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A Beginner’s Guide to Paranormal Investigation, by Mark Rosney, Bob Bethell, Jebby Robinson

Publication Details: Amberley Books. ISBN 9781848682344
Publish Date: November, 2009

From the publisher’s website: A Beginner’s Guide to Paranormal Investigation is an ideal guide for anyone who is curious about paranormal investigation and the supernatural.
 
The authors guide the reader through the required steps for paranormal investigation and identifies the core concepts of successful investigations. This book will provide readers with basic information that will help them to start their own supernatural searches. Readers will be introduced to the basic historical backgrounds of each phenomena, alternative theories for each phenomena, a grounding of common sense and what equipment to use and how to use it.

A Beginner’s Guide to Paranormal Investigation is a fantastic book for anyone with an interest in the paranormal.

Review to Tom Ruffles

Anomalous Experiences: Essays from Parapsychological and Psychological Perspectives, edited by Matthew D. Smith

Publication Details: McFarland. ISBN-10: 0786443987 ISBN-13: 978-0786443987
Publish Date: November, 2009

From the publisher’s website: Thirteen essays on the psychology and parapsychology of anomalous experience explore a range of experiences, including extrasensory perception, haunting experiences, apparitions, alien contacts, seance room phenomena, and out-of-body experiences. The contributors are Daryl Bem, Etzel Cardena, Jezz Fox, Chris French, Craig Murray, Ciaran O'Keeffe, Chris Roe, Simon Sherwood, Christine Simmonds-Moore, Paul Stevens, Caroline Watt, Richard Wiseman and Robin Woofitt.  Matt Smith has conducted research on paranormal experiences for more than 15 years and was the resident psychologist/ parapsychologist for the television show Most Haunted.

Dark Intrusions: An Investigation into the Paranormal Nature of Sleep Paralysis Experiences, by Louis Proud

Publication Details: Anomalist Books. ISBN-10: 1933665440 ISBN-13: 978-1933665443
Publish Date: November, 2009
Cover of Dark Intrusions: An Investigation into the Paranormal Nature of Sleep Paralysis Experiences

From the publisher’s website: Since his late teens, Louis Proud has suffered from chronic sleep paralysis and has undergone hundreds of such episodes, many of them terrifying but ultimately transformational and eye-opening. These experiences, he believes, allow access to the "spirit realm" and could well hold the key to a whole host of paranormal phenomena, including poltergeist disturbances, out-of-body-experiences, mediumship, spirit possession, and succubi and incubi encounters. Drawing on the work of Colin Wilson, Joe Fisher, Stan Gooch, Whitley Strieber, Robert Monroe, Dion Fortune, and a number of other paranormal experts, Proud lucidly demonstrates that many sleep paralysis experiences involve genuine contact and communication with incorporeal entities, some of them parasitic and potentially dangerous. In this comprehensive, open-minded exploration of the sleep paralysis phenomenon, filled with fascinating descriptions of his own experiences, as well as those of others, no stone is left unturned as Proud attempts to get to the bottom of the mystery.

This book has been reviewed by Christopher C. French in the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research Vol 75(3).

Haunted Gardens: An International Journey, by Peter Underwood

Publication Details: Amberley Publishing. ISBN-13: 978-1848682610
Publish Date: November, 2009

From the publisher’s website: Haunted Gardens is a brand new book from the renowned supernatural writer, Peter Underwood. The world today is fascinated by life after death, and the affect that the 'other side' has on our lives. Peter Underwood has decided to explore ghostly gardens for the very first time in history, and shows, with examples from all over the world, just how spooky gardens can be! Fully illustrated with Peter's own photographs, and carefully researched, this new book is sure to be an ideal gift for anyone interested in ghosts and the paranormal.

Review by Tom Ruffles

Mysterious Minds: The Neurobiology of Psychics, Mediums, and Other Extraordinary People, edited by Stanley Krippner and Harris L. Friedman

Publication Details: Praeger. ISBN-10: 0313358664 ISBN-13: 978-0313358661
Publish Date: November, 2009

 

From the publisher’s website: Welcome to the world of Mysterious Minds: The Neurobiology of Psychics, Mediums, and Other Extraordinary People. Here, experts in the emerging field of neurobiological study make the case that while many claims of psychic ability are easily proven false, there may well be claimants who can obtain information in ways not easily explained by mainstream science—and there might be scientific tools and approaches available to confirm those experiences.

Written by an expert team of distinguished investigators from a half dozen countries around the world, Mysterious Minds introduces readers to the current state of research into parapsychological experiences, emphasizing the neurobiological data obtained by those who claim to be psychics or mediums. It offers specific examples of paranormal claims of extraordinary people—claims scrutinized through the use of high-tech brain imaging, clinical neurological examinations, and psychotropic drugs. The book concludes by proposing a series of models based on fundamental neurobiology, psychology, and quantum physics that could help us unravel these mental mysteries.
 
Stanley Krippner, Ph.D., is professor of psychology at Saybrook University in San Francisco, CA. Harris L. Friedman, PhD, is a research professor of psychology at the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL.

From the publisher’s website: Welcome to the world of Mysterious Minds: The Neurobiology of Psychics, Mediums, and Other Extraordinary People. Here, experts in the emerging field of neurobiological study make the case that while many claims of psychic ability are easily proven false, there may well be claimants who can obtain information in ways not easily explained by mainstream science—and there might be scientific tools and approaches available to confirm those experiences.

Written by an expert team of distinguished investigators from a half dozen countries around the world, Mysterious Minds introduces readers to the current state of research into parapsychological experiences, emphasizing the neurobiological data obtained by those who claim to be psychics or mediums. It offers specific examples of paranormal claims of extraordinary people—claims scrutinized through the use of high-tech brain imaging, clinical neurological examinations, and psychotropic drugs. The book concludes by proposing a series of models based on fundamental neurobiology, psychology, and quantum physics that could help us unravel these mental mysteries.
 
Stanley Krippner, Ph.D., is professor of psychology at Saybrook University in San Francisco, CA. Harris L. Friedman, PhD, is a research professor of psychology at the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL.

The Stepchildren of Science: Psychical Research and Parapsychology in Germany, c. 1870-1939, by Heather Wolffram

Publication Details: Rodopi, ISBN-10: 9042027282 ISBN-13: 978-9042027282
Publish Date: November, 2009

From the publisher’s website: Leading the reader through the darkened séance rooms and laboratories of Imperial and inter-war Germany, The Stepchildren of Science casts light on the emergence of psychical research and parapsychology in the German context. It looks, in particular, at the role of the psychiatrist Albert von Schrenck-Notzing - a figure who fashioned himself as both propagandist and Grand Seignior of German parapsychology - in shaping these nascent disciplines. In contrast to other recent studies in which occultism is seen as a means of dealing with or creating “the modern”, this book considers the epistemological, cultural and social issues that arose from psychical researchers’ and parapsychologists’ claims to scientific legitimacy. Focusing on the boundary disputes between these researchers and the spiritualists, occultists, psychologists and scientists with whom they competed for authority over the paranormal, The Stepchildren of Science demonstrates that in the German context both proponents and opponents alike understood psychical research and parapsychology as border sciences.

There Is Life After Death: Compelling Reports from Those Who Have Glimpsed the Afterlife, by Roy Abraham Varghese

Publication Details: New Page Books. ISBN-10: 1601630956 ISBN-13: 978-1601630957
Publish Date: November, 2009

From the publisher’s website: Is death the end? Or, to put it another way, do we survive bodily death?  Some shrug their shoulders and declare we simply can’t know. Others just say no. And a few, flying their philosophical colours, pretentiously profess to not even understand the question.
 
Curiously, the overwhelming majority of human beings throughout the course of history have taken it for granted that death is not the end, that there is a life after death. This striking and seemingly instinctive belief has been embodied in the religious traditions and philosophical reflections of most cultures. 
 
There Is Life After Death is the first of its kind in that it assembles and analyzes a comprehensive range of data on life after death and then provides the framework needed to understand the data. No previous book has presented such concrete evidence—evidence based on the accounts of eyewitnesses as well as on data derived from diverse sources throughout the world and history—supporting the existence of an afterlife. 
 
Above all, the book provides exciting and compelling answers to the urgent question: What lies on the other side?

Psychological Scientific Perspectives on Out of Body and Near Death Experiences, edited by Craig D. Murray

Publication Details: Nova Publishers. ISBN: 978-1-60741-705-7
Publish Date: October, 2009

From the publisher’s website: In recent years there has been a surge of scientific interest in the related phenomena of out-of-body (OBEs) and near-death experiences (NDEs). These experiences are altered states of consciousness in which the person may feel that their consciousness has become separated from the confines of their physical bodies. They may occur at mundane times, such as when on the verge of going to or waking from sleep, or at times of increased stress, such as during potentially life-threatening situations, or even when having been clinically dead and revived. These experiences have similar, recurring phenomenological features and cultural motifs. Both forms of experience may be characterised by lucid thinking, a belief that such experiences are 'real' or veridical, and may involve the observance of the physical body, others and the surrounding environment from a disembodied point of view. Both OBEs and NDEs may be accompanied by profound personality changes. the NDE in particular, which is characterised by seemingly real encounters with spiritual beings and deceased persons, being interpreted by those having the experiences as a spiritual one which leads to changes in their world view. Since past research, there has been growing academic interest over the years to help explain the mechanism for and content of these experiences. 

This book brings together the most up-to-date research within the psychological sciences on these topics in one authoritative, accessible text. From developments in understanding brain function to research methodologies which probe the phenomenological depths of these experience, this book offers a timely summary of the work of leading experts on these phenomena.

The Ghost Hunter’s Survival Guide: Protection Techniques for Encounters with The Paranormal, by Michelle Belanger

Publication Details: Llewellyn. ISBN: 073871870X ISBN-13: 9780738718705
Publish Date: October, 2009

From the publisher’s website: Chasing the unseen has become a popular pastime but most ghost hunters are unaware of the very real harm that can be done by malevolent human spirits, non-human entities, and a host of astral parasites. This guide from medium and paranormal investigator Michelle Belanger features proven protection techniques – and for the sceptics out there, highlights how the methods also work on a psychological level. You'll get straightforward instruction on arming yourself with an array of essential techniques. Woven through each chapter is a true account of a ghost investigation conducted by Belanger, which provides a framework for understanding when to use these potent defence strategies.

Review by Tom Ruffles

The Sixth Sense Reader, edited by David Howes

Publication Details: Berg. ISBN-13: 978-1847882615
Publish Date: October, 2009

From the publisher’s website: What is the sixth sense? Is it physical, mental or spiritual? Do we all possess it or is it unique to exceptional individuals? Might there be a seventh sense and an eighth sense as well? What role does culture play in determining the range of our perceptual abilities?

The search for a supplementary sense has taken many directions and yielded numerous possibilities for an "additional faculty" of perception - from magnetism and movement to dreaming and clairvoyance. Stimulating reflection and debate, The Sixth Sense Reader explores the cultural contexts which give rise to such reports of "psychic" and other powers that exceed the ordinary bounds of sense.

In this groundbreaking volume, leading scholars in history, anthropology and biology take the reader on a tour of the far borderlands of consciousness. From the world beneath to the world beyond the five senses, every potential avenue of sensation is opened up for investigation.

Contents: Acknowledgments Introduction: The Revolving Sensorium PART I: BEARINGS 1 The Search for a Sixth Sense: The Cases for Vestibular, Muscle, and Temperature Senses Nicholas J. Wade 2 Sense of Direction W. H. Hudson 3 Bushman Presentiments Wilhelm H. I. Bleek and Lucy C. Lloyd 4 Anatomy of Mysticism Jess Byron Hollenback PART II: HISTORICAL INVESTIGATIONS 5 The Five Senses in Classical Science and Ethics Louise Vinge 6 The Mesmerism Investigation and the Crisis of Sensationist Science Jessica Riskin 7 Swedenborg's Celestial Sensorium: Angelic Authenticity, Religious Authority, and the American New Church Movement Leigh Eric Schmidt 8 The Erotics of Telepathy: The British SPR's Experiments in Intimacy Pamela Thurschwell 9 Intuition and Reason in the New Age: A Cultural Study of Medical Clairvoyance Ruth Barcan 10 Refusing to Give Up the Ghost: Some Thoughts on the Afterlife from Spirit Photography to Phantom Films Pamela Thurschwell PART III: UNCANNY SENSATIONS 11 The Sense of Being Stared At Rupert Sheldrake 12 Tactility and Distraction Michael Taussig PART IV: CROSS-CULTURAL INVESTIGATIONS 13 Sense-Experience and Mystical Experience Mircea Eliade 14 Peyote and the Mystic Vision Barbara G. Myerhoff 15 The Embodiment of Symbols and the Acculturation of the Anthropologist Carol Laderman 16 Sensing Divinity, Death, and Resurrection: Theorizing Experience through Miracles Bilinda Straight 17 Zulu Dreamscapes: Senses, Media, and Authentication in Contemporary Neo-Shamanism David Chidester ABCDERIUM of Extra/Sensory Powers Notes on Contributors Copyright Acknowledgments Index

Victorian Women and the Theatre of Trance: Mediums, Spiritualists and Mesmerists in Performance, by Amy Lehman

Publication Details: McFarland. ISBN-13: 9780786434794 ISBN-10: 0786434791
Publish Date: October, 2009

From the publisher’s website: Spiritualists in the nineteenth century spoke of the "Borderland," a shadowy threshold where the living communed with the dead, and where those in the material realm could receive comfort or advice from another world. The skilled performances of mostly female actors and performers made the "Borderland" a theatre, of sorts, in which dramas of revelation and recognition were produced in the forms of séances, trances, and spiritualist lectures.
 
This book examines some of the most fascinating American and British actresses of the Victorian era, whose performances fairly mesmerized their audiences of amused sceptics and ardent believers. It also focuses on the transformative possibilities of the spiritualist theatre, revealing how the performances allowed Victorian women to speak, act, and create outside the boundaries of their restricted social and psychological roles.
 
Amy Lehman has presented research on the theatrical aspects of 19th-century spiritualism at theatre and Victorian studies conferences in the United States and abroad. She is currently on the faculty of the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of South Carolina.

This book has been reviewed by Tom Ruffles in the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research Vol 75(3).

The Psychology of Paranormal Belief: A Reseracher's Handbook, by Harvey J. Irwin

Publication Details: University of Hertfordshire Press. ISBN-13 978-1-902806-93-8
Publish Date: September, 2009

From the publisher’s website: This book, written by an internationally renowned researcher in the field, provides a thorough and systematic review of empirical investigations into the bases of belief in paranormal phenomena.


Following a discussion of the concept of paranormality, four main theoretical approaches to the nature of paranormal belief are examined. Some researchers have suggested that such beliefs are most prevalent among people on the margins of society. Another view is that paranormal belief is simply one facet of a broader worldview, a view that is characterised by a highly subjective and esoteric outlook on humanity, life, and the world at large. Other commentators have sought to depict the paranormal believer as essentially illogical, irrational, credulous, uncritical, and foolish. In addition, a few writers propose that paranormal beliefs are best understood as serving significant psychodynamic needs. The empirical foundations and shortcomings of each of these approaches are rigorously documented in turn. By way of a conclusion, the underlying issue of definition is revisited and a new, more comprehensive theory is advanced to model the psychological development of scientifically unsubstantiated beliefs. Opening with a foreword from the highly respected researchers in paranormal belief Dr Caroline Watt and Professor Richard Wiseman, this book will be of particular interest to professional researchers and serious students of the subject, as well as to clinical psychologists and counsellors. 

Dr Harvey J Irwin has an international reputation in research on the psychology of paranormal beliefs and parapsychological experiences. His other publications include over a hundred papers in academic journals and three books, including the highly praised and widely used text An Introduction to Parapsychology. Dr Irwin was a member of the School of Psychology in the University of New England, Australia for over 30 years, teaching a variety of courses from parapsychology to psychopathology, and serving as Head of School for some years. Since his recent formal retirement from academia he has remained active in research and remains an Honorary Research Fellow in his former university. In 2002 the Parapsychological Association accorded Dr Irwin its Outstanding Research Contribution Award in recognition of his empirical and theoretical work in parapsychology over 25 years.