|About the Book|
Why do people believe in ghosts? It is a question sceptics, historians and philosophers have tried to answer through the centuries. Today, despite modern technology and the advance of science, the belief in ghosts is just as prevalent as it was 500MoreWhy do people believe in ghosts? It is a question sceptics, historians and philosophers have tried to answer through the centuries. Today, despite modern technology and the advance of science, the belief in ghosts is just as prevalent as it was 500 years ago. We might blame popular media - films, books, the internet - for the continued success of ghosts and ghost stories, but are we any closer to understanding why humanity has a tenacious belief in life after death? Why, despite the world becoming more secular and religion being marginalised, we still crave proof that our souls or spirits continue after our earthly demise?Journeying thousands of years through time, Sophie Jackson aims to demonstrate why people have always loved a good ghost story and the many ways the ghost has been used to fulfill the political and religious agendas of the age. From conjecturing on the beliefs of prehistoric man, she travels to the ancient world, exploring how the Greeks and Romans influenced British culture, before examining the deep-rooted Celtic traditions that still exist today. She examines how the medieval Church used ghosts as propaganda, and how one kings volatile marriage arrangements changed the way ghosts were perceived for forever. Moving into the Georgian period, she explores the way science and education tried to eradicate the belief in ghosts, and ultimately failed, before looking at how the ghost became a feature of popular culture in the Victorian period and how the modern age has influenced the way we see and think of the supernatural.Using a vast wealth of original documents and a range of hauntings - both famous and little known - Sophie presents the story of the ghost in a whole new light and argues why it is a fundamental part of being human to believe in the paranormal.Whether you are a sceptic or a believer, Of Ghosts and Spirits, will make you think again about how the ghost has been shaped by history and popular culture. Delving deeply into the past, Sophie brings fresh light to old stories and reveals why the ghost story is here to stay in this fascinating volume. You may just have to read it with all the lights on.