Perspective Online

Renowned Parapsychologist Papers Processed, Housed at Ingram Library

by Allayah Carr

Renowned Parapsychologist Papers Processed, Housed at Ingram LibraryThe librarians at the University of West Georgia have completed processing the papers of the late Dr. William G. Roll to its special collections. Dr. Roll’s work—which consists of more than 200 boxes of research papers, photographs, notes, and objects such as silverware supposedly bent by the human mind—was donated to Ingram Library by his wife, Lydia Roll. The collection was given as a tribute to the many contributions Dr. Roll attributed to the parapsychological field here at UWG while serving as a faculty member from the ‘80s until his retirement in the ‘00s.

“This was our first big parapsychological collection,” said Candice Larson, archivist for Special Collections at the Ingram Library. “It focuses on poltergeists, and Roll argues that they’re not ghosts but a product of a troubled mind.”

Dr. Roll, along with the Psychical Research Foundation (PRF), an organization focused on the science of paranormal psychology, researched the poltergeist case of Tina Resch, which was featured on the television series Unsolved Mysteries. Another experiment involving the Royal Mailship Queen Mary, a cruise liner rumored to be haunted, also appeared on the show. The notes, essays, and footage from both of these accounts that gained national attention are now located in UWG’s Special Collections.

“Dr. Roll expanded the psychology department when he brought the Psychical Research Foundation with him,” said Candice. “They believe that a humans personality and consciousness may survive after death.”

The Atlanta police believed this as well when they called Dr. Roll and the PRF to help assist in the Atlanta Child Murders of ‘79. Dr. Roll worked with psychics who supposedly reached out to the deceased in order to decipher clues to catch the murderer. The reports as well as the findings are also included in the archives.

For more information on how you can access Dr. Roll’s work, contact Candice at (678) 839-6495 or at to schedule an appointment.


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Posted: February 9, 2016

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