Nandor Fodor

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Nandor Fodor
Born (1895-05-13)13 May 1895
Beregszasz, Hungary
Died 17 May 1964(1964-05-17) (aged 69)
New York
Occupation Psychic Researcher
Organization National Laboratory of Psychical Research
Society for Psychical Research
The Ghost Club

Nandor Fodor (May 13, 1895 in Beregszasz, Hungary – May 17, 1964 in New York City, New York) was a British and American parapsychologist, psychologist, author and journalist of Hungarian origin.[1]


Fodor was one of the leading authorities on poltergeists, haunting and paranormal phenomena usually associated with mediumship. Fodor, who was at one time Sigmund Freud's associate, wrote on subjects like prenatal development and dream interpretation, but is credited mostly for his magnum opus, Encyclopedia of Psychic Science, first published in 1934.

Fodor in the 1930s embraced paranormal phenomena but by the 1940s has taken a break from his previous work and started to advocate the psychological approach to supernatural phenomena.[2][3] He became highly critical of mediumship which he claimed could be explained by fraud and psychological factors. After thirty years of investigating mediums he said he hasn't not come across a single case of genuine ectoplasm in the séance room.[4][5]

Fodor pioneered the theory that poltergeists are external manifestations of conflicts within the subconscious mind rather than autonomous entities with minds of their own. He proposed that poltergeist disturbances are caused by human agents suffering from some form of emotional stress or tension and compared reports of poltergeist activity to hysterical conversion symptoms resulting from emotional tension of the subject. Fodor published two scientific papers on poltergeist phenomena, The Psychoanalytic Approach to the Problems of Occultism (1945) and The Poltergeist, Psychoanalyzed (1948). "The poltergeist is not a ghost. It is a bundle of projected repressions," he stated.[6][7]

With Hereward Carrington Fodor co-authored Haunted People: Story of the Poltergeist down the Centuries (1951), the book which received positive reviews.[8][9]

The psychologist Robert Baker and the skeptical investigator Joe Nickell wrote in most cases Fodor discovered that ghosts are "pure inventions of the hauntee's subconscious" and praised Fodor's book The Haunted Mind as vastly entertaining.[10]

Among the subjects he closely studied was the case of Gef the talking mongoose.



  • Encyclopedia of Psychic Science. London: Arthurs Press, 1934.
  • These Mysterious People. London: Rider, 1936.
  • The Search For the Beloved: A Clinical Investigation of the Trauma of Birth and Pre-Natal Conditioning. New York: Hermitage Press, 1949.
  • Haunted People: The Story of the Poltergeist down the Centuries. [with Hereward Carrington]. New York: Dutton, 1951.
  • New Approaches to Dream Interpretation. New York, 1951. Reprint, New Hyde Park, N.Y.: University Books, 1951.
  • On the Trail of the Poltergeist. New York: Citadel Press, 1958.
  • The Haunted Mind: A Psychoanalyst Looks at the Supernatural. New York: Garrett Publications, 1959.
  • Mind Over Space. New York: Citadel, 1962.
  • Freud: Dictionary of Psychoanalysis. Fawcett Premier, 1963.
  • Between Two Worlds. New York: Paperback Library, 1964.
  • The Unaccountable. New York: Award Books, 1968.
  • Freud, Jung, and Occultism. University Books, 1971.
  • Currently Nandor Fodor's works and legacy are being handled by family member Jeff Greene and Conducive Trance Hypnotist Helen Sharron.


  • Fodor, N. (1936) The Lajos Pap Experiments. International Institute for Psychical Research. Bulletin II.
  • Fodor, N. (1937) I investigate another case of haunting. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research: 29.
  • Fodor, N. (1937) Mysterious knockings. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research: 189–90.
  • Fodor, N. (1939) The ghost in Chelsea. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research: 55.
  • Fodor, N. (1945) A psychoanalytic approach to the problems of occultism. Journal of Clinical Psychopathology and Psychotherapy, July: 69.
  • Fodor, N. (1945) The lure of the supernatural. Psychiatric Quarterly 20: 258.
  • Fodor, N. (1947) Telepathy in Analysis. Psychiatric Quarterly 21: 171–89.
  • Fodor, N. (1948) The Poltergeist Psychoanalyzed. Psychiatric Quarterly 22: 195-203.
  • Fodor, N. (1949) I psychoanalyze ghosts. Mechanix Illustrated, September: 150.
  • Fodor, N. (1956) Was Harry Price a fraud?. Tomorrow 4(2): 2.


  1. ^ Nevill Drury. (2002). The Dictionary of the Esoteric: Over 3000 Entries on the Mystical and Occult Traditions. Watkins Publishing. p. 108. ISBN 978-1842930410
  2. ^ Jenny Hazelgrove. (2000). Spiritualism and British Society Between the Wars. Manchester University Press. pp. 174-175. ISBN 978-0719055591
  3. ^ Joanna Timms. (2012). Phantasm of Freud: Nandor Fodor and the Psychoanalytic Approach to the Supernatural in Interwar Britain. Psychoanalysis & History. Volume 14: 5-27.
  4. ^ Allen Spraggett. (1967). The Unexplained. New American Library. p. 98. ISBN 9780451070524
  5. ^ Colin Wilson. (2011). Chapter Ghost Hunters in The Supernatural. Watkins Publishing. ISBN 978-1907486555
  6. ^ Nandor Fodor. (1948). The Poltergeist Psychoanalyzed. Psychiatric Quarterly 22: 195-203.
  7. ^ Nandor Fodor. (1945). A psychoanalytic approach to the problems of occultism. Journal of Clinical Psychopathology and Psychotherapy, July: 69.
  8. ^ August Derleth. (1952). "Haunted People: Story of the Poltergeist down the Centuries". Western Folklore. Volume. 11, No. 4. pp. 296-297.
  9. ^ Irwin A. Berg. (1953). "Haunted People by Hereward Carrington, Nandor Fodor". The Journal of American Folklore. Volume 66, No. 259. pp. 91-92.
  10. ^ Robert Baker, Joe Nickell. (1992). Missing Pieces: How To Investigate Ghosts, UFOs, Psychics, & Other Mysteries. Prometheus Books. p. 134. ISBN 978-0879757298

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