Paranormal Club – Introduction

Friday 17th February 1899
An introduction to the Paranormal Club ands it’s activities
by York’s executive officer Franklin Jones.
Affiliate members: Dorothea Blake, Victoria Dinkley and Neville Rogers.

ith a suitably appropriate air of mystery the foundation of the Paranormal Club is shrouded in obscurity. What is known has been overlaid with a number of rumours and speculation that has made discerning its true origins problematic.
    What is known with some degree of certainty is that it was founded in 1862 in London and had amongst its inaugural members such luminaries as Charles Dickens, Charles Babbage and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. However, an incident took place within three months of the society’s opening statement of intent that led to a number of members, including the aforementioned founding dignitaries, resigning and forming an alternative society known as the Ghost Club.
    All manner of theories have been propounded over the intervening years ranging from the absurd (the club was overrun by Martians) to the only slightly more plausible (the club was overrun by Aleister Crowley [1]) but to this date none have been found to contain the slightest voracity.
    However, one piece of speculation at least does seem to have some element of validity. The original statement by the group made it clear that their objectives were to investigate paranormal incidents appertaining to, but not necessarily restricted to, the contact with ghosts and additional manifestations of the spirit realm. Following the exodus and inception of the Ghost Club, whose clear intent is to preserve their original aspirations, the Paranormal Club’s activities have broadened to encompass all manner of unexplained phenomena, including unidentified aerial activity, cryptic sightings, mesmerism and the occult. This new directive has been accompanied by such a climate of gravity as to suggest a developing but hidden machination that, while the club has made no official allusion to, can clearly be observed via its own stratagem. As Conan Doyle’s character Sherlock Homes would undoubtedly observe; something is afoot.
    It is our responsibility, by way of The Paranormal Club News, to apprise the general public of the continued efforts of the club in those matters to which I have summarised. Case reports will be made public and any disclosure as to the existence of an underlying predicament will expeditiously and with great perspicuity see print in this most esteemed journal.
    The York league of the Paranormal Club was established in 1882 and, as with other league’s around Britain, reports directly to the London office. This is where Mr Arthur Watkins, publication editor and founder of The Paranormal Club News is based. He has, with an admirable degree of fortitude, consented to publish a copy of the induction letter and Club summary that, strictly speaking, are confidential documents, but which I believe are indicative of a potentially grave state of affairs that it is incumbent upon myself, with the assistance of the estimable Mr Watkins, to inform those who desire enlightenment.

  1. Given that Crowley’s birth was not until 1875, this theory, on reflection, seems even less likely than the aliens’ hypothesis.