Though it was a period of huge scientific advance, the Victorian era was at the same time one of intense superstition. All over Britain and America, séances were being held in darkened rooms; mysterious rappings were heard, furniture moved, ghostly forms appeared, mediums spoke in the altered voices of the dead, and ouija boards spelt out messages from beyond the grave. In front of this paranormal onslaught eminent scientists founded the Society of Psychical Research in 1882 to determine whether life after death could be scientifically proven. Their experiments went on for years. Many mediums, like the notorious Madame Blavatsky, were revealed as charlatans, yet there were some who were never exposed, who despite every rigorous scientific test seemed to prove that souls survived death. This is the extraordinary story of this group of mediums and forward thinkers; many of whom were driven to the spirit world by personal tragedy, by a zeal to communicate with their loved ones once more.