Spiritualism reading - A History of Ghosts

As part of my research for my latest book I have been delving into the world of Spiritualism.

To that end I obtained a copy of this book - A History of Ghosts. I can already see that it is going to be very useful for its background on Spiritualism. I do love the way its author Peter Aykroyd refers to "fake" mediums (as if there are any other kind) but, that aside, it looks as though it will give me a good idea of how the whole idea gained popularity - especially following the First World War.

One thing does irk me though and it, predictably, relates to Conan Doyle. Aykroyd repeats the error that Arthur Conan Doyle joined the Society for Psychical Research following the death of his father in October 1893. He suggests, as others have done before him, that the two events were linked.

It is nonsense of the first order and I don't know why it keeps getting repeated. As I detailed in my book The Norwood Author, Arthur Conan Doyle joined the Society for Psychical Research in January 1893 some nine months before his father died. How did I find this out? I emailed the SPR and asked them. They then sent me the official notice of new members (dated February 1893) which listed the people who had joined prior to that date. It's really not that hard to research these things when the society concerned still exists.

Written by Alistair Duncan
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