Dark World: Into the Shadows with the Lead Investigator of The Ghost Adventures Crew (Book)
Published by Victory Belt Publishing
Zak Bagans, of TV's "Ghost Adventures", co-wrote a book last year about his experiences with the paranormal and let us into his world. His Dark World, to be exact.
While some may find the subject matter dark or think that anyone who believes in ghosts or anything paranormal needs a padded cell, this book can make nonbelievers change their minds. And there's plenty of light, even with some very sad and sobering tales told.
Zak's writing style is a revelation: It's casual and candid, yes, but the book wasn't just written with catchphrases and slapped with a cover. He and co-writer Kelly Crigger take us back through some of the places we've seen on "GA", elaborating on the history of, as well of Zak's experiences at:
In these passages Zak tells the reader about his experiences and how they affected him (even a why, if it's there) and acknowledges the true challenges surrounding the paranormal community and the scientific side of it all. Yes, there is science to ghosts... real science. Can the scientific method be applied? No, and Zak states as much, instead offering alternatives to following a method, just simple tweaks really. These challenges, besides the obvious one of dealing with non-believers of the paranormal, come from the scientific method not being able to be followed exactly. Basically, the scientific method states that you must have a hypothesis, experiment, and results that are able to be replicated via a certain set of steps within the experiment. But a ghost cannot just simply appear on command.
Science also doesn't recognize the body's natural responses to paranormal stimuli as evidence. The goosebumps, the dizziness, the nausea – all the things that can affect you in the presence of a ghost or spirit. These physical feelings don't necessarily mean the energy is a negative one; just simply that you are close to a ghost or one has possibly passed through you. In the book Zak elaborates more on this and the differences between traditional scientific research and paranormal research, mentioning various theories – including the multiverse theory and discussing the "facts" of time.
Bagans explains that time is nothing more than a construct. It's something we as humans constructed and invented, just as if we'd built a building. So it makes sense that some ghosts don't know they're dead. They don't have any sense of time – or rather, their sense of time could be much different than ours. Kind of like Narnia. So what does that mean when we die? Where do we go? Even if we're happy and have an attachment somewhere (some ghosts do; it's called the Attachment Theory, and the book touches on it briefly), do we truly need to move on? We can't answer this now, but we can someday. The answers are there.
Duke University was the first school to develop an actual paranormal research division. It was part of the university until the 1960s but is now an independent center researching parapsychology, ESP, ghosts, poltergeists, demons, and more. This is something we need more of: a place where people can pool their evidence together. The point made in bringing up all the scientific information, theories, what's been done, and allusions to what needs to be done (it just skims the surface, really) is that it's easy to think that wow, maybe we're still just in our infancy of exploring the paranormal now.
More people are becoming paranormal hobbyists and collecting evidence, but for whatever reason (pride, sensitivity, etc.), they don't want to share it with others. But Zak's right. Think about it. Think how much, how fast (relatively speaking), we could see an improvement in the field if everyone pooled their evidence and found the commonalities; commonalities Zak knows are there and has experienced himself, such as with the Ram's Head Inn and Bobby Mackey's (interestingly enough, two of the most dangerously haunted places in the world).
There's so much promise when it comes to exploring the world of the paranormal. Dark World, even on its own, shows that, but with the addition of brief guest writings at the end (including Gary Galka, who invented the Mel-Meter after losing his daughter, Melissa, in a car crash and continues to make new devices and equipment Zak, Nick, and Aaron use on the show; Bishop James Long, who has performed exorcisms on Zak himself; and Mark and Debby Constantino, EVP specialists and friends of Zak and the GAC, just to name a few), it's even more apparent that everything is starting to come together and we just have to pay attention.
4 1/2 out of 5