OK, this is part review, part unashamed plug. Mark Wallbank, founder of the paranormal group Haunted Auckland, generously sent me a copy of his new book, 'Talking to Shadows', which arrived yesterday. I found myself reading in until very late last night.
It's full of accounts of Haunted Auckland's investigations, team members' experiences, and thoughts and advice on paranormal investigation by the author and various others experienced in the paranormal field in NZ and Australia.
While I would take issue with much of the chapter 'The paranormal vs. science...', 'I found the chapters 'I've been thinking' and 'No excuses' to be very honest and down-to-earth. They represent self-questioning views with a voice of reason and with depth of thought, sadly rare things in the paranormal field. 'No excuses' is humorously self-deprecating, showing that the author has his ego in check and is not claiming to be some kind of know-it-all paranormal expert. In fact, the entire book raises more questions than answers, which is to its credit.
Minor gripes: most photos are not captioned, and editing and proofreading could've been a little more thorough, but the book is well structured and reads easily. I only put 'Talking to Shadows' down when my eyes were too tired for more, otherwise I would've read it cover to cover, and at 392 pages it is a substantial book!
There is lots of food for thought here, so I'd recommend 'Talking to Shadows' to anyone generally interested in the paranormal and especially to those actively involved in paranormal investigation, or who are thinking of getting into it. While not intended to serve as a manual, 'Talking to Shadows' contains a wealth of information derived from experience that would otherwise take years, and many blunders, to find out for oneself.
'Talking to Shadows' is available from Amazon, or directly from the author- better if you're in NZ and want a print copy.
And while you're shopping on Amazon, why not get Mark's first book to accompany this one - 'Voices in the Walls', and pick up a copy of 'Spooked - Exploring the paranormal in New Zealand' to complete your set of recent New Zealand paranormal books.
If you're going to Paracon Australia in May this year, Mark will be there with piles of both books, and the last few copies I have of Spooked will be available in the bookstall as well.
is a blog by James Gilberd - leader and co-founder of Strange Occurrences. Views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of the Strange Occurrences team.
James Gilberd is an amateur paranormalist, writer and musician, and a professional photographer, living in Wellington, New Zealand.