"Sometime ghosts come and sit on your front steps, visit for a while, and tell you about hidden treasure. That's what happened a long time ago to a woman in South Carolina....." That's a set up for a riveting story, which doesn't disappoint.
Enough people have experienced ghosts, apparitions, specters, etc to fill this body of work. But is it evidence? Is it a reality? Am I the right person, a skeptical scientist, to make a judgment that ghosts are real just because they are reliably real to some people? Having never personally experienced a ghost, I am astounded at how ubiquitous and popular they are in all cultures all over the world. Hollihan's work is meticulously researched. It is the reportage of witnesses, many witnesses. Can they all be delusional? There is a physical aspect to many of these ghost stories that bear credibility to their existence and some have more than one witness.
I wrote a biography of Harry Houdini who joined the Scientific American staff to debunk the many spiritualists who appeared right after WW1 proclaiming that they could "channel" their beloved dead relatives to communicate with bereaved family members. At seances, there were many "spiritual manifestations"--rapping, levitation of the table top, sound effects, as the dead supposedly communicated to their decendants. Houdini knew that these spiritual effects were nothing more than theatrical tricks. And he demonstrated them openly in his performances for all to see.
And yet, according to Ghosts Unveiled!, countless detailed sightings connected to unrestful dead people cannot be denied, explained or disproved. I have my own questions about how some of them may be explained and I was curious enough to Google "Railroad Bill..... a train-robbing ghost who wanders the rails of the former Louisville and Nashville Railroad from Tennessee to Florida."
So Hollihan's book made me do a little extra research and I'm sharing the song that this Tennessee legend/ghost inspired. Happy Halloween!