|Publisher||Psychic Press Ltd |
Spiritual Truth Foundation
Spiritualists' National Union
The first issue of the paper was published on 28 May 1932. The name of the paper was devised by one of its founding editors, Maurice Barbanell, who said that he was told to use it by his spirit guide. The other founding members were Hannen Swaffer, a Fleet Street journalist, and Arthur Findlay, a notable figure in the history of Spiritualism in Britain.
Managing Director for a period between 1941 - 1945 was Bernard Abdy Collins C.I.E Who during the same period worked for the Ministry of Security. He also wrote 3 books The Cheltenham Ghost, The Whole Case for Survival and Death is Not the End.
The publisher of Psychic News from 1932 to 1980 was Psychic Press Ltd. The newspaper was next supported by the Spiritual Truth Foundation (STF). In 1995 the Spiritualists National Union (SNU) acquired it, and both the publishing and bookshop departments were relocated to Stansted Hall — better known as The Arthur Findlay College.
With the rise of the Internet PN added a web site, which included a bookstore and back issue division for online sales.
Closure in 2010
In July 2010 Psychic News abruptly ceased publication and both its print and web site divisions were closed. The SNU said that it had liquidated the publication due to financial losses, to the dismay of thousands of readers around the world who did not understand why Britain's oldest Spiritualist newspaper was terminated with almost no notice.
In 2011 the paper resumed publication with issue #4067 dated 17 December 2011, after the publisher was purchased by the JV Trust in October of that year.
Although the primary focus of the Psychic News was always Spiritualism, and it was strongly associated with the SNU even before that organization acquired ownership of it, it was the policy of PN to cover a wide variety of subjects of interest to its readers. For instance, in November 1947 the paper covered the fact that a committee of Anglican ministers had supported Spiritualism in 1936 and that the report had been suppressed by the Anglican Church. This investigative report by the Psychic News caused the Psychic News itself to become the topic of articles in The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times.
In the 1950s and 1960s, with the rise of the neopagan religion of Wicca, several articles about Wicca and witchcraft were published in the magazine, including "Genuine Witchcraft Is Defended" by Robert Cochrane. From that time forward the newspaper dealt with other paranormal, supernatural and New Age topics in addition to spiritualism.
The newspaper has been criticized for biased reporting and endorsing fraudulent mediums and psychics as genuine. Early articles by Psychic News had supported the fraudulent materialization medium Helen Duncan.
An article in Psychic News claimed that Uri Geller had utilized psychokinetic power based on an incident with a bracelet; an article in the New Scientist cast doubt on the incident and described Geller's feats as magician's tricks.
- Guiley, Rosemary. (1994). The Guinness Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits. Guinness World Records Limited. p. 125. p. 334. ISBN 978-0851127484
- Stemman, Roy (Jul 10, 2010). "Death of 'Psychic News'?". Roy Stemman's Paranormal Review. Archived from the original on 3 April 2013.
- Jensen, Christian (20 December 2011), "Life after death for Psychic News", Press Gazette, archived from the original on 5 January 2012, retrieved 20 December 2011
- "Spiritualists Win Support in Britain; Report Suppressed in 1936 Shows Special Study Group Endorsed Principles". The New York Times. Nov 9, 1947. Retrieved 2011-05-25.
- "Committee of Anglicans Supports Spiritualism: Long-Suppressed Church of England Report on Psychic Data Published". Los Angeles Times. Nov 9, 1947. Retrieved 2011-05-25.
- Edmunds, Simeon. (1966). Spiritualism: A Critical Survey. Aquarian Press. pp. 142-144. ISBN 978-0850300130
- Tabori, Paul. (1974). Harry Price: The Biography of a Ghosthunter. Sphere Books. pp. 138-140. ISBN 0-7221-8326-7
- Spence, Lewis; Fodor, Nandor. (1991). Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology. Gale Research Company. p. 478. ISBN 978-0810301856
- Gould, Donald. (1973). Gellerbility. New Scientist. 13 December. p. 800