Throughout history, many people have reported profound personal experiences that seem to touch on the possibility of life after death. Such experiences include out-of-body experiences, making contact with a deceased loved one through a medium, and encounters with apparitions (or "ghosts") of the dead. What is the nature of these experiences, and what might we be able to learn from them?
Since its establishment in 1961, the Psychical Research Foundation (PRF) has been in pursuit of these questions using a number of scientific approaches. A detailed review of this previous PRF research can be found in the recent article "The Psychical Research Foundation and its Legacy Under William G. Roll: Previous Findings and Future Directions," which is available to view by clicking here (Adobe PDF file). Below are links to webpages which give concise synopses of the parapsychological research projects that the PRF is currently conducting (or has planned) on these questions.
Current Research Projects
Out-of-Body Experience "Detection" Studies: Does something actually leave a person's body during an OBE? And is it tangible enough to have weight?
Free-Response Readings & Portrait Tests with Mediums: Are mediums really able to communicate with the dead? Can we create identifiable portraits of deceased people based on the descriptions that mediums give of the faces they sometimes see "in their mind's eye" during a reading?
Field Investigations of Hauntings and Poltergeists: What may be involved in reported cases of hauntings and poltergeist phenomena? Could they have a purely natural cause, or do they involve processes which are parapsychological in nature?
Other Topics for Further Research
Brain Correlates of Psychic Experience: How are psychic phenomena linked to the known workings of the human brain? How are mediums and psychics able to do what they do? What is going on inside their brains while they are attempting to apply their psychic abilities?
Apparitional Experiences in the Psychomanteum: What is the nature of the apparitional (or "ghost") experience? Can such experiences be helpful in dealing with grief?