This two-volume work, co-authored by Edmund Gurney (1847–1888), Frederic W. H. Myers (1843–1901) and Frank Podmore (1856–1910), all leading members of the Society for Psychical Research, was first published in 1886. It documents over 700 case studies of ghost-seeing, and aimed to revolutionise thinking about ghosts by proposing a theory that explained ghost-seeing through the idea of telepathy. Volume 1 focuses on hypnotism, the telepathic transference of ideas, mental pictures and emotional impressions, dreams, and hallucinations, and contains an impressive essay by Gurney on the history of witchcraft. Volume 2 covers auditory, visual, reciprocal, and collective hallucinations. This pioneering study, full of interesting anecdotes, is an indispensable source for the history of psychical research. It provides detailed insights into the Victorian fascination with the occult and the supernatural, and is still the most extensive collection of ghost-seeing accounts available.
Volume 1: Introduction; 1. Preliminary remarks. Grounds of caution; 2. The experimental basis. Thought-transference; 3. The transition from experimental to spontaneous telepathy; 4. General criticism of the evidence for spontaneous telepathy; Note on witchcraft; 5. Specimens of the various types of spontaneous telepathy; 6. Transference of ideas and mental pictures; 7. Emotional and motor effects; 8. Dreams; 9. Borderland cases; 10. Hallucinations. General sketch; 11. Transient hallucinations of the sane. Ambiguous cases; 12. The development of telepathic hallucinations. Volume 2: Additions and corrections; 13. The theory of chance-coincidence; 14. Further visual cases occurring to single percipient; 15. Further auditory cases occurring to a single percipient; 16. Tactile cases, and cases affecting more than one of the percipient's senses; 17. Reciprocal cases; 18. Collective cases; Conclusion; Supplement: Introduction; 1. Further examples of thought-transference, principally in hypnotic cases; 2. Ideal, emotional, and motor cases; 3. Dream; 4. Borderland cases; 5. Visual cases; 6. Auditory and tactile cases; 7. Cases affecting more than one of the percipient's senses; 8. Reciprocal cases; 9. Collective cases; Additional chapter; Table of numbered cases; Analysis of the table; Index.