Elliott O'Donnell (February 27, 1872 – May 8, 1965) was an author known primarily for his books about ghosts. He claimed to have seen a ghost, described as an elemental figure covered with spots, when he was five years old. He also claimed to have been strangled by a mysterious phantom in Dublin.
As he became known as an authority on the supernatural, he was called upon as a ghost hunter. He also lectured and broadcast (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. He 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."
Many of O'Donnell's books possess autobiographical sections in which he reveals a desperate struggle to escape early poverty and scrape acquaintance with the wealthy and the influential. These revelations, coupled with both his employment of actors such as C. Aubrey Smith to help stage hauntings, and the fact that he left no notes relating to his studies after his death, suggest that he embellished or perhaps even invented many of his supposed experiences. This is borne out by the fact that virtually every reference book in the field of supernatural fiction accords O'Donnell the status as a fiction writer. Certainly he was never approached by, nor worked with, the Society for Psychical Research. However if you are still interested, many of his books are now available for free on the internet archive. Click on the links below to download them.