Scary Science: The Truth Behind Vampires, Witches, UFO's, Ghosts and More!


64 pages
Contains Photos, Index
ISBN 1-895688-52-3
DDC j001.9'4





Illustrations by Dusan Petricic
Reviewed by Steve Pitt

Steve Pitt is a Toronto-based freelance writer and an award-winning journalist. He has written many young adult and children's books, including Day of the Flying Fox: The True Story of World War II Pilot Charley Fox.


Do some people really turn into werewolves during a full moon? What is
ESP? Are some old buildings haunted by spirits? Is Friday the 13th
actually an unlucky day? Can a dog predict when its owner is about to
suffer an attack of epilepsy? These and many more fascinating questions
are addressed (and sometimes even answered) in this most recent book by
award-winning science writer Sylvia Funston. Plastic glow in the dark
vampire teeth and a scientific explanation for the medical condition of
porphyria (a skin condition that causes people to glow-in-the-dark) are
included with the book.

Funston realizes that there is only one hard fact about human
fear—everybody enjoys a small dose of it now and then. Writing in a
factual but lighthearted style, she compares centuries-old legends with
the latest scientific discoveries on the same subject. Sidebars feature
additional information, such as the fact that the root word for Boo is
Bwgwl, an ancient Welsh word for “object of terror.” But even after
all the facts have been stated, readers are always left to draw their
own conclusions.

Humorous illustrations by Dusan Petricic and dozens of scientific
photographs balance the book between fact and fun. Highly recommended.


Funston, Sylvia., “Scary Science: The Truth Behind Vampires, Witches, UFO's, Ghosts and More!,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 19, 2024,