Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Ghost Busters? Ghost Hunters by William M. Lace

Donald and Sarah Wrenn were puzzled--and a bit scared. Their four children were having recurring nightmares. Three of them--Karen, Jesse, and Adam--said they had seen black shadows in their rooms. The youngest, five-year-old Ellen, said she had spoken with a woman who lived in her bedroom closet.

Who you gonna call?

Ghost hunters!

People have probably been fascinated with tales of ghosts and spirits as long as stories have been told. In modern times, when many mysteries of nature have been explained by science, there are still weird experiences which are unexplained, and that is when people turn to scientists who investigate such phenomena. Enter the ghost hunters!

In William Lace's Ghost Hunters (The Library of Ghosts & Hauntings) (Reference Point Press, 2010) the reader waits with the famous team from TAPS (The Atlantic Paranormal Society) called upon in 1997 to investigate the mysterious goings on in the Wrenn's house. As sometimes happens, when the team attempted to video strange shadows within the house, they found that their camera's battery, believed to be fully charged when they arrived, was suddenly and inexplicably completely drained. Then during a midnight vigil two ghost hunters saw the figure of an old woman, seated on some boxes in the closet. When told of the appearance the next day, something clicked for Mrs. Wrenn--her great aunt has just died, and all her belongings were stored there in the family's closets and basement. When the personal effects were removed from the house, the nightly visits ceased.

Did the battery discharge because someone left a switch on? Did the ghostly apparition stop appearing because the family felt they had met its wishes, or did the children just outgrow their nightmares?

Author William Lace takes the reader through the history of paranormal investigations, describing the famous hoaxes and hoaxers of history, the stories and "evidence" of some of the world's famous ghosts and haunted places as well as stories of some scientific debunkers of the mythology of hauntings. Lace has to report that, despite motion sensors, temperature gauges, magnetic field detectors, infrared and video cameras, ultra sensitive recording devices, and other electronic gizmos, however, there is no unquestionable external proof of paranormal phenomena resulting from all this investigation.

Still, some people persist in their belief that ghosts exist, either because they offer proof of life after death or because the believers have had convincing personal experiences. Others just love the adventure of the quest. For those readers who find the subject intriguing, Ghost Hunters (The Library of Ghosts & Hauntings) is a good place to begin the rational study of such fascinating phenomena and its long history.

Other books in the new Library of Ghosts & Hauntings series include Graveyard Companion (Ghost hunters' library), Ghosts (The Library of Ghosts & Hauntings), Hauntings (The Library of Ghosts & Hauntings), and Poltergeists (The Library of Ghosts & Hauntings), all of which include tantalizing informational sidebars, text boxes, illustrations, and a well-documents appendix of notes, books, web sites, and an index.

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