James Hyslop

James Hyslop


          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 152.

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 Carrington, later by Dr. W. F. Prince.

Hyslop was a prolific writer and the greatest American propagandist of survival.

"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); Psychical 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:

Psychical Research and Survival

The Borderland of Psychical Research



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