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 have 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
From the publisher’s website: Dowsing - The Ultimate Guide for the 21st Century is a book for its time. It brings the undoubted benefits of this ancient art to a modern world, and makes dowsing, and its unlimited applications, accessible and relevant for all.
Find out what dowsing is; who can do it; how to do it; when and where it works. Learn about the pioneering scientific discoveries that explain the mechanics of dowsing. Understand how dowsing can become an invaluable tool to optimise your own health, well-being, and quality of life, by giving you the means to discern truth from non-truth, and to identify what is, and what is not, in your individual best interests.
And at this pivotal time in the evolution of human consciousness, discover how dowsing physically demonstrates on a tangible level the existence of an invisible world of energy outside the one we perceive with our five senses - and our ability to connect with it.
Dowsing, Hay House, June 2010. ISBN-13: 978-1848502208
Debating Psychic Experience: Human Potential or Human Illusion?, by Krippner, Stanley and Friedman, Harris L. (eds)
From the publisher’s website: Despite ongoing and repeated attempts to prove or disprove the existence of parapsychological events, there are still no conclusive findings—and certainly no consensus across the worldwide community of scholars, scientists, and proponents of psychic phenomena. Still, there is no shortage of information about this fascinating topic to allow everyone to draw their own conclusions.
This book has been expressly written to make each chapter and topic accessible to a general audience, despite containing a vast amount of theoretical material. The book is organized into two parts: in the first section, proponents of the validity of parapsychological data and critics who reject that validity state their respective positions. In the second part, each group responds to each others' statements in the form of a debate. Other experts from the United States as well as from Great Britain and Australia provide overviews and conclusions. Features includes contributions from 14 scholars weighing in as advocates, counteradvocates, or contributors; 20 examples of original artwork by Dierdre Luzwick, a world-class surrealistic artist; the bibliography contains a reference list at the end of each contributor's section; a glossary of key terms used in the book is supplied.
Debating Psychic Experience, Praeger, September 2010. ISBN-13: 978-0-313-39261-0
From the publisher’s website: Science and the Near-Death Experience explains why near-death experiences (NDEs) offer evidence of an afterlife and discredits the psychological and physiological explanations for them; challenges materialist arguments against consciousness surviving death; examines ancient and modern accounts of NDEs from around the world, including China, India, and many from tribal societies such as the Native American and the Maori
Predating all organized religion, the belief in an afterlife is fundamental to the human experience and dates back at least to the Neanderthals. By the mid-19th century, however, spurred by the progress of science, many people began to question the existence of an afterlife, and the doctrine of materialism--which believes that consciousness is a creation of the brain--began to spread. Now, armed with scientific evidence, Chris Carter challenges materialist arguments against consciousness surviving death and shows how near-death experiences (NDEs) may truly provide a glimpse of an awaiting afterlife.
Using evidence from scientific studies, quantum mechanics, and consciousness research, Carter reveals how consciousness does not depend on the brain and may, in fact, survive the death of our bodies. Examining ancient and modern accounts of NDEs from around the world, including China, India, and tribal societies such as the Native American and the Maori, he explains how NDEs provide evidence of consciousness surviving the death of our bodies. He looks at the many psychological and physiological explanations for NDEs raised by skeptics--such as stress, birth memories, or oxygen starvation--and clearly shows why each of them fails to truly explain the NDE. Exploring the similarities between NDEs and visions experienced during actual death and the intersection of physics and consciousness, Carter uncovers the truth about mind, matter, and life after death.
Science and the Near-Death Experience, Inner Traditions International, September 2010. ISBN-13: 978-1-59477-356-3
From the publisher’s website: Ghosts and hauntings… these words convey to some individuals an in-depth fear of the paranormal. The chilling thought that deceased persons have in some cases returned from the grave to once again appear, if only in shadowy forms, and to fill us with fear of their grimly presences, is a fact that few seriously minded persons can now dismiss.
Strange tales of ghosts and hauntings can be found from all corners of the earth and records show that accounts of ghostly presences go well back into antiquity. As a researcher on the paranormal, Malcolm takes from his files incredible tales of ghosts and paranormal events. He also shares with us his own ghostly encounters of which he has had more than his fair share. This book covers some amazing cases from haunted council houses to haunted castles. Malcolm brings forward personal accounts from people who have had first hand dealings with ghosts. Their testimonies will shock and in a court of law these would be hard to dismiss.
In this, his second book, Malcolm clearly shows that evidence can be found of ghosts that will make even the biggest of sceptics sit up and take notice. Britain is known worldwide for its ghostly tales and this book contributes to the growing testimony that shows that whatever we may think ghosts are, there is no denying that, come what may, they are real - as the cases from frightened witnesses in this book clearly show. A stunning and frightening look at some of Britain’s ghostly case files. Read on if you dare.
Paranormal Case Files of Great Britain, Healings of Atlantis, August 2010. ISBN: 978-1-907126-06-2
From the publisher’s website: For the first time, the best articles from "The Skeptic" in one volume. The collected writings from over 20 years of the publication, with articles by eminent academic researchers, and contributions from sceptics including Stephen Fry and Paul Daniels, and a foreword by Guardian political writer, Simon Hoggart. Why do statues weep? Did Nostradamus really predict 9/11? Is it true that we only use 10% of our brain power? Does quantum theory explain the mystery of consciousness? For 21 years, questions like these have been posed, and answered, in the pages of The Skeptic magazine, Britain’s foremost and longest-running skeptical magazine, dedicated to the pursuit of truth through reason and evidence. This collection brings together the best articles from the magazine’s archive in one myth-busting volume. It covers a wide range of topics, including psychic fraudsters and claims of psychic healing and alien abduction; near-death experiences, false memories, and much more.
Why Statues Weep, The Philosophy Press, April 2010. ISBN-13: 978-0953761128
From the publisher’s website: The central theme of this volume is to re-examine the received concepts and images of ghosts in various religious cultures ranging from the Ancient Near East and Egypt to the Old Testament, the Classical Era, Early Medieval and Early Modern Europe, Early India, and Medieval China. As a religious phenomenon, the realm of ghosts has been less studied than the realm of the divine. Through a collaborative effort by scholars from different disciplines, this volume proposes a multi-cultural approach to construct a wider and complicated picture of the phenomenon of ghosts and spirits in human societies and to have a grasp of the various problems involved in understanding the phenomenon of ghost.
Rethinking Ghosts in World Religions, Brill, Leiden, March 2009. ISBN: 978 90 04 17152 7
From the publisher’s website: With this issue, The Anomalist seeks to provide sudden jolts of illumination to spark the imagination. "Electricity of the Mind" is instant CPR for the head.
Electricity of the Mind. Anomalist Books, March 2010. ISBN: 978-1933665399