Otherworldly Archives

University of Manitoba home to ghostly legacy.

Written by Henrietta Roi; video production by Andrew Workman

Posted September 9, 2019

Seances, levitation, and eruptions of ectoplasm were just some of the paranormal activities allegedly documented by a Canadian psychic researcher and his wife during the early twentieth century.

Between 1918 and 1935 Dr. Thomas Glendenning Hamilton and Lillian Hamilton studied paranormal phenomena in their Winnipeg home. The Hamiltons conducted experiments that purported to use scientific methods to explore the psychic realm.

A wall of cameras was set up to capture phenomena from every angle. Using thorough documentary techniques, the Hamiltons accumulated more than 1,300 notes and more than 700 images that purportedly describe and depict ghostly activity.

The collection is held at the University of Manitoba Archives.

U of M archivist Brian Hubner said that since it has been made available to the public, the collection has become world-renowned and has served as the inspiration for art, poetry, and even movies.

The Hamiltons’ work garnered attention from other spiritualists of the time, including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King. Doyle is said to have returned to the Hamilton seances as a spirit after his death.

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This article originally appeared in the October-November 2019 issue of Canada’s History.

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