|Alexandra Holzer is a member of the SCBWI Organization, Poetry.com, Firstwriters.com and IMDBpro.com. Her father is the original ghost hunter, published Author Professor Hans Holzer, Ph.D of 163 plus titles in the genres of parapsychology, the supernatural, religion and healing. Most famous for "Amityville Horror: The Possession", "Ghosts", "America's Haunted Houses" and most recently "The Journey of the Magi" and "Murder in Amityville: Fact or Fiction". While raising four incredible children, she wrote children's short stories, poetry, sci-fi/fantasy novels, screenplays and supernatural horror thrillers. Alexandra's complete bio is available here. Alexandra's new book 'Lady Ambrosia' has been Field Nominated for the Printz Award for Young Adult Literature by the American Library Association.
by Alexandra Holzer
"Parapsychology-Should we go back to our roots?"
Posted: 00:00 May 2, 2008
Today we are waking up to the paranormal feeling 'normal.' Thanks to cable television and ghost tours, the term that was once coined by my father as 'Ghost Hunting' has taken on a new meaning. I think we somehow lost an appreciation of his life and times as well as a few others before him.
But is this a good thing or a negative leading us down another path for delving into areas that perhaps we shouldn't? You be the judge as it is your world for as long as you live in it, and then after you depart from it...it's still yours.
All fields dealing with human movement have their pioneers in whose footsteps the next generations follow. I can only experience my generation of the thirty something's but relate to much younger as I am still a kid in many ways. By laying down the foundations of their particular disciplines and findings, they enable these future colleagues and researchers to build their contributions and discoveries for us to take and run with towards the future. But, what is in-store for our paranormal future exactly? Me thinks to call upon a medium to help with that one!
'Parapsychology' was defined by an American man named Joseph Banks Rhine (1885-1980), who was the 'Father of Modern Parapsychology' who experimented in telepathy, clairvoyance and precognition at Duke University in North Carolina in the 1930s.
Before Rhine, psychical research which was the term used at that time and modern for it's time, continued to be quite a mixed bag which the investigators tried to study and evaluate the following: séance room phenomena, spontaneous cases of hauntings, crisis apparitions, dream cases and more. During the early 20th century, exponents on both sides of the Atlantic continued the study of phenomena that was the staple fare of the Victorian scientists and academics. These people had founded institutions such as the 'Society for Psychical Research at Cambridge' and the 'American Society for Psychical Research' in Boston. Some of these notables acted as popular educators in bringing the subject of the scientific study of the paranormal before the general public.
In America, British born Hereward Carrington (1880-1958) was a prolific writer who carried out a lot of his work with spiritualist mediums before the First World War. He continued this on into the 1920s and 1930s. His most famous affiliation was with the great Italian medium Eusapia Palladino. Carrington was to be followed by Hans Holzer (born 1920) who began to produce a series of popular guides to the supernatural chronicling his investigations in the 1960s. Recognize thy name? Cool isn't it. He was the Father of Paranormal. Of course Hans went on to continue working in the field as the parapsychologist that he was, professor, lecturer, author, interviewer, television show co-host, lyrical composer for the 1950s era, radio show and television personality and worked with witches to people claiming to have witnessed a UFO. He knew Betty Hill and spoke in great lengths with her about the abduction. Hans passed the men before him and went on to push the paranormal envelope as he truly brought it out to the forefront of the media. Today we see a mish mash of characters running amuck our sets. I wish everyone success in researching this field as I am one of those individuals myself. But, at the end of the day one must truly recognize the worth, value and respect factor of the work they have done and will continue to do. And I am guilty as I like my characters but I don't have to agree with every one of them, as we all should form our own opinions and know our history.
My gripe here is throughout our paranormal history, woman seemed to take on the role as mediums and the men were the scientists. Today, it is certainly better mixed up like a tossed salad but we are not there yet with the female gender. Aren't you glad I came along to help with that movement in the field?
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