The Dark Between Real-Life Inspiration: The Society for Psychical Research

sept2013 the dark between botm banner
Today for our book of the month, The Dark Between by Sonia Gensler, we’re taking a look at some of the real-life inspiration for this spooky historical-fiction, paranormal mystery.

sprlogoFor her first guest post on the official The Dark Between blog tour, Sonia talked about how the idea for this book came about while researching her first novel, The Revenant — when she discovered something called the Society for Psychical Research.

According to the society’s website, it was founded in 1882  to investigate “that large body of debatable phenomena designated by such terms as mesmeric, psychical and spiritualistic . . . in the same spirit of exact and unimpassioned enquiry which has enabled Science to solve so many problems.”

Wikipedia claims TomczykPKthe society’s goal is:

to understand “events and abilities commonly described as psychic or paranormal by promoting and supporting important research in this area” and to “examine allegedly paranormal phenomena in a scientific and unbiased way.”

Sonia says she “was captivated by their passion to investigate paranormal occurrences that the scientific community refused to take seriously.”

Of course, not every member of the society was a believer; many skeptics were part of the organization — and, as noted in The Dark Between, sometimes members launched investigations into fraudulent mediums during the height of the Spiritualist movement. (More on that later this week!)

Despite its historic origins, the society continues today, with membership open to interested members of the public.


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