Worlds Beyond * Ian Wilson

“There is one consistent feature to stories of so-called “ghosts”, it is that they almost invariably seem to have their roots in some tragedy from the past.”

Worlds Beyond is the title of a thirteen-part TV series which explores the world of paranormal as it has been revealed in the lives of countless “ordinary” people across five continents. While the TV show has a more “commercial” vibe to it and tends to sensationalize the happenings, the book are based on the real cases and research from the Society for Psychological Research and we can see many of the hauntings debunked.
This important contribution to the study of paranormal proves the wisdom of the great psychologist Jung who remarked

“I shall not commit the fashionable stupidity of regarding everything I cannot explain as a fraud”

I loved this book, aged with time, forgotten in a charity shop, talking about a show that has been off the air for more than 20 years. I loved it because it took some old cases (some from the mid 19th century), documented them and then proved them wrong. It’s like the X-files in book format. There are unexplained rapping, footsteps in an empty house, children talking in the voice of a hanged man, poltergeist activities caused by local servant girls and female wanting attention from the media. Vampires and the curse of king Tut are brought down to mere coincidences and folklore. But can all the cases really be that?

They are all explained – either as mild hallucinations, convoluted machinations involving strings and stones or even “multiple-personality” cases.
“Essentially, what lies behind such actions is “disassociation”, a splitting of the individual’s consciousness so that while consciously he or she may seem quiet and well ordered, one unconscious part of the personality is out to wreak havoc.
It is at war, not only with the parent body but with the entire outside world. A common, remarkable feature of such cases is the skillful subterfuge with which the anti-social activity is carried out, sometimes accompanied by exceptional strength.
Almost invariably in the psychological case histories there are good reasons for the individual having thus come to be, quite literally, at war with himself.
Severe emotional shocks and extreme parental cruelty during childhood are among the common triggers.
[…] The lesson of the story is that had psychiatrists rather than Spiritists been allowed to treat Maria Ferreira she might have been alive to this day.”

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