Thursday, December 27, 2018

The Haunted Mind: A Psychoanalyst Looks at the Supernatural, by Nandor Fodor. Garrett Publications, 1959

This is an unusual book: it’s a book about psychic goings-on, written by a psychoanalyst who approaches it all as a scientist and an open-minded skeptic. Many of the people and events he writes about fall into the fakery bin, but he finds a few that meet his standards for ‘authentic’. He visits mediums (a lot) and investigates hauntings and poltergeists.

His view on poltergeists is something to think about. He notes that almost all poltergeist events take place about someone, usually a teenaged girl, who is under stress. Some talk therapy causes the knocking and dish throwing to stop. He has no explanation for how their subconscious minds throw dishes and bang on the walls, but just leaves there. He does that with many of his investigations; he lays out what he saw and just kind of leaves it for the reader to make of it what they will.

It was an interesting book. He was unique in his views that hauntings were products of the subconscious mind; this caused many spiritualists to shun him. Being a psychiatrist he was positioned to unravel the mental snarls that existed around most hauntings, but never states if he thinks the mental status caused the haunting or if the haunting brought about the mental state. Four stars for his dispassionate writing.

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