Goligher Circle
A small Spiritualist group in Ireland that became the subject
of a series of experiments by Dr. W. J. Crawford. The circle was
created from a poor Belfast family consisting of a father, four
daughters, a son, and a son-in-law. The girls were all mediumistic,
Kathleen Goligher (b. 1898) being the most noteworthy
among them. The experiments lasted from 1914 until Crawford’s
death in 1920. For four years the family accepted no payment
since Spiritualism was their religion. The séances were
held in dim red light either in the Goligher home or in Crawford’s
Six members of the family formed the circle, while Crawford
retained liberty of movement for better observation and experiments.
Communication with the invisible operators was maintained
through raps. Kathleen only went into trance when prolonged
discussion on the phenomena became necessary. The
explanation then came through trance speaking.
Crawford wrote enthusiastically of the phenomena he witnessed
and speculated broadly about its implication for understanding
the nature of the world. Psychic researchers William
Barrett and Whateley Carington witnessed the phenomena and
also believed it real. Two years after Crawford’s death, however,
E. E. Fournier d’Albe sat with the circle and suggested fraud
as the better explanation for the unusual manifestations. After
his book appeared, Kathleen Goligher (by then Lady G. Donaldson)
discontinued sittings for outside inquirers.
Crawford, W. J. Experiments in Psychical Science Levitation,
‘‘Contact,’’ and the ‘‘Direct Voice.’’ London John M. Watkins,
———. The Psychic Structures at the Goligher Circle. London
John M. Watkins, 1921.
The Golden Path Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology • 5th Ed.
———. The Reality of Psychic Phenomena Raps, Levitations, etc.
2nd ed. London John M. Watkins, 1919.
D’Albe, E. E. Fournier. (Psychical Research). The Goligher Circle
May to August, 1921. London John M. Watkins, 1922.