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Six Essential Parapsychology Books

Updated on September 4, 2014
Introductory picture was taken by me.
Introductory picture was taken by me.

Parapsychology Books

It's easy for people to make fun of parapsychology and consider it "junk science." Sometimes people get the image in their head of the fortune teller collecting money from people and telling them what they want to hear, of people trying to bend spoons with their minds, of seances. But there are people who have worked to make sure parapsychology stays a professional and scientific area. There are legitimate, scientific experiments run and objective discussions about unexplained phenomena. If you are interested in parapsychology as a science, here are six essential books to read.

Parapsychology: The Controversial Science
Parapsychology: The Controversial Science

"There is an enormous amount of evidence for what we call psychic ability that remains to be explained and understood; and hardly anyone is doing anything about it."


Parapsychology: The Controversial Science

by Richard S. Broughton

This is the first book I read about parapsychology. It discusses the different types of phenomena studied under parapsychology and the various experiments that have been conducted. This is a great book if you are just starting to read about parapsychology. It is a great introduction to parapsychology that takes the reader through the experiments that have been conducted and the problems facing the field.

ESP in Life and Lab

by Louisa E. Rhine

This is an old book (first published in 1967) written by one of the pioneers of parapsychological research. It discusses personal anecdotes of extra-sensory perception as well as lab experiments that were being conducted at the time. Louisa A. Rhine weaves together the personal and scientific sides of parapsychology to give a "clearer, more meaningful" picture of ESP phenomena.

The Conscious Universe: The Scientific Truth of Psychic Phenomena
The Conscious Universe: The Scientific Truth of Psychic Phenomena

"Actually there is quite a bit of scientific evidence for psychic phenomena...On the other hand, regardless of how persuasive your personal psychic experiences may be, science has shown time and again that personal beliefs are often mistaken."


The Conscious Universe

by Dean Radin

This is a more recent book that discusses the experiments conducted in parapsychology (complete with charts). The experiments discussed range from the beginning of parapsychological research to recent experiments. It also mentions some real-world applications of psychic phenomena. Dean Radin writes about the various experiments conducted in parapsychology and discusses their results.

An Introduction to Parapsychology
An Introduction to Parapsychology

"It is important to appreciate the distinction between parapsychological experiences that unequivocally do occur and underlying paranormal processes that are mere hypotheses for scientific investigation."


An Introduction to Parapsychology

by Harvey J. Irwin and Caroline A. Watt

This is a parapsychology text book. It discusses the history of parapsychology and the experiments being conducted as well as various theories for explaining experimental results. This is an actual text book that approaches the subject from a completely objective perspective.
This text book discusses parapsychological research and the different theories that may explain experimental results.

A Skeptic's Handbook of Parapsychology
A Skeptic's Handbook of Parapsychology

Those who hope to keep parapsychology a scientific field and hope to garner more respect for it must have a somewhat skeptical attitude about parapsychology.


A Skeptic's Handbook of Parapsychology

edited by Paul Kurtz

When I first started looking into parapsychology I read that a healthy dose of skepticism is necessary. After all, no good scientist approaches any experiment as though they know what the results will be. It is important to see where past experiments have fallen short and determine how psi phenomena can be rigorously and objectively tested. This book is a collection of writings from different skeptics concerning parapsychological phenomena.

Parapsychology in the Twenty-First Century: Essays on the Future of Psychical Research
Parapsychology in the Twenty-First Century: Essays on the Future of Psychical Research

A collection of several essays that discuss what the future may hold and potential problems with current theories.


Parapsychology In The Twenty-First Century: Essays On The Future Of Psychical Research

edited by Michael A. Thalbourne and Lance Storm

This book is a series of essays concerning the future of parapsychological research and potential theories. It is a collection of essays by fourteen different parapsychological authors from all over the world. Discussed in this book are general issues, experimental issues, and theoretical issues in parapsychology.

© 2012 Marigold Tortelli

Do you have any other parapsychology book recommendations?

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    • John Dyhouse profile image

      John Dyhouse 4 years ago from UK

      I have never been able to completely accept parapsycholgy, too much hocus pocus and not enough reproduction of results in a scientific test. Maybe I should read one or more of these books

    • rallo-smith profile image

      rallo-smith 5 years ago

      Nothing to add to your list but well put together lens.