Sunday, 9 December 2012

FACTUAL REVIEW: A Natural History of Ghosts: 500 Years of Hunting for Proof - Roger Clarke

Release Date: 01/11/12


This title is a natural history of the supernatural from Roger Clarke, lifelong investigator into England's creepiest real-life ghost stories. 'Is there anybody out there?' No matter how rationally we order our lives, few of us are completely immune to the suggestion of the uncanny and the fear of the dark. The subject of whether ghosts exist has fascinated some of the finest minds in history and it remains a subject of overwhelming interest today. This is the first comprehensive, authoritative and readable history of the evolution of the ghost in the west, examining as every good natural history should, the behaviour of the subject in its preferred environment: the stories we tell each other. What explains sightings of ghosts? Why do they fascinate us? What exactly did the haunted see? What did they believe? And what proof is there? Taking us through the key hauntings that have obsessed the world from the poltergeist of Cock Lane through the true events that inspired "The Turn of the Screw" and the dark events of Borley Rectory right up to the present day, Roger Clarke unfolds a story of class conflict, charlatans and true believers. His surprising castlist ranges from Samuel Johnson to John Wesley, and from Harry Houdini to Adolf Hitler. Inspired by a childhood spent in two haunted houses, Roger Clarke has spent much of his life trying to see a ghost. Written as grippingly as the best ghost fiction, "A Natural History of Ghosts" takes us on an unforgettable hunt through the most haunted places of the last five hundred years and our longing to believe. Reviews: "This splendid book ...[is] a compelling read...Clarke manages to give goose-flesh and a giggle while informing the reader - an enviable feat". ("Scotsman"). "A highly enjoyable (and disturbing work)...I am in awe of [Clarke's] intrepidity". ("Guardian"). "An intriguing, shivers-down-the-spine book". ("The Lady"). "A gripping history that traces the scientific and social aspects of ghostly sightings". ("Telegraph"). About the author: Brought up in haunted houses, Roger Clarke was the youngest person ever to be invited to join the Ghost Society. His stories were published in the "Fontana Books of Ghost Stories" when he was just fifteen. Today he is a journalist and film critic for the "Big Issue", "Observer" and "Sunday Times". But this is the book he has always wanted to write.


So you love ghosts? Want to hear what someone who investigates them thinks? Wondered how much has been reported over the years? Well this book by Roger Clarke takes the reader on a journey that delves into the mystery that has had us all fascinated for years bringing accounts of respectable people to the readers attention as well as allowing you to make up your own mind.

All in it’s a solid book and one that readers of the supernatural will love, the only downside is the maintaining of the archaic language in places which may well turn some perspective readers off.

1 comment:

Bob/Sally said...

I've always been fascinated by ghost stories, especially those with a tidy connection between history and haunting. While I find the whole pseudo-science of looking for cold spots and orbs rather tiresome, there's nothing quite like the stories of those who willingly step (alone, and without gadgets) into a haunted location just to see what happens.