New Books and Media

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

Publication Details: McFarland, ISBN: 9781476680385
Publish Date: March, 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.

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

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.

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

Music and the Paranormal: An Encyclopedic Dictionary, by Melvyn J. Willin

Publication Details: McFarland, ISBN: 9781476685984
Publish Date: January, 2022
Cover of Music and the Paranormal

From the publisher's website: Exploring the paranormal through musical phenomena, this encyclopedia covers a range of anomalies, from musical mediumship to locations throughout the world where music has been heard with no obvious source. Other manifestations, such as the abilities of musical savants and the anesthetic use of music during surgical procedures, are included with a focus on paraphysical aspects. Entries describe examples from earliest history up to the present—interpretation is left to the reader. Broader themes and concepts are discussed in appendices, with additional references provided for further study.

Further information on the publisher's website: McFarland.

Telepathy, Clairvoyance and Precognition: A Re-Evaluation of Some Fascinating Case Studies, by Robert A. Charman

Publication Details: Independently published, ISBN: 9798407031956
Publish Date: January, 2022
Cover of Telepathy, Clairvoyance and Precognition

From the back cover: Have you ever read about a telepathic experience and wondered if it was true? Or heard about a fulfilled premonition and wondered if your future already exists? This unique book explores these questions through a rigorous re-examination of many cases of claimed telepathic, clairvoyant, and precognitive experiences, known collectively as Extrasensory Perception (ESP). The author finds non-ESP explanations for some famous cases, including three that are unlikely to have happened at all. However, there are many other cases where there seems to be no alternative but to accept ESP as a working hypothesis.

What conclusions will you reach about the fascinating cases re-examined in this book? Did Mark Twain foresee in a dream the body of his brother in a metal coffin six weeks before his brother died? What about the Chaffin Will case where a jury accepted post-mortem communication as legal evidence of a second Will? Did the deceased C.S. Lewis visit Canon Philips as an apparition? How is it possible that a stolen harp was found through map dowsing from 1800 miles away? Every case examined is full of unexpected twists and turns.

Beyond Death: The Best Evidence for the Survival of Human Consciousness, by Sharon Rawlette

Publication Details: Sharon Hewitt Rawlette, ISBN: 9781733995740
Publish Date: December, 2021
Cover of Beyond Death: The Best Evidence for the Survival of Human Consciousness

From the back cover: Does consciousness continue after death? For 150 years, scientists, doctors, and other highly qualified investigators have carefully collected evidence in hopes of answering this question. In this award-winning essay, Sharon Hewitt Rawlette analyzes the best of that evidence to date.

Starting with third-person phenomena such as after-death apparitions, mediumship, and telephone calls from the dead and moving on to first-person phenomena like near-death experiences, memories of previous lives, and memories of the period between lives, Rawlette lays out the vast landscape of evidence for life beyond the grave. She argues that extensive cross-validation between first- and third-person evidence cripples the strongest skeptical arguments brought against each type considered alone. Ultimately, she concludes that the survival of consciousness is the best explanation for the evidence taken as a whole and considers what implications this has for our understanding of the world we live in, even while we are still on this side of death.

Wales' Unknown Hero: Soldier, Spy, Monk: The Life of Henry Coombe-Tennant, MC, of Neath, by Bernard Lewis

Publication Details: Y Lolfa, ISBN: 9781912631339.
Publish Date: December, 2021
Cover of Wales' Unknown Hero: Soldier, Spy, Monk

From the publisher's website: The astonishing story of Henry Coombe-Tennant (1913–89), who served in the British Army in World War II, escaping from a POW camp, joining Special Forces and aiding the French Resistance, before working for the British Secret Service in Baghdad and ending his days as a Benedictine monk!

Review by Trevor Hamilton

Curses, Coincidences & Malign Influence: A Parapsychological Perspective, by Peter McCue

Publication Details: Arima Publishing, ISBN: 9781845497941
Publish Date: November, 2021
Cover of Curses, Coincidences & Malign Influence: A Parapsychological Perspective

From the back cover: When strange things happen to people, or when they experience bad luck, they may come to believe that they've been cursed. In this well-researched and well-referenced book, Dr Peter McCue looks at curses or alleged curses from an evidential and parapsychological perspective. He also examines what appear to be strange coincidences. He presents a wide array of cases, and asks how strange coincidences arise and how curses might work.