There is not a single culture on planet Earth that does not have its ghost stories. While individuals around the world may argue politics, religion, and philosophy from the perspective of their own cultural biases, if there is a single unifying factor in the arena of the unknown and the unexplained, it is the manifestation of ghostly entities. Of course not everyone who believes in ghosts agrees on what exactly a ghost is. Some insist that the appearance of ghosts proves survival after death. Others state that such phenomena represent other dimensions of reality. And not everyone in contemporary cultures believes in ghosts, but polls and surveys continue to indicate that a good many do.
A Gallup Poll done in May 2001 found that 38 percent of Americans surveyed were convinced that ghosts exist, a 13 percent increase from a survey conducted in 1990. While the current era is considered the age of science, the image of the traditional ghost appears to be as compelling and awesome as ever. Perhaps this is because science can never explain the Big Questions or reassure the human psyche as completely as can belief in the supernatural.
The famous psychoanalyst Dr. Carl Jung (1875–1961) described a personal encounter with a ghost in Fanny Moser's book Spuk (1950). In 1920, Jung was spending a weekend at an English country house a friend had rented. The nights afforded no rest, however, for the house was subject to the complete repertoire of a full-scale haunting. There were raps on the walls, noxious odors, and the mysterious dripping of liquid. Jung always experienced a sensation of incapacity whenever the phenomena would begin, and cold perspiration would bead his forehead.
The climax of the haunting occurred when the head of a woman materialized on the pillow of Jung's bed about 16 inches from his own. The ghostly head had one eye open, and it stared at the astonished psychoanalyst. Jung managed to light a candle, and the frightening specter disappeared. He later learned from the villagers that all previous tenants of the country house had terminated their occupancy in short order after a night or two in the haunted house.
In the jargon of parapsychology—the branch of behavioral science that undertakes to examine such phenomena—a ghost is usually a stranger to the one who perceives it while an apparition is well known by the one who sees it and is instantly recognizable as the image of a parent, sibling, or friend. An apparition usually appears at some time of crisis—most often that of physical death—and usually appears only once. In the records of parapsychology and psychical research there are also accounts of experimental cases in which individuals have deliberately attempted to make their apparition, their ghostly image, appear to a particular witness, as in efforts to project one's spiritual essence during an out-of-body experience.
A poltergeist is a projection of psychic energy that finds its energy center in the unconscious mind, most commonly in adolescents, and emanates, therefore, from the living rather than from the dead. A poltergeist is a ghost only in common parlance, which links the two because of the "spook-like" nature of the poltergeist that causes the invisible pseudoentity to prefer darkness for its violent exercises of tossing furniture, objects, and people about the room.
Accounts of people reporting having seen spirits of the dead are among the most commonly described ghosts in all the cultures of the world. These post-mortem appearances of the dead, in which a recognized ghostly image is seen or heard long after the actual person represented by the apparition has died, are felt by many observers and researchers to prove survival of the human spirit beyond the grave.
Ghosts or apparitions that habitually appear in a room, house, or locale are known as phantoms, eerie phenomena that often appear over the years to attain a life force of their own, as if they were some kind of psychic marionettes.
Although people have been reporting seeing ghosts and the spirits of the dead since the earliest historical records of human activity, the first organized effort to study such phenomena occurred in 1882, as the first major undertaking of the newly formed Society for Psychical Research (SPR) in London. By means of a circulated questionnaire, the SPR asked whether its recipients had ever, when they believed themselves to be completely awake, experienced some kind of visual or auditory phenomena. Of the 17,000 people who responded, 1,684 answered "yes." From this, the committee members who were conducting the survey estimated that nearly 10 percent of the population of London had experienced some kind of paranormal manifestation, and they sent forms requesting additional details to all those who had indicated such encounters. Subsequent investigation and interviews enabled the early psychical researchers to arrive at a number of basic premises regarding ghosts.
For example, the committee was able to conclude that although ghosts are connected with other events besides death, they are more likely to be linked with death than with anything else. Visual sightings of ghosts were the most common, and of such cases reported, nearly one-quarter had been shared by more than one percipient. Those who answered the second form of the questionnaire requesting more information stated that they had not been ill when they had witnessed the paranormal visitations and they insisted that these manifestations were quite unlike the bizarre, nightmarish creatures that might appear during high fevers or high alcoholic consumption. Of those cases in which the percipients had experienced auditory phenomena, such as hearing voices, one-third were collective, that is, witnessed by more than one percipient at the same time.
After the findings of the research committee had been made public, the SPR began to be flooded by personal accounts of spontaneous cases of ghosts and spirits. In order to aid the committee in the handling of such an influx of information, the SPR worked out a series of questions that could be applied to each case that came in. Among the questions were the following: Is the account firsthand? Has the principal witness been corroborated? Was the percipient awake at the time? Was the apparition recognized? Was the percipient anxious or in a state of expectancy? Could relevant details have been read back into the narrative after the event?
Today, over 120 years after the British Society for Psychical Research began its earnest efforts to chart and categorize ghosts, 42 percent of the residents of that metropolitan area believe in ghosts and almost half of this number said that they had seen or felt the presence of a ghost, according to a survey released on March 20, 2000, by television station GMTV in London.
In the exploration of the paranormal, it is found that most types of phenomena appear to be universal, the individual circumstances of the accounts fitting themselves to the unique cultural interpretations of whatever area in which they manifest. The ghostly beings described in this chapter are listed by loosely defined categories, for it will soon be apparent that these entities know no strictly set boundaries—especially those established by humans who attempt to explain or to identify them.
associated press. "haunted experiences draw skeptical society together." Boston Globe, july 22, 2001. [online] http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/203/metro/haunted_experiences_draw_skeptical_ socie
murphy, gardner. The Challenge of Psychical Research. new york: harper & row, 1970.
"spooky! we're still haunted by ghosts." Sydney Morning Herald, july 23, 2001. [online] http://www.smh.com.au/news/0107/23entertainment/entertain2.html.
steinour, harold. Exploring the Unseen World. new york: citadel press, 1959.
tyrrell, g. n. m. Apparitions. new york: collier books, 1963.
Just as a large percentage of the population of all cultures believe that the ghosts of the dearly departed members of their human families might appear to them, so also do many individuals maintain that they have witnessed the spirit of a beloved pet return to a person or a place after physical death.
One of the most beloved authors of dog stories, Albert Payson Terhune (1872–1942), was a great animal lover who kept dozens of pets in Sunnybank, his estate near Pompton Lakes, New Jersey. Although Terhune's favorite dogs were collies, he did have one crossbreed named Rex, who was completely devoted to the writer.
Rex was a large dog with a vicious-looking scar across his forehead which made him appear much more ferocious than he really was. And though he felt it his duty to bark at every guest who walked across the threshold, Rex would contentedly curl up at Terhune's feet as he sat at the typewriter creating another canine adventure for his legions of devoted readers.
Due to a series of unfortunate events, Rex was killed in March 1916, and the saddened Terhune wrote the story Lad: A Dog as a tribute to the memory of his dear pet.
Many months after Rex's death, Terhune was paid a visit by Henry A. Healy, a financier, who knew how much his host had loved his big dog—but who apparently had not been told of Rex's passing. Just before leaving that evening, Healy sighed wistfully and said, "Bert, I wish there was someone or something on earth that adored me as much as Rex worships you. I watched him all evening. He lay there at your feet the whole time, looking up at you as a devotee might look up to his god."
Terhune was shocked by his guest's comments. "Good lord, man!" he exclaimed. "Rex has been dead now for more than a year and a half."
Healy turned pale, but stood by the testimony of his own senses: "I can swear that he was lying at your feet all evening—just as I've seen him do since he was a puppy."
Some weeks later, a longtime friend of Terhune's, Rev. Appleton Grannis, paid a visit to Sunnybank, and after a stroll around the estate and a pleasant afternoon meal, remarked that he thought Bert fancied collies. Terhune replied that was true. In fact all the dogs that he presently owned were collies.
Rev. Grannis firmly disagreed. "Then what dog was it that stood all afternoon on the porch looking in through the French window at you? He's a big dog with a nasty, peculiar scar on his forehead."
While the author knew at once that it was his old friend Rex returning for another visit from the spirit world, Terhune thought better than to attempt to explain the situation to a conventional man of the cloth.
Terhune said that even the other dogs were able to sense the presence of old Rex. One of the collies that had always been careful to keep his distance from the big scar-faced crossbreed continued to skirt very carefully around the rug where Rex had always sat waiting for his master to sit down to write.
Tulsa, Oklahoma, attorney M. Jean Holmes is not an animal activist, but her extensive study of the Bible for her book Do Dogs Go to Heaven? (1999) convinced her that the distinction between humans and animals alleged to be found in Scripture is the result of an old translator's "philosophical construction." In her opinion, an examination of the original Hebrew texts for such concepts as "soul" and "spirit" clearly tells that the authors of the various books of the Bible believed that animals have souls and spirits, just as humans do. Stating that she has been enriched by her exploration of various religious practices, from Catholicism to Pentecostalism, Holmes offers a suggestion for those individuals who are troubled about orthodox teachings that deny spirituality to animals. She urges them to allow the Holy Spirit to be their teacher.
Attorney Holmes says that she is not ashamed to be compared to animals, "for most are of the highest character and are very good company. We have much to learn about and from animals."
Holmes was inspired to write her book by her late mother, Irene Hume Holmes, who would often question members of the clergy of various faiths: Did animals have spirits? And if they did, would they go to heaven when they died? Although her mother usually received the standard response that animals did not possess souls and that humans had dominion over their four-legged companions, Holmes's extensive research enabled her to answer at last her mother's oft-posed query, "Do dogs go to heaven?" in the affirmative.
Janice Gray Kolb, author of Compassion for All Creatures, says that she had been taught since childhood that her beloved pets did not have souls. Today, however, she states that she has a firm conviction that there will be animals in heaven. "Once I had this inner conviction from the Holy Spirit that animals and all God's creatures do inhabit Heaven with us, then I could never believe otherwise," she writes. "It was irrevocable! No matter what anyone else may argue, I cannot be shaken on this."
As a student of the Bible, Kolb states that God created humans out of the ground, and He created animals out of the ground. The New American Catholic Bible uses for man "clay of the ground" (Genesis 2:7) and the Living Bible says "dust of the ground." In regard to the animals, the New American Catholic Bible states that they were "formed out of the ground" and the Living Bible states "formed from the soil." Kolb argues that since humans and animals came from the same substance, many Bible scholars, including herself, believe that animals must therefore have a soul. The holy breath that God breathed into man was the same breath that He breathed into the animals, birds, and other creatures. It is Kolb's further contention that God's act of blessing the animals is further proof that all creatures have a soul. "'Blessed,'" she points out, "means 'to make holy,' 'sanctify,' to invoke divine favor upon, 'to honor as Holy.'" God blessed his creation of man and woman, and thereby granted them a soul. Why else would God have blessed the animals if it were not to bestow a soul upon them?
In July 2001, ABC News and Beliefnet released the result of their poll of Americans regarding the question of whether pets would one day meet their owners in heaven. Forty-seven percent of pet owners declared their belief that they would be reunited with their beloved animals in heaven; 35 percent of pet owners said heaven was reserved for humans; 48 percent of those respondents who did not own pets believed heaven was off-limits for animals; and about 17 percent said that they would reserve judgment until they themselves walked through the pearly gates.
Boone, J. Allen. Kinship with All Life. New York: Harper & Row, 1954.
Holmes, M. Jean. Do Dogs Go to Heaven? Tulsa, Okla.: JoiPax Publishing, 1999.
Kolb, Janice Gray. Compassion for All Creatures. Nevada City, Calif.: Blue Dolphin Publishing, 1997.
Smith, Scott S. "The Evidence for Animal Afterlife." Fate, March 2001, 20–21.
——. Pet Souls: Evidence that Animals Survive Death. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Light Source Research, 1994.
Sussman, Dalia. "See Spot Go to Heaven? The Public's Not So Sure." ABCNews/Beliefnet Poll, 2001. [Online] http://www.beliefnet.com/story/78/story_7888.html.
There is usually agreement among psychical researchers that when someone refers to an apparition, he or she is generally speaking of a "ghost" that is known to the percipient, rather than some ethereal unknown presence. Among the most common and universal of all psychic phenomena is that of the "crisis apparition," that ghostly image which is seen, heard, or felt when the individual represented by the image is undergoing a crisis, especially death. A familiar example might be that of a man who is sitting reading in his home in Dearborn, Michigan, who glances up from his newspaper to see an image of his father, dressed in his customary three-piece business suit, waving to him in a gesture of farewell. The percipient is startled, for his father lives in Austin, Texas. However, within the next few minutes the telephone rings, and it is a call from his sister in Austin, informing him that their father has just passed away.
Some psychical researchers have theorized that at the moment of death the soul is freed from the confines of the body and is able to soar free of time and space and, in some instances, is able to make a last, fleeting contact with a loved one. These projections at the moment of death betoken that something nonphysical exists within humans that is capable of making mockery of all accepted physical laws—and even more importantly, is capable of surviving physical death.
Documented stories of such apparitions may be found in the literature of all eras and all cultures. Images of loved ones who have come to say farewell, to offer comfort and solace before their transition to another plane of existence, appear to rich and poor alike.
On the night of June 11, 1923, Gladys Watson had been asleep for three or four hours when she was awakened by someone calling her name. As she sat up in bed, she was able to discern the form of her beloved grandfather leaning toward her. "Don't be frightened, it's only me. I have just died," the image told her.
Watson started to cry and reached across the bed to awaken her husband. "This is how they will bury me," Grandad Parker said, indicating his suit and black bow tie. "Just wanted to tell you I've been waiting to go ever since Mother was taken."
The Watsons' house was next door to the Lilly Laboratories in Indianapolis, Indiana. The bedroom was dimly illuminated with lights from the laboratory. Grandad Parker was clearly and solidly to be seen. Then, before Gladys Watson had awakened her husband, Grandad Parker had disappeared.
Mr. Watson insisted that his wife had had a nightmare. He told her that her grandfather was alive and well back in Wilmington, Delaware.
Gladys Watson was adamant that she knew that she had seen Grandad Parker and that it had been no dream. He had come to bid her farewell.
It was 4:05 a.m. when Watson called his wife's parents in Wilmington to prove that the experience had been a dream. Mrs. Parker was surprised to receive the call. She had been up most of the night with her father-in-law and had been waiting for morning before she would let the Watsons know that Grandad had passed away at 4:00 a.m.
Watson had been awakened by the fully externalized apparition of her grandfather at approximately 3:30 a.m. Indianapolis time. Her husband had gotten out of bed and made the telephone call at about 4:05 a.m. Grandad Parker had died at 4:00 a.m. Eastern time— half an hour before Gladys Watson saw him.
Watson wrote an account of her experience for the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research (Vol. LXV, No. 3) in which she mentioned that both she and her husband were children of Methodist ministers "…schooled against superstition from the time of their birth."
When Watson was asked by an investigator for the ASPR whether the experience of hearing her grandfather speak could be compared to hearing someone in the flesh or to hearing with one's "inner ear," she answered that it had been as if Grandad Parker had been there in the flesh, speaking in a soft, yet determined voice.
Watson's father, Rev. Walter E. Parker, Sr., corroborated his daughter's story in a letter to the ASPR in which he wrote, in part, that Gladys had always been his father's favorite grandchild and that they had promised to let her know if and when Grandad became seriously ill. (He made his home with them.) "He took sick the day before. We called the doctor and thought he was going to be all right. The end came suddenly around four o'clock in the morning. We were going to wait until later in the morning to get in touch with Gladys. I believe sincerely in the truth of this experience as my daughter writes it."
John Frederick Oberlin (1740–1826), the famous pastor, educator, and philanthropist, literally transformed the whole life of the Bande-la-Roche valley in the Vosges Mountains of Alsace. Shortly after the clergyman's arrival in the district, he expressed his immediate and earnest displeasure regarding the superstitions of the natives. Oberlin became especially agitated over the villagers' reports concerning the apparitions of dying loved ones. The new pastor resolved to educate the simple folk, and he launched a vociferous pulpit campaign against such superstitious tales.
In spite of his orthodox denial of apparitions, the reports of such phenomena continued unabated, and Oberlin was honest enough to admit that he was beginning to feel his dogma crumbling around him. In 1806 a dreadful avalanche at Rossberg buried several villages, and the reports of visions of the dying appearing to loved ones became so numerous that Oberlin at last came to believe that the villagers were indeed perceiving spirits of the departed.
In Footfalls on the Boundary of Another World (1848), Robert Dale Owen relates that Oberlin came to believe that his wife appeared to him after her death. The clergyman maintained that his wife's spirit watched over him as though she were a guardian angel. Furthermore, Oberlin claimed that he could see his wife's spirit, talk with her, and make use of her counsel regarding future events. Oberlin compiled extensive manuscripts that described in detail a series of manifestations in which his wife appeared to him and dictated information regarding life after death. Oberlin became convinced that the inhabitants of the invisible world can appear to the living, and we to them, and that we humans are apparitions to them, as they are to us.
The question that may remain is whether the percipients of apparitions actually observe a discarnate entity, which occupies an objective area in time and space, or whether they perceive the result of a successfully implanted telepathic message-image, which had been transmitted at the moment of death by the dying loved one. The witnesses themselves, however, insist that their experiences cannot be dismissed as only dramatic devices of their imaginations.
baird, a. t., ed. one hundred cases for survival after death. new york: bernard ackerman, 1944.
crookall, robert. intimations of immortality. london: james clarke co., 1968.
dingwall, eric j., and john langdon-davies. the unknown—is it nearer? new york: new american library, 1968.
smith, alson j. immortality: the scientific evidence. new york: prentice hall, 1954.
tyrrell, g. n. m. apparitions. new york: collier books, 1963.
A phenomenon that may be closely related to the projection of the astral self in out-of-body
experiences is that of the appearance of one's own double. Goethe (1749–1832), a German poet, had the astonishing experience of meeting himself as he rode away from Strassburg. The phantom wore a pike grey cloak with gold lace that Goethe had never seen before. Eight years later, as Goethe was on the same road going to visit Frederika, it occurred to him that he was dressed in precisely the same cloak that his phantom had been wearing on that earlier occasion.
In 1929, an archbishop wrote to Sir Oliver Lodge to tell him of a most peculiar incident which had occurred one evening when he had returned to his home feeling tired. He sat down in a favorite easy chair, and immediately fell asleep. Then, he wrote in the letter, he was sharply aroused in about a quarter of an hour (as he perceived by the clock). As he awoke he saw an apparition, luminous, vaporous, wonderfully real of himself, looking interestedly and delightedly at himself. After the archbishop and himself had looked at each other for the space of about five seconds, the ghostly self vanished for a few seconds, and then returned even clearer than before.
Such weird phenomena are termed "auto-scopic hallucinations." They appear to serve no dual purpose, such as providing a warning or disclosing valuable information, but only seem to present a projection of one's own body image. One sees oneself, as it were, without a mirror.
Dr. Edward Podolsky has compiled a number of cases of people who have reported seeing their own ghosts, and he recorded the experience of a Mr. Harold C. of Chicago, Illinois, who returned home after a hard day at the office with a splitting migraine. As he sat down to dinner, he saw, sitting opposite him, an exact replica of himself. This astonishing double repeated every movement he made during the entire course of the meal. Since that time, Mr. C. has seen his double on a number of occasions—each time after an attack of migraine.
As Mrs. Jeanie P. was applying makeup, she saw an exact duplicate of herself also touching up her features. Mrs. P. reached out to touch the double, and the image reached out to touch her. Mrs. P. actually felt her face being touched by her mysterious double.
There are two main theories about the cause of autoscopy. One theory regards the phenomenon as being due to the result of some irritating process in the brain, particularly of the parietotemporal-occipital area (the visual area). A more psychological theory sees in autoscopy the projection of memory pictures. Certain pictures are stored in the memory and when conditions of stress or other unusual psychological situations arise these memories may be projected outside the body as real images.
black, david. ekstasy: out-of-the-body experiences. new york: bobbs-merrill, 1975.
crookall, robert. more astral projections. london: aquarian press, 1964.
fodor, nandor. mind over space and time. new york: citadel press, 1962.
steinour, harold. exploring the unseen world . new york: citadel press, 1959.
tyrrell, g. n. m. apparitions. new york: collier books, 1963.
Ghosts of the Living
Psychical research has identified the following types of situations in which out-of-body experiences (OBEs) or astral projections might occur:
- Projections that occur while the subject sleeps.
- Projections that occur while the subject is undergoing surgery, childbirth, tooth extraction, etc.
- Projections that occur at the time of accident, during which the subject suffers a violent physical jolt that seems, literally, to catapult the spirit from the physical body.
- Projections that occur during intense physical pain.
- Projections that occur during acute illness.
- Projections that occur during near-death experiences (NDEs), wherein the subject
- is revived and returned to life through heart massage or other medical means.
- Projections that occur at the moment of physical death when the deceased subject appears to a living percipient with whom he or she has had a close emotional link.
In addition to these spontaneous, involuntary experiences, there also seem to be those voluntary and conscious projections during which the subjects deliberately endeavor to free their spirit, their soul, from their physical body. It would appear that certain people have exercised this peculiar function of the transcendent self to the extent that they can project their spiritual essence at will and produce ghosts, apparitions, of the living.
Early psychical researcher Edmund Gurney (1847–1888) told of the incredible experiments of a Mr. S. H. Beard in his Phantasms of the Living, published in 1886. Beard began his experiments with "astral projection" in November of 1881 on a Sunday evening after he had been reading about the great power which the human will is capable of exercising. Exerting the whole force of his being on the thought that he would be present in spirit on the second floor of a particular house, Beard managed to project an apparition of himself that was visible to his fiancee, Miss L. S. Verity.
Three days later, when Beard went to call upon Verity, a very excited young woman told him that she and her 11-year-old sister had nearly been frightened out of their wits by an apparition that had looked just like him. Beard felt quite pleased with the success of his experiment. Verity's sister confirmed his "ghost's" appearance; in fact, the whole matter of a spectral visitation had been brought up without any allusion to the subject on Beard's part.
Verity later told Edmund Gurney that she distinctly saw Beard in her room, about one o'clock. "I was perfectly awake and was much terrified," she said. "I awoke my sister by screaming, and she saw the apparition herself. Neither my sister nor I have ever experienced hallucinations of any sort."
Although Beard did not disclose his intentions to Verity, he was by no means finished with his experiments. The second time he was seen by a married sister of Verity's, whom he had met briefly only once before. Beard walked up to the bed on which the sister lay, took her long hair into his hand, and, a bit later, took her hand into his.
When investigator Gurney learned of Beard's second successful projection, he wrote him a note and urged him to let him know the next time that he planned to experiment. Beard complied, and, in a letter dated March 22, 1884, he told the researcher simply, "This is it."
Gurney next heard from Beard on April 3. A statement from Verity was enclosed: "On Saturday night…I had a distinct impression that Mr. S. H. B. was present in my room, and I distinctly saw him whilst I was widely awake. He came towards me and stroked my hair . . . . The appearance in my room was most vivid and quite unmistakable."
Again, Verity testified that she had voluntarily given Beard the information without any prompting on his part. Beard concluded his experiments after this episode for Verity's nerves "had been much shaken, and she had been obliged to send for a doctor in the morning."
Sylvan J. Muldoon was one of those who claim that astral projection can be learned, developed, and mastered by the serious-minded. In his two books, The Projection of the Astral Body (1929) and The Case for Astral Projection (1936), Muldoon offers a detailed record of many experiments he personally conducted, and provides a systematic method of inducing the conditions necessary for astral projection. According to Muldoon, it is possible to leave the body at will and retain full consciousness in the "astral self." Muldoon was also cognizant of a "silver cord" connecting the phantom body and the physical body. This cord, said Muldoon, is extremely elastic and permits a journey of considerable distance. Muldoon claimed to have been able to move objects while in his astral self and to have gained information that he could not have acquired via any of the normal sensory channels.
In his book Far Journeys (1987), Robert Monroe provides details of his Gateway Program, which claims to be able to teach any serious subject the ability to travel out of the body and to escape the known dimensions of the physical universe. Monroe has spent many years researching various techniques in moving the soul or mind out of the physical body and has established an institute where students can experience his methods and techniques.
The area of "living ghosts" that has received the greatest amount of study in the twenty-first century is that of the near-death-experience (NDE). In December 2001, the prestigious British medical publication The Lancet released the results of an extensive study conducted by Dr. Pim van Lommel and his colleagues at Hospital Rijnstate in Arnhem, Netherlands, which indicates that a number of subjects experienced visions or lucid thoughts while they were clinically dead. Some of those subjects also reported out-of-body experiences, indicating that the mind/soul and the brain are independent of one another and that consciousness can exist when the brain has flatlined and the electroencephalograph registers no measurable brain activity.
Frederic W. H. Myers (1843–1901) has written that cases of astral projection present perhaps not the most useful, "but the most extraordinary achievement of the human will. What can lie further outside any known capacity than the power to cause a semblance of oneself to appear at a distance? What can be more a central action—more manifestly the outcome of whatsoever is deepest and most unitary in man's whole being? Of all vital phenomena, I say, this is the most significant; this self-projection is the one definite act which it seems as though a man might perform equally well before and after bodily death."
Black, David. Ekstasy: Out-of-the-Body Experiences. New York: Bobbs-Merrill, 1975.
Crookall, Robert. More Astral Projections. London: Aquarian Press, 1964.
Ingram, Jay. "Can Consciousness Exist When the Brain Is Off-line?" Toronto Star, January 15, 2002. [Online] http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Prin.
Monroe, Robert A. Far Journeys. New York: Doubleday, 1987.
Muldoon, Sylvan, and Hereward Carrington. The Phenomena of Astral Projection. London: Rider & Co., 1966.
Almost every city, town, or village in the world has a bit of folklore about a Phantom Dog with red eyes that guards the grave of a master long dead, a Phantom Nun who still walks the ruins of a convent that burned to the ground decades ago, a Phantom Horseman who patrols the grounds of an old battlefield. Phantoms comprise that category of ghosts that have been seen again and again by countless men and women over many years and have literally begun to assume independent existences of their own, becoming, in a sense, "psychic marionettes," responding to the fears and expectations of their human percipients. In some dramatic instances, an entire section of landscape seems to be haunted. In most cases of this particular type of haunting, a tragic scene from the past is recreated in precise detail, as some cosmic photographer had committed the panorama to ethereal film footage. Battles are waged, trains are wrecked, ships are sunk, the screams of earthquake victims echo through the night—all as it actually took place months, years, or centuries before.
Thomas A. Edison (1847–1931), the electrical wizard, theorized that energy, like matter, is indestructible. He became intrigued by the idea of developing a radio that would be sensitive enough to pick up the sounds of times past—sounds which were no longer audible to any ears but those of the psychically sensitive. Edison hypothesized that the vibrations of every word ever uttered still echoed in the ether. If this theory ever should be established, it would explain such phenomena as the restoration of scenes from the past. Just as the emotions of certain individuals permeate a certain room and cause a ghost to be seen by those possessing similar telepathic affinity, so might it be that emotionally charged scenes of the past may become imprinted upon the psychic ether of an entire landscape. An alternate theory maintains that surviving minds, emotionally held to the area, may telepathically invade the mind of sensitive individuals and enable them to see the scene as they, the original participants, once saw the events occurring.
Whatever the reasons may be, it cannot be denied that some locales definitely have built up their own "atmospheres" over the years and that such auras often give sensitive people feelings of uneasiness—and often sensations of fear and discomfort. Whether this may be caused by surviving minds, a psychic residue, or an impression of the actual event in the psychic ether is a question that remains unsolved at the present stage of parapsychological research.
Paranormally restored battle scenes offer excellent examples of what seem to be phantoms caused by the collective emotions and memories of large groups of people. Perhaps the most well-known, most extensively documented, and most substantially witnessed was the Phantom Battle of Edge Hill which was "refought" on several consecutive weekends during the Christmas season of 1642. The actual battle was waged near the village of Keinton, England, on October 23 between the Royalist Army of King Charles and the Parliamentary Army under the Earl of Essex.
It was on Christmas Eve that several countryfolk were awakened by the noises of violent battle. Fearing that it could only be another clash between soldiers that had come to desecrate the sanctity of the holy evening and the peace of their countryside, the villagers fled from their homes to confront two armies of phantoms. One side bore the king's colors; the other, Parliament's banners. Until three o'clock in the morning, the phantom soldiers restaged the terrible fighting of two months before.
The actual battle had resulted in defeat for King Charles, and the monarch grew greatly disturbed when he heard that two armies of ghosts were determined to remind the populace that the Parliamentary forces had triumphed at Edge Hill. The king suspected that certain Parliamentary sympathizers had fabricated the tale to cause him embarrassment. The king sent three of his most trusted officers to squelch the matter. When the emissaries returned to court, they swore oaths that they themselves had witnessed the clash of the phantom armies. On two consecutive nights, they had watched the ghostly reconstruction and had even recognized several of their comrades who had fallen that day.
On August 4, 1951, two young English-women vacationing in Dieppe, France, were awakened just before dawn by the violent sounds of guns and shell fire, dive bombing planes, shouts, and the scraping of landing craft hitting the beach. Cautiously peering out of their windows, the two young women saw only the peaceful pre-dawn city. They knew, however, that just nine years previously, nearly 1,000 young Canadians had lost their lives in the ill-fated Dieppe raid.
Demonstrating an unusual presence of mind, the young Englishwomen kept a record of the frightening sounds of war, noting the exact times of the ebb and flow of the invisible battle. They presented their report to the Society for Psychical Research, whose investigators checked it against detailed accounts of the event in the war office. The times recorded by the women were, in most cases, identical to the minute of the raid that had taken place nine years before.
Another area which seems to be drenched with the powerful emotions of fighting and dying men is that of the small island of Corregidor, where in the early days of World War II (1939–45), a handful of American and Filipino troops tried desperately to halt the Japanese advance against the city of Manila and the whole Philippine Islands, valiantly fighting almost beyond human endurance. According to several witnesses, their ghosts have gone on fighting.
Today, the only living inhabitants of the island are a small detachment of Filipino marines, a few firewood cutters, and a caretaker and his family. And then there are the nonliving inhabitants.
Terrified wood cutters have returned to the base to tell of bleeding and wounded men who stumble about in the jungle. Always, they describe the men as grim-faced and carrying rifles at the ready. Marines on jungle maneuvers have reported coming face to face with silently stalking phantom scouts of that desperate last-stand conflict of more than 60 years ago. Many have claimed to have seen a beautiful red-headed woman moving silently among rows of ghostly wounded, ministering to their injuries. Most often seen is the ghost of a nurse in a Red Cross uniform. Soldiers on night duty who have spotted the phantom have reported that, shortly after she fades into the jungle moonlight, they find themselves surrounded by rows and rows of groaning and dying men in attitudes of extreme suffering. According to the caretaker and his family, the sounds that come with evening are the most disconcerting part of living on an island full of phantoms. Every night the air is filled with horrible moans of pain and the sounds of invisible soldiers rallying to defend themselves against phantom invaders.
Veterans of the Korean conflict returned with tales of a phantom town that came to life on cold, still nights. By day, Kumsong, Korea, was nothing but piles of battered rubble. The population had long since given up residence of their war-ravished village to the rats. The American troops, who looked down on the charred ruins from their positions in the front-line bunkers, called Kumsong "The Capital of No Man's Land." But on some nights, soldiers would come back from their frozen bunkers with stories of music, singing, and the laughter of women that had drifted up from the ghost town. So many Allied troops heard the ghostly music that "Ching and his violin" became a reality to the front-line soldiers.
Although both haunted landscapes and haunted houses seem most liable to receive their emotional energy from the psychic charges generated by scenes of violence and tragedy, there have been reports of pleasant restorations of the past.
On a rainy evening in October of 1916, Edith Olivier was driving from Devizes to Swindon in Wiltshire, England. The evening was so dreary that Olivier wished earnestly for a nice, warm inn in which to spend the night. Leaving the main road, she found herself passing along a strange avenue lined by huge gray megaliths. She concluded that she must have been approaching Avebury. Although Olivier had never been to Avebury before, she was familiar with pictures of the area and knew that the place had originally been a circular megalithic temple that had been reached by long stone avenues.
When she reached the end of an avenue, she got out of her automobile so that she might better view the irregularly falling megaliths. As she stood on the bank of a large earthwork, she could see a number of cottages, which had been built among the megaliths, and she was surprised to see that, in spite of the rain, there seemed to be a village fair in progress. The laughing villagers were walking merrily about with flares and torches, trying their skill at various booths and applauding lustily for the talented performers of various shows.
Olivier became greatly amused at the carefree manner in which the villagers enjoyed themselves, completely oblivious to the rain. Men, women, and children walked about without any protective outer garments and not a single umbrella could be seen. She would have joined the happy villagers at their fair if she had not been growing increasingly uncomfortable in the rain, which was becoming steadily heavy. She decided that she was not made of such hardy stock as the sturdy villagers and got back into her automobile to resume her trip.
Edith Olivier did not visit Avebury again until nine years had passed. At that time, she was perplexed to read in the guidebook that, although a village fair had once been an annual occurrence in Avebury, the custom had been abolished in 1850. When she protested that she had personally witnessed a village fair in Avebury in 1916, the guide offered Olivier a sound and convincing rebuttal. Even more astounding, perhaps, was the information she acquired concerning the megaliths. The particular avenue on which she had driven on that rainy night of her first visit had disappeared before 1800.
Edith Olivier's experience begs the question: Just how substantial is a phantom? Can a scene from the past return and assume temporary physical reality once again? Did Olivier drive her automobile on an avenue that was no longer there, or did she drive on a solid surface that had once been there and had temporarily returned?
According to those who have encountered them, a materialized phantom seems as solid as any human. Modern science no longer regards solids as solids at all but rather as congealed wave patterns. Psychical researcher James Crenshaw notes that the whole imposing array of subatomic particles—electrons, protons, positrons, neutrinos, mesons—achieve "particle-like characteristics" in a manner similar to the way that wave patterns in tones and overtones produce characteristic sounds. Crenshaw theorizes that ghosts may be made up of transitory, emergent matter that "…appears and disappears, can sometimes be seen and felt before disappearing…behaves like ordinary matter but still has no permanent existence in the framework of our conception of space and time. In fact, after its transitory manifestations, it seems to be absorbed back into another dimension or dimensions.…"
Edsall, F. S. The World of Psychic Phenomena. New York: David McKay, 1958.
Steinour, Harold. Exploring the Unseen World. New York: Citadel Press, 1959.
Stevens, William Oliver. Unbidden Guests. New York: Dodd, Mead & Co., 1957.
Tyrrell, G. N. M. Apparitions. New York: Collier Books, 1963.
The perverse talents of the poltergeist (German for "pelting or throwing ghost") range from the ability to toss pebbles and smash vases, to the astonishing ability to materialize human or beastlike entities, complete with voices, intelligent responses, and disagreeable odors. From humankind's earliest records to today's newspaper story, every reported poltergeist case follows the same basic patterns. Cultural influences seem to matter little, if at all. A poltergeist manifestation is similar in character whether it takes place in Indonesia, Iceland, or Long Island. Only the interpretation of the disturbance varies. What is attributed to the destructive impulse of a demon to one people, is attributed to the destructive impulse of a fragmented psyche to another.
According to many contemporary psychical researchers poltergeist manifestations are dramatic instances of psychokinesis (PK) (the mind influencing matter) on the rampage. Although the pranks of the poltergeist were formerly attributed to malicious tricks perpetrated by demons and disembodied spirits, the great majority of psychical researchers today hold that some faculty of PK is at work. "The poltergeist is not a ghost," the psychoanalyst Dr. Nandor Fodor once wrote, "but a bundle of projected repressions."
Quite probably, according to many researchers, the sex changes that occur during puberty have a great deal to do with the peculiar type of PK that is responsible for poltergeist activity. Researchers have only begun to realize some of the vast chemical changes that take place in the body during adolescence. Who can say what may happen in the lower levels of the subconscious? Psychical researchers have noted that more often a girl than a boy is at the center of poltergeistic disturbances and that the sexual change of puberty is associated with either the beginning or the termination of the phenomena. Researchers have also observed that the sexual adjustments of the marital state can also trigger such phenomena.
The poltergeist often finds its energy center in the frustrated creativity of a brooding adolescent, who is denied accepted avenues of expression. Those who have witnessed poltergeistic activity firsthand have been convinced that the energy force is directed by a measure of intelligence or purpose. Observers ranging from skeptical scientists, hard-nosed journalists, and innocent bystanders alike have reported seeing poltergeist-borne objects turn corners, poltergeist-manipulated chalk write intelligible sentences on walls, and poltergeist-flung pebbles come out of nowhere to strike children. But, as one investigator commented, the phenomena are exactly such as would occur to the mind of a child. In Poltergeists (1940), Sacheverell Sitwell wrote that the poltergeist always directed its power toward "the secret or concealed weaknesses of the spirit…the recesses of the soul. The mysteries of puberty, that trance or dozing of the psyche before it awakes into adult life, is a favorite playground for the poltergeist."
Why it should be the baser elements of the adolescent human subconscious that find their expression in the poltergeist is a matter of great speculation among psychical researchers. Physical violence is almost always expressed toward the adolescent energy center of the poltergeist—and a parent, a brother, or a sister may come in for their share of the punishment as well. If the poltergeist sticks around long enough (its average life is about two weeks) to develop a voice or the ability to communicate by raps or automatic writing, its communications are usually nonsensical, ribald, or downright obscene.
Cases of poltergeists pelting innocent families with stones and pebbles comprise by far the largest single category of poltergeistic phenomena and therefore seem to be the most common example of PK running wild. Natural scientist Ivan T. Sanderson cautioned researchers against using the term "throwing" when speaking of poltergeist activity. According to Sanderson's observations, the stones are "dropped" or "lobbed" or "just drift around" rather than thrown. "Stone-dropping is a purely physical phenomenon," stated Sanderson, "and can be explained on some physical principles, though not necessarily on Newtonian, Einsteinian, or any others that concern our particular spacetime continuum."
Carrington, Hereward, and Nandor Fodor. Haunted People. New York: New American Library, 1968.
Fodor, Nandor. The Haunted Mind. New York: New American Library, 1968.
Sanderson, Ivan T. Things. New York: Pyramid Books, 1967.
Sitwell, Sacheverell. Poltergeists. New York: University Books, 1959.
Stevens, William Oliver. Unbidden Guests. New York: Dodd, Mead & Co., 1957.
Spirits of the Dead
According to the "USA Snapshots" feature in the April 20, 1998, issue of USA Today, 52 percent of adult Americans believe that encounters with the dead are possible. In his 1994 analysis of a national sociological survey, Jeffrey S. Levin, an associate professor at Eastern Virginia Medical School, found that twothirds of Americans claimed to have had at least one mystical experience. Of that remarkably high number, 39.9 percent said that they had an encounter with a ghost or had achieved contact with the spirit of a deceased person. According to a survey published in the December 1997 issue of Self, 85 percent of its readers believed in the reality of communication with the spirit world.
The more that is learned of the remarkable powers of the human psyche, the more difficult it is to prove that one has actually made contact with a spirit of a deceased person, rather than experienced some facet of extrasensory perception, such as clairvoyance or telepathy. In order for psychical researchers to consider accounts of alleged communication with the dead to be authentic, they must first of all be veridical; that is, they must relate to an actual event that was occurring, had occurred, or would occur. In addition, these cases must each contain an independent witness who could further testify to the truth and import of the experience. The account of James Chaffin's will is a case that truly seems suggestive of survival of the human personality after death.
On September 7, 1921, James Chaffin of Davie County, North Carolina, died as the result of a fall. A farmer, Chaffin was survived by his widow and four sons, but the will that he had had duly attested by two witnesses on November 16, 1905, left all of his property to the third son, Marshall.
One night in the latter part of June 1925, four years after James Chaffin's death, James Pinkney Chaffin, the farmer's second son, saw the spirit figure of the deceased standing at his bedside and heard the specter tell of another will. According to the son, his father had appeared dressed as he often had in life. "You will find the will in my overcoat pocket," the spirit figure said, taking hold of the garment and pulling it back.
The next morning James Pinkney Chaffin arose convinced he had seen and heard his father and that the spirit had visited him for the purpose of correcting some error. His father's black overcoat had been passed on to John Chaffin, so James traveled to Yadkin County to examine the pocket to which the spirit had made reference. The two brothers found that the lining of the inside pocket had been sewn together, and when they cut the stitches, they found a roll of paper that bore the message: "Read the 27th chapter of Genesis in my daddie's [sic] Old Bible."
James P. Chaffin was then convinced that the specter had spoken truthfully, and he brought witnesses with him to the home of his mother where, after some search, they located the dilapidated old Bible in the top drawer of a dresser in an upstairs room. One of the witnesses found the will in a pocket that had been formed by folding two of the Bible's pages together.
The new will had been made by James Chaffin on January 16, 1919, 14 years after the first will. In this testament, the farmer stated that he desired his property to be divided equally among his four sons with the admonition that they provide for their mother as long as she lived.
Although the second will had not been attested, it would, under North Carolina law, be considered valid because it had been written throughout in James Chaffin's own handwriting. All that remained was to present sufficient evidence that the hand that had written the second will was, without doubt, that of the deceased.
Marshall Chaffin, the sole beneficiary under the conditions of the old will, had passed away within a year of his father, nearly four years before the spirit of James Chaffin had appeared to his second son, James Pinkney Chaffin. Marshall's widow and son prepared to contest the validity of the second will, and the residents of the county began to look forward to a long and bitter court battle between members of the Chaffin family. The scandal mongers were immensely disappointed when 10 witnesses arrived in the courtroom prepared to give evidence that the second will was in James Chaffin's handwriting. After seeing the will, Marshall Chaffin's wife and son immediately withdrew their opposition. It seemed evident that they, too, believed the will had been written in the hand of the testator.
James Pinkney Chaffin later told an investigator for the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research that his father had appeared to him before the trial and told him that the lawsuit would be terminated in such a manner. "Many of my friends do not believe it is possible for the living to hold communication with the dead," James Pinkney Chaffin said, "but I am convinced that my father actually appeared to me on these several occasions and I shall believe it to the day of my death."
It seems strange that James Chaffin should have kept the second will secret, especially in view of the subsequent claim that his disturbed spirit came back from beyond the grave to right the wrong that had been done to his widow and three disinherited sons. Perhaps the farmer had intended some sort of deathbed revelation and had these plans go unrealized when his life was cut short by accident.
Society for Psychical Research investigators were unable to establish any kind of case for a subconscious knowledge of the will in the old Bible or of the message in the coat pocket. Fraud must be ruled out because of the ease in which 10 reliable witnesses, well-acquainted with James Chaffin's handwriting, could be summoned to testify to the authenticity of the handwriting in the will. Charges of a fake will would seem to be further negated by the immediate withdrawal from the contest of Marshall Chaffin's widow and son once they were allowed to examine the document. Evidently they, too, recognized the handwriting of the elder Chaffin.
The Journal 's summation of the strange case of James Chaffin's will stated the difficulty in attempting to explain the case along normal lines. For those willing to accept a supernormal explanation of the event, it should be noted that the Chaffin case is of a comparatively infrequent type, in which more than one of the witness's senses is affected by the spirit. J. P. Chaffin both "saw" his father's spirit and "heard" him speak. The auditory information provided by the spirit was not strictly accurate, for what was in the overcoat pocket was not the second will, but a clue to its whereabouts. But the practical result was the same.
Baird, A. T., ed. One Hundred Cases for Survival After Death. New York: Bernard Ackerman, 1944.
Crookall, Robert. Intimations of Immortality. London: James Clarke, 1968.
Fiore, Edith. The Unquiet Dead. New York: Double day, 1987.
Murphy, Gardner. The Challenge of Psychical Research. New York: Harper & Row, 1970.
Watson, Lyall. The Romeo Error. New York: Dell Books, 1976.
Nestled far from the nearest city of Hickory, the Brown Mountain region of North Carolina has been a subject of fascination for more than 100 years, for nearly every night along the mountain ridges mysterious lights can be seen for which scientists have failed to find any logical explanation. From sunset until dawn, globes of various colored lights, ranging in size from mere points to 25 feet in diameter, can be seen rising above the tall trees and flickering off again, as they fall to the mountain passes below.
Various legends have sprung up about the origin of the lights. Some say the Cherokee spirits and Catawba braves made the lights and search the valley for maiden lovers. It seems that the two tribes had a big battle hundreds of years ago, in which nearly all of the men of the two tribes were killed. Apparently this legend has some basis in fact, because at least a half a dozen Native American graves have been found in the area.
According to some local residents, the lights first began to be sighted on a regular basis sometime in 1916. At the time it was thought that the mystery lights might have been caused by the headlights on locomotives or cars running through a nearby valley. However, during the spring of that year, all bridges were knocked out by a flood and the roads became too muddy for cars to travel—yet the Brown Mountain lights were seen in greater number than before.
Some who have witnessed the phenomena believe that the lights are intelligently controlled. They say that they have seen them butting into each other and bouncing like big basketballs. Certain observers swear that they have tracked the lights at speeds of almost 100 miles per hour. On one Saturday night in 1959, according to some area residents, more than 5,000 persons turned out to see the lights.
Some of the spookiest lights on record are the ones linked popularly to ghosts and their haunting grounds. In the little town of Silver Cliff, Colorado, ghost lights have plagued the local cemetery since 1880. Silver Cliff is itself almost a ghost town: In 1880 it boasted a population of 5,087; by the 1950s it had only 217 inhabitants.
The ghost lights reached the mass media in the spring of 1956 in the Wet Mountain Tribune, and on August 20, 1967, in the New York Times. Local folklore has it that the lights were first seen in 1880 by a group of miners passing by the cemetery. When they saw the flickering blue lights over the gravestones, they left in a hurry. Since then, the lights have been observed by generations of tourists and residents of Custer County. Many of these witnesses have noted that the curious blue lights cannot be seen as clearly on the sandstone markers. This convinced several spectators that the lights were only a reflection of houselights in the valley.
Not so, insisted county judge August Menzel. In the New York Times he told of the night when everyone in Silver Cliff and nearby Westcliff shut off their lights. Even the street lights were turned off, but the graveyard lights still danced as brightly as ever.
If the ghostly gravemarkers cannot be attributed to the reflection of ordinary house and municipal lights, just what can they be? Old-timers and younger theorists have come up with many suggestions. Some believe that the lights are reflections from the stars. Yet the lights are just as clear on a starless, moonless night. Others theorize that they are caused by phosphorescing ore and glowing wood—but the darker the night, the brighter the lights. It was suggested that radioactive ores were causing the flickering lights. But Geiger counters were then employed to cover the entire area, and no radioactivity was discovered.
Finally the seekers of a plausible explanation confessed total bafflement. None of the theories would hold water, and the lights themselves could never be approached for a close enough look. As soon as anyone came too near, the lights would disappear, only to pop up again in another section of the cemetery. Photographers were hired, but no one managed to capture the elusive blue lights on film.
At this point the old-timers simply smile and provide the fitting explanation for any classic ghost story. According to local legend, the cemetery, which is still in use, is the final resting place for many miners who died while digging precious ores. The flickering lights of the graveyard resemble the little lights worn on the miners' caps, and the ghostly lights belong to the restless souls of the miners, who still search for the gold they never found.
A far more notorious ghost light is located in the tri-state area of Spooksville, in a corner of Missouri, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. Spooksville's ghostly light is advertised as a tourist attraction, and brings in countless numbers of the curious. The mysterious light, known variously as "spook light" or "ghost light" to the visitors and inhabitants of the region, was officially dubbed a UFO by the U.S. Air Force.
This alone has caused the Spooksville area to be called the "UFO" airport.
In appearance the ghost light resembles a bright lantern. Often the light dims before the spectators, then bounces back over the mountains in a brilliant blaze of light. Hundreds of firsthand encounters with the mysterious ghost light are on record. These accounts demonstrate actual experiences with the unknown, sometimes frightening, but always interesting.
During World War II (1939–45) the U.S. Corps of Engineers scoured the entire area, using the latest scientific equipment of the time. For weeks they tested caves, mineral deposits, and highway routes, exhausting every possible explanation for the origin of the mystery lights. They finally left, confounded.
Perhaps the most famous spook lights in the United States are the eerie illuminations that appear in the night sky just east of Marfa, Texas, a small ranching community southeast of El Paso. Settler Robert Ellison, who feared that he was seeing Apache campfires in the distance, first spotted the strange lights in 1883. When he investigated the next day, he could find no ashes where he had seen the lights. Local folklore soon attributed the ghost lights to the spirits of slain warriors seeking peace, the ghosts of murdered settlers, the restless spectre of the Apache chief Alsate, or the quests of lost lovers yearning to be reunited. Some area residents have stories of being guided home to safety by the mysterious lights, while others tell of being terrified by close encounters with the glowing orbs.
Theorists have ascribed the Marfa Lights to natural phenomena, such as ball lightning, electrostatic charges, or gas emissions. Certain scientists have blamed a combination of solar activity and seismic activity that creates a kind of underground lightning that on occasion rises above ground level to be seen as the eerie lights.
There are many more ghost lights haunting the nooks and crannies, mountain peaks and valleys, of the planet Earth. Experts have tried to explain the mystery of spook lights by using the existing structure of physics and known natural phenomena, such as ball lightning, will o' the wisps, and swamp gas, but so far all attempts at scientific explanation have been unsuccessful.
Bord, Janet, and Colin Bord. Unexplained Mysteries of the 20th Century. Chicago: Contemporary Books, 1989.
Clark, Jerome. Unexplained! Detroit and London: Vis ible Ink Press, 1999.
Floyd, Randall. Ghost Lights and Other Encounters. Lit tle Rock, Ark.: August House, 1993.
Gaddis, Vincent H. Mysterious Fires and Lights. New York: Dell Books, 1968.
Steiger, Brad. Beyond Belief. New York: Scholastic, 1991.