Leanna Renee Hieber and Andrea Janes at Harvard Book Store


A Haunted History of Invisible Women:
True Stories of America's Ghosts



November 10, 2022
7:00 PM ET


Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138


This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store welcomes paranormal history expert LEANNA RENEE HIEBER and Boroughs of the Dead founder ANDREA JANES for a discussion of their new book A Haunted History of Invisible Women: True Stories of America's Ghosts. Their discussion will be moderated by SEBASTIAN CRANE, local artist, antiquarian, and ghost tour guide.

A Return to In-Person Events

Harvard Book Store is excited to be back to in-person programming. To ensure the safety and comfort of everyone in attendance, the following Covid-19 safety protocols will be in place at all of our Harvard Book Store events until further notice:

  • Face coverings are required of all staff and attendees when inside the store. Masks must snugly cover nose and mouth.

About A Haunted History of Invisible Women

Sorrowful widows, vengeful jezebels, innocent maidens, wronged lovers, former slaves, even the occasional axe-murderess—America’s female ghosts differ widely in background, class, and circumstance. Yet one thing unites them: their ability to instill fascination and fear, long after their deaths. Here are the full stories behind some of the best-known among them, as well as the lesser-known—though no less powerful.

Tales whispered in darkness often divulge more about the teller than the subject. America’s most famous female ghosts, from ‘Mrs. Spencer’ who haunted Joan Rivers’ New York apartment to Bridget Bishop, the first person executed during the Salem witchcraft trials, mirror each era’s fears and prejudices. Yet through urban legends and campfire stories, even ghosts like the nameless hard-working women lost in the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire —achieve a measure of power and agency in death, in ways unavailable to them as living women.

Riveting for skeptics and believers alike, with humor, curiosity, and expertise, A Haunted History of Invisible Women offers a unique lens on the significant role these ghostly legends play both within the spook-seeking corners of our minds and in the consciousness of a nation.

Praise for A Haunted History of Invisible Women

"An absolute must-buy for the spooky people of the world. Hieber, and Janes lead the reader on a guided tour of America's most fascinating and noteworthy female ghosts that is utterly brilliant and deeply compelling. The authors examine these stories with a keen feminist lens and resurrect the real women behind them with respect they were seldom afforded in life. It's extraordinary to find a book that is so chilling, yet so full of heart. You'll find yourself haunted by these stories." —Mallory O'Meara, bestselling author of The Lady from the Black Lagoon and Girly Drinks

A Haunted History of Invisible Women is a beautifully researched and well-written observation of women’s ghosts across time. From the famous to the not-so-famous, their stories and the history surrounding them both fascinate and mesmerize. If this book doesn’t leave with you a sense of wonder and a healthy dose of goosebumps, check your pulse—you may already be among the spirits." —Marc Hartzman, author of Chasing Ghosts: A Tour of Our Fascination with Spirits and the Supernatural

"This is the book I have always wanted to read. Expert storytellers Hieber, and Janes take us on tour through the lives of real women who would become legendary ghosts adding depth to stories I thought I knew and introducing me to characters I’ve never met before. With wit and empathy, A Haunted History brings the spirit of these women to life. Their stories are touching, shocking, inspiring, and intimately relatable. They tell the ways women have learned to navigate their world, to thrive, and live authentically against the odds. They reveal the ways society objectifies and classifies women who defy norms and challenge the expectations of their time. These ghosts still have something to say and have much to teach.” —Leila Taylor, author of Darkly: Black History and America's Gothic Soul

Andrea Janes
Andrea Janes

Andrea Janes

Andrea Janes is the Founder and owner of Boroughs of the Dead, New York City's premier ghost tour company, which has been featured on NPR.org, The New York Times, Jezebel, TODAY, The Huffington Post, Gothamist, The Travel Channel, CondeNast Traveler, Mashable, and more. Andrea is also the author of the YA novel GLAMOUR and several short horror stories, and a fiction horror novel Boroughs of the Dead, (the inspiration for her company). Visit boroughsofthedead.com.

Photo Credit: Elizabeth Graham

Leanna Renee Heiber
Leanna Renee Heiber

Leanna Renee Heiber

Leanna Renee Hieber is an award-winning author and paranormal history expert. She’s a three-time Prism Award-winner for her debut novel, The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker, and a Daphne Du Maurier Award-finalist for Darker Still. After earning a BFA in Theatre Performance and a focus study in the Victorian Era, she spent many years in the professional regional theatre circuit, skills that serve her well as a speaker and a ghost tour guide for Boroughs of the Dead in New York. Leanna lives in New York, NY and can be found online at: LeannaReneeHieber.com.

Sebastian Crane
Sebastian Crane

Sebastian Crane

Sebastian Crane is an artist, enthusiast, and flaming antiquarian obsessed with LGBTQ+ studies and things that go bump in the night. By day, he hosts The Hellfire Club, a Patreon devoted to the exploration of queer, occult, and arcane history. By night, he leads ghost tours through the shadowy streets of Salem, MA. In all of his work, he is driven by a passionate commitment to honoring untold stories.

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes

As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.

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