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Leo Ruickbie

Location: Germany

About Me

Dr Leo Ruickbie, PhD, MA, BA (Hons), AKC (Associate of King’s College), has a PhD from King’s College, London, for his thesis on the sociology of modern witchcraft, building on his research into re-enchantment that won him an MA with distinction from Lancaster University. He is the author of several books on witchcraft, magic and the supernatural. His published articles, covering such subjects as theories of magic, the historical development of personalised conceptions of evil, folk beliefs in the external soul and the representation of angels in modern media, show his broad interest in the history and sociology of belief and anomalous phenomena. His work has been mentioned in the media fromThe Guardian to Radio Jamaica. He is also a member of several other professional and special interest groups and is on the committee of the Gesellschaft für Anomalistik (Society for Anomalistics). In 2014 he was appointed editor of theParanormal Review, the magazine of the Society for Psychical Research.


Publications

Books

  • A Brief Guide to Ghost Hunting (Constable & Robinson, 2013)
  • A Brief Guide to the Supernatural (Constable & Robinson, 2012)
  • Faustus: The Life and Times of a Renaissance Magician (The History Press, 2009)
  • Witchcraft Out of the Shadows: A Complete History (Robert Hale, 2004; 2nd ed., 2011)

Edited Books

  • With Simon Bacon, Little Horrors: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Anomalous Children and the Construction of Monstrosity (in preparation)

Chapters in Books

  • ‘Magical Bodies, Cursed Corpses and Medical Knowledge During the Witch Trials’, in Francesco Paolo de Ceglia (ed.), The Corpse of Evidence: Cadavers and Proofs in Early Modern European Forensic Medicine (in preparation).
  • ‘Bell Witch, The’, ‘Hunkeler, Ronald E.’ and ‘Taylor, Michael’, in Joseph Laycock (ed.),Spirit Possession Around the World: Possession, Communion, and Demon Expulsion across Cultures (Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger/ABC-CLIO, forthcoming).
  • ‘Magic’ and ‘Spells’, in Patrick Hayes (ed.), Miracles Through History: An Encyclopedia of Supernatural and Divine Events (Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger/ABC-CLIO, forthcoming).
  • ‘Memento (Non)Mori: Memory, Discourse and Transmission during the Eighteenth Century Vampire Epidemic and After’, in Simon Bacon (ed.),Vampires and Human Memory (forthcoming).
  • ‘Evidence for the Undead: The Role of Medical Investigation in the Eighteenth Century Vampire Epidemic’, in James Doan and Barbara Brodman (eds), The Universal Vampire: Origins and Evolution of a Legend, vol. 1 (Lanham, MD: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press/Rowman & Littlefield, 2013)
  • ‘“So Terrible a Force”: Spirit Communication in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn’, in Christopher M. Moreman (ed.), The Spiritualist Movement: Speaking with the Dead in America and Around the World, vol. 3 (Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger/ABC-CLIO, 2013)
  • ‘“Mysteries Wrapped in Enigmas”: Trithemius, Occultism and Cryptography’, in Angela Catalina Ghionea (ed.),Medicine, Alchemy, Science and the Occult in European Thought(Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, forthcoming)
  • ‘“Either Must Die at the Hand of the Other”: Religious Reactions to Harry Potter’, in Jennifer Sims (ed.), The Sociology of Harry Potter, (Cheshire, CT: Zossima, 2012)

Most Recent Articles

  • ‘The Blood of Satan: The Exorcism of Michael Taylor’, Fortean Times, 313 (April 2014)
  • ‘What Possessed Us? Forty Years After Its UK Release, Is The Exorcist Still the Scariest Movie of All Time?’,Fortean Times, 313 (April 2014)
  • ‘Friday the 13th’, Daily Express (12 September 2013)
  • ‘Britain’s Spookiest Places’, Daily Express (23 August 2013)
  • ‘Child Witches: Imaginary Cannibalism and Ritual Abuse in London’, Paranthropology, 3.3 (July 2012)
  • ‘Vampire Autopsies’, Fortean Times, 288 (Special, 2012)
  • ‘Faith Factor: Hallowe’en Then and Now’, Sierra Sun (27 October 2011)

Other Memberships

  • European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism
  • Gesellschaft für Anomalistik (Committee Member)
  • Societas Magica
  • Society for Psychical Research
  • The Ghost Club

 

Other Places I Frequent

My Recent Activity

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A Brief Guide to Ghost Hunting: How to Investigate Paranormal Activity from Spirits and Hauntings to Poltergeists by Dr Leo Ruickbie Paperback: 384 pages Publisher: Robinson (15 Aug 2013) ISBN-10: 1780338260 ISBN-13: 978-1780338262 There has been an ... more

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On Thursday, August 22, 2013 4:16 AM

Leo Ruickbie said:

A Brief Guide to Ghost Hunting:
How to Investigate Paranormal Activity from Spirits and Hauntings to Poltergeists
by Dr Leo Ruickbie

Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Robinson (15 Aug 2013)
ISBN-10: 1780338260
ISBN-13: 978-1780338262

There has been an upsurge in books, television programmes, films and websites exploring the reality or otherwise of the spirit world. Not since the founding of The Ghost Club in 1862 and the Society for Psychical Research in 1882 has ghost hunting been so popular. Television and the internet, in particular, have fueled this new level of interest, creating a modern media phenomenon that spans the globe. But while the demand for information is high, good information remains scarce. A Brief Guide to Ghost Hunting leads us through the process of ghost hunting, from initially weighing the first report, to choosing equipment, and investigating and identifying the phenomena, with an analysis of the best places to go looking, methods of contacting the spirit world, how to explain paranormal activity and, crucially, how to survive the encounter. However, it is also a book about ghost hunting itself, drawing on 130 years of research in the cavernous archives of the Society for Psychical Research and even older history to find the earliest ghost stories. A Ghost Hunting Survey makes use of interviews with those billing themselves as ghost hunters to find out their views, motivations and experiences. New and original research makes use of statistics to map the nebulous world of apparitions while a Preliminary Survey of Hauntings offers an analysis of 923 reported phenomena from 263 locations across the UK. This is, as far as possible, an objective presentation of ghosts and ghost hunting. It is no wonder that mainstream science largely refuses to deal with the subject: it is too complicated. Without trying to convince you of any viewpoint, this book is intended to help you understand more.

Every ghost hunter, whether professional or amateur should read this book. All will learn from it.
- Alan Murdie, Chairman, The Ghost Club

Available in the UK from http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0762450770/witchcrinformace/

Available in the USA from http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0762450770/witchcrinforma0e/

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