New Books and Media

New Thinking Allowed Dialogues: Is There Life After Death?, by Jeffrey Mishlove

Publication Details: White Crow Books, ISBN: 9781786772282
Publish Date: June, 2023
Cover of New Thinking Allowed Dialogues

From the publisher's website: During the past five decades, psychologist and parapsychologist Jeffrey Mishlove has been dialoguing with scientists, academics, experiencers, historians and mystics on the subject of life’s biggest questions, the mind beyond the brain and the nature of reality.

In 2022, Jeff was the winner of the “Bigelow Institute for Consciousness Studies” prize for an essay demonstrating the best evidence for survival of bodily death. He was no doubt aided by more than a thousand discussions he has hosted and hosts on his YouTube channel “New Thinking Allowed “which continues to expand in subscribers and relevance year on year.

This anthology titled “Is There Life After Death” includes luminaries in the genre such as Eben Alexander, Miranda Alcott, Stafford Betty, Michael Cremo, Alan Hugenot, Leslie Kean, Betty Kovács, Alexander Moreira-Almeida, Vernon Neppe, and a foreword by James Tunne

Further information at the publisher's website: White Crow Books.

Probing Parapsychology: Essays on a Controversial Science, edited by Grant R. Shafer

Publication Details: McFarland, ISBN: 9781476680385
Publish Date: May, 2023
Cover of Probing Parapsychology

From the publisher's website: Parapsychology is a science made controversial by its subjects: extrasensory perception, psychokinesis (mind over matter) and disembodied minds, which imply life after death. Moreover, these parapsychological phenomena (called “psi”) challenge physicalism, the philosophy that everything can be completely understood in terms of physics. This book is a snapshot of the parapsychological field, with essays written by authors of diverse academic backgrounds and experiences. Essays examine parapsychological phenomena from prehistory, through the founding of the science by intellectuals distressed by physicalism, to the postmodern present. It includes both experimental and theoretical evaluations of the phenomena. Parapsychology is a science which may overturn the philosophy which has dominated science since Newton and may inspire curious readers who are disheartened by the consequent denial of the spirit.

Further information at the publisher's website: McFarland.

Presence: The Strange Science and True Stories of the Unseen Other, by Ben Alderson-Day

Publication Details: St. Martin's Press, ISBN: 9781250278258
Publish Date: March, 2023
Cover of Presence

From the publisher's website: A psychologist's journey to understand one of the most unusual experiences known to humankind: the universal, disturbing feeling that someone or something is there when we are alone. These experiences of sensing a Presence when no one else is there have been given many names—the Third Man, guardian angels, shadow figures, “social” hallucinations—and they have inspired, unsettled, and confounded in equal measure. While the contexts in which they occur are diverse, they are united by a distinct and uncanny feeling of visitation by another. But what does this feeling mean, and where does it come from? When and why do presences emerge? And how can we even begin to understand a phenomenon that can be transformative for those who experience it, and yet so hard to put into words? The answers to these questions lie in this tour-de-force through contemporary psychology, psychiatry, neuroscience, and philosophy. Presence follows Ben Alderson-Day's attempts—as a psychologist and a researcher—to understand how this experience is possible. What is a voice when it isn’t heard, and how otherwise do we know or feel that someone is in our presence? Is it a hallucination connected to psychosis, a change in the working of the brain, or something else? The journey to understand takes us to meet explorers, mediums, and robots, and step through real, imagined, and virtual worlds. Presence is the story of who we carry with us, at all times, as parts of ourselves.

Other Worlds, Other Bodies: Embodied Epistemologies and Ethnographies of Healing, edited by Emily Pierini, Alberto Groisman, and Diana Espírito Santo

Publication Details: Berghahn Books, ISBN: 9781800738461
Publish Date: February, 2023
Cover of Other Worlds, Other Bodies: Embodied Epistemologies and Ethnographies of Healing

From the publisher's website: When approaching the multiplicity of the spiritual experiences of healing, ethnographers are often presented with ideas of the existence of “other” worlds that may intersect with the so-called “material” or “physical” worlds. This book proposes a sensory ethnography of healing with a focus on ethnographic knowing as embedded in an embodied epistemology of healing. Epistemological embodiment signals that personal scholarly experience of the “unknown”—be it in the form of trance, or as the embodiment of an “other”—shapes the concepts of healing, body, trance, self, and matter by which ethnographers craft out analysis. 

Further information at the publisher's website: Berghahn Books

Psychic Observers: Mediumship in America, by Gerald O'Hara

Publication Details: Independently published, ISBN: 9798359272261
Publish Date: February, 2023
Cover of Psychic Observers: Mediumship in America

For twenty-five years, Ralph and Juliette Pressing were at the heart of American mediumship. "Psychic Observers" is the story of the Pressings and their newspaper. The 1930s and 1940s were an age of unprecedented interest in mediumship and extraordinary claims to unique phenomena. Ralph and Juliette Pressing knew everyone who was anyone in the American Spiritualist movement and wrote about all the great mediums. Through the Psychic Observer, the medium's names acquired a star-like quality. A glamor was attached to the mediums' names, who became the 'must sit with;' sensation of the day. The author's research identified one hundred and sixty-four direct-voice and trumpet mediums. The sensational séance reports in the paper were consumed by an avid readership that made the Psychic Observer a national American newspaper.

The book " Psychic Observers " describes a movement in its heyday. The Psychic Observer and the American Spiritualist movement were assailed on all sides by controversy. Journalists, police, courts, and psychic researchers, hounded the Spiritualists, wrote scandalous articles, raided their séances, charged them with fortune-telling, and hauled them before the judges. The Psychic Observer were there, reporting, defending, going to law, engaging lawyers, and syndicating their articles worldwide. An extraordinary book, deeply researched, revealing fascinating new insight into the twentieth century American the Spiritualist movement

The Mind at Large: Clairvoyance, Psychics, Police and Life after Death: A Polish Perspective, by Zofia Weaver and Krzysztof Janoszka

Publication Details: White Crow Books, ISBN: 9781786772121
Publish Date: February, 2023

From the publisher's website: In the current creative scientific turmoil perhaps it is time to consider the possibility of a model in which clairvoyance, instead of being an anomaly, is a fundamental feature of the universe. Scientific “theories of everything” are now emerging that can accommodate anomalous phenomena such as clairvoyance.

This is the central theme of The Mind at Large which presents a unique dossier documenting one clairvoyant’s contribution to detective work in Poland. Compiled over more than 20 years by the Polish clairvoyant Krzysztof Jackowski, this dossier was verified by a young Polish police sergeant Krzysztof Janoszka, who wrote a diploma thesis on the use of psychics in police work in order to draw attention to the phenomena demonstrated by Jackowski. Janoszka is the co-author of this book.

What makes this dossier particularly interesting is the clairvoyant’s claim that it is the dead who provide him with the information about their fate. Such a claim does not sit easily within his own culture, but his evidence makes an important contribution to research into mediumship and the age-old question of survival that has been researched for more than a century in the English-speaking world.

Further information at the publisher's website: White Crow Books

Ghosted! Exploring the Haunting Reality of Paranormal Encounters, by Brian Laythe, James Houran, Neil Dagnall, Kenneth Drinkwater and Ciarán O’Keeffe

Publication Details: McFarland, ISBN: 9781476685779
Publish Date: July, 2022
Cover of Ghosted

From the publisher's website: Reports of paranormal experiences vary tremendously, but are often associated with ghosts, haunted houses, and otherwise eerie circumstances. There exist both classic and modern texts on ghosts and haunted or possessed people, places and spaces; many discuss traditional ideas regarding such phenomena or utilize now-outdated research in highly academic and technical ways.

This book offers a very different approach in reviews provided by a leading-edge research program devoted to who has ghostly experiences and why. With new insights both global in scale and multidisciplinary in scope, this collaboration by five researchers uncovers consistent evidence that anomalous experiences represent a very real “Haunted People Syndrome”—a term describing anomalous experiences that manifest recurrently to the same percipients and are interpreted as “ghostly”—with implications for future research across academia. The participation of new citizen scientists (the field investigators and researchers among us) is invited in furthering the exploration of paranormal mysteries. Photos and figures illustrating concepts and models are included, as is a glossary.

Further information at the publisher's website: McFarland

Psychic Investigators: Anthropology, Modern Spiritualism, and Credible Witnessing in the Late Victorian Age, by Efram Sera-Shriar

Publication Details: University of Pittsburgh Press, ISBN: 9780822947073
Publish Date: June, 2022
Cover of Psychic Investigators

From the publisher's website: Psychic Investigators examines British anthropology’s engagement with the modern spiritualist movement during the late Victorian era. Efram Sera-Shriar argues that debates over the existence of ghosts and psychical powers were at the center of anthropological discussions on human beliefs. He focuses on the importance of establishing credible witnesses of spirit and psychic phenomena in the writings of anthropologists such as Alfred Russel Wallace, Edward Burnett Tylor, Andrew Lang, and Edward Clodd. The book draws on major themes, such as the historical relationship between science and religion, the history of scientific observation, and the emergence of the subfield of anthropology of religion in the second half of the nineteenth century. For secularists such as Tylor and Clodd, spiritualism posed a major obstacle in establishing the legitimacy of the theory of animism: a core theoretical principle of anthropology founded in the belief of “primitive cultures” that spirits animated the world, and that this belief represented the foundation of all religious paradigms. What becomes clear through this nuanced examination of Victorian anthropology is that arguments involving spirits or psychic forces usually revolved around issues of evidence, or lack of it, rather than faith or beliefs or disbeliefs.

Further information at the publisher's website: University of Pittsburgh Press.

The Heyday of Mental Mediumship: 1880s – 1930s: Investigators, Mediums and Communicators, by Alan Gauld

Publication Details: White Crow Books, ISBN 9781786771858
Publish Date: May, 2022
Cover of The Heyday of Mental Mediumship

From the publisher's website: There have been important mediums and researchers throughout the history of psychical research in many parts of the world, but the period from the 1880s to the 1930s saw a coming together of outstanding scientific minds in Europe and the USA who probed the phenomena of mental mediumship with a diligence, intellectual discipline and degree of enthusiasm not encountered on such a scale before or since. This period saw the establishment of the Society for Psychical Research in Britain (1882), followed swiftly by the American Society for Psychical Research (1884), which resulted in close collaboration between people who, apart from their intellects, also had the financial means and the time to devote to the subject.

In this book Alan Gauld, whose works on mediumship, psychical research and psychic phenomena have become classics in the genre, offers important insights into aspects of the early days of mediumship research that over the years have largely gone off the radar. Here we see the great names of psychical research as real people in personal relationships, and we learn about the informal beginnings of serious investigations and explore their cultural context.

The Heyday of Mental Mediumship is destined to become Gauld’s magnum opus.

Further information on the publisher's website: White Crow Books

Why an Afterlife Obviously Exists: On finishing this book, you will be convinced that death is not a dead end, by Jens Amberts

Publication Details: Iff Books, ISBN: 9781785359859
Publish Date: April, 2022
Cover of Why an Afterlife Obviously Exists

From the publisher's website: Why an Afterlife Obviously Exists is a philosophical argument demonstrating why the existence of an afterlife is beyond astronomically likely and hence empirically certain. It explains how we have every rational reason to think that people who have near-death experiences are not only telling the truth, but the book also argues that near-death experiencers are thoroughly justified in knowing that they visited the actual afterlife. 

Further information at the publisher's website: Iff Books

The Medium and the Minister: Who on Earth Knows about the Afterlife?, by Roger Straughan

Publication Details: 6th Books, ISBN: 9781789048803
Publish Date: April, 2022
Cover of The Medium and the Minister

From the publisher's website: You don't have to 'be religious' to believe there may be a life after death!

The Medium and the Minister explores psychical and religious approaches to the possibility of an afterlife. The tensions and conflicts between these two approaches and the heated controversies they have generated are illustrated by a number of case studies. These focus on the challenges posed by psychical research and spiritualism to orthodox religion as the ultimate authority for information and teaching about the afterlife. Prominence is given initially to the campaigns of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Sir Oliver Lodge which aimed to publicise the psychical evidence and to the Church’s reaction to them. Later developments and initiatives to try to reconcile the opposing positions are then examined in the light of further psychical research. The issues raised are shown to be still highly relevant to current beliefs and attitudes and to the question of what might constitute evidence for life after death.

Further information at the publisher's website: 6th Books.

Review by Melvyn Willin.

Making Sense of the Paranormal: The Interactional Construction of Unexplained Experiences, by Rachael Ironside and Robin Wooffitt

Publication Details: 2022, Palgrave Macmillan
Publish Date: January, 2022
Cover of Making Sense of the Paranormal

This book is a study of how people collaboratively interpret events or experiences as having paranormal features, or as evidence of spiritual agency. The authors study recordings of paranormal research groups as they conduct real life investigations into allegedly haunted spaces and the analyses describe how, through their talk and embodied actions, participants collaboratively negotiate the paranormal status of the events they experience. By drawing on the study of the social organisation in everyday interaction, they show how paranormal interpretations may be proposed, contested and negotiated through conversational and embodied practices of the group. 

The book contributes to the sociology of anomalous experience, and explores its relevance  to other social science topics such as dark tourism, participation in religious spaces and practices, and the attribution of agency. This book will therefore be of interest to academics and postgraduate researchers of language and social interaction; discourse and communication, cultural studies; social psychology, sociology of religious experience; parapsychology, communication and psychotherapy.

Further information about the book here: Springer