Release Date:September 27, 2011
Buying Links: Amazon The Book Depository
An omnibus edition of GHOST HUNTING and SEEKING SPIRITS, the real-life adventures of the paranormal investigators from Syfy's hit show Ghost Hunters.
I love reading fantasy, urban fantasy and fiction books with magic. I adore them. But when it comes to real life, I'm more skeptical, not inclined to believe in things supernatural or paranormal. I've never watched a full episode of the TV show "Ghost Files" in the Sci Fi channel (yes, I know it's now called Sy Fy but that's stupid so I use the better, old name) but I have watched a few minutes here and there while channel surfing. What little I saw didn't impress me. So when I was offered this book, I was uncertain. I'm pretty sure I'm not the target audience. Still, in the end, I decided to do it and I enjoyed it, somewhat to my surprise.
As mentioned in the blurb, the book is an omnibus edition, combining two earlier books. The first book, Ghost Hunting, gives a brief history of T.A.P.S., the organization that the ghost hunters work for and then we get chats about 42 cases from the early years. Some of the cases are from before they got their television show but most are from the show. The main narrator is Jason, with Grant offering a brief synopsis of his thoughts after each case file. Jason Hawes has a light, clear, friendly writing style, like he's talking with you over a beer or coffee. The written case files recap the episodes but also show us their thought processes and reasons for accepting or refusing a case. Hawes stresses repeatedly that when they take a case, they are trying to verify possible supernatural activity, using scientific methods. They don't promise that they will certify a place as haunted and have often come away from a case with negative results. In Hawes' words,
"Grant and I insisted on a more rational approach. Before we would ever say a place was home to a supernatural entity, we needed to have proof. It was a significant departure. And it was on that basis that we founded T.A.P.S.-both of us, because the idea was as much Grant's as mine."
The second book, Seeking Spirits, has more cases from their TV show and a few that didn't make it on the show for one reason or another. Hawes and Wilson take turns discussing the cases. Additionally, interspersed between cases, we get mini chapters, titled Ghost Hunters Manual. The mini chapters discuss various entities such as incubus and methods such as hunting at night. I appreciated those glimpses, and for me, they helped clarify some of the decisions they made during their cases. The back also has a glossary of technical terms.
The overall book is easy to read, enjoyable, and can be read out of order if desired. Hawes and Wilson present the evidence and leave it up to the reader to decide for themselves if it proves supernatural activity. I found it a good introduction to their work and may even check out their show. I think that readers who are already fans will appreciate the insights into the people who ghost hunt and their work.
I received the paperback from the publisher for review.