Apparitional experience  

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 This page Apparitional experience is part of the supernatural series Illustration: Henri Robin and a Specter, 1863 by Eugène Thiébault
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This page Apparitional experience is part of the supernatural series
Illustration: Henri Robin and a Specter, 1863 by Eugène Thiébault

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An apparitional experience is one which purports to involve ghosts, spirits or apparitions.

History of the concept

Attempts to apply modern scientific or investigative standards to the study of apparitional experiences began with the work of Edmund Gurney, Frederic W. H. Myers and Frank Podmore, who were leading figures in the early years of the Society for Psychical Research (founded in 1882). Their motive, as with most of the early work of the Society, was to provide evidence for human survival after death. For this reason they had a particular interest in what are known as "crisis cases". These are cases in which a person reports having a hallucinatory experience, visual or otherwise, which apparently represents someone at a distance, this experience subsequently being considered to have coincided with that person's death, or a significant life event of some kind. If the temporal coincidence of the crisis and the distant apparitional experience cannot be explained by any conventional means, then in parapsychology the presumption is made that some as yet unknown form of communication, such as telepathy (a term coined by Myers) has taken place.

While it may be said that the work of Gurney and his colleagues failed to provide convincing evidence for either telepathy or survival of death, the large collection of firsthand written accounts which resulted from their methods may nevertheless be regarded as providing a valuable body of data concerning the phenomenology of hallucinations in the sane.

A notable later discussion of apparitional experiences was that of G. N. M. Tyrrell.


See also





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Apparitional experience" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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