Susan MacWilliam first met the family of Eileen Garrett in October 2006, when she travelled to New York to visit the Parapsychology Foundation's Eileen J Garrett Library. Susan became close friends with the charasmatic family of Eileen Garrett, who welcomed her in to their lives and opened doors to other contacts within the fields of parapsychology and psychical research. Susan returned to New York in the summer of 2007 to develop video works about Eileen Garrett; during this time she lived with Eileen Coly. Eileen Coly and her daughter Lisette Coly afforded Susan intimate access to their world, and as such followed in the footsteps of their mother and grandmother Eileen Garrett, who supported and encouraged many within the fields of parapsychology, literature and the arts.
A number of curious coincidences occurred during MacWilliam's research, including the discovery that in September 1934 some of her own cousins sailed from Southampton to New York on the SS Majestic on the same voyage as Eileen Garrett and her then 18 year old daughter. Garrett's daughter Eileen and her daughter Lisette, travelled from New York to London for the 2008 premiere of Eileen at Gimpel Fils.
Susan MacWilliam has developed a significant body of work about Eileen Garrett and her family; 13 Roland Gardens, 2007, Eileen, 2008, Library, 2008, Psychic Edit, 2008, The Only Way To Travel, 2008, and the stereoscopes Medium's Daughter, 2008 and Artist as Medium, 2008.
The Parapsychology Foundation was founded by Eileen Garrett in 1951, who served as its President until her death in 1970. Following her death, her daughter Eileen Coly (1916-2013) became President. Lisette Coly, granddaughter of Eileen Garrett served as Executive Director from 1978 and is now President of the Parapsychology Foundation.