In Search of the Unknown
The Odyssey of a Psychical Investigator
by D. Scott Rogo
Trade Paperback, 192 Pages
$14.00, ISBN: 1933665068
The world of psychic research is a world of vast discovery and puzzles on the one hand, and deceit, con artistry, and self-delusion on the other. It is a schizoid world that can affect anyone who touches its Janus-like face. This book looks at both the genuine and the fraudulent, as well as the often incredible controversies which underlie the field of parapsychology. It is a very personal, behind-the-scenes look at what really happens when researching psychic phenomena.
About the Author:
D. Scott Rogo (1950-1990) was one of the most widely respected writer-journalists covering the field of parapsychology, as well as an active scientific investigator. Educated at the University of Cincinnati and San Fernando Valley State College, Rogo held a unique position in parapsychology and made many contributions to the field that deserve recognition. He served as a visiting researcher at the Psychical Research Foundation, then in Durham, North Carolina, and at the Division of Parapsychology and Psychophysics of the Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York. He published papers on ESP in refereed parapsychological journals and was active in field investigations of hauntings and poltergeists. Rogo was also a leading authority on the history of psychical research; the breadth of his historical knowledge of the field was unsurpassed. Over the course of more than two-dozen published books, Rogo sought to broaden the range of topics worthy of paranormal research.
Visit the D. Scott Rogo Collection on Anomalist Books
EXCERPT FROM Chapter 3:
Because haunting outbreaks are so sporadic and unpredictable, the evidence for them is usually restricted to the reports of the persons involved. Perhaps one or two friends or neighbors might also share in the odd events, and in that case their testimony adds weight to the investigation, but it is only rarely that the psychical researcher himself is able to witness the haunting at firsthand. During the early years of psychical research it was not unusual for investigators to rent a reputedly haunted house and either live in it or billet other investigators there for several weeks or even months.
I was able to do this between 1972-1974, living in a haunted house for a little over two years. During that time I interviewed several people who had lived there previously as well as recorded several incidents in which I participated myself. In a previous book, I recounted several adventures in this house, but since that time new verification has come to light along with the discovery of the house's most unusual background.
The house was built in the 1920s. It is a little Spanish style house in Canoga Park, California, that had been remodeled and an addition put on during the 1950s. The house has a rather peculiar floor plan. The front door opens directly into the living room and it in turn leads into a large den area. The den on one side leads into the kitchen dining area and on the other side into an alcove separating the bathroom and the master bedroom. At the rear of the den is another door which originally led onto a back patio which had subsequently been enclosed and turned into a second bedroom. The three previous tenants who shared the house were friends of mine. They all had described how objects had disappeared, told of odd feelings while in the house, how objects shifted position when no one was home, and of hearing odd sounds at night. In December 1971 one of the tenants, Carlos Romero, was searching for someone with whom to share the house and expenses, and I jumped at the chance to move into the house later that month. However, I was preparing to leave on a trip so I didn't actually live in the house until January, when I was given the back bedroom.
The reported events had been rare and infrequent, and it was a long wait before anything precipitated in the house during my occupancy. The jolt came on April 16, one evening while I was out visiting. The next morning a startled Carlos told me of an inexplicable occurrence the night before. Around 9:30 p.m., while he was lying on his bed looking over some music, he heard the front screen door open, the wooden door open and shut, and then heard footsteps progress from the door across the wooden floor at a firm, steady pace. At first he merely assumed that I was coming home. However his Great Dane, a placid animal with a sweet disposition who never barked when I entered, or for that matter hardly ever barked at a stranger, began to react furiously. Carlos jumped from the bed and found the dog staring directly at the front door and barking in great agitation. Plainly no one was in sight and the front door was locked as usual.
The day before this incident I had been resting in my room when suddenly the bed jiggled under me. My first impression was that Carlos' cat had jumped on the bed, but then it dawned on me that I had put the cat outside earlier that day. I didn't think about the incident at all until Carlos told me of his adventure. For the next few days my bed was shaken on several occasions and sometimes the force would push on the foot of the bed. But once while I was fully awake and perfectly still, the top of the bed was given an almost staggering punch which I could literally feel right next to my head.
During this same period Carlos awoke one night to hear moaning and crying coming from the wall adjacent to his bed. This whole rash of events lasted but a few days. Probably the most striking was the response of the Great Dane. Her furious barking was totally at odds with her normal habits...
1. The Search for Psychics
2. Experiments with Blue Harary
3. In Search of Haunted Houses
4. Evenings in the Dark
5. Fads, Frauds, and Fallacies
6. The von Szalay Affair
7. The Odyssey and the Promise