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The Spirit of Dr. Bindelof
The Enigma of Séance Phenomena

by Rosemarie Pilkington

Trade Paperback, 248 Pages, 37 Illustrations

$17.95, ISBN: 1933665130

Genre(s): Paranormal Psychic Abilities

The Spirit of Dr. Bindelof focuses on one little known episode of physical mediumship, Gilbert Roller's utterly charming and disarming auto-biographical account of a group of teenagers who experimented with séance phenomena and contacted an alleged spirit named Dr. Bindelof.

Author Rosemarie Pilkington follows up with the history of these extraordinary physical mediums and the remarkable feats they perform, placing the Bindelof case within this wider framework and bringing it up to date with a review of contemporary "secular" mediums.

Most people think all physical mediums are fakes because of the frauds who sought to capitalize on the success of real mediums and because of arch skeptics who refuse to accept what they don't under-stand. This book demonstrates that mind-boggling feats such as the movement and levitation of tables or other objects, ectoplasmic apparitions, direct voices and raps are indeed real. Their existence illustrates just how little science knows, and shows us that we need to revise our understanding of reality in order to explain these phenomena.

About the Author:

ROSEMARIE PILKINGTON, a writer, musician, and educator, has a Ph.D. in psychology (consciousness studies) from Saybrook Institute. In addition to writing many articles and book reviews on psychic phenomena, she compiled and edited Esprit: Men and Women of Parapsychology, Personal Reflections, Vol. 1, which was originally published as Men and Women of Parapsychology: Personal Reflections in 1987 by McFarland, an anthology that earned praise in Europe and the Americas and spawned several similar books in the years that followed. Visit her website at SÉANCE SCIENCE.



It was a Saturday night in the first week of October 1933. In Mayor Jimmy Walker’s Manhattan people who had labored hard all week splurged on movie tickets to Flying Down to Rio featuring the new dance team of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, while young men put protective arms around the shoulders of their dates in the dark theaters where Edward G. Robinson menaced the populace. Six floors above the street at 38 Fort Washington Avenue, behind drawn shades in a small bedroom, a group of teenage boys also sat in the dark.

I was with them, crowded around a small two-tiered nightstand, our hands resting lightly on top of the table, fingers touching those of the boy on either side. On the floor our feet touched also so that any movement by one would be felt by his neighbor.

We listened intently to the sounds of the pencil we had placed on the lower shelf as it raced across a piece of yellow paper, guided by an unseen hand. The writing stopped abruptly. The pencil was slapped down sharply. We heard the sound of crumpled paper. Then silence.

One boy sprang up to turn on the lights. Another reached under and retrieved the tightly crumpled ball, opening it carefully as the others impatiently crowded around to read. Near the end of a long printed message, written faster in the dark than any of us could have managed in the best of circumstances, we read the words "MY NAME WAS DR. BINDELOF . . . WILL YOU BE THE DISCIPLES OF A DEAD MAN?"

This is not a scene from a Stephen King novel. This is a true story of mind-boggling but actual occurrences. How did this scene come about? Who was Dr. Bindelof? Who were these intense young men?

My name is Gil Roller. The first part of this book is my story, a story that may change the way you look at reality. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start at the beginning.

*   *  *

Dr. Bindelof’s Blueprints



Part One: The Bindelof Case 

Prologue:  Gil’s Story 

Chapter 1  Family And Friends 

Chapter 2 The Saturday Night Sitters 

Chapter 3 A Shot In The Dark 

Chapter 4 Bindelof’s Boys  

Chapter 5 Larry’s Story

Chapter 6 The Doctor Gets Annoyed  

Chapter 7 Trumpet For A Dead Man  

Chapter 8 See Me, Feel Me, Touch Me, Heal Me 

Chapter 9 The Portrait 

Chapter 10 Speak To Me  

Chapter 11 Bindelof Missing 

Chapter 12 The New Bindelof Society 

Part Two: A Brief History Of Physical   Phenomena 

Chapter 13 It Didn’t Begin With The Fox Sisters  

Chapter 14 The Extraordinary Powers Of D. D. Home  

Chapter 15  Sir William Crookes  

Chapter 16 The Phantom Of Katie King 

Chapter 17 The Neapolitan Wonder  

Chapter 18  The Case For Ectoplasm  

Chapter 19 The Unique Pole  

Chapter 20 Indridi Indridason Of Iceland  

Part Three: Twentieth Century Mediumship 

Chapter 21 Last Of The Old Time Mediums? 

Chapter 22 The Russians Are Coming  

Chapter 23  A Mini-Kulagina  

Chapter 24 The Man Who Could Put His Thoughts On Film  

Chapter 25  Breaking Mental Barriers  

Chapter 26 The Impact Of Kenneth Batcheldor  

Chapter 27 There’s Something To Be Said For Spirits  


Appendix: So You Want To Do It Too?  

Sources: For Exploring On Your Own  



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What they're saying:

"This fascinating book recounts a series of seances held in the early to mid 1930s by teenage boys. The Bindelof account is well worth reading for its own sake, but in addition the book provides an excellent overview of "physical" (as opposed to mental) mediumship and related psychic phenomena." — Michael Prescott

"For years insiders in the sciences dealing with anomalies and psychic events have heard accounts of the legendary Bindelof Society, a group of teenagers who reported a series of remarkable experiences in the 1930s. Rosemarie Pilkington and two of the original Bindelof group bring these experiences to life providing us with a compelling glimpse into the world of séance phenomena. Dr. Pilkington provides an historic setting to this gem of a story and we are treated to a singular and unique adventure that even the most skeptical reader will appreciate.” — Stanley Krippner, PhD, Professor of Psychology, Saybrook Graduate School, co-editor of Varieties of Anomalous Experience

"Contemporary parapsychology has tended to become rather anemic in its search for scientific respectability, studying tiny statistical effects in an oh so very rigorous fashion.  That has its place, but we tend to forget that the laboratory study only exists because dramatic and important and inexplicable events happen in real life that remind us there's something important to try to understand - like the question of whether the mind survives death! Pilkington's book gives the full story of Dr. Bindelof, an apparent spirit who changed the lives of several teenage boys through seance manifestations.  One of those boys was Montague Ullman, a psychiatrist who spearheaded research into telepathic dreams decades later.  It's a fascinating story, and a frustrating one - frustrating because we devote almost no energy and resources to thoroughly investigating paranormal phenomena.  A good read!" —Charles Tart,  States of Consciousness

"..the boys who carefully recorded the supernatural events resulting from their contact with Dr. Bindelof are, as this book shows, undeserving of any suspicion either of fraud or of ulterior motive. Their records speak for themselves, and the phenomena they experienced were real; leading to yet another urging to all of us that we consider such happenings as both genuine and as enlightening. "— Bob Girard, Arcturus Books

"The first third of [the book] is about a group of teenage boys formed ... to explore the phenomenon they had evoked. It is a first in the history of parapsychology in that the protagonists were young and the phenomena strong and varied...the Bindelof case is of great importance. [Rosemary Pilkington] has done us all an important service by bringing this material to our notice." — William Roll,  Journal of Scientific Exploration

"This compelling account is consistent with an expanded vision now emerging from scientific research:  that our consciousness is not confined to our brain or body, but is nonlocal or infinite in space and time. This book should capture the attention of every thoughtful person." — Larry Dossey, MD, author of  The Extraordinary Healing Power Of Ordinary Things

"There is much to be learned from this lively and informative book. For the absolute beginner, it is an ideal guide to the history of home sitter groups, with practical advice on how to start your own. For the more advanced, there is much to be learned here about how to get positive results." — Guy Lyon Playfair, Journal of the Society for Psychical Research


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