Ghostwatch's Top Books
Ghostwatch's Top Books
From time to time we will review new books in the paranormal field, but we feel it is important to also remember the classics and the benchmark publications that are still worth their weight today.
We hope the following books will be of interest.
This section will be regularly updated as new publications (and overlooked old ones) come to hand.
Everything we recommend has been tried and tested, so relax, we're not regurgitating some crappy book PR.
Between us, we have spent over 30 years on the trail of unusual phenomena and collecting books on it.
Some of the gems we have found are listed below.
Science and Psychic phenomena
Carter has done an immense service to the field of paranormal study and this sort of book should have been done years ago.He shows the tricks and games the sceptics play and where they have been caught out "fiddlying the books".
And he also reveals that that hoary old one liner "..if this was true we would have to rewrite the books on physics" is a/Wrong b/Not accepted by physicists 3/Repeated by psychologists.
McLachlan lays out in forensic detail even more tricks and bodges of CSICOP and co.
There is a good reason why CSICOP only ever tried one investigation and they botched that one.
LightQuest by Andrew Collins
If you thought the "it must be ET" meme was stale and lacking in evidence, and wanted a different and refreshing angle on the real deal on aerial phenomena, then you would be mental to go past this book.
For some odd reason, the majority of people "interested" in ufo`s are actually only interested in the myths and hoaxes..and not the reality of the phenomena.If you think Roswell is real and the worlds greatest secret..yet you can buy the truth for $1 at a second hand store which tells you Roswell=aliens and have never pondered how the worlds greatest secret is known by everyone..then this book is not for you.
The best(only ?) book on the physics behind equipment used by supposed "ghost hunters".Yes, I realise the legions of ghost hunters dont have a clue what the gadgets they are using are doing, but for others who just might be interested in how their equipment works..this is the only book you will ever need.
The Siren Call of Hungry Ghosts
What can I say about this classic.Fischer was profoundly effected by the "spirits" coming through the channeling sessions he was deeply involved in.And then he started to check the facts the "spirits" were giving him.And then he found it was all false.Yet when he confronted the "spirits" they lied..and the channelling group refused to admit there was a problem.
Fischer claimed that the "spirits" were plaguing him constantly and ended up committing suicide.
Not one channelling group in Australia..has ever heard of this book.
Not one group/medium/sitter was ever interested in looking up this book when we told them about it.
Strike two and your out.
One of the Finest books on the UFO phenomena ever produced.Trained observers, using instrumentation, "validated" the phenomena.AS much as you can with that data.
The Scole Experiment
Possibly one of the most interesting series of experiments ever carried out trying to prove the veracity of the paranormal.
Ghostwatching by John Spencer and Tony Wells (1995, Virgin Books)
This UK ghost hunter’s handbook is a complete catalogue of spooks, a how-to manual packed with the personal experiences of seasoned paranormal researchers John Spencer and Tony Wells. Advice on everything from equipment and vigils to recruiting more like-minded folk so you won’t have to do it all on your own! My own well-thumbed copy is a constant companion.
The Ghost Guide to Australia by Richard Davis (1998, Bantam)
A concise guide to Australian hauntings over the years, arguably the most comprehensive to date. Davis takes readers on a tour of colonial Australia to the present day, recounting ghost stories from every corner of the country. Our only criticism is that many of these tales are hard to follow up and, sadly, this was just a writing project for Davis and probably lacks the passion of true devotees to the field.
Out of the Shadows – Mystery Animals of Australia by Tony Healy and Paul Cropper (1994, Pan Macmillan Australia)
This is the first book to document Australia’s mystery animals, and a priceless resource of Yowie folklore (Australia’s answer to the Bigfoot and Yeti legends). Paul and Tony, two of Australia's best researchers of all things anomalous, have gathered firsthand accounts from across the country. You can also read tales about the Bunyip, the Tasmanian Tiger and Alien Big Cats. Keep your eyes out for their new Yowie book.
The Ghost Hunting Casebook by Natalie Osborne-Thomason (1999, Blandford)
Another UK Ghost Club Society member, Natalie Osborne-Thomason shares more of her ghostly tales in this, her second volume. Learn about Stone Tape Recordings, what happens to Doubting Thomases (you can disbelieve, just don’t say it aloud!), electrosensitivity and why it can be an expensive affliction and how a small pub at Ecton, Northhamptonshire earned the name of World’s End. A riveting read straight from the files of one of the world’s oldest ghost hunting organisations.
The Oz Files by Bill Chalker (1996, Duffy & Snellgrove)
Australia's own UFO guru (and occasional SN writer) Bill Chalker has done his homework and it shows! What a splendid book, and a mandatory read for anyone interested in Australia's UFO history. Bill was the first person to ever be granted access to the RAAF's classified UFO files, an exciting enough reason in itself to get hold of a copy of this book.
Peter Underwood’s Guide to Ghosts and Haunted Places (1996, Piatkus)
Marketed as Britain’s leading authority on the paranormal, Peter Underwood (Life President of the Ghost Club Society) lives up to his reputation with this tome, his latest compilation to date. Read about poltergeist activity wreaking havoc in suburbia, objects with supernatural powers, and haunted roads and battlefields. Treat this as the UK reference guide of what real estate NOT to buy. With 50 years of expert study under his belt, Underwood’s books are a must-read for all paranormal enthusiasts.
The Ghost Hunter’s Guide Book by Troy Taylor (1999, Whitechapel Productions Press)
Troy Taylor presents a refreshing addition to the ghost guide mix – tackling everything from spirit photography to the use of dowsing rods and ouija boards in the field. You can buy Troy’s book direct off his website at the American Ghost Society homepage, and read teasers of some chapters on the web. We really like Troy's writing style - he tells a good yarn after all and anyone who can turn their hobby into an occupation must be a pretty smart fella.
Conjuring Up Philip by Iris Owen and Margaret Sparrow (1977, Harper & Row)
This one is very hard to find, but by all accounts well worth the hunt and the read. Conjuring Up Phillip recounts the famous experiment in psychokinesis that saw the creation of "Phillip", a pretend ghost that regularly corresponded with a group of researchers and became something of a paranormal celebrity. If you can't grab hold of this, be sure to read the chapter on table-tilting in Ghostwatching (above).
Holy Ghostbuster by J Aelwyn Roberts (1990, Element Books)
An insightful look into the life of Welsh Reverend Aelwyn Roberts and his many encounters with the paranormal and the world of Spiritualism. Reverend Roberts goes from a confessed sceptic and novice in matters spiritual to an avowed believer and supporter of mediumism. Read several of his experiences and come away with a new respect for clergymen willing to go against the grain.
The Paranormal Investigator’s Handbook by Valerie Hope & Maurice Townsend (1999, Collins & Brown)
A basic outline of investigative procedures and strange phenomena with a great piece on Street Lamp Interference (read about how ordinary individuals seem to affect public energy supplies!). The book also features a range of tests where you can gauge how psychic you are. Put together by the folk at ASSAP, one of the better paranormal organisations, the Handbook is a great addition to any budding researcher's bookshelf.