Entries on people, terms, and phenomena relating to ghosts and spirits are arranged alphabetically with see references and are indexed in the back. From apparitions to La Llorona, phantom nuns, and the Winchester Mystery House, Guiley seems to give an even-handed treatment to these phenomena, indicating where something is "according to legend" or "disputed," but otherwise describing events as they were reported. Entries range from a single paragraph to several pages, although most are at least several paragraphs long and include references for further reading. Black-and-white photographs and archival reproductions illustrate many pages. This second edition is approximately fifty pages longer than the 1992 version. Some entries have been updated with corresponding new references for further reading. Others are entirely new, such as the "Scole Experimental Group," which became active after the publication of the first edition in 1992. There are many new entries relating to Japanese folklore, indicating Guiley's ongoing intent to present an international range of subjects. Some entries have been removed, although whether for space or relevancy it is not made clear. Two new forewords are included in this edition, some peculiarities of alphabetization have been corrected, and the layout of the index is greatly improved by using three columns rather than five. Most libraries will want to replace their first edition with this one. Libraries that do not own the first will likely find demand for this single-volume resource that has both breadth and adequate depth in its subject and it is interesting enough to browse but will also be used to answer specific questions. Libraries that own J. GordonMelton's two-volume Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology, 4th edition, (Gale, 1996) might find some overlap in the entries, but Guiley's text is much more readable and will be especially attractive to a young audience. Index. Illus. Photos. Further Reading. 2000, Checkmark Books/Facts on File, 430p. PLB Ages 12 to Adult. Reviewer: Nina Lindsay SOURCE: VOYA, June 2001 (Vol. 24, No. 2)
This encyclopedia is about as fair as one can expect about a subject that many people think doesn't exist. The author ( Harper's Encyclopedia of Mystical and Paranormal Experience , LJ 8/91) has tried to read much of the skeptical literature and at least to report what it says. Yes, the believers get much more coverage, but there is an attempt to present both sides. The accuracy of the book is also fairly high. A number of errors do occur, which, surprisingly, seem not to have been copied from other sources but to have resulted from misremembering. These small errors do not significantly affect the utility of the book. A useful addition to the reference collection of any academic or public library.-- Gordon Stein, Univ. of Rhode Island, Kingston
Gr 5 Up -This riveting volume provides a much-needed expansion and update of one of the best references on the subject. Well researched and engagingly written, the comprehensive work provides more than 600 alphabetically arranged articles, with appended bibliographies, on the history of ghosts and spirits from the ancient world to contemporary times. Coverage includes entries on paranormal investigators, infamous haunted places (the Borley Rectory, the Antietam Battlefield, Alcatraz), objective and well-balanced investigations of hauntings (such as the Amityville case), descriptions of types of ghosts and spirits, and of communication with the spirit world. Additional pieces include discussions of out-of-body experiences, phantom ships, possession, reincarnation, mediums, and electronic voice phenomena. The two well-spaced columns of clear type per page are interspersed with relevant and instructive black-and-white photographs. A thorough index adds to the usefulness of the work. This is an outstanding tool for serious researchers and laypeople alike. It complements and supplements Hans Holzer's less-balanced Ghosts: True Encounters with the World Beyond (Black Dog & Leventhal, 1997).-Hillary Jan Donitz-Goldstein, formerly at New York Public Library Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Guiley, who has written widely on spirituality and visionary experiences, explains how gremlins first appeared in British military aircraft during World War II and annoyed Lindbergh on his transatlantic flight; the theory that poltergeists are linked to the presence of adolescents, whose repressed emotions somehow activate paranormal forces; how the Buddhist and Hindu ghost Petra must reverse its karma through good deed; the techniques of researchers into the paranormal; and other topics right at the edge of vision. To the 1992 edition she has added recent breakthroughs in scientific studies, new and updated entries on people, information about Japanese ghosts, and a wider international coverage. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)