THE SIBOLD EFFECT by John David Miller


Beyond Science, History, Ghosts, and the Appalachian Supernatural
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A debut book mixes an autobiographical account with a paranormal investigation of a property in rural Virginia.

The story begins with Miller’s decision to buy a house in a part of Virginia known as Clover Hollow. He was returning from a trip to the Coral Sea when he made the purchase sight unseen. Upon his arrival in Virginia, he was pleased with the risk he had taken, explaining how he discovered it was “a beautiful country house with a wrap around covered porch.” More than mere beauty, the house had a profound effect on him, giving him the feeling that “Earth’s natural energy” was emanating from the area. Moreover, the author soon learned that the house had once been owned by his forbears, and an old Native American trail cut across his property. Add into the equation odd-looking rocks and “bizarre supernatural activity,” and the question became what, if anything, did it all mean? As Miller believes that “there are no coincidences, everything happens for a reason, and everything is connected,” he proceeds to make his point with a combination of American history, views on extraterrestrials and ancient cultures, and stories of his personal experiences. The resulting stew provides a lot for the reader to savor. While accounts of Colonial Americans can be dry (“John Miller Sr, brother of Barbara Miller and uncle and friend of Jacob Mann Jr, also crossed over the mountains and settled on Indian Creek around 1775”), the many details of the author’s life add up to a strangely intimate portrait. From his childhood spent exploring caves to his earning money as an Uber driver, the work shows readers a man who seeks to understand the strangeness of his own past and property. Although evocations of figures like the Japanese author Masaru Emoto may fall flat with skeptics, the book illuminates the journey of one man dating back to the arrival of his ancestors in the New World. While Miller admits his ultimate conclusions are “very controversial,” they make for an imaginative attempt to explain the unexplainable.

A multifaceted encounter with historical, spiritual, and personal worlds.

Pub Date: Feb. 28th, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-9907777-1-7
Page count: 318pp
Publisher: Blue Heron
Program: Kirkus Indie
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