Tuesday, 12 October 2010

the observer magazine, 1967

The Observer's Halloween issue for 1967 explored our fascination with ghosts and spiritualism ("The Mediums And The Message" tagline capturing the Marshall McLuhan-influenced zeitgeist) in a wonderful cover feature. "Should we really be believing in ghosts in the 20th century?", they asked, mixing in pictures of mediums and spiritualist meetings that look as eerily spectral now as the faked Victorian spirit photographic images they also used across several spreads. Despite the futuristic leaps of the era, it seemed that question, and whether it could be answered by the mind would remain an "irritating mystery", as investigating journalist Paul Ferris put it.  Nowadays, it looks like we are, at least as newspaper readers, more at ease with the supernatural or otherworldly, so that fringe-explorers like Mark Pilkington can even provide a Top 10 of UFO books.

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