Blue / Grey hero banner image

New Books and Media

Find Books

Talking about Psychical Research: Thoughts on Life, Death and the Nature of Reality, by Mary Rose Barrington

Publication Details: White Crow Books, ISBN: 9781786770653.
Publish Date: March, 2019
Cover of Talking about Psychical Research

From the publisher's website: Mary Rose Barrington, a retired lawyer and former president of the Oxford University Society for Psychical Research has spent many years researching psychic phenomena and observing how it interacts with our daily lives. In Talking about Psychical Research, Mary Rose Barrington asks, “What is the point of psychical research?” She goes on to share her thoughts on subjects including telepathy, clairvoyance, ‘ jotts’, scepticism, psychic force and her ‘small theory of everything’, and in doing so provides us with an enlightening, erudite and entertaining read.

Further information here: White Crow Books

Review by Ted Dixon.

The Flip: Epiphanies of Mind and the Future of Knowledge, by Jeffrey J. Kripal

Publication Details: Bellevue Literary Press, ISBN: 9781942658528.
Publish Date: March, 2019
Cover of The Flip

From the publisher's website: A “flip,” writes Jeffrey J. Kripal, is “a reversal of perspective,” “a new real,” often born of an extreme, life-changing experience. The Flip is Kripal’s ambitious, visionary program for unifying the sciences and the humanities to expand our minds, open our hearts, and negotiate a peaceful resolution to the culture wars. Combining accounts of rationalists’ spiritual awakenings and consciousness explorations by philosophers, neuroscientists, and mystics within a framework of the history of science and religion, Kripal compellingly signals a path to mending our fractured world.

In Times of War: Messages of Wisdom from Soldiers in the Afterlife, by Jonathan Beecher

Publication Details: White Crow Books, ISBN: 978-1786770837.
Publish Date: February, 2019
Cover of 	In Times of War

From the publisher's website: In the first of a series of “White Crow Anthologies,” In Times of War: Messages of Wisdom from Soldiers in the Afterlife documents conversations with soldiers who purport to have been near death or killed as a result of war. The communicators aren’t mystics, sages or saints—just ordinary people who having passed on claim they haven’t died at all and feel more alive than ever in their post-physical state.

From Plato’s time 2,400 years ago to the Seven Years’ War of the 1700s to World War I and II and Vietnam—the messages just keep on coming—all offering words of wisdom from those a little further along the path having crossed the great divide we call death.

Does what we believe now matter after physical death? Does our mental state here influence our post-death state? Do our thoughts and actions during life have consequences in the afterlife? These are big questions that at some point many of us ask ourselves particularly in the latter stages of life.

What is it like to die? Does forgiveness play a part in our spiritual evolution? Do heaven, purgatory and hell exist? The communicators offer opinions on these subjects and more.

This book may not have all the answers, but if the reader is asking any of these questions, it might help in some small way.

The Paranormal and Popular Culture: A Postmodern Religious Landscape, edited by Darryl Caterine and John W. Morehead

Publication Details: Routledge, ISBN: 9781138738577.
Publish Date: February, 2019
Cover of The Paranormal and Popular Culture: A Postmodern Religious Landscape

From the publisher's website: Interest in preternatural and supernatural themes has revitalized the Gothic tale, renewed explorations of psychic powers and given rise to a host of social and religious movements based upon claims of the fantastical. And yet, in spite of this widespread enthusiasm, the academic world has been slow to study this development. This volume rectifies this gap in current scholarship by serving as an interdisciplinary overview of the relationship of the paranormal to the artefacts of mass media (e.g. novels, comic books, and films) as well as the cultural practices they inspire.

After an introduction analyzing the paranormal’s relationship to religion and entertainment, the book presents essays exploring its spiritual significance in a postmodern society; its (post)modern representation in literature and film; and its embodiment in a number of contemporary cultural practices. Contributors from a number of discplines and cultural contexts address issues such as the shamanistic aspects of Batman and lesbianism in vampire mythology.

Covering many aspects of the paranormal and its effect on popular culture, this book is an important statement in the field. As such, it will be of utmost interest to scholars of religious studies as well as media, communication, and cultural studies.

Third Eye Spies: A True Story of CIA Psychic Spying, produced by Russell Targ and Lance Mungia

Publication Details: Available on Amazon, GooglePlay, iTunes, and Vimeo
Publish Date: February, 2019
Cover of Third Eye Spies: A True Story of CIA Psychic Spying

Third Eye Spies chronicles the lifelong journey of physicist Russell Targ, co-founder of the Stanford Research Institute’s CIA supported ESP research program. Targ’s quest has been to reveal to the world the reality of ESP and the fact every intelligence agency of the U.S. government has used psi or what came to be known as remote viewing operationally for intelligence gathering against the Soviets and others.  This 23-year program had oversight at the very highest levels.

On the verge of his life’s work being lost to a relentless misinformation campaign and while facing both his own mortality and the recent death of one of the most talented “Third Eye Spies”, Russell determines to head out on the road one last time to do battle with the skeptics and seek out confirmation from the remaining Third Eye Spies.  This opportunity for disclosure is something he has been seeking since he left the intelligence community in 1982 and announced to a stunned audience at the Soviet Academy of Sciences, “There can be no secrets.”

Review by Nemo C. Mörck

Borderland Phenomena Volume One: Spontaneous Combustion, Poltergeistry and Anomalous Lights, by Louis Proud

Publication Details: August Night Books, ISBN: 9781786770790.
Publish Date: January, 2019
Cover of Borderland Phenomena Volume One: Spontaneous Combustion, Poltergeistry and Anomalous Lights

From the publisher's website: Society’s concept of the natural world has little or no room for such phenomena as spontaneous human combustion, poltergeistry and anomalous lights. Rather, these weird and baffling occurrences are either ignored altogether or unfairly and inaccurately labelled “supernatural” and hence assumed to exist “beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature.”

In Borderland Phenomena: Volume One, Proud adopts a richer, broader concept of the natural world, one that views paranormal phenomena not as foreign or magical but as occupying a position on the margins of this reality, in what he refers to as the “borderland.” In a balanced and objective investigation that spans many topics, including ball lightning, earth lights, strange rains, mysterious fires, and jinn, he manages to lay bare a refreshing and innovative approach to looking at the paranormal and so too the natural world.

Review by Robert A. Charman

Demons on the Couch: Spirit Possession, Exorcisms and the DSM-5, by Michael J. Sersch

Publication Details: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, ISBN: 9781527521940.
Publish Date: January, 2019

From the publisher's website: Belief in possession, including from demonic forces, has ancient roots and continues into the modern world, especially among certain communities. This has been shown in books, movies, places of worship, and in the therapy office. This book traces the global history of possession and looks at ways contemporary mental health professionals can help a person who believes themselves to be possessed.

Written especially for clinicians, but interesting to a wide variety of readers, this book uses a variety of disciplines, including cultural studies, psychology, and personal experiences, to try and understand the phenomenon from as wide a perspective as possible, including interviews with exorcists from various backgrounds. Both believers and sceptics will find this to be a fascinating study of a controversial topic.

An extract can be read on the publisher's website: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

The Paranormal Surrounds Us: Psychic Phenomena in Literature, Culture and Psychoanalysis, by Richard Reichbart

Publication Details: McFarland, ISBN: 9780786495368.
Publish Date: January, 2019
Cover of The Paranormal Surrounds Us

From the publisher's website: 

Shakespeare, Tolstoy, Joyce, E.M. Forster and Ingmar Bergman all made the paranormal essential to their depiction of humanity. Freud recognized telepathy as an everyday phenomenon. Observations on parapsychological aspects of psychoanalysis also include the findings of the Mesmerists, Jung, Ferenczi and Eisenbud.

Many academicians attribute such psychic discoveries to “poetic license” rather than to accurate understanding of our parapsychological capacities. The author—a practicing psychoanalyst and parapsychologist, and a lawyer familiar with Navajo culture—argues for a fresh appraisal of psi phenomena and their integration into psychoanalytic theory and clinical work, literary studies and anthropology.

Review by Nemo C. Mörck.

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.

Excerpts from the book can be read on Leo Ruickbie's website: Angels in the Trenches.

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.

Review by Nemo C. Mörck

Diabolical Possession and the Case Behind The Exorcist, by Sergio A. Rueda

Publication Details: McFarland, ISBN: 9781476673844.
Publish Date: October, 2018
Cover of Diabolical Possession and the Case Behind The Exorcist

From the publisher's website: Reexamining the purported 1949 exorcism of a 13-year old boy in Mount Ranier, Maryland—the most famous and widely documented case in history—the author explores the subject of demonic possession in the light of science. Eyewitness accounts, unpublished photos and never before published documents from the archives of the Rhine Research Foundation provide fresh perspective on the events that inspired the novel, and later the film, The Exorcist.

Review by Nemo C, Mörck.