Clarkston's Curse

One Child's Quest to Explain the Series of Tragedies in Her Hometown

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Pub Date 19 Sep 2017 | Archive Date 12 Feb 2021

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Based on actual events, Clarkston's Curse is the compelling true story of a child growing up in a small town plagued by tragedy.

Fleeing the violence and uncertainty of Detroit and big city living, Ann Margaret's family moved to Clarkston, Michigan, population 1,024. But this sleepy town has a dark side. Between 1969 and 1982, more than forty unexplained accidents and incomprehensible murders struck residents of this rural community. 

A true story of mystery, murder, family, and friendship, Clarkston's Curse is a first-hand account of what it was like to grow up in the 1960s and 70s in a small town where tragedy struck with unsettling frequency. More than forty families are forever changed, and thirty people - young and old - didn't survive to tell their tale. Ann did.

Based on actual events, Clarkston's Curse is the compelling true story of a child growing up in a small town plagued by tragedy.

Fleeing the violence and uncertainty of Detroit and big city...

Advance Praise

"Laurie Buchanan

Nov 27, 2017 Laurie Buchanan rated it it was amazing

The pages of CLARKSTON'S CURSE: ONE CHILD'S QUEST TO EXPLAIN THE SERIES OF TRAGEDIES IN HER HOMETOWN riveted me to my chair. Not only because of the mind-boggling number or types of fatalities that occurred, but because all of the stories in this well-written memoir by Ann Margaret Johns are true. A page-turner? Yes! "

"Laurie Buchanan

Nov 27, 2017 Laurie Buchanan rated it it was amazing


Available Editions

EDITION Paperback
ISBN 9780999345702
PRICE $14.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 19 members

Featured Reviews

I just had to pick up this book, once I realized it was the Clarkston from my area growing up in Michigan. From Pine Knob to passing through her town on our way to Pontiac to our family’s business, we saw a lot of Clarkston. I found the book to be better than expected, with some decent story telling from her youth, and I could surely relate to much of it from my experiences growing up not far away in Holly. I sure never realized that there was so much tragedy going on nearby, that’s for sure though. Of course, we all know about the Oakland Child killings, which are still a thing, and are still being written about, but possibly solved, according to some. But all of the rest, well they were new to me, so it made for an interesting read, especially for a local area person. The lack of proofreading showed, but I’ve seen that in books from name publishers as well. Electronic review copy was provided by NetGalley, author Ann Margaret Johns, and the publisher.

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Well I am sure that if this was not a true story I would never have believed it!!

The small town of Clarkston has seen far more than its fair share of grisly endings. Car accidents, drownings and murder and whilst this book does discuss those this is far more about how that felt for a community and particularly from a child’s point of view.

How scary for a child to be exposed to such experiences from such a young age and indeed tragedy befell her own family. Trying to make sense of life and death is difficult at any age but reading this made me realise just how affecting it can be when you are young.

Truly fascinating.

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Between 1969 and 1982 Clarkston was struck by unexplained deaths and accidents. Ann Margaret Johns was a child growing up in the midst of this.

This is her re-telling of these events as an adult trying to put events of one's childhood into perspective and trying to understand why things happened.

Although this book doesn't solve the mysteries of the events that took place I think it possibly helped the author to make more sense of them and put the memories to rest.

The book is written in a wonderful conversational tone which makes it almost impossible to put down despite its darker theme.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for allowing me the chance to read this book.

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This book is a great read!
I wish I had even half the incredible memory that this author has about her childhood.
The detail she goes into is amazing and extremely well written.
It is compelling reading and her theory of a curse is very hard to argue against.
It reads almost like a real life Stephen King novel set in a real life Derry.
I’m sorry for all of the memories of death and loss that the author has of her youth but I’m so glad she shared it with us
A great read.

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I have not read any book in a long time that was as engaging as Clarkston's Curse. This was very interesting and captivating knowing the fact that Ann Johns actually lived through the strange happenings in her small town. She took a different approach and just laid out the facts as they happened to get you the opportunity to decide for yourself, what was really going on. Why all these unexplained deaths, accidents, mishapps or what ever people want to call it. I completely enjoyed reading this book and believe anyone that has grown up in a small town can and will relate to her haunted/uneasy feelings about Clarkston.

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A family moves from Detroit to Clarkston to flee violence occurring in Detroi. Living in the country upsets Ann and gives her nightmares. As Ann learns about people dying from a mysterious death or an accident, she can’t help thinking that the town is cursed. Where does she get the idea that the town is cursed? She graduate from high school early. She gets an apartment and a job while attending night classes at the local college. She asks Sue to help her end the curse the town is under. She wants to protect her family and friends from the curse. Sue and Ann both believe it is cursed due to all the deaths that have happened in their town. Ann leaves Clarkston for Florida as her employer wants her to work there. Will she come back to live in Clarkston?

The time setting for this book is the 1960s to the 1970s. Ann has written it through her eyes as a child. You experience what it was like living in a small town. Our lives in small towns are very different from that time period. Reading her life reminded me of what my life was like then. It is well written in spite of misspellings. It’s a true story that makes me reflect on my life at the present

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I found this to be such a fascinating book. Very interesting story (memoir) for a person in such a small town, and have so many things happening there. I found it to be well-written and enjoyable to read. Hard to put down, too. I would feel like the town was cursed if I was there growing up, as well. Great read!

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