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Presented to the 
LIBRARY of the 






i ad} 















ALEXANDER, PROF. A. , Cases contributed by 151,238 

,, ,, Cure of Paralysis by Hypnotism 238 

American Branch of the Society for Psychical Research, List of Members 

2, 18, 49, 81, 97, 129, 145, 161, 201, 221, 237, 253, 269, 293, 309, 325 

Angus, Miss, Experiments in Crystal Vision 30, 45, 78, 218, 219, 229 

Animal Apparitions ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 42, 43, 44 

Animals, Apparently affected by Psychical Phenomena ... 43, 245, 304 

Animals, Cure of Warts in by " Charming " 99,100-103 

Annual General Meetings 18,202 

Anonymously Contributed Cases... 27, 55, 73, 139, 154, 155, 191, 193, 317, 331 
Arensburg Disturbances, The ... ... ... ... ... ... 28,93 

Auguez, Paul, Case recorded by 15 

Automatic Phenomena in a Case of Hysteria 333 


B., MR., A Case of Alternating Personality 87-89 

Banchory Disturbances, The 27,92 

Barcellos, Dr. A., Cure of Paralysis by Hypnotism ... ... 238 

Barker, Mrs., Correspondence on " Clairvoyance and Poltergeists" 72, 91 

Barkworth, T., On the Phenomena of the " Fire Walk " 176 

Barrett, Prof. \V. F., On the Divining Rod 149,328 

,, ,, ,, a novel use of ... ... ... 328 

The Fire Walk 148 

,, ,, ,, Pseudo- Possession 273 

,, ,, a Supposed Case of Spirit Photography, Further 

Discussion of 138, 181, 183, 188, 251 

Bates, Miss E. K. , Sittings with Mrs. Piper 225 

Bealings Bells Case 27,91 

Beauchamp, H. K., On the Phenomena of the Fire Walk in India ... 312 

Bedingfield, Lady, Case contributed by 76 

Bennett, E. T., Articles Translated by 83,89 

Blum, Dona Maria do Carmo, Case contributed by 152 

Boirac, Prof., Hypnotic Researches of .-54-56 

ii Index to Volume IX. 

Briggs, Mrs., Cases collected by ... ... ... .. ... ... 241 244 

Bringhurst, Dr. W. L., Case contributed by 87 

Bristow, Mr. , Case recorded by ... .. 31 

Browne, E., Note on Dr. Morton Prince's Case of Multiple Personality... 96 

Bute, The Marquis of, Case collected by 80 

, Obituary Notice ... ... .. ... ... ... 310 


C. , MR. , Case contributed by ... . . ... . . ... ... ... 73 

C. , Mrs. , Case contributed by 12 

Carberry, H., Cure of Warts by " Charming " 104 

Cases : 

"G." Cases 12, 76, 122, 123, 150, 154, 241, 298 

"L." Cases 32, 104, 125, 127, 128, 137, 151, 227, 246, 306, 331 

"L. : Cl." Cases 14,47 

"M." Cases 87 

"M. : Aut." Cases 280,284 

"M. : Cl." Cases 78,87 

"P." Cases -. 15,60,73,79,80,134,195 

"S." Cases 58 

Catherine, Sister, Case recorded by 80 

Cavalli, V. , Case recorded by 284 

Cervello, Dr. Niccolo, Automatic Phenomena in a case of Hysteria . . . 333 
Chance-Coincidence, Prof. W. Romaine Newbold's Investigation of Mr. 

Willson Roberts' Alleged Telepathic Experiments ... ... ... 197 

" Charming," Cure of Warts by 99, 100-4, 121, 122, 223, 225 

,, (See also under Suggestion). 

Chase, Lt. G. N., Case contributed by ... ... ... .. ... ... 47 

Chattock, Prof. A. P., On Experiments in Telepathy 9 

Child Percipients ... 104-109,124,126,127 

Cideville Disturbances, The 29,93 

Clairvoyance, Experimental 22-24,37,47,48,100,333,338 

(See also Crystal Visions.) 

Telepathic 60,105-112,152,153,227 

,, and Poltergeists, Correspondence concerning (See Polter- 


Clanny, Dr. Reid, Evidence as to Poltergeists.. ... 28, 92 

Coghiil , C. P. , Cure of Warts by Suggestion 1 00 

Coincidences, A Further Paper on, by Miss Alice Johnson ... ... ... 83 

Coleman, W. E., On "Slate Writing" Phenomena 12, 57 

Colles, Dr. A. , Case contributed by .. ... ... ... ... ... 158 

Committees Elections on 1899 20 

,, 1900 ... 203, 204 

' 'Compact" Cases 123 

Congress, Second International Congress of Hypnotism ... ... ... 261 

,, Fourth ,, ,, Psychology 256,292 

Corbet, Miss S. R., A case of Supposed Spirit- Photography 137, 177, 178, 

188, 232, 251 
Correspondence, Miscellaneous, 9, 11, 22, 30, 36, 37, 51, 56, 57, 71, 72, 91, 

95, 143, 144, 158, 159, 176, 268, 288, 289, 322, 324 
Council Meetings 2, 19, 50, 82, 98, 130, 146, 161, 203, 222, 238, 254, 269, 

293, 310, 326 

Index to Volume IX. iii 

Council Meetings, Elections on 19,20,82,130,202 

Cones, Prof. Elliott, Evidence on Slate-Writing Phenomena .. 12, 36, 57 

Crookes, Sir William, Experiments with D. D. Home and others 11, 147 

322, 324 

,, Prof. Lehmann's Criticisms of 322,324 

On the Fire Walk 146,147 

,, Presidential Address 33 

Crystal Visions 

,, Clairvoyant 78 

,, Premonitory 15 

,, Telepathic 30,45,78,229 

Cumberland, Stuart, Case of possible Telepathy with ... ... ... 3,4 

Cure of Warts by Suggestion (or " Charming ") 99, 100-104, 121, 122, 223, 225 


D., MR. AND MRS., Cases contributed by 241, 242, 245 

Dallas, Miss H. A. , On Pseudo-Possession 288 

Dariex, Dr., Experiments in Physical Phenomena 11 

Dead, Phantasms of the 123,151,241,242 

Death Signs 

,, Apparitions 126, 127 

"Death Watch" 135,138,159 

,, Dreams, Symbolic ... 128, 154 

,, Knockings 195, 196 

Peculiar to Certain Families 126, 127, 128, 134, 135, 138, 159 

Death Watch (or Ticking), A Subjective Hallucination of ... 158 

Didier, Alexis, Alleged Clairvoyance of 22-24, 37, 38, 10o 

Discovery, by Divining Rod, of 

,, Coins 84,85,150 

,, ,, ,, Leaks in Pipes and Drains ... 328-330 

Metals 84, 85, 86 

,, ,, ,, Minerals 150 

,, ,, ,, Miscellaneous Objects 84, 85 

Water 84, 85, 86, 149, 328-330 

Divining Rod, Prof. W. F. Barrett, on 149,328 

(See also Discovery, Dowsers, Dowsing, Folk-lore, 
Localities, Materials, Movements, Water.) 

,, Literature of 83 

,, Motor Automatism of ... ... ... ... ... 84,86 

,, Sensations described by Dowsers ... ... ... ... 86 

,, * Experiments with, described by 

Barrett, Prof W. F., 149; D'Outrepoint, Prof., 83; Harington, 
Sir R., 330; Roderick, Dr., 328-330; Taylor, Lt.-Col. G. A. M., 
150; Westlake, E., 150, 330 ; Young, T. F., 328-330. 

Documentary Evidence, Contemporary Extant 79, 134, 136, 137 

D'Outrepoint, Prof. Dr., A Contribution to the History of the Divining 

Rod 83 

Dowsers, Names of [Amateurs in Italics] 

Brayer, J. P,, 83-8G ; Harington, Sir R. t 330; Jones, J. H., 149; Pavey, R, 330; 
Stone, W., 149 ; Young, J. F., 328-330. 

Dowsing, Intention or Set of Mind in 84, 85, 86 

Dreams, Clairvoyant ... ... ... ... ... t . 15 

iv Index to Volume IX. 

Dreams, of Flying 95 

,, Memory revivals in ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 15 

,, Recurrent 95, 128 

,, Simultaneous ... ... ... ., ... ... ... ... 331 

Symbolic of Death (or Illness) 128,154 

Drewry, W. F., M.D., A case of Duplex Personality recorded by.. ... 265 


E. , MR. , Sittings with Mrs. Piper 220 

Ecstasy, Phenomena of 7,8,312-322 

,, (See also under " Fire Walk.") 
Editorship of the Proceedings and Journal, Change of ... ... .. 98 

Espin, J. E., Experiments as to the Production of "Spirit" Photographs 

141, 189, 192, 193, 194, 232 


F., MR., Case contributed by 241,243 

F. G. S., On a supposed case of Spirit Photography ... ... ... ... 193 

F. R. A. S., On a supposed case of Spirit Photography ... 139-143, 190-193 

Faith Healing, Possible Case of ] 69 

Fay, Mrs. , Alleged Mediumship of 11 

Feilding, Hon. Everard, on Prof. Hyslop's Experiments in Identification . . . 166 

Felkin, Dr. R. W., Case recorded by 60 

Filiberto, Ninfa, Case of 333 

Fillebrown, Dr. T., Cure of Warts by Self-Suggestion 121 

,, Some Notes on Self-Suggestion ... ... ... ... 120 

"Fire Test, "The, Alleged Phenomena of 32,146-149 

Fire Walk, Phenomena of 

,, ,, Beauchamp, H., on 312 

,, ,, Ecstasy, indications of, during 312-322 

,, ,, Heredity, indications of, in ... ... ... 147 

,, ,, Lang, Andrew, on 146, 176, 312 

Fisher, Mrs. , Case contributed by 3 

Flournoy, Prof., "Des Indes a la Planete Mars," Discussion of, by 

F. W. H. Myers 270 

,, on the Foundation of a Psychological Institute (Con- 

gress of Psychology) ... .. ... ... .. 297 

Folk-lore of the Divining Rod 84 

Fotheringham, W. B., Case communicated by 306 

Fox Family, Alleged Mediumship of 205 

Francis, Mrs. , Alleged Mediumship of 12,36,57 


GENIUS, The Mechanism of, F. W. H. Myers on 272, 290 

Glardon, Rev. Aug. , Cases contributed by ... ... ... ... 95,144 

,. on Experimental Telepathy ... ... ... ... 9 

,, a Note on Self -Suggestion 144 

Glanvil, Rev. Joseph, Cases recorded by 25, 39, 205, 206 

Goldenstubbe, Baron, Case recorded by... ... ... ... ... 28, 93 


H., F. N., NOTE on the Yoga-Trance among Southern Slavs 6 

Hallucination, Collective, as an Explanation of the Physical Phenomena 

of Spiritualism ... 31 

Index to Volume IX. v 


Collective 90,125,136,246,248 

Haunting 298, 301 

Recurrent 90,158 

Subjective 40, 124, 125, 126, 127, 158 


Apparitions 42-44,76,123,245,246,298-306 

Collective 298, 301 

Poltergeists, Phenomena connected with ... .. 25, 26, 39, 40-45 

Reports of alleged 48,143 

Sounds ... 13, 14, 25-27, 40-45, 123, 124, 154-158, 245, 246, 300 

Touches 13,14,26,27,42 

Hansen and Lehmann, Messrs., On the Telepathic Problem ... ... 113 

Heysinger, Dr. I. W., on an Incorrect Version of a Supposed Case of 

Spirit Photography 139,142 

Heredity, as possibly bearing on the Phenomena of the Fire Walk ... 147 

Hodgson, F., Case contributed by ... ... ... ... ... ... 280 

Hodgson, Mrs. , Case contributed by 227 

Hodgson, Dr. R., Experiments with Eusapia Paladino ... ... 4, 5, 35 

,, ,, Experiments with Mrs. Piper ... ... ... .. 162 

,, ,, Mrs. Piper's Present Trance Condition 286 

,, ,, Resignation of Editorship of Proceedings and Journal... 98 

,, ,, Trance Phenomena of Mrs. Thompson ... ... ... 294 

Home, D. D., Alleged Mediumship of 11, 31, 32, 146-149, 322 

Hopcroft, Mr., Alleged Mediumship of ... ... ... ... ... ... 148 

Houdin, R., Evidence as to the Clairvoyance of Alexis Didier ... 23, 24, 37 

Howard, Dr. W. L. , Case communicated by 88 

Hugo, Victor, Cas j , recorded by 195,196 

Huxley, T. H., Case recorded by 219, 229, 230 

Hyndman, Mrs. J. E., Case contributed by ., 32 

Hypnagogic Illusions ... ... ... ... ... ... .,, ... 121 

Hypnotism, Second International Congress of (Paris 1900) 261 

,, ,, ,, ,, Organisation of ... 261-264 

,, ,, ,, Subjects 264, 265 

,, Phenomena of Miscellaneous 149,290,291 

Clairvoyance, Experimental 55 

Curative 10, 120, 121, 238, 270, 338, 339 

Extensions of Faculty (Musical) ... 21, 22 

Magnets, Experiments with .. ... 52-56,71 

Memory, Conditions of under 88 

Moral aspects of ... ... ... ... 270,271 

Personality in the Light of 88, 96, 270, 290, 291 
Suggestions, deferred ... ... ... 239, 240 

Theories of 51-56,71,120,121 

Will-Power of the Subject 239 

Hyslop, Prof. J. H., Experiments in Identification 162-165, 166-169, 177, 268 

,, on Immortality and Psychical Research ... 131,162 

The Trance Phenomena of Mrs. Piper 132, 162, 223, 268 

Hysteria, Automatic Phenomena in a case of 333 

IDENTIFICATION, Prof. Hyslop's Experiments in, with Living Distant 

Agents 162-169,177,268 

vi Index to Volume IX. 

India, Phenomena of the Fire Walk in .. 312 

Indian Fakirs, Alleged Yoga-Trance of ... ... ... .. ... ... 7 

Irvine, Miss, Case contributed by 299,300 

International Congress of Hypnotism ... ... ... ... ... ... 261 

Psychology 256,292 

JAMES, Prof. W., Controversy with Prof. Titchener on Messrs. Lehmann 

and Hansen's Experiments in Unconscious Whispering 113 

Janet, Prof ., Cases recorded by 231,270 

,, " Nevroses et Idees Fixes," Discussion of, by F. W. H. Myers 270 

,, Programme of the Psychological Institute ... ... ... 274 

Japan, Phenomena of the Fire Walk in ... ... ... ... ... 321 

Jobson, Mary, Case of 28,92 

Johnson, Miss Alice, Appointment as Editor of the Proceedings and 

Journal S.P.R 98 

,, A Further Paper on Coincidences ... ... ... 83 

,, ,, A Further Discussion of a Supposed Case of 

"Spirit "-Photography 177,232,234,235 

" Jones Brothers," The, Exposure of a Trick Code used by 61 

Journal and Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research Change 

of Editor 98 

,, ,, Indexes of Amplification of .. ... ... 222 


K. , MR. , A Case of Alternating Personality 265 

Kamp Family, Disturbances in ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 280 

Kane, John, Cure of Warts by "Charming" 100-104 

Kerner, Dr. J., Cases recorded by .. 26, 39, 56, 91 

Kingsley, Miss Mary H., Forms of Apparitions in West Africa 51 

,, ,, Obituary Notice ... ... ... ... ... 279 

Kingston, Dr. H. D. R., Case collected by 280 

,, ,, on a Case of supposed Spirit Photography ... 179 

Koupreyanoff, Ivan, Case recorded by 58 

Kraj'inoe, Milija, The Prophet, Alleged Supernormal Powers of 7, 8 

Krauss, Fr. S., On the Yoga-Trance and Kindred Phenomena 6 


LANG, Andrew, On the Fire Walk 146,176,212 

,, Poltergeist Correspondence, Replies to Mr. Podmore 30, 45 

Trance Phenomena of Mrs. Piper 31, 45, 212, 228 

Reply to Prof. Lodge 228 

Lee, Dr. Edwin, on the Clairvoyance of Alexis Didier ... 23, 24, 37, 38 
Lehmann, Prof. 

M Petrovovo-Solovovo on, Criticism of Sir W. Crookes' 

Experiments ... ... ... ... ... ... 322 

,, and Hansen, on the Telepathic Problem .. 113 

Leigh, Dr. H. G., A Case of Duplex Personality, recorded by .. ... 265 

Leir-Carleton, The Hon. Mrs. , Case contributed by 79 

Library, Supplementary Catalogues 

,, Edmund Gurney Library ... 159,339 

General Library ..." ... 160, 340 

Index to Volume IX. vii 

Liria, Mile. A Musical Sensitive 21 

Leubu, Prof. J. H. , An Inquiry Concerning Sudden Moral Transformations 5 

Levitation, Alleged Phenomena of 31,32 

Localities, Divining Rod used in 

Llanelly, 328 ; Somerset, 150 ; Wawremont (Malmedy), 84 ; Whitbourne Court 
(Worcester), 330 ; Wiokknv, 14<. 

Lodge, Prof. Oliver, Experiments with Eusapia Paladino 4-5, 35 

,, ,, Further Reflections on Mrs. Piper and Telepathy 212, 228 

,, ,, on the Trance Phenomena of Mrs. Piper 162, 166, 168, 

212, 228 

Lowell, Percival, on the Fire Walk in Japan 321 

Luys, Dr., Hypnotic Experiments of ... ... ... ... ... 52-56, 71 


M. , MRS. , Experimental Telepathy with 9 

Macalister, Prof., Sittings with Mrs. Piper 212, 213, 228 

Magnets, Alleged Emanations from. (See Hypnotism.) 

Mason, Miss M. H., Cure of Warts by Suggestion (or " Charming ") 223, 225 

Materialisation, Alleged Phenomena of ... ... ... ... ... 36,58 

Materials of the Divining Rod, Kind of Wood used 86 

Me Kenna, J., Cure of Warts by Suggestion 102,103 

McLachlan, D. B., On a case of supposed Spirit-Photography 178, 180-182, 

183-188, 232, 251 

Meetings of the Society, Annual General 18,202 

General 3, 33, 51, 83, 98, 146, 162, 204, 223, 254, 

270, 294, 327 

Members, Associates, Hon., and Corresponding Members, List of 1, 17, 

49, 81, 97, 129, 145, 161, 201, 

221, 237, 253, 269, 293, 309, 325 
,, American Branch 2, 18, 49, 81, 97, 129, 145, 161, 

201, 221, 237, 253, 269, 293, 309, 325 

Mesnet, Dr. , Case recorded by 219,229,330 

Milburn, Rev. R. G., Case contributed by ... 246 

Mirville, J. E. de, " Des Esprits et de leurs Manifestations Fluidiques " 

22-24, 29, 37, 93 

Mompesson, Mr., Case recorded by 25,39,206 

Moor, Major, Case recorded by 27,91 

Moral Transformations, An Inquiry into Sudden 5 

Moses, W. Stainton, The Controls of, and Mrs. Piper 286, 287 

Motor Automatism, Cases of 16, 65, 87, 230, 280, 284, 334 

Movements of the Divining Rod, Breaking ... ... ... ... ... 86 

,, ,, ,, Inability to restrain ... ... ... 86 

Mumford, E. W., Evidence as to Mr. Willson Roberts' alleged Telepathic 

Experiments .. ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 197 

Murray, Donald, Case contributed by ... ... ... ... ... 104, 144 

Murray, Oswald, Report on the Psychological Institute (Congress of 

Psychology) 296 

Myers, F. W. H. 

',, Experiments with Eusapia Paladino 4,35 

,, Memorial Articles by, on 

Bute, the Marquis of ... 310 

Kingsley, Miss M. H. 279 

viii Index to Volume IX. 

Myers, F. W. H. Memorial Articles by, on 

Ruskin, John 208 

Sidgwick, Prof 327 

,, Presidential Address ... ... ... ... ... 254 

,, on Pseudo-Possession 270 

,, on the Psychlogical Institute (Congress of Psychology) 297 

,, on the Range of Subliminal Mentation 289 

,, on the Trance Phenomena of Mrs. Thompson ... 292, 294 


NARCOTICS, Extensions of Faculty under the Influence of 60 

" Nelly " (Control). (See Trance Phenomena of Mrs. Thompson) 
Newbold, Prof. W. Romaine, Investigation of Mr. Willson Roberts' 

Alleged Telepathic Powers 170,171,197 

Nisbet, Verner, Evidence as to Mr. Willson Roberts' Alleged Telepathic 

Experiments ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 197 



The Marquis of Bute 310 

Mary H. Kingsley 279 

John Ruskin 208 

Henry Sidgwick 293,327 

Ochorowicz, Dr., Experiments with Eusapia Paladino ... ... ... 4, 5 

,, on The Psychological Institute (Congress of Psychology) ... 296 

O'Donnell, Elliott, Cases contributed by , 123,125 

,, The Misses, Cases contributed by 125,126 

Olcott, Col. , On the Fire Walk in India 321 

Owen, R. D., Cases recorded by 27-30,93 


PALADINO, EUSAPIA, Alleged Mediumship of 4,5,34,35 

Paris Disturbances, The 29,93 

Paris Congresses International 

Hypnotism 261 

Psychology 256,292 

,, Foundation of a Psychological Institute at ... ... ... 274, 298 

Parker, K. Langton, On an Australian Witch... ... ... ... ... 69 

Parr, B. W., Cure of Warts by "Charming" 101 

Pedley, C. H. , Exposure of a Trick Code 61 

Pelham, G. ("G. P."), Communications 213, 228 

Personality, Problems of 

Alternations of 88,96,230,265,327 

Dual and Multiplex 88,96,230,265,327 

Memory, Conditions of 88,266,267 

Moral and Mental Characteristics of Secondary 213, 214, 

228, 290-292 

Petrovo-Solovovo, M., An Automatic Message giving Information Pre- 
viously Unknown... ... ... ... ... 65 

,, Cases communicated by ... ... ... 58, 65 

Jf ,, on Prof. Lehmann's Criticism of Sir W. Crookes' 

Experiments ... ... ... ... ... 322 

>f ,, Physical Phenomena of Spiritualism 11, 36, 57, 322 

Index to Volume IX. ix 

Phelps Case, The 205 

1'hilipps, Mrs. Wynford, Case contributed by 14 

Phillips, Mrs., Case contributed by 306 

Physical Phenomena not in the Presence of Paid Mediums ... 11, 58, 281, 282 
(See also Poltergeists. ) 

Piddington, J. G., Hon. Secretaryship of the Society 146, 254 

Piper, Mrs., Trance Phenomena of 31, 45, 131, 132, 162, 212, 223, 228, 268, 

286, 292, 294 

Pitt, St. George Lane Fox, On The Trance Phenomena of Mrs. Thompson 295 
Podmore, Frank, Correspondence on Poltergeists (and Clairvoyance) 

22, 30, 37, 56, 72, 91 

,, Replies to Dr. Wallace, Mr. A. Lang, and others 37, 91 

,, On Speaking with Unknown Tongues ... ... 99,100 

The Trance Phenomena of Mrs. Piper 166, 224, 268 

,, Witchcraft and Poltergeists 204 

Poltergeists, Correspondence concerning (and Clairvoyance) 22, 30, 37, 56, 72, 91 
,, Phenomena of 

Bell-ringing 27, 91 

,, Disturbances of Coffins 28,93 

of Furniture, etc. 25, 39, 40-45, 56, 57, 94, 

205, 206 

,, Stone-throwing 27-30,31,92,93,205 

Connected with Haunting Phenomena 25, 26, 39, 40-45, 56, 

57, 94 
,, Witchcraft and. Analogies between, Podmore, F., on 204, 205 

Premature Generalisations about Telepathy 169,197 


,, Crystal Visions ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 15 

Dreams, Symbolic 128, 154 

Hallucinations 60, 80, 126, 127, 134, 135, 138, 159, 195, 196 

Collective 136, 137 

,, ,, Symbolic Vision ... ... ... ... 80 

,, Impressions ... ... ... ... .. ... .. 79 

,, Mediumistic Messages ... ... ... ... ... ... 73 

Presidential Addresses 33,254 

Prince, Dr. Morton, A Case of Multiple Personality 83, 96, 327 

Probabilities, Calculus of, in Psychical Research 109, 110 

Pseudo-Possession, Phenomena of 270-273, 288, 289, 333, 335-337 

Psychical Heredity 122, 266, 267 

Psychological Institute, Foundation of ... ... ... ... ... 274, 298 

,, ,, Programme and Committee of Patronage 274, 276 

,, ,, Report of Address on (Congress of Psychology)... 296 

Psychology, Fourth International Congress of (Paris, 1900) 256, 219, 296 

., Organisations and Committees ... ... ... ... 258, 260 

,, Presidents of Sections ... ... ... ... ... ... 258 

,, of Sudden Moral Transformations, Inquiry into 5 

" QU/ESTOR VITVE,'' on Human Magnetism 51 

ADOVAN, The Legend of 6,8,9 

x Index to Volume IX. 

Richet, Prof. Ch., Experiments with Eusapia Paladino 4, 5, 34, 35 

,, on the Psychological Institute (Congress of Psychology) 297 

>, Researches of ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 34 

Rivers, Lt,, Case recorded by ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 27 

Roberts, E. Willson, Scientific Mind-Reading 171,197 

Roberts, Lord, Case recorded by ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 128 

Robertson, C. B., Cure of Warts by "Charming" 122 

Rochas, Col. de, Hypnotic Experiments... ... ... ... ... 21, 53-56 

Ruskin, John, Obituary ... 208 


SAJOUS, DR., Hypnotic Experiments of ... 53,56,71 

Schiller, F. C. S., A False Alarm (Spurious Ghost Story) 143 

,, on Prof. Hyslop's Experiments in Identification ... 167 

Scott, The Misses, Case contributed by 298 

Self -Suggestion, Death, Simulation of 7,8,9 

,, Faith-Healing, Possible Case of 69 

,, Inhibition of Pain .. 7-9,144 

Notes on 120,144 

Predictions fulfilled by 334-339 

Shufeldt, Prof., On the Physical Phenomena of Spiritualism ... 36, 57 

Sidgwick, Mrs. H., On "Spirit" Photography ... 186 

,, ,, ,, Trance Phenomena of Mrs. Piper 219,220 

Sidgwick, Prof. Henry 

,, ,, Obituary Notices of 293,310,327 

,, ,, Prof. Hyslop's Experiments in Identification ... 167 

,, - ,, Unconscious Whispering, Experiments in 114,117 

Simone, Signer, G. V. de, Automatic Messages ... 284 

Sims, George R. , Case contributed by ... ... ... ... ... ... 127 

Skriytnikoff Case, The , 65 

Slade, Henry, Alleged Mediumship of 324 

"Slate Writing," Alleged Phenomena of 11, 12, 36, 57 

Slawensik Castle Disturbances at 26,39,56,91 

Smith, Helene, A Case of Pseudo-Possession 270-273,288 

Smith, J. G. , Cases communicated by 76,195 

,, (See Piddington, J. G.) 

Society for Psychical Research 

F. W. H. Myers, On the Position and 

Working of ... ... ... ... 254 

,, ,, Income and Expenditure 1898 ... ... 46 

1899 211 

Somnambulism, Spontaneous 88, 230, 265, 333-388 

,, Alternations of Personality 88, 230, 265, 334, 338, 

,, Memory Conditions during ... 231,266,267 

,, (See also under Personality.) 

Sounds from the Unk<. own, by J. H. Von Tliimen ... 89 

Spirit-Identity, Question of, in Mediumistic Messages 65, 87, 132-134, 

150, 166, 167, 215-218, 223-225, 228, 229, 268, 282-285 

Spirit-Photography, Alleged Cases of 185-187 

,, Further Discussion of a Supposed Case of 177, 183, 188, 

191, 232, 251 
,, Incorrect Version of a Supposed Case of 138, 190-193 

Index to Volume IX. xi 

Spiritualism, Mental Phenomena Mediumistic Messages 16, 65, 73, 87, 

132-134, 150, 166, 167, 
215-218, 223-225, 228, 268, 282-285 
,, ,, Precognition ... ... ... ... 73 

,, ,, ' (See also Spirit- Identity and Trance 

Phenomena of Mrs. Piper and 
Mrs. Thompson). 

,, Physical Phenomena of Miscellaneous 4, 11, 12, 34, 35, 322, 324 

,, (See Fire Test, Levitation, Materialisation, "Slate-Writing " 

and under Names of Mediums.) 

Starck, Lt. -Col., Case recorded by 66 

Stead, T. W. , Case recorded by 186,187 

Spruit, Capt., and Family, Case contributed by ... ... ... ... 104 

Subliminal Consciousness and Experimental Telepathy 10 

,, Range of Subliminal Mentation 271, 273, 288, 

289, 295, 296 

(See also Problems of Personality. ) 
Sweeney, H. J., On Prof. Hyslop's Experiments in Identification 167 


TEDWORTH, Drummer of 25,39,206 

Telepathy, Experimental 

,, At close quarters 

Alleged cases of 3, 61, 113, 171, 197 

,, ,, Detection of a Trick Code in ... 61 

,, At a distance ... ... ... ... ... 10 

,, At a distance, Alleged cases of ... ... 174, 175 

,, Number habit as Affecting 116,120 

,, Premature Generalisations about ... 169, 197 

,, Unconscious Whispering and ... ... 113, 324 

Telepathy, Spontaneous 

Dreams 127,128,151,227,331 

,, Simultaneous 331 

Hallucinations 137, 159, 246-248, 307 

,, Collective 137, 246-248 

Impressions 32, 239 

Thompson, Dr. Edwin, Seances with Mrs. Piper ... ... ... ... 220 

Thompson, Mrs., Trance Phenomena of... ... ... ... ... 292,294 

" Nelly," Control 294,295 

Titchener, Prof., Controversy with Prof. James on the Hansen-Lehmann 

Experiments in Unconscious Whispering ... ... ... ... ... 113 

Tongues, Speaking with Unknown 99,100,333,335-337 

Trance, The Yoga- 
Simulations of Death ... ... ... ... ... ... 7, 8, 9 

Trance Phenomena of Mrs. Piper 

Dr. Hodgson on ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 286 

Prof . Hyslop on 132,163-166,177,223,268 

A. Lang on 31,45,212/228 

Prof. Lodge on ... 162, 166, 168, 212 

Mrs. Sidgwick on ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 219-220 

,, Experiments in Identification as Illustrating ... 163-169,177,268 

xii Index to Volume IX. 

Trance, Fraud, Question of 132,166,223 

,, " Imperator," Control of Medium, taken by ... ... ... ... 286 

,. Phinuit Personality, The 213,214,228-230 

,, Possession Theory ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 220 

,, Present condition of ... 286 

Spirit Identity, Question of 132-134, 150, 162, 166, 214-218 

,, Telepathy, Question of 

From the Dead 219,220 

From the Living 134, 166, 212, 224, 228, 229 

,, Of Mrs. Thompson 

Dr. Hodgson on 294 

F. W. H. Myers on 294 

Trick Code, Detection of a 61 


UNCONSCIOUS Whispering, Controversy between Prof. James and Prof. 

Titchener, on the Hansen-Lehmann Experiments in ... ... ... 113 

Unknown Tongues, Speaking with 99,100,333,335-337 


VEREALL, MRS. A. W., Cases contributed by 134, 159 


WAGNER, PROF., Case recorded by 187 

Wallace, DR. A. R. , Correspondence on Poltergeists (and Clairvoyance) 

'22, 37, 56, 91 

,, ,, F. Podmore's Replies to 37,91 

Warts, Cure- of, by Suggestion, or " Charming" 99, 100, 121, 122, 223, 225 

,, Animals Cured 99,100-104 

Water, Depth of, how alleged to be found by Dowsers ... ... ... 86 

Welsh, Col., on the Fire Walk in India 312 

Wesley, Rev. S., The Haun tings at Ep worth 25,40-45,57,72,94 

Whitaker, Mrs., Translation of Dr. Cervello's " Automatic Phenomena in 

a Case of Hysteria " 333 

Whiting, Miss L. , Case contributed by ... 150 

Will, Power of, in Controlling Physical Functions. (Sec Self Suggestion, 

Yoga-Trance. ) 
Witch, An Australian ... ... ... .. ... ... ... ... 69 

Witchcraft, F. Podmore on 204 

,, Poltergeist Phenomena and, analogies between ... 205, 207 

Witmer, Dr. L., Evidence as to Mr. Willson Roberts' Alleged Telepathic 

Experiments ... 197 


YOGA-TRANCE, The, Account of, by Fr. Krauss 6 

No. CLV. VOL. IX. JANUARY, 1899. 





New Members and Associates . . 1 

Meeting .of the Council 2 

General Meeting .. 3 

An Inquiry Concerning Sudden Moral Transformations 5 

Note on a Case in the Archiv fur Religions Wissenschaft .. .. 6 

Correspondence : 

Experiments in Thought-Transference 9 

Mr. Podmore's Review of Mr. Lang's "The Making of Religion" 11 

Cases 12 


Names of Members are printed in Black Type. 
Names of Associates are printed in SMALL CAPITALS. 

PROFESSOR TH. FLOURNOY, The University, Geneva. 


ARMSTRONG, Miss C. M., 31, Hereford-square, London, S.W. 
BEAN, REV. EDWIN, M.A., The School House, Brentwood. 
CUFFE, HONBLE. OxwAY F. S., 23, Cambridge-street, London, W. 
GUINNESS, Miss, Tibradden, Rathfarnham, Dublin. 
HEWITT, MRS., Southernhey, Knighton, Leicester. 
JERVIS, MRS.," 30, Ladbroke-square, London, W. 
LEOPOLD, DR. H. M., 8, Yerversdyk, Delft, Holland. 
LOGAN, Miss ISABEL, 6, Richmond-terrace, Whitehall, London, S.W. 
MIERS, RONALD H. M. C., LIEUT., c/o Messrs. Cox and Co., 16, Charing 

Cross, London, S.W. 
MONTEBELLO, LA DucHESSE DE, c/o H. Olliver, Esq., 30, Rue Boissiere, 


MURRAY, OSWALD, Rose Croix, Alumhurst-road, Bournemouth. 
SELOUS, MRS , Leafield, Gibson's Hill, Upper Norwood, S.E. 
Sutton, Mrs., 49, Lexham-gardens, London, W. 
WISE, Miss, Shrubland Hall, Leamington. 

2 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [JAN., 1899. 


BIGELOW, A. E., First National Bank, New Hampton, Iowa. 
BREWSTER, EDWIN T., Andover, Mass. 

CLARK, Miss F. BENITA, 578, East 60th-street, Chicago, 111. 
CLARKE, Miss REBECCA S., Norridgewock, Maine. 
OOOLIDGE, MRS. J. T., JUNR., 114, Beacon-street, Boston, Mass. 
DENTON, Miss JANE A., Palo Alto, Cal. 
DRAPER, GEORGE OTIS, Hopedale, Mass. 
HOFFMAN, PROF. F. S., Union College, Schenectady, N.Y. 
JUDAH, NOBLE B., 2,701, Prairie-avenue, Chicago, 111. 
KEMPTON, C. W., c/o Percy B. McCoy, Broadway, New York, N.Y. 
KENNEDY, HARRIS, M.D., Readville, Mass. 
MARSON, W. G., 311, Sykes Block, Minneapolis, Minn. 
MILLS, REV. BENJ. FAY, 22, Cypress-street, Brookline, Mass. 
MOSLEY, PROF. J. R., Mercer University, Macon, Ga. 
PAXSON, W. L., c/o Messrs. Baker and Hamilton, San Francisco, Cal. 
PRICE, Miss LAVENIA, 815, W. 13th-street, Des Moines, Iowa. 
REIFF, JOSIAH C., 247, 5th-avenue, New York, N.Y. 
SCOTT, PROF. W. H., Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio. 
SUMNER, FRANCIS B., Columbia University, New York, N.Y. 
TRALLES, WILLIAM A., 1,189, West-avenue, Buffalo, N.Y. 
WAINWRIGHT, MRS. W. P., 121, Newbury-street, Boston, Mass. 


A meeting of the Council was held on December 9th at the 
Westminster Town Hall, the President in the chair. There were also 
present Mr. F. W. H. Myers, Mr. F. Podmore, and Dr. G. F. Rogers. 

The minutes of the last meeting were read and signed as correct. 

On the proposal of Mr. F. W. H. Myers, Professor Th. Flournoy, 
-of Geneva, was elected a Corresponding Member of the Society for the 
ensuing year. 

One new Member and thirteen new Associates were elected ; and 
the election of twenty-one new Associates of the American Branch 
was recorded. Names and addresses are given above. 

It was agreed, at the request of Mr. Henry A. Roome, that his 
name should be transferred from the list of Members to that of 

The Council recorded with regret the decease of the Rev. Alfred 
'Gurney, respecting whom a notice appeared in the last number of the 
Journal; and also of Mr. Sydney J. Murray, who had been an 
Associate of the Society for some years. 

.rvx., 1899.] General Meeting. 3 

The resignation of one Member and eleven Associates, who, from 
various causes, desired to withdraw from the Society at the end of the 
year, was accepted. It was agreed to strike off the list the names of 
eight Associates, whose connection with the Society had become merely 

Two presents to the Library were reported, for which a vote of 
thanks was accorded to the donors. 

In consequence of the large demand for Part XXXIII. of the 
Proceedings, containing Dr. Hodgson's further Report on Mrs. Piper's 
Trance-Communications, it was agreed that it be reprinted. It was 
also agreed that Part XVII., containing the first Reports on Mrs. 
Piper's case, be reprinted ; the stock of that Part also being nearly 

The names of the Members of the Council who retire by rotation 
at the end of the year were read over. The Assistant Secretary was 
desired to send out the necessary notices for the Annual Meeting of 
the Members of the Society to be held at Westminster Town Hall, on 
Friday, January 27th, 1899, at 3 p.m. 

Other matters of business having been attended to, the Council 
agreed that its next meeting should be at the Westminster Town 
Hall, at the close of the Annual Meeting of Members, on January 
27th, 1899. 


The 96th General Meeting of the Society was held at the West- 
minster Town Hall on Friday, December 9th, at 4 p.m. ; the PRESIDENT 
in the chair. 

MR. H. ARTHUR SMITH read his paper entitled: "A. Note on 
Fisher's Ghost." 

MR. F. W. H. MYERS read a paper by PROFESSOR W. ROMAIXE 
NEWBOLD, of the University of Pennsylvania, entitled : "A Further 
Record of Observations of Certain Phenomena of Trance." 

Both these papers are included in Proceedings, Part XXXIV. 

MRS. FISHER remarked that the confusion between two doctors of 
the same name,* recorded in the paper which Mr. Myers had read, 
recalled to her mind a curious incident in her own experience which 
had always puzzled her, and which she thus described : 

I was at a large meeting of Stuart Cumberland's, in a country town. 
Being asked to experiment with him in carrying out a suggestion 
previously written down, I wrote on a piece of paper "Take Miss F.'s 
fan and give it to Miss G.," and gave it to the chairman. I placed 

* See Proceedings, Part XXXIV., p. 21. 

4 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [JAN., 1899. 

my fingers on Mr. Cumberland's shoulder, and he walked at a rapid 
rate past the Miss F. I had in my mind, to another part of the room, 
where her younger half-sister of the same name, who had come in un- 
known to me with other friends, was sitting. He took her fan and 
gave it rightly to Miss G. Thus he carried out the letter of my wish 
but not the spirit. It was as if he was guided simply by the name in 
my mind. Yet I ascertained that he was quite a stranger to these 
sisters, and did not even know their names, having merely come to 
the town in the course of a provincial tour. 

Before reading Professor Newbold's paper, Mr. Myers made some 
remarks to the following purport : 

Through the kindness of Professor Bichet, I have been present (on 
December 1st and 3rd) at two seances held at his house in Paris with 
Eusapia Paladino. The phenomena witnessed were absolutely con- 
vincing to all present. Some account of them may probably shortly 
appear in the Journal. But a few words seem to be due from me at 
once to my previous colleagues in experiment on the ile Roubaud. 
Some of my audience may remember that in 1894 Professor Lodge, Dr. 
Ochorowicz and I, by the invitation of Professor Richet, witnessed, 
along with him, some seances with Eusapia in his Mediterranean island, 
a place well adapted for such experiments. We were all of us con- 
vinced of the supernormal character of certain phenomena then observed ; 
and Eusapia was invited to England for the following summer. She 
stayed in my house at Cambridge, July 30th-Sept. 16th, 1895, and 
met a varying group of observers, most of whom began with a pre- 
disposition in her favour. The phenomena, although inferior to those 
of the ile Roubaud, at first seemed promising ; but a peculiar and 
suspicious holding of one of Eusapia's hands described by Professor 
Richet in 1893, was frequently noted, from first to last, by different 
observers. When Dr. Hodgson arrived, (August 29th), we were able 
(mainly owing to his acumen) to detect and observe the actual pro- 
cesses of trickery ; and thus to explain, not indeed all the phenomena, 
but so large a proportion of them that it seemed very improbable that 
the unexplained residue was due to any supernormal power. 

The general justice of this verdict has now been confirmed by a 
statement volunteered to Professor Richet in my hearing during a 
trance of Eusapia's on December 3rd, by her trance-personality or 
" control," to the effect that Eusapia did cheat at Cambridge. 

For the four above-mentioned observers the question then arose as 
to the effect of this fresh experience on our interpretation of what we 
had seen on the ile Roubaud. Dr. Ochorowicz and Professor Richet, 
while seeing nothing improbable in the occurrence of fraud at 

JAN., 1899.] Concerning Sudden Moral Transformations. 5 

Cambridge, refused to accept it as an explanation of those previous 
phenomena. Professor Lodge, while himself noting and admitting 
fraud at Cambridge, also held that it could not 'account for the 
ile Roubaud phenomena, taken as a whole. I was myself the most 
influenced of the four by Dr. Hodgson's arguments ; and my strong 
conviction of his superior acumen, while not removing my former belief 
wholly from my mind, led me to feel and say that I could not ask any 
one else to found a belief in Eusapia upon my own records and 
recollections. What has recently occurred in Paris leads me again to 
place more confidence in my own impressions on the island, and 
especially on the skill and judgment of my then coadjutors. I now 
feel assured that a part of what occurred on the island was genuine ; 
and therefore that my then colleagues have been justified in their con- 
tinued attribution of a supernormal character to some of the 
phenomena previously observed. 


[The following appeal is from Professor Leuba, Ph.D., the well-known 
American psychologist. As he is travelling on the Continent, we have 
consented to receive for the present the responses which may be sent, and 
perhaps to print any which may seem to throw light upon the supposed 
action of supernormal agencies in effecting these sudden shocks. ED.] 

More or less remarkable moral transformations have been known to 
happen suddenly under various agencies, generally spiritual, but some- 
times merely physical. When the Christian religion is looked upon 
as its agency, the moral renovation is called conversion ; but similar 
transformations take place outside of its pale, within spiritualistic 
circles and elsewhere. 

Some of them partake almost of the miraculous by their sudden- 
ness and their depth ; they seem to reach down to the bottom of life, 
to transform the very foundations of character. And yet, despite the 
paramount, practical as well as theoretical, importance for humanity 
of some exact knowledge on the causes and conditions of these 
renovations, nothing very definite is known. 

The writer is endeavouring to collect data on this subject; with 
that end in view, appeal is made to all those who have, under any 
influence whatsoever, experienced a moral transformation remarkable 
in any degree, in the hope that they will not be deterred from answer- 
ing by lack of time or sheer inertia. Such persons will remember that 

6 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [JAN., 1899. 

they alone are able to furnish the desired information. Appeal is 
also made to those who have heard of such occurrences, or who are 
acquainted with valuable literature bearing on the subject,, that they 
may let the writer know about them. 

The answers will be considered as strictly private communications. 

1. When did your moral transformation take place 1 ? How old 
were you at the time ? 

2. In what religious circle were you brought up ? 

3. Describe your life, your religious condition, and your moral 
struggles for the period preceding your renovation. Were you at peace 
with yourself? If not, why not 1 ? What did you want? Did you 
endeavour to reform ? Did you hope for a transformation ? What did 
you do to that end ? What measure of success attended your efforts ? 

4. Where, on what occasion, and under what circumstances were 
you changed? In what mental and in. what moral disposition were 
you at the time ? What was the state of your health ? What is your 
temperament ? 

5. Relate your transformation. What were the various thoughts 
in your mind, and the various feelings in your heart at the moment ? 
What affected you most deeply ? Were you very much moved ? By 
what, or by whom were you moved? Did you notice any thing 
apparently miraculous? What was, in your opinion, the cause of 
your renovation ? 

6. Describe your feelings and your thoughts immediately after. 
In what particulars had you become changed ? What was temporary 
and what permanent in the results of your experience ? 

7. If you have passed through more than one similar experience, 
describe each one separately, giving date of each. 

8. Give name, sex, age, nationality, church connection, and occupa- 
tion, arid send the answers to Professor James H. Leuba, c/o the 
Editor of the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research^ 19, 
Buckingham Street, Adelphi, London, W.C. 




This is an article by Fr. S. Krauss on the Yoga-trance among southern 
Slavs. The sub-title, "a Guola-Song," indicates the substance of it. A few 
observations on phenomena similar to that which is the subject of this very 
interesting popular ballad are given by way of introduction. 

JAN., 1899.] Case in Archiv fur Religions Wissenschaft 7 

A distinction, says Krauss, is usually made between those functions which 
are under the influence of the will, and those which are not; and it is usually 
taken to be absolute. I can, it is said, put rny arm or my tongue to any use 
I like, but I cannot suspend at my will the action of the liver, or the circula- 
tion of the blood. Krauss contends that the distinction is not absolute. In 
the first place, there are cases in which muscles not generally supposed to be 
under the influence of the will, may be set in motion as the subject wishes. 
Krauss tells an entertaining story of a schoolfellow of his who aroused the 
envy of all his friends by a very peculiar gift : he could do anything he liked 
with his ears ; another friend could give the most varied expressions to his 
face by contractions of the eye-muscles, impossible for any one else. 

In the same way some exceptional people can feel or not feel, according 
as they please. Such was the case of another schoolfellow who would bear 
the most severe floggings without any sign of pain. However, it is not clear 
whether the boy felt, or merely hid his feelings, for Krauss, comparing him 
to an Indian fakir says : "The only difference is that the fakir conceals his 
pain from religious motives," whereas the school-boy did so merely to score 
oft* his master. Other people can go without food for a very long time, and 
apparently have some power over the digestive functions. But the most 
interesting are those who can suspend their heart-beats and fall into the 
Yoga-trance. This is a very complicated art : Krauss does not believe it has 
anything to do with mesmerism, or auto-suggestion. 


(a} A certain Frau H. F. (whose full name and address Krauss is in a. 
position to give) is able to completely simulate death whenever she likes, 
and so perfectly as to take in the most experienced medical men or hospital 
nurses. (This case occurs at Vienna.) 

(6) At the 1895 exhibition held at Buda-Pesth there were two Indian 
fakirs who undertook to fast and sleep publicly. Various experiments were 
made on them by some of those who came to see them ; needles were stuck 
into them, burning matches applied to their flesh ; they bore all this during 
the day-time ; but it was more than they had bargained for. At night they 
awoke and gave vent to their opinions as to European civility : they 
strengthened themselves by eating and drinking against the expected trials, 
of the following day. Some one found them out one night, and they were 
set down for frauds and cheats. One of them protested against this accusa- 
tion in the Neue Freie Presse (8th August, 1895), and expressed himself as 
follows : " The Yoga-sleep is a science, which, like all other sciences, may 
be learnt both in theory and practice by any people who have a gift for it." 
Of course, the word science need not be taken strictly at any rate the 
testimony of the fakir is of some importance as a great presumption that this- 
peculiar state is self- induced. 

(c) This art has had devotees in Europe : in the year 1845 the prophet 
Milija Krajinoe began to make manifestations in the village of Sumpfe. He 
was able to fall into a kind of ecstasy or trance and remain in the same state 
for 5, 6, or 12 days together, neither eating, nor drinking, nor satisfying any 
physical wants. There is a document in the archives of the Royal Serbian 

8 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [JAN., 1899. 

Ministry for Home Affairs dealing with the question. Dr. Medovic observed 
Milija in his trance, noted down the appearance of his body, and recorded 
the tortures he went through without complaining ; all attempts to wake 
him were fruitless ; the most intense smells were put under his nose, 
hairs pulled one by one out of the teriderest part of the skin ; red-hot 
coals laid on his limbs. All these he bore : however, one test seemed to 
have some effect. When they poured down his throat something to make 
him vomit, he asked for a drink of water. It was then that he confessed 
how he had learnt by degrees, first of all to go without food so that he could 
remain 20 or 30 days without any nourishment whatever ; there is some 
irony in the prophet's confession that he began it all so as to earn a para 
or two from the common people. But although he says : " you might tear 
the flesh piece-meal off my limbs, and I wouldn't give any sign of suffering, 
so well am I able to bear pain," this is a rather ambiguous statement: it 
is difficult to say whether Milija felt the pain, or whether he had become 

But the most striking instance of all is that of the hero of the ' ' Gusler- 
lied." The noble Radovan, son of Knight George, and nephew of the 
Venetian promeditor of Zang, would simulate death, and have a great 
reputation for it. Krauss, in bringing forward this "historical" instance, 
says that Radovan had this gift in the most healthy and strong period of his 
youth he was a far-famed knight, a fearless warrior, etc., all which circum- 
stances forbid us in Krauss' view to believe him hysterical. But when we 
remember that Radovan lived 250 years ago, any discussion of his state of 
mental or physical health will appear futile. The evidence of popular 
tradition can have no scientific weight ; but although it would be extremely 
rash to draw definite conclusions from the ballad concerning the scientific 
merits of Radovan's Yoga-trance, I can heartily recommend the reading of 
it to all who are interested in " Volksgesang, " as a valuable, and, I believe, 
representative example of the large collection of popular songs in Eastern 

I need not, for the purposes of the S.P.R., tell the long story over again; 
it is sufficient to say that Radovan fell into the hands of a king who had 
reason to wish him out of the way. He was shut up in a dark prison ; but 
he planned a very original escape, which is not generally thought of by 
modern fiction-writers. He simulated death in the hope that he would be 
carried out of prison. Unfortunately, he had played this trick before ; un- 
fortunately, also, the king had a very cunning and a very relentless wife who 
would not believe Radovan was dead. The two of them put him to all kinds 
of tortures ; they drove splinters under his finger and toe-nails ; they singed 
him with red-hot coals. He does not even wink, the king is fairly baffled. 
But that cunning queen has all the malice of the Tempter. Radovan's 
crime, I may say, was that he loved arid was loved by the beautiful daughter 
of this treacherous pair. The queen brought a bevy of fair maidens into the 
prison, among them Radovan's "Geliebte." They sing and dance round 
him, but even under such a trial Radovan manages to remain dead, until the 
princess trips up to him, and he can keep his eyes closed no longer. The 

JAN., 18W. i Correspondence. 9 

princess was in the secret, and knew quite well her knight was not dead 
past recalling ; this explains her composure. Happily the king and queen 
did not see Rado's eyes open ; but the queen is still relentless, the only way 
.she can see of killing him off once for all is to trust some faithful servants 
with his body, send them to the sea-shore in secret, instruct them to tear up 
his limbs, and throw them piece-meal into the waves. Need I say that her 
hellish project falls through ; that Radovan escapes, that he conquers all the 
enemies, and clears all the obstacles, that stood between him and his true love? 
There is no lack of incident, it will be seen, in this entertaining ballad ; 
interesting as it is, however, to the student of literature, we can but regret, 
from our point of view as scientific judges, that popular tradition has played 
so fast and loose with the evidence. The fact remains, however, and it is of 
some importance, that Radovan was believed to be able to simulate death. 

F. N. H. 


[The Editor is not responsible for opinions expressed by Correspondents.'} 


Tour de Peilz, November 14M, 1898. 

DEAR SIR., I have been much interested by Prof. Chattock's experi- 
ments in thought-transference, all the more on account of its being the first 
set of transferred diagrams since those published by me in the Journal. 

I beg to submit that my own experiments [see Journal, S.P.R., June, 1893, 
-and December, 1896. ED.] were far more successful, although made at a 
distance of hundreds of miles and without any knowledge by the percipient 
of the kind of diagrams I was going to send. And I think I can point out 
one or two reasons of that difference in the results obtained. 

Prof. Chattock says that " the percipient knew in each case what sort of 
-a thing was to be drawn e.g. a number of three figures, a word of three letters, 
three musical notes, etc." 

There, I believe, was the mistake. The percipient, knowing beforehand 
that a given number of letters or notes would be sent, could not but try to 
guess, his mind entering into action, and that would, of course, prevent him 
from giving his undivided attention to the message sent. The percipient's 
mind must remain in a passive state, and his inward vision a perfect blank, 
in a state of expectation. 

Prof. Chattock says, moreover, that, after one or two trials, "one gets self- 
conscious and excited " and that the experiments fail accordingly. 

The reason is to be found, first in the fact that both agent and percipient 
were in the same room, unconsciously influencing and exciting each other, 
secondly, from their having attempted more than one experiment at a time. 

Complete solitude is necessary, and the quiet of a secluded room, both for 
the agent and for the recipient. When I experimented with Mrs. M., I 
was alone in my room, and so was she. And it had been agreed that before 
beginning the seance, we should both rest from all labour, and remain quiet 
for at least a quarter of an hour, in order to meet the trial with a self- 
possessed and calm frame of mind. 

10 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [JAN., 1899. 

Again, it was always late at night, ten o'clock usually, at a time when 
all noises have been hushed and silence prevails everywhere. And it was 
understood also that I would never send more than one message at a time. 

A statement made by Professor Chattock has greatly struck me. He 
says (p. 303) : "It occurs to me that the percipient should be in a partially 
dazed state. ... Is there any convenient way of keeping oneself in 
such a condition ? I thought of watching a slowly revolving disc." 

Taking for granted, in my defective knowledge of the English language, 
that dazed means benumbed, I should say that Professor Chattock seems to 
have hit on one of the fundamental conditions of thought-transference, only 
that I think this condition of being in a dazed, half-sleepy state should apply 
to the agent as well. 

As far as I can see in that mysterious phenomenon, the transference takes 
place between the subliminal selves of agent and percipient. It is the 
unconscious portion of our complex being that is in constant communication 
with others, while our conscious activity tends to divide us from our fellow 
beings. As if there were a common ground of psychical life, out of which 
each individuality shoots up. The more we sink our personality into the 
unconscious substratum of life, the nearer we get to others, and the greater 
the possibility of communicating with them. 

Coming back to my own experiments. I have to say that I used to write 
my message on a large piece of paper, to put it in a strong light, and to look 
at it fixedly for five or ten minutes, till I was sometimes half dazed. On her 
part, Mrs. M., lying on her couch, three or four hundred miles from me, 
would remain with her eyes shut, waiting and waiting, till her hand would 
almost unconsciously trace on the paper the figures or diagrams appearing 
on her retina. She was generally in a state of drowsiness, half hypnotic, 
half normal, and pretty often she wrote at the bottom of the page, "I am 
so sleepy, that I can hardly finish the drawing." And sometimes, she even 
fell asleep before having seen anything, in which case, of course, the result 
was nought. 

I believe moreover that our very remarkable success may be due to the 
fact that there was between us, perhaps, a kind of ps3 7 chical bond. During 
one summer, while in Switzerland, she had suffered from insomnia, and, I 
used to go at night with my daughter to her bedside, and to send her to 
sleep by suggestion. 

Speaking of my daughter, it reminds me that I have tried thought-trans- 
ference with her pretty often, at a distance of many miles, with some amount 
of success. And this I have noticed, that in order to have any result I had to 
be the agent, my daughter the percipient. If we reversed the order, I 
being the percipient, we never could get anything satisfactory, and it was the 
same with Mrs. M. 

It seems that different qualities of mind are required for playing the 
different parts. Mr. Wedmore's statement (p. 304) "My sister could not 
receive from me and I cannot do so from my brother," confirms that notion. 

The possibility of the transference of thoughts or images from one mind 
to another has now been proved, I think, sufficiently. It remains that the 

JAN., 1899.] Correspondence. 11 

conditions in which it does take place should be thoroughly investigated, 
and, if possible, the rules of this process accurately exposed. We should not 
rest satisfied till we have found the means of corresponding with our friends, 
;it whatever distance, without pen and paper, and even without the help of 
Marconi's wireless telegraph. In this order of phenomena, the geographical 
distance counts for nothing ; the only distance to be abolished is that 
between the minds. Yours truly, 



St. Petersburg, December 7th, 1898. 

DEAR SIR, I have read with interest Mr. Podmore's review of Mr. A. 
Lang's The Making of Religion in Proceedings XXXIV. and especially his 
refutation of some of the criticisms passed by Mr. Lang on Mr. Podmore's 
most valuable work Studies in Psychical Research. 

Much of what he says is no doubt quite correct, and no one deplores 
more than myself the apparent inability of the agency at work in mediumistic 
manifestations to supply proofs and tests convincing to the scientific mind ; 
and what are we to say of those critics who, after persistently demanding 
evidence of this character, deliberately shut their eyes when something of 
the kind is really offered them, and pass on ? 

With all respect to Mr. Podmore I submit that this is precisely the 
attitude he is maintaining toward the " Physical Phenomena " of Spiritualism, 
as the following examples will show. 

No doubt a "balance moving in a locked glass case" (Proceedings 
XXXIV., p. 138) would be good (why not Sir Wm. Crookes's experiment 
on movements of " a pendulum enclosed in a glass case firmly cemented to 
the wall " ?) but ought not the upsetting of objects in a room with doors and 
windows closed and sealed be equally, or almost equally, good. Now this has 
been done by one investigator at least, who is a corresponding member of 
the S.P.R. besides; viz., Dr. Dariex, of Paris (see Proceedings VII., p. 197); 
in that case the objects upset being chairs, the room being Dr. D's own ; the 
experiments being watched by a committee of friends. And yet in his above 
mentioned work Mr. Podmore entirely ignores the case in question, quite 
regardless of the fact that it ought to come within the limits of what he 
considers a "test-case." 

Another example. Sir Wm. Crookes's experiment with Mrs. Fay (with 
the medium's hands grasping two wires attached to a battery) has always 
been regarded as a most conclusive one, even by those who like myself do 
not wish to press any incidents in the career of so suspicious a medium as 
evidentially cogent. Now what does Mr. Podmore do ? He mentions the 
case in question, but does not even attempt the ghost of an explanation, 
which is still more illogical than ignoring it altogether. (Studies in 
Psychical Research, page 62.) 

Again, it is all very well to speak about the desirability of obtaining 
independent writing in securely locked slates or hemetically sealed glass 
tubes. To my mind (and why not to Mr. Podmore's ? ) a few words, written 

12 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [JAN., 1899. 

"independently" by a slate pencil, without any locks or seals but in full view, 
would be just as convincing, if not more, For there is nothing like seeing 
for oneself ! Well, cases of the kind do exist. Professor Elliott Coues and 
Mr. William Emmette Coleman, of San Francisco, have testified in print* 
to obtaining "direct" writing under such conditions. Why their evidence 
should be absolutely ignored in a work which pretends to deal with all 
scientific testimony to the "Physical Phenomena" of Spiritualism is a 
riddle I am unable to solve. Here are two gentlemen of scientific eminence, 
one of them, a member of the S.P.R., (Mr. Coleman) widely known as an 
exposer of mediumistic frauds (surely a circumstance of some weight ! ) 
who come forward and say that, when sitting with a particular medium, they 
have repeatedly seen the pencil write of itself upon the slate whether 
partly held under the table or simply in the medium's hand without any 
table at all being used ; and that in this way intelligible messages were 
obtained. Well they may say what they like, in a scientific work which 
precisely discusses independent slate-writing at length, their testimony is not 
so much as hinted at ! 

I might adduce other instances of slate-pencils visibly writing ; in various 
articles printed in the Religio-Philosophic Journal for 1891, Mr. Coleman 
mentions other similar cases ; and I have reason to believe that in his 
opinion genuine " psychography " still occurs in Mrs. Francis's presence up 
to the present day. I might also refer Mr. Podmore to a letter by " Harry 
Allis " (a well-known writer on the staff of the Journal des Debats now 
deceased) printed in Dr. P. Gibier's U 'Analyse des Choses, who speaks of 
witnessing something of the kind with Henry Slade ; but I do not lay stress 
on any case but Dr. Coues's as distinctly conclusive of a really supernormal 

Well, with such instances before us of the treatment some of the evidence 
for "Physical Phenomena " has received at Mr. Podmore's hands, we may 
be justified in thinking that in other cases too his attitude, though at first 
sight, perhaps, less unjustifiable, has in fact also been but little in accordance 
with actual events, and in any case the fact of his having completely ignored 
in Studies in Psychical Research some of the phenomena which approach his 
evidential standard the nearest, should certainly detract something from the 
value of his more recent criticisms. I am, Yours very truly. 



G. 260. 

The following case, though doubtful of interpretation, appears not 
without interest. The important fact about it is the double experi- 
ence, each independently verified. As Mr. C - suggests, however, 

* Religio-Philosophic Journal, February 27th, 1892 (" Independent Slate- Writing 
a Fact in Nature," by Professor Coues), and a few weeks later, Mr. Coleman f s 

JAN., 1899.] Cases. 13 

it appears possible that a purely natural cause can be advanced, an 
attempt at burglary in a room that might possess a secret entrance, 
although a burglar might have done better to take the jewellery from 
the dressing-table before feeling under the sleeper's pillow. Nothing 
further has transpired concerning any past history or future experience 
in the hotel in question. 

Mrs. C writes as follows : 

Having lately returned from the Tyrol, I venture to send you a strange 
and unpleasant incident which occurred to me at a hotel on the Italian side 
at . We had written for a room, but, on arrival, the landlord apolo- 
gised rather unnecessarily for taking us to a room on the second floor, in 
what seemed the older part of the building. Our room was at the end of a 
corridor, but the entrance door opened in a sort of lobby projecting into the 
room. In the recess or alcove formed by this projection stood the two beds, 
more than a yard apart, with a closed up door between, in front of which 
were two night tables blocking the door. In the paper on the wall, between 
my bed and the lobby, there were cracks as if a door had been closed up 
there also, and there was another on the wall to the right as one entered 
the room, behind a tall chest of drawers, also closed up. There were three 
windows. I had gone to bed. How long I slept I don't know, but I woke 
up with a pull at my bedclothes, gentle, sudden, and decided, and a feeling 
of something near me. I then heard what seemed retreating footsteps 
down the corridor. I called out to my husband that there was someone in 
the room. (I should say the door had been locked and was found so in the 
morning.) His answer was, "Nonsense! You have had a nightmare "- 
and he went asleep again. A short time afterwards (I again can't say how 
long, but I had remained quite awake), my husband, in a very low voice, 
said, " Are you awake ? I think you are right." He got up, lighted the 
candle, and examined every part of the room, looking under the beds, into 
a wardrobe for ladies' dresses next the third window, and tried the wall in 
places where there seemed to be the secret doors. No thing or person was 
found. He then told me he had felt what seemed to him a small hand softly 
pushing under his right side and arms, and that he had some difficulty in 
awaking and bringing his senses to bear. Not being easy I kept the candle 
alight. My husband went to sleep again, but I endeavoured to remain awake. 
However, I undoubtedly dozed off, and my next impression was that a soft 
hand was pressing and feeling under my side and arm. Half awake and half 
asleep, with a sense of suffocation, I called out " Don't ! Go away ! " I then 
became quite conscious, and heard a very heavy tread overhead (there was no 
floor above us), then a thud on the floor, and then dead silence. I fancied 
also I heard a cart drive away in the distance. Morning was breaking. My 
mind now seemed quite calmed as if all was over, and I slept till we were 
called. This might all, perhaps, be accounted for by ordinary nightmare, 
but the curious fact is that we each of us had much the same experience, and 
my husband was sufficiently struck to interrogate the landlord on what had 
occurred, and asked if he knew of any event supposed to have taken place 

14 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [JAN., 1899. 

on the premises this, needless to say, without any satisfactory reply. The 
landlord was a young man, and had not been there many years. It does not 
appear probable that anyone, either grown up or child, could well have 
escaped from the room when my husband made his examination. He looked 
under the beds first. The doors referred to above had all been examined 
before he retired, and were also blocked by furniture. There may have been 
a trapdoor undiscovered. We left early in the morning, and there was no 
time to make a further search. My husband had his watch and money under 
his pillow, but all my few ornaments, rings, and watch were on the dressing- 

Mr. C adds the following details : 

We had dinner as soon as we could, and went to our room almost directly 
afterwards. I was asleep, I believe, before my wife got into bed. She 
woke me up, saying, "I think there is someone in the room." I answered, 
"Nonsense, nightmare," and went to sleep again. My next sensation, a 
half-conscious one (I can't say how long after), was that a small hand was 
feeling against my right side, and being thrust very gently under it towards 
my watch and purse under the pillow. (My face was outwards, towards 

Mrs. C 's bed.) I did not wake very readily, and I seemed to have an 

effort in regaining my consciousness. As soon as I did get awake, I called 
my wife by name, and in a low voice said, *' Are you awake 1 I think you 
are right." I then got up, lit the candle, which was close to my side, and 
searched the room, as described previously, without result. I told my wife 
what I had fancied and felt, and then slept till just before we were called. 
I was certainly tired and dined late, and should have said the whole was 
the result of indigestion, but it is curious that, to a certain extent, we both 
experienced the same sensations. Another and more probable solution is, 
that there may have been someone in the room possibly a child ; but how 
he got out of it while I lit my candle is beyond my comprehension, unless 
he slid down from the window, which was open. Yet here again we were on 
the second floor, and there was, as far as I can remember, no trellis work or 
creepers against the house wall ; and supposing a burglar, he failed to take 
away anything, although my wife had left her rings and other things on her 
dressing-table. I know nothing about the house. 

L. Cl. 1110. Hypermnesic Dream. 

The following case, received from Mrs. Wynford Philipps, 5, South 
Eaton Place, S.W., belongs to a class of which we have printed at 
different times several examples. The question is of course between 
hypermnesia and clairvoyance; between a recollection emergent in 
sleep of something subliminally noted during the waking search, and a 
" clairvoyant excursion " during sleep, in which the lost object is for 
the first time discerned. The present case does not necessarily carry 
us beyond the former alternative. 

JAN., 18D9.] Cases. 15 

Statement concerning the finding of a Brooch and Watch. 

In the spring of 189G I lost a gold half-hunter watch, attached to my 
dress by a small diamond brooch. The loss occurred as I was walking about 
\\ithfriendsingardenand stables of Lydsleys Haven, Pembrokeshire, be- 
tween 4.20 and 5 in the afternoon. 

Soon after returning to the house I missed the watch and brooch, and as 
I attached special value to them, we caused the whole garden, gravel walks, 
and stables to be examined by a number of boys and men, and all the straw 
in the stables to be carefully sifted. Still they could not be found. 

That night I dreamed vividly that I saw the watch and brooch on the 
very path that I had examined vainly myself, and which had been investi- 
gated by all the searchers. Next morning, immediately on waking, I remem- 
bered the dream, and went straight to the place where the watch was lying, 
half hidden by gravel. I at once told all in the house exactly what had 
happened, and the signature of one of the witnesses is here appended as well 

as m ? own ' NORA PHILIPPS. 

I took an active part in the search, and heard the dream from Mrs. 
Philipps before she went out in the morning. 

A. C. HE WAT, Secretary. 

P. 259. 

The following incident seems to have been carefully watched and 
recorded, and to have been published, with names of guarantors, 
immediately after the event. It is extracted from a pamphlet, entitled 
Spiritualisrne : Fails Curieux, par Paul Auguez, Dentu, Paris, 1858: 

On December 10th, 1857, we addressed the following letter to M. Morin, 
vice-president of the Societe du Mesmerisme, asking him to keep the letter 
sealed until the complete fulfilment of the sad event of which we related the 
prediction. The said prediction was as clearly expressed as it was wonder- 
ful in the extraordinary method of production. We retained a copy of this 
letter word for word. The original, stamped with the postmark, has been 
returned to us, after the verification of its date and contents, under the 
following circumstances : 

" SIR, About a year ago, after a fruitless experiment in hydromancy,* 
a young lady, who was with us making these experiments, suddenly saw a 
very strange scene reflected on the polished surface of a glass into which she 
had been looking a few minutes before. 

"She saw, she said, a room containing two beds. In one of these she 
saw quite distinctly a sick person, whose distorted features betokened the 
approach of death. 

"Around this bed were standing several people, amongst whom she could 
distinguish a young woman and two children, all three dressed in black. 

"Being much astonished at this vision, and not knowing with what to 
connect it, we asked the experimenter if these persons were known to her. 

* Divination by means of pictures, which are delineated in the water before the 
eyes of the seer. 

16 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [JAN., 1899. 

She replied at once that the dying man seemed to her to be a friend of 
ours, M. X., an employ^ in a government office, and that the three persons 
dressed in black must be his wife and his two sons. 

"Although this appeared very strange, we did not attach much import- 
ance to the matter, for M. X. had a strong constitution, and at that time 
was in good health. 

"However, about three months ago that is to say about nine months 
after the vision of which we have given an account M. X. was suddenly 
attacked by acute bronchitis and congestion of the lungs ; but although his. 
illness was pronounced by the doctor to be rather serious, it did not cause 
any great uneasiness . 

"Then the fatal prediction came into our minds, and we were very 
anxious about the condition of our friend, which became more and more- 

" A. few weeks ago the disease assumed a more serious character, and as 
the arrangement of the apartments in which he was living made it impossible 
to nurse him efficiently, he determined to take advantage of the privilege 
attached to his position as government official, and was moved to Val-de- 

"At the time of writing this letter, the invalid, finding himself somewhat 
better, has just been taken to the house of a relation, where he hopes to 
stay during his convalescence. 

" At the same time, the disease has not diminished in severity, although 
it is stationary. This is how matters stand to-day, December 10th, 1857. 

"As far as we are concerned, however, the prediction is in some 
measure fulfilled. Indeed, who would ever have thought that a young man, 
in full strength, would, in such a short time, be in such a state as he is to- 
day ? Who would have supposed that anyone who lived in such comfortable 
circumstances as our unfortunate friend would be obliged by the force of 
circumstances to have himself taken to a hospital ? Who could have fore- 
seen that his family, who had been seen dressed in black, should happen 
just at that time to be in mourning for a relation who had died a short time 
previously ? 

" We must add further that since M. X. was moved to the house of his 
relation, after attempts to obtain communications by means of a table, 
for several evenings, a message, giving the name of M. X., appeared 
spontaneously. Among other things said, in reply to questions asked, were 
the words : 'Death warning ! . .' 

" We heard later on that at the time when these manifestations occurred, 
M. X. was lying in a state of lethargic stupor, in consequence of the doses 
of opium given him to induce sleep." 
Paris, December 10/i, 1857. 

M. X. died a month after this letter was sent. It was read by us in the 
presence of MM. le Baron, du Potet, Petit d'Ormoy and Morin, who, after 
having considered all the circumstances, and having verified the date of the 
post-mark, December llth, certified that the details therein contained were 
absolutely accurate. 






New Members and Associates . . . . . . 17 

Annual General Meeting of Members of the Society 18 

Meeting of the Council 19 

Colonel de Rochas' Musical Sensitive 21 

Correspondence : 

Mr. Podmore on Clairvoyance and Poltergeists 22 

Mr. Podmore, Poltergeists, and Kindred Spirits .. .. 30 

Case 32 


Names of Members are printed in Black Type. 

Names of Honorary Associates are prefixed by an Asterisk. 

Names of Associates are printed in SMALL CAPITALS. 


ALEXANDER N. AKSAKOF, 6, Nevsky-prospect, St. Petersburg. 
PROFESSOR W. F. BARRETT, F.R.S.E., Kingstown, Co. Dublin. 
PROFESSOR HENRY SIDGWICK, Newnham College, Cambridge. 


BEETON, Miss FLORENCE, 2, Adamson-road, S. Hampstead, N.W. 
ChrotlSChoff, Michel de, Binnbrooke Grange-road, Cambridge. 
FOSTER, Miss LUCY E., 42, Lexham-gardens, London, W. 
GORDON, GEORGE H., 1 Clare-road, Bristol. 

GRIST, REV. GORDON C., B.A., Church Cottage, Madresfield, Malvern. 
HORSLEY, GEORGE F., S. Peter's Rectory, Walworth, London, S.E. 
Hoskins, Edmond J., M.D., Surgeon-Major, Hammam Chambers, 

67, Jermyn-street, London, S.W. 

HYAMSON, ALBERT M., Secretary's Office, General Post Office, E.G. 
ILIFFE, MRS., 13, Warnborough-road, Oxford. 
Morell, Mrs. Waldo., 5, Noel-street, Nottingham. 
*MURRAY, DONALD, " Morven," Lane Cove-road, St. Leonards, 

Sydney, N.S.W. 

18 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [FEB., 1899. 

MURRAY, HON. MRS., 50, Grosvenor-gardens, London, S.W. 
O'DONNELL, ELLIOTT, Henley House School, St. John's Wood, N.W. 
STORRAR, WM. M.. L.R.C.P., L.R.C.S. (ED.) 57, Hoghton-st., Southport. 
THOMPSON, MRS. EDMOND, 87, South Hill-park, Hampstead, N.W. 
THORNTON, W. M., M.Sc. (Viet.), Durham College of Science, Newcastle- 

TOBY, ERNEST G., 25, Canonbury-road, London, N. 


BATES, DR. MARY C., Exeter Chambers, Exeter-street, Boston, Mass. 

CALLENDER, IRA S., Galesburg, 111. 

CHENEY, W. T., Box 184, Rome, Ga. 

CRUFT, GEORGE T., 433, Shawmut-avenue, Boston, Mass. 

DRAKE, MRS. A. J., Auburndale, Mass. 

GIBIER, DR. PAUL, 313, West 23rd-Street, New York, N.Y. 

LINDESLEY, J., No. 200, Yokohama, Japan. 

MOFFETT, F. L., 204, Flour Exchange, Minneapolis, Minn. 

MOODY, HARRY L., 27, Crescent-street, Greenfield, Mass. 

RING, DR. ARTHUR H., Arlington Heights, Mass. 

TAFFT, HENRY S., 174, Weybosset-street, Providence, R.I. 

WALKER, JOHN A., Box D., Jersey City, N.Y. 

WENDELL, B. R., Cazenovia, N.Y. 

WHITTLESEY, MILLS, 301, Chestnut-avenue, Trenton, N.J, 


The Annual General Meeting of Members of the Society for 
Psychical Research was held at the Westminster Town Hall on 
January 27th, at 3 p.m., the President, Sir William Crookes, F.R.S., 
in the chair. 

The Notice convening the Meeting was read. 

The President said this was the third Annual General Meeting of 
Members held since the incorporation of the Society in the autumn of 
1895. In that time the Society has had a career of considerable 
prosperity, whether judged by increase in number of members, or in 
regard to the importance of the work done, and published in the 
Proceedings. Of the six retiring Members of Council at the end of 
1898, one, Col. Hartley, had been removed by death. A seventh 
vacancy is also occasioned by the death of Mr. R. Pearsall Smith 
early last year. The other five retiring members all offer themselves 

FEB., 1899.] Meeting of the Council. 19 

for re-election. Two other members had also been nominated. These 
seven nominations being sufficient to fill up the vacancies in the 
elected Members of the Council, the President said that he had only 
to declare that the following were duly elected Members of the 
Council: A. W. Barrett, M.B., J. Milne Bramwell, M.B., Professor 
Oliver J. Lodge, F.R.S., Mr. Frank Podmore, Professor H. Sidg- 
wick, Sir A. K. Stephensori, K.C.B., Q.C., and Professor J. J. 
Thomson, F.R.S. 

The President went on to say that he had before him an audited 
statement of the Income arid Expenditure during 1898, which would, 
as usual, be printed in the Journal. The Auditor says in his 
accompanying letter : " I have pleasure in again bearing testimony to 
the good order in which your Secretary has kept the books, which I 
have just audited as to the year 1898. '"' The statement of Assets and 
Liabilities at the end of 1898 showed an improvement in the position 
of the Society during the year of about .70. This was in great 
measure due to the. increased sale of the Proceedings, outside the 
Society, especially of Part XXXIII., containing Dr. Hodgson's report 
on Mrs. Piper. 

In reference to the present position of the Society, the President 
said that the total number of names of all classes on the list of the 
Society on January 1st, 1898, was 911. The elections during the year 
1898 had been 77. Against these were to be set 29 resignations, 
16 removals by death, and 8 names struck off the list, of persons who 
had been lost sight of, or who had become merely nominal members, 
thus showing the number of the Society at the commencement of the 
present year to be 935. 

A considerable number of elections took place during the year in 
the American Branch, but owing to deaths and resignations at the 
close of 1898, the net result is a gain of one, increasing the number to 
415. It is, however, satisfactory to note that the slight diminution of 
the previous year has not continued. 

The President invited remarks from members present. A member 
made an inquiry as to the "Second Sight Fund," which was replied to. 
There being no further response, the President declared the meeting 


The Council met at the close of the Annual General Meeting above 
reported. The President, Sir William Crookes, F.R.S., occupied the 
chair. There were also present, Mr. F. W. H. Myers, Mr. St. George 

20 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [FEB., 1899. 

Lane Fox Pitt, Mr. Sydney C. Scott, Mr. H. Arthur Smith, Dr. C. 
Lloyd Tuckey, and Dr. A. Wallace. 

The Minutes of the last Meeting were read and signed as correct. 

Report was made that the Annual General Meeting had been held, 
and that Members of Council had been elected as stated above. 

Sir William Crookes, F.R.S., was re-elected President of the 
Society for the ensuing year. 

Mr. H. Arthur Smith was re-elected as Hon. Treasurer, and Mr. 
F. W. H. Myers as Hon. Secretary, and Mr. Arthur Miall as Auditor 
for the ensuing year. 

On the proposal of the President, Professor W. F. Barrett and 
Professor H. Sidgvvick were elected Honorary Members of the Society ; 
and on the proposition of Mr. F. W. H. Myers, Mr. Alexander N. 
Aksakof, of St. Petersburg, was also elected an Honorary Member. 

On the proposal of Mr. F. W. H. Myers, Mr. Donald Murray, of 
New South Wales, was elected an Hon. Associate for the current 

The following were co-opted as Members of Council for the ensuing 
year : Mr. St. George Lane Fox Pitt, Dr. R. Hodgson, Mr. Registrar 
Hood, Dr. G. F. Rogers, Dr. C. Lloyd Tuckey, and Dr. A. Wallace. 

The Hon. E. Feilding and Mr. J. G. Smith were proposed for 
co-optation on the Council at its next Meeting. 

Committees were elected as follows, with power to add to their 
number : 

Committee of Reference. Professor W. F. Barrett, Sir W. Crookes, 
Dr. R. Hodgson, Dr. W. Leaf, Professor 0. J. Lodge, Mr. F. W. H. 
Myers, Lord Rayleigh, Professor H. Sidgwick, Professor J. J. 
Thomson, Dr. J. Venn, and Mrs. Yerrall. 

Library Committee. Dr. J. Milne Bramwell, Hon. E. Feilding, 
Mr. F. W. H. Myers, and Dr. C. Lloyd Tuckey. 

Hypnotic Committee. Dr. A. W. Barrett, Dr. J. Milne Bramwell, 
Hori. E. Feilding, Dr. R. Hodgson, Dr. W. Leaf, Mr. St. George Lane 
Fox Pitt, Mr. F. Podmore, Mr. J. G. Smith, Dr. C. Lloyd Tuckey, Dr. 
A. Wallace, and Mr. E. Westlake. 

House and Finance Committee. Mr. Sydney C. Scott, Mr. H. 
Arthur Smith, and Lieut.-Colonel G. L. Le M. Taylor. 

The existing lists of Honorary Associates and of Corresponding 
Members were confirmed for the ensuing year. 

Three new Members and thirteen new Associates, whose names and 
addresses are given above, were elected. The election of fourteen new 
Associates of the American Branch was also recorded. 

FEB., 1899.] Colonel de Rochas' Musical Sensitive. 21 

The Council recorded with regret the death of four Associates of 
the Society : Mr. Clement H. Hill, Mr. William B. Hutchinson, Rev. 
R Synge, and Mrs. Tatham Warter. 

The resignation of eleven Associates, who for various reasons 
desired to terminate their connection with the Society at the end of 
1898. was accepted. 

The name of Mrs. Sutherland Orr was at her request transferred 
from the list of Associates to that of Members. 

The Council acknowledged with thanks some presents to the 
library, including a bound copy of Light for 1898 from the London 
Spiritualist Alliance. 

The audited Statement of Accounts was referred to the House and 
Finance Committee, who were requested to prepare an estimate of 
income and expenditure for the current year, and present it with their 
report to the next meeting of the Council. 

It was agreed that the next meeting of the Council should be held 
on Friday the 10th of March, at 19, Buckingham Street, W.C., at 
4.30 p.m. 

NOTE. The Report of the General Meeting held on January 27th, 
and the Statement of Income and Expenditure for 1898, will appear in 
the March Journal. 


The following extracts from a letter of Colonel de Rochas, Director 
of the Ecole Poly technique of Paris, will be of interest to musical readers. 
He is describing a hypnotic sensitive, who responds, as he believes, 
with a kind of subliminal delicacy of perception, to a certain intrinsic 
significance of musical notes or phrases. It is not easy to see how 
such a response can be " made evidential," but there is nothing 
incredible in a heightening of testhetic sensibility in the hypnotic 
trance. Colonel de Rochas' letter is accompanied by photographs 
representing the young lady in statuesque attitudes determined by 
musical phrases. She is, he adds, perfectly " convenable," and open to 
engagement for drawing-room gatherings or for scientific observation. 
The further phenomenon here mentioned of " exteriorisation of 
sensibility," the transference of sensation from the sensitive's own body 
to some external object has not been satisfactorily reproduced, so far 
as we know, by English observers, nor is it clear what part suggestion 

22 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [FEB., 1899. 

may have played in the recorded experiments. But here are M. de 
Rochas' remarks on his subject's musical sensibility : 

' ' In M'l 6 - Lina, who presents the phenomenon of exteriorisation of sensi- 
bility to a remarkable degree, I separate (dedanche), so to say, her psychical 
body from her spirit, so that, by reflex action, the music of a passion produces 
automatically the gesture appropriate to that passion, although the subject's 
spirit does not perceive the music. The effect becomes intense through this 
suppression of the intermediary. Curious observations can thus be made 
upon cerebral localisations. Certain notes the dominant, the mediant, (or 
3rd note), the leading note (major 7th or sensible note), the keynote (or 
tonic) produce in whatever key, when the subject is attuned to it by a few 
chords, movement of certain parts of the body, always the same. Thus the 
mediant sets the hips in motion, the dominant and sub-dominant the hands, 
the leading note the lips, etc. When one of these notes returns often in the 
music of a dance, for instance, the corresponding part of the body is set in 
motion, so that one can compose music which shall set going movements 
characteristic of certain oriental dances. . . . 

" Thus for instance a musician among our group brought with him (without 
saying anything to Lina) some notes which he had taken of the Javanese 
dance, at the time of the Exposition, and he played the music, never 
previously played in this fashion. Lina at once executed the Javanese 
dance, which consists of movements of the hands alone." 


[The Editor is not responsible for opinions expressed by Correspondents.] 


SIR, Will you allow me to make a few remarks on the treatment of 
these questions by Mr. Podmore in the Proceedings for December, 1898? 
In my opinion the credit of the Society as a body for the scientific investiga- 
tion of a variety of very remarkable and little known phenomena is seriously 
injured by the method he has adopted that of omitting to refer to the best 
evidence in the matters he discusses, giving prominence to every possible 
supposition of imposture on the part of the agents and of incompetence on 
the part of the observers, and then stating his adverse conclusions with a 
confidence and authority which should only be displayed after a full 
presentation and unprejudiced discussion of the whole evidence available. 
I will only refer to a few examples to justify this statement, as I have neither 
time nor inclination, nor is it here necessary, to do more. 

Mr. Podmore devotes more than five pages to the case of Alexis Didier, 
who, he endeavours to show, might have been, and, therefore, probably was, 
an impostor. He first describes the mode of bandaging the eyes " generally," 
which was not the more effective mode usually adopted as described by Dr. 
Lee and others. He then states that, from the detailed descriptions of many 

FEB., 1899.] Correspondence. 23 

observers, he concludes that " the power exercised by Alexis was perfectly 
normal " that is, that he saw with his eyes in the ordinary way, and that 
his reading sealed letters, describing the contents of closed boxes, and 
playing ecarte rapidly and often telling his opponents' cards as well as his 
own, were, or might have been, all clever trickery. Every difficult case 
quoted is explained on this assumption, though acknowledging that this 
explanation was not necessarily correct. But he continually dwells on the 
possibility of fraud, on the agents having highly-trained confederates, on the 
simplicity of the numerous witnesses, and on the fact that " the reports 
which we possess are mostly at second-hand." 

But in a very well-known work, Dr. Edwin Lee's Animal Magnetism, that 
physician reports, from personal observation, fourteen stances in Brighton 
and Hastings at which a large number of experiments were made, far the 
greater number of which were entirely successful, and many very remarkable. 
Especially so was the description of a tin box and its contents in the 
coroner's office at Norwich, Dr. Lee having put into the medium's hands a 
letter from the coroner in which this box was referred to as a test (p. 257). 
The reading of passages in books several pages in advance is what Mr. 
Podmore considers to be " most strongly suggestive of trickery" ; but Dr. 
Lee gives numerous cases where no opportunity for trickery existed. The 
books were often brought by visitors as being old or uncommon, they were 
opened at any page and Alexis marked a line and was then asked to read the 
same line 10 or 20 pages in advance. The line given by him was usually 
found at the same level but not at the same number of pages from the open 
page. Many sceptics applied this test with books of their own, and in some 
cases the sentences read were quite unexpected and unusual. Mr. Podmore 
states that in the accounts he has read, when sealed packages were given 
him "the seal must be broken and the contents shown to a sympathetic 
witness " ; but in the long series of experiments of this nature reported by 
Dr. Lee, I find that this condition was required only in one or two cases, 
while many sealed packets are stated to have been described correctly while 

The card-playing, which Mr. Podmore considers to be "most probably 
deliberate fraud," happens to be that as to which the evidence that it was 
not fraud is most conclusive. It occurred at almost every seance, and in a 
number of cases cards were named correctly as they lay upon the table 
backs upwards, while on one occasion a large folio volume was placed 
upright between the two players without preventing Alexis from naming the 
cards in his opponent's hand. But the absolute proof of the reality of the 
clairvoyance while card-playing is the evidence of Robert Houdin, who has 
been called the prince of conjurers and to whom everything that could be 
done with cards was perfectly familiar. 

At the request of the Marquis de Mirville he had two seances with 
Alexis, and certified in writing that he found it "impossible" to class the 
phenomena "among the tricks which are the objects of my art." And after 
the second seance he wrote "I therefore came away from this seance as 
astonished as any one can be, and fully convinced that it would be quite 

24 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [FEB., 1899. 

impossible for any one to produce such surprising effects by mere skill."* 
With such testimony as this, and that of Dr. Lee himself, what is the value 
of Mr. Podmore's suggestions of "deliberate fraud," or at the best of 
"unconscious jugglery" when in the trance state, together with his final 
suggestion of an elaborate " intelligence department," and of " highly- 
trained confederates" as an explanation "not to be summarily dismissed" 1 
And such explanations as this, given as the result of an examination of 
the best evidence, are the more futile when we consider the mass of first- 
class personal testimony to the reality of clairvoyance of the same nature as 
that of Alexis that is accessible to every enquirer. Such are those by the 
late Professor Gregory in his Letters on Animal Magnetism (pp. 395-408) 
forming absolutely conclusive tests through an ignorant girl who could not 
read or write, and of a character more marvellous than any of the clairvoy- 
ance of Alexis. Other cases with the same medium are recorded by Dr. 
Joseph Haddock, M.D., of Bolton, who had her in charge as a patient, 
in the Appendix to his work on Somnolism and Psycheism. In three 
separate cases this girl recovered lost property when all other means had 
failed ; besides successfully describing distant persons and events unknown 
to any of the persons near her. Dr. Herbert Mayo, in his Letters on the 
Truths contained in Popular Superstitions, gives a successful test experi- 
ment with a Parisian clairvoyante, he being at the time in Prussia. And 
besides these we have the Report of the Commission of the Acade'mie 
Royale de Medecine strongly affirming the reality of clairvoyance. But all 
this evidence of men of the highest character and ability, after careful and 
often long-continued personal observation and test, is wholly ignored by 
Mr. Podmore in his attempt to show that Alexis might have been, and 
probably was, an impostor. I submit that such a mode of treating this 
important subject is utterly unscientific, is opposed to the rules of evidence 
and of common sense, and is unworthy of the prominent place it occupies in 
the Proceedings of the Society. 

The same defects in an even more exaggerated form are found in his 
conclusions as to "Poltergeists" given in his review of Mr. Andrew Lang's 
Making of Religion in the same number of the Proceedings. He says that he 
formerly thought it "not improbable that there was something inexplicable 
in these Poltergeist manifestations." Now, having taken the eleven cases 
investigated by the Society, and, presumably, given due weight to all other 
well known records, he concludes : "I cannot find any evidence that would 

* Dr. Lee, in his Animal Magnetism, pp. 162-3, gives the essential part of 
Houdin's two letters ; but in order to understand the full weight of this testimony it 
is essential to read De Mirville's detailed account of his interviews with Houdin, and 
of the seances with Alexis, to which Houdin went with the full belief that he could 
expose him. This most interesting account occupies the first chapter of De Mirville's 
great work, DCS Esprits et de leurs Manifestations Fluidiqucs, which is in the Society's 
library. Houdin also tested the reading of closed books ; and Alexis informed the 
great expert of a fact relating to one of his most intimate friends, which Houdin 
declared at the time could not possibly be true, but which he afterwards acknowledged 
to be correct. (See DCS Esprits, I., p. 26, footnote.) 

FEB., 1899.] Correspondence. 25 


justify such a supposition (that is, that there is anything inexplicable in 
them) even as a working hypothesis. " Then, after nearly two pages of reply 
to Mr. Lang's criticisms he thus concludes : "For myself, I am grieved to 
think that the Poltergeist should go. He was a more picturesque figure than 
the naughty little girl who takes his place. There are too many naughty 
little girls on this planet already." 

If this judgment is given on the eleven cases alone, the evidence for 
which he has adversely criticised, then he should not state in such positive 
terms a conclusion founded upon such utterly inadequate evidence. If, on 
the other hand, his words "I cannot find any evidence " imply that he 
has considered the best of the existing testimony, then so positive a conclu- 
sion should not be stated without at least pointing out the grounds on which 
he rejects it. For it is the case that no class of psychical phenomena rests 
on such an extensive basis of well attested facts facts which were at the 
time, and have ever since remained, inexplicable by other than a super- 
normal cause. I will, therefore, briefly enumerate a few of the best 
attested of these cases for the benefit of such readers as are not acquainted 
with them ; seven which occurred during the present century and two 
earlier ones. 

1. The Drummer of Tedworth, as the disturbances at the house of Mr. 
Mompesson in 1662 are usually termed, deserves attention, both because it 
presents the main features of all these cases, and especially because it was 
recorded by a contemporary and eye-witness of the highest character and of 
exceptional ability, the Rev. Joseph Glanvil, a fellow of the Royal Society 
and a writer on the Baconian philosophy. In this case " the naughty little 
girl " was 10 years old, and the disturbances continued for two years, to the 
great distress of Mr. Mompesson who would have been delighted to have 
had the cause of it discovered. The disturbances consisted of various 
noises, knockings, scratchings and drums heard as if over the house ; 
shaking of the floor and of the whole house ; the children's clothes and other 
articles thrown about the room, and chairs and stools moving about by 
themselves in the presence of numerous witnesses. The noises were some- 
times so loud that they were heard in the fields near and even awakened 
people in the village at a considerable distance. Mr. Glanvil himself heard 
the knocks and scratchings continuing for half an hour while the children on 
whose bed it occurred were lying quite still with their hands outside. He 
also heard loud pantings as of a large dog, which was so violent as to 
cause the windows and the whole room to shake. The account is given in 
considerable detail in Glanvil's Sadducismus Triumphatus, and I cannot 
understand how anyone admitting, as Mr. Podmore does, that "it is solely 
a question of evidence," can come to the conclusion that we have here no 
evidence of anything inexplicable, "even as a working hypothesis." 

2. Half a century later, in 1716, we have the remarkable disturbances at 
Epworth Parsonage, Lincolnshire, where the Rev. Samuel Wesley was 
rector. Here again we find exceptionally good contemporary records by 
various members of the Wesley family, all far above the average in 
intelligence and freedom from superstition. Samuel Wesley himself kept 

26 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [FEB., 1899. 

a journal in which all the chief occurrences were described, and there are 
also numerous letters from various members of the family to their friends 
and to John Wesley, describing the various events as they occurred. It is 
interesting to note that the manservant who first heard the noises and 
witnessed the movements of various articles, had no fear whatever, and 
that each member of the family in turn, when told of what had happened, 
entirely disbelieved that there was anything that could not be soon explained, 
till he or she had witnessed the phenomena, when it was perceived to be 
wholly beyond their experience and utterly inexplicable by any known 
causes. At length the whole household nine or ten persons witnessed the 
disturbances, Mr. Samuel Wesley being the last and most incredulous, and 
he too was forced to admit that they were wholly abnormal. 

The noises were of various kinds, knockings, footsteps, and creaking or 
drumming noises, which moved about to various parts of the house while 
being followed, but no cause for which could ever be detected. Often there 
were tremendous bangings and clashings as if heavy lumps of coal were 
rolling down the stairs, or all the glass and china in a cupboard smashed to 
pieces, yet nothing could be found. Movements were also varied. Hand- 
mills were whirled round, windows rattled, door-latches moved up and down 
making a great clatter. On one occasion, when Mr. Wesley went to his 
study, of which he always kept the key, the door was pushed back against 
him as if by a person inside, but there was nobody. Then began a knocking 
in various parts of the room, and he was pushed against his desk as by an 
invisible person. Often the noises were so loud and varied that for the 
greater part of the night no one could sleep. The disturbances lasted with 
more or less violence for two months and then wholly ceased. Many of the 
sounds were of a nature that no one could imitate, and were often such that 
no person could produce without instant detection. The letters and journal 
were preserved and were published by Priestly in 1791, and by Dr. Adam 
Clarke in his Memoirs of the Wesley Family ; while John Wesley himself, 
in 1720, collected the evidence of all the witnesses and published his account 
in the Arminian Magazine. 

Here surely is another case in which the evidence of " something 
inexplicable " is both good in itself and demonstrative of inexplicability. 
It is widely known and easily accessible. Yet Mr. Podmore says : " I 
cannot find any evidence" to justify the supposition of "inexplicability." 

3. Coming to the present century we have first the case of the castle 
of Slawensik, in Silesia, in 1807. These disturbances were witnessed by 
Councillor Hahn and Cornet Kern, both young men of good education and in 
perfect health, and free from all superstitious ideas. For more than two 
months they witnessed almost daily and nightly the most extraordinary 
phenomena. Pieces of lime appeared to fall from the ceiling and flew about 
the room to such an extent that the whole floor and tables were often 
covered, yet the closest examination could not detect any sign of its having 
come from the ceiling. Noises were heard like hammering on boards or the 
sounds of distant artillery. But most extraordinary were the movements of 
almost every loose article in the room, such as knives, forks, brushes, 

Correspondence. 27 

lippers, soap, candlesticks. Sometimes these things would rise from the 
table before the eyes of both of them and then fall to the floor. Many 
other persons, officers, inspectors, tradesmen, and visitors saw the same 
things, and no witness of them could ever suggest a natural explanation. 
Halm soon became greatly interested in these strange occurrences, applied 
many tests and kept a careful record of them. And he especially notes, in 
reply to the objection of delusion, that whenever several persons were 
present, after each abnormal event he asked each person what he saw or 
heard, and in every case all witnessed the same thing ; while many of the 
phenomena happened while he was entirely alone. 

He gave his narrative of these events to Dr. Justinus Kerner, who has 
published it in his book on the Seeress of Prevorst (pp. 274-289 of Mrs. 
Crowe's translation), and a good abstract is given in Dale Owen's Footfalls. 
Here again we have absolutely inexplicable occurrences, and the evidence 
for them must certainly be classed as exceptionally good. 

4. We now come to the remarkable bell-ringing at Major Moor's house, 
Great Bealings, near Woodbridge, Suffolk, in 1834. It began on February 
2nd, and continued almost daily till March 27th. The most careful exam- 
ination and observation by the Major and his friends failed to discover any 
natural cause. All the bells rang either together or separately, except the 
front door bell, which would be the most easy to play tricks with. They 
rang just the same when all the servants were brought together by Major 
Moor ; and also in the presence of reporters and others. The violence of the 
peals and the rapidity of the moving bells could not be imitated. Major 
Moor wrote an account of the disturbance in a letter to the Ipswich Journal, 
and besides many inadequate or foolish attempts at explanation he received 
letters from all parts of the kingdom describing similar occurrences in various 
houses. A clergyman, who wrote from a rectory in Norfolk, described 
various loud and disturbing noises resembling those at Epworth, which had 
been heard by himself and family for nearly nine years, and which could be 
traced for sixty years back. Lieutenant Rivers had equally mysterious bell- 
ringing with those at Bealings in his rooms at Greenwich Hospital. Constant 
watching by himself, by friends, by the official surveyor and bell-hanger, 
failed to discover any cause whatever. This ringing lasted four days. 

In a little book called Bealings Bells Major Moor gives an account of 
his own case and those of the various other persons who had communicated 
with him ; and the whole constitutes a body of facts attested on the best 
possible evidenc'e, which is alone sufficient to demonstrate that l ' something 
inexplicable " of which Mr. Podmore declares he cannot find any good 
evidence at all ! * 

5. In 1838 a violent outbreak of stone throwing and other disturbances 
occurred at the farmhouse of Banchory, in Aberdeenshire. On the 5th 
of December and for five days after, great numbers of sticks, stones, and 
earth-clods flew about the yard and struck the house. Hundreds of persons 

* This book is in the library of the Society, and a good summary of the facts is 
given in Owen's Debatable Land, pp. 239-245. 

28 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [FEB., 1899. 

came from far and near to see the marvel and none could find any cause. 
Then for two weeks the disturbances occurred inside the house, where knives, 
plates, mustard pots, flat irons, and many other articles flew about the room 
or came down the chimney. Sometimes they flew from room to room ; and 
there were also tremendous knockings on the doors and roof, while sticks 
and stones flew against the windows and broke them. People for 20 miles 
round came to see the phenomena, including farmers, gentry and clergy- 
men, but could find no explanation. At length the two servant-girls were 
"strictly examined " and sent to prison, and as the disturbances then ceased 
the conclusion seemed to be that they must have done it all, although of the 
hundreds who had been present no one ever saw them do a single thing. 
The phenomena were closely like those at the castle of Slawensik, and 
suggest a common cause. The case is reported by Mackay in his Popular 
Delusions and is summarised in Owen's Footfalls, p. 183. 

6. The case of Mary Jobson of Sunderland, in 1839, is especially in- 
teresting because she was attended by Dr. Reid Clanny, F.R.S., who 
published an account of the extraordinary things witnessed by himself and 
also by three other medical men and other persons, sixteen in all. The 
phenomena consisted of violent knocking, footsteps, doors opened and shut, 
voices, music, water thrown on the floor, and beautiful designs appearing 
on the ceiling, all without any discoverable cause ; and all in presence of a 
sick girl of thirteen who had been long treated for a mysterious disease by 
bleeding, blistering, and purging which almost killed her. A short abstract 
of Dr. Clanny's publication is given by Howitt in his History of the Super- 
natural, Vol. II., p. 450. Dr. Clanny was ridiculed and persecuted, but 
always maintained his firm conviction of the reality of these inexplicable 

7. The disturbances in a burial-vault beneath a chapel in the public 
cemetery of Arensburg in the island of Oesel, in 1844, are noteworthy, 
because they were officially inquired into by a commission consisting of 
Baron de Goldenstubbe, the Bishop of the province, a physician, the Burgo- 
master of the town, and two members of the Consistory. The disturbances 
consisted in the coffins which had been placed side by side in the vault, 
being found, on the occasion of a funeral, to have been displaced so as to 
lie on each other in a confused heap. They were put back in their places 
and the doors securely locked, but when privately inspected shortly after- 
wards by the Baron who was president of the Consistory, they were found 
in the same disorder as before. After satisfying themselves that the 
foundations and floor of the vault were untouched, and that there was 110 
secret entrance, the Commission had the coffins replaced, and fine wood ashes 
were strewn over the pavement of the vault, the stairs, and the floor of the 
chapel. All the doors were locked and doubly sealed with official seals, and 
a guard of soldiers watched the building for three days and nights. Then 
the members of the Commission returned, found the seals intact, the ashes 
throughout the chapel, stairs, and vault, wholly undisturbed, and with no 
marks of footsteps ; yet all the coffins but three (as before) were scattered 
about in confusion, the lid of one had been forced open, and several others, 

FEU., 1899.] Correspondence. 29 

though very heavy, had been set up on end. An official report was drawn up 
stating these facts, and was signed by all the members of the Commission ; 
it is preserved with the archives of the Consistory, and may be seen by any 
respectable visitors. The disturbances are said to have continued for some 
months longer, when it was determined to cover the coffins thickly with 
earth so as completely to bury them, after which no further disturbances of 
any kind took place. The facts are stated by R. D. Owen in his Footfalls, 
p. 186, he having obtained them, in 1859, from the daughter and son of 
Baron Goldenstubbe", who were living near at the time and heard of all the 
occurrences when they happened. Here, again, we have the best evidence 
as to occurrences which were, and are, wholly inexplicable. 

8. Stone-throwing in Paris. This is remarkable as having been watched 
by the police for three weeks continuously without detecting the cause. A 
small house in a populous quarter, but isolated by the removal of other 
houses, was, as stated in the police report, assailed "every evening and 
through the whole night by a hail of projectiles which, from their bulk and 
the violence with which they have been thrown, have done such destruction 
that it has been laid open to the day, and the woodwork of the doors and 
windows reduced to shivers, as if it had sustained a siege, aided by a 
catapult or grape shot." The stones, etc., appeared to come from a great 
height in the air, and all the powers of the police, employed day and night 
on the spot, were never able to discover the cause. 

This case is referred to in Owen's Footfalls, but a fuller account is given 
by De Mirville in his work Des Esprits. I have given a full account, 
translated from La Gazette, des Tribunaux (the official organ of the French 
police), in my Miracles and Modern Spiritualism, p. 284, which was verified 
by a literary friend at the British Museum as an exact translation. A later 
notice declared that "the phenomena remain inexplicable," and De Mirville 
tells us that nearly a year afterwards he enquired of the police, of the 
Gazette, and of the owner of the house, who had suffered serious loss both in 
house and furniture, but nothing whatever had been discovered. (Des 
Esprits, Vol. I., p. 384.) Yet Mr. Podmore tells us that he can find no 
evidence of any such inexplicable occurrences ! 

9. The next, and in some respects the most remarkable case to be cited, 
is that of the disturbances in the house of the parish priest of Cideville,. 
Seine Inferieure, in 1851, which lasted two months and a-half, and was the 
subject of a law-suit for defamation of character, during which all the main 
facts were legally established and duly recorded. The story is a long and 
interesting one, and is given in full detail in Dale Owen's Footfalls, pp. 195- 
203, and, briefly, in my Miracles and Modern Spiritualism, p. 79. 

The phenomena were much the same as in the other more violent 
disturbances already described. Tremendous knockings, scratchings, and 
shakings of the house occurred, sometimes as if everyone in the house were 
simultaneously beating the floors with mallets ; fire-irons, hammers, tables, 
desks, and other articles moved about the rooms in the presence of many 
witnesses, without any apparent cause. The Marquis de Mirville, who- 
owned property in the neighbourhood, the Mayor of Cideville, and many of 

30 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [FEB., 1899. 

the gentlemen, ladies, and clergy of the country round, witnessed these 
phenomena and gave evidence before the court, which sat while the disturb- 
ances were still going on. A full summary of this case is given by De 
Mirville ; with the detailed judgment of the Court and the more important 
parts of the evidence (Des Esprits, Vol. I., Chap. XI.) and every reader of 
this narrative must agree with Dale Owen's concluding remark, "I doubt 
if it be possible to find a case more explicit or better authenticated than the 

In conclusion, I maintain strongly that the nine cases I have here briefly 
summarised rest upon emphatically good evidence, and are of such a nature 
as to be quite inexplicable on any supposition of delusion or imposture. And 
further, I maintain that they are quibe as worthy of attention and of equal 
weight, as if they had been observed and described by Mr. Podmore himself 
or by any of the most trusted members of the Society for Psychical Research ; 
while they rest on better evidence, and have every one of them greater 
importance whether on account of their duration, the nature of the 
phenomena observed, or the character and ability of the witnesses than even 
the best of the eleven cases by criticising which Mr. Podmore founds his 
general conclusion, that he can find no evidence whatever of any of these 
phenomena being genuine or even "inexplicable," and that the only 
"Poltergeists" are "naughty little girls." I therefore urge that his mode 
of treatment as regards this wide-spread and important class of psychical 
phenomena, is utterly inadequate and unscientific, and therefore unworthy 
of a place in the Proceeding of the Society. ALFRED R. WALLACE. 

NOTE. rBesides the above, every enquirer should examine the cases of 
"Stone-throwing" given by William Howitt in three articles in Vol. VI. of 
the Spiritual Magazine. Several of these are as marvellous and as well 
attested as those here given, especially that of another French parsonage in 
1835 (p. 51), and one in Ceylon in 1863 (p. 66). Numerous cases are also to 
be found in the later volumes of this magazine. 


I have read with interest Mr. Podmore's review of my Making of Religion, 
with the Religion left out. It is amusing, indeed, to find a psychical re- 
searcher dissatisfied with the methods of anthropology, whereof psychical 
research, to my mind, is only a branch. But true it is that in anthropology 
each inquirer is only too apt to "select whatever facts best suit his views." 
For that reason I produced many facts which my brethren (except Mr. 
Tylor, whose views are not mine) had overlooked. The field is so vast that 
our generation can best employ itself in routing out and examining facts (or 
statements), but many inquirers have been taking it for granted that every- 
thing is already found out, and pigeon-holed, and accounted for. My poor 
effort is to show that this is a wrong opinion. 

(1). Leaving Religion out, Mr. Podmore asks (p. 131) whether "the 
attitude " of a young lady lying bare-foot on a sofa was not perhaps a 
familiar one ? I asked at the time ; it was highly unfamiliar, and, for 

FEB., 1899.] Correspondence. 31 

reasons, unadvisable. Hence the maternal anxiety to know whether her 
daughter had been the bare-foot lady of the crystal vision. She had been 
this lady or, at all events, she had been in the attitude. I may add that I 
have other new cases of savage crystal gazing, and I think that psychical 
research can no more a fiord than other sciences to overlook savage anticipa- 
tions of such experiences. Mr. Frazer has shown, in his Pausauias, that for 
lack of anthropological lore the science of classical antiquities has often been 
left in ignorance or abandoned to wrong explanations. Indeed, I have 
shown as much myself. 

(2). P. 131. It is not on "aesthetic " grounds that I distrust Mrs. Piper. 
We want proof of the identity of her spirits. Now when the souls of English 
gentlefolks talk the argot of the American lower middle classes, they demon- 
strate that they are not what they are alleged to be. 

My Book of Dreams and Ghosts was, professedly, intended to entertain. 
But, far from preferring "smooth and finished narratives," I went, when 
I could, to contemporary MSS. (as of the Villiers story) in place of being 
content with " psychical bric-a-brac restored " in Wardour Street. So I went 
to the contemporary newspaper which Mr. Podrnore had neglected, for the 
Worksop poltergeist, as he very candidly admits. Mrs. Piper is too 
"incoherent " for me. and I regret that I destroyed my minute criticism of 
her revelations to Mr. Lodge. But I think I can return to the inquisition of 
this story. 

(3). I don't "champion a supernormal interpretation." (p. 133.) I 
champion the method of "filing for reference " certain cases, as against 
paying ourselves with a theory of collective hallucinations of odd uniformity 
and wide diffusion. I fear I don't understand Mr. Podmore's distinction 
between "things done," and "phenomena described," or, if, on reflection, 
I do understand it, the contemporary evidence, "in almost complete agree- 
ment " with what Mr. Podmore collected five weeks later, convinces me that 
the things described were done, somehow or other. Mr. Podmore admits that 
here his theory of later embellishment breaks down. In Mr. Bristow's 
case five years elapsed, but I conceive that an intelligent man can remember 
through five years a set of phenomena which struck him as most remark- 
able. If the phenomena had been normal, say a love affair of his own, 
a boat race, or a cricket match, and if he had been deeply interested in 
them, I should expect an intelligent witness's evidence, after five years, 
to be good. Much of our history rests, with fair security, on evidence 
separated by more than five years from the events. So I prefer, not to 
champion a supernormal theory, but to wait and do without a theory, 
especially a theory so thin as Mr. Podmore's " naughty little girl " (in 
some cases where no girl is heard of) or his theory of later embellish- 
ment (which broke down at Worksop) or his amazing theory of uniformly 
diffused collective hallucination as to the flight of objects. These may 
be as good as other theories, but why have a theory at all ? 

In the case of Home's levitation I misunderstood Mr. Podmore's meaning. 
He means that, not when Home came into room A, but when he was seen to 
float out of room B by three educated gentlemen, he merely pushed out his 

32 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [FEB., 1899. 

head and shoulders. They had previously, they say, " seen Home floating 
in the air outside " the window of room A. I do not know what happened, 
really, but T cannot possibly accept the head and shoulders hypothesis. 

As to Sir W. Crookes being unable to see a piece of asbestos cloth in 
Home's hand by the light of two candles and the fire, I may leave that to 
Sir W. Crookes. To be unharmed by fire is not "without parallel or 
analogy." A case, carefully investigated by two physicians in the open air, 
was published lately by them in a New Zealand paper. I understand that 
they will put forth an ampler account in the local Scientific Proceedings. 

Enfin, I have no theory of these things. But my reasoning faculties 
rise up against Mr. Podmore's theories, and, till a better occurs, I live 
contentedly without an explanatory hypothesis. Let me acknowledge the 
extreme courtesy of Mr. Podmore's comments on my rather testy observa- 

St. Andrews, January 18/i, 1899. A. LANG. 


L. 1111. Ae P* 

Although the following case is remote in date, the incident is one 
which could scarcely have been subsequently imagined, or even 
seriously confused by lapse of memory. 

Mr. Hyndman writes as follows, under date November, 1898 : 

On December 26th, 1872, my husband, Francis Hugh Hyndman, left 
Calcutta on a steamer, intending to return in about ten days. 

He left me quite well, but in the morning of the next day, when off the 
Sunderbunds, he had such a strong presentiment that I was seriously ill, 
that he arranged to return at once by a river steamer, although at great 
inconvenience. He reached home at about 5 p.m. on that day to find me 
very ill with Asiatic cholera. I felt very ill 011 the morning of the 27th, but 
kept up until noon, helping a friend to nurse her husband who was dying of 
the same complaint. 

About noon I left my friend's house, after her husband's death, to return 
home and go to bed, at about which time my husband must have been start- 
ing on his return journey. 

I was quite alone at the time with only native servants, one of whom I 
sent for the doctor, but I took the usual specific in rather a large quantity 
and went to sleep for about two hours. Soon after I awoke, my husband 
arrived. A few hours after, I became unconscious and have no distinct 
recollections for some time. 

T do not remember having distinctly wished for my husband's return, as 
I thought it was impossible. He knew nothing of my friend's illness, which 
was only known to me after his departure, and his first intimation of his 
death was meeting the funeral procession as he drove past the house. 

(Signed) J. E. HYNDMAN. 

Account sent by my mother. 

H. H. FRANCIS HYNDMAN (Trin. Coll., Camb.). 

No. CLVII.-VoL. IX. MARCH, 1899. 





General Meeting 33 

The Society for Psychical Research and Eusapia Paladino 35 

Correspondence : 

Mr. Michael Petrovo-Solovovo on the Evidence of Independent Slate-writing .. 36 

Clairvoyance and Poltergeists .. .. 37 

Balance Sheet for the Year 1898 46 

The Edmund Gurney Library Fund . . . . 47 

Case 47 

"Haunted Houses" . 48 


The 97th General Meeting of the S.P.R. was held in the West- 
minster Town Hall, at 4 p.m., on Friday, January 27th. The Lower 
Hall had been secured for the occasion. . Less luxuriously seated than 
the Upper Hall, in which all meetings have hitherto been held, it 
accommodates a somewhat larger number ; and Professor Richet's 
presence attracted a very full and attentive audience. Sir W. 
CROOKES, F.R.S., was in the chair, and introduced Professor Richet to 
the meeting as one of the leading scientific men in France, Professor 
of Physiology at the University of Paris, and one of the two lecturers 
selected by the Council of the British Association to deliver a lecture 
before the Association at their meeting at Dover in September next. 
"Although," continued Sir W. Crookes, "it only remotely bears on 
our present subject, I should like to make a quotation from Professor 
Richet's letter accepting this invitation. He says : ' If I thus gladly 
accept the invitation it is because I agree with you that the dissen- 
tions separating our two countries countries which ought to be 
animated by mutual respect and goodwill are absurd and even 
criminal. (Applause.) Thus, to the extent of my powers will I do 
my best to dissipate misunderstandings and allay ill-feelings/ 

" This letter was written some months ago when circumstances were 
different from what they now are. Still we all honour the feelings so 

34 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [MAR., 1899. 

cordially expressed, and we see in Professor Richet's visit to us 
to-day a renewed token of friendship. (Applause.) 

"But Professor Richet has other peculiar claims on our regard and 
attention. He is the pioneer of experimental psychical research in 
France, where public opinion is behind that of this country in its appre- 
ciation of the importance of the subject. Under the many discourage- 
ments incidental to the study of an unpopular subject he has worked 
on with infinite patience. He has gained success in experimenting 
with psychically endowed persons by his sympathy and kindness, and 
his researches in multiple personality, especially in the case of 
'Leonie,'are well known to all of us. In the much debated branch of 
enquiry included in the term * hypnotism at a distance ' he has achieved 
remarkable results. He however is specially known to us by his long 
and patient investigation of the abnormal powers ascribed to Eusapia 
Paladino. Here he has not been deterred by the undoubted instances 
of cheating which occasionally so gravely complicate genuine 
phenomena. Recognising that Eusapia an unlettered Neapolitan 
peasant was in mental development a mere child, and not so 
gravely guilty as better educated cheats, he persevered, being fortified 
by numerous instances of phenomena which cheating, as he considered, 
could not possibly explain. And since he remained throughout fully 
alive to the grave danger of palliating cheating and condoning trickery, 
I think that Professor Richet, whatever the actual facts may be, 
chose the truly scientific path in his persistent endeavour to observe 
and elucidate them." 

Professor Richet's Address dealt with the successive experiences 
which had brought him over from his original materialistic standpoint 
to a gradually expanding belief in the operation of forces as yet 
unknown to science. The greater part of this Address will, it is hoped, 
be prepared by Professor Richet to appear (in translated form) in 
Proceedings XXXV. Part of it which related to Eusapia Paladino 
will, together with other matter concerning Eusapia, be deferred at 
any rate until after further experiments which Professor Richet hopes 
to conduct in the course of the summer. For the same reason the 
remarks of Mr. F. W. H. Myers and Professor Lodge, who briefly 
followed Professor Richet, are not reproduced here. 

Professor Richet spoke in French and without notes, but with such 
clearness that he was (so far as could be judged) followed with easy 
comprehension by almost every member of the large audience. 
Departing from the usual habit at such meetings, Sir W. Crookes 
concluded by proposing a vote of thanks to the lecturer, which was 
accorded by acclamation. 

MAR., 1S!)9.] The S.P.R. and Eusapia Paladino. 35 


The following letter appeared in Light of February 18th : 

As some misunderstanding appears to exist with regard to the relation 
of the Society for Psychical Research as a body, or of some of its members 
individually, to Eusapia Paladino, I shall be glad if you will allow me to 
state briefly certain facts. 

In the first place, as has been again and again stated, the Society for 
Psychical Research absolutely disclaims any corporate opinion, beyond the 
opinion that the whole range of alleged supernormal phenomena deserves 
careful inquiry in a scientific spirit. The Society has from the first included 
its founders wished it to include persons of widely varying opinions ; 
and the selection of papers or articles, for reading or printing, has through- 
out been guided, not by the views which those papers expressed, but by the 
degree of scientific care and candour with which, ill the Council's opinion, 
the experiments narrated had been made or the inferences drawn. 

Individual responsibility has throughout been defined and guarded, and 
the Society is not implicated, as a whole, in any view which any of its 
members may take of a particular medium. 

Secondly, even among the more active members there has been no change 
of view, save a certain change in my own views, to which I will come presently. 
Professor Sidgwick and Dr. Hodgson are quite unaffected by my report of 
Eusapia's latest phenomena. They continue to regard her as a mere 
trickster, and to deprecate further experiment with a person who has 
systematically practised trickery for years. Professor Richet and Professor 
Lodge retain their view that she mingles genuine and spurious phenomena. 

As for myself, my readers may possibly remember that I witnessed 
phenomena on the ile Roubaud which I held to be genuine, and afterwards 
phenomena in my own house which (thanks, mainly, to Dr. Hodgson's 
acumen) I ascertained beyond doubt to be false ; and which Eusapia's 
" control " has since admitted to be false. I then felt, and I think reasonably, 
that in view of all this fraud, although still unable to disbelieve wholly in 
those earlier experiences, I could not ask other persons to take my recollection 
of the ile Roubaud seances as proving genuineness. Such an attitude, of course, 
was pro tanto depreciatory of Professor Richet and Professor Lodge, who 
continued to believe in the ile Roubaud phenomena. And when Professor 
Richet invited me to attend further seances last December, I felt that I 
could not refuse ; in spite of the grave objection which I felt, and feel, to 
taking any further notice of mediums proved dishonest. 

The new phenomena were far more striking than even those of the ile 
Roubaud ; I was convinced that they were genuine ; and obvious duty to my 
colleagues, upon whose acumen my previous withdrawal had to some extent 
reflected, urged me publicly to avow my revised conviction. There is no 
great change of view here, and this is all the change of view that has occurred 
With regard to the phenomena or performances of Eusapia Paladino. 

Leckhampton House, Cambridge. F - w - H - 

36 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [MAR., 1899. 


[The Editor is not responsible for opinions expressed by Correspondents.] 



The following letter has been received from Professor Shufeldt, of 
Washington, D.C. : 

In Volume IX. of the Journal of the S.P.R. (No. CLV., January, 1899,. 
pp. 11, 12), I find a communication that has considerable interest for me. 
It is a letter contributed by our distinguished member, Michael Petrovo- 
Solovovo, who reviews Mr. Podmore's Review of Mr. Lang's, "The Making 
of Religion." Mr. Petrovo-Solovovo is evidently a staunch believer in the 
alleged phenomenon of independent slate-writing and allied tricks, arid 
expresses some surprise at the "evidence" of Professor Elliott Coues of 
this country being " absolutely ignored " on this point in Mr. Podmore's 
review. Perhaps I can furnish the reason for your correspondent why SO' 
careful an observer and wide a reader as Mr. Podmore ignored a "gentle- 
man of such scientific eminence " as Dr. Coues in his review. The fact that 
a person's name is widely known is no criterion whatever of the soundness 
of his opinions or the depth of his learning. Dr. Coues believes that inde- 
pendent slate-writing is " a fact in nature," and Mr. Podmore has very good 
reasons for believing nothing of the kind, and, to use the word in its widest 
sense, he is too good a naturalist to believe anything of the kind. (See 
Religio-Philosophical Journal, February 27th, 1892.) It is an easy matter to 
become notorious in any field of research, and Dr. Coues most assuredly 
made himself so when he published in The NoMon of New York (December 
25th, 1884, p. 543), statements to the effect that his methods of examining 
"ghosts" were by smelling them, seeing them, hearing them, handling, 
them, weighing them upon hay or platform scales, and by examining the- 
parings of their toe-nails and finger-nails when the aforesaid "ghosts" left 
such detached portions of themselves behind them. Dr. Coues distinctly 
claims in The Nation that he has personally examined by means of the micro- 
scope not only such structures as the toe-nails of ghosts, but also specimens 
of their hair, when the ghosts have condescended to have it trimmed during; 
their visits to this mundane sphere. Now, if one of such "scientific 
eminence " as Dr. Coues makes such statements as these "in print," I fail 
to see what more we need in the premises, or what further proof Mr. 
Petrovo-Solovovo needs. Further, Dr. Coues"states in the aforesaid article 
that thousands of ghosts have been examined in this way, "annually, 
monthly, weekly, daily, and perhaps hourly, by thousands of persons of 
every grade of intelligence, etc. " ; but your correspondent should read the 
article of Dr. Coues in The Nation and be convinced, and he then may be 
able to better appreciate, perhaps, the reason why Mr. Podmore so- 
thoroughly ignored the "evidence" of such a contributor to our honest 
researches, notwithstanding the fact that he had attained scientific eminence.. 


MAR., 189!).] Correspondence. 37 


SIR, I will make shift as well as I can to meet the principal objections 
brought forward by Dr. Wallace against my views on Alexis Didier's 
clairvoyance and on Poltergeists. To deal with them at all adequately 
would occupy more space than your courtesy or the tolerance of your 
readers would allow ; and I trust Dr. Wallace will understand that in 
what follows I am constrained by considerations of space to pass by some 
points in his letter and to be briefer than I could have wished in dealing 
with others. 

Houdin's testimony is no doubt very striking. But we must dis- 
tinguish. Against the theory that Alexis' success was due to conjuring of 
the ordinary type, it must be admitted to be conclusive. But on the view 
advocated by me, that the clairvoyance of cards and sentences in closed 
books, etc., was probably due to preternormal acuteness of vision, con- 
ditioned by the trance, it is not so conclusive. No doubt Houdin, as a 
trained observer, would, if his attention had been specially directed to this 
possibility, have been better able than the ordinary person to pronounce 
judgment on it. But this acuteness of vision here supposed is a distinct 
thing from the rapid and comprehensive glance, the result of long training, 
which, as we know from Houdin himself, is part of the conjuror's equip- 
ment, and might very well pass for incredible even with an expert observer. 
Houdin contents himself with saying that Alexis' performances were beyond 
the resources of the art of conjuring. 

My disbelief in this kind of clairvoyance is founded mainly on a com- 
parison of the best reports I could find of the numerous cases in France 
^and England during the period from 1820-50 : e.g., the report of the Second 
French Commission on Animal Magnetism ; the reports on M lle - Pigeaire ; 
and especially the very careful and varied experiments of Chauncey Hare 
Townshend on his subject, also a French youth. It is clear, especially 
from Townshend's reports (Facts in Mesmerism), that the exercise of the 
faculty had some relation to normal vision : the interposition of a screen, 
<in extra bandage, an alteration in the position of the bandage, or in 
the angle at which the object was held, constantly caused the experiment 
to fail. 

When the observers were less careful than Townshend these variations of 
the experiments were not tried, or their results were not recorded. 

Most of the reporters on Alexis paid no attention to such small points ; 
and no doubt the conditions of the bandaging, etc., were prescribed by 
Marcillet. But I referred in my article to some reports from the outside 
journals of this time (1844), from which it was quite clear that Alexis was 
very particular about the position of the bandages ; and even in Dr. Lee's 
book I find one case in which Alexis refused to submit to the handkerchief 
being tied over the face (p. 272). 

I cannot find anything in Dr. Lee's reports that would lead me to alter 
my opinion. They are very condensed ; and Dr. Hodgson has abundantly 
shown that condensed reports in such matters are certain to omit seemingly 

38 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [MAR., 11-09. 

irrelevant details which give the key to the result. Three or four such 
omissions in Dr. Lee's reports I will briefly note : 

1. He nowhere mentions whether the table used for card-playing was 
covered with a cloth or whether the polished surface was bare. 

2. He never mentions the whereabouts, and only once or twice incidentally 
mentions the presence, of Marcillet at the experiments. Yet Marcillet, the 
hypnotiser, was presumably present throughout. 

3. P. 258, Seance III., after describing successful card-playing, he goes 
on : " Reading from a volume opened at random by the Rev. F. Robertson, 
twenty pages in advance." Two pages later, at the end of the account, he 
mentions incidentally that the first trial of reading, also proposed by the 
Rev. F. Robertson, had been a failure. 

4. Again, on the same page (258) is another serious omission. Lee 

writes: " Sir R G then gave a morocco case, which Alexis said 

contained , " and then proceeded to describe the contents. 

In an account of the same sitting by Mr. Parsons, of Brighton (Zoist, 
Vol. VII., pp. 92-3), the incident is thus described: "Sir R. Grant pre- 
sented a packet containing a portrait, which had been before presented by a 
sceptic, and Alexis could then make nothing of it. Marcillet then proposed 
that the packet should be put into the hands of any other gentleman who 
was not a sceptic, and that the contents should be exhibited to that other 
person in another room. Sir R. Grant volunteered, and this was done, and 
the packet secured as before. Alexis now succeeded in describing the 
picture with particularity." 

No doubt to Dr. Lee it would have seemed insufferably tedious and 
irrelevant to have stated in his account of each sitting where Marcillet 
stood, at what kind of a table Alexis played cards, what failures occurred in 
each experiment before success was achieved, and so on. I do not in the least 
question his good faith in the matter. But the little details which he omits, 
are just what I want to know ; and their omission, whilst it makes it 
difficult to frame a satisfactory theory as to how Alexis could achieve the 
wonders reported of him, renders it impossible for us to place any confidence 
in Dr. Lee's conclusion, that it was all due to a hypothetical faculty of 

I am sorry that I should have given Dr. Wallace the impression that I 
reject the evidence for clairvoyance at a distance, or, generally, for that 
form of clairvoyance which seems allied to and merges in thought reading. 
The evidence of Haddock, Gregory, Townshend, Barth, and many others at 
that period is very strong. The evidence for the exercise of the faculty, 
even in the case of Alexis, seems good, and might be better if we could 
eliminate Marcillet, and could get more reports at first hand, and in detail. 

I will now pass to the second part of Dr. Wallace's letter, which deals 
with Poltergeists. My argument is, briefly, the better the evidence, the 
less the marvel ; until when we succeed in obtaining, as we very rarely do 
obtain, the contemporary evidence at first hand of intelligent witnesses, we 
find nothing which the "naughty little girl" is not fully competent to 

MAR., 1890.] Correspondence. 39 

There would not be space to criticise in detail all the nine cases which 
Dr. Wallace brings forward. I will discuss briefly the first three ; taking 
these partly because they are the first three (that I may not appear to 
select cases specially favourable to my argument), partly because they are 
amongst the best known and most widely quoted narratives. 

1. The Drummer of Tedworth, as told by Glanvil. The disturbances 
began "about the middle of April," 1C61 (Glanvil only gives two exact 
dates in the whole narrative), and continued for about two years. Glanvil's 
account of it, as we learn from the preface to the fourth (posthumous) 
edition of Sadducismus Triumphatns, was first published in 1668. Glanvil 
himself paid one visit to the house, " about this time " the last date given, 
on the previous page, being January 10th, 1662. Glanvil's account of all 
he saw and heard is, in brief, as follows : On hearing from a maid-servant 
that "it was come," he, with Mr. Mompesson and another, went up to a 
bedroom ; " there were two modest little Girls in the Bed, between 7 and 8 
Years old, as I guest." Glanvil heard a scratching in the bed "as loud 
as one with long Nails could make upon a Bolster." This lasted for half-an- 
hour and more, and Glanvil could not discover the cause ; it was succeeded 
by a panting, like a dog, accompanied by movements in the bedding : also 
the windows shook ; also Glanvil saw a movement in a " Linnen Bag " that 
hung against another bed, but was not apparently sufficiently sure of the 
accuracy of his observation to mention this incident in the first (1668) 
edition. Further, Glanvil was aroused by an untimely knocking next morning ; 
and his horse fell ill on the way home, and died 2 or 3 days later. This is 
the only detailed account which we have at first hand ; it is written 5 or 
6 years after the events, and apparently not from full notes, as Glanvil is 
unable to give the exact dates. 

The rest of the account is founded on the oral relation of Mr. 
Mompesson, confirmed by other witnesses, "and partly from his own 
letters." There are also two letters of Mompesson's, dated respectively 
1672 and 1674. But he gives no detailed confirmation of Glanvil's account ; 
indeed, when the second letter was written he expressly says that he had 
lent Glanvil's book " for the use of the Lord Hollis," the previous year, 
and did not know what the account contained. But even if we assume that 
Glanvil had accurately put down 5 or 6 years later all that he had heard 
from Mompesson, it does not amount to much ; for it does not appear that 
Mompesson himself witnessed any of the more marvellous incidents the 
drops of blood, the chairs moving by themselves, " the great Body with two 
red and glaring Eyes," and all the rest of it. These things were witnessed 
by neighbours, by men-servants, or by an undistributed "they." So that 
Glanvil's account of them may be third-hand, or tenth-hand. 

3. The disturbances at the Castle of Slawensik. an account of which is 
preserved by Kerner in the Seeress of Prevorst. (I postpone for the moment 
Dr. Wallace's case No. 2, the Wesley Ghost.) The disturbances took 
place during two months in the winter of 1806-7, apparently from end of 
November to end of January. They are said to have been witnessed by 
many persons, whose names are given ; but we have only one account, 

40 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [MAR., 1899 

written by Councillor Hahn on November 19th, 1808, and by him given to 
Kerner in 1828. From the fact that no dates are given it may be inferred 
that Hahn did not keep notes ; at any rate, not accurate notes. I know 110 
reason for doubting Hahn's honesty ; but his studies of Kant and Fichte are 
no guarantee of his competence as a witness. In any case I submit that his 
unsupported testimony, given 18 months or more after the events, does 
not constitute "exceptionally good" evidence, even for things which he 
saw, or believed himself to see, with his own eyes. But many of the 
marvels are only given at second-hand. It was the dauntless Kern who saw 
in the glass the white figure of a woman looking at him ; Hahn stood before 
the glass for a quarter of an hour and saw only his own reflection. Again, 
it was Kern and Hahn's servant, during Hahn's absence at Breslau, who 
saw a jug of beer rise from the table, as if lifted by an invisible hand, and 
pour out a glass half full, and the glass then raise itself in the air and tilt its 
contents (which disappeared without leaving a trace) down an invisible 
throat. Kern had evidently spent his time to more purpose than in 
studying Kant and Fichte. 

2. But I find myself in entire agreement with Dr. Wallace in his 
estimate of the evidence in the Wesley case. It is perhaps the most 
fully authenticated case which we possess in the literature of the subject. 
The main disturbances lasted with intervals for the two months, December 
and January, 1716-17, with occasional outbreaks after that date. The 
records consist (1) of letters written to Samuel Wesley (John's elder 
brother) by his mother and his two sisters, Susannah and Emilia. These 
letters are dated January, February, and March, 1816-1817, that is, 
within a few weeks of the disturbances. (2) A copy of an account 
written by Samuel Wesley (John's father). The copy was made by Samuel 
Wesley, the son, in 1830, from a copy made by John Wesley in 1826. 
(3) Letters written by Mrs. Wesley and four of her daughters to John 
Wesley in the summer and autumn of 1726, more than nine years after the 
occurrences. The evidence comprised under (1), (2), and (3) was first 
published in 1791 by Priestley. A copy of the letters and diary in the 
handwriting of Samuel Wesley (John's brother), had been given to Priestley, 
as he explains, by the Rev. S. Badcock, who had himself received the MSS. 
from a granddaughter of Samuel Wesley.* (4) An. account compiled in 1826 
by John Wesley from the letters and from conversation with some of the 
other spectators, and published in the Arminian Magazine. 

It will be instructive if we deal with each of the sets of documents 

1. We will take first the contemporary letters, and in the first instance 
we will consider only the statements made by the actual eye- or rather ear- 
witnesses of the things described : (a) Mrs. Wesley writes on January 12th, 
1716-1717, that, baginning from an early date in December, she heard un- 
accountable knockings, mostly in the garret or the nursery : " One night 
it made such a noise in the room over our heads, as if several people were 

* Original Letters by the Rev. John Wesley and his Friends, etc., 1791. 

MAR., 1899.] Correspondence. 41 

walking; then run up and down stairs, and was so outrageous, that we 
thought the children would be frightened, so your father and I rose and 
went down in the dark to light a candle. Just as we came to the bottom 
of the broad stairs, having hold of each other, on my side there seemed 
as if somebody had emptied a bag of money at my feet, and on his as 
if all the bottles under the stairs (which were many) had been dashed in 
a thousand pieces. We passed through the hall into the kitchen, and got 
a candle and went to see the children. The next night your father would 
get Mr. Hoole to lie at our house, and we all sat together till one 
or two o'clock in the morning, and heard the knocking as usual. Some- 
'times it would make a noise like the winding up of a jack ; at other times, 
as that night Mr. Hoole was with us, like a carpenter plaining deals ; 
but most commonly it knocked thrice and stopped, and then thrice again, 
-ever so many hours together." That is practically all that Mrs. Wesley 
relates of her own personal experience. 

(6) There are two letters from Miss Susannah Wesley, dated January 
24th and March 27th. In the first she records her own experience as 
follows : 

" The first night I ever heard it, my sister Nancy and I were set in 
the dining-room. We heard something rustle on the outside of the doors 
that opened into the garden, then three loud knocks, immediately after 
other three, and in half-a-minute the same number over our heads. We 
enquired whether anybody had been in the garden, or in the room above 
us, but there was nobody. Soon after my sister Molly and I were up after all 
-the family were abed, except my sister Nancy, about some business. We 
heard three bouncing thumps under our feet, which soon made us throw 
away our work and tumble into bed. Afterwards the tingling of the latch 
And warming-pan, and so it took its leave that night. 

" Soon after the above mentioned we heard a noise as if a great piece of 
sounding metal was thrown down on the outside of our chamber. We, 
lying in the quietest part of the house, heard less than the rest for a pretty 
while, but the latter end of the night that Mr. Hoole sat up on, I lay in 
.the nursery, when it was very violent. I then heard frequent knocks over 
-and under the room where I lay, and at the children's bed head, which was 
made of boards. It seemed to rap against it very hard and loud, so that 
the bed shook under them. I heard something walk by my bedside, like a 
man in a long nightgown. The knocks were so loud that Mr. Hoole came 
out of their chamber to us. It still continued. My father spoke, 
but nothing answered. It ended that night with my father's particular 
knock, very fierce. It is now pretty quiet, only at our repeating the 
.prayers for our King and prince, when it usually begins, especially when my 
Father says : * Our most gracious Sovereign Lord, ' etc. This my Father is 
angry at, and designs to say three instead of two for the royal family. We 
.all heard the same noise, and at the same time, and as coming from the 
same place." 

(c) There is one letter from Miss Emily, undated, but obviously written 
at about this time. She describes various ncises, more particularly groans, 

42 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [MAR., 1899. 

the sound as of "a vast coal " being thrown down in the kitchen ; the sound 
as of a stone being thrown in among the bottles under the " best" stairs ; 
"something like a quick winding up of a jack at the corner of the room by 
my bed's head." Knocks on the floor and elsewhere, mostly three times 

These are all the experiences which the ladies relate at first hand. But 
Emily Wesley tells us that her sister Hetty heard coming down the garret- 
stairs behind her " something like a man, in a loose nightgown trailing after 
him : " that the knocks would answer Mrs. Wesley, if she stamped on the 
floor, and bid them do likewise ; that Mrs. Wesley had seen something 
under a bed "like a badger, only without any head that was discernible" ; 
and that Robin Brown, the man-servant, had seen the same creature twice, 
the last time in the appearance of a white rabbit. 

Miss Susannah adds, under date March 27th: "Last Sunday, to my 
father's no small amazement, his trencher danced upon the table a pretty 
while, without anybody's stirring the table." 

2. The account by old Mr. Wesley was obviously in great part written very 
shortly after the disturbances. It is not, however, dated ; and it is clearly 
not a day by day record, as in a diary, for he is occasionally uncertain of 
the exact dates, and the account is mostly written as a continuous narrative. 
Mr. Wesley was the last to hear the noises, though he had been told what 
other members of the family had heard. On December 21st, "I think," he 
was awakened by nine loud knocks, apparently in the room next to his bed- 
room. Two or three nights later Mr. and Mrs. Wesley were both aroused 
by the loud and continuous noises, and searched the house, with the 
result already described in her narrative. 

Thereafter he frequently heard the knocks ; they answered him when he 
rapped with his stick knock for knock ; they came on the children's bed- 
stead, in his own study, and in almost every room in the house ; they would 
make a great noise at family prayers at the names of King George and the 
Prince. He often spoke, but never received any articulate answer, "only once 
or twice two or three very feeble squeaks, a little louder than the chirping 
of a bird, but not like the noise of rats, which I have often heard." Often 
the latch of his bedroom would be lifted, when he was in bed. Finally, he 
records: " I have been thrice pushed by an invisible power, once against 
the corner of iny desk in the study, a second time against the door of the 
matted chamber, a third time against the right side of the frame of my 
study door, as I was going in." 

Of the experiences of others he tells us a good deal : that Mrs. Wesley 
had seen a thing " most like a badger" : that " one night when the noise was 
great in the kitchen, arid on a deal partition, and the door in the yard, the 
latch whereof was often lift up, my daughter Emilia went and held it fast on 
the inside, but it was then lifted up, and the door pushed violently against 
her, though nothing was to be seen on the outside": and that Robin Brown 
saw "something come out of the copper-hole like a rabbit, but less." 

3. To turn now to the letters written in 1726. Mrs. Wesley adds to 
the account which she had given nine years before, that on one occasion the 

MAR., 1899.] Correspondence. 

sounds answered her when she knocked ; that at another time, " Upon my 
looking under the bed, something ran out pretty much like a badger" ; and 
gives the following variant of the noises heard on the nocturnal journey 
round the house, undertaken by herself and Mr. Wesley : "Near the foot 
(of the stairs) a large pot of money seemed to be poured out at my waist, 
and to run jingling down my nightgown to my feet. Presently after, we 
heard the noise as of a vast stone thrown among several dozen of bottles 
which lay under the stairs, but upon our looking 110 hurt was done. In the 
hall the mastiff met us, crying and striving to get between us. 1 ' 

Thus, in the later version the one sound, diversely interpreted, has 
become two successive sounds, and various decorative details the jingling 
down the nightgown, ths search among the bottles, the fright of the mastift 
have been added. 

So Sister Emily, in the later account, adopts and enlarges upon the 
description already given in her father's account (bub wanting in her own 
earlier letter) of seeing the latch of the kitchen door move, and finding the 
door itself resist her efforts to shut it. So in Sister Susannah's later 
account, what had been described in her earlier letter as " the tingling of 
the latch and warming-pan," is now amplified into "the latch of the door 
then jarred, and seemed to be swiftly moved to and fro." 

Sister Molly and sister Nancy (who were not represented in the earlier 
correspondence) also gave accounts of their experiences to their brother 
Jack in 1726. From the latter's account, which is written in the third 
person, apparently as representing John Wesley's notes of a conversation 
with her, the following extract maybe quoted: "One night she (Nancy) 
was sitting on the press bed, playing at cards with four of my sisters, when 
my sisters Molly, Etty (Hetty ?), Patty and Kezzy were in the room, and 
Robin Brown. The bed on which my sister Nancy sat was lifted up with 
her 011 it. She leaped down and said, ' Surely old Jeffery would not run 
away with her.' However, they persuaded her to sit down again, which sh& 
had scarce done, when it was again lifted up several times successively, a 
considerable height." This incident is not mentioned by Molly, or indeed 
by any of the others. 

Lastly, we have an account given by Robin Brown, the servant, in 
1726, to John .Wesley, confirming the story of the white rabbit, already 
quoted, and adding this new incident : "Soon after, being grinding corn in 
the garrets, and happening to stop a little, the handle of the mill was turned 
round with greaf swiftness. He said nothing vexed him, but that the mill 
was empty. If corn had been in it, old Jeffery might have ground his heart 
out for him." 

John Wesley's own account, based apparently exclusively since he was 
not himself a witness of any of the phenomena on the correspondence and 
on conversations with his family and others in 1726, it is not necessary to 
consider at length. It introduces, however, one or two sensational details, 
such as his father's threatening with a pistol, which find no place in the 
earlier narratives. 

Now a record of this kind suggests two questions : first, what precisely 

44 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [MAR., 1899. 

are the things to be explained ? second, what may the explanation be ? 
Most, indeed, of the writers, who, from the days of Glanvil, have formed 
from a mass of similar narratives collections of supernatural seemings, have 
passed at once to the second question, and have found the search for a solu- 
tion so fascinating, that they have never returned to look for an answer to 
that indispensable preliminary enquiry. Without stopping to consider whether 
their method is more honoured or discredited by long usage, I propose to 
reverse it. What, then, are the things to be explained in the Wesley case ? 
To begin with, we are not called upon to explain what it was that made the 
Jiaiidle of the mill turn round, to the amazement and chagrin of Robin 
Brown. Our problem is a simpler, if also a less alluring one to find out, to 
wit, what made Robin Brown believe, nine years after, that he had seen the 
handle of the mill move. Again, we have got to ask, not what was the 
badger-like form which Mrs. Wesley saw ; but how it came about that Mrs. 
Wesley's husband and daughter, in 1717, and Mrs. Wesley herself in 1726, 
testified that she had seen such a form. Nor need the vagaries of Mr. 
Wesley's trencher, nor Robin Brown's spectre u somewhat like a white 
rabbit," nor the door which resisted the stoutest efforts of Emilia, perplex 
us. Our problem, in fact, as now simplified, is to search for a rational 
explanation of various noises, suggesting, indeed, an intelligent, but not 
obviously a supernormal origin, which disturbed the Wesley household for 
a, couple of months in 1716-7. 

Old Samuel Wesley had at the time seven daughters living, of whom two, 
Patty and Keziah, were children, and five were, apparently, sufficiently 
grown up to write letters. Of these five, two are represented in the earlier 
correspondence, four in the later. One only, Hetty (Mehetabel) has 
contributed 110 account at all. There is no obvious reason for this silence, 
for Hetty, as we learn from John Wesley's account, was nineteen at the 
time. She had, apparently, undertaken to write, but failed to carry out her 
promise:* and by the testimony of all those concerned, she seems to have 
enjoyed more of Jeffery's attention than any other member of the household. 
Consider, for instance, these extracts from the correspondence : 

Mrs. Wesley writes, January 25th and 27th, 1716-7 : " All the family, as 
well as Robin, were asleep when your father and I went downstairs (on the 
nocturnal exploration already described) nor did they wake in the nursery 
when we held the candle close by them, only we observed that Hetty 
trembled exceedingly in her sleep, as she always did before the noise 
awaked her. It commonly was nearer her than the rest." Or consider, 
again, this extract from Miss Emily's letter (1717): "No sooner was I 
got upstairs, and undressing for bed, but I heard a noise among many 
bottles that stand under the best stairs, just like the throwing of a great 
stone among them, which had broken them all to pieces. This made me 
hasten to bed ; but my sister Hetty, who sits always to wait on my father 
going to bed, was still sitting on the lowest step of the garret stairs." 

And again : "It never followed me as it did my sister Hetty. I have 

* See Miss Susannah's letter of March 27th, 1717. 

MAR., 18D9.] Correspondence. 45 

been with her when it has knocked under her, and when she has removed 
has followed, and still kept just under her feet." 

Again, in Mrs. Wesley's later account, after describing loud noises whicli 
they heard in their bedroom, she writes: "Mr. Wesley leapt up, called 
Hetty, who alone was up, and searched every room in the house. " 

In sister Susannah's later account : "Presently began knocking about a 
yard within the room on the floor. It then came gradually to sister Hetty's, 
bed, who trembled strongly in her sleep. It beat very loud, three strokes 
at a time, on the bed's head. '' 

And, once more, in John Wesley's version of Mr. Hoole's experience : 
" When we (i.e., Mr. Wesley and Mr. Hoole) came into the nursery it was 
knocking in the next room ; when we were there it was knocking in the 
nursery, and there it continued to knock, though we came in, particularly 
at the head of the bed (which was of wood), in which Miss Hetty and 
two of her younger sisters lay." 

After the perusal of these extracts, Miss Hetty's inexplicable reticence 
seems more than ever to be deplored. And in view of this reticence, and' 
of Miss Hetty's singular habit of trembling in a sound sleep when loud 
noises were going on all round her, and of the notable predilection shown 
by the Poltergeists for her person, it hardly seems worth while to enquire 
whether the noises which perplexed the Wesley family did indeed proceed 
from a supernormal source. 

In brief, my contention is that the only reason for the inexplicable 
element to which Dr. Wallace refers in these narratives, is the defect of the- 
evidence. When we have only secondhand accounts, or narratives written 
down months or years after the event as in Glanvil's and Hahn's accounts 
we find an abundance of marvellous incidents ; when, as in the Wesley 
case, we have almost contemporary accounts at first-hand from sober-minded 
witnesses, the element of the marvellous is reduced to a minimum. But the- 
peculiarly instructive feature of the Wesley letters is that we can see how 
the witnesses, whilst they narrate of their own personal experience only 
comparatively tame and uninteresting episodes, allow their imaginations to- 
embellish somewhat the experiences of other members of the household ; 
and that these same embellishments, nine years later, are incorporated in 
the first-hand accounts, as genuine items of personal experience. 

I have left little space to answer Mr. Lang's letter. But, indeed, there 
are not many points, I trust, in which we differ. I gladly accept the 
correction of my surmise (1) as to a case given by Miss Angus ; and (2) I do 
not value the evidence of Miss Angus less, because I value that of Mrs. 
Piper more. Nor do I think that the strength of the Piper evidence for 
clairvoyance or some other supernormal faculty at all depends on the proof 
of the identity of her "spirits." (3) As to the Home evidence, I am not 
satisfied with any theory that I have yet seen ; but I still think it more 
likely that the explanation of the phenomena attested will ultimately prove 
to be a psychological one ; a novel form of hallucination, rather than a. 
manifestation of a new physical force. 


46 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [MAR., 1899. 











i 1 CO O O f 

r-J CIO O O 

0<NOCO(M O JO O f O O f to <M TJH CO 
O C^l **< iO Tf 1 iH f O C^l f 

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111 1 ' 

Ss * 

of S 

00 O O 

33 ^ 

(M 1O Of 



* e 

if . 

P< o> 

MAR., 1899.] 



I have examined the Books of Account of the Society, and having com- 
pared them with the above Statement, certify them to be in accordance 
herewith. The Treasurer's certificate as to the cheques in his hands and 
uncollected, together with the Balance at the Bank, as shown by the pass- 
book, agrees with the above Statement. 

I have seen vouchers for payments and the Certificate of the East Indian 
Railway Irredeemable Stock, representing the Invested Funds of the Society. 

ARTHUR MIALL, F.C.A., Auditor. 
23, St. S with in's Lane, E.G., 

January 25th, 1899. 


Account for 1898. 


Balance from 1897 

Interest oil Consols 

Interest on Mid. Uruguay 


Interest on Buenos Aires 

Water and Drainage . . . 

-s. d 
18 10 


5 10 

11 ]3 9 


For Books 

For Binding 

Balance carried forward . . 

s. d. 
1 7 11 

11 13 9 

Audited and found correct, and securities produced this day, 
February 3rd, 1899. H. ARTHUR SMITH. 


L. 01. 1112. 

The following incident, sent by Lieut. G. N. Chase, Associate of 
the American Branch, resembles, as he justly remarks, the case 
numbered L. 01. 1110 in the January Journal. 

Santa Barbara, Cal., January 28th, 1899. 

In the spring of 1892, while living in Posadena, Cal. , I was doing some 
work in my garden planting corn when I noticed that my class ring was 
being unnecessarily worn by friction upon the handle of the tool I was 
using, and I removed it and placed it in my right trousers pocket. An hour 
or two later, having finished the work, I put my hand in my pocket to 
replace the ring upon my finger, and discovered that it was gone. There 
was no hole in the pocket by which it could have been lost. I had, after 
placing the ring in my pocket, passed about the lot which had just been 
ploughed, inspecting some orange trees for scale. After a fruitless search 

48 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [MAR., 1899. 

where I had been working, I followed my trail as I had wandered about the 
ploughed ground, looking for it with no better success. I remembered dis- 
tinctly, I thought, that I had been nowhere else. I was at that time an 
invalid, and exceedingly nervous, and the loss of the ring disturbed me. I 
was greatly worried, and returned to the spot where I had been working, 
and raked and sifted the ground over till the light began to fail at sunset, 
and, exercised far beyond my strength, I then went into the house and 
threw myself down upon a lounge completely exhausted. My wife (since 
deceased) spoke to me, saying that she felt that I would find it again. I had 
lain there perhaps ten minutes when I got up, with no defined intention of 
doing anything, went outside, where it was almost dark, went directly 
underneath an orange tree that I had no recollection whatever of having 
visited, and which was not in the part of the lot that had been ploughed, 
but which stood in a lawn of very thick Bermuda grass, fully six inches 
high. I knelt underneath the tree and, parting the thick matted grass, at 
once and without searching, placed my hand on the ring. 

Once, two years before, my wife lost, as she supposed, her bracelets. 
She and I looked for them at odd times for months afterward. She was 
positive that she had not lost them out of doors, and remembered that an 
acquaintance had called shortly before she missed them. Failing to find 
them after so much patient and thorough searching, she gave them up as 
lost and I as stolen. One day as I lay resting on the bed in our room, I 
thought of the lost bracelets, and, getting up, I went to a small bracket on 
the wall, covered with a lambrequin, and, reaching up in the corner under- 
neath and out of sight, I took the bracelets from a nail, and where she now 
remembered she had hung them when we went driving together, leaving the 
house alone, fearing burglarious tramps. 

In this case it is possible, of course, that I saw her put them there, and 
had forgotten the fact, and the finding of them had no supernormal sig- 
nificance, but, taken in connection with the finding of the ring and the fact 
that I have had several minor instances of the sort, I report it. 

G. N. CHASE, Lieut. U.S. Army (Retired), 
Associate Mem. Am. Br. 


A report has been in rather extensive circulation that two literary 
men bave, within the last few months, left their houses in St. John's 
Wood, London, on account of "disturbances" which they were unable 
to explain. If any reader of the Journal can give any information as 
to a real basis for such a report it would be gratefully received by the 
Editor. Particulars of any reports of alleged " hauntings " which 
present a fair case for enquiry would be gladly received at the Rooms 
of the Society, 19, Buckingham Street, Adelphi, London, W.C. 

No. CL VIII. VOL. IX. APRIL, 1899. 





New Members and Associates 49- 

Meeting of the Council 50 

General Meeting 51 

Correspondence : 

Human Magnetism 51 

Clairvoyance and Poltergeists 56 

Mr. Petrovo-Solovovo and the Evidence for Independent Slate- writing .. .. 57 

Cases 58 

Exposure of a Trick Code 61 


Names of Members are printed in Black Type. 
Names of Associates are printed in SMALL CAPITALS. 

CAMPBELL-LANG, Miss, 3, Oxford and Cambridge Mansions, London, W. 

Crackanthorpe, Montague, Q.C., 65, Rutland-gate, London, S.W. 

DAWSON, LIEUT.-COL. HENRY P., Hartlington, Burnsall, Skipton. 

FARMER, W. M., 18, Bina-gardens, London, S.W. 

FOTHERINGHAM, W. B., 19, St. John's-road, Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex. 

GHOSH, RAI KALI PRASANNA, Dacca, Bengal, India. 

JONES, E. LLOYD, M.D., Corpus Buildings, Cambridge. 

LYELL, DAVID, Ard-choille, The Ware Road, Hoddesdon, Herts. 

Monteith, Mrs. James, The Worthys, Kings worthy, Winchester. 

Payne, Ernest, M.A., A.I.E.E., Hatchlands, Cuckfield, Sussex. 

RITCHIE, Miss M., 165, Clapham-road, London, S.W. 

ROTCH, C. B., Trinity Hall, Cambridge. 

STANGE, Miss F. M., 12, Holland-park, London, W. 


BARRETT, HARRISON D., Box 3, Neeclham, Mass. 

BLAKESLEY, THEODORE S., 286, Marshneld-avenue, Chicago, 111. 

CHATWIN, JAMES, 926, Fairmount-avenue, Phila., Pa. 

50 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [APKIL, 1899. 

COE, Miss M. A. , 55, Brook-street, Brookline, Mass. 
CRANE, A. J., 218, Walnut-street, Montclair, N.J. 
DAVIDSON, H. A., 189, Montague-street, Brooklyn, N.Y. 
HEYSINGER, DR. ISAAC W., 1521, Poplar-street, Phila., Pa. 
LAY, DR. WILFRID, 251, W. 109 Street, New York, N.Y. 
LOUNSBERY, MRS. RICHARD P., 12 East 35 bh Street, New York, N.Y. 
LUKENS, DR. ANNA, 1068, Lexington-avenue, New York, N.Y. 
LUNGER, JOHN B., New York Life Insurance Co., New York, N.Y. 
McKESSON, J. E., Lebanon, Mo. 

MEANS, Miss EVELYN B., care of Miss Gano, Asheville, N.C. 
MEYER, J., 10, Chestnut-street, Philadelphia, Pa. 
ROCKWELL, A. E. P., 80, East Concord-street, Boston, Mass. 
SCHUBMEHL, FRANK E., M.D., 87, Brighton-avenue, Allston, Mass. 
STEWART, JOSEPH, P. O. Department, Washington, D.C. 


A meeting of the Council was held on March 10th at the Rooms 
of the Society. Mr. H. Arthur Smith was voted to the chair. There 
were also present, Mr. F. W. H. Myers, Mr. F. Podrnore, Dr. G. F. 
Rogers, Sir A. K. Stephenson, and Dr. A. Wallace. 

The minutes of the last meeting were read and signed as correct. 

The Hon. Everard Feilding and Mr. J. G. Smith were co-opted as 
Members of the Council for the current year. 

Three new Members and ten new Associates, whose names and 
.addresses are given above, were elected. The election of seventeen 
new Associates of the American Branch was also recorded. 

Mr. Montague Crackanthorpe, Q.C., was proposed for co optation 
on the Council at its next meeting. 

The Council recorded with regret the death of Mr. Thomas C. Hine, 
an Associate of the Society. 

Some presents to the Library were acknowledged with thanks to 
the donors. 

The House and Finance Committee presented a report accompanied 
by an estimate of Income and Expenditure for the current year. It 
was resolved that the recommendations of the Committee be, as far as 
possible, carried out. 

In addition to the General Meeting already arranged for April 
28th, at 4 p.m., it was agreed that one be held in June. Friday the 
23rd has subsequently been fixed as the date. The chair will be taken 
at 8.30 p.m. 

APRIL, 1899.] Correspondence. 51 

Other matters of business having been attended to it was agreed 
that the next meeting of the Council should be held on April 28th, 
at the Westminster Town Hall, at 3 p.m., previous to the General 
Meeting at 4 p.m. on that day. 



The 98th General Meeting of the S.P.R. was held in the Council 
hamber, at the Westminster Town Hall, at 8.30 p.m., on Friday, 
March 10th. The chair was taken by Dr. Geo. F. Rogers, and there 
was a large attendance, every seat being occupied. Miss Mary H. 
Kingsley read her Paper, as announced, on " The Forms of Appari- 
tions in West Africa." It is unnecessary to give a summary of the 
Paper here, as it is intended to embody it in an article in the forth- 
coming part of the Proceedings. An interesting discussion followed, 
including some illustrations of the apparently supernormal transmission 
of information by African natives, across great distances of country. 
Mr. F. W. H. Myers remarked that Miss Kingsley had benevolently 
made it perfectly clear that the apparitions of which she spoke were 
not intended to be regarded as evidential. The " one large eye " 
staring in at your window-hole all night was rather too good to be 
true. It had, however, been sometimes suggested that the S.P.R. 
ought to show more curiosity on subjects lying just over its proper 
border, as in the domain of folk-lore. Such curiosity had that night 
had a rich repast in the stories told by Miss Kingsley with a 
picturesqueness and intimacy of experience which few travellers could 


[The Editor rs not responsible for opinions expressed by Correspondents.] 


In a recent address Mr. Podmore stated that no effect was produced on 
the human organism by the most powerful magnetisers. The radiant 
effluences seen by sensitives had absolutely no foundation in physics. The 
minds of the sensitives simply reflected faithfully the ideas of their 
magnetisers. In other words he infers that the mental suggestion of the 
operator is the real and sole cause of the phenomena in question, perceived 
by the sensitives. 

This is, of course, the view maintained by most leaders in the classic 
schools of hypnotism ; consequently it has the advantage of carrying the 
authority of orthodoxy. Yet we know that such standards are not final and are 
subject to modifications. For instance we see some of the recognised leaders 

52 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [APRIL, 1899. 

of these schools affirming the exaggeration of this doctrine ; that there is no 
hypnotism, there is only suggestion ;* while another equally eminent 
authority describes this position as " artless " (simplisme)t and another again 
replies that the production of the passive state is a necessary condition in 
the mechanism of suggestion. | It is preferably to unbiassed experimentation 
that we must turn for enlightenment, rather than to authority, while 
carefully excluding the subconscious trend of preconceptions from our 

In this direction I beg to submit, in reply to Mr. Podmore's first statement, 
that Dr. Luys showed me instantaneous photographs, illustrating the compara- 
tive effects produced by the respective poles of a magnet on three hypnotised 
subjects. The magnet was a large straight bar, purposely prepared in such a 
manner as to render the poles indistinguishable from each other in appear- 
ance in order to obviate suggestion. The one pole induced an expression of 
contentment and satisfaction on the countenances ; the other induced 
expressions of horror and dismay. 

He also showed me magnets used in the treatment of neuropathic 
affections, made in a form to fit on to the heads of the patients. The use 
of these magnets had, however, been abandoned, because it was found that 
they absorbed some emanation from the patients treated and transferred the 
affection to the patient on whose head the magnet was subsequently placed. 
This was, of course, in opposition with the desire of the Doctor who had 
discovered this mode of treatment, and consequently could not have been the 
effect of suggestion. 

A description is given in the Revue de V Hypnotisme of September last 
(p. 89) showing that magnets are now used in the Hotel Dieu of Paris, to 
stimulate sensibility. These were probably introduced by Dr. Dumont- 
pallier, who discovered the transference of sensibility in the course of his 
investigations into metallo-therapeutics, made in conjunction with Charcot 
and Luys. || 

With regard to the second statement advanced ; that the perception by 
hypnotised subjects of. radiant effluence is due to suggestion. Dr. Luys had 
the good fortune to find among his subjects one who could draw and paint 
while in the secondary state. He ordered this subject to paint the people 
presented to him, as he saw them. It was found that the colours thus 
presented were not always the same, they varied in their distribution with 
different people ; the dominant colours remaining similar, but other colours 
being introduced in minor quantities. This variation was found to be 
accentuated in neuropathic patients. Dr. Luys consequently introduced 
hysterical and paralytic patients, inebriates, and lunatics, for observation 
without informing his subject. He ultimately found a correlation appeared 

* Professor Bernheim, Revue de Psychologic, January, 1898. Doctor Hartenberg, 
Light, p. 291, 1898. 

t Dr. Durand de Gros, Revue de Psychologic, May, 1898. 

Dr. Liebeault, Revue de V Hypnotisme, May, 1898. 

See Light, p. 247, 1897. II See Light, p. 451, 1897. 

APRIL, 1899.] Correspondence. 53 

between certain psychic disturbances and the distribution of colours as 
described by his sensitive.* This was purely an experimental investigation 
on the part of Dr. Luys, in which suggestion must consequently be 
eliminated, as the Doctor did not know what effect on colour distribution to 
expect from various neuropathic diseases. 

Again in the experiments described by M. de Rochas in the first chapter 
of his Exteriorisation de la Sensibilite : V objectivite des effluves percus .soc.s 
forme, de lumiere dans V etat hypnotique, special care was taken to eliminate 
the possibility of involuntary mental suggestion. This question receives 
prominent consideration, the operators being experts in suggestion. 

The experiments were made with an electro-magnet, with the commutator 
so arranged that the current could be switched on and off, or in converse 
directions by the assistant, without the operator or subject seeing the action. 
The assistant, in turning the switch, took care not to see himself how he 
placed it, while neither M. de Rochas nor the subject could see it. The 
subject was then told to describe what he saw, and his statement was noted 
down. A small compass was then approached to the coil, to verify whether 
a current was passing or not, and note was taken of the direction. These 
data were afterwards compared with the description made by the sensitive. 

In these carefully controlled conditions, when the colours were described 
as reversed, the current was found to have been switched in the reverse 
direction. Their cessation was found to coincide with its interruption. But 
its sudden, rapid reversal was found to entail a mixed i.e., violet colour at 
both poles of the magnet for a few seconds, when distinct red and blue 
appeared at the respective poles. 

Interruption was also effected by detaching one of the wires unknown to 
the subject, who at once declared that he ceased to see anything. For the 
same purpose, the zincs were lifted out of the cells, but the subject declaring 
that he still saw the colours, it was found on investigation with a compass 
that a current was actually passing. This was due to a few drops of acid 
adhering to the base of the elements and entailing contact. More enduring 
effects were found to follow the substitution of a steel core to the magnet, 
instead of a soft iron one. The change was at once notified by the subject. 

A description of a similar experiment made by Dr. Sajous and confirming 
the effects noticed by Dr. Luys is appended. 

On p. 32 of above work, an instance is given of an experiment purposely 
made to mislead the subject by suggestion, which, while it succeeded in part, 
did not inhibit the perception of the real effluence. 

No student who has studied hypnotic suggestion will deny that a subject 
can be made by suggestion to see a radiance issuing from the ends of a 
modern dummy magnet. That is indeed a simple presentation as compared 
with the complex phenomena which may be so evoked in the subject's mind. 
But neither can dispassionate observers refuse to recognise the phenomena 
above described. And such experiments could easily be repeated by 
unbiassed operators. Yet such is the force of mental suggestion that an 

* See Light, p. 247, 1897. 

54 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [APRIL, 1899. 

operator, determined to nullify such experiments, could do so ; just as a 
strongly positive and hostile investigator can spoil the manifestations 
through an entranced medium. 

The physical foundation of this radiation is dealt with in the same work. 
The discoveries of Dr. Edward Branby* with regard to the analogies sub- 
sisting between the functioning of an intermittant electric radio conductor in 
wireless telegraphy and man's neuric circulation, have an important bearing 
on this question, as constituting the first steps in a new direction of research, 
the development of which may establish further analogies between man's 
psychic radiation and the "field" of an electro-magnet, and thus present a 
"foundation in physics" not yet recognised. 

With regard to the pretension that ' ' the whole of animal magnetism is 
founded on misconception," I would point out that this attitude can scarcely 
be maintained after studying the demonstrations of Professor Boirac (head 
of the Grenoble University). This experimentalist showed in the Revue de 
Psychologie^ of May 1st, that suggestion and mesmerism are two distinct 
independent agents, which may replace and counterfeit each other or 
supplement and combine together. "We may have suggestion without 
mesmerism, or mesmerism without suggestion ; a pseuclo- mesmerism may 
occur which really is only suggestion, and a pseudo- suggestion which really 
is only mesmerism ; while a suggestive mesmerism or mesmeric suggestion 
may also be effected, in which the two are indivisibly combined." 

The simultaneously combined effects of suggestion and of magnetism acting 
independently in the same subject were illustrated, followed by demonstra- 
tions of the effects of magnetic action in opposition with and inhibiting the 
effect of suggestion. 

Illustrations were given in Light, p. 297, 1897, of demonstrations by the 
same operator of the transmission of this energy along a copper wire from a 
distance, inducing local anaesthesia in a blindfolded subject, apart from 

I myself, acting under Professor Boirac's instruction, have reproduced 
some of his experiments. Holding my hand pointed at the knee of a blind- 
folded subject, at a few inches distance, local anaesthesia was produced after 
a few minutes. I did not know whether I would succeed, as I had seen other 
experimenters fail. The subject was in his normal state, consequently not 

Professor Boirac then took hold of the hand of one of the experimenters 
who had failed to induce the phenomenon and told him to try again, 
followed by successful results, showing that the influence was transmitted 
from the Professor through the experimenter to the subject. Other experi- 
ments of this relay transmission were also made. 

The demonstrations of the exteriorisation of sensibility, described by M. 
de Rochas in the work already referred to ; by Dr. Luys in his Annales de 
Psychiatrie et Hypnologie, 1892; by Professor Boirac as above referred to|; by 

* Revue de V Hypnotism^ Light, p. 400, 1898. 
t See Light, p. 426, 1898. J See Light, p. 296, 1897. 

APRIL, 1899.] Correspondence. 55 

Dr. P. Joire, of the Psychological Institute, of Lille,* bring new considerations 
to bear on the reality of an effluence, which have not yet been examined by the 
"classic authorities " who are always slow to admit discoveries which come 
in conflict with recognised standards. The determinations of movements in 
subjects by magnetic attraction apart from suggestion illustrated by Professor 
Boirac and by Dr. Moutint constitute new evidence which impartial judg- 
ment cannot ignore. 

It is impossible to repeat the descriptions of these experiments in detail 
here. They may be read in the articles referred to. One striking fact I 
will quote bearing on the reality of an effluence and the possibility of its 
being stored in a condenser. 

Professor Boirac accumulated his magnetic radiation in a bottle of water 
standing in his dining-room. He then sent his manservant, who was also a 
subject, from another room in his normal state, to bring him a glass of water 
from the decanter in the dining-room. The contact with the magnetism 
stored in the water bottle threw the subject into the secondary state. Dr. 
Luys repeated this experiment successfully. 

As Professor Boirac says in his preface to Gasc-Desfosse's book: k< JPure 
telepathy apart from a substantial medium would be a miracle ; a fact with- 
out relation to the rest of the universe. Rather does it appear to consist in 
a force that radiates from the human brain and carries with it, not indeed 
man's thought and will, but an effluence that transmits and reproduces a 
message at the end of the line." 

A striking instance of the reality of magnetic radiation and of the validity 
of the supernormal faculties (apart from suggestion) developed by magnetic 
passes (effluence) is given by an English M.D. 

The Doctor had as patient a retired Major, previously in service in India. 
Conversation having turned on these questions, the Major requested the 
Doctor to take hold of his hand. Immediately on contact being established 
the Doctor felt a strong vibration passing through his arm, producing a 
sensation similar to that entailed by an electric current. The Major then 
told the Doctor that he had always possessed this influence, which gave him 
a strong command over his men. He had, however, ceased using it since the 
following experiences, which had really frightened him. He had one day, 
acting with her consent, mesmerised his sister-in-law. As an experiment he 
placed in her hands an unopened letter, just arrived from India, of the 
contents of which he was consequently ignorant, and commanded her to read 
it. She held it unopened in her hands and communicated the contents to 
the Major. On opening the letter subsequently her reading was found to be 

' * See Light, p. 135, 1898. 

t Le Diagnostic de la Suygestibilite, and in Light p. 339, 1897. 

%&&* Light, p. 178, .1898. 

The above is ar perfectly correct account of what took place at the interview 
between the Major arid myself, and also accurately describes the incident of the letter 
told me by the Major. M.D. 

56 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [APRIL, 1899. 

It is to be regretted that no opportunity for the study of experimental 
psychology exists in England. The analysis of descriptions of other men's 
work or of certified phenomena, is but a barren method of study as compared 
with observation of actual experimentation. As Professor Boirac says : "It 
is rather by direct experimentation in the effects which may be exerted at a 
distance by one human being on another, that we shall come to understand 
the phenomenon of telepathy and not by an endless collecting of cases of 
spontaneous telepathy such as is effected by the Psychical Research Society." 

If a psychological laboratory existed here, the experiments of Dr. Luys, 
Professor Boirac, Dr. Joire, M. de Rochas, Dr. Moutin, could 110 doubt be 
repeated by English operators. England might then also present some 
original contributions to experimental psychology. 


Dr. Sajous relates the following : He was attending the reception of 
out-patients at a hospital in Paris, and observed among the patients a young 
woman, whom he ascertained to be unknown to the other doctors present. 
So far as they knew, she had not previously presented herself at that 
hospital. He then took her to the physical laboratory ; and having 
hypnotised her, presented to her the poles of an electro-magnet, which was 
actuated by a battery, the plates of which could be lifted out of the cells by 
means of a framework, so that the patient could not discover either by sight or 
hearing when the current was flowing. He was surprised at the attraction 
which the pole, that she described as showing red light, exercised upon her ; 
she struggled to be allowed to bathe her hands in it. The other pole, on the 
contrary, which showed to her blue light, just as strongly repelled her and 
caused her to shrink away from it. One or two of the other doctors assisted 
him in this experiment. The current was from time to time interrupted ; 
and the patient observed the cessation of the luminous phenomena and 
their re-appearance. 

This story was told to me in June, 1893, Dr. Sajous then lived at 
28, Rue de Madrid, Paris. A MEMBER OF S>RR 


SIR, To follow Mr. Podmore in his reply to a portion of my contentions 
is needless, as I am content to leave the question to the judgment of any 
earnest enquirer who will read the evidence at length in the works I have 
referred to. A great deal of his minute criticism tending to discredit the 
witnesses seems to me to be of exactly the same character as the well-known 
Historic Doubts concerning Napoleon Buonaparte of Archbishop Whateley, 
or the still cleverer jeux d 'esprit on the first Chinese war, which I have not 
seen since I was a youth, and a reference to which I shall be glad if any of 
your readers can give me. 

I will make one or two brief observations only, on Mr. Podruore's 
"historic doubts." He says that Councillor Hahn's evidence is not " ex- 
ceptionally good, " because written 18 months after the events. But what 

1899.] Correspondence. 57 

events ! Things going on for two months, almost daily and hourly, of the 
most marvellous and antecedently incredible character, witnessed by his 
friend and by many other persons none of whom could even suggest >,/ 
explanation of them. His detailed account shows to my mind that he 
did keep full notes at the time, but even if he did not, the facts were 
such as were never to be forgotten. And his giving this account to Dr. 
Kerner for publication in after life, when he was a person of some official 
standing, is a guarantee of his earnestness that we should not overlook. 

I also protest against what seems to me an interpretation of part of Mrs. 
Wesley's evidence that is wholly unjustified by the facts. She narrates how, 
going down the stairs with her husband, two sounds were heard, "on my 
side " like a bag of money emptied, "and on his " as if a quantity of bottles 
were smashed. Mr. Podmore says this means that there was only one sound 
differently interpreted by the two people ! And because in another account 
she says that these sounds were nob simultaneous, that therefore she is not 
to be believed, and, generally, that nothing at all occurred but what could 
have been, and therefore in all probability wets produced by one of the 
daughters, Hetty, who did not give her own account of what happened in 
addition to the accounts of the eight other members of the family ! 

This is quite in the style of " historic doubts," and as such I leave it to 
your readers. 



St. Petersburg, March 1/13 [1899]. 

DEAR SIR, In reply to Professor Shufeldt's letter on independent 
slate-writing in the March Journal, may I be permitted to point out that 
when speaking of Dr. Elliott Coues's experiments, I was careful to lay 
special stress on the fact that they were corroborated by a gentleman, Mr. 
William Emmette Coleman, who has gained a wide notoriety as an exposer 
of mediumistic .frauds ? There is no mention whatever of this circumstance 
in Professor Shufeldt's letter, which I confess I am unable to understand. 
Mr. Coleman's testimony to the genuineness of Mrs. Francis's psychography 
is the more valuable, because in the case of another well-known medium, 
viz., Fred Evans, he has repeatedly asserted the fraudulent character of the 
same slate-writing performances. 

Readers of Solovyoff's A Modern Priestess of Isis in Dr. W. Leaf's 
translation will remember that a contribution by Mr. Coleman " On the 
Sources of Mme. Blavatsky's Writings," was deemed by the translator (and 
so, presumably by the S.P.R. Council) of sufficient importance to be inserted 
in that book. 

I suppose I am therefore still entitled to ask, why should his evidence 
be ignored in the present case 1 

As for the quotations Professor Shufeldt makes from some of Dr. Coues's 
earlier writings I am not concerned with them. Of course, there can be but 

58 Journal of Society for Psyckic<d Research. [APRIL, 1899. 

one opinion about them ! My (supposed) belief in "tricks" has nothing to 
do with the question whether independent slate- writing (which I have never 
seen) exists or not, nor with the cases I have adduced. However, I am 
ready to admit that, both from the study of the literature of the subject and 
from personal experience, I have been driven to the conclusion that amidst 
a great deal of fraud and delusion there do exist some physical phenomena 
inexplicable by known laws of nature, and connected with persons who for 
want of a better term are called mediums, but I fail to see how this purely 
personal circumstance can be of general interest. 

At any rate this belief has never blinded me to possibilities of fraud, and 
I confess there still remains a good deal of scepticism in my mind. Hoping 
that this little controversy may perhaps induce Mr. Coleman himself to make 
a statement on the subject of Mrs. Francis's slate-writing, I am, dear Sir, 
very truly yours, MICHAEL PETROVO-SOLOVOVO. 

P.S. Returning to Professor Shufeldt's assertion that from my point of 
view I ought to regard Dr. Coues's statements about the smelling and weigh- 
ing of ghosts, etc., as proofs, I will content myself with replying : (1) That I 
have never pretended that we need attach any value to such uncorroborated 
and unproved assertions, be he who makes them scientifically eminent or not ; 
(2) That the aforesaid assertions have nothing in common with the detailed 
accounts of the experiments with Mrs. Francis, to which Mr. Coleman has 
borne witness ; and (3) That Dr. Coues's statements as to his having 
examined the toe-nails and finger-nails of "ghosts" and portion of their 
hair only show that he must have been grossly deceived by professional 
materialising mediums in common with many other people not necessarily 
insane or dishonest. As for the fact of his having said or printed such 
things that is surely deplorable ! M.P-S. 


S. 15. 

The following case was communicated by M. Petrovo-Solovovo. It 
was published in the Rebus in 1892 : 

I am at present in my 61st year. The inexplicable phenomenon, which I 
witnessed, took place 45 years ago in October, 1846. My father, a controller 
of the Tver Court of Exchequer, lived in the merchant Nazaroff's house at 
the corner of Semionovskaia-street, in Tver. This house was built of stone, 
and had two floors, the upper part being occupied by the Nazaroff' family, 
whilst my father and family lived in the lower ; there were no other 

inhabitants in the house Our family consisted of my father, 

mother, two sisters of my father, one of whom was a widow, and the other 
an old maid, and myself, a boy 15 years old, who was then in the 5th class 
of the Tver Gymnasium. In the Nazaroffs' service were a cook, a maid, 
and a coachman, who had also charge of the court-yard (dvornik) ; and we 
had a cook and a maid, who were both our serfs. As the Nazaroff family 
led a very modest and patriarchal life, we had the habit, as soon as my father 

APRIL, 1899.] Cases. 59 

had left the house, after 6 p.m., to attend to his official duties, of having the 
gate (leading into the yard) locked and the key given to the dvornik ; his 
room was connected with the gate by a wire and bell, and he used to open 
the gate when the bell had been rung 

My father was in the habit of purchasing every year, in January and 
February, firewood for the whole year, part of which, with our landlord's 
permission, was placed under the porte cochere and close to the wall of the 
granary. There must have been some three or four snjenes* of them. These 
logs were rather large, probably weighing not less than 7 pounds each. 

I shall now describe the phenomenon itself ; it is very vividly impressed en 
my memory, though nearly half a century old. In the first half of October, 
I think, my father had as usual gone at 7 p.m. to the Court of Exchequer, 
to attend to his official duties, where he stayed as late as 11 and sometimes 
12 o'clock ; my mother and aunts sat down to work, and I began to prepare 
my lessons for next day. About 10 p.m. our maid Martha entered the bed- 
room where my aunts were sitting and said : " What is taking place in our 
yard? Someone is stealing the wood, I have heard several logs falling." I 
was rather an audacious boy, and felt tired of sitting and working, so I 
availed myself of this opportunity and began to ask Martha to bring in a 
candle, as the night was dark, and it was still darker under the porte 
cochere ; my mother and aunts also followed us. When in the yard, I heard 
a log falling down from the pile, and, about two minutes later, another one. 
I tried to come nearer with a candle, but my mother laid hold of me and 
would not let me go. Someone was sent to wake up Nicholas, the dvontik; 
he came in, lit a lantern and even began to make the sign of the cross when 
he heard the noise made by the logs falling. I have forgotten to add that 
the yard at the Nazaroffs' was paved with stone. . . . The dvornik 
asserted that he had locked the gate immediately after my father had gone 
out and showed the key ; the back-door, leading into the garden, also proved 
to be locked ; consequently a man would have been unable to enter the yard. 
The Nazaroffs heard us talking in the yard and came out also, so that we 
were twelve in number ; three candles and a lantern were brought in and 
threw sufficient- light both over the logs of wood and all the space under 
the porte cochere, and this is what we all saw : out of the middle of the pile 
(not from the top of it, but out of the middle) a log would fly forth and fall 
down on the floor three arschin off. All the persons present were greatly 
frightened and pressed close to each other. I proved to be the most 
courageous of all and persuaded the doornik to come with me nearer the logs 
of wood ; he carrying a lantern and myself a candle. I thought that 
perhaps a cat had got in between the wall and the logs, and tried to put my 
hand [there], but could not do it, as the logs were quite close to the wall. 
Meanwhile the logs would fly out with short intervals. This bombardment 
with logs lasted for about 40 minutes, 27 in all being thrown out ; and 
another remarkable thing was that the empty space, which remained after a 
log had flown out was not filled up with other logs and that we noticed no 

* 1 sajenc=7 feet 

60 Journal of Society for Psychical Research, [APRIL, 1899. 

movement due to the upper logs coming down, and yet in the morning the 
pile proved to be quite compact and without any holes. The dvoniik picked 
up the logs which had been thrown out and placed them close to another 
wall. The logs had not flown out of one place only but out of several ; but 
always from the middle of the pile, not from the top of it or from the sides. 
In the morning, when going to my gymnasium I met the dvornik and asked 
him to try and pull a log out of the middle of the pile. Nicholas, a robust 
man of about 30, in spite of all his efforts was unable to pull out of the 
middle of the pile a single log. Of course, all my relatives, as well as the 
proprietors of the house, put down the whole thing to the domovoi (house- 
spirit) and his tricks. 

None of the other witnesses of this phenomenon are alive at present ; 
even a person younger than myself Nathalie, a daughter of the widow of 
Nazaroff s son died in the seventies. 

I would have absolutely no reason to invent such a story ; and it seems 
to me that I can be trusted, seeing that I am 60 years old and have served 
three Emperors in the Ministry of Public Instruction for 40 years. 


Late Inspector of the Tver District School, 
belonging to the nobility of Tver. 

P. 260. 

"From Khartoum to the Source of the Nile." Dr. E. W. Felkin. 

Dr. Felkin assures us that the following case is by no means unique 
in his experience : 

I came across many medicine men and wizards ; some of them claim to 
transform themselves into lions, jackals, hyenas, etc., at night, and in this 
guise to travel immense distances in a remarkably short time. They are 
also said to have the power of divination, to restore lost cattle, tell fortunes, 
and perform other miraculous feats. In the morning, they are supposed to 
return to their natural shape, and can give information concerning what has 
happened at any distance. 

Now, though I can offer no explanation whatever as to the methods of 
these wizards, I had ample opportunity of verifying, in a very startling way, 
the powers of one of their number, whose portrait I give you. In the first 
place, the wizard generally partakes of some root known only to himself, 
which induces a very heavy sleep. No one is allowed to touch him whilst in 
this condition, but when he wakes next morning he professes to be able to 
tell you all about the future. The experience I am about to relate with one 
of these people happened at Lado, on iny return from Uganda, in company 
with Emin Pasha. 

I had not received any letters from Europe for a year, and was, of course, 
very anxious to get some. I knew quite well that a good many must be 
waiting for me somewhere, but it was hardly likely that they would come to 
hand for some time, because the Nile was blocked by the floating islands of 

1899.] Exposure of a Trick Code. 61 

grass. One morning, however, a man came into our tent, in a state of great 
excitement. The local m'logo, or wizard, he said, had been roaming the 
country the night before in the form of a jackal. He had, the messenger 
went on, visited a place called Meschera-er-Rek (which was some 550 miles 
distant from Lado, our camping-place), and had seen two steamers, one of 
them with mails for our party. Also, the steamers were commanded by a 
white pasha, who was minutely described. Now, in the ordinary course of 
nature the man could not possibly have covered so vast a stretch of country 
in one night nor even in twenty nights. I ridiculed the whole thing as 
absolutely absurd. We were having our coffee at the time, and Emin 
seemed inclined to give credence to the story, for he suddenly rose up and 
said he would have the man brought before him. In due time the wizard 
(whose portrait here is reproduced) was marched into our tent, and Emin at 
once addressed him in Arabic, saying, " Where did you go to last night ? " 

" I was at Meschera-er-Rek," he replied in the same tongue. 

" What were you doing there ? " 

"I went to see some friends." 

' ' What did you see ? " 

" I saw two steamers arriving from Khartoum." 

" Oh ! this is nonsense. You could not possibly have been at Meschera- 
er-Rek last night." 

"I was there," came the tacit rejoinder, "and with the steamers was an 
Englishman a short man with a big beard." 

" Well, what was he doing what was his mission ?" 

"He says that the great Pasha at Khartoum has sent him, and he has. 
got some papers for you. He is starting overland to-morrow to come to 
you, bringing the papers with him, and he will be here about thirty days- 
from now." 

As a matter of fact, concluded Dr. Felkin, the m'logo's statement proved 
absolutely correct. In thirty-two days an Englishman did arrive in our 
camp, bringing letters for us from Khartoum. More than this, we knew 
from the wizard's description that Lupton Bey, and none other, was the man 
who was coming. We were disappointed at the news that Lupton brought, 
because, although he had removed twenty-six miles of grass obstruction^ 
there was still too much of it for us to think of returning to Khartoum by- 
steamer. As to the wizard, I am quite satisfied in my mind that he had 
never in his life been very far outside his own village. The guess-work 
theory is quite out of the question, the circumstances being quite extra- 
ordinary and the overland journey most unusual. 


The following letter from the Mayor of Crewe to Professor Lodge 
(which the writer kindly allows us to print here) is of interest as 
describing the ingenious detection of an ingenious trick. The nam& 
of the tricksters has been changed. 

62 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [APRIL, 1899. 

Winter-ley House, near Crewe, March 14tfi, 1899. 

DEAR PROFESSOR LODGE, I derive some little consolation to-day from 
the proverb " It's only fools who never change their minds." I wrote you 
on the 10th that I believed the thought transmission phenomena of the 
Brothers Jones to be genuine. I write to-day to say that I am quite con- 
vinced they are produced by trickery. 

I know you would have been greatly interested if I could have reported 
genuine phenomena, but I believe you will in some degree be interested to 
hear how such can be imitated by clever tricksters. 

The modus operandi of the Brothers Jones in public is as follows. One 
brother (A) is blindfolded, while the other (B) goes round among the audience. 
I hand to B, for example, a book containing the rules of the Crewe Izaak 
Walton Angling Club, whose headquarters are the Albert Hotel, Crewe. A 
rapid conversation, something like this, follows : 

B. " What am I looking at now ? " 

A. "A book." 

B. "What colour is it?" 

A. "Blue." 

B. " What does it relate to ? " 

A. "To a club." 

B. " Where does the club meet ? " 
A. "At the Albert Hotel." 

And so on, all over the circus with 30 or 40 different articles, coins, watches, 
books, hats, sticks, pipes, etc. The answers are occasionally a little vague 
but are unfailing in accuracy. You may suspect a verbal code, though you 
wonder how a code can give " book," " blue," " club," and " Albert Hotel." 
Your suspicions are however soon allayed. B announces that A, while 
blindfolded, will write on a blackboard the time by a watch, or the number 
of a note or cheque, " without word or action." You hand your watch to B, 
having taken the precaution to alter it a few hours so as to eliminate guesses 
from the experiment. B stands like a statue at one side of the arena, and 
watch in hand, gazes with knitted brow at A, who slowly writes the exact 
time indicated by the watch (say 3.48) on the blackboard. If you have 
.suspected a verbal code, here is proof that you are wrong. B stands by you, 
10 yards at least from A, and you are quite certain B neither speaks nor 
moves. Thus I became a believer. 

This was what I saw at the circus. I invited the gentlemen to Dr. 
Wilson's, and there they volunteered and gave the show which I have 
described in a previous letter. They did not give the blackboard test. 

I was, of course, aware that I had made no test, but I was sufficiently 
satisfied of the genuine value of the phenomena to ask you to make a test or 
to be present when I made one. Jones Brothers agreed to a test and led 
me to believe they would accept my conditions. 

Last evening I made the test at my rooms. There were present with the 
circus proprietor, four of my friends (two doctors, a lawyer, and a parson), 
and a newspaper reporter (who arrived late) to take shorthand notes. 

APRIL, 1899.] 



I placed A behind a large screen, produced a medal struck to commemorate 
the marriage of the Duke of York, gave it to B and suggested that A should 
describe it without word from B. To this they both objected. A could best 
give his description in answer to questions, they said. I then offered that I 
would put to A any question which B would write down, but this was 
objected to. B must speak. Here the test was at an end before it was 
begun. I decided, however, to let them go on in their own way, and see if 
I could learn their methods, which I now suspected were "tricky." 

Their usual performance was then gone through. Articles were given 
to B, and A who sat behind the screen described them, in answer to B's 
questions, with his usual accuracy and rapidity. 

Then one of my guests suggested that A should give the number of a 
cheque without spoken word, as at the circus, and A agreed. During the 
conversation A had come from behind the screen, and when I suggested that 
he should return there for the purposes of the experiment, he said he would 
sooner be blindfolded. I politely pressed my suggestion but he was 
obdurate. (Suspicion No. 1). I blindfolded him, but on the pretence that 
the handkerchief was not tight enough he took it off and tied it again 
himself. (Suspicion No. 2). A and B now sat on chairs about 8ft. apart 
and facing each other. My guests stood behind B, and one of them handed 
him a cheque. As no word was to be spoken, I knew that I had only to 
prevent communications to the eye, so at this moment I stepped into the 
direct line between A and B. The following sketch roughly indicates op- 
positions, P is myself, R reporter, G guests. 


The first number of the cheque was given incorrectly. The second 
number was given correctly. I turned round (I was facing B) and found A 
was leaning his head on his hand at one side of the chair so that he could 
(subject to the "blindfold") see past me. I moved into the new line of 
sight. Again a number was given incorrectly. Now, as in. a tremendous 
mental effort, A threw himself on the floor, his head being actually under the 
corner of the table. A number was correctly given. The communication, 
judged by the only possible line of sight, was evidently near the ground. 
I accordingly cast my eyes down and lo ! the secret was revealed. B was 
signalling with his right great toe for all he was worth. It is quite easy. 

64 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [APRIL, 1899. 

Place the foot firmly on the ground, and, leaving the ball of the foot 
there endeavour to slightly elevate your great toe. The result is a slight 
movement of the boot which sharp eyes can detect even at 20 yards. But 
you say "A was blindfolded." So he was from the line of vision of the 
spectators, but not from the line of B's foot. The following rough diagram 
will show what I mean. 

O "Eye of guest (standing) 

OQ Eye of A (sitting) 

B'afoot....... Floor 

I have since tried and find it quite easy to put a handkerchief round the 
eyes so as to appear blindfolded, but so as to leave a considerable portion of 
the floor visible. To-day I have given on the above lines in conjunction 
with my friend Dr. Wilson a "thought reading seance" which much 
mystified a limited private audience. 

The Jones Brothers' trick of "thought-reading without word or action" 
was thus easily explained, but you may ask me what about the first part of 
the programme. My conclusions as to this are : (1) It absolutely depended 
for success on the speech of B; (2) B's quastions were very varied both in 
words and tone ; (3) A code is the only probable explanation, and (4) This 
code is remarkably clever and must have taken years of study and practice to 

As an illustration of how it may be worked I give one example. A legal 
document signed by William Perriii was given to B. A question soon 
elicited that the Christian name of the signatory was William. " What is 
the other name of the gentleman that this pe?"tains to," asked B. A second 
question which I don't remember was then asked, and the answer came at 
once "Perrin." Had my shorthand writer arrived earlier I might have 
been able to give some more definite clues. The questions for example, 

" Say can you tell me what country this comes from ? " 

" What country is the bank in ? " 

" In what country does he live ? " 

may well give by the first letter of the first word "Scotland," "Wales," 
and "Ireland." I am, very sincerely yours, 


No. CLIX.-VoL. IX. MAY, 1899. 





An Automatic Message Conveying Information Previously Unknown 65 

An Australian Witch 69 

Correspondence : 

Alleged Emanation from Magnets 71 

Mr. Podmore and his Critics 72 

Cases 73 




In the following pages I have endeavoured to present all the 
evidence obtainable concerning an instance of an automatic message, 
which appears at first sight to be due to some other cause than 
" unconscious cerebration." 

The amount of information unknown contained in the following 
message is certainly very slight, but still the unexpectedness of the 
fact that it was in the sea and not in a river that the soldier was 
drowned may be considered entitled to some weight. The most 
interesting feature of the case, however, appears to me to have been 
the circumstance that the mediums did not see the letters of the 
alphabet. This is stated by both of them as well as by the third 
person present at the sitting; and if we take into account the fact 
that the value of the case in question entirely depends upon the bona 
fides of M me and M lle Starck we surely ought not to be illogical 
enough to set aside their testimony on this special feature of the 
incident whilst accepting it in toto. 

Now, a message obtained under such conditions would involve at 
the very least telepathy in a strangely continuous form from M. Starck ; 
and makes it increasingly possible that the "veridical" part of the com- 
munication may have sprung from a supernormal source too ; whilst 
otherwise we might have put it down with more plausibility either to 
unconscious reasoning or to chance coincidence. 

66 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [MAY, 1890. 

Most of the "Skrytnikoff case" as presented here appeared in No. 
48 of the Bebus, (a Russian Spiritistic paper, the editor of which is 
well-known to me) in 1898, except what I have marked as "documents 
V., VI., and VII." 

In conclusion I must state my opinion that automatic writings of a 
"veridical" character are more frequent than is generally supposed. I 
have come across some quite lately of which that given below is but an 
instance; and I have no reason to think my position from the point of 
view of the amount and quality of accessible information on the subject 
is more favourable than that of any other person reasonably interested 
in psychical matters and possessing a rather wide circle of acquaint- 
ances. Unfortunately the amount of readiness in the recipients of 
such messages to write accounts of what has happened to them even 
at the urgent request of friends appears to be in inverse proportion to 
the supposed frequency in general of the facts themselves. ... It 
is with these preliminary remarks that I now present my modest case. 


Extract from a letter by Lieut. -Col. Starch to Baron N. Rausch von 
Traubenberg ; Rebus No. 48, 1898, p. 417. 

On January 22nd, 1898 I made Z and J * sit down at a table. 

I wrote down the alphabet, placed upon it a saucer with a pointer and 
their hands upon it and the writing began. Though a firm believer, 
from what I had read, in mediumistic phenomena, I was still amazed. 
I bandaged their eyes with the same result ; the letters are pointed out 
exactly and correctly ; the mental contents are present. No trance. All 
the writers are in a perfectly normal state. They are keeping their hands 
on the saucer with eyes blindfolded ; I read arid write down. I put down 
questions aloud or in writing, and get answers which I do not expect and 
the contents of which do not correspond to either Z's or J's mental level. 
I am looking upon it as a mystification by whom, I do not know ; then 
suddenly we get: "I have the honour to present myself, Your High 
Nobility, t Skrytnikoff." This appeared so unexpectedly and had such a 
meaning that I had to get up from [sheer] emotion and to suspend the 
sitting for about five minutes Skrytnikoff was a soldier who had served in 
my regiment here, in Caucasia, and was drowned in Pzezuappe river in 
June or July of last year when i was no more on active service ; I had 
learnt about this event by accident and had only once spoken about it in the 
autumn. We sit down at the saucer again and get : "I was drowned in the 
sea, far away." I feel perplexed. From what had been communicated to 
me at the time of the occurrence I thought he had been drowned in the river. 
Then I get : " Doubovik (the local chief of district, i.e. pristav). Go to him." 
In the morning I go to Doubovik, and without saying what the matter was, 

* M. Starck's daughter and wife. t A Russian military formula. 

MAY, is*)!).] An Automatic Message. 67 

I ask whether he knows anything about Skrytnikoff who was drowned and 
receive, as I expected, a negative answer, because in such cases inquests, etc., 
are held by the military authorities themselves. During our conversation 
in the office the secretary interferes and says : '* No, I think there is some- 
thing about Skrytnikoff in the papers.'' A search is made in the papers and 
a proces verbal found by the bailiff or desiatnik of Lazarevskoe village, of no 
special importance but in which the sentence occurred : " The horse swam 
out, but he [Skrytnikoff] was carried into the sea." Now this is very 
natural : the river, which is generally shallow, but swift and deep during 
high water, must have carried him into the sea." 


Extract from Lieut-Col. Starch's letter to M. Aksakof, dated Sept. 5 [17], 
1898. Sotchi [Black Sea province Tchernomorskaya Youbernia] ; Rebus, No. 48 
1898, p. 417. 

SIR, My relative, Baron N. A. Rausch von Traubenberg, has informed 
me of your wish to print the contents of my letter to him concerning the 
soldier Skrytnikoff who was drowned, and has asked me to send you my 
consent. This I do at present with of course my whole signature ; and 
beg you should it be of interest to append to my letter : (1) An attestation 
by Doubovik, the then chief of the Sotchi district ; (2) a copy of the proces 
verbal and (3) the original leaf of paper with the notes of the sitting . . . 
In the original [account] of the sitting the signature [S's] is unfinished 
because I got up from the table in great excitement ; I was struck by the 
unexpectedness and the reality of the message, though I had read almost 
everything on the subject and felt quite sure of the possibility of such 
phenomena. The following words were obtained after I had sat down at 
the table again ; my wife and daughter having not left the table at all. I 
only told them there was something convincing in the message. Then I was 
extremely astonished by the information as to his having been drowned in 
the sea, whilst I was quite sure this had occurred in the river, as the only 
information 1 had accidentally had on the subject from a former colleague 
of mine was to the effect that Skrytnikoff was drowned in Pzezuappe river, 
his chiefs being convinced of it till now. I knew no details whatever about 
. . . Skrytnikoff, and only the idea as to his having been drowned in a 
river could have originated in my head and among my household and this 
only as a transitory long since forgotten impression ; it was once mentioned 
in the autumn, and I am not even quite sure of it. 

The proces verbal gave me but little that was ne\v, but the words " he was 
carried away by the water into the sea," gave my thoughts an impulse [in the 
direction] that it had actually been so, i.e., that he was drowned in the sea : 
there is not more than half a verst from the spot where the river is crossed 
to the sea, it being a mountain stream and in high water. Of course he was 
quickly carried into the sea ; his weapon (a sabre, I think) being found cast 
ashore on the sea coast, not far from the river. A year before I had been 
his chief and am sure he felt kindly towards me as the other soldiers did. 

The present message was, I think, obtained at the 3rd seance. The 

68 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [MAY, 1899. 

conditions were as follows : the alphabet written, not in order, on a leaf of 
paper, and a saucer with a pointer upon it ; my wife and daughter, with 
eyes blindfolded, kept their hands upon the saucer and I wrote down the 

[M. Starck further states that his daughter is now 16 and in good health.] 

[Signed] N. STARCK. 
DOCUMENT III., Rebus ibid. 

[Copy (annexed to M. Starck's letter) of proces verbal drawn up by 
Mouhortoff, a police official, which states that in the night of September 7th, 
(19) Peter Skrytnikoff, a soldier of the Vardony military post, when crossing 
Pzezuappe river, was carried away by the water together with the horse, 
which, however, escaped and was taken charge of by soldiers of the 
Lazarevskoe post; as for S., "he was carried away by the water into the 
sea," and his body never found, though carefully searched for.] 

DOCUMENT IV., Rebus ibid. 

[A statement by M. Doubovik confirmatory of M. Starck's account of his 
visit to him the day after the sitting : proces verbal of Skrytnikoff's death 
found, etc.] 


Extract from Baron N. Rausch von Traubenberg 1 s letter to me, dated 
December 3/15, 1898, St. Petersburg. 

I have been acquainted with M. Starck since 1877, and know him to be 
a most truthful, intelligent and serious man ; he knows how to observe 
nature in general and its manifestations in life in particular. ... [I 
have] no doubt whatever as to the reality of the incident itself. . . . 

Letter from M. Starck to me [M. P. S.] dated January 12/24, 1899, Sutchi. 

Sir, In compliance with your request as expressed in the letter to my 
relative, Baron Traubenberg, I hasten to inform you (1) That my wife and 
daughter knew Skrytnikoff, i.e., had seen him and knew his name, because 
a year before the event [in question] he had called on me several times on 
official business ; (2) I did not touch the saucer, as with my left hand I was. 
holding a copybook in which I wrote down the letters, whilst writing with 
my right. We were seated at three of the sides of a dining-table to which 
had been fastened a leaf of paper with the alphabet, [thus] leaving room for 
the copybook. I am, etc., [Signed] N. STARCK. 


Statement by M m ^ and M lle Starck [combined by me]. 

We find M. Starck's* account concerning a communication from the 
soldier Skrytnikoff who was drowned, printed in Rebus N. 48, 1898, to 
be correct. During the incident described our eyes were bandaged and 
we positively could not see the alphabet. 


January, 12/29, 1899. Sotchi. \ZBNA1DB STARCK. 

* " Father" and "husband " in the original. 

MAY, 1899.] An Australian Witch. 69 


Mr. Andrew Lang allows us to print the following curious narrative 
received from a correspondent in whom he places confidence. ED. 

A girl who was staying with me was taken suddenly, and, to us, 
unaccountably ill. She was not confined to her bed, being able to drag herself 
wearily into my sitting-room where she would lie back in a long chair, 
looking as limp as a piece of washed out unbleached calico. 

The oldest native woman in the Varran, hearing of my friend's illness, 
came up to see me about it. She was in the habit of coming up should anyone 
be ill, and wrapping her string charms round their wrists and droning 
incantations over them. She asked me what was the matter, and what had 
made the Bullah Meai (white girl) sick. 

When I told her that I did not know, she said she would ask some of the 
spirits, with whom she was in communion, what was the matter and what we 
had better do. Thinking it might rouse my patient who, being a town girl, 
found the natives a novelty, I asked her to come in. 

The old woman on entering went up to the patient, expressed sympathy 
and said she would talk with the spirits. To that end she squatted down in 
the middle of the room and began muttering in a foreign dialect. Presently 
her voice ceased and we both heard a most peculiar whistling sort of voice 
utter some words, to which the old woman responded. She was answered by 
the same whistling voice. Then two or three times she evidently asked the 
same thing, but received no reply. 

After waiting a few moments she turned to me and told me that she had 
been asking Big Joe a black fellow who had died some years before to 
tell her what she wanted to know, but he would not ; so now she was going 
to ask the spirit of a long dead grand-daughter of hers. Again she mumbled 
a sort of incantation and again after a while came a whistling voice, not 
quite such a loud one as the first. The same sort of thing was gone through, 
with the same result. Then the old woman told me she was going to ask the 
spirit of Guadgee a girl who had been one of my first favourites in the 
camp, a little ebony black curly-headed baby when I came here, and who 
had died comparatively recently to help her. This effort was successful. 
Gaudgee answered at once. 

In reply as to cause of illness she said my friend had offended the spirits 
by bathing under the shade of a Uniggah that is a tree taboo to all but its 
wirreerum, or wizard, whom it serves as a rallying place for his spirit friends 
or where he confines captured dream spirits, or secretes at times with perfect 
safety some of his magical properties, such as sacred crystals, gowceras- 
poison, sticks, or bones, as anything is safe in a Uniggah because in them 
are invisible to all but wizards' eyes swarms of spirit bees which violently 
attach any such violater. 

My friend had insulted the spirits by plunging into the shadow of this 
Uniggah, for all shadows are spirits of what throws them, which any injury 
to the shadow likewise affects. The spirit bees had bitten my friend, said 
Guadgee, on the back and secreted on her liver some wax. This was the 

70 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [MAY, 1899. 

cause of her illness, and she said that if we looked at my friend's back the 
bee bites would be seen. 

There were certainly some irritable inflamed spots where indicated. 
When the old woman told me all Guadgee's spirit had said, I, knowing where 
the Uniggah was, and knowing where the invalid bathed with my coloured 
house girls, said Guadgee was wrong for I knew the girls would be much too 
frightened to bathe in the shade of the Uniggah. 

But the old woman stuck to her story and said Guadgee would not lie. 

"Is the Uniggah a big coolabah between the bend and the garden ?" 
asked my friend." 


" Well, then, I did bathe there the last time I went down. I was up too 
late to go with the girls, so slipped away alone, and as the sun was hot I went 
round the bend into the shade of the big tree, where I had a lovely swim." 

The source of the illness settled to the old woman's satisfaction, she next 
interrogated the friendly spirit as to a cure. 

Guadgee's power spirit whistled its reply. 

The patient was to drink nothing hot or heating, but as much cold water 
as she liked, before she went to bed ; she was to take a long drink, after 
which she would sleep. During her sleep Guadgee would come and remove 
the wax from her liver through which operation she would sleep soundly 
and in the morning awaken refreshed and almost well. The old woman was 
to say a charm over her before she went. 

This she did, rubbing her round the wrist while she did so. Then she 
went off saying she was taking the spirits away inside her, but Guadgee's 
would return during the night, before going back to the Uniggah in her 
noorumbah, or hereditary hunting ground, where the wirreerums had 
placed it. That night my friend slept soundly, awoke almost to her usual 
health in the morning, with the washed out, yellow look gone. 

The old woman sometimes made the spirit voice come through her own 
lips, sometimes from her wrist, sometimes from her shoulder, on two 
occasions first from one end of the room and then from the other. 

She is said to have within her many magic crystals. Should she lose these 
her power would go. One of her daughters had a like power of invoking 
spirit aid but she took to the white man's grog and the spirits all left 
her. She shows you the marks they make during exit from her back. 

Any of these wirreerums, witches or wizards can produce these crystals 
in quantities apparently from inside themselves. My brother once let an 
old wizard suck his wrist, thinking he could detect where he had secreted the 
crystals he appeared to be sucking from my brother, but the old fellow was 
much to smart. The old fellow's mouth was empty when he applied his lips 
to my brother's arm, but in a very short time he began spitting out pebbles 
purporting to be drawn from my brother. 

The old spiritualist woman, whenever my husband is away and she thinks 
I am unprotected, marches up to the house with a smoking bunch of Butda 
twigs, and crooning to herself she walks all round. The smoke is to keep 
the spirits away. 

MAY, 1809.] Correspondence. 71 

Lately she came to tell me she was going away for some time to see some 
old friends on the Barwon, and as there would be no one to protect me 
should I be alone while she was away, she was going to erect two painted 
sticks in my garden, one to keep all spirits of the dead away, the other 
to keep the spirits that come out from the sunset. She would also put two 
huge painted logs, which had in them the spirits of alligators, up near my 
garden tank, that these alligators might see my tank was not empty even 
while she, our rain maker, was away. 

The painted sticks and logs are now in my garden, and we are waiting 
the result of old Bargie's magic, for my tank is getting low. 

We all tried to make the whistling voice of the spirits, but with no success ; 
evidently you require to be initiated, or shall we say a ventriloquist ? 



[The Editor is not responsible for opinions expressed by Correspondents.] 

2,043, Walnut Street, Philadelphia, April 5th, 1899. 

F. W. H. MYERS, ESQ., MY DEAR SIB, Mr. O. Murray has requested 
me to give you an outline of experiments witnessed by me in Paris, during 
which luminous rays or radiations emanating from magnets were supposed 
to have been seen by subjects in the secondary state. 

The first experiment took place at the Charite Hospital of Paris, during 
a clinic conducted by Dr. Luys. The two subjects, a male and a female, 
went through what might be called the same performance ; clutching 
excitedly at blue effluences emanating from the North pole of the magnet 
(a straight bar), and fleeing or turning away from red effluences of the 
South pole. This experiment was not, in my opinion, of much value. 
Dr. Luys had given us, in audible voice, a clear idea of what the subjects 
would see, thus'introducing two elements of error : 1st. Trickery on the 
part of the subjects. 2nd. Suggestion. The woman, at least, was subse- 
quently ascertained to be unreliable. 

The second experiment was conducted at the Hotel Continental, of 
Paris, by the late Mr. Ernest Hart, of London. A wooden "magnet" 
having been provided, the subject, a woman, when placed in the secondary 
state, saw no radiaitons. When, however, an induction coil was placed 
before her, she saw them when the current was closed, and did not see them 
when it was broken. She did not, however, correctly differentiate the poles 
through the colour of the effluences. The excitement witnessed in the other 
two subjects was totally absent. The room was so small that the least 
motion could be discerned, and the bichromate cell of which I had charge 
did not work quite smoothly. Suggestion might also have influenced the 
results here. While Dr. Luys was anxious to have the subjects see 
radiations Mr. Hart was anxious that his subject should not see them. 

72 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [MAY, 1899. 

Both observers were, therefore, under mental stress, and their experiments 
were unreliable in proportion. 

From the experience thus gained, it seems to me that the question can 
only be determined by experiments conducted through passive observers. 
By these I mean persons informed only of the technique to be followed. 
The subjects knowing nothing of what is expected of them, being placed 
in the secondary state by a person equally in the dark, the passive technician 
should then note what the subjects see when magnets, artificial and genuine, 
are placed before them. Yours faithfully, 



The following letter is from Mrs. C. F. Barker, an Associate of the 
American Branch : 

Lest Mr. Podmore and his critics should drop their discussion before 
they have made things entirely clear to the average Journal reader, will you 
allow a voice from the back seat to call for "more ! more ! " ? 

I am sure that I represent many of Mr. Podmore's readers and sincere 
admirers when I say that some of us who were puzzled over the attitude 
taken in Studies in Psychical Research do not, even yet, quite understand 
his position. 

The manner in which he dismisses " The Wesley Case " is a fair illustra- 
tion of our difficulty. He says (Journal, Vol. IX., p. 45): "After the 
perusal of these extracts, Miss Hetty's inexplicable reticence seems more 
than ever to be deplored. And in view of this reticence, and of Miss 
Hetty's singular habit of trembling in a sound sleep when loud noises were 
going on all around her, and of the notable predilection shown by the 
Poltergeists for her person, it hardly seems worth while to enquire whether 
the noises which perplexed the Wesley family did indeed proceed from a 
supernormal source." 

Does Mr. Podmore intend to convey the impression that Miss Hetty was 
the "naughty little girl" of this story, and that she was carrying out a 
system of common trickery for the entertainment of her family ? If so, the 
reason why Mr. Podmore "cannot find evidence" is made plain, and there 
is nothing more to be said. 

If, on the other hand, he suspects that Miss Hetty may have (consciously 
or unconsciously) used, or transmitted, that "power of projection" by 
which one mind is able to reach and control other minds, why hesitate to 
say so ? 

It is true that there is enough in sight to make a thoughtful man pause 
and " gather in his breath " as Tesla in his laboratory is said to do some- 
times realizing that he is upon the verge of something terrific, but he must 
not pause too long, lest the forces should scatter and much of the preliminary 
toil and sacrifice be lost. 

(Mrs. C. F. Barker), Associate A.B. 

Chicago, March 25th, 1899. 

MAY, 1899.] C(IS68. 73 


[The case which follows is the personal experience of a valued 
correspondent, who prefers on this occasion to remain anonymous on 
account of the nature of the business transaction described. 
R W. H. M.] 


In the spring of 1895 I returned to the town of with health much 

improved, and, feeling that I ought to be doing something, began to look 
about for a business opening. My training had been such that I was not 
particularly fitted for anything of the kind, but "fools rush in where angels 
fear to tread " and the hotel business offering an opportunity that seemed 

promising I leased the hotel in March near the end of a short "season." 

I did well while it lasted, but soon the business did not pay expenses, and I 
began to realise that I had made a mistake. My former rather autocratic 
calling was not calculated to make of me a bowing and smiling boniface, so, 
altogether, before the opening of another season I had made up my mind to 
get out of the business as soon as I could and realising that at the beginning 
of the tourist season was the best time to do so, early in November of the 
same year I called upon Mr. L., president of the board of directors con- 
trolling the property (which was owned by a stock company) and stated my 
determination to quit, and asked to be informed just what terms the board 
would offer to a new tenant should I be able to procure one for the hotel. 

Mr. L., who was a personal friend, said he was very sorry to have to 
inform me that the owners of the building had decided not to lease the 
property again as a hotel. Upon the expiration of my lease, or sooner if I 
gave it up, they would divide the building into three separate parts, by 
partition walls and additional stairways, elevators, etc. ; that they hoped 
then to be able to sell the property ; in fact they already had a prospective 
purchaser for one of the parts ; that the board had already approved 
the architects' plans for doing the work, etc. 

Upon receiving this information I was much disappointed, for in order 
obtain a lease in the first instance, I had been obliged to buy the 
irniture, and unless I could dispose of it to a successor, it would be almost 
total loss. I saw the other members of the board, and was told the same 
ling, only one of the board of six members Colonel H. being in favour 
continuing it as a hotel. The certainty of this loss staring in the face and 
ly increasing ill health operated to greatly depress me. I had already 
isked several of my acquaintances in the business, Mr. A. C. B. of a leading 
lostelry in a near by city among them, to send anyone they might see 
)king for a hotel to me. 

On or about the first of December following, a Mr. M., " Sunday editor " 
)f a leading paper in the city, came to me to engage certain accommodations 
>r two ladies. I replied that that was my business, and I thought I could 
entertain any friends of his. He said he was not sure that I would care to 
have these people in my house, as one of them was a professional " spirit 

74 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [MAY, 1899. 

medium." He could vouch for her respectability, and stated that as she 
never travelled alone she was always accompanied by her mother or sister. 
He said that he considered her quite wonderful as a "medium," and as her 
business manager he had conceived the notion of making a tour of the towns 
in that part of the State, remaining as long as it was profitable in each town. 
That this was her first tour, &c., c. 

They came and remained several weeks. In my capacity of landlord I, 
of course, saw more or less of them, and as it was our first contact with 
" modern spiritualism," observed them and their callers with considerable 

Both my wife and myself were pronounced agnostics in matters relating 
to a future state of existence, and were not without some little prejudice 
against spiritualism, although generally very liberal and tolerant of the 
beliefs of others. 

Many well-known and, as I remarked to my wife, " otherwise sensible 
people" visited her, and twice a week she held " public circles, " attended 
by from ten to twenty-five people. The medium was a refined-looking girl 
about eighteen, but not otherwise remarkable, and had very little education 
or culture except that derived from her contact with people. She invited 
my wife and myself to attend her circles at any time, and one evening after 
the invitation had been repeated, we went out of curiosity. There were 
some fifteen people besides ourselves. The medium became supposedly en- 
tranced. In a voice totally unlike her ordinary tone, she greeted her 
audience with a few words of welcome, and commencing with the person on 
her right, she devoted a few moments to each, delicately phrasing her 
message so that little clue was given to the others of the matters alluded to. 
In the cases of one or two, of whose affairs I happened to know somewhat, 
I was struck with the aptness of her control's remarks. 

Coming at length to me, among other things she said I was * ' greatly 
worried over the outcome of a certain business venture, but that worry was 
wholly 'unnecessary,' as she (the * Control ') could 'see that it was coming 
out all right.'" She went on to say that, "about the middle of the 
January moon of the New Year," a " dark, foreign woman," who "spoke 
with a foreign accent," and had "black eyes and black hair," worn 
pompadour (pushing the medium's back in that style), " high cheek-bones," 
would be introduced to me by a "chief" (gentleman), a friend wearing a 
" light-coloured overcoat. " That this woman was coming, or had recently 
come, " from a large city in the East." That she would buy my interest, 
and the papers would all be executed, and the transfer would be made "on 
the first day of the February moon " following. She stated, however, that I 
would not get any money then, but I would later, after much delay. That 
it was best for me to accept her offer, that my condition of health demanded 
a change. She said that the woman would make a success of the business. 
Other private matters were unmistakably alluded to, matters unknown to 
any but ourselves. 

Coming to my wife in her turn the " Control," among other things 
cautioned her that she was on the verge of a serious illness caused by 

MAY, ]*!)!.] Cases. 75 

inflamed condition of her kidneys an allusion that annoyed my wife at the 

time but she said " M " (the " Control's" name) " cannot see that 

it is to have a fatal termination " with a curious rising inflection on the last 
word how well we remembered it later ! 

On December 20th my wife, who was learning to ride a bicycle, was thrown 
by her machine getting away from her going down hill, and fell, striking 
the sharp edge of a square telephone pole across her right side and back. 
On the 23rd she was taken with acute nephritis, undoubtedly caused by the 
blow, and for two weeks her life hung in the balance, but it was not until 
after she became convalescent that either of us remembered the *' Control's " 

One day, about the middle of January, 1896, a friend, Major A. H. N. 

the city, a real estate agent, came to me and said he had brought a woman 

look at the hotel, Mr. A. C. B., before referred to, having told her 
mt I wished to dispose of my lease. I now distinctly remember that the 
Major wore a "light-coloured overcoat," although, when I wrote the first 
draft of this case, I had forgotten it until my friend J. M. S. called my 
attention to it by saying that my wife in relating it to her in May, 1896, had 
mentioned the fact that Major N. did wear a "light-coloured overcoat." 

I began to feel decidedly queer as the Major went on, but I told him 
frankly that it was no use to consider the matter, and explained why. He 
requested, however^ that I go into the parlour and see her anyhow. I went 
in, and he introduced me to an apparently well-educated German lady, 
fulfilling in every respect the description, given in the circle a month before. 
She told me that she had just come from Philadelphia, and had just bought 
a fruit farm through the Major, but that she did not intend to live upon it, 
and not wishing to be idle, and understanding the hotel business thoroughly 
her late husband having kept a leading hotel in Leipsic, Germany, and 
she had run it after his death she was looking for some such hotel as this. 

I answered her as I had the Major. She remarked that people some- 
times changed their minds, and that now she was there she would look at 
the house if I would kindly show it to her, which I did. She was pleased 
with it, and asked me to see the owners and see if they would make an 
appointment, and listen to a proposition she would make. She left her ad- 
dress, and they went back to the City. 

The next day I saw Col. H., and through his efforts the board met, 
talked the matter over again, made an appointment to listen to the woman's 
proposition ; she was notified, she came and made it, and after much dis- 
cussion and delay her proposition was accepted, the necessary legal papers 
were executed, and the actual transfer was made " on the first day of the 
February moon," exactly as predicted. 

Neither did I get any cash. I took notes, which at the time I considered 
well secured ; but if I ever get the money it will be stranger than the fore- 
going, for she made an utter failure of the business, and gave it up a year 

Here is a series of predictions fulfilled, almost to the letter, only one 
having failed absolutely to come to pass. 

76 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [MAY, 1899. 

In them, from the nature of the case, it seems impossible that the events 
predicted could have been guessed or known normally beforehand, or 
inferred with a complete knowledge of all the circumstances. 

Subsequent experience with this same "psychic" has shown me that such 
successes, though sometimes they have been equalled, are very rare with her. 
Is there any scientific theory covering such a faculty of precognition ? 

The explanation given by this "intelligence" calling itself "M," and 
claiming to be a spirit many thousand years " dead," is that " coming events 
cast their shadows before," and that the mistakes that so often occur do so 
through the spirits' inability to read the shadows correctly. The " shadows," 
it is explained, are signs and symbols " shown them," and which they 
endeavour to translate. (Signed) C 

March I9th, 1899. 


The following experience was communicated by Lady Bedingfield. 
Her account is supplemented by the report of a conversation in 
which further details were obtained. 

During one of the visits which my husband, Sir Henry Bedingfield, and I 
paid to Costessey Park near Norwich, as the guests of the late Lord Stafford* 
and his wife, I had a very singular experience. 

On my arrival Lady Stafford came up to my room and had a talk with me. 
In the course of conversation she mentioned that there would be no mass on 
the morrow owing to the absence of their priest, which would be prolonged for 
several days. I expressed some regret at missing the chance of making his 
acquaintance, as I had heard a good deal about him from a friend of mine, 
which had made me very anxious to meet him. 

A large house party assembled at dinner, and afterwards adjourned to 
the principal drawing-room. Glancing upwards towards a table about which 
several persons were grouped, I was extremely surprised to see, standing 
with his back to me, a grey-haired priest, dressed in the foreign fashion, 
with a soutane, and a sash round his waist. He stood between Lord Stafford 
and Sir Robert Gerard and held up to the lamp what looked like a parch- 
ment MS. After what my hostess had said before dinner I could not 
account for the presence of this ecclesiastic, and I waited for a pause in her 
conversation with her guests to call her attention to him. This opportunity 
did not occur for fully a quarter of an hour during the whole of which time 
I had the priest and his MS. in view, although I never saw his face. The 
servants coming in with trays of tea and coffee caused a slight commotion, 
and when they had left I was about to inquire of my hostess what she had 
meant by informing me that there was no priest in the house, and asking her 
who the one present might be, when I perceived that he was no longer in the 
room. I assumed that he had slipped out unobserved by me when the 
servants left the apartment. 

On our withdrawing for the night I asked my husband who the foreign 
priest was who had stood at the drawing-room table for so long. At first he 

* Henry Valentine, 6th baron. 

MAY. 1809.] CW'x. 77 

pooh-poohed the whole thing, but finally he informed me that, though he 
had seen nothing himself, Costessey Park was undoubtedly said to be 
haunted by a priest. Now I am absolutely certain that this was the first time 
I had ever heard of this ghost at Costessey Park. 

(Signed) A. L. BEDINGFIELD. 

I perfectly recollect my wife telling me this story that evening exactly as 
she describes it here, and I am confident, from her remarks when I informed 
her that that was the family ghost at Costessey, that she had never heard of 
it before. 

I also advised her not to mention the matter which will explain why she 
did not, before leaving Costessey, enquire of Lord Stafford or Sir R. Gerard 
who was the priest with whom they had been conversing. 


Through an. interview with Lady Bedingfield the following further 
particulars were obtained : 

Q. "Was it during Lady B.'s first visit to Costessey Park that she had 
this hallucination ?" A. "No. Not by any means the first visit." 

Q. " 'Dressed in the foreign fashion.' Was there any likelihood that 
the regular priest of Costessey Park might have been dressed in the foreign 
fashion ? " A. " No. He would certainly have been dressed in the 
'English fashion.'" 

Q. " Why didn't Lady B. during the quarter of an hour that the priest 
was visible to her make any attempt to see his face by walking round to his 
end of the room, especially as she was surprised by his being present, and 
had been desirous of making his acquaintance ?" 

A. " Don't quite know. Room was very large. Also the priest was 
facing the wall with his back to the rest of the company, and being also in 
the corner, it would have been somewhat difficult to get a view of his face." 

Q. " Can it have been a real priest 1 " 

A. "Enquired of 'everyone,' and enquiries made through Lady B.'s 
maid, and through other servants, but no priest heard of in village or else- 

Q. "Can it have been a fortuitous arrangement of curtains, or furniture?" 

A . " There were no curtains in the part of the room where the priest 

Q. ' ' Did the priest look quite human and natural ? " 

A. " In every respect. Nothing unusual about his appearance." 

Q. " Has Lady B. had any other similar experience ?" A. "No." 

Q. " Date of experience ?" A. "About 1876." 

Additional information elicited in course of conversation : 
Lady B. did speak to Lady Stafford at the time in the drawing-room, but 
Lady Stafford merely made some such remark as " Oh ! is there ? I haven't 
seen one," and the subject dropped interruption by servants, and so on. 
Lady Stafford was very nervous and swore to leave Costessey Park the same 
day and never return if she ever saw a ghost there. She never saw one. Lady 
B. paid several more visits to Costessey, but has seen no more ghosts. 

78 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [MAY, 1899. 

The priest had grey hair. Lady B. very positive that she had never heard of 
Costessey being haunted by a priest, though she knew it had the reputation 
of being haunted. Lady Stafford's nervousness the reason why Lady B. did 
not make more enquiries being strongly advised by Sir H. Bedingfield not 
to mention the subject further. Lady B. struck me as a fairly good witness, 
and her husband as a very good one. ^ 


Miss Angus writes (January 4th, 1898) : 

I had another successful scry on Tuesday evening, 21st December, 1897, 

when Mr. Mac asked me to look in the ball. He had never seen 

rystal gazing, so I told him to fix his mind on some scene, which I would 
endeavour to describe. Almost at once I saw a large room with a polished 
floor reflected, the lights being very bright and all round ; but the room was 

empty, which I thought very uninteresting ! Mr. Mac said how strange 

that was, as he had not, so far, been able to fix his mind on any particular 
face in the ballroom. However, he asked me to look again, and this time I 
saw a smaller room, very comfortably furnished, and at a small table under 
a bright light with a glass globe (no shade on the globe) sat a young girl, in 
a high-necked white blouse, apparently writing or reading. I could not see 
her face distinctly, but she was pale, with her hair drawn softly off her 
forehead (no fringe), and seemed to have rather small features. 

Mr. Mac - said my description quite tallied with the lady he was 

thinking of, a Miss , whom he had met for the first time at a ball a few 

nights before, but he had meant me to see her dressed as he met her in the 

We consulted our watches, and found that it was between 10.15 and 

10.30 when we were scrying, and Mr. Mac said he would try to find out 

what Miss was doing at that hour. Fortunately I had not long to' 

wait for his report, as he met her the next evening, and told her of my 
experiment. She was very much interested, I believe, and said it was all 
quite true ! She had been wearing a white blouse, and, as far as she 
remembers, she was still reading at 10.30 under a bright incandescent 
light, with a glass globe on it. 

Mr. Mac writes (December 30th, 1897) : 

I was at Miss Angus's house on Tuesday, December 21st, 1897. Miss 
Angus said that if I thought of somebody she would look in her crystal ball 
and find out the personal appearance of the person of whom I was thinking, 
and what he or she was doing at that moment (10.25 p.m.). She told me to 
think of the surroundings and the place in which I had last seen the person 
of whom I was thinking. I thought of somebody that she did not know 

Miss , whom I had met at a dance on December 20th. I thought of the 

ballroom where I had been introduced to her, but at first I could not centre 
my mind on her face. Then Miss A. said that she saw a big room with a 
polished floor, and which was brilliantly lit up, but that at present she 
could not make out any people there. Then I succeeded in fixing my mind 

MAY, i8!)!>.] Cases. 79 

on Miss 's faco, when Miss A. said that she saw a girl with fair wavy 

hair either writing a letter or reading, but probably the former, under a 
lamp with a glass globe, and that she had a high-necked white blouse on. 
All this took about five minutes. 

I saw Miss again at a dance on December 22nd the next night. 1 

told her what had happened, and she said that, as far as she remembered, 
at 10.25 the night before she had been either writing a letter or reading, but 
probably writing, under an incandescent gas-light with a glass globe, and 
that she had been wearing a high-necked white blouse. 

I had only known Miss Angus for a very short time, so she did not know 

what friends I had in . I do not think that Miss Angus knows 

Miss . There were three other people in the room all the time, one of 

whom was playing the piano. This is exactly what happened, as far as I 
can remember. 


The Hon. Mrs. Leir-Carleton, Grey well Hill, Winchfield, writes as 
follows : 

Mrs. Hoptroff (resident in this village and mother of my maid, Tilley 
Hoptroff) underwent an operation on August 20th [1898], in the Victoria 
Hospital, Bournemouth. Her daughter remained with her until August 
23rd, when she was progressing satisfactorily, and insisted upon the girl 
returning to "keep house for the boys," her brothers. On August 26th, 
about 9 a.m., I was sitting at my dressing-table, trying to brush my hair, 
in despite of hindrance from a pet cat (that would play with my sleeve-ruffles, 
and was getting scolded, yet encouraged), when I suddenly became aware of 
this assertion : ' ; Mrs. Hoptroff will pass, to-day." There was no sound, 
but I felt as clearly impressed with those five words as if they had been 
uttered close to me. I may remark that "pass" is not an expression I 
should be likely to use, but this is the second time it has been used to 
impress me. I sprang to my feet and stared around. My gaze lit upon the 
writing-table, and (recollecting a similar experience that I had unluckily 
supposed illusory and neglected to note) I at once scribbled the above 
sentence, dated, and shut it away. Then I admitted two old servants, 
(Mrs. Tilley and Mrs. Bolton), and as they entered I asked, " What news 
of Mrs. Hoptroff?" The answer was, "Oh, much better ! The sickness 
has left her, and the doctor ordered fish for her dinner." I said, " Well 
. . . I must say I did not expect such good news. Somehow I have had 
a feeling she might die after all, and perhaps to-day." I did not mention 
what had made me think this, because their information made me distrust 
mine, which indeed soon ceased to occupy my thoughts. 

That night, at dinner, shortly after 8 o'clock, there was brought to me a 
telegram, that Tilley Hoptroff had just received from Bournemouth, 
announcing " a change for the worse." I directed my son where to find my 
memorandum, which he brought, and everyone present read it. 

On Sunday, August 28th, we learnt that Mrs. H. died on the evening 
of the 26th. 

80 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [MAY, 1899. 

Mrs. Leir-Carleton's account is confirmed by the signed statements 
(bearing date Aug. 28th, 1898) of her son, Mr. Dudley Carleton, who 
went to fetch the paper inscribed, "Mrs. Hop troff will pass to-day, 
Friday, August 26th, 1898," and of several of the guests present at 
dinner on the evening in question. Further confirmation is afforded 
by the testimony of the servants, in whose presence Mrs. Carleton had 
hinted at her misgivings on the morning of the 26th : 

When I came into Mrs. Carletori's room on Friday, August 26th, she 
asked me if there was any news of Mrs. Hoptroff. I answered, "much 
better, the sickness has stopped, and she was to have fish for her dinner." 
Mrs. Carleton looked very serious, and said that she did not expect good 
news, and said, "somehow I have had a feeling that she may die, to-day.' 
Mrs. Bolton was also present and will sign her name below mine. This is 
written down by Lucy Day (housemaid), to whom Mrs. Bolton repeated 
Mrs. Carleton's remark a few minutes later, after Mrs. Carleton had gone 
downstairs to breakfast. ELISABETH TILLEY. 



We are indebted to Lord Bute for the following narrative of second 
sight, communicated by Sister Illtyd of the Boys' Home, at Treforest, 
Pontypridd. Sister Illtyd heard of it from Sister Catherine, but not till 
after the child's death. Sister Catherine's own narrative is as follows : 

On Sunday the 14th August, 1898, when I was taking the boys for a walk to 
the Rocking Stone, old Mrs. Thomas (who lives in one of Dr. Price's cottages 
on the road to the common), came out to speak to me and asked if one of 
the Home children had died that week. I said "No," and asked why she 
wanted to know. She said, "Because I saw a child's funeral going down the 
hill from the Home, but not the way you go down with the children, but to 
the left, and I thought it must be one of the Home children because of the 
boys who were carrying the coffin and walking. I thought at first it was a 
school." I enquired if any of the neighbours in Tower Road just below the 
Home had lost a child. None of them had, nor had any child's funeral passed 
that week, but on the Wednesday of the following week, a little girl of three 
belonging to one of the neighbours in Tower Road was accidentally drowned. 
The child's mother came up to ask Sister Illtyd if our boys could carry the 
little one to the grave, as, on account of the strike, and nobody having any 
tidy clothes, she could not get anyone else. Sister Illtyd agreed to let the 
boys go though it is against our rule for them to attend any funerals 
except our own, and the procession went down the hill to the left just as 
Mrs. Thomas had seen a fortnight before. Mrs. Thomas's house overlooks 
this side of the valley and is nearly on a line with the Home. 

I did not tell Sister Illtyd what Mrs. Thomas had seen till after she had 
given permission for the boys to carry this child to the grave. 

Pontypridd, February, 1899. 

No. CLX. VOL. IX. JUNK, 1899. 





New Members and Associates . . . . . . 81 

Teeting of the Council 82 

3neral Meeting 83 

Contribution to the History of the Divining Rod 83 

Cases 87 

1 Sounds from the Unknown " 89 

Correspondence : 

On Poltergeists 91 

On Dreams of Flying . . . . . . . . . . 95 

On Dr. Morton Prince's " Case of Triple Personality 96 


Names of Members are printed in Black Type. 
Names of Associates are printed in SMALL CAPITALS. 

BAUDAINS, Miss M. G., Parade House, Jersey. 

CAMPBELL, LIEUT. N. D. EL, 7fch Dragoon Guards, Colchester. 

CARMICHAEL, REV. CANON, D.D., LL.D., Raiielagh, Dublin. 

CLOSE, Miss ETTA, Lamperri, Dursley, Gloucestershire. 

Ffrench, Mrs. Sophy A., Golovino, Kanadeista, Syzran- Viazma 

Railway, Govt. of Simbirsk, Russia. 
HUNTINGFORD, Miss, North End House, Winchester. 
INGRAM, HON. MRS. MKYNELL, Temple Newsam, Leeds. 
Lambert, Edward W., F.R.G.S., 13, Great James-st., London, W.C. 
RAE, RODERIC H., 103, Sotheby-road, Highbury-park, N. 
RUDOLPHI, EDUARD, 20, Zabalcansky Prospect, St. Petersburg, Russia. 
WHITE, Miss E. HILDA, 170, Queen's-gate, London, S.W. 


ADAMS, GEORGE S., M.D., Insane Hospital, Westboro, Mass. 
ALBREE, RALPH, 187, Western-avenue, Allegheny, Pa. 
BICKPORD, R. G., Neivport News, Ya. 
BRIGGS, MRS. N. R., Bismarck, N. Dakota. 

82 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [JUNE, 1899. 

BRUSH, W. FRANKLIN, 16, E. 37th-street, New York, N.Y. 

GOLEM AN, GEO. E., Santa Barbara, California. 

CONKLIN, Roland R., 524, Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 

FORWOOD, PEPLOE, c/o California Fig Syrup Co., 398, Church-street, 

San Francisco, Gal. 
HOWARD, REV. A. B., Jackson, Miss. 
HUNTER, MRS. M. L., Lewisburg, Penna. 
JESCHKE, HARRY, Hackensack, N.J. 
JESSOP, DR. HALTON I., 1,829, Arch-street, Phila., Pa. 
Loughnane, John, 78, Duane-street, New York, N.Y. 
PERRY, GEORGE S., Binghampton, N.Y. 
ROGERS, DR. OSCAR H., 346, Broadway, New York, N.Y. 
TETZEL, MRS. F. G., c/o New York Musical Courier, Milwaukee, Wis. 
THOMPSON, E. H., 10, Win throp-s tree t, Watertown, N.Y. 
VAN BAUN, DR. WM. W., 1402, Spruce-street, Phila., Pa. 
WARREN, LYMAN OTIS, Rockland street, Brighton, Mass. 
WILCOX, MRS. H. H., Box 626, Honolulu, Hawaiian Islands. 


A meeting of the Council was held on April 28th at the West- 
minster Town Hall. The President occupied the chair. There were 
also present, Mr. F. W. H. Myers, Mr, St. George Lane Fox Pitt, 
Professor. H. Sidgwick, Mr. H. Arthur Smith, Mr. J. G. Smith, and 
Dr. A. Wallace. 

The minutes of the last meeting were read and signed as correct. 

Mr. Montague Crackanthorpe, Q.C., was co-opted as a Member of 
the Council for the current year. 

Two new Members and nine new Associates were elected. The 
election of one new Member and nineteen new Associates of the 
American Branch was recorded. Names and addresses are given 

Some presents to the Library were reported, for which a vote of 
thanks was passed to the donors. 

A letter was read from Mr. Chester A. Snow, of Washington, 
D.C., U.S.A., in which he expresses his "appreciation of the excellent 
work done by the Society, "and, in addition to his current subscription, 
forwards a draft for $50 as a contribution to the work of the Society, 
to be used as may be thought best. A minute was adopted thanking 
Mr. Snow for his kind donation, which it was agreed should be 
devoted to purposes of research. 

JINK, is;)!).] Contribution to History of Divining Rod. 83 

Other matters of business having been disposed of, the next 
meeting of the Council was fixed for June 23rd, at 4.30 p.m., to be 
held at the Rooms of the Society, 19, Buckingham Street, W.C. 


The 99th General Meeting of the Society was held in the Council 
Chamber at the Westminster Town Hall, at 4 p.m., on Friday, April 
28th, the President in the chair. 

Some portions of " A Further Paper on Coincidences," by Miss 
ALICE JOHNSON, were read by Mr. F. W. H. MYERS. The whole of 
Miss Johnson's article on this subject will appear in Proceedings, Part 
XXXV. now nearly ready for publication. 

A paper by DR. MORTON PRINCE, of New York, entitled : "A 
Case of Triple Personality and Crystal Vision," was also read by 
Mr. Myers. This paper has now been published in Brain under the 
title: "An Experimental Study of Visions," and it is proposed to 
give some account of it, with extracts, in the next Part of the 



From Nasse's Zeitschrift fur Psychische Aertze. First Quarterly Part 

for 1821. 

Translated and abridged by EDWARD T. BENNETT. 

It is, I believe, of greater service to science when clearly attested facts, 
which are still considered doubtful by some, are simply publicly recorded, 
than when explanations are added. The endeavour to explain everything is 
a hindrance. Owing to this endeavour some important facts, which would 
have aided the progress of science, have been consigned to oblivion, The 
explanations with which the observers accompanied their statements of facts 
cast doubt upon the whole matter, and thus, as we say, emptied out the 
child with the bath. This has happened with the divining rod. It 
certainly would not have been so exalted on one side, or so despised on the 
other, if nothing more than a history of the way in which it works had 
been narrated. 

I will now place before the intelligent public a contribution to the 
history of the divining rod, which is all the more important because the 
man of whom I am going to speak is still alive ; the people for whom he 
sought water, metals, and minerals, are still alive, and testify to the truth 
of his statements. I became acquainted with him in the course of a recent 

84 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [JUNE, 1899. 

journey in the Netherlands ; and when I told Professors Nasse and 
Windischmann, in Bonn, the facts of the case, they urged me to place them 
before the learned world. 

John Philipp Brayer was 35 years old when I met him. He was the son 
of a builder at Wawremont, a village near the town of Malmedy, with no 
special characteristics to distinguish him from his neighbours. He was 
brought up to the trade of a house decorator, at which he became very 
clever, and was never without work. Five years previously to my becoming 
acquainted with him he had married, and was the father of two healthy 
boys. He gave me an account of his experiences with the rod in the course of 
a long conversation carried on partly in French and partly in the Walloon 
language." 34 ' 

" I was born early on the first Sunday in the quarter. The same morn- 
ing, between 11 and 12 o'clock, I was taken to the church to be baptised. 
The minister told the god-parents that a boy who was born the first Sunday 
in the quarter, and baptised before 12 o'clock, would be able to use the 
divining rod. My god-parents did not know what was meant by a divining 
rod, but they told my father what the minister had said. My father had 
heard stories about the rod, but he only smiled ; and for the first five years 
of my life nothing was said about it. When I was five years old a colporteur 
called at my father's house, and, talking of one thing and another, told him 
about the rod and its properties, and that there were men who could use it. 
My father then recollected what the minister had said when I was baptised, 
and told the colporteur, who replied that it was riot a thing to be laughed at 
or despised. 'Come,' he said, ' let us try.' My father was willing, cut a 
rod from a hazel-bush, hid a handful of money in a field a long way from 
the house, put the rod into my hand, led me to the door, and said : 'I have 
hidden some money ; go and seek for it : the rod will show thee where it 
is.' I was highly delighted. I felt the rod draw me in a certain direction, 
and then it moved round in a circle in my hands. I followed the indication, 
and came to the place where the money was buried. Here the rod pointed 
downwards. I have at different times found water, metals, lost metallic 
articles, and building-stone. The matter was known through the whole 
neighbourhood. When builders required water for new houses, when keys 
or money or other things had been lost, I was fetched, and if water or 
metals were present where it was believed or desired, I was certain to be 
successful. Sometimes the rod gave no indication, that is, it did not draw 
me, and did not move. I then said : ' There is nothing here of what I am 
seeking.' If they still did not believe me and dug, they found nothing. 
For the first few years I used to talk to the rod, and tell it what it was we 
were asked to find. Later on I abandoned this. It was sufficient if I 
firmly had in. my mind what was to be sought for. If I sought for water, that 
is, if I had it strongly before me that it was water I was to seek for, and 

* Dr. D'Outrepont gives this conversation at length, and in dialogue form ; 
because, he says, the answers were so definite and circumstantial that they would lose 
in force and value as a mere narrative. But as more convenient for the present 
purpose, the replies are connected and condensed in the form of a statement. TR. 

JUNK, 1890.] Contribution to History of Divining Rod. 85 

there happened to be metal where I sought for water, the rod would 
indicate nothing, and vice versa. It was needful for me to have a fixed will, 
then I found what I sought. Up to my thirteenth year, certainly, the rod 
never deceived me, but after this, when I had partly lost my faith, it is 
possible that when the object sought for was present, no indication was 
given. Up to that time I had felt perfect confidence, though that confidence 
had sometimes brought me much vexation. 

"In this way. My father made my ability to find water and metals a 
source of income. He took me long rounds, and was handsomely remunerated. 
I did not like this at all. Such a gift of God should never be used for gain. 
But it was my father's will, and I had to obey. Many people thought they 
had hidden treasures, and got us to come and seek for them. Others thought 
there was water, here or there. But when I found nothing, the people 
ridiculed us, and gave us nothing, although my father had lost his time. 
They told me I had no sense, and that the rod was nothing but charlatanry. 
This ill-treatment disconcerted me, and I lost my firm faith. 

"The young people in the village would hide money, and say I should 
have it if I found it. I wouldn't try. But sometimes, owing to their 
persistence, and mocking doubts of my power, I would seek and find what 
they had hidden. Again, sometimes they would deceive me, and tell me 
they had hidden a thing when they had not done so. Sometimes they would 
put money in trees, or in the upper parts of houses. In these cases I was 
unable to find it. At last, owing to ridicule and unfair requests, I refused 
to go on such errands with my father ; and when I discovered that I could 
not find water or metals which were above me, I still further lost faith in 
the infallibility of the rod ; and I did not feel like the same man. 

" After this, I persuaded my father to alter his business arrangements, 
so that I had no occasion any longer to use the rod as a means of earning 
money, but only for the benefit of my neighbours. I was, in particular, 
very useful to my own family. My father, who found his house too small 
for his large family, resolved to build another. I sought and found water 
on a piece of land where water had never been found, and where no one 
suspected its existence. This induced my father to buy it. Here it was 
that, by means of the rod, I first found building-stone. My father found it 
would be very expensive to bring stone from a distance. My brother and I 
begged him. not to build the house of wood. One morning I went over the 
ground, and sought by means of the rod to find stone. At one particular 
spot the rod moved violently. I said to my father and brother, there is 
bound to be stone there. They dug down, and found the stone with which 
the house was built at the exact depth I had named. This was the first time 
I had sought for and found anything except water and metal. It should be 
noticed that where we found the building-stone, neither water nor metal were 
present. Subsequently I found stone many times. 

"I continued to use the rod occasionally till I was in my 31st year. 
My wife had told me when I wanted to marry her, that, though with much 
regret, she could not consent unless I would promise entirely to relinquish 
its use. She looked upon it as a kind of witchcraft. I gave her the promise, 

86 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [JUNE, 1899. 

and as an honourable man, kept my word. I have never used it since, 
though I often look back with pleasure on the great amount of good I have 
done by means of it. 

" I never found that the season of the year, the day of the week, or the 
hour made any difference. I always used a forked hazel-rod. I do not 
know whether any other shape would have done as well. Some people once 
brought an old book to my father, in which there was a picture of a rod 
exactly like the one I used. It did not make any difference whether I or 
other people cut the rod. When I cut it myself I always said : ' Fasse le 
del et la baguette.' Whether other people used these words I do not know, 
and whether they were necessary I do not know. I know that the result 
was good, and so I continued the practice. 

" The rod used to move in a circle, and when the object I sought lay in 
the direction in which I was looking, the point of the rod moved towards 
the direction, i.e., away from me. But if the object was behind me, the 
point moved in the reverse direction, i.e., towards me. It was very pretty 
to see. I would go several times across the spot where the water or the 
metal was. The rod would gradually stand still and then turn itself in the 
opposite direction. The violence of the motion was in proportion to the 
mass of the object sought. If, for instance, there was much water, it 
moved quickly ; if only a small quantity, the movement was slower. I 
could not stop it, and if I held the rod firmly with both hands it would 
break. It was this that so astonished the bystanders. But I rarely let this 
happen, because it so affected my heart, making it beat violently as if I had 
committed a crime, and made me feel depressed all the rest of the day. 

" When the rod moved I had a drawing feeling through both arms, which 
sometimes extended to the heart, but I could not say that it was either 
painful or disagreeable. I was often asked at what depth would the water 
be found when its presence was indicated by the rod. I looked straight at 
the rod, and it would make as many strokes downwards as the number of 
feet at which the water would be found. It would strike violently down- 
wards till it had indicated the depth at which the object sought for would 
be found, and then raising itself up again would descend slowly by the 
force of gravitation. This gave me great pleasure, and also excited great 
astonishment because, by digging, the water or metal was always found as I 
had foretold." 

Here ended this interesting conversation. Every one who had known 
this man, and had seen him at his work, confirmed the truth of his state- 
ments. He spoke so ingenuously and with such simplicity, that it was 
impossible not to feel great confidence in him. 

On my return through Cobleritz I told Councillor Dr. Wegeler the whole 
story. We were in company with a merchant with whom Brayer had 
done much business. A Mr. Gaufrei, who was also in the same trade, and 
upon whose testimony I can rely, assured us that he had many times seen 
Brayer seek for water and metal with the best results. I could not enter- 
tain any doubt but that he had told me the simple truth. 

JINK, 1899.] Cases. 87 


M. 01. 98. 

The following case is communicated by Dr. Bringhurst, of 

Nacogdoches, Texas, U.S.A. : 

February 9th, 1899. 

While the circumstances herein related occurred long ago, they are among 
the most vivid of the recollections of my youth ; the witnesses were 
intelligent and competent, and no trick or deception was possible. 

I do not remember the year exactly, but it was about 1857 (spiritualism 
being then considerably talked about) that in the neighbourhood where I 
was living, in the state of Louisiana, we began to hear of table-rappings, 
and other manifestations, which were taking place at the houses of various 
people. Now there lived in the neighbourhood a young woman of blameless 
character, whose name was Miss Louisa L. She lives in the same parish of 
Louisiana to-day, and is married and teaching school. This Miss L. was 
the " medium " in the neighbourhood. Much of her time was spent at the 
home of an aunt of mine, still living, who can vouch for these statements. 
She was also occasionally at my mother's house, and at that of my grand- 
father, a wealthy planter of that section. Miss L. was not a professional 
"medium." . . . 

One day this young lady, Miss L. , was visiting at my grandfather's, and 
a "seance" was held there. Quite a number were present. A message 
was received, addressed to my grandfather, who just then did not happen to 
be in the house. The wording of the message was to this effect : "Do you 
remember when I went from the card table and committed suicide ? " The 
message was signed by a name totally unknown to anybody present. My 
grandfather finally came into the house, and was immediately shown the 
communication, and asked if he had known the author. He read it, and 
exclaimed in great astonishment and consternation, "Yes, by the Lord 
Harry! I knew him well." He then related how, very many years before 
that time, he was travelling with the party whose name was signed to the 
message, on a Mississippi or Red River steamboat, and how, while a game of 
cards was going on, the said party went out and killed himself. Now the 
"medium," incontestably, had never heard of the man whose name was signed 
to the message, and he was unknown to any one in the house, except my 
grandfather. It was plain to us all that no common agency was at the 
bottom of these remarkable "manifestations." 

I certify to the correctness of the foregoing, and beg to subscribe 
myself, with great respect, your obedient servant, 


Superintendent, Public Schools of the City of 
Nacogdoches, Texas, U.S.A. 

M. 99. 

From the report of a meeting of the Clinical Society of Maryland, 
held October 21st, 1898 (Maryland Medical Journal, November oth. 

88 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [JUNE, is9. 

1898), we extract the following prima facie case of double personality, 
communicated by Dr. "W. L. Howard. 

Mr. B., a respected business man ; married and the father of three 
children. His position caused him to travel extensively in America from 
the Pacific to the Atlantic Oceans ; from the Gulf of Mexico to Hudson 
Bay. About ten years ago he commenced to go away from home without 
giving any definite statement of where he was going or when he would 
return. Upon his return he would not, or could not, give any direct answer 
as to where he had been. On these occasions he appeared slightly dazed in 
memory and intellect, and his appearance was that of a man who had aged 
greatly from want of sleep. Two years ago, in the month of October, he 
disappeared, and no trace of him could be found until he returned home on 
January 14th. A man who knew him in his own city found him a month 
prior to this date conducting a country cross-roads store on the upper 
Potomac. He carried on business under the name of Simpson, and had been 
known under this name since he had been in the village. He did not know 
his former acquaintance, and the repeated mentioning of his true name, 
"Mr. B.," he at first took as a joke, then became indignant, and was so 
positive in stating that he was Simpson, giving his past history, stating he 
was from Oregon, and going into full and complete details of his life and 
business in that State, that the former friend went away fully convinced of 
his mistaken identity. 

One peculiarity Simpson, as we must now call him, had, was his passion 
for fishing, giving, as one excuse why he had chosen to settle in the little 
village, the good bass fishing he could enjoy in the river. On the morning 
of January 14th he appeared at his own house, to the surprise and joy of 
his family. He was Mr. B. again, but no questions as to his past where- 
abouts could he answer. Only when he became convinced of the lapse of 
time did he realise that something strange and abnormal had happened to 
him. On account of the position he held, the family had kept the matter 
quiet, and as he was away from the city so frequently and for long periods 
his business acquaintances were easily satisfied with excuses. Worried over 
the state of affairs, and appreciating his lapse of memory, his wife persuaded 
him to consult me. In his normal condition I could elicit no information, 
yet he did his best to aid me. His memory of the last three months was a 
blank, and he was pitiably nervous and worried. Without much difficulty 
he was hypnotised, and through tentative suggestions he gradually veered 
around to his other personality. He said, when I suggested his name was 
unknown to me and he must tell me, "D n it! you know my name is 
Simpson ; what do you want to bother me about it for ? You remember 
that, or else I don't take you fishing." 

"Well, Mr. Simpson, let's go fishing." 

"All right ; wait till the boy comes back and I will close up the store." 

" By the way, Mr. Simpson, how far is it to the city 1 " 

"Oh, about forty miles." 

By this manner of questioning Mr. Simpson, I found where the body of 

JUNE, issi'.i. 1 " Sounds from the Unknown" 89 

Mr. B. had been. The next day I hunted up Mr. Simpson's store, and 
found, indeed, that such an individual existed in the life of the village. 
Subsequent investigations cleared the whole matter satisfactorily, as far as 
Mr. Simpson was concerned. 


From an article in Psychische Studien, February, 1899. 

Translated by EDWARD T. BENNETT. 

Under this title the following account appears in Psychische 
Studien for February, 1899, p. 112. It is taken from the Sunday 
Supplement of No. 580, Vol. for 1898, of the Reichsherold, edited by Dr. 
Bockel, at Marburg. John Henry von Thiinen, who was born on June 
24th, 1783, at Kanarienshausen, in Jeverland, is stated to have been a 
prominent land owner and agriculturalist, a man of considerable mental 
power, the writer of various books, especially of a standard work 
entitled Der Isolirte Staat und seine Gesetze. In his letters Thiinen 
is said to exhibit himself as a man of thorough sincerity, noble 
disposition, and elevated character. Thiinen had three sons, the 
second of whom, Alexander, his favourite child, died in the year 1831, 
at the age of seventeen. The following is an extract from a letter 
to his friend Christian von Buttel in reference to this loss, which 
he felt greatly. 

" In the night between the 10th and llth of October, three days after 
Alexander's death, my wife and I were awake between two and three o'clock. 
My wife asked me if I did not hear the distinct sound of a bell. I listened, 
and heard such a sound, but put it down to a delusion of the senses. The 
following night we were again awake at the same hour, and heard the same 
sounds, but more clearly and distinctly. We both compared them to the 
striking of a bell which was deficient in melody, but in the reverberation of 
which there was music. We listened long. I asked my wife to point in 
the direction from which the music seemed to come, and when she indicated 
exactly the same spot from which I seemed to hear it, it almost took my 
breath away. My two sons, in spite of all their efforts, heard nothing. The 
same thing was repeated during the following nights. A few days later I heard 
the music in the evening, but it died away towards midnight, beginning 
again soon after 2 o'clock in the morning. On October 18th, Alexander's 
birthday, the music was particularly beautiful and harmonious. My wife 
found it extremely soothing and strengthening. But to me the feeling of 
rest which it produced was only transient. The uncertainty whether it was 
a reality or only a delusion of the senses continually disturbed me, and the 
endeavour to arrive at a conclusion kept me in a constant state of strain. 
For more than four weeks my sleep at night was so broken that I became 

90 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [JUNE, 1899. 

quite worn out. I used carefully to listen if I could detect any connection 
between the beating of my pulse and the time of the music, but could find 
none. In the course of these four weeks the character of the music greatly 
changed ; it became much stronger, so that it was audible in the midst of all 
kinds of noises, and was a hindrance to my reading and writing in the evenings. 
But as it grew stronger, the beautiful harmony diminished, and at this time 
we could only compare it to the sound produced by a number of bells 
clanging simultaneously. At last even my wife wished it would cease, as the 
clanging shook our nerves and greatly affected them. In the middle of 
November entire silence ensued, neither my wife nor myself hearing the 
least sound. 

"Now the doubt again arose whether this music of the spheres had not 
been only a result of our excited state of mind and feeling. My wife felt 
sad and melancholy. But again after about eight days the music began, 
very gently at first, and continued until Christmas. On Christinas Eve it 
sounded with unusual strength, clear and melodious, and with a force and 
variety of expression we had never before experienced. After Christmas it again 
ceased. On New Year's Eve we listened in vain, and this silence continued 
through most of January. My wife and I had now heard the music, both when 
we were cheerful and when we were depressed, both when we were ill and 
when we were well. It always came in the same manner, and apparently 
from the same direction. It was not possible for us any longer to entertain a 
doubt as to its reality. At this time we thought it had entirely departed. 
However, at the end of January it began again, but entirely changed in 
character. The sounds of bells had gone, and tones of flutes took their place. 
At the beginning of March the music was remarkably loud and harmonious, 
but the tones of the flute had now vanished again, and we could only 
compare it to the singing of a choir with musical accompaniment. At one 
time, we both thought, though only for a moment that we could 
distinguish words. On March 21st, my wife's birthday, the music 
assumed once more a different character, beautiful, but at the same 
time almost fearful. We were neither of us able to compare it with any- 
thing earthly." 

Here the extract from J. H. von Thiineii's letter ends. The 
following paragraph is added in Psychische Studien, apparently taken 
from his biography : 

"This wonderful music was often heard subsequently, especially on 
family anniversaries. It did not cease, even after the death of the wife, 
but continued as a faithful and loving companion through the lives of both 
Herr and Frau von Thiinen. They admitted that these sounds, which were 
undeniably perceived by their ears, gave them no information as to that 
which was separated from them by time and space, that their intelligence 
and ideas were in no way extended ; but believed that ' your son Alexander 
is yet alive,' was thus declared to them, and this firm conviction was to 
them their greatest joy." 

JUNE, 1899.] Correspondence. 91 


[The Editor is not responsible for opinions expressed by Correspondents. 


SIR, I should like to make a brief reply to the letters on this subject 
by Dr. Wallace and Mrs. Barker, which appeared in the Journal for April 
and May respectively. 

Dr. Wallace demurs to my casting doubts on Councillor Hahn's evidence 
because it was given eighteen months after the events. But Dr. Wallace 
would no doubt admit that Hahn's evidence however good it may be as it 
stands would have been better if it had been given contemporaneously. My 
own view is that, in that case, though evidentially better, it might probably 
not have seemed to Dr. Wallace so well-adapted for his purpose. 

But perhaps I may be allowed to complete my answer to Dr. Wallace by 
continuing the examination of the nine cases cited by him. I will take them 
in order. 

(4) Beatings Bells. The evidence is first-hand ; it is practically con- 
temporaneous, being based on notes made at the time, and written out in 
full within a day or two at most ; the witness is a Fellow of the Royal 
Society, who records with scrupulous care the atmospheric conditions, the 
readings of barometer and thermometer ; and points out with justice that 
the phenomena cannot be explained by "the known laws of the electric 
theory " or the expansion of metals by rise of temperature. And yet, as a 
witness, Major Moor shows himself on a level with the servant girl who 
has her fortune told by the cards. 

On February 5th, 1834, that is, three days after the bell-ringing began, 
he writes : " I am thoroughly convinced that the ringing is by no human 
agency" (p. 5). 

No reason is given for this conviction. 

On February 27th he writes: "It is possible" that it is all due to 
trickery (p. 9). 

No reason is given for the change of opinion. 

A few days later (p. 22) he repeats his conviction that the bells "were 
not rung by any mortal hand." 

No new facts had come to light in the interval and no reasons are given 
for this second change of opinion. 

Again, though devoting many pages to describing the courses and the 
attachments of the wires, the state of the weather and so on, Major Moor 
never tells us of whom his household consisted and never describes a single 
occasion on which, when they were all gathered together in his presence, the 
bell-ringing occurred. Further, a writer in the Ipswich Journal made the 
sensible suggestion that Major Moor should begin his investigations by 
gathering all his household into one room and posting trustworthy friends 
round about the house. Major Moor, in quoting the letter, adds, "I did 
not in any way follow the advice therein offered." 

I venture to suggest, as a plausible theory, that Major Moor, in homely 

92 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [JUNE, 1899. 

phrase, " was not such a fool as he looks ; " and that his book is a gentle 
satire on those who were ready, on such evidence as that here offered, to 
believe in supernormal or even unfamiliar agencies. 

(5) The Baldarroch (Banchory} disturbances. Mackay does not quote any 
authority for his statements : his account is therefore at best second-hand, 
and may be still more remote. But if such evidence is good at all, I submit 
that it is good all round. Mackay tells us not only that stones and crockery 
were thrown about, but that several ricks danced about the farmyard, and 
that the Devil was seen sitting on the top of the house. 

(6) Mary Jobson, of Sunderland. Dr. Wallace says that Dr. Reid Clanny 
"published an account of the extraordinary things witnessed by himself, and 
also by three other medical men and other persons, sixteen in all." 

Dr. Clanny himself neither saw nor heard anything of the alleged 
phenomena.* Of the five medical men, besides Dr. Clanny, mentioned 
by name as having visited the girl during her illness, two only have given 
an account of what they witnessed. Both these, Mr. R. B. Embleton 
and Mr. Drury, were young men. Neither of them saw anything 
out of the way; but both heard knocks and loud scratchings 
apparently on the foot of the wooden bedstead in which the 
child of 12 lay. Dr. Drury also, calling on the child after her recovery, 
heard at her suggestion very beautiful music, and Mr. Embleton was 
specially invited to hear "the voice." [There is no suggestion, on the part 
of the medical witnesses, that " the voice " did not proceed from the child's 
own vocal organs.] The voice, which Mr. Embleton describes as realising 
his ideas of angelic sweetness, dictated as follows: "lam the Lord thy 
God that brought thee out of the land of Egypt, etc. . . . I am the 
physician of the Soul. This is a miracle wrought on earth . . . Mark, I am 
thy God sounding out of the Heavens," etc., etc. The knocks, the throwing 
about of water, the painting on the ceiling, and so on, which are described 
by the other eleven witnesses [there are thirteen first hand witnesses only] 
all of whom were apparently uneducated and superstitious neighbours, appear 
to me simply the puerile trickeries of a hysterical girl. Her ailment, which 
baffled all the physicians (or rather the three physicians who have 
written about the case), was as obviously hysterical as the "voices" 
were obviously blasphemous. The cure was as mysterious as the disease. 
After eight months of dropsy and convulsions (Dr. Embleton), brain disease 
(Dr. Clanny), intolerable torture (all the witnesses), she suddenly turned 
her sympathising relatives out of the room, dressed herself in a quarter of an 
hour, and was completely restored to health. I cannot help thinking that 
Dr. Clanny's enthusiastic belief in the genuineness of the case was largely 
due to the fact that the girl (amongst whose affable spirits were the Virgin 
Mary and a large circle of apostles and martyrs) told him that his name had 

* Dr. Wallace may perhaps have been misled by W. Howitt, who writes (History 
of the Supernatural, Vol. II., p. 450), "Dr. Clanny saw and heard various striking 
phenomena in her presence." But Dr. Clanny himself saw nothing, and only heard 
some knocks in his bedroom, not demonstrably connected with the girl at all, which 
occurred weeks after the phenomena in her presence had ceased. 

J:M-. 18H9.J Correspondence. 93 

been favourably mentioned to her at different times by Jesus Christ, St. Paul, 
and St. Peter. Dr. Clanny quotes this amazing statement in all seriousness. 

(7) The Disturbances <it Artntburg. As Dr. Wallace tells us, the facts 
were communicated * to Dale Owen by M lle de Guldenstubbe and her 
brother. They had heard them from the late Baron. The account, as it 
reaches us, is therefore third-hand. Neither Dale Owen nor his informants 
profess to have seen the documents which constitute the strength of the 
evidence. Until we have a certified copy of those documents, the case, I 
submit, is not before the court. 

(8) Stone-throirintj in Paris. The evidence in this case consists of an 
account drawn up for the Gazette des Tribunaux by a writer who does not give 
his name and who does not profess to have been an eye-witness of the events. 
From the appearance of this anonymous account in a semi-official organ [for 
the Gazette is not, I understand, strictly speaking an official publication], it 
is perhaps safe to infer that the stones were thrown and that the police were 
puzzled. So far the evidence is good. But we should not be justified in 
inferring anything else. 

(9) The disturbances in Cideville. This is, on the face of it, the most 
promising, with the exception of the Wesley case, of all the narratives cited 
by Dr. Wallace. The witnesses a Marquis, the local Mayor, the Cure, 
various gentry from neighbouring chateaux, etc. were numerous, respect- 
able, and may be presumed to have been intelligent ; they gave their evidence 
whilst the disturbances were still proceeding ; arid, lastly, most of them 
gave it with all due formality in a Court of Law. Unfortunately I have not 
seen a copy of the original depositions, which were printed and circulated in 
1852 by the Marquis de Mirville. De Mirville does not reprint them in his 
book "Des Esprits." He contents himself there with a summary, given in 
his own words, without full details of place, time or circumstances. Nor is 
the character of De Mirville's account an excited and incoherent jumble of 
fragments of evidence, interspersed with rhetorical appeals to the unbelievers 
at all calculated to inspire confidence in his competence as a reporter. 
Dale Owen's account of the matter, which is based on the actual depositions 
contained in De Mirville's earlier pamphlet, is more valuable. But the 
testimony, as Dale Owen presents it, is not only translated, but very much 
abridged. The case is a very curious and interesting one ; but unless the 
original documents can be referred to (perhaps Dr. Wallace can say whether 
De Mirville's pamphlet is still accessible) it would be scarcely profitable to 
discuss it at length. The case, as far as can be judged, is of the usual type 
movements of furniture and small objects, and various noises, and, in 
particular, raps which answered questions. The whole of the phenomena 
occurred, it would seem, generally, if not exclusively, in the presence of two 
small boys, and ceased entirely with their removal. 

I am sorry to find that I had not made my argument clear to Mrs. 
Barker : and I am the more sorry because I can see that the fault is partly 
my own. In the sentence which Mrs. Barker quotes from my letter I draw 

* Not, it is to be presumed, in writing: Dale Owen's words are, "The facts 
above narrated were detailed to me, " etc. 

04 Journal o f Society JOT Psychical Research. [JUNE, 1899. 

the conclusion that the Epworth disturbances were caused by Miss Hetty 
Wesley. The evidence is hardly sufficient to justify that conclusion : nor is 
that conclusion necessary to the argument. If, indeed, I were required to 
specify the agency in the Epworth knockings, I should say that on the 
evidence before us the most probable explanation is that Hetty Wesley 
caused them : that she caused them deliberately : and that she caused them 
by the exertion of her proper muscular powers, without assistance from dis- 
embodied spirits, or even from pseudopodia, odylic force, astral emanations, 
or other supernormal supplement. 

But on the evidence in this particular case, Hetty's agency in the matter 
is, at most, probable. What seems to me, however, practically certain, on 
an analysis and comparison of all the cases which I have yet examined, is 
that Hetty, or some other human girl or boy, without metaphysical aid of 
any kind, has been the sole agent in all such disturbances. I am led to that 
conclusion reluctantly, and against my own preconceived beliefs by two 
main lines of argument : 

(1) We have positive evidence that in some cases tricky little girls or 
boys have thrown about the less expensive crockery and upset the kitchen 
furniture with their own carnal hands, whilst the onlookers have accepted 
the portent as a manifestation of supernormal powers. 

(2) We have, speaking broadly, no evidence (and by "no evidence" I 
mean no good evidence : and by " good evidence " I mean evidence from 
competent witnesses, at first-hand, and written down within a few hours of 
the events) for anything having been done which could not have been done 
by a girl or boy of slightly more than the average naughtiness. 

(3) As a subsidiary argument, I find, in the few cases where the records 
are sufficiently full to admit of such a comparison being made, that when 
second-hand accounts and first-hand accounts of the same incidents are 
compared : or when accounts written down at the time are compared with 
accounts written down long afterwards ; or accounts given by an excitable 
and ignorant witness with those of an educated and competent observer ; 
that the marvellous features which appear in the one set of reports are 
almost or altogether wanting in the other. 

Now the peculiar value of the Wesley records, as I pointed out, lies in 
their fulness ; we have the (unfortunately very rare) opportunity of seeing 
the same incident described by different persons by the person who 
witnessed it, and by the persons who only heard of it : we are also able to 
compare different versions of the same incident given by the actual witness 
shortly after the event, and at an interval of many years. 

I have endeavoured to show that, while in the earlier first-hand accounts 
there is nothing inexplicable by trickery, in the second-hand and later first- 
hand accounts the mythopoeic faculty has been at work, and has so magnified 
and distorted the facts as to make them seem inexplicable. 

When any records can be produced as full as those in the Wesley case, 
and pointing to some supernormal agency as conclusively as these point to 
trickery and the fallacy of human memories, it will be time to consider 
seriously the question of the Poltergeist. 


JUNE, 1899.] (Correspondence. 95 


Tour de Peilz, Vaud, April 19th, 1899. 

DEAR SIR, I wish you would open an inquiry on a subject which I think 
interesting, viz., the habit of dreaming that one can fly. 

I have been a prey to that pleasant delusion ever since my childhood. 
The first occasion which I can go back to in my memory is one that I have 
good reason to remember, as it nearly made a cripple of me for life. 

I was seven years old. I had dreamt that I had discovered in me that 
delightful power of flying about like one of the sparrows that I used to feed 
with the crumbs of my breakfast. The dream was so vivid that I woke up 
in the morning shouting: "How jolly! I can fly." 

In my eagerness to experiment on my newly found powers I rushed out of 
bed, got upon a high sideboard and jumped head foremost into space . . . 
to find myself, soon after, lying bruised and half crazy with fright on the 

I was, of course, for ever cured of attempting such feats ; but I have 
never since ceased to dream the same dream from time to time, say once or 
twice every month. I was speaking of sparrows ; do not conclude therefrom 
that I had, either in my dream or after, tried to fly with my arms used 
instead of wings. Whenever I have that dream, I go through space 
without any motion of the limbs, only by an effort of will continually 
reproduced as long as I want to stand in mid air. 

For instance, I dream that I am walking along the street. All at once, 
I seem to feel that power rising in me, ard I say to myself, "This time I am 
not dreaming;" and exercising at once that power, I take leave of the ground 
and begin to soar upwards, sometimes over walls and houses, very gently, 
impelled forward by a mere volition. 

Or I dream that I arn in my study, writing at my desk. Something stirs 
ivithin me. "Now, I am sure I can do it ! " and then, getting up from my 
chair, to be sure, I begin to roam about the room half way between the floor 
and the ceiling, with a delight that is not to be expressed in words. But 
soon, feeling the want of more space for my evolutions, I open the window, 
and issuing gently from the room I start for the open country over hedges 
and trees. Finally I cease to dream, but without waking up, and it is only 
in the morning when I get up, that I remember, with a sigh, my fancied 

I have sometimes spoken to friends about it and asked them for their 
experience. Some knew nothing of that kind of dream. Others knew about 
it ; and when I inquired farther was it by a flapping of the arms that they 
fancied themselves able to fly, or how ? they have invariably answered that 
it was, like myself, by a mere volition. 

What may be the cause of that ever-recurring dream? 

A medical friend answered at once : "Digestion. When you feel that you 
can fly, it is simply that your stomach having completed its work, a feeling 
of relief gives you that buoyancy and delusion." As I have never known 
where my stomach is, nor ever felt that I had one, I find it hard to accept 
this medical theory. 

96 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [JUNE, 1899. 

Does the dream come to me as a reminder of a former, an avian stage of 
life? Have I been a bird in some remote age of the world, long before our 
species developed into human beings ? I think not. It is by the flapping of 
their wings that birds fly ; and in my dream both legs and arms remain 
perfectly motionless. 

Does my spirit come out of my body and soar unfettered into the air? 
No, because I should have the impression that I depart from the body, and 
perhaps see it behind me. And on the contrary it is I in the body that go 
about at will in opposition to the laws of gravitation. 

Is there, dormant in us, a power which shall develop one day the faculty 
of progressing through space at will by a mere volition? Who knows but that 
this might be a higher stage towards which we are gradually advancing? Or, 
may be, a kind of premonition of what shall take place when, with an astral 
body, we leave our present sphere ? 

Now, dear Sir, if like Terence, iiihil humani a te alienum putas, 
perhaps you will kindly elicit from the readers of the Journal an answer 
to this query: "Do you dream that dream, and what do you think of 
it ? " Yours truly, 



SIR, The paper by Dr. Morton Prince, entitled as above, and read by 
Mr. Myers at the last meeting of the S.P.R., is both interesting and sugges- 
tive, but makes one regret that the doctor did not pursue the matter a little 
further, or conduct his experiments a little differently. Dr. Prince is 
presumably experienced in the practice of hypnotism, and it would be 
useful to know whether, c.s a rule, his subjects split up under hypnotism 
into one, two, or more personalities ? Man is undoubtedly a far more 
intricate piece of mechanism than commonly supposed, but he is probably 
made alike all the world over, and a process which disintegrates the 
personality in one case might be expected to do so in all cases. Is this, 
therefore, the rule or the exception ? Do hypnotised subjects usually speak 
of themselves as "I," "he," or "she"? Dr. Prince apparently believes 
in the three in one, since he enumerates X 1, X 2, and X 3. When X 3 
appeared flippant, merry, and mischievous, utterly unlike X 1 and 2, 
why was she not asked, " Who are you ? " " What is your name ? " Had 
she replied, "I am X, of course," Dr. Prince's theory would have gained 
some amount of confirmation ; while if, on the other hand, X 3 had 
declared herself to be a totally distinct person, some other explanation 
would have been needed. Perhaps Dr. Prince will have something more to 
tell us presently, and the experience of other hypnotists may serve to 
elucidate the truth. 


April 29th, 1899. 

No. CLXI.-VoL. IX. JULY, 1899. 





New Members and Associates 97 

Meeting of the Council 98 

General Meeting 98 

The Cure of Warts by Suggestion 100 

Case 104- 


Names of Members are printed in Black Type. 
Names of Associates are printed in SMALL CAPITALS. 

JORDAN-SMITH, BEXJAMIX, A.R.C.S., F.C.S., Lower Chaplin-road, 

Longton, Staffs. 

NUGEXT, MRS. ARTHUR, 83, Eaton- terrace, London, S.W. 
FITTER, ROBERT A., The School of Medicine, Middlesex Hospital, W. 
Rashdall, Rev. Hastings, M.A., D.C.L., New College, Oxford. 
Russell, Rev.T. H., St. Martin's Vicarage, Vicar's-rd.,Gospel Oak,N. W. 
SAUXDERS, MRS. W. H. RADCLIFFE, 29, Bramham-gardens, South 

Kensington, S.W. 


BILL, GEORGE E., M.D., Harrisburgh, Pa. 

CLOSSOX, DR. JAMES H., 53, West Chelton-a venue, Germantown, Pa. 
DAVIS, DR. D. W., 402, Land Title Building, Philadelphia, Pa. 
ELLIOTT, Miss ALMA C., 4916, Washington-avenue, Chicago, 111. 
HOLT, DR. L. E., 15, East 54th-street, New York, N.Y. 
JAMISOX, A. B., M.D., 43, West 45th-street, New York, N.Y. 
LAYMAX, DR. ALFRED, 1630, N. 18th-street, Philadelphia, Pa. 
RAXE, DR. C. S., 121, North lOth-street, Philadelphia, Pa. 
SAWYER, MRS. A. M., 188, Institute-road, Worcester, Mass. 
SEARS, MRS. J. M., 12, Arlington-street, Boston, Mass. 
SPRAGUE, MRS. E. E., Flushing, N.Y. 

98 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [JULY, 1899. 

TRIPP, D WIGHT K., 1317, Monadnock Block, Chicago, 111. 
YAILL, Miss ANXIE E., 23, East 48th-street, New York, N.Y. 
WATSON, THOMAS A., Weymouth, Mass. 


A meeting of the Council was held on June 23rd at the Rooms of 
the Society. The President occupied the chair. There were also 
present, Mr. F. W. H. Myers, Mr. Sydney C. Scott, Mr. H. Arthur 
Smith, and Dr. A. Wallace. 

The minutes of the last meeting were read and signed as correct. 

Mr. C. F. G. Masterman was proposed for co-optatiori on the 
Council at its next meeting. 

Two new Members and four new Associates were elected. The 
election of fifteen new Associates of the American Branch was 
recorded. Names and addresses are given above. 

The Council recorded with regret the decease of three Associates of 
the Society, Dr. H. Bendelack Hewitson, Mr. W. Scott Hill, and Col. 

Some presents to the Library were acknowledged with thanks to 
the donors. 

The Council was informed that, owing to his continued absence in 
America, Dr. Hodgson was desirous of resigning the editorship of the 
Proceedings and Journal. It was concluded to accept his resignation, 
and on the proposition of Mr. F. W. H. Myers, seconded by Mr. H. 
Arthur Smith, Miss Alice Johnson, of Newnham College, Cambridge, 
was elected as Editor, the appointment to date from the 24th of June. 

It was agreed that General Meetings be held in the autumn, on 
Friday, November 17th, at 4 p.m., and on Friday, December 15th, at 
8.30 p.m. 

Other matters of business having been attended to, the Council 
decided to meet again, at 19, Buckingham Street, W.C., on Friday, 
October 13th, at 4.30 p.m. 


The 100th General Meeting of the Society was held in the Council 
Chamber at the Westminster Town Hall, at 8.30 p.m., on Friday, 
June 23rd. DR. ABRAHAM WALLACE occupied the chair. 

The CHAIRMAN expressed his regret that Professor Barrett was 
unable to be present owing to illness, and that therefore the paper 

JULY, 1899.] General Meeting. 99 

lown in his name would be deferred. Mr. Podmore also, who had 
Fered to read a paper, was ill ; but his paper would be read by Mr. 
[yers, who would also bring some other matter before the meeting. 

MR. F. W. H. MYERS prefaced his reading of certain cases with 
a few words to the following effect : I appear as the stop-gap of a 
stop-gap. In the first place, Professor Barrett had promised for this 
meeting the conclusion of his long and exhaustive discussion of the 
Divining Rod ; but an attack of influenza and its consequences have 
obliged him to take a sea voyage for the recovery of health, and his 
paper is inevitably postponed to the autumn. Mr. Podmore then 
kindly consented to read a paper in place of Professor Barrett's a 
paper on " Speaking with Tongues " but an attack of influenza has 
unfortunately prevented Mr. Podmore also for the present from 
speaking at length in any tongue whatever. I am presently to read 
his paper in the author's place. 

It seems well to take this opportunity to bring before the Society 
several brief cases, which might otherwise have been crowded out, 
but which all possess a real interest, whether of a negative or of a 
positive kind. It is hardly needful to repeat that the object of the 
Society is the attainment of knowledge, not the establishment of any 
special set of views, and that, just because the positive evidence grows 
stronger and stronger, it becomes more possible and more interesting 
to draw the dividing line between phenomena which do actually point 
to some supernormal faculty and phenomena which may indeed be 
perfectly genuine, but which attest either actual disturbance of 
mental balance or else some obscure psychological process which only 
simulates, without truly indicating, the phenomena of telepathy, or 
of clairvoyance, or of spirit-possession. I do not say that we should 
attempt to deal with actual insanity ; but, short of insanity, there 
are many phenomena, such as those with which Mr. Podmore's paper 
deals, which we ought, I think, to discuss with care, and not without 
hope of finding in their mechanism something which, while it may 
illustrate the processes of insanity on the one hand, illustrates also 
the processes of- supernormal mentation on the other. 

The first case read was contributed by Mr. Coghill, and described 
the disappearance of warts on certain horses and cows, following on a 
so-called treatment by prayer or incantation. [This case is printed in 
full below.] It seemed equally difficult to refer these disappearances 
to chance, to suggestion, or to any power of actual healing touch. 

MR. GILBERT ELLIOT (of Tednambury), referring to the cure of 
warts on animals, said that he had had considerable experience with 
horses, and he did not think " suggestion " could apply to them at 

100 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [JULY, 1899. 

all, or could have anything to do with the cure. Firmness was what 
influenced horses, and bringing a force to bear upon them which they 
could not resist. 

Miss M. H. MASON made some interesting remarks about a case 
of the cure of warts by suggestion, which she had contributed to 
the Journal for April, 1898, and referred to other cases of the 
" charming " of warts and other ailments, the results of which she was 
now watching. [She has kindly promised to let us have a full report 
of these later.] 

The other papers read consisted of an article by Dr. Alfred Russel 
Wallace on the " Clairvoyance of Alexis," which will shortly appear 
in the Proceedings S.P.R., Part XXXV. ; Mr. Podmore's paper on 
" Speaking with Tongues," and a short paper by Mr. Myers on 
" Some points connected with Mrs. Piper's Trances ; " both of which 
it is hoped to publish in future numbers of the Proceedings. 


The Journal for January, 1897, contained a description of a case 
of the cure of warts by " charming," contributed by Mr. Claude P. 
Coghill, of Frankville, Athboy, co. Meath. Mr. Coghill, as he kindly 
promised to do, has continued his investigation of the subject. 

Referring to the cure of the warts on his daughter's hands (see 
Journal, January, 1897) Mr. Coghill writes, under date of November 
29th, 1896: "I send certificate of chemist who saw my daughter's 
hands both before and after the cure." The certificate is as follows : 

Athboy, November 24/i, 1896. 

About four months ago Miss Ethel Coghill was brought by her nurse to 
me requesting I should give a cure for warts, the child's hands being nearly 
covered with them. I gave her an advertised remedy to be applied every day. 

Yesterday nurse and child called and the warts were entirely gone, the 
hands smooth and nice, no marks of any sort. Nurse told me the bottle 
did no good, but that a simple cure she got from a humble man left them 
as I saw them yesterday. ^^ FAGAN> Chemisfc ;md Dmggist 

In Mr. Coghill's letter, printed in the Journal above referred to, 
he speaks of a horse " quite unsaleable from the size and quantity of 
warts over his body," which was cured by the same peasant in a similar 
way. Mr. Coghill says in his letter of November 29th, 1896 : " I 
now have pleasure in enclosing a statement from Mr. Parr with regard 
to the cure of his horse. ... I see that I was wrong in stating 
that the horse had been seen by a vet. before calling in this man. Mr 

JULY, 1899.] The Cure of Warts by Suggestion. 101 

Parr is, however, such an experienced man with horses, that any state- 
ment made by him may be considered equal to the opinion of a vet." 

Ballyboy, Athboy, Co. Meath, November 27th, 1896. 
DEAR MR. COGHILL, I had a bay horse last spring covered with warts. 
Some of them were small, and they ranged up to the size of a swan's egg. 
There were about fifty on him in all, four or five large ones. In June, when 
the flies commenced, I could not take him out, they would almost set him 
mad, and my groom persuaded me to let John Kane, a man who lives near, 
take them off. He got him to go over the horse one morning, about June 
20th. That evening I looked at him. The large warts that had been 
continually bleeding had dried up, and some of the smaller ones had quite 
disappeared. In a week they were all gone, except about four. He came 
again, and in another week they were all gone but one, a very large one it 
was, but it had dried up to about the size of a blackbird's egg. I sold the 
horse on July 17th. The man who got him told me that one dropped off 
before a week. No vet. ever saw the horse during the time I had him, 
which was about a year. He had a few warts on him when I bought him. 
A herd of mine had a cow. Her spins were covered with warts. The same 
man took them off in a few days. Yours very truly, g ^y p ARR . 

In a letter written on November 9th, 1896, Mr. Coghill says : 
"There is a man I know of who has some very bad warts on his 
hands, and I will try to induce him to undergo the same charm. If I 
can get him to consent to do so, I will photograph his hands before 
and after, and will also get it duly certified by the local doctor." 

On January 13th, 1897, Mr. Coghill writes thus concerning this 
case : 

Athboy, Co. Meath, January 13th, 1897. 

DEAR SIR, The cure in this case, unfortunately, is not so rapid, but 
from the time of going to this man it has progressed in an interesting 
manner. There was at once an improvement visible in many of the warts, 
and a number of the smaller ones disappeared altogether. A fairly large 
one, in photo, on the second finger, has now entirely disappeared. The large 
ones on the third and little finger are greatly reduced, and show distinct signs 
of falling off. This is strange, as all other warts I have seen treated by 
Kane have gradually disappeared. 

I remarked to the subject about a crack visible round the big warts, and 
he told me that Kane told him on his first visit that all the warts would 
disappear with the exception of these two large ones, which he foretold 
would drop off. 

The cure in this case is a very severe test, as, owing to the subject 
suflering from blood poisoning in his hand, he has for some months past been 
applying an ointment, which apparently stimulated the growth of the warts 
prior to undergoing Kane's treatment. The subject tells me that he has 
continued using this ointment, and has used no care in avoiding applying 
same to the warts, and that Kane told him that it was probably due to this 

102 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [JULY, 1899. 

fact that the warts had not disappeared before now, as he never before had 
so tedious a case. 

I have now asked him to forego using the ointment in the vicinity of the 
warts, and when next reporting I will let you know whether this makes any 
material change in the rapidity of the cure. 

There are a number of good-sized warts between the little finger and third 
finger which do not show in the photo. Some of the spots on the back of 
the hand may have been freckles, but of this I am not certain. Yours truly 


The photograph referred to, sent to us with this letter, fully bears 
out Mr. Coghill's description. 

In a letter written on February 19th, 1897, Mr. Coghill regrets 
that he had had no opportunity of taking another photograph, as he 
did not often see the man. 

In response to a recent letter of inquiry as to whether he had 
anything further of interest to communicate, Mr. Coghill has very 
kindly written the following letter : 

Estate Office, Athboy, Co. Meath, October 24th, 1898. 

DEAR SIR, . . . I now enclose two letters from two most reliable 
men. One is signed by John McKenna, a member of Royal Irish Con- 
stabulary Force. On reading it over, I notice that he omitted to mention 
that he had also a wart on his head which caused him great annoyance when 
combing his hair and which was charmed at same time as the one on his hand, 
the result in both cases being perfectly satisfactory; both warts disappeared 
in or about same time. 

The second letter is from a very respectable shopkeeper in the town and 
speaks for itself. The man whose hand I photographed has been completely 
cured, and there is now not a vestige of warts on the hand. I will on the 
first opportunity take another photo, and forward it to you. I may mention 
in this case that although from the very first there was a marked diminution 
of warts, still it took some four or five months before the last of them 
disappeared. Kane accounted for this, whether rightly or wrongly, from 
fact that, owing to blood-poisoning in the hand, there was very bad circulation, 
and also that an ointment which he was using, by the doctor's directions, for 
blood-poisoning, was detracting from the cure. . 

1 have not seen, since I wrote to you last, the man who was suffering 
from what appeared to be cancer, but I understood from Kane that he has 
failed to make a complete cure in this case, although there was a most 
wonderfully marked improvement during the time he was visiting him. 
Kane accounts for the failure on account of the man's intemperate habits, 
and states that he finally told the man that it was useless for him to come 
to him any more unless he gave up using alcohol. 

During the past year I have myself had two opportunities to judge of the 
reality of the charm, as he has completely cured for me a heifer which had 
very bad warts on her spins, prior to calving. So bad were they that my man 
in charge of cows feared that she would never allow herself to be milked. 

JULY, 1899.] The Cure of Warts by Suggestion. 103 

I immediately sent for Kane, who succeeded by means of his charm in 
removing the principal ones before calving, and the remainder fell off very 
shortly after. 

The second case was on a bullock, which was the worst case I ever saw of 
warts, and one which, in spite of all I heard and knew of Kane, T believed to 
be beyond his powers. There was a bunch of warts, as large as my two fists, 
hanging from under the belly within a few inches of the ground. There 
were also a number of warts round the eyes. From the day Kane first began, 
the warts for the first time showed distinct signs of shrivelling. It took 
between two or three months before the last of them finally disappeared. I 
was very sorry afterwards that I did not take a photo before he began, but 
I looked upon it as such a hopeless case that I did not think it worth while. 

In conclusion, I may mention that under the promise of strictest secrecy 
he has confided to me the charm, which is in the nature of a prayer. 

I must confess to my having attempted several cases without success, 
and which he attributes to want of faith on my part. I certainly admit that 
I was unable to feel any faith in my own power while making the attempt, 
but my own opinion is that the man has some inherited power of healing by 
touch. / am absolutely certain that he uses no drug of any kind. 

I think in my previous letter I mentioned that his father had the same 
power. Yours faithfully, Q p Q OGHILL 

The following are the two enclosures Mr. Coghill refers to : 

Athboy, Co. Meath, January 30th, 1897. 

C. P. COGHILL, ESQ., SIR, As you have expressed a desire to be 
furnished with particulars relative to the cure of a wart which I had on my 
hand, I beg to submit the following facts regarding the same. 

The wart referred to has been on the knuckle joint of my right hand for 
about three years. It being in so remarkable a place, and having grown to 
a pretty large size that I was extremely anxious to have it removed, I showed 
it to different medical men and chemists, who in their turn applied caustic 
and several other cures, but all of no use, as the wart appeared to grow 
larger until it was the size of a pea. At last I gave up the idea of trying to 
have it removed by caustic, etc. One day a friend observed the wart, and 
advised me to show it to Mr. John Kane, Mooneystown, Athboy, who, it was 
stated, possessed a cure or charm for warts. Out of curiosity I showed the 
wart to him, he looked at it, and gave the wart a rub of his hand, told me to 
come again. I visited him once a week for four weeks. At the end of this 
time there were visible signs of the wart disappearing ; by degrees it 
eventually went, and I am now indebted to the kindness of Mr. Kane for 
having no wart at all. There is no sign on the place where the wart was, 
more than on any other part of the hand. These are the full and true facts 
of the case. 

Constable Joseph Chambers is within the knowledge of these facts, as he 
accompanied me to Mr. Kane on each of the four occasions. He also saw 
the caustic applied with no results. I am, Sir, your obedient servant, 


104 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [JULY, 1899. 

Athboy, March 27^, 1897. 

C. P. COGHILL, DEAR SIR, In September last I had a heifer cow timed 
to calve November 1st. She had more than twenty warts of various sizes 
on both spins and udder, rendering her, I should say, (to many men) 

Having heard that the man, John Kane, could remove them, I sent for 
him, and, being myself a believer in cause and effect, I closely observed the 
hand he rubbed the warts with, to see if it contained application or matter, 
but it did not. 

In about ten days the warts became quite shrivelled and withered-looking, 
and dropped off entirely within two months. 

He saw and rubbed the animal three times, and then assured me that 
they required nothing more, as they were certain to drop off. They did so, 
and I now say, ' seeing is believing." Your obedient servant, 



L. 1113. Dream. 

. The following account of a veridical dream was sent to Mr. Myers 
by a member of the S.P.R., Mr. Donald Murray, Editor of the Sydney 
Morning Herald, in a letter dated Sydney, New South Wales, 
July 18th, 1898. Mr. Murray sent a complete set of newspaper 
cuttings relating to the shipwreck, etc., but his own account here 
printed gives the essential details, and he has spared no pains in 
collecting not only all the available evidence with regard to the dream, 
but what is of equal importance as much information as possible 
about the various circumstances, which is indispensable for judging 
how far a genuine telepathic faculty was involved in it. 

Towards the end of 1897 a Chilian ship named the Atacama, a wooden 
vessel of 1,298 tons gross register, came to Sydney, New South Wales, in a 
leaky condition, and was purchased by Messrs. Cowlishaw Brothers for 700. 
The ship was repaired at a cost of about 1,500, sent to Newcastle, New 
South Wales, by her new owners and loaded with 1,700 tons of coal, and she 
sailed for San Diego, in Southern California, on January 29th, 1898. 

On February 6th, when about 540 miles out from Sydney, a good deal of 
water was found in the well, and as the barometer was falling rapidly 
Captain Spruit, the master of the vessel, decided to return to port, and 
steered for Sydney. Heavy weather was encountered, and though the 
pumps were all kept going, the water gained steadily till Wednesday, 
February 9th. By four p.m. on Wednesday, February 9th, there were eleven 
feet of water in the well, and at six p.m. on the same day it was decided to 
abandon the vessel, and the boats were launched. There were three of 
these. The first was a 24-foot life-boat. In this were Captain Spruit, able 
seaman Pinto, steward Sheiner, boatswain Figuero (or Figuaro) and appren- 

JULY, 1899.] Case. 105 

tice Allen (aged 16). The rest of the crew [twelve in number] were in the 
two other boats in charge of the first and second mates. The boats stood 
by the ship all night, and at daylight on Thursday morning, February 10th, 
1898, they set sail for Sydney. 

On Saturday, February 12th, high winds were encountered. During the 
afternoon the wind increased, and early in the evening of Saturday a heavy 
sea swamped the Captain's boat, which shortly afterwards capsized, and the 
boy Allen was drowned. The boat righted itself, and the Captain, who could 
not swim, and the crew scrambled on board again and spent the night in 
the boat full of water, in a hurricane, and some 300 miles from land. Next 
day there was a furious gale and a high sea. Captain Spruit was washed out 
of the boat and rescued either by Figuero or by Sheiner. On the 14th the 
same conditions prevailed. The boat remained full of water with a high 
sea and a heavy gale. The other two boats disappeared during the night. 

On the 15th and 16th the weather improved, and the crew succeeded in 
baling the water out of the boat. Sail was set shortly after sunrise on 
February 16th, and the ship Industrie, damaged by the hurricane, was 
sighted, and a tug-boat, the Leveret, from Sydney, came up to them and took 
them on board about 35 miles outside of Sydney Heads. When rescued 
Captain Spruit and his three companions were in the last stages of exhaus- 
tion from fatigue, exposure, and want of food. Their arrival caused a great 
sensation in Sydney, and the newspapers were full of particulars of the 
disaster and interviews with the survivors. 

Accompanying this account I forward a copy of the Sydney Morning 
Herald, giving full details of the loss of the Atacama, with statements by 
the survivors. From this account it will be seen that the escape of Captain 
Spruit and his companions borders on the miraculous. The odds especially 
against Captain Spruit reaching Sydney must have been enormous. Captain 
Spruit and his companions were in an open boat, in mid-ocean, 400 miles 
from land, without a vestige of food or water, and for days at the mercy of 
a hurricane. And further, in the case of Captain Spruit it is to be 
remembered that he could not swim, and that he was thrown out of the 
boat into the sea. 

It will also be noticed in the account in the Herald that when a reporter 
called at Captain Spruit's house to interview him, Captain Spruit " came 

into the room barefooted, and with both hands bandaged and 

pointing to his uncovered feet and legs, said, ' They tell a tale of some 
trouble, don't they ? ' Certainly the bruises and cuts and the way they were 
swollen indicated a very shocking tale of suffering." 

The account in the Sydney Morning Herald concludes with the following 
paragraph : 


"Whatever may or may not be credited to superstitious ideas, startling 
facts occasionally crop up which are usually regarded as curious coincidences. 
This happened in reference to the loss of the Atac-atna. Last Thursday 
morning a daughter of Captain Spruit's, residing at home at Balmain with 
her mother and the other members of the family, narrated to the latter very 
vividly a dream that she had had. In it she saw her father's ship sink, and 

106 Journal of Society for Psychical liesearck. [JULY, 1899. 

distinctly described the captain taking to the boats with the men, how they 
were dressed, and generally a number of details, which upon Captain Spruit's- 
arrival at home were told to him, to his utter amazement. The time, as. 
near as can be judged, at which the actual taking to the boats occurred, 
corresponds with that of the dream. So it was not such a surprise after 
all to the family when their father reached his home from sea yesterday. 
The circumstances were vouched for by Mrs. Spruit to a Herald reporter 
yesterday as being in that lady's judgment very remarkable, as, indeed, most 
persons will consider them to be." 

[From this stage the account has been revised by the Spruits.] 

On the evening of Friday, February 18th, eight days after the dream, 
and the same d*y as the report of the shipwreck appeared in the news- 
papers, I called on Captain and Mrs Spruit at their house, 26, Prosper- 
street, Rozelle, Balmain, a suburb of Sidney, and had a conversation with 
them about their daughter's dream. At first only Captain and Mrs. 
Spruit were present. Mrs. Spruit, in reply to enquiries, said : 

On Thursday week, at three in the morning, my daughter Lily, aged 
thirteen, came into my bedroom where I was sleeping. She tapped me on 
the forehead, waking me, and said, " Oh, Mama, I'm frightened." I asked 
her what for, and she said, "Oh, see, Dada's ship is wrecked. Dada has 
come home all in rags, and his feet and legs are all cut, and one or two of 
his men are drowned out of his boat." I said, " Nonsense, child," and she 
answered, "Oh yes, Mama, I have seen it quite true." Then, of course, I 
coaxed her to go off to bed. But she kept it up from Thursday right on till 
the following Sunday. On Sunday she asked me if there was any fear, and 
if I believed in dreams. I told her, yes, to a certain extent I did. And 
then she said her father would be too far away, and that it was on this coast 
that she dreamed the ship was lost. I said, "No, he would not be too far 
away, but it is only nonsense, and you are trying to frighten me." That was 
all, but the child never forgot it. A week after the dream, on the evening 
that my husband returned, Lily came in from school and found me crying, 
and she said, " Oh, Mania, is the Atacama wrecked 1 " At once she thought 
of her dream and of her father. I told her thac her father had come home, 
and she said, ' % Are Dada's legs cut, Mama?" I told her that they were, 
and she, when she saw her father, said, " You didn't have these clothes oil. 
The clothes you had on were all torn when I dreamed about the shipwreck." 
On the Thursday I had to keep her away from school on account of her being 
so much upset by her dream. The poor little thing kept it up till Sunday at 
dinner time, and nearly broke my heart. You know they say if a person 
dreams of blood it means scandal, and I said, thinking of her father's feet 
being cut, " Were they bleeding? " and she turned away and cried. 

While Mrs. Spruit was making this statement Captain Spruit was present, 
but the child, Lily, was in another room. Mrs. Spruit went to fetch her 
daughter, in order that I might get a direct statement about the dream. 
While Mrs. Spruit was away on this errand, I asked Captain Spruit if he 
had ever had any dreams of this kind. He replied in the negative, and added 
that at one time he used to note down when he dreamed of anything, but 
none of his dreams had ever come to anything. Once he dreamed that two 

JULY, 1899.] Case. 107 

friends were dead. He wrote home to enquire about it, and found they 
were still alive and well, so after that he gave up making notes of his 

At this stage Mrs. Spruit returned with her daughter, Lily Spruit. The 
child was reluctant at first to say anything, as she did not want anything 
more about her dream to be made public ; but after chatting for a few minutes, 
she made the following statement : 

" On the AVednesday night I dreamed it, and I went into Mother's room 
on Thursday morning. I got a fright, and I woke up so quick and ran in to my 
Mother. I thought I saw my Father get into a boat, and they got everything 
into the boat that they could, and they kept close up to the ship, and after- 
wards it went down, and my Father was in the boat and the boy Allen, and 
the boatswain, and two or three others I did not know, and one or two got 
drowned, and my father came home all cut about, and he had lost every- 

I asked her if she had seen the boat capsize. 

"1 saw the boat go over," she replied, "and I saw the boy Allen 
drowned. " 

"Did you know the boy Allen ? " I asked, and she said, " No, but I know 
from what my Father has said since that it was the boy Allen. I saw a boy 
drowned, and now I take it to be the boy Allen." 

" Did you see anything more in your dream ? " 

"Yes, I saw them pulling my Father into the boat." 

"Did the night seem dark?" 

"Yes, it was quite dark. It was a stormy night, and the wind was 

" Did you hear the wind in your dream ? " 

"Yes, I heard it howling." 

" Do you often dream? Have you ever dreamed anything like this 
before ? " 

" I have never dreamed anything like this before. I have only dreamed 
that. T never dream." 

Mrs. Spruit interposed, " I don't think she is a child that ever dreams." 

I asked again about the boy Allen, and Mrs. Spruit said : " My daughter 
was sure of one or two men having been drowned, but did not know who 
they were. Now she puts one of them down as the boy Allen. I asked her 
who were saved besides her Father, and she said she could not tell me." 


We have read and revised the foregoing account taken down in short- 
hand and written out by Mr. Murray, and we certify that it is a correct 
report of our statements to him, and that our statements are true. 


On the succeeding Monday I sent the following letter to Captain Spruit, 
and a few days afterward received the subjoined reply : - 

108 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [JULY, 1899. 

Sydney, February 21st, 1898. 

CAPTAIN SPRUIT, DEAR SIR, I enclose a typewritten copy of the state- 
ments made to me by you and Mrs. and Miss Spruit. Would you and Mrs. 
Spruit and your daughter kindly correct any inaccuracies and sign the 
certificate at the end ? . . . There are two or three points I forgot to 
ask you about, so I would be obliged if in returning the statement you 
would send me a brief note replying to the following enquiries : 

(1) Has your daughter ever been at sea for any length of time, so as to 
have learned something about sea life ? 

(2) Was there any talk in your family before you sailed in the Atacama 
about the vessel having been unseaworthy or leaky ? 

(3) How many children have you, and is your daughter Lily the eldest 2 
If not, where does she come in ? 

(4) Is she a favourite child ? Is she a special pet with you, so that there 
would be a strong bond of sympathy between you ? 

(5) Were your clothes all torn when you reached Sydney, or when in the 
boat ? 

(6) In the record from your notebook published in the Herald it says, 
" 6 p.m. Put the boats out and left the ship. At 7 p.m. sounded the well, 
and found 12ft. Gin. Avater." Is there not some mistake here, or did some 
one stay on board the ship to sound the well ? Can you tell me what day 
and time the boat capsized and the boy Allen was drowned ? I am, yours 
sincerely, DONALD MURRAY. 

Rozelle, February 24th, 1898. 

DONALD MURRAY, ESQ., SIR, I herewith return you the statements about 
the dream and found them correct. As for the other points you refer to : 

(1) My daughter has only made one trip to New Caledonia with me in 
1890, when she was only six years old, but never since. 

(2) There never was any mention made as to her unseaworthiness, but 
perhaps quite the contrary, as I had every faith in her. 

(3) I have five children, two older arid two younger. 

(4) Neither my wife or myself make any difference in our children, but 
of the five children Lily is the most tender and affectionate, i.e., she shows 
it more than the others. 

(5) No. My daughter's dream was perfectly correct with the exception 
of the torn clothes ; it was not torn, but had rust spots. 

(6) We commenced putting the boats out at 6 p.m., mine first, then the 
cutter, 1st mate, then the 2nd mate boat. At about 7 p.m. I sounded the 
well and found 12ft. 6 in. water in the ship, but it was 7.30 p.m. when we 
all left the ship, laid to near the ship during the night and made sail at day- 
light, when nothing was to be seen of the ship. That was, say, 4.30 a.m., 
February 10th. The gale commenced on the J2th, 4 p.m., and the boat 
capsized at 11.5 p.m. same night, as at that time my watch stopped, and the 
boy Allen was lost. 

Trusting you will be able to understand this explanation, I am, dear Sir, 
respectfully yours, H c SPRUIT. 

In connection with this dream there are three main points which appear 
to require discussion, namely, 

1. Credibility of witnesses. 

2. Odds against coincidence. 

3. Time relations of the dream. 

JULY, 1899.] 



First in importance is the credibility of the witnesses. On this point I 
entertain no doubts. [Mr. Murray afterwards had reason to doubt the 
reliability of Captain Spruit's statements. See his letter of October 2nd, 
1898, below.] 

Assuming then that the account of the dream is substantially correct, the 
next point requiring consideration is the probability of the dream having 
been merely a coincidence. There are several circumstances which appear to 
me to make this probability very small. If the dream had simply related 

(1) to the wreck of the Afacama, or 

(2) to the safe return of Captain Spruit, or 

(3) to his feet and legs being cut about, or 

(4) to several of his men being drowned, 

then coincidence might fairly be regarded as the true explanation. But 
when we find a complex agreement between the dream and the facts on at 
least four main points, the odds against coincidence become so vast as to 
justify us in looking for some other explanation. Let us assume that the 
odds against simple coincidence between the dream and the fact in 
the first case were 100 to 1 ; in the second case 100,000 to 1 (the 
odds against this event were enormous, say 10,000 to 1, and con- 
sequently the odds against the coincidence between the dream and the 
event must have been still greater, say 10 times) ; in the third case 
1,000 to 1 ; and in the fourth case 1,000 to 1. Then the odds against 
the combined coincidence would be 100 billions [should be 10 billions] 
to 1. It is to be noted that the odds against the events themselves were 
comparatively small. Coal is a dangerous cargo, and the ship was so old 
that she went to sea uninsured. Probably the odds were not more than 
100 to 1 against her being lost, and the very fact of loss involved probable 
injury and death to the captain and crew. The odds against the escape of 
the captain have already been estimated at 10,000 to 1, so that the odds 
against the whole chain of events were perhaps not more than a million to 
one. Compare this with the odds of 100 billions to 1 against the dream 
being a mere coincidence. It is true these odds are only guesswork, but they 
serve to illustrate the contention that "complex coincidence" is not a 
satisfactory explanation of the Atacama dream. 

[The writer has, I think, considerably over-estimated the odds 
against the events and against the dream coinciding with them. It 
is essential to note that the events were not independent of one 
another, and therefore the improbability of their occurrence can not 
be measured, as he has done, by multiplying together the improba- 
bilities of all the events taken separately. If the ship had not been 
wrecked, the chance of the injuries to the captain and the drowning 
of some of the crew might be, as Mr. Murray estimates, about 1 
in 100 in each case. But after the shipwreck the chance of both 
these events happening was, as he observes, very much greater, and 
this is the contingency that has to be considered. There are, I 
think, at the outside, only two events in the series sufficiently indepen- 
dent of one another for their improbabilities to be taken into account : 
(1) the loss of the ship, the chance of which Mr. Murray thinks was 
as much as 1 in 100, and (2) the escape of the captain after the 
shipwreck, the chance of which he estimates as 1 in 10,000. Now, 
the only possible way of estimating chances in such a case as this 
is by empirical observation of actual facts, and the proportion of 
survivors out of crews shipwrecked at about 400 miles from land is 

110 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [JULY, 1899. 

certainly far more than 1 in 10,000. In this particular case, as far 
as we can judge from the narrative, all the crew must have had, on 
an average, about an equal chance of surviving, and, judging from 
the results, that chance was about 1 in 4, since 4 men out of 17 
survived. Of course we cannot really estimate the chances from a 
single case like this, and there is no doubt that the men were in an 
extremely dangerous position. But there are many situations in life 
in which men encounter great dangers and yet escape from them. In 
battles, for instance, only a small proportion of men are generally 
killed. Thus, at the capture of Omdurman, on September 2nd, 1898, 
after a battle which lasted practically all day, the total number of 
persons killed on the Anglo-Egyptian side was about 43, and the 
total killed and wounded (of the latter, of course, some died later) 
were about 378, out of a force of 25,000 engaged on that side. The 
percentage of total casualties was thus about 1'2*. The losses of 
the Dervishes were, of course, far heavier. The chance of death under 
many circumstances may appear great, because the danger is vividly 
present to our imagination : but statistics show that the chance of 
survival is generally far greater. Thus, it seems to me possible that 
the chance of Captain Spruit's escape was at least 1 in 4. ED.] 

It may be explained here that the storm encountered by Captain Spruit 
and his men in the open boat one of the heaviest storms for years did 
great damage all over New South Wales and led to many shipwrecks on the 
coast ; but it was before this storm commenced that the Atacama sprang a 
leak and foundered, and there was on Wednesday, February 9th, nothing in 
Sydney to indicate the approach of a hurricane. There was, therefore, 
nothing in the appearance of the weather in Sydney when Lily Spruit went 
to bed on Wednesday night to make her fear for her father's safety. Turn- 
ing up the weather forecasts in the Sydney Morning Herald, I find that on 
February llth the official forecast for the day gave no indication of heavy 
weather beyond saying that the weather in New South Wales would be 
" cloudy and unsettled." On February 12th the forecast was " generally un- 
settled throughout, with rain pretty general . . . sea moderate." It was 
not till Sunday, February 13th, that the wild storm set in. It will also be 
seen from the newspaper extracts accompanying this account, that the storm 
was a monsoonal disturbance from the north-west, and that consequently the 
Atacama had foundered 400 miles to the east of Sydney three days before 
the hurricane from the north- west had reached Sydney. From Captain 
Spruit's notebook it will he seen that when the Atacama foundered, the 
weather was fresh, but not stormy. 

In regard to the third main point, the strangest feature of the dream 
appears to me to be the extraordinary way in which the time relations have 
been jumbled up. The child, when telling her mother of the dream on 
Thursday morning, spoke in the present tense, "Oh, see, Dada's ship is 
wrecked. Dada has come home, etc." The dream took place, it would seem, 
shortly before three o'clock in the morning on Thursday, February 10th. 
The Atacama was abandoned at six p.m. on Wednesday, February 9th. 
That was about nine hours before the dream began, and Captain Spruit 
did not "come home" till February 17th. In other words, the little seer 
apparently beheld in her brief dream vision the events, past and future, 

* These numbers are only approximate, since the numbers given in different 
reports of the battle varied considerably. 

JULY, 18U9.] Case. Ill 

which in actual life extended over a whole week. Seemingly for the moment 
she had reached that condition of existence, described by the Irish orator, 
"when time shall be 110 more and eternity shall have become a thing of the 
past." Mrs. Spruit in describing her daughter's dream led me to under- 
stand that the child, when she came in to her mother at three o'clock on 
Thursday morning, was confused and apparently still saw the vision, leading 
her to speak in the present tense. Lily Spruit in her own account to me 
naturally did not use the present tense, as it was then a week after the 
dream. She said, " I thought I saw my father get into a boat, and they got 
everything into the boat that they could, and they kept close up to the ship 
and afterwards it went down." So far the dream can be accounted for by 
telepathy over a distance of 400 miles. But the drowning of Allen and 
subsequent events did not take place till after the dream was over. This 
part of the dream may have been simply a surmise of the dreaming mind as 
to what would happen as the result of the telepathically known events, a 
surmise that by a rare chance turned out to be correct. Otherwise the 
dream involves some fascinating metaphysical problems. 


A few comments may be made on what Mr. Murray calls the 
"strangest feature of the dream," the way in which it corresponded 
with past, present, and future events. He remarks, indeed, that the 
apparent perception of the future " may have been simply a surmise 
of the dreaming mind as to what would happen as the result of the 
telepathically known events " ; but he seems to imply that we can 
suppose this only by straining the notion of telepathy. We know, 
however, that ideas originated by telepathy present themselves to the 
mind generally in a sensory form ; they appear like actual sights or 
sounds, etc., which can only be distinguished by reflection and judgment 
from the visual and auditory sensations derived from material objects. 
It seems to follow almost inevitably that the mind should treat tele- 
pathic ideas as it does ordinary sensations, that is, use them as simple 
rough material to be worked up into complex concepts. In the domain 
of ordinary psychology, nothing is more familiar than the fact that 
only a very small part of our perception of an object is derived directly 
from what we see, hear, or feel of it ; by far the greater part is made 
up of inference from our sensations and deduction from previous 
knowledge of that and other objects, and the more complex the object, 
the greater is the proportion of the percept due to inference. It seems 
reasonable to suppose that a similar mental process goes on in the case 
of a telepathic -percept of an objective fact. Probably only a small 
part of the percept is directly due to the object ; the greater part is 
manufactured by the mind of the percipient, and the manufactured 
part probably increases with the complexity of the object. 

If this be so, two results follow : (1) a certain amount of error may 
often creep into the percept through incorrect inference and deduction 
from what is correctly telepathically perceived ; that is, there may 
be genuine telepathic action, in spite of even considerable incorrectness 
in the details of the percept (for instance, the detail in Lily Spruit's 
dream that her father had " come home all in rags " was incorrect, 
while the other details, as far as they went, corresponded with the 

112 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [JULY, 1899. 

facts) ; (2) a certain amount of correct detail may be added through 
inference and deduction to the telepathic percept and thus give the 
impression of a much more far-reaching action of telepathy than has 
really occurred. A complex correspondence of a vision with reality is 
not therefore necessarily better evidence of telepathy than a single, 
strongly-marked, and definite correspondence, such as, an apparition 
seen at the time of death of the person represented. 

In practice, it is, of course, exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, 
to distinguish between the objectively derived part of the percept and 
the subsequent mental additions, even in the case of ordinary sensory 
percepts. But it is clear that, when dealing with presumably telepathic 
percepts, we ought to allow the widest possible margin for the part 
played by inference and deduction. Such an allowance, however, does 
not affect the force of the evidence for telepathy in the case of Lily 
Spruit's dream, so far as the central incidents of the dream are con- 
cerned ; namely, the loss of the ship and her father's escape. These 
may be regarded as two separate incidents, because the idea of the loss 
of the ship would naturally suggest that her father was drowned, 
rather than that he escaped ; whereas the other correct details of the 
dream, as already observed, might easily have been inferred from the 
idea of the wreck. 

Mr. Murray states that there was a widespread impression in 
Sydney, after the disaster had become known, that the Atacama 
should not have been allowed to go to sea. One newspaper, the 
Sydney Bulletin, was very outspoken on the subject, and, in. con- 
sequence, was sued for libel by the owners of the vessel. 

After studying all the evidence brought forward at the trial, 
Mr. Murray wrote : 

October 2nd, 1898. 

In order to complete the record of the Atacama case, I enclose the 
Sydney Morning Herald report of the Atacama libel action. Briefly it is to 
be noted that the defendant newspaper, the Bulletin, won the case, and that 
the evidence disclosed a shocking state of affairs in regard to the condition 
in which ships are allowed to leave New South Wales ports. The Atacama 
was shown to have been a crazy old tub, "leaking like a lobster-pot," worse 
than Kipling's Bolivar, and, as the defendant's counsel put it, her seams 
used to "open out like a concertina." Apparently Captain Spruit was 
induced to risk his life in her in return for a bonus on his salary. After 
reading the evidence, I cannot see how it was possible for Captain Spruit 
not to have been aware of the unseaworthy condition of the Atacama. 
Whether this knowledge was shared by his family is a matter that 1 cannot 
regard as settled by Captain Spruit's denial, and if Lily Spruit had any 
anxiety about her father's safety, the possibility of chance coincidence 
between the dream and the wreck is slightly strengthened in my opinion, 
however, not to any serious extent. DONALD MURRAY. 

The report of the trial sent by Mr. Murray fully bears out the 
remarks in the above letter. The evidence tended to show that the 
upper part and sides of the ship had been repaired properly, while the 
bottom was left practically untouched, and the ship leaked a great 
deal all the time she was being loaded with coal before she started. 

No. CLXIL-VoL. IX. OCTOBER, 1899. 





Messrs. Hansen and Lehmann on the Telepathic Problem .. .. 113 

Some Notes on Self-Suggestion 120 

Cases 122 


The following correspondence may interest or entertain some of 
our readers. 

Professor Titchener, of Cornell University, contributed to Science, 
for December 23rd, 1898, a paper on "The Feeling of being Stared 
at." After explaining the popular belief that one may make a person 
look round by staring at the back of his head, by the fact that many 
persons are nervous when others are behind them, and, involuntarily 
looking round at intervals to reassure themselves, meet our eyes if we 
are making the experiment, he adds the following paragraph. The 
rest of the correspondence explains itself. 

In conclusion, I may state that I have tested this interpretation of the 
'"feeling of being stared at," at various times, in series of laboratory 
experiments conducted with persons who declared themselves either 
peculiarly susceptible to the stare or peculiarly capable of " making people 
turn round. " As regards such capacity and susceptibility, the experiments 
have invariably given a negative result ; in other words, the interpre- 
tation offered has been confirmed. If the scientific reader object 
that this result might have been foreseen, and that the experiments were, 
therefore, a waste of time, I can only reply that they seem to me to have 
their justification in the breaking down of a superstition which has deep and 
widespread roots in the popular consciousness. No scientifically-minded 
psychologist believes in telepathy. At the same time, the disproof of it in a 
given case may start a student upon the straight scientific path, and the time 
spent may thus be repaid to science a hundredfold. The brilliant work 
of Lehmann and Hansen upon the telepathic ' ' problem " (Philos. Studien, 

* Ueber unwillkiirlicfus Fiiistcrn ; cine kritische and experimentelle Untcrsuchuny 
der sogenannten Gedankenilbertragung. Von F. C. C. Hansen und A. Lehmann. 
Wundt's Philosophische Studien. 1895, XI., 471. 

114 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [OCT., 1899. 

1895, XI., 471) has probably done more for scientific psychology than could 
have been accomplished by any aloofness, however authoritative. 


Cornell University. 

[From Science, December 30th, 1898.] 

Professor Titchener in to-day's Science assumes that Messrs. Lehmann and 
Hansen have performed a work of definitive demolition in the well-meant 
article of theirs to which he refers. If he will take the pains to read 
Professor Sidgwick's criticism of their results in the S.P.R. Proceedings, 
Vol. XII., p. 298, as well as the note to my report of his paper in the 
Psychological Review, Vol. IV., p. 654,* he will probably admit that, owing 
to the fewness of the data which they collected, they entirely failed to prove 
their point. This leaves the phenomena in dispute still hanging, and 
awaiting a positive interpretation from other hands. 

I think that an exploded document ought not to be left with the last 
word, even for the sake of "scientific psychology." And I must incidentally 
thank Professor Titchener for his admission that ' ' aloofness, however 
authoritative" (which phrase seems to be style noble for "ignorance of the 
subject, and be d d to it"), is an attitude which need not be invariably 
maintained by the "Scientific," even towards matters such as this. I only 
wish that his admission were a little less apologetic in form. 


Cambridge, Mass., December 23rd, 1898. 

* This note by Professor James is as follows : 

"The Danish authors made only 500 experiments, obviously too small a number 
for safe conclusions. The better to frame a critical opinion, I have myself collected a 
series of upwards of 1,000 guesses tit bi-digital numbers whispered with closed lips 
by the agent. Following Lehmann's method, and comparing the four most frequent 
erroneous guesses at each digit of the numbers whispered with the four most fre- 
quent errors made in divining the same digits in the English thought-transference 
series, I find (taking the digits from 1 to 9) that 20 of the erroneous digits are 
common to the two series. But I find that if one compares the four least frequent 
erroneous guesses in my whispered series with the most frequent corresponding ones 
in the thought-transference series, one gets 15, no great difference. Taking the one 
most frequent error of substitution for each digit in my series, I find but 2 agree- 
ments with the thought-transference series, and 2 with the Sidgwick series of pure 
guesses. Plotting the frequency of the various errors in the several series as curves 
shows so great a discrepancy between my whispered series and the Danish one that 
it becomes obvious that the series are too short to serve as proper terms of comparison 
with the thought-transference series. Moreover, the curves of my series and those 
of the thought-transference series show at special points variations from each other 
so great, when compared with the absolute figures which they represent, that the 
same conclusion is again obvious. Both the agreements and the disagreements are 
thus probably accidental. I myself agree, then, entirely with Professor Sidgwick 
that Professor Lehmann has failed to prove his particular hypothesis of whispering 
as the cause of the thought-transference results ; and I am pleased to notice that Mr. 
Parish, in the work noticed below (Hattucinationi and Illusions, p. 320, note), also 
considers Professor Sidgwick 'perfectly justified in his contention.'" 

OCT., is;)!).] On the Telepathic Problem. 115 

[From Science, January 6th, 1899.J 

I can assure Professor James that 1 do not knowingly leave unread any- 
thing that he or Professor Sidgwick writes. I carefully considered the two 
papers to which he refers, at the time of their appearance, and have recently 
turned to them again. I am afraid, however, that I cannot make the 
admission that Professor James expects. Even if I granted all the conten- 
tions of criticism and report, I should still see no reason to change the 
wording of my reference to Lehmann and Hansen. But there is a great 
deal that I cannot grant. While, like Stevenson's Silver, "I wouldn't set 
no limits to what a virtuous character might consider argument," I must 
confess that, in the present instance, the grounds for such consideration have 
not seldom escaped me. 

Professor James rules that the Phtt. Studien article is "exploded." I 
have tried to take up the position of an impartial onlooker ; and, from that 
position, I have seen Professor James and Professor Sidgwick and Herr 
Parish handling the fuse, but I have not yet heard the detonation. 


[From Science, May 5th, 1899.] 

After recapitulating the early stages of the discussion, Professor 
Jauies writes, in reference to the final sentence of the above letter : 

As the explosion was so audible to me, the disproof being quasi-mathe- 
matical, I was astounded at this hardness of hearing in my colleague ; and, 
to make sure that I was not a victim of auditory hallucination, I wrote to 
Professor Lehmann to know what he himself thought of his conclusions, in 
the light of the criticisms in question. His answer, somewhat belated, just 

He says : "Your own as well as Professor Sidgwick's experiments and 
computations prove, beyond a doubt, that the play of chance had thrown 

* Professor Lehmann writes to Professor James : 

"Kopenhagen, d. 5/4, 1899. 

" Sowohl die Ihrigen als Professor Sidgwick's Experimente und 

Berechnungen zeigen unzweifelhaft, dass der Zufall mir ein fur meine Theorie gar zu 
giinstiges Resnltat in die Hande gespielt hat, und dass die Theorie folglich nicht 
bewiesen ist. Ausserdem geht aus den Berechnungen Professor Sidgwick's hervor 
dass die Zahlen-Gewohnheit (number-habit) eine wichtige Rolle spielt. Ob diese 
beide Faktoren die Sache erklaren konnen, wird sich wohl schliesslich, durch fort- 
gesetzte Versuche, herausstellen. Als vorlaufige Hypothese wird das unwillkiirliches 
Fliistern in Verbindung mit der Zahlen-Gewohnheit unzweifelhaft gentigen ; meines 
Erachtens liegt jedenfalls im Augenblick keine Veranlassung vor, ausserdem okkulte 
Kriifte anzunehmen. Professor Sidgwick sagt es zwar nicht, man sieht es aber 
leicht aus seiner Abhandlung, dass er sehr geneigt ist, an mystische Ursachen zu 
glauben. Ich bedauere sehr, ihm hier nicht folgen zu konnen. 

" Selbstverstandlich steht es Ihnen ganz frei, wenn Sie es wiinschen, diese 

Erklarung zu veroffentlichen 


116 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [OCT., 1899. 

into my hands a result distinctly too favourable to my theory, and that the 
said theory is consequently not yet established (bewiesen)." 

This is identically Professor Sidgwick's and my contention ; and for his 
candour, as well as for his willingness to take pains to experiment in 
this region, Professor Lehmann deserves to stand high as a "psychical 

Professor Titcheiier, meanwhile, still hugging the exploded document, 
wanders upon what he calls "the straight scientific path," having it 
apparently all to himself. May the consciousness of his fidelity to correct 
scientist principles console him in some degree both for his deafness and for 
his isolation. 


[From Science, May 12th, 1899.] 

It is evident that Professor James and I have been writing at cross 
purposes. On the point that Lehmann has not ' ' established " his explanation 
of the Sidgwick results I am heartily at one with James, Sidgwick, Parish and 
Lehmann himself. But Professor James need not have awaited the return 
mail from Copenhagen to wrest this admission either from Lehmann or from 
me. Lehmami wrote in his original paper: "Ein exacter Beweis hierfiir 
(i.e., for his explanation) kann wohl im Augenblicke nicht gefiihrt werden." 
Nor, I take it, in any future Augenblick. 

On the other hand, I have never regarded this point as the point at issue. 
Lehmann set out to examine telepathy at large. He chose the Sidgwick 
experiments simply as typical series, considering the authors' names a 
guarantee of serious intent and careful work. In his inquiry he laid hold of 
a condition which had never been thoroughly investigated before, and traced 
its effects in experiments that were both ingeniously devised and rigidly 
controlled ; no one can neglect the unconscious whisper in future telepathic 
work. His paper is a model of scientific method ; he has shown us how 
borderland questions are to be attacked, and proved that the " ordinary 
channels of sense " have unexplored resources. His suggestions will be 
fruitful, for the next stage of advance must be an exhaustive study of the 
"number-habits" which Sidgwick at first rejected, but now makes the 
headstone of the corner. Even granting all the contentions of the critics, 
therefore, I should assert that Lehmann's work is brilliant, and that it has 
done signal service to scientific psychology. But, as I hinted before, I do 
not know that quasi-mathemabics has contributed much to psychology in any 
field of research. 

I conclude with a word on the logic of Professor James' objection. A 
theory is pronounced which, from the outset, lays claim to probability and to 
probability only. "Exact proof" is acknowledged to be impossible. Criticism 
plays upon the theory, and the author again acknowledges that his hypothesis 
is not proven. Professor James, apparently forgetting the first acknowledg- 
ment, affirms that the criticism has "exploded" the theory! What is not 
proven is, eo ipso, exploded ! Is Professor James, then, ready to grant that 
his recent book on "Human Immortality" something which assuredly is not 

OCT., 18!)'.).! On the Telepathic Problem. 117 

yet proven is an " exploded document " ? If the alternatives before me are 
scientific isolation and companionship on these logical terms, I prefer the 

iSOlafci011 - E. B. TlTCHENER. 

[There seems here some slight confusion in the use of the terms, 
"proof" and "probability." Professor Titchener first introduces 
Professor Lehmann's paper as an example of scientific " disproof " of 
telepathy in a given case ; then, when Professor Lehmann admits his 
own failure as regards the Sidgwick case, Professor Titchener claims 
that there was no failure, since Professor Lehmann never pretended to 
" establish " his explanation, but only to make it probable. But 
what Professor Lehmann admits in his candid letter is that Professors 
Sidgwick's and James's criticisms show that he had not proved his 
'.'-planation to be even probable. The utmost that his experiments 
could do and, of course, the utmost that he claimed for them was 
to establish a presumption in favour of the view that a certain 
condition was the efficient cause of certain results. Such a 
presumption could only be established by showing that the results 
concurred with the condition more often than they would be likely to 
do by chance. Professor Sidgwick proved that the concurrence was 
not too frequent to be attributed to chance, and thus showed that the 
authors had failed to establish the presumption aimed at. ED.] 

[From Science, May 26th, 1899.] 

Why Professor Titchener should have taken an essay which he now 
admits to have completely failed even to make probable its point, as an 
example of the " brilliant work " which "scientific psychology" can do in 
the way of destroying the telepathic superstition, may be left to be 
fathomed hy readers with more understanding of the ways of "Science" 
than I possess. 

Meanwhile, as one interested in mere accuracy, I must protest against 
two impressions which Professor Titchener, in your number of May 12th, 
seeks to leave upon the reader's mind. 

The first is that whispering was first considered by Professor Lehmann. 
It has been elaborately discussed in the S.P.R. Proceedings over and over 
again. Sidgwick's six-page discussion of it in the report of his own experi- 
ments is the basis of comparison used by Lehmann in his ampler hut 
abortive investigation. 

The second of Professor Titchener's implications is that it was Lehmann 
who introduced number-habits, and even forced the admission of them on 
the recalcitrant Sidgwick. Lehmann makes 110 mention of number-habits. 
Sidgwick himself introduces them, to account, not for the thought-transference 
results, but for the many errors common to the guesses of his subjects and 
Lehmann's : the two perhaps had the same number-habit. Does Professor 
Titchener seriously think that a number-habit in a guesser can account for 

118 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [OCT., 1899. 

the amount of coincidence between the numbers which he guesses and those 
upon counters drawn at random out of a bag ? 

Even in anti-telepathic Science accuracy of representation is required, 
and I am pleading not for telepathy, but only for accuracy. 


[From Science, June 2nd, 1899.] 

AVhen a scientific discussion degenerates into protest and imputation of 
motive, it is probably time for the discussion to stop. But I wish to state, 
in self-defence, that I do not "seek to leave upon the reader's mind" the 
two impressions to which Professor James refers. I do not say that 
Lehmann first considered whispering ; I say that he was the first thoroughly 
to investigate it. There is a difference. I do not imply that Lehmann intro- 
duced number-habits ; I say that the next step in advance beyond him is an 
exhaustive study of number-habits. Again there is a difference. 


It is true that, as Professor Titchener admits, Professor Lehmann 
did not introduce number-habits to explain the successful results of the 
S.P.R. experiments in thought-transference. Not only so, but he did 
not even mention them in his original pamphlet. In his letter to Pro- 
fessor James, however (see above, p. 115, foot-note), lie maintains, "as 
a provisional hypothesis, tbat involuntary whispering, combined with 
number-habits, would undoubtedly suffice " to explain the successes. 
This remark suggests that he is under some misapprehension as to 
what can and what cannot be achieved by number-habits a mis- 
apprehension from which there is no clear evidence that Professor 
Titchener himself is free. It may therefore be worth while to give 
here a brief general review of tbe subject.* 

It has long been recognised by psychologists that most if not 
all persons have unconscious preferences for certain objects or ideas 
over others of the same class ; so that, if one is told to guess or to 
think of, say, a colour, a playing-card, or a number, certain colours, 
cards, or numbers occur to the mind more frequently than others, and 
are therefore guessed more often. These idiosyncrasies are called 

* For examples of the experimental study of number-habits, we may refer our 
readers to the two articles on their experiments in thought-transference by Professor 
and Mrs. Sidgwick in the Proceedings S.P.R. In Vol. VI., p. 170, a complete 
analysis from this point of view of all the numbers included in their experiments is 
given, and in Vol. VIII., p. 548, the number-habits of their most successful 
percipient are fully described. In Vol. XII., pp. 303-4, Professor Sidgwick returns 
to the subject in his discussion of the work of Messrs. Hansen and Lehmann. See 
also a review of Dr. Dessoir's Das Doppel-Ich, by Mr. F. W. H. Myers, in Vol. VI., 
p. 209. 

OCT., 1899.] On the Telepathic Problem. 119 

"mental habits," or, if we are referring to numbers only, "number- 
habits." It is hardly ever possible to account for them, that is, to 
trace the origin of any particular preference ; it would seem as if the 
individual acquired them entirely at random. Not only so, but they 
may vary in the same person at different times, while different persons 
may exhibit the same preferences. 

Now, supposing that two persons are trying experiments in the 
thought-transference of numbers, the same numbers may happen to be 
the favourites of both agent and percipient. If, then, the agent 
selects numbers to think of, some successful guesses may be made 
which are due not to thought-transference, but to similarity in the 
number-habits of the two experimenters. 

Tiiis source of error, however, may be absolutely excluded if the 
numbers to be guessed are not selected voluntarily by the agent^fcmu * 
drawn at random from a batch of numbers. As early as 1886, j 
fore (see Phantasms of the Living, Vol. I., pp. 31-35, and Voj. 
p. 653), experimenters who worked in connection with the 
Psychical Research were accustomed to use the method of 
numbers at random, and it is hardly necessary to say that all the 
number-guessing in the experiments of Professor and Mrs. Sidgwick 
was carried out on this plan. 

On the other hand, supposing again that the agent selects the 
numbers and that his number-habits are markedly dissimilar from 
those of the percipient, then the successes would probably be decidedly 
fewer than they would be if due to chance alone. 

Now, confining ourselves to cases where the numbers to be guessed 
are drawn at random, it is clear that the existence of any decided 
number-habit does not affect in any way the probability of guessing 
right by chance, since the number drawn at any moment is neither 
more nor less likely to be one of the percipient's favourites than to be 
any other number. On the average, therefore, the number of accidental 
successes would be the same, whether a number-habit existed or not. 

A decided -number-habit may, however, affect prejudicially the 
number of successes produced by telepathy (assuming, for the sake of 
the argument, that successes may sometimes be due to telepathy), 
because the idea of the favourite number, constantly obtruding itself 
into the mind, would tend to obscure or replace the impressions 
derived telepathically ; just as, when a material object is perceived in 
the ordinary way through the senses, a preconceived idea as to what 
the object is may often make us perceive it wrongly. 

Thus, in experiments of the kind under consideration, there is 
only one case in which the existence of number-habits can increase 

120 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [OCT., 1899. 

the successes and so make the evidence for telepathy in that case 
appear stronger than it really is ; namely, the case in which (1) the 
agent selects the numbers to be guessed and at the same time (2) his 
number-habits are similar to those of the percipient. In all other 
cases, number-habits would decrease those successes which are due to 
any other agency than chance. 


The following observations on the efficacy of self-suggestion of 
various kinds have been sent to us by an Associate of the American 
Branch of the S.P.R., Mr. Thomas Fillebrown, M.D., D.M.D., 
Professor of Operative Dentistry and Oral Surgery at Harvard 

The first case illustrates the influence of widespread popular 
beliefs even over the minds of those whose education would probably 
lead them to reject. the beliefs, if deliberately considered. Thus, it has 
been, and is still, commonly held that curative effects which seem 
dependent on the personality of the healer must involve some 
special expenditure of energy on his part some " virtue going out of 
him " and in accordance with this view, numerous hypnotists have 
recorded sensations of exhaustion, discomfort, or even pain felt after 
making efforts to influence their patients or subjects. It is probable, 
however, that any sensation felt on making the first successful attempt 
to hypnotise is due to some chance suggestion, and that by association 
of ideas the same sensation reappears in connection with future 
attempts, and so tends to become stereotyped. 

Nevertheless, far too little is known at present of the real method of 
operation of the hypnotic influence for us to be able to state dogmati- 
cally that there is no definite correlation between the physical condition 
of the operator and the effect produced on the subject. But there 'is 
abundant evidence to show that sensations felt by the hypnotist, if 
not wholly due to self-suggestion, may at least be greatly increased or 
diminished by it. Thus Dr. Fillebrown found that the discomfort he 
experienced could be to a great extent controlled by his will, and was 
entirely removed by the assistance of suggestion from a friend. He 
writes : 

(1) For some ten years I have used suggestion as a means of obtunding 
sensitiveness of tissue, alleviating pain, and establishing healthy action in 
the human system. 

At first I thought it necessary to induce hypnosis in all cases. When I 
commenced I had never seen a person hypnotised. I studied the subject 

OCT., 18!)!).] Some Notes on Self -Suggestion. 121 

from various authors, principally Bernheim, applied the methods described, 
and succeeded at my first effort, and uniformly since. My desire to succeed 
amounted to anxiety, hence I made every effort to do all I could, and, as it 
proved, I quite overdid the matter. 1 soon began to feel when hypnotising 
a distinct pressure in the region of the medulla : at one sitting with a 
patient I experienced a severe pain in the same locality, as though some- 
thing was strained. For some time I could not hypnotise without suffering 
a good deal. I soon learned to control my effort, and stop as soon as I 
experienced discomfort ; and I succeeded with the hypnosis just as well. 
Later, Professor F. H. Gerrish applied to me the remedy of suggestion 
twice, and cured me entirely. 

My subsequent experience has been that when I exercise suggestion the 
most effectively, the sensation in the medulla is the most pronounced. It 
is always distinct, but not painful. It feels like normal action. The sensa- 
tion I now have is as though I let something go to work ; and I can watch 
its action meanwhile. I have found, too, that the apparent amount of 
action depends somewhat upon the receptiveness of the patient ; the more 
receptive the patient, the more active my own organic centres. 

Dr. Fillebrown next describes his power of entering at will into a 
state of quiescence, preparatory to going to sleep at night, during 
which he experiences what are known as " hypnagogic hallucinations." 
Like roost persons who have these experiences, he finds that the 
images seen appear to arise spontaneously as ordinary dreams do 
without any effort of will on his part. 

(2) Within the past few years I have acquired the art of voluntary 
repose, especially as a preparation for sleep at night. Latterly I have 
been much interested and entertained by experiences similar to those 
described in crystal gazing. As I nearly approach the condition of ordinary 
sleep, I realise that I have given up all voluntary control over the action of 
my mind, and am able with my mental vision to see a panorama passing 
before me : birds, animals, human faces and forms, and landscapes, some 
grotesque, others beautiful. This does not seem to be the imagination at 
all, but entirely outside of my mental action. The pictures gradually fade 
away, as I pass into the state of profound sleep. 

Dr. Fillebrown's last note affords another instance of the efficacy 
of popular beliefs as an aid to self-suggestion. Our readers will 
remember Mr. Coghill's interesting account in the July Journal S.P.R. 
of other more recent cases of the cure of warts by suggestion. 

(3) Some fifty years ago, when I was a lad about twelve or thirteen years 
old, a score or two of warts appeared upon my hands, some of them very 
large, and continued there for a long time a year or more, as I remember. 
Actuated by boyish curiosity, I stole a piece of fresh meat from the carcass 
o a lamb, killed and dressed that day, and rubbed it over my hands, taking 
pains to touch every wart. I buried the meat, and, in about the time it 

122 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [OCT., 1899. 

would take for the meat to decay, the warts disappeared completely from 
my hands, and none have appeared since. 

In connection with this last note, we may quote a case of a similar 
cure experienced by Mr. Charles Boyd Robertson (son of the late 
Rev. F. W. Robertson, of Brighton) at the age of about seven or 
eight. The account was sent to us by an Associate of the Society, 
Miss Frances M. Charlton, having been obtained by her from Mi- 
Robertson's daughter, who writes : 

38, Onslow Square, June 27 to, 1899. 

DEAR Miss CHARLTOX, My father has been very poorly and confined to 
his room for some time, so he has asked me to answer your letter. 

He says that the account you give of his " warty " experiences is quite 
exact, and he has really very little to add. He was about 7 or 8 at the time 
of the incident and was staying in the country, near Brighton. The woman 
was a wandering fortune-teller and, as far as his memory serves him, the 
tree from which she cut the stick was either a hazel or an elder. He 
believes she did not touch him with it, but only waved it over his hands, 
which were at the time covered with warts, the growth of some months. 
They disappeared in a few days. 



Among the information collected for the Census of Hallucinations 
of which a Report was published in the Proceedings S.P.R., Yol. X., 
there were indications that a tendency to externalise ideas in the 
form of hallucinations visual or auditory, or both occasionally runs 
in families, or is to a certain extent hereditary (op. cit. pp. 154-159). 
It was further suggested in that Report (p. 338, foot-note) that 
"haunted houses" may sometimes owe their reputation to a family 
tendency of this kind, since it is often found that when apparitions 
are seen more than once in " haunted houses," the seers are members 
of the same family. 

The narratives that follow seem to exemplify this family tendency 
or faculty. It will be noticed that while some of the hallucinations 
described show no traces of any but a subjective origin, others 
especially the apparition of Miss D., seen collectively by three 
members of the family appear to be veridical. 

The accounts first given were sent by Mr. Elliott O'Donnell, of 
Henley House School, Mortimer-road, Kilburn, N. W. (now an Associate 
of the Society), in a letter dated January 13th, 1899. 

OCT., 1899.] Cases. 123 

G. 262. Auditory. 

Incidents relative to death of my father, the Rev. Henry O'Donnell, M.A., 
at one time Rector of Upton Modsbury, W. Worcester, and Chaplain to 
the late Lord Kingsdown. 

My father, who was the direct descendant (pedigree in hands of my 
brother, Captain Henry O'Donnell, Royal Staff College) of Red Hugh, left 
England at the commencement of 1873 in company with the Rev. X., an 
old friend of his. Their destination was to be Jerusalem, a visit long 
cherished by my father, but, unfortunately, he fell in with a man [here] 
designated by the name Colonel Y., afterwards proved to be a member of 
the Weymouth swindling gang. Persuaded by this individual to alter his 
course, he accompanied him to Massowah, leaving the Rev. X. to go on by 

On April 3rd my father went hunting, leaving the little village of Achibo 
in the company of several natives and so we believe his white comrade, 
Colonel Y. The exact manner of his death has never been ascertained, 
but it was suggested by various inhabitants of Massowah that he was 
murdered. . . . 

Now for the ghostly part of the narrative. 

My father, shortly before leaving England, was heard by one Fanny 
Coldwell, then and now cook in our house, to say that if anything happened 
to him on his travels, he would let my mother know. My mother, being a 
nervous and superstitious lady, begged him not to say such things, where- 
upon he replied that he would not appear to her, but would make a horrible 
noise in the house ; this he said laughingly. From the time of his death to 
the end of the following May, every night at twelve o'clock, a terrible dis- 
turbance took place in the hall, sounds as if the furniture was being thrown 
about being distinctly heard, together with a tramping upstairs. Moreover, 
the reflection as of a lighted candle was seen under the crack of the nursery 
door, which, although bolted, was thrown violently open, and to the 
horrified inmates some one (whose voice they recognised as that of my father) 
was heard jabbering incoherently. 

At the end of January, 1881, my mother died. On the night of the 
burial, at about twelve o'clock, the servants distinctly heard some one (whose 
step they recognised as hers) walk round and round the middle landing, 
pausing outside each door, especially the one within which I lay coughing. 
Then they heard her open the room door where her body had lain, and 
which was locked, the key being departed elsewhere, and close it with a 
loud bang, relocking it. 

A few days later the cook, upon running upstairs for something, saw my 
mother looking down at her from the landing above. Scared by the 
apparition, she turned and hurried back to the kitchen. 

These incidents I can vouchsafe as absolutely true, without the slightest 
blemish of exaggeration. 


124 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [OCT., 1899. 

P.S. The names of the cook and parlourmaid who heard the noises at 
the time of my father's and mother's deaths are written below. 

In the letter enclosing the above account, . Mr. O'Donnell 
writes : 

My mother, long after my father's death, used to cry out in the night 
and say she heard pistol shots in her bedroom, accompanied by my father's 
voice. Our servants, whose names are appended to the MS., recollect all 
this very well, and were terrified times without number at the strange noises 
heard. . . . My grandfather, Elliott O'Donnell, M.D., of Limerick, 
had, I believe, many psychical experiences. 

In reply to inquiries, Mr. O'Donnell says : 

July 31st, 1899. 

The date of my father's death was April 2nd, 1873. He was reported to 
have died of sunstroke, his death occurring at Achibo, a village two hours' 
distance (walking) from Massowah. 

The only announcement of his death was made by Col. Y., who after- 
wards vanished, and with him the possessions of my father went also. 

The date of my father's death was known prior to the noises being heard. 
Rumours of his being murdered had been received by my mother from 
interested strangers in Massowah. The man with whom he and Col. Y. 
stayed (an old friend of Col. Y.'s) had been suspected of a long career of 
murder and robbery. (Reference to my father's death may be seen in "The 
Oriental Zigzag," a work on Africa, by Charles Hamilton. . . .) The 
noises then commenced about May, 73, and lasted till July, 73. As the 
house was barred and bolted every night (my mother being an extremely 
nervous woman and our house being lonely) no one could have got in from 
the outside. Furthermore, all the bedrooms were occupied, so that no one 
could have been concealed there. 


Mr. O'Donnell gives the following account of hallucinations 
experienced by himself : 

One evening, whilst I was in bed, it being about seven o'clock, and a 
candle still burning on the dressing table, I was amazed to see a strange- 
looking man enter. Between the door and my bed was another bed, the 
valance of which was up. Being but a child, I was too curious to know who 
he was to be really frightened, for although he was ugly and covered 
with spots (a feature I distinctly remember), I merely regarded him in the 
light of a visitor who had come to amuse me. For several moments he peeped 
at me from above and under the bed I have mentioned, accompanying each 
action with a grimace of increasing ferocity that at length frightened me so 
that I screamed and hid my face under the bedclothes, and when next I 
looked up he had gone ; nor did I ever see him again. 

OCT., 1899.] Cases. 125 

One afternoon in the spring of 189G, as I was riding along the main road 
from Wheedon to Daventry, I became aware of the presence of a cyclist in 
givy who rode slowly ahead of me. The curious part of it was that a 
second before I had looked round, and the road, a very long and level one, 
had been absolutely void of life. Now here was some one who had sprung 
suddenly and noiselessly to life. For some distance we continued our 
course, until we came up to a large cart which was rattling along in the 
centre of the thoroughfare, the driver blissfully careless of any one else's 
welfare save his own. 

To my horror my mysterious companion ran with great force right into 
the back of the cart and disappeared. Not a vestige of either him or his 
machine was to be seen, and I rode on wondering whether I had been 


L. 1114. Collective Apparition. 

In August, 1885, I was staying with my relations at a lodging house in 
Xewquay, Cornwall. One afternoon I was standing on the staircase, when 
I saw a friend of ours, whom I will call Miss D., who was staying with us, 
come down the stairs followed by my two sisters. She disappeared into the 
sitting-room at the foot of the staircase, shutting the door with a bang. 
Each of us saw her, and all heard the door bang. As a matter of fact, she 
had never entered that room nor been near it at the time, but subsequently 
appeared in a totally [different] part of the house. 

We feared this appearance was an augury of ill, but happily nothing 
followed to confirm our anticipations. 


With regard to the apparition of Miss D., Mr. O'Donnell adds in 
another letter : " Her dress brushed over my feet as she went down 
the stairs and was as material as any clothes of my own." 

The other witnesses in this case give the following accounts of it, 
enclosed in a letter dated July 31st, 1899 : 

One day, while stopping at Newquay some years ago, I followed a friend 
we had stopping with us downstairs to the little sitting-room in front of the 
house. My friend was in front of us, and my brother and sister came down 
the stairs at the same time. To our surprise Miss D. walked into the 
sitting-room and banged the door in my face. It was such a curious thing 
for her to do that we all waited outside the room, not liking to go in. She 
had a cousin staying in the place, and we thought that perhaps he was in 
the room and she might want a few moments' private conversation with him. 
After waiting some time and not hearing the sound of voices, one of us 
opened the door and saw that the room was empty. As we all distinctly saw 
and heard her, we were intensely surprised. Miss D. told us after that she 
had not been in or near the room at that time. 


126 Journal of Society for Paychicdl Research. [OCT., 1899. 

One summer, I think in 1885, when I was staying at Newquay in 
Cornwall, the following incident occurred. 

One afternoon, we, that is to say, my sister, my brother, and myself, 
were standing on the landing preparing to go downstairs, when we saw our 
friend Miss D. go down in front of us. We all followed her and saw her go 
into the sitting-room and heard the door bang loudly after her. We waited 
in the hall for her for some minutes, thinking she would come and join us, as 
we were going out for a walk ; then at last we went into the room and found 
she was not there at all and had never gone there. g Q>J) OXXELL 

In answer to questions as to whether a real person could have got 
away unseen from the room which the apparition was seen to enter, 
Mr. O'Donnell writes : 

The window of the room in which Miss D. disappeared was shut when 
my sister entered. It could not have been shut without our hearing it, nor 
done before my sister had entered the room. 

Outside the window was a small garden, void of any place to conceal one- 
self ; beyond that a straight road skirted by a high hedge. No man could 
have escaped notice with such obvious disadvantages, let alone a woman. 

We thoroughly examined the bare track outside, as well as the premises 
inside, and were convinced that Miss D. had never been there materially. 

She was a woman with no sense of humour, and one incapable of a silly 
trick of vanishing, had such a feat been possible. 


The following accounts of other hallucinatory experiences are given 
by the Misses O'Donnell : 

It was in the morning of a day in the spring of 1875 * that I saw the 
head, which was afterwards seen by another member of our family. I had 
been sent out of the room for some one, and as I looked up to call them, I 
saw the most terrible head looking over the bannisters at me. It was the 
face of a man, but the hair was long like a woman's. The parchment-like 
skin was drawn closely over the face and gave a skull-like look to it. The 
mouth, full of great teeth, was twisted in a horrid leer ; but what frightened 
me most was the expression of the eyes. They were so very light and full 
of the most wicked cruelty, as if they existed for the sole purpose of trying 
to terrify a little child like I was then. That was the impression, the horrid 
thing gave me as I stood staring at it that it knew it was frightening me 
nearly to death, and that it was hugging itself with joy at the thought ; 
and, moreover, that that was why it was there, and that it was allowed to 
do this wicked deed for some purpose. I had a great feeling of indignation 
in my heart, as I stood, for what seemed ages to me, looking at it, for I could 

* The writer stated later that the date when she saw the head was 1873, not 1875, 
and adds : " There was a death in the family, though I did not hear of it till some 
time after." 

OCT., 1899.] Cases. 127 

-- -* 

not draw my eyes away. Then I went quietly back to the room I had come 
from, and, being proud and sensitive, never told any one a word about it for 
many years, when I found that my sister had seen it too, but some years 
after. I said at the time that I thought some one was upstairs, and per- 
suaded a servant to go and look, which she did. She thought I had heard 
a noise and been frightened by it : of course, she found 110 one there. 


January 12th, 1899. 

One evening, about nine o'clock, in the late autumn of 1880, as I was 
running upstairs, I paused at the foot of the top flight and looked up, prior 
to calling to my sister, who, I thought, was in her bedroom. To my horror 
I saw in the darkness, leaning over the bannisters skirting the landing above 
me, a head silhouetted against a window. It was a most sinister head, with a 
covering of shaggy hair. I particularly noticed the eyes, which were very 
light and evil, also the mouth, which was distorted with a leer which seemed 
to me the essence of malignity. It was looking wickedly at me, but I did not 
wait whether it would speak, for I was so frightened that I turned on my 
heels and ran away. Shortly afterwards a death occurred in our family. 



L. 1115. Dream. 

Mr. Sims writes to Mr. Myers : 

12, Clarence Terrace, Regent's Park, N.W., March 23rd, 1899. 

DEAR MR. MYERS, Here is the exact dream. I dreamt that my sister had 
come to me and told me that my father had died under tragic circumstances. 

I said to my housekeeper, "I have had a horrid dream," and told her 
the circumstances. She gave me my cup of tea, left the morning papers 
with me and went downstairs. She was on the point of telling the parlour- 
maid the dream when she saw my sister pass the window. She exclaimed, 
'' Good gracious, there is Miss Sims ! " and when she went to the door and 
saw my sister in tears, she feared the worst had happened. 

My sister then came up into my room and told me that my brother-in-law 
had died under rather tragic circumstances during the night. His wife had 
woke up in the early morning and found him dead by her side. 

I don't remember having had any other dream realised so vividly. 
Faithfully yours, GEQ R 

Mr. Sims' housekeeper gives her recollection of what occurred, 
as follows : 

12, Clarence Terrace, Regent's Park, N.W., March 23rd, 1899. 

Mr. Sims told me, about nine o'clock on the morning of the 16th, of 
his dream that a relative had died suddenly during the night, and that 
his sister, Miss Sims, had come round in the morning to tell him what 
had happened. 

128 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [OCT., 1899. 

Shortly afterwards, about 9.20, I went downstairs, arid was just beginning 
to tell the parlourmaid of the dream when I saw Miss Sims pass the dining- 
room window. 

Seeing her at this unusual hour, and my mind being full of Mr. Sims' 
dream, which I was about to repeat, gave me quite a shock, and when I 
opened the door, I at once saw by her face that she was the bearer of bad 

I took her upstairs, and both the manner in which she told Mr. Sims the 
news at his bedside, and the time by the clock, absolutely agreed with the 
details he had told me half-an-hour before. -,- -g 

L. 1116. Dream. 

From LORD ROBERTS' Forty-one Years in India (published in 1897), 
Vol. L, p. 30. 

My father [General Sir Abraham Roberts, G.C.B.] . . . was then 
close on seventy, and though apparently active as ever, he was far from 
well, consequently the doctors strongly urged him not to risk another hot 
weather in India. It was accordingly settled that he should return to 
England without delay. 

Shortly before his departure, an incident occurred which I will relate for 
the benefit of psychological students ; they may, perhaps, be able to explain 
it, I never could. My father had some time before issued invitations to a 
dance, which was to take place in two days' time on Monday, October 17th, 
1853. On the Saturday morning he appeared disturbed and unhappy, and 
during breakfast he was silent and despondent very different from his 
usual bright and cheery self. On my questioning him as to the cause, he 
told me he had had an unpleasant dream one which he had dreamt several 
times before, and which had always been followed by the death of a near 
relation. As the day advanced, in spite of my efforts to cheer him, he 
became more and more depressed, and even said he should like to put off 
the dance. I dissuaded him from taking this step for the time being ; but 
that night he had the same dream again, and the next morning he insisted 
on the dance being postponed. It seemed to me rather absurd to have to 
disappoint our friends because of a dream ; there was, however, nothing for 
it but to carry out my father's wishes, and intimation was accordingly sent 
to the invited guests. The following morning the post brought news of the 
sudden death of the half-sister at Lahore, with whom I had stayed on my 
way to Peshawar. 

The date of death is not given, but Lord Roberts says in another 
part of the book that the mail-carts along the Grand Trunk Road 
from Calcutta to Peshawar then in course of construction through 
the Punjab often travelled at the rate of 12 miles an hour, including 
stoppages. The distance from Lahore to Peshawar as the crow flies is 
about 230 miles. It is probable, therefore, that the death took place 
at about the same time as the dream. 






New Members and Associates . . 129 

Meeting of the Council 130 

Professor Hyslop on Mrs. Piper . . 131 

Cases 134 

An Incorrect Version of a case of Supposed " Spirit Photography " 138 

Correspondence : 

A False Alarm 143 

A Note on Self-Suggestion 144 

A Correction . 144 


Names of Members are printed in Black Type. 
Names of Associates are printed in SMALL CAPITALS. 

HYSLOP, PROFESSOR J. H., Columbia University, New York, N.Y., U.S. A. 
'REIFSNIDER, MRS. C. K., Hotel Brunswick, Boston, Mass., U.S.A. 
WAKE, C. STANILAND, The Rosalie, 248, 57th-street, Chicago, 111., U.S. A. 


BARUCH, EDGAR, 2,144, University-avenue, Berkeley, Cal., U.S.A. 
BROWN, Miss MAY, 37, Evelyn mansions, Westminster, S.W. 
Church, Mrs., Hinton House, Byfield R.S.O., Northamptonshire. 
l Do\NE, MRS., c/o Messrs. Holt & Co., 3, Whitehall-place, London, S.W. 
JEHU, THOMAS J., M.B., B.A., St. John's College, Cambridge. 
MARKLE, GEORGE B., Hazleton, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. 
RAO, D. R. BALAJI, B.A., B.L., High Court Vakil, Singrachari-street, 

Triplicane, Madras, India. 

SARTONI, SIGNORINA JULIA, 5, Piazza Donatello, Florence. 
WALLACE, MRS. WILLIAM, 14, Portman-mansions, London, W. 
Whamond, J. Robbie, 15, Langland-gdns, Finchley-rd, London, N.W. 


ARBUCKLE, MRS. L. J., New Southern Hotel, Dawson Springs, Ky. 
BEUGLER, CHARLES E., Box 2,851, Boston, Mass. 

130 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [Nov., 1899. 

BOYD, PETER, 1,001, Chestnut-street, Philadelphia, Pa. 

CHRISTINE, G. MAXWELL, A.M., M.D., 2,043, N. 12th-st., Phila., Pa. 

DUNHAM, DR. R. W., Keene, N.H. 

EARL, JOHN C., 76, Kingston-avenue, Brooklyn, N.Y. 

ELDRED, N. J., Benton Harbour, Mich. 

FYKE, E. E., M.D., Centralia, 111. 

GARVIN, M. T., Lancaster, Pa. 

HEMMETER, JOHN C., Suite 12, Bratenahl Block, Cleveland, Ohio. 

HILLMAN, HUGH H., Bank of Commerce Building, Oklahoma, O.T. 

JOHNSTON, REV. HOWARD A., Madison-ave. , and 53rd-sfc., New York, N.Y. 

KELDER, H. P., 199, South Water-street, Chicago, 111. 

KREBS, GEORGE \V. C., 26, East Baltimore-street, Baltimore, Md. 

LINDSEY, BEN B., 712-714, People's Bank Building, Denver, Colo. 

MACKENZIE, GEORGE, M.D., Somerton, Pa. 

MARBLE, MILTON M., New Haven, Conn. 

MARTIN, MRS. A. W., 409, North E. -street, Tacoma, Washington, D.C. 

McCRACKKN, Miss ANNA, Xenia, Ohio. 

MERCER, EDWARD W., M.D., 157, 15th-street, Philadelphia, Pa. 

MILLER, F. H., 34, East Antietam-street, Hagerstown, Md. 

MILLS, \V. W., United States Consulate, Chihuahua, Mexico. 

PITZER, GEORGE C., M.D., 3,955, West Belle-place, St. Louis, Mo. 

RICHARDSON, M. T , Box 236, Ridgewood, N.J. 

ROMAN, DESIDARIO, A.M., M.D., 1,429, Poplar-st, Philadelphia, Pa. 

STOCKTON, JOHN P., JUNR., 259, Washington-street, Jersey City, N.J. 

STRAUB, MRS. HENRIETTA, Zealand, Onondaga Co., N.Y. 

WYMAN, WALTER, M.D., Surgeon-General, U.S. Marine Hospital 

Service, Washington, D.C. 
YANDELL, Miss MAUD, Pleasant Hill, Mercer Co., Ky. 


A meeting of the Council was held on October 13th at the Rooms 
of the Society. The PRESIDENT occupied the chair. There were also 
present the Hon. E. Feilding, Mr. F. W. H. Myers, Mr. F. Podmore, 
Professor H. Sidgwick, Mr. H. Arthur Smith, Mr. J. G. Smith, Dr. 
C. Lloyd Tuckey, and Dr. A. Wallace. 

The minutes of the last meeting were read and signed as correct. 

Mr. C. F. G. Masterman was co-opted as a Member of the Council 
for the current year. 

Three Honorary Associates were elected for the current year. 
Two new Members and eight new Associates were elected. The 

Nov., is!)!).] Proj'fwr Jfi/xlu/t <>i> J//-s. Piper. 131 

election of twenty-nine new Associates of the American Branch was 
recorded. Names and addresses are given above. 

It was agreed that, in future, the names of Honorary Associates, 
of the English Society and of the American Branch, should appear- 
together in a separate list. 

The Council recorded with regret the decease of the following 
31 embers of the Society, information of whose death had been received 
since its last meeting : The Rev. W. Whitear, who was the first Life 
Member of the Society; Dr. N. F. Bunshaw, of India, who was a Life 
Associate and Col. G. G. Beazley, Dr. Carl von Bergen, Mr. James 
Gudgeon, Rev. F. Gurney, Rev. George Harpur, Mr. J. G. Auriol 
Kane, Miss F. M. F. Skene, and the Hon. and Rev. E. Wallop, all of 
whom were Associates of the Society. 

Some presents to the Library had been received, which were 
acknowledged with thanks to the donors. 

It was agreed that in addition to the General Meetings already 
arranged for Friday, November 17th, at 4 p.m., and for Friday, 
December 15th, at 8.30 p.m., the Annual Business Meeting of 
Members of the Society be held at the Westminster Town Hall, 011 
Friday, January 26th, 1900, at 3 p.m., and that a General Meeting be 
held on the same day at 4 p m. 

Several other matters of business having been attended to, the 
Council decided to meet again, at the Westminster Town Hall, on 
Friday, November 17th, at 3 p.m. 


An important article by Professor J. H. Hyslop, of Columbia 
niversity, under the title "Immortality and Psychical Research," 
las recently appeared in an American periodical, called The Xew 
World (Vol. VIII., June, 1899), giving a preliminary account of his 
sittings with Mrs. Piper. We hope before long to be able to publish 
&he full report of these in our Proceedings, and meanwhile give here 
few extracts from this preliminary sketch, which deals only with 
meral considerations. 

The writer begins by showing that, among all the various classes 
)f phenomena that have been regarded as evidence of spiritism, only a 
very limited number can justify their claim to rank as such. He says: 

Phenomena purporting to be spiritistic, or to prove survival 
after death, must represent facts that involve the unity of <:<>nxci<>ii*netf!s and 
personal identity which -we once knew and can verify tuno-ng the living. I do 
not say or imply that the subject of consciousness cannot survive without a 

132 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [Nov., 1899. 

retention of its memory of the past, but I do say that it will be impossible 
to prove survival without this retention of memory, even though we dis- 
covered evidence of transcendental intelligence. For the soul, if there be 
such a thing, might survive with as complete a loss of personal identity, or 
the sense of it, as is often remarked in the instances of auto-hypnosis, and if 
this were uniformly the case there would be no possibility whatsoever of 
proving immortality in any form which would satisfy the human race. But 
I shall go farther and maintain that we have no ground to assume even the 
existence of a soul, that is, a subject other than the brain, until we have 
isolated it in its activity. The problem of the existence and the survival of 
a soul go together. Scientific method, with the universal fact that conscious- 
ness is known only in connection with the bodily organism, unless medium- 
istic phenomena be genuine, requires us to suppose that mental action is a 
function of the brain and is dissolved with it, if we explain anything at all 
by material processes. Consequently, the only positive assurance that we 
can ever have of the existence of a soul depends upon the proof of its 
survival, and this, as I have asserted, depends upon the retention of a sense 
of personal identity, with the additional fact that communication shall be 
possible. The fact of this communication is at least simulated, and there 
remains only the question whether the contents of the alleged communica- 
tions satisfy the evidential conditions of personal identity, while they 
exclude the toleration of any other hypothesis than survival. 
Speaking of the trance-utterances of Mrs. Piper, he says : 
After finding that I had to dismiss both conscious and unconscious fraud 
from my judgment of the phenomena, and after reading the reports with the 
utmost care, I felt that possibly the evidence for the spiritistic theory might 
still be largely weakened by suggestion from the sitters, and possibly 
somewhat by illusions of interpretation applied to the incidents. I was 
convinced that telepathy was necessary to explain some of them, even if 
suggestion did account for a part of the record, and if spiritism was not to 
be accepted. My supposition was based upon a misunderstanding of the 
perfection of the record itself, as the early reports were admittedly imperfect 
and open to qualification from suspicion of this sort. Hence I arranged for 
sittings myself, which I conducted under conditions that completely excluded 
illusion and suggestion on my part and fraud on the part of the medium. I 
cannot detail the conditions here, but shall do so in my report, but they 
admit fraud only on the part of Dr. Hodgson and myself, and the facts 
obtained in the experiments were such that I unhesitatingly assert that I 
shall have to bear the brunt of all the suspicion on that account. For 
myself, then, I am reduced to a choice between telepathy and the spiritistic 
theory to explain the phenomena, and, for the present at least, I prefer the 
spiritistic view, or, perhaps more respectably stated, the claim that the 
immortality of the soul has come within the sphere of legitimate scientific 

The peculiarity of the Piper phenomena is that they unquestionably 
simulate the scientific demand that spiritism, if true, [should] produce 
evidence of personal identity in cases of alleged communications between 

Nov., 1809.] P rofc.Kxo ! Hydop on Mrs. Piper. 133 

discarnate and incarnate minds. The phenomena are particularly rich in 
this characteristic, assuming every phase of mental traits with which any 
one is familiar in a friend, and that crop up here across the confines of the 
grave little tricks of word or language, of emotional expression, of moral 
taste and habit, and in fact almost every feature of likeness and unlikeness 
which we remark between men as we know them. The most striking facts 
are those incidents by which we should instantaneously identify their 
source if they purported to come from a friend in life, often such as would 
require no cumulative character to sustain their collusiveness. These are 
multiplied with wearisome repetition and variation, and in so intimate and 
unexpected a form as well as content, baffling all suspicion of the possibility 
of fraud, and so specific in their nature that it requires the most 
extraordinary theories to account for them. The narrative, of course, 
is an interrupted one, with features in it that are calculated to suggest the 
utmost suspicion in the interpretation of the case, though, if it were not 
for the necessity of allowing for telepathy and unconscious fraud in the 
supernormal action of secondary personality, scepticism would hardly have 
any standing at all. But there are immense quantities of incoherence and 
of dubious matter, not necessarily false or contradictory, but thoroughly 
opposed to all our orthodox ideas of clear consciousness in another existence, 
though it may be unwarranted on our part either to have any ideas on this 
matter or to suppose that the phenomena attest anything whatsoever in 
regard to the real conditions of a transcendental life. But these incoherences 
have to be mentioned as a warning to the general reader, who might be led 
by the spirit of the present article to expect more from the reports than he 
will find, without an adequate knowledge of the conditions and difficulties 
that must necessarily attend anything like a communication between two 
worlds. If it took the best resources of science and mechanical art to achieve 
the telephone and to discover the Rontgen rays, we must not be surprised if 
the early attempts to test the genuineness of phenomena purporting to 
connect the present with an immaterial existence are attended with much 
that must labour under the suspicions of pathology. But this way of 
speaking savours too much of an apology for the case, which it is not my 
main purpose to make. The important fact to know and admit is that the 
evidence for immortality, such as it is, represents precisely that type of 
incidents actually in the lives of the two persons supposed thus to be 
communicating" across the boundaries of two worlds, which forces the 
assumption of supernormal acquisition of knowledge, and so completely 
satisfies the requirements of testimony for personal identity that there seems 
no way to explain the phenomena but to accept some gigantic hypothesis 
which is not vitiated by any of the incoherences observed. Were we dealing 
with the generalities and incoherences of ordinary automatism, we should 
have an easy problem before us. But this is not the case. The amazing 
number of specific incidents that can be proved to have been the experiences, 
thoughts, and actions of the alleged communicator and of him alone, in 
connection with the sitter, is so overwhelming in its character that 110 
student can refuse it the merit of fulfilling, in its external features at least, 
the demands of scientific proof for immortality. . . . 

134 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [Nov., 1899. 

Professor Hyslop observes that the only alternative hypothesis is 
to assume an amazing extension of the power of obtaining knowledge 
by telepathy from the minds of living persons, whether present or 
absent. But, he says : 

In the case under consideration, which has created so much interest, 
the use of telepathy to account for it involves two tremendous consequences. 
The first is the capacity of the medium, all unconsciously, to transcend the 
knowledge of the sitter and to reach out anywhere into the world, discover 
the right person, and select specific facts in the life of the deceased person 
who is alleged to he the communicator, facts that have generally to be 
verified by those who knew, and perhaps could know, nothing about them. 
The second is the almost infinite selective and discriminative power of the 
medium's subliminal between the knowledge and memories belonging only 
to the sitter's own life and those memories of the sitter which represent 
also the experience of the alleged communicator. 

The rest of the article consists of further discussion of these 
difficulties of the telepathic interpretation. 

From Mrs. A. W. Verrall, of Seln'yu G<trdens, Cambridge. 

P. 264 (L) 

The following is an account of the apparent fulfilment of a premoni- 
tion experienced by Mrs. A. W. Yerrall. Our readers will observe that 
the case is unusually well authenticated, since it was not only recorded 
at the time it occurred, but the record was entrusted to the Hon. 
Secretary of the Society before ascertaining whether any external 
event corresponded to the percipient's impression or not. The value 
of our evidence in general would be greatly increased if all our 
witnesses would follow the example thus set. 

With regard to the impression itself, it is possible that the ticking 
sound may have been an illusion rather than a hallucination ; but 
Mrs. Yerrall has, as she relates, heard it several times, and tried in 
vain to discover any material source for it, while on each occasion it 
has appeared to be a supernormal indication of some external event, 
either contemporary or future. 

An impression of this vague kind affords, of course, weaker 
evidence of supernormal faculty than such definite phenomena as 
hallucinatory visions or voices. But the particular form here taken 
was probably due to shaping by the percipient's subconscious self. 
Mrs. Verrall traces its origin to her having as a child heard the 
"death-watch " ticking shortly before a death in her family, and being- 
told at the same time of the superstition connected with it, which 
made at the time a deep impression on her mind. 

Nov., 18!)!).] Cases. 135 

The incident is described in the following letters addressed to 
Mr. Myers : 

5, Selwyn Gardens, Cambridge, 

[Tuesday] September 20th, 1898, 3 p.m. 

DEAR MR. MYERS, Just a line for the stamp of the post, in case 
anything has " occurred," to say that this afternoon, at 2.30, I heard the 
curious ticking which I think I have mentioned to you. It comes usually, 
if not always, when I am lying down, and may be due to some physical 
cause ; but it has at least once been associated with the illness of a friend, 
so I make a point of noting it, and 1 suppose the stamp of the post is 

But absit omen ! M DE G VERRALL. 

Mr. Myers notes on this letter : " Received September 20th, 
1898; 8.30p.m." 


September 22nd, 1898. 

I am sure you will be interested to hear that something has happened, 
and glad with me that it is apparently nothing serious. As a fact I don't 
yet know what it is ! But at 7.30 to-night I got a telegram from my sister 
at Caen to say "Arrived safely, both well." Now my sister was to have 
crossed yesterday to Ouistreham and gone on to-day to Falaise. I had a 
complete list of addresses for her (during a short bicycle tour which she is 
making with a friend) yesterday morning. Indeed the fact that I heard 
from her on Wednesday and had no telegram had made me regard her and 

father as outside the risk. 

Something then, as you see, has gone wrong with her. I have never had 
telegram from her from abroad in my life, so that I am sure that some- 
ling has happened which she thinks I may hear of before knowing of her 

When I do hear, I will let you kno\v. But I shall be in no hurry to hear 
that ticking again ! Next time things may be worse. 

When I have this story complete, I will send you a "report" 011 the 
ticking, if I have not already done so. I have never been able to decide 
whether it was prognostic really a warning of trouble to come or 
telepathic, conveying to me the anxiety of some other person. This case 
may settle it (in my mind), for if some accident occurred yesterday or 
to-day to my sister, I do not think telepathy could inspire me with alarm on 



September 2Mh, 1898. 

On Thursday morning, after landing at Ouistreham from the steamer 
which crossed by night from Newhaven, my sister I quote from her letter 
to my father of September 22nd " made a false step and plunged into the 
water of the harbour. A sailor was quickly overboard after me, I paddled 

136 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [Nov., 1899. 

on my back for a little and called out for fear I had not been seen, for B. 
[her companion] had just gone on with the bicycles to the hotel cart in wait- 
ing. It was all the affair of a very few minutes, and nothing could have 
been kinder than bystanders when I was hauled up." She goes on to say 
that she is none the worse, and adds, " Pleasz send this to May. I wired to 
her a message to show we were all right, in case some English paper might 
have got hold of the story." 

So you see the whole thing is very complete. After the warning to me, 
a distinctive accident to my sister that might easily have been very serious 
and a prompt message of reassurance from her to me. I think she must 
have had some inkling of my anxiety, for the chance of my hearing alarming 
news was small. On the other hand, though we are not a nervous family, 
we do telegraph if we think others may be alarmed. I myself once, being 
in a slight railway accident, telegraphed home at once. 

It seems to me that this story disposes of the " telepathic " explanation 
of my ticking, as I heard it about forty hours [really about thirty-two 
hours, see below] before the accident to my sister 

I have kept the telegram and the letter from my sister with my father's 
line enclosing it. M D G y ERRALL< 

Mrs. Yerrall adds later the following correction as to the date of 
her sister's accident : 

The accident was on the Wednesday night, about 10 or 11 p.m. I was 
mistaken at the time as to the hour the boat left Newhaven. I thought it was 
a night boat, but it left at four o'clock and reached Ouistreham about 
10 p.m. 

Mrs. Yerrall made a note of her experience at the time, which gives 
a fuller description of it than her letter to Mr. Myers, as follows : 

[Copy of Note..]" September 20th, 1898, 2.30 p.m. As I was lying 
down on the sofa in the study just now, I heard suddenly on my left a 
rapid, not perfectly regular, ticking like a watch in the drawer of the 
table, but faster. I could hear at the same time the study clock and 
my watch, both slower. I took off my watch, and afterwards took it 
out of the room, but the ticking continued. I cannot hear it sitting at 
this table, but it is very distinct when I lie on the sofa and rather 
alarming or disturbing perhaps it sounds excited. 

"3 p.m. At 2.45 I lay down again, but there was no more ticking." 
[End of Note.] 

She adds on August 2nd, 1899 : 

The ticking is faster than a watch, and less regular louder than a 
watch, but not so loud as a clock. It has usually been on my left side, and 
sounds as if an irregularly ticking watch lay on a table. On one occasion^ 
at least, it was on the right. I have heard it with other people in the room, 
as well as when I have been alone. On one occasion another person heard 
it, on my drawing attention to it. On that occasion we both heard it grow 
fainter till it ceased. M> DE ^ VEKRALL. 

Nov., 1899.] Cases. 137 

The telegram from her sister, which Mrs. Verrall showed us, is 
dated:" Handed in at Caen, September 22nd, at 6 p.m." and has the 
office stamp: " Cambridge, September 22nd, 1898. Received here at 
6.59 p.m." A letter from her sister to her gives the following further 
details of the accident : 

Hotel de France, St. Malo, September 27th. 

. . . it was very nearly drowning. The great danger was being 
sucked beneath the ship and I had in fact to my own consciousness gone 
under, when the boatswain, who had heard the splash and clambered down 
the sides of the boat, put his arm round my waist and I stretched mine 
round his. Immediately after, a rope was lowered and I climbed up it hand 
over hand, soon getting my head out of water ; then a man from above 
seized my cloak, another flung a noosed rope, which they put round me and 
they hauled me up. The men say, if I had lost consciousness and not been 
able to help myself, it would have been all over. Again, if in the first 
instance I had fallen forward instead of merely stepping off the edge and 
going in feet foremost, I should either have suffered from the contact with 
the water some two yards below me, or been suffocated. Of course I knew 
the dangers perfectly well. First, it might be that no one knew I had gone 
over. That is why I shouted. The people on the shore say they heard, but 
the sailor not, he was guided simply by the splash. Then, after I was 
drawn under the ship, I did not see how I was to be got at. But I fancy 
this was only in process, and even to my thought the space of time seemed 
wonderfully short. Poor B. thought it long enough. She saw a crowd press 
forward and heard " quelqu'un a tombe a 1'eau," and when she called out to 
me and had no answer, she knew it must be I. She immediately called for 
a light, which was brought, and must have made things easier. 
[Xext day we] took the train on to Caen and looked up the boatswain 
of the Calvados. It was after seeing him and the mate that we decided 
to send wires, because they spoke of it as so very near a fatal accident, 
and almost certain to be copied from the French into the English 
papers. . . . 

L. 1117. ("> 

On another occasion when Mrs. Verrall heard the same ticking 
sound, it appears to have been telepathic, coinciding with the illness 
of a friend. This time the ticking was not noted immediately, but was 
noted before she had any news of the illness. It was, moreover, noted 
on the very day on which her sister had written to tell her of the 
illness, so that her sister's thinking of her may possibly have induced 
her to make the note, which she had forgotten to do at the time. The 
following are tier notes of the occurrence : 

[Copy of Note]. " July 17th [1892] 7.45 p.m., Brecon. Just remem- 
bered that during our absence I have heard again the odd ticking that 
I have noticed before. We had put out the light (it was at Kingstown, 
July 8th), and I said A. had not wrapped up his watch as usual. He 
said he had. I said I heard it ; we both listened, both heard the ticking, 

138 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [Nov., 1899. 

which grew gradually fainter and stopped. He had not been asleep, but 
I had. I was awake at the time, having been thoroughly roused by 
his arrival about 12 p.m. This must have happened between 12 and 
1.* . . ."[End of Note]. 

[Copy of Note]. "On July 18th I received a letter from Flora [my 
sister] telling me that M.t was ill, that they had feared typhoid, and 
that though that fear was over she was still very weak. I at once 
associated her illness with the 'ticking' of July 8th, noted on July 17th. 
On July 18th I wrote to H.J for news, and asked if on July 8th any- 
thing special had happened, as I had been uneasy though not about M. 
This morning (July 21st) I hear from H., 'She has been ill ever since 
the night of July 8th, oddly enough ! ' ' [Mud of Note]. 

I found subsequently that the news of M.'s illness was sent in a letter 
received by my sister on July 10th, from M. On the 12th a post-card was 
received ; on the 13th a letter ; on the 14th a post-card with better news. 

I had a letter on the 14th from my mother, who purposely said nothing to 
me. My first news was in the letter received on July 18th, written about 

II a.m. on July 17th (the day I noted the " ticking " of the night of the 8th). 
My notebook was packed up and I forgot to note the occurrence on first 
reaching Brecon. 

Mrs. Yen-all has given us full details, which, however, she does 
not wish to be published, of her hearing a similar " ticking " several 
times in the course of two earlier periods of her life. In both cases 
it appeared to have a premonitory significance. On the first occasion 
a death followed, which was foreseen by other members of her house- 
hold, though the reasons for expecting it were carefully withheld 
from herself. It is therefore possible that their anxiety was 
transmitted to her telepathically, or that she was subliminally aware 
of it. On the second occasion another death followed, which there 
was no reason for expecting, since it was, in all probability, the 
result of an accident. 

Mrs. Vet-rail tells us that she has never heard the "ticking" except 
on the occasions described here, and that she has never connected 
the sound with any particular person. 


Our readers are probably familiar with the case of supposed 
" spirit-photography " in which a figure appeared unaccountably in a 

* The other percipient in this case, Dr. Verrall, has now forgotten that he shared 
the experience, though he remembers Mrs. Yen-all's part of it. 

t M. is an intimate friend of mine and my sister's in London at the time. 
M. de G. V. 

$ H. is another intimate friend, living with M. M. de G._V. 

Nov., LSD!).] Cast of tin />/><'</. tf^ii'tt-Pkotoyraphy. 139 

photograph of the library at " D. Hall," taken by Miss S. R. Corbet. 
The account of Professor Barrett's investigation of this case first 
appeared in the Journal for December, 1895, and was reprinted in 
the last number of the Proceedings (Part XXXV., p. 234). 

After the publication of the Proceedings, Dr. I. W. Heysinger, an 
Associate of the American Branch of the Society, wrote to the 
Secretary of the Branch to draw attention to a very incorrect version 
of the same case which had appeared in a letter in The English 
Mechanic of September 9th, 1898, with the signature "A Fellow of 
the Royal Astronomical Society " (which, following the example of the 
magazine, we shorten below into " F. R. A. S."). 

As this is one of th<-se cases in which apparently as a result of 
wide publicity numerous myths have accreted round the original and 
authentic story, it seems worth while to give publicity to a denial of 
some of the mythical addenda. The following is the incorrect version 
referred to by Dr. Heysinger (op. ciL, p. 92, Letter No. 41,461) : 

In Letter 41,252 (on p. 500 of your last volume) I criticised very freely 
a curious narrative which you had reproduced on p. 447, under the style 
and title of "Telepathy in Cornwall." I now propose to tell a quasi-ghost 
story of my own which is equally extraordinary, and shall he glad if my 
brother readers and correspondents will comment on it in a similar spirit, 
especially should any one of them succeed in giving a rational explanation 
of a very remarkable occurrence indeed. I may say, at the outset, that I 
shall use algebraical symbols for the names of the people concerned in this 
strange afl'air, as it is, in one sense, a somewhat painful and unpleasant 
story, and, of course, those mixed up in it, from their social rank and 
position, are necessarily averse to appear in connection with such a matter. 
I have, however, given the names in private to our Editor for his own 
satisfaction. To proceed, then, at once, with my tale. 

In the year 18V) there died at his seat in S shire a nobleman, whom 

I will call Lord X. At the time of his death his two daughters, the 
Honourable Mrs. Y. and Lady Z., were both in the house. Now, the 
favourite sitting-room of the family was the library, and on the day of the 
funeral one of the sisters said to the other : " We have been so happy in 
this room that, before we leave it for good, we will take a photograph of 
it " ; which, to shorten my story, as a matter of fact, she (or rather her 
daughter) did. Upon developing the negative, to her horror this lady found 
a partial image of a man seated in an otherwise empty armchair, and at 
once, with her sister, recognised it as that of their father ! She and her sister 
were so shocked and stupefied at this result that they determined to keep 
the matter secret. They, however, printed one or two positives from the 
negative, and so the story leaked out among their friends : and it is after a 
careful examination of one of these prints that I have determined to tell 
the tale here, with a view to its possible elucidation. The library is a very 
large room, with the walls covered with books. There are no portraits or 

140 Journal of S<><:n>t</ for Psj/cfdcl liesearch. [Nov., 1899. 

anything analogous in it, whose reflection might have formed a spurious 
image. The right-hand side of the sitting figure is certainly the more 
distinct of the two ; the face in the positive not being very well defined. 
The right shoulder and arm resting on the arm of the chair are, however, 
perfectly clear and distinct, and the right hand, which I have just been 
examining with a magnifying glass, is as sharply defined as is that with 
which 1 am writing these lines. One extraordinary coincidence, identifying 
this imperfect image with that of the deceased peer, I purposely suppress, 
as its mention would almost certainly lead to his identification. I can 
attempt no explanation of this whatever. It seems to me a practical 
photographer absolutely inexplicable. Perhaps, though, some one or 
more of my brother readers may be more fortunate in finding a solution. 
I have simply given the facts as stated to me. I have myself certainly no 
theory to account for them. I may perhaps add, it may be needlessly, that 
I have personally not the very slightest faith in ghosts. 

In answer to letters in the same magazine, suggesting various 
possible explanations of the case, " F. R. A. S." writes further (op. cit., 
p. 138) : 

. . . The interpretation of the personality of the (partial) figure in the 
chair is not mine, but that of the own daughters of the man. . . . The 
sisters had lived in the house for a long time. No, they had not previously 
photographed the room. It was only when they were leaving it for good and 
all that they thought that they should like a memento of the scene of much 
past happiness. The plate belonged to the lady who took the photograph. 
The chair shows more or less through the left-hand moiety of the figure, 
and no legs are visible, the chair front being perfectly distinct there Had 
any one sat down in the chair for a trick his legs must have been distinctly 
visible. . . . The room was lighted by brilliant sunshine. . 
The figure is dark and shadowy, while parts of the chair are well lighted. 
I have myself seen many so-called "spirit-photographs," but the imposture 
and the mode of its perpetration were at once visible on inspection. 

Again, after examining a new print of the photograph, he writes 
(op. cit., p. 233) : 

The supposition that the figure seated in the chair had its origin in a 
blemish in the plate ... is an utterly untenable one. The face, the 
shirt-collar, arm and hand, with the fingers and the projecting thumb, are so 
absolutely distinct as to preclude the possibility of this ; and I am driven to 
the conclusion that some one must have sat in the chair for a very short time 
during the exposure of the plate. What, however, continues to puzzle me 
is that Mrs. Y. and L-idy Z. strenuously deny that any one entered the room 
during the time that they were taking the photograph. . . . They were 
so frightened at the result of what they had done that for some considerable 
time they kept it to themselves. 

Amongst a mass of irrelevant discussion of how the photograph 
miykt have been produced, had the circumstances been totally 

Nov., 18)9.] Case of Supposed Spirit-Photography. 141 

different from what they were, occurs the following practical suggestion 
(op. cit.y p. 238), based on actual observation of a print : 

I have not the least doubt that the apparent "spirit " is due to 
the reflection of light from the large brass standard upon the dark back- 
ground of the armchair. The "spirit" head is exactly in the right position 
for a beam of light reflected from the cup-shaped top, and the rest is due 
either to reflection from the shaft or polished bosses. If the light was the 
same and the chair and brass standard in the same place, the " spirit ' 
could be photographed at any time. 

Tow Law, R.S.O., co. Durham, October Uth. 

This hypothesis is discussed by " F. R. A. S." on p. 280, and finally 
rejected. He suggests, however, that Mr. Espin should try whether 
he can reproduce the effect or anything like it experimentally, and in 
accordance with this suggestion, Mr. Espin writes later (p. 371) : 

I have tried it in miniature with a toy armchair in a box, and a candle 
and various round silver and brass reflectors, and the results have been such 
that I feel pretty confident that the brass standard in the photograph 
is really the cause of the phenomenon. In one position, with a small 
silver cup beaten out of a Spanish double doubloon, I got a kind of a 
head, and, by inclining a cup, a semi-circle of light which fairly well 
represented the arm. I have this morning tried the same experiments 
with sunlight in place of a candle, and have got the same effects, only 
more pronounced, and those to whom I have shown them quite realise 
the similarity of the phenomena. The "arms" of the figure can be 
well obtained if the light is admitted through a slit, and by moving the 
slit one arm can be obtained without the other.* The "hand" each 
photographer I have shown it to agrees with me is only a flaw in the 
plate ; there are several others, especially on the ceiling of the room. 
There are some other curious points about the photograph. There is a 
small ornamental chair in the centre, and the back legs are transparent ; 
also a book can be seen through the back. There is a large table, the 
leg of which is transparent. Each of these objects presents the appearance 
of the hand when looked at through a feather, when (by diffraction in this 
case) there is an appearance very similar to an X-ray picture. The 
" hand " under a magnifier seems to show five fingers and three thumbs, 
and a plant close to is doubled. Does "F. R. A. S." know anything 
about the conditions of the light at the time ? I am inclined to suspect 
that the photo was taken with a long exposure on a dark day. 

Tow Law, R.S.O., co. Durham, November 21st. 

On p. 370 " F. R, A. S." writes again : 

I have nowhere stated that it was from a peculiarity in the hand that the 
image was identified as that of the deceased peer. I very studiously 
avoided even hinting at the nature of the coincidence, which seemed to me 
so remarkable There was no portrait whatever, either photo- 
graphic or in oils or water-colour, of Lord X. in the library when the 

picture was taken It would be impossible, after this lapse of 

time, to say whether there was or was not a pinhole in the camera. 

* We hope to obtain further information about these experiments. 

142 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [Nov., 1899. 

On page 417 " F. R. A. S." says : 

" A. S. L." (Letter 41,850, p. 394) is absolutely correct in his surmise 
that no reflection from a lamp standard could ever have produced the 
peculiarity to which I referred, inasmuch as that peculiarity took the form 
of a privation 

Now, comparing the first-hand narrative of Miss Corbet with 
"F. R. A. S.'s" version, we see that the latter is incorrect with regard 
to the following particulars : 

(1) The nobleman designated by "F. R. A. S." as "Lord X." (and 

by Miss Corbet as "Lord D."), did not die "at his seat in S shire " 

(which Miss Corbet calls " D. Hall"), but in London, D. Hall being at 
the time let to Miss Corbet's sister, Lady S. 

(2) "Lord XV daughters were not at D. Hall at the time of his 

(3) The photograph was not purposely, but accidentally, taken on 
the day of the funeral. 

(4) Neither "Lord X.V daughters nor any of his relatives had 
anything to do either with the taking or developing of the photograph. 
(The photograph was, however, shown to his family, and it was with 
their full consent that Miss Corbet's account of the whole incident 
was published by us). 

(5) "Lord X.V daughters did not, as "F. R. A. S." asserts, 
"strenuously deny that any one entered the room during the time 
that they were taking the photograph," for the obvious reason that 
they had nothing to do with it. The inaccuracy is a serious one, 
since it makes the evidence for spiritistic agency appear stronger than 
it really is. The weakest point in that evidence is the fact that, as 
Miss Corbet informed us, the door of the room was left open all the 
time the photograph was being taken, the camera being placed in the 
open doorway, while she and her sister went out for a walk, apparently 
leaving the house empty, except for the servants. 

The discrepancies between "F. R.A. S.'s" account and Miss Corbet's 
first-hand one are so serious as almost to suggest that the two accounts 
do not refer to the same incident. But, as Dr. Heysinger observes : 

If it is not the same case, then the coincidences are more remarkable 
than anything appropriate to the same title in this July Proceedings, while 
if they are the same, then there is a mass of misstate men t, false suggestion, 
and error running through the whole which is simply inexplicable to me, for 
the articles in the English magazine, many of them, are by eminent men of 
science (Professor Espin, for example), who claimed to have knowledge at 

Any lingering doubt, however, as to whether the two cases were 
the same has been dispelled by " F. R. A. S.'s " informing us in 
confidence that the real name of the deceased nobleman was the same. 

Dr. Heysinger makes the very natural assumption that a scientific 
man would not print statements of the kind given above except at 
first-hand, especially when he prefaces them by a reference to an 
alleged case of telepathy which he had criticised on the ground 

Nov., IBM.] Correspondence. 143 

that it was related at third-hand. It will be noticed, ^ however, that 
" F. R. A.S.'s" present narrative only professes to be first-hand so far 
as the description of the photograph, which he himself examined, is 
concerned. He now informs us that he had the story and photograph 
from a certain gentleman, whose name he gives, and who was a 
common friend of himself and some of the relatives of " Lord X." 
Tliis gentleman's account cannot be nearer than second-hand, since he 
was not one of the witnesses of the incident; so that "F. R. A. S.'s" 
version of his account is at least third-hand, and may be more remote. 
When we know this, it is hardly necessary to look further for the 
cause of the numerous inaccuracies observed. Those who have had a 
little practice in comparing first-hand with more remote accounts, 
especially of incidents with any savour of the supernatural about 
them, will probably not be surprised at the amount of incorrectness 
to be found in this instance ; while those who are sometimes 
disposed to cavil at the caution of our Society in refusing almost 
invariably to treat even second-hand accounts as of any evidential 
value, may see here an instructive example of the result of relaxing 
such precautions. 


[The Editor is not responsible for opinions expressed by Correspondents.] 

Mr. F. C. S. Schiller writes from Oxford : 

Corpus Christi College, Oxford, October 22ucZ, 1899. 

The readers of the Daily Chronicle of October 4th must hove been shocked 
And startled to find in it a finely " scare- headed " sensational and circum- 
stantial account of how certain "Salvation Army Lasses " in Oxford had a 
disastrous encounter with a female apparition, which issued from a wall and 
*ily walked through their line of battle. The result of the engagement 
ras that, of the Salvation Army's forces, one was left " in strong convulsions 
nd the other in a dead faint," while the third was left capable of contri- 
mting to the ( hronide. 

The " ghost " apparently escaped unscathed. 

The (hronide's account concludes by stating that "the sad part of the 
>ry is that one young lady has since gone raving mad from the effects of 
le fright, and the other died a few days ago from the same cause." 

Here, apparently, was a most unusual case of ghostly audacity combined 
rith a ferocity worthy of the worst traditions of the nursery, which was 
lid to have ended in the defeat of a corps d' elite of the Salvation Army, 
)resumably well adapted to cope with spiritual foes of all sorts. The case 
iemed suspicious, but eminently deserving of the S.P.R.'s attentions 
Lccordingly, when my attention was called to the story and I had been 
^quested by a friend to look into it, I proceeded to inquire of the editor 
)f the Daily Chronicle whether he could give me any further information, 
ither about his Oxford correspondent or about the surviving heroine of the 
lie. The editor replied that he was " unable to give any further infor- 
mtion." I then addressed an inquiry to the " Commanding Officer of the 

144 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [Nov., 1899. 

Salvation Army in Oxford," pointing out what a serious reflection the story 
constituted on the honour of his army. In reply to this, Ensign W. C. Dorey 
very promptly and courteously stated that " there is no truth in it whatever." 
Thus the ghost is laid, the tall phantom " in a Jong grey dress" is 
acquitted of the alleged murder, and the spiritual world is cleared of one 
more false imputation. One only wonders why the Chronicle should have 
published the tale, and what principle guides the selection of the "news" 
which it purveys. 



Dr. Fillebrown's observations on the efficacy of self-suggestion, as a 
means of alleviating pain, remind me of my own experience on the subject. 

Some forty years ago, when a student, I had to undergo a very painful 
treatment from a hard-hearted surgeon. During a whole fortnight, every 
second day, that barbarous man burned deeper and deeper into half-a-dozen 
sores on my leg with lunar caustic, taking plenty of time about it, and, as 
I imagined, enjoying his bit of surgery. The pain was excruciating. After 
the first days I got ashamed of my want of courage, and remembering that 
the Stoics of old used to endure pain without flinching, even to the length 
of denying pain, I thought I would do the same and look on my leg as an 
insensible log of wood. 

The result was very wonderful. After two or three attempts I came to 
be perfectly quiet and unfeeling under the operation. Denying strenuously 
the pain inflicted on me, I was not feeling any pain. 

Of course, at that time I knew nothing of self-suggestion and its efficacy. 

Ever since, when I have had to undergo a painful operation, such as 
extracting, a thorn from my finger or having a boil cut open, I have 
exercised the same power of will or imagination, with the same result, com- 
plete or partial. And this was peculiarly useful when I have had to submit 
to the extraction of a tooth. 

Age has hardly yet diminished that power of self-suggestion, as I had 
occasion to ascertain last night, when I was so stupid as to burn one of my 
fingers severely with handling a red-hot glass tube. In less than three 
minutes the pain was gone, although the finger was much swollen and still 
bears to-day the brand of my clumsiness. 

As a martyr on the stake, could I show to the world a like fortitude ? 
Who knows ? But I have doubts on that point. 


Tour de Peilz, Yaud, October oth, 1899. 


Mr. Donald Murray asks us to correct an error occurring in the 
account of a case (L. 1113) contributed by him to the July Journal 
(p. 104), where he was described as Editor of the Sydney Morning 
Herald. He tells us that this was incorrect and that he was not at 
any time Editor of the paper. The same mistake was unfortunately 
repeated in the Proceedings, Part XXXV., which appeared in the 
same month, and in which some premonitory dreams of races narrated 
by Mr. Murray were given (p. 317). 






New Members and Associates 145 

Meeting of the Council 146 

General Meeting 146 

Cases 150 

Correspondence . . . . . . 158 

Supplementary Library Catalogue 150 


Names of Members are printed in Black Type. 
Names of Associates are printed in SMALL CAPITALS. 

BARK WORTH, MRS., Old Croft, Carlisle. 

BUTTERY, J. W., 1, Meyrick-road, Stafford. 

Coudenhove, Count Henry, LL.D., Schloss Ronsperg, Bohemia, 


Lendon- Bennett, M., Granite House, Putney-bridge-rd., Putney, S.W. 
RITTER, Miss, Queen Anne's Mansions, St. James' Park, S.W. 


BANER.TI, PRAFULLA CH., Dy. Postmaster-General, Dacca, Eastern 

Bengal, India. 

BROWN, MRS. SAMUEL R., 2501, Farnam-street, Omaha, Neb. 
CAHILL, DR. ELIZA B., N.E. Conservatory of Music, Franklin-square, 

Boston, Mass. 

CARPENTER, PROFESSOR G. R., Columbia University, New York, N.Y. 
CORTAZZO, Miss K., Meadville, Penna. 
FRANKLIN, MRS. ANNE R., Tampa, Florida. 
FRIENDLISK, E., Galena, Texas. 

HUNT, MRS. GEORGE S., 165, State-street, Portland, Maine. 
JACKSON, MRS. JOSEPHINE, 178, West 82nd-street, New York, N.Y. 
MALUSECKI, REV. FR. ADELBERT, 236, S. 12th-street, Reading, Pa. 
MASER, F. E., c/o National Park Bank, 214, Broadway, New York, N.Y. 
MAYO, Miss A. L., 11, Robeson r street, Jamaica Plain, Mass. 
MORRIS, EDWARD L., Glastonbury, Conn. 
NICOLL, MRS. EDWARD H., 20, Berkeley-street, Cambridge, Mass. 

146 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [DEC., 1899. 

PARRISH, THOS. C., 16, Hagerman Building, Colorado Springs, Colo. 

RONTEY, ABEL M., 506, First-avenue, New York, N.Y. 

ROSE, BYRON, North Attleborough, Mass. 

WETZEL, GEO. H., 118, E. Main-street, Lancaster, Ohio. 


A meeting of the Council was held on November 17th at the 
Westminster Town Hall. The PRESIDENT occupied the chair. There 
were also present Dr. A. W. Barrett, Professor W. F. Barrett, Mr. 
Montague Crackanthorpe, Mr. C. F. G. Masterman, Mr. F. W. H. 
Myers, Mr. F. Podmore, Mr. H. Arthur Smith, Mr. J. G. Smith, 
Sir A. K. Stephenson, and Dr. A. Wallace. 

The minutes of the last meeting were read and signed as correct. 

Two new Members and three new Associates were elected. The 
election of eighteen new Associates of the American Branch was 
recorded. Names and addresses are given above. 

The Council recorded with regret the decease of Mr. Charles H. 
Cousens, and of Miss Anna Swanwick, Associates of the Society. 

Some presents to the Library were reported, which were acknow- 
ledged with thanks to the donors. 

On the motion of Mr. Myers, Mr. J. G. Smith was elected to act as 
Co-Honorary Secretary. 

It was agreed that in addition to the General Meetings already 
arranged for December and January, General Meetings be held at the 
Westminster Town Hall on Friday, March 2nd, at 8.30 p.m., Friday, 
April 6th, at 4 p.m., and Friday, May 18th, at 8.30 p.m. 

Various other matters having been attended to, the Council decided 
to meet again at 19, Buckingham-street, on Friday, December 15th, 
at 4.30 p.m. 


The 101st General Meeting of the Society was held in the 
Westminster Town Hall on Friday, November 17th, at 4 p.m. ; the 

A paper on " The Fire Walk " by MR. ANDREW LANG was read by 
MR. F. W. H. MYERS, giving recent instances from many parts of the 
world of the rite of passing through ovens or furnaces, the bare feet 
of the walkers being uninjured by contact with the red-hot stones or 
embers. These cases appeared to be analogous with the alleged 
performances with fire of the medium, D. D. Home. In one case, 
Colonel Gudgeon, British Resident at Rarotonga, described his own 

DEC., 18!)!).] General Meeting. 147 

passing through the fire with three other Europeans (one of whom 
was badly burnt) followed by about 200 Maoris. Another was an 
account of the Fiji Fire Ceremony, witnessed by Dr. T. M. Hocken 
at Mbenga. The article will shortly appear in full in the next Part 
of the Proceedings. 

THE CHAIRMAN said that he knew of no chemical or other 
preparation which could be applied to the skin in such a way as to 
prevent the ordinary destructive action of heat on organic matter. 
He himself had witnessed the performances with fire of the medium, 
D. D. Home, on two or three occasions. On one occasion, in the 
drawing-room of a lady friend of the speaker's, Home became 
entranced, went up to the fire which was not a coal, but a wood 
fire raked it out with his hands, and took up a lump of red-hot 
charcoal about twice the size of an egg into his hand, on which 
certainly no asbestos was visible. He blew into his hands and the 
names could be seen coming out from between his fingers and he 
carried the charcoal round the room. One of the persons present 
asked if it would hurt him if he touched it. Home told him he might 
try ; he did so and found that it did burn him. On the same evening 
the speaker saw Home put a red-hot coal on a fine cambric handker- 
chief and carry the handkerchief about. He took possession of the 
handkerchief immediately afterwards and examined it chemically in 
his laboratory and found no trace of any chemical preparation on it. 
At one part there was a small hole burnt, but otherwise it was quite 

He remarked that the temperature that the human body could 
stand was limited by the point at which albumen coagulates, namely, 
163 deg. F. ; if the substance of the body itself got above that 
temperature, it would be so much injured that death would ensue. 

The old system of making iron in the puddling furnaces seemed to 
him to furnish the closest parallel that could be found in ordinary 
experience to the cases related in Mr. Lang's paper. Men naked 
down to their waists had to work very close to these furnaces, the 
heat being so great that ordinary persons could not go anywhere near 
them. The men themselves told him that a beginner could not stand 
the heat and had to get gradually accustomed to it. and that it took 
three generations to make a really good puddler. In some of the Fire 
Walk cases it had been suggested that heredity had something to do 
with the faculty. This did not, however, apply to Home's case. 

Again, there are some substances which are almost non-conductors 
of heat. For instance, he had seen a test of a fire-proof box contain- 
ing sealing-wax, gunpowder and wax vestas, having been kept in a 

148 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [DEC., 1899. 

furnace for an hour and a half. It was red-hot when it came out, but 
on being opened, its contents were found to be unaffected by the heat. 

PROFESSOR W. F. BARRETT said that it was interesting to have 
heard on the highest authority that no known chemical preparation 
could have protected the feet of the Fire Walkers from serious injury. 
A physical phenomenon had occurred to him which at first sight 
presented a certain analogy to the Fire Walking phenomena. If a 
white-hot ball of metal preferably of copper be lowered into a 
vessel of water,, containing a little soap in solution, it will enter the 
water without any ebullition of steam, and the ball will remain white- 
hot in the midst of the water for a considerable time. The ball, in 
fact, does not touch the water and the latter remains only slightly 
warmed, until the temperature of the ball falls below a certain point, 
when it cornes in contact with the water and violent ebullition ensues. 
This phenomenon is a remarkable instance of the so-called " spheroidal 
state " of water ; and is really attributable to a repulsive force, dis- 
covered by Sir William Crookes, which occurs when a hot body is 
brought very near to a cold one, the same force, in fact, that moves 
the vanes of Crookes' radiometer. 

For his own part, however, the speaker did not believe that any 
explanations of this sort could account for the phenomena of the Fire 
Walk, inasmuch as these, if established, seemed to be essentially 
psychical ; for they depended for success on the mental state of par- 
ticular individuals on whom some supernormal power appeared to be 
conferred, analogous to the power sometimes conferred by hypnotic 
suggestion, though in this case it would be auto-suggestion. This 
may possibly be the true psychical basis of that faith which can 
"quench the violence of fire," and which has not any necessary 
connection with a particular form of religion. 

MR. F. W. H. MYERS observed that there seemed to him to be an 
important difference between the physiological results brought about 
by suggestion, which meant the stimulation of normal powers, and the 
phenomena described in Mr. Lang's paper. If this explanation were 
to be applied to the case of the feet of those who walked on the hot 
stones, one would have to assume that suggestion constantly renewed 
the sole of the foot, which was constantly being destroyed by the fire. 
The suggestion would have to be exercised instantly, and on a very 
large scale, to produce the effects reported. 

MR. F. W. THURSTAN said that he had witnessed the fire pheno- 
mena of D. D. Home, and had also seen similar performances several 
times on the part of a medium named Hopcroft. He had seen the 
latter go up to a fire-place, take out red-hot coals from it, and offer 

DEC., 185)9.] General Meeting. 149 

them to the persons present. When entranced, he used to hold them 
for four or live minutes in his hand. As a boy, this medium had been 
constantly mesmerised and made anaesthetic by suggestion ; he was 
then often kept in a trance all day long. Later he became a trance 
medium, and was constantly in trances. He ended his life at last in 
an asylum. 

MR. F. W. PERCIVAL also testified to the performances with fire of 
D. D. Home. He said that he had seen Home clear away the black 
coals from the front of a fire, get out a red-hot coal from the back and 
put it in his hair, which was fluffy and light, It remained there for 
some seconds, after which Mr. Percival examined the hair and could 
find no trace of burning in it. 

DR. ABRAHAM WALLACE observed that in occult books, alterations in 
the interstellar ether had been suggested as the cause of such phenomena. 

MR. MYERS suggested that they might be due to forces somewhat 
analogous to the imaginary " Demons of Maxwell." The late Professor 
Clark Maxwell, as was well known, had suggested the conception of 
imaginary "Demons," whose function it was to keep up the energy 
of the cosmos, which was constantly being dissipated by its tempera- 
ture tending to become equalised everywhere. The " Demons " are 
imagined to keep the hot molecules apart from the cold ones, and so 
prevent the equalisation of temperature. 

A GENTLEMAN asked if D. D. Home's power could be put down to 
heredity, and if he had ever walked over or through a fire. 

THE CHAIRMAN believed that both questions should be answered in 
the negative. 

PROFESSOR W T . F. BARRETT then read " A Further Paper on the So- 
called Divining Rod," which it is hoped will appear in the next Part of 
the Proceedings. He said that his general conclusion, based on a study 
of all the evidence which had come under his notice, was that for deep 
wells, say, over 100 or 200 feet, he would unhesitatingly back the 
opinion of a good geologist ; but for comparatively shallow wells, say, 
from 10 to 50 feet, he would as unhesitatingly back a good dowser. 
After stating the conditions that were necessary to make experiments 
with a dowser really evidential, he described in detail a series of experi- 
ments carried out under his own directions in boring for water at 
spots indicated through the divining rod by the dowser Stone, in a 
mountainous region in the county Wicklow, four miles from Bray. 
After Stone had gone, a country gentleman, Mr. J. H. Jones, of Water- 
ford, who had had some success as an amateur dowser, was asked by 
Professor Barrett to try over the same ground. He did this, with no 
knowledge of what had been done by Stone, and came practically to the 

150 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [DEC., 1899. 

same conclusions. Five different borings were then made, and in every 
case the predictions of the dowsers were completely verified. The 
account of these experiments was illustrated by some excellent dia- 
grams and plans of the ground and borings. 

Professor Barrett spoke next of experiments tried to test whether 
a dowser, when blindfolded, would indicate through the movement of 
his rod the same spots as when he could see the ground. He said that 
he himself had not been successful in such experiments, but a good 
many successes had been recorded by others ; the experimenters, 
however, had not always realised the necessity of avoiding giving 
unconscious indications to the dowser. He then described some recent 
trials of the divining rod made at his request in finding minerals in 
Somersetshire ; these have been carefully reported on by Mr. E. 
Westlake, who superintended the operations, which on the whole 
proved successful. On the other hand, in a series of experiments 
carried out by Colonel Taylor in trying to detect the whereabouts of 
hidden coins, the successes of the dowser were not more than chance 
might have produced. The reasons for success in the former cases 
(finding water and mineral lodes) and non-success in the latter are 
fully discussed in the paper, which time did not permit the author to 
give except in brief abstract. 


G. 263. Auditory. 

This case comes to us through the American Branch of the 
Society. Dr. Hodgson writes of it: 

The following account was sent to me by Miss Lilian Whiting on August 
8th, 1899; a few sentences in further explanation of the case being embodied 
in it a few days later. Miss Whiting has had other psychical experiences, 
and besides many communications through Mrs. Piper's trance purporting 
to come from Miss|Kate Field, who died in May, 1896, has received her- 
self many impressions apparently coming from Miss Field since the latter's 
death, some of which have been independently corroborated by statements 
through Mrs. Piper's trance. The following incident will probably interest 
even those of our readers who may be disposed to take the view that 
nothing was involved more than Miss Whiting's subliminal consciousness. 
Other evidence, however, some of which I shall publish in my next Report 
on Mrs. Piper, leads me to the conclusion that Miss Whiting does actually 
receive communications directly from Miss Field, and I think the case 
which follows may be an instance of these. 

Kate Field's Washington was a weekly journal well known in the United 
States, founded and edited by Miss Field during the years 1890-95. Miss 
Whiting has been writing a biography of Miss Field. - 

DEC., 1899.] Cases. 151 

Miss Whiting's account is as follows : 

Between 2 and 3 a.m., August 4th, Kate wakened me, speaking to 
me excitedly ahout a "letter of Lowell's" to her. All was confused and 
rapid, but at last I caught clearly: "In K. F.'s W. in my Washington, 
Lilian; look in my Washington" Then I vaguely recalled that Lowell 
had written her a letter in re International Copyright, which she had 
published in her journal, and which I had already included in her 
biography, so I replied to her: "Yes, darling, I know the letter is in 
the book. It's all right." 

Again an excited and rapid speaking, of which I only caught here and 
there a word, but partly from impression, and almost impulsion I rose, 
went out into my parlour, turned on the electric light, and took the five 
bound volumes of her K. F.'s W. down from my shelves. Half automatically 
I seemed to be guided (for I had totally forgotten its existence) to a letter 
that Lowell wrote to her in 1879, when he was American Minister to Spain 
writing from Madrid, and she in London and which, on his death, she had 
published in her Washington. 

Miss Field had been engaged in organising a festival at Stratford-on- 
Avon for the benefit of the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, and had written 
to Mr. Lowell asking if he would not write an original poem for her to recite 
on that occasion. His reply was most interesting, relating the obstacles 
that repelled the Muses, and saying that he was the more sorry not to meet 
her wish, as he had a favour to ask of her, a request that she would send 
him her book called Ten Days in Spain. Dr. West-land Marston was then 
invited to write the poem desired, and Miss Field recited it, opening the 
festival on Shakespeare's birthday. As the original letter was not among 
Miss Field's MSS. , and as I had totally forgotten it (I don't, even now, recall 
seeing it, though I must hare at the time), this very important letter would 
have been left out of her biography, had she not thus called me and led me 
to it. There was barely time to get [it] in before the first casting of the proofs. 
I went with it myself out to the University Press the next morning to see 
where I could now introduce it in the part of proofs not yet cast as I 
couldn't even delay for the mail. Miss Field's waking me, her urgent and 
excited and forcible manner and words, were just as real to me as would 
have been [those] of some friend in this world coming to my bedside in the 
ni 8 ht - L.W. 

L. 1118. Dream. 

The following account of a veridical dream was sent to us by 
Professor A. Alexander, of Rio de Janeiro, enclosed in a letter to Mr. 
Myers, dated July 2nd, 1899. Professor Alexander writes concerning 
the case : 

Together with this letter I forward you a veridical dream case. The 
informants are my neighbours, and I am already intimate with them. Senr. 
Emilio Blum was educated at Paris ; he served as a colonel during the 
revolt, and is now engaged in business in Rio de Janeiro. I am not quite 
satisfied as to the date of the dream : Dona Maria do Carmo was at first 

152 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [DEC., 1899. 

uncertain, and we cannot be sure that the knowledge that the accident 
happened on the 27th of April did not influence her in fixing it. The depo- 
sitions, which are otherwise quite reliable, prove that about the time of the 
accident, and before any news of it had reached the Blum family, some 
intimation of Dr. Garnier's mishap was conveyed to Dona Maria in a 
dream. The children were not hurt, as the horses stopped as soon as 
they reached home. ... ^ ALEXANDER . 

Professor Alexander describes the incident as follows : 

The following apparent instance of telepathic clairvoyance occurred 
recently in Rio de Janeiro among people well known to the collector of the 
case. The statements of the witnesses having been made with due care, 
they may be accepted as reliable. 

Senr. Emilio Blum and his family formerly resided at Florianopolis, the 
capital of the State of Santa Catharina, and were on terms of friendship with 
a certain Dr. Gamier, of that town. 

In the month of April of this year Senr. Blum's wife, Dona Maria do 
Carmo, was in a delicate state of health, and was much subject to insomnia 
and confused dreaming. On the night presumed to have been that of the 
27th, she fell asleep only after 12 o'clock, and dreamt of her former medical 
attendant. Her statement is the following : 

"Rio, June 13th, 1899. 

" I declare that on the night between the 27th and the 28th of April of 
the present year, I dreamt that Dr. Gamier, who was our family doctor when 
we lived at Florianopolis, had fallen in alighting from a carriage, and had 
been much hurt. I had this dream between 1 and 2 o'clock in the morning, 
and on awaking at 7 on the morning of the 28th, being much impressed* by 
it, I related it to my husband. 

(Signed) " MARIA DO CARMO F. BLUM." 

So far the dream, which was a distressful one, might well have been 
attributed to the lady's state of health ; but on the 2nd of May her mother, 
Dona Thomazia, arrived from Santa Catharina and informed them that Dr. 
Gamier had really met with a serious carriage accident towards the end of 
April. Of this she now gives a written account : 

" Rio de Janeiro, June 14f/i, 1899. 

"I declare that while I was yet in Florianopolis [the following incident 
occurred] : [the horses of] a carriage containing children ran away, the 
coachman not being on the box. Just at that time Dr. Gamier, accom- 
panied by Father Leite, was driving in another carriage to visit the parents 
of the said children. On seeing the children's carriage with the runaway 
horses, he alighted with the intention of saving them, and was thrown aside, 
it is supposed, against the bank [and stunned], some time elapsing before he 
recovered his senses. If I am not mistaken, this occurred in the afternoon 
of the 27th of April of this year. Dr. Gamier was to have embarked with 

* The Portuguese word "impressionada" means emotionally impressed. A. A. 

DEC., 18U9.] Cases. 

me for Rio de Janeiro, and did not do so owing to this accident. I started 
for Rio on the 30th of April, and arrived here on the 2nd of May. My son- 
in-law, having come to fetch me on board, asked after various persons in 
Santa Catharina, among others Dr. Gamier, with whom he is friendly. I 
then told him of the accident, of which he was ignorant. On arriving home 
my daughter, Maria do Carmo Blum, related to me, more or less in the 
terms of the above declaration, the experience of her dream. It was only 
then that she was informed by me that her dream was veridical. 


Dr. Gamier, who arrived in Rio at a later date, gives a similar account 
of the above accident : 

"Rio, JnneUth, 1899. 

"On the 27th of the month of April, 1899, in Florianopolis (capital of 
Santa Catharina) [I], the undersigned, accompanied by Father Joao Nepo- 
muceno Manfredo Leite, was driving between five and six o'clock in the 
afternoon on a professional visit to the residence of Senr. Dr. Hercilio 
Pedro da Luz when I saw at some distance behind me a carriage with 
runaway horses, containing six children and without a coachman, coming in 
the same direction that we were travelling. In attempting to jump out and 
save the children, I fell and lost consciousness the result of a concussion of 
the brain. In this state I was carried home, and became aware of what had 
happened only on the following day. I received no other hurt but this and 
some slight bruises of no consequence. 


Senr. Blum thus corroborates his wife's deposition : 

"Rio de Janeiro, June 14M, 1899. 

' ' I, the undersigned, declare that on the morning of the 28th of April of 
the present year my wife, under a profound impression, related to me her 
dream above referred to. In order to calm her, I told her not to attach any 
importance to it, [saying] that it was nothing more than a dream. I affirm 
that we knew of Dr. Garnier's accident only through my mother-in-law, who 
arrived here on the 2nd of May. (gigned) Emijo BLUM 

Dona Maria, do Carmo Blum believes that her dream took place 
immediately after falling asleep. She thinks it likely that she awoke from 
it, but is not sure on this point. Her vision was a confused one : she did 
not see the carriage with the children ; Dr. Gamier seemed to be in a kind 
of cart (he drives a Victoria) ; there were horses ; there were bandages to be 
applied to the doctor. It is said that these were in reality applied. 

For the date of the dream the lady herself is responsible. After some 
hesitation and discussion, she became convinced that it occurred on the 
night immediately following the accident. No notes were taken on the 

The distance that separates Florianopolis from Rio is approximately 
400 nautical miles. 

154 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [DEC., 1899. 

Questioned as to whether she had had any other similar experiences, 
Dona Maria replied that about the beginning of this year she had dreamed 
confusedly of a sick child and of flowers and people in mourning. This she 
thinks might have been premonitory, for shortly afterwards, on February 
18th, 1899, a little nephew of hers died in Santa Catharina. 

Although quite willing to furnish the above evidence, Dona Maria is in 
general averse to subjects bearing on spiritism. 

Professor Alexander has sent us the original depositions of the 
witnesses, written in Portuguese, with translations, kindly furnished 
by himself, which he has incorporated into his narrative. 

G. 264. Apparitions. 

We have received the two following accounts of a "haunt" at a 
College in one of tbe older Universities. We are requested not to 
publish the names of persons and places. 

I. From Mr. A. 

[The foot-notes to Mr. A's account are given as the result of questions 
put to him by two experienced members of the S.P.R., who investigated 
the case.] 

In Lent term 1898*, I had gone to bed unusually late, about half-past one 
in the morning, and shortly after getting into bed I heard a noise in my 
sitting-room and called out "Who is there 1 ?" Receiving no answer, I got out 
of bed and went into rny sitting-room. It was a moonlight night, the blind 
was up, and there was still a fire burning in the grate. I saw a figure stand- 
ing by the window with its back turned to me, which, as soon as I entered the 
sitting-room, turned round and walked towards me. It was about the middle 
height and loosely dressed, as I thought in grey. The face was a long clean- 
shaven one, cadaverous and at the same time pitiful in expression, and I am 
perfectly confident when I say that I could see right through the figure and 
distinctly saw the bars on the window through it. I was naturally excess- 
ively frightened and for a second could do or say nothing. Then I turned 
tail and bolted into my bedroom and locked the door and shortly afterwards 
I heard a shuffling noise as of some one leaving my room and passing along 
the passage. I then lit a candle and went into my sitting-room again and 
saw nothing. I was in a streaming perspiration and yet felt icy cold and 
my reflection in the glass showed my face as white as a sheet. I have 
not been able to find any explanation of the apparition and did not see 
anything more of it, (though several other men in college had similar experi- 
ences of it) until Michaelmas term- 1898. Then came my second experience. 
I had been working till eleven and then went to bed. Some time in the 
night, I cannot say exactly when, I was awakened by a sound in my room 
(I should mention I had changed to different rooms on the same staircase, 
on the second instead of on the third floor) and I lit a candle and went into my 
sitting-room to see who was there ; for some moments I saw nobody and was 

* Mr. A. afterwards corrected the date to the " Michaelmas term, 1897." 

DEC., 1809.] Cases. 155 

going back to bed when I caught sight of a figure standing in a corner of my 
room. It was exactly similar to the one I had seen before, three terms 
previously ; the face had the same pitiful and mournful-looking expression, 
and it advanced towards me holding out its hands as if it wanted something. 
I remember no more ; I was terribly frightened and fainted right away. I 
was found by my scout* the next morning, when he came to call me, lying in 
front of my fireplace with the extinguished candle on the floor. I went to 
the Principal and told him the circumstances, but he was inclined to treat it 
as a joke.f 

I can give no explanation of it and can only say that it was a ghastly 
experience. I knew that a former undergraduate committed suicide 011 this 
staircase,| about twenty years ago, but do not know if there be any connec- 
tion between this and the apparition I saw. Other men have had similar 
visitations and one man had to go down three weeks before the end of term 
through being so much troubled by it. I was genuinely and thoroughly 
frightened and am perfectly convinced it was a supernatural apparition that 
I saw. The idea of the ghost is looked upon far too seriously in the 
College for any one to play a practical joke, and I can only say that another 
such visitation would cause me to migrate elsewhere. 

II. From Mr. B. 

I am not quite sure about actual dates, etc., but my first experience was 
me night in the fifth week of the October term, 1897. I was a Freshman, and 
the ground floor room on No. 3 staircase. I had been to sleep for some 
le and woke up with a very uncomfortable feeling that something was 
mg. After sitting up and rubbing my eyes the feeling resolved itself 
ito the conviction that some one was looking in [at] my bedroom window. I 
ilmost laughed at the idea, for though the window was just over the bed, the 
>om being very small, there was a thick curtain drawn across it, and I put 
down to imagination and tried to go to sleep again. Failing to do so, 1 
Dived to satisfy myself and, getting up, drew the curtain, and was very 
mch startled to actually see a face gazing straight in. The face was really 
I could see, and I think had that been the only time I saw it, that I 
>uld not have described it, for it appeared to vanish after I had looked at 
for a very short time. I lit a candle, and after thinking some time, came 
to the natural conclusion that it was somebody who had got into the 
mrchyard immediately outside (though I afterwards found that this 
mid be a very difficult matter). I looked at my watch, as I always do 
fhen I wake in the night, and found it was just after 2 o'clock a.m. I said 
lothing about it to any one, and soon was quite satisfied in my mind that it 
ras nothing mysterious. 

However, two or three nights afterwards, I woke again with the same 
mcanny feeling (and to avoid repetition I might add that the appearances 
were always accompanied with this horrible or at least very uncomfortable 

* Who confirmed this to a member of the S.P.R. in December, 
t He is, however, very reluctant to permit any investigations. 
J Upon consideration the narrator is now doubtful about the identity of the 

156 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [DEC., 1899. 

feeling) ; and sitting up again saw the face, now at the end of my bed, 
gazing straight at me with a very sad expression. I noticed this particularly, 
as I was able to look at it fixedly for what seemed quite a long time, and 
this time I observed too that it was possessed by the figure of a man, which 
was too indefinite to describe accurately, but he had on what looked like a 
white front or ruffle. The face was rather thin, clean-shaved, and with 
clear-cut features. I also noticed that the hair was short and thin. Perhaps 
I did not notice all this 011 this occasion, but I find it difficult to detach from 
each appearance what I actually saw each time. I reached for my matches 
and struck a light and when my eyes got accustomed to the light, there was 
nothing there. 

Now, nobody could pass out of my room without brushing past me, on 
account of the size of the room ; neither, to my knowledge, is there any 
other exit. 

After this the same thing happened two or three times, and I was able to 
see that the figure appeared to be dressed in knee-breeches and stockings of 
a dark texture, and each time all it did Avas to gaze sadly at me. I was 
never able to challenge it, I suppose on account of fright, and I main- 
tained silence on the question until a more curious thing still happened, and 
this I think was one night in the seventh week of that term. 

You will notice that up to this time iit was nothing but a visual 
experience, unaccompanied by noise, and this was gradually tending to 
restore rny nerve, and I slept for several nights without being aroused. 
The appearances were always at about the same time. 

One night in the seventh week of term, I think, I was awakened in the 
same curious manner, and sitting up thought I heard a slight noise in my 
sitting-room. I listened, and it seemed to continue, as though a scuffle was 
going on, but I certainly felt the noise rather than heard it. 

What I mean by this is that the noise seemed to be more suggested to 
me than audible, but whatever it was I reached out of bed and pushed open 
the door, which I could not reach from the bed, and looked into the other 
room. It was moonlight, and the light was coming in from the quad, 
although the blind was drawn. The noise was still going on in a dark 
corner of the room (granted it may have been rats !) ; but as I looked, two 
figures emerged from the dark into the patch of light which came through 
the window. Tney appeared to be fighting ; I can only so describe it. It 
was just as though I was watching the enactment of a duel, for though I 
could see no weapons, yet the figures were apart, and one, for certain, had 
his hand towards the other ! 

There was no imagination about this ! I had to watch it in spite of my- 
self ! And one figure was, I feel sure, the figure of my previous visitant. 

I don't know how short or long the time was in which the ''scuffle" 
lasted, but presently there was a slight thud, and then my sitting-room door 
shut audibly, as though some one had gone out. Then I jumped out of 
bed, and striking a match, inspected the room, but there was nothing to be 
seen. Naturally I came to the conclusion that some of the men were 
playing a joke upon me, and in the morning 1 went to every one in turn 

DEC., ISM.] Cases. 157 

to know if they had been to my room, as I had had enough of it. Every one 
emphatically disclaimed having done so, and a meeting was convened to 
consider the matter. I am sure from that time that nobody had part in it, 
and it was then that I was told of the supposed ghost. 

I did not stay in my rooms at night after that. Two or three of us sat 
up for two nights, and on the second night, sitting up in the room 
un-i-heud, we all heard the same sequence of noises, viz., the scuffle, the 
thud, and the door shutting, and this was at the usual time : five or six 
minutes past two. We kept watch on the window and the door of my 
rooms from the window upstairs ; it was possible to do so ; and nobody came 
out, and on immediately descending thither we could find nothing unusual. 
That day I came home with my nerves very much upset, and since then 
have occupied rooms on another staircase. Several different men have had 
experiences of a slighter nature, especially on No. 4 staircase. 

I have given my history of the case as nearly as possible, and hope there 
may yet be some explanation. 

Mr. B. has been more or less ill continuously since his experience, 
and this fact supports the supposition that the hallucinations may 
have been merely subjective. He has now left the University, and 
his illness has prevented further inquiries. 

We are told that it has proved impossible to trace the tradition of 
previous "haunting" to anything definite. Mr. A. gave the name of 
a clergyman, a former member of the College, who told him that 
disturbances had occurred in his time ; but on being written to, this 
gentleman declared that he knew nothing about the matter. 

It must be noted that the doors of neither Mr, A.'s nor Mr. B.'s 
rooms were locked when the figures appeared to them, and that these 
figures seem usually to have departed in an audible and normal manner. 

One of the men who sat up with Mr. B. to watch for the " ghost " 
gives an account of the noises heard, which, it will be seen, is much 
vaguer than Mr. B.'s, as follows : 

June 7th, 1899. 

One evening in Michaelmas Term, '97, four of us sat up in the room 
above [Mr. B.'sj^ to listen for the ghost. At one time Ave thought we heard 
something like muffled footsteps moving about in the room below, but the 
fire was roaring up the chimney, and we could not clearly distinguish the 
two sounds. 

Later in the evening one of us thought he heard the door below shut, but 
on opening the door of the room we were in and listening on the stairs, we 
could hear nothing. 

In reality there was only one sound which I cannot understand. As we 
sat listening I heard a very faint sound, like a singing in my ear or the ring- 
ing of a distant bell, I do not mean several strokes of a bell, but a faint 
continuous sound, which I heard only with my left ear. I remarked upon 
it, but added that I was sure none of the others would hear it, as it was so 

] -j8 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [DEC., 1899. 

faint. However, they all said they heard the same, and I endeavoured to 
locate it, but in vain. I listened close to the fire, the windows, the doors, 
and the lamp, and heard the same sound, equally faint, the whole time. 
Only when I moved into the bedroom I was unable to hear it ; but on return- 
ing to the sitting-room heard it again just as before. 


[77ie Editor is not responsible for opinions expressed by Correspondents.] 

The following letter has been received from Dr. A. Colles about 
the cases contributed by Mrs. A. W. Verrall to the November number 
of the Journal : 

116, King Henry's Road, S. Hampstead, November 3rd, 1899. 

The account in the November Journal IS.P.R. of Mrs. Verrall's pre- 
monitions by means of a watch-like ticking have interested me, for the 
reason that, for more than twenty years, I have myself very frequently 
heard a ticking exactly such as Mrs. Verrall describes, so that I have 
jestingly declared that I was haunted by the ghost of a watch. The 
difference between us is, however, great, as I have never been able to 
trace any connection between the sound and any event of interest. It 
has followed me in various changes of residence. The sound occurs for 
periods of from ten to thirty minutes, and, after frequent recurrences, is 
heard no more for perhaps several months. I have again and again proved 
absolutely that the sound was distinct from that of any timepiece or watch 
which was in the room, but have never been able to account for its occur- 
rence in any way. The sound is rapid and faint, pausing for a few seconds 
from time to time, and then going on again. Query, are Mrs. Verrall's 
instances coincidental or truly premonitory ? If, as I gather, she has 
never heard it without its being followed by some occurrence of a serious 
nature, it would seem that they are in some way of the latter character. 
It would be of interest to have the point made quite clear whether she 
has ever heard it without some sequent event. AC TM D 1 

In answer to questions as to whether the hearing of such sounds could 
possibly be due to any state of the ear, Dr. Colles writes further : 
116, King Henry's Road, N.W., November 9th, 1899. 

In reply to your note of 8th inst., I may say that I know of no condition 
of the ear which would give rise to the sound I mentioned. A very rapidly 
ticking watch rolled up in cotton wool would give the nearest idea of the 
sound, but it is more rapid than any watch I have come across. When 
first heard it sounded always as if it came from a particular cupboard in 
my study, but subsequently came now from one point, now from another. 
It is many months now since I have heard it, but similarly long intervals 
have occurred in the past. On several occasions I made every investigation 
into it which suggested itself to me, but entirely failed to determine its 

source ' A. COLLES. 

DEC., isiH).] Supplementary Library Catalogue, 159 

Dr. Colles' letters having been sent to Mrs. Verrall for perusal, 
she writes : 

5, Sehvyn Gardens, Cambridge, November ll/i, 1899. 
To the Editor. 

In answer to the question at the end of Dr. Colles' first letter, which 
your courtesy has permitted me to see, I should like to summarise the 
occasions on which I have heard the "ticking" described in the Journal 
for November. They may be grouped under four heads : 

(a) In 1888 the ticking persisted, at irregular intervals, for three weeks, 
ut a time when there was great anxiety among the members of my house- 
hold, unknown to me, concerning the health of a child. The ticking ceased 
when I was made aware of the precarious condition of the child. 

(6) In 1891, for three or four months, the ticking was heard by me at 
irregular intervals, but desisted after the occurrence of a death. 

(c) In July, 1892, I heard and recorded the ticking, as described in 
the Journal for November, on the night on which a friend was taken 
seriously ill. 

(d) In September, 1898, I heard and recorded the ticking thirty-two 
hours before the alarming accident to my sister, described in the Journal. 

On no other occasions have I heard it. 

I did once hear a death-watch when I was very young. The sound made 
by the death-watch is louder and more regular than the " ticking" ; I am 
certain that the sound which I have been describing is not made by a beetle, 
nor by any clock or watch. That it is telepathic or premonitory I should 
not like to say without more evidence than there is at present, but as it 
has apparently always been veridical, I thought it worth noting. 

I have often wondered how the superstition about the death-watch 
originated ; there seems no obvious reason why that particular sound 
should be thought to announce death. But if, as Dr. Colles' experience 
suggests, there are persons liable to hear a ticking sound, it seems possible 
that in some cases mental disturbance, anxiety, or alarm, too indefinite 
to be recognised by the consciousness, may manifest itself in this form of 
hallucination, and thus the idea of impending misfortune might become 
associated with a ticking sound. Yours truly, . F n v 



Additions since the last list (JOURNAL for December, 1898). 


ILNET (Dr. Alfred), The Psychology of Reasoning. From the 

French by A. G. White, B.Sc Chicago, 1899* 

CHATTOCK (Prof. A. P.), Science and Ghosts (The Magnet, Vol. I., 

Nos. 5 and 6) Bristol, 1899t 

* Presented by the Publishers. t Presented by the Author. 

160 Journal of Society for -Psychical Research. [DEC., 1899. 

DUPOTET DE SENNAVOY (Baron), An Introduction to the Study of 

Animal Magnetism London, 1838J 

JAMES (Prof. William), Talks to Teachers London, 1899 

SEYBERT COMMISSION ON SPIRITUALISM (Report of) Philadelphia, 1887 

VINCENT (R. H.), The Elements of Hypnotism. 2nd Edit... .London, 1895 

DELANNE (Gabriel), L' Evolution Aiiimique Paris, 1897 

L' Ame est Immortelle , Paris, 1899 

GYEL (Dr. E.), L' Etre Subconscient .Paris, 1899 

BEITRAGE ZUR GRENZWISSENSCHAFT. " Gessellschaft fur wissenchaft- 

liche Psychologic" in Miinchen Jena, 1899* 

FALCOMER (Prof. Dr. M. T.), Fur oder gegen den Spiritismus. Leipzig, 1899* 

GAJ (Dr. Gustav von), Aus der geheimnissvollen Welt Agram, 1898t 

MULLER (Rudolph), Naturwissenchaftliche Seelenforschung...^^^, 1897t 
- Das Hypnotische Hellseh-Experiment im Dienste der Natur- 

wissenschaf tlichen Seelenf orschung Leipzig, N. D. t 

OCHOROWICZ (Prof. Dr. J.), Magnetismus und Hypnotismus...Leij*si(/, 1897* 
REICH (Dr. Edward), Physiologic des Magischen. 2nd Edit.. Leipzig,. 1899 

ERMACORA (Dr. G. B.), La Telepatia Padua, 1898* 

IN MEMORIAM, Dr. G. B. ERMACORA Padua, 1899* 

ADAMS (W. H. Davenport), Witch, Warlock and Magician.... London, 1889 


BEAVEN (E. W.), Tales of the Divining Rod London, 1899 

COMPTON (Theodore), The Life of the Rev. John Clowes London, 1898* 

EDWARDS (D.), Animal Magnetism Explained London, 1789 

FEILDING (Alice), Faith Healing and Christian Science London, 1899* 

GOODRICH-FREER (A.), Essays on Psychical Research London, 1899 

and the MARQUESS OF BUTE, The Alleged Haunting of B . 

House London, 1899 

HARTMANN (FRANZ, M.D.), Magic, White and Black London, 1886 

HOCKEN (DR. T. M.), An Account of the Fiji Fire Ceremony (Trans. 

of the New Zealand Institute, Vol. XXXI . ) 1898 1 

IAMBLICHUS, Mysteries of the Egyptians. Translated by Thomas 

Taylor. 2nd Edit : ..London, 1895 

" LIGHT," Bound Volume for 1898 London, 1898 

MACKENZIE (Alex. F. S. A. Scot.), The Prophecies of the Brahan Seer, 

with Introductory Chapter by Andrew Lang Stirling, 1899 

STANLEY (Hiram M.), Psychology for Beginners Chicago, U.S.A., 1899* 

SWEDENBORG (Emanuel), Documents Concerning the Life and 

Character of. Collected, translated, and annotated by R. L. Tafel, 

A.M., Ph.D. Vols. I. and II. (Vol. II. in two Parts) London, 1875-77 


YEATS (W. B.), Ireland Bewitched (Contemporary Review, September, 

1899) ' London, 1899 

* Presented by the Publishers. J Presented by Mr. H. A. Wassell. 

t Presented by the Author. Presented by the London Spiritualist Alliance. 

No. CLXV. VOL. IX. JANUARY, 1900. 





New Member and Associates 161 

Meeting of the Council *. 161 

General Meeting 162 

Premature Generalisations about Telepathy 169 

Correspondence 176 


Names of Members are printed in Black Type. 
Names of Associates are printed in SMALL CAPITALS. 


PROFESSOR J.H.HYSLOP, Columbia University, New York, N.Y., U.S.A. 


ANDEX, HAROLD A., Clarendon House, Woodford Green, Essex. 
BOXAZZA, CARLO, Hotel Cavour, 5, Via Proconsolo, Florence. 
CARXSEW, Miss ROSAMUND, 18, York-street Chambers, Bryanston-sq.,W. 
V DAVY, MRS. E, M., 43, Clanricarde-gardens, London, W. 
- DUXSMURE, MRS., 50, Harrington-gardens, London, S.W. 
I MORTOX, MRS., 1, Old Brighton, Monkstown, co. Dublin. 
Turner, Alfred E., Major General, C.B., 21,Tite st., London, S.W. 


GRAHAM, T. B., 26, West oOth-street, New York, N.Y. 
HUIDEKOPEE, M-RS. ARTHUR C., Meadville, Pa. 
PARKER, EDWARD W., 78, Montgomery-street, Boston, Mass. 
ROBINSON, MRS. C. B., 315, W. Broadway, Louisville, Ky. 


A meeting of the Council was held on December 15th, at the 
Rooms of the Society, 19, Buckingham-street, W.C. The PRESIDEXT 
occupied the chair. There were also present, Mr. F. Podmore, .Mr. 
Sydney C. Scott, Professor H. Sidgwick, Mr. H. Arthur Smith, Mr. 
J. G. Smith, and Dr. A. Wallace. " 

162 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [JAN., 1900. 

The minutes of the last meeting were read and signed as correct. 

On the proposal of the President, seconded by Professor Sidgwick, 
Professor J. H. Hyslop, of Columbia University, New York, was 
elected a Vice-President of the Society. 

One new Member and six new Associates were elected, and the 
election of four new Associates of the American Branch was recorded. 
Names and addresses are given above. 

The resignation of one Member and fourteen Associates, who, from 
various causes, desired to withdraw from the Society, at the end of the 
year, was accepted. 

The Council recorded with regret the decease of Maria Lady 
Vincent, who had been an Associate of the Society almost from its 
commencement, and also of Mrs. Crawley, who had been an Associate 
for several years. 

Some presents to the Library were 011 the table, for which a vote 
of thanks was passed to the donors. 

The names of the Members of Council who retire by rotation at 
the end of the year were read over. The Assistant Secretary was 
desired to send out the necessary Notices for the Annual Meeting of 
the members of the Society, to be held at Westminster Town Hall, 
011 Friday, January 26th, 1900, at 3 p.m. 

Various other matters of business having been attended to, the 
Council agreed that its next meeting should be at Westminster 
Town Hall, at the close of the Annual Meeting of Members, on 
January 26th, 1900. 


The 102nd General Meeting of the Society was held in the 
Westminster Town Hall on Friday, December 15th, at 8.30 p.m.; 

PROFESSOR OLIVER LODGE gave an account of some experiments 
designed and executed by PROFESSOR J. H. HYSLOP, of the Columbia 
University, New York, in illustration of the communications received 
during the trance condition of Mrs. Piper. 

As a prelude, and as illustrating Professor Hyslop's gradually 
developed attitude towards the Piper phenomena, Professor Lodge 
read some extracts from the Journal S.P.R., for November, 1899 
{pp. 132, 133), where some portions of an article which appeared 
in an American periodical, The New World, are reproduced. He 
next read some extracts from Dr. Hodgson's report on Mrs. Piper, 
Proceedings S.P.R., Part XXXIII. (Vol. XIII.), selecting episodes 

JAN , r,)oo. ] General Meeting, 1 ( ' : > 

on pp. 373, 338, 345, and some comments or remarks on pp. 348, 396 
and 391. with the object of reminding the audience of the kind of 
apparently trivial but really evidential incidents frequently quoted by 
the Piper sitters ; and he then proceeded to read the Introduction to 
Professor Hyslop's record. 

In this introduction he explains the object and the method of his 
experiments, about which there was nothing supernormal at all. A. 
telegraph line was arranged between two buildings of the Columbia 
University, and a couple of friends or acquaintances were t >ken 
independently to each end of the line, only one of them knowing who 
was at the other end ; and this one (the communicator) was to send 
messages, at first vague but increasing in definiteness, while the other 
person was to guess until he could guess correctly and assuredly who 
it was that was at the other end of the line. The replies and guesses 
were likewise telegraphed by an assistant stationed with the receiver, 
for the guidance of the sender. Professor Hyslop's objects in carrying 
out an extensive series of this kind of experiment are thus stated by 

I may now summarise the several objects of the whole series of experi- 
ments. The first of these objects was not intimated to any one. I was 
extremely careful not to breathe it to any one, not even to my assistants, so 
that the results might be entirely spontaneous and without the influence of 
suggestion from me. 

I. To test the extent to which intelligent persons would spontaneously 
select trivial and unimportant incidents for the purpose of identification 
that is, incidents that were not connected, or not necessarily connected, 
with the main habits of their lives. 

II. To test the accuracy of the identification in connection with both 
lividual and collective incidents, and especially to test how slight or hov.- 

jfinite the incident had to be in order to suggest rightly the person it wa.s 
itended to represent. 

III. To test the success and personal assurance of the receiver of the 
lessages in guessing who is the true sender in spite of some messages that 

are misleading or even false, but the bulk of which involves sufficient 
cumulative facts to overcome the natural scepticism and confusion caused 
by incoherences and contradictions. 

IV. To study the sources of misunderstanding that might arise under 
such circumstances when one party was ignorant of the intentions of the 
other, and the causes of illusion in identification which we can determine in 
my experiments, and which are likely to occur in the Piper case. 

And he proceeds : 

In regard to the first of these objects, it is very interesting to observe the 
uniformity with which perfectly intelligent persons spontaneously chose 
what would generally he considered trivial incidents in order to identify 
themselves. This seemed to naturally recommend itself to them, perhaps 

164 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [JAN., 1900. 

for the reason that trivial circumstances represent far more isolation than 
any chosen from the main trend of life, though I noticed no consciousness 
of this fact in any one. It was simply the instinctive method which every 
one tended to adopt. The records show very distinctly that, if left to them- 
selves, men will naturally select unimportant incidents for proof of their 
identity, and it is one of the most interesting features of this choice that the 
individual relied wholly upon the laws of association to recall what was 
wanted, after deciding on the nature of the incidents to be chosen. Very 
often there were interesting illustrations of those capricious revivals in 
memory of remote incidents which not only resemble so much the incidents 
in the Piper sittings in triviality, but also represent the caprices and 
incoherences of associative recall, intelligible to the subject on reflection, 
but hardly so to the outside observer. At any rate, the results in this regard 
completely remove all objections to the Piper phenomena from the stand- 
point of the triviality of the incidents chosen for identification, and that is an 
accomplishment of some worth. 

On reflection, most persons will at once admit the superior value of such 
incidents for scientific purposes ; but too often, under the a priori assump- 
tion encouraged or created by a false idealism about a transcendental state 
of existence that discarnate spirits ought to show an interest in more lofty 
matters, we suppose that the fact of triviality indicates a greater probability 
for a mediumistic origin than for a spiritistic one. But after all, the 
spiritistic problem is not at stake here and perhaps allusion to it is irrelevant, 
as the real question in these experiments concerns only the place of trivial 
incidents in the evidential problem. The improbability of their frequent 
duplication makes them strong for purposes of proof, while what we know 
in these cases about the facts in the lives of intelligent men prevents 
any inferences as to the totality of the conditions in which their conscious 
activity is spent. This fact is evident in the experiments here recorded, 
as the persons chosen for the experiments were of the class whose intellectual 
occupations and habits of mind could not be depreciated, and yet the 
incidents chosen for the suggestion of personal identification were much the 
same as those with which we have to deal in the Piper case. This first 
object of the experiments, therefore, has been fully satisfied, and the 
evidential implications of these phenomena vindicated, whatever theory we 
adopt for explanation of them. 

After discussing the results from the point of view of the Piper 
case and the light they throw upon some difficulties there met with, 
for instance, with respect to : (1) Illusions of memory and their 
effect on the results. (2) Illusions of interpretation. (3) Success and 
failure in identification ; he proceeds to summarise his conclusions 
under the following heads, first saying that in his opinion : 

The judgment of identification in this and the Piper case unquestionably 
possesses some claim to scientific consideration, to say the very least that 
can be said of it. We may not be satisfied with the verdict in favour of 
spiritism in either case, and I do not care to enforce that conclusion ; but 

JAN., looo.] General Meeting. 16~> 

on any theory the significance of the facts for some important consideration 
must be recognised, and if experiments of this kind spontaneously repro- 
duce a record like the Piper results and sustain them, we must allow some 
weight to the alleged importance of the latter in the direction of spiritism ; 
since we find that these experiments completely refute all objections from 
the standpoint of triviality in the incidents, and show indubitably that we 
have no right to draw any conclusions from them as to the character or 
habits of mind possessed by the communicators. 


The important matters of interest in these experiments and my comments 
upon them may be summarised in the following manner to show the points 
of comparison between them and the Piper case. 

1. The spontaneous choice of trivial incidents by perfectly intelligent 
communicators for the purpose of identification. 

2. The illegitimacy of inferences as to the character or mental condition 
of communicators drawn from the character of the incidents chosen for 

3. Correct identification of names from mere incidents common to two 
lives, or correct judgments in regard to facts only hinted at. 

4. Identification of persons on slight but pertinent clues without cumu- 
lative force. 

5. The establishment of assurance in regard to the communicator, in 
spite of incoherence and diversions or contradictions. 

6. Errors of memory on the part of "sitters" that lead to confusion and 
failure in recognition. 

7. The natural differences in the personal equation affecting the choice 
of incidents for identification, as illustrated in the failure to recognise 
incidents or persons. 

8. Occasional liability to illusion from the element of chance, unless the 
incidents become cumulative enough to overcome it. 

9. Difficulty and confusion in the communicator when trying to select 
at once incidents for identification. 

This last feature cannot be appreciated by the reader of this record, but 
could be detected only by an eye-witness of the experiments themselves. 
Being a witness of them I was struck by the fact, which is also noticeable 
in communications with the telephone when the party is limited in 
time for his communications. The communicator's mind being set in the 
direction of specifically pertinent incidents for identification by a particular 
friend, and being limited in time for their choice, there was the interesting 
mental struggle and confusion which every one can observe for himself in 
the play of association endeavouring to make the right selection of incidents 
for the purpose. We can imagine the situation of a discarnate spirit Avhich 
can have but a few minutes at least for communication, and probably 
working under enormous difficulties, of which we know nothing, to say 
nothing of the wrench that death might give the memory, if the usual 
physiological theories of the faculty are to be accepted. 

166 Journal of Society for Psychical ResearcJi. [JAN., 1000. 

Thus, on the whole, it is clear that the evidence obtained in these 
experimental sittings, after scrutiny and careful examination, have 
had the effect of strengthening Professor Hyslop in his general agree- 
ment with the hypothesis of Dr. Hodgson, namely, that the ostensible 
" communicators " in the Piper trance are pretty much what they 
purport to be ; and that the evidence for their identification by sitters 
is decidedly better and stronger than what is found in practice amply 
sufficient for identification of individuals sending similar communi- 
cations under normal conditions. 

Further, that all objections made to the triviality of identifying 
messages cease to have any weight, this triviality turning out to be 
instinctive and natural and suitable for the purpose, and having no 
connection whatever with the main lives or pursuits or characters of 
the people communicating. 

The Hox. EVERARD FEILDIXG said that the conditions of Professor 
Hyslop's experiments were not altogether like those of Mrs. Piper's 
sittings ; inasmuch as the communicator was bent on holding back 
identification for a time did not, moreover, assist or confuse by giving 
any name, whether the true or a false one, and because there really 
always was some definite communicator to be identified, whereas a well- 
known hypothesis in the case of Mrs. Piper was that her secondary 
personality under telepathic influence was personating relations and 
friends of the sitter with the utmost unconscious cunning, and that 
there was no one else " there " at all. Hence he thought that the 
experiments might have been directed to seeing how far personation 
was possible. 

PROFESSOR LODGE agreed with these remarks to a considerable 
extent, but pointed out that these personation experiments wouL 
constitute a different series, and would not answer the partici 
questions which Professor Hyslop had set himself to answer ; though, a; 
they might answer other questions, they ought to be tried. 

Mr. F. PODMORE pointed out, for the benefit of those who wer 
not familiar with the records of Mrs. Piper's trance utterances, thai 
the proof of their supernormal character did not depend upon sue] 
elaborate experiments as those made by Professor Hyslop. Mr. Pod- 
more did not share Mr. Hyslop's views as to the probable origin 
the communications ; but he thought it practically certain that tl 
knowledge displayed by Mrs. Piper could not have been acquired 
normal means. The argument which carried most conviction to hi: 
mind was the extraordinary superiority of Mrs. Piper to all othi 
mediums. If Mrs. Piper's success was due to fraud or ingenious gu< 
work, it became extremely difficult to explain how all previous mediu] 

JAN., TWO.] General Meeting. 167 

for the last three generations had failed to effect a tithe of her success. 
.Mi-. Podinore gave some illustrations from early mediumship in this 

Mr. R C. S. SCHILLER pointed out that Professor Hyslop's experi- 
ments opened out an extensive field for further investigations in which 
those members of the Society could share who, like himself, were 
unfortunately devoid of psychic gifts. It would be interesting, e.g., to 
find out, not merely the minimal evidence sufficient to produce psycho- 
logical conviction of identity, but also the maximal evidence which 
would come nearest to logical proof of identity. Similarly the possi- 
bilities of impersonation might be tested, and the experiments might 
even be conducted in the form of a new and interesting parlour game. 
Mr. HUBERT J. SWEENEY considered that the comparatively few 
experiments, and the imperfect conditions under which even those had 
been performed, were not sufficient to establish such general conclusions 
as Professor Hyslop had drawn. While some of these results were 
deduced from insufficient data, others again were obvious, and re- 
quired no experimental demonstration whatever. It was, for instance, 
superfluous to prove that the sender might exaggerate the importance 
of the incidents he cited, and that as a consequence the receiver of 
the message should fail to recognise his friend ; and there were many 
conditions which might easily account for the mistakes and numerous 
apparent errors of memory committed by the receivers. Again, the 
means of communication the instrument, its defects, etc. as a factor 
in determining the value of the results, seemed to be entirely neglected 
by Professor Hyslop. Any message might easily fail to convey its full 
force when sent through crude or imperfect instruments. Some of the 
Professor's conclusions, too, were seemingly inconsistent. He first 
justifies the use and shows the necessity of trivial incidents as a means 
of conveying identity, and afterwards shows the remarkable extent to 
which the same end may be attained from the vaguest details and 
most general - descriptions. Identification, apparently so simple, was 
after all very difficult and liable to much confusion. He (Mr. Sweeney) 
attended a public seance recently at which a lady medium described 
with considerable detail the departed spirits which she beheld standing 
near their relatives or friends amongst her audience. Looking towards 
him, she described one in his vicinity. He was struck with the remark- 
able accuracy of the description, and was upon the point of stating the 
fact, when a lady sitting in front of him forestalled him by promptly 
proclaiming the spirit to be a near relative of her own ! 

PROFESSOR SIDGWICK said that he had listened with great interest 
to the account of Professor Hyslop's experiments, and thought them 

168 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [JAN., 1900. 

well directed, as far as he could judge, to throw light on the questions 
to which they related. Before proceeding to one or two remarks of a 
critical kind which had occurred to him, he would like to say that, 
though his own state of mind with regard to the explanation of 
the Piper phenomena was one of suspense, he thought them quite 
sufficiently important to justify the concentrated attention that was 
actually being given to them by Dr. Hodgson and other American 
investigators. In his view, 110 doubt, it would be necessary, before 
arriving at a final decision with regard to this evidence, to extend the 
scope of the investigations and obtain phenomena from other persons. 
At least, he could not himself rest such momentous conclusions as 
those to which Dr. Hodgson pointed upon evidence obtained from one 
medium alone. Still, in the meanwhile he thought it was important 
to make the most we could, by careful and repeated consideration, of 
the Piper phenomena. 

Turning now to Professor Hyslop's experiments, he would mention 
two points that had occurred to him. The first was with regard to 
vagueness. It appeared to him that there was this difference between 
the two cases : Professor Hyslop's communicators appeared to be 
drawn from a comparatively small group of persons, most of whom 
would be well acquainted with each other. In that case, statements 
that might seem vague to outsiders would be really understood with 
more definiteness by those who received them. 

Then, as regards triviality, we might presume, he thought, that 
the communicators in Professor Hyslop's experiments, though they 
did not know exactly the aim of the process that they were taking 
part in, would naturally be inclined to treat it as a sort of game, 
at any rate, would not be in a very serious mood when they made 
their communications. There would therefore be nothing in their 
emotional state of mind antagonistic to triviality in the incidents 
selected. But the case was different in the Piper experiments. Here 
phrases used by the alleged communicators certainly suggested pro- 
found emotion caused by the presence of friends or relations from 
whom they had been parted. It seemed to him, therefore, somewhat 
more surprising in their case that this intensity and solemnity of 
feeling did not exclude triviality. He mentioned these points in 
order that Professor Lodge might reply, if he thought that there 
was no force in such suggestions. 

PROFESSOR LODGE said that though the incidents serving for identi- 
fication sounded vague to bystanders or readers of the record, yet when 
they were explained from the point of view of both sender and 
receiver they were perceived to be distinct enough, and to justify the 

JAN., 1900.] Premature Generalisations about Telepathy. 169 

leap of identification taken upon them. And this fact he thought of 
interest in connection with the Piper record, where it has been often 
felt by readers or note-takers that sitters identify their relatives too 
easily and fancifully ; for in Professor Hy slop's experiments the identi- 
fication is often performed on still slighter grounds, often on what 
would superficially appear no legitimate ground at all, and yet it turns 
out, when both ends of the line are catechised (as they can not be 
catechised in the real Piper case), that these incidents are perceived to 
be of force adequate to support the conclusions based upon them. 

Further, in answer to Professor Sidg wick's tentative objection that 
the sitters in the Hyslop experiments were only playing at identi- 
fication, and therefore were naturally in a more or less frivolous mood, 
whereas on Dr. Hodgson's hypothesis the Piper communicators would 
serious and emotional and not so likely to resort to trivial incidents : 
'rofessor Lodge replied by postulating the case of a wanderer not able 
to return to his home, but able to communicate with it for a few 
minutes by telephone. In however strenuous and earnest a spirit he 
might be indeed, both ends of the line might be, yet when asked to 
prove his identity and overcome the dread of illusion and personation, 
le would instinctively try to think of some trifling and absurd private 
icident; and this might very likely be accepted as sufficient, and might 
)rve as a prelude to closer and more affectionate messages which, 
irevious to identification, would be out of place ; and he felt bound to 
that his own experience of the Piper sittings led him to assert that 
lis kind of genuinely dignified and serious and appropriate message 
lid ultimately in many cases come, but not until the preliminary stages 
^stages beyond which some sitters seemed unable to get) were fairly 


It is often -asked what conditions are most favourable for the action 
)f Telepathy between the minds of living persons, and what can be 
lone to cultivate the power. If any correct answers could be given to 
these questions, the whole subject of Psychical Research would be 
itly advanced ; we may even admit that, until we can answer them, 
science must remain in a rudimentary and unsatisfactory stage, 
ersons who make a small number of experiments are constantly 
impted to fancy that this or that condition is the one that is 
indispensable to success ; and it is true that different experimenters 
)ften hit on the same condition as being the most favourable one, 
diich suggests at first sight that there is cumulative evidence in 

170 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [JAN., 1000. 

support of their view. For instance, it is commonly asserted that 
quiescence of mind on the part of the experimenters and a special 
sympathy between them are conducive to success. Of course it may 
often happen that both these conditions are present and that the 
experiments are successful ; but there are many other cases in which 
success has been attained without them, and those who have had the 
longest and most varied experience in work of this kind generally agree 
that not only is nothing proved as to how to cultivate the power, or 
what conditions are best, but that we have absolutely no clue at 
present which seems likely to lead to the desired discovery. 

There is, indeed, one direction in which advance has been made ; 
namely, that we can now generally form a judgment as to when 
the method of experimenting has been sufficiently stringent to admit 
of confidence that telepathy has really been manifested. Possible 
sources of error in experimentation have been pretty fully if not 
exhaustively explored. It is known that apart from deliberate fraud 
indications of the idea to be transmitted may be both unconsciously 
given and unconsciously received through the ordinary channels of 
sense ; e.g., through variations in muscular pressure if the agent and 
percipient are in any kind of contact with one another, or connected 
by anything which could transmit such variations (for instance, by 
the copper wire used in some of the experiments described below) ; 
or by variations of tone, gesture, expression, etc., if they are within 
sight or hearing of one another. It is also known that a liberal 
margin must be allowed even if the percipients are in a normal 
condition, and still more if they are in a hypnotised condition for 
greater acuteness of the senses than is ordinarily supposed to exist, 
and also for greater quickness and accuracy in the interpretation of 
all sensory impressions. It is true that the necessity for all these 
precautions was soon discovered by some of the earliest systematic 
workers of our Society (as may be seen by reference to the accounts of 
their experiments published in the early numbers of the Proceedings) 
but there is no doubt that the only way of advancing the subject 
further is to carry out many more experiments under the same stringent 
conditions as there described, or with any further precautions that 
experience might suggest. Accounts of such experiments would be 
most gladly received by the Editor. 

The subject, however, is not advanced, but rather hindered, by 
rash speculations such as those given below, in which the writer 
instead of giving details of specific cases attempts to generalise from 
the results of a limited experience, and it is thought that the careful 
examination of his methods of working and results by Professor 

JAN., 1900.] Premature Generalisations about Telepathy. 171 

'illiani Romaine Newbold and some of the latter's colleagues and 
friends in the University of Pennsylvania, may be usefully printed 
here as a warning. 

The article in question was written by Mr. Edmund Willson 
Roberts ; it appeared in an American periodical, The Cosmopolitan, 
of March, 1899, under the title "Successful Attempts in Scientific 
Kind-Reading," and is as follows : 

The average individual is prone to look upon the subject of "thought- 
transference," popularly known as " mind-reading," with more or less 
derision. It is nevertheless a fact that the majority, perhaps all, of the 
human race possess the faculty of reading the thoughts of others without 
recourse to speech or to outward signs. That the statement is strictly true, 
each reader may readily prove for himself by means of the experiments 
outlined in this article. 

Before taking up experiments in detail, it is necessary to caution the 
experimenter against permitting zeal so to blind his judgment as to allow 
mere chance or coincidence to be mistaken for actual results. Xo one is so 
easily deceived by mere coincidence or by trickery as one inclined to 
attribute such phenomena to supernatural causes for instance, to the 
"denizens of the spirit world." And, although the writer offers neither 
explanation nor theory regarding these phenomena, he feels confident that 
once the laws of thought-transference are thoroughly established, they will 
be found analogous to those physical laws accepted for electricity and light. 

The following general rules apply to all experiments in thought- 

The receiver he who receives the impression from the mind of another 
-must, first of all, learn to bring his mind to a state of absolute rest. In 
other words, he must learn to think of nothing but the fact that another's 
mind is trying to impress a thought upon his own. Experience has proved 
that the more perfect the state of rest and the less the effort employed, the 
easier it is for the transmitter he who seeks to impress the thought to 
produce the mental effect desired. The success of the experiments depends, 
in a threat measure, upon the ability of the transmitter to concentrate his 
nnd upon the particular thought with which he wishes to impress the mind 
of the receiver. The measure of success appears to vary inversely with the 
extent of the effort employed. Merely to think of a word or phrase, without 
allowing the mind to wander, is all that is required of the transmitter. The 
circumstances surrounding the experiment are sufficient for the transmission 
of the thought in the proper direction, and that portion of the experiment is 
certain to take care of itself. 

The experiment should never be attempted by those either mentally or 
physically fatigued. Under no circumstances should a novice practise the 
experiments continuously for any length of time, for the reason that, until 
an experimenter learns to operate entirely without effort, he finds the work 
very exhausting. Do not become discouraged at failures upon first attempts. 
The experimenter finds that by perseverance he soon acquires sufficient skill 

172 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [JAN., 1900. 

to be successful in the majority of experiments. If he keep a careful 
record he soon perceives that there is no other explanation of the phenomena 
observed, than thought-transference. 

The first experiment considered is that popularly known as "pin- 
finding," dubbed by wiseacres "muscle-reading." The customary pro- 
cedure is as follows : Several persons having assembled in a room, one of 
the company leaves for a few moments, and during his absence some object 
is hidden. The hiding-place is known to every one but the person outside. 
The exiled individual then comes in and, taking the hand of another of the 
company, attempts to find the hidden object, ostensibly by reading the 
minds of those present. I say ostensibly, because there is no denying that 
the experiment is materially assisted by slight, though usually unconscious, 
movements on the part of the leader. 

The one doing the seeking let us call him the operator experiences an 
inclination to go in a certain direction, and moves as he is inclined. He 
usually walks slowly, but surely, to where the object is hidden, the leader, 
of course, walking by the side and still holding the hand of the operator. 
On arriving in front of the hiding-place, the operator is inclined to pause, 
and his free hand seems to be led directly to the hidden object. The experi- 
ment may be varied by the company's choosing some task which they desire 
the operator to perform. Thus they may wish him to walk across the 
room and lay his hand upon some particular object, or, perhaps, to take a 
card from a tray and hand it to some one present. 

The foregoing experiment is ordinarily successful, no matter who the 
operator may be. If, however, the experiment be attempted without the 
assistance of the leader, -i.e., without bodily contact with any one, the 
failures are more frequent and the performance of the experiment is often 
exhausting to the operator. The reason for the larger percentage of failures 
in this case is that the operator here depends upon thought-transference 
alone, since he no longer has the aid of unconscious muscular action on the 
part of an assistant. By practice, however, the operator gradually gains con- 
fidence in his own ability, soon finding not only that bodily contact is entirely 
unnecessary, but that if he resorts to it, he is apt to become confused. 

To gain more quickly the necessary confidence, the following intermediary 
step may be taken. Procure a piece of copper wire, about eight or ten feet 
long. Employ a leader, as in the first experiment, but instead of taking 
hold of his hand, have the leader grasp one end of the wire, while the 
operator takes hold of the other ; allow the wire to lie upon the floor, and 
make sure that no movement of the leader can be transferred to the end of 
the wire which the operator is holding ; then proceed as in the first experi- 
ment. In a short time the wire may be discarded altogether, and impressions 
received when those present are several feet away. 

A very good procedure to follow, when making the experiment without 
contact, is first to blindfold the operator securely before he enters the room. 
The company having chosen the task to be performed, the operator is led 
in, taken to the centre of the floor, and turned about several times, so that 
he cannot tell in what direction he is facing, then left to his own devices. 

JAN., 1900.] Premature Generalisations about Telepathy. 173 

The others should now keep their minds fixed upon the task to be per- 
formed. Perfect quiet is absolutely essential. Whispering, half suppressed 
laughter, or moving about are especially annoying to the operator. 

Once placed in the centre of the room, the operator should, to begin 
with, bring his mind to a state of rest. In a short time it may be a few 
seconds, or it may, perhaps, take as long as two minutes the operator finds 
himself seemingly drawn, in some one direction, by an unknown force. He 
should follow this inclination and do anything he feels impelled to do. 
The result quite frequently is that he performs the task as laid down for him. 

In the first experiments of this nature, simple tasks should be chosen. 
For example, take some object, as a bunch of keys, lay it on a chair 
or shelf, and decide that the operator is to pick it up. The task may be 
increased in difficulty as the operator improves. 

In the remaining experiments thought-transference proper comes into 
play. In other words, the impression of an actual thought by the mind of 
one person upon that of another is the principal feature. The sequence in 
which these experiments are here described is also the order in which they 
should be taken up by the novice. 

In the first experiment of this series the receiver takes a position with his 
back to the transmitter and at a distance of ten feet or more. For 
convenience, the transmitter should be seated at a table. The message or 
thought to be transferred may be the mental image of any familiar object. 
The transmitter chooses the object and lays it before him on the table, 
with a background of contrasting colour beneath it, so that the outlines of 
the object may stand out clearly. The transmitter should gaze at the object 
continuously, without permitting his thoughts to wander. No effort need 
be made toward impressing the thought upon the mind of the receiver, but 
all efforts exerted in keeping the thoughts upon the message. 

The mental efforts of the receiver should all be directed toward keeping 
his mind as devoid of thought as he possibly can. The mental image of the 
message appears slowly at first, the distinctness of the vision depending upon 
the degree of concentration exercised by the transmitter. It is sometimes 
difficult to perceive the image ; and several objects may crowd themselves 
forward before the mind's eye, making it hard to choose the right one. The 
most persistent image of all usually turns out to be the message, while it 
frequently happens that the others are thoughts that have crowded them- 
selves into the mind of the transmitter. 

tThe novice should, at first, employ several transmitters, say as many as can 
conveniently be grouped about a small table. A further aid to the beginner 
is to choose four or five objects which the receiver knows of beforehand, 
and from which the transmitters are to select their message. Suppose the 
five objects are five numbers. The receiver is told that the message is to be 
one of the numbers two, four, six, seven, and eight. The receiver now takes 
bis station, say in an armchair across the room, arid covers his face with his 
hands or shades his eyes, his back, of course, toward the transmitters. 

The number chosen is now laid, face up, in the centre of the table, and 
the other numbers laid aside so as not to be in view. Each transmitter 

174 Journal of Society for Psi/chic'd llesearc/t. [JAN., u)00. 

gazes intently at the number. In the course of a few seconds the receiver 
perceives the numbers two, four, and seven crowding forward ; six and 
eight, perhaps, are far in the background. The numbers two, four, and 
seven file slowly past, each lingering a moment to be crowded out by 
another ; after a short time he finds that four is the most persistent of 
the three, and, on naming it, is told that four is the chosen one. 

If the first guess is not correct, a new set of figures should be chosen 
and the experiment repeated. Figures cut from an ordinary wall calendar 
are very convenient for this purpose. 

The number of figures used should be gradually increased as the receiver 
improves, until he finally discovers that he succeeds quite well, when the 
transmitters are at liberty to choose any number of one or two digits, 
i.e., niiy number from one to ninety-nine, inclusive. 

The next step is to reduce the number of transmitters until one is finally 
found sufficient. This gradual tapering clown, as we may call it, gives both 
parties confidence a most necessary qualification for continual success. 

A great obstacle in the path of success is the tendency of the transmitter 
to permit his thoughts to wander from the message. In order to obviate 
this difficulty as much as possible, the writer devised an instrument which he 
has named " teleposcope." This is nothing more than an oblong box, one end 
larger than the other, fitted with a removable slide at the larger end, and 
at the smaller with a flexible hood, so shaped as to fit the head closely 
about the eyes. For convenience when in use it is supplied with a handle on 
the under side. The slide contains an aperture for the insertion of a piece 
of paper, having upon it a figure or any character chosen for the purpose. 

When the instrument is placed to the eyes of the transmitter, he has 
nothing in view but the message. Thus the liability of his mind to wander 
to subjects other than the message is considerably decreased. The efficiency 
of the instrument was proved in the first three experiments made with its 
assistance. Two of these, the first and the third, were completely success- 
ful. In these experiments the distance between the transmitter and the 
receiver was no less than 225 miles. 

Not only is it possible to transmit disjointed numbers, but the operator 
may, by practice, reach such a degree of perfection as to be able to read a 
complete series of thoughts. No better illustration of this can be given than 
the relation of an actual case, one from the writer's personal experience. 
The particular instance in question is selected more because of the cir- 
cumstances surrounding the case than because the results were unusual. 

The transmitter was a young lady to whom the operator had been 
introduced but three days previous to the experiment. He knew little 
of her family, and absolutely nothing of her history prior to the intro- 
duction ; he had, furthermore, no knowledge of her home but that it 
was in the neighbourhood of New Orleans, knowing nothing whatever oi 
its exact location. He was likewise ignorant of the topography of the 
surrounding country, having never been within 100 miles of the city. 

The operator sat facing the transmitter and placed the palm of her hand 
against his forehead. After requesting her to keep her mind upon some 

JAN., moo.] Premature Generalisations about Telepathy. 175 

event of which she could form a distinct mental picture, he was silent 
for perhaps thirty seconds before he began a relation of his impressions. 

Without entering into minutiae, it may be said that lie was able to 
describe her thoughts briefly as follows : The young lady had, some years 
before, been driving with a young man, and during the drive they had 
had a violent quarrel. He drove her through a wood to a stream much 
too swollen to ford, and, after some protestation on the part of the 
young lady against going farther, he drove her home. 

The operator described her home, narrated what she did after the young 
man left her, and even told many characteristics of the country surrounding 
the house. When he had finished the young lady exclaimed : "Every word 
of that is true. Now do you think you can tell me his name ?" 

Quick as a flash came the answer, " George Gardner." The transmitter 
sank back in her chair, overcome with astonishment. The answer was right. 

Although this experiment was performed when the transmitter was 
touching the operator, subsequent experiments were successfully performed 
by the same parties while seated at opposite sides of the room. 

It is not necessary for the receiver to place the transmitter's hand 
against his forehead, a light grasp of the hands doing as well. But, with 
a little practice, contact may be abandoned altogether and the parties 
seated anywhere in the room. It is advisable for both experimenters to 
cover their eyes with their hands, or at least to shade them, better to 
prevent distraction from the subject in hand. The methods are otherwise 
practically the same as those previously described. Experiments of this 
kind are seldom successful with more than one-third of those acting as 
transmitters for the first time. By persistent practice, however, all seem 
able to acquire the necessary acumen. 

When making experiments in thought-transference over distances greater 
than those within the limits of an ordinary room, the plan outlined below 
has given good results. It is possible that some other system might give 
an equally good, if not a better, chance of success, but the following scheme 
has the advantage of having been tested in a series of some 125 experiments 
made during the spring of last year. 

The receiver and the transmitter should set apart some hour for the 
work, when neither is likely to be disturbed. It is obviously essential 
that the hour chosen by each individual should be the same. If there is 
any difference. in time, as, for instance, when one party is in New York 
and the other in Chicago, proper allowance should be made. The hour 
chosen is to be divided into six intervals of ten minutes each. During 
the first ten minutes both experimenters should rest, to give their minds 
sufficient time to clear themselves of extraneous thoughts. The transmitter 
should devote a portion of this interval to the preparation of the message, 
or the object, the mental image of which he wishes to impress upon the 
mind of the receiver. During the second ten minutes the transmitter 
should gaze steadily at the object constituting the message. The receiver 
should at the same time be seated in a comfortable position, his eyes 
covered with his hand, and should note any image which may appear to 
him, making a careful record of his impression at the close of the interval. 
The following ten minutes is a second period of rest, and the first ten 
minutes at the second half of the hour is devoted to a second message. 
A third period of rest ensues, and the last ten minutes is devoted to a 

176 Journal of Society for 'Psychical Research. [JAN., 1900. 

third message. The periods of rest are essential, especially to the beginner, 
as they not only help to avoid confusion of the messages, but give a chance 
for rest to the novice, to whom the work is tiring. 

In order to facilitate the keeping of records, it is well to prepare before- 
hand a set of blanks, to be kept in duplicate, the transmitter recording the 
messages sent and the receiver the impressions received. 

The original copy should be, at the earliest opportunity, mailed by each 
experimenter to his collaborator, to ensure the confidence of each party 
in the other. Each receiving the other's report after he has mailed his 
own, will be satisfied that such results as are apparent are genuine. 

Systematic and conscientious work, such as is required in any scientific 
experiments, is certain to produce astonishing results. The experimenter 
should not, however, expect too much at the start. 

[Professor Newbold's account of the experiments he tried to test the 
validity of Mr. Roberts' methods and conclusions will be given in the 
next number of the Journal.'] 


[The Editor is not responsible for opinions expressed by Correspondents.] 

The following letter lias been received from Mr. Barkworth in 
reference to the discussion of Mr. Lang's paper on " The Fire Walk " 
in the last number of the Journal: 

December I2th, 1899. 

I have been much interested in reading the discussion on Mr. Andrew 
Lang's paper on the " Fire Walk" . . . None of the speakers seem to 
have noticed the extreme antiquity of the practice, which was of heathen 
origin, was forbidden in the Mosaic law, and was denounced when practised 
by various persons among the Israelites. What precise significance or 
object the ceremony had does not appear, but there was probably a con- 
notation of magic or witchcraft about it, which would make it particularly 
abominable to the Jewish mind. What is more remarkable, however, is that 
it has survived to the present day ; and I have learned from various sources, 
both personal and literary, that in remote parts of Ireland, on certain days 
of the year, young people make a practice of running between two fires 
of course, without actual contact. As regards the physical effects, I can 
offer no suggestion ; but it may be worth while to add to Sir William 
Crookes's remarks that, when I was managing a large iron-works in Wales, 
I was told that it was a well-known feat among puddlers for a bet to dip 
their hands into molten iron. I never saw it done ; but the explanation 
is simple enough to make it credible. Before dipping the hand into the 
iron, the puddler first dipped it in cold water, and then plunged it all wet 
into the molten fluid. The water then, being instantly converted into 
steam, expanded sufficiently to keep the iron from actual contact with the 
flesh ; and, of course, the man withdrew his hand too quickly to allow the 
steam to be dissipated. This seems to have some analogy to the explanation 
offered by Professor Barrett ; bub whether it would account for any of 
Home's performances I cannot say. THOMAS BARKWORTH> 

[It will be found that the points referred to in the earlier part of 
this letter are dealt with briefly in Mr. Lang's article, which is to 
appear in the next Part of the Proceedings. ED.] 

No. CLXVI.-VoL. IX. 

FEBRUARY, 1900. 





Notice : Delay in the issue of Proceedings, Part XXXVI 177 

Further Discussion of a Case of Supposed " Spirit-Photography " : 

I. By Alice Johnson 177 

II. By D. B. McLachlan 183 

III. By Professor W. F. Barrett 188 

IV. By Others 191 

Case 195 

Premature Generalisations about Telepathy (continued from the January " Journal ") . . 197 


We regret to announce that the issue of Proceedings, Part 
XXXVI., has been unavoidably delayed, owing to a request received 
from Professor J. H. Hyslop as the Part was going to press, to post- 
pone for a time his paper on " Experiments in illustration of the 
Trance Phenomena of Mrs. Piper," which had been announced to 
appear in it and would have occupied the larger half of the Part. A 
small Part will now appear early this month. 




The case here referred to was published in my article on " Coin- 
cidences " in the Proceedings S.P.R,, Part XXXV. (pp. 234 to 238). 
Professor Barrett's investigation of this case the photograph of " D. 
Hall " taken by Miss S. R. Corbet, in which there appeared an un- 

jcoun table figure, supposed by some to be a " spirit-photograph " of 
the late " Lord D." first came out in the Journal (December, 1895), 

id was reprinted in my article, and soon afterwards I received 
various letters relating to it. 

178 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [FEB., 1900. 

Before dealing in detail with the points raised, I may observe 
that I had an opportunity a few weeks ago of seeing another letter 
from Miss Corbet about the case, which by some accident I had not 
seen before. This letter is dated May 25th, 1895, and in it occurs 
the following : 

The door was not locked there are three into the room and I 
think that one of them was open, as my recollection is that I placed the 
camera in or a little beyond the doorway, to give as much length to the 
picture as possible. . . . The only men in the house at the time were 
my youngest brother, the butler (neither of these went into the room) and 
two footmen, and as all four were young men, I do not think that any of 
these could have caused the figure . . . which appears to be an old 
man with a beard. 

Now, the chief arguments brought forward in support of the 
spiritistic interpretation of the photograph rested on the supposition 
that there was only one door to the room, so that no one could have 
come in without noticing the camera in the doorway ; that, therefore, 
it was almost impossible that any one coining in could have been 
brought into the photograph accidentally without his own intention ; 
while there was a moral presumption against this having been done 
deliberately as a practical joke. But the existence of the other two 
doors certainly takes away much if not all of the force of these 

With regard to the moral presumption against a deliberate prac- 
tical joke, Miss Corbet writes on May 31st, 1895 : 

I have quite lost sight of one of the footmen, but I enquired yesterday 
if the other was at all likely to have come into the room at the time and 
hope to hear some day ; but I do not think any of the servants would 
be likely to play a practical joke, and I know my brother would not have 
done so. 

It must be noted that this inquiry was not apparently made till 
the date mentioned, whereas the photograph was taken on December 
5th, 1891. 

One of the most remarkable features of the photograph, as 
described in my article, is that there are double images of almost 
all the objects in it, the brightest or best lighted lines being the 
most clearly doubled. This was said to show that the camera must 
have been moved slightly during the exposure, as no movement of 
the objects could have produced such complete uniformity of doubling 
as appears throughout. One of my correspondents, however, Mr. 
D. B. McLachlan, wrote that he could see no clear traces of the 
doubling in the reproduction of the photograph. This led me to 

FEB., 1900.] Discussion of Supposed "Spirit-Photography" 179 

re-examine both the original photograph and Dr. Kingston's descrip- 
tion of the doubling, of which a summary only was given in my 
article. Dr. Kingston, having made a special study of the subject 
of " spirit-photography," had been invited by Professor Barrett to 
examine this specimen, and he described the doubling in a letter to 
Professor Barrett, dated October 6th, 1895, as follows: 

I have been examining again the [D] photograph while showing it to 
friends and have found some things about it which I had not noticed before. 
First I saw that that chair which stands in the middle of the room had 
apparently been moved ; the books on the chair behind it show right 
through the bars of the back and the pattern of the carpet "shows through" 
the legs. I thought it must have been moved or even placed there by the 
man who came in and sat down, but on looking more closely I found that 
there is hardly a white line or mark in the picture which is not doubled ! 
The brightest or best lighted lines are the most distinct naturally, especially 
where they fall in one of their positions on a dark ground. 

Look at the lady's portrait on the little table on the right. The double 
outline of the card is most distinct, but even the face can be faintly seen. 
See the candle behind it. See the other candle on the left and the portrait 
beside it, where the doubling of the card is sharp and even the reflection of 
the candle in the glass is doubled. The same holds throughout. I believe 
the camera was moved, and for a short time, either at the beginning or the 
end of the exposure, was in a (very slightly) different position. Nay, I am 
quite sure of it. Wherever a line was light enough to impress the plate in 
the time of the shorter exposure, it is doubled. 

The books in the bookcase are doubled ! so it was no movement of the 
furniture, but of the camera. Could this have been done by the shutting 
of a door ? Did the camera stand insecurely or on a polished floor, or 
did Miss Corbet pass it in the doorway after moving the cap, or just before 
replacing it ? The doubling of the books, by the way, is best seen in those 
below the coronet and [letter] I in those two lower shelves. The fainter image 
is below and to the right just in proportion to the typical one of the lady's 
portrait. Higher up the light has not been enough for the short exposure, 
and at that place where the light falls most strongly, the density of the 
one image almost obscures the other. Even there it can be seen and the 
moulding of the case shows in the space where a book has been removed. 

A faint but quite distinct repeat is the curved handle to a drawer just 
above the corner of the seat of the middle chair. I am not quite so well 
satisfied with regard to that chair, but still I think the marks follow the same 
law, and the greater vagueness is caused by strong light of the edge of the 
book and chair behind and the comparative shadow in which it stands itself. 
At any rate it must have stood there for all the longer exposure. It is just 
the same as the others, but being nearer, the displacement is a little greater. 
The same applies to the lamp or flower stand in front of the big chair which 
we discussed, and which I thought then being brass must have a second 
light on it, but I now see it is just doubled like the rest. Why the lower 

180 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [FEB., 1900. 

part does not show this clearly is that it had not light enough for the short 
exposure. . . . 

As to the "ghost" itself I cannot with certainty make out the same 
doubling ; of course, if one could, it would prove that the form, faint as it is, 
had been there all the time (but even if it was, the faintness of its lights 
might prevent the shorter exposure from being recorded). But I am 
inclined to believe that it is not so, the outline seems generally blurred. 
There is a shading on the hand that might be caused by the double outline ! 
I wish I could speak more certainly. . . . 

On comparing this description afresh with the photograph, it 
appeared to me that the transparency of the chair in the middle 
of the foreground was a more significant feature than I had pre- 
viously considered it. It also appeared to me that Dr. Kingston's 
first hypothesis that " it must have been moved or even placed there 
by the man who came in and sat down" was not incompatible with 
his observation that tbe lines in it are doubled, like the lines of 
the other objects in the room. 

In most of the objects, there are in eacb case two images side by 
side, and overlapping one another ; and the overlapping region is 
naturally opaque, because it would have been covered by one or 
the other image during the whole of the exposure. 

The peculiarity of the chair is that in some parts of it, notably 
the legs and back, the region where the two images overlap is trans- 
parent, as well as the rest. 

This seems to me to afford strong evidence for the view that during 
part of the exposure neither image was there in other words, that the 
chair was moved into that position soon after the exposure had begun, 
or moved away from it before the exposure ended. 

Against this view it is argued by Mr. McLachlan in his communica- 
tion printed below that some parts of the chair especially parts of 
the seat are opaque, which would tend to show that it had been there 
all the time ; and I do not think it is at all easy to explain this 
apparent anomaly. If the chair had only been there for part of the 
time, we should certainly expect it to appear transparent throughout, 
un l ess a s Mr. McLachlan observes in a letter to me it were so 
strongly illuminated in proportion to the objects behind it that its 
image on the plate would cause theirs to be imperceptible. It is 
impossible, however, to make sure of the degree of illumination of the 
whole of its background. There is a shadow thrown by a writing- 
table on the floor behind the chair in such a position that it might 
and I think probably did cause the front of the seat to appear 
opaque ; but the very opacity necessarily prevents the exact limits of 
the shadow from showing. The background above and below this 

FEB., 1900.] Discussion of Supposed " Spirit-Photography!' 181 

region is strongly lighted, which would account satisfactorily for the 
transparency of the back and legs of the chair. 

In any case, the double image of the chair proves that the move. 
ment of the camera must have taken place while the chair was in the 
position in which we now see it. Mr. McLachlan writes below (p. 183) 
in reference to the fact that one set of images is much brighter than 
the other : " The plate was thus in two positions during the exposure. 
The first position lasted probably not more than a few seconds, since 
only the highest lights affected the plate. It is therefore practically 
certain that the camera was moved before Miss Corbet left the house." 
I agree that the camera must have been in one position much longer 
than in the other, but I fail to see any ground for the assumption 
thai the first position was the one which lasted for the shorter period ; 
on the face of it, it would simply appear, as following Dr. Kingston's 
view I said in my account, that "the camera must have been moved 
either near the beginning or near the end of the exposure." The 
peculiar features in the transparency of the chair just described are 
also consistent with the supposition that the shorter exposure came 
last, not first; and therefore that it was not Miss Corbet who moved 
the camera in going out of the room, but some one else who came 
upon the scene later. 

It will be seen that Mr. McLachlan confirms my statement that 
the double image of the "ghost" does not at all correspond with the 
double images of the other objects in the room, and that therefore 
the multiplication of its outlines must have been caused by its own 
movements, not by any movement of the camera. His general 
description of the figure, its transparency, the absence of features 
in the face, etc., also agrees closely with mine. The transparency 
on the supposition that it was a human figure shows that it must 
have been in the chair only a very short time, which would render 
more feasible the continuous movement of the legs and left side of 
the body that on Professor Barrett's surmise accounted for the 
invisibility of these parts in the photograph. 

Mr. McLachlan thinks that Professor Barrett's photograph is 
clearly that of a man, and not comparable to the other. I cannot 
help fancying that a believer in " spirit-photography," seeing Professor 
Barrett's photograph and not knowing how it had been obtained, 
would, primd facie, attribute it to spirit agency. It is in parts 
rather more opaque than the "ghost" figure, but its left arm is 
distinctly less so. Mr. McLachlan says of it, " The legs are slightly 
indicated." The indication consists of what may be described as a 
soup<;on of a perfectly shapeless blur the slightest possible difference 

182 Journal of Society for Psychical Research,. [FEB., 1000. 

of illumination down the middle of the front of the chair in which 
the figure is sitting. I think with Mr. McLachlaii that this was most 
likely produced by the legs of the sitter. But the judgment seems 
to me to depend simply on interpretation, not on any visual per- 
ception. We both believe that a man with legs sat in the chair ; 
we are therefore willing to interpret this barely visible and otherwise 
meaningless appearance as legs. Similarly, I believe that a man sat 
in the " ghost's " chair, and I can see a difference of illumination 
down the front of that chair which I interpret as the legs of that 
man. Mr. McLachlan sees there "no . . . legs." It is obvious 
that my judgment of what I see there depends solely on interpre- 
tation, and is absolutely worthless as evidence. 

Mr. McLachlan remarks that if a man had corne into the room, 
he must have left various other traces of himself in the photograph, 
besides the ghostly figure. But this would only be the case if he came 
into the part of the room included in the photograph, and within that 
part the transparency of the chair already described seems to me 
evidence of the intrusion. I pointed this out to Mr. McLachlan, and 
he suggested, as he states below, that the transparency might be due 
to spirit agency. To me there seems no more reason to attribute the 
transparency of the chair than the opacity of the other objects in the 
photograph to spirits. If ordinary material effects are to be put down, 
now to the ordinary causes recognised by science, and now to 
" spirits," how can any certainty, even of the roughest practical 
kind, ever be attained on any subject ; or how can our knowledge of 
phenomena ever be in any way advanced 1 We need not, indeed,, 
assume that " science," i.e., the amount of scientific knowledge we 
possess at present,- can explain everything. But we shall reduce 
philosophy to a hopeless chaos if we once give up the scientific 
principle of excluding ordinary known causes before having recourse 
for an explanation to unknown ones ; and to my mind we cannot at 
present, even on the authority of Mr. W. T. Stead, regard the direct 
action of disembodied spirits on matter as a known cause. 

To sum up the arguments against spirit agency in this case : 

(1) The room was not locked at the time the photograph was being 
taken, and there were two other doors into it besides that in which 
the camera was placed. 

(2) The house was apparently left empty, except for the servants, 
during almost the whole time of the exposure, which lasted for an hour. 

(3) Inquiry was not made as to whether any one had entered the 
room during the exposure until more than three years afterwards; and 
was not made at all of one of the then inmates of the house. 

FEB., 1900.] Discussion of Supposed " Spirit- Photography." 183 

(4) Professor Barrett showed that a figure reproducing the essen- 
tial features of the " ghost," viz., its fragmentary nature and its 
transparency, could be got by photographing a human being under 
certain conditions. 

(5) Apart from the possibility of the ghost figure having been thus 
produced, the transparency of the chair in the middle of the room 
tends to prove that it was not there during the whole of the exposure 
and was therefore probably moved into that place by a person in the 
room perhaps the same person who moved the camera afterwards. 

If circumstantial evidence can ever be regarded as conclusive, I 
think that its cumulative weight in this case is sufficient to show that 
all the features of the photograph are due to ordinary normal causes. 

BY D. B. 

I have examined the original photograph closely and find numerous 
bright points and edges that are duplicated. Where this occurs there 
is a false image below and to the right of the true image. The 
doubling must have been caused by a slight movement of the camera 
after the lens was uncapped. The plate was thus in two positions 
during the exposure. The first position lasted probably not more than 
a few seconds, since only the highest lights affected the plate. It is 
therefore practically certain that the camera was moved before Miss 
Corbet left the house. Several ladies were present at the arranging 
of the camera. 

Apart from the doubling, which is quite normal and intelligible, 
the photograph has two peculiarities not so easy to understand. As 
they appear to be physically unrelated, they can be treated separately. 

The Ghost. 

The figure in the chair is not doubled by the movement of the 
camera. There is a doubling of the back of the head, but it is not 
of the same nature as the other doublings. In these the strong or 
permanent image is the one to the left and above the other; in the 
case of the Ghost this is the weaker image. 

It has been suggested that the head of the Ghost is a reflection of 
the metallic bowl of the flower stand from the upholstered back of 
the chair, and the spectral hand a similar reflection from part of the 
metal stem. The head is squarish, whereas the bowl is an inverted 
cone. In the position occupied by the hand there is nothing that 

184 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [FEB., 1000. 

would reflect the stem. The Ghost is obviously something in the 
chair and is lighted quite naturally from the left-hand window. If 
it were a reflection it would have the lighting of the thing reflected. 
This hypothesis fails to account for the white collar of the Ghost and 
for the perfectly human outline from the top of the head down to the 
hand. The Ghost is not an image chalked on the chair-back. 

The notion that a man entered the room during the exposure 
seems to me untenable. If there is only one door and that occupied 
by the camera, no man, visitor or servant, would commit the 
flagrant trespass of entering the room, knowing he would either spoil 
the photograph or be included in it. What motive can be assigned 
for such a proceeding? If there is another entrance and some one 
entered for no particular object and none is apparent then he 
probably lounged in slowly as people enter rooms, stopping now and 
then to look about him before settling down, and if so he would have 
left many traces of himself in the photograph if he did not quite 
spoil it. There is no sign of any such intrusion with the possible 
exception of the Ghost himself, which is the point in dispute. 

Let us suppose that a man entered somehow and moved about 
without leaving a trail behind him can the Ghost be his photograph ? 

Viewed through a microscope the ghostly head is a thin white 
mist, through which the markings of the chair (apparently stamped 
leather) are visible. There is no eye, no mouth, no ear. The nose 
and cheekbone are slightly indicated. The brow is part of a ridge in 
the chair-back. There seems to be a chin or small pointed beard. 
The hand has no fingers, and the shirt-cuff is continuous with what 
appears to be the back of the hand. There is practically no trunk at 
all to the Ghost, no left arm, no thighs or legs. The general effect is 
distinctly human and for the most part independent of the chair 
marks, and yet not one of the details can be recognised as human. 

Without presuming to deny that such an image can be produced in 
the ordinary way with a human sitter, I would point out that the 
experimental photograph is not conclusive. Here we have a good half 
of a trunk showing the folds and seams of the coat, the form of the 
tie and collar ; we have the left arm pretty well marked, every feature 
of the face, the ear, and every finger of the hand. The legs are 
slightly indicated. There is no doubt that this is the photograph of a 
man, whereas the ghostly image is more like the photograph of a 
clever sketch intended to produce a striking general effect with the 
least possible detail. Examined piecemeal the Thing is not human ; 
viewed as a whole it is most human and full of character, and some 
have recognised in it a portrait. 

FEB., 1900.] Discussion of Supposed " Spirit- Photography." 185 

Unless some better physical theory be found than those mentioned 
I should take the phenomenon to be an example of what is called 
Spirit-Photography. It is impossible to doubt that such photographs 
have been honestly produced or obtained by Sir William Crookes, 
Mr. Traill Taylor, Mr. Glendinning, Mr. Stainton Moses, Madame 
d'Esperance and others. They are of three main classes (i) portraits 
of living discarnate beings or spirits, (ii) pictures of effigies or lay 
figures often very incomplete and not necessarily human-like, (iii) 
reproductions of physical pictures or other objects. Possibly the first 
sort has something of the second character the sitter has to undergo 
some preparation for the photography. As to the process, the objects 
may be rendered temporarily material and photographed like any 
physical thing, or the plate may be affected without light, lens or 
camera. The D. Ghost is, in my opinion, a phenomenon of the second 
class produced in the first manner. It is a bit of sketchy spiritual 
modelling set there to be photographed. 

The Transparent Chair. 

The chair in the middle of the room shows duplications due to the 
movement of the camera eg., the head of the leg farthest to the left 
and the twists of this and the other similar leg. The back legs have a 
dark stripe down the middle where the two images overlap. From 
these indications I conclude that the chair was there during the whole 
of the exposure, and this is consistent with the opacity of the seat, 
which conceals a bright part of the carpet. Had the carpet been 
exposed for the shortest time it would have shown through the seat of 
the chair. All that is intelligible. Now enter mysteries. 

The wood of the chair where it is well-lighted and covers a well- 
lighted background is transparent. The images seen through the 
wood are even better defined than the contiguous free parts, for they 
are not over-exposed. They look as if seen through smoked glass. 

The legs are mostly transparent except the tops at the seat and the 
upper part of the right back leg. The horizontal bar at the right of 
the seat is not transparent. The right-hand twisted pillar of the back 
is as transparent as glass. The lower rail shows the carpet through it, 
and a distinct though dark image of the bossy leg of the large chair 
behind. The upper rail shows backs of books and a portion of the 
leather edging of the book-shelf the bright leaf-like objects. The 
left-hand column is opaque, apparently because what lies behind is not 
bright, but the knob at the top is absent where the brightness begins. 
The wood in front of the seat is unequally transparent, the left half 
being the clearer. This may be due to some difference in the film. 

186 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [FEB., 1900. 

This chair is the only transparent thing in the room : the white patch on 
the stem of the round table is the false image of the adjacent carpet. 

From these transparencies, considered by themselves, we should 
infer that the chair was placed there after the background had been 
exposed for a short time, but this view is contradicted by the opacity 
of the seat and some parts of the wood. 

The chair, while partaking of the general movement, may have 
been displaced relative to objects behind it. This would account for a 
slight margin of transparency, but not for all. To get a clear view of 
the leg of the great chair the smaller one in front would have to 
be moved half its width. 

In the records of Spirit-Photography we read of transparency and 
duplication as concomitants of the spirit image see Mrs. Sidgwick's 
paper on the subject in the Society's Proceedings for 1892.* To the 
scientific critic these accessories are proof enough that the photograph 
is fraudulent, though one might suppose that a practical photographer 
bent on deceit would be able to cover his tracks more skilfully. In 
the D. photograph precisely the same concomitants occur, and the 
operator is an amateur above suspicion. For this reason I would not 
take the judgment of 1892 as the last word on the subject. 

Spiritualistic apologists offered reasons and explanations that no 
self-respecting man or woman of science would entertain for a moment 
as that the spirits might move the camera ; that their aura was a 
medium of double refraction ; that they were able to alter the 
material properties of things ; and that the spirit light had power 
to pass through opaque substances. Mrs. Sidgwick makes short work 
of these pleas, but since then the Rontgen photography has been 
discovered and puts a somewhat different complexion on the matter. 

There is a later case of abnormal transparency in connection with 
spirit-photography mentioned in Borderland (Vol. II., p. 317). Mr. 
Stead sat to be photographed next a solid wooden pedestal, on which 
was a pot containing a fern. The photograph shows a lady behind 
the pedestal ; the pedestal, without being moved, appears as if 
shortened by about a foot, and through it is seen the bottom of a 
curtain behind and a rent in the curtain. He went again to be taken 
in the same position, but now there was no lady and the pillar had 
its everyday properties. The photographs are reproduced and confirm 
the report as to the shortening, but the rent is not visible, perhaps 
because the reproduction is bad. If the plant is the same in both 
cases, it appears larger and healthier in the first than in the second. 

Vol. VII., p. 268. 

FEB., 1900.] Discussion of Supposed " Spirit- Photography." 187 

Mr. Traill Taylor examined the photographs, and said of the 
shortening and transparency(p. 322) that "he could not offer even 
a hypothesis. It was utterly inexplicable from the point of view 
of the photographic expert." 

The same periodical (Vol. I., p. 446) has a still more surprising 
case of this order taken indirectly from a Russian journal. 

La Haute Science in its last number, among "Glanes," has the following 
taken from the Russian journal Novoe Vreniia, of March 5th, 1894 : 

"Professor Wagner has just communicated to the branch devoted to 
photography of the Imperial Technique Society (Societe Technique Imperiale) 
of St. Petersburg a most extraordinary fact. Desiring to photograph a 
hypnotised subject, he directed upon him his camera, and by the aid of a 
Kourdiou magnesium lamp made two instantaneous exposures, taking care 
to surround himself with all the precautions required in such a delicate 
matter. Now when he examined the plates his astonishment was without 
bounds. The walls of the room, the furniture, the curtains, the carpets, all 
appeared in detail ; only the subject was nowhere to be discovered. In 
place of the person was to be seen on one of the plates a portion of his hand, 
and on the other a part of his boot, while the rest of the body was concealed 
by white spots appearing to rise in concentric layers. It was in his own 
apartment, in the middle of a room closed and locked, into which nobody 
could come while the professor hypnotised his subject and extended him 
on a sofa, and whom 110 blanket or like material covered. The learned 
experimenter not being able to give any satisfactory explanation of this 
phenomenon, a committee of three members was selected by the specialists 
of the Technique Society to repeat the experiment of Professor Wagner 
on the same subject when hypnotised, in the same place and under the 
same conditions." 

The climax of transparency is reached when the object intended to 
be portrayed is not found in the photograph at all not even a hand 
or foot. "I know of one case," says Mr. Stead (loc. cit.) "in which 
an amateur photographer photographed a visitor who was standing in 
front of the mantelpiece. When the negative was developed there 
was a photograph of the mantelpiece, but the figure in front of it had 
entirely disappeared. This was a great mystery, but still greater was 
the sequel. When showing that photograph to clairvoyants in Chicago 
the photograph, I may mention, was taken in England without 
telling them of any mystery connected with the photo, they saw the 
missing man standing with his back to the mantelpiece and described 
him quite accurately, nor would they believe that I could not see the 
person whom they saw quite unmistakably in the very centre of the 

To dismiss such accounts as fabulous for no other reason than 
their want of conformity with the scientific conventions of the day, 

188 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [FEB., 1000. 

appears to me unwise. The science of to-morrow may have a use for 
them. Why should it be assumed that science can explain every- 
thing ? Its theories were not originally framed to include or explain 
spiritual phenomena, and we cannot get much more from a theory 
than we put into it. Natural laws being only human ideas, we may 
expect them to break down as knowledge advances. 

Wimbledon, November 27th, 1899. 


I have read with much interest the foregoing discussion by Miss 
Johnson and Mr. McLachlan on the origin of the shadowy figure 
which appeared in Miss Corbet's photograph of the library of a 
historic mansion, where she and her sisters happened to be staying. 

1. As regards the fact that there was more than one door into the 
library, and that none of the doors were locked during the time the 
photograph was being taken, this ought to have been more explicitly 
stated in the original account, which, however, was only a very brief 
summary oi the principal points in the correspondence which Miss 
Corbet had with me on the subject of this photograph during the 
early part of 1895. In that account (Journal S.P.R., December, 
1895, p. 166) it is stated "she [Miss Corbet] was not in the room 
the whole time, and did not lock the doors when she left the room." 
From which more than one door may be inferred. 

2. With reference to the moving of the chair which appears in the 
middle of the picture (not the arm-chair) after the exposure of the 
plate had begun, I agree with Miss Johnson that this is very probable. 
But it is not impossible Miss Corbet may herself have moved the chair 
into its present position after removing the cap from the camera. I 
had intended to have an enlargement made of the original negative 
or at any rate to have projected an enlarged image on to a screen 
and examined the picture in detail ; this would doubtless have cleared 
up several obscure points, but the marriage of Miss Corbet, and her 
departure for India, took place in the course of the inquiry, and I 
have not, as yet, been able to obtain the loan of the negative, though 
perhaps this may still be possible. 

3. Mr. McLachlan points out certain differences between the 
experimental photograph which I took and the shadowy figure in 
Miss Corbet's photograph. No doubt slight differences do exist. My 

FEB., 1900.] Discussion of Supposed " Spirit- Photography. " ISO 

only object in taking the photograph was to test the theory I had 
formed that the absence of legs and of one arm in the " ghost " was 
probably due to certain movements in a sitter, who, I assumed, might 
have surreptitiously entered the room and seated himself in the arm- 
chair during the long exposure of the plate. As this hypothesis was 
verified in the very first experimental photograph taken, I did not 
think it worth while to take another, nor to attempt to imitate more 
exactly the so-called "spirit photograph." I have not the least doubt 
that a few trials would enable any one to reproduce a figure the 
facsimile of that in the arm-chair in Miss Corbet's photograph. 

4. Mr. Espin [see below] imagines the figure seated in the chair pur- 
posely tried to imitate a " spirit photograph." He remarks " how many 
would know that to get this result [absence of the left arm and legs] a 
continuous motion was necessary ? " This is a gratuitous and needless 
supposition. For my own part, I think the explanation I suggested in 
September, 1895 (Journal, S.P.R., 1895, p. 170), remains the most 
probable one, viz., " That one of the servants came into the room, sat 
down in the chair, crossed his legs and then uncrossed them, looked 
down for a few moments and then at the camera, saw he was being 
taken, so got up and went away " before Miss Corbet returned to the 
room. I should have added " and also swung his left arm to and fro, 
whilst his right arm remained steady, resting on the elbow of the 
chair.'' The analysis of the evidence made by Miss Johnson in her 
instructive contribution to the discussion renders this explanation 
still more probable, and, I think, entirely disposes of Mr. McLachlan's 
view. As for Mr. Espin's remark that the figure is " in the shade " 
and " too low in the chair," the first is surely incorrect, as the light 
from an adjacent window is seen falling on the near side of the arm- 
chair, and the second depends on the height of the person who sat in 
the chair. As there were two young and beardless footmen in the 
house at the time, it was probably one of these lads whose sudden 
whim gave rise to this quasi-spirit photograph. 

5. On the other hand it is right to give due weight to the fact 
that the lady who took the photograph had, and I believe still has, 
some hesitation in accepting the explanation I have given. And this 
not for any of the reasons advanced by Mr. McLachlan arid others, 
but chiefly from the result of the inquiries made both by her and 
by myself. It would perhaps have been better to have published all 
the correspondence, especially the letters as to the identification of the 
figure in the photograph by one of the deceased nobleman's nearest 
relatives and some of his friends, while others who knew him equally 
well denied the likeness. For my own part, after carefully weighing 

190 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [FEB., 1000. 

all the evidence, I have little doubt that some such explanation as 
I have given is sufficient to account for the shadowy figure and its 
fancied resemblance to Lord D. 

In conclusion permit me to draw attention to the singularly 
unscientific procedure of that omniscient gentleman who regularly 
contributes to the English Mechanic under the nom-de-plume of a 
" Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society." In the first instance he 
gives in the columns of the English Mechanic an elaborate story, 
" supplemented by details " in successive numbers, of how something 
very like " a spirit photograph " was obtained by an amateur lady 
photographer, and how, "upon developing the negative, to her horror 
this lady . at once, with her sister, recognised it [the " spirit 

photograph "] as that oj their father," whose funeral was taking place 
that very day. (The italics are his.) Again: "They were so frightened 
at the result of what they had done that for some considerable 
time they kept it to themselves." Now it turns out that all this is 
pure fiction, and the story, as told by " F. B. A. S.," is an absurdly 
incorrect and misleading version of an account which was published 
nearly three years previously in the Journal of the S.P.R. Further, 
the account in the Journal was given at first hand, and only published 
after inquiry and experimental investigation had enabled us to form 
some rational explanation of the shadowy figure in the photograph. 
On the other hand, as the Editor of the S.P.R. Journal remarks 
(November, 1899, p. 143), " F. R. A. S.'s version is at least third- 
hand, and may be more remote." It is, in fact, a highly-coloured 
narrative, published without the smallest attempt at verification. One 
would imagine that under these circumstances, when " F. R. A. S." 
had the candour to state that his account was erroneous, some acknow- 
ledgment would have been made by this gentleman of the S.P.R. 
that enabled him to correct his mistake ; otherwise there is no reason 
why the readers of the English Mechanic should, upon tho mere ipse 
dixit of " F. R. A. S.," be called upon to disbelieve what he had pre- 
viously led them to infer was information derived at first hand. 

Let me also draw attention to another remarkable statement 
made by " F. R. A. S." He writes : " One extraordinary coincidence, 
identifying this imperfect image with that of the deceased peer, 1 
purposely suppress, as its mention would almost certainly lead to his 
identification." Again, in a subsequent number, he states : "I very 
studiously avoided even hinting at the nature of the coincidence 
which seemed to me so remarkable." Again, " The peculiarity to which 
I referred . . . took the form of a privation?' I think we have a 
right to ask "F. R. A. S." what is this remarkable coincidence to 

FEB., 1900.] Discussion of Supposed " Spirit- Photography " 191 

which he repeatedly alludes ; was it the absence of the legs or of the 
left arm in the figure, and was he confounding the deceased peer with 
his ancestor who fought in the Peninsular war ? In any case I hope 
the readers of the English Mechanic will in future view with some 
little distrust the opinions upon psychical phenomena and the animad- 
versions upon the S.P.R. given by a " Fellow of the Royal Astronomical 
Society " who conceals his greatness in anonymity. 



[Readers of the Journal may remember an article in the November 
issue entitled "An Incorrect Version of a Case of Supposed 'Spirit- 
Photography,' " and referring to an account given in the English 
Mechanic of Miss S. R. Corbet's photograph of " D. Hall," by the 
writer, mentioned above by Professor Barrett, who signs himself " A 
Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society." Immediately after the 
November Journal came out, a copy of it was sent to this gentleman 
through the Editor of the English Mechanic, and a certain "Letter to 
the Editor," published in the latter periodical of November 17th, leads 
almost irresistibly to the belief that the copy was duly received. We 
reprint the portion of this letter relating to the case. ED.] 

[43,015.]" Never," says a trite adage, "believe anything you hear, and 
not more than half what you see " an adage of the truth and common-sense 
of which I have just had a very remarkable and impressive illustration. In 
a letter which I wrote (41,461) on p. 92 of your LXVIIIth Volume, I told a 
very curious story of the apparition of the seated figure of a deceased peer 
in a photograph taken of his empty library after his death a story which I 
subsequently supplemented by details given on pp. 138, 186, 233, etc. This 
narrative I reproduced, practically verbatim, as it was told me by a common 
friend of mine and of the family himself a man of rank and title, whose 
veracity and bona fides are beyond all question or dispute, and who lent me 
the photographs on which I commented. Now, however, I have learned, 
within the last 24 hours, that the account I gave (as it was given to me) was 
erroneous in many very material respects, and that the evidence that there 
was anything supernatural, or "spiritual," about the affair, is nearly as 
shadowy as the figure itself. Let me correct some of my or my informant's 
misstatements seriatim. Imprimis, I have it now that Lord X. did not 
die at (what I will call) X. Hall at all, but in London, X. Hall being let at 
the time to the sister, Lady Z., of the actual photographer (whose name has 
since been made public, so that I have no reason for concealing it), Miss 
Corbet. Secondly, neither Mrs. Y. nor Lady Z. were at X. Hall at the 
time. Thirdly, it was by accident, and not by design, that the photograph 

192 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [FEB., 1900. 

was taken on the day of the funeral. Fourthly, neither of Lord X.'s 
daughters either took or developed the photograph. Fifthly and most 
important this is I was utterly misinformed as to the room having been 
closed during the exposure of the plate in the camera, for Miss Corbet 
states that " the door was left open all the time the photograph was being 
taken, the camera being placed in the open doorway, while she and her 
sister went out for a walk, apparently leaving the house empty, except for 
the servants." Now, this being so, I revert to what I said in letter 41,667, 
on p. 233 of your LXVIIIth Volume : "I am driven to the conclusion 
that someone must have sat in the chair for a very short time during the 
exposure of the plate." I gather from an independent source that my 
friend Mr. Espin's very interesting experiments on the production of a 
similar " ghost " by light reflected from a vase on a tall brass pole are 
to be the subject of further investigation. I need hardly reiterate here 
that I have not the very slightest faith in "spiritual" apparitions, and 
(as I have often said), broadly divide spiritualists into two categories 
knaves (the so-called "media") and fools (their dupes); but, like all 
men of science, I hold my opinions more or less loosely, and regard 
"Audi alteram partem " as essentially the motto of every one who wishes 
to arrive at the truth. Hence, when I received the story, just as I told 
it, from what I regarded as an absolutely unimpeachable source, I did 
not think that my own belief or disbelief ought to stand in the way of 
my making it public, however much it might conflict with my own utter- 
ances, public and private. But this only furnishes yet another instance 
of the fallibility of testimony, or perhaps of the inability of the average 
man or woman to repeat a story with anything approaching to verbal 
or even material accuracy. I have been struck with this in one way, 
amongst others, which might have acted as a caution to me. I sometimes 
do a little conjuring, and have been at once amazed and amused to hear 
certain of the spectators subsequently tell people what they had seen me 
do ; so wildly wide of the truth have their perfectly ingenuous narratives 
been. However, I have, I hope, learned my lesson this time, and will 
trouble my brother-readers with no more stories of apparitions, be they 
of peers or potboys, because I could only really give such a story first- 
hand if I were myself qualifying for a lunatic asylum. 

["F. R. A. S." deserves every credit for the candour and promptitude 
with which he has disclaimed the mistakes made in his original 
narrative so soon after they were pointed out to him, and it is gratify- 
ing to find him endorsing so heartily our own warnings as to the 
fallibility of human testimony. It must be observed that his classifica- 
tion of " spiritualists " into " knaves and fools " is represented, with 
some magnanimity, not as an essential part of the creed of "all men 
of science," but merely as his own opinion ; and we must acknowledge 
the sense of justice and the courage displayed in not allowing his own 
belief or disbelief to stand in the way of his making the story of the 

FEB., 1900.] Discwssion of Supposed " Spirit- Photography " 193 

photograph public, " however much it might conflict with my own 
utterances, public and private." 

Yet, for any one who really wishes both to "arrive at the truth," 
and also to speak it, something more even than a determination not 
to be influenced by his own preconceived opinions seems needed ; 
namely, a careful examination of any report before making it public. 
It was in this respect alone that the methods of " F. R. A. S." were 
in our Journal unfavourably contrasted with those of the Society 
for Psychical Research ; and it is certainly desirable that persons who 
are unwilling or unable to take such a precaution should "trouble 
[their] brother -readers with no more stories of apparitions." 

" F. R. A. S." has no doubt, by accident omitted to mention 
that it was through the Society for Psychical Research that he was 
enabled to correct the mistakes made in his original version ; but this 
omission is fully supplied in a letter from a Fellow of another learned 
society in the English Mechanic of November 24th, as follows] : 

[43,052.] As on former occasions " F.R.A.S." has rather disparaged the 
Society for Psychical Research, I think it fair to mention that it is they 
who, in their Journal for November, have taken the trouble to correct his 

So far from the Society being devoted to superstitions, it is really devoted 
to their study, the necessity for specialisation in which is shown by the 
present instance. ' : F.R.A.S.," having fallen into the very natural error of 
publishing such matter without laborious verification, now announces that 
in future he shall reject all similar stories without examination. 

I write to point out that these are precisely the errors that have hitherto 
prevented any exact knowledge in these outlying departments of psychology. 
The whole region of folk-lore, whether superstitious or supernormal, will 
never be either exploded or explained without plenty of hard work. And 
whatever the outcome of the Society's work may be, its subject-matter, the 
human mind, is, as Stanley Jevons said, of more importance to mankind 
than all " F.R.A.S. V stars and nebulae. 

I have heard a leading physicist object to biological work as "messy," 
and "F.R.A.S." objects to this sort of psychology as "full of rogues and 
dupes," just as an ordinary pedestrian would object to rope- walking. 
Psychical research is the slack-wire of the sciences, and if "F.R.A.S." 
would become perfect in all the scientific virtues from agnosticism to 
suspense of judgment, he cannot do better than engage in psychical research. 
He will need them there as nowhere else. 


[Mr. T. E. Espin, who suggested that the " spirit figure " in the 
photograph might have been produced by reflection of the objects 

194 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [FEB., 1900. 

near it, has, in reply to our inquiries, sent us the following account of 
his experiments in reproducing the effects] : 

Tow Law, R.S.O., co. Durham, November 3rd, 1899. 

In answer to your letter of Nov. 2nd, I regret that through my own 
careless writing an incorrect impression is conveyed in the E.M., December 
2nd, 1898, that the experiments there mentioned were made photographically, 
whereas they were entirely visual. 

Perhaps it may be of interest to state how I came to the conclusion. 

Shortly after my friend "F.R.A.S.'s" letter appeared, I was staying in 
a house, and being much puzzled by it, narrated the story, when the lady of 
the house informed me that she had a copy of the photo, and knew the lady 
who took it. This copy she kindly placed at my disposal conditionally on 
its not being reproduced, or lent. Some dozen years ago there was con- 
siderable interest in a photo taken in this neighbourhood of the exterior of 
a house, and between the white curtains of an upper window appeared a 
something, which the owner declared was the figure of a deceased relative 
who occupied that room. I obtained a look at the photo and saw very little 
resemblance to a man, and after examining the place found it was due to 
the reflection of the chimney-pot of a house opposite ! Remembering this and 
understanding that the library photo was above suspicion, I commenced to 
examine the photo to see if any such cause was present. On turning the 
photograph upside down and thereby eliminating all appearance of a human 
figure, it seemed to me that the " head " was but a reflection of the small 
and narrow part of the middle window from the bowl of the stand, and the 
"arm" of the small part of the stem. The back of the chair, and more 
especially the bust in the window, curtail the light that would fall on the 
stem of the stand. " F.R.A.S.'s" second letter made me attempt to repro- 
duce artificially the conditions, as mentioned in my letter to the E.M. of 
December 2nd. The results of the visual experiments seemed conclusive, as 
they did also to some friends. 

It is very interesting to find that the exposure was a long one, as I 
anticipated, arid it is possible that the breadth of the head may be due to 
the shift in the line of light. 

Professor Barrett's may, of course, be the correct explanation, but it 
seems to me that there are difficulties in the way. In the first place the 
chair is in the shade ; in the next the " figure " is too low in the chair, and 
in the third the disappearance of the whole of one side is inexplicable. It 
may partly be explained by the continuous motion of the left arm as well as 
the legs, but how many would know that to get this result such a con- 
tinuous motion was necessary ? Moreover, a movement of the arm would 
leave the side still, and naturally, unless the person was left-handed, the 
motion would be made with the right arm, not the left. The reflection 
theory is not without its difficulties, as " F.R.A.S." has pointed out to me 
in a private letter, but my experiments seemed to me fairly conclusive that 

it may have come about in this way 


FEI?., looo.] Caw. 195 

P. 265. 

The following extracts from Victor Hugo's recently published 
diary * may be of interest, especially as the central incident of the 
account bears some resemblance to an experience given by Mrs. 
A. W. Verrall in the Journal for November, 1899. 

P. 350. 22 December (1870). Leopold has sent me thirteen fresh eggs. 

P. 356. 5 January (1871). We were thirteen at table. 

P. 358. 12 January. The ** pavilion de Rohan " [a restaurant] charges 
me from to-day 8 francs a head for dinner. This, with the wine, coffee, fire, 
etc., brings the dinner to 13 francs per person. . . . . Dined with us 
Schoelcher, Rochefort, Blum, and all our usual Thursday guests. We were 
thirteen again. 

P. 370. 14 February. We arrive at Bordeaux at 1.30 in the afternoon 
of the 14th February. We start to look for rooms. We take a cab and go 
from one hotel to another. Not a room to be had. I go to the Hotel de 
Ville and ask for information. I am told of a furnished apartment to let at 
the house of M. A. Porte, 13, Rue Saint-Maur, near the public gardens. 
We go there. Charles takes the rooms at 600 francs a month, and pays 
half-a-morith's rent in advance. Off we start again to look for a lodging for 
ourselves, but cannot find anything. At 7 o'clock we go back to the station 
for the luggage, without knowing where we are to pass the night. We 
return to the Rue Saint-Maur, where Charles is. Negociations with the 
landlord and his brother, who has two rooms at 37, Rue de la Course, close- 
by. It ends by our coming to an arrangement. Alice made this remark: 
" The number 13 haunts us." Every Thursday in January we were thirteen 

table. We left Paris on the 13th February. We were thirteen in the 
loon carriage, counting Louis Blanc, M. Bechet, and the two children. 
We are staying at 13, Rue Saint-Maur ! 

P. 379. 13 March. This night I could not sleep, I meditated on numbers, 

rhich was the subject of Pythagoras' reveries. I was thinking of all these 

lirteens oddly grouped and mingled with what we have been doing since the 

[st January, and I was saying to myself as well that I should leave this 

house where I am on the 13th March. At this instant the same nocturnal 

knocking that I 'have already heard twice before in this room (three blows 

like blows of a hammer on a board) was produced quite close to me. 

We lunched at Charles' house with Louis Blanc. 

I have been to see Rochefort. He is staying at 80, Rue Judaique ; 
he is recovering from an attack of erysipelas, which had for a short time 
threatened to be dangerous. With him were M.M. Alexis Bouvier and 
Mourot, whom I invited to dine with me to-day. I asked them to convey 
an invitation from me to M.M. Claretie, Guillemot, and Germain Casse, 
with whom I should like to shake hands before I leave. 

* (Euvrcs inedites de Victor Hugo. Choscs Vues. Nouvelle Serie. (Paris, 
CalmannLevy. 1900.) 

196 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [FEB., 1900. 

After leaving Rochefort's house I strolled a little about Bordeaux. . . 

At 6.30 I went to the Lanta Restaurant. M.M. Bouvier, Mourot, and 
Casse arrive. Then Alice. Charles keeps us waiting. 

7 p.m. Charles is dead. 

The waiter who attends on me at the Lanta Restaurant came in and said 
that some one wished to see me. I went out of the room. In the hall I 
found M. Porte, who is Charles' landlord at 13, Rue Saint-Maur. M Porte 
told me to send away Alice, who was following me. Alice went back into 
the salon. M. Porte said to me : " Monsieur, be brave. Monsieur 
Charles." . . .''Well ? ""He is dead." 

Dead ! I didn't believe it. Charles ! . . . I leaned against the wall. 

M. Porte told me that Charles had taken a cab to come to Lanta's, and 
had ordered the driver to go first to the Cafe de Bordeaux. 

On arriving at the Cafe de Bordeaux the cabman had opened the door 
and discovered Charles dead. Charles had been seized with a fit of 
apoplexy. Death was instantaneous. Some blood-vessel had broken. 
He was bathed in blood, which was flowing from his nose and mouth. 
A doctor was summoned, and pronounced life extinct. 

I would not believe it. I said ; "It is a case of coma." I still clung 
to hope. I went back into the salon, told Alice I should be back again 
directly, and hurried to the Rue Saint-Maur. 

Scarcely had I arrived when in they brought Charles. Alas ! my darling 
Charles ! He was dead. 

I have been to fetch Alice. What despair ! 

The two little children are asleep. 

14 March. I read over what I wrote on the morning of the 13th about 
this knocking heard at night. 

Victor Hugo's superstitious musings on the night of March 13th 
may have served as a suitable emotional preparation for his reception 
of a warning of coming misfortune, which was perhaps supernormally 
conveyed through the knockings. 

The successive entries show that for more than eight weeks before 
the death of his son, and some four weeks at least before the first of 
the knockings was heard, his mind was beginning to dwell upon 
the repeated intrusion of the number 13 into the incidents of his 
daily life. 

The present of 13 eggs, however, recorded on December 22nd, 
1870, does not seem to have struck either Victor or Alice Hugo as oi 
ill omen ; though, to be consistent, all " thirteens " ought to count, 
whether connected with agreeable associations or not. But the chie 
interest of the story of course lies in the possibly veridical charact 
of the knockings. 

The diary contains no mention of the dates on which, or of the 
circumstances under which, the first two knockings occurred. But it 

FEB., 1900.] Premature Generalisations about ZW^/>a/////. 197 

can be inferred from the narrative that they must have happened 
between February 14th and March 12th; roughly, four weeks. In 
Mrs. Verrall's case (see Journal for November, 1899) the tickings were 
in two instances heard at intervals during (1) three weeks, and (2) 
three or four months. The sounds heard by Victor Hugo were not 
tickings, but loud blows, and may have been produced in some quite 
commonplace manner. 



(Continued from the January " Journal," p. 176.) 

The last number of the Journal contained a reprint of an article by 
an American writer, Mr. Edmund Willson Roberts, on " Successful 
Attempts in Scientific Mind-Reading," purporting to give general 
rules, deduced from the writer's personal experience, for cultivating 
the telepathic faculty. A careful examination of Mr. Roberts' 
methods, however, by Professor Newbold showed, as might perhaps 
have been expected, that his rules were based on nothing beyond 
a priori theories and that he had failed to allow for various sources 
of error which vitiated his results. 

Professor Newbold's account is as follows : 

In the second week of February, 1899, a gentleman presented himself to 
me, and informed me that his name was E. W. Roberts, that he not only 
was possessed of telepathic powers himself, but was also able to develop 
similar powers in any person who would submit to his instructions. He 
gave me the details of several series of experiments in which he claimed to 
have had remarkable success, and stated, as further proof of the truth of his 
claims, that an article embodying his experience had been recently accepted 
by the Cosmopolitan Magazine.* He asked me to invite some of my friends 
to meet him, and to give him an opportunity of demonstrating his powers 
to us. 

On the evening of Saturday, February 18th, Mr. Roberts met in my 
house Dr. Lightner Witmer, Assistant Professor of Psychology ; Mr. E. W. 
Mumford, Registrar ; Mr. Verner Nisbet, a student of medicine, and myself. 

Mr. Roberts brought with him an instrument which he called a " tele- 
poscope." It was a wooden box about 18 inches in length, 3 inches in depth, 
and varying in width from about 3 inches at the narrower end to about 6 
inches at the wider. It was covered within and without with black cloth. 
The narrower end was cut in such a manner as to fit closely to the brow and 
about the eyes, and the wider end was arranged with a slit in which the slip 

* This article appeared in the March number of that magazine. 

198 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [FEB., 1900. 

of paper bearing the number in question could be placed, thus receiving its 
illumination from behind, through the paper. Mr. Roberts said that this 
instrument would be found of use in concentrating the agent's attention 
and thereby facilitating the transmission of a telepathic impression to the 

After a somewhat rambling introduction, in which he repeated the sub- 
stance of the statements which he had already made to me, he began a series 
of experiments under the following conditions : 

The percipient was seated in a chair at the extreme end of the room, with his 
back to the group of agents. The group of agents sat at the other end of the 
room, facing the back of the percipient. Immediately in front of the agents was 
a table. Mr. Roberts had with him a series of numbers from 1 to 30. These 
had been cut from a large wall calendar, and displayed the number in white 
upon a black ground, with the exception of the number 4 which was in red 
upon a black ground, the numbers having been taken from the month of 
July. Mr. Roberts selected the first nine digits and then threw out the 
numbers 9 and 6, upon the ground that these were frequently confused by 
the percipient. This reduced the numbers from which choice was to be 
made to 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, and 8. Of these Mr. Roberts chose four, and told 
the percipient which four he had selected, thus restricting the limit of choice 
to those four. The number to be guessed was then chosen by one of the 
agents from the four. The paper square bearing the number was propped up 
on the table, facing the agents, and in a good light. The agents were 
instructed, simply to consider the number, and not to endeavour to will its 
perception by the percipient. The percipient was allowed two guesses. 
Under these conditions the results were as follows : 

Percipient, L. Witmer, the other four being the agents : 


1,2,7,8 7 7 

1, 2, 5, 8 8 2, 8 

1,2,3,7 ... ... 1 ... ... 2,7 

At this point I objected that the selection by the agents of the numbers 
to be guessed opened the door to unconscious identical preference on both 
sides, and therefore vitiated the results, and that the restriction of the 
guesses to the seven above-mentioned digits also tended to vitiate the 
results. In deference to these objections we agreed that we should draw by 
chance from the ten digits the four numbers from which choice was to be 
made, and from the four thus chosen, draw again by chance the one which 
was to be guessed. The percipient was, however, told the four numbers 
which had been drawn, one of which he was to guess. The next experiment 
under these conditions with Dr. Witmer resulted as follows : 


3, 5, 9, 10 5 10, 5 

E. W. Mumford, percipient; four numbers chosen at random from the 
thirty ; other conditions as before : 


14, 17, 25, 30 25 14, 17 

FEB., 1900.] Premature Generalisations about Telepathy. 199 

Mr. Roberts objected that this series of numbers was too great, and 
proposed returning to the digits. To this we consented. 

1, 4, 5, 8 8 1, 8 

1, 2, 3, 4 4 3, 2 

1, 3, 5, 7 5 5 

E. W. Roberts, percipient ; same conditions : 

1, 2, 5, 8 2 5, 1 

2,3,4,5 5 4,5 

2,4, 7, 8 4 7, 4 

2, 4, 5, 7 4 2, - 

1,2,3,8 1 ...3,1 

At this point Mr. Roberts expressed himself as dissatisfied with the 
conditions, and proposed that the numbers should be chosen by the agents, 
and not drawn by chance. We again consented : 

1, 2, 7, 8 7 2, 7 

2, 3, 5, 8 3 5, 8 

V. Nisbet, percipient ; Mr. Roberts, agent, alone, choosing the numbers 
and putting them in his "teleposcope " : 


3, 9, 1, 5 9 9 

1, 2, 3, 10 10 10 

5, 6, 7, 8 5 ...6,7 

The range of choice for the four numbers was now extended to the series 
of thirty. 

27, 15, 2, 7 27 2, 7 

Mr. Roberts claimed this as a success on the ground that both elements 
of the number had been guessed. 

Percipient, W. R. Newbold ; same conditions : 

Being by this time satisfied that the successful results were due to chance 
coincidence and not to telepathy, I did not watch for telepathic influences, 
but deliberately guessed the number which I thought Mr. Roberts would be 
most likely to choose. 

1, 5, 7, 8 8 8 

1, 2,3, 7 7 2, 7 

4, 5, 6, 11 11 11 

5, 10, 20, 30 20 20 

It was now decided to extend the range of choice from four numbers to 
thirty, the number to be guessed being drawn by Mr. Mumford, and put 
into the " teleposcope " by Mr. Roberts, who alone acted as agent. 

Number drawn 29 Guesses 21, 14, 19 

Percipient, Dr. Witmer ; same conditions : 
Number drawn ... ... 4 Guesses ... ... 15, 19, 14 

1 30, 27, 16 

4 13,8,5 

Percipient, W. R. Newbold ; same conditions : 
Number drawn 12 Guesses 15, 17, 26 

200 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [FEB., 1900. 

After finishing these experiments, Mr. Roberts suggested that we should 
try " mind reading," in which he said he had been very successful. He him- 
self prescribed the method. Dr. Witmer and Mr. Mumford served as agents. 
Mr. Roberts grasped the agent's hand, and told him to allow his thoughts to 
dwell upon some one topic. Mr. Roberts then closed his eyes, and described 
the pictures which, he said, were drifting before his mind. We did not time 
these experiments, but I should judge that each lasted from three to five 
minutes. In neither case did Mr. Roberts' alleged visions bear the least 
relation to what the agent was thinking about. 

After the other three gentlemen had left, I had a long conversation with 
Mr. Roberts. I told him that the experiments showed not a sign of tele- 
pathy, and pointed out the secret of so many successful results, namely, 
that the restriction of the choice to the four numbers gave the guesser one 
chance in four ; that by giving him two guesses the chance of success was 
increased to one chance in two ; that the agent in selecting the numbers 
might be guided by certain trivial preferences which would be equally felt 
by the percipient. Mr. Roberts seemed downcast and ill at ease, did not 
deny indeed tacitly admitted the truth of all I had to say, but was inclined 
to recount the remarkable success which he had had in his other experiments. 
I made no comment upon his stories, but urged him in all seriousness not 
to undertake to make a livelihood by the exhibition of his telepathic powers. 
1 told him that if he once embarked in such a career he would be stamped 
as a fraud by all persons of intelligence, and would soon find the doors 
leading to an honest livelihood closed to him. The only reply he made to 
this was to ask me whether I thought there would be any dishonesty in his 
accepting money for teaching the methods of experimentation, provided he 
made no claims to the possession of telepathic powers. I told him that I 
would not regard it as dishonest, but advised him to observe that in the 
experiments which we had just finished, certain vital errors had been found 
in the methods of experimentation, which, as he himself admitted, entirely 
vitiated the results, and that none of these errors had been pointed out by 
him ; that on the contrary he had obviously relied upon them for the attain- 
ment of the successful results. This also he admitted, so far as related to 
the series of experiments just concluded, but declared that he still felt confi- 
dence in the results which he had secured before. When we parted he 
seemed very much depressed. He called on me again, about ten days later, 
and asked me if I would be willing to arrange for some long distance experi- 
ments with him. I told him that I was too busy to do anything of the kind 
at present. (Signed), WM. ROMAINE NEWBOLD, 

Asst. Prof. Phil. Univ. of Penna. 

We certify that the above account of the experiments with Mr. Roberts, 
in which we took part, is in accordance with our recollection of the 
circumstances. E w MUMFORD, 

Univ. of Penna. 

No. CLXVIL-VoL. IX. MARCH, 1900. 





New Members and Associates 201 

Annual General Meeting of Members of the Society . . . . . . . . . . . . 202 

Meeting of the Council 203 

General Meeting 204 

Obituary : John Ruskin 20S 

Balance Sheet for the year 1899 211 

Further "Reflections on Mrs. Piper and Telepathy": a partial Reply to Mr. Andrew 

Lang. By Professor Oliver Lodge 212 


Names of Members are printed in Black Type. 
Names of Associates are printed in SMALL CAPITALS. 


Sir William Crookes, F.R.S., 7, Kensington Park-gardens, 
London, W. 


FALCOMER, PROFESSOR M. T., Regio Institute Tecnik, Alessandria. 


BOWER, JAMES GARTON, JUNR., Earlham House, Norwich. 
Hamilton, Bernard, M.A., Hindhead Brae, Haslemere, Surrey. 
MITCHELL, MAJOR, Ballynure, Grange Con, co. Wicklow, Ireland. 
MITCHELL, HARRY, 74, Queen's-road, Dalston, London, N.E. 
NUGENT, JOHN, I.C.S. (Retired), 13, Elm Park-gardens, London, S.W. 
VENABLES, REV. HERBERT A., M. A., 28, Viale Principe Amedeo, Florence. 
WILD, ERNEST E., B.A., LL.M., 1, Garden-court, Temple, London, E.G. 
WOODHULL, Miss ZULA MAUD, 17, Hyde Park-gate, London, W. 


ADAMS, Miss C. C., 426, Central Park, West, New York, N.Y. 
ALLEN, C. S., Rooms 114-115, Burr Block, Lincoln, Neb. 

202 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [MAS., 1900. 

DANFORTH, MRS. HENRY, 535, West-avenue, Rochester, N.Y. 

DAVENPORT, DR. H. J., Lincoln, Neb. 

DOUGHERTY, DR. G. F., Neoga, 111. 

HILL, DR. A. Ross, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Neb. 

LEONARD, B. C. F., Galveston, Texas. 

LOWRY, DR. H. B., Lincoln, Neb. 

STEBBINS, MRS. JOHN, Cazenovia, N.Y. 

STEVENS, DR. J. F., Lincoln, Neb. 

White, Miss Clarissa, Gambier, Ohio. 


The Annual General Meeting of Members of the Society for 
Psychical Research was held at the Westminster Town Hall on 
January 26th, at 3 p.m., the President, Sir William Crookes, F.R.S., 
in the chair. 

The Notice convening the Meeting was read. 

The PRESIDENT said that this was the fourth Annual Meeting of 
the Members of the Society since its incorporation. Six Members of 
the Council retired by rotation, all of whom offered themselves for re- 
election. No other nominations having been made, he had only to 
declare that they were again duly elected Members of the Council, 
namely : The Right Hon. G. W. Balfour, M.P., Professor W. F. 
Barrett, F.R.S., The Earl of Crawford and Balcarres, K.T., F.R.S., 
Dr. Walter Leaf, Professor Macalister, M.D., F.R.S , and Mr. 
H. Arthur Smith. 

The President further remarked that he had before him an audited 
statement of the Income and Expenditure of the Society during 1899, 
which would, as usual, be printed in the Journal. The statement of 
Assets and Liabilities on December 31st, 1899, showed a slight 
improvement in the position of the Society during the year, inde- 
pendent of the increasing value of the Library and of the stock of 

The President went on to say, in reference to the present position 
of the Society, that the number of elections during last year was 69. 
Against these were to be set an unusually large number of removals 
by death, 24, and a considerable number of resignations from various 
causes at the end of the year, showing the total number of names of 
all classes on the list of the Society on January 1st, 1900, to be 946, 
being a nominal increase of 1 1 during the year. 

MAR., 1900.] Meeting of the Council. 203 

A large number of elections to the American Branch took place 
during 1899, resulting in a substantial addition, notwithstanding some 
deaths and resignations. The number of Members at the commence- 
ment of the present year was 472, showing a net increase of over 
50 during 1899. 

There being no response to an invitation for remarks from the 
Members present, the President declared the Meeting closed. 


The Council met at the close of the Annual General Meeting above 
reported. The PRESIDENT, Sir William Crook es, F.R.S., occupied the 
chair. There were also present, Mr F. Podmore, Mr. Sydney C. Scott, 
Professor H. Sidgwick, Mr. H. Arthur Smith, Mr. J. G. Smith, and 
Dr. A. Wallace. 

The minutes of the last meeting were read and signed as correct. 

Report was made that the Annual General Meeting had been held 
and that Members of Council had been elected as stated above. 

Sir William Crookes having expressed a wish to retire from the 
Presidency of the Society, Mr. F. W. H. Myers was elected as 
President for the ensuing year. 

Mr. J. G. Smith was elected as Hon. Secretary, Mr. H. Arthur 
Smith was re-elected as Hon. Treasurer, and Mr. Arthur Miall as 
Auditor for the ensuing year. 

The following were co-opted as Members of Council for the 
ensuing year : Mr. M. Crackanthorpe, Q.C., Hon. E. Feilding, Dr. 
R. Hodgson, Mr. Registrar Hood, Mr. C. F. G. Masterman, Mr. St. 
George Lane Fox Pitt, Dr. G. F. Rogers, Mr. J. G. Smith, Dr. C. Lloyd 
Tuckey, and Dr. A. Wallace 

Sir William Crookes, F.R.S., was elected a Vice-President of the 

It was agreed that the name of the Hypnotic Committee should 
be changed to that of Committee for Experiments. 

Committees were elected as follows, with power to add to their 
number : 

Committee of Reference. Professor W. F. Barrett, Sir W. Crookes, 
Dr. R. Hodgson, Dr. W. Leaf, Professor O. J. Lodge, Mr. F. W. H. 
Myers, Lord Rayleigh, Professor H. Sidgwick, Professor J. J. 
Thomson, Dr. J. Venn, and Mrs. Verrall. 

204 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [MAR., 1900. 

Library Committee. Dr. J. Milne Bramwell, Hon. E. Feilding, 
Mr. F. W. H. Myers, and Dr. C. Lloyd Tuckey. 

Committee for Experiments. Dr. A. W. Barrett, Dr. J. Milne 
Bramwell, Hon. E. Feilding, Dr. R. Hodgson, Dr. W. Leaf, Mr. St. 
George Lane Fox Pitt, Mr. F. Podmore, Mr. J. G. Smith, Dr. C. Lloyd 
Tuckey, Dr. A. Wallace, and Mr. E. Westlake. 

House and Finance Committee. Mr. Sydney C. Scott, Mr. H. 
Arthur Smith, and Lieut. -Colonel G. L. Le M. Taylor. 

The existing lists of Corresponding Members and of Honorary 
Associates were confirmed for the ensuing year, with the addition of 
Professor M. T. Falcomer, elected as an Honorary Associate. 

One new Member and seven new Associates were elected. The 
election of one new Member and ten new Associates of the American 
Branch was recorded. Names and addresses are given above. 

The Council recorded with great regret the death of Mr. John 
Ruskin, who had been an Honorary Member of the Society almost 
from its commencement. 

The resignation of one Member and sixteen Associates, who for 
various reasons desired to terminate their connection with the Society 
at the end of 1899, was accepted. 

Some presents to the Library were reported, for which a vote of 
thanks was passed to the donors. 

The audited Statement of Accounts was referred to the House and 
Finance Committee, who were requested to prepare an estimate of 
Income and Expenditure for the current year, and present it with their 
report to the next meeting of the Council. 

It was agreed that the next meeting of the Council should be held 
on Friday, the 2nd of March, at 19, Buckingham Street, W.C., at 
4.30 p.m. 


The 103rd General Meeting of the Society was held in the 
Westminster Town Hall on Friday, January 26th, at 4 p.m. ; SIR 
WILLIAM CROOKES in the chair. 

The Chairman announced that Mr. F. W. H. Myers had been 
elected President of the Society for the present year. 

MR. F. PODMORE read a paper on " Witchcraft and Poltergeists." 

He began by explaining that Poltergeist is a term that it has been 
found convenient to apply to those spontaneous outbreaks of stone- 
throwing, movements of furniture, bell-ringing, and the like, which 

MAR., 1900.] General Meeting. 205 

occur from time to time, and have occurred for many generations past, 
chiefly in villages and remote country districts. In the inquiries 
undertaken by the Society these outbreaks form an important feature ; 
first, because they form the nearest, practically the only, analogy 
to the physical manifestations occurring in the presence of Home, 
Eusapia Paladino, and other mediums; and, in the second place, 
because, as a matter of historical fact, the movement of modern 
Spiritualism in its present form had its rise in Poltergeist manifesta- 
tions of the ordinary type. 

Mr. Podmore then referred briefly to the Rochester knockings of 
1848 (from which Modern Spiritualism is commonly dated) and to the 
less known case, occurring a year or two later, in the house of Mr. 
Phelps, a clergyman, in Stratford, Connecticut. In the last-named 
case, stones, turnips, and brickbats were thrown about, windows were 
broken, the fire-irons and tables are said to have moved about of their 
own accord, and one of the family to have been carried through the 
air. Spirit-writings were found about the house, and so on. 

He then drew attention to the fact that in these two cases, as 
in the great majority, these Poltergeist disturbances centred round 
young children, who must be regarded, according to the view taken, 
either as the authors in their own proper persons of the disturbances, 
or the "mediums" for the occult agencies. Generally, then, the 
authors or mediums were children, mostly girls ; more rarely they 
were young women ; rarely adults and practically never adult men. 
Modern Spiritualism may be said to have originated in the activi- 
ties, mediumistic or other, of young children. 

Now if we examine the witchcraft literature of the 16th and 17th 
centuries, we are struck by the same characteristics the prominence 
assumed by young children. Sometimes, as in the well-known case, 
quoted in Glanvil's Sadclucistnus Triumphatus, of Moira in Sweden, and 
that of Antoinette Bourignon's school at Lisle, the children merely 
accused themselves of witchcraft. Such self-accusation was not rare even 
amongst adults, and the more impressionable imaginations of children 
would naturally be worked upon more rapidly and more effectively by 
the permanent possibilities of suggestion in their environment. 

Bub the typical case of witchcraft, at any rate in the English- 
speaking countries, during the period referred to, was not of this kind. 
If we exclude such cases of witchcraft persecution as originated in 
direct interference from without royal, priestly, or professional e.g., 
cases of the numerous " wituhfinders," of whom Matthew Hopkins was 
the most notorious : if we exclude all such cases, and fix our atten- 
tion only on the cases which occur spontaneously, most commonly 

206 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [MAR., 1900. 

in country districts, we shall find that their course was something 
of this kind. A little boy, or more commonly, little girl, conceived 
a dislike or horror of some old woman in the neighbourhood : as we 
should say now, the old woman got on the child's nerves. Some 
chance encounter or unforeseen incident would bring on a climax ; 
the child would go into fits, which the country doctors who were 
called in found themselves unable either to diagnose or to cure. 
In these tits the child would continually call on the old woman's 
name. The paroxysms would increase in violence if the old woman 
approached, would diminish when, on this showing, backed by some 
intangible trifle called " corroborative evidence," the old woman was 
apprehended ; and would be finally cured when the old woman was 

Some illustrative cases were then quoted from Glanvil and other 
16th and 17th century writers : A Poor Woman's Boy at Droitwich, 
in 1649, who was struck dumb because he came suddenly on an old 
woman behind a bush, who said " Boh " to him. Richard Jones^ 
of Shepton Mallet, aged twelve, who was asked by Jane Brooks for a 
piece of close bread, and received an apple in return : the boy ate of 
the apple, became seriously ill, and called upon Jane Brooks in his 
fits ; and when his father scratched Jane Brooks's face became 
immediately the better of the attacks. Further, a neighbour struck 
with a knife at a corner of the room, where Richard said that he saw 
Jane's apparition : and Jane Brooks was straightway discovered by 
the village constable nursing a recent wound which the knife exactly 

In many cases, which Mr. Podmore briefly touched upon, the child's 
fits were accompanied by vomiting of pins, straw, nails, stubble, etc. : 
by throwing of stones, movements of furniture, and even of the 
bewitched girl herself. In these cases we get very near to modern 

Finally a detailed account was given of the well-known Drummer 
of Tedworth, which the -speaker described as admirably marking the 
transition stage between the witchcraft cases and the modern Polter- 

In the Tedworth case the disturbances, as is clear from Glanvil's 
account, read critically, centred round the children, two little girls ; 
and the manifestations were, as far as can be gathered, much like those 
that occur in any country village nowadays furniture upset, stones 
and Bible thrown about, rappiiigs and noises on the wooden frame 
of the bedstead where the children lay, and loud noises of all kinds 
about the house. But in this case the disturbances were referred, not 

MAR., jooo.] General Meeting. 207 

to the agency of the children, but to the malevolence of the imprisoned 

After the 17th century, however, the reference to a supposed 
witch or wizard as the author of the disturbances disappears. In the 
Wesley case, the Stockwell case, the Cock Lane Ghost, and other 
typical Poltergeist cases, we hear no more of witchcraft. It is a 
unembodied spirit human or elfish who is now supposed to be 
responsible for the outbreak. 

But the phenomena are essentially the same. It is true that 
psuedo-epileptic tits and vomiting of pins have gone out of fashion ; 
the least enlightened of country apothecaries could hardly fail nowa- 
days to diagnose such attacks as compounded of hysteria and ill- 
temper. And the other manifestations have developed with the 
demands of the environment. But the motive power, whether ascribed 
by the spectator to the malevolence of witchcraft, the trickery of 
spirits, or the action of mysterious forces, is essentially the same. 
The mischievous child who nowadays throws surreptitious stones or 
upsets a chair when no one (except Mr. Westlake) is looking, is the 
spiritual descendant of the child whose sickly fancies and hysterical 
spite brought about the death of many an unoffending old woman in 
the days of the witchcraft persecutions. 

MR. ADOLPHE SMITH said that he thought it would be interesting 
to hear what evidence there was for the alleged phenomena. No doubt 
many of them might be attributed to the power of self-suggestion ; but 
many others of the cases cited, e.g., that of Jane Brooks, seemed to go 
far beyond this. 

MR. PODMORE replied that in the present paper he had not been 
attempting to discuss the evidence for the real occurrence of the 
phenomena referred to, but merely to show the analogy between what 
was supposed to occur in witchcraft cases and in modern Poltergeist 
cases. As to the question of evidence, it was true that there was an 
enormous amount of tradition, e.g., about wounds produced in human 
beings as a result of injuries indicted at a distance on the form of the 
animal supposed to represent them ; but he had met with nothing that 
could be called evidence for such : that is, the evidence was never given 
at first-hand ; even in the testimony given by the most uneducated 
peasants, there was practically no tirst-hand evidence for these 

A paper by Mr. F. C. S. SCHILLER ' On Some Philosophic Assump- 
tions in the Investigation of the Problem of a Future Life " was then 
read by MR. J. G. SMITH. This paper has since appeared in the 
Proceedings, Part XXXVI. 

208 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [MAR., 1900. 



ovros, oiroj, OtStVouy, rt 

TrciXai ;) raTro crou /3pau'verat. 

Ruskin, then, has sunk to rest. The bracken and bilberries of the 
Lake-land which he loved so well have hidden the mortal shape of 
the greatest man of letters, the loftiest influence which earth still 
retained ; have enwrapped " the man dear to the Muses, and by the 
Nymphs not unbeloved." 

TOV Moxrcus <pi\ov aj/Spcr, TOV ov Ni^i<cuo-ii/ an-f^tf/;. 

We may rejoice that the long waiting is over ; but memory all the 
more "goes slipping back to that delightful time" when he was with 
us in his force and fire ; when it was still granted to hearken to his 
utterance ; to feel the germ of virtue quickened by his benignant soul. 
For those who had the privilege of knowing Ruskin, the author caine 
second to the man ; and in this brief notice of his Honorary Member- 
ship of our Society I may perhaps be pardoned if I dwell in remin- 
iscence, without attempting any formal review. 

I met him first in my own earliest home, beneath the spurs of 
Skiddaw, its long slopes " bronzed with deepest radiance," as the boy 
Wordsworth had seen them long since in even such an evening's glow. 
Since early morning Ruskin had lain and wandered in the folds and 
hollows of the hill ; and he came back grave as from a solemn service 
from day-long gazing on the heather and the blue. Later came many 
another scene ; pacings in the Old Court of Trinity with Edmund 
Gurney, who met those generous paradoxes with humorous play ; 
graver hours at Oxford, in the sick room of the Duke of Albany, 
who, coming back to earth-life from perilous illness, found nowhere a 
guidance fitter than Ruskin's for eager and royal youth. 

But chiefliest I think of him in that home of high thoughts where 
his interest in our inquiry first upgrew. For the introduction to the 
new hope came to him,, as to Edmund Gurney and to myself, through 
a lady whom each of us held in equal honour; and it was on the 
stately lawns of Broadlands, and in that air as of Sabbatical repose, 
that Ruskin enjoyed his one brief season, since the failure of his 
youthful Christian confidence, of blissful trust in the Unseen. To 
one among that company a vision came, as of a longed-for meeting 
of souls beloved in heaven, a vision whose detail and symbolism 
carried conviction to Ruskin's heart. While that conviction abode 

MAR., 1900.] Obituary : John Ruskin. 209 

with him he was happy as a child ; but presently he suffered what all 
are like to suffer who do not keep their minds close pressed to actual 
evidence by continuous study. That impress faded ; and leaving the 
unseen world in its old sad uncertainty, he went back to the mission 
which was laid on him, that mission of humanising this earth, and 
being humanised thereby, which our race must needs accomplish, 
whatever be the last doom of man. 

Earth fills his lap with pleasures of her own ; 
Yearnings she hath in her own natural kind ; 
And even with something of a Mother's mind 

And no unworthy aim, 

The homely Nurse doth all she can 
To make her Foster-child, her Inmate Man, 

Forget the glories he hath known, 
And that imperial palace whence he came. 

But Ruskin's task, however it might be pursued in forgetfulness 
of that unrememberable home, was surely still the task (as Bacon 
called it) " to prepare and adorn the bride-chamber of the mind and 
the universe " ; and that MELIOR NATURA which seemed to be Ruskin's, 
as it was Bacon's, divinity has never shone more radiantly upon the 
inward shrine of any lover of men. It was half in jest that I would 
complain to him that to Earth lie gave up what was meant for Infinity, 
and bent a cosmic passion upon this round wet pebble of rock and sea. 
" Ah, my friend ! " he answered once when I spoke of life to come, " if 
you could only give me fifty years longer of this life on earth, I would 
ask for nothing more ! " And half that season was granted to him, 
and all in vain ; for what Tithonus may tread for ever unweary the 
" gleaming halls of Morn " 1 

Then as that fervent life wore on, Ruskin turned more and more 
from the outward pageant to the human passion; from Alp and sunset 
to the sterner beauty of moral law. From the publication of Unto this 
Last one may trace that slowly-growing revolt against the Age which 
led him to preach in the end with such despairing emphasis the duty 
of protest, of renunciation, of sheer self-severance from most of the 
tendencies of modern life. The strength of this emotion in him was 
made, I remember, strangely plain on one occasion, when some of those 
who cared most for him had clubbed together, at Lord Mount-Temple's 
suggestion, to surprise him, on his recovery from a serious illness, with 
the present of a picture of Turner's, which he had once possessed and 
still dearly loved, but of which he had despoiled liimself to meet some 
generous impulse. Never were givers more taken aback by the issue 
of their gift. For the sudden sight of the lovely landscape hung in his 

210 Journal of Society for Psychical liesearch. [MAK., 1000. 

bedroom drew from him a letter of almost heart-broken pain, at the 
thought that those whom he would so fain have helped, who were 
thus willing to do this thing, or almost anything, to please him, were 
yet not willing to do that other thing for their own souls' sake ; to 
come out from the iniquity, to shake off the baseness of the age, 
to bind themselves in the St. George's Guild with that small remnant 
who clung to things pure and true. 

Indeed there was something naive, something childlike, in his 
Brotherhoods, his Leagues, his solemn Covenants against the onflowing 
tide of things ; but a stern reality beneath all this became strongly 
present to us then ; a deep compassion for the lonely heart, which so 
much needed love, yet could scarcely accept a fellowship in love which 
was not also a fellowship in all that he held for virtue. 

There are some who fear lest too pervading a belief in that other 
world may make men indifferent to the loveliness and irresponsive to 
the woes of this. Yet must that needs be so ? or might we not treat 
even this world's problems with steadier heart, could we regain, from 
some surer foothold in the Invisible, that ancient serenity of the 
Saints ? Watching that ardent soul, whose very raptures trembled on 
the brink of pain, I have thought that even from Ruskin's delight in 
Nature something of bitter yearning might have been soothed away, 
could he have seen in stream and moorland, nay even in 

great Skiddaw's self, who shrouds 
His double head among Atlantic clouds, 

And pours forth streams more sweet than Castaly ; 

could he have seen, I say, in these, as Plato saw in Castaly or in 
Hymettus, only the transitory adumbration and perishing symbol of 
somewhat more enduring and more fair. Nay, even from his com- 
passion for stunted and erring souls might not the burning pain have 
gone, could he have seen those souls as Er the Paphlagonian saw them, 
marshalled in an everlasting order, of which but a moment's glimpse 
is shown; till even "this last" of men shall follow out, through all 
vicissitude, his endless and his mounting way 1 

And turning then, with heart full of such-like fancies, to that 
well-loved Leader's fate ; imagining his baffled isolation, and the 
disheartenment of solitary years ; I have pictured him waiting in 
the Coniston woodlands, as (Edipus in Colonus' grove, waiting in 
mournful memory, in uncomplaining calm, till he should hear at 
last the august summons, nay, sounded it not like the loving 
banter ? of the unguessed accompanying God. " Come, (Edipus, why 
linger on our journey ? Thou hast kept me waiting long." 

F. W. H. M. 

MAR., i5)oo.] Balance Sheet for the Year 1899. 


212 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [MAR., 1900. 

I have examined the Books of Account of the Society, and certify that 
they are in accordance with the above Statement. The Treasurer's certi- 
ficate as to the cheques in his hands and uncollected on December 31st, 
1899, together with the Balance, as shown by the pass-book, agree with the 
above Statement. 

I have seen vouchers for all cheque payments, and the Certificate of the 
East Indian Railway Irredeemable Stock, representing the Invested Funds 
of the Society. 

ARTHUR MIALL, F.C.A., Auditor. 

23, St. Swithin's Lane, London, E.G., 
January 22nd, 1900. 


A partial reply to Mr. Andrew Lang. 

Mr. Andrew Lang's criticism (Proceedings S.P.R., Part XXX VI., 
p. 39) of Mrs. Piper's trance utterances is in many ways interesting, 
especially as coming from one who has taken the trouble to study the 
whole subject from the historical and literary standpoint, and has 
therefore approached this instance of trance utterances, one must 
suppose, without any unreasonable amount of prepossession. His read- 
ing of the record has led him to a position hostile to Mrs. Piper, or 
rather to Mrs. Piper's controls, to an attitude somewhat critical of 
those observers and recorders who have regarded the simplest and 
most obvious hypothesis (viz., the one now adopted by Dr. Hodgson) 
with some degree of favour, and decidedly impressed by the evidence 
of those observers who have been able, on the strength of one or perhaps 
two sittings, to regard the whole matter as a stupid fraud or a poor 

He cites again Professor Macalister's "indelible blot." "I let her 
see a blot on my fingers and she said I was a writer." Has it occurred 
to any reader what is the precise connotation of that " I let her see " ? 
The suggestion is that the blot was consciously obtruded in front of 
Mrs. Piper's eyeballs, and that the deduction followed. Is this an 
exact statement of the sequence of events 1 Those who have had much 
experience of Mrs. Piper's sittings will doubt it. Even those with no 
experience may conjecture that the clue afforded by the blot was 
appreciated by the sitter afterwards. 

MAR., 1900.] Reflections on Mrs. Piper and Telepathy. 213 

So much has been made by critics of this blot of Professor Macalis- 
ter's, and of his single attempt at a sitting, when Mrs. Piper does not 
appear to have gone into anything like a thorough trance, that I am 
tempted to say further that a person with blotted lingers is more likely 
to be a yokel, or an experimenter with a fountain pen, than a practised 
scribe. Few people are not " writers " in the only sense that can be 
deduced from blotted fingers ; and in any other sense it is not apparent 
to me that the epithet is specially applicable to Professor Macalister, 
not so applicable as to Mr. Lang for instance. Had she guessed that 
he was an anatomist there might have been something worth a 
moment's attention. 

The whole sitting is worthless, the phenomenon did not occur, and 
it is impossible even for a scientific man of the utmost ability to 
construct a satisfactory theory from a single experience of the non- 
occurrence of a given phenomenon. 

Professor Macalister's one sitting was a bad one. I have stated in 
my Report that bad sittings occur, and have given an example of one 
that I had myself. (Vol. VI., p. 494.) It might be possible to call 
on Miss Angus even, and have nothing but dim and unsatisfactory 
crystal visions reported, but Mr. Lang would not expect the testimony 
of that afternoon to outweigh the witness of his own record, nor even 
to be seriously taken into consideration. Anybody can fail to get 
crystal visions : I can myself. 

"G. P. frequently gives false information about what is occurring 
at a distance." So sometimes do the newspapers. But I presume that 
they both do their level best to get true information if they can, and 
may not always be able infallibly to discriminate. Clairvyoance does 
not appear to be a perfectly assured faculty ; infallibility still less so. 

"If Phinuit or G. P. were honourable spirits, they would say that 
they do not know what they do not know." Well, well, perhaps they 
would. I try to do so myself. Perhaps I succeed. Mr. Lang must 
feel very sure about this or he would not say it so confidently. 

Again he says Phinuit is "vulgar beyond belief," also " tricky, 
evasive, false, dishonest, impudently-mendacious, absurdly-ignorant," 
in fact, a "preposterous scoundrel" (though this last is in quotation 

I honestly do not feel sure what Phinuit is : he is certainly a 
secondary personality of Mrs. Piper's, I take it, though he may be 
more ; but whatever he is, I have a friendly feeling for him. If he 
were a living person, I should have to say that he was a friend of mine, 
and that I resented this fluent " derangement of epitaphs." That he is 
frequently " evasive" I admit, that he is " slim " when in positions of 

214 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [MAK., 1900. 

difficulty I do not deny, but "dishonest" and "impudently -mendacious" 
I have not found him ; and in the matter of " ignorance " he is far less 
ignorant than I should have expected any one even a secondary per- 
sonality to be, concerning the relatives and private affairs of strangers; 
while as to " vulgarity " it is a matter of taste perhaps : there is very 
likely some inherent vulgarity about the procedure of a Private Enquiry 
Office, even when conducted to all appearances from another order of 
consciousness and for scientific objects, but I could readily imagine a 
more real and deeper-seated vulgarity than the comic coarseness of poor 
old Phinuit. A person with no power of obtruding himself when 
not wanted, who must be willingly sought, and can be dismissed or 
abandoned at pleasure, seems to me to lack many of the essential 
ingredients of vulgarity. But in addition to this I do not personally 
find him repellent. He might be described, as some Colonials have 
been described, as one who " behind a slangy manner hides a large and 
warm heart." The ethics of Phinuit. so far as I have observed them, 
seem to me superior to those of some men whom I have known. 
Judged by a person skilled in human nature, by Shakespeare, shall we 
say, or by Dickens, not to go too high, by any one who rates human 
kindness and friendly service above dignity of manner and high 
education, I do not think that he would take a low position. 

A secondary personality, says Mr. Lang, may be far worse than 
the man himself : "A man mad drunk may beat his mother to death ; " 
but that such ideas come anywhere within Mr. Lang's mental horizon 
when thinking of Phinuit, whether he be only a secondary personality 
or whatever he be, shows how miserably erroneous is the impression 
produced by a detailed record of unwitnessed proceedings. It is becom- 
ing apparent to me that a detailed record of every word is riot in one 
sense a faithful record. We are not accustomed ever to see every 
inane and trifling remark recorded, not even in the worst novel ever 
written ; the bald, literal, mechanical record would be too nauseous. 
A selection of the more interesting portions of any conversation is 
invariably made. A telephone message, taken and faithfully tran- 
scribed by a clerk, does not contain the calling-up trivialities, nor the 
inter jectional observations during intervals of cutting off, nor remarks 
addressed to the operator, nor every misunderstood word said, repeated, 
spelled, and ultimately guessed. The final record may not be correct, 
it may contain errors ; and if the telephone is partially out of order, 
or if many cross-currents are in the line, there may be confusion ; but 
the written message, as handed in, does not contain all this cross-talk ; 
it aims at being a faithful record of what was intended, not a mechani- 
cal reproduction of everything that occurred, with the rubbish 

MAR., 1900.] Reflections on Mrs. Piper and Telepathy. 215 

emphasised. In much of the Piper record it is otherwise, the rubbish 
is emphasised, and an effort is made to represent the whole occurrence ; 
it is proper that it should be so, but it is well in reading it to remember 
the fact, otherwise the record is liable to be misjudged. 

If Mr. Lang has really read the whole record carefully through, 
annotations and all, it is a big piece of work, for which we observers 
owe him gratitude. Too many there are who will not take this 
trouble. If the result of this study is to leave him under the illusion 
manifest in his criticism, perfectly fair and candid as I am sure it 
is intended to be, then that is for us very instructive. We have not 
the slightest ground for complaint, we must be content to learn that 
that is the impression which our research makes on the mind of a man 
highly versed in cognate subjects and approaching it with no incurably 
hostile predilection. He has some hostile predilection, I fear ; he has 
said that he would not himself consent to sit with Mrs. Piper, I 
believe, and he is sure his own deceased friends would avoid her ; but I 
hope that these are not among his more serious utterances. 

As for his contention that one and the same class of explanation 
must serve for savage mediums as serves for Mrs. Piper, I admit it 
cordially. The admission of a modern case will not make the ancient 
cases, of which he knows so much, the less interesting, rather more. 

With some persons such an appeal would be hopeless and 
ludicrous, but to Mr. Lang I would venture to appeal not to be so 
ready to recognise evil speaking lying and slandering in the trance 
utterances even of Mrs. Piper. I can assure him, if that is any good, 
that he is mistaken, and that he could get a truer idea of the actual 
facts in this case, facts as interesting in reality as those many other 
facts of a similar nature in which he is so learnedly and effectively 
interested, if he extended even to a record of trance utterances by 
secondary personalities something of that, I will not say charity, 
but readiness to allow for difficulties and misconceptions, which he 
is willing to extend to the embodied folk usually denominated " real." 

And now a few words concerning the episodes related by my 
soi-disant " Uncle Jerry." Mr. Lang has gone through them and 
detected inconsistencies in all but the "snake-skin." They were 
episodes of long ago (some of them 70 or 80 years ago now), of which 
I, the sitter, knew nothing, related ostensibly by one deceased brother, 
and attempted to be verified by subsequent inquiry from one or other 
of two still living but spatially distant brothers. I will call the 
authors of the two versions the deceased and the living respectively. 
Their importance, if any, was that they eliminated anything that can 

216 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [MAR., 1000. 

properly and on experimental grounds be called telepathy ; they do 
not eliminate (I do not see how anything can eliminate) sheer clairvoy- 
ance; but telepathy, the only vera causa known tome, was eliminated.* 
I took the trouble to make an index of all the episodes of this kind 
in the report of the first published series of sittings, not only of my 
own sittings ; and in the preamble to that index I point out that by 
no means all are equally conclusive, but that some kind of normal 
explanation may be suggested for several, conceivably for all. (See 
Vol. VI., p. 649.) 

Mr. Lang does not dispute the contention that telepathy is elimi- 
nated, but he denies the concordance between the two accounts of 
each verified episode, the account of the deceased (so to speak), and 
that of the living. He says they are episodes such as occur in the 
experience of almost every human boy, and evidently he is able to 
regard them as shots. 

Now, with deference, I submit (1) that the recently (or shortly to 
be) published normal experiments of Professor Hyslop in New York 
show that coincidences less accurately related than these do serve as 
trustworthy evidence for identification in ordinary life ; 

(2) that the discrepancies are not so marked as might be imagined, 
though certainly the memories of the deceased and the living do no 
tally. I have known such cases in life, where a little subsequent 
comparison and conversation between the witnesses has resulted in a 
better agreement ; others in which each side adhered pertinaciously 
to their own version, when it was not easy for a bystander to judge 
which was the more nearly right ; 

(3) that the episodes have not, in fact, occurred in the experience 
of every human boy, though there is truly about them nothing in the 
least out of the common. Take the accounts and offer them to a 
human boy, or to one who has been in that predicament, as an account 
of what passed in his boyhood, related by a friend or brother of his 
now abroad, and, as a rule, he will repudiate them. 

But now about the discrepancies of the versions, what do they 
amount to 1 Setting aside the episodes which have been unverifiable, 
possibly through error, possibly through defective memory of survivor, 
and attending only to those which I have indexed, I will tabulate 
the versions side by side. Version A is that of the ostensible 
deceased, Version B is that of one or other living brother. The 
deceased had given his name as Jerry : a fact however which, of course, 
I knew well. 

Concerning the meaning of this statement, see Postscript at end of this paper. 

MAR., 1900.] Reflections on Mrs. Piper and Telepathy. 217 

Version A. 

Page 503. Yes, I pretty nigh got 
drowned, I remember that. Tried 
to swim the creek, and we fellows, 
all of us, got into a little boat. We 
got tipped over . . . ask him if he 
remembers that about swimming the 

Page 517. He and Bob and a lot 

of the fellows all together, in Smith's 
Held Bob knew Smith. 

Page 515. Bob's got a long skin 
a skin like a snake's skin up- 
stairs, that Jerry got for him. It's 
one of the funniest things you ever 

Page 550. What a lot of mischief 
he [Frank] was capable of doing 
. . . There was a family near 
named Rodney. He pounded one 
of their boys named John. Frank 

fot the best of it, and the boy ran ; 
ow he ran ! His father threatened 
Frank, but he escaped ; he always 

(VOL. VI.), DECEMBER, 1890. 


Version B. 

Page 626 (Abbreviated). About 

the summer of 1828, or thereabouts, 
a lot of us (including Jerry) left 
Barking, some in a boat and others 
walking to Ilford to beat the river and 
catch fish in nets arranged at Barking 
for the purpose. We caught very few. 
On arriving at Barking the elders 
went home to get dry clothes, and 
the young ones commenced the 
usual rough play. Jerry and I were 
larking together on the tailboard of 
the water-mill : one pushed the other 
and sent him down the slippery 
platform, and then there was a 
struggle together, which resulted in 
both being sent into the mill-stream, 
which was running fast owing to the 
six gates being open. There was 
nothing left but to swim with the 
stream to a bank about three or 
four hundred yards off. 

[Common knowledge : The river 
at Barking is called the creek.] 

Page 527. I recollect there was 
a field at Barking called Smith's 

Page 557. It was called Smith's 
field because the occupier's name 
was Smith, I believe. 

Page 516. Yes, a crinkly thin 
skin, a curious thing ; I had it in a 
box, I remember it well. Oh, as 
distinct as possible. Haven't seen it 
for years, but it was in a box with 
his name cut in it ; the same box 
with some of his papers. 

Page 557 I recollect very well my 
fight with a boy in the cow-field. 
It took place when I was ten years 
old (about 1822), and I suppose a 
bit of a boy-bully. We had no 
quarrel, but merely fought to see 
which was best man, and when my 
opponent considered he had had 
enough, instead of giving in in the 
usual manner, he bolted like a lamp- 
lighter. ... I don't at all 
recollect the name of the boy who 
ran away. I recollect his father 
saying if he caught hold of me he 
would give me a good hiding. 

218 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [MAR., 1900. 

Those are all the episodes among this particular set of communi- 
cations which I have claimed and indexed as against the telepathic 
hypothesis.* There are several incidents recalled or imagined by one 
side and not recalled by the other ; and the episodes recollected by both 
I have here recorded in the most favourable manner. 

Not very strong 1 Well, no, perhaps not. Have they in my own 
mind definitely decided me against what is ordinarily understood by 
the telepathic hypothesis ? No, I cannot say that they have. The 
whole body of evidence distinctly has done as much as that, but hardly 
these episodes taken by themselves ; nor, so far as I can tell, has any 
one of the other episodes indexed by me, considered by itself. 

Crucial experiments are seldom really crucial, or at least seldom 
produce their full effect on a mind not otherwise prepared for their 

Belief is caused not by crucial incidents but by prevalent tendency 
and integration of the whole experience ; and it is on this totality of ex- 
perience that I believe the Piper phenomenon to be no more explicable 
on any vera causa that science is aware of (including telepathy) than 
are Miss Angus's visions. I do not suppose that any one explanation 
will cover every class of these abnormal facts. So long as the 
phenomena are different the explanations may differ too. But when 
in past times similar phenomena are recorded, then I should say that 
those may be properly covered by the same explanation, whatever that 
may be. 

In connection with my remark quoted approvingly by Dr. Hodgson 
that a certain kind of widespread and unconscious telepathy, 
" telepathy d trois," as Mr. Lang well calls it, had never been experi- 
mentally established, Mr. Lang virtually asks me whether his experi- 
ences in crystal vision with Miss Angus are not " experimental " in my 
sense of the word. 

Undoubtedly they are, for I was not distinguishing between 
experiment and observation ; and very valuable and interesting 
experiments. But what do they establish ? not telepathy ; clairvoyance, 
perhaps, whatever that may mean. I cannot explain the phenomenon 
of Miss Angus, nor can I explain the phenomenon of Mrs. Piper, but 
surely one does not discredit the other. 

No, Mr. Lang would say, but they discredit the intervention of the 
spirits of the dead, that antique and obvious hypothesis now adopted 
by Dr. Hodgson, and so made for the moment semi-respectable. 

* See Postscript. 

MAR., IDOO. j Reflections on Mrs. Piper and Telepathy. 219 

In calling it the most simple and natural hypothesis, I do so 
chiefly on historical grounds which are manifest but I do so also to 
some extent on the grounds indicated by Mr. Schiller in his recent 
paper : " On some philosophic assumptions in the investigation of the 
problem of a future life." (Proceedings, Part XXXVI., p. 53 ) 

Mr. Lang prefers the hypothesis of a secondary personality; for 
which in itself there is undoubtedly much to be said, though I do not 
see that the lucidity of such a personality is as yet explained, any more 
than I understand the explanation of the lucidity of Mr. Huxley's 
soldier-whose-skull-had-been-fractured-by-a-bullet. A plain man would 
suppose the result of such an accident to be the reverse of lucidity. 

There is further the hypothesis of Cosmic pictures, or communion 
with the Absolute, or, as I might put it, a psychological modification 
of our usually conceived ideas of space and time. 

For myself I incline to this latter hypothesis, if it can be called 
one. Miss Angus sees in the crystal events in India. Mr. Lang says 
they cannot be pictures, because the events are three weeks old at the 
time. Pictures are sometimes three centuries old, but, without press- 
ing that, why, if she transcends the ordinary bounds of space, should 
time present a hopeless obstacle ? 

Mr. Lang may not object to the hypothesis vaguely suggested here : 
indeed, I do not see how a secondary or tertiary or any other 
personality helps towards an explanation, unless something of this 
power be granted hypothetically to it, but he objects to the agency of 
spirits of the dead. He says " that in his experiments there was no 
room for the theory of spirits of the dead, for all concerned were 
alive." Alas, here again I do not know. I can only wonder how Mr. 
Lang knows. Does Mr. Lang really agree with Mr. Podmore that 
overstretched telepathy from the living is likely to be the true and real 
explanation of these cases of such a case as he cites in connection 
with his friend Mr. Lesley for instance ? If so, I cannot argue other- 
wise, but my instinct is against it. I would rather say that the clear 
and valid and scientifically expressible explanation is still to seek. 


Since writing the above I have seen Mrs. Sidgwick's article in Pro- 
ceedings, Part XXXVL, on the "Trance Phenomena of Mrs. Piper;" 
where, accepting provisionally as a working hypothesis and for the 
sake of argument, some intervention or agency of dead persons, that 
is, persons with no organs known to anatomy or physiology, she 
attempts to discriminate between two varieties of this hypothesis, 
the variety which assumes that these persons act telepathically on the 

220 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [MAR., 1900. 

dream mind of Mrs. Piper, or the variety which assumes that they 
enter and "possess" and utilise a part of her body for a time, in 
somewhat the same way as she herself normally uses it. 

In my letter above I have not contemplated this distinction. The 
distinction I have drawn, between telepathy and something else, refers 
solely to telepathy in Mr. Podmore's sense ; a distinction between the 
hypothesis of telepathy from some living, though it may be distant, 
person, and any other hypothesis whatever of the ultra-normal kind. 
It is in this sense, and in this sense only, that I have said that in 
certain few cases "the hypothesis of telepathy was excluded." I am 
unable to regard telepathy from the dead as a vera causa known to 
science ; though to say that is by no means to abuse it. 

In my own experience, some agency, some conscious intelligence, of 
departed persons was undoubtedly and strongly suggested ; but in very 
few cases indeed was there any semblance of what might be called 
"possession." Possession was simulated or occurred ostensibly with 
Mr. E. (Vol VI., pp. 517, 552, etc.); it occurred ostensibly again with 
Dr. Edwin Thompson (op. cit., p. 544) probably, though I am not 
quite sure of that ; it was simulated once, for an instant only, by a 
relation of my own ; but as a rule it was clear to me, or became clear 
before the end of the sittings, that Phinuit was reporting reporting 
in the first person and somewhat dramatically the information which 
he acquired ; and this without any intent to deceive. 

I do not find " possession " an easy idea to formulate to myself 
scientifically. I presume that it implies a more extended power than 
telepathy, because telepathy may be supposed to act primarily on the 
mind, and secondarily on the brain, and so indirectly on other organs ; 
whereas " possession " may, I suppose, be defined as a psychical action 
direct on matter, direct on the matter of the hand or the voice ; and 
may be regarded therefore, as somewhat more of the nature of a 
"physical phenomenon." 

I do not propose to say more on Mrs. Sidgwick's paper now ; and I 
have only said as much as this in order to emphasise the fact that no 
idea of the distinction she draws was in my mind when replying to Mr. 
Andrew Lang ; otherwise my form of expression (appearing after her 
paper) might tend to mislead. 

Furthermore, I wish to say that, though I have called the above 
letter a partial reply, it is in no sense intended to be a complete reply ; 
nor have I in the slightest degree touched upon any of those points 
and criticisms (the most numerous in Mr. Lang's critique) which 
concern Dr. Hodgson, and on which in due time he will himself, no 
doubt, have something to say. 






New Members and Associates 221 

Meeting of the Council 222 

General Meeting 223 

The Cure of Warts by Suggestion. By M. H. Mason 225 

Case 27 

Mrs. Piper and Telepathy. By Andrew Lang 228 

Further Discussion of a Case of Supposed " Spirit-Photography." By D. B. McLachlan . . 232 
The Edmund Gurney Library Fund . . . . .236 


Names of Members are printed in Black Type. 
Names of Associates are printed in SMALL CAPITALS. 

DONNE, Miss A. G. M., 77, Chiswell-street, London, E.G. 

FORD, Miss EMILY S., Adel Grange, Leeds. 

Fowke, Frank Rede, 24, Victoria Grove, Fulham-rd., London, S.W 

GREEN, ALAN B., M.A., M.B., B.C., Downing College, Cambridge. 

GREEN, MRS., Downing College, Cambridge. 

HAMILTON, WILLIAM H., Glenburnie, Werter-road, Putney, S.W. 

HASLAM, WILLIAM J., New College, Harrogate. 

MuiRHEAD, MRS., 40, Marlborough-mansions, Cannon-hill, Finchley- 

road, N.W. 
WHIDBORNE, Miss C. M., Chavante, Torquay. 


AVER, MRS. H. H., c/o New York World, Manhattan, New York, N.Y. 
BILL, CHAS. ALFRED, 101, West 78th-street, New York, N.Y. 
BULLOCK, REV. M. A., Lincoln, Neb. 
DEMMING, BENJ. W., Harrisburg, Pa. 
DEVINE, ANDREW, 145, Broadway, New York, N.Y. 
ELDRIDGE, JOHN R., M.D., 149, West Canton-street, Boston, Mass. 
EVANS, MARK G., 410, Cooper-building, Denver, Colo. 
FEIBEL, JULIUS C., Hillsboro, Ohio. 
FISHER, L. S., Sparta, Wis. 
FOSTER, Miss L. F., 187, West 82nd-street, New York, N.Y. 

222 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [APRIL, 1000. 

HUGHES, OLIVER H., Hillsboro, Ohio. 

HUTCHINSON, HENRY E., 1,180, Dean-street, Brooklyn, N.Y. 

LIBBY, DR. H. F., 687. Boylstoii-street, Boston, Mass. 

MILLER, JOHN "W., Snohomish, Wash. 

OAKS, L. W., Bradford, Pa. 

PAVEY, HENRY A., Hillsboro, Ohio. 

S ALTER, ARTHUR, Box 43, Independence, Colo. 

WELLINGTON, Miss SYBIL, c/o Dr. Hodgson, 5, Boy Iston- place, Boston, Mass. 

WRAY, Miss ELEANOR, Walpole, Mass. 


The Council met at the rooms of the Society on March 2nd. 
Professor H. Sidgwick occupied the chair. There were also present : 
Dr. A. W. Barrett, the Hon. E. Feilding, Mr, F. Podmore, Mr. H. 
Arthur Smith, Mr. J. G. Smith, and Dr. A. Wallace. 

The Minutes of the last meeting were read and signed as correct. 

One new Member and eight new Associates were elected. The 
election of nineteen new Associates of the American Branch was 
recorded. Names and addresses are given above. 

The Council recorded with regret the decease of Mr. T. G. Rylands, 
who had been a Member of the Society almost from its commencement, 
and also of Miss Jebb, an Associate of the Society. 

Some presents to the Library were reported, for which a vote of 
thanks was passed to the donors. 

The House and Finance Committee presented a report and an 
estimate of income and expenditure for the current year. This was 
discussed in connection with the best mode of bringing out the lengthy 
report by Professor Hyslop of his sittings with Mrs. Piper, in regard 
to which letters were read from Mr. Myers, and from Miss Johnson, as 
Editor. A general scheme for the year was agreed to, some matters 
of arrangement being deferred for final decision. 

The question of the desirability of an amplification and combination 
of the existing Indexes of the Proceedings, Journal, and Phantasms of 
the Living, which had previously received some attention, was fully 
discussed. It was thought that such an Index would be found 
valuable by many Members of the Society, as well as by others, 
especially in regard to the work of the Society in the future ; and it 
was agreed that steps should be taken towards its preparation. 

Some other matters having been disposed of, the Council agreed 
that its next meeting should be at the Town Hall, Westminster, at 
3 p.m., on Friday, April 6th. 

APRIL, 1900.] General Meeting. 223 


The 104th General Meeting of the Society was held in the West- 
minster Town Hall on Friday, March 2nd, at 8.30 p.m., PROFESSOR 
SIDGWICK in the chair. 

Miss M. H. MASON gave an account of two cases of the cure of 
warts in children by suggestion. The boys who were her patients had 
come under her notice in the course of her duties as Inspector of the 
Boarding-out system under the Local Government Board. [These 
cases will be found printed below.] 

Miss Mason said that she would be glad of opportunities of trying 
the same treatment further, and invited those present to bring her 
subjects for experiment, for which she would, if possible, arrange 
times at her rooms at 21, Queen's Mansions, Victoria Street, London, 
S.W. She also invited any of the audience who might have warts 
to come to her for the purpose of having them charmed at the close 
of the meeting. This invitation was accordingly accepted by a lady and 
a gentleman present, and their warts were charmed by Miss Mason. 

Some extracts from a portion of PROFESSOR J. H. HYSLOP'S Report 
of his sittings with Mrs. Piper were then read by MR. F. PODMORE. 
This portion of the Report (the whole of which is equivalent to about 
600 pp. of Proceedings] consisted of a general introduction and lengthy 
summary of the statements made at all the sittings, with a complete 
detailed record of everything that occurred at the first four sittings. 
The remainder of the Report reached England too late for it to be 
possible to make any use of it for this meeting. The following is a 
brief account of the extracts read : 

Professor Hyslop prefaced his paper by a note explaining that 
he was in no way responsible for the wide publicity given to his 
investigations in the American Press ; nor for the statement that he 
proposed to afford a scientific demonstration of immortality. He then 
defined his own attitude in the matter. The question of fraud, he 
thought, was definitely put out of court by the results of previous 
investigations, and he did not propose to consider it as a serious 
possibility until specific evidence of it was adduced, or the charge of 
fraud was put in a specific form. As regarded other possible explana- 
tions, he regarded telepathy as quite inadequate, and held that the 
theory of spirit communion was the only theory hitherto adduced which 
would cover the facts. Mr. Hyslop then proceeded to describe minutely 
the elaborate precautions taken to prevent Mrs. Piper in her normal 
state from having any clue to his identity, and the general conditions 
under which the experiments were conducted. Extracts were then 
read from his critical summary of the records of the sittings. A large 

224 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [APRIL, 1900. 

part of the communications received through Mrs. Piper's hand pur- 
ported to proceed from the spirit of Mr. Hyslop's father, and a detailed 
account was given of various conversations containing pertinent 
information on the nature of his last illness, and the remedies employed, 
or considered with a view to employment, or recommended by friends 
for employment. References were also quoted to the deceased's friends 
or relations, his personal effects, his habits, occupation, religious views, 
and characteristic phraseology. Other relations at times purported to 
control Mrs. Piper's hand, and an extract was read, the communication 
purporting to proceed from the spirit of a uncle of Mr. Hyslop, 
containing many references subsequently verified, to persons and 
events unknown to the sitter. 

THE CHAIRMAN observed that Dr. Hodgson attached great im- 
portance to the report of this series of sittings, as it was a complete 
record of everything that transpired. 

An animated discussion followed, which we do not report at length, 
since the criticisms and replies to them could hardly be appreciated 
without reference to the complete record, which, it is hoped, will be 
published soon. 

In answer to a question as to whether Mrs. Piper's health was 
affected by her trances, it was replied that no unfavourable results had 
followed, and that her health had been decidedly better of late years 
than it was formerly. 

It was also asked whether she received payment for her sittings, 
to which the reply was that she was paid for them, but it was only fair 
to her to state that she could probably have earned much more if she 
had not agreed to sit solely under Dr. Hodgson's arrangements, with 
sitters arranged for by him. 

THE CHAIRMAN asked Mr. Podrnore what impression had been 
produced on his own mind by the part of Professor Hyslop's report 
which he had read. 

MR. PODMORE replied that he thought the evidence in some respects 
not very strong. Thus, of the names given at the first sitting, only 5 
out of 17 were identified as correct; the principal control purported to 
be Professor Hyslop's father, and Professor Hyslop thought the phrase- 
ology used and the mental attitude in general specially characteristic 
of his father ; but it appeared to him hardly definite or unusual 
enough to be so regarded. Professor Hyslop had become convinced of 
the spiritistic theory, and explained by it incidents which did not go 
beyond the explanation of telepathy from the sitter or other living 
persons ; and mistakes were explained away perhaps rather too freely 
as due merely to the difficulties of communication. On the whole, 

APRIL, 1900.] The Cure of Warts by Suggestion* 225 

he did not think the evidence so strong as what had been previously 
published in the case of Mrs. Piper. 

Miss E. K. BATES gave an account of sittings she had recently had 
with Mrs. Piper, at which the information given could not, she thought, 
have been acquired by thought-transference from the sitter ; nor did 
she think it open to the other objections Mr. Podmore had mentioned. 


The Journal for April, 1898, contained an account of a case which 
I cured by charming in the autumn of 1897. Since then I have been 
looking out for other cases for experiment ; but warts do not seem to 
be common, for I have found scarcely any since that date. I am 
afraid I may have seen one or two upon which I forgot to experiment 
at the time, and I no longer remember whose, or where they were. 
But I have charmed only two since 1897, and both were again com- 
pletely successful. They were as follows : 

On October 2nd, 1899, I found, at Stanford Rivers, in Essex, a 
boy named Thomas S., aged about ten, with a large wart about the 
size of a threepenny bit on his right thumb. I was told that he had 
had it six months, and that various methods had been tried for its 
cure. He told me himself that it had been rubbed with broad-bean 
shells and parsnip tops. I spoke to the schoolmaster about it, out of 
the boy's hearing, and told him that I had no doubt I could cure it 
by suggestion, and I interested him in the matter. He promised to 
help, and to watch the case, and let me know if it was cured. I then 
called the boy back, and told him that I was going to charm his wart 
away in a manner which I thought would be to his own taste. I 
showed him a sugar mouse, and putting it in a box in one of the 
school cupboards, told him that I should leave it there till it had eaten 
up his wart in the dark, and that before that day three months he 
would find the wart gone, and then he was to ask the schoolmaster 
for the mouse and eat it up in its turn. 

On January 18th I received this letter from the schoolmaster : 
Stanford Rivers, Romford, January 16th, 1900. 

DEAR Miss MASON, I am very pleased to inform you that T. S.'s wart 
has entirely disappeared. 

I am simply astounded it is very remarkable. Yours faithfully, 


As I had told Tommy that the mouse was to eat up his wart 
during the time stated, I wrote to ask Mr. Newmarch whether the 

226 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [APRIL, 1000. 

wart disappeared gradually or suddenly, and on what day, as far as- 
he could tell nie. He answered as follows : 

Stanford Rivers, Romford, January 22nd, 1900. 

DEAR Miss MASON, T. S.'s wart gradually disappeared, and finally so- 
about a week before Christmas Day. On that morning I overtook Tommy 
going to church, when I asked him how the wart was getting on. He 
showed me his hand, and there was no sign of the wart whatever. He 
also gave me the information as already stated. 

Tommy received the sugar mouse with a broad beam of satisfaction all 
over his face. 

I have much pleasure in sending you these particulars, as I am so 
interested in the case. Believe me, Yours faithfully, TT T^- 

The gradual disappearance of this wart may have been due to my 
telling the boy that the mouse would eat it up in the dark during the 
period mentioned. 

Three days afterwards, on October 5th, I found another boy named 
William G., attending another school a few miles off. He also had a 
large wart, which was situated above the third finger of his right 
hand. I told him in the presence of an old couple with whom he 
lived, and who fully believed in wart-charming, that I would charm it 
away for him before that day three months, and I asked the school- 
mistress to let me know the result. She wrote as follows : 

Paslow Common Board School, November 13th, 1899. 

DEAR Miss MASON, I am very glad to tell you that your Charm had its. 
desired effect on Willie G. ; the wart has nearly disappeared. . . . 
Yours obediently, F Doi)D> 

Then I wrote to ask her whether the wart had entirely disappeared,, 
and, if so, when and how. She answered : 

Paslow Common Board School, January 20th, 1900. 

DEAR Miss MASON, I am only too pleased to answer a letter from you 
at any time, and to give you any information you may require. 

Very glad to tell you that Willie G. has improved, and that the wart has 
quite disappeared ; how long cannot quite say, but some time. . . . 
Yours obediently, F DODD. 

In this case I must confess that I forgot to do anything by way of 
charming, and the cure must have been effected merely by my assur- 
ance of it, that is, by suggestion pure and simple. It seems to me 
that the power of cure by suggestion, or faith healing, lies not merely 
in the faith of the subject but in that of the agent. I need not say 
that I have no faith whatever in the charm itself ; but experience has 

APRIL, 1900.] Case. 227 

given me very strong faith or confidence in my own power of inspiring 
faith in others. So great, indeed, that I can undertake and promise 
to effect such cures. 

February Uth, 1900. 


L. 1119. Clairvoyance in a Dream. 

The following case of apparent clairvoyance in a dream was kindly 
obtained for us by Mrs. E. Thompson, of 87, South Hill Park, Hamp- 
stead, London, N.W., an Associate of the Society. The account was 
written by Mrs. Thompson, from the description given her by the 
percipient, Mrs. Hodgson, who afterwards corrected and signed it. 

June 12th, 1899. 

The following account of a dream seems worth recording. It was told 
me by a lady on Sunday last (June llth), whom I met at the house of a 
mutual friend. 

In September, 1897, Mrs. H., of Shepherd's Bush, left her house during 
the afternoon for a few hours unattended, and unfortunately whilst she was 
away burglars entered and ransacked the place, taking all portable valuables. 
One of the articles missing and supposed to have been stolen was a small 
papier-mache box containing trinkets of more or less value. The box, 
however, was much valued, having been in Mrs. H.'s possession for many 
years, and [she] was naturally vexed at the loss. 

About one week after the burglary, Mrs. H. dreamed she went into the 
coal cellar and found hidden amongst the fine coal the very box supposed to 
have been taken by the thieves. 

Mrs. H. spoke to her daughter (the next morning) of her dream, and she 
laughed and scouted the idea of a box of trinkets in the coal cellar. There- 
fore they did not make a search, but let the whole matter of the dream slip 
their memory for a time. She herself felt it was there. 

In the following August, 1898, Mr. Hodgson went into the cellar to see 
how much coal there happened to be, when, to Mrs. H.'s surprise, he came 
to her with the box wrapped up in a newspaper, which was of the date of the 
burglary, viz. : September 30th, 1897. He had found it amongst the fine coal. 

Mrs. H. kept this paper for some time, but has not it in her possession now. 

Affixed hereto are the signatures of Mrs. and Miss H. 

(Signed) ^.HODGSON. 

Mrs. Hodgson adds . 

This is a perfectly true account of my dream and its strange fulfilment. 
I am not a dreamer ; it is very seldom I dream, so was greatly impressed 
by this one. (Signed) C. HODGSON. 

Miss Hodgson also adds : 

My mother's dream impressed her very much, and I cannot describe my 
feelings when the box was found. 

228 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [APRIL, 1900. 


Replies to replies are weary things, but I must thank Mr. Lodge 
for the courtesy of his remarks on my remarks on Dr. Hodgson's 
studies of Mrs. Piper. There cannot be any essential diversity of 
opinion between Mr. Lodge and myself, as, apparently, neither of us 
has any theory as to the nature of Mrs. Piper's phenomena. 

(1) I admit that Professor Macalister, with the blot on his finger, 
had a bad " sitting ; " but I would draw no inference from a number 
of bad sittings, except that, if success depends, in any degree, on " a 
thorough trance," Mrs. Piper should not give sittings when she is not 
in a trance that is thorough. It does appear to me that, as a rule, 
she fails most with the kind of people whose affirmative evidence 
would be most valuable. But for this (if this be so), there may be 
many different reasons. Nothing would surprise me less than the 
occurrence of " dim and unsatisfactory visions " on the part of any 
crystal-gazer ; if a certain percentage of them occurred, one might 
begin to feel that chance-coincidence perhaps provided the clear and 
satisfactory visions, which would be mere fancy pictures. Indeed, 
I always keep this and other normal causes of success before my 
mind. I do think that failures, in all cases, ought to be " seriously 
taken into consideration." 

(2) False information from G. P. does not seem to me to be on the 
same footing as false news in the papers. If the distinction is not 
obvious, I shall not dwell on the matter. 

(3) As to Phinuit, I do think he has all the usual evil notes of a 
" secondary personality ; " but as Mr. Lodge entertains " a friendly 
feeling " for a secondary personality whom I have never met, I refer 
him to the opinion of Mrs. Sidgwick. 

(4) My bias, my hostile bias, as to paid mediums, I have frankly 
confessed. Most of us have a bias, and it is candid to state one's 
own. Surely I must know something about the characters and tastes 
of my own deceased friends. If they "communicate" through Mrs. 
Piper, then either their tastes have altered, or the communicators are 
not what they profess to be. I have a right to abstain from trying to 
bring my friends acquainted (were it possible) with whatever it is 
that, to my mind, pretends to be what it is not. I cannot be more 
" serious " than I am on this topic. 

(5) The affair of " Uncle Jerry " must be studied in the original 
records. In my opinion " Version A." (Proceedings S.P.R., Vol. VI., 
p. 503) is utterly and irreconcilably different from ''Version B." (ibid., 

APRIL, 1900.] Mrs. Piper and Telepathy. 229 

p. 526). According to Version JB. nobody was " tipped over " from a 
boat, and nobody "pretty nigh got drowned," as in Version A. Most 
boys, alas, have killed cats, or been present at a cat-killing ; many 
boys have been "tipped over" in boats; of all names of fields, 
"Smith's field" is not the least common. The snake-skin I have 
admitted as good ; and if the runaway boy was named Rodney, that 
is good also. I don't pretend to explain these facts, unless there is 
such a thing as telepathie a trois. 

(6) As to Miss Angus's successes, or some of them, I do not think 
that they prove this telepathie a trois : I only mean that, of other than 
normal explanations, I incline to think that the most easily thinkable. 
Why we should suppose that the agency of the dead may be concerned 
in them, I cannot conceive. Of course I cannot know that the dead 
were not concerned ; but I cannot imagine why we should even glance 
at that animistic hypothesis in such cases. All the people who seemed 
to be seen in the glass, and all the people present who were interested 
in them were alive, unless, indeed, on one occasion, the picture of 
Mariotte Ogilvy (about 1546) was really seen. A lady about her age, 
and in the dress of her period, was viewed in the glass, but I was 
present ; Mariotte had been present to my mind, and, for all that I 
know, Mariotte may have somehow exuded thence. Or the crystal- 
gazer may once have known but forgotten that unlucky heroine : or 
the view of a lady of about 1546 may have been fortuitous. 

(7) I do think, as Mr. Lodge puts the question, that " over- 
stretched telepathy from the living " is the most easily thinkable 
non-normal explanation of these cases, but there may be an unguessed- 
at normal explanation, or, as Mr. Lodge says, there may be " a 
psychological modification of our usually conceived ideas of space and 
time." Perhaps, after all, that is the least difficult hypothesis, and 
probably the best attitude is the philosopher's who said, hypotheses non 
Jingo. By the way, Mr. Huxley's tale of "the lucidity of the soldier- 

whosc-skull-had-been-f ractured-by-a-bullet " is really deserving of study 
by the learned in these matters. As Mr. Huxley accepted the facts, 
they must, I suppose, have been given on adequate evidence, which he 
adduced. But the "lucidity" (which was limited) did not, apparently, 
interest Mr. Huxley. He remarked on the resemblance to cases of 
hypnotic patients, but seemed to regard all of them as highly 
suspicious characters. The soldier he did not suspect. The soldier 
did (he seems to have thought) what the hypnotic patients only 
pretend to do, or may be suspected of pretending to do. The interest- 
ing coincidence between the facts in the soldier's case, and the fraud 
in the hypnotic cases, was not dwelt on by Mr. Huxley : who noticed 

230 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [APRIL, 1900. 

it briefly in passing. One question, after all, I may ask Mr. Lodge. 
Does he believe that Phinuit is a deceased physician of French birth ? 
If he does not believe this, and if Phinuit positively asserts this, how 
can Mr. Lodge deny that Phinuit mentitur impudentissime ? It was, I 
think, Professor Shaler who called Phinuit "a preposterous scoundrel." 1 
If Phinuit were a living person for whom Mr. Lodge confessed a 
friendly feeling, of course I would sedulously avoid the mention of 
Phinuit. But we are agreed that Phinuit is not a living person. 

[Note. The case described by Huxley,* to which Mr. Lang refers, 
is a striking instance of duplex or alternating personalities. It was 
observed by Dr. E. Mesnet and published by him under the title, 
" De I'Automatisme de la Memoire, etc.," in L'Union Medicate, July 
21st and 23rd, 1874. A brief summary of it was given in Mr. Myers' 
paper on " Automatic Writing" (Proceedings S.P.R., Yol. IV., p. 
234) ; but as this appeared thirteen years ago, our readers may be 
glad to be reminded of the main features of the case. The soldier 
F. after a gun-shot wound in the head at Sedan, became subject 
during the next four years to periodical attacks of a kind of somnam- 
bulism, during which he was entirely insensible to pain, could hear r 
taste and smell nothing, and could hardly see at all, except when the 
sense of touch called his attention to objects, which he could then, 
it appeared, see distinctly. His condition during these attacks i& 
compared by Huxley to that of a frog deprived of its cerebral 
hemispheres, which retains all its ordinary powers of movement, 
but will only use them when urged by external stimuli ; and which, 
though it appears to be blind, will if it is made to move avoid 
obstacles, thus showing that it is really affected in some way by 
visual sensations. Similarly, the soldier in his secondary condition 
appeared to be brought into relation with the external world almost 
exclusively through the sense of touch. Sitting at a table in one 
of his abnormal states, he took up a pen, felt for paper and ink, 
and began to write a letter to his general, recommending himself for 
a medal on account of his good conduct and courage. To test how 
far vision was concerned in this act, Dr. Mesnet-, repeatedly placed 
a sheet of iron between the man's eyes and his hand ; he continued to 
write a few lines illegibly and then ceased, but without showing any 
discontent. When the obstacle was removed, he began to write again 
where he left off. The ink in his inkstand was then replaced by 

* In an essay, "On the Hypothesis that Animals are Automata, and its History" 
(Fortnightly Review, 1874), reprinted in Science and Culture, and other Essays (L881), 
pp. 223-231. 

APRIL, 1900.] Note. 231 

water. He perceived the faintness of the letters traced, wiped his 
pen again and again, but never looked at the ink-bottle. His field 
of vision, it seemed, was awakened by touch alone, and was limited 
to objects with which he was actually in contact. 

On one occasion he was writing on a sheet of paper which lay on a 
pile of about ten similar sheets. The top sheet was drawn away and his 
pen continued to write in the same place on the second sheet. When 
he had written about ten words on the second sheet, this also was 
snatched away, and he continued his phrase at the corresponding point 
on the third sheet. This process was repeated and on the fifth sheet 
there was nothing but his signature at the bottom. Nevertheless, he 
read over and corrected his letter on this blank fifth sheet, scattering 
stops and corrections over the empty page, each of which corresponded 
to mistakes made on the corresponding points of the pages which had 
been snatched away from him. 

It will be seen that there was nothing here which could properly 
be called " lucidity," since no knowledge was shown of anything that 
F. had not been normally aware of. He merely saw on the fifth sheet 
a hallucinatory " after-image " of the letter he had just written. It 
was remarkable that this represented the real letter so accurately, 
showing how exact was his memory of it. But the heightening of the 
faculty of memory is one of the commonest characteristics of the 
automatic condition. 

An incident curiously similar to this is recorded by Professor Janet 
in the Proceedings S.P.R., Vol. VIII., p. 483. He says : " One day 
a young female patient had an attack of somnambulism, during which 
she had written a letter which she had afterwards torn up, and the 
contents of which she had forgotten. By causing her to gaze upon a 
shining surface, [I] succeeded in making her read by hallucination the 
whole of that letter." 

Huxley observes of F.'s case : "Those who have had occasion to 
become acquainted with the phenomena of somnambulism and of 
mesmerism will be struck with the close parallel which they present to 
the proceedings of F. in his abnormal state. But the great value of Dr. 
Mesiiet's observations lies in the fact that the abnormal condition is 
traceable to a definite injury to the brain, and that the circumstances 
are such as to keep us clear of the cloud of voluntary and involuntary 
fictions in which the truth is too often smothered in such cases." 

It should be remembered that this remark was made in 1874, at a 
time when the modern science of Hypnotism was practically in its 
infancy, and when a scientific man, even of Huxley's eminence, might 
be excused for speaking of it with scanty respect. ED.] 

232 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [APRIL, 1900. 


(Continued from the February "Journal," p. 194.) 

I am permitted to reply to the remarks evoked by the view I 
ventured to express with reference to this photograph. 

The question is simply whether a certain photograph can be repro- 
duced in its essential parts by ordinary means. If those who assert 
that it can will take the trouble to do it, the matter is settled. 

This summary and conclusive treatment does not recommend itself 
to the scientific critics. They are fertile in theories, but slack in 
testing their speculations. Mr. T. E. Espin has great faith in some 
" visual " experiments which consist in turning the photograph upside 
down for the better understanding of it. His explanation is totally 
different from that of Professor Barrett, who at least made one 
photographic experiment. 

In default of actual trial we might reasonably expect that the 
hypothetical experiments should be worked out on paper to enable us 
to judge of the supposed effects, but this also is denied us. Professor 
Barrett and Miss Johnson confine themselves to generalities that may 
seem plausible to one unacquainted with practical photography, but 
which are found to be impossible of realisation when reduced to terms 
of space and time. If the following remarks appear long and tedious 
the reason is that I have been obliged to work out the physical 
theories myself to show their weakness. 

1. Professor Barrett (p. 189) claims to have "carefully weighed all 
the evidence," but admits that his experiment was directed to elucidate 
one feature of it only -the absence of both legs and an arm of the 
Ghost. The experiment is manifestly inadequate to explain the whole 
Ghost. Stationary and well-lighted parts of the body are absent as 
well as the mobile parts. Especially do we want to know why the 
figure has no vestige of an ear, though the whole side of the head is 
turned to the spectator and is well lighted ; and why there is no mouth, 
nose or fingers worth mentioning. These details are an essential part 
of the evidence. 

Let us consider how Professor Barrett deals with the single point 
which he undertakes to explain. Having conceived that the frag- 
inentariness of the figure is due to movements of human limbs, he 
chose for his photograph such a length of exposure as accorded with 
this conception. He says that the figure could be taken in 20 to 30 
seconds, so we may infer that the whole exposure lasted a minute 

APRIL, 1900.] Discussion of Supposed "Spirit-Photography," 233 

or less. But the whole exposure of the D. photograph lasted an hour. 
If Professor Barrett was aware of this, will he kindly tell us why he 
offers a photograph of a minute's duration to explain another that 
occupied sixty minutes ? Perhaps his photograph is made to scale 
and is meant to be interpreted proportionally. If so, then since the 
figure in the experimental photograph occupied half or two-thirds of 
the total exposure, we conclude that the D. figure occupied half or two- 
thirds of an hour in the taking. But this is inconsistent with the 
original idea that the limbs of the man were kept out of the photo- 
graph by being in motion all the time. The most agile of footmen 
could not toss his arm and legs about incessantly not to speak of 
wagging his ear for 30 or 40 minutes. I am afraid this point of the 
case is not yet explained. 

I fancy also that Professor Barrett is alone in believing that the 
D. figure is that of a footman, and a young one too. Who ever saw 
a footman of any age with a cranium so lofty and reverend, so denuded 
of hair? 

2. It has not been shown that the transparent chair could have 
been moved to its place during the exposure. It has doublings like 
those of other objects and equally well-defined, which proves that it 
was on the spot during the whole of the short exposure. It was also 
there during the whole of the long exposure, as Dr. Kingston points 
out. But the short and long exposures together account for the 
whole hour. There is no possible third period during which the room 
was being photographed without the chair. 

I cannot agree with Miss Johnson that the seat of the chair con- 
ceals a dark background. The shadow to which she refers is partial 
and thin. The front and side of the chair are dense black, that is, 
they made no impression at all on the silver of the plate, and the carpet 
would certainly have occupied that space if it had had a chance. 

Those who practise photography even as an amusement quickly 
learn to notice the disposition of a scene in order to judge of the 
pictorial effect. In focussing also one has to observe the picture very 
closely. For these reasons it is incredible that Miss Corbet should 
not have detected a disturbance in the order of the furniture when 
she returned to the room. Besides, the chair is in its customary place. 
It is evidently the one used by those who write at the round table. 
There are writing materials on the side next to it. The last person 
who used the chair turned it round a little in leaving the table. 

With regard to this chair we have to choose between abnormal 
transparency and abnormal opacity. Why, asks Miss Johnson, should 
we ascribe the transparency to spiritual agency and not the opacity ? 

234 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [APRIL, 1900. 

That is hardly the issue. I have nowhere ascribed the transparency 
to the deliberate action of spirits ; I have merely pointed out that a 
similar transparency occurs in photographs accepted in certain 
quarters as spiritual. The association may be a mere accident and 
then again it mayn't, as Miss Kingsley's West African skipper used to 
say. It is just these little anomalies that set us on the track of 
higher knowledge. They should be welcomed and studied, not denied 
or ignored. Anyhow, in the Rontgen photography we have precedents 
for a transparency that a few years ago would have been considered 
abnormal and impossible, while we have no experience as yet of 
abnormal opaqueness such as appears in the chair if it were moved 
into place. The transparency is therefore the easier to accept of the 
two alternatives. 

3. The discovery that the room has three doors does not benefit 
the physical theory. It facilitates the entrance of the man into the 
room, but destroys one of the reasons for his existence the necessity 
of accounting for the camera-displacement. We cannot suppose he 
entered at one door and then walked up to, and disturbed, a camera 
standing in another doorway and a little back. It is impossible that 
he made the tour of the room outside and touched the camera behind 
after being in the room, for the Ghost does not show doublings 
due to the displacement of the camera. If he had been photographed 
before the camera was moved his image would be doubled. 

4. Miss Johnson supposes (pp. 180, 183) that the chair may have 
been moved into position soon after the exposure began, and she is 
pretty sure (p. 181) that the exposure which followed the camera- 
movement was the short one. The short exposure came last. But 
the chair was in place during the whole of the long exposure (Dr. 
Kingston). What then was the man doing between the time when 
he moved the chair and the time when he moved the camera an 
interval of about an hour ? 

Miss Johnson provides an avenue of escape (p. 183) : " perhaps" 
the same person moved both chair and camera perhaps only. But on 
the other hand she is sure it was not Miss Corbet who moved the 
camera (p. 181). But if not Miss Corbet,, it was the man the same 
man who moved the chair about an hour before. We cannot possibly 
admit a second hypothetical person into this sufficiently complicated 
business. Therefore I repeat : What was the man doing in the room 
all that time ? 

Miss Johnson has still a third line of entrenchment. Perhaps after 
all (p. 180) the chair was there from the beginning and was moved 
away before the end of the exposure, leaving time for the images to be 

APRIL, 1900.] Discussion of Supposed "Spirit- Photography" 235 

formed that now show through it. The order of events would be : 
tilting camera moving chair away photographing man closure. 

To this I object that it is not the proceeding of a man who is 
acting in a fit of abstraction. It is juggling or insanity. In the 
second place, there is no time for all the events. We cannot allow 
more than ten seconds for the short exposure, since the only things 
that impressed the plate are flaring glass and polished surfaces that 
reflected straight into the lens. Ten seconds are, I judge, ample time 
for that with an " ordinary " plate closely stopped down. But from 
the time of tilting the camera to the time of moving the chair away 
we must allow the whole ten seconds, since the doublings of the chair 
are of the same nature and strength as those of the other parts of the 
room. There remains no time for photographing the images that show 
through the chair and which (ex hyp.} were formed after the chair was 
moved away ; and no time for photographing the man, which must 
have followed the moving of the chair, but may have been concurrent 
with the impression of the transparent images. 

Let us throw back the camera-movement to any desired distance 
and we meet with similar difficulties. Say it took place ten minutes 
before the closure, and divide the time equally between the secondary 
images of the chair and the transparent images that followed its 
removal. This also will not answer, since it gives twice as long for the 
secondary images of the room as for those of the chair, and if the 
latter occupied five minutes, the transparent images (which are much 
stronger) occupied twenty minutes or more. If we give one minute 
to the chair doublings and nine to the transparent images, we have 
the secondary images of the room ten times as long as those of the 
chair, which is absurd. 

By placing the events at the beginning of the exposure we at least 
have time for the man to be photographed and to get away after the 
long exposure began. But all the rest is impossible. The camera must 
have been tilted ten seconds after the lens was uncapped. Prior to 
that the chair was moved out and formed its secondary image. Still 
earlier there was a longer period with no chair in view when the images 
were formed that show through the chair. Thus we get back to a 
point coinciding with, or earlier, if such a thing were possible, than the 
uncapping of the lens. A truly marvellous compression of incident ! 

It is thus irrelevant to speak of the hour's exposure and the 
absence of Miss Corbet and her friends from the house as if unlimited 
time was thereby afforded for the man's operations. On any arrange- 
ment of the facts he must have been in the room simultaneously with 
Miss Corbet. 

236 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [APRIL, 1900. 

5. I have succeeded in identifying D. Hall and find it to be one 
of the great English country mansions. It is surrounded by its own 
grounds and its privacy is no doubt guarded in the usual way. We 
know of three in-door men-servants and there would probably be 
twice that number of women-servants, or more. Outside there would 
be gardeners, stablemen and lodge-keepers. Add to these the members 
of the family and we have a household of fifteen to twenty persons. 
I mention these details in view of the suggestion thrown out that a 
visitor may have strayed into the house in a fit of absent-minded- 
ness, without announcing himself by bell or knocker and without 
being seen by any one. We can as easily imagine him wandering into 
and out of Buckingham Palace without being challenged. The absent- 
minded visitor is as difficult to accept as the apostolic footman. 

There is a fact mentioned in the history of D. Hall that is not 
without interest to our inquiry. The house occupies the site of what 
for centuries was an abbey. The library where the Ghost appeared 
was part of the abbey refectory and is said to be the only portion of 
the old building left. It is thus a likely place for spiritual manifesta- 
tions to occur. 

Professor Barrett has " not the least doubt that a few trials would 
enable any one to reproduce a figure the facsimile of that in the arm- 
chair in Miss Corbet's photograph." In the interests of psychical 
research it is to be hoped that Professor Barrett will make these few 
trials. The D. photograph has so many points in common with what 
are called .spirit-photographs that a natural explanation of this one 
will account for most of the others. But in any photographic 
reproduction we must have the unexplained accessories as well. They 
are perhaps not so important as the main figure, but unless the whole 
is done in such a manner as to include them as a by-product we have 
no guarantee that the process is the same as that of the D. photograph. 
We cannot be satisfied with a mere colourable imitation. Should it 
be found impossible to reproduce the photograph satisfactorily, that 
result also will be instructive in another way. 

Wimbledon, February I3th, 1900. 


Account for 1899. 


Balance from 1898 1 711 

Interest on Consols 1 10 

Interest on Mid. Uruguay 

Railway 3 17 4 

Interest on Buenos Aires 

Water and Drainage ... 5 19 2 

12 14 5 



For Books 5 2 

Balance carried forward . . 7 12 


12 14 5 

Audited and found correct, and securities produced February 8th, 1900. 


No. CLXIX.-VoL. IX. MAY, 190D. 





New Associates 


. . 237 

Meeting of the Council 


A Cure of Paralysis by Hypnotism 

. . 239 

. . 241 

A Supposed Case of " Spirit-Photography." By Professor \V. F. Barrett 



BOTT, MRS., Somersal, Derby. 

JOHNSON, MRS. AMY C., 141, Walton-street, Oxford. 

SCHUPP, DR. FALK, 22, Sonnenstrasse, Munich. 

SINGLETON, JOHN R., 34, De Vere Gardens, London, W. 

YOUNG, JAMES F., Bryntesog Villa, New-road, Llanelly, South Wales. 


ADAMS, MRS. ALBERT J., Netherlaiid Hotel, 59th-street and 5th-a venue, 

New York, N.Y. 
BARTLETT, C. J., Marlin, Texas. 

COOK, REV. CHAS. H., Pn.D., 1,906, Pearl-street, Denver, Colo. 
CBAIGE, WM. C., 409, Chestnut-street, Philadelphia, Pa. 
EAGER, GEORGE R., Auburndale, Mass. 
GEHRING, DR. J. G., Bethel, Maine. 

HENRY, MRS. THOS. S., 1,117, Broad-street, Newark, N.J. 
KOHNSTAMM, SMIL V., Hotel Endicott, Columbus-avenue and Slst-street, 

New York, N.Y. 

MICHAEL, MRS. HELEN A., 44, Mount Yernon-street, Boston, Mass. 
MILLER, MRS. G. S., Peterboro, Madison Co., N.Y. 
NIMS, F. A., Muskegon, Mich. 

PYLES, WM. F., c/o C. F. Hamraett, Caixa Z, Sao Paulo, Brazil. 
REYNOLDS, Miss HELEN, 341, Mill-street, Poughkeepsie, X.Y. 
STEVENSON, W. C., Hillsboro, Ohio. 
UTLEY, MRS. CHAS. P., Hagerstown, Md. 
VKRMILYE, DANIEL B., 37, Waverley-place, Orange, N.J. 
WILLARD, Miss SUSANNA, 2, Berkeley-place, Cambridge, Mass. 

238 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [MAY, 1900. 

The Council met at the rooms of the Society on April 6th. 
Professor H. Sidgwick occupied the chair. There were also present : 
Mr. F. Podmore, Mr. Sydney C. Scott, Mr. H. Arthur Smith, Mr. 
J. G. Smith, Sir A. K. Stephenson, Dr. C. L. Tuckey, and Dr. A. 

The Minutes of the last meeting were read and signed as correct. 

Five new Associates were elected. The election of seventeen new 
Associates of the American Branch was recorded. Names and 
addresses are given above. 

The Council recorded with regret the decease of the Hon. Hugh O. 
Northcote, an Associate of the Society. 

Some presents to the Library were on the table, for which a vote 
of thanks was passed to the donors. 

It was resolved that, in view of the proposed voluntary liquidation 
of the Agra Bank, Limited, the Treasurer be requested to transfer the 
Society's bank account to the Temple Bar Branch of the London and 
Westminster Bank, Limited. 

Some other matters having been attended to, the Council agreed 
that its next meeting should be at the Rooms of the Society, on 
Friday, May 18th, at 4.30 p.m. 

Since the date of the Council meeting, General Meetings in 
addition to that already fixed for Friday, May 18th, at 8.30 p.m. 
have been arranged as follows : Friday, June 22nd, at 4 p.m.. ; and 
Monday, July 16th, at 8.30 p.m. 


Professor A. Alexander, of Rio de Janeiro, sends us the following 
account of a hypnotic cure recently effected by a friend of his, Dr. 
Alfredo Barcellos, who resides at Botafogo, Rio de Janeiro, where he 
has a large practice. An article in the Journals for June and July, 
1897 (Vol. VIII., p. 88 and p. 99) by Professor Alexander describes 
some supernormal phenomena observed during hypnotic treatment by 
Dr. Barcellos. Dr. Barcellos has used hypnotism in his medical practice 
since 1888, when he first experienced the benefit of it in his own 
person. While he attributes . the phenomena of hypnotism generally 
to suggestion, it is interesting to find that both his own experience 
and his observation of his patients have led him independently 

MAY, 1900.] The Cure of Paralysis by Hypnotism. 239 

to the views maintained by Dr. Bramwell, that a hypnotised 
person retains his powers of discrimination and choice, and that 
suggestions will not take effect if they are really opposed to the 
subject's will. In the article above referred to, several instances are 
given of impressions produced at a distance by him on his patients (in 
which cases, however, something must be allowed for the possible effect 
of expectancy) and also instances of telepathic clairvoyance and 
premonitions experienced by them. An earlier communication of Pro- 
fessor Alexander's, printed in the Journal for July, 1893 (Vol. VI., 
p. 112) gives a case of thought-transference obtained through table- 
tilting, in which Dr. Barcellos was one of the principal experimenters 
and witnesses. 

Professor Alexander states, however, that Dr. Barcellos' object 
has always been the cure of disease, rather than experimentation or 
the observation of supernormal phenomena, and the case now to be 
given is simply an instance of this. The account was contained in a 
letter written by Professor Alexander to Mr. Myers, dated January 
21st, 1899, and endorsed by Dr. Barcellos, who has himself since 
published an account of the same case in a Brazilian journal called 
the jKevista da Sociedade de Medicina e Cirurgia. 

Barcellos has lately obtained a splendid hypnotic triumph, which is 
certainly worthy of mention. He has not yet sent his own account of it to 
the Rio Medical Society, so that I must copy my note of the occurrence of 
14th September, 1898. 

Barcellos had long promised Sister Euphrasia, the directress of the 
Orphan Asylum at Botafogo, that he would call at the Misericordia 
Hospital in town and visit a sick girl who belonged to her establishment. 
Eulina,* for that was, I believe, her name, had suffered for two years from 
general paralysis, which, having come on gradually, was attributed by the 
doctors in attendance to some affection of the spine. The ordinary means of 
treatment had failed (strychnine, iodides, massage, electricity, etc.) On the 
6th September, 1 898, as Barcellos was riding into town in the street car, the 
idea of the girl flashed into his mind in such a manner that, in view of 
subsequent events, he was disposed to regard it as a telepathic impact. 
Although the hour was an unusually late one (4 p.m.) for a visit to the 
hospital, he went and was conducted by a sister of charity to the ward where 
the patient lay. " Si vous la guerissez," said the sister, "nous croirons au 
miracle." Eulina was not personally known to him, but a flash of pleased 
surprise passed over her face as the doctor entered the door, and he himself 
recognised the patient he had come to see before the sister had time to point 
her out. Seating himself on the side of the bed, he at once sought to bring 
her under hypnotic influence. Soon her eyelids began to tremble and she 
fell easily into the hypnotic slumber. The doctor then suggested that on 

* This is the right name. I have shown this letter to Barcellos. A. A. 

240 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [MAY, 1900. 

the 8th of that month (Nativity of Our Lady) the girl should rise and walk. 
This suggestion she received with the greatest readiness, so that on retiring 
Barcellos expressed himself hopeful of her recovery. Sister Euphrasia 
afterwards informed him to his surprise that Eulina had herself affirmed that 
she would rise from her bed on that very date. The next day Barcellos 
again threw the patient into the hypnotic sleep, and with the emphasis of 
his own sanguine expectation repeated the same suggestions. He made a 
mistake in not going early to the hospital on the morning of the 8th. The 
patient asked for her clothes ; she wished to rise and go to mass in the 
chapel ; but her unaided efforts were unequal to the task of standing, or 
even of sitting, in an upright posture. She fell to the ground, and was 
obliged to renounce the attempt. It was only about two p.m. that Barcellos 
arrived, and was informed of what had occurred. He at once hypnotised 
Eulina, insisted on her carrying out the suggestion, and ordered her to 
sit up in the bed. She obeyed with difficulty, Barcellos then noticing that 
even the muscles of the trunk were unable adequately to perform their 
office. The sister present was requested to draw the girl's legs out of bed, 
and the doctor ordered the latter to stand up. Again she fell to the floor, 
and it was only when supported on either side by the sister and Dr. 
Barcellos that she was at last able to maintain an erect posture. Then she 
was encouraged to walk, the doctor tapping the leg which had to be lifted, 
and directing her attention to it by words. After this preliminary exercise 
and an intervening rest, it was found that she could walk while grasping the 
doctor's hand. Her evident desire was to direct her steps towards an 
image of the Virgin. Barcellos perceived this, and led her thither, 
allowing her to go quite alone when she was near the object of her 
pilgrimage.* She stopped erect before the image, and her lips moved in 
prayer. At this moment Barcellos opened her eyes, and being, perhaps, 
thus called back to a clearer consciousness of her surroundings and of the 
wonder of her cure, a look of ecstacy illuminated her countenance. The 
doctor left after suggesting that she should rise from her bed every hour and 
sip a glass of water left purposely on a table placed at some distance away. 
Or this suggestion may have been given on one of the succeeding days, I am 
not sure on this point. t It is a fact, however, that the girl has rapidly 
recovered the free use of her limbs, and is now radically cured. 

In addressing the medical students, who flocked into the ward on the 9th 
of September to verify the cure and witness the repetition of the suggestive 
treatment above described, Barcellos urged the importance of hypnosis as a 
" therapeutic agent," which ought not to be abandoned to the quacks and 
popular healers. He said truly that it was a shame to medical science that 
the patient should have been left bedridden for two long years, while the 
means of cure lay so close at hand. His remarks were timely, and con- 
tained a rebuke to certain professors of the Rio School of Medicine who 

* She was led to the image by Barcellos. It was after her prayer and in returning 
to the bed that she walked alone. A. A. 

t It was given two days after the first visit, A. A. 

MAY, 1900.] Cases. 241 

teach that the hypnotic state is a morbid one, which no practitioner is justified 
in producing. But Dr. Barcellos with his strong convictions produces 
effects which more hesitating operators might fail to obtain. I also hold 
that his warm and charitable instincts and his sympathy with the religious 
nature of such patients as Eulina are forces which attract the entire 
confidence of the sujet, and start the most powerful kind of auto- 
suggestion. . . . 



G. 265. Apparition. 

The following is a case of a recognised apparition of a deceased 
person reported to have seen independently at about the same time by 
two of her relatives. The account of one of the percipients was sent 
to us in 1891 by Mrs. Briggs, of Rawdon Hall, near Leeds, (formerly 
an Associate of the Society) in connection with the Census of Halluci- 
nations, for which Mrs. Briggs was collecting answers. 

This gentleman, whom we will call Mr. F., as he desires us not to 
publish his name, wrote as follows : 

October Wth, 1891. 
My mother-in-law, Mrs. P., died in 1864. Mr. P., who died 

in 1882, lived at , Essex, and for some years before he died spent 

Christmas regularly with his daughter, my wife, at , where we now 


I neither drink nor smoke ; nevertheless, I always go to bed late and last. 
At the top of the first flight of stairs a small side staircase leads to the room 
which Mr. P. always occupied when staying with us, and which he occupied 
on the night in question. 

In the Christmas week of 1881, as I approached the top of this first 
flight of stairs to go to bed, I saw Mrs. P. walking up the side staircase. I 
stopped at the top of the first flight of stairs to let the candle bum steadier, 
and when Mrs. P. reached the last step of the side staircase she vanished at 
the door. was no mistaking her figure and left side face as she 
walked in advance of me, and so natural was it that for a second I expected 
to hear her turn the door-handle. I had no thought of alarm and as the 
remembrance that she had died years ago came upon me, I mused as I 
reflected that Mr. P. was asleep within the room. Mr. P. died in the 
following July. . . . 

(Signed in full) 

Mrs. Briggs was not then aware that the apparition had been seen 
by any one else ; but some years later, she happened to mention Mr. 
F.'s experience to one of his daughters (whom we will call Mrs. D.), 
an old friend of one of her own daughters. Mrs. D. expressed great 
surprise at hearing it and told Mrs. Briggs that she herself had had 

242 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [MAY, 1900. 

an exactly similar experience, which she had never mentioned to any 
of her family. Mrs. Briggs communicated this information to us in a 
letter dated November 2nd, 1898, saying : 

. . . When I mentioned [her father's experience to Mrs. D.] a day or 
two ago, she was quite surprised and would scarcely believe me. She then 
told me she had seen the same figure, under the same circumstances, but 
nearly a year previously. She never told any one in the family in fact, 
did not mention it at all, being afraid it would make her sisters nervous. 

If you have . . . papers sent in at that time and could find those 
contributed by myself ... I Avould feel greatly obliged to be allowed 
to forward them, to satisfy my friend that her father actually filled up a 
paper with an account of the same apparition she herself saw, and never 
mentioned, about a year previously . . 

In answer to this letter, Mr. F.'s original narrative was sent to 
Mrs. Briggs, with the request that she would ask Mrs. D. to write her 
account before looking at her father's. Mrs. D. then wrote : 

November 9th, 1898. 

Mrs. Briggs sent on to me the original letter of my father which I now 
return, and I wish to thank you for sending it. Your note was also sent to 
me to read, so I of course wrote my account of what I had seen before I 
opened the letter written by my father. I was very surprised when I opened 
his letter to see it was practically the same that I had seen, even to time and 
place, but he does not mention Christmas eve, which I am sure of, as I had 
been up much later than usual arranging presents and decorations for 
Christmas. Until I opened his letter, or rather, heard from Mrs. Briggs 
that he had seen the apparition of my grandmother (and she thought it was 
at the deathbed of grandfather he saw it), I had no idea my father had ever 
seen any spirit and I had never mentioned what I had seen to any of my 
sisters, brothers, or parents. 

Mrs. D. enclosed the following account of her experience : 

November 9th, 1898. 

My grandfather, Mr. P., during the last years of his life, used to spend 
Christmas Day and a day or two following and preceding it, at my father's 

house, . I distinctly remember one Christmas Eve the last he spent 

with us walking up to bed, and, as I was doing so, I noticed how late it 
was by the clock striking twelve. As I got to the first small landing (where 
the gas was burning brightly) I chanced to look to the left where a small 
staircase of about six stairs led to the spare room (only) occupied by my 
grandfather, who had retired to rest some hours previously. The stairs I 
was going by were to the right of the tiny landing, but while looking 
towards my grandfather's room I distinctly saw an old lady, of rather short 
stature, dressed in black silk, with a something white round her neck, 
walking slowly up the stairs. She seemed to be holding her dress up 
slightly, and slightly bent forward. She was so real that I was not shocked, 
but noticed a great and striking resemblance to the photograph of an old 

MAY, 1900.] C,ses. 243 

lady in our album, whom I recalled as being that of my grandmother Mr. 
P.'s wife who had died when I was a baby. I was astonished to see her 
suddenly disappear as she got to the top step, and without opening the door. 
I think I had seen her walk up about three steps altogether. Though I 
slept alone I did not feel frightened, but wondered over it very much, and 
of all my past life at that time I always recall this fact vividly and with awe, 
and it seems to stand out from amongst all other events at that time which 
T do not often or clearly recall now. 

I never mentioned this to any of my sisters, brothers or parents, nor, 
till I met Mrs. Briggs on the 31st of last month, had I heard that one of 
the family had seen anything of the sort. 

Further enquiries made of Mr. F., however, disclosed an apparent 
discrepancy between his recollections of the circumstances and Mrs. 
D.'s, as he stated that he had told his family at the time of his seeing 
the apparition and it was, he believed, owing to one of his daughters 
relating to Mrs. Briggs what she had heard from him that Mrs. Briggs 
wrote to him and obtained his account. Now, if his family really 
knew of it at the time, it would seem probable that Mrs. D., among 
the rest, had heard of it. Her own statement shows that, if she had 
ever heard of it, she has completely forgotten it since. But in that 
case, her experience would not at the time have been independent of 
her father's, and would consequently be of much less evidential value. 
It seems even not impossible that she might have heard of his experi- 
ence and, after the lapse of many years, unconsciously transferred it to 
herself, that is, come to believe that she had been the percipient, 
instead of him. We have met with clear evidence of such a process 
taking place in at least one case, that of an apparition reported to 
have been seen collectively by the narrator and her maid, which on 
the evidence of the former's diary turned out to have been seen by 
the maid only. In order to test whether a similar mistake could have 
been made in this case, some further enquiries were made both of Mr. 
F. and of Mrs. Briggs, who has spared no trouble to furnish us with 
all the information and evidence attainable. This is contained in the 
following letters, from which we must leave our readers to form their 
own conclusions. 

From Mr. F. 

January 12th, 1899. 

I don't think I have ever seen Mrs. Briggs : then how did she hear of 
my experience and write to me for details ? Either through her daughter, 
who visited us, or through some member of my own family ; at least, I 
suppose these two are the only sources. 

I do not remember having heard of my daughter's similar experience to 
mine in regard to the apparition of Mrs. P., my mother-in-law, until you 
mentioned it in your first letter. But in all ordinary matters of memory, 

244 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [MAY, 1900. 

youth should always be credited with greater accuracy than old age ; 
consequently, between my daughter and me you should advisedly give my 
daughter's statement the greater credence. 

From Mrs. Briggs. 

January 13th, 1899. 

At this length of time I cannot undertake to say through which member 
of the F. family I heard of Mr. F.'s seeing the apparition. But this I am 
certain of, that Mrs. D.'s expressions of surprise were genuine. She may, 
of course, have entirely forgotten that her father had mentioned it to the 
family. She has had a great deal of sorrow and bad health since her 
marriage, and her temperament is nervous and sensitive . . . 

It is very difficult is it not ? to establish all points of evidence in such 
cases. I have almost come to the conclusion that when people see those 
things they are, unconsciously to themselves, in some curious mental con- 
dition which renders it difficult for them to give a clear account of their 
experience. It is one thing to talk, and quite another to write ! Yours 

faithfull >'> MARCAUET BBIOOS. 

[P.S.] My daughters have just told me that Mrs. D. was married in 
April, 1889, and I believe [Mr. F.'s] letter is dated some time in 1891, but 
I do not know who first told me. 

From Miss Briggs. 

January 21st [1899]. 

I am Mrs. Briggs' daughter and a school companion of Mrs. D. when 
she was Miss F. I am interested in your correspondence about the coin- 
cidence of Mrs. D. and her father apparently seeing the same apparition of her 
grandmother, his mother. I am trying to find out the date of my mother's 
meeting Mr. F., which she certainly did. I distinctly remember her talking 
of the circumstance in Yorkshire after her return from London when she 
was waiting for the written account of the apparition to be sent to Professor 
Sidgwick. I think this was between April and June, probably in 1890, 
from other attendant circumstances. 

As I am writing to Mrs. D , however, I will ask her if she can find out 
when my mother was at their house after her marriage an unmarried sister 
might remember. 

Mr. F. my sister had spoken of when she stayed with the family as 
living a good deal aloof and saying little to them ; so to us it seemed quite 
natural that Mrs. D. should not have told her experience, at least to him ; 
to the other members of the family it was strange. We were surprised at 
my mother's extracting such an interesting story from Mr. F., usually so 

uncommunicative . 


The following account of experiences in a " haunted house " (the 
address of which we are requested not to publish) near Londonderry, 

MAY, looo.j Cases. 245 

also obtained through the kindness of Mrs. Briggs from Mrs. D., 
who writes : 

November 9th, 1898. 

As to the haunted house we lived in near Londonderry from June, 1889, 
to August 31st, 1892, it would take pages to mention all the different things 
that were seen and heard there. Every servant we had saw or felt "ghosts" 
about them, but there were intervals when all was normal. I often heard 
the crackling of bones and the rustle of non-material creatures, but as I 
never saw one and I devoutly prayed that I should not I leave my 
husband to give his version of what he saw there, and at one time there was 
no greater sceptic about apparitions than he was. . . . 

The account enclosed from Mr. D. was as follows : 
In the year 1892 I was living in a house [near] the city of Londonderry. 
It was early in January that the following incident happened. I went to 
bed about 10.30 and shortly afterwards was sound asleep. During the night 
I heard loud talking in the room, but at first I did not open my eyes. As 
the talking continued, 1 looked up and distinctly saw an old lady standing at 
the foot of the bed, and gazing intently at me. To get a good view of her 
I sat up in bed and watched her for fully five minutes, she all the time 
looking quietly into my face. There was no light in the room at the time, 
but still I could see her quite distinctly, as there was a halo round her. 
After watching her for some time I reached out my hand to the match-box 
to strike a light, but as soon as I moved my hand towards the matches I 
saw the face getting more indistinct. I therefore drew back my hand and 
watched the figure getting more and more dim till it suddenly vanished. 

Then a curious thing happened. Outside the house and within ten yards 
of the bedroom window I had two kennels, in which a bulldog and a fox 
terrier were chained. The moment the figure vanished these two dogs began 
to bark furiously and seemed terribly excited, as if they were trying to get 
at some one. I conclude that they must have seen the spirit after it left my 
room, for before it disappeared everything about the place was perfectly- 
quiet. The dogs continued barking for a few minutes and then all was quiet 

The following August I left this house and let it furnished. After [my 
tenant] had been in the house for about three months, I asked him one day 
if he ever saw or heard anything peculiar about the place. He laughed and 
said he did not believe in ghosts, but that their parlour-maid had seen some- 
thing. I asked him what it was, and he told me that one night he and his 
wife were in the drawing-room and the servants had just gone upstairs to 
bed. A few minutes later the parlour-maid came into the room looking 
very frightened. She said that as she was passing the spare room (the one 
I was in the night I saw the spirit) an old lady suddenly walked out of the 
room, crossed the passage in front of her, and disappeared into the bedroom 
opposite. When I let the house I never mentioned to any one what I had 
seen, and the servants were entire strangers in the district, having come 
from Dublin. 

246 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [MAY, 1900. 

I may add that a great deal of trouble came to us between the visit of 
the spirit to me and our leaving the house at the end of the following 
August. For one thing our only baby child died on the 1st of August, and 
on the night before the cook was too frightened, by hearing spirits around 
her, to go to her bedroom, but preferred to sleep at the foot of the nurse's 
bed, where they both heard the strangest sounds, as did the nurse on the 
following night just before the child died. After [my tenant] left, I put my 
gardener and his wife into the house to look after it, and although they had 
it rent free, nothing would persuade them to stay. They said they could 
not live in such a place, and detailed to us the strangest experiences. 

The only other spiritual being I saw in the house (although I often heard 
them) was the day before we left, when about 6 p.m. I was standing under 
some trees about 100yds. from the house. Then I saw a shadowy substance 
about 3 or 4 ft. high running quickly up the path beside me. I stepped out 
into the path to get a 'full view of it. It went very fast and I thought it 
was going to pass the house, but the moment it got opposite the hall door it 
suddenly bounded to the right through the doorway into the hall. The door 
was open and my wife came out a moment later, but had seen nothing. 

After I had seen the first spirit of the woman, my wife asked a lady who 
had lived there previously if she had ever seen anything of the kind. She 
replied that their servant had on several occasions seen an old woman in 
spirit form, and from her account it was evidently the same as I had seen. 

(Signed in full) 

We have not been able to obtain any further evidence about the 
apparitions alleged to have been seen in the house. Mrs. D. also sent 
us a description written by one of her servants of various noises heard 
there by them. There is no clear evidence, however, that these noises 
were in any way supernormal, arid it seems not unlikely that the state 
of nervousness and expectancy produced by them may have led to the 
visual hallucinations experienced by some of the inhabitants. 

L. 1120. Collective (?) Apparition. 

The following account was sent to us by the Rev. R. G. Milburn, 
an Associate of the Society, having been written evidently with 
scrupulous care on the day that the incident 6ccurred. 

It will be seen that the nature of the first incident described is 
and must remain doubtful, since Mr. Milburn could not be certain 
whether the horse and brougham that he saw were real or hallucina- 
tory, and, under the circumstances, no further inquiries could possibly 
clear up this point afterwards. There are two reasons for thinking 
that they were hallucinatory : (1) The maid who shared Mr. Milburn's 
experience afterwards saw a brougham again, which was undoubtedly 

MAY, 1900.] Cases. 247 

hallucinatory, since other persons with her looking at the same 
spot saw nothing ; and this suggests that her first experience was 
of the same nature ; (2) it seems to have been very unlikely that 
a real brougham should have come into the front garden in the way 
described. Further, the witnesses thought that they recognised the 
brougham, horse and coachman (whose originals were certainly else- 
where at the time). Too much stress, however, cannot be laid on the 
recognition, as it might have been due to suggestion ; it also occurred 
in an imperfect light, in which mistakes of identity might more easily 
have been made. 

Mr. Milburn describes the occurrence as follows : 

Hollywood House, Wimbledon Common, December 27th, 1899. 

To day, December 27th, 1899, my mother, brothers, and sister had taken 
some small cousins and two other children to the pantomime. Some of the 
party, including my mother, went in a brougham. During the performance 
the coachman seems to have taken more to drink than was expedient, for 
believing which there are reasons, though it cannot be proved that he was 
actually drunk. On the way home the brougham collided with an omnibus, 
and suffered some injury, though no one in it was hurt. The party started 
home from the theatre (the Lyceum) at about 5.10 or 5.15 p.m. At about 
4.30 p.m. a maid saw the brougham waiting at the front door of this house. 
She saw the coachman's face, and says she could swear to its having been 
he. She also saw one of my cousins (who was not in the vehicle at the time 
of the accident) step out of the brougham and run up the steps toward the 
house. She heard no bell ring. A few minutes later she saw the brougham 
in the yard with the horse taken out and the coachman walking about in 
stable boots, as if cleaning the carriage. She told the housemaid what she 
had seen. She also told my grandmother. My grandmother told me at about 
4.55 p.m. that Howe (the maid) had seen the brougham. 

At about the time that the maid saw the brougham I should say about 
4.35 p.m. I thought I heard a brougham draw up and some one get out 
and run up the steps. I heard no bell. I looked out of the window 
and saw a brougham drive out of the front garden. I assumed it to be 
ours, and watched it, wondering where it was off to ; it did not take 
the direction I thought most probable. I then assumed it to have been 
the brougham of some visitor, but I subsequently found that the servants 
knew nothing of any one having called, nor did my grandmother. When 
the latter told me that Howe had seen the brougham (i.e., our brougham) I 
said that it was a mistake and that it was some other brougham. When 1 
came into the room where my grandmother was at about 5.30 p.m. I heard 
the maid saying something to her about going into the witness-box. My 
grandmother told me that the maid was positive she had seen our coachman. 

My mother and those with her arrived home about 6.30. Those of 
the party who came by train arrived about 6.15. The maid told me what 
she had seen at about 7.15 p.m. When I cross-questioned her about it 

248 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [MAY, 1900. 

a little later, she said the time was about half -past four or a little later 
about twenty-five minutes to five. When she found that the brougham 
had not returned she was in a great fright, and was afraid my mother must 
have been killed. Nothing of the kind had happened to her before, but 
she knew of a case that had happened in her village. At about 10.30 
p.m. I spoke to the housemaid, who told me that Howe had told her that 
she had seen the brougham and the coachman. It was about half-past 
four, or perhaps a little earlier, that she had told her this. 


December 28th. All the servants deny that they saw or heard any 
brougham come yesterday. My grandmother heard a brougham come (she 
was with the maid Howe at the time, about 4.30) and saw the top of the 
brougham or the coachman's hat pass the window and then pass again as if 
driving away again. (This coincides with what I saw ; a brougham would 
have to pass the window twice in turning round a flower-bed on the path 
before driving out again.) In the meanwhile Howe had left the room to tell 
the housemaid, and saw the brougham as described in the stable -yard. I 
asked her to-day whether she was very nervous when she found that the 
brougham had not really returned. She replied, " I was very frightened 
indeed." I then asked her whether she had prayed. She answered, " I 
committed Mrs. Milburn to God's care." It would take, I am told, three- 
quarters of an hour to drive from here to the Lyceum. I have asked the 
coachman's wife whether he was here yesterday afternoon ; she says no. 
Howe recognised the brougham and horse as well as the coachman, but she 
doubts whether my grandmother, who is very old and has a very uncertain 
recollection, either saw or heard anything. The brougham which I saw drive 
out went in the direction of Kingston ; not towards London. 

The coachman, who has just returned from taking the brougham to be 
mended, denies that he was here yesterday afternoon, and declares that the 
horse was not put into the brougham again till 4.50. ^ Q MILBURN 

The above statements, so far as they relate to my experiences, are 
absolutely correct. 

(Signed) EDITH S. A. HOWE, 

December 28th, 1899. 

Mr. Milburn adds : 

This account should have stated that after telling the other servants, the 
maid Howe looked in the stable-yard a second time and still saw the 
brougham, etc. The other servants looked into the yard, but saw nothing. 

It cannot be proved that no brougham came into the front garden by 
mistake, and after stopping a minute, drove out again. 

Mr. Milburn writes later : 

January 5th, 1900. 

Our coachman put up at Ward's, (jobmaster, etc.), Endel-street, Drury- 
lane. None of us here doubt this part of the story. Even if the coachman 
could hare driven over here by 4.30 or 4.35, taken the horse out, cleaned the 

MAY, 1900.] Cases. 249 

brougham, put it in again and driven up in time (and they say the horse did 
not look as if it had just been driven when they started home) it would 
have been so absolutely irrational and pointless a thing to do that it is 
incredible. R G MlLBURN> 

The sceptical explanation is not that the coachman really drove 
over here, but that a brougham resembling ours drove in by mistake (and 
this cannot be disproved) and that the vision in the stable-yard was due to 
the maid's nervousness or " imagination." 

The following letters from Mr. Milburn give further details of the 
incident, in answer to our questions : 

Hollywood House, Wimbledon Common, January 23rd, 1900. 

I send you, as desired, a plan of the front garden, stable-yard, etc. [see p. 
250]. The lines on the drive and stable-yard indicate the places where the 
brougham was seen ; the dots indicate the way it must have gone where its 
movements were not followed. The [dots] in the house indicate the move- 
ments of the maid. A is where she was sitting when she heard the brougham 
drive up. She then went to B to look out of the window and saw it drive up 
and stop, or that it had stopped, I forget which, at the front door. She then 
saw the carriage door open and a little boy (who was one of the party, but had 
not been in the brougham, at any rate on its way back) get out and come up 
the steps. Then she returned to A. Not hearing any ring, she went back to 
C (= B) and saw the brougham still there. It was just beginning to grow 
dusk then (about 4.30 or 35), and she could clearly see the coachman's face 
as well as the horse and the carriage. She then returned from the window, 
but, still hearing nothing, she went to ask whether the party had returned. 
Hearing from the other servants that they had not, she opened the side door 
and saw from point D the brougham straight in front of her in the yard. 
She then told the housemaid and parlourmaid, who both looked out from the 
same place, D, but could not see it. Then she came back herself and saw it 
again [at E] (E = D). The lamp in the stable-yard had been lighted. The 
room from which she saw it first was on the ground floor, as is also the door, 
D and E. I was two stories higher up above the same room. The lodge 
keeper was away. 

The maid began to feel alarmed when she learnt that the party in 
the brougham had not returned, i.e., after she had seen it in the front, but 
before she had seen it in the stable-yard. 

January 31st, 1900. 

I feel pretty sure that the maid could not have suspected that the coach- 
man would get intoxicated. He has never, to our knowledge, taken too 
much since he has been with us before. He is an extremely good coachman ; 
the horse then in the brougham was by no means an excitable animal ; and 
since it is such an extremely common thing for my mother to go out in the 
brougham, and nothing dangerous, or alarming, or suspicious has happened 
before, it is most improbable that she should have developed sudden 
suspicions of possible insobriety. I feel sure she would have told me if she 

250 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [MAY, 1900. 

MAY, 1900.] A Supposed Case of "Spirit- Photography" 251 

had done so, when telling me the story, and when I asked her (see end of my 
last letter) whether or when she felt alarmed, she said that it was when the 
other servants told her the brougham had not returned, i.e., after she had 
twice seen the coachman, and, according to her very positive account, 
recognised him plainly. She either said in so many words, or at least gave 
me the decided impression, that she had not been anxious before. 

A point I might have mentioned was that the brougham I saw seemed to 
be walking very leisurely for one that had just discovered that it had got 
into the wrong garden. The horse was walking when I first saw it, though 
it was trotting when it went out of the gate. A coachman who had come in 
by mistake would probably have walked the horse smartly [round the 
flower-bed], and then trotted it out. But [at this point] it seemed to be 
proceeding very leisurely, and more as if it were empty. It looked, as I 
sa ; d, like our brougham, and I took it to be ours, but I could not speak very 
positively. The coachman I did not particularly notice. The horse was 
exactly like our horse to my eyes, but I could not swear that it was, and 
when it went off up the Kingston-road I assumed that it was only another 
very like ours. So my evidence cannot count as anything very clear and 

February '21st, 1900. 

I believe I stated in my last communication that the horse I saw 
was "exactly like " the horse of ours that actually was in the brougham. I 
should. have said "the horse attracted a very fair amount of attention on my 
part, and when I saw our animal the next morning (in the same place and 
seen from the same room as the supposed apparition) I recognised that it 
was exactly like the horse then seen." As a matter of fact I had too vague 
an idea of the colour of the animal previously to be able to recognise anything 
as being "exactly" like it. ... I believe [also that] I underrated my 
recognition of the coachman. I was not certain enough that the coachman 
seen by me was just like our coachman to make an argument about it from 
my point of view worth while, so I think I was a little inclined to disclaim 
too much all recognition of him for the sake of getting rid of the subject, 
while at the same time avoiding overstatement . 



Altbougb the readers of this Journal must, I am sure, be getting 
tired of the discussion on the case of supposed " spirit-photography," 
a few concluding words seem necessary in reply to the remarks made 
by Mr. McLachlan in the April "number. These remarks are based 
upon a series of assumptions which, so far as they relate to my own 
experiments, are not only incorrect but the reverse of the truth. I 
entered upon the investigation with an entirely open mind and should 

252 Journal of Society for Psycki&d Research. [MAY, 1000. 

riot have taken up the matter at all had it not seemed to me that a 
good primd facie case existed for investigation. When it became 
evident, from my correspondence and interview with the lady who took 
the photograph, that some one might have entered the room she was 
photographing during her absence from it, and whilst the exposure 
was taking place, my first object was to see if an appearance in any 
way resembling the so-called spirit-photograph could be produced by a 
casual intruder. I confess, though I am an old amateur photographer, 
that I was astonished to find how close a resemblance was produced to 
the legless and shadowy figure of the " ghost " in the very first photo- 
graphic experiment I made. The actual length of exposure in the two 
cases, on which Mr. McLachlan bases so much, is simply a question of 
light and the kind of plate used. The exposure in my experiment, Mr. 
McLachlan assumes to have been " a minute or less " ; it was actually 
about twenty minutes, one-third that of the " ghost " picture. 

Though of no particular novelty to experienced photographers, my 
experiment showed clearly enough : (1) That during the exposure of a 
plate for an "interior" a person may leisurely enter and leave a room, 
coming well within the field of the lens in so doing, and yet leave no 
trace of his entrance or exit. (2) That the intruder seating himself in 
a chair for, say, about a sixtieth of the time of the total exposure, and 
casually crossing and uncrossing his legs and moving one arm, leaves 
an impression on the photographic plate sufficiently resembling that of 
the so-called "spirit-photograph" to suggest a not improbable explana- 
tion of the latter. The only point that remained was the apparent 
resemblance between the "ghost "and the deceased nobleman. The 
evidence on this point, however, was too slight and conflicting to be of 
any weight. It received nevertheless most careful and dispassionate 
investigation ; in fact very much more time and care was spent on the 
inquiry than appears from the published record. Though there were 
some curious points of apparent resemblance noticed, yet when one 
takes into account the difficulty of avoiding reading some resemblance 
into a shadowy figure which is seen seated in the room habitually 
occupied by the deceased person when living, and the inevitable 
association of ideas suggested by the funeral of that person taking 
place close to the spot arid at the time the so-called " spirit- 
photograph " was being taken, I think it is obvious how cautious we 
should be in drawing any inferences from the dubious and conflicting 
opinions that existed as to identification. I should have been 
extremely glad if Mr. McLachlan had been able to make an instructive 
contribution to the discussion of this interesting photograph, but I 
cannot feel that he has succeeded in doing so. 

No. CLXX.-VOL. IX. JUNE, 1900. 





New Member and Associates 253 

Meeting of the Council 254 

General Meeting 254 

The Fourth International Congress of Psychology 256 

The Second International Congress of Hypnotism . .. 261 

A Case of Duplex Personality 265 

Correspondence 268 


Names of Members are printed in Black Type. 
Names of Associates are printed in SMALL CAPITALS. 

MILTON, JOHN PENN, M.R.C.S. (Eng.), L.R.C.P. (Lond.), 13, North 

Parade, Penzance. 
SADLER, REV. G. T., B.A., 96, Erddig road, Wrexham, 


BEEBE, C. E , 408, West 9bh-street, Chattanooga, Tenn. 

BERGER, ALEX., c/o Central Granaries Co., Lincoln, Neb. 

BRUCE, REV. JAMES M., Yonkers, N.Y. 

CLOTHIER, MRS. F. C., 55, Day-street, Fredonia, N.Y. 

DE WITT, MRS. HARRIET, Colorado Springs, Colo. 

DUGGIN, MRS. CHAS., 310, Madison-avenue, New York, N.Y. 

Eady, T. J., Atlanta, Ga. 

ELY, ROBERT ERSKINE, 744, Massachusetts-avenue, Cambridge, Mass. 

FLOWER,- MRS. GEORGE W., 615, Fifth-avenue, New York, N.Y. 

FREEMAN, MRS. W. H., Box 322, Hinsdale, 111. 

GARLAND, Miss CAROLINE, Librarian, Public Library, Dover, N.H. 

LOVE JOY, FORREST E., 46, Reading Hill-ave., Mel rose Highlands, Mass. 

MARSHALL, L. C., East Walpole, Mass. 

MARSHALL, MRS. L. C., East Walpole, Mass. 

PINCOFF, P. A., c/o U. H. Dudley and Co., cor. Hudson and Duane-sts., 

New York, N.Y. 
RUSSELL, W. H., P.O. Box 984, Baltimore, Md. 

254 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [JUNE, 1900. 

SEDGWICK, MRS. H. D., JUNE., 120, E. 22nd St., New York, N.Y. 
SHARP, MRS. KATE, c/o J. S. Morgan and Co., 22, Old Broad-street, 

London, E.G. 

STRICKLER, O. C., M.D., Post Office Block, New Ulm, Minn. 
WHITE, Miss CATHARINE P., Grand Haven, Ottawa Co., Mich. 


The Council met at the rooms of the Society on May 18th. 
The President, Mr. F. W. H. Myers, occupied the chair. There were 
also present : Professor W. F. Barrett, Sir William Crookes, Mr. J. G. 
Piddington, Mr. F. Podmore, Mr. Sydney C. Scott, Mr. H. Arthur 
Smith, and Dr. A. Wallace. 

The Minutes of the last meeting were read and signed as correct. 

Two new Associates were elected. The election of one new Member 
and nineteen new Associates of the American Branch was recorded. 
Names and addresses are given above. 

The Council recorded with regret the decease of Mr. A. T. 
Squarey, J.P., who had been an Associate of the Society for some 

Some presents to the Library were on the table, for which a vote 
of thanks was passed to the donors. 

The Treasurer reported that the Society's bank account had been 
transferred to the Temple Bar Branch of the London and Westminster 
Bank, Limited. 

The Council was informed that the Hon. Secretary had assumed 
the name of J. G. Piddington, instead of J. G. Smith. 

Several other matters having been attended to, it was agreed that 
the next meeting of the Council should be on Friday, June 22nd, at 
3 p.m., at the Westminster Town Hall, previous to the General 
Meeting arranged for that day. 


The 105th General Meeting of the Society was held in the 
Westminster Town Hall on Friday, May 18th, at 8.30 p.m. The 
President, MR. F. W. H. MYERS, in the chair, delivered an Address, 
which is summarised in the following Argument : 

1. Psychical Research is 110 longer felt to need the recommendation 
of names independently eminent in other branches of study. 

.TI-NK, 1900.] General Meeting. 255 

2. Yet if recognition is to be paid primarily to actual work per- 
formed for our Research, the name of Edmund Gurney must occur as 
that which all would fain have honoured ; the man whose attitude 
towards our Research was of the loftiest, the most unselfish kind ; the 
man who felt most strongly the sheer moral need of discovering a 
future life, if the cruel injustices of this life are to be conceived as 
compatible with a First Cause worthy of love or worship. 

3. For most men the quest of immortality will answer to a stronger 
element of personal desire ; although such desire need not imply bias 
in the estimation of evidence. 

4. No attachment to Christian tradition, no recognition of the need 
and value of high intuitions, should blind us to the fact that only on 
truths scientifically demonstrated can a world-philosophy or world- 
religion be based. 

5. Yet the facts proved by Science have not thus far been adequate 
to satisfy the spiritual needs of mankind. May not Science discover 
further facts which may at any rate prove the preamble of all religions ? 

6. Such is our attempt ; for we believe that by maintaining unity 
of method in our search for every form of truth we have the best 
chance of discovering new facts of deep spiritual importance. 

7. And, in fact, this line of inquiry has already pointed us to a 
hidden, subliminal world within us, and through that world to an 
unseen, but responsive, spiritual world without. 

8. And if the messages from that unseen world be felt at present 
to be inadequate to our desires, yet our faith in the coherence and 
intelligibility of at least the material universe should lead us to trust 
that clarity and dignity cannot be permanently lacking in any system 
of communications which may proceed from the Universe of Spirit. 

9. We seem, indeed, to be awakening into a new consciousness of 
the living solidarity of the human race, in this world and the next, 
which will afford an adequate motive for utmost effort and highest 

10. But if we are thus to gain the advantage of scientific certainty 
for our deepest beliefs, we are bound in return to treat the scientific 
virtues as necessary to salvation. 

11. The especial function of the Society for Psychical Research 
should be to insist upon this view, and to form an advisory centre for 
widespread investigation. 

12. For aid in this task we can address our claim alike to the 
scientific and to the religious world; ouf wider Science, of which 
Religion is the subjective aspect, must come not to destroy, but to 

256 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [JUNE, 1900. 


We desire to call the special attention of our readers to the 
International Congress of Psychology, to be held at Paris, August 20th 
to 25th, under the presidency of PROFESSOR TH. RIBOT. It will be 
seen that the schedule of subjects to be discussed includes many topics 
bearing more or less directly on our own special studies. Those who 
attended the previous Congresses of Psychology at Paris, London, and 
Munich, will remember how much there was of interest and instruction 
for psychical researchers in the papers and discussions that took place 
on those occasions, and we hope that many of our members will find 
an opportunity of joining in the present Congress. 

We print below the provisional circular and programme issued 
some months ago, hoping to be able to give a more complete account 
of the scheme of proceedings in our next number. 

Application for membership of the Congress is to be made by 
printed forms, which may be obtained from the General Secretary, 
PROFESSOR PIERRE JANET, Rue Barbet-de-Jouy, 21, Paris. 

(Paris, 20-25 Aout 1900.) 

MONSIEUR, Dans sa seance du 7 aout 1896, le troisieme Congres de 
psychologie, reuni a Munich, sous la pre*sidence de M. le professeur Stumpf, 
nous a charges d'organiser la prochaine reunion du 4 e Congres international 
de psychologie, a Paris. 

Nous avons 1'honneur de vous annoncer que ce Congres aura lieu a 
Paris, dans le Palais des Congres, installe pres de 1'Exposition universelle, du 
lundi 20 an samedi 25 aout 1900, et nous vous invitons a vouloir bieii prendre 
part a ses travaux. 

Nous croyons que le souvenir de nos reunions a Paris en 1889, a Londres 
en 1892, a Munich en 1896, engagera les membres des precedents Congres de 
psychologie a profiter de cette occasion pour se reunir de nouveau. Nous 
esperons que toutes les autres personnes, qui s'int^resseiit a un titre quel- 
conque a 1'etude tie 1'esprit humain, voudront bieii se joindre a nous. 

Professeurs de philosophic, physiologistes, medecins, jurisconsultes, 
naturalistes, etudient, chacun de leur cote et avec des me"thodes differentes, 
la pensee de l'homme ; n'auraient-ils pas profit et plaisir a se connaitre 
davantage les uns les autres ? Ce Congres pourra, comme les precedents, 
rendre un grand service aux Etudes psychologiques, s'il permet a tous ceux 
qui, dans des pays divers et dans des situations diffe"rentes, s'interessent aux 
memes recherches, de se rencontrer, de se connaitre et de s'apprecier 

JUNE, 1900.] Fourth International Congress of Psychology. 257 

Agrdez, Monsieur, 1'assurance cle nos sentiments tres distiugues. 

Le President, TH. RIBOT, 

Professeur de psychologic experimentale et comparee au College de 
France, Directeur de la Revue philosophique, 25, rue des Ecoles. 

Le Vice-President, CHARLES RICHET, 

Professeur de physiologie a la Faculte" de medecine de Paris, 
Directeur de la Revue scientijique^ 15, rue de 1'Universite. 

Le Secretaire general, DR. PIERRE JANET, 

charge du cours de psychologie experimentale a la Sorbonne, pro- 

fesseur remplagant au College de France, directeur du laboratoire 

de psychologie a la Salpetriere, 21, rue Barbet-de-Jouy. 

Le Tresorier, M. F^LIX ALCAN, 
libraire-editeur, 108, boulevard Saint-Germain. 


I. L'ouverture du 4 e Congres international de psychologie aura lieu le 
lundi 20 aout 1900. 

Pourront prendre part au Coiigres toutes les personnes qui s'interessent 
au developpement des connaissances psychologiques. Les dames y seront 
admises dans les memes conditions et avec les memes droits que les 

Les personnes qui desirent adherer au Congres sont prices de remplir le 
bulletin ci-joint et de 1'envoyer sous enveloppe fermee et affranchie a M. le 
Dr. Pierre Janet, 21, rue Barbet-de-Jouy. 

II. La cotisation. des membres du Congres est fixee a 20 francs. MM. les 
adherents sont pries de joindre a leur bulletin un mandat-poste de 20 francs 
pour 1' acquit de leur cotisation : ils recevront en retour la carte de membre 
du Congres. 

Les membres du Congres recevront gratuitement le journal du Congres, 
le programme des seances et un exemplaire des rapports officiels. 

La carte de membre du Congres donnera le droit d'entree dans les divers 
e"tablissements d'mstruction, dans les musees, laboratoires, hopitaux, ainsi 
qu'aux diverses reunions qui pourront etre organisers. 

II est probable que des reductions de 40 p. 100 seront faites par les 
compagnies de chemins de fer, pour les voyages aller et retour pendant la 
duree de 1'Exposition. 

III. Les travaux du Congres se feront soit dans des stances gene'rales, 
soit dans des seances de sections dirigees par les presidents des sections. 

Les sections seront au nombre de sept, et auront les titres suivants : 1<> 
Psychologie dans ses rapports avec Vanatomie et la physiologie; 2 Psychologie 
introspective dans ses rapports avec la philosophie ; 3 Psychologie experimentale 
et psycho-physique ; 4 Psychologie pathologique et psychiatric ; 5 Psychologie 
de Vhypnotisme, de la suggestion et questions connexes ; 6 Psychologie sociale et 
criminelle; 7 Psychologie anitnale et comparee, anthropologle, ethnologic. 

Les langues admises dans les discussions sont : 1'allemand, 1'anglais, le 
franQais et 1'italien. 

258 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [JUNE, looo. 

La duree d'une communication dans les sections est fixee a vingt minutes 
au plus. 

Les personnes qui de'sirent faire une communication sont instamment 
priees d'indiquer le plus tot possible, et au plus tard le l er Janvier 1900, le 
titre de leur etude et d'envoyer au secretariat un extrait succinct, un resume 
ne depassant pas deux pages imprimees. 

Ces extraits seront imprimes et distribues avant chaque seance a 1'audi- 
toire, afin cle rendre plus facile I'intelligence de la communication. 

Une exposition de documents et d'appareils de precision ayant rapport 
a la psychologic sera peut-etre annexee au Congres ; les personnes qui 
desireraient presenter des documents ou des appareils sont priees de nous en 
faire part le plus tot possible. 

MM. les membres du Comite donneront volontiers tous les renseignements 
complementaires qui leur seront demandes. D'ailleurs un programme plus 
complet sera envoye prochainement aux personnes qui auront adhere au 


I. Psi/chologie dans ses rapports avec I'anatomie et la physiologic. 

DUVAL (Dr. Mathias), professeur d'histologie a la Faculte de medecine de 
Paris, professeur a 1'Ecole d'anthropologie et a 1'Ecole des beaux arts, 
cite Malesherbes (rue des Martyrs), 11. 

II. Psychologie introspective dans ses rapports avec la philosophic. 
S^AILLES (G.), professeur de philosophic a la Sorbonne, rue Lauriston, 25. 

III. Psychologie experimentale et psycho-physiqu,e. 

BINET (A.), directeur du laboratoire de psychologic de 1'Ecole des hautes 
etudes (a la Sorbonne), rue du Depart, a Meudon (Seine et-Oise). 

IV. Psychologie pathologique et psychiatrie. 

D r MAGNAN, medecin de 1'asile Sainte-Anne, membre de 1' Academic de 
medecine, rue Cabanis, 1. 

V. Psychologie de I'hypnotisme, de la suggestion et questions connexes. 
D r BERNHEIM, professeur de clinique interne a la Faculte de medecine de 
Nancy, place de la Carriere, %4-> a Nancy. 

VI. Psychologic sociale et criminelle. 

TARDE, chef du bureau de la statistique (Ministere de la justice), rue Sainte- 
Placide, 62. 

VII. Psychologie animate et comparee, anthropologie, ethnologic. 
DELAGE (YVES), professeur de zoologie et d'anatomie comparee a la Sorbonne, 
rue du Marche, 16, a Sceaux (Seine). 


BALBIANI, professeur d'embryoge'nie comparee au College de France, rue 

Soufflot, 18. 
BEAUNIS (D r ), directeur honoraire du laboratoire de psychologic de 1'Ecole 

des hautes etudes (Sorbonne), villa Sainte-Genevieve, promenade de la 

Croisette, a Cannes (Alpes-Maritimes). 

JUNK, 1900.] Fourth International Congress of Psychology. 259 


BERGSON, maitre de conferences de philosophic a 1'Ecole normale supe*rieure, 

boulevard Saint-Michel, 76. 

BOURGET (Paul), inembre de 1'Acad^mie franQaise, rue Barbet-de-Jouy, 20. 
BOUTROUX, membre de 1'Institut, professeur d'histoire de la philosophie a la 

Sorbonne, rue Saint-Jacques, 260. 
BROCHARD, professur d'histoire de la philosophie ancienne a la Sorbonne, 

rue de Poissy, 13. 
BUISSON, professeur de science de l'e"ducation a la Sorbonne, boulevard du 

Montparnasse, 166. 
CRUPPI (Jean), avocat general a la Cour d'appel, depute de la Haute- 

Garonne, rue Spontini, 68. 

DARIEX (D r ), directeur des Annales des sciences psychiques, rue du Belley, 6. 
ESPINAS, charge du cours d'histoire de 1'^conomie sociale a la Sorbonne, 

ancien doyen de la Faculte des lettres de Bordeaux, rue du Ranelagh, 84. 
FE"RE" (D*), medecin de Bicetre, boulevard Saint-Michel, 37. 
FOUILLEE, membre de 1'Institut, villa Fouillee, a Menton (Alpes-Maritimes). 
FRANCOIS-FRANCK (Dr), professeur suppleant de physiologie au College de 

France, rue Sainte-Philippe-du-Roide, 5. 
GLEY (D r ), assistant au Museum, professeur agrege de physiologie a Faculte 

de medecine, rue Monsieur-le- Prince, 14. 
JANET (Paul), membre de 1'Institut, ancien professeur de philosophie a la 

Sorbonne, rue de Grenelle, 59. 
JOFFROY (D r ), professeur de la clinique de medecine mentale a la Faculte de 

medecine, boulevard Saint-Germain, 195. 
LACASSAGNE (Dr), professeur de medecine legale a la Faculte de medecine, 

place Raspail, 1, a Lyon (Rhone). 
LACAZE-DUTHIERS (H. DE), membre de 1'Institut, professeur de zoologie a la 

Sorbonne, rue VEstrapade, 7. 

LE"VEILLE, professeur a 1'Ecole de droite, rue du Cherche-Midi, 55. 
LIARD, membre de 1'Institut, directeur de 1'enseignement superieur au 

Ministere de 1'instruction publique, rue de Fieurus, 27. 
LYON, maitre de conferences d'histoire de la philosophie a 1'Ecole normale 

superieure, rue Ampere, 11. 
MANOUVRTER, professeur a 1'Ecole d'anthropologie, rue de l'Ecole-de- 

Medecine, 15. 
PAUI/HAN, ancien bibliothecaire, rue de Chdtillon, a Viry-Chdtillon (Seine- 

RABIER, direqteur de 1'enseignement secondaire au Ministere de 1'instruction 

publique, rue de Fleurus, 27. 
RAYMOND (D r ), professeur de la clinique des maladies du systeme nerveux, 

medecin de la Salpetriere, boulevard Haussmann, 156. 
SE"GLAS (Dr), medecin de Bicetre, rue de Rennes, 96. 
SOLLIER (D r ), directeur de 1'lnstitut hydrotherapique de Boulogne-sur-Seine, 

avenue de Versailles, 145. 
SOURY (Jules), directeur des conferences a 1'Ecole des Hautes etudes (a la 

Sorbonne), rue Gay-Lussac, 21. 

SULLY-PRUDHOMME, membre de 1'Academie frangaise, rue du Faubourg- 
Saint- Honore, 82. 
WEISS (D r A.), professeur agrege a la Faculte de medecine, avenue Jules- 

Janin, 20. 

260 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [JUNK, 1900. 

Nomme par le Congres de Munich le 7 Aout 1896.* 

Dr. Hermann EBJBINGHAUS, Professor der Philosophie an der Universitat, 

Kaiser Wilhelmstrasse, 84, Breslan. 
Dr. Paul FLECHSIG, Kgl. Geheimrath, Prof, der Psychiatrie und Direktor 

der Irreiianstalt. Psychiatrische Klinik. Leipzig. 
Dr. E. HERING, Prof, der Physiologie, Liebigstr., 16, Leipzig. 
Dr. Th. LIPPS, Prof, der Philosophie an der Universitat, Georgenstrasse, 18, 

Munich . 
Dr. Frhr. von SCHRENCK-NOTZING, prakt. Arzt, Max Josephstrasse, 2/1, 

Dr. Carl STUMPF, Prof, der Philosophie an der Universitat, Nurnberger- 

strasse, 14, Berlin, W. 
Dr. Wilhelm WUNDT, Prof, der Philosophie und Direktor der Instituts fiir 

experimentelle Psychologie an der Universitat, Leipzig. 


Dr. A. BAIN, Prof, of Philosophy, Aberdeen. 
Prof. Dr. FERRIER, 34, Cavendish Square, London, W. 
Frederic W. H. MYERS, M.A., Leckhampton House, Cambridge. 
Prof. Henry SIDGWICK, Newnham College, Cambridge. 
Prof. James SULLY (of University College, London), East Heath Road, 

Hampstead, London, N. W. 

Dr. Sigm. EXNER, K. K. Hofrath, Prof, der Physiologie, Physiol. Institut, 

Schwarzspanierstrasse, 15, Wien, IX. 
Dr. Anton MARTY, Prof, an der Universitat, Prague. 
Dr. Alexius MEINONG, Prof, der Philosophie an der Universitat, Heinrich- 

strasse, 7, Gratz. 

Dr. Alfred LEHMANN, Docent de psychologie experimentale a 1'Universite, 

Osterbrogade, 7, Copenhague. 

Prof. Mark BALDWIN, Prof, of Psychology at the Princeton University, 

Princeton, New Jersey. 

Prof. STANLEY-HALL, Clark University, Worcester, Mass. 
Prof. William JAMES, Harvard University, Irving Street, 95, Cambridge, Mass. 
Prof. Edward Bradford TITCHENER, Prof, of Psychology, Cornell University, 
Ithaca, New York. 

Prof. Dr. RAMON Y CAJAL, prof, en la Universidad, Madrid. 


M. A. BINET, directeur du laboratoire de psychologie a 1'Ecole des Hautes 
Etudes (Sorbonne), rue du Depart, a Meudon (Seine-et-Oise). 

D r Pierre JANET, charge du cours de psychologie experimentale a la Sorbonne, 
professeur remplagant au College de France, directeur du laboratoire de 
psychologie de la clinique a la Salpetriere, rue Barbet-de-Jouy, 21, a Paris. 

* Comptes rendus du Congres de Munich, 1877, p. 164. 

JUNE, jooo.] Second International Congress of Hypnotism. 261 

Prof. Th. RIBOT, professeur de psychologie experimentale et comparee au 
College de France, directeur de la Revue philosophique, rue des Ecoles, 
25, Paris. 

Prof. Ch. RICHET, professeur de physiologie a la Faculte de medecine, direc- 
teur de la Revue scientijique, rue de V University 15, Paris. 


Dr. F. BRENTANO, prof, de philosophic a 1'Universite, Florence. 
Dr. G. MINGAZZINI, prof, de psychiatric, Manicomio, Rome. 
Dr. Enrico MORSELLI, prof, de clinica delle malattie mentali e di neuro- 

patologia, direttore dell' Istituto psichiatrico nella R. Universita, via 

Assarotti, 4^1 Genes. 

Dr. Mosso (Angelo), prof, de physiologie, Turin. 
Dr. Guiseppe SERGI, prof, di antropologia alia R. Universita, Istituto 

fisiologico, Rome. 


Dr. GROTE, prof, a 1'Universite, president de la Societe psychologique, Odessa. 
Dr. S. KORSAKOW, prof, de psychiatrie a 1'Universite, Devitschie pole 

Psifchiatrische Klinik, Moscou. 
Dr. Nikolaus LANGE, prof, a 1'Universite, Odessa. 
Dr. Maurice MENDELSSOHN, docent de medecine, Galernaiastrasse, 20, Saint- 



Prof. HENSCHEN, a 1'Universite, Upsala. 
Dr. J. MOURLY-VOLD, prof, de philosophic a 1'Universite, Christiania. 


Dr. Th. FLOURNOY, prof, de philosophic a 1'Universite, Florissant, 9, Geneve. 
Dr. August FOREL, prof, a 1'Universite, Zurich. 


We have received the following preliminary programme of the 
International Congress of Hypnotism, to be held in Paris, August 
12th-16th, 1900. 


(Paris, 12-16 Aout 1900.) 

MONSIEUR, Le premier Congres international de VHypnotisme experi- 
mental et therapeutique qui s'est re"uni en 1889, a 1'Hotel-Dieu, sous la 
pre"sidence de M. Dumontpallier, menibre de 1'Academie de medecine, avait 
confie k une commission compos^e de MM. Dumontpallier, Be"rillon, Gilbert 
Ballet, Bernheim, Grasset, Lie"geois, Auguste Voisin, Ladame (de Geneve), 
Masoin (de Louvain), le soin d'organiser le Congres suivant. 

Cette commission ayant delegue ses pouvoirs au bureau de la Societe" 
d'hypnologie, cette societe* s'est reunie en assemblee generale le 16 mai 1898, 
et a exprime le voeu que le second Congres de 1'Hypnotisme experimental et 

262 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [JUNE, 1900. 

the"rapeutique eut lieu a Paris, au mois d'aout 1900, im mediate ment apres la 
cloture du Congres international de medecine. 

Se conformant a ce voeu, la Commission supe"rieure des Congres a de"cid6 
de rattacher le second Congres international de 1'Hypnotisme a la s^rie des 
Congres de 1'Exposition et M. le Commissaire general a nomm une commis- 
sion d'organisation. 

Cette Commission, convoque"e par M. le professeur Gariel, de'le'gue' 
principal pour les Congres, s'est reunie le 17 avril 1899. Elle a constitue* 
son bureau, institu^ un comite de patronage, mis a 1'ordre du jour un certain 
nombre de questions ge"ne"rales et fix 1'ouverture du Congres au dimanche 
12 aout 1900, a 3 heures, au Palais des Congres de 1'Exposition. 


En conviant au deuxieme Congres international de 1'Hypnotisme experi- 
mental et therapeiitique les savants franc,ais et etrangers qui s'inte'resseiit au 
progres de 1'Hypnotisme, les organisateurs rappellent que le premier Congres 
a re'uni en 1889 un nombre considerable de me"decins, de professeurs de 
philosophic, de magistrats, d'avocats et de sociologues et que les communica- 
tions ont donne lieu a des debats fort importants. 

Tous ceux qui ont pris part aux travaux de ce Congres se souviennent de 
Pesprit de concorde et de progres qui a anime les congressistes pendant la 
dure*e de ces assises memorables. 

Le deuxieme Congres aura pour but principal : 

1 De fixer d'une fa$on definitive la terminologie de la science de 1'hypno- 
tisme ; 

2 D'enregistrer et de determiner les acquisitions reelles faites jusqu'a ce 
jour dans le domaine de 1'hypnotisme. 

Pour conserver au Congres son caractere exclusivement scientifique, le 
Comitd n'acceptera que les communications se rapportant aux applications 
cliniques, medico-legales, psycho-physiologiques, pedagogiques et sociolo- 
giques de 1'hypnotisme et des phenomenes qui s'y rattachent. 

Le but du second Congres de 1'hypnotisme est ainsi nettement trace. 

II est done entendu que le Congres de 1'hypnotisme n'empietera sur aucun 
des domaines reserves a d'autres congres se reunissant vers la meme epoque. 
La reunion du Congres suivra presque imm^diatement celle du Congres inter- 
national des sciences medicales. 


Article Premier. 

Le Congres se re*unira a Paris, du 12 au 16 aout 1900. La stance d'ouver- 
ture est fixee au dimanche 12 aout a 3 heures. Les stances auront lieu au 
Palais des Congres. 

Seront membres du Congres : 

1 Les membres de la Societe d'hypnologie et de psychologie ; 

2 Tous les adherents qui auront fait parvenir leur adhesion avant le 
5 aout 1900. 

Art. 2. 

Les adherents au Congres auront seuls le droit de prendre part aux 

JUNE, 1000. j Second International Congress of Hypnotism. 263 

Art. 3. 
Le droit d' admission est fixe a 20 francs. 

Art. 4. 

Le Congres se composera : 
1 D'une seance d'ouverture ; 

2 De stances consacrees a la discussion des rapports et aux communica- 
tions ; 

3 De conferences generals (avec projections) ; 

4 De visites dans les hopitaux et hospices ; 

5 D'excursions, de receptions et de fetes organisees par le Bureau. 

Art. 5. 

Les communications seront divisees en quatre groupes : 

1 Applications cliniques et therapeutiques de 1'hypnotisme et de la 
suggestion ; 

2 Applications pedagogiques et sociologiques ; 

3 Applications psycho-physiologiques ; 

4 Applications medico-legales. 

Art. 6. 

Les communications et les comptes rendus des discussions seront reunis 
dans une publication adressee a tous les adherents. 

Art. 7. 

Les adherents sont invites a adresser le plus tot possible le titre de leurs 
communications a M. le Secretaire general. 

Les manuscrits des communications devront etre deposes sur le Bureau 
avant la fin de la seance. Les orateurs qui auront pris la parole dans la 
discussion devront remettre leur argumentation au cours meme de la seance. 

Toutes les communications relatives au Congres, demandes d'admis- 
sion, ouvrages manuscrits et imprimes, etc., doivent etre adresses a M. 
le docteur BERILLON, secretaire general, 14, rue Taitbout, a Paris 
(Telephone 224-01). 



M. le docteur VOISIN (Jules), medecin de la Salpetriere, president de 
la Societe d'hypnologie. 

MM. DAURIAC (Lionel), professeur honoraire a la Faculte des lettres de 

Montpellier, professeur de philosophic au lycee Janson de Sailly. 
le docteur GRASSET, professeur a la Faculte de medecine de Montpellier. 
LI^GEOIS, professeur a la Faculte de droit de Nancy. 
MELCOT, avocat general a la Cour de Cassation. 

Secretaire general. 

M. le docteur B^RILLON, medecin inspecteur des asiles d'alienes de la 
Seine, directeur de la Revue de I'Hypnotisme. 

Secretaire general adjoint. 
M. le docteur FAREZ (Paul), licencie en philosophic. 

264 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [JUNE, 1000. 

MM. JULLIOT, docteur en droit. 

le docteur LEMESLE (Henry), licencie en droit. 

L^PINAY, me'decm vete"rinaire. 

le docteur REGNAULT (Felix), ancien interne des hopitaux. 

M. COLAS (Albert), president de la Socie'te d'etudes philosophiques et 


Presidents d'honneur. 
MM. le docteur AZAM, prof esseur honoraire a la Faculte de me'decine de 


le docteur JOFFROY, professeur a la Faculte de me'decine de Paris. 

le docteur RAYMOND, professeur a la Faculte de me'decine de Paris. 

le docteur RICHET (Charles), professeur a la Faculte de me'decine 
de Paris. 

le docteur DURAND DE GROS. 

le docteur LIE"BEAULT, de Nancy. 

SOURY (Jules), professeur a 1'Ecole pratique des Hautes Etudes. 
[The Committee of Patronage includes representatives of Austria, 
Belgium, England, Germany, Greece, Holland, Italy, Russia, Servia, Spain, 
Sweden and Norway, Switzerland, the United States. The English and 
American members are the following : 
Mr. F. W. H. Myers, Cambridge. 
Sir William Crookes, F.R.S., London. 
Dr. Francis Cruise, Dublin. 
Dr. C. Lloyd Tuckey, London. 
Dr. J. Milne Bramwell, London. 
Professor James Sully, University College, London. 
Professor Dana, New York. 

Dr. MacDonald, Bureau of Education, Washington. 
Dr. Hamilton Osgood, Boston. 
Dr. Henrik Petersen, Boston. 
Professor Maurice Zeligson, Cleveland, Ohio. 
Professor Stanley Hall, Clark University, Worcester. 
Professor William James, Harvard University.] 



Redaction d'un vocabulaire concernant la terminologie de I'hypnotisme et 
des phenomenes qui s'y rapportent. 

Rapporteurs : M. le docteur BERILLON, M. le docteur FAREZ (Paul). 


Les rapports de I'hypnotisme avec 1'hysterie. 

* Deux mois avant la reunion du Congres, MM. les Rapporteurs devront adresser 
a M. le Secretaire general le resum^ et les conclusions de leurs rapports. Ces conclu 
sions seront adressees a tous les adherents, afin de permettre la discussion apprcfondie 
des sujets mis a 1'ordre du jour. 

JUNK, 1900.] A Case of Duplex Personality. 265 

I\"ppo)'teurs: M. le docteur MAGNIN (Paul), M. le docteur CKOCQ (de 


Les applications de 1'hypnotisme a la the"rapeutique ge"nerale. 
Rapporteur: M. le docteur MILNE BKAMWELL (de Londres). 


Les indications de 1'hypnotisme et de la suggestion dans le traitement des. 
maladies mentales et de 1'alcoolisme. 

Rapporteurs: M. le docteur TOKARSKY (de Moscou), M. le docteur LLOYD- 
TUCKEY (de Londres). 

Le applications de 1'hypnotisme a la pedagogie geneVale et k 1'orthopedie 

Rapporteur: M. le docteur BERILLON. 


Valeur de 1'hypnotisme comme moyen d'investigation psychologique. 
Eapporte urs : M. le docteur VOGT (de Berlin); M. le docteur FAREZ 
(Paul), M. le docteur REGNAULT (Felix). 


L'hypnotisme devant la loi du 30 novembre 1892, sur 1'exercice de la 
medecine. Intervention des pouvoirs publics dans la reglementation de 

Rapporteurs: M. le docteur LEMESLE (Henry), M. JULHOT (Ch.), docteur 
en droit. 


La suggestion et 1'hypnotisme dans leurs rapports avec la jurisprudence. 

Rapporteurs : M. le docteur VON SCHREXCK-NOTZLNG (de Munich), M. le 
docteur JOIRE (Paul), (de Lille). 


Responsabilites speciales resultant de la pratique de 1'hypnotisme ex- 

Rapporteur : M. le professeur BOIRAC. 


The following is a case of duplex personality similar to those of 
which accounts have appeared from time to time in our Proceedings 
and Journal ; see especially the case of Ansel Bourne, Proceedings, Vol. 
VII., p. 221. This account is taken from an article entitled " Duplex 
Personality: Report of a Case," by William F. Drewry, M.D., of Peters- 
burg, Virginia, U.S.A., in the Medico-Legal Journal for June, 1896. 

The following case, which came under my observation within the past 
year, and the details of which were kindly given me by an eminent 
practitioner of Virginia,* who was the family physician of the patient, 
typifies the peculiar phases of duplex personality and periodic extinction of 

* Dr. H. G. Leigh, Sr., of Petersburg, Va. 

266 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [JUNE, 1900. 

memory, and is interesting from a psychologic, as well as clinical point of 
view. It is also of interest as regards forensic medicine. 

Mr. K. was a man fifty years old, of splendid physique, in good health, 
in fairly comfortable circumstances, doing a mercantile business, sober, 
moral and industrious, of affable disposition, popular with a large circle of 
friends, member of several secret benevolent orders, and happy and 
contented in his domestic relations. He was born and reared in the State ; 

had resided and conducted business in for twenty or more years, and 

deservedly bore the reputation of being a correct, straightforward man in 
every particular. He had for years been one of the town officials. 

One of his near relatives (an uncle, I think) at about the age of fifty, 
without any apparent reason whatever, went out West, leaving his wife 
and children, and was not heard of for many years. Finally he came back 
on a visit and remained a short time with his family and old acquaintances. 
No explanation was given of his strange conduct. It was thought that he 
had some form of mental disease. I mention this case to show that Mr. K. 
might have inherited some neuropathic taint or eccentricity. 

One day, while apparently in perfect health, without any premonitory 
symptoms of mental derangement, Mr. K. went to a northern city to 
purchase goods for his store. While there two days he transacted a great 
deal of business, met many old friends and exhibited no indication of 
aberration of mind. Starting homeward he registered as a passenger on a 
certain steamer ; feeling very tired he secured a state-room, to which at 
once he repaired, changed his linen, etc. When tickets were collected he 
was missing. He had suddenly and mysteriously disappeared. No one had 
;seen him leave the boat, jump or fall overboard. An acquaintance, how- 
ever, said that he was reasonably certain that he saw Mr. K. several hours 
after the boat had left, in one of the depots in the city. He was sitting 
down, hat pulled over his face, and seemed to be in a " deep study," so he 
was not disturbed. Mr. K.'s open valise and all his clothes, except those he 
wore, were found in his state-room. The room door was open, but the key 
had been taken away. 

Some suspected he had been robbed and thrown overboard ; others 
thought he had (suddenly) become insane, or had had a fit and fallen into 
the sea ; the suicide theory was also indulged in, and the opinion was enter- 
tained by some that he had absconded. But what had become of him, why, 
when and how he disappeared were mysteries. He had, unobserved, simply 
*' stepped out into the great unknown." A vigorous search was made to find 
him, dead or alive, detectives were employed, the newspapers teemed with 
accounts of the strange and unaccountable going away of this well-known 
man, but no clue was to be had that would throw any light whatever upon 
his mysterious disappearance. 

Finally search was abandoned, the theory that he was dead accepted, and 
the court appointed an administrator of his estate and a guardian for his 
children. His business was purchased by his son, and everything was 
moving along smoothly, when, six months after he was last heard of, he 
suddenly and unexpectedly appeared at the home of a relative in a distant 

JUNE, 1900.] A Case of Duplex Personality. 267 

southern city. lie was brought home in a composed, but partially dazed 
condition, able to recognise but tew of his friends. He was an entirely 
changed man the physical and psychical metamorphoses were quite 
complete. He was hardly recognised by his friends. He had reduced in 
weight from 250 to 150 pounds and was very feeble. He wore the same 
suit of clothes he had on at the time he disappeared, and had in his pocket 
the check and key which were given him on the boat. 

He was at once put under treatment, and in four weeks he recovered his 
previous bodily and mental health, and has since conducted his same old 
business with his accustomed skill and industry. A day or two after his 
return home an abscess, deep down in the auditory canal, broke and discharged 
a large quantity of sanguino-purulent matter. Immediately thereupon 
improvement began and went on rapidly. This was a remarkable fact, and 
is, I think, worthy of special note. 

Hear Mr. K. 's own account of his strange case : "I was feeling very 
tired thoroughly fatigued after a very busy day in the city, so went to my 
state-room immediately upon going aboard the boat and changed my 
clothes. Up to that time I was thoroughly conscious, but after that I 
recall nothing all was oblivion till six months later when * I came sud- 
denly to myself ' in a distant city in the South, where I knew no one. I 
found myself driving a fruit-waggon on the street. I was utterly astounded. 
Why I was there, how and when I got there, where I came from, what I had 
been doing, were puzzling questions to me. Upon inquiry I learned that I 
had been there, and at work, for some time. My life since I was in that 
state-room had been an absolute blank to me. I can give no account of 
myself during that period of time. I started at once for Virginia, but on 
the way I again lost consciousness, though only for a day or two. When 
further on my way home, I felt so utterly worn out, I stopped in a certain 
town and went to the house of a very near relative. From there I was 
taken home. I was in a half-dazed, confused condition, and remained so 
some days longer. I am now feeling Avell and all right." 

This case bears many striking resemblances to others that have been 
from time to time reported, but there are two points of special interest. 
First, the inherited tendency to eccentricity, if not to insanity. His 
mysterious disappearance occurred at the same age at which his progenitor 
so strangely disappeared. Second, the abscess in the ear, the discharge of 
which was followed by a rapid return to normal mentality. Is it not 
probable that this abscess had some etiologic connection with the mental 
trouble, by producing a maladjustment of the cerebral functions, a disturbance 
of the circulation, an endarteritis, which would induce a condition of 
encephalic anaemia, or a suppression of suppuration, which would effect a 
hypersemia ? 

"Loss of memory," says Rosse, "following organic lesion, dynamic 
trouble, or any sudden metabolic disturbance of the brain, may recover 
rapidly." Certainly Mr. K. made a rapid, uninterrupted recovery after the 
abscess had discharged. His physician said that there was a perceptible 
change for the better just as soon as the ear was relieved. 

268 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [JUNE, 1900. 


[IJie Editor is not responsible for opinions expressed by Correspondents.] 

[The following letter in reference to the discussion printed in the 
Journal for April on Professor Hyslop's Report of his sittings 
with Mrs. Piper, was received too late for insertion in the May 
issue. ED.] 


The abstract of Mr. Podmore's remarks on my report, a part of which 
was read at the meeting of March 2nd, indicates a misapprehension both of 
my object and of my position in the discussion of my sittings, and disregards 
also in one important case the most distinct disavowals possible on my part. 
One would naturally suppose from his remarks a propos of the mental 
attitude and phraseology of the chief communicator, that I had laid great 
stress upon this feature of the case, when, as a matter of fact, I did nothing 
of the sort. I have been at great pains to deal with many minor character- 
istics, not because I regarded them as evidential, but because it was 
important to ascertain how far every little detail appeared consistent or 
inconsistent with the main question at issue, and because trifles often 
constitute corroborative incidents, while they have no intrinsic value if 
taken alone. Nowhere in the report do I attempt to decide at large the 
relative merits of the individual facts. I have left this to the reader with 
the expectation that he would understand the psychological problem 
sufficiently to render such an explanation unnecessary. I do not see 
that I am obliged in every case to say whether my picture is a horse 
or a cow. 

The reader is also likely to misapprehend the statement about the names 
in the first sitting. One illustration impeaching the strength of the evidence 
is that "of the names given at the first sitting, only five out of seventeen 
were identified as correct." This absolutely ignores the fact that I had both 
emphatically disclaimed in more than one passage any importance for that 
sitting, and had actually isolated my account of it for that very reason. I 
may add also that I should not have claimed any importance for it spiritis- 
tically if the whole seventeen names had been correct. My experiments on 
identification, imitating the Piper case in some of its aspects, and already 
commented on in the Journal, show that personal identity can be established 
successfully without giving names on evidence as slight perhaps as is found 
in my first sitting, to say nothing of the later sittings. The real problem 
depends less on names than on incidents and psychological considerations 
that increase the difficulties of telepathy. On this latter point I had been 
especially emphatic, and it leaves a false impression to omit the fact from 
consideration while stating a truism about names. 


Columbia University, New York. 
April 20th, 1900. 

No. CLXXI.-Vor.. IX. JULY, 1900. 




New Member and Associates . . . 
Meeting of the Council . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 
General Meeting ...... 


. . 269 
. . 269 

Foundation of a Psychical Institute in Paris .. . 
Obituarv Marv H Kingslev 




Mrs. Piper's present Trance Condition 
Correspondence : 

. . 286 


The Range of he Subliminal .. .. 
The Fourth International Congress of Psychology 

. . 289 
. . 292 


Names of Members are printed in Black Type. 
Names of Associates are printed in SMALL CAPITALS. 

Raikes, Mrs., Leat House, Mai ton, Yorkshire. 

SIVUDU, RAYASAM YENKATA, B. A., Bezwada, Madras Presidency, India. 

THORNHILL, B., M.I.C.E., Geldeston, Beccles, Suffolk. 

YILLIERS, Miss ADELA. C., 44, Lennox Gardens, London, S.W. 


REID, DR. H. A., 133, Mary-street, Passadena, Cal. 
ROBERTS, B. L., Canton, Miss. 


The Council met at the Westminster Town Hall on June 22nd. 
The President occupied the chair. There were also present: Pro- 
fessor W. F. Barrett, Sir William Crookes, Mr. F. Podmore, and 
Dr. A. Wallace. 

The Minutes of the last meeting were read and signed as correct. 

One new Member and three new Associates were elected. The 
election of two new Associates of the American Branch was recorded. 
Names and addresses are given above. 

270 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [JULY, 1900. 

Several other matters having been attended to, it was agreed that 
the next Meeting of the Council should be on Monday, July 16th, at 
19, Buckingham Street, at 4.30 p.m., a General Meeting having been 
arranged for the evening of that day, at 8.30 p.m. 


The 106th General Meeting of the Society was held in the 
Westminster Town Hall on Friday, June 22nd, at 4 p.m. ; the 
President, Mr. F. W. H. MYERS, in the chair. 

The PRESIDENT read a paper on " Pseudo-possession," combining 
reviews of two recent French works, Professor Janet's Nevroses et idees 
fixes, and Professor Flournoy's Des Indes a la planete Mars. Each of 
these works treated of cases where there was an apparent invasion or 
possession of a living human organism by an external spirit ; although 
the cases in Professor Janet's book were frankly pathological, while 
with Professor Flournoy's subject there was no reason to assume any 
morbid taint. 

Professor Janet's book was a record of cases observed at the 
Salpetriere ; and especially of idees fixes, memories or imaginations 
or emotions which somehow become hypertrophied and irremovable, 
dominating the patient's mental life and resisting all ordinary 
attempts to meet them by argument. Professor Janet has shown once 
more how infinitely more potent is hypnotic suggestion than any other 
form of treatment in dealing with these u obsessions." For these 
fixed ideas are in truth obsessions of mind as a whole by a particular 
fragment of the mind. The man is obsessed by a memory or a 
passion of his own which constrains him as cruelly as though it were 
in fact a possessing devil. 

In one case of Dr. Janet's, indeed, the morbidly remorseful 
memory of a past act did gradually assume for the sufferer the 
personality of an indwelling fiend. It was precisely the sort of 
demoniacal possession which in old days ecclesiastics healed with 
exorcisms, or when exorcisms failed, with the stake. Dr. Janet used 
gentler suggestions, and succeeded in gradually dispelling the morbid 
preoccupation, and restoring the poor man from his imagined hell to 
the existence of every day. 

The book to which the speaker next turned had for readers of our 
Proceedings an even directer interest. It happened, no doubt> to any 
group which pursued for many years a somewhat unfamiliar line of 

JULY, 1900.] General Meeting. 271 

inquiry that those of their points which were first assailed got 
gradually admitted, so that as they became interested in new points 
they might scarcely observe what change had taken place in the 
reception of the old. The reader of early volumes of our Proceedings 
would often observe this kind of progress of opinion. And now 
Professor Flournoy's book indicated in a remarkable way how things 
had moved in the psychology of the last twenty years. The book, a 
model of fairness throughout, was, indeed, for the most part, criti- 
cally destructive in its treatment of the quasi-supernormal phenomena 
with which it dealt. But what a mass of conceptions a competent 
psychologist now took for granted in this realm, which the official 
science of twenty years ago would scarcely stomach our hinting at ! 

One important point might be noticed at once as decisively 
corroborating a contention of the speaker's own made long ago, and at 
a time when it probably seemed fantastic to many readers. Arguing 
for the potential continuity of subliminal mentation (as against those 
who urged that there were only occasional flashes of submerged 
thought, like scattered dreams) he had said that it would soon be found 
needful to press this notion of a continuous subliminal self to the 
utmost, if we were not prepared to admit a continuous spiritual 
guidance or possession. Now, in fact, with Professor Flournoy's 
subject the whole discussion turned on this very point. There was 
unquestionably a continuous and complex series of thoughts and feel- 
ings going on beneath the threshold of consciousness of M lle " Helene 
Smith." Was this submerged mentation due in any degree or in any 
manner to the operation of spirits other than M lle Smith's own"? 
That was the broad question ; but it was complicated here by a 
subsidiary question; whether, namely, any previous incarnations of 
M lle Smith's, other phases of her own spiritual history, now involving 
complex relationship with the past had any part in the crowd of 
personalities which seemed struggling to express themselves through 
her quite healthy organism. 

A detailed survey of the records of M lle Smith's phenomena 
seemed to show that they were all or almost all explicable by an 
unusually complex activity of her subliminal self. 

The speaker concluded with a few general reflections which this 
remarkable case of Professor Flournoy's, nay, which even some of 
Dr. Janet's morbid cases, seemed to suggest to the psychologist who 
cared to look beyond either the narrowing hospital-walls or the per- 
plexing seance-room. 

"The chief reflection," he said, "is that we are as yet but in a 
childish or rudimentary stage of our use of the human brain. That 

272 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [JULY, 1900. 

brain is in truth (as some one has said) but 'a virtual organ'; an 

organ en voie d' acquisition, which man is slowly learning to use, but 
with very little notion either of how it came to be what it is, or of 
what it ultimately may be. 

" No one, indeed, knows how it came to be what it is. No one has 
even plausibly explained that great difference between the simian 
and the savage organ which seems so incommensurate with any observ- 
able difference between the hairy chimpanzee and the hairy Aino. 
Some naturalists argue that much of the savage's brain-power must 
lie dormant; must somehow be a mere reserve for the later calls 
of a more complex existence. If this be admitted, we must surely 
go on to admit that a large proportion of the brain's capacity is 
dormant still. 

" I do not mean to predict that our race will necessarily include in 
the future individual minds more powerful than any minds in the past. 
This question ultimately depends upon that unknown factor, the 
nature of the sources from which spiritual life is infused into mortal 
organisms. Let us admit that judging by the last two thousand 
years we have little ground for confidence in any such advance of the 
highest individual level. Let us not be rash enough to prophesy 
that there will ever be a sculptor better than Praxiteles, or a lyric 
poet better than Pindar. Yet the important fact is that the great 
spirits of the past made use only of certain portions of the human 
brain which had through some historic cause been the first to be 
developed. The spirits of Pindar or Praxiteles dwelt, so to say, in the 
palace-chambers of their mysterious habitation ; they knew nothing of 
the foundations on which the City of Mansoul was builded, or of its 
treasure-houses in the living rock. 

" Of course Helene's intellect, though serviceable enough in common 
life, is not of a calibre to confer new knowledge or delight on educated 
men ; but for Helene's one-in-a-hundred mind substitute the one-iii-a 
million mind of Louis Stevenson ; let him dream not Helene's 
insipid tale of " Esenale,' but ' Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,' and one 
sees at once the advantage of relegating voluntary ends to automatic 
execution, and so at once saving brain - centres from expensive 
friction and getting the needed thing done (like those reaction-time 
measurements of Dr. Janet's during ecstasy), with a verve and a 
completeness which conscious effort finds it hard to rival. May not 
that effortless concurrent utilisation of all elements of the personality 
hold ultimately somewhat the same relation to our present painful 
thought as multiplex telegraphy holds to the old slow and single 
transmission along the wire ? 

JULY, 1900.] General Meeting. 273 

" Let us frankly confess that we cannot in the least tell what the 
brain will do till we try. The assumed balance of our faculties and our 
environment is altogether chimerical. The environment is unknown 
and infinite, and the faculties have simply got to go as far in every 
direction as they can. We have attained 110 position of permanent 
stability, and we have nothing to tell us a priori what will be the next 
faculties which our race will evolve. And yet popular science some- 
times speaks as though nearly everything in human nature had been 
observed already ! as though normality had been defined, aberrations 
classified, a mass of experience acquired which our successors will only 
have to work out in detail ! A vain conceit ! a monstrous prematurity ! 
Rather let us remember that only by an abiding consciousness of our 
own inevitable childishness can we prevent those successors from 
looking on our religions with pity, and on our science with con- 
tempt ; while they analyse with a smile our rudimentary efforts at 
self-realisation, remarking ' how hard a thing it was to found the 
race of man.' " 

PROFESSOR BARRETT said he felt it was difficult to discuss the 
suggestive paper which they had listened to with so much interest 
without a careful perusal of it beforehand. Perhaps it might be 
found possible following the custom of some other scientific societies 
in the case of a paper being already in type, that a proof of it 
should be sent beforehand to any member who asked for it with a 
view to joining in the discussion of it at a meeting. 

As regards the influence of suggestion which had been referred to 
in the paper, he had frequently noticed how much more potent an 
indirect than a direct suggestion was in the whole group of phenomena 
which came under the head of human automatism. Here he might 
perhaps mention that in a letter which was published in 1875 he had 
pointed out that before we could hope to study with advantage the 
complex psychical phenomena of " spiritualism," we must first know 
more of the part played by suggestion and thought-transference in 
these phenomena : for at that time the action of mind upon mind, 
independently of the recognised channels of sense, was ridiculed by 
scientific men and not considered by spiritualists. Subsequent ex- 
perience had, however, shown, as the President has pointed out, the 
importance of these factors in a critical study of the various phe- 
nomena investigated by this Society. Having referred to one or two 
other points, Professor Barrett concluded by moving a warm vote of 
thanks to the President for his instructive and suggestive paper. 

[For some further discussion of this paper, see the 
dence " below, p. 288.] 


274 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [JULY, 1900. 


We desire to call the attention of our readers to an important 
scheme which has just been completed for the foundation of an Inter- 
national Psychical Institute in Paris, the intention of which is to 
provide all possible facilities for the study both experimental and 
theoretical of psychical phenomena. The programme of the Institute, 
which we reprint here, is signed by Professor Pierre Janet and an 
influential Comite de Patronage, among whom are to be found men 
eminent throughout the civilised world for their services to psychology, 
psychical research, and other branches of learning. 


Le siecle qui va finir a vu toubes les sciences qui etuclient le monde 
physique faire des progres considerables, et il est impossible d'e"numerer les 
bienfaits de toutes sortes dont 1'humanite est aujourd'hui redevable aux 
decouvertes de ces sciences. Mais les sciences qui out pour objet la pensee 
de rhomme, les lois de 1'esprit humain, les rapports du physique et du 
moral, n'ont suivi que bien lentemenb la rnarche rapide des connaissances 
qui s'appliquent a la uiatiere. 

II est certain cependant que les sciences de 1'esprit pourraient etre aussi 
utiles et peut-etre plus pre*cieuses encore que les sciences des phenomeiies 
materiels. Elles pourraient expliquer bien des lois de la societe eb permettre 
peut-etre de mieux etablir les relations sociales. Elles devraient jouer un 
grand role dans notre jurisprudence criminelle et preparer peub-ebre une 
veritable prophylaxie du crime. Les etudes de pedagogic ne seraient qu'une 
annexe des recherches psychologiques et celles-ci seules permettraient de 
reformer, en connaissance de cause, nos me'thodes d'education et d'enseigne 
ment. Un domaine ou les sciences psychologiques plus avancees rendraient 
des services incalculables est celui de la medecine mentale. Si Ton en juge 
par les progres que quelques connaissances scientiftques relatives aux pheno- 
meiies du somnambulisme, de la suggestion, de la division de conscience out 
deja fait faire a la thdrapeutique de quelques maladies nerveuses, on peut 
cleviiier qu'un grand nombre de nevroses, de si tristes et de si terribles mala- 
dies de 1'esprit, lie sont aujourd'hui incurables qu'a cause de notre ignorance. 

Enfin, n'est-il pas Evident que la science de la pensee est, plus que toute 
autre. capable de satisfaire la curiosite iiiquiete de 1'esprit humain ? Sans 
doute il est peu probable qu'une science puisse jamais nous expliquer 
completement le probleme de notre nature et de nos destinees, mais 
cependaiit aucune ne touche d'aussi pres a ces questions insolubles que 1'etude 
de 1'esprit. On en voit facilemeiit la preuve dans 1'interet passionne qu'ont 
suscite" certains faits qui sonb en re"alite" des faits psychologiques, tels que les 
phenomenes decrits sous le nom de dedoublement de la conscience, de 
.suggestion mentale, de telepathic, de lucidite", de me'diumnite'. Ces faits ont 
eVidemment preoccupe au plus haut point bien des esprits, parce qu'ils 
semblerent se rattacher aux puissances les plus profondes de la pensee. Leur 
4tude impartiale, quelle .que soit la solution a laquelle elle parvieiine, 

JULY, iJMX).] Foundation of a Psychical Institute in Paris. 275 

n'aiderait-elle pas beaucoup a Interpretation de la nature humaine ? Plus 
qu'aucune autre science, la psychologic se rapproche des problemes philo- 
sophiques et des problemes religieux, c'est la sans doute ce qui fut la grande 
difficult^ de son etude, c'est aussi ce qui en augmente 1'interet. 

Bien des efforts ont et faits, surtout depuis la seconde moitie"de ce eiecle, 
pour aborder des Etudes si interessantes et si fe"condes. II est incontestable 
que, de tous cotes, on a essaye d'appliquer a la psychologic les methodes 
expe"rimentales et inductives qui ont amene le merveilleux developpement 
des sciences physiques. La mesure mathematique a et applique"e a la 
psychologic dans les recherches de psycho-physique et de psychometrie. 
Sous 1'influence de methodes nouvelles, 1'anatomie et la physiologic du 
systeme nerveux se sont metamorphosees. L'etude des malades a permis 
d'analyser bien des fonctions mentales. Les phe"nomenes du somnambulisme 
naturel et artificiel, ceux de la suggestion, de 1'ecriture automatique, beaucoup 
de delires etranges, ont ete sournis a une analyse minutieuse. Bien des cas 
singuliers se rapportant aux phenomenes qui ont souleve le probleme de la 
suggestion mentale, ont ete recueillis avec precision et jusqu'a un certain 
point interpretes. 

On est cependent force de reconnaitre que ces etudes sont restees sur 
beaucoup de points bien incompletes. Elles sont loin d'avoir donn les 
resultats pratiques que Ton pouvait en esperer et n'ont pu trancher d'une 
maniere suffisamment precise dans un sens ou dans 1'autre les problemes qui 
inquietaient les esprits. Une des raisons qui, en outre de la difficult^ des 
recherches, a considerablement retarde le progres des sciences psychologiques, 
c'est que pendant longtetnps on n'a pas suffisamment compris leur importance 
et leur utilite et qu'elles sont loin d'avoir rencontre partout 1'appui et les 
ressources dont elles avaient besoin pour se developper. D'innombrables 
laboratoires et instituts de toutes sortes etaient ouverts aux savants qui 
s'occupaient de physique, de chimie, de sciences naturelles ; les laboratoires 
de psychologic tres peu iiombreux, tres pauvres pour la plupart, surtout en 
France, ne pouvaient faire que quelques etudes sur des points tres limites. 

N'est-il pas possible d'obtenir pour ces sciences si utiles et si passion- 
nantes un appui du public eclaire, qui n'a jamais et^ refuse aux recherches 
desinteressees 1 En Amerique particulierement, de tels appels ont toujours 
ete bien entendus. Les grandes universites de FAmerique du Nord ont 
pour la plupart ete fondles, entretenues et magnifiquement developp^es a 
Faide de dons particuliers. N'avons-nous pas vu 1'Uiiiversitd de Chicago, 
fondee d'hier a peine, dotee deja de plus de 65,000,000 de francs ? N'est-ce 
pas une femme de grand esprit et de grand cceur qui va consacrer 100,000,000 
francs a la fondation en Californie d'une Universite modele, pour laquelle un 
projet grandiose vieiit d'etre etabli par un architecte frangais ? Plus presde 
nous, 1'Iiistitut Pasteur, 1'Institut Solvaz, le Musee social, ne montrent-ils 
pas la puissance de semblables generosites ? Sans ambitionner de telles 
liberalites trop au-dessus de nos esperances, ne peut-on pas penser que 
beaucoup d'esprits intelligents et curieux des problemes psychologiques 
pourront se trouver dans les differents pays du monde pour vouloir collaborer 
a une oeuvre eininemment interiiationale : le developpement des sciences de la 
pensee ? 

276 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [JULY, 1900. 

C'est pourquoi nous avons voulu fonder une societe qui aurait pour titre 
" Societe Internationale de V Institut Psychique," destinee a recueillir et a 
coordonner toutes les bonnes volontes qui pourraient apporter une 
protection ou une aide efficace a ces etudes. Cette societe" reunirait des 
dons, des cotisations annuelles, accepterait tous les secours, a la seule 
condition de les employer pour le developpement des sciences psj ; chologiques. 
Les ressources reunies par cette societe seraient employees par le Conseil 
d'administration pour etablir un Institnt International des Sciences psychiques, 
un Institut Psychique, veritable centre auquel pourraient s'adresser pour 
demander aide et conseil les travailleurs de tous les pays. 

Suivant les circonstances et suivant le developpement de la Societe qui 
lui donne naissance, cet Institut aura les divers objets suivants : 

(1) Reunir dans une bibliotheque et un muse'e, tous les livres, travaux, 
brochures, appareils et documents de toutes especes concernant les sciences 

(2) Mettre a la disposition des travailleurs soit par des dons, soit par des 
prets, suivant les circonstances, ces instruments, ces livres, ces documents 
necessaires a leurs etudes, qui auront e'te' reunis par 1'Institut. 

(3) Fournir des ressources a tous les laboratoires, a tous les chercheurs, 
reunis ou isoles, qui pourraient montrer qu'ils ont besoin de cette aide pour 
une recherche ou une publication interessante. Cette oeuvre si bieri remplie 
pour les sciences physiques par la Societe pour 1'Avancement des Sciences, 
devrait etre accomplie de meme pour les sciences de la pensee. 

(4) Provoquer des etudes et des recherches sur certains faits qui paraitront 
meriter son attention. 

(5) Organiser autant que possible une serie de cours et d'enseignements 
sur les ditferentes branches des sciences psychiques. 

(6) Organiser autant que possible des laboratoires permanents, une 
clinique, ou seraient effectuees par quelques-uns de ses mernbres, les 
recherches jugees les plus utiles. 

(7) Publier des Annales de V Institut psychique international de Paris, qui 
comprendraient tous les travaux de nature a contribuer aux progres de la 
science et dans lesquels les membres de 1'Institut auraient pris une part. 

Les lignes principales de 1'organisation ainsi posees ne sont d'ailleurs que 
des indications tres generales destinees a etre modinees par la Societe de 
1' Institut Psychique, qui doit etre constitute tout d'abord. 


Charge du Cours de Psychologie Experimentale a la Sorbonne, 
Directeur du Laboratoire de Psychologie de la Salpetriere, 
Professor suppleant au College de France. 

Programme approuve a 1'unanimite et signe par le Comite de 

Patronage suivant : 

MM. d'ARSONVAL, Membre de 1'Academie des Sciences, Meinbre de 
1' Academic de Medecine de Paris ; Comte ETIENNE APRAXINE, Gentil- 
homme de la Charnbre de S. M. 1'Empereur, St. Petersbourg ; ALEXAISDRE 
AKSAKOFF, Directeur de la Revue Psychische Studien, a Leipzig ; BACL^, 

JULY, moo.] Foundation of a Psychical Institute in Paris. 277 

Ingenieur ; JAMES MARK BALDWIN, Professeur de Psychologie a 
1'Universite' de Princeton; D* BARADUC ; W. F. BARRETT, F.R.S., 
Prof r at the Royal College of Science, Dublin ; Mgr. BATANDIER, de 
Rome ; BKIUJSON, Professeur de philosophic au College de France ; 
D r BERNHEIM, Professeur a la faculte" de medecine a Nancy ; S. A. I. le 
prince ROLAND BONAPARTE ; E. BOIRAC, Recteur de I'Universite de 
Grenoble ; le prince GIOVANNI B. BORGHESE ; P r BOUCHARD, Membre 
de 1' Academic des Sciences, Membre de F Academic de Medecine de 
Paris ; D r EDMOND BUANLY, Professeur de Physique a 1'lnstitut 
catholique a Paris ; Chanoine BRETTES ; BRUNOT, Maitre de Conferences 
a la Sorbonne, Paris ; CAILLETET, Membre de 1' Academic des Sciences 
de Paris; Capitaine SADI CARNOT, Paris'; SIR WILLIAM CROOKES, 
F.R.S., London ; D r DUCLAUX, Membre de 1' Academic des Sciences, 
Membre de 1' Academic de Medecine, Directeur de 1'Institut Pasteur a 
Paris; D r DURAND (DE GROS); DUSSAUD, Docteur es-sciences, Ingenieur- 
Conseil ; EFFRONT, Directeur de 1'Ageiice Telegraphique du Nord ; 
Louis FEINE, Architects, Paris ; D 1 ' FERRIER, Professeur de Neurologic 
a 1'Universite de Londres ; OAMILLB FLAMMARION, Astronome, Secretaire 
General de la Societe Astronomique de France ; TH. FLOURNOY, 
Professeur de Physiologie-Psychologique a 1'Umversite de Geneve ; 
GARIEL, Membre de I'Acade'mie de Medecine, Professeur a la Faculte 
de Medecine, Paris ; GASC-DESFOSSES, Professeur de Philosophic, Paris ; 
D r ELMER GATES, Laboratoire Psychologique a Washington ; PROFESSOR 
JAMES H. GORE, Juror in chief and in charge of the International 
Congresses for the Commissioner General of the United States to 
the Paris Exposition of 1900 ; Comte ARNAUD DE GRAMONT, Docteur 
es-sciences ; BODGAN P. HASDEU, Membre de 1' Academic des Sciences, 
Professeur a 1'Universite de Bukarest ; D 1 HE"RICOURT, Chef du Labora- 
toire de Physiologic a 1'Ecole de Medecine, Paris ; Professeur GIOVANNI 
HOFFMANN, Rectore Institute Orientali di Napoli ; CONSTANTIN ISTRATI, 
Membre de 1' Academic des Sciences, Professeur de Chimie organique a 
1'Universite de Bukarest ; D v PIERRE JANET, charge d'un cours de 
Psychologie experimentale a la Sorbonne, Directeur du Laboratoire de 
Psychologie de la Clinique de la Salpetriere, Professeur suppliant au 
College de France ; D l PAUL JOIRE, President de la Societe de Psy- 
chologie Experimentale a Lille ; Prince BOJIDAR KARAGEORGEWITCH ; 
D r LABORDE, Membre de I'Acade'mie de Medecine, Directeur des travaux 
pratiques de Physiologic a 1'Ecole de Medecine de Paris ; D r LIEBEAULT, 
de Nancy ; J. LIEGEOIS, Correspondant de 1'Institut, Professeur de 
1'Universite de Nancy ; D r LLOYD-TUCKEY, de Londres ; PROFESSOR 
Psychiatric a 1'Universite de Turin ; MAREY, Membre de 1' Academic 
des Sciences, Membre de 1' Academic de Medecine ; JEAN MASCART, 
Docteur es-Sciences, Astronome a 1'Observatoire de Paris ; MAXWELL, 
Substitut du Procureur Gene'ral a Bordeaux ; D. T. MENDKL^IEFF, Pro- 
fesseur emerite, Directeur de la Chambre Centrale des Poids et Mesures 
de St-Petersbourg ; MENDELSSOHN, Professeur de Psychologie a 1'Univer- 

278 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [JULY, inoo. 

site de St. Petersbourg ; D r E. METCHNIKOFF, Membre de 1'Academie 
de Medecine, Chef de service a 1'Institut Pasteur ; A. MEZIERES, menibre 
de 1'Academie Franchise ; AUGUSTE DE MORSIER, Ingenieur ; Comte V. 
MOURAVIEFF-AMOUUSKY, attache militaire a 1'Ambassade de Russie a 
MYERS, President of the Society for Psychical Research, London ; 
Dr OCHOROWICZ, de Varsowie ; S. A. R. le Prince HENRI D'ORLEANS ; 
Son Exc. le Prince L. OUROUSSOFF, Ambassadeur de Russie a Paris ; 
EDMOND PERRIER, Membre de 1'Academie des Sciences, Directeur du 
Museum, Paris ; PETROVO SOLOVOVO, Gentilhomme de la Chambre de 
S. M. 1'Empereur, secretaire de la chancellerie du Ministere des Affaires 
Etrangeres de Saint-Petersbourg ; ARTHUR RAFFALOVICH, Correspondant 
de 1'Institut, Paris ; P. I. RATCHKOWSKY, Conseiller d'Etat, Paris ; TH. 
RIBOT, Membre de .1'Academie des Sciences morales, Professeur de 
Psychologic experimental et comparee du College de France, Directeur 
de "La Revue Philosophique " ; CHARLES RICHET, Membre de 
1'Academie de Medecine, Professeur de Physiologic a la Faculte de 
Medecine a Paris, Directeur de "La Revue Scientifique " ; Colonel A. 
DE ROCHAS, de 1'Ecole Polytechnique a Paris ; Baronne DE ROZEN- 
KRANTZ, Rome ; TH. SABACHNIKOFF, Paris ; SABATIER, Professeur de 
Zoologie et d'Anatomie comparee a la Faculte des Sciences a Mont- 
pellier ; D r VISANI Scozzi, Florence ; D r Freiherr von SCHRENK-NOTZING, 
Munich ; EDMOND SCHURE ; J. W. SHARPE, M.A. ; Professor HENRY 
SIDGWICK, Cambridge; Professor JAMES SULLY, Professor of Philosophy 
at University College, London ; A. TARDE, Professeur au College de 
France ; A. VAN DER NAILLEN, President of the School of Engineering, 
San-Francisco ; Prince NICOLAS VIASEMSKY, Maitre es-antropologie, 
Secretaire de 1'Ambassade de Russie, Paris ; MARQUIS WILFRIED DE 
VIRIEU, Paris ; YOURI^VITCH, Gentilhomme de la Chambre de S. M. 
1'Empereur, attache a 1'Ambassade de Russie a Paris ; D r YUNG, Pro- 
fesseur de Zoologie a 1'Universite de Geneve. 

Secretaires provisoires : 
MM. TH. FLOURNOY, Professeur de 1'Universite de Geneve, 9, Florissan, 


OSWALD MURRAY, National Liberal Club, London. 
Dr P. VISANI-SCOZZI. Via Cerretani, 3 P. 2 Firenze. 
SERGE YOURIEVITCH, 235, Boulevard Saint-Germain, a Paris. 
La Societe Internationale de 1'Institut Psychique se compose : 

(1) de mernbres fondateurs qui versent une somme de 10,QOOf. et 
au-dessus ; 

(2) de membres donateurs qui versent une somme de l,000f. et au-dessus 
ou un cotisation annuelle de lOOf. et au-dessus ; 

(3) de membres titulaires qui versent la somme de 250f . ou une cotisation 
annuelle de 20f. 

All communications are to be addressed to the Secretaire general 
de I'INSTITUT PSYCHIQUE, 19, Rue de FUniversite, Paris. 

JULY, 11)00.] Obituary: Mary H. Kingsley. 279 



The death of Miss Mary Kingsley, the African traveller, has called 
forth a wide recognition of her remarkable qualities both of character 
and of intellect ; of her courage, her unselfishness, her endurance, and 
of the solid services which her collections and her writings have 
rendered both to natural science and to the sympathetic compre- 
hension of the peoples of that Dark Continent where so much of her 
energy was spent. Miss Kingsley was not a member of our Society ; 
but her interest in primitive beliefs brought her into contact with 
one side of our subject ; and the striking paper on " The Forms of 
Apparitions in West Africa," which she contributed to Part XXXV. 
of our Proceedings, will be fresh in the memory of those who read it, 
and especially of those who heard it. I believe that Miss Kingsley 
looked quite simply and naturally at home among the "squattering 
crocodiles," and the " soughing hippos," and the "miscellaneous 
devils " of the Ourounougou Swamp, " which haunts me and calls me," 
she said, " more than any other thing I have ever seen." 

But personally I met her and preferred to meet her ! amid less 
remarkable scenes ; scenes where her slender modest figure, her gentle 
humorous face, her quiet, old-fashioned dress, all suggested a maiden 
lady from Cranford : while, nevertheless, every now and then some- 
thing in the tone of her words or the look of her eye flashed through 
me the incongruous thought " What a mate for a hero ! " 

I should call Mary Kingsley and her uncle Charles the youngest 
eminent persons whom I have ever met. Charles Kingsley's muscular 
Christianity struck me as a delightful kind of fourth-form swagger ; 
the small boy's naif exultation in the glory of his great school. He 
seemed to look boisterously out over human history with shouts of 
" Well done, our side ! " and he would talk of Christian saints and 
heroes in the half awe-struck, half familiar tone in which the schoolboy 
talks of "fellows in our Eleven." And Mary Kingsley, on her part, 
showed already, as quite a little girl, exactly the qualities which after- 
wards carried her so far ; playing at adventures with an infinite 
power of make-believe ; laying mines in the back garden, or super- 
intending her favourite fighting cocks, whom she did not allow to 
fight; studying keenly in the midst of onerous domestic duties all 
sorts of out-of-the-way things ; and sallying forth alone into the 
world when her turn came, with a mind bent upon fetish-worship 
and fresh-water fishes, but a heart liable to be diverted from any 
study by the sight of the unsuccoured woes of men. 

280 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [JULY, 1000. 

Here was a soul which showed that absolute selflessness, unalter- 
able serenity, indomitable daring, are no monopoly of apostle, or 
crusader, or saint. Here was a delicate lady, with no mission and no 
pretensions, who would simply go anywhere and do anything from 
sheer scientific ardour and human sympathy. 

Her earthly end befitted her career : going out to Africa to collect 
her fresh-water fishes, and protesting that she did not know how to 
nurse, and would not think of nursing anybody, she was drawn into 
that service by the desperate need of our wounded enemies ; and 
caught the terrible fever ; and proceeded to the death-agony with her 
wonted bonhomie. 

Death, as death, is surely the merest bugbear; the young child 
made portentous by ghastly trappings, as in Gareth and Lynette. If 
Mary Kingsley, by sheer native courage, met the last fate with steady 
soul, it would ill become those who believe that they have proof of 
human survival to weep and mourn for her now. Rather is one 
disposed to wave the hand to her cheerily across the narrowing 
abyss ; with the great words of Rabbi Ben Ezra sounding in the 
deep of the heart 

And 1 shall thereupon 
Take rest, ere I be gone 

Once more on my adventure brave and new ; 
Fearless and unperplexed, 
When I wage battle next, 
What weapons to select, what armour to indue. 

R W. H. M. 


M. Aut. 100. 

The following case was sent to us a short time ago by Dr. H. D. 
R. Kingston, of Macra, Eltham, Kent, an Associate of the Society, 
with the explanation that he had intended to send the papers at the 
time he received them, but they had accidentally been mislaid, and 
only quite lately come to light. Of the narrator, Mr. F. Hodgson, 
he says : 

Mr. F. Hodgson was then (1889) a photographer at Wynberg. He had 
at one time been employed as photographer to the Challenger expedition 
during part of the voyage, and he had also gone in the same capacity with 
Mr. Palgrave on a Commission to Great Namaqualand and to Damaraland. 
I have copies of many of the photographs he then took, the negatives of 
which are the property of the Colonial Government. I found him. a careful 
and competent man in developing some scientific photographs of my own, 

JULY, 1900.] Cases. 281 

and also particularly intelligent, and I should say perfectly trustworthy as a 
witness. You will see that he has made up the case with some care. 


The narrative was enclosed in a letter to Dr. Kingston, dated 
Wynberor, July, 1890, and is as follows : 

Statement re curious manifestations in house of Mrs. Kamp, beginning on 
night of June 14th, and still continuing, though greatly diminished in power. 

On Saturday night, June 14th, 1890, Alida Sophia Kamp, widow, 
residing in Wolfe Street, Wynberg, her daughter, Sophia Alida Kamp, and 
Catherine Mahoney, who resides in the same house, retired to rest at a little 
before eleven p.m., and, from the time of retiring to rest until that of 
rising, were unable to sleep on account of strange and unearthly noises, for 
which they could find no explanation, although they instituted a rigorous 
search for the cause. The noises, as they described them to me next morn- 
ing, resembled the dragging about of chairs in their bedrooms and the 
dragging about of heavy boxes over an uneven floor in the loft over their 
heads. This loft, which I know, having been in it, contains absolutely 
nothing which could account for the noises, even had there been any one 
upstairs to drag anything it contained about, but owing to the way in which 
this loft is fastened up, it would have been quite impossible for any one to 
enter it. I could not on the Sunday morning, from their description of 
what they had heard, find any rational solution of the mystery, and, at their 
request, consented to occupy one of the bedrooms that night (Sunday, 15th). 

Before retiring, however, I suggested that we should hold a seance in 
the room in which I was about to sleep. This was agreed to, and we formed 
a circle consisting of Christian Kamp (son of Alida Sophia Kamp), Alida 
Sophia Kamp, Catherine Mahoney, and myself, and Janet Kamp, wife of 
Christian Kamp (seating ourselves around a small table). The table very 
shortly showed an inclination to move about, and in fact did sway about 
considerably, but this was all we could obtain, so we dropped the sitting. 

We, however, decided after deliberation to hold a stance in the adjoin- 
ing bedroom, but this time Catherine Mahoney declined to sit, so that 
we had only [four] out of the former [five] sitters. The results were, how- 
ever, better, -as we soon had distinct raps and at once asked the communi- 
cating influence to rap three times if it could communicate its name to us if 
we established an easy code. The three raps came at once, and I (who 
acted as conductor) then asked it to give one rap at each letter forming its 
name on my going audibly through the alphabet. The result was 
L E W I S , which caused Mrs. A. S. Kamp to think it was her departed 
husband, whose name had been Louis. This hypothesis, however, I was not 
inclined to accept, as I thought her husband, if present, would not have 
wrongly spelt his name. We, however, could not get the influence to 
change his orthography, so we had to proceed to ask if it would spell out 
any message by the same code, to which three raps responded, and we again 
proceeded. The result was TO WAR N, at which stage of the pro- 
ceedings Mrs. Kamp showed signs of great uneasiness, thinking the message 

282 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [JULY, 1000. 

was a warning of her coming death, and being still persuaded that her late 
husband was communicating. As I did not know positively to the contrary 
and was afraid some unpleasant communication was about to be given, we 
dropped the seance, I intending to resume it at some future time with sitters 
not related to the family. 

Shortly after we all retired to our beds, and I kept a candle burning in 
my room until past midnight, as I had an interesting novel to read. I then 
blew it out and was asleep in a few minutes. Shortly after two a.m. 
(Monday) I was awakened by the sound of a chair being dragged over the 
floor of the room in which I slept, followed almost immediately by a sound 
as of some very heavy body being dragged about in a room overhead (a very 
loud noise which would have awakened anybody). Miss Kamp then called 
out from the adjoining room, which was only divided from mine by a wooden 
partition, "Do you hear the noise ? What can it be ? " Just after she had 
spoken T heard a sound like a half full box of matches falling on the floor. 
I decided it was about time to get up and investigate, so sprung out of bed 
and felt for the matchbox in the candlestick and [found] it was not there. 
I had carefully placed it there on going to bed and was at a loss to account 
for its disappearance. I had some others, however, in the pocket of my 
waistcoat, and knowing where I had hung this garment, I went to it and 
taking the matches out of the pocket, struck a light and lighted the candle. 
I then found the other box of matches lying on the floor about two feet 
from the candlestick. It seemed to me also that a chair in the room 
occupied a somewhat different position to what it had done when I fell 
asleep, but of this I could not be sure ; but, to be sure whether it moved 
again, I placed some empty scent bottles, which I found on a shelf, one 
against each leg of the chair. I then went to sleep again and on again 
waking, found the chair had been moved quite four inches to the N. W., as. 
all the legs were away from the bottles I had placed against them. Of 
course, as regards the falling of the matchbox and the actual change of 
position of the chair, I can only give you my unsupported testimony, but 
those who slept in the next room will be able to testify to having heard the 
apparent moving of the chair in my room before they heard me jump up to 
investigate. This occurred on Sunday night, June 15th. 

Now comes the strangest part of the affair. Up to this time none of us 
could make out why any one of the name of Lewis should disturb our rest, 
as none of us were or had been intimately acquainted with any one of that 
name, unless we were prepared to accept the very hypothetical idea that it 
was the late Mr. Kamp, who had forgotten how to spell his name properly 
(a theory which would not have said much for the educational establish- 
ments of the shadowy land). 

On Monday morning, June 16th, I got my copy of the Cape Times a& 
usual, and, among other items of news found an account of the death of a 
man, NAME UNKNOWN, who had been killed by an engine, on the night of the 
14th, near Woodstock, at about 8.45 p.m. None of us at the time in 
any way connected this with the noises which had disturbed us, as there 
was no apparent connection. 

JU-Y, looo.] Cases. 283 

In Tuesday's issue of the same paper there was the account of the inquest 
on this man (still name unknown). On Tuesday evening I was sitting in 
Mrs. Kamp's shop, when a coloured woman came in and in the course of 
conversation said, "Did Mrs. Kamp hear of the man that was killed on the 
railway on Saturday night ? " "Yes ! " said Mrs. Kamp, " I see they don't 
know who he was." "Oh, yes ! " said the coloured woman, "his name is 
Jim Lewis. I know him, because he lived with my sister." This set us all 
on a quite new track, and we began to wonder what connection there might 
be between the events. In favour thereof the facts were these : 

1. This man had been killed at 8.45 p.m. on the night of the 14th. 

2. Mrs. Kamp did not close her shop till ten that night, and retired to 
rest about eleven, and from that hour the noises commenced. 

3. None of us heard of the accident until we read of it on the 16th. 

4. Never until the night of the 14th had any nocturnal disturbances 
occurred in the house. 

5. The disturbing spirit on the evening of the loth gave the name of Lewis. 
I should have mentioned perhaps that on Tuesday night, 17th inst., we 

held another seance, at which Christian Kamp, Mr. Hay, and myself sat. 
On this night also we got the name of Lewis spelt out, and the message, 
" I am unhappy because they do not know who lam." On being interrogated 
further, he stated that he was the spirit of the man Lewis killed on the 
railway. At the time I did not attach much importance to this seance, as 
we got scarcely anything fresh, but it is as well to mention it. 

Thursday's (19th) issue of Cape Times contained the completion of the 
inquest on this man, and stated that his name was RICHARD YOUNG. Mrs. 
Kamp then had another interview with the woman (his sister-in-law) who 
had told her (Mrs. Kamp) previously that the man's name was Jim Lewis, 
and asked her why she had said his name was Lewis, when it turned out his 
name was Young. On this the woman got quite indignant, and declared 
positively that his name was Jim Leivis, no matter what name the paper might 
give him ; that she had known him a long time, as he was her brother-in-law. 

I am finishing this on July 24th, 1890, and the nocturnal disturbances 
still continue in the house of Mrs. Kamp, and no amount of investigation 
can assign any but a spiritual origin to them. 

We, the undersigned, having read the above, declare it to be a true 
account of the occurrences therein described. 


We, the undersigned, declare that we sat at a seance in the house of Mrs. 
Kamp (Alida Sophia Kamp) on the night of June 15th, 1890, and that we 
heard raps which spelt out the name of Leivis and the words TO WARN. 

C. F. KAMP. 
J. S. KAMP. 

28 i Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [JULY, 1900. 

We, the undersigned, sat at a seance in the house of Mrs. Kamp (Alida 
Sophia Kamp) on the night of Tuesday (June 17th), and the name of 
Lewis was then spelt out by raps, and the message, " I am unhappy because 
they don't know who I am," and the communicating influence further stated 
that he had been killed by an engine on the night of the 14th. 

C. F. KAMP. 

We, the undersigned, sat at a seance on the night of Wednesday, June 
18th, in the house of Alida Sophia Kamp, and the communicating influence 
rapped out the name of Lewis, and stated that it was the spirit of a man 
of that name who had been killed by an engine on the night of June 14th. 

C. F. KAMP. 

M. Aut. 101. 

The following account is translated and abridged from the Vessillo 
Spiritista for June, 1900, where it appeared under the title of "A 
Good Proof of Spirit Identity." 

On the evening of January 12th, 1900, during the usual weekly sitting, 
in the presence of Sig. G. V. de Simone, his wife and two young daughters, 
C. Orsini and the present writer, a good proof of identity which had been 
asked for was received from the spirit of Arturo de Capua. It had been 
asked for under conditions which excluded every possibility of voluntary 
or involuntary, conscious or unconscious suggestion, as it was impossible 
that what was unknown and always had been unknown to all present should 
be suggested, and this makes it of more value than a volunteered proof, 
which might have been prepared beforehand by the medium. 

This spirit of Arturo has given in many sittings many moral and intel- 
lectual proofs of his personality which were recognised by his mother and 
brother Avo. G. de Capua. The Neapolitan verses which he improvised 
(and I say improvised, because the suggestion was made at the moment), 
written with extreme rapidity through the medium Signorina O. de S., 
resemble closely in form and matter those written by him during his life on 

Proofs of this sort, however, although perhaps convincing to those 
present, are of little value to strangers, who want records of facts which 
exclude any such hypothesis as telepathy or self-suggestion on the part of 
the medium. Therefore on this evening I asked the spirit of Arturo if he 
had any precise recollections of his earthly existence and if he could give 
me some fact, of his own choice. 

He answered me by automatic writing thus : " My dear Cavalli, I have 
it is true, advanced ; but I recognise you, in a state of calm which I have 
acquired and which formerly I did not possess ; as for my remembrances, know 

JULY, 1900.] Cases. 285 

that not only does it give me great fatigue to recall them, but it also causes 
me great pain ; and it is for this reason that I rarely seek to revive them." 

Then I replied that I did not wish to cause him pain, and would content 
myself with asking him to give the names he remembered of his dearest 

None of those present had known Arturo when living, much less the 
persons or names of persons with whom he was acquainted. So this would 
be a good proof. The spirit willingly assented. After a short time he wrote 
with his accustomed rapidity : " Emilia, Paolo, Elena, Annina, and the 
lady who gave me the cigarette and whose name I cannot recall. Those are 
the people of whom I was very fond, after my intimate friends, and who are 
still dear to me." "So far good, but the best part is still wanting," I 
observed, "the surnames. Do you remember them?" "Yes." "Can 
you and will you give them ?" " I cannot." " At least tell me if the four 
names have different surnames." He answered that the two first had 
different surnames, and the two last the same. Immediately afterwards he 
expressed a desire to write again and wrote, "I add to these Carlo Ricci, 
whom I still love so much ; do not be so exacting, do you understand ? " 
The spirit insisted that all this was correct and expressed anger when I 
doubted it. 

As soon as I saw his brother, Guglielmo, I showed him the communica- 
tions. They were all absolutely correct, the names given, and the lady of 
the cigarette, but Carlo Ricci struck him above everything! "He was 
Arturo's dearest friend," his brother told me. 

Although older than Arturo, Carlo Ricci and his father had always had 
the greatest consideration for him, and Arturo was devoted to them both and 
preferred their company to any other. 

Arturo's mother, whom I also questioned, confirmed everything that her 
son Guglielmo had said. 

Put to return to the communication given by the spirit of Arturo on the 
evening of the 12th ; we can add another valuable particular. He gave the 
names of four persons, as we have said ; among these was one Paolo. When 
asked about him at a following sitting he answered by automatic writing : 
"Paolo is the father of the lovely Nanninella." This was correct, and 
when asked" for some further particulars of the lady who gave him the 
cigarettes, amongst other things, whether there were dear friends of the 
lady's living in the same place with her, he answered : " The lady has dear 
friends near her and they are of my family." Both these facts had been 
absolutely correct at the time of his death. But the interesting point is 
this, that when asked to name friends living in the same place as the lady, 
he named his family. Those present at the sitting and all who knew 
Arturo's family, knew that for some months they had changed their home. 
The spirit, however, apparently judging from the past, did not think of 
their present changed habitation and concluded that they were still living 
near the lady. 

Naples, January 20th. 

286 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [JULY, IDOO. 

As witness of the facts narrated above, I affirm that they are per- 
;ly true. 

Similar testimonies are given by 

fectly true. 




The following account of the present conditions of Mrs. Piper's 
trance was addressed by Dr. Hodgson to Dr. G. Stanley Hall, Editor 
of The American Journal of Psychology, and appeared in that 
periodical for April, 1900. We reprint it here for our own readers, 
partly on account of its intrinsic interest, and partly because it serves 
to explain why Dr. Hodgson has not thought it desirable at present 
to prepare another Report on the subject, since that published by him 
in February, 1898. 

The following letter, written without thought of publication, is printed 
by the author's permission. It was the second addressed to the editor in 
response to a second urgent letter from him requesting a sitting with Mrs. 
Piper. It is printed here with the thought that it may interest and inform 
other psychologists who may seek interviews. 

Boston, Mass., February 24th, 1900. 

DEAR DR. HALL, In reply to your further letter of February 23rd, I fear 
that my previous letter, perhaps owing to its brevity, did not sufficiently 
explain the situation as regards Mrs. Piper. I shall describe it in further 
detail as it purports to be from the point of view of the communicators 
through Mrs. Piper's trance. 

In the attempt to get proof of personal identity from the Rev. W. 
Stainton Moses, who died in 1893, I came into relation with certain 
intelligences that claimed to have been the chief spirit instructors of 
Stainton Moses for some years during his life time, and whom he called by 
the names Imperator, Doctor, Rector, etc. Imperator was alleged to be the 
leader and general supervisor in connection with the supernormal experi- 
ences of Stainton Moses, accounts of which will be found in the Proceedings 
S.P.R., Parts XXV. and XXVII. Imperator, communicating through 
Mrs. Piper's trance, very soon claimed and assumed the supervision of the 
trances. I definitely agreed to this supervision. For a number of years 
prior to this time I practically made such arrangements as I pleased as 
regards the introduction of fresh persons to sittings with Mrs. Piper. 
Imperator stated that it was impossible that the best work could be achieved 
from their side under such conditions, that Mrs. Piper's organism regarded 
as a machine had been "battered and worn," that it needed much repairing, 
that the utmost care must be taken as regards the persons introduced on the 
earthly side, and the persons allowed to use the machine from the so-called 

JULY, 1900.] Mrs. Piper's present Trance Condition. 287 

spirit side. For the purpose of securing proper conditions, Imperator 
claimed that they on their side could alone decide what persons should be 
allowed to communicate, as they alone could determine what conditions 
might be beneficial to, and what injurious to the machine. General 
experimenting by persons on this side was prohibited. Opportunities 
have been given for the introduction of fresh persons to the trance. These, 
however, have been few in number. The introduction of fresh persons at 
the present time has been absolutely prohibited. Imperator has stated 
that the conditions are such that it would interfere with the work which 
they have to do in improving the machine and in other matters if fresh 
sitters were now introduced. All this has been explicitly laid down without 
any doubt, and I am bound by my agreement. 

This Imperator regime began at the latter part of January, 1897, and I 
refer you to section 7 of my report in Part XXXIII. of our Proceedings, 
entitled " Recent Changes in Mrs. Piper's Trance," pp. 407-12. 

During my year's absence in England, from September, 1897, to 
September, 1898, various fresh persons were allowed to have sittings 
besides a group of persons who were previously familiar with Mrs. Piper's 
trance. Later on, however, after my return here, a much closer restriction 
was exercised by Imperator. Only about half a dozen fresh persons were 
allowed to go at all during last season, and at the present time no fresh 
persons are allowed to be introduced. 

I have had, I think, hundreds of applicants for sittings during the past 
year. I have had four new applications besides your own this week. 

Several persons have had the opportunity of having sittings about once a 
fortnight, and Mrs. Piper goes into trance now usually only three times a 
week. It is probable that later on even this small group of persons will 
be restricted. 

Briefly, once more then, the situation is that the matter at present is out 
of my direct control. I have agreed, so to speak, to let Imperator manage 
the machine. Absolutely explicit instructions have been laid down by 
Imperator that no persons shall be admitted to the sittings except as 
appointed by him. It is not likely that any fresh persons will be allowed to 
have sittings in the future at any time, except such as are in special grief for 
the recent loss of near friends or relatives. 

As to the general wisdom of this management by Imperator, I have 
myself personally no doubt. It would, however, take me too long to explain 
my view of the situation at length in a letter. I refer you again to section 7 
of my report in Part XXXIII for s >me suggestions in this direction, which 
I expect to work out more fully in later reports. 

From my own point of view, Mrs. Piper's organism as a medium of 
communication from the other side to this represents an extremely delicate 
machine, which is likely to get out of order unless the utmost care is taken 
as regards the conditions. This is not realised by the ordinary person ; and 
yet we know well that even in cases which are probably enormously less 
complex, absolute exclusion is necessary. There are, e.</., machines used in 
physical experiments which are isolated in such a way that observers are not 

288 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [JULY, 1900. 

permitted to even enter the room in which the machine is placed. And yet 
persons who are completely ignorant of the conditions, both general and 
special, under which the communications through Mrs. Piper come, actually 
feel aggrieved that they cannot in succession try their apprentice hands and 
the apprentice hands of their spirit friends at the working of such a com- 
plicated and delicate machine as Mrs. Piper's organism. Yours sincerely, 



[The Editor is not responsible for opinions expressed by Correspondents.] 

The following letter has been received from an Associate of the 
Society, Miss H. A. Dallas, in reference to the paper read at the 
General Meeting on June 22nd and reported above. 


No one who listened carefully to Mr. Myers's paper on "Pseudo- 
Possession," and who has given thought to it since, can have failed to be 
impressed by a sense of its value, and its profound suggestiveness and 
significance. There is one question which arose out of it and which I 
should like to have asked, but with so many present whose ideas were so 
well worth hearing, one grudged to occupy time with a question of more 
elementary character. Perhaps I may be allowed to state it in the pages of 
the Journal, in the hope of eliciting some reply. 

On the hypothesis that many forms of automatism claiming spiritistic 
origin (including M lle Smith's) emanate from the subliminal consciousness, 
we find ourselves confronted by an unexplained anomaly. Mr. Myers's 
remarks lead us to the conclusion (which we know is amply justified by 
evidence) that the mediumistic faculty is a healthy faculty of high order.; 
and that the subliminal self is in contact with a wider field of knowledge 
than is the supraliminal ; that it seems to be capable of forming clearer and 
correcter judgments than does the latter ; so much is this the case that I 
believe medical diagnoses and prescriptions given in trance have been 
accepted and found correct. 

But if I understand our President aright, lie also attributes to this 
subliminal self the statements concerning the Martian language, concerning 
previous incarnations as Marie Antoinette, etc., and also presumably, the 
assertions so generally made in automatic script claiming that it originates 
with discarnate entities. Are we then to believe that the subliminal self is 
both wiser and more foolish, truer and more false, more understanding and 
more ignorant, more reliable and more untrustworthy than the normal self ? 
The mere statement of the question turns one mentally a little giddy, so that 
one feels in danger of losing one's bearings, and not knowing which way one 
is facing ; but that may be due to weakness of head. 

The spirit hypothesis offers difficulties too, but not quite of this bewilder- 
ing nature. On the hypothesis we may presumably regard the 

JULY, moo.] Correspondence. 289 

medium's organism as comparable to a piano at the disposal of any performer 
who can unlock and manipulate it. I say unlock and manipulate, because 
the organism is by no means free to all comers, and the limitations which 
restrict its use are probably of more than one kind. 

If the medium's organism is thus, within certain limits, freely accessible, 
there would be nothing surprising in the fact that the operations of the 
control should at one time result in messages above the normal capacities 
and moral character of the medium, and at another in messages below both. 
Seciet aspirations, lofty ambitions and admirations would give access to 
spirits of superior quality, and latent weaknesses might render him acces- 
sible to the influence and suggestions of those of inferior attainments, 
mental and moral. 

The advantage of this hypothesis is that it is simple (too simple, some 
may think) and that it presents no inexplicable anomalies. What explana- 
tion can be offered of the seeming anomaly which confronts us with the 
other hypothesis ? Perhaps it exists only in seeming and may be cleared 
by a few words. H> A< 

[In reply to the above, Mr. Myers writes : 


The difficulty which Miss Dallas's letter points out is a very real one ; 
and although her questions can, I think, be in some measure answered, the 
answer cannot be as short or as simple as I could wish. 

I must begin by pointing out that the distinction between supraliminal 
and subliminal, between intra-marginal and extra- marginal ; in short 
between the thoughts and sensations which fall within our ordinary waking 
consciousness and those which find place beneath or outside it, cannot 
possibly be a distinction at once applicable to practical ends ; as though 
(for instance) one were able to say at once that the subliminal idea or 
impulse was always wiser than the supraliminal. On the contrary, the basis 
of the distinction is a purely psychological one : it is founded on the attempt 
to analyse the relation of one chain of memory to another chain of memory, 
of one type to another type of human perception and faculty. Our simplest 
observation indeed must be that that which extends beneath the threshold, 
beyond the margin of a field of consciousness specialised for our ordinary 
needs, will probably be both more extensive and more miscellaneous than 
that which is contained within those limits. The spectrum of our subliminal 
mentation, (to recur to an old metaphor,) is more extended than the 
spectrum of our supraliminal. At one end of the scale we find dreams, a 
normal subliminal product, but of less practical value than any form of sane 
supraliminal thought. At the other end of the scale we find that the rarest, 
most precious knowledge comes to us from outside the ordinary field, 
through the eminently subliminal processes of telepathy, telaesthesia, ecstasy. 
And between these two extremes lie many subliminal products, varying in 
value according to the dignity and trustworthiness of the subliminal menta- 
tion concerned. 

290 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [JULY, 1900. 

This last phrase, inevitably obscure, may be illustrated by reference 
to that hierarchical arrangement of supraliminal action and perception 
which Dr. Hughlings Jackson has so used as to clear up much previous 
confusion of thought. Following him, we now speak of highest-level nerve- 
centres, governing our highest, most complex, thought and will ; of middle- 
level centres, governing movements of voluntary muscles, and the like ; and 
of lowest-level centres (which from my point of view are purely subliminal), 
governing those automatic processes, as respiration and circulation, which 
are independent of conscious rule, but necessary to the maintenance of life. 
We can roughly judge from the nature of any observed action whether the 
highest-level centres are directing it, or whether they are for the time 
inhibited, so that middle-level centres operate uncontrolled. 

Thus ordinary speech and writing are ruled by highest-level centres. 
But when an epileptic discharge of nervous energy has exhausted the 
highest-level centres, we see the middle-level centres operating unchecked, 
and producing the convulsive movements of arms and legs in the "fit." As 
these centres in their turn become exhausted, the patient is left to the 
guidance of lowest-level centres alone ; that is to say, he becomes comatose, 
though he continues to breathe as regularly as usual. 

Now this series of phenomena, descending in coherence and co-ordina- 
tion from an active consensus of the whole organism to a mere automatic 
maintenance of its most stably organised processes, may be pretty closely 
paralleled by the series of subliminal phenomena also. 

Sometimes we seem to see our subliminal perceptions and faculties acting 
truly in unity, truly as a Self; coordinated into some harmonious "inspira- 
tion of genius," or some profound and reasonable hypnotic self -reformation, 
or some far-reaching supernormal achievement of clairvoyant vision or of 
self -projection into a spiritual world. Whatever of subliminal personality 
is thus acting corresponds with the highest-level centres of supraliminal life. 
At such moments the subliminal represents (as I believe) most nearly what 
will become the surviving Self. 

But it seems that this degree of clarity, of integration, cannot be long 
preserved. Much oftener we find the subliminal perceptions and faculties 
acting in less co-ordinated, less coherent ways. We have products which, 
while containing traces of some faculty beyond our common scope, involve, 
nevertheless, something as random and meaningless as the discharge of the 
uncontrolled middle-level centres of arms and legs in the epileptic fit. We 
get, in short, a series of phenomena which the term dream-like seems best to 

In the realm of genius, of uprushes of thought and feeling fused 
beneath the conscious threshold into artistic shape, we get no longer 
master- pieces but half -insanities, not the Sistine Madonna but Wiertz's 
Vision of the Guillotined Head ; not Kubla Khan, but the disordered 
opium dream. Throughout all the work of William Blake (I should say) we 
see the subliminal self flashing for moments into unity, then smouldering 
again in a lurid and scattered glow. 

In the realm of hypnotism, again, we sink from the reasonable self- 
suggestion to the " platform- experiment," the smelling of ammonia, the 

JULY, 1900.] Correspondence. 291 

eating of tallow-candles ; all the tricks which show a profound control, but 
not a wise control, over the arcana of organic life. I speak, of course, of the 
subject's own control over his organism ; for in the last resort it is he and 
not his hypnotiser who really exercises that directive power. And I com- 
pare these tricks of middle -level subliminal centres to the powerful yet 
irrational control which the middle-level centres ruling the epileptic's arms 
and legs exercise over his muscles in the violence of the epileptic attack. 

And so again with the automatisms which are, one may say, the subliminal 
self's peculiar province. Automatic script, for instance, may represent 
highest-level subliminal centres, even when no extraneous spirit, but the 
autoraatist's own mind alone, is concerned. It will then give us true tele- 
pathic messages, or perhaps messages of high moral import, surpassing the 
automatist's conscious powers. But much oftener the automatic script is 
regulated by what I have called middle-level subliminal centres only ; and 
then, though we may have scraps of supernormal intelligence, we have con- 
fusion and incoherence as well. We have the falsity which the disgusted 
automatist is sometimes fain to ascribe to a devil ; though it is in reality not 
a devil, but a dream. 

And hence again, just as the epileptic sinks lower and lower in the fit, 
from the incoordinated movements of the limbs down to the mere stertorous 
breathing of coma, so do these incoherent automatisms sink down at last 
through mere fragmentary dreams, or vague impersonal bewilderment, into 
the minimum psychical concomitant, whatever that be, which must co-exist 
with brain-circulation. 

Such is the apparent parallelism ; but of course no knowledge of a 
hierarchy of the familiar forms of nervous action can really explain to us the 
mysterious fluctuations of subliminal power. When we speak of the highest- 
level and other centres which govern our supraliminal being, and which are 
fitted to direct this planetary life in a material world, we can to some 
extent point out actual brain-centres whose action enables us to meet those 
needs. What are the needs of our cosmic life we do not know ; nor can we 
indicate any point in our organism (as in the "solar plexus," or the like), 
which is adapted to meet them. We cannot even either affirm or deny that 
such spiritual life as we maintain while incarnated in this material envelope 
involves any physical concomitants at all. 

For my part, I feel forced to fall back upon the old-world conception of 
a soul which exercises an imperfect and fluctuating control over the organ- 
ism ; and exercises that control, I would add, along two main channels, only 
partly coincident; that of ordinary consciousness, adapted to the main- 
tenance and guidance of earth-life ; and that of subliminal consciousness, 
adapted to the maintenance of our larger spiritual life during our confine- 
ment in the flesh. 

We men, therefore, clausi tenebris et carcere cf?co, can sometimes widen, 
as we must sometimes narrow, our outlook on the reality of things. In 
mania or epilepsy we lose control even of those highest-level supraliminal 
centres on which our rational earth-life depends. But through automatism 
and in trance and allied states we draw into supraliminal life some rivulet 

292 Journal of Society for Psychical Research,. [JULY, 1000. 

from the undercurrent stream. If the subliminal centres which we thus 
impress into our waking service correspond to the middle-level only, they 
may bring to us merely error and confusion ; if they correspond to the 
highest-level, they may introduce us to previously unimagined truth. 

And finally, though this be explaining obscwum per obsciu-ius, I think 
that we can trace the same fluctuation in a spirit's control of an organism 
when that spirit is no longer that organism's habitual denizen, but an invader 
from without. Observing the trances of Mrs. Piper or of Mrs. Thompson 
(of which latter lady I hope shortly to offer some account to our Society), I 
seem sometimes to see highest-level centres kept in operation by a clear 
controlling power. Sometimes that control weakens, and one must watch 
the spiritual grasp slipping downwards to middle-level centres alone. Then 
comes the dream-like incoherence of speech, the inchoate or meaningless 
gesture. When " Phinuit," or whoever the " control " may be, sinks into 
nonsense; when the sensitive's own ideas interfere with the utterance; when 
the inspired vision or message degenerates into grotesque triviality ; in 
all such cases we are experiencing the operation of middle-level subliminal 
centres ; whether those centres be set in motion by our own or by some 
extraneous spirit. 

From all this it follows that there is and can be no infallible criterion by 
which we can guess what intimations are wisest, what internal or external 
promptings we had best obey. Nay, we cannot even feel sure that there 
exists only one true solution of any complex problem of our life. We do 
not know whether all even of our sanest and clearest impulses are directed 
towards the same end. The objects of the subliminal m*y legitimately 
differ from the objects of the supraliminal self. I am not here speaking of 
the two conflicting wills in man, the one making for immediate pleasure, 
the other for a more distant and truer good. I say that the intimate dissi- 
dence may be on a higher level still. Man is even now living in two worlds ; 
and who shall affirm that either his supraliminal or his subliminal intelli- 
gence can always reconcile the earthly with the spiritual ideal ? He must 
choose as best he may among his own essential elements ; sometimes, 
perhaps, he must obey a guidance which leads him he knows not whither. 
Maior aglt dens, clique opera in, tnaiora remittit. "F 1 W H M 


As announced in the Journal for June, the Fourth International 
Congress of Psychology is to be held in Paris, August 20th to 25th, 
under the presidency of PUOFESSOR Tn. RIBOT. 

PROFESSOR PIERRE JANET writes to us that he will be very glad 
to furnish information about the Congress to any of our members or 
associates who may wish for it. Applications for membership of the 
Congress should also be addressed to him at 

21, Rue Barbet de Jouy, Paris. 






Henry Sidgwick, born May 31st, 1838, died August 
28th, 1900; Knightbridge Professor of Moral Philosophy 
in the University of Cambridge ; President of the Society 
for Psychical Research, 1882-1884, and 1888-1892. 

The next Part of the Proceedings will consist of a com- 
memorative address which the Council have invited the 
President, Mr. F. W. H. Myers, to deliver on October 29th. 


New Member and Associates 293 

Meeting of the Council 293 

General Meeting 294 

The International Psychological Institute at the International Congress of Psychology. 

By Oswald Murray 296 

. 298 


Names of Members are printed in Black Type. 
Names of Associates are' printed in SMALL CAPITALS. 

AN, MRS.; Hyde Park-court, Albert-gate, London, S.W. 
Perdicaris, Ion, El Minzah, Tangier, Morocco, North Africa. 


CLARKE, MRS. ALICE J., 506, North 7th-street, Yincennes, Ind. 
EMERSON, C. "W., Emerson College of Oratory, Boston, Mass. 
JONES, FRANCIS R., 27, State-street, Boston, Mass. 
TOWER, Miss ELLEN M., Lexington, Mass. 


The Council met at the Rooms of the Society, 19, Buckingham- 
street, W.C., on July 16th. The President occupied the chair. There 

294 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [OCT., 1900. 

were also present : Dr. Richard Hodgson, Mr. St. George Lane Fox 
Pitt, Mr. H. Arthur Smith and Dr. A. Wallace. 

The Minutes of the last meeting were read and signed as correct. 

One new Member and one new Associate were elected. The 
election of four new Associates of the American Branch was recorded, 
Names and addresses are given above. 

Some presents to the Library were on the table, for which a vote of 
thanks was passed to the donors. 

After the discussion of some other matters, it was agreed that a 
General Meeting of the Society be held at the "Westminster Town 
Hall, on Monday, October 29th, the chair to be taken at 4 p.m. 

The next meeting of the Council was fixed for October 5th, to be 
held at 19, Buckingham-street, at 4.30 p.m. 


The 107th General Meeting of the Society was held in the West 
minster Town Hall on Monday, July 16th, at 8.30 p.m. ; the President, 
MR. F. W. H. MYERS, in the chair. 

THE PRESIDENT read a paper on "Trance-utterance and other 
Phenomena observed with Mrs. Thompson," giving a general account 
of her trances, with a few illustrations of information given at 
sittings, the full reports of some of which we hope to publish shortly. 

DR. R. HODGSON said that he had not yet had any sittings with 
Mrs. Thompson, and could not speak of their evidential value from the 
point of view of personal experience. He had, however, had the oppor- 
tunity of reading over a large number of records of her manifestations, 
and had been impressed especially by what seemed to be the later 
developments of her trance phenomena, though he had not been able 
to study the records in detail. The earlier phenomena of Mrs. 
Thompson, chiefly physical, had not been performed under very 
stringent conditions, according to the accounts which appeared in Light, 
but the records of her later trances suggested resemblances to Mrs. 
Piper's phenomena as they were some years ago under the regime of 
the control known as Phinuit. The speaker then proceeded to 
enumerate several points, general and special, in which the utterances 
of " Nelly," the control of Mrs. Thompson, seemed to resemble those 
of Phinuit. The information supplied to the sitter was apt to be given 
somewhat f ragmentarily ; it concerned both living and deceased persons ; 
it tended, perhaps, to prove the existence of supernormal faculty of some 
kind ; but there was lacking the clearer evidence for the personal 
identity of a specific communicating friend or relative of the sitter. 

OCT., 1900.] General Meeting. 295 

There seemed, however, to be more of this " personal identity " quality 
in a few of the most recent sittings, and he hoped that there might be 
a rapid development of Mrs. Thompson's phenomena along this line. 
According to the records. Mrs. Thompson had experiences of several 
types which had never been exhibited by Mrs. Piper. Mrs. Piper had 
no experiences in her ordinary waking state, obtained no manifestations 
of the ordinary "physical phenomena" type, and recollected no 
experiences of her own during the trance state. Passing over Mrs. 
Thompson's experiences on these lines, and taking the records of her 
ordinary trance utterances, it seemed that there were occasional com- 
plete failures with sitters, there was often a mixture of correct and 
incorrect statement, and there were apparently statements which 
suggested disturbances by previous communicators ; analogous cases 
were found in the records of Mrs. Piper's earlier trances. The speaker 
gave specific instances of the difficulty in getting proper names, and in 
ascertaining the precise source of apparently supernormal information, 
as where knowledge seemed to be shown of events occurring elsewhere 
at the time of the sitting, mentioning cases from the records of Mrs. 
Thompson in connection with cases which had come under his own 
experience with Mrs. Piper. He referred also to some statements that 
he had noticed in the records of Mrs. Thompson as made by the control 
" Nelly " concerning her own use of the left side of Mrs. Thompson's 
brain, and the use by other controls of the right side of the medium's 
brain. He thought it was desirable to keep in mind that in connection 
with trance manifestations generally, problems of the utmost import- 
ance arose from an empirical point of view concerning the relations 
between mind and body, and entirely independent of such questions 
as that of a future life or the spiritistic hypothesis. The primary con- 
sideration for us was to understand more of the conditions of such trance 
manifestations, to ascertain more definitely the causes of incoherence 
and obscurity and failure, and, as far as possible, to remove them. 

MR. ST. GEORGE LANE Fox PITT said that the evidences of super- 
normal agencies shown by the phenomena of Mrs. Piper, Mrs. 
Thompson, and others seemed to be absolutely overwhelming, and the 
investigations of Mr. Myers and Dr. Hodgson were of great interest 
and value ; but he urged that the use made by them of the " Spirit 
hypothesis " was unfortunate, inasmuch as it offered no real explanation 
of the phenomena, while, on the contrary, it might tend to prejudice 
scientific inquiry by shirking difficulties instead of explaining them. 
It was as though, in answer to a question as to how something was 
produced, we were told that it was "made by machinery." This kind 
of answer, although it might satisfy the average mind, was, of course, 

296 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [OCT., 1900. 

no explanation at all. The use of words and phrases to cover our 
ignorance of the modus operandi of phenomena was a danger against 
which we ought to be constantly on our guard. It should be born in 
mind, too, that "telepathy," "clairvoyance," "the subliminal con- 
sciousness," and " spirits " were not of necessity mutually exclusive 
theories ; but were merely indicative of certain aspects of the phenomena, 
or the psychic processes that were involved in them. Thus it might be 
that the agencies underlying the phenomena might include all these ; 
and that the "intelligences" manifesting might be the outcome of a com- 
bination of psychic influences, just as were the creatures of our dreams. 
The fact that they appeared to have an independent existence beyond 
the limits of certain conditions was no proof of such independence. 

In spite of Mr. Myers' voluminous and lucid expositions of the 
subject, the idea of a subliminal consciousness or mind was usually quite 
misunderstood, for it was really a most complex and comprehensive 
idea. Broadly it might be said to include that over-shadowing destiny 
of the individual with all its immense ramifications and affinities, as 
well as that mere fragment of its potentiality which happened to come 
under observation on some particular occasion. One function of the 
subliminal mind was comparable to that of a reservoir for the conscious 
self, to take in and give out memories and influences, increasing the 
resources and preventing waste of mental effort. Now the derangement 
of this function might well account for many of the eccentricities and 
contradictions of its manifestations. 

MR. COLLINGWOOD said that according to certain physiological 
investigations in connection with localisation of functions in the brain, 
the centres for language were located in the left hemisphere of the 
brain in the third frontal convolution, and it might be interesting 
to inquire what occurred when the alleged control was using the right 
hemisphere only. 

One or two other questions were asked, and the President read a 
brief account of another sitting with Mrs. Thompson. 

The meeting then adjourned. 


Paris, August, 1900. 

DR. OCHOROWICZ delivered an address at the third meeting of the 
Congress, on the International Psychical Institute, the foundation of 

OCT., woo.] The International Psychological Institute. 297 

which was noticed in a previous number of this Journal. Dr. 
Ochorowicz gave a rapid sketch of the growth of psychology during 
the last century and referred to several abortive efforts that had been 
made on different occasions to establish a centre for comparative study 
in the several branches of this science. The only successful achieve- 
ment in this direction consisted in the International Congresses that 
had been held, at the fourth of which he was then speaking. These 
Congresses only met, however, at intervals of four years, and during 
the intervening period no permanent centre existed where the 
collective work which constituted so valuable a feature of the 
Congresses could be carried on. Dr. Ochorowicz then referred to the 
Institute which had been recently founded in Paris for the purpose of 
meeting this requirement and of facilitating research in the several 
branches of experimental psychology. This Institute already had the 
support of most of the leading psychologists and philosophers of 
France, as also of several other countries. He urged the members of 
the Congress to give their support to this movement. 

PROFESSOR RICHET supported the appeal made by Dr. Ochorowicz 
in an eloquent speech, in which he urged the members of the Congress 
to give their support to the Institute, to make its foundation known in 
all the countries they represented on their return to their respective 
homes, and to endeavour to obtain adherents to it. 

PROFESSOR SEAILLES dwelt on the utility of the project from the 
point of view of speculative philosophy. 

PROFESSOR FLOURXOY stated that, being looked upon as an " official 
scientist," students often came to him with the request that he would 
express an opinion with regard to problems pertaining to the domain of 
the " supernormal." It would be unscientific for any man to express 
an opinion under such circumstances with regard to phenomena of that 
nature which he had not had an opportunity of examining. " We 
want opportunities of research," said Professor Flournoy. " Experi- 
mental observation should be facilitated. Our ignorance of to-day 
might then become replaced by some degree of knowledge." 

MR. F. W. H. MYERS remarked that the S.P.R. already aimed at 
being international in its humble way, but that in the things of the 
mind it was desirable that everybody should be as international as 
possible, and he heartily wished success to the new venture. 

The Committee of the Institute held a reception the same evening 
in the rooms of its temporary offices. Over two hundred members of 
the Congress attended, and the object and aims of the Institute were 
further discussed. 

298 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [OCT., 1900. 

A meeting of the International Council and the executive 
committee was held subsequently. 

It was decided to alter the title of the Institute to " the Inter- 
national Psychological Institute," in order to meet the views of many 
members of the Congress, expressed during the discussion of the address 
by Dr. Ochorowicz and subsequently at the reception. 

It was also decided to undertake no experimental work and not to 
publish a journal till a fund commensurate with the importance and 
international character of the enterprise had been raised. 


G. 242 (continued). Apparition. 

Readers of the Journal may remember an account given by Miss 
M. W. Scott, of Lessudden House, St. Boswell's, Roxburghshire, of an 
apparition seen several times by herself, and occasionally by others, on 
a country road near her home. (See the Journal S.P.R. for November, 
1893 ; Yol. VI., p. 146.) Her first experience was in May, 1892, when, 
walking down a short incline on her way home, she saw a tall man 
dressed in black a few yards in front of her. He turned a corner of 
the road, being still in view of her, and there suddenly disappeared. 
On following him round the corner, Miss Scott found a sister of hers, 
also on her way home, who had just seen a tall man dressed in black, 
whom she took for a clergyman, coming to meet her on the road. She 
looked away for a moment, and on looking towards him again could 
see no one anywhere near. Miss Scott on overtaking her found her 
looking up and down the road and into the fields in much bewilder- 
ment. It appeared that they had not seen the man at exactly the 
same moment nor in exactly the same place, but from their description 
of the surroundings it seems impossible that it could have been a real 
person, who had contrived to get away unnoticed. 

In July of the same year at about the same place, Miss Scott 
walking with another of her sisters saw approaching them a dark 
figure dressed in black, with a long coat, gaiters and knee-breeches, a 
wide white cravat and low-crowned hat ; the sister also saw the upper 
part of the figure, which seemed to fade away into the bank by the 
side of the road as they looked at it. 

Again, in June, 1893, walking alone on the road in the morning, 
Miss Scott saw a dark figure some way in front, which she recognised 
as the apparition when she got nearer to it. She made a de- 
termined effort to overtake it, but could not get nearer than a few 
yards, as it then seemed to float or skim away. At length, however, 

OCT., 1900.] Cases. 299 

it stopped, turned round and faced her ; then moved on a few steps, 
and turned and looked back again, finally fading from her view by a 
hedge. She was able to notice fully the details of the dress, knee- 
breeches, black silk stockings and shoe-buckles, like the dress of 
Scottish clergymen about a century ago. 

The apparition was also said to have been seen at different times by 
some children and other persons in the neighbourhood ; but of this 
no first-hand accounts were forthcoming. There was also a legend 
that a child had been murdered close by ; " but," Miss Scott wrote, 
" this fact is quite beyond the recollection of the oldest inhabitant of 
the neighbourhood," and it seems not unlikely that it was invented to 
account for the ghost. 

Since the narrative was printed we have received several other 
accounts of a similar apparition having been seen by various persons 
at different times in the same place ; and we now give all the further 
evidence on the subject that has so far reached us. 

The first account is given in a letter from Miss Louisa Scott the 
sister who shared Miss M. W. Scott's first experience to Miss Guthrie, 
the lady through whose kindness we received the original narrative in 
1893. This letter is as follows : 

Lessudden House, St. Boswell's, August 14#/i, 1894. 

DEAR Miss GUTHRIE, As I know you are interested in the movements 
of our ghost, I am writing to tell you another little anecdote about him. 
A young lady, who is a governess in this neighbourhood, told me this after- 
noon of a meeting she had had with him this spring. She was returning home 
along the haunted road at about a quarter past four in the afternoon, when 
she was attracted by seeing in front of her a rather tall old man, dressed in a 
long black cloak, with one cape which came to a little below his shoulders ; 
his hat, as on the occasions when my sisters and I saw him, was low-crowned, 
and the brim slouched over his eyes. My informant was much interested in 
this peculiar-looking person, and did not take her eyes off him, whilst she 
watched him walk backward and forward between the turn of the road and 
a heap of stones about a hundred yards lower down ; he repeated this six 
times, the last time stopping as if he were speaking to a man who was cutting 
the hedge at the time. What struck Miss Irvine as peculiar was that the 
man who was hedge-cutting did not look round, and seemed quite unconscious 
of the other's presence. Miss Irvine walked on, and was going to pass the 
old man, when, to her astonishment, he vanished when she was only about 
three yards from him. 

I know that you will think it foolish of Miss Irvine not questioning the 
hedger to whom the apparition looked as if he were speaking. I asked her 
why she had not, and she answered that she had not liked doing so, as the 
labourer would undoubtedly have thought her mad, as he clearly did not see 
any one. 

300 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [OCT., 1900. 

I am sure you will think this story most interesting, knowing all our 
experiences in days gone by. The extraordinary part of this man is that he 
always frequents the same part of the road, and yet does not vanish twice 
on the same spot ; when my sister and I saw him he became invisible on the 
left side of the road, and when Miss Irvine saw him he vanished on the 
right. Miss Irvine is most positive about all she told us, and says she will 
be delighted to send her account to Mr. Myers. 

I do wish we could see " our man " again. I have passed along that road 
hundreds of times since he was first seen, and at all hours of the day. I think 
he cannot have liked the way I stared at him the last time. Another thing 
we think funny is the variety of coats which he seems to possess, and all of 
an antique cut. He has the long black cloak with the cape in which Miss 
Irvine saw him, and the clerical-looking cloak with the large deep pockets in 
which we met him ; then on the other occasion, when the village girls saw 
him, he had round him the filmy-looking sheet. My sister has written to 
Sir George Douglas to ask him if he can tell her the exact spot on this road 
where an old man was murdered by gipsies coming from St. Boswell's fair 
many years ago. Sir George Douglas tells his story among a number of 
other old border tales, which no doubt you have read. I hope some day to 
be able to tell you more about the ghost. At present I am afraid he is 
underground. With kind regards, yours sincerely, 


In reply, to our inquiries, Miss Irvine sent soon after her own 
account of her experience. By an unfortunate accident, the first sheet 
of her letter was lost and has not been recovered ; but we print here 
the latter part, which gives some of the details at first-hand. 

Greycrook, St. Boswell's, Roxburghshire. 

This seemed to me stranger than ever and I wondered what I had seen, 
for he was nowhere in the field. On returning home I described the old 
gentleman to some friends who were likely to know if a person answering 
my description lived in the neighbourhood, but was told, "No." He was 
dressed rather like a clergyman, wore a long black cloak with cape and 
slouched hat, his hands in his coat pockets. I had never seen anything of 
the kind before, though I had frequently walked the same road and at all 
hours. This happened about four o'clock in the afternoon. I have not 
again seen him. 


In August, 1898, Miss M. W. Scott wrote to Mr. Myers as 
follows : 

. . . Our apparition ... is still seen . . . My latest 
experience was about a fortnight ago, when coming down the haunted 
road in the dusk I distinctly heard footsteps walking beside me, but 
could see nothing, though I am sure there must have been an unseen 
presence around from the state of nervous terror which generally makes 
itself felt on such occasions.. 

OCT., 1900.] Cases. 301 

Last autumn, and again in the dusk, I was walking down the little wood 
adjacent to the road with my sister. We were both talking upon indifferent 
subjects and putting the ghost as far from our thoughts as possible, when 
suddenly I was carried spell-bound by distinctly seeing the apparition 
walking alongside of us on the other side of the hedge. My sister saw me 
gazing vacantly on space when I suddenly exclaimed " The man !" When we 
came to the gate which divides the wood from the road there was no one to 
to be seen either way, though " he " had walked within three feet of me the 
whole time ; he was invisible to my sister. It is a strange phenomenon 
altogether. He had the same countenance we have always seen, but I did 
not seem to have the power to look beyond his face. This ghost always 
appears when our thoughts are bound up in something else, but if the 
opposite, then we are sure not to see him, and many persons who have 
accompanied up [and] down the road in hopes of seeing him have, like our- 
selves, failed to do so. . . . M.W.SCOTT. 

In answer to inquiries made later, Miss Scott writes . 
Lessudden House, St. Boswell's, N.B., 

October 16tfi, 1899. 

In reply to your first question, it was my second sister Susan, 
(the one who had only seen the apparition in a vague way before) who was 
with me in the autumn of 1897. In this instance we both saw it distinctly, 
as also did a lady friend who was further down the road at the same time. I 
sent an account of this before, so doubtless you will have seen the 

About the other question ; my sister Louisa and myself positively affirm 
that we were both looking at the same object ; it was perfectly visible to me 
at the very moment that it was invisible to her, and standing only a few 
yards distant ; it was bright daylight, I think between five and six on a 
May afternoon, and the road perfectly clear and dry. At the place where we 
saw the man, no one could possibly escape without our perceiving it, except 
by supernatural ways. There were two gates further down ; had he been a 
real man he must have passed where my sister was, as no one would ever 
think of attempting to jump over the hedges ; they were both far too high. 
A Miss Irvine, once a resident in St. Boswell's but now married, sent an 
experience she had with this same ghost to Mr. Myers, and was so much 
upset by the incident that she went into the house not far off and took 
hysterics. Her story varied a little from ours in point of detail as regarded 
costume ; still I believe we all saw one and the same person. This ghost is 
now well authenticated and our friends often greet us with the question, 
"Well, have you seen the man lately ? " To this I can only add in conclusion 
that none of my family have seen him for some time. 


In later letters, Miss Scott says that she thinks she was mistaken 
about the date of the first occasion mentioned above, when she and her 
sister Susan and another lady saw the apparition, as on making further 

302 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [OCT., 1000. 

inquiries from her sisters, it appeared that neither of them had seen it 
since 1893. Not having kept any notes of the accounts which she 
sent to us, her recollections of the different occasions had not 
unnaturally become a little confused ; and it seems likely that this 
was the occasion, previously described, of July, 1892. The other 
witness was an old lady, who was a long way down the road, and who 
declared in December, 1899, that she certainly remembered having 
seen a dark figure in the distance between them and herself. She was 
too far off to distinguish it clearly, but took it for a woman dressed in 
black going to the churchyard. She promised Miss Scott to write her 
recollections, but owing to illness and troubles in her family, has 
hitherto been unable to attend to the matter. 

There appears to be another legend of a murder in the neighbour- 
hood, which, however, there were no grounds for connecting in any way 
with the apparition, and it was also said that a clergyman of the parish 
since dead had " seen something." Miss Scott afterwards met one 
of his daughters, but could only learn that he had objected on con- 
scientious grounds to speaking of his experience. 

In December, 1899, Miss Scott sent the following fuller account of 
the second incident described in the letter given above, when she was 
accompanied by her sister Louisa. Here again her recollection of the 
dates seems to vary ; but the main features of the two accounts 
correspond closely, except that in the first she says that it was bright 
daylight and in the second that it was beginning to be dusk. 

. . . Our experiences [of 1892 and 1893], after having become the 
talk of the town and a nine days' wonder, gradually subsided, and, per- 
sonally, we had no further manifestations till the spring (April, I think) 
of 1897. My sister and myself were paying an afternoon visit at a friend's 
house situated near the haunted road, and having rather overstayed our 
time, the dusk was just beginning to fall over the landscape around ; it 
being then suggested that we should take a shorter cut home, we gladly 
availed ourselves of the permission to walk through the park and wood 
which open out of and enter the evil-reputed road. Upon coming to the end 
of the park, there is a small gate and narrow pathway, separated from the 
road by a hedge and some trees ; the space between being only a few yards, 
a pedestrian on the other side is distinctly visible. At the other end of the 
wood, again, there is another gate, which [leads to] the small incline and 
angle of the road, and, looking either way, the whole expanse is clearly 
denned. Just about this time we had nothing supernatural in our thoughts 
and were talking and laughing gaily together. Suddenly by some magnetic 
influence our conversation seemed gradually to cease, for when we were 
quite half-way down the wood, I noticed a man's figure walking alongside 
of me between the hedge on the other side, which, either real or unreal, 
I was determined not to lose sight of. As though cast over by a spell 

OCT., 1900.] Copses. 303 

my gaze became fixed, as in a moment I recognised the ghastly features 
of the apparition. I cannot tell how he was clothed, or if he wore a hat ; 
my eyes seemed fixed only on the profile from just below the forehead. 
Instinctively I felt he moved beside me, but heard no sound or footsteps of 
any kind. My sister saw nothing, and not being equal to the occasion, 
I made no remark, until we had almost reached the end of the boundary, 
then exclaimed in French, "L'homme!" At that moment the ghost must have 
vanished, for when we opened the gate to pass through, not a living soul was 
there ; had it been a person of either sex, we were perfectly certain to have 
met. It was very strange my companion should perceive nothing unusual, 
though she remarked about me "staring into space." It is quite impossible 
to account for this phantom it is no illusion formed by a disordered brain 
or based upon imagination or defective light ; the sun had certainly set, the 
dusk slightly fallen, but giving quite sufficient power for mutual recognitions. 
The man had walked calmly on, looking straight in front of him, never 
appearing to notice anything, as though engaged in deep meditation. 

The remainder of the account describes again in fuller detail Miss 
Scott's hearing the footsteps walking beside her on the road, when 
she could see no one there, as described in her letter of August, 1898. 
She gives also a rough plan of the locality (see below, p. 305). 

On August 17th, 1900, Miss Scott wrote to say that she had 
recently seen the apparition twice, the most recent occasion having 
been " only last night." She describes it as follows : 

July 24/i, 1900. I am writing to let you know the dates that I have 
again seen the apparition that haunts a road near St. Boswell's. The locality 
has been described before, so that it is not necessary for me to enter into 
further details regarding it. On the evening of July 24th I was standing 
speaking to a friend, exactly upon the part known as the property of that 
" mysterious he." I had forgotten the very existence of our supernatural 
neighbour, and while we conversed upon indifferent subjects, I inadvertently 
glanced carelessly down the expanse beyond, when I perceived the tall black 
figure walking on in advance with his back towards us. How he came to be 
there I had not the faintest idea, not having remarked his advent. I made 
no comment to my companion, but, wishing her a hasty adieu, hurried away 
as quickly as possible to try and make up upon him, but he instantly 
vanished ; there was no one to be seen either high or low. It was just 
eight o'clock in the evening, as I heard the hour chime in the village 
almost at the same time. He was dressed in the same way, namely, all in 
black, and was only proceeding about twenty yards away. 

I have not since ascertained if my companion at the moment saw any one, 
as she is an unbeliever in such manifestations, and says it is all imagination, 
and often laughed me to scorn when I said anything about the ghost on the 
road ; but, believing or not believing, it is certainly an unpleasant sensation 
to see a long figure clothed in sable raiment appear and so quickly vanish 
again without any apparent reason on a lonely thoroughfare. 

304 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [OCT., 1000. 

My second illustration of last night, August 167i, 1900, can tell you 
something more definite than the previous one, for I certainly believe the 
man to be a clergyman of the ancient school, but why this ' ' Father of the 
Church " frequents that road is an unexplained mystery. On this occasion 
the outline of his head and shoulders were completely visible all black, 
with a wide white muffler-looking thing wound round his throat ; his hair 
seems light, face clean-shaven and very pale, but he was not quite near 
enough for the features to become clearly defined ; the hat looked like an 
ordinary clerical wide-awake, only the crown seemed much higher than those 
used in the present day. The lower part of his body [was] overshadowed, 
as he was advancing towards me up the incline, while I was on the level 

There was a man with a pony and trap cutting grass by the roadside 
within a few feet of where I saw the apparition appear, who had his back to 
the worker ; yet, the most wonderful part of it all is that when I questioned 
the man, he declared he had seen " no one." " But," I said, " he was close 
beside you." He still declared he saw "no person there," so I let the 
matter end, though I expect that he, like the whole village, knows well the 
reputation of the road, for he looked slightly nervous and remarked ' ' it 
was not a safe place to come down alone." 

This completes the tale of my latest encounter . 


The following letter gives some further details of this last occasion, 
in answer to questions : 

August 26th, 1900. 

Last evening I went down the road with my two sisters and some 
friends, but the "ghost" did not make his presence apparent ; neither did 
he upon our return ; so I had time to make a few more definite observations 
which will form the answer to your question. The apparition and I were 
walking towards one another. I was too much taken up watching the 
proceedings of the supernatural to notice the operations of the working man, 
until the vision of the other had died away, when I then turned my atten- 
tion to the real subject, who was then facing the road and actually looking at 
the place where the spectre had disappeared a few seconds before. The 
pony and trap had evidently moved on a little from the part where the owner 
was occupied and afterwards stood still ; the movements of all being such 
that the entire expanse beyond was an unobstructed view to any person 
coming or going upon it ; thus, the animal was really nearest the apparition, 
whose back was close to its head as he advanced. Tt may only have been a 
coincidence, but the pony gave itself a violent shake in its harness just at 
the time. Horses have been known to exhibit signs of fear on such 
occasions, but as they frequently go through such antics for other causes, 
this fact can be no criterion for judging the point. 

If you are in possession of the letter written to Mr. Myers by a Miss 
Irvine, who used to live in St. Boswell's a few years ago, you will remark 
that this incident is almost on a parallel with her account of seeing the 
apparition standing beside the man cutting hedges, yet, when questioned, he 

OCT,, 1900.] 



306 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [OCT., 1900. 

too declared that he had seen nothing. We have interrogated different 
persons employed on the road, and one in particular who has occasion to 
pass along that way every morning and evening and to the village in all 
seasons, but he has never noticed any one answering to the description 

given ' ' ' ' M. W. SCOTT. 

The accompanying rough plan is a combination of two sent by 
Miss Scott to show the localities where she and her sister saw the 
apparition in 1897 and where she alone saw it in August, 1900. From 
the house at which they were calling in 1897, a footpath leads through 
the park and wood, the part through the latter having a gate at each 
end as shown, and passing out into the "haunted road." This part of 
the road is an incline, the arrow in the plan pointing up the slope. 
Out of the road opens a lane, in which the child is said to have been 
murdered by gipsies. The fields on each side of the road are bordered 
by high hedges. The numbers on the plan show the positions of the 
various persons as explained underneath it. 

L. 1121. A d P n Apparition. 

The following account was sent to us by an Associate of the Society, 
Mr. W. B. Fotheringham, of 19, St. John's-road, Westcliffe-on-Sea, 
Essex. It will be seen that the case is not first-hand, and cannot now 
be improved on, since the percipient Mr. Phillips is no longer 
living. But it is an instance of what was called in Phantasms of the 
Living, " the sort of second-hand evidence which can on the whole be 
placed on a par with first-hand," the evidence, namely, of a person 
who knew of the experience of the percipient while the latter was still 
unaware of the corresponding event, and had had equal opportunities 
with the percipient for learning the truth of that event and confirming 
the coincidence. 

It is remarkable that few or no narratives of apparitions seen at 
the time of death have reached us during the last few years. This can 
hardly be because the incidents no longer occur ; it seems probable, 
therefore, that our members are under the impression that we have 
published enough evidence of the kind, and do not care to have any 
more of it. This, however, is very far from being the case ; it is, on 
the contrary, highly desirable to keep up a constant supply of such 
evidence, so long as it is well authenticated, and especially when it 
relates to recent occurrences. It is partly in the hope of impressing 
this on our readers that we print the narrative sent by Mr. Fothering- 
ham. He writes : 

19, St. John's-road, Westcliffe-on-Sea, July 24th, 1900. 
I do not know that the enclosed statement has any evidential value, but 
am sending it to you for what it is worth. Mrs. Phillips is a sister of my 

OCT., 1900.] Cases. 307 

housekeeper, and, as the latter has been with me more than fourteen years, 
I know the family very well, and can vouch for their being entirely trust- 
worthy. Still, with the most reliable of witnesses, it is, of course, 
necessary to make some allowance for possible errors of memory. 

Although Mrs. Phillips has not been able to recall the exact date at 
which this occurrence took place, she is confident that the month was either 
April or May, and she believes that the time of day was early in the after- 
noon. At all events she is quite sure the apparition was seen in broad 

daylight. ... w B FOTHERINGHAM. 

The statement enclosed is as follows : 

July 20th, 1900. 

The following occurrence took place about three years ago, but it has 
not been possible to fix the date with greater precision. Mr. Phillips, the 
immediate percipient, has since died, but I have received the statement 
personally from Mrs. Phillips who, it will be clear from the circumstances 
attending the case, knew of the apparition at the time of its appearance and 
before there could have been any knowledge of the actual death. 

Mrs. Robotham and her husband had lodged for four years with Mr. and 
Mrs. Phillips at their house, No. 4, Uiiderhill Street, Camden Town, which 
they had occupied for more than forty years, and which is still tenanted by 
Mrs. Phillips. Mrs. Robotham was, consequently, particularly well known 
to Mr. and Mrs. P., who were the less likely to be mistaken in her identity. 
Some three years before her death, Mrs. Robotham and her husband left the 
house of Mr. and Mrs. P. and took rooms elsewhere, but the intimacy 
between the parties still continued, Mrs. Robofeham frequently coming into 
the shop kept by her former landlord. Finally, upon one occasion 
Mrs. Robotham called at the shop to say good-bye, her husband having 
obtained work in the country and wishing her to go to him. She was seen 
upon that occasion by Mrs. Phillips, who says she then looked very ill, and 
seemed quite unfit to travel. 

About a fortnight later, Mr. Phillips was at work in his shop, being 
at the time alone, when, happening to look up, he distinctly saw the face of 
Mrs. Robotham, who seemed to be standing outside in the passage and 
looking round" the edge of the door. The face disappeared almost imme- 
diately, but Mrs. Phillips says that her husband was absolutely convinced 
that Mrs. Robotham had actually been there. To put it as nearly as 
possible in her own words : 

" He (Mr. Phillips) came out and asked me whether Mrs. Robotham had 
come into the kitchen, as she had just looked into the shop and gone away 
again. I said I had not seen her, and that he must certainly be mistaken, 
as we knew she had gone away into the country. He was quite positive, 
however, that she had looked into the shop, and said he was certain he could 
not have been mistaken. So sure was he that he went to the street door and 
looked up and down the street in the full expectation of seeing her some- 
where about. I asked him how she was dressed and he said, ' Like she 
always is in her black bonnet.' He had only seen the head and face. We 

308 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [OCT., 1900. 

waited several hours, expecting her to come back. When we found she did 
not do so, I said to Mr. Phillips that if he had really seen her it must have 
been her spirit and she must certainly be dead, as I knew she would never 
come to Caniden Town without coming to see me. 

"About a week afterwards Mr. Robotham came into the shop. I saw 
that he was in mourning, and at once said, ' You need not tell us. We 
knew a week ago that Mrs. Robotham was dead. We saw her spirit.' Mr. 
Robotham told us when his wife had died, and we reckoned that we had seen 
her on the same day or the day after." 

I have read the above statement, and certify it to be in every way correct. 

(Signed) M. A. PHILLIPS. 

I remember hearing from my sister and brother-in-law of the above 
occurrence shortly after it happened. They were both much impressed by 

it at the time. 







Underhill Shreeh 

Mr. Fotheringham sends a rough plan of the shop, which we repro- 
duce. He writes : " This was originally a private house, and access 
to the shop is obtained only through the passage." The place where 
the apparition seemed to stand is indicated by the cross ( x ). 






New Members and Associates . . . . 309 

Meeting of the Council 310 

Obituary: the Marquis of Bute 310 

Fire-Walking Ceremonies in India 312 

Correspondence : 

Dr. Lehinann's Criticisms of Sir William Crookes' Experiments with D. D. Home 322 


Names of Members are printed in Black Type. 
Names of Associates are printed in SMALL CAPITALS. 

ASHER, Miss KATE, High Laggary, Row, Dumbartonshire, N.B. 
HOME, MRS. ROBERT, Beaufort House, Cheltenham. 
HOSKING, WILLIAM H., M.R.C.S., L.R.C.P., Masterton, New Zealand. 
MILLER. REV. J. PRIEST, Surlinghain Vicarage, Norwich. 
PALLISER, ARTHUR, JUNR., 52, Mount Ararat, Richmond, Surrey. 
Raikes, His Honour Judge, Q.C., The Leat House, Malton. 
ROWE, ALFRED, 5, Crossley-terrace, Newcastle-on-Tyne. 
SMITH, W. JOHNSON, Godmanstone Manor, near Dorchester. 
SPENCER, CYRIL E., Nicosia, Cyprus. 

STANSFELD, Miss, The Sesame Club, Dover-street, Piccadilly, W. 
WALKER, Miss MADELINE J., 28, Norfolk-st., Hyde Park, London, W. 
WILLIAMS, J. FISCHER, 7, New-square. Lincoln's Inn, London, W.C. 
Worsley-RobertS, Mrs., c/o Messrs. Lewis and Newton, 14, South- 
square, Gray's Inn, London, W.C. 


BURGESS, DR. O. O., 373, Geary-street, San Francisco, Cal. 

CARD-CATLIN, MRS. LOVISA, 726, French-street, Erie, Pa. 

CHARD, R. J., 347, West 87th-street, New York, N.Y. 

Cox, MRS. ROWLAND, 310, West 7th-street, Plainfield, N.J. 

DODGE, EDWIN L., 6 and 8, Friend-street, Boston, Mass. 

DONALDSON, JAMES W., Ellenville, N.Y. 

PACE, PROF. E. A., Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. 

310 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [Nov., 1900. 

The Council met at the Rooms of the Society, 19, Buckingham- 
street, W.C., on October 5th. The President occupied the chair. There 
were also present : Sir William Crookes, Dr. Richard Hodgson, Mr. 
J. G. Piddington, Mr. Sydney C. Scott, Mr. H. Arthur Smith, Dr. 
C. Lloyd Tuckey, and Dr. A. Wallace. 

The Minutes of the last meeting were read and signed as correct. 

Two new Members and eleven new Associates were elected. The 
election of seven new Associates of the American Branch was recorded 
Names and addresses are given above. 

Under a deep sense of the loss which the Society has sustained, the 
Council recorded the death of Professor Henry Sidgwick, who filled 
the office of President from the formation of the Society in 1882 to 
1884, and again from 1888 to 1892. A letter was read from Professor 
Oliver J. Lodge, in which he said : " It must be a universal feeling 
among the active members of the S.P.R. that it is impossible adequately 
to express our indebtedness to the extraordinary wisdom and guiding 
power of Henry Sidgwick." Professor Lodge proceeded to urge that 
Mr. Myers be asked to prepare a commemorative address to be de- 
livered at an early meeting of the Society. In pursuance of the 
general view expressed by Professor Lodge in his letter, it was 
resolved, on the proposition of Sir William Crookes, seconded by Dr. 
Hodgson, that the Council invite the President to deliver a commemo- 
rative address at the Meeting to be held on October 29th. The Presi- 
dent expressed his willingness to carry out the wishes of the Council. 

The Council also recorded with regret the death of Viscount 
Encombe, of the Rev. R. J. Clarke, S J., and of Mrs. Bullock, all of 
whom had been Associates of the Society for some years. 

Some presents to the Library were on the table, for which a vote of 
thanks was passed to the donors. 

Various other matters having engaged the attention of the Council, 
it was agreed that the next meeting be at 3 p.m., on Monday, October 
29th, at the Westminster Town Hall, previous to the General Meeting 
arranged for that day. 



Magnus civis obit. The death of the Marquis of Bute has removed 
from earth a great chieftain, a great magnate, a great proprietor, yet 
withal a figure, a character, which carried one back into the Ages of 
Faith. Many will mourn the close of that life, magnificent at once 

Nov., 1900.] Obituary : the Marquis of Bute, K.T. 311 

and munificent ; far-governing, and yet gently thoughtful in minute 
detail. Some will miss in more intimate fashion the massive simplicity 
of his presence ; the look in his eyes of trustfulness at once and 
tenacity; that look which we call doglike, when we mean to imply 
that dogs are nobler than men. The youth whose vast wealth and 
eager religion suggested (it was said) to Lord Beaconsfield the idea of 
his Lothair had become constantly wealthier and more religious as 
years went on. Amid the palaces of his structure and of his inherit- 
ance he lived a life simple and almost solitary ; a life of long walks 
and long conversations on the mysteries of the world unseen. To a 
fervent Roman Catholicism he joined a ready openness to the elements 
of a more Catholic faith. That same yearning for communion with 
the invisible which showed itself in his Prayer-books and Missals, his 
Byzantine Churches restored, his English Churches built, showed itself 
also in the great crystal hung in his chapel at St. John's Lodge ; as it 
were the mystic focus of that green silence in the heart of London's 
roar ; and in the horoscope of his nativity painted on the dome of his 
study at Mount Stuart ; and in that vaster, strange-illumined vault 
of Mount Stuart's central hall. 

Ev 8f ra Tfipea Trdvra ra r' ovpavos f(TTC<pdva)Tai. 

Hardly had such a sight been seen since Hephaestus wrought in 
naming gold the Signs of Heaven, and zoned the Shield of Achilles 
with the firmament and the sea. For in like manner at Lord Bute's 
bidding was that great vault encircled with a translucent zone which 
pictured the constellations of the Ecliptic ; the starry lights repre- 
sented by prisms inserted in that "dome of many-coloured glass." 
Therethrough, as through a fictive Zodiac, travelled the sun all day ; 
with many a counterchange of azure stains or emerald on the broad 
floor below, and here and there the dazzling flash of a sudden-kindled 
star. It seemed the work of one who wished, by sign at least and 
symbol, to call down " an intermingling of heaven's pomp " upon that 
pavement which might have been traversed only by the pacings of 
earthly power and pride. 

Through such scenes their fashioner would walk ; weary and 
weighted often with the encumbering flesh ; but always in slow medi- 
tative brooding on the Spiritual City, and a house not made with 
hands. " A cruel superstition ! " he said once of those who would 
presume to fetter or forbid our communication with beloved and 
blessed Souls behind the veil. A cruel superstition indeed ! and 
hardly with any truer word upon his lips might a man pass from 
the company of those who listen, to those who speak. 

F. W. H. M. 

312 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [Nov., 1900. 

Mr. Andrew Lang's article on " The Fire Walk " in Proceedings, 
Part XXX VI., pp. 2-15, will be fresh in the memory of our readers ; 
and since its publication we have received the following account of the 
same ceremony in India from Mr. Henry K. Beauchamp, M.R.A.S., 
F.R.H.S., Fellow of the University of Madras. Mr. Beauchamp lives 
in Madras, having edited the chief daily paper there the Madras 
Mail for the last twelve years. 

Colonel Welsh, in his Reminiscences, published early in the present cen- 
tury, has a long and detailed account of fire-walking as performed by the 
Sepoys of his regiment. They passed safely over glowing ashes strewn in a 
pit, and also carried their children across with them. One small child 
actually fell in amongst the ashes, but was quickly pulled out by his 
relatives. When examined, it was found that the little fellow had sustained 
110 injuries, nor did he give any evidence of suffering after his fire-bath. 
Fire- walkers claim exemption from burning, and, as do all other miracle- 
workers in the East, claim to be able to perform their wonders through the 
supernatural powers conferred on them on account of their merit. Such 
merit is acquired and accumulated by multitudinous acts of self-denial, by 
fastings, pilgrimages and various religious ceremonies. Hence a fire-walker 
claims exemption from burning not only for himself, but also for others by 
his self-acquired, miraculous virtue, of which he has a sufficient stock for 
himself and others. 

A curious fact about fire-walking in India is that it is countenanced and 
thought much of even amongst the higher castes of Hindus, whose attitude 
towards rites of an extravagant and public nature, such as the hook-swinging 
and devil-dancing ceremonies of the South, is usually marked by a certain 
haughty tolerance and studied aloofness. The particular fire-walking per- 
formance which attracted so much attention in India some months ago took 
place at the very hub of the Brahmin universe, in the Sacred City of Kasi, 
i.e.. Benares.* It was under the direct patronage, too, of Maharajah 
Bahadur Sir Jotendro Mohan Tagore, K. C.S.I., a Brahmin of the Brahmins, 
who traces his descent back for over 1,000 years to one of the five famous 
Brahmin prophets of Kanauj. It was in his palace that the Agni Yajna, as 
the ceremony is called, took place, and a brilliant gathering was present, 
including a party of Europeans, who had been specially invited. From the 
account given by one of the latter, it appears that the fire-pit was, as usual 
in India, an oblong trench about 27 feet long, 8 feet wide, and 4 feet deep 
not a circular pit as in the Fiji ceremony. Furthermore, only about a-third 

* This appears to be the first of the three occasions described by Dr. Th. Pascal, 
under the title of Lea Dompteurs du Feu, in the Annalcs des Sciences Psi/chiques for 
July- August, 181)9. The date of that occasion was October 26th, 1898 ; the two 
other cases described by Dr. Pascal occurred in the same place on December 7th , 
1898, and in February, 1899. 

Nov., looo.] Fire-Walking Ceremonies in India. 313 

of the entire length of the pit-floor lay at the full depth of 4 feet, as the 
sides at the two extremities sloped gently inwards from the outside ground 
level in order to enable the tire- walker to enter and leave the pit glidingly 
instead of plungingly. 

Another marked difference between the Fijian and Indian paraphernalia 
is that in India no big stones are placed in the pit. The Hindu fire-walker 
merely passes across incandescent cinders more or less quickly, and does not 
perambulate slowly and deliberately over big red-hot water-worn boulders, 
as the Fijian is described as doing. Indeed, as suggestive of the super- 
natural element the Indian ceremony does not bear comparison with the 
Fijian, if the description of the latter can be implicitly trusted. At Benares 
the actual length of the fire layer was not more than 10 feet ; its width was 
the full width of the pit ; and, being very thin, its surface was quite 3i feet 
below the outside ground-level. Shielded in this way from all currents of 
air, with no natural breeze or artificial draught to animate the embers, the 
fire is described as having become somewhat inert, though undoubtedly alive. 
Moreover the layer was nicely smoothed and then beaten down, so as to 
present as clean and as firm a surface as possible to the sole of the foot. 

The fire- walking proper was preceded by an elaborate ritual of incanta- 
tions and solemn pantomime, including sword brandishing, idol parading, 
circuit processioning, incense scattering, cocoanut smashing, plume waving : 
all intended to subdue and render temporarily harmless the demon of the 
fire. Then, when all the grotesque rites had been finished, the chief per- 
former, attired in gorgeous silks and a huge turban, and holding a sword 
aloft, walked barefooted, calmly and with apparent ease, down the entrance 
slope, across the glowing floor of the pit, and then up the exit slope. His 
pace was quick and his step light, but it was a deliberate walk. 

But the interest of the Agni Yajna is not primarily in the immunity 
which the conjurer claims for himself, but in the immunity which he 
guarantees to any one following him through the fire-pit. In the Benares 
performance, according to the eye-witness's account, unfortunately not a 
single individual followed the leader at a walk. Each dark-skinned venturer 
before coming into contact with the fire, took pains to acquire a swift momen- 
tum by dint of a flying start down the sloping side : hence the run over the 
incandescent layer was the work of three seconds a mad rush. Each foot 
touched the surface of the fire not more than three times ; and when it is 
remembered that a running man moves on the ball of the foot, the extent 
and the duration of the actual fire contact may be easily judged. As a matter 
of fact, however hasty and light as the touch upon the red charcoal was 
not every runner escaped quite unhurt, though it was, of course, impossible 
for the scamperers' feet, with thick horny soles half insensible from lifelong 
wear on rough ground surfaces, to feel acute pain under such conditions. It 
was noted also that the crowd was for the most part under the influence of 
religious excitement, and runners were therefore in no frame of mind to 
notice, or at any rate make a fuss about, small burns. 

At last one or two of the European visitors expressed a desire of "trying 
it," but when at length, as soon as the general excitement had partially 

314 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [Nov., 1000. 

abated, they were able to make this wish known, they were greatly dis- 
appointed to be informed that they were too late ; the sacred influence having 
ceased to be operative ! However, one gentleman, a Frenchman, labouring 
under linguistic difficulties, was somehow led to understand that the fire was 
still ready to receive him, and baring his feet he quietly ran the gauntlet. 
In the result he was burnt though not at all badly ; the duration of contact 
was too momentary for that ; but he promised himself some blisters next 
day. It was then apologetically explained to him that the magic influence 
had evaporated a quarter of an hour previously ; and " walkers " could no 
longer enjoy immunity. Nevertheless, many natives, who had only just 
managed to elbow their way to the front, continued for quite ten minutes 
afterwards to run over the still incandescent charcoal with exactly the same 
result to all appearances as when the magic influence was fully operative ; 
that is to say, most of them showed no consciousness of pain, while a few 
who put their feet down awkwardly while traversing the fire-zone sustained 
slight burns. 

The eye-witness who testifies to the above facts does not attempt to 
explain or hazard conjectures upon the cause of the immunity from burning. 
Other eye-witnesses of similar ceremonies elsewhere in India have, however, 
given various possible explanations. Thus, an English Missionary who was 
present at a similar ceremony in a village near Madras not long ago the 
object of the ceremony in this case being to secure the favour of the village 
goddess Varakhiyamman found that at each end of the trench there were 
small puddles of wet mud, which the devotees stepped into both before and 
after crossing the glowing embers. These opportune mud-puddles, and the 
dust round the fire-pit, to say nothing of the fact of the soles of their feet 
being as tough as leather, must have been some protection to the devotees in 
their short journey across the fire. Moreover, there were 110 flames to scorch 
the more tender skin of their legs ; and no doubt, the excitement of the 
occasion, and their own professional pride, helped them to bear without 
wincing any burns that they might receive. That they did not feel pain was 
clear from the conduct of the leader, who, with a great sacrificial jar balanced 
on his head, went over thrice, as coolly and deliberately as though he was on 
a made road. 

Another explanation of the immunity from burning is that a decoction of 
the Aloe indica is used. It is said that the fleshy part of the leaves is taken 
and bruised and then squeezed through a piece of flannel. A glutinous juice 
is thus extracted not unlike castor oil in consistency. This is rubbed well 
into the skin on the soles of the foot and the palms of the hands. The hair, 
beard and eyebrows are also well saturated with it. After a careful and 
thorough anointing the devotee is able to pass over glowing embers there 
must be no flame and he will suffer no hurt. He is even able to drag a 
red-hot chain through his hands, to comb his hair and beard with a red-hot 
metal comb, and take other liberties with the dreaded element which, under 
ordinary circumstances, would assuredly cause his permanent injury. Those 
who wish to " pass through the fire" under his protection are similarly pre- 
pared beforehand. He, of course, mutters mantras, or incantations, over them 

Nov., 1900.] Fire- Walking Ceremonies in India. 315 

us he anoints them with the magical medicine, and they believe that highly 
inflammable oil is under his divine influence able to render them fire-proof. 

I must leave it to my readers to choose which they like of these explana- 
tions ; and if they believe that none of them is satisfactory, to account for 
the phenomenon in their own way, be it natural or supernatural. 

On the night of Sunday, July 23rd, [1899] I was present myself at a fire- 
walking ceremony in connection with a small Hindu temple, dedicated to the 
goddess Draupati, at St. Thomas' Mount, a Military Cantonment eight miles 
south of Madras. The scene of action was a large open piece of ground 
within a stone's throw of the Cantonment railway station. In the middle of 
this open space there was a raised platform of earth, about 4 feet high and 
about 12 yards square, which I learned had been erected many years ago for 
the express purpose of the fire-walking ceremony, which takes place nearly 
every year. The arrangements for the performance were extremely simple. 
A shallow trench had been dug at one end of the platform. In this a ton of 
wood and two cartloads of charcoal were burnt until the whole was one big 
mass of glowing embers. The embers were then raked out of the trench and 
spread evenly to a depth of 3 or 4 inches over a space, some 5 yards square, 
marked out for that purpose in the centre of the platform. The trench, when 
cleared of the embers, was partially filled with water, and all round the area 
of red-hot cinders water was sprinkled freely. Just when everything seemed 
ready, the noise of the procession of the idols from the temple was heard, 
and soon the temple cars, with attendant priests and worshippers, were seen 
wending their way amidst the braying of brass instruments and the vivid 
glare of torches, across the railway line and through the dense crowd that 
surrounded the platform. Arrived at the platform the cars were placed in a 
row close alongside at the further end, where the fire trench had been dug. 
From here the idols, decked in gorgeous apparel, fanned by little acolytes, 
and surmounted by huge yellow and gold umbrellas, overlooked the whole 
scene of action. Then, when all the spectators were on the tiptoe of expecta- 
tion, the pujari, or chief priest, after seeing that everything was in order, 
walked through the glowing embers towards the idols in measured steps and 
quite calmly, dipping his feet in the water in the trench at the other side. 
Almost immediately afterwards there was a stir on the outskirts of the 
densely packed crowd beneath, and a way was cleared for a band of some 
50 devotees, who approached, chanting and shouting, up to the platform. 
These men had all been preparing themselves for the ordeal for days before- 
hand fasting and bathing and worshipping under the guidance of the priests 
of the Draupati temple. The light of religious fervour was in their eyes and 
their gestures and attitudes and cries all suggested the utmost nervous 
excitement and enthusiasm. Ascending the platform by a ramp left for that 
purpose, they paused for a moment at the edge of the fire, and then, headed 
by the pujari, they surged into the embers, some walking slow and some 
fast, but none of them rushing through. At the farther side the fire-walkers 
dipped their feet in the trench and then put on new cloths which had been 
brought for them by their relatives, who were waiting ready to receive them. 

316 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [Nov., 1900. 

The fire-walkers were of all ages and several different castes. An interesting 
feature of the performance was that a boy of about eight years also walked 
over the fire, while a still smaller child was hurried over, hanging on the 
hand of its father. A few other performers, too, carried children across on 
their shoulders. It was certainly a weird sight, and one that I shall never 
forget. I saw every single incident of the performance, for there was a full 
moon at the time, and flaring torches also lit up the scene. I stood, too, on 
a bench close to the ramp of the platform, above and not more than a few 
yards from the fire area itself. After the performance I went and stood over 
the embers, and the heat was absolutely unbearable for more than a second 
or two. What struck me most was that the glowing embers were loose, not 
beatened down or flattened in any way ; and the feet of the fire-walkers, as 
they went through, actually sank into the bed of loose fire. This was par- 
ticularly noticeable in the case of the piijari during his first calm and 
deliberate passage. Neither he nor any of the devotees lifted their feet 
high : they seemed rather to wade through the fire, as through shallow water. 
I confess I was completely nonplussed ; for the theory that the protection is 
due merely to the hardness of the soles of the devotees' feet was obviously 
untenable under the circumstances. 

A few of those who took part in the ceremony were interviewed subse- 
quently as to whether they felt any pain in walking over the fire, or whether 
they protected their feet by rubbing them with any juice of plants, as 
asserted by some people. The suggestion was received with resentment and 
considered profane. One young man asked in astonishment what greater pro- 
tection could be needed than the protection of the goddess. He explained, 
however, that the majority of the performers at the time of the actual fire- 
walking are beside themselves with religious fervour and feel absolutely no 
burning sensation while crossing the fire. In the fulness of their faith any 
mishap in the process is attributed by the devotees to their own frailties 
rather than to any want of saving power in the goddess, and they gave 
instances of accidents in past years to people who did not abide by all the 
rules necessary to be observed for a safe fulfilment of the vow. 

An account of the Fire Walk at St. Thomas' Mount almost 
identical with the above appeared in The Mission Field for February, 
1900, under the title of " Fire- Walking in Madras. By a Brahmin 
Eye-witness." From a foot-note it appears that the account was 
reprinted from the Madras Mail of July 24th, 1899, of which paper, 
as already stated, Mr. Beauchamp has been Editor for many years. 
In reply to inquiries about this account and the cases referred to at 
the beginning of his own article, Mr. Beauchamp writes : 

Teignmouth, S. Devon, August 1st, 1900. 

MADAM, I have received your letter re my fire- walking experiences. 
The date of the ceremony I witnessed was July 23rd, 1899. 
The similarity between my paper and the account of the Brahmin arose 
in this way. The Brahmin in question is one of my shorthand reporters on 

Nov,, 1900.] Fire -Walking Ceremonies in India. 317 

the Madras Mail staff a man of remarkable intelligence and learning. I 
took him with me when T went to the ceremony, and being very busy myself 
told him to write an account for next day's issue of the Madras MoM. This 
he did, and I " touched up" the style of his MS. and added a few sentences 
of my own, though all the facts were correctly stated by him, and I did not 
alter them in any way, as we were both in absolute agreement about all of 
them. In writing my own paper, about three weeks later, I drew upon his 
account to the extent noticed by you. 

I cannot give you the exact references to the account of the Benares 
ceremony : but it appeared in the Pioneer newspaper, published at Alla- 
habad, "from an eye-witness," and was written, I believe, either by Dr. 
Pascal or by some other member of the Theosophical Society, several of the 
leaders of which were then at Benares, including Colonel Olcott, who on 
subsequent inquiry from me, confirmed the facts as stated. I wrote to 
'Colonel O. asking him if there any photos of the ceremony to be had, as I 
wanted to write an illustrated paper, and enclosed I send his reply, which 
please return to me. 

With regard to the English missionary's account, it appeared in the 
Madras Mail shortly after the Benares ceremony, and was written by a well- 
known and very intelligent Wesleyan, who has made a close study of 
Hindu customs. I enclose the full account that he sent me for the Madras 
Mail. . . . 

I also send another account of another fire- walking ceremony near 
Madras, witnessed and described by the same Brahmin who described the 
one at Alandur (St. Thomas' Mount). . . . 

I may mention that my wife was with me at the ceremony ; also Captain W. 
E. Norris (Suffolk Regt.), now secretary of the Madras Club, and Mrs. Norris. 

I shall be glad to answer any further questions you may wish to ask. 


The following is the missionary's account sent by Mr. Beauchamp: 

From certain paragraphs which have appeared in some of the papers in 
the North-West Provinces, I see that the minds of some people have been 
not a little exercised by the performance of some devotees, who not only 
walked over fire themselves, but led some of the spectators to do the same. 
I cannot enter into the question of what really took place on that occasion, 
because there is a want of prosaic matter-of-fact about the accounts that I 
have seen, and it is risky to criticise the statements of enthusiasts. But 
even the Madras Presidency has its fire-walkers, and not very many years 
ago, nor very far from Madras, I saw a spectacle that was very interesting ; 
but the onlookers discreetly took no part in the performance. 

In a village called Se"lei, in the Tiruvallur Taluq, or else at the next village 
called Dundkanpettei I forget at which of the two there was a little Saivite 
temple that lacked name and fame, and it was to secure these and the favour 
of the goddess, \ r arakhiyamman, that the fire-festival was held. I remember 
riding over with the idea that I was about to see a palpable fraud, but just 
outside the village, by the temple, there was such a bonfire blazing, that it 

318 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [Nov., 190 . 

was clear that there was to be very genuine fire. The hearth was a six-sided 
and shallow excavation, and seemed to be fourteen or sixteen feet across. 
When I reached it, about four o'clock in the afternoon of a hot July day, a 
great pile of logs was flaming in the centre of this pit. There was a long 
delay before the ceremonial commenced, and we were told that the fire- 
walkers were preparing themselves for the ordeal. At last, about half-past 
five or six o'clock, a procession emerged from the courts of the temple. This 
consisted of the usual drums and clarionets and a most skilful dancer. This, 
man poised a huge painted jar on his head, and danced backwards and 
forwards, whirled round on his toes, and even climbed on to the shoulders of 
his attendants, keeping the great pot most beautifully balanced on his head 
all the time. Every moment it seemed as though a hasty movement must 
bring it to the ground with a crash, but the dancer's skill was perfect, and 
the jar remained in equilibrium, no matter how his body swayed. This man 
was supposed to be filled with the spirit of the goddess, and the crowd was 
immensely impressed. A priest of the temple then recited some long and 
tedious psalms in praise of the goddess, and besought her to protect her 
devotees in the penance they were about to perform. The dancer with the 
jar on his head never stopped at all. 

Meanwhile some of the temple servants had broken up the fire of logs, 
and spread the glowing ashes over the whole of the hearth, so that it looked 
like a little lake of fire. Over this they scattered powdered charcoal, and 
then, taking the leaves of the palmyra for fans, they vigorously fanned the 
glowing surface till it quivered almost at white heat. Others poured jars of 
water on the earth at each side of the hearth, so that on each side of the 
hearth there was a pool of wet mud. Then with a frantic blare of horns and 
a great crash of music and drums, a new procession came from the little 
Saivite temple. This contained the man with the jar, who still poised it on 
his head, several others dressed in the dirty salmon-coloured dress of the 
professed devotee, and the veiled image of the goddess riding on a car shaped 
like a griffin, and shaded by great scarlet umbrellas. This procession was 
the one for which there had been so much waiting, and the crowd edged in 
towards the hearth to get as clear a view as possible of what took place. 
The devotees and the attendants of the goddess marched round the glowing 
hearth once, partly to allow the multitude to see them all, and partly, as I 
thought, that they might step in the mud puddles that had been so thought- 
fully prepared. In this way a thin coat of mud formed on the soles of their 
feet. Having completed their circuit of the fire, the whole party, including 
the man with the jar, and the image of the goddess, rushed across the glow- 
ing surface, starting from the mud on one side, and landing in the mud on 
the other. I noticed this, and I noticed, too, that they darted over as. 
quickly as possible. Again they went round, and amid great enthusiam and 
immense shouting from the excited crowd, and with the name of the goddess 
on their lips, they fled across a second and a third time, and then went back 
to the temple. As far as I could tell, none of them were hurt. 

Now, I do not think that there was any fraud or deception about what 
was done ; but oil the other hand, there was not anything very wonderful 

Nov., 1900.] Fire- Walking Ceremonies in India. 319 

about ifc, and owing to the courtesy of a Hindu official, I had a very good 
opportunity of seeing all that was to be seen. It is very unlikely that any 
one of those who passed over the fire had ever worn shoes in his life. The 
soles of their feet were as tough as leather. Moreover, their long journeys 
on white dusty roads roads so hot under the Indian sun that a European's 
foot would be blistered from toe to heel before he had walked a furlong on 
them had necessarily deadened the sense of heat. And the opportune mud- 
puddles, and the dust round the hearth, must have been some protection to 
them in their short, very short, journey across the fire. 

We give next tbe account of the Brahmin eye-witness, dated August 
21st, 1899. 


Last evening another interesting " fire- walking" ceremony took place in 
the village of Peralur, within a furlong of the Perambur Railway Workshop, 
the goddess in whose honour the ceremony was observed being known as 
Thanthoni Amman, the tutelary deity of the village of Peralur. Though, as 
was recently explained by a Brahmin correspondent in these columns, "fire- 
walking " is generally held in honour of Draupati, still in several South 
Indian villages the saving power of the heroine of the Mahabharata is 
attributed by people also to their respective local goddesses, and fire-walking 
ceremonies are held also in their honour periodically. Since the mytho- 
logical origin of these ceremonies has already been described in connection 
with the ceremony held recently at Alandur, near St. Thomas' Mount, there 
is no need to repeat it here. 

The " fire- walking " itself was done at Peralur in much the same manner 
as at Alanpur. A large piece of level ground opposite the Thanthoni Amman 
temple was formed into an enclosure, in the middle of which a shallow pit 
nearly 16 feet square was dug. In the centre of this pit over three tons of 
fuel was formed into a heap and set fire to about 4 o'clock in the afternoon, 
the flame being kept well fed from this hour till near the hour of the actual 
ceremony. A Dubash of a leading firm of European merchants in Madras 
provided a ton of fuel for this ceremony, as a vow he had taken in the name 
of Thanthoni Amman was fulfilled to his entire satisfaction, through the 
power, he believes, of the goddess. 

From an early hour in the afternoon hundreds of village folk began to 
gather about the scene of the ceremony, and about 9 o'clock the procession 
of the goddess, who was seated on a grandly decorated conveyance, started 
from the temple to where the fire- walkers otherwise known as kumara 
makkal were assembled, to conduct them to the fire pit. The party of 
fire- walkers, who, it must be remarked by the way, were in no sense "pro- 
fessionals," met the procession about half-way in advance and escorted the 
goddess to the fire pit, accompanied by hundreds of villagers. A noteworthy 
feature of last night's ceremony was that the party of fire-walkers included 
among them a product of modern English education. Mr. Rajagopal 
Moodelliar, who is well known as an excellent cricketer and tennis player in 
Madras, and who till recently was a teacher in Pachaiyappa's College, was 
among those w.ho took part in the actual fire-walking. He was, as it were, 

320 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [Nov., 1900. 

leader of the party and carried a karagam, or gorgeously decorated pot, over 
his head. The procession first went round the enclosure and then entered 
it by an opening on the western side. The goddess, seated on the convey- 
ance and supported by a number of bearers, stood at the entrance, while the 
fire-walkers went round the pit to a spot just opposite the place where the 
goddess was seated. From there they entered the pit, which had by this 
time been well filled with the glowing cinders evenly spread over it about 
three inches deep, and walked over them to the other side, where, however, 
unlike at Alandur, there was 110 puddle of water to wet their feet in. They 
again went round to the other side, walking over the ordinary ground by the 
sids, and crossed the fire pit again. They repeated this for a third time, 
after which the goddess left the place and was carried in procession round 
the principal streets of the village. 

There were twenty-five people in all who walked over the fire yesterday, 
about ten of whom were boys ranging between ten and sixteen years of age, 
who went through the fire unaided by their elders. There was also one 
old man nearly seventy years of age. While at Alandur the party were 
reported to have gone over the red-hot cinders only once, at Peralur they 
walked through the fire not fewer than three times. A young boy, however, 
tripped and fell down, but succeeded in getting up immediately and was 
found to be none the worse for the accident. Within a few minutes after 
the fire-walking was over, one of the party, when questioned about the effect 
of the fire on his feet, replied with quite a cheerful face that it had had 
absolutely no effect, a statement amply supported by an examination of his 
feet, which bore no marks of burning. 

Another important point of difference between the Alandur ceremony 
and the Peralur one was that, while at Alandur the permission and sanction 
of the goddess to conduct the ceremony was obtained or ascertained by 
means of several tests, at Peralur a direct appeal was made to the goddess 
by the pujari in the presence of the assembled villagers. The pu.jari sang 
the praises of the goddess for some hours before she (as it was said) de- 
scended on one of her favourite devotees, and through his mouth gave them 
words of assurance that all would go well with them in connection with the 
fire-walking. At one stage of the Peralur celebration the people had almost 
abandoned the idea of performing the ceremony, as it was feared that the 
goddess would be slow to sanction it, owing to some hitch in the perform- 
ance. To the immense satisfaction and relief of the villagers, the goddess, 
however, gave them assurance of protection a few hours before the actual 
fire-walking and enabled them to bring the ceremony to a successful 

From the fire pit to the cricket field is a long jump, and Mr. Rajagopal 
Moodelliar, who took part in last night's fire-walking, plays at to-day's 
cricket match at Chepauk. His fire-walking performance is one instance 
which goes to establish the truth of the observation often made, that the 
average Hindu, while keeping abreast of modern times and benefiting by 
the civilising agencies of the West, holds fast to his ancient superstitious 

Nov., 1900.] Fire -Walking Ceremonies in India. 321 

Of the numerous accounts of the Fire Walk in different countries 
which have been published, a few are provided with illustrations repro- 
duced from photographs of the scene. That these are not, however, 
always to be relied on as infallible testimony of what was taking 
place at the moment is suggested by Colonel Olcott's reply to Mr. 
Beauchamp's inquiry about photographs, which was as follows : 

Theosophical Society, Adyar, Madras, July 6th, 1899. 

DEAR MR. BEAUCHAMP, I have never seen a photo of the fire-treading 
ceremony, and I fancy there is none. It would have to be taken by flash- 
light. But Harms worth's people can easily make up one from the descrip- 
tions given in the press. A trench with ends sloping upward, a bed of 
glowing embers reflecting its light upward on the bronzed faces and figures ; 
a wild, naked yogi, naked to the laiigouti, flinging his arms about and con- 
torting his face like a lunatic, dancing through the brasier and followed by 
an equally excited throng of Hindus, some rushing through and kicking up 
the embers as they run, some walking quietly and observing their sensation 
(like Dr. Pascal, of France, who did just that and ivithout being scorched). 
The scene, as we saw it at Benares, is most picturesque and would make two 
or three fine illustrations. Let the artist remember that there is no smoke 
nor flame at the time of the ceremony, nothing but live coals. It just 
happens that we have a good article on this subject in the July Theosophist 
by an Australian veteran journalist, so I send you a copy. If Harmsworth 
will pay the cost, he can have a fire-treading function almost any time and 
arrange locally for photographing it by applying to Professor A. Richardson, 
Principal, Hindu Central College, Benares. R. is a well-known English 
professor of chemistry, for twelve years at Bristol University College. . . . 
The same Hindu gentleman who got up the tarosta for us last October might 
be induced to do it for Harmsworth and you if you asked. Yours truly, 


A vivid description of the rite as practised in Japan is given by 
Mr. Percival Lowell in his book, Occult Japan (pp. 48-62). On the 
occasion when he witnessed it, the fire was sprinkled with a large 
quantity of salt by the priests, and a mat tit either end of it was 
spread with salt, in which they rubbed their feet before entering the 
fire. After the priests had passed through, many of the bystanders 
followed them. The salt, no doubt, as the priests admitted, mitigated 
the heat to some extent, and, as Mr. Lowell observes, "the far 
Oriental inherits a much less sensitive nervous organisation than is 
the birthright of a European, and his cuticle is further calloused to 
something not unlike leather by constant exposed use." Still, he says, 
" it is not open to [the looker-on] to doubt the difference of perception 
of that heat in the man's normal and abnormal states of conscious- 
ness," the feat being performed in a state of abnormal excitement. 

322 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [Nov., 1900. 


[The Editor is not responsible for opinions expressed by Correspondents,] 


38, Sergievskaia, St. Petersburg, September 8th, 1900. 

A foot-note in Professor Flournoy's book, Des Indes a la planete Mars, 
having called my attention to some criticisms of Sir W. Crookes' celebrated 
experiments with Home, made in Professor Lehmann's Aberylaube und 
Zauberei (pp. 271-273), I have found these critical remarks of sufficient 
interest to lay them in an abridged form before the readers of our Journal ; 
not, be it understood, because I must be supposed to agree with them, 
but merely because it seems to me highly desirable that an authoritative 
reply should be, if possible, made to them by persons more competent than 

Sir W. Crookes's experiments with D. D. Home have hitherto been 
justly considered as the foundation stone of the evidence in support of the 
reality of the so-called "Physical Phenomena," and it is noteworthy that 
not even so severe a critic as Mr. F. Podmore (in Studies in Psychical 
Research) does find fault with them. Therefore it is the more to be wished, 
it seems to me, that an authoritative refutation of Dr. Lehmann's criticisms 
should be forthcoming. 

The Danish savant begins by quoting from the Quarterly Journal of 
Science for 1871 Sir W. Crookes' account of his first experiments (on the 
alteration in weight of a partially suspended board and of the accordion 
experiment), and says that, as then described by Sir W. Crookes, they 
seemed to have been rigorously scientific and most carefully planned. The 
apparatuses had been devised and applied by Sir W. Crookes himself, D. D. 
Home merely playing the part of a dynamic machine which can be placed 
hither and thither so as to be tried under different conditions. The room 
seemed to be sufficiently lighted for everything that was going on to be 
visible, and many competent scientists were apparently watching the course 
of the experiments. 

" There seem to be here evidently all possible guarantees that the results 
obtained were perfectly reliable," adds Professor Lehmann ; and he further 
says : ' * Such a supposition [that of fraud] seems to be altogether out of 
place so far as the experiments here described are concerned, if it be 
admitted that this description be correct. 

" But this is precisely not the case. On the contrary, so much is it the 
production of Crookes' fancy, that it could be adduced as evidence of the fact 
that a scientist who is prominent in his own sphere may become the victim 
of self-delusion when he dares enter another which he does not know. 
Such an assertion might, of course, seem very rash had not Crookes himself 
supplied us with proofs of its justice. Eighteen years after this first account 

* For further discussion of the same subject, see Mr. F. C. S. Schiller's review of 
Dr. Lehmann's Aberykiube und Zauberei in Proceedings, Part XXXVIII., p. 437. 

Nov., 1900.] Correspondence. 323 

he gave another description of those same experiments, from which it 
appears that the whole thing looked somewhat different. Every one who 
reads the above quoted accounts of 1871 will be under the impression that 
the said experiments were made at a few seances where everything went on 
quite smoothly. Men of science are superintending everything ; there are 
no intervals, no hindrances, no unsuccessful experiments, no suspicious 
movements on Home's part ; his psychic force is acting as exactly as if it 
were not proceeding from a man, but from a well-arranged machine. But 
when you read Crookes' notes on these experiments in his diary, the 
impression will be undoubtedly different. These notes, which were partly 
made during the sittings, partly directly after, were published by Crookes in 
the Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, Part XV. (Vol. VI.), 
1889. A small extract only from his notes is published there ; but the 
sittings mentioned are described in every detail." 

Professor Lehmann then reproduces Sir W. Crookes' account of a part 
of the sitting of June 21st, 1871* (Proceedings S.P.R., Part XV., pp. 110, 
111, up to line 12) and proceeds as follows : 

" Some other remarkable things took place at the same seance, but they 
have less interest ; for us it is only important to know under what conditions 
the experiments with the above-mentioned apparatus were made. As for 
that, we have received sufficient indications, which are very instructive, in 
one respect at least. I shall only add that the sitting just described has 
been chosen from among others at random and may be considered quite 
typical. What happened there had happened at all previous seances, notes 
of which have been published by Crookes. It is easy to see that the notes 
of this diary present us with an altogether different picture of the experi- 
ments from the previous accounts. Many of the sittings, or at least some 
parts of them, were almost dark seances ; this term may be applied to them, 
as only those sitting nearest [to the medium] could watch what was going on. 
We see further that it was by no means Crookes, but Home, who directed 
the experiments by his orders. Crookes and the other sitters only obey and 
keep the seats which have been assigned to them until something takes place. 
Home, on the contrary, walks freely about, comes to the apparatuses of his 
own accord, moves his chair, etc." 

Professor Lehmann also points out that now the gas is turned low, now 
the reverse ; that the hands of the sitters have to be sometimes on the table 
and sometimes not, and concludes: "All this shows that these famous 
Crookes' seances are in no wise different from other spiritistic seances. 
. . . This is at any rate true (he further says) with regard to those sittings, 
the original notes of which have been published by Crookes. It is possible 
that he may have made other experiments besides which were carried on 
under more reliable conditions. Still it is improbable that he should have 
chosen from among his notes those least convincing, whilst omitting the con- 
clusive ones. We are therefore fully entitled to conclude that all his experi- 
ments were made at seances which were of a character completely similar to 

* Apparently the one described in the Quarterly Journal of Science for October, 

324 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [Nov., 1900. 

those described above. Consequently his first account, that of 1871, is no 
exact description of what really occurred, but merely an. abstract in which 
only certain definite phenomena are mentioned, all accompanying accessory 
circumstances being omitted. We shall not examine here precisely how far 
those things which Crookes thought it possible not to insert in his account 
may have been important. . . . Here we note two facts only : (1) Crookes' 
experiments are not strictly scientific investigations ; they were made at 
common spiritistic seances, and precisely in such a way as suited the medium 
who played the leader's part. . . . (2) Crookes had hardly suspected all the 
importance of the circumstances which he passed under silence in the 
account of 1871. Otherwise he could never have given the description 
above quoted without committing an act of conscious deception." 

Believing, as I do, that Sir W. Crookes did observe supernormal phe- 
nomena with the late D. D. Home, I cannot but see with much regret such 
criticisms as those of Prof essor Lehmann approvingly quoted by other savants 
otherwise favourably disposed even towards the * ' Physical Phenomena of 
Spiritualism," like, e.g., Professor Flournoy. Surely this is enough to show 
that those criticisms have not passed unnoticed ; surely it is worth while for 
those most concerned if possible to kill in the bud the rising legend of the un- 
reliability of Sir W. Crookes' experiments with D. D. Home that alpha and 
omega of the scientific evidence in the question of mediumistic phenomena. 
Professor Lehmaiin's criticisms have more than once proved unfounded * ; I 
trust they will prove once more so in the present case. 


[To Mr. Solovovo's letter, Sir William Crookes allows us to add the 
following note : ] 

For nearly twenty-five years I have been attacked on account of these 
experiments, and 1 have not replied. All the attacks I have seen have been 
criticisms of one or two isolated experiments or statements I made, with an 
entire avoidance of other passages which would explain the former. They 
have been written more with the object of showing I was wrong and 
untrustworthy than with the object of getting at the real truth. From what 
I have read, Dr. Lehmami's criticisms appear to be of the same character. 
When the "higher criticism" appears, in which all I have written on the 
subject is compared, collated and reviewed, I have no anxiety as to the result. 


* I may refer the reader, e.g., to Proceedings, Vol. XII., pp. 298-314, where 
certain criticisms of his directed against Professor and Mrs. Sidgwick's thought-trans- 
ference experiments are conclusively disposed of by Professor Sidgwick. And to 
return to the subject that concerns us now : it is obvious that Professor Lehmann s 
disparaging remarks cannot affect Sir W. Crookes' very first experiments (those 
described in the July number of the Quarterly Journal of Science for 1871) since no 
reference to them is to be found in Sir W. Crookes' Notes published in Proceeding*, 
Vol. VI., Part XV., 1889, and since we have for the sitting in question Serjeant 
Cox's and Dr. Huggins' corroboration. Still this does not apparently prevent Pro- 
fessor Lehmann from considering that his criticisms apply to that sitting also. An 
instance of the same savant's inaccuracy is afforded, by the way, by another passage in 
Aberglaube und Zauberie, where he incidentally remarks that Slade has himself 
admitted the fraudulent character of all his manifestations, including the Leipzig experi- 
ments, and refers the reader to Proceedings S.P.R., Vol. V., p. 261 (which I find is 
Mr. Myers' quotation of a passage in the Seybert Commission's Report on Spiritualism). 
I have no particular sympathy with Slade, but I still think that here Professor 
Lehmann's statement on a subject so calculated to impress the reader's mind is 
strangely inaccurate. 






New Members and Associates 



Meetings of the Council 


General Meeting 5 * 


A Novel Use of the Dowsing Rod. By Professor W. F. Barrejt, F.R.S. 

. . 328 
.. 331 

Automatic Phenomena in a Case of Hysteria 

. . 333 

Supplementary Library Catalogue ...... 



Names of Members are printed in Black Type. 
Names of Associates are printed in SMALL CAPITALS. 

BANNON, MRS., 1, Hyde Park-terrace, London, W. 

Barclay, Edwyn, Urie Lodge, Ridgway, Wimbledon. 

BEHRENS, HAROLD L., West View. Victoria Park, Manchester. 

BEST, MRS, J. RYCROFT, 7, Royal Well-terrace, Cheltenham. 

BHISE, SHANKER ABAJI, F.S.Sc., A.S.A. (Lond.), c/o the Society of 

Architects, St. James's Hall, Piccadilly, London, W. 
COWASJEE, BOMANJEE, 62, Avenue-road, Crouch End, N. 
COXE, HENRY R. H., Indian Civil Service, United Service Club, 


GREENE, REV. HENRY, M.A., St. John's Vicarage, Newcastle-on-Tyne. 
HUNT, G. ANGUS, M.R.C.S. (Eng.), Stoneleigh House, Clissold Park, 

London, N. 

LEIGHTON, D. E. W., Madras Club, Madras. 
MOULTRIE, Miss AMY J. C., 44, Ted worth-square, Chelsea, S.W. 
PEACOCK, EDWIN, Hazlemere, Nuneaton. 

RICKARD, WILLIAM T., 14, Maitland-street, Beeston Hill, Leeds. 
Rumsey, Mrs. Almaric, 1, Allison Gardens, Duhvich Common, S.E. 
WHITE, MRS., 133, Lordship-road, Stoke Newington, N. 

BROOKS, Miss T., Box 176, Farmington, Conn. 
BUTIN, DR. J. L., B-street, Madera, Cal. 

CARRINGTON, HEREWARD, 622, Nicollet-avenue, Minneapolis, Minn. 
COLLINS, WILLIAM G., 330, West 108th-street, New York, N.Y. 
DES ISLETS, PROFESSOR C. M., 69, Wilson-avenue, Allegheny, Pa. 

326 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [DEC., 1900. 

DODDS, W. H., 518, Fourth-avenue, Pittsburgh, Pa. 

GRANT, MRS. LINCOLN, 223, Aspinwall avenue, Brooklirie, Mass. 

HANNA, CARL L. 64, Chandler-street, Boston, Mass. 

HEBARD, CHARLES, M.D., Mondori, Wis. 

HOTCHKISS, MRS. E. HUBBELL, 4, Arch-street, Nor walk, Conn. 

HUSTED, A. D., M.D., 73, Allen-street, Pittsburg, Pa. 

JONES, C. H., c/o J. P. Willis and Bro., Galveston, Texas. 

NEELD, A. D., 1300, Locust-street, Allegheny, Pa. 

SMITH, W. J., 345, Sixth-avenue, Pittsburgh, Pa. 

TAYLOR, REV. ELBERT B., The Rectory, Westminster, Maryland. 

TUCKER, JAMES W., Cooperstown, New York. 

WADSWORTH. E. A., Grinnell, Iowa. 

WEEKS, RUFUS W., Pocantico Hills, N.J. 


Meetings of the Council were held at the Westminster Town Hall 
on Monday, October 29th, and on Friday, November 16th. At the 
first, Mr. H. Arthur Smith was voted to the chair, and there were 
also present, Professor W. F. Barrett, Dr. Oliver Lodge, Mr. C. F. G. 
Masterman, Mr. J. G. Piddington, Mr. St. Geo. Lane Fox Pitt, Mr. 
F. Podmore, Dr. C. L. Tuckey, and Dr. A. Wallace. At the meeting 
on November 16th, the President occupied the chair, and there were 
also present, the Hon. E. Feilding, Mr. J. G. Piddington, Mr. F. 
Podmore, Mr. Sydney C. Scott, Mr. H. Arthur Smith, Dr. C. L. 
Tuckey, and Dr. A. Wallace. 

At each meeting the minutes of the previous one were read and 
signed as correct. 

At the two meetings two new Members and thirteen new Asso- 
ciates were elected ; and the election of eighteen new Associates of the 
American Branch was recorded. Names and addresses are given 

The Council recorded with great regret the death of the Marquis 
of Bute, who was a Vice-President of the Society, and who had taken 
a deep interest in various branches of its work. An Obituary Notice 
has already appeared in the Journal. 

PROFESSOR BARRETT brought forward a suggestion that it would be 
desirable that Local Centres of S.P.R. work should be formed, and 
that the Council should approve of the reading of Papers at the 
meetings of such Local Centres before they were read at the General 
Meetings of the Society. The subject was informally discussed, and it 

DEC., 1900.] General Meetings. 327 

was suggested that Professor Barrett should bring forward a definite 
proposal for Dublin. 

Dates were provisionally fixed for four General Meetings, subse- 
quent to that already arranged for December 14th at 8.30 p.m., subject 
to the completion of the agreement with the newly constituted West- 
minster City Council. 

It was agreed that the next Meeting of the Council should be held 
at 19, Buckingham-street, on Friday, December 14th, at 4.30 p.m. 


The 108th General Meeting of the Society was held in the West- 
minster Town Hall on Monday, October 29th, at 4 p.m. ; Mr. H. 
Arthur Smith in the chair. 

The papers announced for this meeting were postponed on account 
of Mr. M} T ers being prevented by illness from coming to London and 
of difficulties caused by the march of the City Imperial Volunteers 
through London on that day. 

At the request of the Council, therefore, PROFESSOR W. F. BARRETT 
kindly gave an account of some of his investigations into the Divining 
Rod, quoting a few of the most striking cases of the finding of water 
by this means which have appeared in his paper on the subject in the 
Part of Proceedings just published. 

A brief discussion followed, in which Mr. F. W. Hayes, Mr. Bishop, 
Mr. E. Feilding and others took part. 

The 109th General Meeting was held in the same place on Friday, 
November 16th, at 4 p.m,, the PRESIDENT, MR. F. W. H. MYERS, in 
the chair. 

A paper entitled "A Case of Multiple Personality," by DR. 
MORTON PRINCE, was read by MR. J. G. PIDDINGTON. This paper 
embodies ther results of several years' careful and detailed study of one 
of the most remarkable cases of alternating personalities on record. 
The subject is a patient of Dr. Prince's, and some of her experiences 
in crystal-visions are related in his paper on the " Experimental Study 
of Visions," extracts from which were given in Proceedings, Vol. XIV., 
pp. 366 to 372. The present paper will, it is hoped, appear before the 
end of the year in Proceedings, Part XL. 

The PRESIDENT then gave an address "In Memory of Henry 
Sidgwick," which will be published at once in a small Part of Proceed- 
ings. This was followed by some remarks communicated by DR. 

328 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [DEC., 1000. 


The following interesting case of the use of the dowsing rod for 
the discovery of a leak in an underground water-pipe reached me too 
late for insertion in my recently published monograph on the so-called 
divining rod. Those of my readers who may have read that paper 
will remember that the general conclusion arrived at was that the 
success of a good dowser depended upon his possessing a faculty 
analogous to clairvoyance ; a subconscious transcendental perceptive 
power, which manifests itself through the involuntary motion of the 
dowsing rod, or by a peculiar malaise (a psycho-physiological disturb- 
ance), of the dowser. This being so, we should not be surprised if 
the dowser were able to discover the position of a leak, or other 
hidden object, as well as an underground mineral lode or water supply. 
The following case confirms this supposition. 

My informant, Mr. Young, whom I know personally, is a member 
of the S.P.R. and a very successful amateur dowser, animated with 
a truly scientific spirit. Mr. Young writes to me as follows : 

New Road, Llanelly, South Wales, September 26th, 1900. 

A well-known local physician (Dr. Roderick) has recently removed to a, 
new house (an old mansion partly rebuilt) named "Vaux Hall." Ever since 
he has taken it there has been an escape of water from some pipe bursting, 
which produced a hissing sound, as the water pressure is great. Though the 
sound was heard, neither the doctor nor the workman could locate where the 
leak was, and as the hissing was heard wherever a pipe was laid in the house 
it became a constant annoyance. One day Dr. Roderick suggested that the 
rod might locate the leak and asked me to try. I did so, and walked along 
the carriage road, trying first with my hands and afterwards with the rod. 
Both indicated the same spot.* Upon opening the road at the place indicated 
it proved to be correct, a branch pipe being partly broken away from the 
inlet pipe at the joint. I daresay Dr. Roderick would give you confirmation 
of this if it will be of any service to you. 

In reply to my inquiries, Dr. Roderick writes to me as follows : 
Vaux Hall, Llanelly, South Wales, October 12th, 1900. 

The plumbers in order to find the leak in the water pipe took one w.c. to 
pieces, and not finding it here cut the main pipe in two places and were still 
unsuccessful. They contemplated tracing the whole length of pipe for 
a distance of about 20 yards, but Mr. Young came to my assistance, 

* Mr. Young, like several other dowsers, can dispense with the use of the rod 
altogether, the indication being afforded by the particular sensation he experiences* 
\V. F. B. 

DEC., 1900.] A Novel Use of the Dowsing Rod. 329 

I told Mr. Young the course of the pipe to my mind, but in this I WHS 
wrong, for he located the possible leak some feet away to one side. I was not 
satisfied and dug down close to a tap where the sound of rushing water could 
be heard distinctly this would be about 4 ft. from the place located by Mr. 
Young. We found water trickling into the dug hole and coming from the 
direction of the marked place. 

At this stage a disturbance took place between Mr. Young and the 
plumbers, the latter persons holding that the leak was some distance off. 

I, being the chief interested party, ordered the ground to be dug at the 
mark made by Mr. Young, with the result that a big leak was discovered. 

There was a very slight depression on the surface where the leak was, but 
Mr. Young located the spot by night and again in the morning. 

The surface indication of the leak neither I nor the plumbers noticed till 
the digging commenced, and I am certain Mr. Young could not have felt 
it in the dark. 

I used to be very sceptical regarding water divining, but I have seen so 
many evidences in its favour that I have convinced myself there is some- 


I wrote to Mr. Young to inquire whether it was possible to have 
been guided to the position of the leak by a conscious or subconscious 
detection of the sound made by the issuing water : or whether the 
slight surface depression, referred to by Dr. Roderick, could have led 
to its discovery. Mr. Young replies as follows : 

Llanelly, October loth. 

No amount of listening could have ever found the leak, as the sound 
ceased outside the building or as soon as the pipes were under the soil. It 
was very loud in the box containing the stopcock from street main, but 
ceased as it entered the soil. Then as to outward indications, the road was 
rough, loose, thoroughly out of repair, not having been used for two years ; 
and although plumber and man searched for signs they failed. Their reason 
for failing to find any outward evidence they asserted was because it was 
" made ground," viz., made up of debris, such as slag, rubble, etc. 

But supposing there were surface indications, [when I tried] it was dark, 
and if there were any I could not have seen them. In fact it was so dark that 
the doctor cautioned me not to fall into a hole which was left in the road, so 
that neither sight nor hearing had anything whatever to do with the result. 


I also wrote to Dr. Roderick to ask if it were possible to have 
detected the position of the leak by conduction of sound, and whether 
I might publish his letters : he replies as follows : 

Vaux Hall, Llanelly, South Wales, October 19tk, 1900. 
You may make what use you like of the letter I wrote you respecting the 
leak in the water pipe at my house. 

330 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [DEC., 1900. 

The town water inspector in his usual rounds notified a leak, and said it 
was in the w.c., with the result I have stated. He used an iron rod, placing 
one end to his ear and the other on the pipe. The sound of rushing water 
could be heard clearly at any portion of the pipe from the main to the cistern 
at the top of the house. No sound could be heard by placing the iron rod or 
stethoscope on the ground where Mr. Young located the leak. . . . 


If the foregoing case stood alone the most probable explanation of 
it would be chance coincidence a " lucky hit " on the part of Mr. 
Young. But there are several cases of a similar kind. Mr. Young 
himself some years ago found the position of a leak in the reservoir 
of the town in which he lives, and the same spot was independently 
indicated by another amateur dowser. The Chairman of the Quarter 
Sessions for Herefordshire, Sir Richard Harington, Bart., happens to 
be a successful amateur dowser, and has used the rod for the same 
purpose. In front of his house a piece of artificial water runs parallel 
to a brook, which is at a lower level, and Sir Richard Harington 
informs me : 

Whitbourne Court, Worcester, October 29th, 1899. 

It has occasionally happened that leakage into the brook has taken place 
through rat holes and the like, the locality of which my servants have been 
unable to discover. When this has been the case, I have used the divining 
rod, which has always told me correctly where the leak was. 

In my recent paper on the so-called divining rod, fuller particulars 
of this case are given (Proceedings S.P.R., Part XXXVIII., 214-216) 
together with the following. "Mr. Westlake, F.G.S., has recently in- 
formed me of another case, where the dowser, R. Pavey, of Cheddar, 
did the same thing at the moat round the Bishop's Palace at Wells. 
An engineer was first employed, and had spent 20 in trying to find 
the leak, but failed. Pavey, though a stranger, found the leak at once, 
and it was then stopped at a cost of a few shillings. Mr. Westlake 
visited the place and ascertained the facts ; he states the engineer was 
much impressed by Pavey's success, as he, after careful and costly 
examination of the place, had failed." 

As experiments of this kind afford a much easier test of the 
dowser than the search for underground water, they are worth careful 
repetition under strict supervision, and I hope some of our members 
will be able to carry out similar tests and let me know the result. It 
must, however, be borne in mind, as I have several times pointed out 
in my Report, that the involuntary twisting of the forked rod which 
occurs in the hands of certain persons is no proof that that person is a 
good dowser. The automatic motion of the rod may be due to some 
wholly misleading auto-suggestion, just as in automatic script the 

DEC., moo.] Case. 

writing may be merely the unconscious expression of the automatist's 
own ideas. The automatist, whether he holds a forked twig or a 
pencil, usually improves by practice; the conscious self becomes 
more easily placed in abeyance, and the subconscious self learns 
to respond to the proper stimulus, and to become oblivious of sug- 
gestion from normal sources. But the fact of fundamental importance 
in a good dowser, if my suggested explanation be correct, is that he 
should possess some transcendental perceptive power, that is, possess 
more or less a clairvoyant faculty ; and this is a case of nascitur non 
fit. Only through some form of automatic action can the evidence of 
this faculty be revealed ; how far it exists among persons in the normal 
state, experiments such as I have suggested with the rod may perhaps 
enable us to ascertain. From the fact that really famous dowsers 
during the whole of the past century can be numbered on the fingers 
of one hand, the rarity of this faculty might be inferred, were it not 
that, so long as dowsers are considered either knaves or fools, the 
number of persons likely to enter the lists is sure to be limited. 


L. 1122. Simultaneous Dreams. 

The following case comes from an Associate of the Society who has 
long been actively interested in psychical work and who is well known 
to Mr. Myers and to the Editor. He prefers that his name should not 
appear in connection with this case, which it will be noted was 
recorded immediately after it occurred. The fact of the husband and 
wife both dreaming of the same subject might, of course, be attributed 
to a common preoccupation with it. But this does not account for 
their dreaming of it at the same time. Mr. writes : 

October llth, 1900. 

I beg to send you a small but rather definite experience of thought- 
transference, which has just occurred to us. I have collected a number of 
other people's cases, but never had one of my own till now. 

The account enclosed is as follows : 

Sunday, October Wi, 1900. 

I woke abruptly in the small hours of this morning with a painful con- 
viction upon me that my wife, who was that night sleeping in another part 
of the house, had burst a varicose vein in the calf of her leg, and that I 
could feel the swelled place, three inches long. I wondered whether I ought 
to get up and go down to her room on the first floor, and considered whether 
she would be able to come up to me ; but I was only partly awake though in 
acute distress. My mind had been suddenly roused, but my body was still 

332 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [DEC., 1900. 

under the lethargy of sleep. I argued with myself that there would sure to 
be nothing in it, that I should only disturb her, and so shortly went off to 
sleep again. 

On going to her room this morning I said I had had a horrid dream, 
which had woke me up, to the effect that she had burst a varicose vein, of 
which just now care has to be taken. "Why," she replied, "I had just 
the same experience. I woke up at 2.15 feeling sure the calf of my leg was 
bleeding, and my hand seemed to feel it wet when I put it there. I turned 
on the light in alarm, noticing the time, and wondered if I should be able to 
get up to thee, or whether I should have to wake the housekeeper. Thou 
was in the dream, out of which I woke, examining the place. " 

Though I did not note the hour, 2 o'clock is about the time I should have 
guessed it to be ; and the impression on my mind was vivid and terrible, 
knowing how dangerous such an accident would be. It is the first certain 
case of thought-transference I have had. My wife's account is being written 
independently of this. I regard her as the agent, myself the percipient, 
and some pain in the leg the original source of the impression. 

The other witness concerned in the case writes : 

[On the] night of October 6th, 1900, I went to bed about 11.0 ; the veins 
of my left leg which are varicose were rather more painful than usual, 
and the whole calf felt and looked lumpy. 

I felt twinges of pain in it off and on in my sleep without being entirely 
roused till about 2.15a.m. Then, or just before, I dreamt or had a vivid 
impression that a vein had burst, and that my husband, who was sleeping in 
another room up another flight of stairs, was there and called my attention to 
it. I thought it felt wet and trickling down the leg as if bleeding, passed 
my hand down and at first thought it seemed wet, but on gaining fuller 
consciousness found all right, and that it was not more painful than often 
when I got out and stood on it. Thought over the contingency of its actually 
bursting and whether I could so bandage it in that case as to make it safe to 
go up to my husband's room, and thought I could do so. 

Looking at my watch found it about 2.20. 

Almost immediately on my husband's coming down, about 7.30 a.m., he 
told me that he had wakened early in the night (about same time would be 
early to him) with an impression that the vein in my leg had burst and was 
bleeding ; that he, had wondered if he should come down and thought over 
whether I should be able to bandage it and go up to him, had decided I 
could. "It was just here," he said, pointing on his own left leg to the 
exact spot at the top of the calf where I have the most trouble. 

In answer to a question as to the accuracy of Mrs. - 's recollec- 
tion that he had at the time debated within himself whether she 
would be able to bandage her leg (a detail not mentioned in his own 

account), Mr. writes : 

October 22nd, 1900. 

In response to your query, I certainly thought of my wife coming up 
with her leg bandaged. It was part of my idea of her difficulties. 

VAC., 1900.] Automatic Phenomena in a Case of Hysteria. 333 

The case here described was reported in an Italian pamphlet now 
extremely rare written by Dr. Niccolo Cervello with the title, Storia 
di un Caso cPIsierismo con Soynazione Spontanea (Palermo, ] 853), 
being an account of his own observations of a hysteric patient. Mrs. 
Whitaker, of the Yilla Malfitano Palermo, Sicily, an Italian lady, well 
known to Mr. Myers, has kindly furnished an abbreviated translation 
of the pamphlet, which we print here. 

The amenability of the patient to self-suggestion as shown by the 
accuracy with which her symptoms followed the course of her own 
predictions though very marked, is of course one of the most familiar 
and characteristic features of the disease, and is only recorded here to 
complete the account of the case. Suggestibility was further shown 
in the so-called " transposition of the senses," supervening on a remark 
of one of her doctors on the subject. But the special interest of 
the case from our point of view lies in the phenomena verging on the 
supernormal the alleged clairvoyance and speaking with unknown 
tongues. It will be seen that the evidence for these phenomena is by 
no means conclusive ; since there is unfortunately a great lack of 
detail in the record of them, only two of the actual foreign words 
.said to have been used by the patient having been recorded, while the 
conventional dramatisations of the supposed different nationalities are 
obviously within the normal capacity. We must, however, assume at 
least a marked heightening of the ordinary faculties from the way in 
which some of the parts were sustained throughout the time that 
they were played, and the case is an interesting contribution to the 
literature of "pseudo-possession." 

Mrs. Whitaker prefaces her translation with the following note : 

I will first say that the name of Dr. Niccolo Cervello is so well known in 
Palermo, as are also those of the many people both of note in the world of 
science, and of good social standing, who bore testimony to the case, as to 
put any doubt of the veracity of the record beyond question. It is with 
the most scrupulous care that each phase was noted. I may here mention 
that Dr. Niccolo Cervello was the father of Professor Vincenzo Cervello, 
who at the recent Congress of Berlin claimed to have found the cure of 
tuberculosis, and whose discovery has been already recognised by the 
French Academic des Sciences, of which he was made an honorary member. 

The account of the case now follows : 

Ninfa Filiberto, of a respectable well-to-do family, well-educated, aged 
sixteen, was first seized with violent convulsions on December 26th, 1849 ; 
she had from childhood been of a singularly nervous and sensitive tempera- 
ment, but had enjoyed good health, and had until then shown no signs of an 

334 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [DEC., 1900. 

abnormal condition of mind. From that day she was troubled with fits of 
somnambulism, and from being of a bright joyous nature, she became 
extremely melancholy, to such a degree that by the month of April she had 
become very pale and^maciated, and complained of great pain in the region 
of the liver, having also swollen feet. It was at this point that Dr. Cervello 
was sent for, and seeing her extreme pallor, treated her for chlorosis. On 
May 22nd she was again seized with convulsions, which generally left her 
without consciousness. These convulsions lasted on and off for three days, 
after which they ceased ; to the disease of the liver, however, was added 
pain at the heart. A violent attack of convulsions and pain, on June 27th, 
was followed by a state of lethargy which lasted 20 hours. At the end of 
this time the doctors thought it advisable to wake the patient with a dose of 
ammonia ; this produced the wished-for result, but the poor girl was again 
seized with such fearful convulsions as to put her life in jeopardy. Pains 
between the shoulders, cough, and spitting of blood supervened ; suddenly, 
towards the end of July, in 24 hours all signs of illness disappeared ; she 
again became gay and bright, and on August 9th Dr. Cervello received a 
visit from her, with her parents, to thank him for all his kindness during her 
very serious illness. Thus is briefly recapitulated the first or initiatory stage 
of this curious malady. 

Second Stage. 

On August 10th the patient showed signs of melancholy, and towards the 
afternoon was seized with violent pains in the left arm, which, however, did 
not last long, but left the arm paralysed. On the following day, the same 
thing happened, first to one leg then to the other ; delirium set in, and by 
the 13th she no longer recognised her parents and relatives and only the 
right arm could move freely. A consultation of five doctors was held, and 
they agreed that it was a nervous disease, but all remedies failed to give 
relief. On August 20th, after a fit of abstraction, she said that she wished 
to write ; at first nothing could be made of her writings, but it was soon dis- 
covered that she wrote backivards, and this with a rapidity which astonished 
all those present. Everything possible was done to brighten and cheer the 
poor girl, and on the 22nd one of her brothers gave her some sweets, which 
she immediately began counting backwards ; on his giving her a great 
number she at once begun counting from 28, which proved to be the correct 
number. During this period she saw everything upside down, and when 
given a watch to tell the time, she placed it upside down. During this time 
she was much given to fits of abstraction, her eyes fixed and glassy, and 
about the 22nd she was seized with inability to swallow. On the 26th she 
gave a piercing shriek and it was found that she had lost the use of her right 
arm also ! 

About this time a Dr. Raffaello was brought to see her and he announced 
that, in a similar case which he had followed, there had been "transposition 
of the senses" to the hands and feet. As soon as the unfortunate girl had 
one of her attacks of abstraction, her brothers at once tried speaking very 
softly to her at her extremities ; she at once answered back, and they 
immediately asked how she was, if she would have other paroxysms that 

DEO., 1900.] Automatic Phenomena in a Case of Hysteria. 335 

day and how long they would last. From that time the doctors were able to 
help the patient according to her own prescriptions, and when in trance, she 
was able to foretell unerringly all the different phases her malady would 
take. For instance, on one occasion Dr. Cervello was able to learn that at a 
certain hour for a short time, after several days' fasting, she would be able to 
swallow, and he was thus able to have food ready to sustain her. 

Hearing was not the only sense transposed to her hands and arms, but 
also those of smell and sight ; when assafoetida was applied to her nose she 
remained indifferent, but on its being brought near her elbow, she at once 
complained of the unpleasant smell. She was also able while her eyes were 
fixed in a strong stare to tell Dr. Calandra what was contained in a small 
packet at her elbow. 

All the remainder of August, and up to September 10th, was passed in 
great suffering ; but the most fearful convulsive fits were diminished in 
intensity by her own prescriptions given when in trance, and by her power 
of predicting the exact hour and minute that she would be seized with them, 
and of indicating the least remedies that would give relief. On the 10th she 
again began writing, and it was found that she used numbers instead of 
letters, and this (as when she wrote the letters backwards) with the most 
marvellous rapidity. 

[The next portion of the narrative is translated in full.] 
On the 12th, taking up her pen, she began a new sort of writing. It 
was not numbers but an entirely unknown alphabet. We took great pains 
to discover the connection of this alphabet with our letters, and after many 
inquiries, it was made clear to all, and that day we understood what she 
wrote. But on the 13th she changed to another alphabet and we could not 
understand her. She wrote in vertical lines and was provoked that we could 
not understand her writing. Also, she did not understand our pronuncia- 
tion, and when she spoke it was in an entirely new tongue. Luckily she fell 
into frequent trances during which she spoke French and Italian. Later on 
in the day we gave her a Greek grammar ; she glanced hastily over the 
Greek alphabet and seemed pleased with it, and presently began to use these 
letters, and for all the rest of the day did not change her alphabet, although 
she wrote Italian phrases, and for the first time since August 20th she did 
not write backwards. 

Meanwhile she did not speak or understand Italian, and the only way in 
which she could be got to understand a few phrases was by calling out the 
Greek names, one by one, of the letters of which the phrase was composed. 
At the same time she spoke to us with such rapidity that we could not follow 
her, in a language entirely unintelligible to us, as if she were speaking her 
own language. We supposed that it must be Greek, as, when she again fell 
into a trance, she wrote : "I have been to Athens ; I have seen that lovely 
city ; the people there speak as I do." She ended by imagining herself a 
Greek woman ; she put on a proud and resolute expression, and seemed 
with difficulty to repress a deep and silent anger. She hid a dagger in her 
belt and often brandished it, announcing that she wished to plunge it into 
somebody's breast, nor would she suffer it to be removed. With this dagger 

336 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [DEC., 1900. 

she tried to pierce a little child, whom she saw in her paroxyms, and whom 
she asked for bread. She was accustomed to see this vision when fasting ; 
and from the morning of this day she had begun a third fast, which she said 
would last 45 hours. That day she was very excited, and in a trance said 
that she could have spoken any language, and that that day she would feel 
and speak in Greek, the next day in French, and the next in English, and 
for those two days would not write. On the 14th, she did not understand 
Greek or Italian but spoke and understood only French. 

Her mood was very different from that of the preceding day : she was 
gay, witty, and amiable ; she conversed briskly and comprehended very 
rapidly. She could not read the clock which was numbered in the Italian 
fashion. Given an Italian-French grammar, she read the French phrases, 
but could not understand or pronounce the Italian. When asked what she 
had done the previous day, she replied that she remembered nothing about 
it. When told that she had spoken Greek, she laughed at us, and said she 
had never been taught Greek or any other language, that she was a 
Parisian, living in Palermo. She was amused at our accent and pronun- 
ciation not being pure, and lamented that she had no voice to show us how 
it was done in Paris, etc. She frequently complained of confusion in her 
head which was dissipated by music. Thus the 14th passed. 

Our great expectation was for the morrow, when she had foretold that 
she would speak English, for she had been taught a little French, but of 
English she had not been taught even the first elements, nor had any of the 
family, from whom she might have picked up a few words or phrases, 
ever learnt it. 

The father, conscious of this, considered that, however bad our French 
accent had been, we had been able to converse with the patient that day, 
but that the next we should not understand her and that the scene of the 
13th might be repeated. So he decided that for that day alone he would 
break his resolution rigorously maintained hitherto not to introduce any 
stranger into his daughter's room, and begged some of his friends to come 
who were either English by birth or who spoke the language very fluently. 

Early on September 15th, Professor Cavalier Tineo [the uncle of the 
patient], who had almost every day observed the wonderful phenomena of 
the illness of his niece, arrived and remained with her from the early morn- 
ing until 3 p.m. to satisfy his inexpressible curiosity. Two Englishmen, 
Mr. Wright and Mr. Frederick Olway, were present, besides six Sicilians 
[names and occupations given] who understood English well, and 
took it in turns to spend the day with her. 

On her awaking, they talked to her in Italian and French, but she looked 
blankly at them and understood nothing of what they said. 

Then, speaking in excellent English, she expressed her surprise that they 
delayed so long in bringing her her tea.* Then Mr. Olway began to talk to 
her and she carried on an easy conversation with him. When asked to write 

* Note 1 1/ the Translator. I must here note that tea is never taken by Sicilians 
in the morning. Indeed, 50 years ago, it was only used as a decoction to be taken at 
night to ward off a chill. 

DEC,, 1000.] Automatic Phenomena in a Case of Hysteria. 337 

something, she refused, but when pressed again for a word or two at least, 
she thus wrote the date : " Fifteen September." At 9 a.m., having accom- 
plished the 43 hours of her fast, she ate, as she had predicted ; her face 
was serious ; she talked gravely and gesticulated little. 

Her voice this day was almost inaudible, and occasionally completely 
gave way. At these times, when she could not make herself understood by 
gestures, she had recourse to an ingenious artifice. She procured an English 
book and, holding it in her hand, pointed with her finger to different words, 
and thus succeeded in composing the sentence which she had thought of. 
In her paroxysms, she scolded the [visionary] child and threatened him with 
her fists after the English fashion. She said that she was born in London, 
but living in Palermo. 

When the two Englishmen talked between themselves, she gave undeni- 
able signs of understanding what they said, and congratulated herself on the 
lucky chance of having found two compatriots in a foreign land. 

When the Sicilians spoke English, she noted their foreign accent and 
deplored her weak voice which would not allow of her teaching them 
properly the correct accent. Towards evening she informed us that the 
next day she would speak Italian, and she then discussed with the two 
Englishmen which of the Sicilians spoke the best English. Thus, this day 
full of wonders not only to us, but to the strangers present, came to a close. 

We were longing for the 16th that we might again speak Italian to our 
dear invalid. . . . She announced to us, however, that she was of Siena 
and described to us minutely the works of art of that city, I do not know 
if it will seem so to others, but to me the talking in pure Tuscan was as 
marvellous as the English. It is impossible to modulate the voice to this 
soft tongue without being born there, and the girl herself seemed to enjoy 
the beautiful expressions she was able to use.* She herself had entirely 
forgotten the Sicilian dialect, excepting the few words like Italian. 
She remained in this state until the 18th. 

[The next part of the account is again abridged.] 

The invalid having predicted that on the 18th the paralysis would entirely 
leave her, this happened ; a curious fact was that as the paralysis disappeared, 
the patient, who until then had spoken pure Tuscan, passed, actually in the 
midst of a phrase, into the Sicilian dialect, which was her natural language ; 
nor did she at all remember afterwards any of the languages she had spoken 
so wonderfully. 

In a moment of trance she wrote to Dr. Cervello that she would be 
assailed by frightful convulsions on the 22nd ; this of course in her normal 
state she did not know, and on the 19th and 20th ignorant of what she had 
predicted she gained strength and spirits and on the 21st was so well that 
she was able to go out. 

* Note by the Translator. The Sicilian dialect which is always spoken by the 
middle classes is indeed like a different language from Tuscan, and the accent totally 
different. Fifty years ago, there was so little intercourse between the two countries, 
that it is improbable Ninfa had ever met a Tuscan. 

338 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [DEC., 1900. 

Third Stage. 

This last stage of the malady Dr. Cervello divides into seven periods ; the 
first, lasting from the 22nd to the 27th, comprised the most violent form of 
convulsions, which reached such a degree that a padded room had to be 
prepared for the patient. Somnambulism was also a feature of this period, 
and she was able to hem a poaket handkerchief, most perfectly, with closed 
eyes. The second period began on the 28th, after 24 hours' truce, and was 
characterised by great clairvoyance, but inability to recognise all those 
around her. At this point Dr. RafFaello was able to give her some help, by 
what was then called animal magnetism, and she obtained relief by this 
means, and the artificial sleep rested and restored her. Of course this 
science was then in its infancy, and was indeed mostly in the hands of 
charlatans ; so much so that Dr. Cervello in his pamphlet thinks it necessary 
at this point almost to apologise for permitting the treatment. 

It is curious to note that, some of the symptoms of this curious malady 
remaining quite inexplicable, Dr. Cervello was at last reduced to acceding to 
the urgent request of the patient's confessor, and allowing the priest to 
exorcise her, as being possessed of devils. This curious ceremony took 
place, and needless to say gave not the slightest relief. 

On October 4th, the girl Filiberto had the first paroxysm of the third 
period during which she again experienced "transposition of the senses," 
and had also long cataleptic attacks. When in trance she continued to 
prescribe the medical remedies to be used ; for instance, she predicted thafc 
the senses would only respond in the middle finger of each hand. To 
diminish the duration of the cataleptic fits, she said, "Give me small doses 
of syrup of turpentine ; after five minutes of the paroxysm press my forehead 
and blow behind my ears."* During this period the patient had a paroxysm, 
when her body became burning hot, and all red as if with scarlatina ; violent 
convulsions seized her, and with her face blistered and swollen, her hair all 
standing on end like a Medusa, Dr. Cervello says the sight of her was 
appalling ! The fourth period began on October 9th, on the morning of 
which poor Ninfa seemed quite calm indeed, bright and happy ; quite 
ignorant of having predicted, when in trance, that she would at midday of 
that day be seized with most terrible paroxysms. She had predicted also 
that for 48 hours she would fast, being unable to swallow ; that she would 
lose all her senses, and in moments of trance would only be able to hear 
through her spine. All came absolutely true. She also predicted that the 
fifth and sixth periods would be mild and not involve intense suffering, and 
would both be chiefly marked by somnambulism. During this time, under 
magnetic influence, she predicted a most terrible seizure on October 31st ; 
also that her clairvoyance would end on that day, when death would etis\ie. 
It would take too long to describe the skilful way in which Dr. Cervello 
combated this idea, and how, in continued sittings, he gradually succeeded 
in modifying her conviction of death, and extracting from her some remedies 

* This was done in a similar case at Lyons, in 1787, by Professor Petetin ; yet this 
girl in Palermo could not possibly have read of this case, which was only known to the 
medical faculty. N. C. 

i>K(., 1900.] Supplementary Library Catalogue. 

to be used, to avoid it. Suffice it to say that, with the help of Dr. Raffaello, 

\vlio hail, as I have alivady iiu-ntion'd, been accustomed to list; liis magnetic 
power, the violence of the attack of the ,'Ust was diminishe<l, and after niosi 
terril)le spasms of the heart, and convulsions, an absolute calm s.-t in, and 
then gradually, instantly helped by magnetism, a restorative sleep set in ; and 
complete recovery was not far off. 

Fourth Staye and Decline oj the Terrible Malady. 

All through November and until December 21st, there was a gradual and 
steady improvement, only interrupted occasionally by paroxysms of pain at 
the heart, convulsions, and slight paralysis ; she was able often to go out. 
On December 21st (according to her prediction) she entered on a period of 
five days' suffering, and on the 26th, exactly one year from the day she was 
first affected, she entirely recovered. 

Here ends Dr. Cervello's report ; I can only add that the lady still lives, 
has been happily married, and is a mother and grandmother, and has always 
since enjoyed good health and absolute freedom from any of the extra- 
ordinary symptoms which accompanied her very remarkable illness. 

Palermo, 1899. T. WHITAKEE. 


Additions since the last list (JOURNAL for December, 1899). 


BARTH (George), Mesmerism not Miracle. (3 Parts, bound together) 

London, 1853-4 

BINET (A. ), On Double Consciousness Chicago, 1898 

The Psychology of Reasoning Chicago, 1899 

BKAID (Dr. J.), Hypnotism. Edited by A. E. Waite London, 1899* 

BRAMWELL (J. Milne, M.B.), The Phenomena of Hypnotism and the 

Theories as to its Nature. (The British Medical Journal) London, ]898t 

- - Hypnotism. A Reply to Recent Criticism. (Brain) London, 1899t 

Hypnotic and Post-Hypnotic Appreciation of Time ; Secondary 

and Multiplex Personalities, (brain, Part XC.) London, 1900t 

- Dipsomania and its Treatment by Suggestion. (From the Proceed- 
ings of the Society for the Study of Inebriety, June, 1900)... Lout/on, 1900t 
CREED (Hon. J. M., M.R.C.S., L.R.C.P.), My Experience of 

Hypnotic Suggestion as a Therapeutic Agent... .&/rfttey, N.8. W., 1899.^ 
FLOURNOY (Prof. Th.), From India to the Planet Mars. From the 

French by D. B. Vermilye London, 1900 

KANT (Immanuel), Dreams of a Spirit Seer. From the German by 

E. F. Goerwitz London, 1900 

SEELY E (H. H. , M. A. , M. D. ), Psychotherapy. Suggestion as a Cause and 

Cure of Disease. (Medical Record, September 2nd, 1899) New York, 1899 
SKEAT(\V. W.), Malay Magic London, 1900 

* Presented by Dr. Bramwell. $ Presented by the Hon. E. Grevillc. 

t Presented by the Author. 

340 Journal of Society for Psychical Research. [DEC., 1900. 

TUCKEY (C. Lloyd, M.D.), Treatment by Hypnotism and Suggestion. 

4th Edit London, 1900 1 

CHABANEIX (Dr. Paul), Le Subconscient chez les Artistes, les Savants, 

et les Ecrivains Paris, 1897 

FLOURNOY (Prof. Th.), Des Indes a la Planete Mars Geneva, 1900 f 

ROCHAS D'AIGLUN (Lt.-Col. de), Le Fluide des Magnetiseurs.... Paris, 1891 

LEHMANN (Dr. Alfred), Aberglaube und Zauberei. From the Danish. 

By Dr. Petersen Stuttgart, 1898 

MULLER (Rudolph), Naturwissenschaftliche Seelenforschung, Vol. III. 

Leipzig, [1900] t 

VERVORN (Dr. Max), Beitrage zur Physiologic des Centralner- 
vensystems. Erster Theil. Die sogenannte Hypnose der Thiere 

Jena, 1898 


AUTOMATICALLY WRITTEN, Various Tracts London, 1899-1900t 

BRIDGMAN (Laura D.), The Education of [U.S.A., N.D.]* 

DRURY (B. S.), Neo-Christian Epistles London, 1900t 

ESTLAKE (Allan), The Oneida Community London, 1900 

EVANS (H. R.), Hours with the Ghosts Chicago, N.D.t 

FAIRFAX (Edward), D?einonologia : A Discourse on Witchcraft (1621). 

Introduction by William Grainge Harrogate, 1882 

FISHBOUGH (William), The End of the Ages New York, 1899^ 

FLAMMARION (Camille), The Unknown. From the French ...London, 1900 
GIBIER (Paul, M.D.), Psychism. Analysis of Things Existing. 5th 

Edit , New York, 1900 1 

GOODRICH-FREER (Miss A.) and the late MARQUESS OF BUTE, The 

Alleged Haunting of B House. New Edition London, 1900t 

HOUGHTON (Miss G.), Evenings at Home in Spiritual Seance. 1st 

Series London, 1881 

HYSLOP (Prof. J. H.), Life After Death. (Harper's Afagazine, June) 1900 

JOLY (Henri), The Psychology of the Saints London, 1898 

LEADBEATER (C. W.), Tracts London, 1895-9 

"LIGHT," Vol. for 1899 London, 189J 

LOWELL (Percival), Occult Japan ; or, The Way of the Gods 

Boston, U.S.A., 1895 
POWELL (J. W.), Truth and Error, or, The Science of Intellection 

Chicago, 1898 
SAVAGE (Rev. Minot J. ), Life Beyond Death London, 1899 


DURVILLE (H.), Magnetisme, Theories et Procedes. Vol. I Paris, 1898t 

Du PREL (Carl, Dr.), Die vorgeburtliche Erziehung als Mittel fur 

Mensch-entziichtung Jena, 1899 

HUGHES (Henry), Die Mimik des Menschen Frankfurt, A.M., 1900^ 

ACEVEDO (Otero), Los Espiritus Madrid, 1895f 

* Presented by Mr. F. W. H. Myers. Presented by the Publisher. 

J Presented by the London Spiritualist Alliance. t Presented by the Author. 

Society for Psychical Research, 
1011 London 
S64 Journal 





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