The Familiar Dead: Spiritualism and Ghosts in American Culture
by Megan Weiss Publish: Aug 02, 2019HistoryGeneral NonfictionReligion & Spirituality
The history of the human belief in the paranormal provides a vital lense for analyzing the evolution of cultures around the world. The current problem in this field of study is the lack of attention paid by scientists, historians, and biblical scholars to the presence and influence of ghosts throughout history. The reality, however, is that every culture across the world believes in some form of the paranormal. In America alone, three out of four people will admit to having at least one paranormal belief. In analyzing the available literature on ghosts and the history of the Spiritualist movement from historians, scientists, psychologists, writers, and anthropologists, this study has discovered that belief in the paranormal tends to align with popular trends or beliefs in culture. Considering the impact that the paranormal has had on mainstream culture over the last 500 years, this research intends to display that ignoring a topic that seems silly at first can in fact be harmful to increasing our understanding of human agency, cultural change, and the capabilities of the human mind and body.
I have had a passion for reading and writing since I was in junior high. Books are treasures, and knowledge is the best tool anyone can have. I remember trying to write silly little stories as a kid in elementary school, and gradually worked my way up to writing longer, more serious works. I didn't initially plan to be an author when I grew up. The more experience I gained, and the more books I read, however, pulled me farther and farther into the literary world! I like to think that I didn't find writing as a career, writing found me and taught me where I truly belong.
I have obtained a Master's Degree in Public History from Southern New Hampshire University, and I have Bachelor's Degrees in Creative Writing and English, along with a minor in Anthropology. I particularly enjoy reading YA novels, hanging with my dog, and learning about occult history. I have lived in the Rochester, New York area my entire life.
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