A History of Ghosts: The True Story of Séances, Mediums, Ghosts, and Ghostbusters

Front Cover
Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale, Sep 29, 2009 - Body, Mind & Spirit - 256 pages
Peter Aykroyd spent his childhood watching his family's parlor séances through the crack of a basement door. Here, for the first time, Aykroyd tells the strange and delightful story that inspired his son, Dan, to make the mega-hit, Ghostbusters. Part history, part family legend, A History of Ghosts starts in 1848 in upstate New York, where the spiritualist craze first began. Aykroyd introduces the reader to notable mediums while telling the story of the development of spiritualism, interweaving a personal history marked by a fascination with ghosts and spirits with the larger narrative about the role the paranormal has played in our culture. Such legendary figures as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini appear and vanish.

Everyone loves a good ghost story. Successful TV shows such as Medium and Ghost Hunters are proof that our national obsession with ghosts is here to stay. Millions of Americans believe in the paranormal—and even skeptics have heard a bump in the night and suspected it might be something supernatural.

What people are saying - Write a review

A History of Ghosts: The True Story of Seances, Mediums, Ghosts, and Ghostbusters

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Seances were all the rage in the mid-19th to 20th century, and Aykroyd's family (Peter is the brother of actor/comedian Dan of Ghostbusters fame) was in the thick of it. Into this history of the ... Read full review



Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2009)

PETER AYKROYD is a retired Government of Canada Senior Executive. He is the author of two previous books, The Anniversary Compulsion and A Sense of Place. He lives on a plot of land 20 miles north of Kingston, Ontario, that has been in the family for 180 years.

ANGELA NARTH is a full-time writer of both fiction and nonfiction with seven books currently in print. She lives on the banks of the mighty Red River a few minutes south of Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Bibliographic information