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Haynes, Renée (Oriana) (1906-1994)

Haynes, Renée (Oriana) (1906-1994)

British novelist, historian, and writer on psychical research. Haynes was born on July 23, 1906, in London and was educated at private schools and an open-air establishment run by Theosophists. She then attended St. Hugh's College, Oxford (B.A. honors, 1927), where she majored in law and history. From 1928 to 1930 she worked for the publishers Geoffrey Bles, Ltd., London. Her literary career began in 1928 with her book Neopolitan Ice. Through the 1930s she wrote Immortal John (1932), The Holy Hunger (1935), and Pan, Caesar and God: Who Spake by the Prophets (1938). She worked for over a quarter-century for the British Council, London, becoming director of book reviews (1941-67).

She joined the Society for Psychical Research (SPR), London, in 1946, edited the society's Journal and Proceedings for more than a decade (1970-81), and served a tenure as a vice president. She was most interested in spontaneous phenomena and shied away from statistical studies. She argued that the psychic aspect of existence was an integral part of human life, an observation made in part from incidents in her own life, including some vivid precognitive dreams. She wrote a number of books on psychical research, but is most remembered for her centennial history of the society. Haynes died in 1994.


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

Haynes, Renée. The Hidden Springs: An Enquiry into Extra-Sensory Perception. London: Hollis and Carter, 1961. Rev. ed. Boston: Little, Brown, 1973.

. Philosopher King: The Humanist Pope Benedict XIV. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1970.

. The Seeing Eye, The Seeing I: Perception, Sensory and Extra-Sensory. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1976.

. The Society for Psychical Research: A History 1882-1982. London: McDonald, 1982.

Omez, Reginald. Psychical Phenomena. Translated by Renée Haynes. New York: Hawthorn, 1958.

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