Wicked folklore/supernatural stuff blogger Lenora over at Haunted Palace has chastened me on occasion for my dastardly habit of recommending books, which she then rushes off to buy in what I can only imagine to be the most well-mannered shopping frenzy ever. Mea culpa, Lenora, mea maxima culpa.
Well take heart, dear readers: here is a complete folklore text, available for free direct from the publisher! And better still, it’s about ghosts and such. Out of the Ordinary (1995) is an important work and remains one of the few disciplinary folklore books dedicated solely to traditions and experiences of the supernatural. Edited by Barbara Walker, the book is an anthology of articles by scholars who approach the supernatural from a number of different angles.
Keep in mind that it’s an academic work, so it may not be what you’re anticipating. This isn’t a collection of ghost stories; it’s a collection of analyses of supernatural traditions. It’s not without its flaws, but it’s also full of interesting and important theoretical approaches to our favorite topic. Check it out if you have the time–can’t beat the price.