Things To Do When You're Dead

Trevor Hamilton.  Tell My Mother I’m Not Dead: A Case Study in Mediumship Research Imprint Academic, 2012.

After the tragic death of his son in a road accident Trevor Hamilton went to various mediums to if he could obtain evidence of his survival. He makes a heroic effort, under the circumstances to remain as detached as possible. He ranks various statements made by mediums in table format, but crucially does not provide full transcripts of exactly what when one. A good number of the hits he records are actually logical inferences or general statements. There is also a very important omission from these statements (the man’s girlfriend had gone to his house to meet him, found the place in darkness, been told there had been an accident but no details and had spent the weekend making increasingly frantic phone calls to his answerphone). I would expect any “surviving personality” to have this at the forefront of his (?its) mind.

Janice Miner Holden, Bruce Greyson and Debbie James (Eds.) The Handbook of Near-Death Experiences: Thirty Years of Investigation. Praeger/ABC-CLIO, 2009.

Eleven papers covering all aspects of the NDE mainly by members of the International Association of Near- Death Studies. While its coverage is comprehensive the authors seem to have difficulty in deciding whether they are producing a religious or scientific work and in general voices of those who view the NDE as a primarily physiological or psychological phenomenon are absent. With those caveats, this still contains a mass of information and extensive bibliographies and should be of interest to anyone with an interest in psychical research.

John G. Sabot.  Digging up Ghosts: Unearthing Past Presences at a Haunted Location. Ghost Evacuation Books, 2013.

Not a book about conducting archaeology in allegedly haunted locations, but rather the appropriation of the language of archaeology and other social sciences to ghost hunting, giving it a kind of academic veneer. If the author was not a spiritualist of sorts, who took “ghosts” so literally, there might be useful insights here, but the book has the additional handicap of being very repetitious. -- Peter Rogerson

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