Shane Leslie's Ghost Book: An Antidote to Materialism

M. Williams

A Reign of Mary book review 
of Shane Leslie's Ghost Book by Sir Shane Leslie
Tumblar House, 2017, 186 pp.

I believe Counter-Revolutionary Catholics are mistaken to simply reject Vatican II, the New Mass, and bad manners/customs. We are also obliged to reject everything that is contrary to the Catholic faith, including anything proposed by "scientists" of our time that we see to be contrary to the Holy Scriptures or the tradition of the Church.

When the conciliar Popes are approving the revolutionary Copernican mentality, the basis for evolutionism, polygenesis, the theory of Long Ages of earth, and so on, they must be resisted. Likewise, when the conciliar Popes and the conciliar Church at large dismisses the existence of ghosts and spirits as anti-scientific superstition, hereto must they be resisted.

This is why I am so pleased to read a book like Shane Leslie's Ghost Book, because it is in a very real way an antidote to the materialism of our time, at least insofar as the ghostly is concerned. The book clearly shows the pre-Vatican II Catholics (all the stories contained in the book, and there are many, are pre-Vatican II by at least fifteen years) accepted the existence of ghosts, categorising them under the following headings:
  1. Demons whether openly appearing or masquerading as the dead;
  2. Damned souls;
  3. Souls returning from Purgatory to impart information or ask for prayers;
  4. Non-sentient spectres.
This also does not include the many divine apparitions, from Our Lord, Our Lady, angels and saints...

The hypocrisy of moderns

It is alarming to me to see how Vatican II Catholics willingly endorse spurious apparitions and devotions (Medjugorje, Lady of All Nations, Divine Mercy), all of which promote an "all is well" message, quite contrary to Fatima, but anything that makes them uncomfortable they will reject. So, demonic possessions are counted as superstitious or very rare (and the new liturgy accordingly omits a prodigious amount of grace-giving prayers and exorcisms that ward off demons), ghost stories are purely considered for entertainment if not at all, etc. When Vatican II Catholics admit of metaphysical topics, they will only allow that which makes them happy and comfortable. All heaven, no hell. Again, Divine Mercy rather than LaSalette... 

Counter-revolutionary pontiff Urban VIII resisted the
false theory of heliocentrism, which leads to heresy
Indeed, not only the Vatican II Catholics, but their cousins, the Protestants, have a very limited and materialistic metaphysical worldview. These Vatican II Catholics who believe in the false dichotomy of "separation of Religion and Science", nevertheless are all-too-happy to change religious truths when "Science" says something contradictory to religious truth. They will never assert Religion's superiority over Science, but will always accept the latest "scientific" novelties, even when those novelties change an article of faith by acceptance.

Sadly, even the pre-conciliar Church compromised to these evil tendencies. Long before Vatican II, in 1718, Pope Benedict XIV permitted Galileo's heretical works to be published. So we can see that the Revolution against the Catholic Church in the field of sciences has been a centuries-old fight, one that we are only just beginning to resist again.

Shane Leslie's Ghost Book is an invaluable contribution to the counter-revolutionary's fight against bad modern science. The book shows, through numerous accounts, that ghosts are clearly real and worthy of belief. The book's theme reminds me of the work of the saintly Pope Urban VIII, who had the courage to intervene in a "scientific" matter and attack the false and heretical theories of his time advanced by Galileo.

False and harmful: that religion and science are equal
The truth: Religion is greater and more authoritative
Therefore, one major point the Counter-Revolutionary Catholic should remember while reading Ghost Book, is that the Catholic Church has the right, even the duty, to intervene in "scientific" controversies insofar as they are concerned with faith or morals. So just as the Church has condemned heliocentrism (in spite of the recalcitrance of the Popes on this matter since the early 1700s), so too can the Church definitively conclude, as it has implicitly, that ghosts are very real and come in different forms.

A treasure of a book


Shane Leslie's Ghost Book leaves one with many different feelings, all very good. It is edifying, for it offers a basic primer on Catholic teaching concerning ghosts. It is frightening, in the sense that it reminds us of hell and purgatory, the places from which many of the ghosts come. It is also frightening simply by virtue of the content of the stories, but not to the point of being harmful. Probably the best story in the book, a tale of a truly horrific haunting at an English manor, in which, among other things, are mass-suicides and some really chilling descriptions of demons, sleep paralysis, etc. As Catholic speaker Christine Niles wrote when reviewing the book: "This is a fantastic book to read... just don't read it at night!". I agree with her.

While I would advise traditional Catholics to avoid horror films at all costs, due to the psychological and physiological dangers they pose, as well as the immoral themes, and I would say the same concerning many horror novels, Shane Leslie's Ghost Book is neither like a bad movie nor a bad book. In horror films and books, fear is employed for its own sake: simply to shock and terrify, and desensitise. In Ghost Book, fear is used as a tool to remind us to be virtuous and remain in our faith.

Because Shane Leslie's Ghost Book is edifying, morally corrective, and instructive, it is a relief to the counter-revolutionary reader. In my albeit short time as a Catholic reader, I haven't come across any suitable books on this topic for laymen. Any books of this topic written since Vatican II would also require greater scrutiny while reading, as progressivist elements might be hidden between the lines.

A return to pre-modern conception of Reality


Vatican II Catholics reject the historical
 fact St. George fought and killed a dragon
Shane Leslie's Ghost Book is also a refreshing excursion into the pre-modern conception of Reality that admitted the existence of the supernatural and metaphysical, as well as the marvelous and miraculous. It shouldn't surprise the modern reader that pre-Vatican II Catholics accepted or at least were open to the existence of creatures like dragons, fairies, magic and magicians (albeit evil), giants, sexual devils, sea serpents, and so on.

They believed in these things, not based on superstition, but with plenty of historical and scientific evidence. There is actually a very good Off the Menu podcast, which I recommend, that goes into detail on traditional Catholic beliefs with regard to these matters.

At the very least, we traditional Catholics who now admit the existence of ghosts, should admit the possibility that such creatures listed above may exist, or may have existed in the past.

An opportunity to enjoy a good book and support Reign of Mary


25% of the book price will go to
Reign of Mary - click the picture to buy
Reign of Mary has entered an informal partnership with Tumblar House, the publishers of Ghost Book. For every purchase of Shane Leslie's Ghost Book, 25% of the proceeds will go to Reign of Mary. You can take advantage of this offer by clicking on the picture at left, which will take you to the page to buy Ghost Book and read reviews about the book made by other readers.

We at Reign of Mary cannot recommend Ghost Book highly enough. It is not every book that we will endorse. In our memory, there is nothing in the book that caused offence to traditional Catholic beliefs, though I would invite any counter-revolutionary reader to  buy the book and give me their own opinion.

Ghost Book is a true Counter-Revolutionary book. It calls us to action not only to accept the supernatural existence of ghosts, but to return to a proper worldview, in which Science and Religion make up two composites of one Reality; and in which Religion has its proper place of primacy over science at the top. If indeed we believe all the truths of the Catholic faith contained in Holy Scripture and tradition, we must reject all "scientific" ideas that contradict the revealed truths. To do otherwise is to be a friend of the world, and not of God.

Posted 11 June 2018


  1. I am in agreement with most, but not all, of what you said in this post. The Church teaches there are only three types of persons: Divine Persons (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost), Angelic Persons (Demons and Angels of all nine choirs), and Human Persons. We are not told that God created non-persons, non-sentient beings, in any realm other than the material realm. Meaning animals, plants, minerals, all only exist in the material realm and we have never been taught by Holy Mother Church that such things exist in the spiritual realm, especially to the spiritual-equivalent of animals or other non-sentient beings. So, when we speak of ghosts there should not be listed 4 options of what they might be, but only 3: Demons, Damned Souls, and Poor Souls in Purgatory. There should not be belief in any "non-sentient spectres" or any other type of spiritual creatures aside from those already mentioned. While I have yet to watch the video you linked regarding other "supernatural" phenomena such as fairies, I can't imagine them being real for similar reasons and believe they must be a product of superstition, despite your claim to the contrary, though I will attempt to watch the video now.

    1. Further, I would advise, if this topic interests you greatly, to purchase a copy of the Ghost Book. It is quite inexpensive as you know.

      The link to purchase is above, by clicking the picture of the book.

  2. Thank you for your message.

    I have listed "non-sentient spectres" based on their being listed in the Ghost Book. I believe Charles Coulombe discusses this very question in the YouTube video linked above. Please do tell me whether you enjoyed it.



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