Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.


[′dräp ‚in]
(computer science)
The accidental appearance of an unwanted bit, digit, or character on a magnetic recording surface or during reading from or writing to a magnetic storage device.


(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Sometimes a spirit unknown to any of the sitters in attendance will “appear” at a séance. Usually the medium’s spirit guide will ensure that this does not happen, but occasionally a “drop-in” does appear. Occasionally, if the medium is engaged in direct voice (the spirit is speaking through the medium), a drop-in will speak in a foreign language. Guiley states that in rare cases, “The appearance of a drop-in is accompanied by physical phenomena such as table tilting, rappings, mysterious lights, apports, scents, and strange whistles, whisperings and breathing.”

Uncontrolled séances such as talking board sessions or automatic writing are prone to entertain drop-ins. Frequently these are spirits who want to make contact with those they have left behind on the physical plane, and are hoping to make use of the sitters to arrange a connection with those particular people. Others are simply lonely spirits wanting to speak with anyone, or to achieve something in particular. An example of the latter was Patience Worth, who originally contacted Pearl Curran by way of an Ouija® board and used Curran as a means of producing vast amounts if literature; novels and poetry.

One of the positive aspects of drop-ins is that they invariably show proof that the medium is not receiving intelligence by way of extrasensory perception from the sitters. Usually information provided by drop-ins is totally unknown to anyone present and has to be verified by careful research. In 1971, Nottingham University Professor of Psychology Alan Gauld worked with information received from a drop-in via both a talking board and automatic writing. After careful research, Gauld found that in ten cases out of thirty-seven, the information given by the drop-in about identity and former life was correct. The information included exact names, addresses, and occupations.


Gauld, Alan: Proceedings, #55—A Series of Drop-In Communicators. London: Society for Psychical Research, July 1971
Guiley, Rosemary Ellen: The Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits. New York: Facts On File, 1992
Holroyd, Stuart: The Supernatural: Psychic Voyages. London: Aldus, 1976
Stevenson, Ian and John Beloff: Proceedings, No. 427-447—An Analysis of Some Suspect Drop-In Communicators. London: Society for Psychical Research, September 1980
Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
PEOPLE can give their views on plans to reduce flood risk in the Calder Valley at a number of drop-ins this month.
And there will be drop-ins at the Whitley Bay Customer First Centre, in York Road, every Thursday, between 11am and 1pm, until November 19.
Just guessing here, but I would speculate the drop-in 1911 pistol grip safety is one of the top selling drop-in parts for any handgun.
The drop-in will be open between 9am and 2pm, serving Christmas dinner at midday.
The survey can be completed online at www.yourtravelyoursay.co.uk and at drop-in sessions around West Yorkshire.
Free silver surfers drop-ins continue at Bedworth CAB, Higham Lane School, Nuneaton, and Guideposts Community Caf, Nuneaton.
The Dudley Respect Yourself Campaign (DRYC) has set up four text numbers which will send back details of clinics, sexual health drop-ins, emergency hormonal contraception and pharmacies.
The public are being invited to give their views on plans to reduce flood risk in the Calder Valley at a number of drop-ins this month.
BHP Law is hosting the drop-ins at the Fellowship Hall, West Street, in Yarm, on the first Thursday of every month from 9am-10am and the last Friday of every month from noon-1pm.
NHS Stop Smoking Service in Northumberland runs drop-ins at Ashington Hirst Welfare Centre, 4pm - 6.30pm every Wednesday and at Briardale Community Centre in Blyth 4pm to 6.30pm every Thursday.
Gary Scott, chairman of Band Together For Our NHS, said: "Most people haven't even heard there's a consultation or drop-in sessions.
The governors of both schools have agreed to consider the proposals and are holding drop-in sessions ahead of the formal consultation process.