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Paranormal Oxford and Paranormal Forest of Dean, by Ross Andrews

Publication Details: Amberley Publishing. ISBN 9781445600024/ ISBN 9781848685918
Publish Date: March, 2010

From the publisher’s website: Join Ross Andrews on a paranormal journey around not only the city of Oxford, but also the towns and villages of Oxfordshire. A ghost hunter for over twenty years, he was chairman of the Parasoc society, the paranormal research society as well as running his own paranormal nights at St Briavel’s castle - the Most Haunted building in the world! So with this pedigree in the paranormal it’s no surprise he was drawn to investigate the historic spooks of Oxfordshire.  The book has a variety of aspects to it, there are ghost walks that you can do for free around the centre of the city, as well as telling you which spooks to spot throughout the colleges. There is also a large section on the surrounding areas of Oxford for you to go to, so that you can investigate for yourselves. He will offer rational explanations wherever possible, and if not then let you decide for yourself. There are also handy hints should you wish to follow in his footsteps and become a ghost hunter.  Ideal for anyone curious about the unexplained, or even for the tourist who wants to see something different on a visit to Oxfordshire. Ross has tried to concentrate on stories and places that you can have access to, pubs, streets, fields, castles, museums. and many more. So join him on a journey into the unknown and explore the paranormal throughout Oxford, and Oxfordshire.

A ghost hunter for over twenty years Ross takes us on an adventure through the heart of the Forest of Dean, this book concentrates on haunted tourist attractions so that you too can go into them and investigate for yourself. So join us and prepared to be scared as we venture through haunted castles, pubs, mines, and woodland in the Forest Full of Frights.  This book has a variety of aspects to it. Firstly, it takes you on a trip around the centre of the forest to several museums, castles and pubs. The second part of the book is a about what is possibly the UK’s most haunted building, St. Briavel’s castle, it tells you how to stay in some of the most haunted rooms, and even how to join in with a ghost hunt. The third part of the book is a further guide on how to be a ghost hunter yourself, giving you examples and experiments to do.  An ideal book for anyone curious about the unexplained, or even a paranormal tourist travelling through the Forest of Dean, this is a truly frightening glimpse into the unknown . Turn the pages if you dare, and join Ross on the adventure of your life….or afterlife! 

Review by Tom Ruffles

Ghosts: A Social History, edited by Owen Davies

Publication Details: Pickering and Chatto. ISBN 978 1 85196 989 0
Publish Date: February, 2010

From the publisher’s website: Despite the scientific and intellectual advances of the past five hundred years, populist belief in the supernatural, as evidenced by media investigations into the paranormal, continues to be culturally and socially relevant. Throughout history, ghost beliefs have been a source of literary inspiration and learned investigation. They prompted public panics and scandals, and have been manipulated for political and religious purposes. This five-volume reset edition draws together representative and defining printed sources to reveal changing perceptions of ghosts at different social levels from the Reformation through to the twentieth century in Britain and America.

In the face of growing scholarly interest in the history of ghosts, this groundbreaking edition is the first documentary survey of the field from the early modern era through to the industrial age. Sources have been chosen to present a clear chronological story of continuities and changes in the social and intellectual relevance of ghosts. They focus on the key published debates that emerged in each century, and illustrate the full range of literary formats that reported or discussed ghosts. American material is included in the final two volumes to reflect the US birth of nineteenth-century spiritualism.

The edition benefits from full scholarly apparatus, including a general introduction, volume introductions, headnotes, endnotes and a consolidated index in the final volume. The set is broadly interdisciplinary and will appeal to those researching Social and Cultural History, History of Science, History of Religion, Literature and History of the Supernatural, as well as Early-Modern, Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century History.

Reborn for Love, by Hernani Guimarães Andrade

Publication Details: Roundtable Publishing. ISBN-10: 0956449301 ISBN-13: 978-0956449306
Publish Date: January, 2010

From the cover information: This is the story of an unusual relationship between the woman who calls herself ‘Marine Waterloo’ and Father ‘Jonathan’, the priest who befriended her at their Catholic boarding school in the state of Minas Gerais. They kept in touch after Marine left school, married and raised a family. Following the birth of her second son, Marine was presented with compelling evidence that the boy had memories of incidents that had not taken place in his short lifetime, and of which he could have learned nothing by any normal means.
 
The case, which is strongly suggestive of reincarnation, came to the attention of the pioneer of Brazilian psychical research, Hernani Guimarães Andrade, who promptly carried out a thorough investigation with the full cooperation of Dona Marine, who proved to be an ideal witness.
 
The result is an account of one of the most convincing cases of its kind on record. Andrade examines all possible explanations for it – cryptomnnesia, genetic memory, telepathy, mediumship, deliberate fraud and reincarnation. Only the last of these, he argues, best accounts for the facts.
 

Reborn for Love, although of considerable scientific interest, is no dry academic thesis. It could be called a spiritual love story – an account of how a relationship can endure from one lifetime to another.

Evidence of the Afterlife: The Science of Near-Death Experiences, by Jeffrey Long

Publication Details: HarperOne. ISBN-13: 978-0061452550
Publish Date: January, 2010

From the publisher's website: Evidence of the Afterlife shares the firsthand accounts of people who have died and lived to tell about it. Through their work at the Near Death Experience Research Foundation, radiation oncologist Jeffrey Long and his wife, Jody, have gathered thousands of accounts of near-death experiences (NDEs) from all over the world. In addition to sharing the personal narrative of their experiences, visitors to the website are asked to fill out a one hundred–item questionnaire designed to isolate specific elements of the experience and to flag counterfeit accounts. 
 
The website has become the largest NDE research database in the world, containing over 1,600 NDE accounts. The people whose stories are captured in the database span all age groups, races, and religious affiliations and come from all over the world, yet the similarities in their stories are as awe-inspiring as they are revealing. Using this treasure trove of data, Dr. Long explains how medical evidence fails to explain these reports and why there is only one plausible explanation—that people have survived death and traveled to another dimension.

Out-of-Body and Near-Death Experiences: Brain-State Phenomena or Glimpses of Immortality?, by Michael N. Marsh

Publication Details: Oxford University Press (Oxford Theological Monographs). ISBN-10: 0199571503 ISBN-13: 978-0199571505
Publish Date: January, 2010

From the publisher’s website: Personalised accounts of out-of-body (OBE) and near-death (NDE) experiences are frequently interpreted as offering evidence for immortality and an afterlife. Since most OBE/NDE follow severe curtailments of cerebral circulation with loss of consciousness, the agonal brain supposedly permits 'mind', 'soul' or 'consciousness' to escape neural control and provide glimpses of the afterlife.

Michael Marsh critically analyses the work of five key writers who support this so-called "dying brain" hypothesis. He firmly disagrees with such otherworldly 'mystical' or 'psychical' interpretations, ably demonstrating how they are explicable in terms of brain neurophysiology and its neuropathological disturbances. The original basis and thrust of Marsh's claim sees the recorded phenomenology as reflections of brains rapidly reawakening to full conscious-awareness, consistent with other reported phenomenologies attending recovery from antecedent states of unconsciousness: the "re-awakening brain" hypothesis. From this basis, Marsh also offers a re-classification of NDE into early and late phase sequences, thereby dismantling the untenable concepts of "core" and "depth" experiences.

Marsh further provides a detailed examination of the spiritual and quasi-religious overtones accorded OBE/NDE, highlighting their inconsistencies when compared with classical accounts of divine disclosure, and the eschatological precepts of resurrection belief as professed credally. In assessing the implications of anthropological, philosophical, and theological concepts of 'personhood' and 'soul' as arguments for personal survival after death, Marsh celebrates the role of conventional faith in appropriating the expectant biblical promises of a 'New Creation'.

Supernatural North, by Darren W. Ritson

Publication Details: Amberley Publishing. ISBN 9781848682771
Publish Date: January, 2010

From the publisher’s website: The Supernatural North is the latest in a long line of books by Darren W Ritson. This exciting new volume details scores of the most terrifying ghost tales and supernatural legends that the north of England has to offer. From the Scottish Borders to South Yorkshire, from the North West Coast to the North East Coast, this book is sure to delight all ghost enthusiasts.

Featured in this volume is a full chapter devoted to the South Shields Poltergeist case which the author co-investigated with Mike Hallowell in 2006. A large section of the book is also dedicated to the north of England’s most famous haunting, Willington Mill, along with various other chapters detailing spine chilling ghosts and blood curdling hauntings from the North Country. There is also a fascinating and detailed look at the north’s screaming skull legends.

Places visited in the book number into their hundreds and include theatres, castles, public houses, hotels, stately homes, public parks and even a lighthouse or two. With a lengthily foreword by Peter Underwood FRSA – acknowledged as the world’s leading ghost hunter, The Supernatural North promises to be one of the finest ghost books you will ever read.

Review by Tom Ruffles

Paranormal Cheltenham, by Ross Andrews

Publication Details: Amberley Books. ISBN 9781848686304
Publish Date: December, 2009

From the publisher’s website: The first book to explore, in depth, the complete range of paranormal phenomena reported in Cheltenham. Here you will find accounts of well known hauntings, as well as many previously undiscovered locations. 

This fascinating account of local ‘sightings’ looks at traditional historical legends as well as modern day experiences, providing fresh knowledge together with the author’s personal accounts of new and traditional stories. 
Ross Andrews’ ghostly tour of the area is illustrated with many of his own photographs.

Review by Chris Romer

Paranormal Brighton and Hove, by Janet Cameron

Publication Details: Amberley Publishing. ISBN 9781848687165
Publish Date: November, 2009

From the publisher’s website: The first book to explore, in depth, the complete range of paranormal phenomena reported in Brighton & Hove. Here you will find accounts of well-known hauntings, as well as many previously undiscovered locations.
 
This fascinating account of local ‘sightings’ looks at traditional historical legends as well as modern day experiences, providing fresh knowledge together with the author’s personal accounts of new and traditional stories.
 
Janet Cameron’s ghostly tour of the area is illustrated with many of her own photographs.

Review by Tom Ruffles

A Beginner’s Guide to Paranormal Investigation, by Mark Rosney, Bob Bethell, Jebby Robinson

Publication Details: Amberley Books. ISBN 9781848682344
Publish Date: November, 2009

From the publisher’s website: A Beginner’s Guide to Paranormal Investigation is an ideal guide for anyone who is curious about paranormal investigation and the supernatural.
 
The authors guide the reader through the required steps for paranormal investigation and identifies the core concepts of successful investigations. This book will provide readers with basic information that will help them to start their own supernatural searches. Readers will be introduced to the basic historical backgrounds of each phenomena, alternative theories for each phenomena, a grounding of common sense and what equipment to use and how to use it.

A Beginner’s Guide to Paranormal Investigation is a fantastic book for anyone with an interest in the paranormal.

Review to Tom Ruffles

Anomalous Experiences: Essays from Parapsychological and Psychological Perspectives, edited by Matthew D. Smith

Publication Details: McFarland. ISBN-10: 0786443987 ISBN-13: 978-0786443987
Publish Date: November, 2009

From the publisher’s website: Thirteen essays on the psychology and parapsychology of anomalous experience explore a range of experiences, including extrasensory perception, haunting experiences, apparitions, alien contacts, seance room phenomena, and out-of-body experiences. The contributors are Daryl Bem, Etzel Cardena, Jezz Fox, Chris French, Craig Murray, Ciaran O'Keeffe, Chris Roe, Simon Sherwood, Christine Simmonds-Moore, Paul Stevens, Caroline Watt, Richard Wiseman and Robin Woofitt.  Matt Smith has conducted research on paranormal experiences for more than 15 years and was the resident psychologist/ parapsychologist for the television show Most Haunted.

Dark Intrusions: An Investigation into the Paranormal Nature of Sleep Paralysis Experiences, by Louis Proud

Publication Details: Anomalist Books. ISBN-10: 1933665440 ISBN-13: 978-1933665443
Publish Date: November, 2009
Cover of Dark Intrusions: An Investigation into the Paranormal Nature of Sleep Paralysis Experiences

From the publisher’s website: Since his late teens, Louis Proud has suffered from chronic sleep paralysis and has undergone hundreds of such episodes, many of them terrifying but ultimately transformational and eye-opening. These experiences, he believes, allow access to the "spirit realm" and could well hold the key to a whole host of paranormal phenomena, including poltergeist disturbances, out-of-body-experiences, mediumship, spirit possession, and succubi and incubi encounters. Drawing on the work of Colin Wilson, Joe Fisher, Stan Gooch, Whitley Strieber, Robert Monroe, Dion Fortune, and a number of other paranormal experts, Proud lucidly demonstrates that many sleep paralysis experiences involve genuine contact and communication with incorporeal entities, some of them parasitic and potentially dangerous. In this comprehensive, open-minded exploration of the sleep paralysis phenomenon, filled with fascinating descriptions of his own experiences, as well as those of others, no stone is left unturned as Proud attempts to get to the bottom of the mystery.

This book has been reviewed by Christopher C. French in the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research Vol 75(3).

Haunted Gardens: An International Journey, by Peter Underwood

Publication Details: Amberley Publishing. ISBN-13: 978-1848682610
Publish Date: November, 2009

From the publisher’s website: Haunted Gardens is a brand new book from the renowned supernatural writer, Peter Underwood. The world today is fascinated by life after death, and the affect that the 'other side' has on our lives. Peter Underwood has decided to explore ghostly gardens for the very first time in history, and shows, with examples from all over the world, just how spooky gardens can be! Fully illustrated with Peter's own photographs, and carefully researched, this new book is sure to be an ideal gift for anyone interested in ghosts and the paranormal.

Review by Tom Ruffles