I don’t normally promote other people’s books because I don’t know many writers. But on this occasion, I will. One, he’s a friend. And two, I enjoy his work.
His latest book, New Ghost Stories Volume 3, starts with the unnerving introduction:
“Ghosts don’t care if you believe in them or not.”
It’s a chilling line, don’t you think? Poking fun at a casual non-believer like myself. Shoving these ghouls and ghosts in my face and saying, ‘Prove we don’t exist, then!’
It’s a skilful tagline I have to admit, and one you’d expect from an experienced copywriter. But there’s a serious side to these books. Because while they boast the author’s name, he didn’t write them.
‘Duh! Well, who did. A ghost?’
Well yeh, sort of.
David Paul Nixon has spent more than ten years chronicling real ghost stories from people who swear that what they experienced was real. Actual accounts of terrifying, traumatic and harrowing events (let’s call them hauntings) that have shaped their lives. More a case study on the human mind than an account of the paranormal. But all thoroughly investigated and painstakingly transcribed. And all incredibly scary.
But are these ghosts real? And if they are. What are they?
Humans are clever, there’s no denying that. We’ve made discoveries and achieved feats of engineering that would astound our ancestors. I live about an hour and a half away from the Eiffel Tower, and every time I see it, it blows me away. Built as a temporary structure from railway girders 132 years ago, it still stands. Yes, it’s clever.
But not that clever. We might be able to build towers and go to the Moon, but even the most celebrated cosmologists, astronomers and physicists admit most of the stuff out there still baffles them. Take Superstring Theory for instance.
Developed in the seventies, string theory attempted (among others) to unite general relativity (gravity) with quantum mechanics (gravity on an atomic scale). It ultimately failed to find a link, but did spawn the idea of multiple dimensions.
The four dimensions we know (length, height, depth and time), plus another six for good measure. Some brainboxes have even postulated the existence of 23.
Most of us struggle with the 4th dimension when it comes to being on time (me included!), so imagine living in a world of 23 with twisting space-time realities, parallel universes, time loops and worm holes.
‘Hey mate, have you got the time?’
Point is, even trying to imagine this stuff is impossible. Even the guys who make this up admit the human brain simply can’t process these ideas. Visualising this world is beyond us. But it doesn’t mean it’s not there.
We tend to think of the universe where all this weird shit happens as being out there in the distant darkness of space. How did Star Wars begin?
…In a Galaxy Far Far Away.
But it isn’t. The universe is right here. In your coffee cup, in your cupboard, in your basement, in your attic, in your bedroom, in your house. It’s even in our heads. 23 dimensions in our heads. Imagine that? No wonder we’re so fucked up! No wonder we see stuff!
I’m not trying to rationalise, explain or even downplay the strange events that take place in David’s books. I’m just curious. Curious to come up with some explanation as to why. Nothing weird has ever happened to me. Nothing like in the books. But it might, so I have to be armed so I can deal with it when it happens.
‘Ah, I know what you are? You’re not a ghost, you’re a dimension. Number 23?’
New Ghost Stories Volume Three is out now.
Or listen to David read from Volumes one and two below: