Institute for the Study of Religious and Anomalous Experience (I.S.R.A.E.)


Our Mission Statement

sundial-1388070 ISRAE is a 501(c)3 Federal Nonprofit Dedicated to the fair scientific exploration of religious and paranormal experiences. We strive to provide reliable, research-based information to our local and national community while promoting internships and volunteerism.

What is ISRAE?

ISRAE started in 2009 as an undergraduate organization dedicated to the scientific investigation of purportedly haunted locations and training in research methods. It has since become a research institute formally founded in 2014. Its students, members, and academics are dedicated to the scientific study of religious and anomalous experience. We are a 501(c)3 non-profit that focuses on parapsychology, a subject that is both controversial and neglected by many scientists. Our primary goals are to conduct research studies and experiments, provide reliable education to the public, develop methods and technology for investigating paranormal phenomena, and publish our findings in peer-reviewed journals whenever possible.

What Topics Do We Research?

ISRAE currently performs research examining religious experiences and experiences often labeled as paranormal. This includes topics such as EVP (electronic voice phenomenon), haunting experiences and phenomena, and the psychological and cultural experiences of the paranormal. Our findings tend to have one thing in common. We are not here to judge people’s experiences or support our own beliefs. We let the research data tell us its story. By staying neutral and striving to conduct quality scientific research, we strive to supply the public with reliable information about paranormal experiences free of judgment.

What Separates Our Research From Others?

key-123554Uniqueness. To our knowledge, we are the only research institute in the United States actively pursuing a fair and unbiased approach to paranormal experience. We stand on the factual claim that science has not explained everything, despite what some might believe.  

dsc_0132 Honesty to the Public and Data-Driven Findings. We’re very dedicated scientists and members who donate hundreds of hours developing scientifically valid methods for assessing paranormal phenomena. When we don’t have data to support a claim, we don’t make it. When we do have data to answer a claim, we strive to present that data in a fair, impartial, and unbiased way.

technology-1587673Respectful Open Access. Our goal is to become the research institute in the United States that anyone can come to and get honest answers about paranormal experiences. We respect all beliefs but believe that honest science can help people of all backgrounds understand paranormal experiences. We understand that your experience is real to you, regardless of its possible causes (e.g., psychological, physical, or paranormal).


dsc_0145Training and Knowledge. While haunt phenomenon and parapsychology seem to be a taboo subject, our research is vetted in the same way that research on pharmaceutical drugs, psychological discoveries, and other mainstream research is performed and analyzed. We use the scientific method, account for chance, and submit our research to peer-reviewed research journals. Our researchers are trained in empirical methods of research, and all either have or are pursuing their Bachelor’s degrees and above in various fields of study.  We firmly believe that having a trained team of academics is crucial to our institution.

Belief and Skepticism of The Paranormal in One Place

dome-382125_960_720We make it a point to have members of varying beliefs about paranormal phenomena. We believe it keeps us honest. We simply ask everyone to put down their belief in favor of collecting valid evidence and educating themselves with reliable and demonstrated information. ISRAE realizes that many people have strong beliefs about paranormal phenomena. While we respect those beliefs, our job is to critically and honestly collect data and evidence that supports or further explains claims of paranormal phenomena.



Board of Directors:

Christopher Goodman, B.A. M.Ed. cgoodman@israenet.org

Bridget Cotton, B.A. bcotton@israenet.org

Brian Laythe, Ph.D. blaythe@israenet.org


Brian Laythe, Ph.D. blaythe@israenet.org

Deputy Director

Bridget Cotton, B.A. bcotton@israenet.org

Senior Members & Advisory/Field Investigations

Myranda Atkins, A.S., matkins@israenet.org

Courtney Block, M.S., cblock@israenet.org

Katie Glesing, B.A., kglesing@israenet.org

Kristen Oak,  A.S. koak@israenet.org

Development & Programming

Willy Gandy, wgandy@israenet.org



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