Blue / Grey hero banner image

New Books and Media

Find Books

The Departed Among the Living: An Investigative Study of Afterlife Encounters, by Erlendur Haraldsson

Publication Details: White Crow Books. ISBN 978-1-908733-29-0
Publish Date: May, 2012

From the publisher’s website: From earliest times, people have speculated about what happens when they and their loved ones die. Their views vary from certainty about life after death to utter disbelief. Today, many continue to believe in the survival of consciousness after physical death with some claiming actual experiences of the departed and contact with them of some kind. In an era which we think of as the enlightened era of science, education and widespread secularism, many people report contact with dead. In a survey at the end of the 20th century, 31% of people in the USA , reported they had felt that they had been in contact with some one who had died (Greeley 1975), and in Europe the number was 25% (Haraldsson and Houtkooper 1991).

Scientist, Erlendur Haraldsson, a native of Iceland, sought an answer to his question, “Have you ever been aware of the presence of a deceased person?” In the modern and educated society of Iceland, one of the Scandinavian countries; he conducted an extensive survey. During the following years, detailed personal interviews were conducted with over 450 people who responded with a yes to questions about personal experiences of the deceased while in a waking state. These accounts form the basis for this book. The results are fascinating and make compelling reading.

Erlendur Haraldsson is a Professor emeritus of psychology at the Faculty of social science at the University of Iceland who, despite having retired from his former post at the University of Iceland, continues to be an active academic. He has published work in various psychological and parapsychological journals, and done work with Ian Stevenson and Karlis Osis on reincarnation research. As well as doing work in Iceland, Haraldsson worked in the United States and at the University of Freiburg, in Germany. While in the United States, he worked with J.B. Rhine.

He has written several books including Modern Miracles: An investigative report on psychic phenomena associated with Sri Sathya Sai Baba(1997), At the Hour of Death (1997), and his latest book, The Departed Among the Living: An Investigative Study of Afterlife Encounters (2012)

Beyond Reasonable Doubt: An investigation of Spiritual Truths and Myths, by Trevor Davey

Publication Details: CON-PSY Publications. ISBN 9781898680598
Publish Date: April, 2012

From the author: Trevor Davey’s new book – Beyond Reasonable Doubt – is a journey through the many facets of spiritual understanding and the various ways the Spirit Realms interact with the Physical Realms. The aim of this book is not only to provide information and guidance (without being dictatorial or promoting a particular way of thinking) but also to generate ideas and thoughts for students of Spiritual Understanding to consider in their investigations. Everyone is entitled to think in their own way and to question, discuss and change their minds as they progress in their particular Path of Discovery. The contents include the different ways that people of various (or none) Spiritualist and Spiritism organisations promote their ways of thinking and their understanding. The book looks at some of the many forms of spirit communication that are accepted and may lead to questions to be clarified and answered. It is also designed to assist researchers by providing them with necessary and valuable background information that should be known by all trainee mediums, speakers and those who are already giving their services on behalf of Spirit. The overall objective is to provide a great deal of information in a straightforward manner endeavouring to promote further investigations, as each and every one progresses at their own pace and requirement. Price: £3-50 plus £1-50 p&p per copy (U.K. rates) – multiple copies for Development Circles/Awareness Groups (at wholesale price plus postage at cost) direct from the author; e-mail lucytrevor@talktalk.net for details

Review by Tom Ruffles

Brain Wars: The Scientific Battle Over the Existence of the Mind and the Proof That Will Change the Way We Live Our Lives, by Mario Beauregard

Publication Details: HarperOne. ISBN-13: 978-0062071569
Publish Date: April, 2012

From the publisher’s website: Acclaimed neuroscientist Mario Beauregard reveals compelling new evidence set to provoke a major shift in our understanding of the mind-body debate: research showing that the mind and consciousness are transmitted and filtered through the brain—but are not generated by it. Following his boundary-breaking neuroscience bookThe Spiritual Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Case for the Existence of the Soul, co-authored with Denyse O’Leary, Brain Warsmakes a powerful and provocative case against the widely held view equating human beings to complex biological computers. Like Jeffrey M. Schwartz, Beauregard believes that consciousness is more than simply a physical process that takes place in the brain. And here, he presents the evidence to prove it. Brain Wars will revolutionize the way we think about thinking forever.

Is the brain "a computer made of meat," and human consciousness a simple product of electrical impulses? The idea that matter is all that exists has dominated science since the late nineteenth century and led to the long-standing scientific and popular understanding of the brain as simply a collection of neurons and neural activity. But for acclaimed neuroscientist Mario Beauregard, Ph.D., along with a rising number of colleagues and others, this materialist-based view clashes with what we feel and experience every day.

In Brain Wars, Dr. Beauregard delivers a paradigm-shifting examination of the role of the brain and mind. Filled with engaging, surprising, and cutting-edge scientific accounts, this eye-opening book makes the increasingly indisputable case that our immaterial minds influence what happens in our brains, our bodies, and even beyond our bodies. Examining the hard science behind "unexplained" phenomena such as the placebo effect, self-healing, brain control, meditation, hypnosis, and near-death and mystical experiences, Dr. Beauregard reveals the mind's capabilities and explores new answers to age-old mind-body questions.

Radically shifting our comprehension of the role of consciousness in the universe, Brain Wars forces us to consider the immense untapped power of the mind and explore the profound social, moral, and spiritual implications that this new understanding holds for our future.

Heavenly Pursuits, by Lorn Macintyre

Publication Details: Richmond ePublishing (Kindle edition). ASIN: B007WBH5HG
Publish Date: April, 2012

From the author: James Hutchison, a doctor on the west coast of Scotland, takes into his house a consumptive young man called Dòmhnall MacDiarmid on the eve of the Second World War because MacDiarmid, a fisherman, appears to have remarkable psychic gifts. With a psychoanalyst friend from St Andrews, Hutchison decides to hold séances with his protégé. The doctor’s niece Alison, who will succeed him in his practice, spends most of each summer with her uncle. But that summer she falls in love with Dòmhnall, and is drawn into the remarkable and sometimes terrifying paranormal phenomena surrounding him, with the local minister publicly accusing Dr Hutchison of helping to raise the dead.

Heavenly Pursuits is not fantasy, but a contribution to a new genre of fiction, with Lorn Macintyre drawing on his own experiences through sitting with mediums, and on his knowledge of psychic literature, to create a gripping and ultimately tragic story.

Mental Health and Anomalous Experience, edited by Craig Murray.

Publication Details: Nova Publishers. ISBN: 978-1-62100-350-2
Publish Date: April, 2012
From the publisher's website: The importance of spiritual and religious frames of reference in making sense of and recovering from mental health difficulties is increasingly being recognized by mental health researchers. This book focuses on a variety of broad existential experiences. These are variously termed ‘religious, ‘spiritual’, ‘anomalous’ ‘extraordinary or exceptional experiences’, or ‘aberrant perceptions or beliefs’ by researchers and health practitioners active in this field. In recognition of the burgeoning work in this area in recent years, this book brings together a broad range of approaches and perspectives to focus on an important set of topics that are important in demarcating this topic area. Table of Contents: Acknowledgments Chapter 1. The role of understanding, engagement and meaning in anomalous experience: A narrative review of the evidence from cultural research (Greg Taylor and Craig Murray) Chapter 2. Religious visions and voices (Simon L. Dein) Chapter 3. ‘Sense of presence’ experiences in bereavement and their relationship to mental health: A critical examination of a continuing controversy (Edith Steffen and Adrian Coyle) Chapter 4. Reflections on researching sense of presence experiences with a bereaved population (Catherine Keen) Chapter 5. Psychological and mental well-being in palliative care: Needs of patients and caregivers (Mary Oliver) Chapter 6. Clinical psychology of anomalous experiences: Roots and paradigms (Renaud Evrard) Chapter 7. Health and well-being benefits of exceptional human experiences (William Braud) Chapter 8. Psychopathological and psychodynamic approaches to anomalous experiences: The concept of a paranormal solution (Thomas Rabeyron) Chapter 9. On niches and nutters: An alternative view (Pieter R. Adriaens) Chapter 10. Anomalous experiences and mental health: the double-edged sword (Kerry L. Schofield) Chapter 11. Psychosis and religious/spiritual experience: Ethnographic, cognitive and neurobiological perspectives (Simon L. Dein) Chapter 12. Grief illusions and/or pseudo-hallucinations in children: A “ghost” slips by (Pascal Le Maléfan) Chapter 13. Humanistic group therapy, mental health and anomalous/ paranormal experiences (Alejandro Parra) Chapter 14. Musings on anomalous experience in a therapeutic context (Lisa Herman) About The Authors/Index

Paranormal Essex and Haunted Southend, by David Scanlan and Paul Robins; Dee Gordon

Publication Details: Amberley Publishing. ISBN-13 : 978-1848684607 (Paranormal Essex); The History Press. ISBN-13: 978-0752460826 (Haunted Southend)
Publish Date: April, 2012

Paranormal Essex: From the publisher’s website: The first book to explore, in depth, the complete range of paranormal phenomena reported throughout Essex. Published in a handy A-Z format, you will find accounts of well-known hauntings, as well as many previously undiscovered locations. This fascinating account of local ‘sightings’ looks at traditional historical legends as well as modern day experiences, providing fresh knowledge together with the author’s personal accounts of new and traditional stories. This ghostly tour of the area is illustrated with many of the authors’ own photographs. Haunted Southend: From the publisher’s website: The popular seaside resort of Southend-on-Sea has long been a haven for holidaymakers, but the town also harbours some disturbing secrets . . . Discover the darker side of Southend with this spooky collection of spine-chilling tales from around the town. From ghostly sightings in Hadleigh Castle, ominous sounds and smells on the seafront and tales of mysterious shapes at the town’s pubs and taverns, this book is guaranteed to make your blood run cold. Illustrated with over sixty pictures, Haunted Southend will delight everyone interested in the paranormal.

Review by Tom Ruffles

The Labyrinth of Time: The Illusion of Past, Present and Future, by Anthony Peake

Publication Details: Arcturus Publishing. ISBN-13: 978-1848378681
Publish Date: April, 2012
From the publisher’s website: In The Labyrinth of Time Anthony Peake explores the relationship between consciousness and reality and in the process puts forward an amazing hypothesis that can explain many enigmatic phenomena, including déjà vu, precognition, near-death experience and altered states. Central to Peake's hypothesis is a new understanding of the nature of time and a radical updating of the theories of two of the twentieth century's most original thinkers, Peter Ouspensky and J.W. Dunne. Peake then looks at the concepts of time and how they have shaped our thinking as individuals through the prism of science, philosophy and literature. Featuring a cutting-edge account of modern time theory, covering 'time-slips', precognitive dreams and the elasticity of time during moments of extreme stress, near-death experience and certain stages of hypnotic trance. The Labyrinth of Time is as compelling and persuasive as Peake's groundbreaking Is There Life After Death? and The Daemon.

The Reality of ESP: A Physicist’s Proof of Psychic Abilities, by Russell Targ

Publication Details: Quest Books. ISBN-978-0-8356-0884-8
Publish Date: April, 2012

From the publisher’s website: On February 4, 1974, members of the Symbionese Liberation Army kidnapped nineteen-year-old newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst from her Berkeley, California apartment. Desperate to find her, the police called physicist Russell Targ and Pat Price, a psychic retired police commissioner. As Price turned the pages of the police mug book filled with hundreds of photos, suddenly he pointed to one of them and announced, “That’s the ringleader.” The man was Donald DeFreeze, who was indeed subsequently so identified. Price also described the type and location of the kidnap car, enabling the police to find it within minutes. That remarkable event is one reason Targ believes in ESP. Another occurred when his group made $120,000 by forecasting for nine weeks in a row the changes in the silver-commodity futures market.

As a scientist, Targ demands proof. His experience is based on two decades of investigations at the Stanford Research Institute (SRI), which he cofounded with physicist Harold Puthoff in 1972. This twenty-million dollar program launched during the Cold War was supported by the CIA, NASA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and Army and Air Force Intelligence. The experiments they conducted routinely presented results could have happened by chance less than once in a million. Targ describes four types of experiments:

Remote Viewing, in which a person describes places and events independent of space and time. For example, while in California Price drew to scale a Soviet weapons factory at Semipalitinsk with great accuracy later confirmed by Satellite photography. In another remote viewing, Targ accurately sketched an airport in San Andreas, Columbia himself.

Distant Mental Influence, where the thoughts of the experimenter can positively or negatively affect the physiology (heart rate, skin resistance, etc.) of a distant person.

Whole field isolation, where someone in a state of sensory isolation accurately describes the visual experiences of someone else in another place.

Precognition and retrocausality, showing that the future can affect the past. That is, the elephant you see on television in the morning can be the cause of your having dreamed about elephants the previous night.

Final chapters present evidence for survival after death; explain how ESP works based on the Buddhist/Hindu view of ourselves as nonlocal, eternal awareness; discuss the ethics of exercising psychic abilities,and show us how to explore ESP ourselves. “I am convinced,” Targ says, “that most people can learn to move from their ordinary mind to one not obstructed by conventional barriers of space and time. Who would not want to try that?”

The Secret History of Poltergeists and Haunted Houses: From Pagan Folklore to Modern Manifestations, by Claude Lecouteux

Publication Details: Inner Traditions. ISBN-13: 978-1-59477-465-2
Publish Date: April, 2012
From the publisher’s website: What poltergeist accounts through the ages reveal about our own worldviews: • Provides a wide array of case studies from ancient Greece and Rome to medieval Europe to the modern world • Explores the relationship between poltergeists and troubled adolescence • Looks beneath the Christian adulteration of pagan practices to reveal the hidden ancestral beliefs tied to poltergeists and haunted houses Stories of poltergeists and their mischievous and sometimes violent actions – knocking, stone or chair throwing, moving objects with invisible hands, and slamming or opening doors – are a constant through the ages. What changes is how we interpret this activity. For our pagan ancestors this phenomenon was caused by helper spirits whose manifestations revealed their unhappiness with a household. The medieval Christian church demonized these once helpful spirits and held exorcisms to expel them from the houses they haunted--which proved effective less than half the time. The Age of Enlightenment cast these incidents as clever hoaxes, and many still believe this today. But poltergeist manifestations continue to appear and often defy attempts to debunk them as pranks. What then is behind this phenomenon? Exploring accounts of poltergeists from ancient Greece and Rome, medieval Europe, and the modern world, Claude Lecouteux finds that while our interpretations of poltergeists may change, the manifestations always follow a similar course and evolution. He shows how modern scientific studies of poltergeist manifestations have found a strong tie between these visitations and the presence of a troubled adolescent in the house. Looking beneath the Christian adulteration of pagan practices to reveal the hidden ancestral beliefs tied to poltergeists and haunted houses, the author shows how these unhappy spirits serve as confirmation of the supernatural beings that share the earth with us and of our relationship with the natural and unseen world, a relationship we must take care to keep in balance.

Witnesses to the Unsolved: Prominent Psychic Detectives and Mediums Explore our most Haunting Mysteries, by Edward Olshaker

Publication Details: Anomalist Books. ISBN: 1933665599
Publish Date: April, 2012

From the publisher’s website: A cross between Medium and Unsolved Mysteries, this award-winning book is now available in paperback for the first time…

In Witnesses to the Unsolved, author Edward Olshaker turns to some of the world’s most accomplished psychic detectives and mediums in a quest for the missing pieces to some of our most puzzling mysteries, including the cases of:

-- Martin Luther King, Jr., whose assassination is still an open case after a Memphis trial and a federal investigation reached opposite conclusions in 1999 and 2000.

-- Vincent Foster, the White House deputy counsel found shot to death in 1993. Three-quarters of Americans polled in 2000 did not believe the official ruling of suicide.

-- Kurt Cobain, the voice of his generation whose death by shotgun triggered scores of “copycat suicides” worldwide, even though America’s leading forensic pathologist maintains that the rock icon, with triple the lethal dose of heroin in his body, could not have shot himself.

Also explored are the mysteries surrounding the death of Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown, the bizarre fate of former CIA chief William Colby, and much more.

The highly regarded cast of police psychics includes Nancy Myer, investigator of hundreds of homicides in North America and overseas; Robert Cracknell, who was labelled “Britain’s number one psychic detective” when he provided accurate information to investigators of the Yorkshire Ripper serial murders and other high-profile crimes; and Bertie Catchings, named “best psychic in Texas” in The Book of Texas Bests. Prominent mediums Betty Muench, Janet Cyford, and Philip Solomon provide further illumination, along with dramatic evidence of life after death.

Review by Tom Ruffles

‘Fortune Telling’ and Handcuff Secrets, by Harry Houdini

Publication Details: The Miracle Factory.
Publish Date: April, 2012

From the publisher’s website: Fortune Telling (The Houdini Hearings) A must for any Houdini fan! This amazing book contains page after page of colourful first-person testimony from Houdini, sparring with the world of spiritualists as well as sometimes-sceptical congressmen during the 1920s fortune-telling hearings in Washington D.C. Absolutely fascinating...a new light on Houdini! Handcuff Secrets Houdini reveals secrets of his lockpicking, handcuff escapes, straitjacket techniques, and more! An unbelievable treasure-trove of Houdini's methods and Houdini's stories of his imitators. Dozens of illustrations. (Handcuff Secrets is also available as part of the CD set Houdini Unbound: The Houdini Research Collection from the Miracle Factory.) See www.miraclefactory.net for further details of both titles.

Review by Tom Ruffles

First Sight: ESP and Parapsychology in Everyday Life, by James C. Carpenter

Publication Details: Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN-13: 978-1442213906
Publish Date: March, 2012

From the publisher’s website: Often seen as supernatural, unpredictable, illusory and possibly dangerous, ESP, telepathy, clairvoyance and other parapsychological activities are actually happening all the time and help us make sense of everyday experiences. First Sight provides a new way of understanding such experiences and describes a way of thinking about the unconscious mind that makes it clear that these abilities are not rare and anomalous, but instead are used by all of us all the time, unconsciously and efficiently.

Drawing upon a broad array of studies in contemporary psychology, the author integrates a new model for understanding these unusual abilities with the best research in psychology on problems as diverse as memory, perception, personality, creativity and fear. In doing so, he illustrates how the field of parapsychology, which, historically, has been riddled with confusion, skepticism and false claims, can move from the edges of science to its center, where it will offer fascinating new knowledge about unmapped aspects of our nature. The author demonstrates that the new model accounts for accumulated findings very well, and explains previous mysteries, resolves apparent contradictions, and offers clear directions for further study. First Sight also ventures beyond the laboratory to explain such things as why apparent paranormal experiences are so rare, why they need not be feared, and how they can be more intentionally accessed. Further study of this theory is likely to lead to a “technology” of parapsychological processes while drastically revising our conception of the science of the mind toward a new science more humane and more replete with possibility than we have imagined in the past.