Bits of stuff

31 08 2010

A couple of months ago I was at the natural history museum in New York and saw a book in the gift shop that looked right up my alley – Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife, by Mary Roach. Since I have become moderately addicted to audiobooks in the last few years, I put it in my mental queue and finally downloaded it last week.

I know I’ve mentioned before that the whole ghost hunting/scientific angle doesn’t hold a lot of interest for me, but this book is less a how-to than a how-it’s-been-done. Roach covers the medium craze of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, investigates claims of reincarnation among Hindus, pokes at evidence of ‘ectoplasm’ from the Cambridge University archives, and talks to a myriad of scientists all trying to prove the existence of an afterlife. Or, at the very least, trying to explain the weird phenomenon that people label supernatural. It’s an entertaining read. A few years ago I read Mary Roach’s book Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, and enjoyed her tongue-in-cheek investigations of weird things. Roach may not give you all the answers, but she does ask very good questions.

And now, some ghost-related news from here and there.

~ My good friend Esther B. passed on this interesting story: The Ghost Story and Mystery of Duffy’s Cut

~ Ghost hunter killed during stakeout for 1891 ghost train. So sad. Here is the NY Times article about the original tragedy.

~ Because it’s a hot August day just like the one on which Lizzie Borden’s parents were brutally murdered, I invite you to review the case.  What do you think? Did she do it? And did anyone else’s parents teach them the rhyme about how Lizzie gave her father forty whacks?

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One response

17 11 2010
William Smith

Excellent ghost related news stories. All three stories are top notch, but the Lizzie Borden article was particularly good.

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