Ghosts, Spirits, and Psychics
The Paranormal from Alchemy to Zombies
by Matt Cardin, Editor
July 2015, 409pp, 7x10
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-61069-683-8
$108, £84, 94€, A148
eBook Available: 978-1-61069-684-5
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

The paranormal is a major force in world history that has inspired art, driven science, and shaped entire cultures.

This fascinating work provides a complete overview of paranormal phenomena, including the beliefs, attitudes, and notable figures who have attempted to explain, defend, or debunk the mysteries behind the unknown.

Recent interest in the paranormal as pop culture fodder belies its historical status as an important subject of cultural, philosophical, and scientific significance. This book traces the trajectory of paranormal studies from its early role as a serious academic and scientific topic studied by mainstream scientists and eminent scholars to its current popularity in books, film, and TV.

This compelling reference work details the experiences, encounters, and ideas that make up this controversial field of study. The contributed entries examine the broad phenomena of the paranormal, addressing the history of scientific investigations along with its contemporary media depictions to illustrate the evolution of cultural attitudes about the paranormal. A selection of primary documents provides real-life accounts and contributions from noted experts that explore the full scope of themes from spiritualism to poltergeists to astrology. Accompanying images, timelines, quotations, and sidebars make the content come to life and encourage alternative explanations of these events.


  • Contains more than 120 factual entries as well as extensive excerpts from several primary documents in the area of the paranormal
  • Features contributions from noted experts in its field from across viewpoints—including believers and skeptics
  • Profiles a number of important individuals who have contributed to the history and study of the field
  • Includes such topics as near-death experiences, paranormal dreams, the supernatural, magic, and the occult
Matt Cardin is an instructor at Ranger College in Ranger, TX. His published works include ABC-CLIO's Mummies around the World: An Encyclopedia of Mummies in History, Religion, and Popular Culture; numerous articles and essays in various publications, including ABC-CLIO's Encyclopedia of the Vampire: The Living Dead in Myth, Legend, and Popular Culture; and the books Dark Awakenings and Divinations of the Deep. He holds a master's degree in religious studies and a bachelor's degree in communication.


"Given its currency and its thoughtful, even-handed approach to the field, Ghosts, Spirits, and Psychics is highly recommended for undergraduate and larger public library reference collections."—RUSA, June 7, 2016

"Editor Matt Cardin’s encyclopedia of the paranormal . . . proves effective in giving the reader a basic understanding of what a given term encompasses and how one ought to start looking if one wishes to do further research on a topic."—Religious Studies Review, September 1, 2017
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