MISCHIEVOUS GHOSTS: The Poltergeist and PK by Larry Kettelkamp

MISCHIEVOUS GHOSTS: The Poltergeist and PK

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Unplaced phone calls to the time number were registered constantly, and the office billed accordingly, in a law office with a young clerical worker who was frustrated and impatient with her job. A teenage girl lived in the home where weird waterspouts began to squirt forth from the walls. A young girl who ""tended not to display her feelings"" seemed to be the focus of the flashbulb-like bursts of light that erupted in another home. The lights ""seemed almost to be calling for attention,"" says Kettelkamp. And at the used-car lot besieged by flying rocks, a resentful new employee had been seen ""tossing a pebble"" at a car. Do these coincidences throw suspicion on a supranormal interpretation of the events? Not at all. To Kettelkamp and the psi authorities he cites, they indicate that the victims' suppressed feelings had some kind of independent force that charged the atmosphere about them. Stranger still is the serious account of the ghost created by the Toronto Society for Psychical Research. The group, which included a writer and an artist, made up a gothic 1600s life-story, named their character Philip, drew his picture, and then conjured him up at a table-tapping seance. Conclusion: ""The yes and no raps and the table's movements demonstrated a PK force independent of the group that conformed to their idea of [Philip]."" Readers who can accept Philip probably won't mind yet another roundup of Uri Geller's feats, and they might also be impressed by Kettelkamp's equally respectful consideration of psychotronic generators, Kirlian photography, and the use of quantum theory and multi-dimension theory to support psi phenomena. But through all the examples and explanations, Kettelkamp either ignores or dismisses without consideration any alternative explanation. Harmless, perhaps--unless kids were to take it as a model of scientific inquiry.

Pub Date: Sept. 30th, 1980
Publisher: Morrow