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Leo Ruickbie

Dr Leo Ruickbie, BA (Hons), MA, PhD (Lond), Associate of King’s College, is a professional writer, editor, social scientist and historian, specializing in controversial areas of human belief and experience.  He has a PhD from King's College, London, London, for his thesis on contemporary witchcraft and magic use, building on research that won him an MA with distinction from Lancaster University.  He is the author of several books on the history and sociology of witchcraft, magic and the supernatural, as well as numerous articles and chapters in scholarly publications.

As well as writing, he is an academic peer reviewer, exhibition curator, public speaker and editor. He is an elected member of the Royal Historical Society, a Council member of the Society for Psychical Research, a committee member of the Gesellschaft für Anomalistik, and a member of the Parapsychological Association, Societas Magica, the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism and the Royal Photographic Society.  

His work has been mentioned in the media from The Guardian to Radio Jamaica, and his expertise has been sought by film companies, museums and charities, as well as being cited in the current student book for A-Level Sociology in the UK.  

In 2014, he was appointed editor of the Paranormal Review, the magazine of the Society for Psychical Research.

 

Selected Publications

Books

The Impossible Zoo: An Encyclopedia of Fabulous Beasts and Mythical Monsters (Constable & Robinson, 2016).

A Brief Guide to Ghost Hunting (Constable & Robinson, 2013).

A Brief Guide to the Supernatural (Constable & Robinson, 2012).

Faustus: The Life and Times of a Renaissance Magician (The History Press, 2009).

Witchcraft Out of the Shadows: A Complete History (Robert Hale, 2004; 2nd ed., 2011).

Edited Books

With Antje Bosselmann-Ruickbie, The Material Culture of Magic (in preparation).

With Simon Bacon, Little Horrors: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Anomalous Children and the Construction of Monstrosity (Interdisciplinary Press, 2016).

Chapters in Books

‘I was a Teenage Werewolf: The Seventeenth Century Witchcraft Trial of Jean Grenier’, in Leo Ruickbie and Simon Bacon (eds), Little Horrors: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Anomalous Children and the Construction of Monstrosity (Interdisciplinary Press, 2016).

‘Magic’ and ‘Spells’, in Patrick Hayes (ed.), Miracles: An Encyclopedia of People, Places, and Supernatural Events from Antiquity to the Present (Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger/ABC-CLIO, 2016).

‘Bell Witch, The’, ‘Hunkeler, Ronald E.’ and ‘Taylor, Michael’, in Joseph Laycock (ed.), Spirit Possession Around the World: Possession, Communion, and Demon Expulsion across Cultures (Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger/ABC-CLIO, 2015).

‘Memento (Non)Mori: Memory, Discourse and Transmission during the Eighteenth Century Vampire Epidemic and After’, in Simon Bacon and Katarzyna Bronk (eds), Undead Memory: Vampires and Human Memory in Popular Culture (Bern: Peter Lang, 2014).

‘Evidence for the Undead: The Role of Medical Investigation in the Eighteenth Century Vampire Epidemic’, in James Doan and Barbara Brodman (eds),The Universal Vampire: Origins and Evolution of a Legend, vol. 1(Lanham, MD: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press/Rowman & Littlefield, 2013).

‘“So Terrible a Force”: Spirit Communication in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn’, in Christopher M. Moreman (ed.),The Spiritualist Movement: Speaking with the Dead in America and Around the World, vol. 3 (Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger/ABC-CLIO, 2013).

‘“Either Must Die at the Hand of the Other”: Religious Reactions to Harry Potter’, in Jennifer Sims (ed.),The Sociology of Harry Potter, (Cheshire, CT: Zossima, 2012).

"Mysteries Wrapped in Enigmas: Trithemius, Occultism n Cryptography" in Angela Catalina Ghionea (ed.), Medicine, Alchemy, Science and the Occult in European Thought (Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, forthcoming).

Paranormal Review

The Paranormal Review is the magazine of the Society for Psychical Research. With cutting-edge articles and features, readers’ letters, personal experiences, notices, reports and announcements, the magazine provides a forum for debate on psychical research, parapsychology and related areas, and stimulates new research through special themed issues. It is printed in full colour and fully illustrated, often publishing photographs seldom or never before seen. It frequently carries offers only available to readers. Priced £5 per issue or £20 per year (including P&P in the UK). Members receive the Paranormal Review free of charge as a benefit of membership.

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