LLIFS Resource Directory - Old ghost stories

3rd July 2022. Reading Time: 4 minutes General, Paranormal Book Club. 1372 page views. 0 comments.

This week in the LLIFS Resource Directory, I am featuring 3 books over a century old detailing some of the oldest ghost stories known. There are also links so you can read them for free via public domain!

If you follow my blog or are just visiting for the first time, as you scroll through the different articles, you will see a very wide range of topics discussed.  This is not information I automatically know about.  They are things I have often come across in some ways through my research.  There are so many amazing books and resources available that can really help with your paranormal research.   A lot of these are books written by people who in some way have been influential.  Often they are books that are very old and no longer in print.  To buy the hard copy can cost up to thousands, however, there are free public domain pdfs online which is a good second choice!  I have gone through the resource directory to highlight some gems you definitely should add bookmarks on! This week we are looking at old ghost stories

Historic ghosts and ghost hunters by H. Addington Bruce (1908)

Bruce Henry Addington was a Canadian journalist and lecturer on psychology, education and sociology.  He was a trustee for the American Society for Psychical Research (ASPR), and in 1925 he left them and became director of research for the Boston Society for Psychical Research. He authored a number of books on psychical subjects including The Riddle of Personality (1915).  In 1908 he wrote the book Historic ghosts and ghost hunters recalling some of the more famous ghostly tales known at the time.  Featured are tales such as The Drummer of Tedworth, The Cock Lane Ghost, The Seeress of Prevorst, The Devils of Loudun and many more.

Settle in for a chilling thrill-ride with H. Addington Bruce's Historic Ghosts and Ghost Hunters. This volume collects a series of reported hauntings in various locations throughout Europe, as well as detailed reports of the attempts that were made to contact, question, and in some instances, even exorcise the supernatural being or beings at fault.

Image depicting Drummer of Tedworth: Saducismus Triumphatus, London, by author Joseph Glanvill (1861)

If you want to read about The Drummer of Tedworth in more detail check out my article the Drummer of Tedworth.

To read the book via free public domain, head to: https://archive.org/details/historicghostsa00brucgoog/mode/2up?ref=ol&view=theater

The Night-Side of Nature; Or, Ghosts and Ghost-Seers by Catherine Crowe (1848)

Spirits of the dead who cannot break their link with the Earth, the unfathomable mysteries of dreams that predict the future, apparitions, doppelgangers, haunted houses and poltergeists - Catherine Crowe's book examines these and other cases of supernatural happenings.

In 1848, the book 'The night side of nature' was released and is considered to be groundbreaking for its time. Reviewed by the Literary Examiner, it was described as “one of the most extraordinary collections of ‘Ghost Stories’ that has ever been published”. The tales themselves are often narrated by people in everyday settings or are an account of letters describing phenomena.  

What was most loved about the book was the very honest nature in which it was written. Crowe did her research on the cases she featured to ensure that she wasn't over-embellishing the facts. It meant that some people found the work to be 'mundane' as there were no shocks or surprises in the storytelling. In fact, it wasn't really storytelling, they were actual accounts. It was what makes this book and the accounts, all the more reputable.

To read the book free via public domain, head to: https://www.gutenberg.org/files/54532/54532-h/54532-h.htm

Phantasms of the Living by EDMUND GURNEY, M. A.;FREDERIC W. H. MYERS, M.A,;FRANK PODMORE, M.A. (1918)

This two-volume work, co-authored by Edmund Gurney (1847-1888), Frederic W. H. Myers (1843-1901) and Frank Podmore (1856-1910), all leading members of the Society for Psychical Research, was first published in 1886. It documents over 700 case studies of ghost-seeing, and aimed to revolutionise thinking about ghosts by proposing a theory that explained ghost-seeing through the idea of telepathy. Volume 1 includes an introduction by Myers and an explanation of the analytical methods used in the study. It then focuses on hypnotism, the telepathic transference of ideas, mental pictures and emotional impressions, dreams, and hallucinations, and contains an impressive essay on the history of witchcraft. This pioneering study is an indispensable source for the history of psychical research. It provides detailed insights into the Victorian fascination with the occult and the supernatural, and is still the most extensive collection of ghost-seeing accounts available.

As mentioned in the blurb, this book contains over 700 case studies and not only documents them, but talks about how they could be linked with the concept of telepathy.  It paints a very different picture and makes you think outside of what a regular ghost sighting just may be.  You will have noticed throughout my blog that this book has been listed as a reference point many times.

To read the book free via public domain, head to: https://archive.org/details/PhantasmsOfTheLiving-1918

To find more great links and resources, visit the LLIFS Resource Directory

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