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 might be dedicated to his memory. To this end, I would like to invite articles on the subject of ‘Guy Lyon Playfair: His Life and Work’ and would be delighted to hear from anyone wishing to write something, whether it is an analysis of an aspect of his work or recollection of a fond memory. As an example, please see the Tanous issue (PR78).

Our regular contributors, as always, do not fail to disappoint. The Society’s President, Prof. John Poynton continues his series on the SPR’s philosopher-presidents. The Museum of Witchcraft & Magic’s Dr Peter Hewitt contributes another piece on an item from the Museum’s unique holdings. Brandon Hodge brings his expertise to bear once more on an instrument for the supposed communication with the Other World. Our Events Reporter, Ashley Knibb, has been out and about again and this time presents a report on Dr Serena Roney-Dougal’s recent lecture to the Society.

Special contributions this issue include Michael Tymn’s overview and chronology of the history of psychical research before the establishment of the SPR in 1882, with assistance from Dr Carlos Alvarado. Mark Lamont joins us to re-open the Versailles time-slip case.

Last issue’s Spontaneous Activity contribution has inspired another SPR member to get in touch with an account of a dream that seemed to involve communication with the departed about future events. In my line of work, I am always surprised by the number of people who have personal stories to tell of the paranormal and whole-heartedly encourage everyone reading this to get in touch with their own.

Finally, Olympus have again generously agreed to support the Paranormal Review Photography Competition by providing a magnificent first prize. I am sure that, like me, you are looking forward to seeing what this year’s entrants send in. ψ

Dr Leo Ruickbie
Editor, Paranormal Review

Contents for Paranormal Review, 86 (Spring 2018)

4 President’s Letter
The current President of the Society, Prof. John Poynton, considers the work of philosopher-president, C.D. Broad.

6 Psi Society
In the news: Guy Lyon Playfair, Alan Gauld and Tony Cornell, Dr Carlos Alvarado, and Steve Parsons.

7 Photography Competition
Details of the 2018 Paranormal Review Photography Competition.

8 Permanent Paranormal Object
The Museum of Witchcraft & Magic’s Dr Peter Hewitt reveals the mysterious workings of the ‘Witch’s Plough’, drawing some unsettling conclusions.

9 Before the Birth of Psychical Research
Michael Tymn explores the pre-SPR history of psychical research, with a chronology up to 1882.

14 The Mysterious Paths of Versailles
Author Mark Lamont asks whether two English ladies strolling through the grounds of Versailles really did witness scenes from the eighteenth century.

17 Spontaneous Activity
Meryle Secrest presents her experience of what may have been spirit communication during a dream.

18 Journey to the Centre of the SPR
Dr Leo Ruickbie reports on the SPR’s 40th Annual International Conference, this year held at Horsley Towers.

22 Ghosts in the Machines
Resident expert Brandon Hodge investigates the history of an antique table rigged for fake spirit communication.

24 The Magic of Psi
Paranormal Review Events Reporter, Ashley Knibb, writes about Dr Serena Roney-Dougal’s recent lecture on ‘The Magic of Psi’.

26 Conference Announcement
The SPR’s 41st International Annual Conference will take place in Newcastle upon Tyne, read the call for papers.

26 New Guide Announcement
Steve Parsons gives an overview of the whys and wherefors of the SPR’s new ‘Guide Notes for Investigators of Spontaneous Cases, Apparitions, Hauntings, Poltergeists and Similar Phenomena’.

27 Contributors

27 Special Issue
Articles invited for ‘Guy Lyon Playfair: His Life and Work’.

28 Events