by Debi Chestnut
This is a non-fiction book written by a professional ghost hunter who reports encountering negative entities, even demons.
I'm always fascinated by this sort of book that presents spiritual entity experiences as true things that happened because it makes me examine my own beliefs. Do I believe in ghosts? In demons? Do I believe things actually happened as the author relates? These are scenarios I would happily read in a fiction story, but the claim that it's all true adds a different perspective to the reading experience.
Right at the beginning the author says that her ghost hunting team is made up of people from different religious beliefs, including Christian, Buddhist and Pagan, but that each of them is qualified within their belief system for dealing with these negative entities. On one hand that sounds a bit like the one size fits all, totally inclusive attitude that a lot of new age books fall into so that they will appeal to the widest possible audience, but on another level it is a recognition that practices like exorcism don't belong to just one religion. The author herself takes a Christian perspective on how she operates, because it "works for her".
In the second chapter she explains different types of spirits and especially negative spirits from her own perspective. It correlates reasonably closely to similar definitions I read in my high school days. The problem I have with it though is that it begins sounding like a thinly veiled born-again Christian attempt to convince people that demons exist, then flips over and starts talking about new age methods like visualizing white light and at the same time refers to using tools of magic as something that will invite demons in. References to "God's law" for how demons can behave followed by instructions for how to use crystals for protection and clean the house with smudging just sounds like the author is confused.
The writing itself is good, but the mixed messages fail to convince. There is also very little about the 'other negative entities' or malevolent ghosts that are referred to now and then. No instructions for how to deal with the ghosts or what these 'other' entities could possibly be or what to do about them, apart from calling in a ghost hunter who says it doesn't matter what method you use to rid yourself of demons as long as you believe in it. Approach as fiction and be warned, the section about false exorcisms is not for the squeamish.