John and Anne Spencer have compiled this first volume of ghost sightings, poltergeist activity, and possible evidence of paranormal phenomena. The authors contribute contribute substantially to the debate about the existence of such phenomena and put forward scientific evidence for their own theses.
In their introduction the authors deal with 'ghost busting', the science of investigating ghosts, and suggest that the first rule of 'ghost-hunters' (no-one has yet come up with a satisfactory term for the job) is discretion and understanding their witnesses-not patronizing or dismissing them.
The Spencers have divided the encyclopedia into chapters about various types of ghostly phenomena including Ghosts and visions associated with particular places, ghosts of the famous, Haunted objects, Recordings and replays, the wicked and the cruel, ghosts with a message and Doubles, bi locations, Doppelgangers and Vardogers.
Each chapter examines the phenomenon under discussion and provides myriad accounts of ghost sightings, paranormal activity and suggestive evidence of spirits.
Some of these incidences are easier to dismiss than others.
Example abound from well-intentioned malign spirits from the 7th century BC to 1991.It includes sightings of the various wives of Henry VIII, Abraham Lincoln in the white House, George II and John Keats.
Cases mentioned of poltergeists include the frightening and unpleasant story of the Bell Witch in Tennessee in 1817 and the haunting of Esther Cox in Nova Scotia in 1878.
The authors explain poltergeists as usually being attached to a particular person, often a young person undergoing the trauma of adolescence, and these hauntings most often disappear in time.
The authors examine at length the science and philosophy behind the phenomenon of ghosts and spirits explaining that we live in a multi-dimensional universe. also many scholars such as Carl Jung and Donald Campbell have not been willing to easily dismiss that what we call ghosts may, at least in some cases, be very real experiences.