• Paranormalia is written by Robert McLuhan, a journalist and author based in London. Please contact me at robertmcluhan@gmail.com

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February 01, 2012

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I just downloaded Poltergeist People. Gee, ninety-nine cents? Thanks Robert! Please, keep 'em coming. I'll be reading this one tonight.

I shall certainly purchase 'Poltergeist People' when I have time to wrestle with the IT involved. Being a little elderly, these things are new to me, and I find IT hard to cope with.
That said, I think Robert McLuhan has a splendid idea, here. To enable people to obtain good, honestly reported (snags and all) information about life's Spooky Bits is a pressing need. This is an age of distrust in all authority, ie, what one does not experience at first hand, and in various capacities I find myself being asked questions about - essentially - Mankind's place in the universe, which would have been classifed as 'General Knowledge' 50 or so years ago. This cultural underrpinning is now missing, especially at a philosophical level. Even science is too often presented to equate with determinist materialism.
I have tried to redress the cultural balance somewhat by writing "God, Ghosts,and Independent Minds" (Penpress; also via Amazon & Kindle). Most who have read it are intrigued by the vastness of life's 'unmentioned' aspects, some of which I have tried ot set out to inform and stimulate opinion. I blogg about it more or less daily on Facebook and Wordpress.
This is why I view McLuhan's type of book and endeavour as important. Please support both. Newton Green.

I think David Fontana's personal experience in Cardiff mentioned in his book "Is There An Afterlife?" were very convincing but copywrite may be a problem. Saw a documentary about this on TV some time ago which was good.

Okay, so I can see right now that Paranormal People ain't no overnight read. The meticulous compilation of poltergeist encounters written up in this book are compelling, but not in a "ghost story" kind of way. The reports in here lack the dramatic feel of a made-up story. There's no "Play Station" effect.

The original writers matter-of-factly detailed stories come alive as something that has happened, and the writer hopes the reader believes him, but at the end of the day, it doesn't matter. Sometimes the writer's seem resigned to the ridicule they will face. Right now, I don't know whether to laugh, cry, or get pissed off. For now, I think I'll opt for getting philosophical.

I think some more recent ones would be better perhaps? Save one, the rest seem to be pre-1970 if I read correctly.

I just purchased it. What a deal! Thanks!

Paul, that would be good, but a compilation of contemporary material by living authors is a different kind of publishing project, and much less straightforward. Certainly worth thinking about, although on this subject I'm not sure how much recent material there is.

A year ago I had a discussion with my son who, being a fan of Dawkins and Hitchens, was reluctant to take seriously any talk of evidence for the paranormal. I asked whether he would take a look if I compiled some references for him. The result was my website which sets out to do just as you describe above: show that there really is evidence.

By the way, I've finally reached Randi's Prize in my list of must-reads and am presently on the early chapters about poltergeist activity, etc. It also reminded me of David Fontana and his Cardiff experiences. Now I'll add Paranormal People to the list.

I beg your pardon ... I meant "Poltergeist People".

Understood. Thanks for replying Robert.

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  • SOME REVIEWER COMMENTS
  • ‘A brisk, bracing look at this continuing controversy, exhaustively researched .. a must-read for anyone with a serious interest in parapsychology and its critics.’
  • ‘‘Packed with accurate information while at the same time surprisingly engaging and fun to read.’
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  • ‘These disturbing phenomena seem to deny all our usual scientific ideas. How we should like to discredit them! Unfortunately the statistical evidence, at least for telepathy, is overwhelming. It is very difficult to rearrange one’s ideas so as to fit these new facts in.’ Alan Turing, computer scientist.

  • ‘I have noticed that if a small group of intelligent people, not supposed to be impressed by psychic research, get together and such matters are mentioned, and all feel that they are in safe and sane company, usually from a third to a half of them begin to relate exceptions. That is to say, each opens a little residual closet and takes out some incident which happened to them or to some member of their family, or to some friend whom they trust and which they think odd and extremely puzzling.’ Walter Prince, psychic researcher.

  • When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong. Arthur C. Clarke

  • ‘Science seems to me to teach in the highest and strongest manner the great truth which is embodied in the Christian conception of entire surrender to the will of God. Sit down before fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abysses nature leads, or you shall learn nothing.’ Thomas Henry Huxley

  • We can always immunize a theory against refutation. There are many such immunizing tactics; and if nothing better occurs to us, we can always deny the objectivity – or even the existence – of the refuting observation. Those intellectuals who are more interested in being right than in learning something interesting but unexpected are by no means rare exceptions. Karl Popper, on the defenders of materialism.

  • If we have learned one thing from the history of invention and discovery, it is that, in the long run - and often in the short one - the most daring prophecies seem laughably conservative. Arthur C. Clarke.

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