Present day parapsychologists are experimentalists and frequently fall into one of two camps – process oriented or proof oriented parapsychologists. Proof oriented researchers design experiments to find proof of phenomena amongst the general population or in a subsection of the population who profess particular abilities, known as “special claimants”
With popular shows such as Medium in the US and Psychic Detectives in the UK, people are presented with psychic mediums successfully helping with homicide investigations. One of the most famous cases of apparent successful psychic detection involved the serial killer John Wayne Gacy.
Poltergeist phenomena are commonly defined, in Parapsychology, as ‘displays of energy that induce movement of objects which are ordinarily held in place by inertia and gravity’. It is a word derived from German, meaning, literally, ‘noisy spirit’ (you’ll often find books referring to poltern – noisy, geist – spirit) and phenomena can also include loud noises,
I’m not superstitious. Before I give my view on the whole matter, I encourage all of you who have any slight inclination towards superstitious behaviour to pick up, now, a copy of Stuart Vyse’s book entitled Believing in Magic: The Psychology of Superstition.
I have a real problem with reported concepts of the Spirit World. In my opinion there are a number of issues regarding the evidence about a Spirit World. We’re reliant on a number of different debatable sources for this evidence – Near Death Experiences (NDEs), religion, communication from Spirit and the perceptions of mediums.
There is a paucity of psychological research dealing exclusively with the role of the mind solely in haunted environments and yet there is also a vast array of concepts from psychology that are highly relevant.
Although not measured by financial reward, many people claim that Geraldine Cummins was Ireland’s most successful medium. She specialised in automatic writing and, to me at least, her work is endlessly impressive because, throughout her whole career, she remained healthily sceptical of her own abilities and the information she received.
22 Jul 2014 Lee Brickley