Archive for April, 2009

Eliza Jumel Ghost Story

Saturday, April 18th, 2009 Posted in Ghost Stories | No Comments »

A ghost story I'd head about as a kid is what ultimately led me to the former Duke Parapsychology Laboratory and writing this book.  I include the story at the end of Unbelievable, mostly to contrast the kind of research ...

John Thomas

Thursday, April 16th, 2009 Posted in People in Parapsychology | No Comments »

I always felt bad for John Thomas, the Detroit public school administrator who brought the Rhines to Duke University and got the whole parapsychology-at-Duke ball rolling.   His goal was to use science to find evidence of life after death, but ...

Mary Craig Sinclair

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009 Posted in People in Parapsychology | No Comments »

A few years before she died Mary Craig Sinclair, wife of Upton Sinclair, wrote J. B. Rhine about growing old and losing so many friends who had died. “I look out across the world and it is peopled with ...

More Mina Crandon aka Margery

Sunday, April 12th, 2009 Posted in People in Parapsychology | 1 Comment »

A 1926 visit to the famous medium Margery introduced the world to J. B. and Louisa Rhine.  I tried to imagine what it was like for the very serious and relatively conservative J. B. Rhine to walk into a scene ...

Exorcist To-Do

Saturday, April 11th, 2009 Posted in Ghost Stories, Letters to the Lab | No Comments »

In one of the chapters in Unbelievable, I talk about the actual case that inspired the book and movie The Exorcist. I had intended to try to track down Dr. Mabel Ross, the child psychiatrist who examined the boy ...

Sad Letters

Thursday, April 9th, 2009 Posted in Letters to the Lab | No Comments »

I've written before about the thousands of letters received at the lab. Many of them were so sad. People sometimes wrote for help the lab couldn't give, like finding missing children or for assurance that the voices they heard ...

More Parapsychology and Popular Culture

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009 Posted in Parapsychology and Popular Culture | No Comments »

In 1946, Gian-Carlo Menotti's full-length opera, The Medium, premiered in New York at Columbia University. Actually, does opera count as popular culture?  Sometimes it does, right?  Definitely in this case I think.  Anyway, The Medium told the story of a ...