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Telephone Calls from the Dead
Telephone Calls from the Dead by Callum E. Cooper
In 1979, D. Scott Rogo and Raymond Bayless wrote a groundbreaking book entitled, Phone Calls from the Dead. The book centered upon their qualitative research regarding alleged communication from the dead via telephone; it was well received by the media yet not so much by the scientific community as their research was regarded as too anecdotal and directed towards the “layman.” However, the accessibility of Phone Calls has indubitably spurred forth the interest of communication from the dead by non-researchers and researchers alike. Telephone Calls from the Dead by Callum E. Cooper is evidence of this.
Cooper’s book, like Rogo and Bayless’, is accessible to the layman but also informative to the researcher; it uses Rogo and Bayless’ findings as a foundation from which to renew and extend research regarding communication with the dead via telephone. Cooper examines anomalous calls, distributing them into five categories, of which three actually involve calls from the dead. These categories are “answer” (where a living person calls and speaks with a person who they do not know is presently deceased), “simple,” and “prolonged.” “Mixed” calls are those that have aspects of both “simple” and “prolonged. “Intention” calls involve a living person who intends to call someone but then doesn’t, but later finds out that that someone still received a call from him or her. Cooper also elucidates on anomalous voicemails and quickly mentions text messages and emails, although the former are rare and much harder to confirm as paranormal or not due to the mechanics of them.
Cooper provides examples and possible explanations of the different types of calls which range from paranormal to non-paranormal. Non-paranormal explanations include hallucinations, hoaxes, technical mishaps, etc. Paranormal explanations are also not limited to communication with the deceased, but are also attributed to psychokinesis, clairvoyance, and telepathy. Theories of phone call mechanics are elucidated as well as the psychology of the phone calls.
The book provides a well-rounded introduction to the many aspects at play regarding communication with the dead via telephone, or at the very least, the possibility thereof. Telephone Calls from the Dead will peak one’s interest in pursuing further study of anomalous phone calls, whether it is personal or academic. Academics may like more elucidation on methodology and analysis of Cooper’s research but they will find a long list of references they may use to satisfy this desire. Readers will also find that having read Rogo and Bayless’ Phone Calls from the Dead is not necessary to understand Cooper’s book, but they will most likely find the desire to do so afterward. Overall, Telephone Calls from the Dead revitalizes both public interest and academic research in the field of telephonic communication with the dead.
This book review was originally published in the Journal of Exceptional Experiences and Psychology, Vol. 1, No. 2: www.exceptionalpsychology.com