Ashgate Research Companion to Paranormal Cultures

III. pp. 293-416 Paranormal Phainomenologies

III. Phainomenologies


the editrices


III. Phainomenologies

20. Telepathy Philosophy

Kristen Gallerneaux Brooks


III. Phainomenologies

21. Afterlife of Objects

Jennifer Fisher


III. Phainomenologies

22. Music and the Paranormal

Melvyn J. Willin


III. Phainomenologies

23. Conjuring the Spirits

Jon Armstrong


III. Phainomenologies

24. Trance Transfiguration

Janet Baldwin


III. Phainomenologies

25. Ghosthunting Scene

Gerhard Meyer


III. Phainomenologies

26. The GHost Project

Sarah Sparkes


III. Phainomenologies

27. Praehistoric Ghosts

Gareth E. Rees


III. Phainomenologies

28. Bestiary of Creatures

Line Henriksen




III. Phainomenologies


the editrices


p. 293 phainomonology of ghosts

"Phenomonology is roughly translated from the Greek as

'that which appears', a ghostly description

{viz., "apparition"}

well suited to our purpose. Phenomonology is the study of subjective experience, perhaps the sine qua non of paranormal events ... . ...

Elements of phenomonological philosophy, such as intuition, empathy, intersubjectivity and lifeworld, lend themselves well to consideration of the paranormal in everyday life".

p. 296 phainomonology of the paranormal : boundless exuberance

"The phenomonology of the paranormal is boundless ... . ... The phenomonology of the paranormal is also its joyful exuberance ... ."


III. Phainomenologies

20. Gizmo & Glitch : Telepathy Philosophy

Kristen Gallerneaux Brooks


p. 302 influences of thought on photographic film

"Tomokichi Fukurai was the first to use the word 'thoughtograph' in experiments initiated in 1910 at the Imperial University in Tokyo (see Fukurai 1931). The medium Koichi Mita ... produced an image of the dark side of the moon in 1931 (Harvey 2007:84) ... . These images are also sometimes referred to as 'psychographs'.

The British Spiritualist Felicia Scatcherd coined the term 'skotograph' to describe images and handwritten words that were ... messages from the dead, mentally projected by mediums onto sealed photo plates ... . The Scole experiments (1993-1999) produced similar examples in the form of scrawled messages and ... ghostly faces, received on sealed 35mm film rolls (see Solomon and Solomon 1999)."

Fukurai 1931 = Tomokichi Fukurai : Clairvoyance & Thoughtography. London : Rider.

Harvey 2007 = John Harvey : Photography and Spirit. London : Reaktion Bks.

Solomon & Solomon 1999 = Grant Solomon & Jane Solomon : The Scole Experiment : Scientific Evidence for Life after Death. London : Piatkus.

pp. 303-4 Ted Serios

p. 303

"Serios' images ... are ... not restricted to a ground-level viewpoint, but engaged in a boundless range of floating perspectives that no human could reach. ...

{Evidently, these are the perspective of the divinities who transmit the pictorial imagery to the photographic plates at the requaest of their prote'ge' the mortal seer.}

p. 304

After his trials with Eisenbud (1964-1967), Serios went on to participate in a series of trials in 1968 with the researchers Ian Stevenson and Joseph Gaither Pratt at the University of Virginia."


III. Phainomenologies

21. Psychometry & the Afterlife of Objects

Jennifer Fisher


p. 311 psychometry : signatures of aithereal countreparts

"Within paranormal discourse, psychometry is the ability to perceive through touch ... 'ethereal' signatures imprinted in an object thereby providing details about the histories and affects connected with it (Roll 2003:78). ... This normally invisible aura imprints on things that it comes in contact with. Psychometry by clairsentient mediums -- ... 'psychometers' -- could discern the 'soul of objects' or their ethereal counterparts (Denton ... [1863])."

Roll 2003 = W. G. Roll : "Poltergeists ... and Consciousness". J OF SCIENTIFIC EXPLORATION 17.1:75-86.

Denton 1863 = William Denton & Elizabeth M. Foote Denton : The Soul of Things : or, Psychometric Researches and Discoveries. Boston : Walker, Wise and Co.

pp. 314-5 psychometry in art-historical methodology : James Jarves

p. 314

"Charles Colbert's contextual study of James Jackson Jarves (1818-1888) sets an important precedent for understanding the influence of psychometry ... . The connoisseurship of Jarves, who was at once a prominent American art historian and {spirit-}medium, illuminates the critical role that Victorian Spiritualism had on ... nineteenth-century America. ...

While travelling in Italy ... in 1855, he met Daniel Dunglas Home, a renowned medium, and was so convinced of his abilities that he himself trained to become a medium (Colbert 2002:20, 22). ... Jarves proposed than

an 'extended gaze'

{a gaze extended (beyond the material plane) into scrying into the affairs of the spirit-world}

would enable a 'spiritual communion' with the spirits of dead artists and deceased subjects. Extending a Spiritualist logic that privileged experience over prescriptive beliefs, Jarves advocated an ontology of aesthetic apprehension wherein beholders attuned themselves to {psychic} energies in the object beyond {the scope of materialistic} vision (Colbert 2002:34). ... Subsequently, his 'conversations' with dead artists informed his writings on art."

p. 315, fn. 7

"Colbert (2002:32) notes that Jarves was not the sole exponent of Spiritualism ..., stating that the appreciative gazing of James Abbot McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) and Spiritualism inflected the connoisseurship and collecting practices of Charles Lang Freer (1845-1919)."

Colbert 2002 = Charles Colbert : "A Critical Medium : James Jackson Jarves's Vision of Art History". AMERICAN ART 16.1:19-35.

pp. 315-7 psychometric impressions in William Denton's wife Elizabeth

p. 315

"An important antecedent to Jarves's aesthetic psychometry can be found in William Denton's The Soul of Things ... (1863), a foundational work on Spiritualist psychometry ... . ... . ... Denton described how particular contexts, such as houses, become inbued with the emotional tenor of those who have inhabited them, an influence that is immediately palpable to those who are clairvoyantly sensitive as they enter the space (... [1863]:281). ...

Denton's wife, Elizabeth M. F. ..., ... became a clairvoyant 'psychometer' of note in 1870s Spiritualist circles. Elizabeth Denton's psychometric mediumship involved holding an object, or placing it over her forehead, to read its affective ... impressions. ...

p. 316

She describes impressions passing before her as a panorama, with the 'velocity of lightning', so ... that the contours of the objects are imperceptible, while at other times the psychometric purview appears ... only visible as a small area bordered by impenetrable darkness."

[quoted from Elizabeth, in Denton & Denton 1863, pp. 348, 359 :] I can distinguish no difference between that which appears to ... be my life ... on one side of the globe {the Otherworld} ... and ... my acknowledged existence on the other {the material world}.

Certainly the senses -- hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting, and feeling -- are as acute in the former as in the latter case."

{Do note that she is here acknowledging as truly sensory those faculties which some other authors designate as "extra-sensory perception" (ESP)!"

p. 317

"This psychometric sense of reading the past through ... a situated present recalls Walter Benjamin's proto-mystical manner of apprehending dialectical images (Buck-Morss 1989:67, 220)."

Denton & Denton 1863 = William Denton & Elizabeth M. Foote-Denton : The Soul of Things; or, Psychometric Researches and Discoveries. Boston : Walker, Wise and Co., 1863. [reprinted 1988 Aquarian Pr, Wellingborough, Northants]

Buck-Morss 1989 = Susan Buck-Morss : The Dialectics of Seeing : Walter Benjamin and the Arcades Project. Cambridge (MA) : MIT Pr.

pp. 317-9 intuitive archaiology intuited by George McMullen

p. 317

"the 'intuitive archaeology' theorised by Toronto professor Dr Norman Emerson stemmed expressly from psychometric methods (McMullen 1994:26). Emerson, an authority on Iroquois and Huron history, was a tenured professor at the University of Toronto when in 1971 he became intrigued by clairvoyant George

p. 318

McMullen's ability to hold an artefact and intuitively identify the object, its maker, its owner and the history connected with it (McMullen 1994:45). ... In addition to Emerson's archaeological studies ..., his essays on intuitive archaeology comprise a compelling ethnographic account ... that was prescient for the time. ... Notably, ... the older an object was, the colder it felt ... (1994:33). ... Likewise, Emerson notes that McMullen ... would feel drained after a session, and the proximity of people closest to him including his wife ... could serve as energetic support (cited in Mullen 1994:98)."

[Emerson, quoted in Mullen 1994:98 :] "George's statements ... indicate that ...

he was recalling or relating events far back in time (retrocognition),

he was {praeternaturally} seeing events taking place (clairvoyance),

he was going up in the air to make observations while his physical body stayed on the ground (astral travelling),

{"remote viewing" would be more likely, in this case, than astral projection}

and he spoke of receiving symbolic and verbal messages


p. 319

..., such realization, combined with George's accuracy, was ... "mindboggling"."

"many respected archaeologists employed at universities and museums throughout Canada, the United States and overseas contacted McMullen to secretly work on artefacts and visit digs ... when crews were absent, and requested that they remain unnamed (cited in McMullen 1994:96)."

McMullen 1994 = George McMullen : One White Crow. Norfolk (VA) : Hampton Roads Publ.

p. 319 a clairvoyant woman

"at a Toronto historical museum, Spadina House ..., ... Linda McGean ... spontaneously began to clairvoyantly read ... me, giving details of people and events in my family that were amazingly accurate."

p. 325 the nature of psychometry

"psychometry's capacity to access the afterlife of long-forgotten artefacts achieves the museological ideal of bringing artworks to life ... . ... Likewise, ... psychometry centres on the capacity of paranormal touch to grasp the history of things through a co-presencing of ... embodiment and cognition, feeling and criticality."


III. Phainomenologies

22. Music and the Paranormal

Melvyn J. Willin


p. 327 praeternatural music

"In previous research (Willin 2005), I have explored

music as a possible agent in telepathy experiments;

music that was ... heard when no physical source was available;

music that was experienced during a near death experience."

Willin 2005 = Melvyn J. Willin : Music, Witchcraft and the Paranormal. Ely : Melrose Pr.

p. 328 musical spirit-mediumship

"In Spiritualism, the singing of ... hymns ... is thought to encourage the communication of spirits. Mediums have spoken of their direct contact with the spirits of departed composers and musical performers (Willin 2005). They have played their music, written it down under dictation from these discarnates, and provided information about composers and their works conveyed from unearthly sources. Musical practices for some mediums have constituted the most important focus of their powers, and many well-known and respected composers have undergone psychic experiences that have brought them into contact with an external source that has been described as 'divine' (Abell 1955)."

Abell 1955 = Arthur M. Abell : Talks with Great Composers. NY : Philosophical Library; London : Psychic Bk Club.

pp. 328-9 historical paramusicology

p. 328

"One of the most famous mediums of the nineteenth century to be producing spiritual music phenomena as D. D. Home. Music was ... heard from unknown sources in his presence (Shepard 1984). ... Other musical mediums have provided clear documentary evidence of paramusicology : Emma Hardinge Britten (1823-1899) wrote several books about her

p. 329

experiences. Jesse Shepard (1849-1927) was believed to be the finest musical medium of the late nineteenth- and early twentieth century. ... However, ... in musical matters ... he truly excelled, ... possessed by the spirits of a number of dead composers including Mozart, Beethoven, Meyerbeer, Rossini, Liszt, Berlioz and Chopin.

Another musical medium was Florinzel von Reuter ... . ... The main communicator at these se'ances was Paganini; however, the spirits of lesser-known musicians also made contact, including Tartini, Locatelli, Charles de Be'riot and Vieuxtemps."

Shepard 1984 = L. A. Shepard : Encyclopaedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. Detroit : Gale Research Co.

p. 330 famous musical composers' own assertions as to the divine source of their music

"Composers frequently cite divine origins for their musical composition : Puccini revealed, 'it is a supernatural influence which qualifies me to receive Divine truths' (Puccini, cited in Abell 1955:116), and Humperdinck quoted Wagner as saying, 'I am convinced that there are universal currents of Divine Thought vibrating the ether everywhere and that everyone who can feel those vibrations is inspired ...' (cited in Abell 1955:137)."

pp. 330-1 composers of music who have acquired such music from dreamings

p. 330

"Bruch wrote, "My most beautiful melodies have come to me in dreams' (Bruch, cited in Abell 1955:144), and Berlioz was reported to have spoken in similar terms : 'I dreamed one night that I was composing a symphony and heard it in my dreams. On waking next morning I could recall nearly the whole of the movement' (Berlioz, cited in Henson 1977:241-2).

A frequently cited story about a dream conveying a piece of music concerns the composition of the Devil's Trill sonata

p. 331

by the famous eighteenth-century violinist and composer Tartini".

"Sir Michael Tippett's publishers advised the reading of his autobiographical book Those Twentieth Century Blues (1991), which contains a section on his dreams."

Henson 1977 = Ronald Alfred Henson : "The Language of Music". In :- Macdonald Critchley & R. A. Henson (edd.) : Music and the Brain. London : Heinemann Medical; Springfield (IL) : C.C. Thomas.

pp. 332-5 Rosemary Brown

p. 332

"working-class British woman Rosemary Brown (1916-2001) ... produced a stream of music ... dictated to her by a variety of dead composers who ... also appeared to her visually. ...

p. 333

In March 1964, ... Liszt appeared again to her very vividly one afternoon and took over her hands as she played the piano ... (Brown 1986:20). During one of these practices, she was overheard playing a piece that had been given to her by Liszt and she was accordingly invited to play to the Wimbledon branch of the ... Fellowship for Psychical and Spiritual Studies. Word soon spread amongst the Spiritualist movement and mediums named other composers whom they 'saw' with Brown, including Beethoven and Rachmaninov. ... Chopin was the next to make contact and he was followed by ... others, including ... Berlioz, Brahms, Debussy, Delius, Grieg, Handel and Mozart.

p. 334

... She states in her book that over six hundred compositions ... had been transmitted by 1986 ... . ...

p. 335

Perhaps of most importance to the acceptance of Brown's music has been the endorsement given by leading professional musicians of twentieth century. These have included Hephzibah Menuhin ...; Leonard Bernstein ...; and Humphrey Searle ... . ... Robin Stone and Howard Shelley have played her music ... . ... Two of Brown's most creditable allies are the pianist John Lill and Ian Parrott, Professor of Music at the University College of Wales, who has written a book about her music (Parrott 1978)."

Brown 1986 = Rosemary Brown : Look Beyond Today. NY & London : Bantam Pr.

Parrott 1978 = Ian Parrott : The Music of Rosemary Brown. London : Regency Pr.


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