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Chinese Ghosts Revisited, A Study of…

Chinese Ghosts Revisited, A Study of Paranormal Beliefs and Experiences

by Charles F. Emmons

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176823,793 (4.29)6
  1. 00
    McBroom's Ghost by Sid Fleischman (Sylak)
    Sylak: Mentioned by the author as an example of a 'humorous ghost' in the chapter on Ghost Lore and Popular Culture.
  2. 00
    Arrow Book of Ghost Stories by Nora Kramer (Sylak)
    Sylak: Mentioned in passing on page 132
  3. 00
    Anatomy of a phenomenon: unidentified objects in space--a scientific appraisal by Jacques Vallée (Sylak)
    Sylak: Another detailed and unbiased report on a different type of paranormal belief.

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Chinese ghosts revisited isn't so much about the ghosts themselves as it is mainly about proving and researching into proving that they exist. It is also about the cultural surroundings about the spirits and the stories based around the ghosts. I found it very fascinating and loved the idea. ( )
  NickKnight | Jul 13, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Charles Emmons's Chinese Ghosts Revisited: A Study of Paranormal Beliefs and Experiences is an excellent presentation of the author's findings based on thousands of interviews and questionnaires conducted in Hong Kong in 1980-1981. Considered a classic in some circles, this is a unique parapsychology study, as it overlays the sociological and anthropological aspects of Chinese culture atop the reported paranormal phenomena, and considers how the former factors may have influenced the reporting (and perhaps the under-reporting) of supernatural experiences. This revised edition presents the original 1982 along with Emmons's 2017 updates and new perspectives appended throughout.

Most of the reported cases fall into the category of ghost sightings, but there are also reports of ESP, fortune telling, poltergeists, reincarnation, spirit mediums, and spirit possessions. The book can be enjoyed on the elementary level of simply reading the reported incidents, some of which we ourselves may have experienced in some manner. But on a more scholarly level, students of parapsychology and/or Chinese culture and social history will find Emmons's book quite intriguing, as it is a well-organized, well-researched, and well-documented work. ( )
  ghr4 | May 1, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is one where you definitely need to start reading with adjusted expectations. If you're looking for a collection of ghost stories, you're going to be disappointed. There are stories, but it's very rare that they are more than a paragraph, and they're not terribly exciting.

But as a broader exploration of what ghost stories mean in (and say about) a culture, what is multicultural about them, and what scientific theories might explain paranormal experiences, I found this book pretty fascinating. It gets dry at points where Emmons gets into the fine details of research statistics, but I thought that was a fairly minor quibble overall. This is definitely not going to be a book for everyone, but if you're interested in examining the hows and whys of ghost stories and how they can be studied, you might take a look at this one.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy from LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program. An honest review was requested in exchange, but not required.
  Jeslieness | Apr 28, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I enjoyed reading this book my only wish was that maybe the stories be a bit longer than just a paragraph or 2. I like to settle in with a really good ghost story and this just doesn't give you the chance. I received this book from LibraryThing early reviewer for an honest review. ( )
  Draak | Apr 19, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book was a bit on the dull side. Unlike most ghost related books I've read, this one was written by an actual parapsychologist, and seems to be intended more for a scholarly market than for the general public. It's a report on a study the author conducted in Hong Kong in the 1980s where he conducted phone interviews and had highschoolers fill out reports to determine how many Chinese people believed in (and had had experiences with) ghosts and other psychic phenomena. I found the snippets of reported ghostly encounters to be interesting, but the where the author tried to interpret things, or talked about the ESP theory of ghosts, and especially the chapter on his encounters with a spirit medium were all a slog to get through. Still, if you have a serious interest in ghosts, this is worth checking out. ( )
1 vote yoyogod | Apr 18, 2018 |
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This book is dedicated to three men who, in the 1960s, both in their scholary work and in their personal encouragement to me, helped plant the seeds of curiosity and enthusiasm that eventually produced this study: Dr. P. Ward Peterson, Vice President and Professor of Foreign Languages at Gannon University, Dr. John Fleming, Professor of Psychology at Gannon University, and the late Dr. J. B. Rhine of the Foundation for Research on the Nature of Man.
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After the 1982 edition of Chinese Ghosts and ESP:A Study of Paranormal Beliefs and Experiences came out, I had mixed feelings. - Preface to the 2017 edition.
This chapter is a window on the rest of the book.
"if you see a ghost, death will come within three days."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Do the Hong Kong Chinese experience ghosts, hauntings, spirit mediumship, ESP and other paranormal phenomena just like people in the West? Or is their culture so different that the ghost accounts in this book will seem bizarre to anyone else?

This classic presentation of cases is based on 3,600 interviews, questionnaires and observations in Hong Kong in 1980/81, updated by recent materials over 30 years later. Interestingly, in spite of clear influences from ancestor worship and Confucian/Taoist/Buddhist culture, parapsychological theories of apparitions from the West also apply to the Chinese cases.

For this 2017 edition, Charles Emmons has revisited his earlier conclusions and added new material that has come to light in the intervening years. This book remains the only major cross-cultural study comparing Chinese with Western ghost experiences.
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