Dingwall, Eric John

Dingwall, Eric John (1890–1986)

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

From 1921 to 1922, Eric John Dingwall was Director of the Department of Physical Phenomena at the American Society for Psychical Research. From 1922 to 1927, he was Research Officer for the (London) Society for Psychical Research (SPR). He attended the second International Conference for Psychical Research held in Warsaw, Poland. While there he took part in experiments with the Polish sensitive Stephan Ossowiecki. He also sat with medium Eusapia Paladino.

In 1924, in Boston, Massachusetts, Dingwall investigated the medium known as Margery (Mina Stinson Crandon), as part of the Scientific American committee. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle complained about Dingwall, saying that he “proclaimed the truth of the mediumship in enthusiastic private letters, but denied his conviction at public meetings.” Dingwall had further sittings with Margery in January and February of 1925, and subsequently stated that “phenomena occurred hitherto unrecorded in mediumistic history … the mediumship remains one of the most remarkable in the history of psychical research.” (Proceedings, Vol. VI) Speaking about ectoplasm produced by Margery, Dingwall said in a letter to a friend, “The materialized hands are connected by an umbilical cord to the medium. They seize upon objects and displace them.”

In 1936, Dingwall visited the West Indies, studying social and religious aspects of mental mediumship phenomena. He wrote a number of books, including Some Human Oddities (1947), Very Peculiar People (1950), and The Unknown; Is It Nearer? (with J. Langdon-Davies, 1956). He also contributed many articles to the SPR Proceedings.


Fodor, Nandor: Encyclopedia of Psychic Science. London: Arthurs Press, 1933
Foreman, Laura (ed): Mysteries of the Unknown: Spirit Summonings. New York: Time-Life Books, 1989
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