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Inspirations from Ancient Wisdom
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Elliott O'Donnell was an Irish author known primarily for his books about ghosts. He claimed decent from Irish chieftains of ancient times, including Niall of the Nine Hostages (the King Arthur of Irish folklore) and Red Hugh, who fought the English in the sixteenth century. O'Donnell was educated at Clifton College, England, and Queen's Service Academy, Dublin, Ireland. As he became known as an authority on the supernatural, he was called upon as a ghost hunter. He also lectured and broadcast, via radio and television, on the paranormal in Britain and the United States. In addition to his more than 50 books, he wrote scores of articles and stories for national newspapers and magazines. O'Donnell claimed, "I have investigated, sometimes alone, and sometimes with other people and the press, many cases of reputed hauntings. I believe in ghosts but am not a spiritualist."


Helena Petrovna Blavatsky was born on August 12, 1831, at Dnepropetrovsk (Ekaterinoslav), Ukraine, daughter of Colonel Peter Alexeyevich von Hahn and novelist Helena Andreyevna (n e de Fadeyev). In 1849 she married N. V. Blavatsky, and shortly thereafter began more than 20 years of extensive travel, which brought her into contact with mystic traditions the world over. She was the principal founder of the Theosophical Society in New York City in 1875, and devoted her extraordinary literary talents to its humanitarian and educational purposes until her death in London, England, on May 8, 1891. Along with writing her several books, H. P. Blavatsky kept up a voluminous correspondence and also contributed a steady stream of essays and articles to periodicals in English, French, and Russian.

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