Aliens, Ghosts and

Two ordinary guys and their friends investigate weird things.

In late May, a Pennsylvania high school hums with the rumor that Satanic cult plans on killing first four couples through door prom night. A horror writer in Catskills is overcome grief, alienated from his wife, unable to write, and suffering recurring thoughts of physical sexual indignities he has no words describe. He concludes been abducted by aliens. Pizza Hut Ohio, employees refuse close alone because ghost hanged man haunts refrigerator. Tales such as these are subject Bill Ellis’s Aliens, Ghosts, Cults: Legends We Live. book, explores complex relationship between ordinary life outlandish but oft-told legends. What finds startling. multiple case studies legends become part life. Officials take action answer each story’s weird details, people adjust their behavior avoid or experience aliens ghosts. Written for both cultural expert reader fascinated reactions extraordinary phenomena, Cults pursues motivations why tell “true stories, heard friend friend.” Ellis shows creating sense community multi-ethnic institutional camp. traces some contemporary scares old tales vanishing hitchhiker murderous gang initiations. analyzing newly emerging legend types, alien abductions computer virus warnings, discovers connections earlier types religious supposed witchcraft. Finally, book reveals how can inspire actions, ranging playful visits haunted spots horrifying threats violence. rely active discussion spread mutate. This considers them be social process, not kind narrative fixed form. People worldwide may one person whom event allegedly occurred “own” story. Individuals relate an something strongly believed laughable. very new have roots folklore. But when schools, law enforcement agencies, city governments, individuals action, story becomes we live. associate professor English American at Penn State University, Hazleton campus. His previous books include Raising Devil: Satanism, New Religions, Media, published Psychology Today, Skeptical Inquirer, Journal Folklore, Popular Literature.