The scientific study of the paranormal has been established for well over 100 years and although the members of the field take experimentation and theoretical discussion quite seriously, it remains the subject of ridicule by many in the general scientific community and the public. While his formal education has been in mainstream clinical psychology, R. Wolf Baldassarro has been a participant in investigations and an ardent scholar of the latest theories and data since the mid 1990’s regarding the field of psychical research. Beginning in 2005 he returned to full-time paranormal investigations and in January of 2009 created the Paranormal Research & Information Society of Michigan (PRISM) to study, catalogue, and educate the public on paranormal phenomena. The personal experiences and scientific studies have provided Wolf not only with a wealth of knowledge but first-hand observations of paranormal phenomena.
In recent years the practice of ghost hunting has increased in popularity due to various reality television shows, prompting interest in all levels of groups from teenagers just looking for a good time and a cheap thrill to serious scientific inquiries and experimentation. Many of today’s so-called ghost hunters consist of teens and young adults sneaking into cemeteries and abandoned buildings at night with little respect for local law, citizenry, or the deceased. Some are simply worried about being taken seriously by landowners or lack the knowledge of how to go about obtaining permission and the necessary permits. Concerned with the lack of integrity and sincerity in many of these groups and the need for better understanding of the theories and data-gathering equipment he wrote a comprehensive reference book that separates the facts from the fiction with regards to the do’s and don’ts of a proper and professional investigation called “A Ghost Hunter’s Field Guide”.
The specific genre and subculture of interest is still quite new in literary markets, with many books of the genre simply recounting narratives of case studies and displaying a limited understanding or amateur knowledge of the terms and tech. This concise field guide stands apart from so many others in the genre by providing not only a detailed history of parapsychology but the wide range of terms, theories, phenomena, tools, and technology used and encountered in parapsychological study in an unbiased manner through examining both the pros and cons of popular tools and analytical techniques. Being an experienced and practicing shaman he even delves into working with spirit communication and psychic shielding. It also includes local legends of the Detroit area, such as the ghosts of Belle Isle, and a sample of investigations he has either been a part of or are of particular interest to further explore. Step-by-step instructions are given in great detail for a thorough and scientific investigation of paranormal claims by someone educated and actively participating in the field of study from the founder of Michigan’s premier ghost hunting and paranormal resource organization. As such, A Ghost Hunters Field Guide would not only be an indispensible aid to those in the field, but of interest to any fan of the paranormal or local history.
International interest in PRISM continues to grow and the group’s active participation on sites like Facebook and MySpace continues to draw attention and requests for information and investigations by other groups, fans, local businesses, and residents. With this rising international recognition of PRISM, a vast network of ghost hunting groups around the world, scientists and theorists in the educational community, and fans of such shows as Sci-Fi’s Ghost Hunters and Ghost Hunters International, the potential of major theoretical discussions and discoveries is immeasurable. The book is extremely well written and designed to make it a priceless reference while in the field by providing a working knowledge of everything you need to make your own investigation a success.
“The easy part was writing A Ghost Hunter’s Field Guide”, Wolf explains. “The hard part is generating a buzz within the network of ghost hunting organizations around the world.”
Based on how popular the subject is today and confident that the information is not only correct, but to the point and as up-to-date as possible, the book and its topics are sure to stand the test of time along such international names in the literature of parapsychology as Loyd Auerbach and Hanz Holzer. The educational and practical applications of the material are sure to become models for paranormal study and the topics generated are clearly observed in the group’s tagline, “All possibilities are seen when looking through a PRISM”.
*Note from the author- Hello and greetings to the readers of Pagan Pages. When not busy pursuing the mysteries of the afterlife with Paranormal Research & Information Society of Michigan (PRISM) I write novels, poetry, and blogs on various subjects. I have been a repeat guest of the Magick Taboo podcast and my literary accomplishments include having been twice featured in the Mused BellaOnline Literary Review, releasing 4 self-published books as well as art prints of selected poetry works, and I have been a special advisor on the Konxari card project by the IRM Foundation. It is my hope that readers of Across the Great Divide will experience enjoyable yet thought-provoking content. Each month we will explore the mysteries of the unknown together as we discuss the world of the paranormal in entertainment and in science. There will undoubtedly be controversial topics from time to time but they will be broached and discussed fairly and equally. It is my hope that we all learn from each other and benefit from each others experiences and knowledge. You are invited to submit questions, comments, and concerns to me at any time via my email at [email protected] In future columns I will present for the entire readership one question or comment from the mail bag for discussion. For more information about me please visit http://www.deepforestproductions.com.