Thursday, December 31, 2015
In Search of the Paranormal: The Hammer House Murder, Ghosts of the Clink, and Other Disturbing Investigations
Rating: 4 Stars
I received this as an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
If you read my prior review which also involved a book about paranormal investigators and their experiences, you know that I have high standards and expectations for how the information is presented. This book, despite being an ARC, was very nearly the complete opposite of that one in so many ways. The history of each case the author presents was much more in-depth the majority of the time, the writing was professional, and it had clearly been through editing already. Much, much more professional. I can't stress enough why that professionalism piece is so important. People who do not believe in ghosts think it is a big joke to begin with.
The author not only recounted his early beginnings as a ghost hunter, but described ways in which the field evolved as well, the equipment used, and why some of these methods are controversial. He notes that many pioneers of paranormal investigations had nothing but a notebook, pencil, and their own two eyes. He does point out though, that having all the gadgets that crews like T.A.P.S. (the team featured on 'Ghost Hunters', on the SyFy network) have would be nice. But, you make do with what you have. As a side note, I have to admit I was glad to see the ridiculously hilarious/awesome 'Most Haunted' get a mention with 'Ghost Hunters'. Not curiously, 'Ghost Adventures' was left out. I am perfectly okay with that.
What I appreciated most about this book compared to the previous paranormal book I read boils down to the focus of the content. Even though the author was sharing his experiences as an investigator, it was not about him. It was about those places, those ghosts, and the people impacted by the potential hauntings he and his team investigated. That made for a much different reading experience.
The book was so strong until the final investigation discussed. Here the author talks of joining a team who used Ouija boards and table tipping as means of communication. While I do believe in paranormal experiences, particularly mine of course, I do draw the line at these kinds of methods - these are so easily manipulated by living, breathing people that I can not put much stock in them. Otherwise, this was an excellent source of investigations that I found highly interesting and finished in just a few hours. Definitely recommended.