Beyond the Book: Background information when reading I'm Looking Through You

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I'm Looking Through You

Growing Up Haunted

by Jennifer Finney Boylan

I'm Looking Through You by Jennifer Finney Boylan
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     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jan 2008, 288 pages
    Paperback:
    Oct 2008, 288 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Lucia Silva

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Belief in Ghosts

  • A recent survey, cited by Boylan, reveals that 48% of people say they believe in ghosts, with women more likely to say so (56%) than men (38%); overall, more than 1 in 5 Americans say they have seen or been in the presence of a ghost. Having said that, other polls have put the general figures between 37%-65%, which does make one think about statistics as well as ghosts!

  • In 1991, in the case of Stambovsky v. Ackley, the Supreme Court of New York ruled that a seller must disclose that a house has a reputation for being haunted because such a reputation impairs the value of the house. The Ackleys, and much of the community in Nyack, NY, believed the house to be haunted, and had reported as much to papers and walking tours of the area over the years they lived there. The buyer, Jeffrey Stambovsky, was from New York City, and was not informed of the folklore, and filed for rescission of the contract and damages soon after buying the house.

    Often cited in law schools because of its unusual findings and as an example of contract law, the most well-known passage of the conclusion suggests that the house was legally declared haunted: "having reported [the ghosts'] presence in both a national publication . . . and the local press . . . defendant is estopped to deny their existence and, as a matter of law, the house is haunted."

    A history of the house and accounts of its hauntings, as well as the court case.


  • Visit Jennifer Finney Boylan's website for her blog, videos of her book readings, a video tour of her childhood house and more.

Article by Lucia Silva

This article was originally published in February 2008, and has been updated for the October 2008 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

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