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Paranormal Review    



How to Hunt Ghosts: A Practical Guide
By Joshua P. Warren
Fireside, Simon & Schuster, 2003
Trade paperback, $12.00 (238 pages)

Do you believe in ghosts? If you don’t, you might change your mind after reading How to Hunt Ghosts: A Practical Guide by Joshua Warren. 

Warren, a native of Asheville, N.C., is widely recognized as an expert in paranormal research and has appeared on The Discovery Channel, The Travel Channel and most major TV and radio networks. Most of the books written about ghosts seem to be filled with folklore and rumors. Warren’s book is filled with facts and photos.  

In his introduction, Warren dispels some of the myths concerning ghosts. “Despite what you’ve seen in the movies, there is no such thing as a ‘ghost meter,’ a device that registers a specific phantasmal body. The creation of such an instrument would be dependent upon a complete understanding of a ghost’s unique physical makeup, an understanding that to date does not exist,” he states. 

In his book, Warren says the method of seeking a ghost is different from what many people imagine. “The method has been likened to searching for a person on the beach,” he states. “We are not necessarily looking for the individual, but instead, his or her footprints in the sand. If we find footprints, we can then speculate as to their origin. It is therefore necessary for a ghost hunter to possess a scrutinizing mind. You must rule out all conventional explanations before resorting to a supernatural one.” Warren also discusses the difference between popular ghost stories and the actual paranormal. 

“Ghost stories are constructed to give you a surprise ending,” he states. “It’s always a fun moment. However, that moment rarely comes in real investigations.” Warren’s book is divided into two parts. The first is titled “Understanding Ghosts.” In this section, Warren explains what a ghost actually is, its entities and imprints, warps, poltergeist activity and naturals. The second is titled “Ghost Hunting” and discusses what to look for and what equipment will be needed. I don’t know an electromagnetic field meter from an electrostatic generator. But Warren not only explains the differences but also includes photographs. There’s even a diagram for making your own dowsing rod from a clothes hanger. He also includes copies of forms he uses including a Ghost Research Log and an Interview Form For Owner/Resident. There’s also a listing of suppliers that sell equipment used for hunting ghosts and a glossary of paranormal terms. 

One of the more eye-opening chapters is titled “When you Find Them.” Note, that Warren didn’t say ‘if,’ but rather ‘when.’ “Lots of people are so preoccupied with finding ghosts that they don’t prepare for what to do when they find them,” Warren states. “Aside from documenting your experience with all available means, there is no standard procedure for what to do when you encounter a ghost.” It all depends on your individual reasons for exploring the activity. “Remember that most entities are simply humans in a different form.” 

No book about ghosts would be complete with the chapter that Warren dutifully added: “Protecting Yourself From Ghosts.” “Usually, those who suffer from spiritual intrusions are too psychologically weak to stand up to spirits,” according to the book. “On the nonphysical plane, thoughts can be weapons. Use yours effectively.” 

How to Hunt Ghosts isn’t a book of ghost stories in the traditional sense. Instead, it’s a book about the exploration and research into the paranormal. Readers still might not believe in ghosts when they finish this book, but they will certainly be enlightened. 

For more information, visit Warren’s Web site at  or .   


Kendall Bell
Southern Scribe Reviews

Kendall Bell is the weekend editor at the Beaufort (SC) Gazette and editor of the From the Heart anthology series. He is author of Let Us Prey, a 2004 release.

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