Dr Alex Tanous was a prolific scholar and acclaimed psychic of the latter part of the twentieth century. Having created quite a career for himself internationally, and commanding a great deal of respect amongst scholars and the general public, he spent nearly twenty years as an active researcher, and research participant, for the American Society for Psychical Research. He reached an untimely end in 1990, but established the Alex Tanous Foundation for Scientific Research shortly before his death to preserve his memory and share his research and teachings.
Conversations with Ghosts was an idea for a fourth book for Dr Tanous, and it was intended to be written by Dr Karlis Osis and himself, outlining their various investigations of ghostly phenomena while working with the American Society for Psychical Research. The existing short manuscript - of no more than a couple of chapters - was archived by the Alex Tanous Foundation for Scientific Research, and left incomplete. Now, thanks to the Foundation’s support, the book has finally been completed using additional notes and writings of Dr Tanous, and interviews that were conducted with him on his thoughts and theories into ghosts and conscious survival beyond death. Additionally, this book provides not only a first-hand insight into the Tanous/Osis investigations, but also draws on people’s personal experiences with Dr Tanous during his various explorations of ghosts and hauntings. This is a rare insight into the work and mind of a psychic psychical researcher.
Praise for Conversations with Ghosts
‘‘Parapsychologists of a certain generation will know Alex Tanous as a talented psychic who spent years working with researchers to help understand his special abilities. Mr Cooper has done the field a great service by assembling this collection of Tanous’ own haunting investigations that reveal not just some good ghost stories but another dimension to Tanous’ talent.’‘
—Richard S. Broughton, Ph.D.
Author of Parapsychology: The Controversial Science
Dr. Alex Tanous was Dr. Osis’ favourite and most successful psychic in sophisticated out-of-body experiments, and in investigations of places of reported hauntings and apparitions. What was particularly prominent in this research was the emphasis on the importance of these phenomena for the question of survival of death. In this book Tanous describes and
reflects on his remarkable personal experiences.
Author of The Departed Among the Living: An Investigative Study of Afterlife Encounters
It’s about time Alex Tanous was brought back into the public eye, and this book shows why he should be remembered as one of the best psychics of several generations. Tanous was an enormous influence on me, and I hope that readers of this book feel some of that influence as well.” Anyone interested in ghosts, spirit communication or paranormal investigation will gain much from reading this book and getting to know Alex Tanous.
This book chronicles the strategies used by Alex Tanous when he was interacting with entities and realms that mainstream Western society considers imaginary at best and hallucinatory at worst. But Tanous was a deep thinker and careful investigator who worked with scientists and kept meticulous records of his investigations. This is what makes Conversations with Ghost a valuable document, not only for advocates of so-called “psychic phenomena” but for anyone interested in the unexplored potentials of human behavior.
—Stanley Krippner, Ph.D.
co-editor, Varieties of Anomalous Experience
In Conversations with Ghosts, Callum Cooper makes a very important contribution to survival research literature, by bringing to light one of historys most gifted out-of-body projectors, Alex Tanous. Tanous described himself as a “pioneer, - testing, exploring, and discovering through (his own) ability.”
Cooper includes Tanous’ case notes: they offer an inside view into Tanous’ psychic abilities and insights regarding the out-of-body experience and the hauntings he investigated. One tantalizing account explains how he personally experienced his own body-double, which went out-of-body with Tanous, forming a “triangle” with Tanous’ inert body.
Cooper is to be commended for allowing readers to know about this most intriguing researcher and experiencer.
—Elizabeth E. McAdams, Ph.D.
President, International Foundation for Survival Research
About the author
Alex Tanous, D.D. (1926–1990), came from Portland, Maine, and was an international teacher of philosophy, well-being, and parapsychology. He was the author of several books, including: Beyond Coincidence, Is Your Child Psychic?, and Dreams, Symbols and Psychic Power. He spent many years working with groups and families investigating psychic phenomena, including his own abilities, through the American Society for Psychical Research. He held five degrees, including a bachelor of arts in theology, three masters degrees in theology, philosophy, and education, and a doctorate in theology (doctorate in divinity). He guest-lectured all over the world, and regularly in the colleges and universities of New York. His most frequent lecturing post was at the University of Southern Maine, where he had given lectures on healing, dreams, and had established the first parapsychology course within the USA to be taught with credit.
Callum E. Cooper is a psychologist and a doctoral candidate based at the University of Northampton (UK), within the psychology division’s Centre for the Study of Anomalous Psychological Processes. He is a member of the Society for Psychical Research, the Parapsychological Association, the Academy for Spiritual and Consciousness Studies, and a Hope Studies Graduate Researcher (Hope Studies Central, University of Alberta). His research and lecturing cover topics such as: parapsychology and anomalous experiences, the psychology of death & bereavement, positive psychology, and Egyptology (regarding ancient mysticism). He has lectured on parapsychology in the USA and throughout the UK. In 2009, he was award the Eileen J. Garrett Scholarship from the Parapsychology Foundation. He has received the Alex Tanous Scholarship Award from the Alex Tanous Foundation for Scientific Research, three times over, and has remained strongly associated with the Foundation ever since. Additionally, he is the author of Telephone Calls from the Dead.
DANDY HOUSE AND FROLIC HOUSE
NOTE: This short chapter is an account of Dr Tanous’ investigations of the Dandy House poltergeist, alongside his colleague Father Trabold, and also of the Frolic House case. The Dandy House case is a useful example of some of the characteristics and behaviour Dr Tanous displayed when working in haunted locations as a psychic and an investigator. Both of these reports were extracted from a collection of Dr Tanous’ notes on his personal accounts of such investigations, of working with the police on psychic crime detection, and of working with people who had had OBEs.
Although Dr Tanous was sceptical of possessions and exorcisms, it is demonstrated in the Dandy House case that he would not dismiss outright those within the church or religious circles who wished to explore such ideas. But he has made it clear in previous statements that these issues are more religiously driven and psychological than anything else. An exorcism may act much like a placebo, in which the suggestion is given that activity within a house will be made to stop by blessing it, and as a result, the occupants unconsciously dismiss bangs and cracking noises throughout the building, which were once interpreted as ‘paranormal’. However, this is just one explanation; each case of a haunting – as Dr Tanous generally agreed – must be judged on its merits, without generalization or prejudice.
Ask any personal counsellor to enumerate the challenges particular to psychological or psychiatric healing and he or she will ultimately tell you that until a counsellor can see a client’s problem as if through the client’s own eyes, there can be no healing.
So how does one go about counselling those whose compulsive or troublesome behaviour continues to manifest beyond death? The answer is, healing occurs in the same way, whether such personal counselling takes place before or after the demise of the physical body.
Confession is always good for the soul, especially for those spirits who feel a desperate need to tell their poignant personal stories. The timelessness of the out-of-body enables me to see where such troubled spirits are coming from, and frees me to be where they are. The Dandy expedition was one such unforgettable case in point.
The Dandy estate was located in a quiet little upstate New York town. Over the years, this sedate homestead had become the meeting place of choice for some rather disquieting spirits. The presence of at least one poltergeist had already been confirmed some five years prior to my arrival. My goal and that of my colleague, Father Alphonsus Trabold of St. Bonaventure University, was to investigate these restless spirits and, if possible, to rid the house of them once and for all.
“The disturbances began as noise without action,” explained the homeowner. “The sound of a window slamming when no window could possibly have slammed… things falling, when they really didn’t fall. Then we had action without noise,” he continued. “A lamp breaking, and we didn’t hear anything. Finally, some kind of creature jumped on Beth (a young girl who lived in the house). I think that’s what frightened me most.”
Soon after I entered the century-old house, I felt spirits there. Father Trabold and I made our way through the rooms with a tape recorder ready. As I acquainted myself with my surroundings, I became more and more absorbed in the house’s history until finally its tumultuous past began to speak through me.
“Birds quiet,” my recorded statement began. “A girl lying in bed, calling for help, getting no response from her mother and father who are arguing. I am now very cold. The chill is getting even stronger. The birds will remain quiet as I leave and draw the energy from the room. There are other energies in the room which are also affecting me. The vibrations are of certain things that have disquieted her over the years… The other energy is that of a girl… oh, I would say 12 or 13 – who was raped and killed. The young girl was raped by a man who was a bachelor… Again, the chills are hitting me…
I’m picking up a young man, 18 or 19, who was killed in an accident. For some reason, all these energies are converging here. There’s also been the death of a man in this room, a death which was a drastic death of agony – not a murder or a suicide.
What I am going to do now is pick up all of this energy… Alright, the energy has now been picked up. As you see, the lights go out. The energy is forcing me to say that it does not want to leave. The energy is here but… her fiancé had a very tragic death. The energies are sorrowful energies. Tragic. The person – the man – drowned and the woman has never gotten over it. The woman locked herself in this room from time to time and would not come out at all…”
At this point I began conversing directly with the spirits or energies involved, directing them to release their sorrows and in so doing to release their consciousness from the confines of the house.
“You must, you must, you must… time has gone, a child cannot be born. I am going to force you, force you. You must leave. The answer is No, you cannot stay. You cannot stay. (Heavy breathing, gasping, was audible on the tape at this point). Alright, alright, let’s go. Let’s go. Alright.”
Now the energy reached out to make physical contact with me.
“The burn is there. I know you burned me. I realize it. But I’m going to take you with me, no matter what happens. I’m holding on to you. Go ahead. No you’re not. You’re not going to take over. I’m going to have you. Alright, going? Let’s go. Let’s go. I want to break you, break you (gasping – audible on the tape).”
Later, Father Trabold described what I had been through, from his point of view:
“At first, you were speaking in a very calm way, sort of commenting on the different vibrations you got. Then, all at once, you stopped for a moment, and suddenly you were completely unaware of us. You started talking to the entity that was there – a young blind girl. It was obvious that the spirit didn’t want to leave. You were saying with more force each time that it should leave, and then parts of your body began to contort, especially your face, and your hands. You began to sway and sort of fall backward, and I put my arms around you and began to hold you. The weight was almost more than I could hold. The force was putting up a tremendous battle but you didn’t give up.”
After my attempt to direct the spirits away from the Dandy house, Father Trabold performed an exorcism. Evidently, our combined efforts worked. The poltergeist activity ceased forever. The burn that I spoke of on the tape? It was real alright. When I unbuttoned my shirt, I found a raw red patch on my side about the size and shape of a 50-cent piece.
On 15 January, 1983, I was a guest at the home of George ‘Frolic’, in Weymouth at the Big Bend in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania.
Shortly after I arrived, I went to the ground floor where the kitchen and a large dining area were located. I walked into the dining room and stopped as I sensed happenings from many years before. I said, “George Washington was here, and the floor was then dirt.”
Frolic said, “You are standing where we found an Indian buried, and when we fixed this room we left him in the place we found him.”
Mr Frolic also said that Washington had written to his wife about this place; but that he doubted if Washington visited here as this had been a loyalist house. I had also heard that the seat which Martha Washington sat on while having her portrait painted was on the second floor of this house.
I was a guest in the Frolic house for several days, and one evening as I sat on a chair with my feet near where the skeleton was, I felt a cold chill and suddenly saw the whole story unfold in my mind, like a movie. It was apparent to me that the bones in the grave were not those of an Indian, but of a 16-year-old boy who had been in Washington’s army. I saw that the boy was very close to Washington, and did many little chores for him – like shining shoes, etc.
The boy seemed to be suffering from a fever which he could not handle and it was getting worse. The boy confessed to General Washington that he was a runaway and that he knew the loyalist family living in the Bend, and that they would help him if he went to them. It was apparent to me that it was really the boy’s sweetheart who was living in the house with her parents and brother.
General Washington gave his permission and the boy went to the house and was met by the family there. They realized that he was very sick, and tried to help him. The fever would not break. A day or two after he arrived at the house, he died.
He had told the family that he was in the area with Washington’s army. The girl then took the risk of going to see Washington to tell him what had happened. Because of the boy’s devotion, Washington himself escorted the girl back to the house and identified the body. Because of the hot weather, the boy was buried here. Washington wrote and signed a paper which he gave to these people to give to the parents of the boy. This paper has never been destroyed. I believe that it is still in existence.
Publisher: White Crow Books
Published November 2013
Size: 5 x 7 inches