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

Our Mission Statement

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 education to promote citizen science and collaboration between academics and the paranormal community and 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 at large, develop methods and technology for investigating paranormal phenomena, and publish our findings in peer-reviewed journals whenever possible.

What Topics Do We Research?

ISRAE performs research examining religious encounter experiences and experiences labeled as paranormal. This includes topics such as the phenomena and symptoms of hauntings and spiritual encounters and the psychological and cultural experiences of the paranormal. Our findings tend to have one thing in common. Our goal is not to judge people’s experiences or support our own beliefs but to successfully model and further understand haunting experiences both from a scientific and experiential perspective. We let the research data tell us its story. By staying neutral and striving to conduct quality scientific research, we stay honest and neutral about what we do and don’t know about paranormal events.


Managing Board:

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

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

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

Cindy Little, Ph.D. clittle@israenet.org

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




  1. Hello,
    I live in Louisville. I’m interested to know if you host any social meetings for those of us interested in the paranormal topics that your Institute is researching.

    1. Hi Bryan,

      Sorry for the delay in response. Due to COVID at this time, we are not hosting social events. We are, however, working on several educational resources for interested citizen science. Stay tuned!

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