Sir Robert Ottley, Royalist

Sir Robert Ottley, Royalist

 Continuing with JH Brennan’s, Whisperings: The Secret History of the Spirit World, I wanted to mention the research conducted by Dr. A.R. G. Owen a few years after Bacheldor’s work. A Canadian research group led by Owen wondered if they could create a ghost.

Working a lot like fictional writers, the group created “Philip” and gave him a whole history. Philip had been a Cavalier officer during the English Civil War and had resided at Diddington Hall (a real place). The story of his life was a fabrication and went like this. Although Philip was married, he had an affair with a gypsy girl which had enraged his wife. The wife managed to have the girl denounced as a witch and burned. So distraught was Philip that he threw himself off the battlements of the hall committing suicide. Poor Philip!

Diddington Hall. Photo: John Evans

Diddington Hall. Photo: John Evans

The group held séances for a year trying to contact the Cavalier with no luck. I think it’s pretty amazing they’d keep at it that long with no result. One of the group eventually read Bacheldor’s work and wondered if a lighthearted atmosphere might make a difference. Giving it the old college try, they sang and told jokes, and oddly enough, after a few more séances, things started to happen. They heard their first rap and the table slid across the floor. Success at last! Encouraged, someone asked if Philip was doing it and was answered back with a loud rap. Having contacted the entity, the group used the one knock for yes and two for no method, to go on to communicate with Philip. Phillip affirmed the basic facts of his fictional life story and went on to reveal additional details the group had not created. The séances also produced various physical phenomena. The most spectacular was recorded for a television program. A table climbed a set of steps joining the panelists being interviewed.

Battle of Marston Moor, 1644

Battle of Marston Moor, 1644

I’ll leave you to ponder the significance of the Philip research. As a fiction author, I’m already concocting plots about how the other side conspires to have a good laugh at Owen and the other sitters.


Filed under Book Review


  1. Well, well, how many dimensions are we talking about here? And on which one did the imaginary entity “Philip” become real just because he was invited to do so? Pondering on this is already keeping me ( or is it my doppelganger?) awake nights…

  2. pursuitofanewadventure

    Cool Halloween post! I’m nominating you for my Halloween Flash Fiction challenge. Let’s get this party started!

  3. fascinating. now I have a hundred questions for the universe about this… 😀

  4. Philip might be guiding them to create his history. They thought all of it was their creation, but The ghost had somehow affected all of them to think the way he wanted. Isn’t it possible?

  5. A fictitious ghost for a fictitious study! Unique! and fun…

  6. Enjoyed the story!
    Would you be so kind as to share a summary of my new book Mumbai Mornings? It is just released and you can find it on My pseudonym is P.A..Chawla
    If you agree, I will send you the write up via email. Thanks!

  7. reanolanmartin

    Great fun, Ellis!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s