Books

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Haunting Illinois: A Tourist’s Guide to the Weird and Wild Places of the Prairie State, 3rd Ed. Holt: Thunder Bay Press, 2014.

Haunting Illinois by Michael KleenThis new edition of Haunting Illinois contains a listing of 260 mystery sites, with more than 120 photos and illustrations. Divided into eight distinct regions and listed by county and town or neighborhood, each location features a description, directions, and sources drawn from a wide variety of books, articles, and websites. In his introduction, Michael traces the history of legend tripping in Illinois, from the boys who chased after the Diamond Island Phantom in 1885, to the paranormal investigation teams and tours of today. Haunting Illinois challenges you to get off the couch and start exploring our wonderful state of Illinois. You might be surprised at what you discover!

Legends and Lore of Illinois: The Definitive Collection. Rockford: Black Oak Media, Inc., 2013.

Legends and Lore of Illinois the Definitive Collection by Michael KleenPublished in 49 monthly issues over the span of four years, the Legends and Lore of Illinois presented Illinois ghostlore in an exciting, informative, and occasionally controversial format. While providing important historical background on your favorite haunted places, the Legends and Lore of Illinois also featured the fictional adventures of a group of paranormal investigators known as the Fallen. With an eye on the fun, mysterious, and macabre, “Leave science to the scientists” was their motto. Will they unlock the secrets of the unknown, or will they unwittingly unleash shadows from the darkest recesses of our imagination? For the first time in print, enjoy every last issue of the Legends and Lore of Illinois in one definitive collection. This collection also contains a bonus location: Southern Illinois University. Get ready to explore infamous places such as Bachelor’s Grove, Airtight Bridge, Resurrection Cemetery, Winston Tunnel, the Seven Gates to Hell, Manteno State Hospital, Axman’s Bridge, and many more! What adventures await you inside?

Tales of Coles County, Illinois, 5th Edition. Rockford: Black Oak Media, Inc., 2013.

Tales of Coles County, Illinois by Michael KleenThe 10th Anniversary edition of Michael Kleen’s classic Tales of Coles County, Illinois combines both the original book and the Legends and Lore of Coles County, with updated content and additional legends. First published in 2004, Tales of Coles County, Illinois takes an entertaining look at local history through vivid historical fiction. When four students from Eastern Illinois University are stranded during a violent storm, they seek shelter with an elderly couple who give them more than they bargain for. After one night, the four will never look at Coles County the same way. In the Legends and Lore of Coles County, Michael Kleen reveals over a dozen hidden stories from the from the area’s past and present, leaving no stone unturned. What is the history of Coles County’s ghost towns? When did a poltergeist terrorize one rural family in Pleasant Grove Township? What is the real story behind the “Mad Gasser of Mattoon”? The answers to these questions and more can be found in this definitive volume.

Home of the Brave, Part 1: A Rope of Sand. Rockford: Black Oak Media, Inc., 2011.

Home_of_the_Brave_Part_1aThe year is 2015. Chris Randall is an average American male. Growing up during the 1990s, he witnesses the turmoil of the world through the safety of a television set. His idols include popular musicians and sports figures. The hardest decision he faces is whether to go to college or join the military like so many of his friends. But something happens that changes all of that. In one day, his entire world is unraveled. A massive electromagnetic pulse cripples all electronic devices throughout the country, and temporary chaos sets in. What emerges is a different but strangely familiar world–a world that had always been seething just beneath the surface. As the dust settles, only the strong and resourceful survive. Chris must make a choice: succumb to nihilism, hatred, and self-destruction, or find redemption by leaving behind everything he has ever known.

Shades of Gray: Tales of Ghosts from the Battlefields of Virginia. Wever: Quixote Press, 2011.

A collection of short ghost stories set in and around the Civil War battlefields of Virginia.

Haunting Illinois: A Tourist’s Guide to the Weird and Wild Places of the Prairie State, 2nd Ed. Holt: Thunder Bay Press, 2011.

Haunting Illinois contains 200 mystery sites and 85 individual illustrations. In this book, Michael not only examines the sites, but also the hobbyists and professionals who have devoted their lives to exploring the strange and unusual in our great state. Divided among eight distinct regions and listed by county, each location features a description, directions, and sources drawn from a diverse variety of books and articles. Haunting Illinois challenges you to get off the couch and start exploring our wonderful State of Illinois. You might be surprised at what you discover!

Tales of Coles County, Illinois (2010). Rockford: Black Oak Press, Illinois, 2010.

When four students from Eastern Illinois University are stranded during a violent storm, they seek shelter with an elderly couple who give them more than they bargain for. After one night, the four will never look at Coles County the same way. In the Legends and Lore of Coles County, Michael Kleen reveals over a dozen hidden stories from the area’s past and present. What is the history of Coles County’s ghost towns? Does a werewolf stalk the Charleston Stone Quarry? When did a poltergeist terrorize one rural family in Pleasant Grove Township? Is there buried treasure in Coles County? The answers to these questions and more can be found in this definitive volume.

Paranormal Illinois. Atglen: Schiffer Publishing, 2010.

Why did hundreds of people line up bumper to bumper in rural Illinois to catch a glimpse of a scantily clad phantom along Kennedy Hill Road? Did you know that a ghost of a homicidal mother still haunts the road near her former home? What is the real history behind Independence Grove and Devil’s Gate? When these questions and more are answered, you will never look at the history of Illinois the same way. This painstakingly researched book leaves no ghost unturned.

Haunting the Prairie: A Tourist’s Guide to the Weird and Wild Places of Illinois. Rockford: Black Oak Press, Illinois, 2010.*

One Voice. Rockford: Black Oak Press, Illinois, 2009. (paperback)

One Voice is a new collection of columns and editorials by Black Oak Media’s own Michael Kleen. Topics include: Consumerism, individual liberty, responsibility to family and community, victim-mentality, how to solve drug abuse without throwing everyone in prison, how we can apply ancient wisdom to modern life, and much more! Many of these columns have been printed in an assortment of publications, including the Black Oak Report and Black Oak Media.org. One Voice brings them together in one simple format!

Legends and Lore of Illinois: Case Files Volume 1. Rockford: Black Oak Press, Illinois, 2009.

This unique look at Illinois ghostlore is presented in a fun, entertaining way that sheds light on the dark recesses of our imagination. Get ready to explore infamous locations from the first two years of the Legends and Lore of Illinois. But that s not all. Delve into the secret history of your favorite paranormal adventurers with two rarely-seen stories from the early days of The Fallen. Plus get a special preview of their next adventure: Black Willow Grove.

One Voice. Charleston: Black Oak Press, Illinois, 2008. (pamphlet)

Six Tales of Terror. Charleston: Black Oak Press, Illinois, 2005. (pamphlet*)

Tales of Coles County, Illinois. Charleston: Black Oak Press, Illinois, 2004, 2005. (pamphlet*)

New Ideas: Short Essays on Contemporary Thought and Culture. Charleston: Black Oak Press, Illinois, 2004. (pamphlet*)

The Distance of Sorrow: Special Edition. Charleston: Black Oak Press, Illinois, 2004. (pamphlet*)

Autumn and Winter: Seasons of Gray. Bloomington: Xlibris, 2003.

Mark is a troubled high school student on the edge of despair. Until recently, he has sought solace at his favorite park, but strange apparitions have begun to terrorize his quiet visits there. Can Mark find some meaning by pursuing the cause of these ghostly images, or can his mysterious friend help free him from their terrifying grasp? One way or the other, Mark will learn that neither life or its lessons are temporary.

Tales of the Supernatural: and Other Mysteries of the Universe. Bloomington: Xlibris, 2000.

Have you ever wondered what was beyond the beyond? Have you ever wanted to walk alone through a dark forest at night, but were too afraid? Explore the unknown without leaving the comforts of your own home, and heed the warnings of the men and women who spend their nights wandering in the darkest recesses of humanity.

The River of Rain: or The Natural Man. Bloomington: Xlibris, 2000.

Victor and Ariana were two people that led completely different lives, until a random accident changed all of that. Now, which one will change the other and in what ways? This is a book that questions your perceptions of what is right and wrong, which is truly good or evil. Follow the two through a long winter of hope turned into despair, survival and shocking violence.

* Out of print.

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