The Supernatural Survival Guide
176pp., hbk., RRP $A24.99
All Hallows Eve, that special night dating back to the 0th century Celtic festival of Samhain when its celebrants believe that the barriers between the physical and spirit worlds blur, allowing more interaction between humans and the inhabitants of the Otherworld. It was held on October 31 to mark the end of summer and the beginning of the long dark winter, particularly in those northern regions of what is now the United Kingdom and bonfires were lit to entice the sun to remember to come back. It was the final night that the souls of those who had died could roam before ascending to heaven or descending to hell.
As time passed, civilisations rose and disappeared and beliefs and festivals waxed and waned, the time known as Hallowe’en and all the traditions of witches and ghosts, and masks, costumes and jack-o-lanterns to scare them off has evolved. So the release of this book, which attempts to make the paranormal more normal is timely. Drawing on his personal long-term fascination with “the supernatural, the paranormal, the mysterious, the unknown the unexplained and the downright weird” and taking on the role of a child caught between a dad who believes that things like UFOs, ghosts and the yeti are true – “the truth is out there” – and a more practical, pragmatic mum who has a sensible explanation for noises in the night and strange sky shapes; Ivanoff has investigated the more common phenomena and offers a scientific explanation or debunks them. “The truth is in here!”
Using the child-friendly format of The Australia Survival Guide and The Human Body Survival Guide he tackles topics like Is the Loch Ness Monster real? Does Big Foot exist? Are there scientific reasons for hauntings? What is cryptozoology? What can explain UFO sightings by multiple witnesses? So young readers will be well-armed as the spooky season approaches. (And given that The Australia Survival Guide was published just before the Black Summer of 2019-2020, this could prove particularly useful!