BRANDON MASSULLO AND "THE GHOST STUDIES"
When I decided to begin writing the occasional piece on great researchers and their works, it was inevitable that the first person I would write a piece about would be Brandon Massullo- he is, after all, responsible for writing a book that changed my way of thinking about the paranormal, and inspired me to read the works of some other great minds mentioned within its pages too!
That book is called "The Ghost Studies", and I'd highly recommend it to anyone who seeks explanations for paranormal experiences, beyond the same ones that have been circulating for so long.
I first heard about "The Ghost Studies" in a review written by a friend and fellow researcher for his blog and, being a curious person, I ordered the book.
When it arrived a couple of weeks later, I sat myself down to read..and didn't move again for 5 hours, except to occasionally make another cup of coffee, and to send "holy s**t, wow!" messages to the aforementioned researcher friend whenever I read another paragraph or chapter that resonated with me. There were a decent few messages, because practically everything in the book resonated with me- I was riveted, stunned..rapt! I read the whole book in one sitting (I stayed awake until 1 a.m. to do so), and began re-reading it on my morning commute to work the next day.
Brandon is a clinical therapist by trade, and studied both psychology and parapsychology at the University of Edinburgh. This great level of education shines through very clearly in his writing, as he examines perceived paranormal experiences from both a psychological and parapsychological viewpoint.
The Ghost Studies is not an average compilation of spooky stories- in fact, it's not one at all! It's a serious, in-depth look at possible psychological, environmental, energetic and neurological influences, and how they may contribute to what we define "paranormal experiences".
Brandon uses a hypothetical equation throughout the book- one he devised as a possible summary explanation for paranormal experiences- and examines each individual component of that equation piece by piece, showing the results of scientific studies conducted in applicable areas that both illustrate and underpin each component of that equation, and also illustrate just how possible it is that the equation could indeed explain paranormal experiences.
He does so in a very human, almost conversational manner- and never preaches, condescends, or claims that the hypothesis he presents is an absolute certainty- he merely presents an idea, plus surrounding studies, facts, and information, and asks that they be taken into consideration as a possibility.
I won't go into the individual components of Brandon's equation- should you read the book yourself (as I hope you will!) you'll become familiar with it. What I will go into a little of though is the sheer depth, breadth and scope of the research he has conducted, and presented via the (immaculately sourced and cited) studies he has collated in his book, in order to show his readers what is perhaps really going on when someone has a paranormal experience.
Through reading "The Ghost Studies" I was introduced to a great many possible considerations regarding influential factors that possibly relate to paranormal experiences, and some truly amazing studies and experiments conducted by quite a few brilliant researchers and scientists- Michael Jawer's work on environmental sensitivity, the wonderful Rupert Sheldrake's work on morphic fields and morphogenetics, Harold Saxton Burr's eye-opening work on "L-Fields" (biomagnetic fields), Michael Persinger's incredible work with electromagnetic fields, Carl Jung's theory of collective unconscious, Robert Becker's work on electricity and magnetism, the Global Consciousness Project (which counts another great researcher, Dean Radin, as a contributor) and their work with random number generators, and the amazing results of that ongoing experiment..I was introduced to the Schumann Resonance ( which I'm fascinated by, regarding its potential role in paranormal experiences), the Harribance Configuration, the concepts of entanglement, bioenergetics, morphic resonance..and many, many more!
The number of different considerations Brandon puts forth in his book is truly staggering..but when one looks at their fundamentals as possible influential elements on our biological, psychological, and neurological make-up, and takes into account the results of conducted studies surrounding those, and considers how those aforementioned fundamentals might therefore in turn influence our perceptions and experiences, everything makes a great deal of sense!
I can't think of one moment in Brandon's book that had me less than enthralled- and I'm still enthralled by it- I've read "The Ghost Studies" 5 or 6 times now, and am as amazed by it as I was when I first sat down to read it on a cold autumn night earlier last year. So much so, in fact, that I've since also purchased books by some of the individuals whose works and theories are cited in its pages..and I've also sent Brandon's book to a few friends I thought would appreciate it too!
In 2008, Brandon wrote a dissertation as part of his degree at the University of Edinburgh, a likewise fascinating read about Environmental Sensitivity and Paranormal Experiences, which again shows extraordinary depth and quality of research, and I wonder if perhaps is the point where the "bones" of The Ghost Studies began to coalesce, too.
You can read Brandon's dissertation here , and I'd also recommend it, as there are some excellent points of consideration in it, and it showcases the workings of a brilliant mind, on a journey that eventually led to the writing and publication of one of the most amazing and captivating works about paranormal experiences that I've ever read.
You can also find more of Brandon's work on his website, Haunted Theories, which shows again what a great mind he possesses.
Incidentally, he's a hell of a nice guy too- he reached out to thank me personally for a Facebook video review I did mentioning his book and, aside from being rather astounded at the fact that I was conversing with my favourite non-fiction author, I was pleasantly surprised at how genuine and humble he is.
All in all, I couldn't think of an individual more suited to be the subject of my first piece on Great Minds, as it was his book that truly "opened the floodgates" of my thinking, and irreversibly changed the way I look at the paranormal!
Have you read "The Ghost Studies"? What did you think of it?
Are there any researchers or authors whose work has changed your thinking? Let me know in comments!