When Spirits Come Calling

Two out of five Americans report they've sensed meaningful contact with people no longer alive. Such contacts are usually comforting and don't involve mediums. They come unexpectedly to healthy men and women going about their normal lives. According to recent polls, a majority of American women and more and more young people--as many as 65% of those ages 25-29--believe in ghosts. About half of these say they've sometimes felt in the presence of one.

Drawing on a wealth of interviews, Wright presents dozens of moving, never before published stories of apparent communication from the dead. They may simply say, "I'm happy now," or "Stop grieving for me, get on with your life." But sometimes they provide startling information. A departed son "talks" his mother through programming her computer. A husband searching for his missing wife senses the precise injuries that killed her. A newly deceased aunt points her chocoholic niece to where she stashed her chocolate.

Seasoning her wide range of data with hardheaded statistical analysis and citing parallel beliefs from many cultures, Prof. Wright asserts that afterlife communication is real.

"It's wonderful! Well-written and on a topic that is full of fascination and hope for many. I like the stance of skepticism, rather than thoughtless belief or close-minded rejection. The reporting is clear and factual, and the stories themselves are enthralling." - Mary Manin Morrissey, senior minister, Living Enrichment Center, and author, Building Your Field of Dreams

"Superbly written and well researched, When Spirits Come Calling will stimulate your thoughts about the afterlife... It will open your heart to the wonder and mystery of spontaneous experiences involving deceased loved ones and the living." - Louis E. LaGrand, PhD, Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus, State University of New York, and author, Love Lives On

"Prof. Wright's probing interviews make it clear that seeing an apparition, or sensing the presence of a deceased loved one is not merely some kind of extrasensory perception, but rather is a genuine encounter with a surviving intelligence. I highly recommend this fascinating and carefully researched book." -Russell Targ, noted laser physicist and parapsychologist, co-author, Miracles of Mind

"Contains a wealth of moving personal stories presented in an incomparably warmhearted yet cool-headed manner, and illuminated by the author's sensitive and searching cross-cultural analysis." -Madronna Holden, PhD, anthropologist and educator, Oregon State University

"A journey through people's personal experiences with death and possible glimpses of what lies beyond.... This is a thoroughly useful and insightful book for anyone interested in the topic of survival." -Callum E. Cooper, University of Northampton Centre for the Study of Anomalous Psychological Processes. Author of Telephone Calls from the Dead.

Download The First Chapter of When Spirits Come Calling


On January 2, 2016, in The New York Times Sunday Review, the British novelist Julie Meyerson in her article, "The Smell of Loss," quoted Sylvia Hart Wright with respect to apparent after-death communication.

An Interview with Anabela Cardoso: Anomalous Electronic Voices Received via Instrumental Transcommunication. (2012) NeuroQuantology 10, 3, 515-518.

When Light Flashed a Message from the Other Side (2012) Both Sides Now: A Journal of Lightworking, Peacemaking and Consciousness: no. 117-118, 18-19.

Animal stories. (2011) ITC Journal no.42, 47-58. [This formerly appeared as a chapter in When Spirits Come Calling.]

Experiences of spontaneous psychokinesis after bereavement. (2011) ITC Journal no.40, 15-31. [This is adapted from an article which first appeared in the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 62, 852, 285-295.]

When does "that of God" enter the fetus? (2010) Friends Journal 56, 5: 5, 41.

Over a century of research on after-death communication. (2008) Journal of Spirituality and Paranormal Studies 31, 3:154-166. Download Article

Family backgrounds of highly psychic adults. (2007) Paranormal Review, issue 44, 21-26.

Lights, radios and telephones that misbehave. (2007) Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Current Research into Survival of Physical Death with Special Reference to Instrumental Transcommunication. York, England: ITC Journal Research Centre. 283-293.

Over a century of research on after-death communication. (2007) What the Bleep Do We Know about Life after Death? Proceedings, Academy of Spirituality and Paranormal Studies, 32nd annual conference. Bloomfield, CT: ASPSI. 99-108.

Jointly sensed messages from the afterlife. (2006, with co-author, Jane Katra) ITC Journal, no. 26, 36-40.

Childhood influences that heighten psychic powers. (2006) Journal of Spirituality and Paranormal Studies 29, 4, 183-193.

Clues to the nature of the afterlife from after-death communication. (2006) Journal of Spirituality and Paranormal Studies 29, 3, 149-159.

ITC as a mode of after-death communication. (2004) ITC Journal, no. 20. 49-51.

Suicide and the afterlife: a case history of contrasting beliefs. (2004) Journal of Religion and Psychical Research 27, 4, 224-226.

"When Spirits Come Calling..." evidence of life after death." (2004) Friends Bulletin, July, 7-9.

What happens after death (2004) Journal of Religion and Psychical Research 27, 1, 7-9.

Contatto paranormale con I morente: 14 coincidenze in contemporanea con la morte. (2000) Luce e Ombra 100, 1, 49-65. [Translation of article listed below.]

Paranormal contact with the dying: 14 contemporary death coincidences. (1999) Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 63, 857, 258-267.

Experiences of spontaneous psychokinesis after bereavement (1998) Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 62, 852, 285-395.

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