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, I never met him and regret not having had the opportunity to do so. This reinforces in me the awareness that the magazine plays such a crucial role in documenting the Society for Psychical Research. Recently, when researching its history for my next book, I found that it was often the marginal things – the minutes of meetings, announcements of events and obituary notices – that gave an insight into the activities of the Society and the lives of its members, more than the theoretical speculations and statistical analyses. Should this be the case? We could do more to record the heartbeat of the Society while it is still beating, for it is this that will engage our members today and inspire our future members tomorrow. We must document or disappear.

Even as some things end, others begin anew and in this issue I am pleased to welcome Prof. Chris Roe as the incoming President of the Society for Psychical Research and thank Prof. John Poynton for his leadership at a time when the Society faces many challenges. Prof. Roe has assured me that he will continue the tradition of writing a President’s Letter for the magazine and I am sure that, like me, you are looking forward to reading his thoughts and suggestions for our discipline.

I am also delighted to welcome a new contributor to the magazine, Dr Richard Sugg, thoughtfully introduced to me by Robert Charman. Dr Sugg will begin his new column, ‘Paranormal Report’, with the first part of an article examining an ongoing poltergeist case. It is a fitting contribution to this issue given the key role of a poltergeist case in another researcher’s career.

Finally, I would like to draw your attention to the extension of the deadline for the Paranormal Review Photography Competition to 31 October, appropriately enough. Ψ

Dr Leo Ruickbie
Editor, Paranormal Review

Contents for Paranormal Review, 87 (Summer 2018)

Guy Lyon Playfair Issue

4 Permanent Paranormal Object
Dr Antje Bosselmann-Ruickbie takes us to Byzantium on the trail of permanent paranormal objects.

5 Psi Society
In the news: Prof. Chris Roe has been elected as the new President of the Society for Psychical Research.

6 Philosopher Presidents
Prof. John Poynton concludes his series with an examination of the work of SPR philosopher-president, H.H Price.

8 To Ride a Flying Cow
Alan Murdie discusses the life and work of the late Guy Lyon Playfair, beginning with the book that launched his career: The Flying Cow.

13 The Poltergeist Tapes
Dr Melvyn Willin describes the audio archive of Guy Lyon Playfair, including recordings from the Enfield poltergeist case.

15 Playfair’s Twins
Robert Charman explains the importance of Guy Lyon Playfair’s work on telepathy between twins.

17 Medium of the Century
Dr James Pandarakalam looks at how Guy Lyon Playfair introduced the English-speaking world to the Brazilian medium Chico Xavier, described as the ‘medium of the century’.

19 A Message from Uri Geller
Uri Geller offers some words on the passing of Guy Lyon Playfair.

20 Paranormal Report
Dr Richard Sugg documents an ongoing poltergeist case in the first of two parts.

22 SPR Lecture Report
Ashley Knibb reports on Dr Alejandro Parra’s recent lecture for the SPR on ‘Paranormal Events in a Hospital Setting’.

24 Ghosts in the Machines
Resident expert Brandon Hodge reveals the Trinity Table.

26 Photography Competition
The deadline for the Para-normal Review Photography Competition has been extended.

27 Contributors

28 Events
Is the SPR’s International Annual Conference in your calendar?