LLIFS Resource Directory: Revelations of a spirit medium

20th August 2022. Reading Time: 4 minutes General, Paranormal Book Club. 903 page views. 0 comments.

The highlight of the LLIFS Resource Directory this week is by Harry Price. Revelations of a spirit medium delves into the deception from the spiritualist era.

If you follow my blog or are just visiting for the first time, as you scroll through the different articles, you will see a very wide range of topics discussed.  This is not information I automatically know about.  They are things I have often come across in some ways through my research.  There are so many amazing books and resources available that can really help with your paranormal research.   A lot of these are books written by people who in some way have been influential.  Often they are books that are very old and no longer in print.  To buy the hard copy can cost up to thousands, however, there are free public domain pdfs online which is a good second choice!  I have gone through the resource directory to highlight some gems you definitely should add bookmarks on!  This week we look at another gem by famous paranormal investigator Harry Price. 

Who is Harry Price?

Harry Price is one of the most well known paranormal investigators in history.  Long before paranormal reality television shows, Price made a name for himself for his investigations into psychical phenomena and exposing fraudulent psychic mediums.  Working as a salesman and an interest in archaeology kept Price busy, Price became an amateur conjurer learning stage magic which he would later find useful as a tool to debunk fake psychic mediums.  In 1920, Price joined the Society for Psychical research.  While he had used his knowledge of sleight of hand to defraud psychic mediums, he also found some he believed to be genuine who he went on to endorse.  His first major reveal was exposing famous spirit photographer William Hope.  

Price went on to leave the SPR due to disagreements about Price paying psychic mediums to test their abilities.  In 1925 he formed the National Laboratory of Psychical Research.  He was however most famous for his work investigating the infamous Borley Rectory dubbed England's Most Haunted House.  He lived at the property for a year where he documented his experiences and went on to write a book about it.  

Revelations of a spirit medium

1922. Facsimile edition with notes, bibliography, glossary and index. No mere knowledge of magical secrets will ever guarantee the reader from being deceived by fraudulent mediums. Actual acquaintance with practical methods and long experience of the conduct of seances is necessary before he will be able to distinguish the genuine from the fraudulent, and when he finds himself able to discern faintly the line which divides the two he will be in a position to understand more fully the enormous difficulties which confront the investigators of psychical phenomena. It is hoped that the reappearance of this mediumistic classic will whet the reader's appetite and make him eager for still further information.

As mentioned above, Price was particularly interested in studying psychic mediums.  This book is an expose of sorts of the different methods that psychic mediums during the spiritualist era used to deceive their sitters.  It is not to say not all were genuine, but we sadly know the ones that are most famous are the ones who were defrauded.  When the book was first released, it didn't receive glowing reviews from the spiritualist community.

 "The stir in the spiritualistic which accompanied the publication of this book will be easily understood ... In 1891, when it was first published, fraudulent mediumship had attained such a vogue which it would be difficult to over-estimate. The class of so-called physical phenomena of which the book treats has always been more popular amongst public mediums in the United States than in this country... The present great increase of interest in psychic phenomena will probably result in the production of spurious physical phenomena by the less honest mediums, and it is with this thought that we have decided to reptint [the book]... In conclusion we would remind the reader that no mere knowledge of magical secrets will ever guarantee him from being deceived by fraudulent mediums."

Quote from Revelations of a Spirit Medium

Price collaborated with Eric Dingwall on this edition.  You can read more about Eric on the Psi Encyclopedia

If you wish to look at spiritualism from the eyes of a psychical researcher, this is a fascinating book.  It can be difficult to read at times and it is also important to remember that this was a very different time.  We are talking 100 years ago!  What led to this book was research I was doing on the infamous 'blue books' that were said to exist among medium circles.  Houdini spoke of them, yet these are one of the only texts I could find where it is talked about in detail.  The blue book is something I will be writing more about, but in the meantime, here is another 'classic' you can add to your library!  Some versions of this book are selling for over $100, but lucky for you, it is available for free via public domain.  You just have to know where to look!  That is what the LLIFS Resource Directory is all about.

Download a free PDF via public domain here: https://archive.org/download/revelationsofspi00farriala/revelationsofspi00farriala.pdf

For more great references, check out the LLIFS Resource Directory.

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