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Angels in the Trenches: Spiritualism, Superstition and the Supernatural during the First World War, by Leo Ruickbie

Publication Details: Little Brown, ISBN: 9781472139580.
Publish Date: November, 2018
Cover of Angels in the Trenches

From the publisher's website: The mechanised slaughter of the First World War brought a sudden and concentrated interest in life after death. This book explores the role of spiritualism, superstition and the supernatural during and after that war.

After a miraculous escape from the German military juggernaut in the small Belgian town of Mons in 1914, the first major battle that the British Expeditionary Force would face in the First World War, the British really believed that they were on the side of the angels. Indeed, after 1916, the number of spiritualist societies in the United Kingdom almost doubled, from 158 to 309. As Arthur Conan Doyle explained, 'The deaths occurring in almost every family in the land brought a sudden and concentrated interest in the life after death. People not only asked the question, "If a man die, shall he live again?" but they eagerly sought to know if communication was possible with the dear ones they had lost.' From the Angel of Mons to the popular boom in spiritualism as the horrors of industrialised warfare reaped their terrible harvest, the paranormal - and its use in propaganda - was one of the key aspects of the First World War.

Angels in the Trenches takes us from defining moments, such as the Angel of Mons on the Front Line, to spirit communication on the Home Front, often involving the great and the good of the period, such as aristocrat Dame Edith Lyttelton, founder of the War Refugees Committee, and the physicist Sir Oliver Lodge, Principal of Birmingham University. We see here people at every level of society struggling to come to terms with the ferocity and terror of the war, and their own losses: soldiers looking for miracles on the battlefield; parents searching for lost sons in the séance room. It is a human story of people forced to look beyond the apparent certainties of the everyday - and this book follows them on that journey.

A Supernatural War: Magic, Divination, and Faith during the First World War, by Owen Davies

Publication Details: Oxford University Press, ISBN: 9780198794554
Publish Date: October, 2018
Cover of A Supernatural War

From the publisher's website:
 

  • A comprehensive study of the major revival of supernatural beliefs, superstition, and spiritualism during the First World War and its aftermath.
  • A look at what the beliefs, practices, and contemporary opinions on magic can tell us about broader issues in early twentieth-century society, the experience of war, and the psychology of belief.
  • Relates how the prophecies of Nostradamus were used as propaganda by both sides, a diverse range of talismans and charms were carried by soldiers, and the myriad tales of battlefield ghosts came to be.
  • Includes previously unpublished accounts from soldiers and fortune-tellers on their faith and practices, for a remarkable insight into the nature of popular belief.

Changed in a Flash: One Woman's Near-Death Experience and Why a Scholar Thinks It Empowers Us All, by Elizabeth Krohn and Jeffrey Kripal

Publication Details: North Atlantic Books, ISBN: 9781623173005,
Publish Date: October, 2018
Cover of Changed in a Flash: One Woman's Near-Death Experience and Why a Scholar Thinks It Empowers Us All

From the publisher's website: 

A fascinating first-hand account of an awakening into a psychic consciousness, paired with a revolutionary analysis by a respected professor of religion
 
When Elizabeth Krohn got out of her car with her two young sons in the parking lot of her synagogue on a late afternoon in September 1988, she couldn’t have anticipated she would within seconds be struck by lightning and have a near-death experience. She felt herself transported to a garden and engaging in a revelatory conversation with a spiritual being. When she recovered, her most fundamental understandings of what the world is and how it works had been completely transformed. She was “changed in a flash,” suddenly able to interact with those who had died and have prescient dreams predicting news events. She came to believe that some early traumatic and abusive experiences had played a part in preparing her for this experience. 

Told in matter-of-fact language, the first half of this book is the story of Krohn’s journey, and the second is an interpretation and analysis by respected professor of religion Jeffrey Kripal. He places Krohn’s experience in the context of religious traditions and proposes the groundbreaking idea that we are shaping our own experiences in the future by how we engage with near-death experiences in the present. Changed in a Flash is not about proving a story, but about carving out space for serious discussion of this phenomenon.

JOTT. When Things Disappear... and Come Back or Relocate – and Why It Really Happens, by Mary Rose Barrington

Publication Details: Anomalist Books, ISBN: 9781938398940.
Publish Date: October, 2018
Cover of JOTT

From the publisher's website:

Jott is derived from Just One of Those Things, meaning things that fall on the floor and are never seen again, or were placed on a table for ready access but were next seen a few weeks later in a box of corks inside a drawer in a trunk, or which are not where you left them but unaccountably re-appear, on top of something you have just placed there... Jott takes a variety of forms, but is generally dismissed as your faulty memory, your faulty perception, your inability to report facts correctly, or just as a nuisance best forgotten. But sometimes the anomaly really is a blip in our causal reality. The author presents some cases that resist conventional explanations and goes on to examine the far-reaching implications of these seemingly trivial incidents.

Further information about the book (including table of contents) can be found at Anomalist Books.

Mind Beyond Brain: Buddhism, Science, and the Paranormal, edited by David E. Presti

Publication Details: Columbia University Press, ISBN: 9780231189569.
Publish Date: October, 2018
Cover of Mind Beyond Brain: Buddhism, Science, and the Paranormal

From the publisher's website:

Among the most profound questions we confront are the nature of what and who we are as conscious beings, and how the human mind relates to the rest of what we consider reality. For millennia, philosophers, scientists, and religious thinkers have attempted answers, perhaps none more meaningful today than those offered by neuroscience and by Buddhism. The encounter between these two worldviews has spurred ongoing conversations about what science and Buddhism can teach each other about mind and reality.

In Mind Beyond Brain, the neuroscientist David E. Presti, with the assistance of other distinguished researchers, explores how evidence for anomalous phenomena―such as near-death experiences, apparent memories of past lives, apparitions, experiences associated with death, and other so-called psi or paranormal phenomena, including telepathy, clairvoyance, and precognition―can influence the Buddhism-science conversation. Presti describes the extensive but frequently unacknowledged history of scientific investigation into these phenomena, demonstrating its relevance to questions about consciousness and reality. The new perspectives opened up, if we are willing to take evidence of such often off-limits topics seriously, offer significant challenges to dominant explanatory paradigms and raise the prospect that we may be poised for truly revolutionary developments in the scientific investigation of mind. Mind Beyond Brain represents the next level in the science and Buddhism dialogue.

Paranormal London, by Gilly Pickup

Publication Details: Amberley Publishing, ISBN: 9781445685533.
Publish Date: October, 2018
Cover of Paranormal London

From the publisher's website: 

London’s shadowed alleyways, ancient buildings and misty open spaces simply swarm with phantoms – spirits of the famous and the forgotten, the lovelorn, the loveless, the damned, and the damnable. Paranormal London takes the bold ghost seeker on a hair-raising journey to visit and explore some of the capital’s spookiest places. We visit the haunts of murderers and sail on a phantom boat. There are close encounters with chilling manifestations at infamous No. 50 Berkeley Square and you can hear wails and tormented screams from Jack the Ripper’s eternally restless victims as they roam the East End’s cobbled streets. You can find a headless duke, visit the graves of plague victims and come into contact with an unseen force that tries to push you downstairs.

Many of the city’s most famous landmarks are haunted, but hundreds of lesser-known sites claim paranormal happenings – pubs, hotels, parks and tunnels, churches, roads, Underground stations, banks, cinemas, council estates and the lake in St James’s Park. If you are not a true believer in the paranormal when you start to read this book, you will be by the end.

Psychic Literacy and the Coming Psychic Renaissance, by Ingo Swann

Publication Details: Swann-Ryder Productions, ISBN: 9781949214727.
Publish Date: October, 2018
Cover of Psychic Literacy and the Coming Psychic Renaissance

From the publisher's website: Exploring everything from visions, hunches, vibes, astrology, and the occult arts and sciences, to modern physics, geomagnetism, and bio-electricity, Psychic Literacy is renowned artist and remote viewer Ingo Swann's grand overview of human psychic potential.

The Premonition Code, by Theresa Cheung and Julia Mossbridge

Publication Details: Watkins, ISBN: 9781786781611.
Publish Date: October, 2018
Cover of The Premonition Code

From the publisher's website: In this groundbreaking book, bestselling author Theresa Cheung joins forces with cognitive neuroscientist Julia Mossbridge, PhD, Director of the innovation Lab at The Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS). Together they reveal revolutionary new research showing that sensing the future is possible, they also provide practical tools and techniques you

Precognition is the scientific name for the knowledge or perception of the future, obtained through extrasensory means. Often called ‘premonition’, precognition is the most frequently reported of all extrasensory perception (ESP) experiences, occurring most often in dreams. It may also occur spontaneously in waking visions, auditory hallucinations, flashing thoughts entering the mind, the sense of “knowing” and physiological changes. Combining science and practice, Theresa and Dr Julia unravel the mystery of precognition. The book will cover:

• What precognition is and the different types, clearly explaining the cutting-edge science, including what is known and what is still a mystery
• The most common premonitions that people experience and why, including examples from around the world
• Experimental tools to help you cultivate precognition experiences to help get useful information for your life
• Case studies included throughout, with supporting scientific evidence offered alongside to provide validation and explanation
• Personal experiences of the authors, detailing how premonition has shaped their lives and interviews with leading scientists and experts in the field

Book review by Nemo C. Mörck

The Borley Rectory Companion, by Paul Adams, Eddie Brazil and Peter Underwood

Publication Details: The History Press, ISBN: 9780750988124.
Publish Date: September, 2018
Cover of The Borley Rectory Companion

From the publisher's website: 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.

What Is it Like to Be Dead? Near-Death Experiences, Christianity, and the Occult, by Jens Schlieter

Publication Details: Oxford University Press, ISBN: 978-0190888848
Publish Date: September, 2018
Cover of What Is it Like to Be Dead

From the publisher's website: Studies of "near-death experiences" show that such experiences not only provide a new certainty of post-mortem survival, but often function as a call for fundamental change in the present. Reported aftereffects encompass changes in attitudes, beliefs, and life orientation. It is said that "experiencers" have lost their fear of death, found their purpose in life, or become "more spiritual." The experience - often declared to be indescribable, inexplicable, or ineffable - is held by many to be the most important of their lives and, moreover, the best proof available for matters "transcendent."

In What Is It Like To Be Dead?, Jens Schlieter argues that to understand recent testimonies of near-death experiences, we need to be aware of the history of innumerable reports of earlier near-death experiences that were communicated and handed down in scores of newspapers, journals, and books. Collections of such testimonies have been published for more than 150 years, accompanied by attempts to classify and interpret them. Schlieter analyzes the religious relevance of near-death experiences -for the experiencers themselves, but also for the growing audience attracted by these testimonies. Near-death experiences bear ontological, epistemic, intersubjective, and moral significance, ranging from reassurance that religious experience is still possible to claims that they initiate a new spiritual orientation in life, or offer evidence for the transcultural validity of afterlife beliefs. This study is the first to document and analyze four centuries of near-death testimonies before the codification of the genre in the 1970s, offering the first full account of the modern genealogy of "near-death experiences."

Near-Death Experience in Indigenous Religions, by Gregory Shushan

Publication Details: Oxford University Press, ISBN: 978-0190872472.
Publish Date: August, 2018
Near-Death Experience in Indigenous Religions

From the publisher's website:

  • The first book dedicated to near-death experiences in indigenous societies.
  • Offers a unique contribution to our understanding of near-death experience and shamanic phenomena cross-culturally.
  • Presents a new interdisciplinary theory of the origins and development of afterlife beliefs across cultures.
  • Presents dozens of previously unrecognized accounts of near death experiences in societies from three continents.

Further information here: Near-Death Experience in Indigenous Religions.

Gregory Shushan's website.

Noisesome Ghosts, by Clay Thistleton

Publication Details: Blart Books, ISBN: 9780244406844.
Publish Date: August, 2018
Cover of Noisesome Ghosts

From the publisher's website: Noisesome Ghosts is a collection of mainly found poems that investigates the phenomenon of ghosts and poltergeists that can speak and write, crossing the entire documented history of these mysterious entities from the second millennium BCE ghost of the Biblical prophet Samuel to the current case of the so-called demons in Seattle.