The Philip Experiment 

What was it all about?

Back in the 1970’s the Toronto Society for Psychical Research began what later became known as the Philip Experiment. The experiment was based on the view of the English researcher Kenneth J. Batcheldor that successful psychokinesis depends on the experimenters sense of belief and expectancy. In order to look into this theory a group of researchers led by Dr A. R. G. Owen and his wife Iris tried to create and communicate with a non-existent ‘Ghost’.

First, the group met up regularly to agree on the details of their ghost for the experiment. They wanted to create a life and back story for the ghost, which they named ‘Philip’. The group decided that he had been an aristocrat of the 17th century, whose mistress had been burnt as a witch, and had committed suicide after her death. One member of the group drew a portrait and another wrote up his biography. The entire group then spent some time memorising these important details.

The group then used the classical séance room approach to attempt to communicate with the ghost of Philip. Initially this proved to be relatively unsuccessful.

Philip Starts to Communicate

However when the group approached with a more light-hearted method and a heightened sense of expectancy, things began to occur. At first this was in the form of raps and raps. Which they soon utilised as the standard ‘one rap for yes and two for no’, in order to ask questions.

The group used the addition of singing as a group to increase the physical activity and soon the table was moving, jumping up and down. This physical activity seemed directly related to the belief of the group and on one occasion when a member stated that ‘they made Philip up’ the physical activity ceased there and then.
The Philip Experiment Group

TV Appearance Marks The End

In 1974 the group even took part in a half hour TV show for Toronto City Television where their table walked up three steps to a platform.

It was shortly after this TV appearance that the experiment was concluded as being successful and then terminated.

What Philip Taught Us!

This particular experiment raises a number of questions about the nature of reality and the implications of the experimenter effect. For me it also highlights the relationship between information, its availability through Telepathic Interaction and how we can manifest it into a form of reality. It also shows the necessity of belief in order to gain greater activity, also how that light-hearted atmosphere and increased sense of expectancy improved the results. Perhaps even our experience of paranormal activity is a manifestation into reality through our own beliefs.

What are your thoughts on the Philip Experiment, please like, comment, share etc below…

17 thoughts on “The Philip Experiment 

    1. Interesting, but that’s surely an assumption made in order to retain the belief that communication with spirits is possible. The Philip Experiment doesn’t prove that ghosts/spirits as we understand them don’t exist, it merely highlights the possibility of creating an entity from imagination and manifesting it into a form of reality whereas communication is achieved. Of course in this case as with all others we should better address the concept or perception of communication. Are raps taps, a moving table and visions or words in people’s heads categorical proof of intelligent communication or more the possibility of Telepathic Interaction and transference of information.
      Seek the source, not the affect !


      1. Do agree with you the source is be questioned. Do we possess such abilities or would like to think we do? Are there ancient paranormal forces at play on earth and if there are what are they? These are questions which I sought answers to for over two decades. Thus far the research continues..


  1. Pingback: Ghosts of the Mind

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