Ghost Excavator: Unearthing the Drama in the Mine Fields

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AuthorHouse, May 22, 2007 - Education - 188 pages

This book is a ghost story, meant to be read on cold, dark, windy, and snow-covered wintry nights. These are not traditional tales of haunted houses, but rather are personal narratives of cultural hauntings of long forgotten histories of ethnic struggles, and Native American beliefs. It is an image of a landscape (and its people) that goes far deeper than the mere surface manifestations of ruined and abandoned structures, and the bits and pieces of broken dreams and aspirations. This is a different kind of embedded narrative. It is an excavation that penetrates to the very heart of ghostly drama.

Experiences, conceptualized as a form of haunting, provide a framework for the recall of various incidents of personal memory and emotional resonance at specific places. This serves two purposes:

It creates a personal landscape characterized by elements of spookiness (once dense forests, abandoned structures and mineshafts, coal patches); uncertainities that result in episodic haunting dramas (the socioeconomic impact of ethnic migrations); and ghostly presences (interpretations of these ethnic groups as a response to their physical surroundings);

It provides a framework (in the 2nd part) for the analysis of other similiar haunted landscapes. A methodology is used that incorporates techniques derived from archaeology, ethnography, and performance studies. In doing so, it introduces a new multidisciplinary research methodology called Ethnoarchaeoghostology.

This book is a dedicatory salute, however humble, to the achievements and daily struggles of those who came before to inhabit this Mahanoy Area. These hauntings fill-in the blank spaces between the words in historical narratives, and thus gives the reader a different image of events in local and regional social histories. In doing so, they show that greatness is not measured by the content of what we do, but how, on a daily basis, we do it.


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Page xi - ... Besides my innumerable sins, I confess before thee, that I am debtor to thee for the gracious talent of thy gifts and graces, which I have neither put into a napkin, nor put it, as I ought, to exchangers, where it might have made best profit, but misspent it in things for which I was least fit : so I may truly say, my soul hath been a stranger in the course of my pilgrimage. Be merciful unto me, O Lord, for my Saviour's sake, and receive me into thy bosom, or guide me in thy ways.
Page x - Those as hunts treasure must go alone, at night, and when they find it, they have to leave a little of their blood behind them.

About the author (2007)

Born and raised in Mahanoy City, the “heart” of the Mahanoy Area, John Sabol left for college in the late 1960’s and did not return to the area until 1992. In the interim, he has been participating in, and directing scientific field investigations (in archaeology, ethnography, folklore, historical, and ghost research) since 1969, where he worked at the archaeological excavations at Wolvesey Palace, in Winchester, England. It was at Winchester where he also had his first paranormal experience. He has also been an actor, appearing in more than 35 movies, tv shows, “soaps”, and commercials. He has also taught at various universities in Mexico for more than 11 years. He has written numerous articles, and has published in various scientific journals, among them Tennessee Anthropologist, and the Ft. Meade Archaeological Research Center. He has a M.A. in Anthropology, and a B.A. in Sociology. He is currently approved as an adjunct professor of Anthropology at Harrisburg Area Community College in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He currently resides in Mahanoy City with his daughter Melissa, and his two lady friends, Lacy (a dog), and Tazia (a cat).

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