New Books and Media

In Search of Maria B. Hayden: The American Medium Who Brought Spiritualism to the U.K., by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack

Publication Details: Scattered Leaves Press, ISBN: 9780997207644
Publish Date: December, 2020

From the publisher's website: She was revered—and disdained. Maria B. Hayden of Boston and later New York City was the first American medium to introduce the religion of Spiritualism to the U.K. in 1852–53. Through her séances in England and America, Maria’s spirit communication convinced many of the elite and upper classes, as well as scientists and the clergy, that there is life after death. In a day when women were to be deferential to men, Maria forged ahead despite her critics, managing successful careers as a spirit medium, a healing medium, a clairvoyant physician, a psychometrist, and a medical doctor.

In this definitive biography, Sharon DeBartolo Carmack rescues Maria from the mists of Spiritualist history, not only returning her to her rightful place as an important pioneer, but also providing an engaging portrait of this remarkable woman. Carmack masterfully weaves together previously undiscovered archival, historical, and family documents with the social history of the Spiritualist movement to tell Maria’s life story.

This biography also includes accounts of more than thirty of Maria’s seances, 130 illustrations, and appendixes with reproductions of her medical articles, a handwritten spirit communication from one of Maria’s private sittings, and fully documented Trenholm and Hayden genealogies.

The Scientist and the Psychic, by Christian Smith

Publication Details: Random House Canada, ISBN: 9780735276826.
Publish Date: December, 2020
Cover of The Scientist and the Psychic

From the publisher's website: Weaving together the story of his fractured relationship to his mother with research into her paranormal abilities, Dr. Christian Smith has created, in The Scientist and the Psychic, a captivating, one-of-a-kind memoir of belief, skepticism and familial love.

Further information at the publisher's website: Random House Canada.

Review by Ciaran Farrell.

Learn to Dowse: Use the World's Most Powerful Search Engine: Your Intuition, by Uri Geller

Publication Details: Watkins Publishing, ISBN: 9781786783820
Publish Date: November, 2020
Cover of Learn to Dowse

From the publisher's website: Dowsing simply means searching for something by intuition. It’s widely regarded as being a psychic method of looking for water, but it’s so much more than that – you can dowse for everything from lost objects to the self-knowledge hidden in your subconscious – and this book will show you exactly how.

Further information at the publisher's website: Watkins

When We Die: Extraordinary Experiences at Life's End, by Kenneth J. Doka

Publication Details: Llewellyn, ISBN: 9780738762937.
Publish Date: November, 2020
Cover of When We Die: Extraordinary Experiences at Life's End

From the publisher's website: Premonitions of death, near-death experiences, and afterlife communication are common, but they can be difficult to talk about and understand. Dr. Kenneth Doka—a world-renowned expert on death, dying, and bereavement—explores hundreds of real-life examples as well as fascinating research on unusual phenomena related to the dying process. Sharing stories from his own practice as a counselor and minister, as well as stories from friends, colleagues, and clinicians, Dr. Doka helps you come to your own understanding of what these experiences mean. With in-depth examinations of death coincidences, terminal lucidity, reincarnation, and more, this book provides meaningful answers for anyone who has struggled with the grief of losing a loved one. With a deep sense of empathy and compassion, this book's insights support you as you integrate these phenomena and cope with the profound emotions that accompany life's final transition.

Further information at the publisher's website: Llewellyn.

Calling the Spirits: A History of Seance, by Lisa Morton

Publication Details: Reaktion Books, ISBN: 9781789142808
Publish Date: October, 2020
Cover of Calling the Spirits

From the publisher's website: Calling the Spirits investigates the eerie history of our conversations with the dead, from necromancy in Homer’s Odyssey to the emergence of Spiritualism – when Victorians were entranced by mediums and the seance was born. Among our cast are the Fox sisters, teenagers surrounded by ‘spirit rappings’; Daniel Dunglas Home, the ‘greatest medium of all time’; Houdini and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, whose unlikely friendship was forged, then riven, by the afterlife; and Helen Duncan, the medium whose trial in 1944 for witchcraft proved more popular to the public than news about the war. The book also considers Ouija boards, modern psychics and paranormal investigations, and is illustrated with engravings, fine art (from beyond) and photographs. Hugely entertaining, it begs the question: is anybody there . . .?

Review by Brian C. Wilson.

Dark Cognition: Evidence for Psi and its Implications for Consciousness, by David Vernon

Publication Details: Routledge, ISBN: 9781138331020.
Publish Date: October, 2020
Cover of Dark Cognition

From the publisher's website: Outlining the scientific evidence behind psi research, Dark Cognition expertly reveals that such anomalous phenomena clearly exist, highlighting that the prevailing view of consciousness, purely as a phenomenon of the brain, fails to account for the empirical findings.

David Vernon provides essential coverage of information and evidence for a variety of anomalous psi phenomena, calling for a paradigm shift in how we view consciousness: from seeing it as something solely reliant on the brain to something that is enigmatic, fundamental and all pervasive. The book examines the nature of psi research showing that, despite claims to the contrary, it is clearly a scientific endeavour. It explores evidence from telepathy and scopaesthesia, clairvoyance and remote viewing, precognition, psychokinesis, fields of consciousness, energy healing, out of body experiences, near-death experiences and post death phenomena, showing that not only do these phenomena exist, but that they have significant implications for our understanding of consciousness.

Featuring discussion on scientific research methods, reflections on the fields of dark cognition and end-of-chapter questions that encourage critical thinking, this book is an essential text for those interested in parapsychology, consciousness and cognitive psychology.

Further information at the publisher's website: Routledge

Hauntology: Ghosts of Futures Past, by Merlin Coverley

Publication Details: Oldcastle Books, ISBN: 9780857304193.
Publish Date: October, 2020
Cover of Hauntology: Ghosts of Futures Past

From the publisher's website: Ghosts and spectres, the eerie and the occult. Why is contemporary culture so preoccupied by the supernatural, so captivated by the revenants of an earlier age, so haunted? The concept of Hauntology has evolved since first emerging in the 1990s, and has now entered the cultural mainstream as a shorthand for our new-found obsession with the recent past. But where does this term come from and what exactly does it mean?

This book seeks to answer these questions by examining the history of our fascination with the uncanny from the golden age of the Victorian ghost story to the present day. From Dickens to Derrida, MR James to Mark Fisher; from the rise of Spiritualism to the folk horror revival, Hauntology traces our continuing engagement with these esoteric ideas. Moving between the literary and the theoretical, the visual and the political, Hauntology explores our nostalgia for the cultural artefacts of a past from which we seem unable to break free.

Further information at the publisher's website: Oldcastle Books.

Is Consciousness Primary?, edited by Stephan A. Schwartz , Marjorie H. Woollacott, & Gary E. Schwartz.

Publication Details: Academy for the Advancement of Postmaterlist Science, ISBN: 9781735449104.
Publish Date: October, 2020
Cover of Is Consciousness Primary?
From the back cover: The Academy for the Advancement of Postmaterialist Sciences is publishing an Advances in Postmaterialist Sciences book series to educate scientists, students, and science-minded readers about postmate-rialist consciousness research and its applications. Our intent is that each volume combines rigor and creativity, expresses first person (inner expe-riences) as well as third person (external observations), and facilitates the betterment of humanity and the planet. Some volumes will address spe-cific topics or themes, others will be wide ranging and diverse collections of research

It's Life And Death, But Not As You Know It!, by Tricia. J. Robertson

Publication Details: White Crow Books, ISBN: 9781786771438.
Publish Date: October, 2020
Cover of It's Life And Death, But Not As You Know It!

From the publisher's website: Following on from Things You Can Do When You’re Dead! and More Things You Can Do When You’re Dead! Scottish psychical researcher Tricia Robertson’s latest book delves into psychic phenomena from the unbelievable to the bizarre. In her straightforward and inimitable style Tricia explores topics including Electronic Voice Phenomena, Thoughtography, Psychokinesis, Distant Healing, Xenoglossy, Mediumship and much, much more. 

Tricia’s philosophy is: ‘Let the evidence speak for itself’ and whether you’re a sceptic and yet to be convinced psi exists or an enthusiast wanting to know more, It’s Life And Death, But Not As You Know It! has something for everyone.

Further information at the publisher's website: White Crow Books.

Review by Ashley Knibb.

The Haunting of Alma Fielding: A True Ghost Story, by Kate Summerscale

Publication Details: Bloomsbury, ISBN: 9781408895450.
Publish Date: October, 2020
Cover of The Haunting of Alma Fielding

From the publisher's website: London, 1938. Alma Fielding, an ordinary young woman, begins to experience supernatural events in her suburban home. Nandor Fodor – a Jewish-Hungarian refugee and chief ghost hunter for the International Institute for Psychical research – begins to investigate. In doing so he discovers a different and darker type of haunting: trauma, alienation, loss – and the foreshadowing of a nation's worst fears. As the spectre of Fascism lengthens over Europe, and as Fodor's obsession with the case deepens, Alma becomes ever more disturbed. With rigour, daring and insight, the award-winning pioneer of historical narrative non-fiction Kate Summerscale shadows Fodor's enquiry, delving into long-hidden archives to find the human story behind a very modern haunting.

Further information at the publisher's website: Bloomsbury.

The South Shields Poltergeist (3rd Ed.), by Darren W. Ritson

Publication Details: The History Press, ISBN: 9780750994620
Publish Date: October, 2020
Cover of The South Shields Poltergeist

From the publisher's website: One of the most significant cases in the last fifty years, the South Shields poltergeist is a true and terrifying account detailing a family’s brave fight against an invisible intruder. This intense, protracted and well-documented encounter spanning 2005–06 is said to be one of the best cases of its kind, and is certain to go down in the annals of psychical research. Objects moved on their own, carving knives were thrown around, coins appeared in mid-air before being thrown to the floor, sinister text messages were sent by the poltergeist, apparitions were seen, and a number of physical assaults took place on one unfortunate householder. Now, fifteen years on, this new and updated edition includes the original case review, which was first published in the ‘Journal of the Society for Psychical Research’ in 2010. It contains a preface by Alan Murdie, and a new chapter that was originally omitted from previous editions. Based on the testimonies of those who experienced it first hand, the South Shields poltergeist is a chilling reminder that reality is not what we think it is.

Contact with the Future: The Nature of Extrasensory Perception, by Jon Taylor

Publication Details: Independently published, ISBN: 9798670033022.
Publish Date: September, 2020
Cover of Contact with the Future

From the back cover: This book is about the nature of extrasensory perception, and is based on a 25-year investigation into the physical and biological principles underlying its occurrence. Jon Taylor has carried out a careful examination of the case histories and laboratory research. He concludes that precognition is the fundamental phenomenon of ESP, and that it occurs when people connect with their future experience of an event. The precognition is due to a transfer of information from the brain in the future to the brain in the present, just as telepathy is due to a transfer between different brains. Taylor rejects the clairvoyance interpretation—direct connection with the event—and suggests that acceptance of this interpretation by a majority of parapsychologists has led to an important misunderstanding about the nature of ESP.

Review by Nemo C. Mörck.