This guide includes a selection of discussion prompts based on In Search of Maryland Ghosts: Montgomery County. Choose the ones that work best for your book group. And if anything interesting comes out of the discussion, let us know.
Enjoy, Karen & Dorothy
- The authors of ISOMG:MC are historians. They decided to write the book because they saw ghost stories as a way of exploring local history, in particular the history of Montgomery County, Maryland, as well as making that history more appealing and accessible. What history was uncovered through each story? Did you learn something you didn’t expect by reading the book? Did you find the history enhanced the ghost story or detracted from it? Did it make you want to learn more?
- ISOMG:MC is categorized as non-fiction. However, for many readers it might straddle the line between fiction and non-fiction. Why is that? How would you, the reader, categorize it?
- Some of the stories included in ISOMG:MC have more history. Some have more about paranormal activity. Which did you find the most compelling and why?
- One of the questions the authors are frequently asked is whether they believe in ghosts. Did you choose the book because of its historical content or because it was about ghosts? What were your beliefs before you read the book? Did they change or were influenced by having read the book? Have you or anyone you know had a paranormal experience?
- Ghost stories are universal. Were there similarities between these stories and ones you have heard from other places? Does it make you believe more in ghosts or less?
- Some of the stories have a lot of history behind them and that history matches up to the stories that were related to the authors. However, some stories, after having done the research, appear to be more folk tale than fact. All the stories came out of the folk traditions of Montgomery County. If the stories can’t be proven, does that invalidate them or do they still have validity through that oral tradition? Why could stories have been made up? Do they serve a societal purpose?