Seabrook, William (Buehler) (1886-1945)

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Seabrook, William (Buehler) (1886-1945)

American traveler and author who explored paranormal phenomena and occultism many years before the occult revival of the 1960s and 1970s. From the 1920s onward, he lived with a Bedouin tribe in Arabia, witnessed whirling dervish dancing at a monastery in Tripoli, saw Yezidee devil worshipers in Kurdistan, studied voudou in Haiti for a year, and also investigated black magic in West Africa. Born February 22, 1886, in Westminster, Maryland, he was educated at Mercersburg Academy; Roanoke College, Salem, Virginia (Ph.B.); Newberry College, South Carolina (M.A.); and the University of Geneva.

In 1908 he worked as a reporter on the Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle and became city editor at the age of 22. He went on to become a partner in an advertising agency in Augusta, then enlisted in the French Army in 1915. He was discharged after a gas attack at Verdun and awarded a Croix de Guerre. After a period as a farmer in Georgia, he went to New York, where he worked as a reporter for the New York Times, then as a writer for King Features Syndicate.

In 1924, he visited Arabia, where he lived with a Bedouin tribe, and thereafter he devoted himself to traveling and writing. In 1933, he committed himself to a New York hospital where he was treated for alcoholism; his seven-month treatment became the basis of his book Asylum (1935). He died on September 20, 1945, at Rhinebeck, New York, by committing suicide.

Sources:

Seabrook, William Buehler. Adventures in Arabia Among the Bedouins. New York, Blue Ribbon Books, 1930.

. Jungle Ways. N.p., 1931.

. The Magic Island. 1929. Reprint. New York: Paragon House, 1989.

. No Hiding Place. Philadelphia; New York: J. B. Lippencott, 1942.

. These Foreigners. New York: Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1938.

. The White Monk of Timbuctoo. New York: Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1934.

. Witchcraft: Its Power in the World Today. New York: Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1940.