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Observations placeholder

The Head of BBC Television Drama and the unwanted spirit



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Colin Wilson - Mysteries

One evening in the early 1950s, a young drama student named Bill Slater, later to become head of BBC Television drama, attended a party that turned into an impromptu seance. Most of the guests sat around a circular table, with an inverted glass in the middle and the letters of the alphabet arranged around it. A few people laid their index fingers gently on the glass, and it proceeded to move quickly from letter to letter, spelling out the answers to questions. Bill Slater found it fascinating but was unwilling to accept it as anything more than a party game. He made some facetious remarks which the glass seemed to resent. When it was asked if there was anyone present it would prefer to have leave, it shot unambiguously towards Slater. He had no objection - he was getting bored anyway - and went off to flirt with a pretty girl.

In the early hours of the morning, he returned to the room where he was staying with a fellow drama student; they talked for a while, then retired to bed. Slater explained to me in a letter describing the incident that two hours later:

I found myself half awake, knowing there was some kind of presence massing itself on my chest; it was, to my certain knowledge, making every effort to take over my mind and body. It cost me considerable will-power to concentrate all my faculties to push the thing away, and for what seemed like twenty minutes this spiritual tussle went on between this awful presence and myself. Needless to say, although before going to bed I had felt perfectly happy and at ease with a very good friend, in a flat I knew well, I was now absolutely terrified - l have never known such fear since. I was finally able to call my friend's name; he woke up, put on the light, and was astonished to find me well-nigh a gibbering idiot.
I have never since had any psychic experience.

I cite this incident, not because it happens to be one of the more startling tales of possession (or attempted possession), but simply because I know SIater well and regard him as totally honest.

The source of the experience

Ordinary person

Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



Dreaming and lucid dreaming