Talking About War and the Paranormal

Angels in the Trenches on the Radio Angels in the Trenches author Leo Ruickbie spoke to Dave Shrader on syndicated US radio show Midnight in the Desert for Veterans’ Day 2019. Dr Ruickbie talked about the inspiration behind writing Angels in the Trenches: Spiritualism, Superstition and the Supernatural During the First World War and highlighted…

15th Anniversary of Witchcraft Out of the Shadows

It’s amazing to think that my first book was published fifteen years ago this year. A lot has happened since then, I got my PhD, published five more books and fifty-eight articles and chapters (as well as a ton of online posts), launched six websites and became the editor of the Paranormal Review. But Witchcraft…

Paranormal Review 91

The Roots of Reality This issue we turn to the problem of theory in parapsychology. Following a ‘Workshop on Psi Theories’ in Paris in 2019, SPR President Prof. Chris Roe addresses the question directly on pp. 4-5, with my report on the workshop on pp. 22-24. Dr Charles Whitehead takes the matter into his own…

Angels in the Trenches Reviewed by Jayne Harris

The subject matter instantly grabbed my attention, as someone who has long held a fascination with spiritualism and the supernatural, especially from an anthropological point of view. I’ve always been in two minds about the rise of spiritualism during both world wars, questioning the motives of many mediums of that time. Brilliantly captured the wave…

Victorian Ghost Hunters in the 21st Century

Conflict, Continuity and the End of Psychical Research Since its founding in 1882, the Society for Psychical Research (SPR) has been the leader and model for the investigation of what we now call the ‘paranormal’, as both a profession and the expression of a subculture. Despite that considerable history and reputation, the SPR has now…

Paranormal Review 89

The Paranormal Preservers PR89 is another ‘document or disappear’ issue, this time focusing on the Preserving the Historical Collections of the Paranormal (PHCP) conference that was held in Winnipeg, Canada, in May 2018. Following on from the first PHCP conference in Utrecht in 2014, this conference gave North American collectors, curators and experts the opportunity…

Paranormal Review 88

The SPR at War Following up on my new rallying cry of ‘document or disappear’, discussed in the last issue, I am publishing the results of my research into the Society for Psychical Research’s activities during the First World War. Having recently commemorated the Centenary of the Armistice, it is a fitting time to reflect…

Angels in the Trenches Out Now!

New Book Explores Spiritualism, Superstition and the Supernatural During the First World War The mechanised slaughter of the First World War brought a sudden and concentrated interest in life after death, living in spite of death and trying to predict, or even influence, when the merciless killing would end. People asked, can one communicate with…

Society for the Academic Study of the Supernatural

Aberdeen Conference Inspires Launch of New Society Was the Supernatural in Contemporary Society Conference the best conference ever? Quite possibly. Beyond the excellent papers delivered by a broad range of experts in the field, there was a tremendous sense of energy and enthusiasm, and also community of purpose. The media reports ghostly encounters, supernatural TV…

Paranormal Review 87

Guy Lyon Playfair: His Life and Work It is always satisfying to do a retrospective of a great psychical researcher’s life and work, and Guy Lyon Playfair’s contributions to the field were many and of lasting importance, but it is a satisfaction tempered by sadness and an awareness of loss. Although I corresponded with Playfair,…

Paranormal Review 86

From C.D. Broad to the Palace of Versailles We were all saddened recently by the news of Guy Lyon Playfair’s death. The world of psychical research has surely lost one of its brighter lights. The Psi Society column this issue carries a brief obituary and it is hoped that a future issue of the magazine…

Paranormal Review 85

Back to the ‘Lilly’ Pond: Flotation Tank Experiments From historical re-evaluations and current experiments, this issue of the Paranormal Review brings a wide range of psychical research topics to your attention. The Society’s President, Prof. John Poynton, continues his philosopher-president series with a re-examination of Hans Driesch. Dr Peter Hewitt of the Museum of Witchcraft…

Paranormal Review 84

Photography, Art and the Representation of the Paranormal The lights dimmed, the audience were on the edges of their seats (or, at least, in their seats), except for the absence of a drum roll, everything was set for the announcement of the winner and runners-up of the Paranormal Review’s Photography Competition. The announcement was made…

The Winner

‘Ghost’ Takes 1st place I announced the winner and runners-up at the Society for Psychical Research’s 41st Annual Conference on Friday, 1st September. For those of you who were unable to attend, here are the results: 1st Place: ‘Ghost’ by Alan O’Regan 2nd Place: Untitled by Laverne Craven 3rd Place was tied between ‘Sotiria’ by…

The Finalists

The Final Selection for the Paranormal Review Photography Competition The hunt to find the photograph that best captures the ‘spirit’ of the paranormal continues. The competition received a high number of exceptional photographs and final judging was immensely difficult. A total of 16 were shortlisted out of 60 entrants and from these my expert panel…

Fabulous Beasts Reach Estonia

The Impossible Zoo in Estonian Yesterday, a box arrived full of books, strange yet familiar. The title read Voimatu Loomaaed: Fantastiliste Loomade ja Mütoloogiliste Olendite Entsüklopeedia. And there was my name as the author. It was, of course, The Impossible Zoo translated into Estonian and published this year by Tänapäev. It’s a lovely hardback edition,…

The Shortlist

Capturing the Spirit of the Paranormal: The Paranormal Review Photography Competition Shortlist Earlier this year I launched a competition to find the photograph that best captures the ‘spirit’ of the paranormal. The emphasis was on aesthetics rather than evidence, since the purpose was not to prove the paranormal in any way, but to represent it….