“Elements of a Haunting” by Brandon Alvis and Mustafa Gatollari

Brandon Alvis and Mustafa Gatollari are best known for their work on A&E’s “Ghost Hunters” television show. In this book, they aim to share their investigative process, research theories, insight into locations that were covered in the show, and introduce a classification system for ghosts and hauntings. The book includes an introduction, discussion of “Ghost Science” (this is where you find the classification system), review of ethics, protocols, and standards, technology used in the field, and 6 case studies. The case studies are further split into claims, history, the living individuals, the dead individuals, the investigation, and a conclusion with each haunting classified. There are also reflections throughout the book attributed to each investigator giving the reader further insight into the thought process and reaction of the investigators.

Would I recommend this book? Yes. I think it contains a nice balance of entertainment and information. Individuals generally interested in the paranormal will enjoy the deeper dive into the locations and investigators will be interested in the procedures, tech, and analysis done by the team.

Pros: I appreciate that this book covers some of the more scientific pieces of equipment available to teams (and some not so available due to cost). I found myself thinking about why barometric pressure changes and photon events may be linked to anomalous experiences. In my opinion, a good paranormal book will get you thinking about your process and the data you collect in the field. This book accomplishes that. In addition, the cases covered are interesting and should keep even the least science minded reader engaged in the book.

Cons: The classification system is interesting but, in my mind, the most groundbreaking research being conducted in this book has to do with the technology. I am interested in what changes in barometric pressure and photon events might tell us about the paranormal. Of course, I realize that this information may be lacking due to these being recent science-based findings. At some point, a deeper dive into these anomalies would be an interesting study and could further inform investigators on processes to focus their investigations in the future.

You can purchase your own copy of the book here.

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