Lisa Morton

Author, Screenwriter, Halloween Expert…what's next?

“An impressive piece of research . . . a must-read for anyone fascinated with Spiritualism.” Alma Katsu, author of The Deep and The Hunger

Calling the Spirits investigates the eerie history of our conversations with the dead, from necromancy in Homer’s Odyssey to the emergence of Spiritualism – when Victorians were entranced by mediums and the seance was born.

Among our cast are the Fox sisters, teenagers surrounded by ‘spirit rappings’; Daniel Dunglas Home, the ‘greatest medium of all time’; Houdini and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, whose unlikely friendship was forged, then riven, by the afterlife; and Helen Duncan, the medium whose trial in 1944 for witchcraft proved more popular to the public than news about the war. The book also considers Ouija boards, modern psychics and paranormal investigations, and is illustrated with engravings, fine art (from beyond) and photographs. Hugely entertaining, it begs the question: is anybody there . . .?

“The fascinating history of séances is filled with mystery, deception, self-deception, genuine belief, scientific enquiry and personal transformation, which is well described in this extremely interesting and readable account.”

John Rimmer, Magonia Review


1 Summoning the Old Spirits
2 Early Necromancy
3 Darkness Across the Enlightenment and the Romantic Gothic
4 The Victorians and Spiritualism; or, the Seance is Born
5 Wars and Ouija: Spiritualism in the Twentieth Century
6 How Universal is the Seance?
7 The Modern Seance
8 (Why) Do We Need the Seance?

Select Bibliography
Photo Acknowledgements

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