Favorite "paranormal" writers?

You may be a skeptic, you may think anything paranormal is total BS, or you may be a total believer- but you do know this: certain writers are absolutely fascinating & can sure spin a yarn. Maybe these writers are frauds, maybe gullible, maybe folklorists, but they’re always entertaining.

So who are your favorite authors in this genre?

As a yute, I read just about anything dealing with UFOs, ancient astronauts, ghosts, etc. but a few authors remain as my favorites:

The old but still around veterans Brad Steiger and John Keel, both of whom claim to experience a lot of what they’ve written about. Keel is probably best know for “The Mothman Prophecies” and popularizing the “ultra-dimensional” theory of aliens/UFOs.

Relative newcomer Whitley Strieber- Horror/scifi novelist, Gray abductee & New Age mystic.

“Strange but true (maybe)” archivist Frank Edwards.

Mystic/charlatan contactee George Adamski.

One I have to acknowledge as the Pioneer, but I just never got into his stuff: Charles Fort.

A still-living & active writer I enjoyed back in the 1970s but he got boring & his books in retrospect just don’t hold up- Erich Von Daniken. Much better AFA writing was the late W. Raymond Drake.

Complete sceptic checking in, but I have read a lot of books in this area.

John Keel is a good one from a story telling angle.

Not really found many others, Hancock is too credulous as are many of the others. Even tried Von Daniken once, complete nutter.

Arthur C. Clarke wasn’t bad.

I am a regular reader of Fortean Times and like articles by many of the authors such as Jenny Randles and Paul Devereaux.(sp.?)

Leslie Rule. Daughter of true crime writer Ann Rule.

H.P. Lovecraft

Did Lovecraft ever claim to be writing non fiction then?

If so, when are we going on the expedition to find R’lyeh?

I’m firmly in the “it’s total BS” camp. All of it. UFO’s, ESP, God, Ghosts, Precog, past lives, chiropractors, yadda yadda.

Zena Henderson’s People stories make me wish I am wrong. :wink: They aren’t happy stories, but, dayum, they are full of Good.

Robert Charroux, a French predecessor of Von Daniken.

Louis Pauwels and Jacques Bergier, especially their Morning of the Magicians.

Bernard Heuvelmans, a founding father of cryptozoology.

and of course, Immanuel Velikovsky a total nut case, but eminently readable

First place is a toss between two Messrs. Wilson: the humane, ever-effervescent Robert A. and that uber-erudite, accessible and personable Englishman, Colin.

John Keel, on the strength of Disneyland of The Gods and the Mothman book (as a monsters- and UFOs-obsessed 7-year old West Virginian in 1966, I remember the Mothman flap fondly and very well )

Sybil Leek - am I showing my age here?

Trevor James Constable, for introducing us to the notion of the upper atmosphere animal, one of my favorite theories about UFOs.

Mssrs Pauwels and Bergiere, authors of Morning Of The Magicians

And of course, the venerated Mr. Fort himself

You misspelled “Arthur Conan Doyle”.


I stand corrected.

I was going to name Colin Wilson & then thought of a lot of other authors that also qualified, and just dropped the idea of adding anymore.

Good call on RAW!

And yes, I know who Sybil Leek is! Got her DIARY OF A WITCH.

Anyone know of the still-living astrologer Geof Gray-Cobb? I wrote to him for a friend but have never yet read any of his books. A couple of clips on him on the paranormal game show BEYOND REASON are on the CBC site.

Keel is an absolute genius. If you read his books closely, you’ll see that there’s multiple layers to them (one of which has his tongue firmly planted in his cheek).

I used to know a writer who sent the book he’d written to Keel for a review. Keel’s response, “Its the best book I’ve read this year!” When the writer pointed out it wasn’t even the middle of January yet, Keel replied, “I know, but its still the best book I’ve read this year!” :smiley:

Well I can’t say they are my favorite writers because I’ve only read one of their books each, but they are among my favorite paranormal novels.

First - Colin Wilson’s The Philosopher’s Stone in which two academics discover a way to psychically learn about object and by proxy the universe and discover a disturbing truth about the nature of reality.

Second - The Woman Between The Worlds by F. Gwynplaine Macintyre - An invisible woman from another dimension shows up at a tattoo shop in 1898 London and requests a full body tattoo to make her visible, but it’s not long before the horrors ofher home dimension follow her here.

Both are really good reads, intriguing novels, with somewhat disappointing endings.

I can’t stand Charles Fort. His writinf style grates on me. That’s entirely independent of what he has to say (and there are those who claim it was all tongue-in-cheek, and he didn’t believe it.)

Of all these guys, I first read Frank Edwards. Freaked me out at first, until I started researching the stuff he wrote about. At which point I learned that the man had absolutely no regard for the truth. He was prone to exaggerate things, or leave out certain elements that would supprt a mundane explanatioon, or in some cases simply lie. And I was able to do this while still in grammar school. Nothing I’ve learned since changes my opinion – it rather reinforces it. (See Phillip Klass’ account of their phone calls in his books on UFOs)
I attended a lecture by Charles Berlitz, and wasn’t impressed by his truthfulness, either. This was not that long after his books on the Bermuda Triangle came out. I asked him about some of the people writing critically about his claims, like cLawrence David Kusche, and he said they were just in it for fame and money, a comment that made me want to stifle a laugh. How many people do you know who have heard of Berlitz? How many have heard of Kusche?
I’m not that fond of “paranormal” writers, and my skeptical mindest probably doesmn’t help. I’m more fond of those who write about odd things that aren’t really paranormal – they’re honest and, I think, more entertaining. The aforementioned Heuvelamans. Pre-Columbian crossing writer Frederick J. Pohl (not to be confused with SF author Frederick Pohl), Cryptozoologist Coleman.
Otherwise, I’ll take the skeptics anyday. Martin Gardner and James Randi are a lot more fun.

Btw, let me clarify- I was asking for favorite writers of non-fiction paranormal books. Of course, several, such as Streiber, C Wilson & RAW, also wrote novels, but I am asking for non-fiction writers.

Btw, I would include Martin Gardner, James Randi, & Phillip A. Klass also. I vaguely recall a Daniel Cohen’s Myths of the Space Age which was a skeptical but entertaining look at paranormal lore.

Well, if you’re going to include skeptics, there’s a pasel of them I’d throw in.

Robert Schaefer has taken up much of Phillip Klass’ UFO skeptic role, and his UFO books are good. He’s branched out, though, into other regions I don’t always agree with him (or his tone), but his onl-line Domain of Patriarchy is a hoot.

Lawrence David Kusche is the best writer on the Bermuda Triangle, but I only know of his book on the topic and one or two articles.

Joe Nickell is a great overall skeptic/folklorist/forensic science guy. He has several books out, and a regular column in Skeptical Inquirer. So does Massimo Polidori.
Harry Houdini is great – not only for his famous “A Magician Among the Spirits”, but also for his eye-opening “Miracle Mongers and their Methods”

And, of course, the misinformation-fighters Tom Burnham, Bergen Evans, and our own Cecil.

Gina Cerminara makes a good case for reincarnation.

Edgar Cayce isn’t a writer but the books written about his trance readings are fascinating.

Any love at all for Brad Steiger? Actually, he’s probably my all-time favorite.

Sorry – I wasn’t taken that much by Steiger’s writing, and I’m not convinced of his veracity.

Some that have been missed :
Williy Ley

L. Sprague de Camp

and Colin Wilson should be allowed since he wrote “serious” books about the occult.