Thurston, Herbert Henry Charles (S. J.)
(1856–1939)
Roman Catholic priest, historian, and writer on parapsychological
subjects. He was born on November 15, 1856, in
London. He was educated at Séminaire St. Malo, France;
Mount St. Mary’s, Derbyshire, England; Stonyhurst, Lancashire,
England; Manresa House, Roehampton; and the University
of London. He became a novice in the Society of Jesus in
1874. During his lengthy career he authored over 700 articles,
essays, pamphlets, and translations.
In 1919 he joined the Society for Psychical Research, London,
and was active in its deliberation for the rest of his life. He
became one of its most widely read members, which compensated
for the fact that as a practicing Roman Catholic he could
not attend séances, even as an observer. He was particularly interested
in poltergeist phenomena and Spiritualism, and also
made a study of miraculous and paranormal events associated
with holy people and saints in Roman Catholicism. While his
opinions in general represented a minority opinion in parapsychological
circles, he was a well-respected scholar.
His books include Beauraing and Other Apparitions (1934),
The Church and Spiritualism (1933), Ghosts and Poltergeists (1953),
The Memory of Our Dead (1915), Physical Phenomena of Mysticism
(1955), Superstition (1933), and Surprising Mystics (1955).
He died November 3, 1939.
Sources
Berger, Arthur S., and Joyce Berger. The Encyclopedia of
Parapsychology and Psychical Research. New York Paragon
House, 1991.
Crehan, J. Father Thurston. London Sheed and Ward, 1952.
Pleasants, Helene, ed. Biographical Dictionary of Parapsychology.
New York Helix Press, 1964.
Thurston, Herbert. ‘‘The Phenomena of Stigmatization.’’
Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research 32, no. 83
(1922).