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HISTORIC GHOSTS AND GHOST HUNTERS

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Author Topic: HISTORIC GHOSTS AND GHOST HUNTERS  (Read 2509 times)
Porscha Campbell
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« Reply #180 on: November 15, 2009, 05:47:58 am »

XI

Ghost Hunters of Yesterday and To-day

Psychical research, of which so much mention has been made in the preceding pages, may be roughly yet sufficiently described as an effort to determine by strictly scientific methods the nature and significance of apparitions, hauntings, spiritistic phenomena, and those other weird occurrences that would seem to confirm the idea that the spirits of the dead can and do communicate with the living. It is something comparatively new—and like all scientific endeavor is the outgrowth of many minds. But so far as its origin may be attributed to any one man, credit must chiefly be given to a Cambridge University professor named Henry Sidgwick.

At the time, Sidgwick was merely a lecturer in the university, a post given him as a reward for his brilliant career as an undergraduate. He was a born student and investigator, a[Pg 217] restless seeker after knowledge. Philosophy, sociology, ethics, economics, mathematics, the classics,—he made almost the whole wide field of thought his sphere of inquiry. And after awhile, as is so often the case, his learning became too profound for his peace of mind. He had been born and brought up in the faith of the English Church, and had unhesitatingly made the religious declaration required of all members of the university faculty. But little by little he felt himself drifting from the moorings of his youth, and doubting the truth of the ancient doctrines and traditions. Honestly skeptical, but still unwilling to lose his hold on religion, he turned feverishly to the study of oriental languages, of ancient philosophies, of history, of science, in the hope of finding evidence that would remove his doubts. But the more he read the greater grew his uncertainty, especially with respect to the vital question of the existence of a spiritual world and its relation to mankind.
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