The Everything Ghost Hunting Book: Tips, tools, and techniques for exploring the supernatural world
By Connor Bright
This book has been recommended to us may times as THE definitive recourse on paranormal, and we have also had people ask about The Everything Book on our tours. Recently it came up on Amazon as a suggestion and we decided to give it a try.
“The Everything Ghost Hunting Book” is part of a series, and is similar to the “Idiot’s Guide” or “For Dummies” series. This installment is written by Melissa Martin Ellis, a member of the Rhode Island Paranormal Research Group and a skilled spirit photographer, some examples of her work are peppered throughout the book.
The guide is very useful for groups that already know basic paranormal phenomena. It excelled at teaching investigators how to cover their assets and protect form liability and keeping client interaction professional. The Everything Book includes good questions to ask potential clients and examples of liability wavers, with plenty of ideas for groups to keep in mind when creating their paperwork. Ellis did a great job stressing the importance of proper research and the need for a paper trail, to protect everyone.
When it came to explaining phenomena and theories, The Everything Book fell flat. The paranormal field is huge and everyone has their own theories and methods, the authors way of dealing with this was to advise newbie’s to join an existing group and do as they say. This may sound like a good idea, but it could also lead to confusion and dependency in a world that requires free thought. Consistently a large problem, such as spirit attachment, is brought up only for the reader to hear that the resolution lies in the expertise of a team member. This can be frustrating to people who are trying to expand their knowledge or build a team that can deal with these types of cases.
Sometimes Ellis attempts to explain a large concept with many solutions or answers, with a vague story of someone’s personal experience that will only touch on one extreme instance. Other times she will over explain every nuance of how to deal with something in the field, such as interviewing a client, which is usually left up to a team on a case-by-case basis. She even at times glosses over important phenomena, such as poltergeist phenomena.
Her chapter on protection includes a great description on how to perform a house cleansing, an often overlooked area that can provide a great sense of closure to a client in an uncomfortable situation. Also included is a chapter on the mundane side of investigation, which contains a great guide to safety from the non-paranormal.
Some chapters feel out of place, for example, there’s a description of an EVP session and The Ghost Box in the wrap-up section, instead of in the gear chapter. This was weird and disorienting to us multiple times. The reader must finish the entire book before rushing into the paranormal because information is hidden in every nook and cranny of the book. Ellis puts a great emphasis on organized note taking during investigations, even though her own book on the matter feels convoluted.
Who should read: Teams looking to streamline and organize their existing process, especially those interested in beginning private home investigations.
Who can skip it: Somebody new to the Paranormal that is looking to get a grasp on the basic process and different phenomena.
Click on the book cover to be taken to Amazon!