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The Enigma of Rosalie: Harry Price’s Paranormal Mystery Revisited, by Paul Adams

Publication Details: White Crow Books, ISBN 978-1-78677-014-1
Publish Date: March, 2017
The Enigma of Rosalie
Harry Price is one of the best-known figures in 20th century psychical research; a maverick investigator who created controversy, both within the Spiritualist movement and in the world of organised paranormal inquiry. With his National Laboratory he investigated the most famous mediums of the inter-war period including Helen Duncan and the Schneider brothers. After his death in 1948, Price was accused of fraud in what remains his most famous inquiry — the haunting of Borley Rectory, and his research remains both inspirational and problematic.
 
Of all of his investigations, the case of the spirit child, ‘Rosalie’ is the most astonishing and controversial. In 1939, Harry Price claimed to have visited a house in London where he experienced the solid materialisation of a six-year-old girl who had been dead for over fifteen years. Was Price telling the truth, or had he been duped by scheming fraudsters? Was ‘Rosalie’ genuine evidence of the reality of life after death and spirit materialisation, or not?
 
In The Enigma of Rosalie, Paul Adams, co-author of The Borley Rectory Companion, offers the most detailed study undertaken of Harry Price and ‘Rosalie’. Extensively researched from public and private collections, this book finally reveals the truth behind one of psychical research’s most enduring and engaging mysteries.
 
 
About the author
Paul Adams was born and grew up in south-west London. Through an eclectic mix of children’s fiction, Hammer Films and visits to haunted houses, he has been interested in psychical research and the paranormal since the 1970s. Personal experience in both public and private home circles also created a specific interest in physical mediumship and similar séance room phenomena.
 
He has written articles on mediumship for Psychic News and Paranormal magazine and is the co-author of The Borley Rectory Companion (2009) and Shadows in the Nave (2011), a guide to the haunted churches of England, as well as Ghosts & Gallows (2012), an account of true crime cases and the paranormal, Written in Blood (2014), a history of vampirism in British culture, and several regional books of British hauntings. He lives in Luton, Bedfordshire.
 
See the White Crow Books' website for further information:
 

Review by Tom Ruffles

The Unseen Hand: A New Exploration of Poltergeist Phenomena, by Jenny Ashford

Publication Details: Bleed Red Books, ISBN-13: 978-1544921129
Publish Date: March, 2017

From the author's website: Rapping on the walls. Mysterious rains of stones. Furniture moving around by itself. Phantom voices. Unexplained fires. Invisible assaults. The symptoms of poltergeist activity are well known, but what is a poltergeist, really? Is it some type of demon, or an angry spirit whose only mission is to cause mischief and destruction? Is it the unconscious energy of a troubled living person, somehow affecting the environment from a distance? Or could it all be simply fraud or misidentification? In this comprehensive book, well over one hundred cases of poltergeist activity, from the first century to the present day, are summarized and examined. All the best-known cases are presented, from Borley Rectory to the Bell Witch, from the Great Amherst Mystery to Gef the Talking Mongoose, from Rosenheim to Tina Resch, from Enfield to the Entity. A large selection of fascinating and lesser-known accounts from all over the world are also included, and all contain testimony of the most eerie and extraordinary events. The Unseen Hand is the ultimate, one-stop shop for readers interested in poltergeist disturbances throughout history and the theories behind what causes them.

Jenny Ashford is a horror and paranormal writer. Her books include three paranormal nonfiction books: House of Fire and Whispers: Investigating the Seattle Demon House, and The Rochdale Poltergeist (both with parapsychologist Steve Mera), and The Mammoth Mountain Poltergeist (with poltergeist focus Tom Ross). She has also written three horror novels: Red Menace, Bellwether, and The Five Poisons; two short story collections, Hopeful Monsters and The Associated Villainies; and a graphic novel, The Tenebrist. Her horror blog, Goddess of Hellfire, contains writing news, short stories and articles, and her reviews and opinions on horror films and books. She also co-hosts a podcast with Tom Ross called 13 O’Clock, on which they discuss various paranormal topics, true crime, and unexplained mysteries. Find her online at www.jennyashford.com or at goddessofhellfire.com, and listen to 13 O’Clock on the Project Entertainment Network, or on YouTube at 13OClockPodcast.

Review by Tom Ruffles

Uncanny Clydeside, by M J Steel Collins

Publication Details: Beul Aithris Publishing, ISBN: 9781520787428.
Publish Date: March, 2017

From the publisher's website: A look at the eerier side of Glasgow and its immediate environs. Find out about "The Clatter" and the unearthly users of the local railways. Discover which part of Glasgow has the densest poltergeist population, the ghosts that walk Glasgow University and the body snatching past of the city's other High Education institutes. How did two young girls rock Paisley and Pollok with accusations of witchcraft and what are the Clydeside origins of America's leading haunted ship? Glasgow and it's immediate environs might be best known as an industrial powerhouse, and a hotbed of red politics, but spookiness bubbles not too far beneath the surface.

William James Psychical Research and the Challenge of Modernity, by Krister Dylan Knapp

Publication Details: The University of North Carolina Press, ISBN: 978-1-4696-3124-0
Publish Date: March, 2017
William James

In this insightful new book on the remarkable William James, the American psychologist and philosopher, Krister Dylan Knapp provides the first deeply historical and acutely analytical account of James's psychical research. While showing that James always maintained a critical stance toward claims of paranormal phenomena like spiritualism, Knapp uses new sources to argue that psychical research held a strikingly central position in James’s life. It was crucial to his familial and professional relationships, the fashioning of his unique intellectual disposition, and the shaping of his core doctrines, especially the will-to-believe, empiricism, fideism, and theories of the subliminal consciousness and immortality.

Knapp explains how and why James found in psychical research a way to rethink the well-trodden approaches to classic Euro-American religious thought, typified by the oppositional categories of natural vs. supernatural and normal vs. paranormal. He demonstrates how James eschewed these choices and instead developed a tertiary synthesis of them, an approach Knapp terms tertium quid, the third way. Situating James's psychical research in relation to the rise of experimental psychology and Protestantism’s changing place in fin de siècle America, Knapp asserts that the third way illustrated a much broader trend in transatlantic thought as it struggled to navigate the uncertainties and religious adventurism of the modern age.

Review by Tom Ruffles

Homo Sovieticus: Brain Waves, Mind Control, and Telepathic Destiny, by Wladimir Velminski

Publication Details: The MIT Press, ISBN: 9780262035699
Publish Date: February, 2017
Homo Sovieticus: Brain Waves, Mind Control, and Telepathic Destiny, by Wladimir Velminski
From the publisher's website: In October 1989, as the Cold War was ending and the Berlin Wall about to crumble, television viewers in the Soviet Union tuned in to the first of a series of unusual broadcasts. “Relax, let your thoughts wander free . . .” intoned the host, the physician and clinical psychotherapist Anatoly Mikhailovich Kashpirovsky. Moscow’s Channel One was attempting mass hypnosis over television, a therapeutic session aimed at reassuring citizens panicked over the ongoing political upheaval—and aimed at taking control of their responses to it. Incredibly enough, this last-ditch effort to rally the citizenry was the culmination of decades of official telepathic research, cybernetic simulations, and coded messages undertaken to reinforce ideological conformity. In Homo Sovieticus, the art and media scholar Wladimir Velminski explores these scientific and pseudoscientific efforts at mind control.
 
In a fascinating series of anecdotes, Velminski describes such phenomena as the conflation of mental energy and electromagnetism; the investigation of aura fields through the “Aurathron”; a laboratory that practiced mind control methods on dogs; and attempts to calibrate the thought processes of labourers. “Scientific” diagrams from the period accompany the text. In all of the experimental methods for implanting thoughts into a brain, Velminski finds political and metaphorical contaminations. These apparently technological experiments in telepathy and telekinesis were deployed for purely political purposes.
 
About the Author
Wladimir Velminski is a Head of the Project History and Theory of Media Regimes in Eastern Europe in the Department of Media Studies at the Bauhaus University Weimar. Previously, Velminski worked at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, at the Universität Zürich, and at ETH Zürich.

Review by Tom Ruffles

I Saw A Light and Came Here: Children's Experiences of Reincarnation

Publication Details: White Crow Books, ISBN 978-1-910121-92-4
Publish Date: February, 2017

From the publisher's website:I Saw A Light And Came Here is the result of decades of scholarly research and investigations into past-life memories, primarily of children. The first author, Erlendur Haraldsson, a psychologist, has over two decades of experience behind him, having investigated some one hundred cases in the field. He worked closely with Ian Stevenson, M.D., of the University of Virginia, who began systematic studies of “cases of the reincarnation type,” but soon broke new ground with psychological studies of children who insist they remember episodes from past lives. Haraldsson invited anthropologist James Matlock to join him because of his thorough familiarity with research around the globe. This book deals with various aspects of past-life memory and attempts to answer the questions that will inevitably come up in the minds of thoughtful readers.

Further details are available on the White Crow Books website:

http://whitecrowbooks.com/books/page/i_saw_a_light_and_came_here_childrens_experiences_of_reincarnation/

Review by Tom Ruffles

Leben mit den Toten Geisterglauben und die Entstehung des Spiritismus in Deutschland 1770-1900, by Diethard Sawicki

Publication Details: Ferdinand Schöningh, ISBN: 978-3506782793
Publish Date: December, 2016
Cover of Leben mit den Toten

From the publisher's website: Deutscher Geist und Reich der Geister: Das war im 19 Jahrhundert beileibe kein Widerspruch. Beides gehörte zusammen, in einer Zeit, die immer noch als Ära des naturwissenschaftlich-technischen Fortschritts und der Entzauberung unserer Welt gilt.

Der Autor weist nach, daß Geisterglauben und Spiritismus keineswegs als bloße Überreste alten Volksaberglaubens gelten können. Vielmehr boten die Gedankengebäude der spekulativen deutschen Philosophie und regionale Traditionen schwärmerischen Christentums zahlreiche Ansatzpunkte für spiritistische Ideen, von denen auch und gerade die Gebildeten fasziniert waren.

Das Buch schildert erstmals die Weltbilder, Kulte und magischen Praktiken, die sich in Deutschland vom ausgehenden achtzehnten Jahrhundert bis zum Beginn des zwanzigsten mit dem Glauben an Geistererscheinungen und an die Kraft von Totenbeschwörungen verbanden. Es führt den Leser in jene Regionen und an jene Orte, wo Menschen aller Bevölkerungsschichten damals Geister riefen und an Geister glaubten. So entsteht ein farbiges Panorama, das die Zeit und einige ihrer berühmten Köpfe wie Friedrich Schlegel, Bettina von Arnim oder auch Karl May in einem bisher nicht bekannten Licht erscheinen lässt.

Für die Neuauflage wurde der Band durchgesehen und um ein Nachwort ergänzt.

A book except and table of contents are available here: Ferdinand Schöningh 

Review by Michael Nahm

Strange, but True: More Stories of Curious Encounters, by Chris Aspin

Publication Details: Helmshore Local History Society
Publish Date: December, 2016

This third booklet by SPR member Chris Aspin contains further accounts from the Helmshore area of east Lancashire.

Review by Tom Ruffles

Okkultismus im Gehäuse. Institutionalisierungen der Parapsychologie im 20. Jahrhundert im internationalen Vergleich, edited by Anna Lux and Sylvia Paletschek

Publication Details: De Gruyter, ISBN: 9783110466638
Publish Date: November, 2016
Cover of Okkultismus im Gehäuse

From the publisher's website: Where was the locus of parapsychology – the academic involvement with the occult – during the 20th century? In this first attempt at an international comparison, the authors examine various institutional venues, including private salons, academic societies, and universities, while also addressing prominent opponents. Essays on practical applications of parapsychology and cinematic presentations supplement their findings.

Table of contents

 

Disappearing Object Phenomenon: An Investigation, by Tony Jinks

Publication Details: McFarland, ISBN: 978-0786498604.
Publish Date: September, 2016
Cover of Disappearing Object Phenomenon

From the publisher's website: Have you ever had your car keys or television remote control inexplicably vanish from under your nose, only to reappear months later in another part of the house for no evident reason? Most would dismiss it as absent-mindedness, with perhaps a joking remark about paranormal activity. Yet remarkable circumstances surrounding many such accounts suggest that the mysterious disappearance of objects could be more than “just one of those things.” Examining a large selection of fascinating narratives, this book reviews the “disappearing object phenomenon” (DOP) from a scientific standpoint. Both skeptical and supportive perspectives on DOP are considered, leading to the conclusion that disappearing, appearing and reappearing objects are indicators of a controversial take on the nature of reality.

Review by Robert A. Charman

Portraits from Beyond: The Mediumship of the Bangs Sisters, by N. Riley Heagerty

Publication Details: White Crow Books, ISBN 978-1-910121-65-8
Publish Date: September, 2016

From the publisher's website: Within the little known ‘Century of Wonders’ between 1848 and 1948 in America, the physical phenomena manifesting in the séance rooms of the great psychic mediums baffles description. Two of its most famous mediums and yet, most vilified by the conjurers and critics of that day, were the Bangs Sisters, May and Elizabeth, of Chicago.

In their presence spirits of the departed would manifest and precipitate directly on to a blank canvas in front of the astonished witnesses and, equally wondrous, spirit writing would manifest directly on to blank sheets of paper or slates.

The present work, by author and researcher N. Riley Heagerty, explores through rare source material and eyewitness accounts by people of unimpeachable character, the seemingly “ miraculous ” phenomena that was produced. In a fair and balanced manner, the writer also takes a close look at the most heated and public charges of fraud brought against these Chicago wonder workers.

This in depth, complete work, the first of its kind, unravels the truth of the great psychic mystery of the Bangs Sisters.


About the author

N. Riley Heagerty, has been involved non-stop in research involving Spiritualism and Physical Mediumship since 1985. 

He has, up to the present day, collected and read more than 600 books - mostly rare, on the subject, and has lectured extensively in England and America.  His first published book, The French Revelation, dealt exclusively with the Independent Voice mediumship of Mrs. Emily S. French, of Rochester, New York. 

Mr. Heagerty, considered one of the leading authorities on American Physical Mediumship in the United States has said, “The research of Mediumship and Spirit Communication is just as exciting and enthralling to me in the present day as it was during the first days of my research. It is an ongoing adventure that will never cease.  The subject is vast, marvelous and contains, in this researchers opinion, the most important truths we could ever know.  The heyday of Spiritualism, what I have termed the ‘Century of Wonders,’ existed between 1848 & 1948. Mrs. French along with May and Elizabeth Bangs are just three of the many that demonstrated their wondrous gifts within this time period and I am honored to write about them. “

Further information, and samples of the book, can be found on the publisher's website.

Review by Tom Ruffles

Ted Serios - Serien, edited by Romeo Grünfelder

Publication Details: Textem Verlag, ISBN: 978-3941613461
Publish Date: September, 2016
Cover of Ted Serios - Serien

From the publisher's website: In the 1960s, Chicago resident Ted Serios became notorious for the production of nensha on Polaroid film supposedly using only his psychic powers. His abilities were endorsed by Jule Eisenbud, a Denver-based psychiatrist who wrote a book lauding Serios’ talents called The World of Ted Serios: “Thoughtographic” studies of an extraordinary mind. Serios’ images, which often appeared surrounded by dark areas on the film, were often of typical postcard scenes. Serios eventually was only able to produce his photographs while holding “the gismo” to his forehead. This device has been described as a “short part of a Cylinder, formed from a single piece of photographic paper.“

As Eisenbud’s book readily admits, many of Serios’ thoughtographs were produced while Serios was drunk or drinking alcohol. According to Eisenbud, “Ted Serios exhibits a behavior pathology with many character disorders. He does not abide by the laws and customs of our society. He ignores social amenities and has been arrested many times. His psychopathic and sociopathic personality manifests itself in many other ways. He does not exhibit selfcontrol and will blubber, wail and bang his head on the floor when things are not going his way.”

Most of Serios’s feats were dismissed as a simple hoax by most educated people. Eisenbud’s faith in Serios was extreme, and even as late as the 1980s, Eisenbud claimed that previously unidentified thoughtographs were images of Ganymede, a moon of Jupiter. Pictures of Ganymede had only become available a year before thanks to Voyager 2. “Unfortunately,” wrote Eisenbud, “I couldn’t get an astronomer or optical scientist to agree.” Since 1967 Teds ability to produce inexplicable structures on Polaroid vanishes more and more.

Ted Serios died at 30 December 2006 at the age of 88 years due to cancer. The publication Ted Serios - Serien comprises the first time unknown sequences of the extensive collection of Jule Eisenbuds investigation. 

Further information here: Textem Verlag