Peter Aykroyd spent his childhood watching his family's parlor séances through the crack of a basement door. Here, for the first time, Aykroyd tells the strange and delightful story that inspired his son, Dan, to make the mega-hit,Ghostbusters. Part history, part family legend,A History of Ghostsstarts in 1848 in upstate New York, where the spiritualist craze first began. Aykroyd introduces the reader to notable mediums while telling the story of the development of spiritualism, interweaving a personal history marked by a fascination with ghosts and spirits with the larger narrative about the role the paranormal has played in our culture. Such legendary figures as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini appear and vanish.
Everyone loves a good ghost story. Successful TV shows such asMediumandGhost Huntersare proof that our national obsession with ghosts is here to stay. Millions of Americans believe in the paranormal—and even skeptics have heard a bump in the night and suspected it might be something supernatural.
PETER AYKROYDis a retired Government of Canada Senior Executive. He is the author of two previous books,The Anniversary CompulsionandA Sense of Place. He lives on a plot of land 20 miles north of Kingston, Ontario, that has been in the family for 180 years.
ANGELA NARTHis a full-time writer of both fiction and nonfiction with seven books currently in print. She lives on the banks of the mighty Red River a few minutes south of Winnipeg, Manitoba.