Study of Psychic Phenomena: Mediumship, Spirit Guides, Table Levitations, Ectoplasm, and Photography

To coincide with the launch of Serena Keshavjee’s The Undead Archive exhibition, the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections (UMASC) and the Survival Research Institute of Canada are co-sponsoring Study of Psychic Phenomena.

When:  Friday, 22 Sept., 7 to 9 pm, and Saturday, 23 Sept., 10 am to 5 pm.

Where: UMASC Reading Room, 330 Elizabeth Dafoe Library, 25 Chancellors Circle, Fort Garry Campus

Symposium Program


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Admission by donation: Donations to the T.G. Hamilton Family Memorial Research Fund will receive a Canadian charitable donation tax receipt that may be used to reduce your personal income tax payable. The actual taxable benefit will depend upon your total annual charitable donations, the province in which you live, and your income tax bracket rate.

You can donate here: or through this Crowdfunding site:

Samuel Augustus Aykroyd, Student of Psychic Phenomena

The choice of name for the symposium derives from the pseudonym “Student of Psychic Phenomena” (SPP) recently discovered to be Kingston dental surgeon Samuel A. Aykroyd (1855-1933). Dr. Aykroyd was the great-grandfather of actor and screenwriter Dan Aykroyd. To separate his public persona from his pursuit in family séances of spirit communication through mediumship, SPP submitted letters anonymously to Kingston newspapers over a period of 30 years (1899-1929). On November 1928, Dr. Aykroyd acknowledged Dr. T. Glen Hamilton’s psychic science in an article in the Kingston Whig-Standard (20 November 1928, p. 4). Though the Aykroyds did not observe ectoplasm in their séances, Dan Aykroyd popularized the term ectoplasm through the green slimy substance portrayed in the movie Ghostbusters (1984), in which he co-starred with Bill Murray and Sigourney Weaver.  Among the dozens of Spiritualism and psychical research collections at UMASC is a small collection donated by the Aykroyd family.

The Undead Archive curated by Serena Keshavjee, assisted by Emma Dux:  Symposium participants will have the opportunity to view original photographs and documents from the Hamilton Family Fonds, on display in the UMASC reading room as part of  The Undead Archive exhibition.


Do Tables Tilt, Turn and Float?

An examination of the photographic evidence for table levitation phenomena, 1850-2006, including experiments in which the presenter participated.

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Ectoplasm: Myth or Reality?

An examination of the ectoplasmic experiments photographed by Dr. T. Glen Hamilton, Winnipeg, Manitoba, 1928-1934.

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