Despite the much vaunted ’end of religion’ and the growth of secularism, people are engaging like never before in their own ’spiritualities of life’. Across the West, paranormal belief is on the rise. The Ashgate Research Companion to Paranormal Cultures brings together the work of international scholars across the social sciences and humanities to question how and why people are seeking meaning in the realm of the paranormal, a heretofore subjugated knowledge. With contributions from the UK and other European countries, the USA, Australia and Canada, this ground-breaking book attends to the paranormal as a position from which to critique dominant forms of knowledge production and spirituality. A rich exploration of everyday life practices, textual engagements and discourses relating to the paranormal, as well as the mediation, technology and art of paranormal activity, this book explores themes such as subcultures and mainstreaming, as well as epistemological, methodological, and phenomenological questions, and the role of the paranormal in social change. The Ashgate Research Companion to Paranormal Cultures constitutes an essential resource for those interested in the academic study of cultural engagements with paranormality; it will appeal to scholars of cultural and media studies, popular culture, sociology, cultural geography, literature, film and music.

chapter |29 pages


BySally R. Munt

part I|152 pages

Paranormal Epistemologies

chapter 1|11 pages

Haunted Culture: The Persistence of Belief in the Paranormal

ByChristopher Partridge

chapter 2|14 pages

The Ghost in the Machine: Spirit and Technology

ByJohn Harvey

chapter 3|14 pages

Paranormal Cultural Practices

ByAnnette Hill

chapter 4|15 pages

Extraordinary Experiences with UFOs

ByDavid Clarke

chapter 6|14 pages

Sceptic Culture: Traditions of Disbelief in New Mexico

ByWilliam J. Dewan

chapter 7|17 pages

‘Paranormal Science' from America to Italy: A Case of Cultural Homogenisation

ByAndrea Molle, Christopher D. Bader

chapter 9|10 pages

Everyday Ghosts: A Matter of Believing in Belonging

ByAbby Day

part II|109 pages

The Paranormal and Social Change

chapter 12|13 pages

Wilhelm Reich and the Etheric Warriors

BySarah Jane Sloane

chapter 13|12 pages

Other Senses: The Politics of Mediumship

ByEsther Peeren

chapter 14|11 pages

‘There's Something in My House': Television and the Politics of the Paranormal

ByHeather Nunn, Anita Biressi

chapter 15|13 pages

Social Realism and the Paranormal in Scandinavian Fiction

ByOlu Jenzen

chapter 16|14 pages

Immersed in Illusion, Haunted by History: Marisa Carnesky's Ghost Train

ByJosephine Machon

part III|111 pages

Paranormal Phenomenologies

chapter 22|11 pages

Music and the Paranormal

ByMelvyn J. Willin

chapter 24|11 pages

Trance, Transfiguration and Trust: Spiritualism in Western Australia

ByJanet Baldwin

chapter 25|14 pages

A Phenomenology of the Ghosthunting Scene in the USA and in Germany

ByGerhard Mayer

chapter 28|12 pages

A Short Bestiary of Creatures from the Web

ByLine Henriksen