From the publisher’s website: The definitive guide to 'the most haunted house in England' Borley Rectory in Essex, built in 1862, should have been an ordinary Victorian clergyman's house. However, just a year after its construction, unexplained footsteps were heard within the house, and from 1900 until it burned down in 1939 numerous paranormal phenomena, including phantom coaches and shattering windows, were observed. In 1929 the house was investigated by the Daily Mail and paranormal researcher Harry Price, and it was he who called it 'the most haunted house in England.' Price also took out a lease of the rectory from 1937 to 1938, recruiting forty-eight 'official observers' to monitor occurences. After his death in 1948, the water was muddied by claims that Price's findings were not genuine paranormal activity, and ever since there has been a debate over what really went on at Borley Rectory. Paul Adams, Eddie Brazil and Peter Underwood here present a comprehensive guide to the history of the house and the ghostly (or not) goings-on there.
New Books and Media
The Borley Rectory Companion, by Paul Adams, Peter Underwood, and Eddie Brazil
A New Science of the Paranormal: The Promise of Psychical Research, by Lawrence LeShan
From the publisher's website: A New Science of the Paranormal is the highly passionate and astute appeal of acclaimed psychologist and bestselling author Dr. Lawrence LeShan. This deeply affecting and hardnosed argument implores readers to recognize the crucial need to pursue a scientific understading of psychic phenomenon. Incorporating powerfully persuasive empirical findings with gripping, yet hearfelt, documented psychic events, this book delivers a fresh look into the astonishing mystery of the human potential.
Life Beyond Death: What Should We Expect?, by David Fontana
From the publisher’s website: Most people in the world believe in some form of life after death, but what exactly "is" the nature of the afterlife? David Fontana examines all the extensive evidential material that has been accumulated over time--including communication through mediums and accounts from those who had near-death and out-of-body experiences--and compares them to descriptions found in such mystical texts as "The Tibetan Book of the Dead" and "The Egyptian Book of the Dead," He explores the whole area of human consciousness and considers the question: if the body and the brain perish at death, what remains to survive? From the various ideas of paradise to the very meaning of existence, this is a journey through infinite possibilities. - The only sure thing in life is that someday we will die--and if we know more about what is to come, we can be better prepared for it - David Fontana's highly successful "Is There an Afterlife?" touched on this concept; the popularity of that title shows there is interest in a larger discussion of the topic - An intelligent examination of all the evidence, belief systems, and theories about the nature of the afterlife.
Margins of Reality: The Role of Consciousness in the Physical World, by Robert G. Jahn and Brenda J. Dunne
From the publisher’s website: "WHAT HAS MODERN SCIENCE SWEPT UNDER THE RUG? This pioneering work, which sparked intense controversy when it was first published two decades ago, suggests that modern science, in the name of rigor and objectivity, has arbitrarily excluded the role of consciousness in the establishment of physical reality. Drawing on the results of their first decade of empirical experimentation and theoretical modelling in their Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) program, the authors reach provocative conclusions about the interaction of human consciousness with physical devices, information-gathering processes, and technological systems. The scientific, personal, and social implications of this revolutionary work are staggering. MARGINS OF REALITY is nothing less than a fundamental reevaluation of how the world really works."
Magic, Witchcraft and Ghosts in the Greek and Roman Worlds: A Sourcebook, by Daniel Ogden
From the publisher’s website: In a culture where the supernatural possessed an immediacy now strange to us, magic was of great importance both in the literary and mythic tradition and in ritual practice. Recently, ancient magic has hit a high in popularity, both as an area of scholarly inquiry and as one of general, popular interest. In Magic, Witchcraft, and Ghosts in the Greek and Roman Worlds Daniel Ogden presents three hundred texts in new translations, along with brief but explicit commentaries. This is the first book in the field to unite extensive selections from both literary and documentary sources. Alongside descriptions of sorcerers, witches, and ghosts in the works of ancient writers, it reproduces curse tablets, spells from ancient magical recipe books, and inscriptions from magical amulets. Each translation is followed by a commentary that puts it in context within ancient culture and connects the passage to related passages in this volume. Authors include the well known (Sophocles, Herodotus, Plato, Aristotle, Virgil, Pliny) and the less familiar, and extend across the whole of Greco-Roman antiquity.
The second edition includes a new preface, an updated bibliography, and new source-passages, such as the earliest use of the word "mage" in Greek" (fr. Aeschylus' Persians ), a werewolf tale (Aesop's Fables ), and excerpts from the most systematic account of ancient legislation against magic (Theodosian Code ).
Daniel Ogden is Professor of Ancient History, University of Exeter. He is the author of Greek Bastardy in the Classical and Hellenistic Periods.
The Seer in Ancient Greece, by Michael Flower
From the publisher’s website: The seer (mantis), an expert in the art of divination, operated in ancient Greek society through a combination of charismatic inspiration and diverse skills ranging from examining the livers of sacrificed animals to spirit possession. Unlike the palm readers and mediums who exist on the fringe of modern society, many seers were highly paid, well respected, educated members of the elite who played an essential role in the conduct of daily life, political decisions, and military campaigns. Armies, for example, never went anywhere without one. This engaging book, the only comprehensive study of this fascinating figure, enters into the socioreligious world of ancient Greece to explore what seers did, why they were so widely employed, and how their craft served as a viable and useful social practice.
This book has been reviewed by Jeremy Anscombe in the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research Vol 75(2).
Rethinking Ghosts in World Religions, edited by Mu-chou Poo
From the publisher’s website: The central theme of this volume is to re-examine the received concepts and images of ghosts in various religious cultures ranging from the Ancient Near East and Egypt to the Old Testament, the Classical Era, Early Medieval and Early Modern Europe, Early India, and Medieval China. As a religious phenomenon, the realm of ghosts has been less studied than the realm of the divine. Through a collaborative effort by scholars from different disciplines, this volume proposes a multi-cultural approach to construct a wider and complicated picture of the phenomenon of ghosts and spirits in human societies and to have a grasp of the various problems involved in understanding the phenomenon of ghost.
This book has been reviewed by Elliot Cohen in the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research Vol 75(2).
Science, Mind And Paranormal Experience, by Eric Lord
From the publisher's website: Speculations about paranormal phenomena and how they might be reconciled with modern scientific knowledge.
The ESP Enigma: The Scientific Case for Psychic Phenomena, by Diane Hennacy Powell
From the publisher’s website: A revolutionary scientific explanation of psychic phenomena and the nature of human consciousness.
Although much is now known about the brain, relatively little has been determined about where consciousness comes from: What is the source of the “I” in our internal monologue? How does something as nonmaterial as consciousness arise from something material like the brain? Dr. Diane Powell, a Johns Hopkins–trained neuroscientist, has brilliantly reassessed the meaning and nature of consciousness by exploring research on the workings of psychic phenomena.
Over the past few decades several well-designed and rigorously supervised experiments have documented the existence of telepathic interconnection, clairvoyance, precognition, psychokinesis, and out-of-body experiences. Mainstream science has largely ignored these data because they all defy the traditional model of consciousness as being solely the product of brain chemistry.
Building from these experiments, Powell constructs a new theory of consciousness. I ntegrating concepts from physics, neuroscience, and other disciplines, she offers an insightful and intriguing explanation of ESP, provocatively claiming that the existence of psychic abilities expands our understanding and appreciation of consciousness. Psychic abilities are also consistent with findings in modern physics: For example, psychokinesis implies that consciousness is a type of force field, while precognition suggests that the past, present, and future exist concurrently.
Eye-opening in its conclusions and exciting in its implications, The ESP Enigma will challenge your preconceived notions and expand your mind.
The Articulate Dead, by Michael E. Tymn
From the publisher’s website: During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, there were dynamic and evidential forms of spirit communication. A number of distinguished scientists and scholars studied some of the best mediums and concluded they were genuine. Unfortunately, there were also many charlatans and it was difficult for the general public to distinguish between the real mediums and the frauds. Scientific and religious fundamentalists along with a cynical press, were constantly on the attack, driving the genuine mediums underground or forcing them to abandon their gift.
In The Articulate Dead, Michael E. Tymn examines several of the best mediums of yesteryear and the scientific research surrounding them. A number of very intriguing stories unfold, including spirits directing an archaeologist in the uncovering of the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey, spirits leading a researcher to crosses buried by American Indians, a deceased author completing his books through a medium, a Titanic victim coming back to tell about his new environment, and an afterlife researcher continuing his work after dying, to name just a few.
Witnessing the Impossible, by Robin Foy
From the publisher’s website: Witnessing the Impossible traces every session of the 'Scole Experimental Group' over the years, from its foundation and the beginning of The Scole Experiment in 1993 to its very sudden and unexpected ending in November 1998. In all, it follows over 1,000 continuous hours of mediumship and objective Physical Phenomena. The book represents the only true and complete eyewitness account of this unique and pioneering experiment, which pushed the boundaries of psychic research further than ever before at that time, consequently changing the face of physical mediumship and its resulting phenomena for all time. An absolute Must for all serious students of Psychic Research, and of immense interest to the whole of mankind.
To Die For, by James E. Beichler
From the publisher’s website: Paradoxically, the greatest question ever asked in the history of human thought is completely ignored by the human race’s greatest accomplishment of thought, science. Yet the lack of science to even consider the possibility of an afterlife and ask ‘What happens when we die?’ is not an accident. It was planned and has been the accepted position of science since the founding of science as an independent discipline. So science has never developed the intellectual or conceptual tools to even deal with the concept of an ‘afterlife’. However, the recent scientific study of nature has produced two barriers to the continued progress of science: Understanding the ultimate nature of either matter or consciousness and the relationship between them. Yet answering these questions directly and logically implies that consciousness could survive death.
To Die For tells the story of how science came to this impasse and how human thought has attempted to deal with these issues before, even while science has tried its best to avoid them. But more importantly, this book offers a scientific solution to the problem of consciousness and the survival of consciousness when the material body dies. A simple physical theory of reality is presented that explains both matter and consciousness, although the explanation of consciousness and the survival of consciousness is emphasized. Only science can determine if this theory is valid or not, but if not this theory is still very close to what that final theory would look like. In any case, another scientific revolution is coming. History alone tells us that fact. Not only will science explain matter and consciousness, but also it will recapture the right to study life and the afterlife from religion, vastly altering the shape of human culture and society within the very near future. This book, To Die For, presents a picture in words of what has been and what is to come, where we have been, where we are now, and where we, as humans, are going.