In an age where so much is driven by what we consume from the media - and on social media - comes a book that is a must for those whose diet has relied heavily on modern ghosthunting shows.
Steve Parsons is a leading figure in paranormal research and has been for some considerable time. His background, career and academic understanding of physics makes him ideal as someone we should recognise as a leading light in objective field research. The introductory chapters are devoted to what ghosts are and a history of ghost investigating. The book then deals with aspects that a crucial to becoming a competent investigation - such as Critical Thinking and evidence gathering. Further chapters deal with a series of issues surrounding temperature and electromagnetics - as well as the equipment used to measure them. As a physicist, Steve Parsons guides you through the fallacies, the mistakes and the pitfalls of such equipment. It makes it indispensible reading. It is a must-read, whether you are a beginner or a seasoned investigator. It highlights the many practices showcased in the media which are simply incorrect.
He has brought that mix of academia, knowledge and practical understanding to this book. However, do not think that this is a dry and difficult academic book to navigate. It is exceptionally well-written. All the scientific terminology, theories and explanations are sucsinctly clarified for a basic understanding. This needs to be on your bookshelf.
The original edition was published in 1973, and any serious investigator would have a copy on their shelf. Sadly, Andrew Green passed away in 2004, but we can be forever grateful for Alan Murdie (Chairman of The Ghost Club and council member for the Society for Psychical Research) updating this work for today's audience.
In some respects this is similar to Ghostology - indeed, Steve Parsons contributed to the book - but this is not something that should put you off from getting a copy. Green was highly regarded by fellow investigators and his work needs to be considered. Chapters on site examination, history of the area and interviewing are required reading, in order to broaden the understanding of how complex investigating ghosts and hauntings actually is.
This is another book that needs to be on your bookshelf if you are to consider investigating anomalous phenomena in a serious manner.
I vividly remember getting a copy of this in 1988 for my 13th birthday. I have nearly worn the original copy out from reading it over and over again.
Peter Underwood had already been a highly respected investigator for many years (and continued to do so until he passed away in 2014), when this was published in 1986. However, his words still have so much to offer us. The book looks at the possible types of ghosts, such as anniversary ghosts or those of the living, challenging us to remember that there are many variations and that there does not appear to be one explanation that covers all cases. It also breaks down the stages of an investigation in great detail, as well as providing a comprehensive set of questions that investigators should ask. Underwood also reproduces Harry Price's Blue Book for Investigators.
He also highlights actual cases and some of the causes of perceived paranormal phenomena that leave us with normal explanations for what witnesses believed was otherwordly. It is still relevant for serious ghost hunters today.