A Paranormal Library – Real Ghosts

Visible Ink Press (TM), 2003

I would like to preface my review by stating that I have purchased all the books I review for the public.  I am in no way being paid for my reviews, but I am sharing my favorite paranormal books for your reading pleasure.  The opinions expressed in these books do not always reflect my own personal opinion, but I do find these topics fascinating.  Your purchases of these books do not monetarily benefit me, nor do I gain points with your readership or purchase.  I am sure, however, that the authors do enjoy your patronage.  Happy reading Dreamers!

This disclaimer is in reference of my use of the word “paranormal.”  My use of the word “paranormal” refers to anything that is not normal, be it ghosts, conspiracy theories or aliens.  If the topic is not part of conventional beliefs, then it is paranormal.  So please do not bombard me with comments about how something is or is not paranormal.

Real Ghosts, Restless Spirits, and Haunted Places by Brad Steiger

Brad Steiger is a writer of a thousand books, more specifically 168, from a wide range of subjects. He has recently authored Real Nightmares: True and Truly Scary Unexplained Phenomena, The Werewolf Book: The Encyclopedia of Shape-Shifting Beings, Second Edition, and Real Aliens: Space Beings, and Creatures from Other Worlds.

This is an amazing read regarding the subject and history of ghosts and ghost hunting.  What I found interesting is how Steiger separated the topics into chapters with wonderful titles such as “Haunted Houses and Apartments,” “Encounters with Glowing Entities and Ghost Lights,” “Spirit Parasites that Possessed,” “Restored Scenes of the Past,” and “Strange Beings that Masquerade as Humans.”  Or in other words, Haunted Houses, Orbs and other glowing beings, In-human Spirits or Malevolent Spirits, Residual Hauntings, Ghosts that Pretend to be Humans to Finish a Task.  While most of the titles in the book are by far strange and unusual, I have been absolutely fascinated by the information and personal studies Brad Steiger has conducted and researched over his career.

The information provided in the book seems very well researched, with small case studies to prove points.  I do question some of these case studies, however, as I am not sure that the studies made before the 1950’s were hoaxes or not.  Historically speaking, The Spiritualist Movement was a movement based on the idea that you could speak to those who had moved on.  One such famous Spiritualist is our own President Abraham Lincoln, who, along with his wife, went to several celebrity Mediums, such as Nettie Colburn, for séances to talk with their deceased son, Tad. The only thing I have a problem with as far as the Spiritualist Movement, was the fact that some people preyed on the emotions of their clients and told them things that the clients wanted to hear.  So, while there are articles included from the Spiritualist Movement, their credibility is far from credible, in my personal opinion.  Aside from the Spiritualist articles, there are articles regarding supposed hauntings from the past, including that of the Bell Witch, who haunted the Bell family until Mr. Bell died in 1820.  A chilling idea when the Bell Witch foretold the family that the only way she will stop haunting the family is when the master of the house died.  Researchers have hypothesized that the reason behind the Bell Witch Phenomena was due to the fact that John Bell, Sr. was committing incestual acts against his daughter Betsy, and in her distraught state, her emotions created the Bell Witch to torment her family who turned a blind eye to her plight.

Along with well researched articles, there are some questionable photographs that are sprinkled throughout the book itself.  Now while some people do believe in the existence of orbs, I personally believe that a photographed orb is just dust/rain/snow/sleet/pollen that was captured in the flash.  When I do go and take photos of supposed haunted places, I actually take a long exposure and if an orb is caught, you would know, because there would be a trail of light.  The photos shown here are in my opinion faked as many are either A. the camera strap got in the way of the lens, B. particles of some sort, or C. someone in costume to hoax the image.  In any case, here are some of the images I found questionable:

Helen Duncan

Franek Kluski

Eva C.

At almost 600 pages, with three appendices, a glossary and an index, this is definitely a book to read for those who want to brush up on the ghost subject, from the basic ideas of the 1800’s to what we today believe are ghosts.  This book did take me several months to read, due to the fact that I found some accounts fully disturbing, I can firmly say that the book is by far a great textbook on the subject of ghosts, even with the questionable content in it.  The content really does give you a look into the Ghost subject from a historical perspective to a modern perspective.

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Brad Steiger

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About theoracleofdreams
The Oracle of Dreams is a High School teacher, who spends a great deal of time outside of school watching movies, listening to music, and various other artistic ventures. The Oracle of Dreams is a pseudonym for reasons beyond her knowledge, and wishes to keep her identity secret...or until she makes big bucks and can leave the teaching field...one can always dream bigger right?

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