Dennis Bardens

Dennis Bardens (1911-2004) was an English journalist and author whose books included several on psi-related topics.

Life and Career

Dennis Conrad Bardens was born in Midhurst, Sussex and attended Portsmouth Grammar School. He served a newspaper apprenticeship in Cardiff and then moved to London in the 1920s.

In the 1930s, Bardens worked for national newspapers including the Sunday Express and the Daily Mirror. He was a reporter in London during the Blitz and later worked in the Ministry of Information, also undertaking secret service work in Czechoslovakia.1

Bardens was appointed the editor of a BBC radio documentary series Focus and then founded Panorama, which eventually developed into one of the BBC’s most important current affairs programmes. He moved to ITV in 1955, where he worked as an editor and writer.

Psychical Research

Bardens’s interest in psychical research was stimulating by meeting the occultist and artist Austin Spare, to whom he was introduced by Victor Neuberg, a disciple of Aleister Crowley. He joined the Society for Psychical Research, the Ghost Club and Ghost Club Society.

In 1970 he participated in an experiment investigating the relationship between altered states of consciousness and electrical skin resistance.2  He was also involved in the investigation of an apparitional sighting reported by Canon Philips, who said he encountered the writer CS Lewis following Lewis’s death in 1963.3

Among Bardens’s many books are several on psychic phenomena. These, combining first-hand knowledge with anecdotes, appealed to the public but somewhat less so to academic reviewers.4

Selected Works

Ghosts and Hauntings (1965). London: Zeus Press.

Mysterious Worlds (1970). London & New York: W.H. Allen.

Psychic Animals: An Investigation of their Secret Powers (1987). Robert Hale: London.

Ahead of Time (1991). London: Robert Hale.

Melvyn Willin


Cade, C. Maxwell and Woolley-Hart, A.P. (1971). The measurement of hypnosis and autohypnosis by determination of electrical skin resistance. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 46, 81-102.

Charman, R. (2013). Canon Philips and C.S. Lewis – a cautionary tale. Paranormal Review 67, 3-9.

Heywood, R. (1971). Review: Mysterious Worlds by Dennis Bardens. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 46, 146-47.

Hills, C. (2004). Obituary: Dennis Bardens. The Guardian, 21 February.


  • 1. Hills (2004).
  • 2. Cade & Woolley-Hart (1971), 99.
  • 3. Charman (2013), 4.
  • 4. For instance, Heywood (1971), 146-47.