Frederic William Henry Myers (6 February 1843, in Keswick, Cumberland – 17 January 1901, in Rome) was a poet, classicist, philologist, and a founder of the Society for Psychical Research.

Phantasms of the Living

Myers was the co-author of the two-volume Phantasms of the Living (1886) with Gurney and Frank Podmore which documented alleged sightings of apparitions. The two volumes consist of 701 cases of alleged spontaneous apparitional communications. It also explored a telepathic theory to explain such cases.

Human Personality and Its Survival of Bodily Death

In 1893 Myers wrote a small collection of essays, Science and a Future Life. In 1903, after Myers's death, Human Personality and Its Survival of Bodily Death was compiled and published. Myers believed that a theory of consciousness must be part of a unified model of mind which derives from the full range of human experience, including not only normal psychological phenomena but also a wide variety of abnormal and "supernormal" phenomena. n the book, Myers believed he had provided evidence for the existence of the soul and survival of personality after death.

The Subliminal Self

Myers speculated on the existence of a deep region of the unconscious (collective unconscious) or what he termed the “subliminal self”, which he believed could account for paranormal events. He also proposed the existence of a “metetherial world,” a world of images lying beyond the physical world. He wrote that apparitions are not hallucinations but have a real existence in the metetherial world which he described as a dream-like world.


Historians have suggested that Myers was strongly biased to believe in the paranormal and held a secret religious agenda. G. R. Searle described Myers as "having lost his Christian faith, sought a new kind of religion that could reassure him that death did not lead to extinction."