Owen, Iris M.
Nurse and psychical researcher. As a registered nurse and
volunteer in social work, Owen became a member of the governing
board of schools and chairperson of governors of an approved
school for delinquent boys. In 1962, she married parapsychologist
Alan Robert George Owen. They shared an
interest in poltergeist phenomena. She moved to Canada in the
1960s and became secretary of the Toronto Society for Psychical
Research. Owen also assisted her husband’s work at the New
Horizons Research Foundation, Toronto.
In the early 1970s, she led the ‘‘Philip’’ experiment. A
group of people sitting as a séance circle created a fictitious figure
whom they named Philip and who then began to manifest
physical phenomena. The result destroyed the ‘‘spirit’’ hypothesis
by demonstrating that spirits were unnecessary in the production
of phenomena—it could be produced by the sitters.
Sources
Berger, Arthur S., and Joyce Berger. The Encyclopedia of
Parapsychology and Psychical Research. New York Paragon
House, 1991.
Owen, Iris M., and P. Mitchell. ‘‘The Alleged Haunting of
Borley Rectory.’’ Journal of the Society for Psychical Research
50 (1979).
Owen, Iris M., and Margaret Sparrow. Conjuring Up Philip;
An Adventure in Psychokinesis. New York Harper and Row, 1976.

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