The Psychical Research Foundation is a 501(c) (3) private non-profit research organization.

All written materials available on this website are exclusive to the PRF.

PRF Published Papers

 

This section contains papers written by members of the PRF on the various topics listed below. Each of the papers is downloadable for viewing in Adobe PDF format by clicking on the highlighted link.

 

Apparitions & Hauntings

 

Roll, W. G. (1981). A memory theory for apparitions. In W. G. Roll & J. Beloff (Eds.) Research in Parapsychology 1980 (pp. 5 - 7). Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press. A short summary article providing the theoretical basis for considering some apparitional experiences as being memory-like "traces" which are mediated through ESP.

 

Williams, B., Ventola, A., & Wilson, M. (2010). Apparitional Experiences: A Primer on Parapsychological Research and Perspectives. A primer published online which summarizes some of the recent parapsychological findings and theoretical approaches relating to reported encounters with apparitions (ghosts).

 

Extrasensory Perception (ESP)

 

Williams, B. J. (2011). Review of Phantasms of the Living by E. Gurney, F. W. H. Myers, & F. Podmore. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 25, 375 - 432. An essay review of a classic 2-volume anthology in psychical research, examining how the findings from the study of 19th century cases of spontaneous ESP compare with more recent case surveys.

 

Williams, B. J. (2011). Revisiting the ganzfeld ESP debate: A basic review and assessment. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 25, 639 - 661. Gives a basic review of the debate over the issue of replication in studies of ESP using the sensory reduction technique known as ganzfeld, and provides a basic statistical assessment of a database of 59 ganzfeld ESP studies conducted since the publication of the Hyman-Honorton "joint communique" in 1986.

 

General Psychic Phenomena

 

Williams, B. J. (2013). Searching for the Extended Self: Exploring the Implications of Parapsychology for Spirituality. An invited talk given at the Morning Star Center for Spiritual Living in Norman, OK, on March 3, 2013, which offers a basic review of parapsychological findings on ESP, psychokinesis (PK, or "mind over matter"), and survival-related phenomena for a lay audience, and briefly considers their implications for spirituality.

 

General Survival (Life After Death)

 

Roll, W. G. (2006). A discussion of the evidence that personal consciousness persists after death, with special reference to poltergeist phenomena. Australian Journal of Parapsychology, 6, 5 - 20. An article which briefly considers the degree to which the findings from various lines of survival-related research may lend support to the possibility of life after death. It also considers the question of spirit involvement in reported cases of poltergeist phenomena.

 

Roll, W. G. (2006). Review of Afterlife Encounters by Dianne Arcangel. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 20, 629 - 635. A review of the reported cases of afterlife communications collected by Dianne Arcangel in a five-year international survey, which were published in this book.

 

Williams, B. J. (2012). The Psychical Research Foundation and its Legacy Under William G. Roll: Past Findings and Future Directions. An invited talk given at the Rhine Research Center special event "Remembering Dr. William Roll," held at the Stedman Auditorium on the Duke Center for Living campus in Durham, NC, on June 29. Provides a detailed overview of the PRF's history and research during William Roll's life-long tenure as research director.

 

Williams, B. J. (2014). Mediums, Spirits, and Science: 50 Years' Exploration of the Afterlife by the Psychical Research Foundation. An invited talk given at a meeting of Paranormal New Mexico in Rio Rancho, NM, on September 27. Provides a lay reader-oriented overview of the history of the PRF and its research on mediumship, out-of-body experiences, and apparitions and hauntings.

 

Mediumship

 

Roll, W. G. (1982). Memory, mediumship, and reincarnation. In W. G. Roll, R. L. Morris, & R. A. White (Eds.) Research in Parapsychology 1981 (pp. 182 - 184). Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press. A short summary article which considers how certain aspects of mediumship and cases suggestive of reincarnation may possibly be explained through an ESP-mediated "place memory" process.

 

Williams, B. J., & Roll, W. G. (2007). Spirit controls and the brain. Proceedings of Presented Papers: The Parapsychological Association 50th Annual Convention (pp. 170 - 186). Columbus, OH: Parapsychological Association, Inc. An article which discusses mediumistic spirit controls and their possible parallels with dissociative identity disorder, including possible correlates in brain functioning.

 

Psychokinesis ("Mind Over Matter")

 

Williams, B. J. (2016). Tipping Tables and Moving Minds: Some Studies of Ostensible Macroscopic Psychokinesis. A web-based publication which provides a basic overview of some of the methods that parapsychologists have used to study psychokinesis on the macroscopic (i.e., overtly visible) scale, such as sitter groups and lab observations with seemingly exceptional individuals. Prepared for the massively-open online course "Parapsychology Research and Education (ParaMOOC 2016)" Discussion Forum, hosted by the Alvarado-Zingrone Institute for Research and Education (AZIRE) on the WizIQ virtual teaching platform.

 

Wilson, M., Williams, B. J., Harte, T. M., & Roll, W. G. (2010). The Daniel experiment: Sitter group contributions with field RNG and MESA environmental recordings. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 24, 611 - 636. An article which reports on a series of physical measurements collected during attempts to produce brief displays of macroscopic psychokinesis in a sitter group setting.

 

Williams, B. J. (2014). GCP Technical Note: Global Harmony 1998 - 2014. A web-based publication which further examines the question of whether mass group social events aimed at promoting global harmony (such as group meditations, mass prayer vigils, and active demonstrations for peace) can have an effect on the output of a network of random number generators being maintained by the Global Consciousness Project.

 

Psychometry (Token Object Reading)

 

Roll W. G. (2004). Early studies on psychometry. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 18, 711 - 720. An article reviewing a number of notable psychometric studies conducted by psychical researchers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

 

Roll, W G. (2005). Review of Supernormal Faculties in Man by Eugene Osty. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 19, 615 - 624. A review of a classic book describing psychometric sessions conducted with a number of French psychic claimants in the early 20th century.

 

Psychic Phenomena and the Brain

 

Alexander, C. H., Persinger, M. A., Roll, W. G., & Webster, D. L. (1998). EEG and SPECT data of a selected subject during psi tasks: The discovery of a neurophysiological correlate. Proceedings of Presented Papers: The Parapsychological Association 41st Annual Convention (pp. 3 - 13). Durham, NC: Parapsychological Assocation, Inc. A report on brain-wave and neurometabolic examinations made with selected psychic claimant Sean Harribance as he performed different ESP tasks. The quantitative EEG data collected by Alexander are of particular note in this report.

 

Williams, B. J., & Roll, W. G. (2007). Spirit controls and the brain. Proceedings of Presented Papers: The Parapsychological Association 50th Annual Convention (pp. 170 - 186). Columbus, OH: Parapsychological Association, Inc. An article which discusses mediumistic spirit controls and their possible parallels with dissociative identity disorder, including possible correlates in brain functioning.

 

Williams, B. J. (2012). Extrasensory perception and the brain hemispheres: Where does the issue stand now? NeuroQuantology, 10, 350 - 373. Reviews the status of parapsychological research designed to explore the possible correlation between cerebral lateralization and performance on experimental tests of ESP.

 

Recurrent Spontaneous Psychokinesis (RSPK, or "Poltergeist")

Roll, W. G. (1975). About poltergeists. ASPR Newsletter No. 26, Summer. A short two-page summary of some of the features of reported cases of RSPK.

Roll, W. G. (2003). Poltergeists, electromagnetism, and consciousness. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 17, 75 - 86.  An article which discusses the possible physical and psychological correlates of poltergeist phenomena.
 

Roll, W. G. (2006). A discussion of the evidence that personal consciousness persists after death, with special reference to poltergeist phenomena. Australian Journal of Parapsychology, 6, 5 - 20. An article which briefly considers the degree to which the findings from various lines of survival-related research may lend support to the possibility of life after death. It also considers the question of spirit involvement in reported cases of poltergeist phenomena.


Williams, B., & Ventola, A. (2011). Poltergeist Phenomena: A Primer on Parapsychological Research and Perspectives. A primer published online which summarizes some of the recent parapsychological findings and theoretical approaches relating to poltergeist phenomena.

Theoretical Approaches

Roll, W. G. (1989). Memory and the long body. In L. A. Henkel & R. E. Berger (Eds.) Research in Parapsychology 1988 (pp. 67 - 72). Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press. A short article in which psychic phenomena are considered in light of the Native American concept of the "long body."

Roll, W. G., & Williams, B. J. (2008). Contributions by Physics and Psychology to Parapsychology. Paper presented at the symposium "Mysterious Minds: The Neurobiology of Extraordinary Experiences," held at the 116th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, August 16.