Book Review: Ghosts, Spirits & Hauntings
Written By: Paranormal News
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Ghosts, Spirits & Hauntings is a new collection of original essays published by New Page Books which includes both stories of local folklore as well as opinions and suggestions for ghost hunters and parapsychological researchers in the field of paranormal enquiry. It also covers poltergeists, apparitions, spirits of the dead, unusual animals, spirit possessions, bioelectric fields, alternate dimensions, quantum physics, life after death, table tipping, and seances. Quite a list, but considering most of the things which have been alive on this planet throughout time are now dead and no one really knows, the number of competing opinions by the more creative amongst us are not really surprising. Every author included in this book has his or her own flavor of explanation, and most of them were fun to read through and consider.
Ironically, one thing I generally do not tend to enjoy in many of these ghost books are the actual ghost stories themselves. They do not creep me out and often bore me to tears simply because there are so many of them which are impossible to substantiate. Collating a few famous cases and wrapping a binder around it seems to me to be a waste of tree. Thankfully, although this book does include some worn out ghost stories, there are quite a few interesting chapters that are still worth review.
One of the most interesting bits of information presented in this book occurred in the last chapter, which presents a criticism of television ghost hunters as well as the ’groups’ which have formed around the country who gathered their knowledge and declared themselves experts by watching these same shows instead of attending classes in parapsychology. The author considers these paranormal groups ’gangs’ who are more interested in defending their paranormal turf than contributing to science itself. If they were interested in science, they would probably not so readily dismiss the research done in parapsychology over the past 130 years. In my mind, however, if they were really interested in the science, it would make much less interesting television for most people and the series would be cancelled.
In this same chapter, the author also discussed how investigators themselves can actually affect their own equipment through their own psychic forces as opposed to being caused by disembodied spirits. For example, it has been proven in the laboratory that people can affect random number generators, so it is no stretch of the imagination to realize that the expectations of the investigators, as well as the stories of the eye witnesses, can both affect the readings on their paranormal gadgetry. On TV, when a group records something like an EVP or a temperature spike or an EMF fluctuation, they will declare a place haunted when, if they were really being ’scientific’ they would not discount other potential forces which are, in all honesty, just as mysterious. These same TV groups discount psychic mediums, but it is the field of psi research which has yielded the most comprehensive theories. If ghosts, for instance, do not have arms, how do they move things? Psi. If ghosts have no vocal cords, how can they speak? Psi. If ghosts do not have bodies, how can they create a digital imprints on a camera? Psi. As such, it makes no sense to the author for these pseudo-scientific groups to dismiss psi altogether as a possible explanation.
In all, an interesting read. Hypotheses are always the most fascinating elements to these books, and thankfully, this collection presents a few interesting ones. Check it out when you get a chance.
And read my book too, goddammit.