PROFESSOR OF Logic and Ethics from 1889-1902 at Columbia University, New
York. One of the most distinguished American psychical researchers. In
1888, in a sceptical frame of mind, he was brought for the first time in
touch with the supernormal through Mrs.
Piper. Messages from his father
and relatives poured through. They reminded him of facts known and unknown
to him. He was immensely puzzled. Out of the 250 incidents mentioned in
the record of his sixteenth sitting, he was able to verify no fewer than
When Dr. Richard Hodgson died in 1905 Hyslop took his place as chief investigator
of Mrs. Piper and devoted the following year to the organisation of a new
American SPR. The work was successful and he became the active spirit of
the new society, the first Journal of which was published in January 1907.
For the first two years he was assisted by Dr. Hereward
by Dr. W. F. Prince.
Hyslop was a prolific writer and the greatest American propagandist of
"I regard the existence of discarnate spirits as scientifically
proved and I no longer refer to the sceptic as having any right to speak
on the subject. Any man who does not accept the existence of discarnate
spirits and the proof of it is either ignorant or a moral coward. I give
him short shrift, and do not propose any longer to argue with him on the
supposition that he knows anything about the subject." Prof. James Hyslop
in Life After Death (1918).
Hyslop contributed many ingenious theories to psychical literature. He
made a deep study of multiple personality and of obsession, and came to
the conclusion that in many cases it is due to "spirit" possession. In his
will he founded an Institute for the treatment of obsession through the
instrumentality of mediums.
Books by Hyslop include: Science and a Future Life (1906); Borderland of
Psychical Research (1906); Enigmas of Psychical Research (1906);
Research and the Resurrection (1908); Psychical Research and Survival
(1913); Life After Death (1918 and Contact with the Other World (1919).
His treatise on the telepathic induction of hallucination in Phantasms of
the Living, 1886, was the first serious scientific attack on the problem.
Source (with minor modifications): An Encyclopaedia of Psychic Science by Nandor Fodor (1934).
Articles by James Hyslop on this website:
History of the Piper Case
Incidents from the English Report
Dr Hodgson's First Report
Dr Hodgson's Second Report
Books by James Hyslop on this website:
Research and Survival
Borderland of Psychical Research