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When Spirits Come Calling: The Open-Minded Skeptic's Guide to After-Death Contacts   When Spirits Come Calling: The Open-Minded Skeptic's Guide to After-Death Contacts
Sylvia Hart Wright

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Repeated studies year after year demonstrate that millions of Americans claim to experience contact with people who have died. Such contacts are usually comforting and surprisingly intense. Most do not involve an intermediary such as a medium, and unlike near-death experiences, they often come unexpectedly to healthy people going about their normal lives.

In 1973 Sylvia Hart Wright married Paul Fletcher, a linguist. After he died in 1983, Wright and her son jointly had an experience that suggested that Paul was trying to contact them from beyond the grave; at this time two of his male friends reported similar events. This was startling to people steeped in the scientific method and agnosticism! Scholar that she was, Wright started researching the writings of doctors and social scientists on such phenomena and in time interviewed almost a hundred healthy, everyday people who had sensed contact with the dead. Her book, When Spirits Come Calling: The Open-Minded Skeptic’s Guide to After-Death Contacts, grew out of this work.

“It’s wonderful! Well-written and on a topic that is full of fascination and hope for many people.”

~ Mary Manin Morrissey, senior minister, Living Enrichment Center, and author, Building Your Field of Dreams.

“Superbly written and well researched, When Spirits Come Calling will stimulate your thoughts about the afterlife ....”

~ Louis E. LaGrand, PhD., Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus, State University of New York, and author, Gifts from the Unknown.

“A real gem, empirically bold, well-reasoned, yet humble in the face of a great mystery.”

~ Michael Dreiling, sociology professor, University of Oregon.

Her probing interviews make it clear that seeing an apparition, or sensing the presence of a deceased loved one is not merely some kind of extrasensory perception, but rather is a genuine encounter with a surviving intelligence. I highly recommend this fascinating and carefully researched book.”

~ Russell Targ, physicist and parapsychologist, co-author, The Heart of the Mind: Using our Mind to Transform our Consciousness.

Table of Contents

1. After Death Contact —A Common Experience
2. Sensing Someone Else’s Death
3. Knowledge and Guidance from the Other Side
4. How World Religions View Survival of the Spirit
5. Facing up to a Cultural Taboo
6. After a Suicide
7. Subtle Contacts-Scents and a Feeling of Closeness
8. After the Death of a Child
9. Lights That Blink a Message
10. Misbehaving Radios, Telephones-and More
11. Symbolic Events
12. Animal Stories
13. More Help and Guidance from Loving Spirits
14. Ghosts, Possession, and Things That Go Bump in the Night
15. What’s So Different About Paranormal Dreams?
16. Who Becomes a Sensitive?
17. Spiritual Experience and Religious Belief
About the Author


About the author

A third generation New Yorker who has lived in Oregon since 1991, Sylvia Hart Wright holds degrees from Cornell, Columbia and New York University. For five years during the Sixties she lived in Berkeley where she was active in the nonviolent anti-war movement. In 1963, she shuttled east briefly to participate in the fabled event where Martin Luther King made his “I have a dream” speech.

During the 1966-67 academic year Wright lived in Panama with her then husband, a zoologist. When that marriage foundered, she moved back to New York with their son and soon landed a job as librarian with a pre-college program for disadvantaged young people; these included a cadre of Black Panthers. Here she set up and headed a collection which attracted national attention for meeting the needs of the program’s often alienated students. Meanwhile she started work on a master’s in sociology. Articles of hers based on this library experience appeared in major educational journals and her master’s thesis, Black Youth, Black Studies and Urban Education, was published as a monograph.

After this pre-college program shut down, Wright moved on to the City College of New York (CCNY). From 1976-1991, she headed the library of CCNY’s School of Architecture and Environmental Studies. While there she authored Highlights of Recent American Architecture (1982) and Sourcebook of Contemporary North American Architecture (1989) and rose to the rank of full professor. She won several academic awards and grants and was listed in Who’s Who of American Women and Who’s Who in the East.

Sylvia can be found at

Publisher: White Crow Books
Published May 2019
258 pages
Size: 6 x 9 inches
ISBN 978-1-78677-100-1
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The Only Planet of Choice: Visitations – Many people use the word ‘Alien’ to describe a visitor from outer space. Extra terrestrial is another word, which is rather more user friendly. For the sake of the question and answer format, the word used by the questioner has been left, though even Tom questions our use of‘Alien’. Should we wish to foster openess between all beings of the Universe perhaps we should also look at our vocabulary? In a discussion between Andrew and Tom many years earlier, Andrew had asked Tom about UFOs and whether they were created manifestations. Tom had replied: “Many of the flying things that you call UFOs come from our place, but they come from other places also, and they do come in physical form. But many of them are not physical. They are like your movie screen”. Read here
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