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The Other Side: A Teen's Guide to Ghost Hunting and the Paranormal Paperback – September 14, 2009
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From School Library Journal
Grade 7 Up—In this succinct introduction, the authors do not spare their readers hard truths: ghost hunting can be expensive; will often be boring; and is ultimately a hobby, not a career, for most paranormal investigators. They emphasize safety and responsibility, encouraging would-be ghost hunters to acquire appropriate permission for their investigation, find an adult to accompany them at all times, and always stay with a partner or group of team members. In spite of this serious approach to the topic, the book includes elements of humor. Chapter titles are often witty, and the authors take a light, conversational tone even when discussing technical aspects of ghost hunting. Though this tone makes for an easy read, it can sometimes seem as though they are talking down to their readers. Many of the black-and-white photographs are generally informative, but some seem to be there just to fill space. The authors recognize that all ghost hunters may not share a similar belief system, and they attempt to be inclusive in their references to religion, including prayers for protection from Christian and Wiccan traditions. Purchase this title where there is interest in paranormal exploration; while there are several ghost-hunting manuals on the market, few are geared specifically to teens.—Misti Tidman, Boyd County Public Library, Ashland, KY
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Before reading this book, my daughter mentioned going to a graveyard to check out EVPs. I immediately said no and sought out a book to emphasize my warnings, which include everything from safety, trespassing, legality of going to cemetary at night, disrespect for sacred areas, unauthorized use of a venue, in addition to obtaining and learning about EVPs safely.
If your child expresses an interest in ghost hunting, it's important to be involved and ask questions. Why do they want to do it? What will they learn? Are they in danger of occult attachment? Are they mature enough to handle potentially scary or harmful phenomena? Teens are still growing, physically and emotionally, and ghost hunting carries psychological dangers for children, just as it does for adults. Hunting for paranormal activity and EVPs can be addicting and can lead to emotional or psychological stress, if not kept in perspective as a hobby. It's important to keep an open dialog with your teen, and to stress the entertainment value of these investigations, as well as the scientific application. Be sure to watch for signs that ghost hunting is stressing or alienating your child, and make it a family activity instead of a slumber party one.
We do not keep a Ouija board in our house, and ghost hunting is not used as apart of a seance or anything that can lead to negative emotional influences for my teen, but it's important to make sure that your child doesn't feel like ghost hunting is making them feel uncomfortable. The last thing you want is for a hobby to lead to years of therapy.
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