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Digital Subscriptions > Skeptical Inquirer > Skeptical Inquirer March/April 2018 > Hawking ‘Ghosts’ in Old Louisville

Hawking ‘Ghosts’ in Old Louisville

David Dominé is author of a series of three books (2017a; 2017b; 2017c) offering, in turn, “Ghosts”—and “Phantoms” and “Haunts”—“of Old Louisville.” Do they indeed present “True Stories of Hauntings” and even “the possibility of supernatural phenomena” (as the publisher suggests in bookjacket blurbs)? Dominé asks, “Do I believe human beings experience strange phenomena that cannot be explained away by science and coincidence?” He answers: “Most assuredly. I have experienced activities myself that—apart from sheer imagination or happenstance—could only be attributed to something beyond ordinary human understanding.”

Then again, in one of the most self-contradictory prefaces I have seen, he talks out of the other side of his mouth, stating that his “stories” are “for entertainment purposes only.” Indeed, “Don’t ask me to justify my accounts of hauntings in this book, and don’t tell me that you don’t believe in the supernatural, because—truth be told—I don’t care.” Yet again, he states, “I just want to present a story that defies explanation.” Yet he habitually treats the “unexplained” as evidence of the paranormal—a form of faulty logic called “an argument from ignorance” (Dominé 2017c, 6–10; Nickell 2012, 269).

In one of the most self-contradictory prefaces I have seen, David Dominé then talks out of the other side of his mouth, stating that his “stories” are “for entertainment purposes only.”

But let us take a look at some of Dominé’s intentionally spine-tingling accounts—keeping in mind that he often changes the names of his informants and admittedly uses “artistic license” to improve the narratives (2017a, 7). One gets the impression he does not even want the tales to be examinable.

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The War on Science, Anti-Intellectualism, and ‘Alternative Ways of Knowing’ in 21st-Century America