Carington, W(alter) Whately (1884–1947)
British psychic researcher who investigated Mrs. Osborne
Leonard and the Irish medium Kathleen Goligher of the
Goligher Circle. He was born Walter Whately Smith in London.
He studied science at Cambridge University, but had to
postpone completion of his degree until after his service in the
Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology • 5th Ed. Carington, W(alter) Whately
British army during World War I. In 1933 he adopted his older
family name from Brittany, modifying the spelling from Carentan
to Carington.
In 1920 he became a member of the council of the Society
for Psychical Research, London, and worked with E. J. Dingwall
and others investigating the French medium Marthe
Beraud (see also Eva C.). By the early 1930s he had come to
believe that further study of spontaneous cases was a dead end
and began to advocate quantitative research. His first important
paper was presented in several parts (1934–1937) as ‘‘The
Quantitative Study of Trance Personalities’’ and was a watershed
paper in parapsychology.
As with most parapsychologists, Carington turned his attention
to the survival hypothesis. His initial quantitative studies
in the 1930s had led him to believe that the mediums’ controls
were not separate entities but secondary personalities of the
medium. He eventually came to postulate the ‘‘psyhcon hypothesis’’
of survival. He believed the mind is a cluster of sensedata
and images that together constitute a single system, a system
which may survive bodily death and even continue to
Carington founded and edited the journal Psychic Research
Quarterly and wrote several books. He turned down an academic
post and lived most of his life in poverty in order to devote
his time to psychic research. In 1940 he was awarded a Perrott
Studentship in Psychical Research and a short time later a
Leverhulme Research Grant. He died March 2, 1947, at Sennen,
Cornwall, England.
Berger, Arthur S., and Joyce Berger. The Encyclopedia of
Parapsychology and Psychical Research. New York Paragon
House, 1991.
Carington, Walter Whately. The Death of Materialism. N.p.,
———. The Foundations of Spiritualism. N.p., 1920.
———. Matter, Mind and Meaning. Completed by H. H.
Price. London Methuen, 1949.
———. ‘‘The Quantitative Study of Trance Personalities.’’
Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research. Part 1, 42
(1934) 173. Part 2, 43 (1935) 319. Part 3, 44 (1937) 189.
———. Telepathy An Outline of its Fact, Theory and Implications.
London Methuen, 1945. Reprint, New York Gordon
Press, 1972.
———. A Theory of the Mechanism of Survival. N.p., 1920.
Murphy, Gardner. ‘‘W. Wately Carington In Memoriam.’’
Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research 41
(1947) 123.
Pleasants, Helene, ed. Biographical Dictionary of Parapsychology.
New York Helix Press, 1964