Ashgate Research Companion to Paranormal Cultures, 16-19


II. Social Change

16. Haunted by History

Josephine Machon


p. 243 "New Magic"

p. 243

"manifesto for 'New Magic as Contemporary Art' published in Stradda (see Bordenave 2010)".

p. 243, fn. 2

[Raphae:l Navarro quoted from Debailleul & Navarro 2010, p. 5] "New magic ... plays with the real within the real : ... Since magic is a threshold to the invisible".

Bordenave 2010 = Julie Bordenave (ed.) : "New Magic as Contemporary Art". STRADDA : LE MAGAZINE DE LA CREATION HORS LES MURS 16, April.

"New Magic, a Contemporary Art"

Debailleul & Navarro 2010 = C. Debailleul & R. Navarro : "New Magic : the Emergence of a Contemporary Art". STRADDA : LE MAGAZINE DE LA CREATION HORS LES MURS 16, April.

p. 245 (quoted from Carnesky in Machon 2009, pp. 125-6) socio-political performance-tradition

"performance traditions meet socio-political discussion ... that fuse politics and sexual identity ..., ... historically and politically engaging".

Machon 2009 = Josephine Machon : (Syn)aesthetics. Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan.


II. Social Change

17. Ireland & the Anomalous State

Wendy E. Cousins


p. 255 modernity

"Ireland was a 'crucible of modernity' (Karl Marx cited in Kiberd 1995:645) to the extent that ... '... Irish culture experienced modernity before its time' (Gibbons 1996:6)."

"It has been noted that in times of great cultural change, anti-structural manifestations are particularly apparent, and the supernatural is an important part of them (Hansen 2001)."

Kiberd 1995 = Declan Kibberd : Inventing Ireland. London : Vintage.

Gibbons 1996 = Luke Gibbons : Transformations in Irish Culture. Cork Univ Pr; Univ of Notre Dame (IN) Pr.

Hansen 2001 = George P. Hansen : The Trickster and the Paranormal. Philadelphia : Xlibris Corp.

p. 256 Society for Psychical Research in Ireland; restoration of antient Keltic religion

"Yet ... that 'Other Island' ... saw out the end of the nineteenth century ... under the governance of ... Arthur and Gerard Balfour, both eminent members of the Society for Psychical Research (SPR) ... . Their SPR colleague, Sir William Fletcher Barrett, was Professor of Physics at the Royal College of Science for Ireland (McCorristine 2011) and at the same time an entire swathe of the Anglo-Irish literary set was engaged in lively experimentation with matters paranormal.

Significant figures with this minority ... were also captivated by the older Celtic myths and the folklore of the Irish country people. Poet and polymath George William Russell 'A.E.' proclaimed the awakening of the old gods in the Dublin hills ... (Summerfield 1975)."

McCorristine 2011 = S. McCorristine : "William Fletcher Barrett, Spiritualism, and Psychical Research in Edwardian Dublin". ESTUDIOS IRLANDESES 6:39-53.

Summerfield 1975 = Henry Summerfield : That Myriad-Minded Man : a Biography of George William Russell 'A.E.', 1867-1935. Gerrards Cross : Colin Smyth; Totowa (NJ) : Rowman & Littlefield.

pp. 259-60 Irish facility for reviving antient Keltic religion by appealing to the spirit-world

p. 259

"Irish ... mentality itself has been defined as ... of ... a group of people imbued with what Charles Baudelaire considered to be 'the two fundamental literary qualities : supernaturalism and irony' (2006:xxiv) ... a very Irish facility ... ."

"Wurtz (2005[, p. 82]) notes that the Irish Literary Revival depended on the creative retelling of ancient Irish myths, on evoking a pre-lapsarian ... version".

[quoted from Cousins & Cousins 1950, p. 105] "A Revolution of Thought was being brought about by ... occultists who had unique psychic powers, mystics who had direct illuminations ... . ... And Ireland itself was a focal point ... we were right in the middle of it."

p. 260

"For the revolutionary activist Maud Gonne, one of the founders of the left-wing Irish-republican political party Sinn Fe`in and Yeat's muse, supernatural support was ... a crucial sustaining influence (Cousins 2008a).

She believed that 'every political movement on earth has its counterpart in the spirit world ... on another plane and great leaders draw their often unexplained power from this' (Gonne McBride 1938:336)."

Baudelaire 2006 = Charles Baudelaire (transl. by Keith Waldrop) : The Flowers of Evil. Connecticut : Wesleyan Univ Pr.

Wurtz 2005 = James F. Wurtz : A Very Strange Agony : Modernism, Memory and Irish ... .

Cousins & Cousins 1950 = James Henry Cousins & Margaret E. Cousins : We Two Together. Madras : Ganesh.

Cousins 2008a = W. E. Cousins : "Rebel Heart, Bartered Soul : the Haunted Life of Maud Gonne". PROC OF THE 32ND ANNUAL CONVENTION OF THE INCORPORATED SOCIETY FOR PSYCHICAL RESEARCH, Winchester. pp. 25-6.

Gonne McBride 1938 = Maud Gonne-MacBride : A Servant of the Queen : Reminiscences. V. Gollancz, London.

pp. 261-2 W. B. Yeats

p. 261

"His early collection of folklore Fairy and Folk Tales of Irish Peasantry (1888) presented traditional rural beliefs ... . ... In Per Amica Silentia Lunae (... [1919]:343-6) he makes reference to his adaptation of druidic rites and in a article entitled Irish Witch Doctors (... [1900]:266) he also revealed his knowledge of the bardic practice of imbas forosnai, describing a rite ... . ...

p. 262

His own five Cuchulain plays form a sequence of seasonal rituals ... Yeats originally prepared for initiations rituals to be used in ... an Irish Mystical Order (Graf 2003:55-7). A number of other Golden Dawn members joined with Yeats in a series of experiments in which visions were evoked and controlled through the use of symbols, a practice known to the Order as 'skrying'."

"Yeat's ... practice of seeking inspirations in the supernormal was to continue with his mediumistic wife George {Georgia} Hyde-Lees (also a member of the Golden Dawn), first through automatic writing and then through a succession of hypnotic 'sleeps' during which messages were received from a variety of communicators (Cousins 2011)."

Graf 2003 = S. J. Graf : "Heterodox Religions in Ireland : Theosophy, the Hermetic Society, and the Castle of Heroes". IRISH STUDIES REVIEW 11.1:51-9.

Cousins 2011 = W. E. Cousins : "Colored Inklings : Altered States of Consciousness and Literature". In :- Etzel Carden~a & Michael Winkelman (edd.) : Altering Consciouness : Multidisciplinary Perspectives. Santa Barbara : Praeger. pp. 277-300.

pp. 262-3 automatic-writing

p. 262

"Automatic writing (or psychography) ... may occur when the writer (or, more properly, the 'automatists') is in an altered state of consciousness."

p. 263

"Automatic writing was used by Pierre Janet in France, and

later by Morton Price and Anita Mu:hl in the United States ... .

Andre' Breton and others also pioneered the use of automatic writing within the Surrealist Movement".

"Mrs Yeats ... automatic writing continued regularly for the first five years of their married life, sessions taking place sometimes twice or three times {thrice} per day ... . Yeats' questions would be put ... and George would allow her hand to be guided in writing the answers. ... The importance of these scripts to Yeats ... was enormous, particularly with regard to what he considered his masterwork, The Vision (Maddox 1999, Saddlemeyer 2004)."

Maddox 1999 = Brenda Maddox : George's Ghosts. London : Picador.

Saddlemeyer 2004 = Ann Saddlemeyer : Becoming George. Oxford Univ Pr.


II. Social Change

18. Mexico's Spiritualist Archive

Mari`a del Pilar Blanco


p. 269 answers from the spirit-world

"Frederic Myers ... became co-founder of the Society for Psychical Research (SPR) ... . ... Spiritualism had become a popular practice across Europe and in the Americas, and by the 1860s and early 1870s it boasted of an international network of magazines solely devoted to the doctrine. [fn. 1 : Some notable examples are Banner of Light (USA. est.[ablished] 1858), Allen Kardec's Revue Spirite (France, est. 1858), The Medium and Daybreak (England. est. 1870) and The Harbinger of Light (Australia, est. 1870)."] ...

Others (notably Myers and William James) would become ardent seekers of amswers from the spirit world."

p. 270 internet-websites for reporting on encountres with ghosts

"In contemporary popular culture, we find the ... will to document ... in ghost-hunting societies such as TAPS (The Atlantic Paranormal Society) and in the proliferation of international websites hosted by groups such as the Global Paranormal Society and the International Paranormal Reporting Group, where members of the public can log their brushes with beings from the afterlife."

The Atlantic Paranormal Society

International Paranormal Reporting Group


p. 270

"Mexico's major Spiritualist newspaper La Ilustracio`n Espi`rita (Spiritual Illustration), established in the capital city in February 1872."

p. 271

"La Ilustracio`n Espi`rita was the third generation of a fortnightly magazine that had been originally founded in Guadalajara in 1869, and then reappeared in Guanajuato in 1870, but it had to cut its operations short when the bishop of Quere`taro forbade ... . ...

p. 272

Under the direction of [its editor,] Refugio I. Gonza`lez ..., La Ilustracio`n Espi`rita gathered original texts by different local followers of spiritualism, among them automatic writing pieces executed by local mediums ..., and news items from spiritualist reviews across the globe."

p. 272 vogue of spiritism in Me`xico in 1870s

"in 1873 the city boasted of ten spiritualist circles, and

editors of three of the capital's most notable newspapers (El Combate, El Domingo and El Federalista) endorsed Mexico's Sociedad Espi`rita Central de la Repu`blica Mexicana, the nation's central spiritualist society".

pp. 272-3 "community of sensation" : telepathy

p. 272

"Roger Luckhurst (2002b) reminds of of ... the Mesmerist term 'community of sensation', which describes how the hypnotist ... is able to share ideas and emotions with the subject under scrutiny."

p. 273, fn. 4

"This term was taken up again by Irish physicist William Barrett, whose paper 'On Some Phenomena Associated with ... Mind', delivered to the British Asociation for the Advancement of Science, caused a stir among members of the scientific community in the UK. See Luckhurt's (2002b:44-5) discussion of the paper ... . In his Modern Spiritualism : A History and Criticism (1902), Frank Podmore quotes Barrett's account of his experiment : 'When the subject was in the state of trance or profound hypnotism, I noticed that not only sensations, but also ideas or emotions occurring in the operator appeared to be reproduced in the subject without the intervention of any sign, or visible or audible communication. ...' (... Podmore ... [1902]:159)."

Luckhurst 2002b = Roger Luckhurst : The Invention of Telepathy, 1870-1901. Oxford Univ Pr.

pp. 275-6 persistence of practice of praeternatural communications in remote regions (particularly, in tropical Africa)

p. 275

[quoted from Luckhurst 2002b, p. 158 :] "the discovery of supernatural or supernormal communications in dispersed theatres of Empire ... suggests

a mechanism of projection

{projection of the astral body}

where ... conjured occult doubles ...

{aitheric doubles}

mysteriously exceed

European structures."

{European occult systems for producing observable praeternatural effects}

[quoted from Luckhurst 2002b, p. 157 :] "In the wilds of Uganda .... the Emin Pasha, accepted the intelligence of a wizard whose soul had travelled in an animal{-guise, i.e. as a nagual} 550 miles ... .

p. 276

... Meanwhile a colonial official on the Gold Coast informed the Society [for Psychical Research] that "the transmission of intelligence by occult means [was] treated by the better class of natives as everyday knowledge, the medicine man being occasionally asked to obtain or transmit information for various purposes." Dr Part had witnessed a number of cases".

p. 276 a practice of secret complicity

"Luckhurst (2002b), Vis[`]wanathan (2006) and Alex Owen (2004b) have stressed the importance of the late-nineteenth-century occult as a secret practice, through which these networks of complicity can take shape. In her exploration of the occult ... in the context of an imperial India, Vis[`]wanathan highlights these practices as capable of ... 'the otherworldliness of the occult, and its premium on secrecy and silence, ...for ... relations outside a formal hierarchical framework' (2006:136). As a direct response to the 'crises of knowledge ...' in the late nineteenth century, occultism was positioned outside the codices of government discourse, opening up relations among subjects hailing from different racial and class backgrounds, all of whom were joined together in the different scenarios of secret contact. Positioning occultism within ... the global experience of modernity, Vis[`]wanathan notes that occultism contained the power of ... '... opening the door to an exploration of hidden or repressed histories ...' (2006:139)."

Vis`wanathan 2006 = Gauri Vis`wa-nathana : "Spectrality's Secret Sharers : Occultism ...". In :- Walter Goebel & Saskia Schabio (edd.) : Beyond the Black Atlantic. London : Routledge. pp. 135-45.

p. 276 a different version of history

"The occult's reliance on that different, yet connected, realm of spirits that hail from different temporalities and ethno-cultural origins helps propel a new and previously unconsidered version of history (and the telling of that history). Vis[`]wanathan's take on the occult, along with Luckhurst's own history of psychic research, represents quite a dramatic shift in our understanding of colonial relations, thereby enabling a different portrayal of the private histories of empire."


II. Social Change

19. Visions of the Paranormal : Psychic Women & Ghosts

Karin Beeler


p. 284 definition of spirit-mediumship

"In her book Don't Kiss Them Goodbye (2004),

{these "Them" being the souls of the dead : implying their prospective return as revenant spirits}

Allison Dubois, the real-life {spirit-}medium who inspired the television drama Medium (2005-2011), defines a medium as a person who can 'predict future ... get into a person's mind ... and communicate with the dead' (xx)."

Dubois 2004 = Allison Dubois : Don't Kiss Them Goodbye. NY : Simon & Schuster.

p. 284 mantis

"The seer or mantis can be traced back to ancient times and was a prominent figure in Greek society (Flower 2008:2)."

Flower 2008 = Michael A. Flower : The Seer in Ancient Greece. Berkeley & Los Angeles : Univ of CA Pr.

p. 285 witch

"Witches are represented in ... contemporary television ... are often depicted as having psychic abilities.

... witches or 'weird sisters' in Shakespeare's Macbeth ... have knowledge of the future and predict ... fate ... : 'they have in them more than mortal knowledge' (... I, v, 1-3)."

pp. 290-1 psychic women in reality television

p. 290

"psychic women have also been featured in the genre of reality television. ... Hauntings are more frequent ... and '... the spirits ... tell them their stories and show ... souls into the light' (Rescue Mediums 2012a). ...

p. 291

Psychic women in film and television since the 1990s do promote alternate ways of knowing and seeing ... . ... Psychic women and ghosts in film and television ... frequently do inspire audiences, especially female viewers, to push out their boundaries and venture into their own versions of the unknown."

Rescue Mediums 2012a = W Network "About".


Olu Jenzen & Sally R. Munt (editrices) : The Ashgate Research Companion to Paranormal Cultures. Ashgate Publ Ltd, Farnham (Surrey), 2013.