The majority of folks you speak with will have some sort of ghost or paranormal story to tell. I grew up hearing stories from my mother whose home in Chicago was haunted. As a teenager I experienced my first poltergeist experience in my room (which I refused to go in my room for about 3 weeks after). These stories and experiences did not deter or scare me away but rather deepened my fascination in the world of ghosts and paranormal activity. In the early 2000’s I began my journey as a paranormal investigator and joined a group of fellow investigators. I have seen, experienced and recorded some wild things personally but am always still interested in reading books and hearing from others on what they have seen. One of the biggest draws to this book in particular is the Witch angle. There are plenty of books on ghosts and the paranormal but this one has a focus on how those who follow a witchy path can use our abilities during investigations.
Another thing I appreciated from this book was that the author makes a point of not just how to investigate and communicate with the spirits but also provides how we can help. There are paranormal groups out there that go to haunted locations for the thrill and hopes they catch something on film but don’t actually try to help the spirits or the locations. I personally prefer to try to assist the living or the deceased in these haunted locations for the better.
The author stresses that this type of work is not for the faint of heart. I agree with this sentiment, as you do need to be able to stay calm and cool while paranormal things are happening as well as controlling any fear. Every location will be different as well as the different spirits you may encounter. Just like in life, the dead have different personalities and act accordingly.
The book itself is broken into thirteen chapters that include: Witchcraft Basics, Cleansing and Clearing, Mediumship Basics, Paranormal Investigation Basics, Understanding a Haunting, The Residual Haunting, Earthbound Human Spirits, The Poltergeist Phenomenon, Inhuman Spirits, Negative Entities, Magical Toolkit, Portals, Doorways, and Highways and Working with Clients.
The author also provides a quick list of exercises and rituals by the name and page number for easy reference at the front of the book. The book does provide several basics of Witchcraft, protection and other things that are useful while considering work in the paranormal. The author does a good job of providing useful info but if the reader is brand new to Witchcraft, I would recommend supplementing with some Witchcraft 101 books to become more familiar.
Diving into the Paranormal Investigation chapters, the author does a great job of explaining the world of investigating the paranormal. I would also personally suggest trying to find a group of seasoned investigators to shadow as well. Our group has had many investigations where we revisited local haunted locations and did teaching sessions. Hands on experience is amazing and also doubled with experienced paranormal investigators is a rewarding experience for all.
I love that the author provides a short list of rules as a Code of Ethics. This helps put into perspective what the reader is hoping to achieve and helps keep this practice safe and ethical.
There is so much amazing information in this book, I vote it as a must have on the bookshelf for anyone involves in paranormal investigation and especially from a Witch’s path! I highly recommend!
~review by Amber Barnes
Author: J. Allen Cross
Llewellyn Publications, 2022
pp. 256, $16.99