Paranormal Book Club: ESP

28th May 2021. Reading Time: 6 minutes General, Paranormal Book Club. 1056 page views. 0 comments.

The theme for this edition of paranormal book club is all about ESP otherwise known as Extra Sensory Perception

ESP stands for extrasensory perception.  It is the ability to receive or perceive information by what is considered to be supernatural means.  It could be an act of telepathy or a pre-cognitive dream for example.  When I think of ESP, I personally think of J.B and Louisa Rhine who were at the forefront of research in this area and wrote about their findings and experiments.  

Extra Sensory Perception by J. B. Rhine

Extrasensory Perception is a 1934 book written by parapsychologist Joseph Banks Rhine, which discusses his research work at Duke University. Extrasensory perception is the ability to acquire information shielded from the senses, and the book was "of such a scope and of such promise as to revolutionize psychical research and to make its title literally a household phrase".

You can't talk about ESP without looking at the work of J.B Rhine.  A lot of his work framed the way we look at and even test ESP.  You can access a free public-domain copy of this book here:

The Invisible Picture: A Study of Psychic Experiences by Louisa E Rhine (2011)

Long among the foremost figures in parapsychological research, Dr. Rhine has at last provided a report on her over forty years of investigations into the apparently psychic experiences of an enormous variety of ordinary people. This magnificient book is the most comprehensive and summary study of anecdotal evidence for the existence of psychic phenomena ever published. No serious book collection on the subject, no matter how small, can lack this long-awaited title. The author discusses the numerous case histories in plain language. With the experience developed during a long career, she then is able to sort them into types--an important advance for researchers and teachers--noting such features as the form in which extrasensory information was perceived and the mental processes that seem to have been involved. Most of the chapters are devoted to specific phenomena, such as general ESP, clairvoyance, psychokinesis, precognition and contact with survivors. Dr. Rhine's findings bring to light many new human interconnections and offer a wealth of new directions for laboratory-based work. Results of her study were found to be entirely consistent with the findings of laboratory research. In addition, they give a fascinating ""picture"" of the psychic element in human nature that has been painted on no other canvas. An extensive list of references in appended. There are five tables and a thorough index.


While this book. is not solely devoted to ESP, it covers it in a very general sense as well as other areas often connected to it.  I could sit here all day and recommend books by the Rhines, but they are obviously not the only people to have worked with and written about it.  You can however access some more titles including one of my favs by Louisa Rhine: Hidden Channels of the mind, available free via public domain over at the LLIFS Resource Directory:

The Reality of ESP : A Physicist's Proof of Psychic Abilities by Russel Targ

On February 4, 1974, members of the Symbionese Liberation Army kidnapped nineteen-year-old newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst from her Berkeley, California apartment. Desperate to find her, the police called physicist Russell Targ and Pat Price, a psychic retired police commissioner. As Price turned the pages of the police mug book filled with hundreds of photos, suddenly he pointed to one of them and announced, That's the ringleader. The man was Donald DeFreeze, who was indeed subsequently so identified. Price also described the type and location of the kidnap car, enabling the police to find it within minutes. That remarkable event is one reason Targ believes in ESP. Another occurred when his group made $120,000 by forecasting for nine weeks in a row the changes in the silver-commodity futures market

As a scientist, Targ demands proof. His experience is based on two decades of investigations at the Stanford Research Institute (SRI), which he cofounded with physicist Harold Puthoff in 1972. This twenty-million dollar program launched during the Cold War was supported by the CIA, NASA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and Army and Air Force Intelligence. The experiments they conducted routinely presented results could have happened by chance less than once in a million. Targ describes four types of experiments: Remote Viewing, in which a person describes places and events independent of space and time. For example, while in California Price drew to scale a Soviet weapons factory at Semipalitinsk with great accuracy later confirmed by Satellite photography. In another remote viewing, Targ accurately sketched an airport in San Andreas, Columbia himself.Distant Mental Influence, where the thoughts of the experimenter can positively or negatively affect the physiology (heart rate, skin resistance, etc.) of a distant person.

Whole field isolation, where someone in a state of sensory isolation accurately describes the visual experiences of someone else in another placePrecognition and retrocausality, showing that the future can affect the past. That is, the elephant you see on television in the morning can be the cause of your having dreamed about elephants the previous night.

Final chapters present evidence for survival after death; explain how ESP works based on the Buddhist/Hindu view of our selves as nonlocal, eternal awareness; discuss the ethics of exercising psychic abilities, and show us how to explore ESP ourselves. I am convinced, Targ says, that most people can learn to move from their ordinary mind to one not obstructed by conventional barriers of space and time. Who would not want to try that?

Book Depository

In the same way you can't leave the Rhines out of books about ESP, you can't leave out this book by Russel Targ.  You would know him mostly for his work with remote viewing work on the Stargate Project.  Published in 2012, this is a must-read by anyone interested in the concept of ESP.  If you can only buy one book from this list, I feel like this has to be one to get!  It will challenge how you think and also make you say 'wow'.

Extrasensory Perception (ESP) by William James

Although many of you reading this book, like myself, have few personal doubts that something like extrasensory perception is real, the effort to establish ESP as a scientific fact has been a continuous struggle the outcome of which still remains uncertain. Many subjects whose demonstrations had originally convinced researchers from the British Society for Psychical Research were later detected using bogus means to dupe these eminent scientists. Fascinated by their few successes, researchers continued undaunted in the midst of failures, criticism, and detected frauds.

This is a free public domain edition of James' thoughts and experience on the topic of ESP.  

William James is a psychical researcher best known for his writings on philosophy and psychology.  James co-founded the American Society for Psychical Research in 1885 and over the span of his career presented information on mediumship, telepathy, extra-consciousness, and apparitions.  

There are so many books available on ESP.  More of the modern books approach the topic from a 'how to develop your abilities' point of view.  What I love about these books is that they approach it from a research point of view.  So now it is your turn!  What are your favourite books about ESP?

If you enjoy LLIFS, consider buying me a book (otherwise known as buy me a coffee but I don't drink coffee and I LOVE books). Your donation helps to fund the LLIFS website so everyone can continue to access great paranormal content and resources for FREE!

Follow LLIFS on Facebook

Don't forget to follow the Facebook page for regular updates 

Mailing List

Join the mailing list to receive weekly updates of NEW articles.  Never miss an article again!

Haunted Magazine

Buy the latest and past issues Haunted Magazine

Books by LLIFS

Check out the books written by LLIFS