March 22 Susan Demester & Christopher Laursen Making Sense of Ourselves in Ghostly Phenomena

Presented at the Parapsychology Research and Education 2023 course (also known as ParaMOOC2023) on March 22nd, 2023

Abstract: From James Joyce’s Ulysses: “Every life is in many days, day after day. We walk through ourselves, meeting robbers, ghosts, giants, old men, young men, wives, widows, brothers-in-love, but always meeting ourselves.” How does one’s personal journey inflect their research on ghostly phenomena, in which thinking on the phenomena makes better sense of oneself? Susan Demeter and Christopher Laursen found their research paths on ghostly experiences intersect in ways that informed not only their research directions but their lives.

In this informal conversation, Susan and Christopher reflect on how they met and started out in their work and where it led them in their research interests, practices, and worldviews. How have art, journaling, tarot, dreams, and other forms of divination enhanced their toolkit to study ghostly phenomena? What interconnections have resonated in understanding ghosts as part of a larger ecology of culture and experience? In this, Susan and Christopher’s journeys — including shared adventures – speak to how lived experiences inform research — and better understand themselves in the process. They show how researchers benefit from reflexivity-building self-awareness into their studies of ghosts, hauntings, and poltergeists.

Biography: Christopher Laursen is a social and cultural historian and transdisciplinary researcher. He studies how people experience and try to explain extraordinary things that can’t easily be rationalized. Christopher is best known for his historical studies of the poltergeist phenomenon. His ongoing research considers encounters with non-humans and the natural world, physical anomalies, dreams, precognition, and after death communications as personally and culturally transformative experiences. His website is

Biography: Susan Demeter is a Canadian writer, artist, and paranormal investigator. She is the author of Cosmic Witch, founder of Paranormal Studies and Intuition, and a co-creator of the UFOlogy Tarot. Susan has conducted scholarly research on behalf of the Defence Studies Department of the Canadian Armed Forces College in Toronto, Canada, on the topic of UFOs, and for the Koestler Parapsychology Unit at the University of Edinburgh – EUROPSI. The themes of her writing, research, art, and spirituality incorporate her lifelong interest in exceptional human experiences, social history, mysteries, and cosmic magic. You can find Susan online at

Resources for the Attendees:

Information on the “Philip Group” (Canada):

Free copy of Iris M. Owen’s book with Margaret Sparrow called “Conjuring Up Philip: An Adventure in Psychokinesis:

Parapsychology Foundation:

Parapsychology Online:

Published on April 6, 2023