Dexter A. Prowley’s Ghosts of Abana: Foreword

Starting today, I’m posting the collected works of Dexter A. Prowley, the most illustrious ghost hunter and parapsychologist in the great city of Abana. We’ll start with his foreword; tomorrow, look for chapter 1: Ghosts of Love!



The city of Abana has long been known as one of the most haunted cities in America. Most rankings place it fourth behind New York, New Orleans, and Duluth.

What sets our city apart from (and, in my opinion, above) these others is the activity and scope of our native ghosts. Other cities may have, in the course of their history, more reported ghosts; I believe Abana leads the nation in terms of active hauntings. Moreover, our hauntings encompass nearly every variety of spectral activity known to parapsychology. From vengeful poltergeists to brooding specters to jovial sprites, Abana has everything.

I intend, at some point, to present a comprehensive guide to all apparitions, past and present, in Abana and its surrounding environs. This is not that volume, as I have not yet obtained the time or resources to fully investigate and document the vast number of reported ghosts in my city.

In some respects, however, a comprehensive volume might have been simpler than the present work, since, for this volume, I had to select which stories I would recount and which would not. I created several principles to guide the selection process, and chose stories that met some, if not all, of the following guidelines.

First, if at all possible, the ghost should still be active, so that ghost hunters reading this book would have the chance to contact them. This guide can serve as an excellent primer for ghost hunters wanting to work in Abana, helping them decide how and when to contact some fascinating spirits. It is the least I can do to nurture the next generation of parapsychologists.

Second, the ghost’s story should highlight the often-unusual character of Abana spirits. Thus, while there are several examples of murdered individuals returning from the grave to condemn their attackers, these stories are generally not included unless they have an additional aspect to their stories. In our sadly violent world, stories of unjust murders are all too common, and the psychic residue left from such events pollutes nearly every corner of the globe. I selected only extraordinary spirits for this collection.

Third, the haunting in question should add something to our understanding of the next life. I have little patience for those who approach parapsychology in a spirit of thrill seeking. Contacting the dead is not about getting one’s “kicks”—it is about gaining knowledge of the deepest mysteries of human experience. While, in recent years, parapsychologists’ understanding of the deceased human psyche has increased dramatically, there is still much to be learned, and many of the ghosts included here are the ones that can teach us how the dead mind works. This principle occasionally took precedence over the first, for the past appearances of a ghost may have much to teach us even years after the final known appearances of the spirit in question.

The final result of the selection process is, to my mind, a stunning collection of ghosts. They range from the near-homicidal jealous rage of Guilluame de Lorraine to the calm stoicism of Dennis Sprewell, from the organized sense of purpose of the ghosts of Dorcas Fields to the chaos of the spirit of Delta Chi Theta.

The ghosts have been grouped by theme, for no better reason than that is how my mind tends to work. After each group, I have included an account of my own experiences with one of the ghosts in the preceding chapter. I feel these intervening chapters provide helpful examples of how a professional ghost hunter works, as well as probing insights into the character of these ghosts.

All in all, I believe this book offers compelling proof that a ghost hunter could pick no better city in which to live or work than Abana. While ghost hunting offers no sure thing, with enough time and effort, a sensitive individual who frequents Abana’s ghostly locales is practically guaranteed to encounter emissaries from the realm of the dead and have a truly enriching experience.

To assist the novice ghost hunter, a quick summary has been given of each ghost to provide the basic facts about the spirit, as well as ratings between zero and four stars that describe how likely contact with the ghost is, how dangerous the spirit may be to a parapsychologist, and the likelihood of new frontiers of parapsycological knowledge being opened by contact with the ghost.

Though I generally try to encourage new individuals to join the ghost-hunting field, novices must remember that these activities should not be undertaken recklessly. Keep in mind that ghosts are physical manifestations of forces we do not understand, beings that have already encountered humankind’s greatest fear and have returned from whatever lies on the other side. They should be encountered with all due caution, respect, and even awe.

Additionally, flash photography of spirits should be avoided.

Happy hunting!


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