Written by Loyd Auerbach
Published by Atriad Press
Ghost hunters and paranormal investigators are a different sort, and for every one there are different methods of investigation. Some rely on meters and gadgets, others on psychics and impressions. However, one thing that almost all agree on is there must be some level of skepticism during investigation lest every phenomenon be labeled paranormal, only to be followed by someone who can find the natural causes. Fireballs, moving objects, and phantom illnesses may be commonplace, but are they truly paranormal in nature? For a different take on the world of the paranormal investigator, Loyd Auerbach presents his Paranormal Casebook: Ghost Hunting in the New Millennium.
Filled with eighteen separate cases, this volume details the adventures of Auerbach and his now-defunct Office of Paranormal Investigations. However, while most books of this sort tell readers of scientific method and only report on “real” hauntings, Auerbach does not shy away from phenomena with natural causes and takes great delight in debunking some of the more bizarre cases. In addition, where many will tell clients that there is no way to get rid of ghosts short of a blessing or exorcism, Auerbach’s methods of ridding homes of paranormal visitors are, to say the least, unorthodox but with good results.
One of the more impressive cases involves a home in which phantom fireballs, blinking lights, and strange smells occurred. In addition, people spending time in the house found that there were places where they got inexplicably ill or developed headaches. While many investigators would have assigned such phenomena to otherworldly causes, Auerbach and his team were able to determine that the causes were a combination of static electricity supplied by high-tension power lines and methane gas supplied by a nearby garbage dump. As to the strange illnesses, it was caused by the house sliding just a bit off its foundation, rendering every wall out of true.
Other cases are “solved” by strange methods, such as the case in which Auerbach recommended the victim visualize a bell jar around the “ghost” and pushing it outside. Though the “haunting” was, in fact, the product of the victim’s own suggestion, his strange approach worked. In another case the pesky ghost was driven away by, believe it or not, a series of painfully bad knock-knock jokes.
This book represents a different side of paranormal investigation, one which emphasizes exhaustive hunting for the physical causes and which concentrates on not only the strange but also the psyches of those involved. While most of the cases investigated may turn out to be no sort of haunting, it is refreshing to see an investigator who takes pains to disprove without disrespect and bring peace of mind even if there are no restless spirits.
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