J. Arthur Hill

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John Arthur Hill (4 December 1872 – 22 March 1951), best known as J. Arthur Hill, was a British psychical researcher and writer.


Hill was born in Halifax, West Yorkshire, and was educated at Thornton Grammar School. He worked as a business manager until he suffered ill health. He was a member of the Society for Psychical Research (1927–1935) and was known for his writings on parapsychology and spiritualism.[1][2]

In 1914, Hill wrote an article Is the Earth Alive? which was later expanded into a chapter in his Psychical Miscellanea (1920). Influenced by Gustav Fechner he speculated that the earth is a living spirit being.[3][4] Reviewers ridiculed this belief.[5]

Hill greatly admired the philosophy of Ralph Waldo Emerson. In 1919, he wrote a book on the subject.[6]


Hill's most known work was his Spiritualism: Its History, Phenomena and Doctrine (1919).[7][8] Arthur Conan Doyle wrote a supportive introduction to the book but later commented in 1926 that it was "written from a strictly psychic research point of view, and is far behind the real provable facts."[9] Psychical researcher Hereward Carrington described the book as a "fair and impartial summary."[10]

His books were criticized by skeptics. Psychologist Millais Culpin wrote that Hill was gullible in trusting the word of mediums and did not know anything about dissociation.[11]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ "John Arthur Hill (1872-1951)". Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology.
  2. ^ "J. Arthur Hill". The Biographical Dictionary of Parapsychology.
  3. ^ Hill, J. Arthur. (1914). Is the Earth Alive?. The National Review 63: 1053.
  4. ^ Anonymous. (1918). Books on Psychical Research. The American Review of Reviews 57: 442.
  5. ^ Anonymous. (1920). Books in Brief: Psychical Miscellanea by J. Arthur Hill. The Nation 111: 49.
  6. ^ Anonymous. (1919). Emerson and His Philosophy. The Bookman 57: 10.
  7. ^ B. C. A. W. (1919). Review: Spiritualism by J. Arthur Hill. Studies: An Irish Quarterly Review 8 (30): 344–346.
  8. ^ Fenn, W. W. (1920). Review Spiritualism and Its History, Phenomena and Doctrine by J. Arthur Hill. Harvard Theological Review 13 (2): 200–202.
  9. ^ Doyle, Arthur Conan. (1926). Preface. In The History of Spiritualism. Volume 1. London: Cassell and Company.
  10. ^ Carrington, Hereward. (1919). What is the Best "Psychical" Literature?. The Bookman 49: 686–689.
  11. ^ Culpin, Millais. (1920). Spiritualism and the New Psychology: An Explanation of Spiritualist Phenomena and Beliefs in Terms of Modern Knowledge. London: Edward Arnold. pp. 136–137.

External links[edit]

Media related to J. Arthur Hill at Wikimedia Commons