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Ghost Hunters
: William James and the Search for Scientific Proof of Life After Death, Penguin Press - Paperback published May 29, 2007

What if a world -renowned philosopher and professor of psychiatry at Harvard suddenly announced he believed in ghosts? At the close of the nineteenth century, the illustrious William James led a determined scientific investigation into "unexplainable" incidences of clairvoyance and ghostly visitations. James and a small group of eminent scientists staked their reputations, their careers, even their sanity on one of the most extraordinary quests ever undertaken: to empirically prove the existence of ghosts, spirits, and psychic phenomena. What they pursued— and what they found—raises questions as fascinating today as they were then.


This is history as you want it to be written. As you finish, you search your shelves for other books by the protagonists, other books on the period. When I picked this one up, I would have told you I didn't believe in ghosts. And now I'm not so sure.

The Daily Telegraph, UK

Tales of the otherworldly have haunted for thousands of years. As Deborah Blum notes in her compulsively readable book, Ghost Hunters, ''Ghosts drifted like smoke through the pyramids of Egypt. Smoldering demons climbed out of fires in ancient Africa. Spirits walked with native hunters in the American forests...After reading Blum's mesmerizing account, you might be tempted to dust off that Ouija board.

Entertainment Weekly

Deborah Blum's Ghost Hunters: The Victorians and the Hunt for Proof of Life after Death is a fascinating, moving and, most importantly, paradigm-challenging account of the lives and work of the many scientists and thinkers who championed the cause of psychical research. These included Nobel Prize winners such as Lord Rayleigh; a future prime minister, Arthur Balfour; a poet laureate, Tennyson; a knight of the realm, Oliver Lodge; and other notables like Ruskin, Lewis Carroll, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Leslie Stephen, the literary critic and father of Virginia Woolf.

The Independent, UK

Read more about the book:

Science and the Afterlife, The Daily Grail

Deborah Blum, Ghost Hunters, Rocky Mountain Paranormal Research Society

The Book Depository