All my life I have haunted bookstores looking for old tomes of ancient lore. Though I know they don't exist, I was always hoping to discover in a dusty, dark corner a moth-eaten copy of the Necronomicon, Unaussprechlichen Kulten, or even a bad translation of Cultes des Goules. Things had gotten so bad, I actually considered sneaking over to stokerbramwell's house and stealing his Eltdown Shards (I know you own them SB, so don't even try to deny it.)
However, two things happened that saved me from ending up in jail if my burglary of SB's home had not been successful (or the lunatic asylum if I had been): I got a PDA for Christmas from doc_foster and I discovered ManyBooks.net which, as of this writing, has 15,887 free ebooks in its vaults.
I'm currently reading a book first written in 1901 by the Honorable John Harris with the title, Inferences from Haunted Houses and Haunted Men.
Imagine, if you will, living in a post-Victorian world being harassed and vandalized by groups of evil, criminal hypnotists and ventriloquists that can put you into an insane asylum, make you think your house is haunted, or even kill you! Add the Jesuits and the Freemasons into the mix and the result is a delightful, rambling, paranoid descent into serious, pseudo-scientific lunacy. Here are some delightful quotes:
Mrs. Anna Kingsford appears to have been often hypnotised by some unknown rascal, but her gentle admirable character seems to have suffered but little, though her life was possibly shortened.
In modern times some poor people, bothered by hypnotists, have been sent to lunatic asylums and have fallen victims of the greed, cruelty, and neglect that so often prevail there.
... and people should be protected against a most dangerous and cowardly form of crime−−criminal hypnotism.
I love it.