Recent publications

Ghosts: A Social History, by Davies, Owen (ed.)

From the publisher’s website: Despite the scientific and intellectual advances of the past five hundred years, populist belief in the supernatural, as evidenced by media investigations into the paranormal, continues to be culturally and socially relevant. Throughout history, ghost beliefs have been a source of literary inspiration and learned investigation. They prompted public panics and scandals, and have been manipulated for political and religious purposes. This five-volume reset edition draws together representative and defining printed sources to reveal changing perceptions of ghosts at different social levels from the Reformation through to the twentieth century in Britain and America.

In the face of growing scholarly interest in the history of ghosts, this groundbreaking edition is the first documentary survey of the field from the early modern era through to the industrial age. Sources have been chosen to present a clear chronological story of continuities and changes in the social and intellectual relevance of ghosts. They focus on the key published debates that emerged in each century, and illustrate the full range of literary formats that reported or discussed ghosts. American material is included in the final two volumes to reflect the US birth of nineteenth-century spiritualism.

The edition benefits from full scholarly apparatus, including a general introduction, volume introductions, headnotes, endnotes and a consolidated index in the final volume. The set is broadly interdisciplinary and will appeal to those researching Social and Cultural History, History of Science, History of Religion, Literature and History of the Supernatural, as well as Early-Modern, Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century History.


Five volume set, approx. 2,000pp. Pickering and Chatto, February 2010. ISBN 978 1 85196 989 0


Supernatural North, by Ritson, Darren W.

From the publisher’s website: The Supernatural North is the latest in a long line of books by Darren W Ritson. This exciting new volume details scores of the most terrifying ghost tales and supernatural legends that the north of England has to offer. From the Scottish Borders to South Yorkshire, from the North West Coast to the North East Coast, this book is sure to delight all ghost enthusiasts.

Featured in this volume is a full chapter devoted to the South Shields Poltergeist case which the author co-investigated with Mike Hallowell in 2006. A large section of the book is also dedicated to the north of England’s most famous haunting, Willington Mill, along with various other chapters detailing spine chilling ghosts and blood curdling hauntings from the North Country. There is also a fascinating and detailed look at the north’s screaming skull legends.

Places visited in the book number into their hundreds and include theatres, castles, public houses, hotels, stately homes, public parks and even a lighthouse or two. With a lengthily foreword by Peter Underwood FRSA – acknowledged as the world’s leading ghost hunter, The Supernatural North promises to be one of the finest ghost books you will ever read.


Amberley Publishing, January 2010. ISBN 9781848682771


Paranormal Brighton and Hove, by Cameron, Janet

From the publisher’s website: The first book to explore, in depth, the complete range of paranormal phenomena reported in Brighton & Hove. Here you will find accounts of well-known hauntings, as well as many previously undiscovered locations.
 
This fascinating account of local ‘sightings’ looks at traditional historical legends as well as modern day experiences, providing fresh knowledge together with the author’s personal accounts of new and traditional stories.
 
Janet Cameron’s ghostly tour of the area is illustrated with many of her own photographs.


Amberley Publishing, November 2009. ISBN 9781848687165


Soul Survivor: The Reincarnation of a World War II Fighter Pilot, by Leininger, Andrea and Bruce, Gross, Ken

From the publisher’s website: This is the story of James Leininger, who – a little more than two weeks after his second birthday – began having blood-curdling nightmares that just would not stop. When James began screaming out recurring phrases like, "Plane on fire! Little man can't get out!" the Leiningers finally admitted that they truly had to take notice.

When details of planes and war tragedies no two-year-old boy could know continued-- even in stark daylight-- Bruce and Andrea Leininger began to realize that this was an incredible situation. Soul Survivor is the story of how the Leiningers pieced together what their son was communicating and eventually discovered that he was reliving the past life of World War II fighter pilot James Huston. As Bruce Leininger struggled to understand what was happening to his son, he also uncovered details of James Huston's life-- and death-- as a pilot that will fascinate military buffs everywhere.

In Soul Survivor, we are taken for a gripping ride as the Leiningers' belief system is shaken to the core, and both of these families come to know a little boy who, against all odds and even in the face of true skeptics, harbors the soul of this man who died long ago.
 

 


Grand Central Publishing, June 2009. ISBN 978-0446509336


A Beginner’s Guide to Paranormal Investigation , by Rosney, Mark, Bethell, Bob, Robinson, Jebby

From the publisher’s website: A Beginner’s Guide to Paranormal Investigation is an ideal guide for anyone who is curious about paranormal investigation and the supernatural.
 
The authors guide the reader through the required steps for paranormal investigation and identifies the core concepts of successful investigations. This book will provide readers with basic information that will help them to start their own supernatural searches. Readers will be introduced to the basic historical backgrounds of each phenomena, alternative theories for each phenomena, a grounding of common sense and what equipment to use and how to use it.

A Beginner’s Guide to Paranormal Investigation is a fantastic book for anyone with an interest in the paranormal


Amberley Books, November 2009. ISBN 9781848682344


Paranormal Cheltenham, by Andrews, Ross

From the publisher’s website: The first book to explore, in depth, the complete range of paranormal phenomena reported in Cheltenham. Here you will find accounts of well known hauntings, as well as many previously undiscovered locations.
This fascinating account of local ‘sightings’ looks at traditional historical legends as well as modern day experiences, providing fresh knowledge together with the author’s personal accounts of new and traditional stories.
Ross Andrews’ ghostly tour of the area is illustrated with many of his own photographs.

Click on the title and see review by Chris Romer


Amberley Books, December 2009. ISBN 9781848686304


Reborn for Love, by Andrade, Hernani Guimarães

From the cover information: This is the story of an unusual relationship between the woman who calls herself ‘Marine Waterloo’ and Father ‘Jonathan’, the priest who befriended her at their Catholic boarding school in the state of Minas Gerais. They kept in touch after Marine left school, married and raised a family. Following the birth of her second son, Marine was presented with compelling evidence that the boy had memories of incidents that had not taken place in his short lifetime, and of which he could have learned nothing by any normal means.
 
The case, which is strongly suggestive of reincarnation, came to the attention of the pioneer of Brazilian psychical research, Hernani Guimarães Andrade, who promptly carried out a thorough investigation with the full cooperation of Dona Marine, who proved to be an ideal witness.
 
The result is an account of one of the most convincing cases of its kind on record. Andrade examines all possible explanations for it – cryptomnnesia, genetic memory, telepathy, mediumship, deliberate fraud and reincarnation. Only the last of these, he argues, best accounts for the facts.
 

Reborn for Love, although of considerable scientific interest, is no dry academic thesis. It could be called a spiritual love story – an account of how a relationship can endure from one lifetime to another


Roundtable Publishing, January 2010. ISBN-10: 0956449301 ISBN-13: 978-0956449306


Witnessing the Impossible, by Foy, Robin

From the publisher’s website: Witnessing the Impossible traces every session of the 'Scole Experimental Group' over the years, from its foundation and the beginning of The Scole Experiment in 1993 to its very sudden and unexpected ending in November 1998. In all, it follows over 1,000 continuous hours of mediumship and objective Physical Phenomena. The book represents the only true and complete eyewitness account of this unique and pioneering experiment, which pushed the boundaries of psychic research further than ever before at that time, consequently changing the face of physical mediumship and its resulting phenomena for all time. An absolute Must for all serious students of Psychic Research, and of immense interest to the whole of mankind.


Torcal Publications, October 2008. ISBN-10: 0956065104 ISBN-13: 978-0956065100


Conceptions of the Afterlife in Early Civilizations: Universalism, Constructivism and Near-death Experience, by Shushan, Gregory

From the publisher’s website: Gregory Shushan challenges post-modern scholarly attitudes concerning cross-cultural comparisons in the study of religions. In an original and innovative piece of comparative research, he analyses afterlife conceptions in five ancient civilisations (Old and Middle Kingdom Egypt, Sumerian and Old Babylonian Mesopotamia, Vedic India, pre-Buddhist China, and pre-Columbian Mesoamerica).
 
These are considered in light of historical and contemporary reports of near-death experiences, and shamanic afterlife ‘journeys’. Conceptions of the Afterlife in Early Civilizations is a significant study, for it presents a comprehensive new comparative framework for the cross-cultural study of myth and religion, while at the same time providing a fascinating exploration of the interface between belief and experience.
 

Continuum International Publishing Group (Continuum Advances in Religious Studies), May 2009. ISBN-10: 0826440738 ISBN-13: 978-0826440730


The Near-Death Experiences of Hospitalized Intensive Care Patients: A Five Year Clinical Study, by Sartori, Penny

This book reports the results of the first long-term prospective study of near-death experiences (NDEs) to be undertaken in the United Kingdom. The project studied the NDEs of patients in an intensive therapy unit in a Welsh hospital over a five-year period. The author worked as a Staff Nurse on the ITU ward during the study period, allowing her to closely correlate the medical conditions of her patients with their near-death experiences. The research produced several important findings, and the author was awarded a PhD degree by the University of Wales, Lampeter for this work. Only 2 of her patients initiated the report of their NDE, suggesting that such experiences may be under-reported. In several cases she was able to sample the blood gases of patients during the time of their NDE, and these results contradict the theories that NDEs are caused by either low oxygen levels or high carbon-dioxide levels. She also found that patients who did not report NDEs gave broadly inaccurate accounts when asked to guess how their resuscitation proceeded, while those who did report an NDE with an OBE component gave broadly accurate reports of the resuscitation procedure. This undermines the suggestion that NDE OBE reports are a mixture of prior knowledge, fantasy and guesswork, as some have hypothesized. Overall, the study underscores the challenge that NDEs present to explanation in orthodox medical terms.


Edwin Mellen Press, September 2008. ISBN-10: 077345103X ISBN-13: 978-0773451032


Beyond the Threshold: Afterlife Beliefs and Experiences in World Religions, by Moreman, Christopher M

 

Rowman & Littlefield, August 2008. ISBN-10: 074256228X ISBN-13: 978-0742562288

From the publisher’s website: In every culture throughout history, people have asked the same fundamental question about what will happen to them when they die. From the underworld to the light at the end of the tunnel, beliefs and experiences of death abound. And even though we cannot know for sure what happens to us after death, our understanding of the afterlife can have a profound impact on how we live.

Beyond the Threshold is the first book seriously to examine the afterlife through the lens of both world religions and metaphysical experiences. Christopher M. Moreman includes an introduction to the afterlife beliefs of ancient cultures, which are essential to understanding the roots of many modern ideas about death. He examines the folklore and doctrines of major world religions, including Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism. He also discusses psychic phenomena across traditions, such as mediums, near-death and out-of-body experiences, and past-life memories. While ultimately the afterlife remains unknowable, Moreman's unique, in-depth exploration of both beliefs and experiences can help readers reach their own understanding of the afterlife and how to live. No other book in the field approaches the issue of the afterlife from so many angles, but Moreman weaves them skilfully together into an accessible and engaging book.

 





There Is Life After Death: Compelling Reports from Those Who Have Glimpsed the Afterlife, by Varghese, Roy Abraham

From the publisher’s website: Is death the end? Or, to put it another way, do we survive bodily death?  Some shrug their shoulders and declare we simply can’t know. Others just say no. And a few, flying their philosophical colours, pretentiously profess to not even understand the question.
 
Curiously, the overwhelming majority of human beings throughout the course of history have taken it for granted that death is not the end, that there is a life after death. This striking and seemingly instinctive belief has been embodied in the religious traditions and philosophical reflections of most cultures. 
 
There Is Life After Death is the first of its kind in that it assembles and analyzes a comprehensive range of data on life after death and then provides the framework needed to understand the data. No previous book has presented such concrete evidence—evidence based on the accounts of eyewitnesses as well as on data derived from diverse sources throughout the world and history—supporting the existence of an afterlife. 
 
Above all, the book provides exciting and compelling answers to the urgent question: What lies on the other side?

New Page Books, November 2009. ISBN-10: 1601630956 ISBN-13: 978-1601630957





The Stepchildren of Science: Psychical Research and Parapsychology in Germany, c. 1870-1939, by Wolffram, Heather

From the publisher’s website: Leading the reader through the darkened séance rooms and laboratories of Imperial and inter-war Germany, The Stepchildren of Science casts light on the emergence of psychical research and parapsychology in the German context. It looks, in particular, at the role of the psychiatrist Albert von Schrenck-Notzing - a figure who fashioned himself as both propagandist and Grand Seignior of German parapsychology - in shaping these nascent disciplines. In contrast to other recent studies in which occultism is seen as a means of dealing with or creating “the modern”, this book considers the epistemological, cultural and social issues that arose from psychical researchers’ and parapsychologists’ claims to scientific legitimacy. Focusing on the boundary disputes between these researchers and the spiritualists, occultists, psychologists and scientists with whom they competed for authority over the paranormal, The Stepchildren of Science demonstrates that in the German context both proponents and opponents alike understood psychical research and parapsychology as border sciences.
 
Rodopi (Clio Medica/Wellcome Institute Series in the History of Medicine), November 2009. ISBN-10: 9042027282 ISBN-13: 978-9042027282





Out-of-Body and Near-Death Experiences: Brain-State Phenomena or Glimpses of Immortality?, by Marsh, Michael N.

From the publisher’s website: Personalised accounts of out-of-body (OBE) and near-death (NDE) experiences are frequently interpreted as offering evidence for immortality and an afterlife. Since most OBE/NDE follow severe curtailments of cerebral circulation with loss of consciousness, the agonal brain supposedly permits 'mind', 'soul' or 'consciousness' to escape neural control and provide glimpses of the afterlife.

Michael Marsh critically analyses the work of five key writers who support this so-called "dying brain" hypothesis. He firmly disagrees with such otherworldly 'mystical' or 'psychical' interpretations, ably demonstrating how they are explicable in terms of brain neurophysiology and its neuropathological disturbances. The original basis and thrust of Marsh's claim sees the recorded phenomenology as reflections of brains rapidly reawakening to full conscious-awareness, consistent with other reported phenomenologies attending recovery from antecedent states of unconsciousness: the "re-awakening brain" hypothesis. From this basis, Marsh also offers a re-classification of NDE into early and late phase sequences, thereby dismantling the untenable concepts of "core" and "depth" experiences.

Marsh further provides a detailed examination of the spiritual and quasi-religious overtones accorded OBE/NDE, highlighting their inconsistencies when compared with classical accounts of divine disclosure, and the eschatological precepts of resurrection belief as professed credally. In assessing the implications of anthropological, philosophical, and theological concepts of 'personhood' and 'soul' as arguments for personal survival after death, Marsh celebrates the role of conventional faith in appropriating the expectant biblical promises of a 'New Creation'.

Oxford University Press (Oxford Theological Monographs), January 2010. ISBN-10: 0199571503 ISBN-13: 978-0199571505





DVD: Something Unknown is Doing We Don’t Know What, by Renée Scheltema (Director)

From the Publisher's website: A quirky feature documentary on the science behind psychic phenomena by Dutch filmmaker Renée Scheltema. She was inspired to explore the realms of psychic phenomena after a series of mysterious events happened around her all in a short period of time...Watch top scientists explain the inexplicable...

Click title to see SPR review by Tom Ruffles as well as the trailer for the DVD.


Documentary directed by Renée Scheltema, 2009