New Books and Media
Contagion: In the Shadow of the South Shields Poltergeist, by Darren W. Ritson and Michael J. Hallowell
Crimes of Reason: On Mind, Nature, and the Paranormal, by Stephen E. Braude
Dead Men Talking: Afterlife Communication from World War I, by Michael Tymn
From the publisher’s website: As science flourished in the years leading up to World War I, religion floundered. Thus, the warring countries were little prepared to deal with the grief and despair that arose from millions of deaths. Apparently, the spirit world took notice, and, while greatly limited in its ability to communicate with us, the spirits managed to get through to more open-minded mourners, providing comfort and solace. Messages, many of them very evidential, came from fallen warriors, through various mediums, telling their loved ones that they were still “alive” and still with them. This book is an anthology of their communication from the afterlife. (The July 2014 issue of the SPR’s magazine Paranormal Review carries an interview with Michael Tymn by editor Leo Ruickbie, with an extract from the book.)
Physical Séance Room Recollections: Compilation Album No. 1 (2014), by Stewart Alexander (ed.)
From an article by Stewart Alexander in Psychic World, November 2014, p.9: ‘In the 1990’s I was, for some years, the Archives officer and, for a while, the President of the now defunct Noah’s Ark Society for Physical Mediumship. Prior to that, over a period of several years, I had been most fortunate to meet, on a number of occasions, elderly Spiritualists who some years earlier had sat with legendary Physical Mediums. Unfortunately for us, by then we could only read about these amazing people. However, when relating to me their experiences it was almost as if they were telling of séances which they had attended the previous night as against 10/20/30/40 and in one case, 50 years earlier. Such had been the impression made upon them by what they had witnessed that those séances had been indelibly stamped into their memories. Always, as I listened, it had invariably struck me that I was as close to living history as it was possible to be. When, therefore, I became the Society’s Archives Officer, I determined to appeal to such people to come forward – to make contact with me and arrange to leave on record audio recordings of those wonderful inspiring sittings that, in past years, they had been privileged to attend. Now, no matter how harsh this may seem, the fact is that one by one our forebears were leaving this earth and taking with them their recollections and one by one their experiences – their stories – were being lost to our movement. So, in an effort to address that situation and catch them whilst there was yet time, I placed, on behalf of the Society, an advertisement in its monthly Newsletter and in various Spiritualist publications inviting and imploring them to send in their invaluable accounts. Pleasingly many responded and eventually I was to select a number of them which I grouped together on to a single cassette and this was subsequently marketed by the N.A.S. for its members and understandably proved to be extremely popular. However, with the later collapse of the Society that single cassette was to be the only one produced with the result that so many voices from the past were for many years to remain silent and unheard upon my library shelves. Then, one day, two years ago, I was working at my computer when my eyes fell upon those cassettes and suddenly, like a bolt from the blue, it struck me that I had been guilty of failing to fulfil the wishes of all those contributors. Inadvertently, I had been singularly responsible for failing in my duty to them to keep their inspiring memories alive. … Enter Lew Sutton (friend of many years) who, with the necessary equipment, graciously volunteered to take on the project of transferring all the cassettes on to CD and, in the process, clean up the sound quality which, on some of the tapes, was far from good. Anyway, it was when Lew was working on the old Ark compilation cassette that he telephoned to say that unfortunately the final accounts would not fit onto the one CD and in consequence they would have to be carried over onto a second one. Instantly, it then occurred to us both, that if we made a further selection of accounts to follow on beyond the Ark recording we could fill up the second CD and perhaps issue and make available to anyone interested in Physical Mediumship a double CD album. Now – following months of work … the project has at last been completed. … To the best of my knowledge, with the single exception of that Ark cassette, I know of no other such multiple recording within or outside of our Movement. I therefore believe that not only is this present album historic but it is also unique and it is my absolute intention to make it widely available both in this country and abroad. I believe it to be ‘that important’!
Strange Stories from a Lancashire Village, by Chris Aspin
From the author’s introduction: ‘I have spent most of my life in the East Lancashire village of Helmshore … Researching the history of the textile industries and local life in general has taken up much of my time for more than half a century … and led to several books. But I still have material stored in a file labelled ‘The Supernatural’, a collection which, I suspect, describes only a fraction of the inexplicable encounters experienced by local people. Doubtless other towns and villages could yield a paranormal harvest to match my own …’
The Certainty of Eternity: The Story of Australia's Greatest Medium, by L. C. Danby
Induced After Death Communication: A Miraculous Therapy For Grief and Loss, by Allan L. Botkin and Craig Hogan
Opening Heaven’s Door: What the Dying Tell Us About Where They’re Going, by Patricia Pearson
From the publisher's website: People everywhere carry with them extraordinary, deeply comforting experiences that arrived at the moment when they most needed relief: when they lost a loved one. These experiences can include clear messages from beyond, profound and vividly beautiful visions, mysterious connections and spiritual awareness, foreknowledge of a loved one’s passing—all of which evade explanation by science and logic. Most people keep these transcendent experiences secret — deathbed experiences, Nearing Death Awareness, and shared death experiences. Individuals and families guard them for fear they will be discounted by hyperrational scrutiny. Yet these very common occurrences have the power to console, comfort, and even transform our understanding of life and death. Prompted by her family’s surprising, profound experiences around the death of her father and her sister, reporter Patricia Pearson sets out on an open-minded inquiry, a rare journalistic investigation of Nearing Death Awareness. Pearson discovers that roughly half of bereaved people, as well as nurses, hospice workers, soldiers, and others who constantly observe the dying, have had intimations of enduring bonds that can radically help people to process their grief and their fear. Opening Heaven’s Door offers deeply affecting stories of messages from the dying and the dead in a fascinating work of investigative journalism, pointing to new scientific explanations that give these luminous moments the importance felt by those who experience them. Pearson also delves into out-of-body and near-death experiences, examining stories and research to make sense of these related but distinct categories that shed light on Nearing Death Awareness. Countless people experience these coincidences when a loved one dies, while others experience such visions while they are dying themselves. These phenomena point toward a larger spiritual reality, and the reality of life (or something else) after death, yet are ignored in a cultural framework that dismisses anything that cannot be explained by the physical brain. But by dismissing or discounting these occurrences, we hamper our own healing. Challenging current assumptions about what we know and what we are still unable to explain, Opening Heaven’s Door is a groundbreaking, beautifully written exploration that will forever alter your perceptions of the nature of life and death.
Wolf Messing: The True Story of Russia’s Greatest Psychic, by Tatiana Lungin
Answers about the Afterlife: A Private Investigator's 15-Year Research Unlocks the Mysteries of Life after Death, by Bob Olson
From the author’s website: Unlock the mysteries of life after death and explore the enlightening discoveries of a private investigator’s 15-year investigation. This book is a comprehensive resource answering 150 of the most crucial questions about what happens when we die.
Now you can delve into the life-changing insights we learn from near-death experiences, after-death communications, spirit contact through mediums, past lives, past-life memories, past-life and life-between-lives regressions, out-of-body experiences, soul pre-birth planning, deathbed visions, dream visitations, shared-death experiences, and so much more.
Whether you’re grieving the loss of a loved one, curious about what happens when we die, or pondering your own mortality, this book will leave you feeling less fear about death, inspired to live a more loving and purposeful life, and comforted by new thoughts about your loved ones in the afterlife.
Further information can be found here.