Paranormal writer Colin Wilson dies at age 82

Prolific British writer Colin Wilson passed away on Thursday, December 5. He had suffered a stroke earlier this year and had been in poor health.

Wilson will be remembered for his large body of work including those that may be familiar to Forteans and Paranormalists. He also wrote several Lovecraftian Cthulhu Mythos pieces, also about true crime, biographies of historical figures, and serial killers. Some of the popular books you may have or have come across in your library:

The Unexplained (1975)
Mysterious Powers (US title They Had Strange Powers) (1975)
Enigmas and Mysteries (1975)
The Geller Phenomenon (1975)
Mysteries (1978)
Poltergeist!: A Study in Destructive Haunting (1981)
The Goblin Universe (with Ted Holiday, 1982)
The Psychic Detectives: The Story of Psychometry and Paranormal Crime Detection (1984)
The Encyclopedia of Unsolved Mysteries (with Damon Wilson, 1987)
Unsolved Mysteries (with Damon Wilson, 1993)
From Atlantis to the Sphinx (1996)
The Unexplained Mysteries of the Universe (1997)
The Atlas of Sacred Places (1997)
World Famous UFOs (2005)
Atlantis and the Kingdom of the Neanderthals (2006)

It’s fair to say that almost everyone who grew up interested in mysteries of the unexplained owns or has read a Colin Wilson book.

Twilight Language: The Goblin Universe’s Colin Wilson Dies.

Colin Wilson (1931-2013)

Colin Wilson (1931-2013)

  6 comments for “Paranormal writer Colin Wilson dies at age 82

  1. cj
    December 6, 2013 at 7:22 PM

    I think his most lasting work will be The Outsiders, Religion and the Rebel and The Misfits, though The Mind Parasites was a fine novel. I met Colin a few times and corresponded with him in the 1980s on religion and spooks, and found him a warm and generous person. Sad news.

  2. spookyparadigm
    December 6, 2013 at 7:31 PM

    I’ve always been familiar with his name, but I think I never actually read any of his stuff. I’ve got his Mind Parasites though I haven’t read it. I’ve seen the film loosely based on The Space Vampires, the infamously B-ish movie with an A budget, Lifeforce (neat apocalyptic scenes in London with obvious homage to Quatermass and the Pit, but hard to recommend as large sections of it involve gratuitous nudity. Patrick Stewart does dissolve into blood if I remember correctly). I think I browsed the Goblin Universe, it didn’t do much for me.

    You mention the Lovecraft connection. He was one of those who helped perforate the wall between fiction, the occult, and the paranormal. Justin Woodman’s lecture series on that very topic (Lovecraft and paranormal and occult subculture, including some topics of interest to DN readers such as Ancient Aliens), are available here, and they do talk about Wilson as a tangential figure but one that did indeed fuel this subculture as an aggregator.

    http://www.sffaudio.com/?p=1162

  3. December 9, 2013 at 8:33 PM
  4. December 10, 2013 at 11:39 AM

    I own about a half-dozen of Wilson’s books, and though he was prolific, his research and scholarship were often shoddy or non-existent. He seems to have done very little independent research trying to verify the truth or accuracy of his claims but instead spent most of his time rehashing old stories. There’s a place in skepticism and Forteana for aggregators such as Fort, Wilson, Scott Corrales, etc., but in the end what’s needed is real investigation, not rehashes.

  5. December 13, 2013 at 11:26 AM

    Obit at NYTimes. Wow, he was arrogant!
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/13/books/colin-wilson-author-of-the-outsider-dies-at-82.html?pagewanted=2&rref=obituaries&hpw&_r=1&
    “I suspect that I am probably the greatest writer of the 20th century,” he told the British newspaper The Guardian in 2006. “In 500 years’ time, they’ll say, ‘Wilson was a genius,’ because I’m a turning point in intellectual history.”

  6. December 13, 2013 at 7:15 PM

    Ben Radford’s piece at CFI http://www.centerforinquiry.net/blogs/entry/colin_wilson_a_case_study_in_mystery_mongering/
    Wilson seemed unaware that some of these unsolved mysteries were certainly solved!

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