Carlos S. Alvarado, PhD, Research Fellow, Parapsychology Foundation

Over the years many have said that the term out of body experience was introduced either by G.N.M. Tyrrell or by Charles T. Tart. While I do not know who originated the term, I would like to point out in these comments that there are published examples of it before these authors.

Charles T. Tart

Charles T. Tart

Hill Man is a SpiritThree early examples were a letter published in the Spiritualist journal Light (Hamilton, M. ‘Out of the Body’ Experiences. Light, 1911, 31, 480), the fourth chapter of J.A. Hill’s Man is a Spirit (London: Cassell, 1918), and an article published by Walter Franklin Prince. In the article Prince asked an experiencer: “Had your conversation during the previous day suggested out-of-body experiences?” (Incidents: Four Peculiarly Characterized Dreams. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 1923, 17, 82-107, p. 106).


The term was also used in the classic The Projection of the Astral Body (London: Rider, 1929), by Sylvan J. Muldoon and Hereward Carrington. According to Muldoon: “When my first out of body experiences occurred I was but twelve” (p. 11).

Muldoon Projection of the Astral Body Bret MetapsychosesSeveral other examples could be mentioned. Some mentions of the term in books are: P.T. Bret’s Les Métapsychoses : La Métapsychorragie, la Télépathie, la Hantise (Vol. 1, Paris: J. -B. Baillière, 1938, p. 44), Muldoon and Carrington’s The Phenomena of Astral Projection (London: Rider, 1951, p. 216), and G.O. Leonard’s Brief Darkness (London: Cassell, 1942, p. 147). See also the articles by N. Fodor (A Letter from England. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 1937, 31, 118-123, p. 118) and E.W. Oaten (‘Out of the Body’ Experiences. Psychic Science, 1938, 17, 64-72).

Muldoon Carrington Phenomena Astral Projection 2