Our Story

The Scottish Society for Psychical Research is a registered educational charity SC020421 dedicated to investigating the paranormal in a scientific manner. We host conferences, lectures, discussion groups, investigator training and we respond to public requests to investigate paranormal phenomena.

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Archie E Roy, the Emeritus Professor of Astronomy at Glasgow University, founded the Scottish Society for Psychical Research in 1987. Prof. Roy founded the SSPR to respond to two needs:

  • To provide students of his night-class ‘An Introduction to Psychical Research’ with further opportunities to learn about the paranormal.
  • To provide a ‘paranormal fire brigade’ for members of the public distressed by their
    paranormal experiences.

Since 1987, the SSPR has hosted an extraordinary variety of speakers: including Colin Wilson, Michael Bentine, Graham Hancock, Dr. Rupert Sheldrake, Maurice Grosse, Prof. Richard Wiseman and Prof. Chris French. We’ve also hosted demonstrations of mediumship, including internationally renowned local talent, such as Gordon Smith and  the late Albert Best.

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We’ve also responded over the years to hundreds of calls to investigate possible paranormal phenomena and spent many an hour in the dark on ‘vigils’ – on site investigations into alleged haunted locations.

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At its peak the SSPR had 200+ members and met in the large lecture hall of the Boyd Orr Building at Glasgow University.

Much has changed in our 30 year history and we’ve had to adapt to increased lecture theatre hire costs, competition (from an explosion of other groups due to Most Haunted, which first aired in 2002) and the internet! In January 2016, an article appeared in The Herald with the title, ‘Scotland’s Ghostbusters are about to go Bust‘. Certainly, the Society was facing a perfect storm, coming up to its 30th year, facing a decrease in income and an increase in costs…  

In September 2017 we had an Extra General Meeting in which the members had to vote to wind-up the society or continue with more realistic aspirations and meet in a smaller venue. The members voted to continue and The Glasgow Theosophical Society has become our new home.

Having been founded on the twin principles of education & assistance over three decades ago, the SSPR is once again going strong. The SSPR community is made up of over 50 members and they come from all walks of life, whether they are students, professionals or pensioners; or open-minded enquirers or hard-nosed sceptics.

Our society holds no corporate view on the paranormal. Members are expected to make up their own minds and are encouraged to ask some searching questions of our visiting speakers.
What visitors agree upon is that ours is a very friendly society. We value common sense & a sense of humour in equal measure. We welcome the public to our events ~ and are especially grateful to those who support the educational work of the Society by becoming a member.

Come along to one of our meetings to meet us and find out more!