From the publisher’s website: In its day, spiritualism brought hundreds of thousands of Americans to séance tables and trance lectures. It has alternately been ridiculed as the apogee of fatuous credulity and hailed as a feminist movement. Its tricks have been exposed, its charlatans unmasked, and its heroes' names lost to posterity. In its day, however, its leaders were household names and politicians worried about capturing the Spiritualist vote. Cathy Gutierrez places Spiritualism in the context of the 19th-century American Renaissance. Although this epithet usually signifies the sudden blossoming of American letters, Gutierrez points to its original meaning: a cultural imagination enraptured with the past and the classics in particular, accompanied by a cultural efflorescence. Spiritualism, she contends, was the religious articulation of the American Renaissance, and the ramifications of looking backward for advice about the present were far-reaching. The Spiritualist movement, says Gutierrez, was a 'renaissance of the Renaissance,' a culture in love with history as much as it trumpeted progress and futurity, and an expression of what constituted religious hope among burgeoning technology and colonialism. Rejecting Christian ideas about salvation, Spiritualists embraced Platonic and Neoplatonic ideas. Humans were shot through with the divine, rather than seen as helpless and inexorably corrupt sinners in the hands of a transcendent, angry God. Gutierrez's study of this fascinating and important movement is organized thematically. She analyzes Spiritualist conceptions of memory, marriage, medicine, and minds, explores such phenomena as machines for contacting the dead, spirit-photography, the idea of eternal spiritual affinity (which implied the necessity for marriage reform), the connection between health and spirituality, and mesmerism.
Oxford University Press USA, August 2009. ISBN13: 9780195388350 ISBN10: 0195388356
Dark Intrusions: An Investigation into the Paranormal Nature of Sleep Paralysis Experiences, by Proud, Louis
From the publisher’s website: Since his late teens, Louis Proud has suffered from chronic sleep paralysis and has undergone hundreds of such episodes, many of them terrifying but ultimately transformational and eye-opening. These experiences, he believes, allow access to the "spirit realm" and could well hold the key to a whole host of paranormal phenomena, including poltergeist disturbances, out-of-body-experiences, mediumship, spirit possession, and succubi and incubi encounters. Drawing on the work of Colin Wilson, Joe Fisher, Stan Gooch, Whitley Strieber, Robert Monroe, Dion Fortune, and a number of other paranormal experts, Proud lucidly demonstrates that many sleep paralysis experiences involve genuine contact and communication with incorporeal entities, some of them parasitic and potentially dangerous. In this comprehensive, open-minded exploration of the sleep paralysis phenomenon, filled with fascinating descriptions of his own experiences, as well as those of others, no stone is left unturned as Proud attempts to get to the bottom of the mystery.
Anomalist Books, November 2009. ISBN-10: 1933665440 ISBN-13: 978-1933665443
From the publisher’s website: In this classic book on destructive hauntings, Colin Wilson, renowned authority on the paranormal, examines the evidence and develops a definitive theory of the poltergeist phenomenon. Countless true-life cases of poltergeist infestations have been recorded since the days of ancient Greece and Rome to the present. But what are poltergeists? Where do they come from? And why do they appear in our world?
From the case of a black-robed monk that terrorized a family for years, to the investigation of a talking mongoose, to true stories of gnomes, sorcerers, witches, and demons, this guide explores a bone-chilling gallery of the mysterious entities known as poltergeists.
Llewellyn, September 2009. ISBN-10: 073871867X ISBN-13: 978-0738718675
Victorian Women and the Theatre of Trance: Mediums, Spiritualists and Mesmerists in Performance, by Lehman, Amy
From the publisher’s website: Spiritualists in the nineteenth century spoke of the "Borderland," a shadowy threshold where the living communed with the dead, and where those in the material realm could receive comfort or advice from another world. The skilled performances of mostly female actors and performers made the "Borderland" a theatre, of sorts, in which dramas of revelation and recognition were produced in the forms of séances, trances, and spiritualist lectures.
This book examines some of the most fascinating American and British actresses of the Victorian era, whose performances fairly mesmerized their audiences of amused sceptics and ardent believers. It also focuses on the transformative possibilities of the spiritualist theatre, revealing how the performances allowed Victorian women to speak, act, and create outside the boundaries of their restricted social and psychological roles.
Amy Lehman has presented research on the theatrical aspects of 19th-century spiritualism at theatre and Victorian studies conferences in the United States and abroad. She is currently on the faculty of the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of South Carolina.
McFarland, October 2009. ISBN-13: 9780786434794 ISBN-10: 0786434791
Anomalous Experiences: Essays from Parapsychological and Psychological Perspectives, by Smith, Matthew D. McFarland (editor)
From the publisher’s website: Thirteen essays on the psychology and parapsychology of anomalous experience explore a range of experiences, including extrasensory perception, haunting experiences, apparitions, alien contacts, seance room phenomena, and out-of-body experiences. The contributors are Daryl Bem, Etzel Cardena, Jezz Fox, Chris French, Craig Murray, Ciaran O'Keeffe, Chris Roe, Simon Sherwood, Christine Simmonds-Moore, Paul Stevens, Caroline Watt, Richard Wiseman and Robin Woofitt. Matt Smith has conducted research on paranormal experiences for more than 15 years and was the resident psychologist/ parapsychologist for the television show Most Haunted.
McFarland, November 2009. ISBN-10: 0786443987 ISBN-13: 978-0786443987
From the publisher's website: If extrasensory perception is a common human ability, why can’t we all score high on ESP tests? This book answers the question by describing psychological determinants of success and failure in extrasensory perception. Some of the most significant points raised in the editor’s enlightening introduction are developed in greater detail in the nine essays that follow, all of them important statements giving a clear picture of research into ESP and the debate that surrounds it. Each essay is followed by a comment relating the essay to the field as a whole.
In essays on the debate about ESP, an attack (by C. E. M. Hansel) is followed by a rebuttal (by J. B. Rhine and J. G. Pratt), offering the reader insight into the peculiar tension surrounding the ESP controversy. The book also includes a balanced overview of problems in the field by J. C. Crumbaugh, and six other essays on the psychological factors that influence research on ESP. Controversy over ESP is of special interest also because the questions critics raise relate closely to problems within psychology itself. In addition, the essays reflect a quality common to much research: the excitement of uncovering results that advance our knowledge.
This book is intended for supplementary course use. Because of the fundamental problems it addresses, it also offers richly rewarding reading for all teaching and practicing psychologists as well as for the interested generalist. A substantial number of research reports are cited throughout, so that any reader seeking further information will find the cited references invaluable.
Aldine Transaction, April 2009. ISBN: 978-0-202-36271-7
From the publisher’s website: Most people in the world believe in some form of life after death, but what exactly "is" the nature of the afterlife? David Fontana examines all the extensive evidential material that has been accumulated over time--including communication through mediums and accounts from those who had near-death and out-of-body experiences--and compares them to descriptions found in such mystical texts as "The Tibetan Book of the Dead" and "The Egyptian Book of the Dead," He explores the whole area of human consciousness and considers the question: if the body and the brain perish at death, what remains to survive? From the various ideas of paradise to the very meaning of existence, this is a journey through infinite possibilities. - The only sure thing in life is that someday we will die--and if we know more about what is to come, we can be better prepared for it - David Fontana's highly successful "Is There an Afterlife?" touched on this concept; the popularity of that title shows there is interest in a larger discussion of the topic - An intelligent examination of all the evidence, belief systems, and theories about the nature of the afterlife.
Paul Watkins, April 2009. ISBN: 1906787085
From the publisher’s website: The definitive guide to 'the most haunted house in England' Borley Rectory in Essex, built in 1862, should have been an ordinary Victorian clergyman's house. However, just a year after its construction, unexplained footsteps were heard within the house, and from 1900 until it burned down in 1939 numerous paranormal phenomena, including phantom coaches and shattering windows, were observed. In 1929 the house was investigated by the Daily Mail and paranormal researcher Harry Price, and it was he who called it 'the most haunted house in England.' Price also took out a lease of the rectory from 1937 to 1938, recruiting forty-eight 'official observers' to monitor occurences. After his death in 1948, the water was muddied by claims that Price's findings were not genuine paranormal activity, and ever since there has been a debate over what really went on at Borley Rectory. Paul Adams, Eddie Brazil and Peter Underwood here present a comprehensive guide to the history of the house and the ghostly (or not) goings-on there.
The History Press, April 2009. ISBN-10: 0750950676 ISBN-13: 978-0750950671
From the publisher’s website: During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, there were dynamic and evidential forms of spirit communication. A number of distinguished scientists and scholars studied some of the best mediums and concluded they were genuine. Unfortunately, there were also many charlatans and it was difficult for the general public to distinguish between the real mediums and the frauds. Scientific and religious fundamentalists along with a cynical press, were constantly on the attack, driving the genuine mediums underground or forcing them to abandon their gift.
In The Articulate Dead, Michael E. Tymn examines several of the best mediums of yesteryear and the scientific research surrounding them. A number of very intriguing stories unfold, including spirits directing an archaeologist in the uncovering of the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey, spirits leading a researcher to crosses buried by American Indians, a deceased author completing his books through a medium, a Titanic victim coming back to tell about his new environment, and an afterlife researcher continuing his work after dying, to name just a few.
Galde Press. December, 2008. ISBN:978-1-931942-48-5
From the publisher’s website: A revolutionary scientific explanation of psychic phenomena and the nature of human consciousness.
Although much is now known about the brain, relatively little has been determined about where consciousness comes from: What is the source of the “I” in our internal monologue? How does something as nonmaterial as consciousness arise from something material like the brain? Dr. Diane Powell, a Johns Hopkins–trained neuroscientist, has brilliantly reassessed the meaning and nature of consciousness by exploring research on the workings of psychic phenomena.
Over the past few decades several well-designed and rigorously supervised experiments have documented the existence of telepathic interconnection, clairvoyance, precognition, psychokinesis, and out-of-body experiences. Mainstream science has largely ignored these data because they all defy the traditional model of consciousness as being solely the product of brain chemistry.
Building from these experiments, Powell constructs a new theory of consciousness. I ntegrating concepts from physics, neuroscience, and other disciplines, she offers an insightful and intriguing explanation of ESP, provocatively claiming that the existence of psychic abilities expands our understanding and appreciation of consciousness. Psychic abilities are also consistent with findings in modern physics: For example, psychokinesis implies that consciousness is a type of force field, while precognition suggests that the past, present, and future exist concurrently.
Eye-opening in its conclusions and exciting in its implications, The ESP Enigma will challenge your preconceived notions and expand your mind.
Walker & Co, December 2008. ISBN-10: 0802716067 ISBN-13: 978-0802716064
From the author’s website: In The Daemon, Anthony Peake expands upon one of the most enigmatic areas of his first book, the proposition that all consciously aware beings consist of not one but two separate consciousnesses - everyday consciousness and that of 'The Daemon', a higher being that seems to possess knowledge of future events.
Arcturus Publishing, September 2008. ISBN-10: 1848370792 ISBN-13: 978-1848370791
From the publisher’s website: It's the essential-and seemingly unknowable-question that has haunted mankind since the beginning: What happens after we die? In Life After Death: Some of the Best Evidence, renowned physicist Dr. Jan W. Vandersande surveys evidence for an afterlife and finds a lot of the observed physical phenomena both credible and compelling.
Intended for skeptics and believers alike, Life After Death condenses more than 100 years of literature and testimony-including the author's own psychic experiences as a longtime member of a psychic circle-to sort out the astonishing from the fraudulent. The investigation gives readers a front-row seat to séance rooms to experience such marvels as direct voice, ectoplasm and materializations-messages and events, he shows, that are directed from beyond the grave. As the book makes clear, the occurrences during such episodes, though fantastical, can't be dismissed as mere fantasy or fraud.
Through historical accounts, photographs and personal experience, this engagingly written work adds to a growing body of evidence for the existence of an afterlife that's increasingly difficult to ignore.
Outskirts Press, May 2008. ISBN: 9781432725495
From the author: The producer of the CD and booklet author, Gerald O'Hara, discovered three rare recordings whilst researching the Edinburgh College of Parapsychology's history in 2006. One proved to be a Helen Duncan séance recorded at the College in December 1937. This is not only pre-war and therefore pre-recording tape, it is the only known recording of a séance given by the famous medium. The second recording, of Ernest Oaten, is of a broadcast given on the BBC in April 1934. This is also very rare and is probably one of the finest statements of the theory and practice of Spiritualism as a religion ever made. The third piece, by Harry Edwards, dates from the mid-to-late 1960s and is an equally succinct statement of healing practice. The author and producer has brought the three recordings together to provide a unique snapshot of the Spiritualist movement at its best.
Includes 24-page booklet. Available from 62 Nunnery Lane, YORK YO23 1AJ, £9.99 +£2 p&p. Enquiries to email@example.com.
From the publisher’s website: In a culture where the supernatural possessed an immediacy now strange to us, magic was of great importance both in the literary and mythic tradition and in ritual practice. Recently, ancient magic has hit a high in popularity, both as an area of scholarly inquiry and as one of general, popular interest. In Magic, Witchcraft, and Ghosts in the Greek and Roman Worlds Daniel Ogden presents three hundred texts in new translations, along with brief but explicit commentaries. This is the first book in the field to unite extensive selections from both literary and documentary sources. Alongside descriptions of sorcerers, witches, and ghosts in the works of ancient writers, it reproduces curse tablets, spells from ancient magical recipe books, and inscriptions from magical amulets. Each translation is followed by a commentary that puts it in context within ancient culture and connects the passage to related passages in this volume. Authors include the well known (Sophocles, Herodotus, Plato, Aristotle, Virgil, Pliny) and the less familiar, and extend across the whole of Greco-Roman antiquity.
The second edition includes a new preface, an updated bibliography, and new source-passages, such as the earliest use of the word "mage" in Greek" (fr. Aeschylus' Persians ), a werewolf tale (Aesop's Fables ), and excerpts from the most systematic account of ancient legislation against magic (Theodosian Code ).
Daniel Ogden is Professor of Ancient History, University of Exeter. He is the author of Greek Bastardy in the Classical and Hellenistic Periods
OUP USA, March 2009. ISBN13: 9780195385205ISBN10:0195385209
Customer review: At last, a long awaited study of the controversial subject of reincarnation and its bedfellow karma. Hitherto, books on the subject have generally supported reincarnation as a reality. James Webster's new book challenges most eloquently alleged cases of reincarnation which to some offers part explanation of the purpose of life.
The author quotes cases of spirit overshadowing, spirit attachment, false memories and the frailty of hypnotic regression which can be confused with evidence of reincarnation or past lives. Sometimes these manifestations are of a third person in the Spirit World projecting thoughts of their past life through the aura of the unwilling subject in the present.
Webster also quotes from the research of numerous intellectuals from the fields of philosophy, psychiatry and science along with contributions from the pioneers of spiritualism and psychical research, past and present. Most interesting are accounts of the work of Dr. Carl Wickland, an American psychiatrist whose work in spirit attachment is becoming recognised in modern psychiatry. Dr. Wickland helped patients who had been mentally disturbed by confused thoughts of being reincarnated or holding attachments of persons in spirit attempting to reincarnate. This milestone book is a must read and represents a definitive reference for students of spiritualism and philosophy.
Grosvenor House Publishing, May 2009. ISBN-10: 1906645930 ISBN-13: 978-1906645939