May 19, 2003
Ghost: Investigating the Other Side
By Katherine Ramsland
Publisher: St. Martins Paperbacks, (October 2002)
Pages: 396 – Price: $6.99
Review by Wayne Hackler - GhostHunterWayne@sc.rr.com
The back cover of this title by the best-selling author of Piercing The Darkness: Undercover With Vampires In America Today, promises to be a good read. I couldn't help but buy the book based on it alone. It isn't a handbook or manual, a compilation of ghost stories or a haunted directory, but a lucid and personal account of one investigative reporter's desire to prove or disprove the supernatural.
The book begins near the closing of her previous bestseller, Piercing The Darkness: Undercover With Vampires In America Today, in the search for the spirit of Christian, a decidedly mysterious character, the circumstances behind the disappearance of a well known reporter and her possession of a ring supposedly belonging to him given to her by the mysterious former lover of Christian known only as Wraith. We are shown her day-to-day thoughts on the paranormal in many aspects, and the education she undertook to learn of the paranormal. We also see her attempts to put theory into practice under the guidance of some well-known paranormal investigators while utilizing the abilities of psychics and shamans -- always with Wraith in the menacing background.
The book is an easy read, moving swiftly through the chapters, giving us an intimate view into the conversion of a skeptic to an open-minded skeptic, to a believer. We follow Ms. Ramsland through her education on theory and equipment usage. We are privy to her thoughts and personal theories, whilst giving us enough eeriness due to circumstance to keep us from putting it down. The only problem that I have with the work is the dependence on psychics, who often give conflicting information, although she does think much of it is hogwash, there are some statements by the psychics featured that lend some credence.
The photograph section in the center is unremarkable, but this could be due in part to the printing process used and lack of definition. I think color would have made a greater impact, and the majority of photos are of your basic orbs. But in all fairness, it is a noble attempt by the author to show what is to her, evidence.
This is a very well written and researched book by a woman who has become truly passionate about the paranormal and looks at the paranormal world in the end with an open-minded skepticism. It is a refreshing read, available to all, and easily understandable by the layman. This book is highly recommended as a respite to the plethora of manuals and haunted location directories. Read it. You won't be disappointed.
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