Recommended Books

The DOPS library with a Photo of Dr. Ian Stevenson, our founder

Books Recommended by The UVA Division of Perceptual Studies Staff

The following is a list of books on various aspects of psychical research recommended by the faculty at the Division of Perceptual Studies.


1. Tucker Jim. Return to Life: Extraordinary Cases of Children Who Remember Previous Lives. New York: St. Martin Press, 2013. This book focuses on recent U.S. cases of children who report memories of previous lives.

2. Tucker, Jim. Life Before Life: A Scientific Investigation of Children’s Memories of Previous Lives. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2005.  This book is a review of our research with children who report memories of previous lives written for the general public.

3. Matlock, James. Signs of Reincarnation: Exploring Beliefs, Cases, and Theory. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2019.

4. Shroder, Tom. Old Souls: The Scientific Evidence for Past Lives. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1999. In 1997 Dr. Stevenson agreed to let Tom Shroder, an editor at the Washington Post, travel with him through India, Lebanon and the United States as he investigated cases of children who seemed to remember previous lives.

5. Stevenson, Ian. Children Who Remember Previous Lives: A Question of Reincarnation, revised ed., 2001. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company (originally published by University Press of Virginia, 1987). Dr. Stevenson describes, for the general reader, research conducted over the past forty years. He also addresses some of the questions frequently asked about these cases.

6. Stevenson, Ian. Where Reincarnation and Biology Intersect. Westport, CT: Praeger, 1997. A 200 page synopsis of Dr. Stevenson’s 2 volume, 2000+ page Reincarnation and Biology.

7. Stevenson, Ian. Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation. Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia, 1974. Detailed reports of twenty cases of children from five different countries who claimed to remember previous lives.


1. Griffin, David Ray. Parapsychology, Philosophy and Spirituality: A Postmodern Exploration. Albany, State University of New York Press, 1997.

2. Osis, Karlis, and Haraldsson, Erlendur. At the Hour of Death: A New Look at Evidence for Life after Death, 3rd edition. Norwalk, CT: Hastings House, 1997.

3. Paterson, R. W. K. Philosophy and the Belief in a Life after Death. Library of Religion and Philosophy series. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1995.

4. Barrett, William, Sir. Death-bed Visions: The Psychical Experiences of the Dying. New York: Aquarian Press, 1988.


1.  Ring, K., & Cooper, S. Mindsight: Near-Death and Out-of-Body Experiences in the Blind revised edition, iUniverse, 2008.

2. Blackmore, Susan J. Beyond the Body: An Investigation of Out-of-the-Body Experiences. Chicago: Academy Chicago Publishers, 1991. Review of spontaneous and experimental studies of OBEs. Theories and concepts are also discussed.

3. Mitchell, Janet L. Out-of-Body Experiences. New York: Ballantine, 1987.

4. Gabbard, Glen O., and Twemlow, Stuart W. With the Eyes of the Mind: An Empirical Analysis of Out-of-Body States. New York: Praeger, 1984.

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1. Greyson, Bruce: After: A Doctor Explores What Near-death Experiences Reveal about Life and Beyond.  Dr. Bruce Greyson, leading expert on near-death experiences, reveals his journey toward rethinking the nature of death, life, and the continuity of consciousness. St. Martin’s Essentials: Available March 2021.

2. Hagan, John (ed.). The Science of Near-Death Experiences. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 2017. This overview of the major features and possible causes of NDEs is geared toward health professionals who may have occasion to treat near-death experiencers.

3. Rivas, Titus, Dirvin, Anny, and Smit, Rudolf. The Self Does Not Die: Verified Paranormal Phenomena From Near-Death Experiences. Durham, NC: International Association for Near-Death Studies, 2016. This is a scholarly review of corroborated out-of-body perceptions, miraculous healings, and psychic aftereffects of NDEs that presents detailed case reports and detailed refutations of physical explanation for NDEs in a focused argument that NDEs are real.

4. Moorjani, Anita. Dying To Be Me: My Journey from Cancer, to Near Death, to True Healing. Carlsbad, CA: Hay House, 2014. This is a first-person account by a near-death experiencer that highlights the lessons she learned about the cause of her cancer and her inherent place in the universe.

5. Alexander, Eben. Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife. Simon & Schuster, 2012. Eben Alexander offers his first person account describing his life-changing near-death experience after a medically serious illness. He offers insights regarding the ways in which his NDE permanently altered his thinking about the nature of consciousness.  (Please see Dr. Greyson’s academic analysis of this case-pdf)

6. van Lommel, Pim. Consciousness Beyond Life: The Science of the Near-Death Experience. HarperCollins, 2010.

7. Holden, Janice, Greyson, Bruce, James, Debbie.  The Handbook of Near-Death Experiences. Santa Barbara, CA : Praeger Publishers, 2009.

8. Fenwick, Peter, and Fenwick, Elizabeth. The Truth in the Light: An Investigation of Over 300 Near-Death Experiences. New York: Berkley Publishing Group, 1997.

9. Greyson, Bruce, and Flynn, Charles (eds.) The Near-Death Experience: Problems, Prospects, Perspectives. Springfield, IL: Charles C Thomas, 1984.

10. Ring, Kenneth. Heading Toward Omega: In Search of the Meaning of the Near-Death Experience. New York: William Morrow, 1984.

11. Sabom, Michael B. Recollections of Death: A Medical Investigation. New York: Harper & Row, 1982. A cardiologist’s study of NDEs, primarily among his own patients, including a particularly interesting account of some cases apparently involving the patient’s paranormal awareness of objectively verifiable events.

12. Ring, Kenneth. Life at Death: A Scientific Investigation of the Near-Death Experience. New York: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, 1980. An in-depth examination of the NDE, derived from the author’s study of over 100 cases.

13. Moody, R.A., Jr. Life After Life. New York: Bantam Books, 1984 (originally published by Mockingbird Books in 1975). The first modern account of near-death experiences by the man who coined the term.


1. Arcangel, Dianne.  Afterlife Encounters: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Experiences.  Hampton Roads Publishing Co. Inc, 2005.

2. Wright, Sylvia Hart. When Spirits Come Calling: The Open-minded Skeptic’s Guide to After Death Contacts.  Blue Dolphin Publishing, 2002.

LaGrand, Louis E. After Death Communication: Final Farewells. St. Paul: Llewellyn Publications, 1997.


1. Barrett, William, Sir. Death-bed Visions: The Psychical Experiences of the Dying. New York: Aquarian Press, 1988 (originally published in 1926).

2. Osis, Karlis, and Haraldsson, Erlendur. At the Hour of Death: A New Look at Evidence for Life after Death, 3rd edition. Norwalk, CT: Hastings House, 1997.


1. Ullman, Montague, and Krippner, Stanley. Dream Telepathy. 2nd ed., Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 1989. A report of the experiments on telepathic dreams conducted at Maimonides Medical Center in New York, including a limited survey of spontaneous dream telepathy cases.

2. Pratt, Joseph Gaither. Parapsychology: an Insider’s View of ESP. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1977. A largely autobiographical account, describing the many areas of parapsychology which the author personally investigated, including accounts of his famous ESP experiments with Pearce and Woodruff at Duke University, his investigation of the Seaford poltergeist case, and his research on animal ESP.

3. Stevenson, Ian. Telepathic Impressions. Ann Arbor: Books on Demand, originally published by University Press of Virginia in 1970.

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1. Kelly, Edward F., Crabtree, Adam, and Marshall, Paul. Beyond Physicalism: Toward Reconciliation of Science and Spirituality, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2015.  This book is the product of an unusual fellowship of scientists and humanities scholars who dispute the view that reality is purely physical, and that human beings are nothing more than extremely complicated biological machines.

2. Kelly, Edward F., Kelly, Emily W., Crabtree, Adam, Gauld, Alan, Grosso, Michael, and  Greyson, Bruce. Irreducible Mind: Toward a Psychology for the 21st Century, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2007.  Current mainstream scientific opinion holds that all aspects of human mind and consciousness are generated by physical processes occurring in the brain.  This book demonstrates with empirical evidence that this reductive materialism is not only incomplete but false.

3. Presti, David. Foundational Concepts in Neuroscience: A Brain-Mind Odyssey.  New York, NY: W.W. Norton, December 2015.  This book presents neuroscience (the study of brain, mind, and behavior) in easy-to-understand ways, with a focus on concepts of interest to all science readers.  From molecules and cells to mind and consciousness, the known and the mysterious are presented in the context of the history of modern biology, with an eye toward developing intuition about how the brain works and better appreciating the growing public understanding of neuroscience.

4. Woollacott, Marjorie H.,  Infinite Awareness: The Awakening of a Scientific Mind. Rowman & Littlefield, October 2015.  As a neuroscientist, Marjorie Woollacott had no doubts that the brain was a purely physical entity controlled by chemicals and electrical pulses. When she experimented with meditation for the first time, however, her entire world changed. Woollacott’s journey through years of meditation has made her question the reality she built her career upon and has forced her to ask what human consciousness really is. Infinite Awareness pairs Woollacott’s research as a neuroscientist with her self-revelations about the mind’s spiritual power. Between the scientific and spiritual worlds, she breaks open the definition of human consciousness to investigate the existence of a non-physical and infinitely powerful mind.



1. Irwin, H.J. An Introduction to Parapsychology, 3rd edition. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 1999. Another general introduction to the field, with chapters on such special topics as NDEs, OBEs, apparitions, poltergeists, and reincarnation.

2. Broughton, Richard S. Parapsychology: The Controversial Science. New York: Ballantine, 1992. A good general introduction to the problems, findings and implications of the science of parapsychology.

3. Edge, Hoyt L., Morris, Robert L., Rush, Joseph H., and Palmer, John. Foundations of Parapsychology: Exploring the Boundaries of Human Capability. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1986. A more advanced survey of methods and findings in modern parapsychology.

4. Chauvin, Rémy. Parapsychology: When the Irrational Rejoins Science. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 1985. Review of selected aspects of modern parapsychological research.

5. Gurney, Edmund, Myers, Frederic, and Podmore, Frank. Phantasms of the Living. 2 vols. North Stratford, NH: Ayer Company Publishers, 1975. A classic. The first major publication (in 1886) of the Society for Psychical Research, primarily reporting hundreds of cases investigated by the authors, but also indispensable reading for anyone seriously interested in psychical research and its problems and methods for investigating spontaneous cases.

6. Hintze, Naomi A. and Pratt, J. Gaither. The Psychic Realm: What Can You Believe?New York: Random House, 1975. The book covers a wide range of psychic phenomena. The first author describes case material in popular language in the first part of each chapter, and the second author then discusses each topic from the scientific point of view.

7. Jahn, Robert G. and Dunne, Brenda J. Margins of Reality: The Role of Consciousness in the Physical World. San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1987.

8. Krippner, S. (ed.), Advances in Parapsychological Research, 8 vols. An ongoing series of articles reviewing recent research on a wide variety of topics of current interest to parapsychologists.

  • Vol. 1 Cambridge, MA: Perseus Books 1977
  • Vol. 2 Cambridge, MA: Perseus Books 1978
  • Vol. 3 Cambridge, MA: Perseus Books 1982
  • Vol. 4 Jefferson, NC: McFarland 1984
  • Vol. 5 Jefferson, NC: McFarland 1987
  • Vol. 6 Jefferson, NC: McFarland 1990
  • Vol. 7 Jefferson, NC: McFarland 1994
  • Vol. 8 Jefferson, NC: McFarland 1997

9. Murphy, Gardner (with Laura A. Dale). Challenge of Psychical Research. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1979. (Harper and Row, 1961, 1970). An overview of spontaneous cases, experimental work, and the postmortem survival question by a leading psychologist.

10. Myers, Frederic W.H. Human Personality and Its Survival of Bodily Death. North Stratford, NH: Ayer Company Publishers, 1975. (Originally published in 1903). The other major classic of early psychical research, and indeed of psychology, in which Myers describes a wide range of subconscious psychological phenomena, including dissociation, sleep, genius, hypnotism, automatisms, and trance, within the context of his theory of human personality as extending beyond the confines of normal psychophysiological functioning.

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11. Radin, Dean. The Conscious Universe: The Scientific Truth of Psychic Phenomena. New York: HarperEdge, 1997.

12. Stokes, Douglas M. The Nature of Mind: Parapsychology and the Role of Consciousness in the Physical World. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, 1997.

13. Rhine, Louisa E. The Invisible Picture: A Study of Psychic Experiences. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 1981. Summary of the author’s research with claims of spontaneous psychic experiences.

14. Rhine, Louisa E. Psi: What Is It? New York: Harper and Row, 1975. A comprehensive general survey of the field of parapsychology, written by one of the founders of experimental parapsychology at Duke University.

15. White, Rhea. Parapsychology: Sources of Information 1973-1989. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1990. An update of number 18, below.

16.  Wolman, B. B., Ed. Handbook of Parapsychology. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 1985 . A large book with technical papers written by specialists mainly for scientists, but containing abundant details and references to other publications for readers wishing to study the subject more deeply.

17. White, Rhea. Surveys in Parapsychology. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1976. A collection of review articles on various aspects of parapsychology, providing comprehensive surveys of the periodical literature of the field.

18. White, Rhea A. and Dale, Laura A. Parapsychology: Sources of Information. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1973. Lists a large number of publications in the field of psychical research/parapsychology and directs readers to additional sources.