Spectres of the Self: Thinking about Ghosts and Ghost-Seeing in England, 1750–1920, by McCorristine, Shane
From the publisher’s website: Spectres of the Self is a fascinating study of the rich cultures surrounding the experience of seeing ghosts in England from the Reformation to the twentieth century. Shane McCorristine examines a vast range of primary and secondary sources, showing how ghosts, apparitions, and hallucinations were imagined, experienced, and debated from the pages of fiction to the case reports of the Society for Psychical Research. By analysing a broad range of themes from telepathy and ghost-hunting to the notion of dreaming while awake and the question of why ghosts wore clothes, Dr McCorristine reveals the sheer variety of ideas of ghost seeing in English society and culture. He shows how the issue of ghosts remained dynamic despite the advance of science and secularism and argues that the ghost ultimately represented a spectre of the self, a symbol of the psychological hauntedness of modern experience.
Incorporates literature, psychiatry and popular belief, presenting a variety of ideas about ghost-seeing • Compares contexts from Germany, France and America, providing an international understanding of the topic • Examines the culture of ghost-seeing rather than the validity of ghost-belief
Contents: Introduction; Part I. The Dreams of the Ghost-Seers: 1. The haunted mind, 1750–1850; 2. Seeing is believing?: Ghost-seeing and hallucinatory experience; Part II. A Science of the Soul: 3. Ghost-hunting in the Society for Psychical Research; 4. Phantasms of the living and the dead; 5. The concept of hallucination in late-Victorian psychology; Epilogue: towards 1920; Appendix; Bibliography.
Spectres of the Self. Cambridge University Press, July 2010. ISBN: 9780521747967 (p/b) ISBN: 9780521767989 (h/b)
From the publisher’s website: The Jacobites and the Supernatural offers a whole new perspective on the well-known Jacobite period and also allows the reader to explore the battlefields and other sites of the period in a completely new way. Here are tales of witchcraft, spirits, psychic powers, portents, prodigies, magical talismans and potent curses. Bonnie Prince Charlie practices the healing magic of ‘touching’ for the King’s Evil and ‘impresses’ his good looks onto an unborn child. A queen attributes her pregnancy to a saint. Rocks split at the moment Culloden is lost. We meet angels, demons, fairies, guardian Black Dogs and other otherworldly beings. The cast of human characters includes John Graham of Claverhouse, ‘Bonnie Dundee’, said to have sold his soul to the Devil and then been killed by a silver bullet; the ‘Galloping Earl’ of Dilston whose phantom is said to still ride through his Northumbrian estate; and the gentle Lord President Forbes, who had a vision of the slaughter at Culloden months before the Jacobite dream was extinguished on that terrible day.
As well as setting the occult beliefs in the religious, political and military contexts of the Jacobite Risings of 1689, 1715, 1719 and 1745, this book gives a site-by-site guide to all the battlefields and buildings associated with the Jacobites and the supernatural. The battles of Culloden, Sheriffmuir, Killiecrankie, Dunkeld, Glenshiel, Falkirk and Prestonpans are well represented, but there are also allegedly haunted castles and hotels, plus everything from an English vicarage (home to a Jacobite poltergeist) to a Highland loch and a Hebridean beach. Sites across Scotland and England are comprehensively described, with a full history of their ‘supernatural’ events and descriptions of on-site access and facilities.
The Jacobites and the Supernatural. Amberley Publishing, October 2010. ISBN 9781848685888
From the publisher’s website: A Brazilian soldier killed in the 1932 Constitutional Revolution ‘drops in’ unexpectedly on a medium nearly thirty years later, giving his name and numerous personal details almost all of which turned out to be true. A family is terrorised by bombardments of stones thrown by invisible hands, and by inexplicable outbreaks of fires, some of them witnessed by police. A little girl astonishes her parents by giving detailed information about her dead uncle – again all of it being true. It appears that she is in fact her uncle reborn. These are three of the many cases of ‘paranormal’ phenomena that were meticulously investigated by pioneer Brazilian parapsychologist Hernani Guimarães Andrade (1913-2003), who was both a scientist and a Spiritist. Here, he provides some of the best evidence on record, whether for poltergeists, reincarnation, or survival of death.
Hernani Guimarães Andrade (1913-2003) graduated in civil engineering from the University of São Paulo in 1941, and after working for various public and private companies including Brazil’s National Steel Company, he joined the São Paulo state water and electricity department where he became technical director of its electricity and telephone division. In 1961 he founded the Brazilian Institute for Psychobiophysical Research (IBPP) with a small group of like-minded Spiritists, its stated objective being ‘The study of paranormal facts and systematic research into the laws, properties and potential of the spirit by scientific methods’. He was the author of sixteen books, including three on reincarnation based on the original research he and his colleagues carried out on 75 Brazilian cases.
Science & Spirit. Roundtable Publishing, December 2010. ISBN-13: 978-0956449337
From the publisher’s website: Following several personal sightings of ghosts, including that of a First World War pilot, Alan Wood has spent sixty years researching the occult. Military Ghosts is the result and is designed as a gazetteer of locations where military ghosts have been reported. It includes not only such well-known stories as that of Sir Francis Drake’s Drum but a wide variety of stories, ranging from a patrol of ghostly Roman legionnaires to a fully-fledged re-enactment of the Battle of Edgehill, and from benevolent spirits to one so terrifying that witnesses have committed suicide rather than face it, through the spirits of seventeenth-century cavaliers to the more modern ghosts of fighter pilots from the First and Second World Wars. This book covers soldiers, sailors, and airmen, and a wide range of locations not only in the U.K. but also overseas.
Alan C. Wood has spent time in the RAF both on active service at home and overseas, and as a reservist, winning the USAF medal for Humane Action. On being demobilised from the RAF, he joined the police service and won the Queen Elizabeth II Police Service Medal and various other awards. He has been a published non-fiction author since September 1957, writing about the First and Second World Wars.
Military Ghosts. Amberley, October 2010. ISBN 9781445601717
Psychical Research in Greece: An unbelievable period of parapsychological research through testimonies and rare documents, by Koumartzis, Nikolaos
From the author: Are you aware that there was a time in Greece when scientific research was being conducted on paranormal phenomena? A time when the great majority of Greek people and scientists believed in such experiences, and there were even lessons in the subject (such as experiments in telepathy) on the National University of Greece's curriculum? Few people know about it today, and the remaining records from this era are gradually being lost due to deterioration and ignorance. This fascinating period of parapsychological research in Greece is told through the pages of this book. Testimonies, documents, old photographs, long-forgotten scientific researches and hitherto unpublished information together portray a time that was indeed very different to ours today. This Greek-language book shows a Greece that was full of remarkable research and revolutionary experiments.
Plaudits for the book: “A surprisingly good book about a remarkable era in Greece that most people are unaware of. A doctor from the Navy Force, a very rich backer and dozens of researchers and psychic mediums are all becoming part of a paranormal and quite unknown Greece!” Mystery magazine.
“The present book brings to light a not so long ago era where Greece was equally contributing to one of the most challenging expeditions of human science. The contribution of Angelos Tanagras is worthwhile and has to become known to the wide public in an attempt to find imitators, and as such the Greek participation to the worldwide parapsychological community to be renewed and extended. I do hope that capable people will emerge to follow Nikolaos Koumartzis in his attempt of reviving psychical research in Greece.” Dr. Marios Varvoglis, President of Institut Metapsychique International (France) and Vice President of the Parapsychological Association (USA).
Psychical Research in Greece, DION Publications, May 2010. Price: 14.5 euros. For further information email: email@example.com
From the publisher’s website: Is there something called telepathy? Can we sense in advance what will happen? Can animals navigate using the earth's magnetic field? How can an embryo develop to a complete, mature organism? Göran Brusewitz introduces two separate fields, parapsychology and psychoenergetic systems, the basis for a holistic biology, two fields that seem to be connected to each other. He adds research that indicate the survival of bodily death, and research on consciousness. Almost all of these phenomena are dismissed by the skeptical movement, but a clear analysis shows that most of their arguments can be dismissed. From the foreword: "Brusewitz skillfully weaves parapsychological research and bioenergetic models together, using recent data from the study of biological fields as the connective link. This is an innovative paradigm that I have not detected in other books of this nature. Those who follow his reasoning through to its conclusion will emerge with an expanded view of humanity, of Nature, and the mechanisms that connect them. The implications of Conscious Connections extend beyond parapsychology and psychoenergetics." Stanley Krippner, Saybrook University
Göran Brusewitz, Master of Science in Psychology, has been President of the Swedish Society for Psychical Research for more than 20 years. He has followed the research in parapsychology, psychoenergetic systems and consciousness and arranged conferences with leading scientists. He is a member of the Parapsychological Association.
Conscious Connections. VDM Verlag Dr. Müller, October 2010. ISBN-13: 978-3639291148
From the publisher’s website: Cambridge University is the most haunted university in the world: ghosts have been reported here and in the surrounding countryside from the 13th century up to the present day. Cambridge Ghosts is a comprehensive guide to the phantoms and paranormal phenomena that have been witnessed and experienced in the colleges of the university, the ancient houses of the city, the streets and open spaces, and some surprisingly modern buildings. It also introduces the reader to writers of classic ghost stories who have been inspired by the historic university. Fully researched by the authors, Cambridge Ghosts is the most detailed work ever published on the city's spectral population and is guaranteed to fascinate the reader.
Cambridge Ghosts. Arima Publishing, September 2010. ISBN-13: 978-1845494537
From the publisher’s website: The paranormal has gone mainstream. Beliefs are on the rise, with almost half of the British population, and two thirds of Americans, claiming to believe in extra sensory perceptions and hauntings. Psychic magazines like Spirit and Destiny, television shows such as Fringe, Ghost Whisperer and Most Haunted, ghost-cams and e-poltergeists, bestselling books on mind, body and spirit, and magicians like Derren Brown have moved from the outer limits to the centre of popular culture, turning paranormal beliefs and scepticism into revenue streams.
Paranormal Media offers a unique, timely exploration of the extraordinary, unexplained and supernatural in popular culture, looking in unusual places in order to understand this phenomenon. Early spirit forms such as magic lantern shows or the spirit photograph are re-imagined as a search for extraordinary experiences in reality TV, ghost tourism, and live shows. Through a popular cultural ethnography, and critical analysis in social and cultural theory, this ground-breaking book by Annette Hill presents an original and rigorous examination of people's experiences of spirits and magic. In popular culture, people are players in an orchestral movement about what happens to us when we die. In a very real sense the audience is the show. This book is the story of audiences and their participation in a show about matters of life and death.
Paranormal Media, Taylor & Francis, November 2010. ISBN: 978-0-415-54463-4
From the publisher’s website: Unruly Spirits connects the study of séances, telepathy, telekinesis, materializations, and other parapsychic phenomena in France during the age of Sigmund Freud to an epistemological crisis that would eventually yield the French adoption of psychoanalysis. Skillfully navigating experiments conducted by nineteenth-century French psychical researchers and the wide-ranging debates that surrounded their work, M. Brady Brower situates the institutional development of psychical research at the intersection of popular faith and the emergent discipline of psychology.
Brower shows how spiritualist mediums were ignored by French academic scientists for nearly three decades. Only after the ideologues of the Third Republic turned to science to address what they took to be the excess of popular democracy would the marvels of mediumism begin to emerge as legitimate objects of scientific inquiry. Taken up by the most prominent physicists, physiologists, and psychologists of the last decades of the nineteenth century, psychical research would eventually stall in the 1920s as researchers struggled to come to terms with interpersonal phenomena (such as trust and good faith) that could not be measured within the framework of their experimental methods.
In characterizing psychical research as something other than a mere echo of popular spirituality or an anomaly among the sciences, Brower argues that the questions surrounding mediums served to sustain the scientific project by forestalling the establishment of a closed and complete system of knowledge. By acknowledging persistent doubt about the intentions of its participants, psychical research would result in the realization of a subjectivity that was essentially indeterminate and would thus clear the way for the French reception of psychoanalysis and the Freudian unconscious and its more comprehensive account of subjective uncertainty.
Unruly Spirits. University of Illinois Press, November 2010. ISBN Cloth 978-0-252-03564-7; Paper 978-0-252-07751-7
From the publisher’s website: The Ghost Club is the oldest society in the world dedicated to the exploration of the unknown and there can be no better guide to the history of this pioneering organisation than writer and broadcaster Peter Underwood, President from 1960 - 1993. Here his unique archives and knowledge has combined to produce a definitive compendium of this remarkable club covering the many and varied incarnations, pioneers, members and leading lights as well as its many and diverse lectures and investigations.
Peter Underwood is the recognised elder statesman of psychical research and author of over 40 books on ghosts and the paranormal including the pioneering Gazetteer of British Ghosts, The Encyclopaedia of the Supernatural, The Ghost Hunters' Guide and Haunted Gardens.
The Ghost Club, Limbury Press, October 2010. ISBN 978-0-9565228-1-8
From the filmmakers’ website: Jonas Elrod was leading an ordinary life until he woke up one day to a totally new reality. He suddenly could see and hear angels, demons, auras and ghosts.
The documentary movie WAKE UP follows this fascinating story of an average guy who inexplicably developed the ability to access other dimensions. Physicians gave him a clean bill of health and were unable to provide an explanation. What was it? Why was it happening to him? One thing was certain for this 36-year old man – life as he had known it would never be the same.
With his loving but skeptical girlfriend by his side, Jonas crisscrosses the country as he searches for answers and delves deeper into this thrilling world of the phenomenal and spiritual. Along the way, he encounters an amazing group of religious teachers, scientists, mystics and spiritual healers who help him piece together this intricate puzzle.
The film shows how all of us can search inward for our own peace and happiness while contributing towards a positive shift in global consciousness. WAKE UP is a call to consciousness to everyone who sees it; an invitation to accept that there is more to this life than meets the eye.
From the publisher’s website: This is the first biographical and critical study in English of one of the outstanding mediums of all time, through whom more than 450 books were received by 'automatic writing' over a seventy year period, few of which until recently were available in English translations.
Extracts from some of Chico's major works are included, and give an idea of the scope and the high quality of the output of this unique medium, whose centenary in 2010 was marked by numerous celebrations, two feature films and a special postage stamp. This book tells the fascinating story of how a primary-school dropout from a poor working-class background rose to become a national hero.
Chico Xavier, Roundtable Publishing, June 2010. ISBN-13: 978-0956449313
From the publisher’s website: This book is based on the author's ten-year research into the politics of belief surrounding paranormal ideas. Through a detailed examination of the participants, issues, strategies and underlying factors that constitute the contemporary paranormal debate, the book explores the struggle surrounding the status of paranormal phenomena. It examines, on the one hand, how the principal arbiters of religious and scientific truths -- the Church and the academic establishment -- reject paranormal ideas as "occult" and "pseudo-scientific", and how, on the other hand, paranormal enthusiasts attempt to resist such labels and instead establish paranormal ideas as legitimate knowledge.
The author contends that the paranormal debate is the outcome of wider discursive processes that are concerned with the construction and negotiation of truth in Western society generally. More specifically, the debate is seen as an aspect of the "boundary work" that defines the contours of religious and scientific orthodoxy.
The book paves new ground in understanding the nature of belief relating to a topic that has long held fascination to academics and lay people alike – paranormal ideas. It develops a discursive framework for understanding a contemporary social phenomenon, hence placing the study at the cutting edge of ethnographic development that seeks to integrate discursive perspectives with empirical accounts of sociological phenomena. Most importantly, the study is intended to contribute to the debate surrounding communicative action, by outlining a discursive perspective on the negotiation of ideational differences that goes beyond the incommensurability theories that have dominated the sociology of communication and knowledge.
The Paranormal and the Politics of Truth, Imprint Academic, March 2007. ISBN: 9781845400712
From the publisher’s website: Paranormal Technology is the first book to provide a scientific method for ghost hunting, which includes in-depth explanations of what the collected data mean. Paranormal Technology offers new techniques, answers questions, and provides experiments, which will help bridge the gap between the paranormal and science. Written in everyday language, it offers keen insights into the nature of paranormal phenomena, the protocols required for collecting evidence that will stand up to scientific scrutiny, and the possible theories that may explain the source of "Ghosts". Currently employed test equipment is examined and proper use is covered in great detail. Paranormal Technology is an indispensable aid to any scientific researcher or ghost hunting group, whether you are a beginner, or with many years of experience. This book is not a means to an end, but rather, an invitation to a fresh beginning.
Paranormal Technology, iUniverse, August 2010. ISBN-13: 978-1450253567
From the publisher’s website: In this candid, thought-provoking autobiography the gifted and world-renowned medium Ronald Hearn gives a moving account of his extraordinary life. Beginning with his childhood in a working-class family in wartime London, he traces his development through National Service in India to a mundane job in a town hall and on to the startling, life-changing discovery of his psychic abilities and his decision to launch himself as a full-time psychic. Hearn’s mediumship has taken him all over the world and has brought him into contact with a wide array of people – from ‘ordinary’ men and women who have lost loved ones to colourful celebrities, like Margaret Rutherford, with a penchant for spiritualism. Hearn’s astonishing gifts – most notably seen in his innovative practice of taped messages – have won him many admirers in the psychic community and his sensitive, subtle readings have given comfort and hope to many, as well as providing invaluable evidence of survival after death. What shines through above all, however, is Hearn’s indomitable and humane spirit, his passion for life and his unquenchable desire to reach out to another world.
Medium, Book Guild Publishing, September 2010. ISBN 9781846245169