There are three Nancy Drew Ghost Stories books, the original which came out in 1983 (which I reviewed here), the Girl Detective Ghost Stories from 2008 (review can be found here) and this, the harder-to-find Nancy Drew Ghost Stories #2 (Amazon) (Abebooks), published in 1985.
The book consists of six stories:
Vampire Cave-Nancy, Bess and George are in the Allegheny Mountains, ready to go spelunking in Craggy Cave. There’s a rumor of a vampire in the cave, so of course, the girls have to check it out. But before they do that, they want to check on the house of Ebeneezer Evans, a very wealthy man who is a client of Carson Drew’s and is currently in Europe. The girls are allowed to go to the estate to check out the artwork, and find that some of it is missing off the walls. George finds a piece of paper on the floor with names of paintings on it and pockets it, not giving it a second thought. But then all sorts of “accidents” happen to George, and Nancy gets suspicious. The girls continue on with their spelunking, and George is kidnapped by the vampire. Can Nancy crack the case?
Dark Crypt-As the name implies, there’s a mystery involving a crypt, some stolen heirlooms, and a ghost. Kudos to the bad guy, who sling-shots a rock with a note wrapped to it through the sunroof of Nancy’s moving car. Kudos to George for using karate on an attacker, who is chased away when he realizes he’s no match for her. It’s really weird that it is called the Bayport Cemetery, because Bayport is where the Hardy Boys live, not Nancy. There’s a Scooby Doo ending.
Geist of Meyer’s Mall-A big shopping center was built downtown, and business at Meyer’s Mall hasn’t been great. That is, until rumors that there’s a ghost bring throngs of people to the mall. It’s Nancy and the chums job to figure out the truth.
Witches’ Brew-Nancy’s aunt Eloise summons Nancy to help solve a mystery. There’s been eerie chanting and wails and screams from an apartment in Eloise’s building for the past six months. Eloise suspects witches. (?!) Nancy lies to a suspect about being into the occult to gain access to Madame Arnette’s room to find out if it’s a coven. Ned makes an appearance, which is much needed because Nancy gets kidnapped.
Phantom of Room 513-Nancy goes to the hospital with an expected appendicitis, and learns of some strange happenings, ghost-like happenings, in Room 513. Lisa Scotti from The Swami’s Ring, Nancy Drew Mysteries #61 (Amazon) (AbeBooks) makes an appearance. It seems a sick woman was being treated at the hospital and was assigned 513, but disappeared without a trace. And there’s a sketchy doctor that the nurses don’t like. For someone admitted to the hospital, Nancy sure does a lot of detective work!
Forest of Fear-The girls head to Lake Oolagah, only to find “Danger: Keep Out” skulls and crossbones on signs leading up to the lake. When they get there, they find the shore covered with fish skeletons and lots of dead vegetation. They decide to camp out anyway, and in the dark, glowing eyes appear. It’s enough to scare Bess and George to convince Nancy to leave their camping equipment and find a hotel instead. When they return, they run into John Bearcloud, a Cree Indian who says that the land is Delaware Indian property and a sacred burial ground and cursed to white men. Nancy knows there’s more to it than that, and investigates. Totally implausible story.
Overall, Nancy Drew Ghost Stories #2 (Amazon) (AbeBooks) is weaker than the original Ghost Stories. This book was published at a time when Nancy was in transition, and this is one of the bumpier attempts. Still, the Paul Frame artwork is outstanding, and a volume worth having for that fact alone.
For more information about my favorite sleuth, check out Jenn Fisher’s Unofficial Nancy Drew website, which has a wealth of information.
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