The 10 Most Famous Paranormal Investigators Of All Time

May 14, 2019 6:00 AM ‐ Paranormal
These ten ghost hunters, demonologists and parapsychologists are the most famous paranormal investigators of all time to ever tackle cases of alleged haunting cases.

10. J. B. Rhine

Hubert Pearce with Joseph Banks Rhine

J. B. Rhine was born in 1895 and died at the age of 84 in 1980. He's credited as the father of parapsychology, he founded various organisations including the Parapsychological Association and wrote the book 'Extrasensory Perception and Parapsychology: Frontier Science of the Mind'.

Rhine notably debunked famed psychic mediums of the time and conducted his own experiments, including his famous ESP tests involving Hubert Pearce and Joseph Gaither Pratt, using the Zener cards, which are possibly most famous for their appearance in the first 'Ghostbusters' movie.

9. Mary Rose Barrington

Mary Rose Barrington
Photo: spr.ac.uk

London-born Mary Rose Barrington was the president of the Oxford University Society for Psychical Research, and joined the famous British organisation, the Society for Psychical Research in 1957. She served as a council member on the Spontaneous Cases Committee and became the vice president of the society in 1995. During her time at SPR she made several television appearances, most related to her involvement in the Enfield Poltergeist case.

8. Guy Lyon Playfair

Guy Lyon Playfair

The British author, Guy Lyon Playfair, was also a member of SPR and was one of the lead investigators of the famous Enfield Poltergeist case. His 1980 book, 'This House Is Haunted' is said to be one of the most complete records of any poltergeist case, along with fellow researchers he logged over 2,000 inexplicable paranormal occurrences.

Guy was a consultant for the infamous BBC mockumentary, 'Ghostwatch', which aired on the night on Halloween 1992. In the end credits of the programme he is credited as "psychic consultant". Sadly, Guy passed away last year.

7. Ciarán O'Keeffe

Ciarán O'Keeffe Most Haunted

Ciarán O'Keeffe is a British psychologist specialising in parapsychology and is best known for his appearances in several series of the long-running paranormal show, 'Most Haunted' as the programme's resident parapsychologist. Ciarán is an open-minded skeptic and is an active and well respected part of the paranormal community.

6. Zak Bagans

Zak Bagans - Ghost Adventures

Zak is an American ghost hunter known for his appearance on the Travel Channel series, 'Ghost Adventures'. He started out as a skeptic, but after what he describes as "a face-to-face encounter with the spirit of a suicidal woman", he developed a passion for paranormal investigation.

Although Zak has gained quite a profile in the paranormal entertainment field, his techniques and practices are generally criticised by most in the paranormal community, due to his dramatic and aggressive style of investigation.

5. Maurice Grosse

Maurice Grosse

Maurice Grosse was the first paranormal investigator to be sent to investigate the Enfield Poltergeist case by the Society for Psychical Research. He became the lead investigator on the case, sticking with the Hodgson family throughout the whole duration of the poltergeist activity.

Away from his paranormal pursuits, Maurice was also a pretty successful inventor. After a career in the Royal Artillery during the Second World War, Maurice put his art and design skills to use and became an inventor. His most successful invention is still seen around the world today, often on the side of bus stops. Maurice invented the rotating advertising billboard, the kind that have several posters inside and a mechanism which was dreamed up by Maurice cycles through the adverts.

4. Ed & Lorraine Warren

Ed & Lorraine Warren

Demonologists, Ed & Lorraine Warren are the most famous husband and wife paranormal team of all time. They investigated such cases as the Amityville haunting, Annabelle the cursed doll and the Enfield Poltergeist case.

Ed's background in the world of supernatural investigation is as the director of the New England Society For Psychic Research, spurred on by his experiences living in a haunted house as a child where he'd regularly see objects flying around. Sadly, he died at the age of 79 in 2006.

Lorraine was still an active member of the paranormal community until she died at the age of 92 earlier this year. Up until her death she continued to run an occult museum from her home in Connecticut.

Ed met Lorraine during the Second World War and together they went on to become world-renowned demonologists and devoted decades of their lives to exploring, authenticating, and documenting some of the most famous paranormal incidents ever reported.

3. Arthur Conan Doyle

Arthur Conan Doyle

Scottish writer and spiritualist, Arthur Conan Doyle, is best known as the author of Sherlock Holmes, but he also had a longstanding interest in the paranormal and in 1887 began a series of psychic investigations. These included participating in séances and experimenting with telepathy.

Doyle was a founding member of the Hampshire Society for Psychical Research and in 1889 joined the prestigious Society for Psychical Research.

2. Yvette Fielding

Yvette Fielding

Rising to fame as the youngest ever presenter of British children's television show, 'Blue Peter' at the age of 18, Yvette Fielding has spent most of her life in front of the camera, and for the last 17 years has been the host of 'Most Haunted'.

Yvette was born in Manchester in 1968, she's married to the executive producer of Most Haunted, Karl Beattie, who also appears on screen in the show. It was the two of them who came up with the idea for a ghost hunting show, originally for now-defunct television channel Living TV.

Yvette confesses that when she started out she was unsure whether claims of the paranormal were real, "I went into it with an open mind thinking not every cold draught is a ghost, it's probably because some idiot's left the door open." But after more than 250 investigations, it seems that Yvette has been convinced. Speaking in 2015 she said, "I've seen too many things, I've heard too many things, we have as a team recorded so much evidence that we've sent on to universities for people to research and look into it more, and I now know without a shadow of a doubt that there is life after death."

1. Harry Price

Harry Price

Harry Price was a British psychic researcher and author, he is best known for his investigation of Borley Rectory in Essex, he described the building as "the most haunted house in England".

Price joined the Society for Psychical Research in 1920 where, because of his knowledge in stage magic, he debunked fraudulent mediums. However, in direct contrast to other magicians, Price did endorsed some mediums that he believed to be genuine.
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