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Cannonball Read V: People Who Don’t Know They’re Dead by Gary Leon Hill

By Awake and Awkward | Book Reviews | May 7, 2013 | Comments ()


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When exploring clever ideas for books to read, it seemed an obvious choice to pick Gary Leon Hill's Sixth Sense-esquely titled People Who Don't Know They're Dead and give it a once over. I was particularly glad that I did. While I would not classify myself as a believer in afterlife, God, or ghosts, I don't NOT believe in them. Mr.Hill, however, comes from a family chock full of people that not only know ghosts exist, but make a living in telling said ghosts to move on to the next world. I expected to find a bullet point list of ways to get rid of wayward souls and elaborations on said bullet points. What I got instead was a bunch of family stories, a couple of transcripts from recorded possessions, and a look into a different perspective on the afterlife. Not what I was expecting, though I am definitely not complaining.

Hill explores the notion that when a person is ready for death, the ease into the next stage of higher being is a smooth one. Those who believe in a heaven end up in a heavenly environment. Those who believe in Hell can end up stuck in their mind's perception of Hell and can be rescued from an outside party. Those who believe in nothingness simply drift into a black sleep and never return. Then, there are those who die in a sudden instance, or under stress. Car crashes, suicides, sudden heart attacks, etc. While these souls are occasionally aware that something has changed, when not ready to die they run a high risk of just continuing on in a life where everyone is constantly ignoring them and it is exceedingly difficult to pick things up due to hands and arms that just go through things. These souls may then go and attach themselves, most of the time by mistake, to another living person and unbeknownst to both parties begin living with the living again. This proves problematic for the host, issues like depression, fatigue, and confusion are common issues. There also appears to be an issue with a suicidal soul latching onto a living person and continuing to be suicidal. Hill's family steps in at this point and has developed a system that includes scripted dialogues and pendulums to ask the soul to kindly step aside and leave the living alone, while stepping towards that light in the sky with all your friends and relatives who want to kick it.

While I can say that I have never had an issue with hitchhiking souls, after reading this book I am sure of several things: 1. I am fairly certain I am just as confused about what happens after death as I was before I picked this book up, 2. I would really like to invest in a pendulum, and 3. I am undoubtedly convinced my husband has a hitchhiker, if not MULTIPLE hitchhikers, and I would probably like them removed.

3 out of 4 stars, I would not recommend to anyone who isn't willing to be open minded as it gets a little far out there at points.

(Header photo: Holmes County Cemetaries.)

This review is part of the volunteer Cannonball Read V. Read all about it , and find more of Awake and Awkward's reviews on the group blog.

(Note: Any revenue generated from purchases made throughthe amazon.com affiliate links in this review will be donated in entirety to the American Cancer Society.)



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Comments Are Welcome, Jerks Will Be Banned


  • Kati

    This reminds me of the ghostly hitch-hikers in the Haunted Mansion ride at Disney.

  • Lisa Bee

    I wouldn't say my beliefs in ghosts and the afterlife are really strong in either direction, but for some reason, I really enjoy hearing about other people's theories on the subject. So this book actually sounds really intriguing to me...

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