Sunday, February 7, 2010

A limited biography of Hereward Carrington

A 1941 Magazine promo for Hereward Carrington
A biography of Hereward Carrington is long overdue. He was the most famous of the American psychic researchers in the first half of the 20th century. He started serious study of psychic phenomena at age 16 and kept journals of his thoughts and experiences from then up till his death in 1958, at the age of 78. He had three failed marriages,and he struggled with health problems for decades from contracting TB. He knew most of the prominent mediums and psychics of his day. He investigated haunted houses, seances, psychics and many other things. He wrote over 100 books and several thousand articles that appeared in various newspapers and magazines.
Why should we call him an American researcher when so many call him British. Most of his life was spent in America, he moved here permanently at age 19, when he arrived in 1899. Hereward first came to America for an extended visit with his mother and sister at age 8 and was still here at age 12. Hereward became an American citizen. His mother was born in New York state. I think of Hereward as British in temperment and American by choice. The Paul Tabori mini biography on Hereward Carrington is pretty good but has a number of errors in it. Even some of the errors tells me things. Paul has the wrong college where Hereward got his PhD but he is only repeating another person's mistake. Then when he speaks of Mrs Carrington, he is unaware in about 1950 that Hereward supposedly married the 2nd Marie. There is a strange story here with a strange ending. I have not tracked down their marriage certificates which would interest me.


  1. Steve,
    I don't know if you are still working on your biography of Carrington. Presuming so, I would like to get in touch with you. I will write about Carrington and his work with E Haldeman-Julius with Little Blue Books and Big Blue books for a conference paper later this year. After a little research, it is obvious, as you say, that different sources provide conflicting information about his life.
    I think that some of the points which you make are correct, whilst others are not certain. For example, I checked with William Penn University that confirms that Carrington was never a student there and that the university and its pre-cursor institutions have not given PhD degrees. Either he obtained a PhD elsewhere or he did not obtain one. I would like to know the answer to this. Any ideas???
    I have found a lot of geneological information and am uncertain about some of your other statements. His mother was Sarah Jane Pewtress of an upper class British pedigree and one source has her as Polish.
    My e-mail is and we may be of mutual assistance to one another?

    1. Sarah's ancestors several hundred years back were polish Jewish but they had long ago converted to Christians and intermarried. Sarah was born in American but she returned with her British parents to England when she was a very young girl. I believe I have a separate posting about Hereward's degree.

  2. Steve,

    Not sure if this site is still active. I said I was interested in Carrington's Blue Book connection. In the Advertisement section of several Big Blue Books there is a profile of Carrington (see below).


    Dr. Hereward Carrington was born in St. Herlier's, Jersey, Channel Islands, on October 17, 1880. His father, Robert Charles Carrington was connected with the British admiralty all his life.
    His mother (Jane Pewtress) was Polish; his father's ancestry Irish; both British. Educated in England, Dr. Carrington came to the U.S. in 1899 and remained ever since. He became a naturalized citizen. He has lived mostly in New York City; now in Hollywood, Calif. His first job was with Brentano's book store. For a time he was editor of Street and Smith's 10-cent novels. Later he became a free-lance writer and
    lecturer. He has written (big and little [Blue Books]) over 100 books and more than 1,500 articles and reports. He bas been an amateur magician all his life. Hobbies: tennis, science, bridge. In addition to writing motion pictures and playlets. Dr. Carrington has been on the radio for many months. He has traveled extensively through Europe.
    The above is scanned copy, but the same information may be obtained through Book Googlle (see below)
    One cannot guarantee accuracy in anything, but this is probably information that Carrington himself would have supplied (?)

    Copy at:
    Carrington's Mystical Writings 1924 - Page 30 -
    Google Books Result

    1. I have a group of such bio's supplied by Carrington which tend to have minor variations, if I recall after a certain date he starts fibbing about where he got his degree unless he thought it was taken over by the school that bought the land and buildings of the old school - I think he was just embarrassed to admit the true facts of his mill school degree.

  3. As a result (perhaps) of enquiries I made at William Penn University, Wikipedia no longer states tha Carrington obtained his PhD at William Penn College, Iowa. One incorrect source removed!

    We still need to find where he did obtain his Ph.D.


    1. I have posted where he got his degree in a few places. - Steve

    2. Wikipedia upset me. I made corrections 3 times in there info and they kept deleting it. I complained and they preferred to keep bad info.
      Normally they are pretty good but it just shows you can't trust everything on the internet.