Psychical Research into the Paranormal

Psychic Investigators

Distant Learning ProgrammeThis is part of our Distance Learning Project written for us by Violet Kipling DLP1 part 2. Edited by Craig Hamilton-Parker. Click the logo on the left for more info about our online classes

The religion of Spiritualism unites religion with science and, as such, is factually based, as is, of course, readings received from spirit and relayed to loved ones still living on earth. The philosophy and evidence is presented as received and people can then decide for themselves whether they accept or reject the same. There is no question within Spiritualism for people to have faith; everyone will survive death whether or not they believe it or have faith. Survival of death is a fact of life and a fact of Spiritualism.

There are many people who throng to Spiritualist Churches and mediums seeking evidence of life after death. It is important to realise that it is not only the bereaved who seek readings from mediums and both experienced and novice mediums should be aware of some of the different types of people who may one day come to them with questions and/or seeking help.

People wanting the future foretold:

There has been a fascination with gaining knowledge of the future since time immemorial and history books contain records of many of the augurs, oracles, soothsayers and mediums consulted by man’s forebears in an effort to determine the future outcome of many events.  Auspices were forever being checked, to establish the most auspicious time to undertake various ventures, often the start of a war. Quite often the checking of such auspices necessitated the slaughter of some animal in order that its entrails could be examined.

Fortunately this practice is no longer widespread and a visit to a soothsayer is now usually an appointment with the local tarot card, or tealeaf, reader. While some people may want to know their future, the medium cannot psychically do this but sometimes the spirit communicator will give information regarding the future to the recipient.

Spirit advise, however, that they too are limited as to how far they can foresee any future as everybody’s future can be immediately altered by a change of mind.

People wanting spirit to make all their life decisions:

Quite often mediums are sought to give advice on problems sitters are experiencing in their lives. It should be remembered that people have to live their own lives; if the spirit family can help in any situation, that help will already have been given. A medium’s responsibility is to give evidence of survival of the human personality – not whether or not the sitter should go out with the new man at work. The spirit people will support the sitter through the consequences of any decisions made but cannot make them for him or her.

It must be remembered, however, that many people do find themselves in the midst of some very distressing experiences and look to a medium to be told the best way out of them. In these cases the spirit people will come forward and point them in a direction where help can be given. People must always leave a sitting with hope and if a strong link with spirit is made, this will happen.

Psychic Investigators

Paranormal investigators

There has been an area of scientific investigation, which has been carried out following the breakthrough in spirit communication when the Hydesville Rappings took place in 1848. Many eminent scientists researched the phenomena being produced by mediums, in the early days of Spiritualism, usually of a physical nature,  and the majority of them became convinced of their genuineness.

In 1882  the Society for Psychical Research was set up with Mr FWH Myers a classical scholar, poet and essayist being its first President and the Rev W Stainton Moses, an Anglican Clergyman and author  being a Vice President and amongst its earliest members were:

Sir William Crookes, British physicist who discovered thalium and also paved the way for the discovery of the electron and x-rays

Sir Oliver Lodge, – British physicist who developed a system of wireless communication in 1894 – his work was influential in the development of radio receivers

Alfred Russel Wallace – British naturalist whose paper on the theory of evolution was read on the same day as Darwin’s. and was awarded the order of merit in 1910

Lord Rayleigh, British physicist who was the co-founder of the gas argon and who was also awarded the order of merit

Sir William Barrett, a professor of psychics

Prof Wm James, a psychologist and philosopher

Prof Hyslop, also a psychologist and philosopher

Dr Richard Hodgson, a psychologist – and Prof de Morgan the gentleman who investigated Mrs Hayden’s mediumship. This lady being acknowledged as the medium who brought Spiritualism to England.

A group of truly eminent people.

A manifesto issued by  the society stated:

It has been widely felt that the present is an opportune time for making an organized and systematic attempt to investigate that large group of debatable phenomena designated by such terms as mesmeric, psychical and spiritualisti

People of such eminence initiated the Society, and many scientists today of similar eminence in their own fields, are members of the Society, continuing the work of its founders. Mediums should be aware that at any time, people of this calibre may consult with them and wish to investigate their mediumship.

Such approaches should be welcomed; the spirit guides and operators of the pioneering mediums were very happy to co-operate with the early scientists and the same co-operation will be given today. The propagation of spirit  truths is, and always has been, the prime objective.

Journalists and TV Producers

Spirit communication is such a controversial subject, which is feared by many, and any article on such always initiates a response from newspaper readers. Mediums should be aware that it is always possible that there is a Journalist from a local newspaper sitting in the audience of a hall or in the congregation of a Church and should be prepared to be interviewed. One of the main reasons for the pursuit of study of the history of spirit communication, the mechanics of mediumship etc is to enable a medium to answer clearly, logically and with knowledge, any questions put to them relating to their art. Journalists do not pose easy questions any more than Radio Interviewers do.

Invitations to be part of a radio programme which is discussing spirit communication should always be declined unless the medium knows s/he can handle it in a manner which will not reflect badly on his colleagues and/or the spirit people. It may often be more appropriate to suggest to anyone making such approaches that  recognised Spiritualists organisations or well-known mediums should be contacted in order that the truths of spirit communication can be discussed rationally.

As with radio programmes, invitations to participate in television shows should also be declined unless, as above, the medium knows that s/he is competent and has studied the subject of spirit communication in great depth.

It is not permissible to postulate theories that cannot be substantiated and which are the opinions of the mediums or other people. Spirit communication is factually based.

It should also be borne in mind that linking with spirit does not always work in a television studio, no matter how strong the medium may be. There are extremely harsh lights to contend with, quite often an unsympathetic interviewer, conflicting emotions of the studio audience and antagonist thoughts being sent out by those who are ignorant of, or fear, spirit communication


It has been known for students studying at Universities and Colleges to produce a dissertation, or even a Ph.D. thesis in Spiritualism and its related phenomena. These students will often contact mediums to ask for help with their studies. Mediums, therefore, ought to be able to give students lists of books that will be of assistance to them and also be able to answer any questions posed, again sensibly and logically.


The word sceptic means ‘one who questions’ and the world is full of sceptics which is not a problem. What is a problem, however, is that some sceptics have very closed minds and it is the closed-minded sceptics we are placing under the heading of sceptics. Some of these people will attend a place where a medium is working just to pour ridicule on his or her work. That ridicule will be directed to the medium via the thoughts of the sceptics and can affect the energies around the medium and subsequently, his/her ability to link with spirit. Communication with spirit, using mental mediumship, is by telepathy; by the blending of discarnate mind and incarnate mind. Mediums, having opened their awareness and entered into an altered state of consciousness, are vulnerable to antagonistic thoughts, which they pick up through their auric fields, from people around them. This can weaken their links with spirit.

It also has to be said that a medium may give the most amazing contact from spirit to a recipient with clear and precise evidential information, which is totally accepted, but a sceptic will never accept that it came from spirit. A sceptic will find a hundred ways that the information was obtained or manufactured.

According to the sceptics, Helen Duncan was supposed to have had at least two stomachs, one of which contained the cheesecloth she was accused of swallowing before every demonstration of her psychical mediumship for future regurgitation in the seance room. Helen’s mediumship was so outstanding she was imprisoned,  basically for giving out information from ‘dead’ troops of the second world war before the Ministry of Defence had released that information.

It is, therefore, recommended that mediums do not even begin to try and ‘convert’ these people. It is like banging the head against a brick wall and all that ever produces is a headache.

One last point, however, which should be made. People who are analytical in their approach to Spiritualism and spirit contact are often confused with being closed minded sceptics and this is not the case. These are the people who, once convinced of the reality of spirit, will further its progress and that of Spiritualism and mediumship.

People from other religions

Quite often members of other religions will come for private sittings or enter a Spiritualist Church for the sole purpose of obtaining a message from a loved one and these people should be welcomed. Mediums must never use an opportunity thus presented to attack another person’s religion. If spirit communication is required then it should be given. It may be that these people will return and want to learn more and if that is the case, again they should be made welcome.

Some people have no problem with attending many Churches; they, like everyone else, are finding their own spiritual pathway and it is not within the remit of a medium to try and convert them to Spiritualism.

COPYRIGHT This article is part of our Distance Learning Project DLP – a course specially written for us by the great Spiritualist Violet Kipling and long time worker on this website and the charitable organisation  Rainbows End. No part may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner. This material may not be published as web pages or in email correspondence courses without the permission of the copyright owner. World serial rights are owned by the “Psychics and Mediums Network” (

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