Fodor, Nandor (1895–1964)
Prominent psychoanalyst and psychical researcher. Fodor
was born May 13, 1895, at Beregszasz, Hungary. He studied law
and took his LL.D. degree at the Royal Hungarian University
of Science in 1917 and served as a law assistant during World
War I (1917–21). From 1921 to 1928, he worked as a journalist
and in 1921 visited the United States as a staff reporter on the
New York Hungarian language daily Amerikai Magyar Nepszava.
His chance discovery of a book on psychic phenomena by researcher
Hereward Carrington led to an interview with Carrington
and a meeting with veteran Spiritualist Sir Arthur
Conan Doyle. Fodor’s interest was aroused and he began to
correspond with Carrington.
In 1926 Fodor interviewed Sandor Ferenczi, prominent psychoanalyst
and associate of Freud, and became interested in
psychoanalysis. Later Fodor was to integrate three professions
as journalist, psychoanalyst, and psychical researcher.
He was employed as a secretary by British press magnate
Lord Rothermere in 1929. During this period in England,
Fodor was able to compile his monumental Encyclopaedia of Psychic
Science. Fodor also became assistant editor of the Light, the
oldest British Spiritualist journal. He was also appointed research
officer of the International Institute for Psychical Research
and undertook careful investigations into mediumistic
transfiguration, apports, direct voice, levitation, hauntings,
materializations, and poltergeist phenomena.
Fodor lectured extensively on such subjects and wrote a
number of books and articles. In 1938 he was responsible for
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a number of highly skeptical newspaper articles on mediumship
and Spiritualism, which aroused a good deal of opposition
from Spiritualists. Soon afterward Fodor returned to the
United States, where he renewed his friendship with Hereward
Carrington and practiced as a psychoanalyst. He took a profound
interest in the psychological aspects of mediumship and
published a number of important studies on the subject. He
also advocated a more open methodology in studying mediumship
as opposed to the attempts to control the environment of
the séance room with ropes and other devices then used by investigators.
During his lifetime Fodor was an honorary member of the
Danish Society for Psychical Research and the Hungarian
Metaphysical Society, a member of the New York Academy of
Science, the American Psychological Association, and the New
York State Psychological Association. He wrote a number of
books and contributed more than 70 articles to various psychoanalytic,
neurological, and psychiatric journals. He died May
17, 1964.
Sources
Berger, Arthur S., and Joyce Berger. The Encyclopedia of
Parapsychology and Psychical Research. New York Paragon
House, 1991.
Fodor, Nandor. Between Two Worlds. New York Paperback
Library, 1964.
———. Encyclopedia of Psychic Science. London Arthurs
Press, 1934.
———. The Haunted Mind A Psychoanalyst Looks at the Supernatural.
New York Garrett Publications, 1959.
———. New Approaches to Dream Interpretation. New York,
1951. Reprint, New Hyde Park, N.Y. University Books, 1951.
———. On the Trail of the Poltergeist. New York Citadel
Press, 1958.
———. These Mysterious People. London Rider, 1936.
———. The Unaccountable. New York Award Books, 1968.
Fodor, Nandor, and Hereward Carrington. Haunted People.
New York Dutton, 1951.
———. The Story of the Poltergeist down the Centuries. London
Rider, 1953.
Pleasants, Helene, ed. Biographical Dictionary of Parapsychology.
New York Helix Press, 1964.