Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 17 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

In 1882 the Society for Psychical Research was established to examine phenomena such as ‘spirit communication’, ‘thought transference’, ‘hypnosis’, and ‘haunted houses’. Psychical researchers were eager to remove the connotations of sensational, gothic, or supernatural genre writing from their reports and framed their experiments within contemporary scientific and technological developments. The empirical terminology employed by the SPR, for example its re-categorizations of ‘ghosts’ as ‘phantasms’ and ‘mediums’ as ‘sensitives’, fuelled the period’s literary imagination. ‘Spirit Worlds’ examines the complicated relationship between genre writing and psychical research. By drawing on the SPR’s proceedings, reports in spiritualist and popular magazines and fictional psychical research accounts I argue that psychical research gave rise to a new literary phenomenon, the psychic detective

Keywords: psychical research, ghost stories, occult detectives, spiritualism

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.