• AP Magazine

    An alternative way to explore and explain the mysteries of our world. "Published since 1985, online since 2001."

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New Book Reviews

By Brent Raynes

UNEXPLAINED! Strange Sightings, Incredible Occurrences, and Puzzling Physical Phenomena
3rd Edition
by Jerome Clark

Visible Ink Press
43311 Joy Rd., #414
Canton, MI 48187-2075
2013, 457 pages, $22.95 US, $25.95 Canadian
ISBN: 978-1-57859-344-6

Reviewed by Brent Raynes

This is a comprehensive and thought-provoking compendium of an extremely wide variety of unexplained phenomena and reported oddities, catalogued by acclaimed author and investigative researcher Jerome Clark. Filled with mind-boggling and perplexing accounts from all over the world, with plenty of great illustrations and photographs, this book is a great reading adventure for anyone with an interest in any facet of the unexplained. There’s lake monsters, sea serpents, thunderbirds, pterosaur sightings, ghost lights, the Bermuda Triangle, Noah’s Ark, the Jersey Devil, and even the Ringing Rocks of Pennsylvania (and even though I visited Pennsylvania’s Upper Black Eddy site myself back in 1976, I didn’t know about the strange lights that had been reported there). And, alas, that’s only a small summary of the subject matter you can expect to read about in this very well-researched and authoritative volume.

So there’s something for everyone here, whether they’re a beginner or a long-time student of any of these mysteries. A comprehensive index is provided as well and source references are provided too. A pleasurable, detailed and objectively presented collection of facts and information. This is a book easily recommended for everyone!


Lords of the Left-Hand Path:
Forbidden Practices & Spiritual Heresies
By Stephen E. Flowers, Ph.D.

Inner Traditions
One Park Street
Rochester, Vermont 05767
2012, 499 pages, $24.95 US
ISBN: 978-159477467-6

Reviewed by Brent Raynes

This book takes an in-depth exploration into what the author describes as the left-hand path taken by one in search of higher knowledge and enlightenment, showing how it is the way of self-empowerment and true spiritual liberation, as opposed to the right-hand path wherein a dependence on and a union with ones God is required. Thus the author delves deeply into the true meanings and implications hidden within such movements as black magic, Satanism, Gnosticism, Gurdjieff’s Fourth Way, the Yezidi Devil Worshippers, the Cult of Set, and so many others. While such subject matter sounds dark to many of the Christian persuasion, Flowers strives to demonstrate that the left-hand path isn’t inherently evil but rather part of our heritage and comes from our desire to be independent and in control of our lives.


The Secret History of Poltergeists and Haunted Houses:
From Pagan Folklore to Modern Manifestations
By Claude Lecouteux

Inner Traditions
One Park Street
Rochester, Vermont 05767
2012, 246 pages, $18.95 US
ISBN: 978-159477465-2

Reviewed by Brent Raynes

The author, Claude Lecouteux, a former professor of medieval literature and civilization at the Sorbonne, a resident of Paris, and the author of many books on afterlife beliefs, takes his readers on a detailed examination of poltergeist reports throughout history, from early pagan beliefs to influences of the medieval Christian church, to what modern scientific investigations of the poltergeist have revealed to us. A very comprehensive, scholarly, well-written volume, this book includes various interesting appendices (which includes the Rite for the Exorcism of a House Tormented by a Demon), notes, a bibliography, and an index.

Sunday, March 03, 2024