Spirit Speak: Knowing and Understanding Spirit Guides, Ancestors, Ghosts, Angels and the Divine is definitely one of those books one should read with a grain of salt. While the majority of the book is good information, filled with personal experiences and exercises for the reader to try out themselves, the book is filled with very Wiccan approaches to the subject. The author writes about chakras, god/goddess binaries, ‘shamans’, and almost seems to encourage working with spirits that originate and are part of closed cultures and religions.
In my experience, as a native person, why would a person with colonizer/invader blood WANT to work with a native ancestor, spirit or creature? 9 times out of 10, that spirit will react violently. I mean, how would you feel if someone woke you up, someone who in their time period would have killed your family, probably raped your wife and set your house on fire, hunted your kin for sport, and stole your land, and then that person tried to have a polite conversation with you, or god forbid, ask you for a favor? It just would not happen. You would be furious, or laugh in their face.
So while much of this book I do think has valuable information and I did enjoy reading parts of it, it is so important to just remember to respect closed cultures and religions and try to work with spirits that are part of open practices. Instead of using the term ‘chakras’, try using ‘energy points’ instead.
As I stated in my review of Jeff Belanger’s The World’s Most Haunted Places review, I have two main resources when it comes to haunted places and locations around the world. Belanger fell into my second place spot, and this book, Guide to the World’s Supernatural Places by NatGeo’s Sarah Bartlett is my definite number one. I have yet to find any other book that trumps this one. It is easy to read. It has beautiful, high quality colored photos and glossy pages. It has multiple locations from all around the world, over 250 of them, and it not only covers haunted places, but also other subjects such as UFO spottings.
The contents of the book are as follows: Haunted Places, Vampire Haunts, Witchcraft and the Dark Arts, Sacred Places, UFO Hot Spots and Myths & Legends. It has long, detailed descriptions of each location, along with its known history and what makes it so spooky. It is not just inclusive of places in America (which is hard to find as far as paranormal books go because often authors seem to think that the only haunted places are American. While a lot of really awful things have happened, such as the genocide and near extinction of Native peoples, on American soil, it is definitely NOT the most haunted country in the world.) and has places from across the globe, just as the subtitle of the book describes.
I really can’t find anything wrong with this book. I wish there was more stuff from Asia, but you can’t win them all. Hah.
I love this book because its just pretty. Its so easy to read, the writing is nice, well edited and well written, the photos are gorgeous, the paper is glossy, and its just a really great resource. Its my number one haunted location reference book, and I highly recommend it to anyone with any interest in the paranormal or supernatural. Obviously, it gets a 5/5 for me.
For those of you who are interested in the paranormal, I have just TWO suggestions as far as guidebooks on places you may want to visit. This book, The World’s Most Haunted Places by Jeff Belanger, falls into my second place slot. First place goes to NatGeo’s Guide to the World’s Supernatural Places, which is a gigantic glossy hardback color-photo guide book. It pretty much as everything. This book, however, focuses on just a one or two places from different parts of the world that are considered the ‘most haunted’.
There are 33 chapters in this book and each chapter covers a different haunted location. Among the most infamous are: The Catacomb Museum, The White House, The 1891 Castle Inn, The RMS Queen Mary, The Whaley House, The Tower of London, Aokigahara Jukai, and the Waverly Hills Sanatorium. It’s definitely a good read to anyone looking to plan a haunted vacation or a paranormal investigation. The accounts are all written really well, including history of the locations and in some cases personal experiences of the author. But, there is the downside to there only being a select number of entries, and that most of them are in America or Europe. Overall, it’s a pretty easy and interesting read, and well worth the money. It gets a 4/5 from me.