Aboriginal Magic
From birth to death, the Australian aborigine, like most
members of tribal societies, was surrounded by magical influences.
The origins of all life were considered to emerge from
the Dream Time, or the sacred time. This time could be
reached while in the altered state of dreaming, and native rituals
brought together the normal world with the ‘‘Dreaming.’’
Death was believed to be a return to this sacred time.
In many tribes the power to perform magic, sympathetic or
otherwise, was possessed by only a few people Among the central
tribes it was practiced by both men and women—more
often, by the former, who conserved the knowledge of certain
forms of their own. There was also among them a distinct class
of medicine men, whose duty it was to discover whose magic
had caused the death of anyone. Among the central tribes, unlike
many others, magic was not made a means of profit or
emolument. Women were often sternly forbidden to go near
the places where the men performed their magical ceremonies.
To frighten them away from such spots, the men invented an
instrument called a ‘‘bull-roarer’’—a thin slip of wood swung at
the end of a string that makes a screaming, whistling noise,
which was believed to be the voice of the Great Spirit. Aborigines
also preserved long oval pieces of wood, which they call
churingas. Since the spirits of their ancestors were thought to reside
within, these were kept concealed in the most secret manner.
Sympathetic magic is integral to aboriginal practice. Certain
ceremonies are employed to control nature to ensure a plentiful
supply of food and water, or to injure an enemy. One of the
commonest forms is the use of the pointed stick or bone, which
is used in one form or another by all Australian tribes. The former
is a small piece of wood, varying in length from three to
eighteen inches, resembling a skewer, and tapering to a point.
At the handle end it is topped with a knob of resin, to which
is attached a strand of human hair. Magical songs are sung over
it, to endow it with occult potency. The man who wishes to use
it goes into the bush alone, or with a friend, where he will be
free from observation, and planting the stick in the ground,
mutters over it what he desires to happen to his enemy. It is
then left in the ground for a few days. The evil magic is supposed
to proceed from the stick to the man, who often succumbs,
unless a medicine man chances to discover the implement.
The Australian aborigine has a special dread of magic connected
with places at a distance, and any magical apparatus
purchased or obtained from faraway tribes is supposed to possess
potency of a much greater kind than if it had been made
among themselves. Thus certain little stones traded by Northern
tribes are supposed to contain a very powerful form of evil
magic called mauia. These are wrapped up in many folds of
bark and string. According to their traditions this type of magic
was first introduced by a ‘‘batman,’’ who dropped it to Earth,
where it made a great explosion at a certain spot where it can
still be procured. Sticks procured from a distance, with which
the natives chastise their wives, are sufficient by their very sight
to make the women obey their husbands.
Austatikco-Pauligaur Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology • 5th Ed.
Much mystery surrounds what are known as ‘‘debil-debil’’
shoes, which consist of a pad of emu feathers, rounded at both
ends, in order that no one should be able to trace in which direction
the wearer is journeying. These are supposed to be
worn by a being called kurdaitcha, to whom deaths are attributed.
The Australian aborigine believes that death is due to evil
magic. A man may become a kurdaitcha by submitting to a certain
ceremony, in which the little toe of his foot is dislocated.
Dressed up and painted grotesquely, he sets out accompanied
by a medicine man and wearing the kurdaitcha shoes when he
desires to slay an enemy. When he spears him, the medicine
man closes up the wound, and the victim returns to consciousness
oblivious to the fact that he is full of evil magic. When he
later sickens and dies, it is known that he has been attacked by
a kurdaitcha. Many long and elaborate ceremonies are connected
with the churinga.
In 1988 the bicentenary celebrations in Australia placed primary
emphasis on the achievements of the colonists, against a
background of protest from displaced aborigines. Traditional
aborigine beliefs and life-styles have suffered severe disruption.
Displaced from their own lands, their world of supernatural beliefs
shattered by the materialism of white society, many aborigines
have succumbed to the alcohol introduced by the settlers,
or to suicide. Others endure a miserable poverty-stricken existence,
stranded between two contradictory cultures. A few successfully
adapted aborigine artists have been acclaimed for
their expressive and visionary paintings and poetry.
Spiritualism in Australia
Spiritualism became a public issue in Victoria, Australia in
the 1860s when a gentleman, writing under the pen name of
‘‘Schamlyn,’’ entered into a heated controversy with the editor
of the Collingwood Advertiser in defense of Spiritualism. Another
influential supporter of the spiritual cause was a gentleman
connected with the editorial department of the Melbourne
Argus, one of the leading journals of Victoria. This was an organ
well calculated to exert a powerful sway over the minds of its
As the tides of public opinion moved on, doctors, lawyers,
merchants, and men of eminence joined the ranks. Tidings of
phenomena of the most astounding character poured in from
distant towns and districts. Members of the press shared the
general enthusiasm. Some would not, and others could not,
avow their convictions. Yet their private prepossessions induced
them to open their columns for debate and correspondence
on the subject.
Adding to the stimulus imparted, many of the leading colonial
journals indulged in tirades of abuse and misrepresentation,
only serving to increase the influence, and not diminishing
its force. At length the clergy manifested their interest by
furious abuse. Denunciation provoked retort; discussion compelled
investigation. In Sydney, many converts of rank and influence
suddenly appeared. The Hon. John Bowie Wilson, land
minister and a champion of temperance, converted to Spiritualism,
and his public defense of the cause led many to begin
their own investigation. Among many who affiliated with the
cause in Sydney were several members of the New South Wales
Parliament and Cabinet, the attorney general, and several
judges. Possibly most influential of all was William Terry, the
editor of the Melbourne Harbinger of Light. As American Spiritualist
writer Hudson Tuttle notes
‘‘About 1869 the necessity for a Spiritualistic journal was impressed
deeply on the mind of Mr. Terry. He could not cast it
off, but pondered over the enterprise. At this time, an exceedingly
sensitive patient described a spirit holding a scroll on
which was written ‘Harbinger of Light’ and the motto, ‘Dawn
approaches, error is passing away; men arising shall hail the
day.’ This influenced him, and in August 1870, he set to work
to prepare the first number, which appeared on the 1st of September
of that year.
‘‘There was no organization in Australian Spiritualism, and
Mr. Terry saw the advantage and necessity of associative movement.
He consulted a few friends, and in November 1870, he
organized the first Victorian Association of Spiritualists. A hall
was rented, and Sunday services, consisting of essays and reading
by members, enlivened by appropriate hymns, were held.
In October 1872, impressed with the desirability of forming a
Lyceum, he called together a few willing workers, and held the
first session on October 20th, 1872. It is, and has been from the
first in a flourishing condition, numbering 150 members, with
a very handsome and complete outfit, and excellent library. He
has remained an officer ever since, and conducted four sessions.
He assisted in the establishment of the Spiritualist and
Free-thought Association, which succeeded the original one,
and was its first president. He has lectured occasionally to appreciative
audiences, and his lectures have been widely circulated.
His mediumship, which gave such fair promise, both in regard
to writing and speaking, became controlled, especially for
the relief of the sick. Without the assistance of advertising he
had acquired a fine practice. With this he combines a trade in
Reform and Spiritualistic publications, as extensive as the colony,
and the publication of the Harbinger of Light, a Spiritual
journal that is an honor to the cause, and well sustains the
grand philosophy of immortality. No man is doing more for
the cause, or has done more efficient work.’’
A short but interesting summary of the rise and progress of
Spiritualism in Australia is given in the American Banner of
Light in 1880, in which Terry’s pioneering efforts were lauded.
‘‘The Harbinger of Light, published at Melbourne, Australia,
furnishes a review of the origin of its publication and the work
it has accomplished during the ten years just closed. At its advent
in 1870, considerable interest had been awakened in the
subject of Spiritualism, by the lectures of Mr. Nayler, in Melbourne,
and Mr. Leech, at Castlemaine. The leaders of the
church became disturbed, and seeing their gods in danger,
sought to stay the progress of what would eventually lessen
their influence and possibly their income. But Mr. Nayler
spoke and wrote with more vigor; the addresses of Mr. Leech
were published from week to week in pamphlet form, and widely
distributed. At the same time, Mr. Charles Bright, who had
published letters on Spiritualism in the Argus, over an assumed
name, openly identified himself with the movement, and spoke
publicly on the subject. Shortly after, 11 persons met and
formed an association, which soon increased to 80 members. A
hymn book was compiled, and Sunday services began. As elsewhere,
the press ridiculed and the pulpit denounced Spiritualism
as a delusion. A number of articles in the Argus brought
some of the facts prominently before the public, and the growing
interest was advanced by a public discussion between Messrs.
Tyerman and Blair. In 1872, a Sunday school, on harmonial
principles, was established, Mr. W. H. Terry, the proprietor of
the Harbinger, being its first conductor. Almost simultaneously
with this was the visit of Dr. J. M. Peebles, whose public lectures
and work in the Lyceum served to consolidate the movement.
A controversy in the Age, between Rev. Mr. Potter, Mr. Tyerman
and Mr. Terry, brought the facts and teachings of Spiritualism
into further notice.
‘‘Soon came Dr. Peebles, Thomas Walker, Mrs. Britten and
others, who widened the influence of the spiritualistic philosophy,
and aided the Harbinger in its efforts to establish Spiritualism
on a broad rational basis. Mr. W. H. Terry is deserving of
all praise for his unselfish and faithful exertions in carrying the
Harbinger through the years of as hard labor as ever befell any
similar enterprise, and we bespeak for him, in his continued efforts
to make known the evidences of a future existence, and
the illuminating truths of Spiritualism, the hearty co-operation
and sympathy of all friends of the cause.’’
Writing to the Banner of Light on the subject of Anglican clergyman
J. Tyerman’s accession to the Spiritualist ranks, an
American correspondent stated,
Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology • 5th Ed. AUSTRALIA
‘‘The Rev. J. Tyerman, of the Church of England, resident
in one of the country districts, boldly declared his full reception
of Spiritualism as a great fact, and his change of religious faith
consequent upon the teachings of spirits. Of course, he was welcomed
with open arms by the whole body of Spiritualists in
Melbourne, the only city where there was any considerable
number enrolled in one association. He soon became the principal
lecturer, though not the only one employed by the association,
and well has he wielded the sword of the new faith. He
is decidedly of the pioneer stamp, a skillful debater, a fluent
speaker, ready at any moment to engage with any one, either
by word of mouth or as a writer. So widely, indeed, did he make
his influence felt, and so individual was it, that a new society
grew up around him, called the Free-Thought and Spiritualist
Propaganda Society, which remained in existence till Mr. Tyerman
removed to Sydney, when it coalesced with the older association,
under the combined name of Melbourne Spiritualist
and Free-Thought Association.’’
Another valuable convert to the cause of Spiritualism, at a
time when it most needed good service, was Florence Williams,
the daughter of the celebrated English novelist G. P. R. James.
She officiated for many years at the first Spiritualist meetings
convened for Sabbath Day exercises and was an eloquent lecturer.
The visits of several zealous propagandists have been alluded
to in previous quotations. Among the first to break ground
as a public exponent of Spiritualism was the Rev. James Martin
Peebles, formerly a minister of Battle Creek, Michigan. Peebles
was well known in the United States as a capable writer and
lecturer. He visited Australia on two occasions several years
apart and in his account, which appeared in the Banner of Light
some five years after his first visit, he described the changed
spirit that marked both the progress of the movement and the
alteration in the tone of public opinion.
‘‘Relative to Spiritualism and its divine principles, public
sentiment has changed rapidly, and for the better, during the
past five years. Upon my late public appearance in Melbourne,
the Hon. John McIlwraith, ex-mayor of the city, and commissioner
of our Centennial Exhibition, took the chair, introducing
me to the audience. On my previous visit some of the Spiritualists
seemed a little timid. They preferred being called
investigators, remaining a good distance from the front. Then
my travelling companion, Dr. Dunn was misrepresented, and
meanly vilified in the city journals; while I was hissed in the
market, caricatured in Punch, burlesqued in a theatre, and published
in the daily press as an ‘ignorant Yankee,’ an ‘American
trickster,’ a ‘long-haired apostate,’ and ‘a most unblushing blasphemer.’
But how changed! Recently the secular press treated
me fairly. Even the usually abusive Telegraph published Mr. Stevenson’s
article assuring the Rev. Mr. Green that I was willing
to meet him at once in a public discussion. The Melbourne
Argus, one of the best daily papers in the world, the Australasian,
the Herald, and the Age, all dealt honorably by me, reporting
my lectures, if briefly, with admirable impartiality. The press is
a reflector; and those audiences of 2,000 and 2,500 in the great
Opera House on each Sunday for several successive months,
were not without a most striking moral significance. It seemed
to be the general opinion that Spiritualism had never before
occupied so prominent yet so favorable a position in the eyes
of the public. . .’’
Peebles initially introduced Thomas Walker, a young Englishman,
to Australia. Alleging himself to be a ‘‘trance speaker’’
under the control of certain spirits, whom he named, Walker
lectured in Sydney, Melbourne, and other places. In March
1878 Walker participated in a debate with a Rev. M. Green, a
minister of the Churches of Christ, an American free-church
denomination that perpetuated that peculiarly nineteenthcentury
form of public religious discourse. Green had acquired
some reputation in Australia both as a preacher and as one bitterly
opposed to Spiritualism, which he constantly ridiculed.
The debate, held in the Temperance Hall, Melbourne, attracted
large audiences, and was extended for several nights beyond
the period originally agreed upon.
Spiritualism was also promoted by the visits of Emma Hardinge
Britten and medium Henry Slade. The Melbourne Age of
August 20th, 1878, recorded their activities
‘‘Spiritualism is just now very much to the front in Melbourne.
The lectures of Emma Hardinge Britten, delivered to
crowded audiences at the Opera House every Sunday evening,
have naturally attracted a sort of wondering curiosity to the
subject, and the interest has probably been intensified by the
strenuous efforts that are being made in some of the orthodox
pulpits to prove that the whole thing is an emanation from the
devil. The announcement that the famous Dr. Slade had arrived
to strengthen the ranks of the Spiritualists, has therefore
been made at a very critical juncture, and I should not be surprised
to find that the consequence will be to infuse a galvanic
activity into the forces on both sides. Though I do not profess
to be a Spiritualist, I own to having been infected with the fashionable
itch for witnessing ‘physical manifestations,’ as they are
called, and accordingly I have attended several circles with
more or less gratification. But Slade is not an ordinary medium
even among professionals. The literature of the Spiritualists is
full of his extraordinary achievements, attested to all appearance
by credible witnesses, who have not been ashamed to append
their names to their statements. . .I see that on one occasion,
writing in six different languages was obtained on a single
slate, and one day, accompanied by two learned professors,
Slade had a sitting with the Grand Duke Constantine, who obtained
writing on a new slate held by himself alone. From St.
Petersburg, Slade went to Berlin, where he is said to have obtained
some marvelous manifestations in the house of Professor
Johann Zöllner, and where he was visited by the court conjurer
to the Emperor, Samuel Bellachini. . .My object in visiting
Slade can be understood when I was introduced to him with my
friend, whom I shall call Omega, and who was bent on the same
errand. Slade and Mr. Terry constituted the circle of four who
sat around the table in the center of the room almost as immediately
as we entered it. There was nothing in the room to attract
attention. No signs of confederacy, human or mechanical.
The hour was eleven in the morning. The window was unshuttered,
and the sun was shining brightly. The table at which we
sat was a new one, made especially by Wallach Brothers, of Elizabeth
Street, of polished cedar, having four slight legs, one
flap, and no ledges of any kind underneath. As soon as we examined
it Slade took his seat on one side, facing the window,
and the rest of us occupied the other three seats. He was particularly
anxious that we should see he had nothing about him.
It has been said that he wrote on the slate by means of a crumb
of pencil stuck in his finger-nails, but his nails were cut to the
quick, while his legs and feet were ostentatiously placed away
from the table in a side position, exposed to view the whole
time. He first produced a slate of the ordinary school size, with
a wet sponge, which I used to it. A chip of pencil about the size
of a grain of wheat was placed upon it on the table; we joined
hands, and immediately taps were heard about the table, and
in answer to a question—‘Will you write’—from Slade, three
raps were given, and he forthwith took up the slate with the
pencil lying on it, and held half of it under the table by his finger
and thumb, which clasped the corner of the half that was
outside the table, and was therefore easily seen by all present.
His left hand remained near the center of the table, resting on
those of the two sitters on either side of him. Several convulsive
jerks of his arm were now given, then a pause, and immediately
the sound of writing was audible to every one, a scratching
sound interrupted by the tap of the pencil, which indicated, as
we afterwards found, that the t’s were being crossed and the i’s
dotted. The slate was then exposed, and the words written were
in answer to the question which had been put by Omega as to
whether he had psychic power or not. I pass over the conversation
that ensued on the subject, and go on to the next phenomenon.
To satisfy myself that the ‘trick’ was not done by means
AUSTRALIA Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology • 5th Ed.
of sympathetic writing on the slate, I had ten minutes previously
purchased a slate from a shop in Bourke Street, containing
three leaves, and shutting up book fashion. This I produced,
and Slade readily repeated his performance with it. It was necessary
to break the pencil down to a mere crumb, in order to
insert it between the leaves of the slate. This done, the phenomenon
at once recurred with this rather perplexing difference,
that the slate, instead of being put half under the table, forced
itself by a series of jerks on to my neck, and reposed quietly
under my ear, in the eyes of everyone present. The scratching
then commenced; I heard the t’s crossed and the i’s dotted by
the moving pencil, and at the usual signal I opened the slate,
and found an intelligible reply to the question put. . .The next
manifestation was the levitation of one of the sitters in his chair
about a clear foot from the ground, and the levitation of the
table about two feet. I ought to have mentioned that during the
whole of the séance there was a good deal of by-play going on.
Everyone felt the touch of hands more or less, and the sitters’
chairs were twice wrenched from under them, or nearly so, but
the psychic could not possibly have done it.’’
Britten includes her own reflections in her Nineteenth Century
Miracles (1883)
‘‘As personal details are more graphic than the cold narrations
of passing events, we deem it expedient in this place to
give our readers an inside view of Spiritualism in Australia, by
republishing one of the many articles sent by the author to the
American Spiritual journals during her sojourn in the colonies.
The following excerpt was written as the result of personal experience,
and at a time when Spiritualism, in the usual inflated
style of journalistic literature was ‘in the zenith of its triumphs.’
It is addressed to the Editor of the Banner of Light, and reads
as follows
‘‘Spiritualism in these colonies finds little or no public representation
outside of Melbourne or Sydney, nevertheless
warm friends of the cause are scattered all over the land, and
endeavors are being made to enlarge the numerous circles into
public meetings, and the fugitive efforts of whole-hearted individuals
into associations as powerful as that which exists in Melbourne.
At present, the attempt to effect missionary work in
any portions of Australia outside Sydney or Melbourne, becomes
too great a burden to the luckless individual, who has
not only to do the work, but to bear the entire cost of the undertaking,
as I have had to do in my visits to various towns in Victoria.
Expenses which are cheerfully divided amongst the many
in the United States, become all too heavy for endurance when
shouldered upon the isolated workers; hence the paucity of
public representation, and the impossibility of those who visit
the colonies, as I have done, effecting any important pioneer
work beyond the two great centers I have named. Mr. Walker
at Sydney, and I at Melbourne, have been favored with the largest
gatherings ever assembled at colonial Sunday meetings.
‘‘Having, by desire of my spirit guides, exchanged rostrums,
he filling my place at Melbourne, and I his at Sydney, we find
simultaneously at the same time, and on the same Sundays, the
lessees of the two theaters we occupied raising their rent upon
us one hundred and fifty per cent. The freethinkers and Spiritualists
had occupied the theatre in Sydney four years at the
rate of four pounds per Sunday. For my benefit the landlord
raised the rent to ten pounds, whilst the same wonderful spirit
of accordance caused the Melbourne manager to increase upon
Mr. Walker from eight pounds to a demand of twenty. With our
heavy expenses and small admission fees this was tantamount
to driving us out altogether. Both of us have succeeded after
much difficulty, and fighting Christian warriors with the Christian
arms of subtlety and vigilance, in securing other places to
lecture in; and despite the fact that the press insult us, the pulpit
curse us, and Christians generally devote us to as complete
a prophecy of what they would wish us to enjoy everlastingly as
their piety can devise, we are each attracting our thousands
every Sunday night, and making such unmistakable marks on
public opinion as will not easily be effaced again. . .
‘‘Dr. Slade’s advent in Melbourne since last September has
been productive of an immense amount of good. How far his
labors here will prove remunerative I am not prepared to say.
Frankly speaking, I do not advise Spirit Mediums or speakers
to visit these colonies on financial advancement intent. There
is an abundant crop of Medium power existing, interest
enough in the cause, and many of the kindest hearts and clearest
brains in the world to be found here; but the lack of organization,
to which I have before alluded, and the imperative necessity
for the workers who come here to make their labors
remunerative, paralyses all attempts at advancement, except in
the sensation line. Still I feel confident that with united action
throughout the scattered force of Spiritualistic thought in these
colonies, Spiritualism might and would supersede every other
phase of religious thought in an incredibly short space of time.
I must not omit to mention that the friends in every place I
have visited have been more than kind, hospitable and appreciative.
The public have defied both press and pulpit in their
unstinted support of my lectures. The press have been equally
servile, and the Christian world equally stirred, and equally active
in desperate attempts to crush out the obvious proofs of immortality
Spiritualism brings.
‘‘In Melbourne, I had to fight my way to comply with an invitation
to lecture for the benefit of the City Hospital. I fought
and conquered; and the hospital committee revenged itself for
a crowded attendance at the Town Hall by taking my money
without the grace of thanks, either in public or private, and the
simply formal acknowledgement of my services by an official
receipt. In Sydney, where I now am, I was equally privileged in
lecturing for the benefit of the Temperance Alliance, and
equally honored, after an enthusiastic and successful meeting,
by the daily press of the city in their utter silence concerning
such an important meeting, and their careful record of all sorts
of such trash as they disgrace their columns with. So mote it be.
The wheel will turn some day!’’
During the years 1881 and 1882 the Australians were favored
with visits from three more well-known American Spiritualists.
The first of these was William Denton, an able and eloquent
lecturer on geology, who usually combined his scientific
addresses with one or more lectures on Spiritualism. The community
also welcomed Ada Foye, a test-writing, rapping, and
seeing medium, and Mrs. E. L. Watson, a trance-speaker.
All was not an upward path. At about this same time the government,
through its chief secretary, promulgated an interdict
against the proprietor of the Melbourne Opera House, forbidding
him to allow Spiritualists to take money at the door for admission
to their services, and in effect, forbidding them to hold
services there at all. Walker, Peebles, and Britten had occupied
the Opera House for months together, and admission fees had
been charged regularly at each of their Sunday services, without
let or hindrance. As reported in the Harbinger of Light of
March 1882, Spiritualists organized to fight the new policy.
In the 1870s, Richard Hodgson, an Australian by birth, became
involved in the study of paranormal phenomena as an
undergraduate at the University of Cambridge, England. In
1884 the Society for Psychical Research sent him to India to
investigate Helena Petrovna Blavatsky and the Theosophical
movement. He determined she was a fraud, and had no place
in the realm of parapsychology. He and the SPR were both criticized
by Theosophists and others—a criticism that followed
the society into the end of the 1900s. He died suddenly in 1905
before the Theosophists made their way to his native country.
By the 1910s and 1920s, the Theosophists, worked their
way into Australia. Charles Leadbeater took hold of the group
in Australia along with James Wedgwood, both of whom espoused
doctrine that was not in concert with Blavatsky’s original
direction. Growing dissatisfaction with Leadbeater’s leadership
along with Annie Besant, especially when Leadbeater was
continually under investigation of immorality by Australian police,
helped dissipate that part of the Spiritualist movement.
Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology • 5th Ed. AUSTRALIA
Psychical Research
Psychical research in Australia can be traced to 1864 when
it briefly arose in response to the mediumship of William Archer,
a table tilter. It soon died out when it was discovered that
Archer was not producing any paranormal phenomena. During
Slade’s 1878 visit to Sydney, E. Cyril Haviland, latter the
author of two pamphlets and other writings on Spiritualism,
was initially convinced of the truth of Spiritualism. Haviland,
Harold Stephen, and several other gentlemen of literary repute
in Sydney combined to form a Psychological Society, the members
of which included some leading citizens of the city. However,
the society was shortlived. Through the early 1900s, there
were sporadic informal attempts to conduct some psychical research,
but no sustained interest was generated.
A Society for Psychic Research was organized at Melbourne
University in 1948 but soon disbanded. Psychical research was
thus still in its infancy in the 1950s when a few courses in parapsychology
began to be offered in Australian universities. The
first degree in parapsychology was issued in 1960 from the University
of Tasmania. Slowly through the 1980s, with the leadership
of the likes of Ronald K. H. Rose, Raynor Johnson, Michael
John Scriven, H. H. J. Keil, and Michael A. Thalbourne,
a psychical research community had arisen, in spite of an hostile
academic environment.
Currently there is an Australian Institute of Psychic Research
(P. O. Box 445, Lane Cove, NSW 2066) and an Australian
Society for Psychical Research, headquartered at Murdoch
University in Western Australia. The institute publishes a bulletin,
and the society issues a newsletter called Psi. Ghost hunting
societies also have emerged in Australia at the end of the twentieth
century. One of the more well-known groups is the Brisbane
Ghost Hunters, based in the Queensland capital.
Berger, Arthur S., and Joyce Berger. The Encyclopedia of
Parapsychology and Psychical Research. New York Paragon
House, 1991.
Brisbane Ghost Hunters.
claricaunangel2.gif. June 6, 2000.
Britten, Emma Hardinge. Nineteenth Century Miracles. New
York, 1870. Reprint, New Hyde Park, N.Y. University Books,
Drury, Nevill, and Gregory Tillett. Other TemplesOther Gods
The Occult in Australia. Sydney Hodder & Stoughton, 1982.
Johnson, Raynor C. The Imprisoned Splendour. New York
Harper & Brothers, 1953.
———. Nurslings of Immortality. London Hodder and
Stoughton, 1957.
———. The Spiritual Path. New York Harper & Brothers,
———. Watcher on the Hills. New York Harper & Brothers,
Lewis, James R. Encyclopedia of Afterlife Beliefs and Phenomena.
Detroit Visible Ink Press, 1995.
Rose, Ronald. Living Magic The Realities Underlying the Psychical
Practices and Beliefs of Australian Aborigines. New York
Rand McNally, 1956.
Washington, Peter. Madame Blavatsky’s Baboon. New York
Schocken Books, 1993.

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