Oxford Phasmatological Society

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The Oxford Phasmatological Society was an organisation from Oxford that investigated paranormal phenomena. It lasted from 1879-1885.[1] It is considered the oldest psychical society in existence.[2]

It was founded by Charles Oman, Henry Nicholas Ridley and F. C. S. Schiller.[2][3][4] Similar to the later formed Society for Psychical Research it collected and investigated reports of ghosts, hauntings and psychic phenomena.[5]

Meetings were held in the rooms of Schiller at Balliol College.[6] Arthur Headlam was a President of the society.[6]


  • Selections from the Papers of the Phasmatological Society (1882)


  1. ^ Oppenheim, Janet. The Other World: Spiritualism and Psychical Research in England, 1850-1914. Cambridge University Press. p. 123. ISBN 978-0521347679
  2. ^ a b Haileybury Register, 1862-1887. Edited by L. S. Milford, M. A. Hertford: Stephen Austin and Sons, 1887. p. 58
  3. ^ Samuel, Lawrence, R. (2011). Supernatural America: A Cultural History. Praeger. p. 27. ISBN 978-0-313-39899-5
  4. ^ Schlossberg, Herbert. (2009). Conflict and Crisis in the Religious Life of Late Victorian England. Transaction Publishers. p. 271. ISBN 978-1-4128-1027-2
  5. ^ Hearnshaw, Leslie Spencer. (1964). A Short History of British Psychology: 1840-1940. Barnes & Noble. p. 158
  6. ^ a b Anonymous. (1885). The Phasmatological Society. The Oxford Magazine. p. 258

Further reading[edit]

Coordinates: 51°45′14″N 1°15′25″W / 51.754°N 1.257°W / 51.754; -1.257