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Book review: A Natural History of Ghosts, By Roger Clarke


Though rationalists may scoff at Clarke's encounter with a ghostly bouncing ball, he tackles the supernatural with gusto, intelligence and persistence.

At 14, he was the youngest member of the Society for Psychical Research. Encompassing fact and fiction, this account of spectral encounters over 500 years ranges from the Cock Lane ghost, which attracted that unlikely ghostbuster Dr Johnson, and the Victorian flash mobs attracted by haunting houses, to recent scientific theory that might explain ghosts as "quantum events".