Philip Experiment – Group Attempts to Create a Ghost

Drawing of the ghost they created. They named him "Philip".
Drawing of the ghost they created. They named him “Philip”.

Group Attempts to ‘Create’ a Ghost
By Michelle McKay (founder of
December 1, 2011

In the early 1970’s, the TSPR (Toronto Society for Psychical Research) attempted an experiment to create a ghost, known as the “Philip Experiment”.

They first had to fabricate a complete history of the would-be ghost, and invent his life story. They also gave him a name — Philip. One of the members of the group even sketched a portrait of Philip. The group of experimenters, which consisted of 8 people, gathered around in a circle at a table and started their seances on a weekly basis in attempts to get Philip to manifest. They tried for months to get him to manifest to them, to no avail. They then changed their strategy and eventually the group finally received a “rap” on the table from “Philip”. Philip then began answering their questions, using one rap for “yes”, and two raps for “no”. After that, other activity ensued such as table tipping, raps on the table and under the table, the table moving and turning on its side, etc.. It was a fascinating experiment to say the least. The TSPR was ran by Dr. George Owen and his wife, Iris Owen.

NOTE: on Sept 4, 1971, Dr.Owen asked my great-uncle, UFOlogist Henry H. McKay, to lead a new UFO research group that the Owens were starting. My uncle agreed.


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