Dr Melvyn Willin talks to Ghost Connections
Dr Melvyn Willin is an established authority on various aspects of the paranormal having researched areas as diverse as mediumship and ESP to electronic recordings, video and photography. He has written several papers on these subjects and is the author of books analysing well known and not so well known photographs which are available through most suppliers. He is a musician and teacher of music and is involved in the research of music featuring in aspects of the paranormal. Honourary archivist at the Society for Psychical Research and member of the Ghost Club we are grateful for Melvyn giving up time for this interview.
Your many published works feature many different areas of the paranormal but also witchcraft and paganism. How have you made this link or are these purely two different interests?
These are different interests plus my own religious belief. I have written
a paper touching on the paranormal aspects of spellcraft and prayer,
No I found quite a few volunteers whose music varied from absolutely
awful to very interesting indeed. The depth of investigation of all these
people (not always mediums by the way) and their music was considerable.
No, this was nothing to do with composer claims. It was a lab. experiment
into ESP (telepathy) in this instance using a sender and receiver to try
to convey music in a controlled environment. I undertook over 100 of these
trials at Edinburgh (with my mentor Bob Morris) and at my home in Essex.
The results were overall statistically not significant, BUT some pairs
of people produced very significant results. A very detailed script of
the experiment can be found in my first PhD thesis obtainable at Sheffield
University or the SPR office in London.
I am the Archive Liaison Officer for the SPR. I have been a member for
about 20 years or so and joined to further my knowledge of the so-called
paranormal - probably like most people. My work in the archive has been
to help catalogue the huge number of manuscripts held at Cambridge University
Library. I also personally house and regulate the audio-visual archive
that contains almost 1000 cassettes of lectures and over 100 videos of
phenomena of varying kinds. I have uncovered some very interesting items
since undertaking this work sometimes of a confidential nature - so I
can't tell you exactly what.sorry!
I was a member of the Ghost Club for many years and when it split into two groups I was the editor of the newsletter of one of the groups and events organizer. Whilst a member I participated in a number of visits to alleged haunted houses and undertook interviews etc etc. Originally I was invited to join by Peter Underwood.
This is a difficult question since I have indeed met many interesting
people. I would put Bob Morris at the top of the list since we formed
This is an interesting case involving Maurice. A BBC Video Diary programme
wanted to film Maurice attending an investigation. ASSAP organised one
such event at Charlton House and a cup was caught exploding in a darkened
room on video in a locked room with a camera man, Maurice and one other
investigator witnessing it. BBC Radiophonic Workshop tested the sound
patterns and concluded that it was NOT the sound of a cup being broken
in the usual way and further experiments failed to replicate the circumstances.
It seemed to implode rather than explode.
No I wasn't directly involved. I am not saying it was all fraudulent,
but simply that the main focus person was caught on secret video actually
I didn't choose all of them. The publishing editor has a lot of power
in these matters. I selected images when I had a lot of first hand evidence
I'm not sure I understand this question. If you mean whose opinions did
I seek re the images then they included written documents by Vernon Harrison
(ex-President of the Royal Photographic Society), Maurice Grosse, Guy
Playfair, several professional photographers and members of the public
at large for a broad overview.
Yes I do. I do not equate them with 'spiritual' phenomena as such, but
I would like to think of them as a type of unknown energy yet to be
Having gone through all the info. relating to the Enfield Case, my initial scepticism has changed somewhat and I now believe that there was far more to this investigation than teenage girls mucking about as has been suggested in some quarters.
Video was not so common then as it is now and by the way there is video footage of Janet producing her voice on a television documentary. That aside, yes I agree it would have been very useful.
I would love to know how the enlarged head hovering above the table of
an Austrian hotel that appears in my first book came to be there. We have
written affidavits about this from the people concerned and they were
all baffled too.
My favourite subject is anomalous musical phenomena. Why? Because I know
more about it than any other aspect of the paranormal.
My favourite location is probably the Bell Hotel in Thetford. I have discovered different types of interesting inexplicable phenomena there.
I have no problem with this, but why shouldn't there be a whole range
of different aspects that go to make up a haunting.including an actual
Depends on definitions. A believer if you mean there are phenomena outside
of our current understanding including ghosts, poltergeist etc. and a
I don't like the word 'prove' so I would say 'no' to this. Evidence to
suggest it.possibly. As to the form, well perhaps we need to look to Nature
No I don't. I think it depends how one does it. Extreme silliness, as witnessed on some TV programmes, doesn't do anyone any good in my opinion.
Good question. I think they have something to offer, but extreme care needs to be taken if using them.
Thank you very much for affording Ghost Connections time for this interview.
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