Psychical Investigations Unit

Part of the objects for which the Trust was established is the advancement of religion and the arts by promoting the investigation, study and practice of the religion, science and philosophy of Spiritualism.

To meet this aim for investigation, and to research into the science behind the religion, The Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Centre has set up a Psychical Research and Investigations Unit.

We know from experience that a need resides within the wider community for a professional team of investigators to be on hand to help in situations where paranormal or supernatural phenomena may be causing disturbances either in the home, place of work or other types of environment. The Psychical Investigations Unit aims to meet this need to investigate cases of psychic disturbances.

There is also an aim to provide a place for community involvement within the Centre and we are aware of the public interest into the investigative and scientific side of our work. To meet this need, the Psychical Investigations Unit hosts a series of lectures on Tuesday evenings (See our #TuesdayTalk Programme).

The Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Centre is so called in commemoration of this great man’s contribution to Spiritualism and indeed to psychical research and investigation. We are proud to be able to serve the community by providing these services and in doing so to provide a facility for the benefit of the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual welfare of society.

(If you have a problem, contact: stewart@arthurconandoylecentre.com  or Tel: 0131 625 0700).


About the PRI Unit

The Psychical Investigations Unit (PIU), is headed up by Stewart Lamont.

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Stewart is a retired Church of Scotland minister who spent thirty years in journalism and broadcasting, and latterly worked as a minister in locations as far apart as Gibraltar and Angus.  He is the author of ten books. His interest in the paranormal began as a teenager and in 1980 he presented six television documentaries  under the title “Is Anybody There?”, one of which featured rare film of the Enfield Poltergeist while it was active. He is a member of the Society for Psychical Research (SPR).

After a number of years abroad he now lives in Edinburgh  and  heads up the PIU unit within the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Centre. It works with a small group of trained volunteers which includes two highly experienced consultants: Tricia Robertson (West of Scotland) and Archie Lawrie (Fife).

To contact us: email stewart@arthurconandoylecentre.com or call us on 0131 625 0700  and we will respond. All enquiries are treated as confidential however we will need to know some personal information about you such as where you live and contact telephone numbers (including landline if applicable and email address.


What the PIU Does

People contact us when they are experiencing strange happenings, usually in their homes, but also in other locations. These strange phenomena range from simply a feeling of a ‘presence’ in the home; sometimes of seeing something strange; or very occasionally full poltergeist activity. Whatever the experience, it is usually significantly disturbing to prompt the individual to call in outside help.

We will assess the situation over the telephone or by email, and then, if appropriate, we will arrange to visit the property/location to investigate further to assess what is going on. Our investigators have had personal experience with paranormal phenomena. But just because paranormal events can happen, it doesn’t mean they happen all the time. Some have a simple or rational explanation. Our investigators will try to understand what is happening and determine whether experiences are paranormal or not.

The PIU is not affiliated with any religious or spiritual group It is not our policy to challenge anyone’s religion or promote occult beliefs. The Unit holds no corporate view about what paranormal phenomena is – only that we should investigate it rationally, by exploring possible causes in the light of  experience and previous cases recorded in the archives of psychical research.

The Unit does sometimes use people who have psychic abilities but this is done with your consent. Information gathered in the course of an investigation is treated in strict confidence. The unit usually operates in teams of 2 or 3 which contain both men and women. This service is offered free of charge, but as we are staffed wholly by volunteers, donations are welcome to help cover our running costs.

More about how we carry out investigations will be contained in our leaflet below.

PIU leaflet