Tom joined the Society in 1987 and Council in 1990. He was a member of the Publicity sub-committee (later the Image and Publicity Committee) from 1988-1994 – during which time he co-designed the SPR logo – and was Hon. Appeals Secretary 1989-90. In 1991 He served on Professor Robert Morris’s working party which led to the setting up of the now-defunct Research Activities Committee, and was Hon. Testing Officer 1992-2007. In 2005 he joined the Image, Publicity and Publications Committee and when it split into the Education and Publicity and e-Communications Committees he joined both. He is still a member of the former and was of the latter until it disbanded in May 2017. While on the e-CC he was involved in developing the Society’s website.
He has refereed papers for JSPR and was its book reviews editor from January 2009 to January 2018. Having joined the Library Committee in 2010, he became its chair in August 2016. Since 2011 he has served on the Conference Programme Committee. Also in 2011 he became the SPR’s Communications Officer. In that capacity he responds to general emails received through the website, as well as looking after the SPR’s Facebook page (from February 2010) and Twitter account (from July 2013). He added content to the website until the appointment of a dedicated content manager in March 2018. He has been instrumental in obtaining several collections of material for the SPR’s archives and was involved, with Prof. David Fontana, in lobbying for the reissue of the 1999 Scole Report as a mass circulation paperback in 2011.
For some years he was a coordinator of the Anglia Paranormal Research Group and investigated a number of spontaneous cases. He has contributed to JSPR and Paranormal Review (and its predecessors) as well as Fortean Times and online publications; blogs at
http://tomruffles.blogspot.co.uk/; and is the author of Ghost Images: Cinema of the Afterlife. He is an Honorary Visiting Research Fellow at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, and an Associate of the Royal Photographic Society. He holds two Ph.Ds, one on Life After Death in the Cinema, from the University of East Anglia; the other on George Albert Smith (1864–1959): From Stage to Screen, from Anglia Ruskin University, about a significant figure in the early history of the SPR.
(Updated 10 March 2019)
Conference Programme Committee
Organises the Society's annual international conference, usually held in early September
Chairman: Prof. Adrian Parker
Education and Publicity Committee
Co-ordinates and publicises educational activities
Chairman: Prof. Bernard Carr
Acquires new titles for the SPR library
Chairman: Dr Tom Ruffles