Case Abstracts

These abstracts include those cases currently listed on the Survival Top 40; plus those that were moved to the Honorable Mention list. Due to the necessity to omit information when writing such brief synopses, these descriptions will lack the impact of the more detailed cases. Click on any title to see the full write up. Within each category, cases are ordered with the newest on top - that is, in reverse case-number order. The actual score and ranking of each case within the Top 40 is not given here [see the Top 40 main page] and is subject to change as new cases are added or additional information becomes available.

Categories of Abstracts
Spontaneous Memories Individual Mediums/Séances Dreams & Visions
Guided Regressions Circles & Talking Boards Possessions
 Cross Correspondences Instrumental/Electronic Physical Effects
Spontaneous Memories

One More Mission
A 2-year-old child says and does numerous things indicating that he is the reincarnation of a World War II fighter pilot. Facts are confirmed by Naval records, surviving shipmates, and the pilot's living sister. [Case #65]

Family Lost and Found
From a very young age, an English woman is plagued by dreams and visions in which she was a woman named Mary with seven or more children who lived in a town she finally felt she recognized on a map of Ireland. In her mid thirties she is able to go to the town and do the research that finally leads her to locate and meet and five of Mary's children … who now accept her as the actual spirit of their long-dead mother. [Case #61]

The Strangers Were Lovers
Since early childhood, a woman is haunted by vivid yet inexplicable memories, visions, and dreams of being another girl. As an adult, she displays accurate knowledge of the geography and history of a town she has never before visited. This is a most special case because her revelations bring about a joint hypnosis session with a man who recalls being the girl's fiancé. [Case #60]

Guided Regressions

Round Trip to Allentown
A newspaper reporter assigned to investigate past life regressions remembers specific details from a past life as a soldier who had lived in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and been killed in North Africa. He finds confirmation in the Allentown newspaper morgue and in Department of Defense records. [Case #63]

A Submariner Resurfaces
A regression sought in hopes of relieving extreme claustrophobia and aquaphobia uncovered memories of a death by drowning in a submarine that was sunk by the Japanese in WWII. The details were all confirmed by follow-on research and his phobias disappeared. [Case #59]

The Prince and the Servant Girl
Thinking she might get a reason for her fascination with Greece and Tibet, an English woman agrees to be regressed. After six sessions and six memories of previous lives she calls it quits (none were in Greece or Tibet) but the fact that she remembers six lives in exquisite detail - much of it confirmed - makes untenable the often-used explanation of recalling stories read in the past. [Case #58]

The Rebirth of Bridey Murphy
A widely read and most controversial book during the late 1950s and early '60s, The Search for Bridey Murphy told of the hypnotically induced recall by a Colorado housewife of a life as a child and woman in Belfast, Ireland, at the turn of the 19th century. Although supposedly "debunked," once one knows the whole story, it seems most authentic and convincing. [Case #36]

A Town Reborn
During a 17-year investigation using hypnotic regressions, 50 people living near Lake Elsinore, California, remember living in the little town of Millboro, Virginia, in the mid 19th century. Facts are revealed and confirmed that are known by no living person in the Virginia town. [Case #23]

The Apprentice Murderer
A therapist's regressions of two patients - who have never met one another - reveals that each had lives in Bavaria around 1132 in which one was apprenticed to the other and killed by him. Several unusual names and events are described by both subjects. [Case #22]

The Numbers of the Beast
A young women in Brazil, recalls under regression a life that ended in a Nazi concentration camp. As she was telling about having a number burned on her arm red welts appeared on her arm that resolved themselves into numbers. A picture of the numbers is sent to the Holocaust Museum in Israel, which returns a detailed description of a child exactly matching the recollections. [Case #21]

Death in the Garment District
During a regression therapy in the mid 1970s a patient relates the life of a woman named Rita McCullum including the fact that she hung herself in her garment factory on June 11th 1933. A notarized death certificate from the New York Hall of Records later confirms this fact. [Case #20]

The Policeman and the Painter
Undergoing hypnotic regression on a dare, a very skeptical, long-time police officer is startled to find himself a painter in front of an easel studying a picture of a hunchback woman. After unsuccessfully searching for the picture for months he saw it in an obscure art gallery when visiting New Orleans. Further research was to reveal that the artist's career 100 years ago, matched the details from the regression sessions in at least 28 particulars. [Case #19]

Cross Correspondences

Deer Thoughts
On the same day in September, 1913, two mediums sat in two separate sessions, one in Paris and the other 200 miles away near Bordeaux. Three short un-connected phrases are transmitted in the Paris session while an original and rather lengthy story with three obvious gaps is written at the other. The three Paris pieces perfectly fit the gaps in the longer story. [Case #54]

Individual Mediums/Sťances

A Cameo Reappearance
In the1930s, the spirit of movie star Olive Thomas came through unexpectedly to a member of the American Society of Psychical Research to urge him to tell her mother that her death was due to an accident and was not a suicide as had been widely reported. Among the evidence that was revealed was the location of a cameo that all had assumed was lost. [Case #64]

The Picture of Raymond Lodge
Sir Oliver Lodge, a renowned physicist and Fellow of the Royal Society, lost a son in WWI. He and his family, in six sessions with three mediums, receive many messages convincing them that they were talking to his son. The most convincing, because it rules out mind reading, is the description of a picture of the young man, taken in France, that they do not receive until several months later. [Case #62]

Soule Proves the Soul
A medium in America sits for the sister of a woman in Germany who is seeking proof of her deceased husband's continuation. Through several sittings she provides numerous specific facts that are only known to the wife in Germany. In addition, the researcher has a conversation in German with the spirit, a language not known by the medium. [Case #56]

Friends and Strangers
A researcher arranges séances for over 150 persons, of whom about 30 were friends or acquaintances of the medium's controlling spirit. In almost every instance, the visitors whom the control knew in life are recognized with "the appropriate emotional and intellectual relations," while those he had not met are treated as strangers. There are two apparent exceptions, but they provide the most convincing evidence. [Case #48]

The Phantom Fingertips
Over a period of two years, three different mediums ask a sitter if he remembers a man named Kennedy who was missing two fingertips. While he knows of such a person, he is unaware that the man had died. Investigation confirms the death, the cause of it, and the identity of several of his friends as mentioned by the mediums. [Case #41]

The Mysterious Death of Edgar Vandy
In the mid 1930s, because of the unexplained issues surrounding Edgar Vandy's death by drowning, his brothers attend a series of séances using several sitters and five different mediums that provide a strong argument against the "Super ESP" hypothesis. [Case #39]

An Untimely Valentine
The Ginsbergs founded The Forever Family Foundation after being convinced that they were really hearing from the spirit of their daughter in a special telephone reading that was designed by psychologists to eliminate mind reading as a feasible explanation. [Case #35]

The A.B.C. Séances
In the early 1900s, a researcher and his professional magician friend have four sessions with a farmer's wife in a remote village in West Virginia. In spite of their extreme precautions to hide their identities from anyone in the village as well as the medium, the spirits came through addressing each by name and providing a great deal of relevant information including some not yet known by either. [Case #30]

A Very Confidential Secretary
A spirit unknown to the medium requests that she contact a man the medium does know. Over several sessions she provides 15 pieces of specific information that are later confirmed. [Case #26]

A New Meaning for "Soul Mate"
A chess game between two chess masters, one living and the other in spirit, is conducted through communications by a non-chess-playing medium. Many obscure details of the deceased player's life are revealed and confirmed. [Case #24]

Relics Revealed & Revisited
Over a period of 20 years, a couple were directed to dig up 1500 pre-Christian crosses and hundreds of finds of gold, silver and paper money by the spirits of Indians and Christian missionaries of the mid 1800's. Subsequent to the couple's death, Hamlin Garland, a Pulitzer-prize author, works with a medium to contact the original couple and their Indian and missionary associates and is guided to additional artifacts. [Case #15]

The R-101 Disaster
In a sitting at the National Laboratory of Psychical Research on October 7, 1930, two days after the explosion of the R101, Flight Lieutenant H. C. Irwin, captain of the airship, interrupted a séance with medium Eileen Garrett and gave a highly technical account of how the ship crashed. [Case #14]

Evidence By The Book
The control of a famous medium tells a researcher that his deceased father has devised a test to show that the medium is not just reading minds. The son is directed to go to his bookshelf and select the fifth book from the left and look at the third line from the top of page 17. The selection perfectly answers a question that was discussed at the sessions. [Case #11]

Uncle Jerry's Watch
A medium in trance is provided with a watch by the researcher. She immediately identifies the both the present owner and the deceased original owner. The latter proceeds to answer questions about his own boyhood with his brother, supplying details known to no single person but later confirmed. [Case #10]

Circles & Talking Boards

Young Soldiers Never Die Either
In July of 1950, a spirit of a soldier killed in WWI uses the board for 11 different sessions providing 14 stated facts (including his name). 12 were confirmed and none were found false. [Case #47]

The Rationalist Spirit
At a series of talking-board sittings in early 1943, the board is suddenly controlled by a very abusive and insulting spirit. After several sessions he turns friendly and reveals his name and London address which were later confirmed. The fact that this spirit, unknown to anyone at the session, "dropped in" uninvited eliminates the chance that the sitters were using any form of ESP. [Case #46]

The Pearl Tie Pin
In Dublin, Ireland, in 1915, a group using a talking board receives a request from a recently killed soldier that his mother give his pearl tie-pin to his fiancé, whose name and address he provides. His mother knows nothing of the fiancé or the pin, but both are confirmed 6 months later when she receives his will and the tie-pin from the War Office. [Case #40]


The Ghosts in the Machines
A medium builds a machine that allows him to record two-way conversations with a couple of spirits. Prior to getting the machine to work, he mentally receives several bits of private information, including a Social Security number and two unlisted telephone numbers, all of which are confirmed. On the tapes, he captures the voice of a spirit insisting that he obtain a rare book - one that requires exhaustive research to uncover. [Case #17]

Dreams and Visions

Cloak and Danger
One night in 1894, after a man had bought a used fur cloak in a neighboring town, he is visited by a spirit saying that the cloak is infected by the tuberculosis virus that had killed its former owner. He ignores the visit as a hallucination, but the next evening the spirit appears to both he and his brother. Their subsequent investigation confirms the accuracy of the spirit's message. [Case #44]

The Wealthy Wall
A Houston business man dreams of a deceased friend asking him to call his widow and have her look inside the wall beside their bedroom. The wife finds "thousands and thousands" of dollars stashed in the wall. [Case #33]

The Ramhurst Revenants
In the mid 1800s, an American Congressman was convinced by his own lengthy investigation that two English ladies had indeed seen apparitions of an elderly couple who had once lived in their home. One of the ladies had conversations with the apparitions who provided information that could only be confirmed via extensive research. [Case #25]


The Return of Mary Roff
In the 1870s, in Watseka, Illinois, a 14-year-old girl named Lucy Vennum suddenly claims to be Mary Roth, a girl from across town who had died 13 years earlier. Both sets of parents agree to let the new "Mary" live for awhile in the Roth home where she displays total and accurate knowledge of the household and its history. [Case #45]

Physical Effects

Anna's Amazing Abilities
On her first try, the 11-year-old daughter of a Unitarian minister displays an exceptional proclivity with a talking board. This then shifts to automatic writing and she ultimately develops into a voice medium. Her performances help convince her extremely reluctant father to accept the reality of the spirit world and the afterlife. But it is the astounding physical skills she demonstrates that provide the strongest evidence. [Case #67]

Global Blinking
Spirits have often been reported as having the ability to affect electric lights and appliances, but it is quite a different matter when the effects are experienced simultaneously in several different locales around the world. [Case #51]