In the spring of 2020, the authors, Bob and Cody, started having conversations about updating their 2008 book “The Complete Ghost Hunter: Basic Methods to Advanced Techniques” since the book is now out of print. However, the inevitable question of “what is the point” became an entanglement. After all, there are a great many books on ghost hunting on the shelves, and frankly, many of them aren’t worth the trees killed to provide the paper they were printed on. The authors have read many of these, with reactions ranging everywhere from respect for a well-written tome to abject horror that someone in a publishing house actually agreed to give life to such an abomination. Thus, we did not feel that another book would necessarily be a good thing.
As the debate continued, we eventually found several reasons to write another. The first was that most books on the subject are written from one side or the other (Believer/Skeptic). Since the two of us are on opposing sides (Cody is skeptical while Bob is a skeptical believer), we thought that a reflection of the whole would be valuable to the reader.
The other noteworthy purpose would be to share our experience. We have done this activity for quite some time and have learned a lot along the way. Experience is vital because there are only four essential types of information that will affect the final outcome.
- The things you actually know.
- The things you think you know but really don’t.
- The things you don’t know and are oblivious to.
- The things you wish you would have known.
As the saying goes, knowledge is power. While due diligence plays an essential part in transforming misinformation (#2’s) into actual knowledge (#1’s), it does almost nothing to address the #3’s. Until you know what #3 is, you cannot determine #4.
Understanding these concepts only comes with experience, and by then, it is usually too late. The result? You can learn the hard way, inevitably get blindsided, fail, or give up on the endeavor.
The hope is that we can shine some light on the #4’s. So, grinning like inebriated leprechauns perched on a pot of gold, the authors tromped off pen in hand (or laptop in this case) to put their vast years of experience forth in distilled form for the edification and education of the masses.
We do not claim it is the be-all, end-all of ghost hunting or paranormal investigation. We don’t think that such a book would even be possible to write, as it would most likely weigh more than the average human being and would definitely pose a fire danger. However, it does encompass advanced concepts that many other works on the subject seem to avoid as if they were rabid ocelots intent on devouring the contents of your sock drawer.
Since this book is drawing from our decades of experience, it also became an autobiography of sorts. We hope that the read is entertaining as well as informative. For the most part, our time with this endeavor is finished (barring copious amounts of alcohol or large sums of money). As we ride off into the sunset, we will leave you with the words of William James.
“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.”
Cody Polston is an author, historian and ghost investigator. He is the author of multiple books on history and paranormal topics. He was the host and producer of the popular podcast Ecto Radio and a writer for Ghosthunter X magazine. He is one of the founders of the Southwest Ghost Hunter's Association and has been investigating paranormal claims since 1985.
In the 1990's several other ghost hunting groups gave him the moniker the "Hitman" due to his involvement in "debunking" several well known haunted locations in Texas. Although the nickname was intended to be a negative insult, Cody adopted the nickname and began using in on his podcasts and other media venues.