Gerina Dunwich,
A Witch's Guide to
Ghosts & the Supernatural

(New Page, 2002)

A Witch's Guide to Ghosts & the Supernatural is a must-have reference book for anybody with an interest in the supernatural. Although not encyclopedic in nature, it is thorough and includes an extensive resources section. This section provides the contact information for organizations, paranormal investigators, spiritual mediums, haunted house and ghost tours, research societies, paranormal units of major universities and much more. It is one the most extensive resource lists I have encountered.

The book is written in narrative style with the topics grouped into chapters by common characteristics. The index is thorough and allows for quick reference work. There is also a glossary for any unfamiliar terms that you may encounter. The final chapter, "Deities of Death and the Underworld," does contain an alphabetical listing.

The nine other chapters are "Phantasms and Ectoplasms," "True Tales of Ghosts and Hauntings," "Spiritualism," "The Necromantic Arts," "Possession, Obsession and Exorcism," "Spells and Sorcery," "Herbs Associated With Ghosts," "Ghostly Superstitions" and "Creatures of the Night."

My favorite chapter, surprisingly, was not "Creatures of the Night." I actually preferred the chapter on old wives' tales and superstitions. If a candle burns blue, there is a ghost in the room. If two funeral processions arrive at the graveyard at the same time, the ghost of the second body in has to watch the first one all night. Who could not enjoy beliefs such as these?

This book will take you from the most technical aspects of the paranormal to the most fantastical. The bibliography will supply you with enough research material to write a thesis, while the book will supply enough information to satisfy the curiosity and answer the questions of the non-academic person. The author has a lively and engaging style. She can reduce the most technical things to simple, easy-to-understand phrases. There are no slow points or lulls in this manuscript.

I love this book and have read it several times. Like most of my favorite books, it serves dual purpose: pleasure and reference. I can recommend it to you from much use. Since buying this book, I have always found the answers I sought in it and had no need to look further.

- Rambles
written by Alicia Karen Elkins
published 26 July 2003

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