A Timely WIJFR: Ghost Hunting

24 Oct

Ghost Hunting: True Stories of Unexplained Phenomena from The Atlantic Paranormal Society
Jason Hawes, Grant Wilson, Michael Jan Friedman
273 pages

I picked up this book at the library thinking it would help me with my NaNoWriMo project, but instead it was a delightful (maybe delightful isn’t exactly the word that should be applied to true ghost stories, though…) collection of case stories that the The Atlantic Paranormal Society (T.A.P.S.)  have investigated over the years.  I read the book mostly at night before  I went to bed, and since I am usually susceptible to such things, I thought it would definitely give me nightmares.  Thankfully I was nightmare free over the three nights I read this book.

Each case story is only a few pages, with the exception of the last story about The Stanley Hotel where Stephen King’s The Shining is based.  I found this story one of the most interesting because King is one of my favorite authors and it seems he himself had some actual paranormal experiences while staying at the hotel, which inspired him in his writing.  My second favorite case took place in Batavia, NY, only half an hour down the thruway from me, at an old asylum where there is a supposedly sordid past.

Everyone knows these guys have a popular TV show on SciFi (excuse me, SyFy) Network but what’s great about this book is they explain a lot of things that weren’t shown on TV, including some spooky evidence.  What I enjoy most about T.A.P.S. as opposed to other ghost hunters is they don’t claim paranormal without really good evidence.  In fact, their goal is to debunk all the evidence they find and they only declare a haunting if they can truly not find any explanation for their evidence.  Hearing strange banging in your basement?  They’ll check out your piping before declaring it paranormal.  Doors opening by themselves?  Better check the air vents; more often than not the doors are swinging open when the heat kicks on and shutting when it kicks off.  Because of their high standard for evidence, they don’t believe orbs indicate paranormal activity, which I have a hard time with considering I caught an orb on film once in Colonial Williamsburg.  Ever since then I was inclined to believe I had caught something paranormal on film.  The orb was shaped a bit like a skull, but I have since lost the picture and thus any proof to my claim.  In all likelihood it was just a piece of dust.

Despite the fact that this book didn’t help me with my NaNoWriMo research at all and despite the fact that it’s not written at the highest quality, I found it to be very interesting and timely.  Halloween is only a week away after all!  I don’t think Ghost Hunting will convert any non-believers, but if you do believe, give it a read.

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