Book Reviews

Book Review: Dark Spirits by Stephen Lancaster

This book was reviewed via Netgalley


In paranormal investigator Stephen Lancaster’s second book, Dark Spirits, he covers a series of events and investigations detailing some of his more interesting moments as a paranormal investigator. Ok, I’m going to be honest. This book hit several ‘frission’ points for me, things that just rubbed me wrong.


What I liked:


*The memory theory interesting perspective, which I respect, though disagree with. For me, a decedent’s energy doesn’t become random data. We remain intelligent energetic beings. Hauntings I view as most often imprinted energy.


*I like that he points out that high EMF readings can have man-made sources, and he gives the warning symptoms of concentrated EMF on a person. He makes the point that the person(s) need to be removed from area and the source being corrected.


*I love that he points out that not everything ‘evil’ has to be demonic… people are capable of atrocities all on their own.


*I really liked Mrs Wells story, but I found it more light-hearted than title suggests, and than most of the other stories. It was a nice counter-attack, as was the story of the ghost in Squire’s Inn.


*This book directed me to the show My Ghost Story, which I’ve fallen in love with.


What I didn’t like:


*I am concerned that part of the equipment of PIT included firearms. I cannot see that those are necessary for hunting ghosts. I both know, and know of, plenty of investigative teams around the world who investigate a wide variety of places and do not find the need for firearms. I feel this more than a little irresponsible. Also, I grew up in rural and semi-rural North Carolina, with summers on a former cotton plantation in Alabama. I live today in an area where mountain lions occasionally wander, and where darker things share space. Never considered firearms necessary. In the stories where firearms plagued a big part, and in many others where it seemed needed, no mention was made of the more important esper protection I would expect. You go into places where psychic attacks may happen, bring appropriate protection. Archangel Michael medallions, and invocations, or whatever resonates best with the individual involved. For me, meditation, grounding/centring, and a petition to the runai, along with shield visualisation


*Much of the writing was very straightforward, though it seemed rather melodramatic.. I found some of the writing in the stories of Eidolon Fields & The Dog House to be a bit demeaning to the ability of women to cope and/or the better-suitedness of men to handle this situation. I rather find that well-centred women do best because of greater intuition and a less confrontational disposition. This really did rub me wrong, and felt condescending.


*The Piper Room- okay, why scream at a colleague who was sleeping and began having trouble breathing, to see if they respond? Noelle’s ‘attack’ sounds like apnea, or a medical condition maybe to be concerned about. The author also suffered some sort of seizure/apnea fit when falling asleep, yet no medical help was sought. If it was as bad as it was made out to be, medical attention would be the most responsible course. And for all the Jekyll and Hyde goings on at the beginning of this segment, I saw no evidence that the author “turned into a monster”. Rambling incoherently about random things does not a monster make. But it does lend credence to my observation that a medical assessment might have been the better choice.


*Another proofing would be recommended, for minor spelling errors in capitalisation, homophones, and with place name inconsistency. Squire’s Inn one point in narrative was called Vintage Inn, and another time called Scottish Inn, which was confusing.


So, those things being said, if you have an interest in all things paranormal, you’ll likely find this book of interest. The stories fascinated me. I’d love to take a grounded group to Eidolon Fields and the ‘Dog House’. Of course… be wary where animals fear to tread. The fact Kai didn’t want to go inside says a great deal, so I’d make sure a doggie went too!
??? Likely to enjoy if you like the more over-the-top dramatically inclined paranormal shows such as Ghost Hunters, Paranormal State, or Mountain Monsters.

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