The Spirit of Dr. Bindelof: A Book by Rosemarie Pilkington, Ph.D.
The Spirit of Dr Bindelof

Released May, 2006, The Spirit of Dr. Bindelof: The Enigma of Seance Phenomena, is an original work by Rosemarie Pilkington, Ph.D.

ROSEMARIE PILKINGTON, a writer, musician, and educator has a Ph.D. in psychology (consciousness studies) from Saybrook University. In addition to writing many articles and book reviews on psychic phenomena, she compiled and edited Men and Women of Parapsychology: Personal Reflections, published in 1987 by McFarland, an anthology that earned praise in Europe and the Americas and spawned several similar books in the years that followed. See

Most people think all physical mediums are fakes because of the frauds who sought to capitalize on the success of real mediums and because of arch skeptics who refuse to accept what they don't understand. This book demonstrates that these mind-boggling feats such as the movement and levitation of tables or other objects, ectoplasmic apparitions, direct voices and raps are indeed real. Their existence illustrates just how little science knows, and shows us that we need to revise our understanding of reality in order to explain these phenomena.


The Spirit of Dr. Bindelof focuses on one little known episode of physical mediumship. Gilbert Roller's utterly charming and disarming autobiographical account of a group of teenagers who experimented with seance phenomena and contacted an alleged spirit named Dr. Bindelof.

Rosemarie PilkingtonAuthor Rosemarie Pilkington follows up with the history of these extraordinary physical mediums and the remarkable feats they perform, placing the Bindelof case within this wider framework and bringing it up to date with a review of contemporary "secular" mediums.
  The Spirit of Dr. Bindelof: The Enigma of Seance Phenomena

by Rosemarie Pilkington
Anomalist Books
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 1933665130
248 pages, $15.95

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What they’re saying . . .

"There is much to be learned from this lively and informative book. For the absolute beginner, it is an ideal guide to the history of home sitter groups, with practical advice on how to start your own. For the more advanced, there is much to be learned here about how to get positive results..."

-Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, January 2007, 45-46.

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"For years insiders in the sciences dealing with anomalies and psychic events have heard accounts of the legendary Bindelof Society, a group of teenagers who reported a series of remarkable experiences in the 1930s. Rosemarie Pilkington and two of the original Bindelof group bring these experiences to life providing us with a compelling glimpse into the world of seance phenomena. Dr. Pilkington provides an historic setting to this gem of a story and we are treated to a singular and unique adventure that even the most skeptical reader will appreciate.”

— Stanley Krippner, PhD, Professor of Psychology, Saybrook Graduate School, co-editor of Varieties of Anomalous Experience

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"..the boys who carefully recorded the supernatural events resulting from their contact with Dr. Bindelof are, as this book shows, undeserving of any suspicion either of fraud or of ulterior motive. Their records speak for themselves, and the phenomena they experienced were real; leading to yet another urging to all of us that we consider such happenings as both genuine and as enlightening. "
-Bob Girard, Arcturus Books

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This fascinating book recounts a series of seances held in the early to mid 1930s by teenage boys. The Bindelof account is well worth reading for its own sake, but in addition the book provides an excellent overview of "physical" (as opposed to mental) mediumship and related psychic phenomena. One of the cases Pilkington explores is that of Ted Serios. . . .

Michael Prescott, Michael Prescott's Blog

Kudos from readers:

"I recently finished your book and I wanted to thank you for it. It's opened up a new world of possibility re: the power of the mind.....or rather it's reminded me of what I feel like I already knew on some level. It sounds like you had a lot of very interesting experiences!" -- Judy Boone, M.D.

"Your book is one of the best introductions to any subject for a novice
that I've ever read; and, I've been a novice at many areas, especially
science. Part page turner, part scholarly dissertation,I've recommended
it to all the people I work with in various groups, many of whom still can't see parapsychology as a legitimate science.
Do you plan a next installment?" -- Richard Besley, M.D.


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From the Review of The Spirit of Dr. Bindelof by Annalisa Ventola

Despite my involvement in the field of parapsychology, my boggle threshold, the point at which I consider phenomena highly unlikely to be real, is admittedly pretty low. I was attracted to this field because I was impressed by laboratory studies of psi and the evidence for small-scale psi effects in environments where variables can be manipulated and performance measured. Time and time again, in laboratories around the world, well-educated and credible scientists have demonstrated that human consciousness may not be limited to space or time. I am more boggled that the work of parapsychologists doesn't receive more serious mainstream consideration than I am by the implications of their results.

However, many large scale psychokinetic effects do exceed my boggle threshold, and I find it difficult to accept the reality of such phenomena unless I can either investigate them myself or have their mechanisms explained to me. Pilkington’s narrative attempts to demonstrate to readers that these events are real, but I still remain unconvinced. However while reading The Spirit of Dr. Bindelof, I was impressed with the reality that credible and well-trained investigators have observed physical effects that seem to defy space or time, and that these observers were willing to stake their reputations reporting them. Many of these investigations took place with cooperative subjects who were willing to be thoroughly examined and perform such feats under well-lit conditions. Quality investigations such as these have taken place around the world, decade after decade, yet the phenomena still remain a mystery.

After reading Pilkington's book, I am just a little bit more curious about sitter group phenomena, enough so that I might find the patience to try it myself. For those interested in forming such groups, Pilkington’s appendix, So You Want to Do It Too?, offers advice to novices.

However, for me the larger issue is understanding 'how it works', and unfortunately large scale psychokinetic (macro-PK) events have not yet been subjective to the volume of research that ESP and small scale psychokinetic (micro-PK) events have. A systematic, scientific research program into macroscopic psychokinetic phenomena would be absolutely groundbreaking. But unlike some of the phenomena described in The Spirit of Dr. Bindelof, scientific research programs don't drop out of thin air. Rather, they are supported by the research dollars of individuals and foundations with the vision and courage needed to support science on the cutting edge.

Gilbert Roller passed away on October 20, 2004 at the age of 89. Recently, his widow, Mrs. Marion Roller made a generous contribution to the Parapsychological Association (PA) in her husband's name to establish a new endowment for research. The Gilbert Roller Fund supports scientific field investigations into macroscopic psychokinetic phenomena such as those reported in sitter groups, séances, poltergeist activity, and/or theoretical approaches to help explain the nature of such large scale effects. Donations can be made online at the PA website. Your contributions would enable qualified researchers with professional knowledge of past research of this type to continue to explore large-scale psychokinetic phenomena.


Make a donation to the Gilbert Roller Fund

(Donations to the PA are tax-deductible. -- R.P.)



Read Parapsychological Foundation Lyceum article on Dr Bindelof

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