but I also recommend maybe reading it when it’s daylight!

About the Author

SaSuWeh is the Former Chairman of the Ponca Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma, who was appointed by Governor, Brad Henry of Oklahoma as Vice Chairman of the Oklahoma Indian Affairs Commission. He is an internationally known Artist and Writer, has been a contributing columnist for “Indian Country Today Media Network” an American Indian news Provider with the largest circulation in America.

He is one of a few American Indians to be a member of the Producers Guild of America (PGA). He has worked for the Walt Disney Co. as an Imagineer. Won many awards as a filmmaker for films he has produced for the Smithsonian, NBC, TBS. and the Children’s Television Workshop; Sesame Street; as well as the Screen Actors Guild to promote Indian Actors. He is also a published author and a Bronze Sculptor. As a panelist at Comcast in November of 2012 speaking on diversity on American Television, he confronted the question; why American Indians do not control a current and permanent presents on American Television.

Among his honors is the Muse Award, presented by the National Association of American Museums for his work for the Smithsonian Institution’s, National Museum of the American Indian; He produced and wrote the museum’s first promotional fund raiser video the “Untitled” work was a finalist in the New York Film Festival in 1993 also has received the Telly and the Golden Eagle Awards as well as Best Industrial, American Indian Film Festival; First Place, Oklahoma State Arts Council; and Best of Show, Red Earth’s American Indian Video Competition, In 2002, Jones directed, produced and created a four-hour visual presentation on the ABC Studio’s Astrotron above Times Square in New York City, to honor American Indian Grammy Nominees.

March of 2005, New Mexico published his book of poetry titled “Blood of Our Earth” the book is illustrated by internationally known Comanche artist Ranch Hood.

He is a traditional Straight Dancer of the Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma. He Produced “The World of American Indian Dance” a documentary that aired on NBC. His insight on the subject explores the historical impact of Indian Dance on the US/Indian relationship and the inter-tribal spread of certain dances as a spiritual phenomenon. It was the first television program on a major network to be produced solely by American Indians.

After creating a number of large bronze icons of his Ponca Mythology, for the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska, Jones is currently building a Memorial to Merle Haggard with the city of Muskogee, Ok and the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame.

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