Browne Popular Culture Library

PCL MS-26: Susy Smith Collection

Introduction | Biographical Sketch | Transfers | Scope and Content | Series Description | Inventory


Susy Smith is an author of books on psychic phenomena. Her literary manuscripts form the core of this collection.

In 1969, Susy Smith first began transferring her manuscripts to the Browne Popular Culture Library, Bowling Green State University. This collection is open for research, but the photocopying of manuscripts must comply with applicable copyright laws. This register was compiled by Nancy White Lee, Popular Culture Library Associate II, in June 1986, revised in July 1992, and updated in August 2009 by Patricia Falk.

Biographical Sketch  

Susy Smith was born on June 2, 1911, in Washington, D.C. She attended the University of Texas, 1929-1932, 1933-1934, and the University of Arizona, 1932-1933 where she majored in journalism. She was married to M.L. Smith in 1934, they later divorced. While living in Salt Lake City, Utah, she worked as a columnist for the Salt Lake Tribune and as a free-lance writer for the Desert News. In 1955, Smith successfully "contacted" her mother with a Ouija board and henceforth her interest flourished in the field. Gripped by the challenge of ESP and its related areas, she gave up all other endeavors to concentrate her interest in the study of psychic phenomena. She worked at Dr. J. B. Rhine's Parapsychology Laboratory at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. She received numerous grants from the Parapsychology Foundation in New

York and Smith also traveled and lectured throughout the United States. Her twenty-nine published books generally fall into two categories: those reporting psychic occurrences and those about herself. She acquired an inspirational philosophy that allowed her to give her audiences and readers conclusions that are especially helpful to those facing the loss of loved relatives and friends. Smith's books documenting psychic events and processes brought a considerable amount of new information to the public.

In her earlier writing, Smith showed particular talent for taking the scientific material from the records of psychical research and putting it into an entertaining form that turned documented facts into fascinating reading. Her last three books, however, were of a more philosophical nature, because gradually over the years she became convinced of the possibility of spirit communication and recorded the information she received via this technique. In publicizing her works, she appeared on the "Today Show," Jack Paar's Tonight Show," the "David Susskind Show," "To Tell the Truth," "What's My Line," "Not for Women Only," and numerous radio programs. Seven of her books were translated into foreign languages, and one was put into Braille. She was listed in Who's Who in American Women, Contemporary Authors, Prominent Women in Communications, Two Thousand Women of Achievement, Who's Who In Parapsychology and others.

Smith was the founder and first president of the Survival Research Foundation, established in 1971 in Tucson, Arizona. This foundation conducts experiments and subsidizes and assists in the procuring of scientific evidence for conscious survival of the human spirit after death.

Over the years, Smith had been a member of the American Association of University Women, The National League of American Pen Women, The Business and Professional Women's Club, The Pilot Club, The American Society for Psychical Research, Spiritual Frontiers Fellowship, The Society for Psychical Research, Association for Research and Enlightenment, Author's Guild, and Chi Omega. Additionally, she was a past president of the 125-member Society of Southwestern Authors. Smith died on February 11, 2001.


The following books have been transferred from the collection to the Browne Popular Culture Library main stack area. Call numbers for these books maybe found in the BGSU Libraries catalog or by clicking on the titles below.

Scope and Content  

The Susy Smith Collection houses the literary manuscripts for some of her books. This collection includes printer's manuscripts and original edited typewritten manuscripts for Smith's 1971 book Confessions of a Psychic, as well as typewritten manuscripts with handwritten corrections for five other works relating to psychic phenomena including her latest donation Ghost Writers in the Sky.

Those interested in psychic research will find this collection of research value.

Series Description  

Literary Productions

Manuscripts, Literary
1966-1967; 1970-1974, 1990
Arranged alphabetically by title of-the work
This series includes manuscripts for books.


 Box 1
The Book Of James1974
1Book published by G.P. Putnam's Sons
Printer's manuscript, pp. 1-86
2Printer's manuscript, pp. 87-158
3Printer's manuscript, pp. 159-248
Confessions Of A Psychic1971
4Book published by The Macmillan Company Printer's manuscript, pp. 1-134 
5Printer's manuscript, pp. 135-261
6Printer's manuscript, pp. 262-355
7Printer's manuscript, pp. 256-458
 Box 2
ESP And Hypnosis1973
1Book published by The Macmillan Company Printer's manuscript, pp. 1-76 
2Printer's manuscript, pp. 77-173
3Printer's manuscript, pp. 174-291
Ghosts Around The House1970
4Book published by The World Publishing Company Printer's manuscript, pp. 1-104 
5Printer's manuscript, pp. 105-178
6Printer's manuscript, pp. 179-258
 Box 3
How To Develop ESP1972
1Book published by G.P. Putnam's Sons
Printer's manuscript, pp. 1-112
2Printer's manuscript, pp. 113-225
3Printer's manuscript, pp. 226-336
Life Is Forever; Evidence For Survival1974
4Book published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Printer's manuscript, pp. 1-103 
5Printers' manuscript, pp. 104-235
6Printer's manuscript, pp. 236-396
 Box 4
1Prominent American Ghosts
Original edited manuscript
2Today's Witches
Printer's manuscript, pp. 1-102
3Today's Witches
Printer's manuscript, pp. 103-246
4Wide Spread Psychic Wonders
Book published by Ace Books Edited manuscript, pp. 1-100
5Wide Spread Psychic Wonders
Edited manuscript, PP. 101-219
 Box 5
Ghost Writers in the Sky1990
1Computer disks and order form 
2Typewritten manuscript, chapters 1-4
3Typewritten manuscript, chapters 5-9
4Typewritten manuscript, chapters 10-14
5Typewritten manuscript, chapters 15-end Page 11

Addendum completed December 1991 by Susan Irwin, Graduate Library Assistant, Browne Popular Culture Library.