This book was inspired by some research published by the British Society for Psychical Research in the early 70s about the creation of ghostly phenomena. Apparently, it's easy to do. This book follows the adventures of a group of people who met regularly to establish and then deepen contact with a fictitious, concocted 17th century English aristocrat who they named Philip.
Once conditions were right, Philip manifested without fail. The seance room table was observed to creak, groan and move around. As the weeks went by it would perform more startling actions, like rushing across the room to greet a newcomer, chase someone round the room and distort itself by raising only one of its legs. On one occasion it even bit a participant by trapping part of her hand between the two edges of its corner joint. In addition, the table would rap answers to questions about specific aspects of the life of Philip.
The book mentions how a physical cost was paid by the participants in terms of colds, flu and severe headaches that resulted from the experiment.
This book proves that what spiritualists may interpret as messages from the dead may well be nothing of the kind, because if people sit round in the expectation of ghostly manifestations, then these will result. Therefore, contacting the dead would appear to be a waste of time, I suppose, unless information comes through that can be subsequently verified and which was unknown by the sitters.
Debunkers of psychokinetic phenomena will have to think again if they read this, and it may well be that the ideas of Newtonian physics will have to be tossed in the trash.
I would have given this book 5 stars, but I found the second half a bit boring, with too much theory and analysis.