Tag Archives: ghost

Terror made him write: ‘Ghosts, Apparitions, and Poltergeists’, by Brian Righi – review

Ghosts, Apparitions and Poltergeists: An Exploration of the Supernatural Through HistoryGhosts, Apparitions, and Poltergeists: An Exploration of the Supernatural Through History by Brian Righi

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A ghost is really unfinished business. It was, it is, and it will be. The existence and belief of supernatural entities are universal in all human societies as regards the sense and sentiments common to all mankind. From the Far Eastern shore of Japan to the end of the Aegean Sea across a great divide of time, the forefathers of humankind revered, feared, or cherished the souls of the departed regardless of cultural and racial differences. Such human tendency of holding onto supernatural existence is, therefore, not an antediluvian pagan belief to be scorned or debased as a superstitious practice of the misty past but a natural phenomenon validated by historical eyewitnesses as presented in Ghosts, Apparitions, and Poltergeistsby Brian Righi.

Although the title of the book may mislead you straightforwardly to the world of ghostbusters and mediums, it is anything but a sensational book about that sort of thing aimed for the jolt of psychedelic horror. Righi is both an erudite and refreshing writer well conversant with the ancient histories of the world and the related academic subjects, who treats the ghostly subjects of the book enlighteningly and entertainingly with the sap of a fresh-eyed academic, gripping the mind of the learned reader without losing the attention throughout the pages. He references Plato, Pliny the Younger, and the other ancient notables to corroborate the existence of supernatural strangers still roaming their once earthly abodes either not knowing they are dead or refusing to emigrate into the beyond for undying attachment to their life on earth. The method gives his stance on supernatural phenomena power of reality vested in the authenticity of truth.

I find this book very much in accordance with my perspective on the souls of the dead, as it also corresponds to the Catholic belief in which the souls of the dead are officially revered in the fashion of feast days of saints and daily prayer for their deliverance from purgatory to heaven and asking them to pray for us to God. However, there is no prerequisite for reading this book as long as you want to know about why some of our once fellow-citizens of the terrestrial world are roaming about and living among us, seriously.

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‘The Signal-Man’, by Charles Dickens – review

The Signal-Man (Original 1866 Edition): AnnotatedThe Signal-Man (Original 1866 Edition): Annotated by Charles Dickens

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Charles Dickens wrote this short story of a lonely signalman in 1866 based upon the Clayton tunnel crash in 1861. The setting of the story was a station by this tunnel with a dismal and eerie atmosphere around it, which dovetailed with the ambiance of the story itself. But while I was reading the story and thereupon, I was unsure of who’s the ghost here: the narrator or the signalman? First of all, the image of the narrator calling the signalman’s attention to him from above seems to me uncanny enough to conjure up the calling of a spectre wandering about the haunted tunnel. Or it might be that the signalman, the station, and the train per se were all in fact illusions, bewitched elements of the tunnel crash victims eternally haunting the place, not knowing their demise. Or in terms of modern psychoanalytical perspective, either the narrator or the signalman saw his own representations of the reality in his own mind, the hallucinations, which were different from and invisible to the others. And that is what I found this story at once hauntingly rueful and lingering with the images.