Psychical Research

The Will to Disbelieve

By Michael Tymn

In his 1989 presidential address to the Society for Psychical Research (SPR), the late Professor Ian Stevenson pointed out that between 1910 and 1980 at least six presidents of the SPR asserted that telepathy had been proved, or nearly so. He wondered why, if telepathy had been proved by 1910, later presidents found it necessary to reiterate the claim. Dr. Stevenson speculated that each generation of researchers tends to believe its methods superior to those of its predecessors and therefore they may have seen the…

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Can We See into the Future?


On 21 October, 1966, at 9:15 in the morning, a huge pile of coal slag and debris, precariously perched on the side of a mountain and destabilized by underground water and rainfall, came crashing down on the Welsh town of Aberfan. When the tragedy was over and the final death toll computed, 144 lives were lost, most of them children attending the Pantglas Junior School, upon which the main part of the avalanche of black choking slurry descended. The Aber­fan disaster was felt throughout Britain,…

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The Paranormal Travels of Mark Twain

By John Chambers

In late May 1858, about to disembark with his younger brother Henry as a cub pilot on board the steamboat Pennsyl­vania, Samuel Clemens, then twenty-two, one day to call himself Mark Twain, had a terrifying precognitive dream. The future author of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884, 1885) later wrote that, in this dream, he “had seen Henry’s corpse. He lay in a metallic burial case. He was dressed in a suit of my clothing, and on his breast lay a great bouquet of flowers,…

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Are We Our Own Tailors?

By Michael E. Tymn

“Can you fancy seeing me in white robes? Mind, I didn’t care for them at first, and I wouldn’t wear them. Just like a fellow gone to a country where there is a hot climate—an ignorant fellow, not knowing what he is going to; it’s just like that. He may make up his mind to wear his own clothes a little while, but he will soon be dressing like the na­tives.” So stated Raymond Lodge, the son of Sir Oliver and Lady Lodge on November…

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