Saturday, November 12, 2011

Haunted Ground: Journeys through a Paranormal America by Darryl V. Caterine

According to a 2005 Gallup poll, 75 percent of Americans believe in some form of paranormal activity. The United States has had a collective fascination with the paranormal since the mid-1800s, and it remains an integral part of our culture. Haunted Ground: Journeys through a Paranormal America examines three of the most vibrant paranormal gatherings in the United States—Lily Dale, a Spiritualist summer camp; the Roswell UFO Festival; and the American Society of Dowsers' annual convention of "water witches"—to explore and explain the reasons for our obsession with the paranormal.

Both academically informed and thoroughly entertaining, this book takes readers on a "road trip" through our nation, guided by professor of American religion Darryl V. Caterine, PhD. The author interprets seemingly unrelated case studies of phantasmagoria collectively as an integral part of the modern discourse about "nature" as ultimate reality. Along the way, Dr. Caterine reveals how Americans' interest in the paranormal is rooted in their anxieties about cultural, political, and economic instability—and in a historic sense of alienation and homelessness.

"On this road trip through haunted America, where the paranormal is normal, the extraordinary is ordinary, Darryl Caterine takes us into the heart of a weird America that reveals central American hopes and fears. Driven by compelling writing, making for compulsive reading, this book is full of insights into why Americans, from the margins to the mainstream, search for spiritual ancestors and sacred ground."
(David Chidester, Author of Authentic Fakes: Religion and American Popular Culture)


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