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Call for Sitters


















The Psychical Research Foundation (PRF), a non-profit organization devoted to research and education in the field of parapsychology, is currently looking for a limited number of volunteers from the general public who may be interested in participating in an experimental study of mediumship (the reported ability to psychically communicate with deceased individuals). For their time and effort in participating, volunteers will receive a 20 - 30 minute reading from a professional medium.


In addition to evaluating the readings that mediums give to their clients (who are traditionally referred to as "sitters"), this study is exploring an innovative approach to representing a certain part of a mediumship reading in visual form as a picture. This particular part relates to the psychic images or impressions of human faces that some mediums report seeing "in their mind's eye" while giving a reading to a sitter. These faces could perhaps be those of the sitter's deceased loved ones.


By applying current technology to a method first developed and applied in mediumship research by the late Dr. William Roll (the PRF's first research director) back in the early 1970s, this study is attempting to create digital portraits of the faces of deceased persons (like the example seen above on the right), using physical descriptions given by mediums of the facial images and impressions that they sometimes see "in their mind's eye" while giving a reading. When these finished portraits are later shown to the sitters, perhaps the sitters may be able to recognize them as being the faces of their deceased loved ones.


It should be made clear from the outset that because it is necessary (for the sake of science) for us to maintain a rather high degree of experimental control over the study conditions, the readings in this study will not be directly conducted face-to-face between the medium and the sitters. Instead, the medium will be asked to give readings to the sitters using a technique known as psychometry, in which the medium will hold a small object that had once belonged to a sitter's deceased loved one. In this case, the object could either be a small piece of fabric taken from an article of clothing that a deceased loved one had often worn (like a tie, a hat, a scarf, a shirt, a blouse, etc.), or it could a piece of fabric taken from an old blanket, quilt, shawl, or robe that the deceased had frequently used in life.


One benefit to having the mediumship readings conducted in this manner is that it will not require the participating sitters to be present in order to receive a reading. This would be most advantageous for sitters who happen to have very tight schedules or other personal obligations which may prevent them from attending the session.

Eligibility Requirements

You may be eligible to participate in this study as a sitter and receive a reading from a professional medium if you:


  • Are at least 25 years of age or older

  • Have suffered the loss of a friend or family member with whom you felt particularly close

  • Have been grieving the loss of that friend or family member for six months or longer

  • Are willing and able to provide a small piece of fabric taken from an old blanket, quilt, shawl, robe, or article of clothing which had belonged to (and was used by) that deceased friend or family member

  • Are willing and able to score the statements given by a medium as accurate, inaccurate, or irrelevant (once given instructions about how to score these statements)

  • Have a working e-mail address and know how to send and receive e-mail attachments

  • Are able to open and use computer files formatted for Microsoft Word and Adobe PDF


Additional details about this study are available in our 2-page information sheet, which you can download and view in Adobe PDF format by clicking here.

Mediumship readings are being  currently being scheduled for February 2016. If you think you'd like to participate in this study, please e-mail the assisting researcher, Natasha Chisdes, at before February 14, 2016.

(NOTE: Because we have a very limited number of spots available, the mediumship sessions in this study will be handled on a "first come, first served" basis. So if you'd like to take part as a sitter, we encourage you to contact us as soon as possible for the best chance of getting a spot.)

Support for this study from the Helene Reeder Memorial Fund for Research into Life After Death is gratefully acknowledged.


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