Islands of Ghosts: Folklore and Strange Tales of the Supernatural from Cape Breton


66 pages
Contains Photos
ISBN 0-88999-479-X
DDC 398.2'09716'9





Reviewed by David M. Kelly

David M. Kelly is a teaching assistant at Brock University in St.


The people of Cape Breton are excellent hosts and storytellers.
Unfortunately, Islands of Ghosts is not one of the island’s best
efforts. The book is a collection of brief, extremely simplistic tales
of supernatural events on the island. Its compiler, singer/songwriter
David Lloyd Samson, has struggled to present the tales as close to their
original sources as possible: “Nothing has been added to the stories
to make them more interesting.” Unfortunately, Samson has preserved
his integrity at the expense of interest.

Though Samson, aided and abetted by Reed Wooby (a retired school
teacher), claims that his sources are entirely convinced that the events
actually happened, the tales themselves are simply too fantastic to take
at face value; reader naiveté can be stretched only so far.

On a more positive note, Warren Gorden’s fine photographs support the
local Cape Breton theme and attempt to put the reader in a more
receptive mood; they are entirely appropriate to the setting of each
individual tale.


Samson, David Lloyd., “Islands of Ghosts: Folklore and Strange Tales of the Supernatural from Cape Breton,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 23, 2024,