Top 10 Books on the Paranormal and Supernatural
The Best Books on the Paranormal
The best books of the supernatural and paranormal. Every culture and society had handed down legends and stories of paranormal events. It is the stuff of movies, television, and fiction books. But is there really anything to it? Science had assured us for a many decades that the things that make up paranormal or supernatural subjects are not real. In a fast paced rational world such things can't exist can they?. It's all over-active imagination or misinterpretation.
And yet these subjects just won't go away. The reason of course is that people still keep seeing ghosts, and UFO's, and creatures like Bigfoot. They keeping having what they consider prophetic dreams or precognitive thoughts. A few either through an accident or through physical illness even have what is called a Near Death Experience (NDE). What is it these people are seeing or experiencing?
Books on the supernatural are typically split into different categories. Some are evidence based, offering numerous case studies or sightings to mull over in a particular field. Others just offer peoples experiences and leave it up to the reader to decide. Still others try to make sense of it all. It should be noted that these books are not meant for casual daytime reading. The best time to real these books are late at night, when the wind is howling outside, and the rain is pounding down. Just don't be surprised if you keep looking over your shoulder while reading some of these offerings.
As with any list of this sort the picks are subjective and personal. With such a variety of books to choose from, I tried to offer interesting books from across the spectrum of the paranormal. So without further ado here are my Top 10 books from the paranormal and supernatural.
#10 - Understanding Life After Death: An Exploration of What Awaits You, Me and Everyone We've Ever Known
By Cyrus Kirkpatrick
Well written book on what awaits us after death. There are many books on the afterlife (or the lack of same). However this particular volume does a good job offering a balanced look at everything from out of body experiences, purported information from the spirits themselves through mediums, and reincarnation. The author also spends time discussing the view of skeptics, as well as ideas gleaned from new age style books on the afterlife. And finally he ties it all up in what he believes awaits us on the other side.
One of the most fascinating areas of debate comes from near death experiences which are considered in detail. The stories coming from the ones that have had these NDE's are generally pretty similar. The tunnel, the long dead loved ones coming to greet you, the light beckoning you forward. Kirkpatrick looks at the evidence, and then looks at the skeptics explanations for them. One other area which is normally given short shrift are physical mediums, who speak in the voice of the departed after they go into trance. One of the best known, Leslie Flint (now departed himself), is given his own chapter. Overall a welcome exploration on a subject which we all would like to know a little more about.
#9 - The Beast of Boggy Creek: The True Story of the Fouke Monster
by Lyle Blackburn
In 1972 a low budget film called "The Legend of Boggy Creek" was released. It was part documentary/part thriller became a huge drive-in hit raking in millions of dollars. The legend was about a big hairy creature which lurked in the swampy river bottoms of southern Arkansas. This book weaves together the sightings of the creature, along with the story of the movie and it's influence over future "monster hunters".
A fair amount of research went into this title. The sightings have continued for decades, and the area certainly seems to be a prime place for any Bigfoot type creatures to hide out in. An interesting read especially if you have an interest in cryptozoology.
#8 - Alien Agenda
by Jim Marrs
Are we alone in the universe? Jim Marrs weighs the evidence in the form of sightings, government documents, and skeptical analysis and argues that aliens are here and UFO's are real. Heavily researched with a large bibliography at the end, Marrs makes the case for the UFO. The federal reserve bank and the shadow government even makes an appearance here.
I'll quickly admit that UFO's are not my forte. I have read numerous books on the subject however, and this is the one that stuck with me.The author sifts through a great deal of evidence in this book and makes it a compelling read.
#7 - Invisible Horizons
By Vincent Gaddis (1965)
Although this book was written 50 years ago, it is still arguably the best book on true sea mysteries. This book is filled with fascinating stories of ghost ships, disappearing islands, floating morgues, vanishing crews, and horror ships. Many books have borrowed heavily from this one, but none of those are quite as good as Invisible Horizons. It's simply so well written that I find myself returning to it over and over again through the years.
Vincent Gaddis was a natural storyteller, and all of his books that I have read are worth keeping, but this book is the best. There are footnotes throughout, if you want to do further research. If you have an interest in ghost ships and sea mysteries, you may want to locate a copy for your own library. Unfortunately it had been out of print for awhile, so a used copy is the best bet.
#6 - Science and the Near Death Experience: How Consciousness Survives Death
by Chris Carter
Part of a trilogy of books written by Chris Carter. The first was on Psychic Phenomena and the Skeptics, the third is on the Afterlife (which we will look at later). This is the second in the series. Carter lays out the evidence for Near-Death Experiences (NDE's). This is probably the best book on the subject to date.
The first part of the book goes from quantum mechanics to the question of whether memories are stored in the brain. The author is looking for the evidence that consciousness can survive death. Once that is done, case studies of Near-Death Experiences are viewed both ancient and modern.. Carter then takes aim at the skeptics and their explanations for NDE's. After that it's on to possibly the most interesting cases on NDE's, those of the blind.. All in all this is a wonderful book. The chapters on quantum mechanics can be a bit knotty for those new to the idea, but once through those the book is very readable.
#5 - True Haunting
by Edwin F Becker
A young man with a pregnant wife is desperately looking for a place to live. He finds a dark dingy looking two-flat apartment building which is at a good price, but that has been on the market awhile. Thrilled with his good fortune, he buys the place and slowly begins to find out just why the building had been on the market for so long with no takers.
This is a page turner as the realization slowly sinks in to the author that he lives in an extremely haunted house. A very enjoyable read with no filler or dramatic occurrences added to spice up the tale. Just an interesting story of a young couple who got far more than they bargained for in their new place of residence.
#4 - The Missing 411 Series
The first of five books which tackle a rather eerie topic. The disappearance of over 1,000 people in very unusual circumstances in our national parks, and rural areas. The circumstances of these cases are rather strange to say the least. Small children vanishing (often with their dogs), and later being found dead or alive a couple miles away from where they disappeared. Sometimes they are found up on mountain ledges, or in swamps. No child could travel that far in the short time that typically elapses before they are found. Which of course leads to the question of who (or what) is taking them to where they are eventually discovered.
Many disappearances of adults and children are in clusters in certain areas of forests and mountain areas which build up over the course of years. These books will make you think differently about the great outdoors. I'm not sure I will go hiking alone ever again. Odd places like boulder fields, and creek beds are prime places to both find a few of these people, and also for them to go missing in. The five books are subtitled Western U.S., Eastern U.S., North America and beyond, Devil in the Details, and A Sobering Coincidence.
#3 - The Mothman Prophecies
by John A Keel
In 1966 stories began circulating in the press about a giant winged creature that was being seen in West Virginia. A journalist named John Keel went to the state to look into the bizarre sightings, and at the same time pursue all the UFO sightings that were plaguing the area. This classic book of the paranormal is full of high strangeness and is well written. It almost reads like a novel.This book almost runs the gamut of the paranormal, from the title creature, to UFO's and other strange happenings.
Any of John Keel's books are worth having, but this is the one that really caught the public's eye. Keel popularized the Men In Black in this book along with all sorts of strange things that were going on at the time. The book was made into a film in 2002, but the book is far better.
#2 - Fringeology-How I Tried to Explain away the Unexplainable and Couldn't
by Steve Volk
A journalist decides to really look into claims of the paranormal, or as the author puts it topics that have the "paranormal taint". Volk goes out and attempts to see these claims with an unbiased eye and discovers that he can't discount them as easily as he originally thought he could. The author did live in a haunted house as a child, so he did have some experience with the unusual.
The breadth of this book is amazing. It moves from such topics as Lucid Dreaming and Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, to the placebo effect and UFO's over a Texas town. The most interesting chapter may be on Induced After Death Communication (IADC). A doctor in Chicago treating mostly Vietnam vets for trauma stumbles across a method that seems to bring their dead comrades and deceased family members back to them for a visit. A fascinating book.
#1-Science and the Afterlife Experience: Evidence for the Immortality of Consciousness
by Chris Carter
The third book in Chris Carter's trilogy tackles the Afterlife. In this one he goes over all the evidence for life after death. The book is divided in 4 sections -Reincarnation, Apparitions, Messages from the Dead, and Conclusions. All are fascinating in the information put forth. As in his other books Carter takes on the skeptics and their explanations. The best cases of reincarnation are put forth, then ghostly visitors,and then what messages purportedly from the dead tell us about a possible afterlife.
This is not light reading, however it is enjoyable to slowly make your way through it. And once you finish it you may well have a different point of view on the subject. Lots of food for thought here.This is one of those that make you think about the subject matter long after you finish reading it.
And there you have it. Ten good books on the paranormal. In my opinion the best supernatural books you can find on their particular topics. However as I said in the intro, these are books to be read on a cold rainy night when your alone in the house to have their full affect.