Fodor, Nandor (1895-1964)

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Fodor, Nandor (1895-1964)

Prominent psychoanalyst and psychical researcher. Fodor was born May 13, 1895, at Beregszasz, Hungary. He studied law and took his LL.D. degree at the Royal Hungarian University of Science in 1917 and served as a law assistant during World War I(1917-21). From 1921 to 1928, he worked as a journalist and in 1921 visited the United States as a staff reporter on the New York Hungarian language daily Amerikai Magyar Nepszava. His chance discovery of a book on psychic phenomena by researcher Hereward Carrington led to an interview with Carrington and a meeting with veteran Spiritualist Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Fodor's interest was aroused and he began to correspond with Carrington.

In 1926 Fodor interviewed Sandor Ferenczi, prominent psychoanalyst and associate of Freud, and became interested in psychoanalysis. Later Fodor was to integrate three professions as journalist, psychoanalyst, and psychical researcher.

He was employed as a secretary by British press magnate Lord Rothermere in 1929. During this period in England, Fodor was able to compile his monumental Encyclopaedia of Psychic Science. Fodor also became assistant editor of the Light, the oldest British Spiritualist journal. He was also appointed re-search officer of the International Institute for Psychical Re-search and undertook careful investigations into mediumistic transfiguration, apports, direct voice, levitation, hauntings, materializations, and poltergeist phenomena.

Fodor lectured extensively on such subjects and wrote a number of books and articles. In 1938 he was responsible for a number of highly skeptical newspaper articles on medium-ship and Spiritualism, which aroused a good deal of opposition from Spiritualists. Soon afterward Fodor returned to the United States, where he renewed his friendship with Hereward Carrington and practiced as a psychoanalyst. He took a profound interest in the psychological aspects of mediumship and published a number of important studies on the subject. He also advocated a more open methodology in studying medium-ship as opposed to the attempts to control the environment of the séance room with ropes and other devices then used by investigators.

During his lifetime Fodor was an honorary member of the Danish Society for Psychical Research and the Hungarian Metaphysical Society, a member of the New York Academy of Science, the American Psychological Association, and the New York State Psychological Association. He wrote a number of books and contributed more than 70 articles to various psychoanalytic, neurological, and psychiatric journals. He died May 17, 1964.


Berger, Arthur S., and Joyce Berger. The Encyclopedia of Parapsychology and Psychical Research. New York: Paragon House, 1991.

Fodor, Nandor. Between Two Worlds. New York: Paperback Library, 1964.

. Encyclopedia of Psychic Science. London: Arthurs Press, 1934.

. The Haunted Mind: A Psychoanalyst Looks at the Super-natural. New York: Garrett Publications, 1959.

. New Approaches to Dream Interpretation. New York, 1951. Reprint, New Hyde Park, N.Y.: University Books, 1951.

. On the Trail of the Poltergeist. New York: Citadel Press, 1958.

. These Mysterious People. London: Rider, 1936.

. The Unaccountable. New York: Award Books, 1968. Fodor, Nandor, and Hereward Carrington. Haunted People. New York: Dutton, 1951.

. The Story of the Poltergeist down the Centuries. London: Rider, 1953.

Pleasants, Helene, ed. Biographical Dictionary of Parapsychology. New York: Helix Press, 1964.