GHOST: Investigating the Other Side

Katherine M. Ramsland, Author . St. Martin's/Dunne $25.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-312-26164-1

Ramsland (author of numerous books on Anne Rice, vampirism and other ghoulish subjects) is just the sort of person you'd want to tell you a ghost story: credible, smart, sane and funny, neither a believer nor a skeptic. Cast as an adventure in "participatory journalism," the book begins with Ramsland's chance acquisition of a haunted silver ring. Determined to extract its secrets, she sets out on a quest that gradually turns into a full-blown investigation of psychic aberration in America. She plunges into the vast culture of ghost detection, sleeping in haunted bed-and-breakfasts from Salem to Sedona, familiarizing herself with the latest technology while also consulting conventional occult modes—tarot, palm, Ouija. Charmingly understated at all times ("I never quite know how to talk to someone who lives simultaneously in two time periods"), Ramsland admits to being impervious to the spirit world; while psychics and sensitives of every description reel and recoil at the mere sight of her ring, she at first feels and sees nothing. Her gradual conviction, as she delves deeper and deeper into the realm of the unseen, that "something is out there" is all the more spine-tingling. Ramsland is a master of foreboding, and as her tale unravels, an explosive climax seems inevitable. What results—more a creepy certainty than a frightful resolution—may disappoint some readers. But whatever its payoff, the book will find avid fans among X-Files watchers, amateur ghost hunters, and the vast majority of those who feel that things that go bump in the night should be heard rather than seen. Agent, Lori Perkins. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 08/20/2001
Release date: 10/01/2001
Genre: Nonfiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 396 pages - 978-0-312-98373-4
Paperback - 362 pages - 978-0-9863731-2-1
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