The Further Realm

Phantasms of the Living: A 730-page tome containing, in the words of novelist Andrew Martin, the, “most convincing body of supernatural accounts I have ever read”. Co-authored by Edmund Gurney, Frederic W. H. Myers and Frank Podmore for the Society for Psychical Research, Phantasms documents 700 cases of sightings of ghosts, published in 1886 for a Victorian society captivated with the inexplicable – the supernatural.

The first instalment in a five-part series for BBC Radio 3, this episode of The Further Realm explores the boundary between the living and the dead, and the role of telepathy in the occurrence of apparitions.

Superbly delivered by Martin, punctuated with awe, silence and suspense throughout, these accounts transfer effectively to radio. They affirm the unsurpassable ability of simple ghost stories to quench our morbid curiosities, to fascinate and terrify, and entertain the possibility of a ‘Further Realm’.

Providing a logical underpinning to the episodes of apparition in Phantasms – visitations of the recently deceased or ghostly sightings in moments of crisis – yet presenting critiques on the verifiability of its claims, Martin invites us to delve into a realm “too strange to have been invented”.

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