The best books about ghosts written by people who might now be ghosts

Who am I?

Though I’ve always found the idea of survival after death fascinating, it was my interest in Modern Spiritualism that really sparked the desire to write Chasing Ghosts. That era (mid-1800s to the early 1900s) was a time when millions confidently believed they could communicate with the dead. Of course, this was only the tip of the paranormal iceberg. So I continued the journey into the lore of haunted places, ancient cultural beliefs, and scientific endeavors to find evidence for paranormal experiences or to debunk it. As a historian of the weirder pages of the past, this topic endlessly fascinates me. I hope it will for you as well. 


I wrote...

Chasing Ghosts: A Tour of Our Fascination with Spirits and the Supernatural

By Marc Hartzman,

Book cover of Chasing Ghosts: A Tour of Our Fascination with Spirits and the Supernatural

What is my book about?

Ghosts are everywhere—whether you believe in them or not. Every town has its local legends, and countless books, movies, and TV shows are haunted by their presence. But our obsession with ghosts runs deeper than we know—and is embedded in the very fabric of American history.
 
Writer and historian Marc Hartzman dons the mantle of tour guide, taking readers on a fascinating journey through supernatural history, including: The Fox Sisters and the rise of Spiritualism; the supernatural obsessions of famous figures; famous haunted sites; and famous ghosts like the Bell Witch of Tennessee Deeply researched and highly entertaining, with archival images and black and white illustrations, Chasing Ghosts will satisfy believers and skeptics alike.

The books I picked & why

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Spirit Slate Writing and Kindred Phenomena

By William E. Robinson,

Book cover of Spirit Slate Writing and Kindred Phenomena

Why this book?

William Ellsworth Robinson, who became better known as the magician Chung Ling Soo, devised tricks for Alexander Herrmann and other great magicians in the late 19th century. While he was developing stage magic, Spiritualists were performing what they branded as real magic—actually communicating with the dead in various ways. One of those ways was through a slate. Ask a question and with the slate positioned beneath a table, spirits would scribble a message in chalk. In this book, Robinson explains how these ghostly miracles and others could be achieved purely through the ingenuity of the living. The numerous illustrations make this book as wondrous to look through as is it to read.


Confessions of a Ghost-hunter

By Harry Price,

Book cover of Confessions of a Ghost-hunter

Why this book?

Harry Price is one of history’s great ghost hunters. In this book, you’ll hear his tales about his remarkable adventures at the Borley Rectory—which he has called the most haunted house in England—his investigation of a talking mongoose, and much more. Price discusses his methods, his tools, the behind-the-scenes experiences that pulled him into such unusual cases, and of course, his findings. 


The Next World Interviewed

By S. G. Horn,

Book cover of The Next World Interviewed

Why this book?

This obscure 1896 book is a collection of interviews with dead luminaries. At least, that’s what the psychic author alleges. Inside you’ll find conversations with Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, Charles Darwin, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Edgar Allan Poe, and others. Discover their wisdom from beyond the veil, and in the case of Ben Franklin, you can enjoy a new set of his famous aphorisms, including this one: “Spiritual knowledge, like gems hidden in the bowels of the earth, is only to be reached by patient upturning of the soil.”


The New Revelation

By Sir Arthur Conan Doyle,

Book cover of The New Revelation

Why this book?

Though Doyle will forever live on as the creator of Sherlock Holmes, he became an ardent Spiritualist and one of its biggest evangelists in the early 1900s. So strong were his beliefs that he lectured worldwide, and famously butted heads with Houdini over the legitimacy of communicating with the Other Side. This 1918 book explores his investigations into the world Spiritualism and the afterlife.


The Spirit World Unmasked

By Henry Ridgely Evans,

Book cover of The Spirit World Unmasked

Why this book?

Like Spirit Slate Writing and Kindred Phenomena, this 1897 book exposes the various ways that Spiritualist mediums manifest ghosts. Henry Ridgely Evans was a magician and historian who took on the Spiritualist movement, much like Harry Houdini would in the decades that followed. Filled with wondrous stories, secrets, and illustrations, this book is a must for any fan of Spiritualism and/or magic.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in ghosts, spiritualism, and ghost story?

5,888 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about ghosts, spiritualism, and ghost story.

Ghosts Explore 108 books about ghosts
Spiritualism Explore 13 books about spiritualism
Ghost Story Explore 81 books about ghost story

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Spirits of the Cage, A Sudden Light, and Best Ghost Stories of Algernon Blackwood if you like this list.