Ghosts from Our Past: Both Literally and Figuratively: The Study of the Paranormal

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Yates’ and Gilbert’s Ghosts from Our Past is a collaboration of love from two young physicists-in-training. The book is organized into three broad parts.

“Our Stories” focuses on the authors’ histories and how they became interested in the paranormal, their meeting and subsequent friendship, and how they came to write the book.

“Our Research” takes a look at ghost accounts through history, from the earliest known accounts from Mesopotamia and the biblical story of the Witch of Endor through to Greco-Roman accounts, medieval accounts, and early modern accounts. The spiritualist era is covered in greater detail, followed by a brief look at the present. Historical paranormal groups and investigators are looked at, along with the history of spirit classification and the classification system they use. My favorite part was the scientific section, which brought into play theoretical physics and quantum mechanics.

“Our Methods” covered practical aspects of ghost hunting, from the tools of the trade (with a new section on PKE meters, proton packs, and ghost traps) to choosing a location and carrying out the investigation, including debriefing and evaluating evidence. They make sure to stress the importance of researching the property first, so you have an idea of the history of both the land and the building, which may give clues as to any hauntings. Also looked at are things to rule out, such as animals or the possibility of a hoax. The history of several famous hauntings are recounted in brief for your reading pleasure. While their passion for ghost hunting and the paranormal is clear, they are scientists first and foremost and are not quick to believe until they rule out more mundane possibilities.

Okay, I loved this book. I loved the in-text banter between them and the overall cheekiness of it. There’s actually a good deal of pretty nifty historical information as well as practical information for the fledgling ghost hunter.

Highly recommended if you like ghosty stuff, or love Ghostbusters.



Author Erin Gilbert, Abby L. Yates, and Andrew Shaffer
Star Count 5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 224 pages
Publisher Three Rivers Press
Publish Date 2016-Jun-28
ISBN 9781101906002
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue December 2016
Category Pop Culture
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