24 January 2009

Review of Ghost Hunting: True Stories of Unexplained Phenomena from The Atlantic Paranormal Society

If you have ever seen the TV show Ghost Hunters on SciFi Channel, you know that Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson are interesting and funny men. You may or may not believe in paranormal, but these men and their team TAPS (The Atlantic Paranormal Society) keep you entertained through the hour long program. That is why, when their book Ghost Hunting came out, I put it on my list of “To Read.” I finally got around to reading it.

I had mixed feelings about this book. If you have never watched the show, or have only watched a few episodes, I think you will enjoy the book. It is interesting and fast paced. Jason and Grant do not use a lot of “ghost hunting” jargon to sound important or scientific. They are straight forward and down to earth. They even include a glossary at the back of the book to define any terms that are not common knowledge. Jason and Grant tell the facts of cases: what the people claim, what they experience, and what conclusions they make. They are not afraid to say that the bumping they heard was a loose pipe instead of a ghost. They are also plumbers, so if it is a loose pipe they find it. There is also a fun side to the entire TAPS team that comes out in the book. They explain some of their pranks on each other. They also describe some of the problems they have, because regardless if this is only a hobby, it is still a business. All businesses run into problems with employees. I think what makes the book appealing is that it shows that these guys I watch on TV are just like anyone else. They have a family, a job, and have problems, too.

Now, if you are a fan of the show and watch every episode, you will find little you do not already know about your favorite ghost hunters. The first quarter of the book provides information before the show was on the air and Jason reveals his paranormal experience. Reading this hooked me into the book. The cases are very interesting, including a possession, but after this brief period of time, Jason and Grant rehashed cases that appear on the show. I continued reading hoping to glean some new information, but I was very disappointed. I did not even learn anything new in regards to the issues with Brian. I counted two instances that were not on TV (okay, maybe there were a few more, but very few).

I do not want you to think this book is a waste of time if you are a fan. Like I said, the beginning is new, but the best part of the book is in the back. The end has a section called “Ghost Hunter’s Manual.” This is useful information if you are considering ghost hunting or starting a group. They provide information on staying safe, dealing with a client, collecting evidence, and handling spirits.

This book certainly is not going to win any literary awards, but it is a quick and fun read. I wish it had more new information, but I still enjoyed the straight-forward, honest telling of the paranormal.

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