Haunted History

Lisa Morton. Ghosts: A Haunted History. Reaktion Books. (September)

From the publisher's website: In the supernatural history of the world there are few things more common than the belief in ghosts. From the earliest recorded writings such as the Epic of Gilgamesh to twenty-first-century ghost-hunting TV shows, ghosts have been part of almost every time and every culture ...and yet there's very little evidence to support their existence. Ghosts: A Supernatural History is a historical and global exploration of these mysterious apparitions. It asks: What exactly is a ghost? Are poltergeists, wraiths and revenants technically ghosts? How does 'ghost' relate to 'soul'? And how many different kinds of ghost are there? It visits the spirits of the classical world, including the Egyptian five-part soul and the first haunted-house comedy play, Mostellaria by Plautus (254-184 BCE). 

We encounter the frightening phantoms of the Middle Ages - which might incinerate priests or devour children - and the nineteenth-century rise of Spiritualism - essentially a religion devoted to ghosts. Ghosts are everywhere: from India's bhuta to the Hungry Ghost Festival in China and Mexico's La Llorona legend, as well as the Bell Witch of the American South and 'the most haunted house in England', Borley Rectory. Ghosts also delves into the history of the spirit on page and screen. How did Horace Walpole's pioneering Gothic novel The Castle of Otranto of 1764 lead to the 2007 hit film Paranormal Activity? Classic ghost tales, from Ann Radcliffe's works to the chilling short stories of M. R. James and Stephen King's The Shining, reveal how the real meaning of ghosts has shifted over the centuries. Wide-ranging, informative and featuring 60 chilling, unearthly images, this book will appeal to the very wide audience for the supernatural.


Bringing Bigfoot to Book

Nick Redfern back on familiar ground after his recent excursion into extraterrestrial blood-lines:

Nick Redfern. Bigfoot Book, The Encyclopedia of Sasquatch, Yeti and Cryptid Primates. Visible Ink (8 September 2015)

Does a hulking, hairy, 800-pound, nine-foot-tall, elusive primate roam the woods and forests throughout North America - and the world? Audio-recordings exist purporting to be the creatures' eerie chatter and bone-chilling screaming. Whether called Sasquatch, Yeti, Bigfoot or something else, bipedal primates appear in folklore, legends and eyewitness accounts in every state of the union and many places around the world. The fascination with the man-beast is stronger than ever in today's pop culture.


Secret Stuff

Daniel Smith. 100 Things They Don't Want You To Know: Conspiracies, Mysteries and Unsolved Crimes. Quercus (3 Sept. 2015)

Who was the Mothman? What caused the death of the Bordens? Did Lee Harvey Oswald assassinate JFK? And what was the true meaning of the 'WOW' signal? Daniel Smith, author of 100 Places You Will Never Visit, sets out to uncover the truth behind 100 unexplained events that have been shrouded in secrecy for generations. Under his investigative searchlight are mysterious landmarks, disappearances at sea, legendary myths, astonishing coincidences, UFOs, missing people and bizarre natural phenomena. 

Ranging from suspicious deaths (The Black Dahlia) to notorious murderers (Jack the Ripper) and from ancient artifacts (Tarim Mummies) to Cold War cover-ups (Lost Cosmonauts), via documents that remain untranslatable (Voynich Manuscript), debated icons of religion (Shroud of Turin) and puzzling paranormal appearances (Marfa Lights), Daniel Smith leaves no stone unturned in his quest to expose the bare facts and unravel the tales that have gripped curious minds for years.


Among Us

David Jacobs goes further with his ideas first unveiled in The Threat

David M. Jacobs. Walking Among Us: The Alien Plan to Control Humanity. Disinformation Books. (September)

From the publisher's website: In his 1998 book, The Threat, Jacobs uncovered disconcerting reports about aliens' plans for the future of Earth. He reported that a change is coming; a future when very human-like hybrids would intermingle with humans in everyday life. Soon we will all be together, the aliens said. Soon everyone will be happy and everyone will know his place. This book examines a chilling phenomenon that Jacobs began noticing in 2003. The alien integration action plan has kicked into high gear. 

The incidents of alien abductions have declined as occurrences of alien involvement in everyday life have accelerated. A silent and insidious invasion has begun. Alien hybrids have moved into your neighbourhood and into your workplace. They have been trained by human abductees to pass, to blend in to society, to appear as normal as your next door neighbour. 

This book illustrates in detail the process of alien integration into society and the strategy and support structure that has been developed to make this happen seamlessly. While he is not certain why they are doing it, the final chapter of the book will provide some chilling possible answers as to why they are here and what they want to accomplish.


Spirits of the Land

Claude Lecouteaux continues his exploration of folk beliefs and popular spirituality

Claude Lecouteux . Demons and Spirits of the Land: Ancestral Lore and Practices. Inner Traditions/Bear and Company.

Our pagan ancestors knew that every forest has brownies and fairies, every spring its lady, and every river malevolent beings in its depths. They told tales of giants in the hills, dragons in the lakes, marshes swarming with will-o'-the-wisps, and demons and wild folk in the mountains who enjoyed causing landslides, avalanches, and floods. They both feared and respected these entities, knowing the importance of appeasing them for safe travel and a prosperous homestead. 

Exploring medieval stories, folk traditions, spiritual place names, and pagan rituals of home building and site selection, Claude Lecouteux reveals the multitude of spirits and entities that once inhabited the land before modern civilization repressed them into desert solitude, impenetrable forests, and inaccessible mountains. He explains how, to our ancestors, enclosing a space was a sacred act. Specific rites had to be performed to negotiate with the local spirits and ensure proper placement and protection of a new building. These land spirits often became the household spirit, taking up residence in a new building in exchange for permission to build on their territory. Lecouteux explores Arthurian legends, folk tales, and mythology for evidence of the untamed spirits of the wilderness, such as giants, dragons, and demons, and examines the rites and ceremonies used to gain their good will. 


Written in Blood

This seems a bit different from Nick Redfern's usual style, it will be interesting to see his angle.

Nick Redfern. Bloodline Of The Gods: Unravel the Mystery of the Human Blood Type to Reveal the Aliens Among Us. New Page Books (31 Aug. 2015)

Are significant numbers of humanity the product of an ancient and advanced alien civilisation? Have we, across the millennia, been periodically modified and refined as a species? In short, has our genetic make-up been manipulated by otherworldly beings that view human civilisation as one big lab experiment? These are controversial and thought-provoking questions. 

They are also questions that demand answers, answers that may very well be found by examining those people whose blood type is Rh negative. The vast majority of humankind - 85 to 90 percent - is Rh positive, which means a person's red blood cells contain an antigen directly connected to the Rhesus monkey. This antigen is known as the Rh factor. Each and every primateon the planet has this antigen, except for one: the remaining 10 to 15 percent of humans. If the theory of evolution is valid - that each and every one of us is descended from ancient primates - shouldn't we all be Rh positive? Yes, we should. But we're not. The Negatives are unlike the rest of us. They are different. They are the unique individuals whose bloodline may have nothing less than extraterrestrial origins.


Conquering Heroes

An imaginative exploration of man's future in space.

Giovanni F. Bignami. The Mystery of the Seven Spheres: How Homo Sapiens will Conquer Space. Springer; 2015 edition (31 July 2015)

In this book, Giovanni Bignami, the outstanding Italian scientist and astronomer, takes the reader on a journey through the “seven spheres”, from our own planet to neighbouring stars. The author offers a gripping account of the evolution of Homo Sapiens to the stage where our species is developing capabilities, in the form of new energy propulsion systems, that will enable us to conquer space. The reader will learn how we first expanded our activities to reach beyond our planet, to the Moon, and how nuclear energy, nuclear fusion, and matter–antimatter annihilation will enable us to extend our exploration. After Mars and Jupiter we shall finally reach the nearest stars, which we now know are surrounded by numerous planets, some of which are bound to be habitable. The book includes enticing descriptions of such newly discovered planets and also brings alive key historical characters in our story, such as Jules Verne and Werner von Braun.