It all started at Cambridge in 1855 when a group of like-minded intellectuals got together to discuss ghosts and medium activity involving ghosts and hauntings. Not much is known during this early time period and our research failed to turn up anything regarding the next seven years of the small group, but we found among one of its founding members to be world-renowned historical author Charles Dickens, and later would have renowned psychic researcher Harry Price as a leading member as well.  

Then in London 1862, it became official The Ghost Club was born. Meeting, discussing, and investigating paranormal activity. After the passing of Charles Dickens in 1870, The Club would dissolve for over a decade, only to have it brought back to life in 1882 by medium Stainton Moses and Alaric Alfred Watts at the same time as another group was beginning, this group being Society for Psychical Research. The two groups would often have overlapping members.

 
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The main difference between the two are pretty much the same two differences that currently exist in the paranormal research field, one group takes more of a spiritual approach while the other group may decide to take a more scientific approach. (we think both are just fine) in this case, it's our understanding that The Ghost Club members were firm believers in Ghosts while Society for Psychical Research seemed to be more skeptical, however, the two would dedicate their lives to debunking hoaxes and attempting to prove that in fact, ghosts are among us. 

Now it's very important to note that these early investigations conducted by these groups were a lot different than the paranormal investigations of today. One thing the original investigators practiced was séances, which are generally forbidden at most investigations today. Understandably, they would perform such rituals in an attempt to contact spirits, and they most likely succeeded a few times. The time period, however, did not have too many options to document paranormal activity, and therefore we may never know all of the encounters that may have happened during these early paranormal expeditions. 

After many, many years of tribulations and ups and downs, these paranormal groups still stand and are fully operational in the UK today and should serve as a reminder that interests in the paranormal will never fade away. 158 years is a really long time. The odds of an organization such as The Ghost Club withstanding the extreme test of time over 15 decades is very low. It stands as a testament to people who have a passion in this area.

It's noteworthy to mention that North Florida Mystery Trackers was founded similarly to The Ghost Club. Just like The Ghost Club was initially formed at a college in 1855, North Florida Mystery Trackers was founded in 2009 by a small group of community college students who also held meetings in the library of the college and like The Ghost Club, NFMT is a much different group today than when it first formed. Now, only if we can make it another 100 years, that would be cool. However, we do know that after 12 years of research NFMT doesn't have any plans on going anywhere anytime soon. Like we mentioned above, you have to have a passion for the paranormal to move forward for so long and to have this work continued generation after generation.   

Now, this is just a brief overview of the foundation of paranormal research and study, to show that in fact, the roots of this field do date back farther than most people would initially think and it proves there is a genuine interest among all walks of life in trying to understand elements of what can't be explained.   

If you want to learn more about the long history of the paranormal research field, we urge you to research these groups and the historical figures that started it all in the 1850s, and perhaps if you dig real deep you might find that we have had an interest in the unknown for as long as we could look into the night's sky.