When I saw this book at my local library, I was very excited. I thought the idea of a novel about modern-day paranormal investigators had the potential to be very entertaining.
Thank goodness I borrowed it from the library. If I had bought this book, I would have been upset rather than somewhat amused by how truly wrong it is in nearly every way.
Be forewarned that this review is going to include spoilers, if it is possible to spoil a plot like this. If you really want to read the book, go ahead. It’s a quick read, and if you’ve never watched Ghost Hunters and know absolutely nothing about paranormal investigation, it may not frustrate you too badly.
I truly believe Ms. Singh watched a handful of Ghost Hunters, did a little research on the Internet to get some of the jargon down and a general idea of ghost-hunting equipment, and then wrote this book in a few hours.
I know she must have watched Ghost Hunters, because I recognize the broad outlines of nearly every case she details and I know where she got the descriptions of the places the team investigates. See if any of this sounds familiar to anyone:
A battleship with a haunted boiler room
A haunted military base
A mansion in which twin girls were murdered by a maid who poisoned their birthday cake
A cabin where a man is haunted by a jealous ghost who resents his “lady friends”
Remember any of those?
The wealthy leader of the team, Scott, does own some of the right equipment. He has a digital camera and an EMF meter, for instance. But he doesn’t really need them. He has the most powerful medium ever, and she always finds activity and she always makes the ghosts go into the light, even if they don’t want to.
Yes, friends, this team never debunks a single thing. They never sit for hours waiting for something to happen. They never discover that the “haunting” is caused by squeaky boards, tricks of the light, or noisy pipes. Every single case they investigate has real and extremely active paranormal activity.
The team, who go by the name “The Cold Spot,” even run into a full-body apparition on their way TO an investigation, just standing in front of their car in the middle of nowhere, and that apparition doesn’t just appear for a fleeting second, it actually leads them on a wild chase that ends in a totally incredible, and I mean that in the strictest sense, way.
I belong to a paranormal investigation team myself, and I’ve written extensively about the subject, and I can tell you that most paranormal investigators have never seen a full-body apparition, even if they were looking for one. Real paranormal evidence tends to show up on film or through unexplained voices caught on tape or by things moving around in a fairly subtle manner.
In this book, they never capture any EVPs(electronic voice phenomena. Why? Well, because according to Scott, only a medium can communicate with a ghost. He has a terrible time finding a reputable medium for his team, too. Almost every medium he is aware of is an obvious fraud. I found this interesting, since I could have personally led him to at least two very reputable mediums who work with paranormal investigators all the time, and that’s just in my circle of friends and acquaintances.
But then I realized that I really don’t know any mediums like Anjali Kumar. The woman never fails to make contact and she never fails to “clear” the place. By the force of her will, she convinces ghosts who really want to stay to go into the light, even if she has to shove them. At one point, when she does have trouble, though, Ms Singh does give her what I believe is a unique solution. The team has run into a malevolent, nonhuman entity. It defies even Ms. Kumar and Coulter, the master of psychokenesis who is a fellow team member(!) Even though when poltergeists throw things, Coulter can stop them in mid-air and harness the energy of the poltergeist, an amazing idea, he can’t handle this entity. Luckily, a ghost appears and invites the entity to enter it, and when the entity takes possesion of the ghost, Anjali sends both of them into the light!
I have never heard of a ghost being possessed before, especially by a nonhuman entity. And I personally find the idea of sending an angry, bitter, aggressive, nonhuman being into the light absolutely mind-boggling.
But hey, it’s all in a day’s work for Anjali. She even sent the ghosts involved in a residual haunting into the light!
Scott states at one point that there is not another team out there doing what they do; that is, using mediums to communicate with ghosts and send them into the light while other investigators try to gather scientific evidence (which never actually seems to get done.) I thought that the Most Haunted team and, to a certain extent, the Rescue Mediums, to name a couple of TV examples, would be very surprised to hear that. Every paranormal investigative team I am aware of personally has worked with mediums at some time or other. And, generally, the evidence we do have seems to indicate that anyone can talk to a ghost, though few people can actually hear them reply except on tape, after the event. Many people believe, including myself, that anyone can also offer a ghost the opportunity to leave. Most of the time, they only need to be informed that they are dead and directed to go to the light, we think, because they are just confused and don’t realize that they are no longer living.
No matter what you believe, if you’re planning to read this book you must be willing to entertain the idea that some sort of communication between the living and the dead is possible. Trust me, if so, it doesn’t happen like this, certainly not every single time.
The team is unique, at least as far as I know, in using a character like Coulter, a con artist who looks like Brad Pitt and whose pyschic ability involves moving things and people around at will with his mind. That, frankly, just doesn’t really make much sense to me.
At any rate, if you want a quick, totally inaccurate and only mildly entertaining book about paranormal investigators unlike any real-life team in existance, “Ghost, Interrupted” is the book for you.