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As sceptics dismissed other-worldly phenomena as the stuff of legend, trickery or delusion, nineteenth-century 'occult science' set out to explain them scientifically. Here, C. W. Leadbeater maps out the scenery and inhabitants of the astral plane, accounting along the way for phenomena such as the journey of the soul after death, magic and sorcery, vampires and werewolves, pixies, gnomes and fairies, ghosts and shades, and communication with the departed in the seance room. A leading figure in the Theosophical movement after the death of Madame Blavatsky, Leadbeater was reincarnated in Stockport, Cheshire, (now part of Greater Manchester) after an unusually long spell of 2,300 years in the heaven-world. Ordained as an Anglican clergyman, he became a prolific author on theosophical topics. His theosophical studies took him to Ceylon and Australia, where he was the spiritual leader of the Manor commune in Sydney, which still exists today. - Summary by Phil Benson