Popular Paranormals

    At the request of frequent library visitors, we are doing two columns on the paranormal and psychic phenomena.  These topics are very popular with some and totally taboo with others, but we have selected books that may appeal to both groups.  Certainly the first book, Supersense: why we believe in the unbelievable by Bruce Hood, is one that most anyone would find acceptable.  In this overview of people's attitudes towards intuition and superstition as well as disgust and attachment, Hood talks about the controversial demonstrations he puts on around the world.  The following chapter headings show just how fascinating the topics covered are: "Why do we demolish evil houses?" or "Could you wear a killer's cardigan?" and "Why do traveling salesmen sleep with Teddy Bears?" This one is fun and eye-opening for everyone.
   There is a large number of books concerning local and regional ghost stories--Haunted America, for instance. (We also own a DVD set called Haunted Histories Collection: America's most haunted places.)  Historic Haunted America, Ghosts of Southeast Michigan, and Ghosts and legends of Michigan's west coast, are some of the other titles available. 
   The book Files from the edge: a paranormal investigator's exploration into high strangeness by Philip Imbrogno was released on April Fool's Day--now really, is that a hint?  This book, from a thirty-year "expert," offers "the most shocking cases of his career, complete with eyewitness reports and never-before-released photographs."  Read with a cynical eye. B/w photo of a stairway with the vague image of a woman

   The paranormal caught on film:  amazing photographs of ghosts, poltergeists and other strange phenomenon by Melvyn Willin is exactly what it claims--a small collection of photographs with some comments on how they might have been faked.  For some, however, Willin cannot come up with any reasonable explanation. Not a heavy read, but worth a glance.
    The background behind the book A history of ghosts: the true story of seances, mediums, ghosts and ghostbusters by Peter H. Aykroyd is as interesting as the topic.  Aykroyd is the father of Dan Aykroyd, the actor, and their family's history inspired the movie "Ghostbusters."  Dan's father, Peter, grew up watching his own father, a spiritualist, perform seances in their living room. Receiving wide acclaim, this book is entertaining while informative. This is just a small sample of the books available at Jackson District Library!