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

4.5 out of 5 stars 142 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.

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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: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (142 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #475,235 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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 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.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
In order to really enjoy this book, I think you have to accept the premise that the author really does see and talk to ghosts (i.e. earthbound entities, which are people who died but failed to "cross over" into the light). I know that this is possible because I could do this to some extent when I was a child and so I had no trouble accepting that the author is capable of doing this. Therefore I found this book a highly interesting read, and I would give it 5 stars if not for a few sticking points.

There was one point in particular that made me question the author's motivation and credibility, and that was her repeated mentioning of the magic of quince seeds as a protection against any disembodied entity that might invade our space. Not just any quince seed will do. Only the ones from the author's distant relatives in the old country (Italy) will do the trick. The author has no idea what her family does to these seeds (that mystery seems to strengthen the magical aspect) but she knows for certain that they work. And incidentally she has a website where she sells them encased in silver charms.

The author also provides spells for cleansing and protection. These require obtaining an assortment of items and carefully following a ritual (in other words, casting a spell, in this case white magic). I know enough about witchcraft to know that the "power" is not in the object (quince seeds, bat wings etc.) but in the belief. If you believe 100% that you are protected, then you don't even need a charm or talisman. All magic spells consist of the same type of process. There is a building up of energy (through the acquisition of quince seeds and other materials) and then the channeled release of that energy toward its intended objective (through following the ritual of casting a spell).
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