Alas Poor Ghost by Gillian Bennett

By Gillian Bennett

"Bennett interviewed ladies in Manchester, England, asking them approximately ghosts and different supernatural studies and ideology. (Her dialogue of ways her study equipment and interview thoughts developed is in itself valuable.) She first released the result of the examine within the well-received Traditions of trust: ladies and the Supernatural, which has been used the world over in folklore, women's experiences, and different classes. "Alas, negative Ghost!" completely revises and expands that paintings. as well as a fuller presentation and research of the unique box examine, the writer has up-to-date the textual content to include newer stories and assisted via Kate Bennett, a gerontological psychologist, analyzed new learn with a bunch of girls in Leicester, England. This final addition specializes in the function of bereavement and witnessing in touch with the dead."--BOOK JACKET.

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Sample text

No, the last few years. And it just came over me whether it was a warning that I was going to meet her or something. I never said anything to anybody about it. Vanessa plainly cannot entirely decide, or will not say, whether what she saw was objective or subjective. Two traditions are available to her as explanatory mechanisms, and she hovers between the two. On the one hand, she uses the language of supernatural belief ("I Page 32 have seen my mother," "I saw her quite plainly") and relies on some of the traditional assumptions about the reasons why the dead may contact the living which we will meet in chapter 2 ("And it just came over me whether it was a warning that I was going to meet her").

Folklorists (also on the whole locked into the rationalist intellectual tradition) have compounded the impression by printing collections of readable but unbelievable legends and calling them the "folklore" Page 10 of the supernatural. If researchers rely solely on accounts like these, they get a very mixed bag of unlikely manifestations which defy belief. If they then ask people whether they believe in such things, of course they get negative answers. But that could simply mean that the researchers' own prejudices, or misinformation, has led them to ask the wrong questions.

These are the Rural Churches Project, the report of which was published in 1990 (Davies, Watkins, and Winter 1991), and a very much larger survey of 1,603 individuals (Davies and Shaw 1995). In Switzerland, in 1954-55, the popular fortnightly Schweizer Beobachter initiated an enquiry into prophetic dreams, coincidences, premonitions, and apparitions, and received fifteen hundred accounts (Jaffé 1979). , Louis C. Jones surveyed young Americans and included an account of their responses in his very readable Things That Go Bump in the Night (1959).

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