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Thursday 16 September 2021

A New Book on Apparitions

      I started this blog with the aim of collecting reports which were in danger of being forgotten, in the hope that, in the aggregate, they might form a pattern. Well, I have now managed to see some sort of pattern - one of which I wasn't aware initially - so I have now collected it into a book. It is called Apparitions: tulpas, ghosts, fairies, and even stranger things, and it is available from Amazon in both paperback and Kindle e-book form. Much of it has already been published, but a whole lot more is new: collated from both nineteenth and twentieth century sources. With 213 endnotes, it is fully documented.
     And here it is: decorated with the image of the Brown Lady of Raynham Hall, the ghost photograph most likely to be genuine.
     Although "apparition" is often used as a synonym for "ghost", as the subtitle reveals, I discovered that ghosts are only one variety of apparition, and not even the weirdest. There is a parallel world of non-material beings which is only occasionally perceptible to us. They have an objective reality; they are not "all in the mind", but the mind is how we normally perceive them.
     Part I deals with matters most people never hear about: apparitions of both real entities and imaginary ones which can be shown to have been induced by the mental processes of third parties. Then I go on to apparitions of living persons - almost always without their own awareness.
     Part II deals with the undead. First there are the well documented cases of the dying seeing and conversing with deceased friends and relatives, including some they did not know were deceased. In some cases, the third parties attending the death bed also saw them. From there it moves to the more conventional ghosts. But one chapter involves the astounding, but nevertheless fully attested, case of a ghost seeking - nay, demanding - the prayers of the living for his release. I also attempt to outline the parameters of the phenomenon. Thus, for example, it is strange that ghosts bear the shape of the original body, but even stranger that they are always clothed (do clothes have souls?) - but not in the bedclothes in which most of them would have died. I also noted many cases where a ghost could be seen by one person but not another, but I was unable to discover the same thing with ghostly sounds.
     Part III concerns the "little people" - what people would normally think of as elves or fairies. This was a subject I took a great deal of time coming to terms with. Nevertheless, the phenomenon appears to be worldwide, with so many independent testimonies that it became difficult to ignore, although impossible to explain.
    Finally, Part IV deals with the "twilight zone". Here I do a quick run-through of very, very strange apparitions: merfolk, winged entities, creatures with the faces of cats or dogs, walking stick figures, and the like. I have no explanation for these, but there are so many testimonies, it is hard to reject them all. Fortunately, most of these appear to be indifferent to human beings, but I include a chapter of entities which are clearly malignant, even demonic, but some, thankfully, which might be angelic.
    I urge you to acquire the book and judge for yourself. If nothing else, it will be an eye opener.

Addendum: In October 2021, I was interviewed by Wendy Garrett of Wendy's Coffeehouse about this book, and this blog in general. You can find the podcast - it is 39 minutes and 54 seconds in length - at
There is also a review by a member of the British Society for Psychical Research. (Since then, I have corrected all the typographic errors the reviewer mentioned.)


  1. Hello, I want to tell you an anecdote that is indirectly related to this book. It happened just yesterday. I work in an old, renovated house that functions as a psychology office and graduate school. The consulting rooms, which are large rooms with old windows in the doors, are located on both sides of a corridor that leads from the classrooms to the bathrooms. Yesterday afternoon, having missed a patient, I was in one of the consulting rooms, with the door closed, reading. A friend, who is taking a class, passed through the corridor on her way to the bathroom, and I could see through the window that she was staring into the office where I was. I opened the door and waved to her on her way back, and she asked me if I was attending; I told her no, and she replied strangely that she had seen through the window a boy sitting in the seat in front of me (with his back to her). (I checked later and there is no way she could have been mistaken: the view from the office window is very clear and there are no shadows or objects that could pass for a human figure).

    The next day, today, my friend wrote to me asking me if I believed in ghosts... And she told me that yesterday, after school, her father had called her to tell her that a cousin of hers, a young man of about 25, had committed suicide... At the same time she had seen the boy in my office!

    Now... what was I reading in the office? Your book, "Apparitions".

    I think you might be interested in it. Best regards,