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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
West Virginia: Paranormal Gateway by Fred Saluga is a collection of encounters and sightings of cryptids, monsters, ghosts, and UFOs. Explore this stunning state through a paranormal lens and a unique perspective. This is a thorough array of well-researched folklore and phenomena that will introduce you to the super-horse, vampire aliens, vegetable man, and mysterious fae that have been seen throughout the years. Go from frightening encounters with Civil War ghosts and attacks by Bigfoot creatures to confronting flying saucers. The book aims to open your eyes to see the obscure and mysterious happenings that have occurred in West Virginia.
The book sets up these interesting legends and phenomena with a ghostly tale of Civil War spirits from a witness that encountered a conflict on Droop Mountain. This sets up the historical and research basis for the book but also provides a hint at the eerie and obscure stories that will be discovered as you read. Fred Saluga uses real experiences, such as a retired logger seeing a headless phantom or being attacked by a blood-sucking vegetable man, as examples of these sightings. Some of these creatures are more unusual than others such as the super-horse observed swimming in a clear atmosphere and the Birdman that shares many features with the Mothman. Others more commonly overlap in various accounts such as a sea serpent in the Ohio River and humanoid monsters.
The bulk of the book focuses on UFO sightings and flying saucers which are encounters that have led to many theories. Some of those have been incorporated into this book with reports that depict the chilling events, such as overhearing an eerie conversation between men in black, a woman’s bizarre contact with a tethered entity, and a woman convinced she sees strange things in the sky. Letters and interviews are included that allow you to read about the different experiences firsthand, which adds to the eeriness. This is a must-read for scholars, ufologists, researchers, and those simply interested in folklore, legends, and oddities. The focus on West Virginia: Paranormal Gateway makes this a fun alternative history of the state and will provide a new perspective. West Virginia: Paranormal Gateway is rooted in a fascination for the topic of strange phenomena and a desire to understand the truth behind each of these sightings, encounters, and reports.