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When Ghosts Speak: Understanding the World of Earthbound Spirits Hardcover – October 22, 2007

4.4 out of 5 stars 134 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"One part spooky, one part inspirational and all-around fascinating, it makes for a spine-tingling read." --Bookpage

"She clarifies the very notion of ghosts and enables readers to explore this subject without the oversimplification or sensationalism often attributed to ghosts in movies." --Library Journal Reviews

"Her neighborly, conversational presentation of a subject that has been shrouded in mystery and controvery for centuries make for an enjoyable and refreshing look at the subject of the afterlife." --The Roanoke Times

"A how-to book for all of us who are fascinated by the unknown... I found it compelling and enlightening." --Chattanooga Times Free Press

"WHEN GHOSTS SPEAK lends an interesting perspective on our popular concept of ghost stories."--The Daily Record --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

About the Author

Mary Ann Winkowski is the paranormal consultant for CBS's Ghost Whisperer and writes a column for CBS.com where she receives over 1000 emails weekly. She has appeared on several talk shows to discuss her paranormal expertise, including The Insider and Entertainment Tonight, is often the featured guest on radio call-in shows, and books speaking engagements across the country. Her personal web site averages two million hits a month.

Mary Ann is a mother and wife, currently living in Ohio.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; 1st edition (October 22, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446581186
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446581189
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (134 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #471,855 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

was born in Cleveland, Ohio and has been communicating with earthbound spirits for most of her life. Her earliest memories involve speaking with the spirits of the deceased as if they were living people and helping these entities cross over into the White Light. Over the course of her work as a paranormal investigator, Mary Ann's reputation
Mary Ann Winkowski has spread around the world. She has long been a consultant to the CBS hit television show "Ghost Whisperer," has appeared on numerous national and local TV and radio news programs and is a much in-demand speaker. She has two-grown daughters and lives with her husband, Ted, in the Cleveland area.

Mary Ann has offered her abilities to those in need across the United States and in far away places such as St. Lucia, and Scotland. She is contacted regularly by Federal agencies and local police precincts investigating cold cases and other unsolved crimes. In addition to private consultations that have taken her into the homes of everyone from high profile celebrities to prominent businessmen, she is contacted by businesses, hospitals, clergy and various organizations, including major-league sports franchises who need her help.

In her first book WHEN GHOSTS SPEAK: Understanding the World of Earthbound Spirits (Grand Central Publishing, October 2007) Mary Ann shares a lifetime's worth of information about the spirit world and reveals her often surprising interactions with memorable ghosts. In the fall of 2009, THE BOOK OF ILLUMINATION, the first novel in Mary Ann's Ghost File paranormal mystery series, co-written with Maureen Foley, was published by Three Rivers Press of The Crown Publishing Group. The follow-up title, THE ICE CRADLE was published October 2010. In September of 2011 Mary Ann will release her newest work, Beyond Delicious (Clerisy Press). It contains recipes that Mary Ann has gotten from earthbound spirits that she has encountered. Each recipe has the story of the earthbound spirit and why it was so important for that spirit to pass it along before they crossed over.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Many books on the subject of ghosts are either silly and trite or leave the reader with many unanswered questions. This book is different--and better. Mary Ann Winkowski claims to see ghosts (earthbound spirits) and is able to speak to them. If you accept that premise then the book's content is fascinating and answers many questions. Readers can and should be skeptical about such claims but if one reads the book with an open and curious mind it will be an enjoyable and enlightening read. It certainly makes you think. What happens to us after we die is always a compelling topic. "When Ghosts Speak" approaches the topic with ideas many people have not fully considered before. If you enjoy an easy, page-turning read about a topic that has always fascinated humankind, you will not be disappointed reading this book.
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Format: Hardcover
I believe in a spirit world. I believe spirits can communicate through certain people called mediums. I believe Mary Ann Winkowski, the author of this book, is a medium. What I have a hard time believing, however, is that she is as good as the stories in this book suggest. She seems to get names, personal information, and even computer passwords from the spirits without too much difficulty.

I have a pretty high boggle threshold, but this book exceeded it and left me shaking my head and wondering if she embellished some of the stories. It may be that she just mentioned the best cases and made no mention of her failures, but I remain skeptical. It would have really helped my skepticism if she had included an appendix of some kind with testimonials from the various police departments and other agencies or persons she states have been clients.

Most clairvoyant and clairaudient mediums, including James Van Praagh, who wrote the Foreword to the book, struggle to get names and they just get bits and pieces of information, often through symbols. But it is as if Mrs. Winkowski is sitting there talking to them over a cup of coffee, jotting down their verbatim words. She does state that she communicates only with earthbound spirits, i.e., those who have not yet gone into the light, while mediums like Van Praagh, John Edward, Lisa Williams and others known to the public apparently communicate with those who have gone into the light. Perhaps the vibrational level for earthbound spirits is closer to ours and that makes it easier to get information. I have done much study and reading in the area of mediumship and don't recall coming across this division before, i.e.
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7 Comments 45 of 47 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
This book is fairly interesting with facts I had not read before. I purchased it because the author is connected with the Ghost Whisperer program and I am a devout fan. I am fascinated that Mrs. W, John Edward and Lisa Williams all perceive spirits in a different way. I wish I had the ability === so I read. The one "off-putting" item about the author is that she has a web site where she sells her quince seed protectors. You cannot purchase the seeds in bulk but must pay $40 for a small silver charm with one quince seed inside. I am dubious about individuals who sell their charms at such a high price to readers and such a profit for themselves. I've seen small silver charms for one third the amount and surely a quince seed (which she claims can only be purchased from her relatives in Italy) cannot come so dear. The book was interesting and I am not sorry I purchased it - but hold off in buying her trinkets -- and ALWAYS keep an open mind.
3 Comments 46 of 50 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
This is a very readable book but contains some statements that I find hard to believe. For example, the idea that after a person dies, the white light only lasts for a set amount of time, and after that, it disappears and a spirit is earthbound if they didn't enter it within that time frame. Huh ? I have NEVER read or heard that from any other psychic or medium. So, do your spirit guides and guardian angels just leave you earthbound after the 72 hours or so pass by ? I don't think so. According to the author, she creates the white light for ghosts she encounters. That's a mighty amount of power for a medium to have!
She makes it sounds like as many people remain ghosts as cross over - according to her, there are ghosts just about everywhere! I don't think they are all that common.
She also believes in Hell and curses, both of which most psychics will tell you do not exist (of course it is possible to curse someone, but it can only "work" if the person cursed believes it does). It's a common scam for fake psychics/mediums to claim a person is cursed and offer to lift the curse for a high price. I am not saying the author is a fake, but I don't think she is as insightful as most people with her gifts. She has some good general advice about protecting yourself from negative energy, but as another reviewer mentioned, I find it suspicious that she sells her quince seed charm for such a high price on her web site. (That is another thing I have never heard of - using quince seeds to ward off ghosts. Especially since they apparently only work if they are from her family in Italy. Hmmmm...).
On the plus side, she is a good writer - the book has an easy conversational style and some interesting stories - but I don't think it is a balanced account of the spirit world.
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