Title: Extreme Paranormal Investigations: The Blood Farm Horror, the Legend of Primrose Road, and Other Disturbing Hauntings
Author(s): Marcus F. Griffin
Published 2011 by Llewellyn
ISBN: 0738726974
ISBN-13: 978-0738726977
Paperback, 288 pages
List: $15.95
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Reviewer: Mike Gleason

Before I had read the first 25 pages of this book, my hackles had already risen, and that (I am sure) colored my expectations of what else I would find as I read the book. I already knew, just from the title, that this was not going to be your average paranormal investigation book. And, I knew that the author was a Witch (I had reviewed Advancing the Witches Craft by the same author last year). But I was not expecting the ATTITUDE displayed by the crew. They say that they use their abilities to punch "...a hole between the worlds of the living and the dead," and to force "...materialization and/or verbal communication with paranormal entities." I cannot express my consternation when I read those statements! The idea of forcing communication is counter-productive. Just think about it...if someone came into your house and demanded that you speak (or interact) with them, how likely is it that you would be on your best behavior? Setting up circumstances to ENCOURAGE such behavior is one thing, FORCING it is something else. In my opinion, such an attitude is irresponsible.

In the very first investigation recounted in the book the author is in a root cellar when he senses an "evil presence." His response is to pull out his ritual knife and use it to threaten the approaching, though still unseen, entity. At this point, I was tempted to put this book down and move on to another review book. I didn't however since I have an unfortunate tendency to want to give every book I read a fair chance.

The more I read, the less happy I became with the prevailing attitude of this team of "investigators." There seems to be a tendency to want to control all aspects of the investigation, which just isn't feasible in most cases. They picked up a phantom presence while on the way to another investigation, and the author wanted it exorcised before they began their work (to avoid contamination of their results, he says). I could easily understand asking it to leave, but exorcising it is, in my opinion, a little heavy-handed to start with.

Granted that this team is, apparently a low-budget operation (most are) with minimal equipment at their disposal, they seem have a penchant for turning on flashlights to check things out. In night-time investigations this results, at the very least, in a loss of night vision acuity for a time, thus compromising the ability to see other phenomena.

Their normal procedure, apparently, is to each investigate an area on their own, and then meet up later to compare notes. As most paranormal investigating teams will tell you, it is best to work in pairs, or at least within eye-sight of other members to be able to validate sightings or sounds heard. It just seems sloppy to me to not take every opportunity to back up occurrences.

Even though Mr. Griffin attempts to portray WISP as a professional team, their behavior betrays that allegation. They take far too many shortcuts; they fail to follow their own procedures; and they just generally come across as amateurs in this field. Which is not to say that amateurs have no place in the field of paranormal investigations, it simply means that they must be willing to admit that they are amateurs.

As a collection of ghost stories, it is interesting. As a record of paranormal investigations, not so much. I must admit that the author is honest enough to admit that personal experiences and feelings, although indicative that "something" was encountered could not be considered as proof of such encounters. I was hoping for a more balanced approach, but after reading the back cover ("Bizarre Dangerous Sometimes Downright Terrifying") I knew that this was going to be a fairly sensationalized account.

So, while I don't recommend it whole heartedly, it is an enjoyable book to read. If it were read under the proper circumstances, I suppose it might be spine tingling. Because of my training in the religion of Witchcraft and the field of magick I had trouble getting past some of the behavior of the team, others may not have those problems. On a scale of one to five (with five being absolutely top of the line) this one would get somewhere between a three and a four. There are better books out there, but there also a lot worse available.


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