A History of Ghosts

  • by Peter H. Aykroyd
  • Narrated by Jeremy Gage, Dan Aykroyd
  • 9 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Peter Aykroyd spent his childhood watching his family’s parlor séances through the crack of a basement door. Here, for the first time, Aykroyd tells the strange and delightful story that inspired his son, Dan, to make the mega-hit Ghostbusters.
Part history, part family legend, A History of Ghosts starts in 1848 in upstate New York, where the spiritualist craze first began. Aykroyd introduces the listener to notable mediums while telling the story of the development of spiritualism, interweaving a personal history marked by a fascination with ghosts and spirits with the larger narrative about the role the paranormal has played in our culture. Such legendary figures as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini appear - and vanish.
Everyone loves a good ghost story. Successful TV shows such as Medium and Ghost Hunters are proof that our national obsession with ghosts is here to stay. Millions of Americans believe in the paranormal—and even skeptics have heard a bump in the night and suspected it might be something supernatural.


What the Critics Say

"Less a Ghostbusters also-ran than a knowing, historical origin story, this is a smart consideration of the paranormal and a curious artifact of the Aykroyd legacy." (Publishers Weekly)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


I'm not sure what I expected from this book. I love Ghostbusters and Ghost Hunters, so I thought this would be an interesting book. I also found it interesting that the Aykroyd family had a history with ghosts.

I think a history of human interest in the paranormal would have been very interesting in its own right. I also think a detailed history of the Aykroyd family's experiences with the paranormal would have been quite interesting.

This book attempts to do both, and the result is a vague overview of the paranormal. The author tells us of mediums through the course of history, only to later say that they were eventually debunked as frauds. He even admits that it would have been simple for even his own family's encounters with mediums and ghosts to have been fraudulent. It left me constantly wondering: So...do you think this stuff is real or not?

I suppose if the book would have had a clear thread, or point of view, it would have been helpful. I couldn't decide if our narrator was a true believer, or a solid skeptic, even though he says several times that he believes.

Perhaps I would have enjoyed it more if it had been two novels with a more focused purpose. I can't really blame the narrator, Jeremy Gage, for how dry the material is. Though he didn't help the novel very much with his dull reading style.

Overall, it was only very mildly entertaining. I could have spent the credit better on another novel.
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- Kimberly

Bait and switch

I felt betrayed by the sample read by Dan Aykroyd. If you think this book will be read by Dan, you are as wrong as I was. Dan only read the introduction, while the entire book was read by Jeremy Gage.
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Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-02-2010
  • Publisher: Audible Studios