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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.

Enchanted Ground: The Spirit Room of Jonathan Koons, by Sharon Hatfield

Publication Details: Swallow Press, ISBN: 9780804012089.
Publish Date: October, 2018
Cover of Enchanted Ground

In Enchanted Ground, Sharon Hatfield brings to life the true story of a nineteenth-century farmer-turned-medium, Jonathan Koons, one of thousands of mediums throughout the antebellum United States. In the hills outside Athens, Ohio, Koons built a house where it was said the dead spoke to the living, and where ancient spirits communicated the wisdom of the ages. Curious believers, in homespun and in city attire, traveled from as far as New Orleans to a remote Appalachian cabin whose marvels would rival any of P. T. Barnum’s attractions.

Yet Koons’s story is much more than showmanship and sleight of hand. His enterprise, not written about in full until now, embodied the excitement and optimism of citizens breaking free from societal norms. Reform-minded dreamers were drawn to Koons’s seances as his progressive brand of religion displaced the gloomy Calvinism of previous generations. As heirs to the Second Great Awakening, which stretched from New York State to the far reaches of the Northwest Territory, the curious, the faithful, and Koons himself were part of a larger, uniquely American moment that still marks the cultural landscape today.

Further information on the publisher's website: Enchanted Ground.

Review by James McClenon.

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.

Review by Robert A. Charman

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.

Review by Graham Kidd

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 Mind’s Interaction with the Laws of Physics and Cosmology, by Jeffrey S Keen

Publication Details: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, ISBN: 9781527513648.
Publish Date: October, 2018
Cover of The Mind’s Interaction with the Laws of Physics and Cosmology

From the publisher's website: This ground-breaking book is about the emerging academic and practical study of subtle energies, which historically, have not been easy to detect. The unique experiments, numerous measurements, and resulting data presented here, have been collected over 30 years of research. The findings have resulted from pioneering discoveries leading to equations, graphs, universal constants, formulae, and laws of nature that eventually connect to cosmology, and the structure of the universe. The book proves, with high scientific and mathematical precision, that consciousness involves more than just the brain, but actually depends on the very fabric of the universe. 

Some of the discoveries prove that certain information can be communicated across the solar system, not only faster than light, but instantaneously. The book deals with the entanglement of large objects, and the fact that the cosmos possesses a universal consciousness. Also shown is that the mind can detect information from the outer planets, and identifies connections to a five dimensional universe and the mysterious, recently discovered dark energy. 

This text will be of interest to the considerable number of people worldwide involved in similar studies. These include researchers at universities and colleges currently or wishing to teach and develop this up-and-coming subject, non-professionals, and members of relevant academic societies.