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Full text of "Personal experiences in spiritualism (including the official account and record of the American Palladino séances)"

PERSONAL 
EXPERIENCES 

IN 

SPIRITUALISM 



HEREWARD CARRINGTON 



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Charles Josselyn. 






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PERSONAL 
EXPERIENCES 
IN SPIRITUALISM 





EusAi'iA Palladino. 



PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 
IN SPIRITUALISM 



(INCLUDING THE OFFICIAL ACCOUNT 

AND RECORD OF THE AMERICAN 

PALLADINO SEANCES) 



BY 

HEREWARD CARRINGTON 

AUTHOR OF "the PHYSICAL PHENOMENA OF SPIRITUALISM," " EUSAPIA 
PALLADINO AND HER PHENOMENA," "THE COMING SCIENCE," 
"DEATH: ITS CAUSES AND PHENOMENA" (JOINTLY), ETC. 



ILLUSTRATED 



LONDON 

T. WERNER LAURIE LTD. 

CLIFFORDS INN 



PRINTED AT 

THE NORTHUMBERLAND PRESS 

WATERLOO HOUSE, THORNTON STREET, 
NKWCASTLE-UrON-TYNE 



DEDICATED TO 
THE HON. EVERARD FEILDING, 

WHOSE ACUMEN, CRITICAL JUDGMENT, AND 

IMPARTIALITY MAKE HIM, IN MY ESTIMATION, AN 

IDEAL " PSYCHICAL RESEARCHER." 



PREFACE 

The present volume contains a summary of my 
experiences and experiments in the " physical 
phenomena of Spiritualism " — in that branch of 
psychic research which deals with the subject — 
and the reader will notice a curious contrast 
between Parts I and II of the book. While Part 
I is almost entirely negative, Part II is equally 
positive ; while the one destroys, the other builds 
up ! This is due to the fact that physical mediums, 
who present genuine phenomena, are rare indeed ; 
and though, at the present day, I am quite con- 
vinced of the reality of such phenomena — and 
even that materialisation is a certain and positive 
fact in nature — yet I still believe as firmly as when 
I wrote " The Physical Phenomena of Spirit- 
ualism," that "ninety-eight per cent of the pheno- 
mena are fraudulent." Very rarely can one find 
a medium presenting genuine manifestations — at 
least that has been my experience. Yet they are 
to be found ! Eusapia Palladino is one of these ; 
and I have devoted Part II to a detailed account 

of her American seances, hitherto unpublished. 

ix 



X PREFACE 

This cannot fail, I think, to be of very great 
interest to every serious student of psychic 
research, and particularly to the student of the 
" physical phenomena." 

While I do not pretend to speak upon these 
questions from the point of view of the scientific 
expert in any other field of research, nevertheless 
I have endeavoured to render some useful service, 
merely by reason of long-continued interest, and 
a close study of the evidence so far adduced. In 
speaking of M. Aksakof, Mr Myers said of him 
{^Proceedings, vi., p. 674): 

" I wish to point out how few men there are . . . 
who, without pretending to exceptional scientific 
attainments, have expended on these problems 
the persevering sagacity, the Hfelong devotion by 
which, in common life, as in exact inquiries, all 
great results must needs be won." 

And again, in speaking of the work of Mr 
Frank Podmore, Mrs Sidgwick said {Proceedings, 
vol. xxv., p. 9) : 

" What it is not easy to find is a man of unflag- 
ging energy in keeping his knowledge up to date, 
unflagging belief in the importance of the investi- 
gation, who can yet put himself outside it and 
view it from an impartial, impersonal, and mainly 
critical standpoint. All real scientific investiga- 



PREFACE xi 

tors, of course — however sanguine and enthusi- 
astic — endeavour to maintain a critical attitude ; 
but there is a distinct advantage, at least in investi- 
gations so difficult and elusive as ours, in having, 
so to speak, a professional critic." 

One's value, therefore, may not perhaps be 
negligible, even if he be not a specialist in physics, 
or chemistry, or psychology. I say this merely 
by way of personal apology. 

One word more. The value of these researches 
is constantly being called into question — their 
utility ; the cui bono? objection. More and more 
one hears this, I think, in certain quarters; and 
many of us who devote the greater part of our 
lives to this work are constantly reproached for 
wasting time and energy upon a dubious inquiry, 
which, if applied in other directions, might in some 
measure benefit self and humanity. In reply to 
this objection, I cannot do better, perhaps, than 
to quote — and conclude In — the words of Count 
Aksakof, when he said (" Animism and Spiritism," 
vol. i., pp. 40-1) : 

" In the decHne of life I ask myself sometimes, 
' Have I in truth done well to have devoted so 
much time and toil and money to the study and 
the publication of facts in this domain? Have I 
not struck into a blind road ? — followed an illusive 
hope.'^ Have I not wasted my experience, with 



xii PREFACE 

no result to justify all my pains? ' Yet always I 
seem to hear the same reply : ' A Hfe on earth can 
have no higher aspiration than to demonstrate the 
transcendental nature of man's being — to prove 
him called to a destiny loftier than the phenomenal 
existence he knows.' I cannot, then, regret that 
I have devoted my whole life to the pursuance 
of this aim ; although it be by methods which 
science shuns and spurns — methods which I hold 
far trustier than any other which science has to 
show. And if it be in the end my lot to have laid 
one stone to that temple of the Spirit, upbuilt 
from century to century by men true of heart, this 
will be the highest and the only recompense which 
ever I strove to gain." 

H. C. 



CONTENTS 

PART I 

EARLIER INVESTIGATIONS INTO 
" PHYSICAL PHENOMENA " 

PAGE 

I. A "poltergeist" in nova SCOTIA . . 3 

II. THE LILY DALE INVESTIGATION . . . 20 
III. MY EXPERIENCE AS A SLATE - WRITING 

MEDIUM ! 46 

\ . PHENOMENA WITNESSED IN PRIVATE CIRCLES 5 

V. A SEANCE WITH DE WITT HOUGH . . 70 

VI. THE BANGS SISTERS' "SPIRIT PICTURES" . 76 

VII. "THE GREAT AMHERST MYSTERY" . . 95 

VIII. REPORT OF A PERSONAL INVESTIGATION 

INTO "the great AMHERST MYSTERY" . 112 

PART II 

EUSAPIA PALLADINO'S AMERICAN 
SEANCES 

IX. INTRODUCTION 127 

X. THE AMERICAN SEANCES .... 136 

XI. NOTE ON THE SITTINGS HELD AT COLUMBIA 

UNIVERSITY 216 

XII. THEORETICAL DISCUSSION .... 223 
APPENDIX — THE NEED OF A PSYCHICAL 

LABORATORY 257 

xiii 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

"Eusapia Palladino" Frontispiece 

"The ' Auditorium,' Lily Dale" .... Facing page 20 

" The ' Rostrum,' Lily Dale'' .... „ 20 

' " Spirit photograph ' taken by A. Norman, show- 
ing the faces of various so-called ' guides ' " „ 24 

"A 'spirit bride' — showing the method of 

'faking' a negative" „ 24 

"A 'spirit bull-dog '" „ 42 

" Photo of a ' spirit ' a Ih Bien Boa "... „ 64 

" Photo of a large, transparent hand " . . „ 64 

"The ' haunted house,' in 'The Great Amherst 

Mystery'" „ 69 

" ' Forest Temple Woods Meeting,' Lily Dale' " „ 96 

" Eusapia seated at the s&ance table " . . „ 128 

" General view of the seance room, and position 

of sitters " „ 136 

" The ' stocks ' apparatus " „ 136 

" Interior of the cabinet '' „ 144 

" A square, black object at the end of a long neck" „ 154 

" Spring balance used to test Eusapia, and two 
possible methods of trickery by employing 

a hair" „ 160 

'' Impression of fingers in the box of clay " . „ 160 

XV 



xvi LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

" A queer object which appeared in good light at 
one of Eusapia's seances " .... 

" Black ' heads ' which emerged froir. the cabinet 
close to the floor " 

"Radiograph of fingers on X-ray plate; and 
photograph of the photographer's fingers 
who wrapped it up " 

"Wire screen made to cover cabinet and side of 
seance table nearest medium " ... 

" Apparatus intended to duplicate Sir William 
Crookes' experiments with D. D. Home — 
the ' spring-balance '".... „ 216 



Facing page 


176 


>» 


184 


»> 


194 




208 



PART I 

EARLIER INVESTIGATIONS INTO 
"PHYSICAL PHENOMENA" 



A "POLTERGEIST" IN NOVA SCOTIA 

Perhaps the most baffling as well as the most 
interesting phenomena in the whole history of 
spiritualism and psychic investigation are the so- 
called " poltergeist " cases — in which bells are 
rung, furniture upset, crockery broken, etc., 
without any apparent cause. Many of them have 
been explained, and shown to be due to simple 
trickery — generally on the part of a young boy or 
girl ; but, on the other hand, many cases remain 
inexplicable, and these can only be regarded as 
historical enigmas about which nothing definite 
can be said one way or the other. N ew cases of 
this character are rare. Usually, when a member 
of the S.P.R. visits the haunted spot, in person, 
it is long after the occurrences have ceased ; or 
they cease immediately on his arrival! Very 
rarely can we find phenomena which continue to 
manifest after an investigator has arrived upon the 
scene ; and because of the fact that such was the 
case in the present narrative it possesses some 
originality and charm. 

3 



4 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

During the last three months of the year 1906 
and the first two months of 1907 reports of these 
phenomena had steadily been sent to the American 
S.P.R. by a Judge of the Probate Court, living 
in Windsor, Nova Scotia. These reports were 
carefully written, and, as will be seen, extended 
over a considerable period of time. The witness 
seemed an intelligent man, and the reports, though 
they indicated great credulity, were carefully 
drawn up. What could more strongly invite a 
thorough, first-hand investigation? The nature 
of the phenomena, too, was most striking — 
physical manifestations of all sorts, " apports," 
independent voices, apparitions seen in various 
localities, telekinetic phenomena, etc. ; and this 
not in one house merely, but in nearly every house 
and shop in the entire village! The whole town 
seemed to be haunted! An idea of the character 
of the phenomena may be seen from the 
following descriptive extracts from Judge X.'s 
reports : 

"... I think the phenomena occurring here 
should be investigated without delay. Various 
strange things have been happening for months. 
Light, and even very heavy, articles have been 
moved quite a distance without contact, in various 
stores in this town, in daylight. The last of 
March I saw the headless figure of a man in the 
cellar of one of these stores. The groans of the 
figure were verv distressing. I am convinced 
there was no trickery. . . . About a fortnight ago 



IN SPIRITUALISM 5 

I bought two empty boxes from a store close to my 
residence. In crossing the street to come to my 
land, the two young men bringing the boxes on a 
hand-cart noticed that their load was becoming 
heavier, and when they came opposite my yard 
and attempted to lift one of the boxes off the cart, 
it was as much as they could do to lift it. 1 sus- 
pected at once what the matter w^as. They dropped 
the box without carrying it as far as I desired 
them. . . . The cover ot the box was nailed down 
in different places. I could not get one of the 
young men about to open the box (and before the 
manifestation ceased there were five of them) 
though I fetched an axe out of my shed for that 
purpose. They were all frightened to do so. . . . 
I went to an adjacent street and tried to procure 
someone to open the box. When I secured a 
person and came back with him, and got a piece 
of the cover taken off, the body had disappeared. 
The materialisation must have continued ten 
minutes — w^hich, as it was in a box which admitted 
some light through cracks, and accomplished 
on a bright, sunny day, was an extraordinary 
exhibition of power over difficulties hard to over- 
come. 

" The throwing of articles in shops, and on the 
streets, has been of almost daily occurrence — of 
course I mean without visible cause for their move- 
ments. . . . On Sunday last, during a gale of 
wind, a hogshead, in a small yard enclosed on all 
sides, was driven out of the alley on to the lane 
leading out to Water Street. It turned at the side- 
walk, no one near it, crossed the street in almost a 
straight line, passed over the kerb to the opposite 
side-walk, turned a second time in the direction 



C PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

of my property in Water Street, rolled along the 
side-walk about seventy-five feet, and then turned 
again off the side-walk on to my property. The 
proprietor of the hogshead was writing in his office. 
... A new phase is the dropping of money on the 
floors of rooms and shops. In this way tw^o young 
men in a closed room picked up yesterday morning 
$1.05 — only a small boy in the room besides 
themselves. The money dropped on the floor 
out of the air. I have been present when cents 
have been thrown — almost always thrown near me. 
I think the ' invisibles ' are contemplating levita- 
ting one or more persons ; the power here is so 
great, and there are so many unconscious physical 
mediums here, that I should not be surprised if one 
or more persons should be levitated on to one 
of the principal buildings. . . . There seems no 
cessation of the phenomena ; it is more varied, and 
has taken the form of controlling several young 
men and boys in the town, so that they have fre- 
quently had those delusions common to the subjects 
of the hypnotiser. . . . Nowhere in the whole 
history of psychic phenomena have the mani- 
festations been more open, widespread and 
continuous. . . ." 

Accompanying these reports were a number of 
signed statements from young men and boys in the 
town, in which they asserted that they had wit- 
nessed phenomena which they could in no way 
account for — such as the breaking the electric- 
light bulbs, which had been thrown to the floor; 
the dropping of money, nails, and other small 
objects about the shops, houses and streets ; the 



IN SPIRITUALISM 7 

falling of apples and potatoes, and the smash- 
ing of eggs in the grocery store, etc. — as well 
as many other manifestations too numerous to 
mention. 

It afterwards transpired that all these young 
men were " consummate Hars," and that there was 
not a word of truth in any of these statements. 
However, I shall not anticipate. The following 
extract is from Judge X.'s final communication, 
after I had visited Windsor, and returned to New 
York. Mr C. stands for myself. In the view 
of the actual facts in the case, detailed in my 
report, the following version cannot fail to be of 
interest: 

". . . Now, for what happened in the rattan 
factory. In company with Mr C, after going 
upstairs to the second story, I saw several chairs, 
rocking-chairs, oscillating for some time without 
anyone being near them. Mr C. rushed around, 
saying something about looking for a string, which 
I am sure he did not find. I saw the trap-door of 
the third story with difficulty lifted by one of the 
employes, after several efforts, there being some 
force pressing that door against him, though there 
was no one upstairs. I saw Mr C. run up those 
stairs and push the trap-door back, and I saw it 
fall down again after he had done so, apparenUy 
of its own volition. He was up in the third story 
at the time. Immediately upon my going up to 
the second story, I heard a voice calling mc. I 
recognised it as the same voice which had held a 
conversation with me, several days before. ... I 



8 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

called Mr C.'s attention to this voice. He said it 
' didn't interest him,' he ' wanted to observe the 
movement of articles.' The voice complained 
that I had not done something which it had asked 
me to do on a former occasion. I replied that it 
had lied to me then. The voice then swore at me, 
and I at once moved away from the spot and ceased 
to talk to it. It is idle to talk of trickery in con- 
nection with this voice, for when I talked to it 
before I satisfied myself that its knowledge of a 
certain matter I questioned it about was greater 
than that of any of the employes of the estab- 
lishment. . . .'' 

Such occurrences as these formed the bulk of 
the phenomena which called for investigation ; and, 
though the evident credulity of the reporter is 
obvious to any unprejudiced reader, nevertheless 
the case called for investigation and inquiry ; so 
that, at the request of Dr Hyslop, I undertook to 
go to Windsor and report my findings. Accord- 
ingly I travelled to Windsor, in the depth of winter 
(January, 1907) and spent several days there 
investigating the manifestations as thoroughly as 
possible. I also obtained statements from those 
connected with the occurrences. Herewith I 
quote portions of my official report of these 
occurrences — published in full in the Proceedings 
of the American S.P.R., vol. i., pp. 431-519. 
After meeting Mr X., and discussing the situation 
with him, we decided that it would be desirable to 
begin by " making the rounds " together the next 



IN SPIRITUALISM 9 

morning' — keeping, ol course, my presence and 
purpose a secret. The next morning, accordingly, 
we set out, with the following results : 

" At nine-thirty o'clock the next morning Mr X. 
called for me, and we started off on our ' tour of 
inspection.' We visited first of all a grocery store 
on the main street, in which many remarkable 
phenomena were said to have occurred. We in- 
spected first the rear of the store, where a number 
of eggs were said to have been broken by some 
mysterious power, and which were shown us by 
M., the proprietor. After inspecting them, we 
turned towards the front part of the shop — the 
store proper. Mr X. and I were walking side by 
side, and the proprietor, M., was behind us, dis- 
tant some five or six feet. While we were thus 
walking, there occurred the first phenomenon it was 
my good fortune to witness in that haunted town. 

" We had about reached the centre of the store, 
walking as before stated, when there fell at my feet 
a large, yellow apple. It had flown past my head 
and fell to the floor of the shop, rolling away from 
me towards the door. I calculated from the 
direction in which the apple was rolling that it 
must have come from a certain direction over my 
shoulder, which I could gauge from the roll of the 
apple. I turned instantly, to find the proprietor, 
M., standing in the place precisely where I should 
have expected to find him, but leaning against the 
counter with his hands in his pockets, and looking", 
for some reason, very red in the face. He looked 
at the apple on the floor in a stolid kind of way, 
but made no attempt to move until Mr X. asked, 
'Where did that come from, M..''' 'From the 



10 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

window, I guess,' replied M., advancing and pick- 
ing up the apple. He advanced with it to the 
window, as though to place it with the rest of the 
apples in it, but found that the apple which had 
been dropped to the floor was unlike any in the 
window." 

After leaving the store, we went to the rattan 
factory — a wooden structure of three stories. . . . 
After we entered the factory, nothing took place 
for some minutes, during which time I had an 
opportunity to chat with the young men employed 
about the place. 

Soon, however, the expected manifestations 
began to occur. A large iron spike, weighing about 
5 lb., fell to the floor at our feet. A pile of 
chairs fell over ; knocks and bangs were heard in 
various parts of the factory — upstairs and down. 
Other phenomena took place — but nothing, Mr X. 
assured me, compared with what we should see 
that afternoon — as the manifestations were always 
most active about 3 p.m. We accordingly left 
the factory, promising to return at that hour. 

Writing of my attitude towards these manifesta- 
tions at the time, I said : 

" I find it hard to indicate clearly the state of my 
mind at this time. I am certainly ' on the fence ' 
with regard to the interpretation of the phenomena, 
and do not know what to believe. Certain facts 
seem to indicate fraud, but again certain other facts 
seem to point in the opposite direction — one of the 



IN SPIRITUALISM 11 

strongest of these being the apparent honesty of 
the men engaged in the factory. . . . When one 
witnesses the phenomena oneself, and when they 
are occurring on every hand . . . the mind gets 
into a more or less dazed condition, which it is 
impossible to avoid. A sense of the mysterious 
and the awesome enters into one, and partially 
paralyses the powers of observation." 

Definite results were, however, soon to be 
attained. The next portion of the report is so 
entertaining that I cannot do better than quote it 
as it stands : 

" At three o'clock in the afternoon we returned 
to the factory. Immediately we entered the door, 
a piece of iron — a large spike — fell to the floor in 
front of us. No one appeared to be near this 
piece of iron, though there were several men 
standing about within three or four feet of the 
spot where it fell, and we had not, so far, had an 
opportunity to ' get the lay of things,' and take in 
the relative positions of the men on the floor. 
. . . This occurred when we were on the door- 
step, and about to enter the building. 

" We entered. Hardly had we done so, how- 
ever, when a barrel rolled toward us, propelled by 
some unseen agency. I could not tell exactly 
whence the barrel came, but the general direction 
indicated that it came from a spot where two 
young men were standing. Soon after tliis, two 
or three coins fell from the air directly at our feet. 
Sometimes we could sec and hear the coins fallino;-, 
at other times we could not, but would find the 
coins upon the floor of the factory 



12 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

" I now come to the most interesting pjart of 
these phenomenal happenings. I ascended to the 
second fioor of the building. Mr X. was slightly 
behind me, the man who was showing us the 
building behind him. I had a clear view of the 
whole floor and could see that no one was on that 
floor. As I was looking about, Mr X. grasped my 
arm and whispered : '' There ; you want to see 
objects moving without contact; see those 
chairs ? ' — indicating a pile of rattan rocking-chairs 
which stood in front of us. I looked at them, and, 
sure enough, there were the chairs rocking away 
as though some spirit were indeed occupying 
them, and was engaged in rocking himself com- 
fortably to sleep! No human being was near the 
chairs, and I actually saw them siafi in their 
movement, and the movement of the chairs in- 
crease in violence while I was looking at them. I 
shall never forget the feeling which went through 
me at that moment! ' Eureka,' I exclaimed to 
myself, ' at last I have seen a poltergeist in active 
operation! My trip to Nova Scotia has not been 
in vain — even though I should see nothing else 
while I am here. I have seen objects move 
without human contact — and, better still, I have 
seen them s/arf that movement while my eyes were 
upon them. What satisfaction ! ' While thinking 
in this manner, I was advancing toward the chairs 
in question, and was regarding them criticallv, 
but (I confess) delightedly. I got on to my hands 
and knees, and examined the chairs from all direc- 
tions and points of view, but I could not get to 
the back of the chairs, since others were piled up 
behind them solidly. I crawled in beneath a 
number of them in order to get a view of the back 



IN SPIRITUALISM 13 

of the rockers which were behaving in this remark- 
able manner. Ah ! What was this ? A string 
was attached to one of the chairs, and, carried 
over several other chairs, disappearing through a 
hole in the floor! Away went my visions of 
genuine poltergeist phenomena — of personal evi- 
dence of telekinesis — fraud stood confessed, de- 
tected ! A whole ingenious system of trickery was 
evidently in operation, which it now became my 
duty to unearth and detect. 

" During all this time other phenomena had 
been occurring in other quarters. A large iron 
nail had been thrown, and, as I came from beneath 
the pile of chairs, fell to the fioor of the factory. 
I could not see whence it had come, but as there 
were now two or three men on the floor with us, 
no value could be attached to this occurrence. Mr 
X., I found, was sitting on a chair in the middle 
of the room, and was conversing freely with a spirit 
voice ! This ' voice ' was distinct and decidedly 
human, though muffled and far-away sounding, 
and it was hard to tell the exact location of the 
voice. It replied to Mr X., answering his ques- 
tions, etc. At the moment I approached Mr X., I 
heard the sound of smothered laughter (i.e. the 
'spirit voice' was laughing), at which several of 
the men laughed also. For a few moments I 
could not determine the location of the voice ; 
then, passing behind a pile of furniture, I saw a 
rubber speaking tube passing over, then under, a 
pile of furniture, and through a hole in the floor to 
the room below. I listened to the voice passing 
up this pipe for some moments ; then returned, to 
find Mr X. still conversing. Later, I discovered 
the mouthpiece of this speaking tube had been 



14 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

wrapped up in two gunny-sacks in order to muffle 
the sound of the voice and make it sound indistinct 
and far-away. . . . 

" As I turned and walked away, a pile of chairs 
fell to the floor with a crash, but this time I turned 
quickly enough to see the hand of one of the young 
men retreating quickly to his side, after pushing 
down the pile of chairs. I pretended not to notice 
this, however, and did not let my eye rest on this 
man for any length of time, turning at once to the 
chairs, as though they were the objects of interest. 
While examining these, I kept my eye on the other 
men, and saw one of them push a row of chairs 
which were suspended from a beam in the ceiling. 
The result was to set this row of chairs in motion 
— they swinging to and fro like so many pendu- 
lums. I continued to examine the chair, however, 
as though I had not noticed this action, and 
probably a quarter of a minute elapsed before 
several of the men exclaimed that a row of chairs 
hanging from the ceiling was in motion. They 
had, in the interval, drawn a little aw^ay from the 
chairs, so that they were now probably six or eight 
feet from them. I expressed due astonishment 
at the 'phenomenon,' and assumed an air of the 
utmost credulity. This was fortunate, since they 
relaxed their precautions to a great extent, and 
thenceforward I was enabled to see nearly every 
movement made by them, and the modns operandi 
of every phenomenon produced. On several 
occasions I saw them throw coins and tools and 
other small articles about the factory. One of 
them would attract our attention, while the other 
would flick the coin on to the floor. By the time 
the coin had reached the floor, the hands of the 



IN SPIRITUALISM 15 

one throwing the coin would be securely tucked 
in his pockets or held in plain view, and his back 
turned to the spot where the coin fell. The whole 
thing was very cleverly arranged, and I do not 
wonder that fraud had not been detected by one 
unused to the modes of trickery employed or to the 
psychology of deception." 

At this time a loud noise was heard on the floor 
above, and I turned and ran up the stairs, desiring 
to enter the fioor alone. As I did so, the heavy 
door separating the second and third stories 
banged against the w^all of the factory several 
times — apparently of its own accord. It was a 
large door, made like a sort of trap, forming part 
of the floor when closed, hinged on one side, and 
supported by two counter-weights, which hung at 
the end of ropes, passing over pulleys. As I 
ascended the stairs, however, I noticed that one 
of the counter-weights had been removed, and that 
the rope was continued, by splicing, so that it ran 
through a hole in the floor to the main story. By 
pulling this rope it w^as therefore possible to lift 
the trap, and cause it to bang against the w^all as 
often as desired. 

However, possibility was not -proof, and I 
desired proof that the door had actually been 
moved in this way. That I obtained in the follow- 
ing manner. Arriving on the third floor, I pulled 
this door down behind me, thus cutting myself off 
from those below, and leaving me alone on the 



16 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

second story of the haunted factory! The two 
ropes supporting the door were now stretched at 
an angle of forty-five degrees from the ends of 
the door farthest from the wall to the pulleys in 
the wall itself. One of these ropes was taut, 
having the counter-weight attached to the other 
end, but the second rope was slightly sagging, 
since the counter-weight had been removed. I 
leant over and pushed this rope down, so as to 
make it take a decided curve or loop. My thought 
was this. If the door moves of itself, it will move 
first, and will bang against the side of the house 
without this rope being pulled taut. If, on the 
other hand, the door is banged against the wall by 
means of the rope pulling it in that direction — the 
rope which passed through the hole in the floor 
below — then we shall have proof that the door is 
moved by means of the rope and that this is the 
motive-power which moves the door. It will 
prove, i.e., that the door is pulled and banged 
against the wall by someone pulling on this rope. 
I accordingly watched this rope intently, and in a 
few moments I saw the rope pulled taut with a 
jerk before the door moved at all. I was certain, 
therefore, that the door had been pulled against 
the side of the building by means of this rope ; and 
since this rope passed within reach of the hands 
of those on the ground floor, it does not require 
much stretch of the imagination to picture the 
means by which the door had been moved ! 



IN SPIRITUALISM 17 

I was now entirely satisfied that all the pheno- 
mena which I had witnessed at the factory that 
day were fraudulent, and the strings, threads, 
speaking tubes, etc., showed that trickery had 
been systematically planned and carried out for a 
long period of time, and that there was every 
reason to believe that nothing but trickery had 
been practised from first to last. For a long time 
it had gone undetected, it is true, and it had taken 
me a whole morning and part of the afternoon to 
get into " the swing of things," so to speak — even 
though I was thoroughly familiar with the various 
methods of trickery usually employed in such 
cases, and was on the watch to detect them. 

To make a long story short, I succeeded, after 
leaving the factory that day, in interviewing almost 
all the witnesses in the various shops in town where 
occurrences of the kind had occurred ; and in 
every case was there a prompt and natural con- 
fession of trickery. There seemed no desire to 
keep the thing a secret ; it was open property that 
everyone in town was "in to trick" Mr X., and 
that he was making himself the laughing-stock of 
the whole vicinity. Mr X. happened to be the 
only spiritualist in that locality, and the whole 
community had banded together in a playful desire 
to trick and bewilder him ; and had kept up the 
joke steadily for several weeks. Whenever he 
went into a shoj), the clerks threw small objects 
about the place, while others distracted his atten- 

B 



18 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

tion. Left to themselves the greater part of the 
time, with nothing special to occupy their minds, 
one can quite see how a joke of this character 
might afford a great and prolonged amusement for 
the villagers; and, at all events, they seemed to 
be enjoying the situation hugely. It required but 
little effort on the part of each individual ; yet the 
cumulative effect was bewildering ! One thing led 
to another, and, as we have seen, the men in the 
rattan factory had gradually rigged up an elaborate 
system of apparatus with which to trick Mr X. 
when he visited them during those afternoons, 
when, alone, they gave free play to their imagina- 
tion ; and "the spirits" ran riot! The various 
puzzling facts, such as the barrel which flew along 
the street, the voice heard within the hogshead, 
etc., were readily and easily explained when the 
" heroes " of the various little escapades w^re 
interviewed. Not one of them made the slightest 
pretence to conceal the fact that systematic trickery 
had been employed, and that nothing supernormal 
had ever been seen, to the best of their knowledge. 
Perhaps the most amusing account was given me 
by the young men employed in the factory, from 
whom I also obtained confessions before I left the 
next day. " I'll tell you how this whole thing 
began," said one of the men to me. " We knew 
of Mr X.'s interest in these things, and one day, 
as he passed the door, one of the men opened it and 
called out (his name) as loudly as he could. 



IN SriRITUALTSM 19 

Mr jumj)C(l about so hic^h (intli(-ating a hci^jhl 

of about four feet from the ground) and came in, 
asking if any of us had called him. Of course we 
rej)lied that we had not, and he came to the con- 
clusion that F H (a murdered man) had 

called him ! This gave us an idea, and we followed 
that u|), until we had this whole system rigged up, 
as you see. I guess you saw how everything was 
worked pretty well ? " 

It merely remains for me to add one word; to 
cap the climax of this remarkable case by some- 
thing even more remarkable. When my report 
was sent to Mr X., he rvrji then refused to believe 
that trickery explained the facts he had seen, and 
continued to believe the manifestations the work 
of spirits! When a man has reached this stage of 
credulity — to use a mild word — it is, of course, 
quite useless to argue with him further. 



20 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 



II 

THE LILY DALE INVESTIGATION 

For many years past it has been the custom in 
America for spirituaHsts to visit various resorts, 
or " Camps," as they are called, where a number 
of the most prominent mediums in the country are 
to be seen, and where spiritualists can congregate 
and exchange views and the latest news concern- 
ing " The Cause " from all parts of the country. 
Some years ago there w^re several of these Camps. 
One of the most famous was Onset, which 
flourished for a time until the better class of 
spiritualists stopped their fraudulent materialising 
seances, so popular there, and in consequence the 
Camp went to pieces. There was no longer any 
attraction, when full-form materialisations were 
not produced every evening at so much per capital 
At the present time there is only one noted Camp 
of the sort, viz. Lily Dale, situated in a beautiful 
valley about sixty miles south of Buffalo, New 
York. Hundreds of spiritualists visit this Camp 
every summer; an elaborate programme is 
arranged. The large hotel on the grounds is filled 
the greater part of the time ; and the many cottages 




The "Auditorium," Lilv Dale. 




The " Rostrum," Lh.v Dale. 



IN Sl'IHITUALISM 21 

are rented by mediums of all descriptions, who 
present a variety of " phenomena " — slate-writing, 
materialisation, sealed-letter reading, spirit photog- 
raphy, trumpet and test seances — not to speak 
of numerous astrologers, palmists, and fortune- 
tellers, etc. In fact, such a Camp is a veritable 
hot-bed of psychical and spiritualistic matters 
eenerallv ; and if anvone wishes to see the head- 
quarters in America he cannot do better than visit 
Lily Dale Camp during the month of July or 
August, when things are running full swing. 

It was in August, 190;, that I visited this noted 
Camp, and spent there two weeks, investigating 
every medium I could find, on behalf of the 
American S.P.R. The detailed results of this 
investigation will be found in full in the Proceed- 
ings of the American S.P.R., vol. ii., pp. 1-117. 
I shall here give a brief resume of that report, 
indicating the chief conclusions reached, and the 
character of the phenomena observed. I may say 
at once, however, that I shall not discuss the trance 
or test seances which I attended,^ or the various 
palmists, astrologers, etc., upon the grounds. I 
shall confine myself exclusively to the physical 
phenomena observed, since these were the facts 
I was asked to investigate particularly. They form 
an interesting body of facts by themselves, and 
it would only complicate matters to introduce a 

' For the detailed accouri't of these, see Journal, American 

S.P.R. , pp. 379-92. My, 1908. 



22 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

number of genuine, yet non-evidential mental 
phenomena of all kinds — such as I received. 

I arrived, then, on the 3rd of August and spent 
the greater part of that day in becoming familiar 
with the grounds and the general " run of things " 
in Camp, and contented myself with making one 
appointment for the morrow — for a spirit photo- 
graph. The photographer was, in this case, 
A. Norman, well known throughout the countrv 
as a slate-writing medium as well as for the produc- 
tion of spirit photographs. 

On arrivino- at Mr Norman's house I was obho-ed 
to wait for some time on the veranda, as he was 
busy inside the house with a " customer." When 
he came out, I was invited to sit " just where I 
was," and the medium disappeared into the house, 
and the next minute came out, carrying a large 
camera and two pla+'^s — already in the slide, pre- 
pared. There was a white chalk mark on one side 
of the " double-back " plate slide (a slide which 
holds two places) and this side was carefully in- 
serted foremost. Mr Norman erased the chalk 
mark with his finger as he inserted the slide into 
the camera. I posed, and the photograph was 
taken. 

Next we went indoors. The plate slide was 
reversed, and the room placed in almost total 
darkness. I was informed that " the spirits would 
materialise their own light," and that none was 
needed! This was "where the mediumship came 



IN SPIRITUALISM 23 

in." A second plate was then exposed, the cap 
being removed about a minute. During that 
minute I was informed that I " should sit for 
physical manifestations," and the medium asked 
me if I had ever sat for a spirit photographer 
before. Why w^as that (juestion asked, I wonder? 
Was it mere idle curiosity, or was it in order to 
obtain for me, on the plate, the same faces which 
I had obtained in the first instance — thus tending 
to " clinch " my faith ? We cannot say ! 

When, however, I asked the medium to allow 
me to examine the process of development of the 
plates, he flatly refused to allow anything of the 
kind! I said cautiously that I should think it 
would be very interesting to watch the develop- 
ment of a plate upon which might appear spirit 
faces; the answer was that these faces developed 
in exactly the same manner as any other faces. I 
replied that I should like to watch the process in 
order to convince myself that they developed in the 
manner stated, and that they were not already on 
the plate. The result was to bring forth a flat re- 
fusal to allow me to watch the process of develop- 
ment! It need hardly be said that this refusal to 
allow any test conditions of the most elementary 
order deprived the photos of all evidential value ; 
and definite evidence of fraud was obtained against 
this medium at a later date. For, when the photo- 
graph was examined, none of the faces bore the 
slightest trace of any family resemblance, and more 



24 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

than that, the photograph showed unmistakable 
signs of fraudulent manipulation. One of the 
faces (that of the woman), upon being examined 
through a magnifying-glass, clearly shows the 
miniature indentations made by the electric needle 
used in reproducing newspaper cuts. This is 
clearly noticeable in the forehead, but can be seen 
to extend all over the face — even with the naked 
eye, examined carefully. This face was, there- 
fore, copied from some newspaper or from some 
magazine, reproducing it from the paper, in 
which it originally appeared. The other faces 
also show clear marks of manipulation. I publish 
a copy of this photo herewith (with apologies) in 
order to show the absurd character of the faces 
which appeared. The method doubtless resorted 
to by the medium was that described in my 
"Physical Phenomena of Spiritualism," p. 217. 

The next mediums I visited were Mrs McCoy 
and Mrs Pemberton — trumpet mediums. In 
both cases the procedure was very much the same. 
I was ushered into a small and exceedingly stuffy 
room (the windows being closed and shuttered, 
and evidently not opened the entire season for a 
breath of fresh air). The room was then dark- 
ened carefully, so that no ray of light entered it. 
The medium and I took chairs in one corner of 
this room ; curtains were drawn across the corner, 
making it still darker, so that we were in intense 
blackness. In this state we waited for some 




" Spirit I^hotografh " taken bv A. Norman, 

siiowiNc; TiiK lAcr.s or various soh ai.i.kd "(Uidis." 



IN SPIRITUALISM 25 

minutes, when I felt " spirit fingers " playing with 
my hair, and touching me in various parts of the 
body. The medium could easily have produced 
these touches, as I was within arm's reach of her, 
and she had previously warned me not to raise my 
hands! The tin trumpet which had been placed 
on the floor — within reach of the medium — then 
rose and various sounds issued from it. These 
gradually became whispered voices. At first I 
had been asked to talk as much as possible (to 
cover up the sounds of the medium's movements!) 
but now I was asked to be quiet, and listen. First 
came a voice which said : " I am glad to see you 
are investigating this grand truth," etc. ; then 
another voice, which claimed to be my father. 
This spoke with a decidedly American accent (my 
father had never been in America in his life) and 
remembered many things which I suggested, but 
which were totally false — such as selling a house in 
Chicago, etc. I then suggested my mother and my 
sister, and they both " came," and equally remem- 
bered things which had never occurred. Finally, 
I suggested an old friend, James Robinson, who, 
so far as I know, never existed ; but he " came " 
all the same, and just as easily as the others ! I 
asked him if he remembered all the tours and the 
camping trips we used to take together? Yes, 
yes ; he remembered them well ! And was he 
engaged in electrical work over there, as he was 
here? No, he was engaged in " nothin' partlc'lar," 



26 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

there being no " science of electricity " over there ; 
and so on, and so on. Every false clue I gave 
was instantly followed up, and not the slightest 
pretence of anything genuine volunteered. To- 
wards the close of the sitting, I leaned far over, 
and, under cover of the darkness, distinctly heard 
the medium articulating the sounds in her own 
throat, and speaking them into the trumpet. 
There could be no doubt whatever that she was 
doing the talking, as I could plainly hear it going 
on. These voices were modified and changed 
according to the angle in which the trumpet was 
held. Altogether the performance was obviously 
fraudulent ; and this applies to both the trumpet 
mediums whom I visited at Lily Dale — the only 
two on the grounds at the time.^ 

My next visit was to A. Norman again, to 
obtain from him some slate-writing. I was ushered 
into a small room, containing a large table, 
covered with a cloth, which hung down to the 

' Since my original report was written, I have had the 
opportunity of seeing Mrs McCoy a second time, at the home 
of my friend, Dr Gustav A. Gayer, in New York, where the 
same performance was repeated, but with the added phenom- 
enon of "materialisation." The forms were produced by 
means of a piece of cheese-cloth hung over the hand and arm 
of the medium, and made to " bow " as she inclined her hand, 
and entreated the spirit to come on, not to be " afraid," etc. 
I have no reason to change my original opinion concerning 
this medium. On the contrary, this second sdance has made 
me all the more certain that the " manifestations " presented 
by her are merely the worst and cheapest kind of fraud ; and 
that nothing genuine is to be seen at her stances. 



IN SPIRITUALISM 27 

floor on all sides, two chairs, one on either side 
of the table, and a large music-box, which occu- 
pied almost half the table. No other furniture 
was in the room. The music-box began to play 
at once, and continued throughout the sitting. 

At the request of the medium, I then wrote 
two questions, folded the papers, and placed them 
in an envelope — which was not sealed — and this 
was placed betw^een two slates (which I was 
allowed to examine). A rubber band was now 
passed around both slates. The medium then 
took the slates and placed them beneath the table, 
asking me to hold them with him. In a few 
moments he remarked : " I think we had better 
hold them over the table." He then removed 
the slates, placed them flat upon the table, and 
covered them with a black cloth, on which we 
placed our hands. After a short time they were 
removed, and again placed beneath the table. On 
being removed by myself, after some minutes, 
they were found to be covered with writing, in 
answer to the questions contained in my folded 
papers. 

First, as to the method employed in the slate- 
writing. When Norman placed the slates 
beneath the table, he simply dropped my two 
slates on to his lap, and handed me a duplicate 
pair to hold under the table. This I saw clearly. 
Placing them on the top of the table was only 
a bhnd, to enable him to make the necessary 



28 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

changes. When they were again placed beneath 
the table, a second substitution was effected, and 
the orieinal slates handed me. But in the mean- 
while these slates had been opened under cover 
of the table, my questions read, answers written 
upon the slates, which were then placed together, 
and re-substituted by the medium. This could 
easily have been done either by the medium him- 
self, or by his wife (who assists him in his spirit 
photographs) from the adjoining room, as the 
table was pushed up flush against the wall. I 
distinctly saw the medium twice substitute the 
slates, at all events, allowing them to drop on to 
his knees, and hand me a duplicate pair ; so that 
it is immaterial as to how the remainder of the 
trick was done. With regard to the message 
received, it was entirely uncharacteristic and 
erroneous from start to finish. (See p. 19 of the 
Report.) 

I next visited fhe three materialising mediums 
who wxre upon the grounds that season — Joseph 
Jonson, Mrs Moss, of Chicago — who has since 
died — and C. Nichols. I take them in this order. 

About twenty persons were present at Jonson's 
seance, seated in a circle round the room. The 
cabinet was erected in the doorway which led into 
the second room, so that the cabinet really was 
in tJiat room. This cabinet was constructed of 
light laths and canvas, the nails, or tack-heads, 
being on the outside of the cabinet. All that any 



IN SPIRITUALISM 29 

"spirit" would have to do, therefore, in order to 
enter the cabinet, would be to enter the rear room 
by means of one of three doors (unlocking it from 
without), creep up to the cabinet, remove two or 
three of the tacks from the outside, and creep into 
the cabinet. At the conclusion of the seance, 
the " spirit " could retire into the cabinet-room, 
draw the material on the cabinet taut, replace the 
tacks, and then leave the room by one of the three 
doors, no one being the wiser. Such were the 
conditions under which this " test seance " was 
held! 

It is hardly necessary to say that, under such 
conditions, which seemed clearly indicative of 
fraud, no results of any value (as evidence for 
the supernormal) were obtained. Several forms 
appeared, but all of them could have been per- 
sonated by a girl, a woman, and the medium him- 
self. The light was very poor, and regulated 
from the cabinet (i.e. by the " spirits "). I can 
only speak of the spirit who claimed to be my 
sister. She came as a pretty girl of about seven- 
teen, with long, dark hair, falling down upon her 
shoulders. She did not speak, but touched me 
with an unmistakably human hand, warm and life- 
like. I could only see her face very indistinctly, 
but enough to know that it was that of a girl. 
While at the cabinet, 1 was not allowed to touch 
the form, for the manager held both my hands 
while I talked to it — a precaution, I may add. 



30 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

which was taken with everyone. Evidently the 
medium did not care to risk exposure! 

But it would be useless to give the details of a 
seance which was so entirely lacking in all evi- 
dential value. Suffice it to say that, on several 
occasions, the fraud was very apparent, and that 
I was enabled to follow the process of materialisa- 
tion and dematerialisation with ease. Everything 
was the most obvious and simple trickery, and 
seen to be such. With this I pass on to the next 
seance, which presented some points of peculiar 
interest. 

This was the seance given by Mrs Moss. 
The medium w^as a stout woman, weighing 
considerably over 200 lb., yet very active on 
her feet. The cabinet was built in one corner 
of the room — one side of it touching a door which 
opened into an adjoining room. After the sitters 
had taken their seats, the lamp was extinguished 
before this door was shut, so that there was ample 
opportunity for a " spirit " to slip into the room 
and into the cabinet before this door w^as closed, 
and while our eyes were still blinded by the 
sudden darkness. No examination of the cabinet 
was made at the conclusion of the seance. I 
am convinced that a confederate was employed. 
Another confederate sat on the seat next the con- 
venient door. The medium's manager stood close 
to the cabinet, to see that no one " grabbed " the 
" spirit " forms as they appeared. 



IN SPIRITITALISM 81 

I shall not describe this seance in detail, whieh, 
from the eonditions imposed, was obviously 
worthless from any evidential point of view. I 
shall limit myself to a personal incident, which, I 
think, throws considerable light on these seances, 
and explains how it is possible for sitters occa- 
sionally to assert that the form dematerialises while 
they are looking at it. I quote from the original 
Report (pp. 29-30) : 

" My sister Eva materialised for me. I sug- 
gested Eva, and she ' came.' I never had a sister 
Eva, so she was a little out of place. However, 
she ' came ' as a little girl about ten years old, 
with a hooked nose, bright black eyes, and a 
fringe of false hair over her forehead. Her 
doll-like appearance was very manifest. After 
she dematerialised, I was on the point of walking 
back to my chair, but I was told to wait. I 
returned to the curtains of the cabinet, and my 
mother announced herself present, ' who had 
died from consumption.' (Quite untrue.) The 
curtains were pulled aside, and I put my face 
close to the openings, since it was so dark I could 
see nothing. And there, in the dim twilight of 
that seance room, I beheld one of the most 
ghastly, most truly terrifving faces I have ever 
seen. It was white and drawn, and almost shiny 
in its glossy, ashen hue. The eyes were wide 
open and staring — fixed. The head and face 
were encircled in white — and altogether the face 
was one of the most appalling I have ever beheld, 
and it would have required a great deal of forti- 



32 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

tude, for the moment, to look steadfastly at that 
terrifying face — in that still, quiet room — in 
response to the spirit's demand : ' Look at me ! ' 
The distance between our faces was not more 
than six inches; and, after the first shock, I 
regarded the face intently. I was spurred by 
curiosity and excitement, and prompted yet 
further by the ' spirit ' form, who grasped my 
wrist, through the curtain, and drew me yet 
closer — until I was nearly in the cabinet itself. 
I remembered that my mother had not died from 
consumption, and that the present face in no wise 
resembled hers, and my feeling of terror lasted 
but an instant; but it was there at the time, I 
confess. I regarded the face intently, and it 
was gradually withdrawn into the shadow of the 
cabinet, and the curtains pulled over it. / am 
certain that, livd 1 been in an excited and tin- 
balanced frame of mind at that moment, I should 
have sworn that the face actiially melted away 
as I looked at it. But my mental balance was 
by that time regained, and I could analyse what 
was before me. I can now quite easily see how 
investigators can swear to the melting away of a 
face before their eyes, after my own experience. 
The appearance clearly indicated that, and it was 
only my alertness to the possibility of deception 
in this direction which prevented my testifying to 
the same effect." 

The third and last materialising medium I 
visited in Lily Dale (there were but three!) was 
C. Nichols — a very small, thin young man. 
Again the cabinet was erected in the corner of 
the room, and close to a door ; and it would have 



IN SPIRITUx\LISM 33 

been the easiest thing in the world for a " spirit " 
to have entered the room and the cabinet under 
cover of darkness. Neither the medium nor the 
cabinet were searched before or after the seance, 
and, as usual, the hght was regulated by means 
of a cord from the cabinet (i.e. by the " spirits "). 
This seance was largely a repetition of those 
before described. Forms of various sizes issued 
from the cabinet, some of them being recognised 
by the sitters present. A few extracts from the 
report will suffice : 

" One rather amusing incident occurred during 
the seance. One of the ' spirits ' caught its 
drapery on the point of one of the lady's hats. 
Did the piece of drapery dematerialise ? No, 
indeed! The poor ' spirit ' had to w^ait ignomini- 
ously outside the cabinet, in the middle of the 
floor, while the drapery was unhooked ! 

" Another incident was this. Towards the 
close of the seance, the medium walked out into 
the room, several times ' in a trance ' — a form 
appearing at the opening of the cabinet curtains 
at the same time. Evidently some confederate 
was employed. When the medium returned to 
the cabinet, a head was thrust from the opening 
between the curtains, and the light was turned 
up. ' The medium,' exclaimed someone. ' If it 
is he's grown whiskers,' remarked someone else. 
(Which shows that spiritualists do not lack a sense 
of humour at times.) But the solution at once 
suggested itself: the medium had been trans- 
figured ! 



84 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

" On one occasion, the light was accidentally 
turned on, and a young girl was distinctly seen 
standing outside the cabinet. She did not ' melt,' 
as the result of the sudden and unexpected 
illumination, but opened the curtains and darted 
into the cabinet. The light was lowered by 
closing the shutters with a bang! On another 
occasion, a sound issued from the cabinet, exactly 
corresponding to one which would be produced 
by accidentally knocking one's elbow against a 
plastered wall." 

After a couple of hours of this, the seance 
closed. 

I shall now give a rapid sketch of a seance 
attended by myself for materialisations and physi- 
cal phenomena, given by Pierre L. O. A. Keeler, 
whose slate-writing tests I shall describe presently. 
These seances are given on one or two evenings 
a week, and in the " light " — that is, in semi- 
darkness. Three chairs are placed in one corner 
of the room, and on these the medium and two 
sitters take their places — the medium is not, 
however, in the centre, but on the right-hand 
chair, as you face the cabinet. A curtain is then 
pinned across all three sitters, leaving only the 
heads exposed. The lights are then slightly 
lowered, and various " physical manifestations " 
take place within the cabinet — bells are rung, the 
guitar sounded, etc. Later, the lights are still 
further reduced, and the horn, which has been 
placed upon the floor, is now picked up and 



IN SPIRITUALISM 85 

" independent voices " come through it. Nothing 
of evidential value is said, and the whole seance 
bears evidence of the most palpable fraud. 

The manner in which this was accomplished 
is as follows. When the medium placed his 
two hands upon the arms of his neighbour in the 
cabinet (in this way being " controlled " by her — 
since she was supposed to know if he removed one 
of his hands) he simply bent round her arm a piece 
of soft lead, which fitted the arm, and gave the 
impression that a hand was still grasping it — 
when, as a matter of fact, the medium had removed 
his hand completely. The tactile impression, 
would, however, still remain. (See " The Physi- 
cal Phenomena of Spiritualism," pp. 193-95, ^^^ 
a detailed description of this trick.) In this 
manner one hand was liberated, and with it the 
medium was enabled to produce all the manifes- 
tations witnessed behind the curtain. With the 
same free hand the medium was also enabled to 
reach the trumpet, in the " dark " portion of the 
seance, and, lifting it to his lips, do the talking 
himself, under cover of the curtain. 

I now come to Keeler's slate-writings, which 
are the most puzzling phenomena of their kind 
I have ever witnessed, and justly bear out the 
contention that Keeler is far and awav the cleverest 
slate-writing medium in America. Before I ob- 
tained my sittings, I had read everything I could 
lay my hands on, pro and con, relating to his 



36 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

slate-writings, and in my heart of hearts hoped I 
should at last see genuine phenomena of some 
character during my visit to this famous Camp. 
In this, however, I was disappointed. I shall, 
unfortunately, have to abridge my reports of 
these sittings considerably, referring the interested 
reader to the full report, in Proceedings, Ameri- 
can S.P.R., vol. ii., pp. 36-69, where these sittings 
are given in full. The following extracts will, 
however, give the reader a fair idea of the 
phenomena observed, and how I finally succeeded 
in tracing them to their normal causes, and dis- 
covering the method of trickery employed. 

The first seance was on 5th August, 1907. I 
had decided to ask for no special tests, but merely 
to allow the medium to give his regular seance, 
and observe what happened as best I could. I 
had prepared four questions, using the name 
" Charles Henderson " — which I used throughout 
my investigations there, ^ and endeavoured to 



' I have frequently been criticised for using a false name — 
spiritualists saying- that this invites fraud, etc. To me this 
seems childish. For years Dr Hodgson introduced every sitter 
to Mrs Piper as " Mr Smith," never using the real name. If 
the medium be genuine, it makes no difference what name 
Ls used; but it is when the medium is fraudulent, and false 
information given in consequence, and the medium exposed, 
that a hue and cry is raised as to the impropriety of using 
false names ! For my part, I regard this subterfuge as per- 
fectly justifiable, and only tliose spiritualists who do not 
honestly desire the truth can object to its use. Of course, if 
you wish to protect fraud, that is another matter. 



IN SPIRITUALISM 87 

communicate with my fictitious family — Robert 
and Jane Henderson, Eva and Victoria Hender- 
son, James Robinson, etc. In every case I 
obtained " messages " from these fictitious per- 
sonahties — who, so far as I know, never existed 
— and they remembered every incident which I 
recalled to them, however wildly imaginative it 
might be. I shall give a specimen of this later. 

Now, as to the slate-writings themselves. At 
the first seance, as before said, I paid but little 
attention to the actions of the medium (apparently) 
in order to give him a "free rein," and put him 
at his ease, so that he might feel free to proceed 
without let or hindrance. The medium placed a 
pile of slates on the table, and asked me to 
examine and clean them. As I was doing this, 
he leaned over and picked up first one of my 
pellets, then another, upon which the questions 
were written. HandUng them in this manner, it 
would have been easy for him to have substituted 
my pellets for others, and read my pellets in his 
lap, under cover of the table. They might then 
have been re-substituted at a later date. I shall 
presently offer proof that these conjectures are 
correct, and that substitution of this character did 
actually take place. 

Having gained a knowledge of my questions, 
the next task was to obtain answers upon the slates. 
This Keeler accomplished in the following 
manner. He asked me to select from among the 



38 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

pellets on the table the one containing the initials 
of the person last addressed. The medium was 
at this moment engaged in placing a rubber band 
around the two slates he had picked up from the 
table ; and, as I was busily engaged in finding 
my note, Keeler's hand, containing the two 
slates, dipped into his lap, beneath the surface of 
the table, for the merest fraction of a second — 
coming up, a moment later, still apparently hold- 
ing the two slates I had just seen. As a matter 
of fact, however, he Jtad, in that moment, ex- 
changed the two slates, originally held, for two 
others in his lap — which had been prepared and 
written upon during the sitting. The action took 
but a moment, and was almost impossible to 
detect. It was upon these slates, therefore 
(which were held above the table), that writing 
was finally obtained. This I shall prove more 
conclusively immediately. 

As to the contents of the messages, these were 
entirely erroneous, and every one of them signed 
by members of the Henderson family! The sottnd 
of the writing on the slates was certainly made by 
Keeler scratching on the under side of the lower 
slate with his finger-nail, as / saw the tendons of 
his wrist working. The writing was certainly 
done in his lap, and not after the slates were 
placed together above the table ; and there is clear 
evidence that it was not done by the small piece 
of slate-pencil placed between the slates, because 



IN SPIRITUALISM 89 

this piece of pencil, when examined, was found 
to be quite smooth at all points, and showed 
no evidences whatever of wear. Substitution of 
slates had evidently been effected — the two 
originally examined being exchanged for two 
others — on which writing had already been placed 
— at the moment when his hands dipped into his 
lap, in the act of placing the rubber band around 
both slates. Proof of this I obtained at my 
second seance. 

This (second) seance was obtained two days 
later. I had prepared my questions, and the early 
part of the seance was a repetition of the first. I 
desired, however, to obtain proof of this fraud, 
and to that end I laid certain traps for the medium, 
into which he fell. I shall quote here a portion 
of the original report, as it is impossible to abridge 
it without destroying its significance and conclu- 
siveness. 

" After I had placed my slips on the table, 
and Keeler had handled them and exchanged 
one or two by means of substitution, he sud- 
denly seized one of the pellets and tore it into 
pieces, saying ' he did not want that pellet, it did 
not belong.' The fragments he threw on the 
table. But another paper had been substituted! 
Again I heard the paper being opened, and 
shortly afterwards refolded, and again I saw 
Keeler looking down into his lap and heard the 
scratching of the slate-pencil as it wrote the answer 
to mv fourth question. I could not but marvel 



40 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

at the audacity of the man, calmly sitting there, 
across the table, and literally forging messages 
from the spirit world! Evidently my apparent 
credulity had convinced him that there was 
nothing to fear; and, what with the relaxation of 
his precautions, and partly because I knew what 
to look for, I could this time follow the whole 
process of the writing from first to last. But I 
anticipate. 

During all this time — in which my slips were 
being opened and read, and the answers thereto 
written on the slates in Keeler's lap — I had been 
playing with a lead pencil and a rubber band — 
apparently to fill up the time, but really for 
another purpose, or I should say for two other 
purposes: (i) It enabled me to keep my eyes 
employed and make Keeler feel greater confi- 
dence and freedom in all his movements and 
actions — allowing me to watch him for long 
periods of time, in reality, and to see that his eyes 
were constantly fixed upon his lap ; and (2) it 
enabled me to turn over the torn pieces of paper 
on the table with the point of my pencil, and care- 
fully examine each piece in turn. Let me explain. 
" The rubber band was resting on the table- 
top, and I played with this rubber band with my 
pencil-point, pressing upon the side of the band, 
and making it jump from one place to another. 
Then, with the point of the pencil, I was enabled 
to turn over, idly, the four pellets which were 
upon the table, and examine them carefully, for 
the numbers upon them, etc.^ Turning over 



' T had numbered the pellets this time, on the outside, Nos. 
I, 2, 3 and 4. Keeler had seen me do this. 



IN SPIllITUALISM 41 

one of these slips, then, I looked for the number 
of the slip, written in pencil, which I had placed 
there before the sitting. I found that it was marked 
number one. On looking again at the three slips 
in the centre of the table, 1 saw that they were 
numbered one, three, and four. The number of 
the slip which was now on the table, then, should 
have been two, while in reality it was one — clearly 
showing that another piece of paper had been 
torn up, after being marked by Keeler — in imita- 
tion of my marks — and thrown aside. What 
Keeler had done, in other words, was this. Seeing 
that my slips w^ere all marked, Keeler had num- 
bered his duplicates also, so that the duplicate 
slips deposited on the table should look precisely 
like those I had prepared — a number being written 
on each. This Keeler had done before substitu- 
ting my slips. On tearing up my slip, however, 
one of his — or a part of one of his — had got sub- 
stituted by mistake, so there were now two slips 
on the table labelled ' i ' and none labelled ' 2.' 
Substitution had most certainly been effected. Of 
course Keeler did not see me turning up and 
critically examining all the slips of paper on the 
table, for that would have aroused his suspicions 
at once, and it is probable that I should have got 
no further results. No, I had to proceed much 
more carefully, and in a more circuitous manner. 
The reader will remember the small box on the 
right-hand side of the table, apparently placed 
there for no especial purpose. I determined to 
make use of this to trick the medium, or at least 
to ascertain if he had endeavoured to trick me. 
I continued to play with the rubber band and the 
lead pencil, flicking the band from place to place 



42 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

on the table ; and finally, as though to change 
the monotony of the process, I left the rubber 
band, and flicked the torn pieces of paper (the 
pieces of the torn slip) about the table, and finally 
managed, after some manoeuvring, to get them 
behind the box on the table. In that position 
they were hidden from the medium, though close 
to me. I then went back to the rubber band, 
playing with it for some time with my pencil, and 
finally managed to get that too behind the box 
on the table. I then followed it with my pencil, 
and had the opportunity of turning over and care- 
fully examining all the pieces of paper on the 
table — while the movements of my pencil, to one 
who could not see its point, would but indicate 
that I was still playing with the rubber band on 
the table. In this manner I could examine, more 
or less at leisure, both sides of the slips of paper, 
and I then ascertained that there were two slips 
bearing the number ' i,' and none bearing the 
number '2.' It was clear, therefore, that sub- 
stitution of pellets had been effected." 

As to the slates, I have evidence that these too 
were substituted, for not only did I see Keeler 
make the exchange, but the slates I received at 
the conclusion of the seance were different from 
those I examined, and which were originally lying 
upon the table. This I know for two reasons. In 
the first place, the slates I first of all examined 
were clean and free from marks of all kinds, 
whereas the slates I received at the conclusion of 
the seance (those bearing the writing) were full 
of tiny white flecks — flaws in the slate. (2) In 



IN SPIRITUALISM 43 

the second place, / had secretly marked the 
wooden frames of the slates on the table, in ike 
act of examining them, zvith my thumb nail; and 
zvhen I examined the slates on zvhich the mes- 
sages were received, no stick marks were pres- 
ent. It is perfectly evident, therefore, that the 
slates had been substituted, just as the pellets 
had been. 

I shall conclude by giving a sample of the 
messages I received on these slates, with my com- 
ments thereon, made at the time. I had written 
on one of my slips: 

" Dear Sister Victoria, — Our former friend, 
Mrs Young, of Chicago, is going to sit for 
development. Do you remember her? If so, 
will you assist her.^ — Your loving brother, 

" Charles Henderson." 

To this I received the following reply: 

" Charlie, — As the old saying is ' Carry the 
news to Mary,' so I say now, I want everyone 
who cares at all about me to know that I am quite 
myself, and most contented and happy in my 
spirit life. I never want to come back to earth 
life again. I do not, in the sudden moment of 
coming, just think whether I remember Miss 
Brown or not. I remember Zilda Brown. I 
will gladly help anyone develop. — Sincerely, 

" Victoria." 

Comments. — My name is not Charles. I 
never had a sister Victoria. The remark, " Carry 



44 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

the news to Mary," has no meaning for me, and 
was probably thrown out on chance, as a possible 
" test." Seeing that there is no one living who 
remembers or even saw the sister whom I call 
Victoria — she dying soon after birth — her com- 
munication rather lacks pertinence; but her lack 
of memory in this direction is more than counter- 
balanced by her extraordinary memory in another. 
She remembers Zilda Brown (who never existed) 
and yet she died when only a few days old! 
Phenomenal child! But her memory is not 
perfect either, since she refers to " Miss Brown," 
while my slip referred to " Mrs Young." How 
did anyone with such an extaordinary memory 
make so obvious an error — when the message was 
actually before her? It is as baffling as the tele- 
pathic hypothesis in the Piper case! But does all 
this not indicate, rather, that Keeler read the sHp, 
and then mis-remembered the name in writing an 
answer to the question on the slate? Is this not 
a far more rational and thinkable hypothesis? ^ 

It should be pretty evident, from such facts — 
and numerous others of a like nature, deduced in 



' That my explanation of Keeler's slate-writing is correct 
is proved by the fact that Keeler was shortly afterwards seen 
doing the writing, upon a pair of slates concealed in his lap. 
(See the Report of A.B.C. in the Journal, Am. S.P.R., Vol. ii., 
pp. 422-24.) This was by accident, and was due to the fact that 
the witness in question happened to see him through two 
opened doors, from the porch of his house at Lily Dale, and 
In this manner a view of his lap was obtained. 



IN SPIRITUAIvISM 45 

the original report — that Keeler is a clever trick- 
ster, and the degree of perfection he has attained 
certainly seems to indicate that he must have been 
in the habit of practising these tricks continuously 
for a number of years. 

Such were my findings at Lily Dale Camp, in 
the year 1907. It will be seen that, so far as the 
physical fhcnovicna. arc concerned, one hundred 
per cent of them were proved fraudulent ; every 
medium on the grounds had been caught in 
trickery — and if ever they produced genuine 
physical phenomena, I never saw them. The 
Society for Psychical Research has often been 
accused of paying too much attention to trance 
mediums, and neglecting the physical phenomena ; 
but after such an experience as this, it is only to 
be expected that such an attitude should be 
adopted. However, the case of Eusapia Palla- 
dino has changed much ; and whereas I could say, 
when I concluded my original report, that I had 
"never seen a genuine physical phenomenon," I 
can now say with equal assurance that such 
phenomena exist — but I greatly doubt if they are 
to be found among professional American 
mediums, especially those who, every year, visit 
Lilv Dale. 



46 PERSONA I. EXPERIENCES 



III 



MY EXPERIENCE AS A SLATE-WRITING 
MEDIUM 

My report on the phenomena witnessed at Lily 
Dale brought me a number of letters of all kinds, 
some complimentary, others quite the reverse! 
Extended extracts from this report were pub- 
lished in the Progressive Thinker — the leading 
spiritualistic paper in America — which aroused a 
storm of criticism and controversy. The portion 
of the report which created most controversy was 
that relating to the famous Pierre L. O. A. 
Keeler, with whom probably thousands of persons 
have obtained slate-writing seances and gone away 
convinced that they have obtained genuine mes- 
sages from their departed friends and relatives, and 
that no fraud was possible in their case! I shall 
return to Mr Keeler's slate-writing in a moment. 
I wish to say here that, whatever verdict may be 
passed upon my report in other ways, it certainly 
did good in this respect — that all mediums whose 
work had been criticised and exposed were for- 
bidden to enter the grounds again the next season, 
until they had given the Lily Dale Committee a 



IN SPIRITUALISM 47 

seance under precisely the same conditions as 
those under which mine had been given ; and 
that, of all those whose work I had criticised, not 
one was allowed to return to the Lily Dale Camp 
the following season, with the single exception of 
Pierre Keeler. All the rest, in other words, had 
been detected in trickery by the Committee 
appointed to investigate their mediumship ; and 
were disqualified from practising there in future! 
It will be seen, therefore, that a general and whole- 
some cleaning-up followed my investigation, what- 
ever faults it might have possessed. 

But what are we to think of Pierre Keeler, who 
apparently vindicated himself the next year, and 
was restored to a position of honour? Was my 
investigation of the medium defective? Was I 
so biased by the quantity of fraud discovered in 
other cases that I found it impossible to judge 
aright in this case — being blinded by prejudice, 
and determined to detect fraud whether it existed 
or not? I believe not; I contend that Keeler is 
a clever trickster, who succeeded in hoodwinking 
the Committee appointed to investigate him, as 
he succeeded in hoodwinking nearly all those 
sitters who obtained sittings with him in the past. 
The fact that the majority of persons cannot see 
how his "work" is performed proves nothing, of 
course, since they are equally unable to detect 
the most obvious and certain frauds. There are 
very few men whose judgment upon a slate- 



48 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

writing sitting can be taken seriously. A seance 
of this character is more difficult to report than 
any other character of seance whatever. There 
are so many moves to be remembered accurately, 
and the sequence of events is so important, that 
it is next to impossible for the average investiga- 
tor to remember them as they actually occurred. 
Those men whose testimony I should value 
are, however, united in thinking that Keeler is a 
clever trickster — Dr Hodgson, Mr Henry Ridgely 
Evans, Mr David P. Abbott, etc. 

It may be contended that, while Keeler may 
defraud on some occasions, he nevertheless may 
obtain genuine phenomena at other times — just 
as Eusapia resorts to trickery when she is unable 
to obtain genuine results. Possibly. I should 
not venture to speak dogmatically on this point, 
and I must confess that I am quite unable to 
explain many stories which have been told me 
by apparently good observers of Keeler's slate- 
writing. All that I can say is that my own sittings 
were certainly fraudulent; that competent in- 
vestigators unite in thinking his mediumship 
fraudulent ; and that he has been seen resorting 
to trickery on several occasions — for example, in 
1907, when he was accidentally seen writing on 
a slate held in his lap under the table. (See 
journal, American S.P.R., July igo8, pp. 422- 
24.) If Keeler does possess genuine supernormal 
powers, he should be willing to demonstrate 



IN SPIRITUALISM 49 

that fact before myself and a small com- 
mittee of experts, who are certainly unbiased and 
anxious for the truth. But all such proposals 
Mr Keeler has, so far, rejected. 

I wish to add one more point by way of answer 
to certain criticisms which have been passed upon 
this section of my report, relative to the slate- 
writings of Keeler. Many persons have told 
me that they have obtained messages in many 
different handwritings, which in no way re- 
semble one another; that the same person 
always wrote in the same characteristic hand ; 
and that, in many cases, this handwriting has 
been recognised as that of a dead relative or 
friend. How account for such evidence.^ 

I would reply to this that, in my own sittings, 
I obtained at least four perfectly distinct and 
characteristic handwritings ; and that the same 
communicator wrote in exactly the same hand- 
writing at the second seance as at the first — yet 
no such persons actually existed at all! The 
"communicators" were, in my case, purely ficti- 
tious ; yet their handwriting was as clear and as 
characteristic as any I have ever seen, and was 
exactly alike at both seances. How account for 
this striking piece of evidence, except by sup- 
posing that the medium himself wrote upon the 
slates, and writes a variety of hands, as the result 
of years of practice? I may say, also, that I had 
an opportunity of examining several other slates 

D 



50 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

at Lily Dale, besides my own ; and that, in several 
instances, I found handwriting exactly resembling 
that upon my own slates. From this I should 
judge that Keeler has about a dozen distinct 
types of handwriting, which he has practised for 
years, and these he palms off upon his sitters one 
after another, as they come to him. Sometimes 
the handwriting is recognised ; in which case the 
sitter always gets that particular handwriting in 
future. In most cases no claim is made as to the 
accuracy of the handwriting, but of these cases 
we never hear. Nearly all the sitters with whom 
I have talked unite in saying that nothing of any 
value is said by the so'i-disant spirits upon 
Keeler's slates ; the marvel is the physical wonder 
of how the writing got there at all. It is not 
the contents of the message which proves con- 
vincing, but the mere fact of obtaining one at 
all under such circumstances. In other words, 
we have the miracle of Baalam's ass over 
again ! 

I shall now narrate a very interesting and some- 
what amusing incident which occurred some 
months after my report was published, and which 
serves to throw light upon the possible character 
of Keeler's slate-writing. 

Mr C. G. Patterson, of Washington, D.C., had 
become interested in psychics, as the result of 
several sittings which he had obtained with 
Keeler, for slate-writing. I was at this time 



IN SPIRITUALISM 51 

associated with Dr Hyslop in the work of the 
American Society, and so had the opportunity to 
read and criticise his accounts of the seances, as 
they were sent in. Some correspondence ensued. 
Mr Patterson had read my " Physical Phenomena 
of SpirituaHsm," in an attempt to discover the 
methods employed by Mr Keeler. After reading 
it, he obtained a furtlier sitting, and wrote back 
that he was confident that none of the methods 
I had described were used by Keeler, and that 
he was more assured than ever that his manifesta- 
tions were genuine. 

On reading this, Dr Hyslop and I concocted 
the following plan to test the degree to which an 
average observer, such as Mr Patterson, could 
be taken in by slate-writing which was certainly 
trickery ; I was to travel to Washington under the 
name of Floyd Garrison, and register in a certain 
hotel, previously agreed upon. Dr Hyslop was, 
meanwhile, to write to Mr Patterson, and tell him 
that a gentleman of his acquaintance, a non- 
professional slate-writer, would be in this hotel 
on the date specified ; and that, if he chose to 
call upon me, he had no doubt that " Mr Garri- 
son " would grant him a sitting. This agreed to, 
I travelled to Washington, and registered in the 
hotel as Floyd Garrison. 

The following afternoon a knock came upon my 
door, and the hall-boy announced that a Mr 
Patterson wished to see me! The fatal moment 



52 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

had arrived! "Show him up," I said; and fell 
to reading my book again. 

Mr Patterson was ushered in, also his friend, 
Dr Craig. I found Mr Patterson a gentleman 
of about seventy years of age, but keen and alert 
as a man thirty years younger. Dr Craig was a 
bright physician of about forty-five. 

"Mr Garrison.'^" asked Mr Patterson, as he 
crossed the floor. 

" Yes," I rephed, "what can I do for you? " 

" I believe," he said, rather nervously, as 
though not quite sure of his ground, " that you 
have remarkable powers as a slate-writing 
medium ; and, as I am interested in such things, 
I should be most gratified if I could see your 
phenomena." 

" You are mistaken," I replied; " I am not a 
professional medium, and never perform any 
slate-writing or other phenomena for money. I 
could not make an exception even in your case." 

" Oh," said Mr Patterson, his face falling, " I 
understood from Dr Hyslop that you would ; 
I have a letter of introduction to you from 
him." 

"Oh;' I said, "you know Dr Hyslop.? That 
alters the case! You are a friend of his.? May 
I see the letter ? " 

The letter was produced, and with some diffi- 
culty in keeping from smiling, I read the letter 
which Dr Hyslop and myself had jointly con- 



IN SPIRITUALISM 53 

cocted but two days before in his office in New 
York. 

I folded it up and handed it back to him. 

" That alters the case," I said, very gravely. 
" I shall be pleased to do anything I can for you 
in this direction ; only you must remember that 
I cannot guarantee results. I may obtain nothing 
for you ; on the other hand, we may have some 
very striking phenomena. I cannot say. Have 
you brought your questions with you } " 

" Yes," he replied, producing them from his 
pocket. 

" Never mind," I said hastily. " I don't wish 
to touch them at all. Please replace them, and 
take a seat. Dr Craig, won't you sit here, where 
you can see everything also ? " 

I then produced from a cupboard at the side of 
the room (where I had previously hidden them) 
four slates, a jug of water, a small sponge, a 
number of folded pellets, and some scraps of 
slate-pencil. Clearing off the small table, I 
placed the various articles upon it — taking care 
to place the large pitcher of water in such a 
position as to shut off the too-open view which 
Dr Craig enjoyed from his position, at the rear 
of the table, and slightly to one side of it. 

Having placed the various articles upon the 
table, and having taken a chair myself on the 
opposite side of the table, I requested Mr Patterson 
to place his slips on the table in front of him. 



54 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

" I merely wish to obtain a psychic impression 
of one of these slips," said I, taking it boldly up, 
and placing it against my forehead. It remained 
there for a few seconds. " Now," said I, throw- 
ing it upon the table, " would you kindly hold it 
against your head — pressed with one finger — 
that's it — and think hard of the question all the 
time." 

(It need hardly be said tliat during this opera- 
tion I had secretly substituted this pellet for an- 
other ; and now proceeded to read the question 
written upon the pellet in my possession which I 
held in my lap. I then re-folded the slip, again 
substituted it for that held by Mr Patterson, and 
placed the slip between two slates.) 

To make a long story short, / duplicated 
Keelers slate-writing performance — writing 
upon the slate held in my lap, etc., precisely as 
he did. I forget now what answer I gave to the 
question asked, but it was about on a par with 
those usually given by Keeler in his seances. I 
had, in other words, twice substituted the pellets, 
and written upon and exchanged a slate, without 
being observed by two watchful and keen ob- 
servers, who were there with the express purpose 
of detecting fraud, did such exist! 

At the conclusion of the experiment, Mr Patter- 
son leant back in his chair and drew a long breath. 

" Well, now," Mr Garrison, he said, " is that 
trickery ? " 



IN SPIRITUALISM 55 

" My dear sir," I exclaimed, " that is not a 
question you can expect nie to answer! I pre- 
sent the phenomena ; you must draw your own 
conclusions! What do yo2i think of what you 
have seen ? " 

" If that's trickery," said Mr Patterson, turning 
to Doctor Craig, " I don't believe we've seen any- 
thing genuine with Mr Keeler! What do you 
think, Doctor?" 

" I think you're right," the latter replied. 

" Indeed, I'm very glad to hear you endorse 
the phenomena! " I said; and, leaning across the 
table, I placed my own card in front of Mr 
Patterson ! 

He read it ; then looked at me. 

" Oh, this is Mr Carrington, is it?" he said. 

Then we all three burst into a hearty laugh, 
and I explained to them exactly what I had done, 
and for an hour we discussed mediums and their 
ways. 

I dined with Mr Patterson that evening, Dr 
Craig also being present; and I spent the whole 
evening in explaining to them the ways of fraudu- 
lent mediums, and Keeler's methods in particular ; 
and, together, we prepared a question, which was 
carefully sealed up in an envelope, every pre- 
caution being taken to make this effective. 

" There," said Mr Patterson, when he had 
finished, " do you mean to tell me that if I place 
that envelope on the table in front of me, Keeler 



56 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

can get it away, open it, read its contents, and 
place it back without my seeing him? All damn 
rot!" 

" Certainly," I replied; " if you get an answer 
to that question, it would be very difficult to 
explain it. Let me know the result! " And, 
with a few warning words of advice, I left him. 

Human nature is a curious paradox! Two weeks 
later I received a letter from Mr Patterson in 
which he stated that, although he had not received 
an answer to this particular question, yet he had 
obtained further sittings with Keeler, and had 
ended by becoming more convinced than ever 
of the genuine character of his slate -writing ! 
Despite all evidence to the contrary, he believed 
it genuine. What is one to conclude in view 
of such facts? For my own part, I can only 
draw one conclusion ; but I think the whole case 
needs careful re-investigation, if possible, for all 
that. 



IN SPIRITUALISM 57 



IV 



PHENOMENA WITNESSED IN PRIVATE 
CIRCLES 

During the course of my investigations in spirit- 
ism and psychical phenomena, I have witnessed 
many manifestations in private circles, but have 
always come away more or less disappointed with 
the results. It is often stated that the most satisfac- 
tory way of assuring oneself of genuine phenom- 
ena is to have a seance in one's own home, and 
whatever is there witnessed is then known to be 
true and genuine — the good faith of the members 
of the family hardly being questioned. Doubt- 
less this is so ; and it is probable that most striking 
and peculiar manifestations have been witnessed 
in this manner — such strange phenomena, indeed, 
that I cannot relate them in this place for fear of 
ridicule. No one knows precisely what takes 
place in certain spiritualistic gatherings ; but I am 
inclined to believe that some very strange things 
happen at such times — phenomena which even the 
average spiritualist is unaware of. But this is 
only an intuition, for which I can offer no proof. 
For my own part such experience as I have had 



58 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

in private circles has left me quite unconvinced 
even of the reality of the phenomena I have seen. 
In no single instance have I witnessed phenomena 
which were not the result of trickery — just as 
the phenomena witnessed through professional 
mediums were invariably the result of trickery. 
In all these sittings — and I have attended many 
of them — only evidence of fraud was forthcoming, 
or phenomena lacking in all supernormal interest. 
This is, doubtless, most unfortunate, but a fact 
nevertheless. 

Thus, in one instance, I was invited by a 
gentleman to witness the phenomena of materiali- 
sation produced through the mediumship of his 
wife. A small group of friends were also invited 
to be present. No charge was, of course, made, 
and only these few personal friends had been 
invited. No object was to be gained by defraud- 
ing the sitters ; and seances were not held more 
frequently than twice a year. Yet the phenom- 
ena were obviously fraudulent from start to 
finish, and produced by the wife herself, in what 
seemed a normal condition. In another case the 
medium was genuine, and passed into trance, but 
no phenomena of any kind took place! In 
another case table levitation was said to have been 
obtained by some acquaintances of our own ; yet 
one of the daughters was caught lifting the table 
with her fingers and toes, and afterwards con- 
fessed her fraud. In cases, too numerous to 



IN SPIRITUALISM 59 

mention, " table levitation " was claimed, but, 
when seen, turned out to be nothing more than 
tippings of the table, which were easily explained 
by unconscious muscular action on the part of the 
medium or of other persons present. And so on, 
and so on. In every case the results were the 
same. In every case but one — which I shall 
relate presently — the manifestations were such 
that I could not even regard them worth the time 
spent in their investigation. 

One of the most interesting cases that I have 
ever encountered, however, is the following — 
which I consider of remarkable psychological 
interest, from various points of view. 

During the early summer of 191 1, a gentleman 
called upon me, stating that he knew a wonderful 
physical medium, of the same type as Palladino. 
He himself was a lawyer ; his friend, the medium, 
was also a lawyer, and had " a scientific interest 
in these things," and in " having the remarkable 
manifestations which occurred in his presence 
solved," etc. For three years and a half, I was 
told, this case had been under private observa- 
tion ; and the manilestations had only grown more 
and more numerous and bewildering as time went 
on. This, and much more of like nature, I heard, 
by way of preliminary to the investigation of what 
appeared to be a very promising case. 

An evening having been arranged, the two 
gentlemen called at my house, and, after a chat. 



GO PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

the demonstrations were undertaken. A broom 
was placed on the floor, and then, the medium 
kneehng over the object (or, rather, squatting on 
his toes on the ground), he placed his fingers on 
either side of the broom handle, and then gradu- 
ally took them away. As he did so, the broom 
was seen to rise into the air. It remained sus- 
pended in space for a few seconds, then fell to 
the fioor. The effect was most striking; while 
the phenomenon was of that simple order which 
one would naturally expect to discover in a 
simple, undeveloped medium. Various objects 
were " levitated " and balanced in the same 
manner ; and finally a pipe was suspended in the 
air for more than a minute without any visible 
means of support. 

The first two or three experiments interested 
me immensely, I must confess. But I noticed 
one peculiar thing about the movements of the 
medium, which was, that every time he placed an 
object on the floor, he placed it very close to his 
knees; and this caused me to look between his 
knees intendy instead of at the object during the 
next few trials. The result was that I distinctly 
saw a fine black thread stretched from leg to leg, 
forming a loop, into which the various objects 
were slipped in the act of placing them on the 
floor. The rest was only a matter of balance. 

In spite of the fact that I had discovered the 
modus operandi, I did not wish to act hastily — 



IN SPIRITUALISM 61 

having been accused so often in the past of con- 
demning a medium too quickly, upon discovering 
fraud. Accordingly, I asked the medium to meet 
me a few evenings later at the office of my friend, 
Dr Gustav Gayer ; and here we witnessed a second 
demonstration. It would be useless to repeat the 
details of this performance, which was simply a 
repetition of the first. Suffice it to say that, not 
only was the medium seen using the loop of thread 
throughout, but this loop broke twice during the 
evening — in the middle of an experiment — the 
thread being heard to break, and the object at 
once falling to the floor! On the first occasion 
the medium made an excuse, retired upstairs, 
and evidently arranged the thread, for he came 
down again in a few minutes, and proceeded to 
give us further tests. Upon the thread (audibly) 
breaking the second time, however, he said that 
he " did not think he could do any more for us 
that evening," and sat down, apparently ex- 
hausted. It was the most flagrant and barefaced 
swindle I have ever come across ; and in this Dr 
Gayer agrees with me. And yet here was a young 
lawyer practising these tricks, apparently for no 
motive, and constantly lying about them in tlie 
most astonishing manner! And this was a case 
from which much was to be hoped, apparently. 

In the following case the manifestations 
appeared at first sight most promising. Oddly 
enough, the phenomena were witnessed at Lily 



62 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

Dale, but they had no connection with the 
" Camp " beyond the fact that the family through 
whom they were procured lived there all the year 
round. I accidentally encountered the case while 
obtaining a sitting with Miss Gray for another 
reason entirely, and then learned that the small 
girl living in the house was possessed of medium- 
istic powers, and that private circles were held 
every night, the family only attending, and that 
this had been going on for some months. Miss 
Gray herself gave " readings," which consisted of 
a sort of automatic utterance. I am quite con- 
vinced of her perfect honesty. She took no share 
in the physical manifestations, moreover, which 
seemed to centre round the young girl who had 
been adopted by Mrs Gray years before. All this 
I learned by inquiry, and it was arranged that I 
should call that evening, anB the control, " Mike," 
would then be asked if I might join the circle and 
witness the phenomena also. Needless to say, I 
awaited the evening with the greatest impatience! 
When I arrived at^the house where the seance 
was to be held, I was allowed to inspect the 
seance room very carefully, and assure myself 
that everything was free from preparation. I 
assured myself that such was the case. I then 
took my seat in the next room, and Miss Gray 
and her mother took their place in the seance 
room, in complete darkness, together with the 
little girl who acted as the " medium." 



IN SPIRITUALISM 68 

Very soon I heard "manifestations" begin, 
and, shortly after, a voice sounded in the trumpet, 
talking to the sitters. In a few minutes the door 
was opened, and I was admitted. " Mike " had 
agreed that I should be allowed to see the pheno- 
mena, provided that I obeyed all the required 
conditions — which, of course, I promised to do. 
I took my place, and the seance progressed. At 
this point I quote part of the original report 
{Proceedings, American S.P.R., vol. ii., pp. 
76-95): 

" Soon the voice began again, and spoke to me 
through the trumpet. We held a brief conversa- 
tion, and I finally promised ' Mike ' fifty cents if 
he would manifest for me. This offer was 
promptly accepted, and manifestations began! 
First of all, however, ' Mike ' collected his fifty 
cents by pushing over the horn to me, and I placed 
the money in the mouth of the horn. It was 
then promptly withdrawn. The voice then spoke 
through the horn again — thanking me — appar- 
ently the voice of a young boy or girl. I could 
distinctly hear the breath being drawn in between 
sentences, and the sounds produced by the mouth 
and throat when speaking loudly and with an 
effort. ... At my request the horn was then 
conveyed to the ceiling, and the voice spoke 
through it, while the horn was directly over my 
head, apparently floating near the ceiling. It 
also spoke when on the floor, and then spoke 
rapidly through the horn, first close to the ceiling, 
then close to the floor — the alternation being 



64 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

extremely rapid, and I did not see how it could 
have been produced by normal movements of the 
trumpet. At my request, the voice then spoke 
through the horn in various parts of the room — 
always close to the ceiling, and the horn seemed 
to be floating about over a very large area, the 
talking going on through it constantly. 

" Soon after this, the piano began to play, 
striking chords, and finally thumping out a sort 
of tune. A voice then joined in the music, and 
hummed — or rather shouted — a tune or melody — 
the piano keeping time. All this time Miss Gray 
and her mother were talking, both to each other 
and to me, so that there could be no question of 
their being responsible for this unseen voice. No 
sound, however, came from the little girl, who 
remained perfectly quiet in her corner. The 
playing continued for some time, then ceased, 
and the horn began. The voice sang and shouted 
through the horn, sounding in various parts of the 
room, near the ceiling, and on one occasion it sang 
a note which had a peculiar vibrating sound — 
this continuing for nearly a minute, I should 
judge, when, added to this, came the sound of 
another horn, clear as a clarionet, which grew 
louder and louder until it swallowed up the voice 
from the first horn entirely, and ended in a good- 
sized blast. I could distinctly hear both at once 
— the voice and the horn — both in the air, directly 
over my head, apparently, and near the ceiling. 
I confess this manifestation impressed me greatly. 
. . . Things were getting interesting. 

" The piano then began to play again, and the 
voice sang . . . and at the same time terrific knocks 
and thumps resounded on the floor, and someone 




Photo of a " Spirh 

(i /(( IMliS BOA ! 




IN SPIRITUALISM 65 

appeared to be walking about the room. This 
also distinctly impressed me, for here were foot- 
steps or blows on the floor, six feet from the piano 
(at least, so it seemed), and the piano was playin^j;, 
or being played on, at the same time. I could 
still hear Mrs and Miss Gray talking, and they 
invariably answered my questions, when I asked 
any, without delay. The blows were very loud, 
and resounded throughout the whole house. The 
piano then vibrated, and I could feel the whole 
room also vibrating, in a lesser degree. 

"A faint light now appeared, and floated about 
the room. Then two lights were visible — the 
second apparently issuing from the first— and 
floated about, distant from each other about four 
feet. First one and then both of them moved 
close to the ceiling, finally returning to a spot 
above the piano keys, and danced about, up and 
down, over the keys, while the piano was playing, 
as though they themselves were striking the 
notes. . . . 

" The horn then spoke, and said that the spirits 
would endeavour to touch me, if I promised not 
to touch them in return. I promised not to move 
without permission. A hand then pulled my 
trousers in a sharp, jerky manner, and, a moment 
later, my hand was patted by a small hand. This 
hand was warm and moist, and apparently quite 
human. My own right hand was then touched, 
and, upon the suggestion of Miss Gray, my hand 
was kissed. This was done twice. The lips were 
warm and unmistakably human. The trumpet 
was then picked up, and banged against the 
ceiling, then against the floor, and then against 
the ceiling and the floor in rapid alternation. 

E 



66 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

' Mike' spoke, and asked me if I thought he was 
a ' fake.' Whispers came through the horn ; and 
then came the best and most convincing pheno- 
menon of the evening. The piano began to play 
— tiny hghts hovering over the keys a part of 
the time, but disappearing after a few moments. 
Then, at my request, the horn was picked up, and 
banged against the ceihng several times. ' Mike ' 
then spoke through the horn — apparently directly 
over my head — and this was repeated several 
times. The voice certainly seemed to be nine 
or ten feet from the piano, while the latter was 
still playing. Miss Gray and her mother could 
still be heard talking from their respective chairs. 
The voice spoke several times over my head while 
the piano was playing. I then asked ' Mike ' if, 
in addition to all this, he could knock upon the 
floor. Almost instantly very loud raps occurred 
upon the floor of the room, so that we now had: 
(i) the piano playing ; (2) the voice from the horn ; 
and (3) the knocks upon the floor — all going on 
at the same instant in different parts of the room. 
Soon they stopped, and I asked ' Mike' to repeat 
this collective phenomenon for me, so that I might 
study it closely and make sure of the location of 
the three sounds. Three times did ' Mike ' repeat 
this for me, until I was perfectly satisfied that the 
three events were actually going on at one time, 
and in various parts of the room. Soon after this 
' Mike ' withdrew . . . and the seance closed." 

Such are a few typical extracts from the report 
of my first sitting, which, I confess, interested 
and puzzled me greatly. At its conclusion I did 
not know what to think ; many facts pointed to 



IN SPIRITUAIJSM 67 

fraud ; on the other hand many facts seemed to 
point away from fraud to other explanations. The 
only thing to do was to suspend one's judgment 
for the moment and wait. I promised to visit 
them again the following evening. 

I shall not weary the reader with an account of 
this second seance, or my ultimate analysis of the 
case. Suffice it to say that everything I had seen 
turned out to be the result of clever trickery, as 
was proved by subsequent detection of the method 
of its operation, and the later confession on the 
part of the little girl. She it was who was respon- 
sible for all the phenomena, and who, without 
apparent cause or motive, spent evening after 
evening in producing manifestations of this 
character before Mrs and Miss Gray. I cannot 
explain why she should wish to do so, except by 
thinking that the admiration and attention which 
she received at their hands paid her for all her 
trouble. She was a decidedly neurotic, under- 
grown child, and the love of flattery and of being 
the centre of attention may have counted for much. 
But whatever the motives, she it was who, beyond 
all doubt, produced the phenomena I saw in 
that house ; and it but remains for me to explain 
the method of production of the varying pheno- 
mena which so puzzled me the first time I saw 
them. 

The talking in the horn was of course done by 
the little girl herself, and when the voice sounded 



68 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

near the ceiling, she merely stood on a chair, and 
directed the mouth of the trumpet in that direc- 
tion, and the voice seemed to be elevated in 
consequence. On the other hand, when the voice 
was made to sound near the floor, the mouth of 
the horn was turned downward, so as to face the 
floor. In this way " voices " appeared to issue 
from various parts of the room, according to the 
direction in which the horn was held, but the talk- 
ing was all done by the medium either standing 
or sitting on the music-stool. 

The thumps and bangs which sounded some 
feet distant from the piano were made by the feet 
of the little girl stamping on the floor of the room 
— she leaning far out into the room with her feet. 
The lights were produced by match heads rubbed 
between the medium's fingers, which had been 
slightly moistened. When two lights appeared, 
one was held in each hand. When they hovered 
over the piano keys (when the latter was being 
played) they were simply stuck between the 
fingers of the girl while she struck the keys of the 
instrument. When the three phenomena were 
observed together, which had so puzzled me, she 
merely struck the keys of the piano with one hand, 
held the trumpet with the other, and directed her 
voice to the ceiling, at the same time stamping 
upon the floor with both feet. 

There remains to be explained the manner in 
which the voice was gradually merged into the 



IN SPIRITUALISM 69 

horn. This sounded very wonderful at the time, 
but subsequent experiments have shown me how 
this may easily be accomplished. Both horns 
are applied to the mouth, one on either side. The 
lips are puckered, so that all the air is blown 
through one side of the mouth. Gradually the 
lips are opened, until both horns are being 
sounded, when horn " i " is gradually removed 
and all the air directed into horn " 2." In this 
manner the effect I have described can be 
duplicated. 

Such was my experience, in the most promising 
private circle I have ever attended. Thus were 
my hopes dashed — hopes of witnessing genuine 
physical phenomena of a supernormal character. 
But so it was; and this was my invariable ill- 
fortune until I met Eusapia Palladino. All was 
then changed for me ; and to-day I am as assured 
that genuine physical phenomena occur as I was 
formerly sceptical of that fact. But for all that, 
I still believe that these genuine physical pheno- 
mena are so rare as to be almost unfindable, and 
that, as Count Solovovo said, " from the average 
American professional medium nothing is to be 
hoped." 

Eusapia is genuine, but she is almost unique! 



70 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 



V 

A STANCE WITH DE WITT HOUGH 

About a dozen persons had assembled in the 
exceedingly stuffy little room over a Chinese Chop 
Suey House, to witness the exhibitions of " full- 
form materialisation," which were to be given that 
evening by De Witt Hough, the son of the late 
Mrs Stoddard Gray — also famous as a materialis- 
ing medium. Personally I went with five other 
gentlemen — three Catholic priests, who " dabbled 
in psychics " on the sly, and surreptitiously, as it 
were ; a Jew, who was also an ex-medium and a 
complete sceptic ; an ex-clergyman of one of the 
more aggressively Nonconformist types, and a 
complete atheist and scoffer, who " went to see 
the fun " and please his friends. (I must say, 
however, that he behaved admirably throughout; 
no convinced spiritualist could have been more 
enthusiastic or sung more lustily!) I made the 
sixth — an interested investigator, who was " on 
fence " and went to see what there was to be seen. 
I think I may say I saw everything. 

I had some difficulty in getting in. Police 
regulations were pretty strict, just then, and 



IN SPIllITUALISM 71 

mediums all over the city were on the qui vive. 
Hough himself came to the door, and after some 
parleying with one of the priests we were all 
admitted together. I may say, just here, that the 
ex-medium and myself had been invited as 
" experts," to testify as to the reality or otherwise 
of the phenomena, since, at that time, one of the 
priests was rather inclined to believe ; and as a 
series of young ladies usually emerged from the 
cabinet one after the other, and embraced the 
priest in question, he was becoming very anxious 
to ascertain whether or not they were really live, 
substantial maidens, or whether in truth they 
emerged from the Great Beyond! Not that he 
cared so very much, I fancy, in either case ; but 
for the sake of his own satisfaction he desired to 
know the truth. 

I saw one very prominent member of the 
American Society for Psychical Research there, 
who, I was told, attended seances regularly, 
though he should have known better. He also 
regularly brought cookies for the fair maidens who 
emerged from the cabinet, and had evidently 
become quite " popular " with them. I rather 
fancv that it had become a tug-of-war between 
the senior priest and the S.P.R. member — for the 
affections of the said young ladies ; but in this I 
may be a trifle premature. 

We took our places in a sort of horseshoe, 
round the room, as usual, and the medium called 



72 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

us up, one at a time, to enter the cabinet, and 
look about us for anything suspicious. The 
cabinet was erected in the doorway between the 
two rooms, and the rear room was provided with 
a portly door, for the ready ingress and egress of 
" spirits " during the seance. Beside the cabinet, 
practically touching the curtains on one side, was 
placed a table ; upon it a mouth-organ, a tea bell, 
a tambourine, a number of pads of paper, pencils, 
etc. The medium was not searched. The S.P.R. 
member occupied a seat at one end of the horse- 
shoe, nearest the cabinet; and Mrs C — C — , 
an ex-medium of extremely bad reputation, at the 
other end. The lights were lowered and the 
seance began. 

Half an hour's wait, interspersed with fearsome 
singing, ushered in the first " phenomenon." The 
musical instruments upon the table next to the 
cabinet were rattled; then played upon individu- 
ally. The mouth-organ was next picked up, and 
several airs played upon it. The tambourine 
sounded. There was, of course, nothing in the 
world to prevent the medium from stretching out 
his hand, reaching the instruments and playing 
upon them! Yet — so oddly constituted are some 
peoples' minds — I was asked at the end of the 
seance what played the musical instruments! 

After this, there was another period of waiting, 
during which we sang " We will help you," 
" Nearer my God to Thee," and all the other old 



IN SPIRITUALISM 73 

stand-bys a number of times through. The room 
was then made, if possible, darker than ever (the 
Hght was controlled by a string running into the 
cabinet) and the materialisations began. 

The first " spirit " who came was Queen 
Victoria. She always demanded, as a sign of 
respect, that the sitters should stand when she was 
announced. A short, white, rather dumpy figure 
emerged from the cabinet, and the S.P.R. member 
was called upon to come forward, take her hand, 
and announce her presence. He did so as follows: 

" Ladies and gentlemen, we have with us 
this evening Queen Victoria ! " 

Everyone stood up. An awed hush fell upon 
the assembly. Partly, I think, from embarrass- 
ment, and partly to say something which would 
sound cordial and polite, the man next to me 
stammered out: 

" How are you, Queen?" 

The humour of the situation must surely appeal 
to anyone of English birth! I thought at the 
time, and have thought ever since, that this was 
probably one of the most amusing incidents of its 
kind that has ever occurred at a spiritistic seance. 
How very differently one would have felt and 
acted if one could have felt, if only for a moment, 
that Queen Victoria were really there ! 

Queen Victoria having retired, several more 
" spirits " issued in rapid succession — St Ceciha 
for the priests ; Messrs Barnum and Bailey (whose 



74 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

circus happened to be in town that week) ; relatives 
for a few of the circle ; and a varied assortment 
of young ladies for the S.P.R. member, who was 
generally known to have a penchant in that direc- 
tion, outside spiritualistic circles. The medium's 
" control " issued from the cabinet and demanded 
cookies, in a whisper, which was obviously the 
medium's voice disguised. We were then treated 
to the spectacle of seeing the process of gradual 
materialisation of one of the spirits. 

A white spot appeared on the carpet; this 
gradually increased in size until it was almost as 
large as an adult human form. It then advanced 
into the room, and was seen to be solid and sub- 
stantial. After walking about for some time, it 
vanished in the direction of the cabinet, becoming 
smaller or gradually dematerialising as it went. 
There was nothing new in the process. I have 
described it fully in " The Physical Phenomena 
of Spiritualism," pp. 271-72. It was accomplished 
by means of clever manipulation of the white 
cloth, under cover of black covering-cloths, and 
the curtains of the cabinet. 

After this, we saw the only original and, at first 
sight, rather startling manifestation produced. 
The spirit of a young girl materialised, begin- 
ning, apparently, on the tof of the cabinet, and, 
when nearly formed, jumping into the centre of 
the room without making the slightest sound. As 
the medium and Mrs C — C — pointed out, it 



IN SPIRITUALISM 75 

would have been impossible for any solid and 
material body to have done this without making^ 
a noise or shaking the house, for it was a jump 
of a good six feet. How then was it done? — and 
what jumped into the room? 

Nothing jumped; it only appeared to! The 
medium stood upon his chair, and displayed a 
certain quantity of the white material over the 
curtains of the top of the cabinet. These he 
moved about, causing them to become looser and 
more abundant, until a good-sized patch had 
become visible. It was at this moment that the 
whole mass of cloth was shaken out and thrown 
into the room, and at the same moment the medium 
darted out of the cabinet — under cover of the 
materialising cloth — and gathered it up about him. 
It was quite cleverly done, and gave the exact 
impression desired — of a spirit having jumped 
from the top of the cabinet into the room. As the 
medium had divested himself of his shoes, and 
walked about in his stocking feet, he naturally 
made no noise in springing lightly from the 
cabinet into the room. 

This was the last manifestation. The lights 
were soon afterward turned up, and we filed out — 
wiser and sadder men ! 



7G PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 



VI 

THE BANGS SISTERS' "SPIRIT 
PICTURES" 

Probably there are no better-known mediums in 
America than the famous " Bangs Sisters " of 
Chicago, who, for many years past, have been 
renowned for their slate-writings and particularly 
their portraits or paintings, which have been the 
wonder and the envy of all mediums, and a source 
of unending astonishment to all those sitters who 
have, in the past, obtained pictures from these 
noted " psychics." Of course none of the mediums 
thought for a moment that their pictures were 
really genuine ; for them this was only a problem 
— the method employed by the Sisters ; but, in 
spite of their utmost efforts, the secret of these 
pictures remained for years unguessed, and it is 
only within the past year or two that the secret 
has been discovered — originally by Mr David P. 
Abbott, of Omaha, Nebraska, and afterwards 
perfected by " Dr Wilmar " of London. At the 
present day these pictures may be seen produced 
upon the public stage by Mr Selbit, the conjurer, 
by Howard Thurston, and Henry Clive. The 



IN SPIRITUALISM 77 

method of production is, I am convinced, identical 
in both cases. I shall, however, come to their 
pictures in a few moments. For the present, let 
us concern ourselves only with their " slate- 
writings," which arc also remarkably clever, and 
have convinced many thousands of persons of the 
truth of spiritualism. 

I obtained a slate-writing sitting with the Bangs 
sisters on Saturday, 2'5th June, 1909 — going to 
Chicago from New York (a journey of twenty- 
four hours) especially for that purpose. I had 
heard so much of these famous Sisters that I was 
most anxious to see them, and test their writings 
and pictures, if possible ; and when the oppor- 
tunity presented itself I was more than glad to 
accept it. I published an account 01 my slate- 
writing seance with these mediums in the " Annals 
of Psychical Science" (July-September, 19 10, pp. 
445-52), and I shall quote from that report, 
making some slight alterations and additions, as 
the occasion requires: 

" Let me say here that, in anticipation of excel- 
lent slate-tests, I had brought with me two slates 
securely screwed together and sealed, and two 
loose slates. I did not get an opportunity to use 
either of these pairs of slates, however, as I had 
only one sitting for slate-writing, and preferred to 
use the medium's slates the first time, and merely 
watch the course of events. These I detail below. 
(I suggested using my sealed slates, I may 



78 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

mention, later on, but the offer was not accepted, 
and evident reluctance was manifested to try the 
test at all.) 

" I had brought with me, also, three photo- 
graphs securely sealed in envelopes. The enve- 
lopes were gummed down in the usual way, 
clasped with wire clamps and sealed with sealing- 
wax. In one corner of each of these envelopes 
I had punched a hole, through which I passed a 
black ihread. The other end of this thread I tied 
to my belt, leaving a free play of some eighteen 
inches of thread. The ends of this thread were 
securely knotted. 

" Thus equipped, and with the photos in my 
inner coat pocket (one of my mother, one of my 
father, and one of Mrs Carrington's mother — a 
small photo in a frame), I arrived at the Bangs 
sisters' house at about 9.50 a.m. ... I was 
ushered into the sitting-room, where I waited 
until about 10.30 a.m. before either of the Sisters 
appeared. Miss May Bangs then requested me 
to enter the seance room, which I did. I was 
asked whether I had prepared any questions. I 
replied that I had not. I was requested to do so 
— Miss Bangs leaving the room while the ques- 
tion was being written. This question I folded 
up, placed in an envelope (one I had brought 
with me from the hotel) and sealed it carefully. 
Miss Bangs then re-entered the room, and, find- 
ing my piece of paper was so small, she asked 
me to write another question, more lengthy, and 
leave plenty of blank sheets of paper in the envelope 
for the reply. She also asked me to give the rela- 
tionship and name of the spirit addressed, and my 
own name. I gave my name as Harold Thompson, 



IN SPIRITUALISM 79 

and my mother the name of Jane Thompson. I 
knew that, had I given my own name, I should 
have obtained nothing, and would probably have 
been refused a sitting.^ I had intended giving 
no name, but as this was requested, I had to 
invent one for the occasion. Fortunately I had 
another envelope with me ; so, slitting open my 
first envelope, I abstracted my question, which I 
placed safely in my pocket. I then wrote another 
more lengthy letter on another slip of paper, a 
copy of which I give herewith — of course while 
Miss Bangs withdrew for a second time. The letter 
reads : 

"' My Dearest Mother, — If you are here, I 
trust you will communicate with me, and tell me 
anything you can of your life — in any foreign 
country in which you lived. I hope the " spirit 
guide " of Miss Bangs may help to bring you, and 
assist you to write. 

"' Your loving son, 

" ' Harold Thompson. 

" * To Jane Thompson.' " 

" This I placed in my second envelope, together 
with some five or six sheets of blank paper, sealed 
up the envelope, and called for Miss Bangs to 
re-enter the seance room. A diaeram of this 
room IS necessary in order to make the accom- 
panying text clear. I subjoin one herewith. 

' See p. 36, for my attitude toward false names. 



80 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

DOOR 




DOOR 



A. Miss Bangs. 

B. Hereward Carrington. 

C. Table Drawer. 

" Miss Bangs seated herself close to the door, as 
indicated, and I sat on the opposite side of the 
table. A small drawer opened on the side of the 
table nearest Miss Bangs, and in this she kept 
several pads of paper, pencils, rubber bands, 
erasers, etc. Throughout the seance she kept 
opening and closing this drawer repeatedly, and 
[cutting in and taking out pencils, pads, writing- 
tablets, etc. Also, she frequently placed them 
on a board (shelf) running along the under side 
of the table, joining the four legs, and only about 
six inches from the floor. (This shelf is a part 
of the table, as constructed.) These details in 
mind, let us now consider the seance, which lasted 
from 10.30 a.m. till 12.40 p.m., and during the 
whole of this time the other Miss Bangs (Lizzie) 
failed to put in an appearance. 

" The envelope contaming my question was, at 



IN SPIRITUALISM 81 

the medium's request, placed between the two 
slates, and the slates were fastened together by 
means of stout elastic bands crossing the slates in 
both directions. A small cup was then placed 
upon the top of the upper slate and filled with 
ink. The whole was then covered with a large 
sheet of cardboard extending about half an inch 
beyond the edges of the slates in every direction, 
and effectually concealing them from my gaze. 
The slates were left in the centre of the table, and 
they remained there throughout the sitting. They 
were never removed from the table. 

" From time to time Miss Bangs moved the 
slates slightly, or the cardboard upon them, and 
frequently opened and closed the drawer in the 
table, took out and put back pads, pencils, etc. 
When she wrote on a pad, she rested it against 
the slates on the table, the edge of the pad resting 
over the edges of the two slates. After a time 
she would place the pads under the table, bend 
down, arrange her dress, and appear to be very 
nervous and fidgety altogether. During this 
period, also, the medium had ' clairvoyant 
visions,' during which she learned from me, by 
a species of adroit fishing: 

{a) That my mother and father were both dead. 

{h)) That it was my mother's portrait chiefly 
which I desired. 

{c) That she was very young-looking for her 
age. 

{d) That she had bluish-grey eyes. 

{e) That she had brownish hair — white and 
grey in front. 

" At the end of more than two hours, the slates 
were taken apart, and the envelope was abstracted, 

F 



82 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

still sealed. On opening the envelope, I found 
the blank sheets of paper covered with writing in 
ink, while the small cup on the top of the slates 
was nearly emptied of ink. This is the message 
which I received — inane enough — but I give it. 

" ' Dearly Beloved Son Harold, — I am very 
happy to come to you in this way to-day, that I am 
with you always [sic']. When your thoughts turn 
to me, and many times when you are engaged in 
the duties of life, alone and resting, the new-born 
spirit is free to come and go at will, distance or 
material objects from (form) no barrier, and as 
mother's love and interest is intensified in the 
higher life, so am I drawn back to you con- 
stantly, while yet improving all the opportunities of 
my new life. You ask me to write of my life in 
foreign countries while in earth life, Harold, but 
do you know that while I recall this event in my 
life here in general, to make mention of one parti- 
cular instance known to you is quite a difficult 
task. In making the change called death, spirit 
retains memory in general of the events of life, 
but it is recalled in detail only as you mention or 
some particular circumstance brings it to mind, 
just as you recall your early childhood days. 
Spirit life furnishes so much in the way of ad- 
vanced conditions, surroundings and events, that 
the past becomes more indistinct as time advances. 
So it is quite difficult for me to carry out your 
request in this particular to-day, my boy, but the 
tie of relationship and love grows more intense as 
time advances. I watch over you with deepest 
interest and anxious thoughts, impressing you 
whenever and wherever I can and find the need. 



IN SPTRTTUATJSM 83 

Time will bring us more elosely in spiritual con- 
verse, and I shall then be able to come to you in 
ways of recognition far greater than reference to 
earthly events could give. We have the language 
of the soul ; that is far-reaching in understanding 
the evidence of identity. I love you, my boy, 
and shall come to (you) always, as best I can. 
Come to me in the silent hours of evening, when 
your thoughts turn to spiritual things, and I can 
give you much more in this way than through the 
influence of others. 

" ' With a mother's best devotion for her boy. 
Adieu for the present, Mother, — 

" ' Jane Thompson.' " 

If ever a question was evaded, this seems to 
me a good example ! 

Now, as to the slate-writings themselves. Some 
years ago an expose of their methods was pub- 
lished in the Jouryial, S.P.R., vol. x., pp. 5-16 
The writer not only detected them in trickery, 
but was enabled to see precisely how their slate- 
writings were accomplished — by means of a small 
hand-mirror, which he held beneath the table, at 
such an angle that all their movements were seen 
by him. He found that, under cover of the 
writing-pad, so often and so conveniently placed 
against the edges of the slates resting on the table, 
the slates were wedged open by means of a small 
rubber wedge, usually contained in the drawer of 
the table, and the letter abstracted through the 
opening thus left. The letter was then drawn 



84 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

out, under cover of the writing-pad, and allowed 
to fall into the medium's lap. When pretending 
to arrange her skirts, the medium then bent down 
and quietly dropped the letter on to a sort of " grid- 
iron " arrangement, which lay on the carpet of the 
room. This was then promptly drawn backwards 
(letter and all) — beneath the door in front of which 
Miss Bangs sat so conveniently — into the next 
room. This was done by Miss Lizzie Bangs, the 
absent sister. The envelope was then steamed 
open, the question read, and the answer written on 
the remaining sheets of blank paper. They were 
then re-folded, replaced in the envelope, which 
was again sealed, and that part of the performance 
was accomplished. The envelope was then re- 
placed on the " gridiron," and pushed under the 
door. In adjusting her dress, Miss May Bangs 
reached down and regained possession of the 
letter. This was placed in her lap, and, under 
cover of the well-used writing-pad, brought up, 
on to the table, and (still under cover of the pad) 
inserted between the slates on the table. The 
wedge holding the frames of the slates apart was 
then withdrawn, and the test was accompHshed! 
It only remained for the sitter to open the slates, 
remove his envelope, and read the answer written 
upon the blank sheets in its interior. Meanwhile 
the ink in the little cup on the table had had time 
to evaporate, so that it appeared to have been 
used. The whole trick is one of the cleverest 



IN SPIRITUALISM 85 

ever devised, and one of the most convincing, 
since the slates may be marked, and never once 
leave the table, where they remain in full sight 
throughout. Yet the writing is obtained none the 
less! This is the secret of their famous slate- 
writing test; and a more clever and ingenious 
test it would be hard to imagine, or one more thor- 
oughly convincing, when seen for the first time. 

Now, at my own sitting, I did not dare to 
employ a mirror, because the mediums had once 
been detected in that manner, and have been on 
the watch for it ever since ; but I was enabled 
to follow the process throughout, and I think 
there can be no reasonable doubt that this is the 
method employed — or at least the method usually 
employed — for they doubtless have different 
methods on different occasions. The following 
are my chief reasons for thinking so : 

(i) I saw all the suspicious movements — bend- 
ing to the floor, manipulating the writing-tablets, 
tilting the slates, etc. — which would be necessary 
to accomplish the feat in this manner. 

(2) There is a slit under the door behind Miss 
Bangs (i.e. between the door and the strip of wood 
over which it closes) — amply wide enough to allow 
a letter to pass beneath it, when pulled backwards 
under the door. Dr Krebs pointed this out. 

(3) Miss Bangs sat almost touching this door, 
the back of her chair being within a foot of it. 



86 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

(4) The envelope, when examined at the con- 
clusion of the seance, showed unmistakable signs 
of having been opened and tampered with. 

(5) The handwriting is absurdly unlike my 
mother's, but very like Miss Bangs's. 

(6) There is no such person as Jane Thomp- 
son, so far as I know. Yet I am recognised and 
claimed by her as her son! 

(7) The edges of the slates nearest the medium 
were always covered with the writing-tablets at 
the critical moments — when the letter was ab- 
stracted or returned to the slates. 

(8) The medium was very distracted and absent- 
minded at those times, and could hardly follow 
what I was saying to her. 

(9) The medium, on several occasions, drew 
the cardboard sheet toward her — over her lap — 
thus allowing the letter to fall into her lap. 

(10) I actually saw the wedges first described 
in the before-mentioned report. Miss Bangs 
went out of the room for a moment at the con- 
clusion of the seance, and during that moment I 
swiftly opened the drawer of the table, and there 
saw four or five india-rubber erasers, each cut 
into a sharp, wedge-shaped point! These varied 
in size and strength, and had obviously never been 
used to erase anything. Certainly they were the 
suspicious wedges. 

(11) Finally, the edges or frames of the slates 
showed, on examination, unmistakable evidence of 



IN SPIRITUALISM 87 

having been wedged or pried open in this manner. 
The marks were clearly distinguishable. 

For all these reasons then, and because of the 
fraud discovered in the past, I think I am perfectly 
justified in saying that my slate-writing sitting was 
fraudulent throughout, and that the test was per- 
formed in the identical manner they have been 
known to resort to for years. 

We now come to the portraits or pictures for 
which they are more celebrated than for their 
slate-writings. Of these portraits, I said in my 
original report: 

" As to the portraits, I can unfortunately say 
nothing of a conclusive character, since I obtained 
no picture whatever. We sat for this picture on 
Saturday, 26th June, from 1.30 to 4 p.m., and 
from 4.30 to 5.20 p.m., and from 5.30 to 6.5 p.m. ; 
and on Sunday, 27th June, from 5.50 to 7.10 p.m., 
without the slightest trace of a picture becoming 
manifest! During this period, moreover, I had, 
at the medium's suggestion, cut the threads con- 
necting the envelopes, to my belt, ripped open the 
three envelopes, and placed the photos on the 
table before me. In spite of this, however, no 
results followed. I went for a short walk and 
returned. No result! Again at 5.30 we rested; 
and again we resumed the sitting. Still no 
result! The mediums suggested that I should 
call the next day. To this I agreed, wishing to 
see the mere process of development, even if 
evidential conditions had been sacrificed. Accord- 



88 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

ingly, the next day I called, and we sat for more 
than two hours ; still no result ! I admit it would 
have been difficult for me to explain the results 
by fraud if any portrait had appeared on the 
canvas, but none came. . . . Still, in view of the 
fraud practised at the slate-writing sitting, I think 
that fraud is in all probability the correct explana- 
tion of the portrait phenomena also. On this 
point, however, I do not wish to dogmatise — 
never having seen a portrait produced — and I 
leave that part of their mediumship untouched. 
I might perhaps say that I bought and brought 
back with me one of the canvases upon which 
the ' spirit portrait ' was to appear. A most 
minute examination of this canvas has failed to 
detect any preparation, chemical or othenvise." 

So much for my impressions at the time. At 
the present time I feel assured that, if I obtained 
a sitting with the Misses Bangs, I should be 
enabled to see their method of production of the 
pictures. For, since then, I have learned what 
I believe to be their modus operandi. The 
history of this discovery is as follows: 

When writing my " Physical Phenomena of 
Spiritualism," I had occasion to inquire as closely 
as possible into all the methods known to exist 
for producing " spirit portraits " by fraudulent 
means, and took considerable pains to discover 
some of these methods. Mr David P. Abbott 
was at the time experimenting along this hne, 
and we exchanged several letters and each tried 
some tests, and especially at the time of my sit- 



IN SPIRITUALISM 89 

tings with the Bangs Sisters I kept in touch with 
Mr Abbott, and we exchanged views at that time 
as to their methods. Mr Abbott's earher theories 
will be found in his " Behind the Scenes with the 
Mediums," pp. 294-319, and these theories em- 
bodied my own earlier views until later evidence 
caused me to change them. We both thought at 
that time that some system of solar-photography, 
supplemented by a reaction effected by chemicals, 
which were in some manner sprayed on to the 
canvas, was the secret ; and in view of this I 
mentioned the fact in my report that there were 
several tiny pin-holes in the strip of wood dividing 
the two panes of glass in the lower window. I 
also stated, however, that I did not see how these 
could be used, as the window-sill appeared solid 
and untampered with. 

At this stage of the investigation, I was 
obliged to drop the case ; but Mr Abbott 
continued his experiments, and finally hit upon 
an idea, which is, I am persuaded, the correct 
solution. He experimented with this for some 
time, writing me that he had discovered the true 
secret, and afterwards communicated it to " Dr 
Wilmar " (Mr William Marriot), of London, who 
worked it up for stage purposes, improved upon 
it in various ways, and finally presented it, through 
Mr Selbit — the conjurer — in the leading " Vaude- 
ville " theatres throughout the country. 
As presented upon the stage, the effect is worked 



90 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

in a slightly different manner than it would be in a 
private circle ; but as perfected by Mr Abbott, 
it can be presented in any house, anywhere, and 
the resemblance to their method is exact. There 
are no trap-doors needed, no elaborate mechanism 
or frames, no arc-light, no solar-printing, no 
chemicals — the principle employed is entirely 
different from any of these, but exactly similar to 
that employed by the Bangs Sisters. By means 
of this method, the canvases can be examined 
beforehand by the sceptic ; the " rosy glow " first 
appears in the centre of the picture, followed by 
the gradual development — as always described; 
then the features spring into clear outline ; the 
eyes open. Slight alterations can be made in the 
features, if desired ; the portrait can be made to 
fade out and reappear again at will — finally, when 
the canvases are separated, there is the finished 
portrait, delicate and beautiful, and presenting 
the same gossamer-like finish — like a butterfly's 
wing — which the Bangs' portraits possess. The 
resemblance is all but exact, and I personally have 
no doubt that the method of production of the 
portraits is identical in the two cases. 

Mr Abbott has now published the explanation of 
these pictures, so that I am at liberty to explain 
the secret underlying the method employed. It 
consists essentially in the substitution of one canvas 
for another (under cover of the dress, the table, the 
window-curtains, etc.) and the gradual approx^ma- 



IN SPIRITUALISM 91 

tion of the two canvases toward one another, when 
held together against the hght. The canvas con- 
taining the picture is placed in the rear — the blank 
canvas in front. If six inches or so of space be 
allowed between the two canvases, so that a certain 
amount of light can enter, no picture can be seen 
— both canvases are apparently blank. As, how- 
ever, the canvases arc approximated, the picture 
comes gradually into view. All the principal 
effects are produced within the last inch or so. 
This gradual approximation is effected by the 
medium's fingers, under cover of the first canvas, 
which hides the second. Those who may be 
interested in the details of the process are advised 
to read Mr Abbott's article, " The Spirit Portrait 
Mystery: its Final Solution," which was published 
in The Open Court magazine, of Chicago, April, 
1913, pp. 221-53.' 

In conclusion, I wish to say a few words in reply 
to Rear-Admiral Moore, who has criticised me 
very severely on account of this investigation of 

' In a letter which I received from Harrison D. Barrett, the 
late President of the National Spiritualists Association of 
America, dated 21st May, 1908, Mr. Barrett said to me : 

" I shall be greatly interested to know the results of your 
experiences with the Bangs Sisters. They have refused to 
sit for me for the past twenty years, and I have never been 
able to satisfy myself with regard to the genuineness of their 
manifestations. Not having had personal experience with 
them I can only say 'non-proven.' I frankly state to you 
that I believe their spirit paintings to be the greatest kind of 
humbug. ..." 



92 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

mine of the Bangs Sisters' spirit pictures. Admiral 
Moore is perfectly convinced of the genuineness of 
their manifestations — which may account, in part, 
for his animus toward all those who disagree with 
him as to the genuineness of their phenomena. 
Several letters were exchanged between us in 
Light; the final upshot being this: that Admiral 
Moore doubted the accuracy of my diagram of the 
house ; and hence contended that I had never 
been inside it! In fact, my whole report was a 
fish-story! Upon hearing this, I wrote to Dr 
Hager, a member of the American S.P.R., and 
asked him to visit the house in person, take 
measurements, and let me know whether or not 
my diagram was correct. Here is his letter, 
together with a copy of the enclosure from Dr 
Caird : 

" Chicago Illinois, 

" I'^th December, 1911. 

" Hereward Carrington, 
" New York City. 

" Dear Sir, — In reference to your last letter 
re the Bangs Sisters, I have followed a number 
of clues and finally run across a man who is very 
intimate with the Bangs Sisters, and has known 
them, I am told, for a great many years. First: 
Chas. Thompson who referred me to McKinley 
Brothers, the hardware men, who furnished their 
hardware to fix up their residence. They could 
not give much and referred me to the carpenter, 
a Mr Tanner. Mr Tanner used to do the Bangs 
Sisters' work, but has not done anything since the 
Buffalo Exposition year when he claims that one 
of the Bangs Sisters defrauded him out of eight 



IN SPIRITUALISM 98 

dollars. Mr Tanner referred me to Mr W. R. 
Adsit, the carpenter who has done this work for a 
number of years. Mr Adsit would not give out 
much, but suggested that your drawing was about 
as near correct as he could make it. His opinion 
of their mediumistic j)ower was not encouraging. 

" Later, I learned from Mr Thompson that 
Alex. Caird is on terms of great friendship, and 
has been so for many years. Dr Caird is head of 
the Fraternal Order of Spiritualists, and graduated 
from the same school as I did, and I have known 
him for a long time. I went to him and he imme- 
diately went over and made the corrections as 
noted in your sheet, and remarked that a blue 
print of the first house could not be more 
correct. I asked him about the opening under 
the door, and to-day he made a second visit and 
carefully examined the opening under the door. 
He says the door piece under the door A is well 
worn in the centre ; otherwise it fits quite close to 
the door, i.e. being an old house the strip is well 
worn in the centre by use, but on the sides fits 
about the way carpenters usually fit those strips. 

" I enclose your drawing, and it seems to me it 
is about the same as I sent. If I can be of further 
use or service, say so. 

" Sincerely, 

" D. S. Hager, M.D." 

The following note by Dr Caird was enclosed 
in Dr Hager's letter: 

" Diagram correct as to two rooms on the right, 
and seance room, but wrong for those on left. No 
special space under left door A. All show about 



04 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

the same amount of wear. In middle, the door- 
way worn away so that I might be able to put my 
little finger underneath ; but on either side it fits 
as carpenters usually leave it. 

" Alex. Caird, M.D. 

" 1637, West Monroe Street, 
" Chicago, Illinois." 

[The rooms " on the left," before mentioned, 
had nothing to do with the seance room ; they were 
rooms I had merely walked through, on my way 
out. I did not include them at all in my original 
diagram ; only in the one sent to Chicago. But 
the accuracy of my diagram of the seance room, 
and all essential details, will be observed. — H.C.] ^ 

' Since the above was written, Rear-Admiral Moore has 
publicly retracted the statements he made concerning me in 
his book, and has stated his belief that I did actually visit the 
Bangs Sisters' house, as reported ; and that he intends to 
delete the obnoxious passages concerning me " in the next 
edition " of his book I— H.G. 



IN SPIRITUALISM 95 



VII 
"THE GREAT AMHERST MYSTERY" 

One of the most remarkable poltergeist cases on 
record occurred in the little town of Amherst, 
Nova Scotia. It is now some time since these 
events transpired, for they began in 1878, and 
continued during 1879. For a time they were the 
talk of the town and surrounding neighbourhood. 
They formed the subject of a remarkable book, 
now long out of print. ^ They were mentioned by 
Prof. William James, in his presidential address 
before the English Society for Psychical Research 
as one of the most interesting cases of its kind on 
record. Finally, the author of the book, describ- 
ing these events, swore before a notary public 
that his statements were in every way true state- 
ments of fact. 

Briefly, the case is this. In Amherst, there lived 
a family by the name of Teed. There were the 
father, mother, and two children, George and 
Willie, aged, respectively, five years and seven- 
teen months. There also lived with them tWo 

' "The Great Amherst Mystery." By Walter Hubbell. 



96 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

girls, Jennie and Esther Cox, sisters of Mrs Teed, 
Mr John Teed, Daniel's brother, and William 
Cox, Mrs Teed's brother. The centre of the 
weird disturbances that we are about to relate was 
Esther Cox, since married and settled near Boston. 
They lived in a small house, standing in its own 
ground and surrounded by a fence. It was low, 
having but two stories ; and obviously incapable 
of concealing anyone for long without discovery. 

Into this peaceful household entered one of 
the strangest and weirdest visitants that can be 
imagined. It came about in this manner. 

One night the two girls had gone to bed, and 
were just preparing to sleep, when Esther jumped 
up with a scream, saying there was a mouse under 
the mattress. No mouse could be found, however. 
The next night the same thing occurred. On 
arising to look for the supposed " mouse," they 
were amazed to see a small cardboard box beneath 
the bed moving about of its own accord. Seeing 
this, they placed the box in the middle of the floor, 
when, to their surprise, it jumped up at least a 
foot in the air, and fell to the floor on its side. 
This was repeated twice. This so alarmed the 
girls that they screamed aloud, and their brother 
came running in, to ascertain the cause of the 
trouble. When he heard their story, he refused to 
believe them. 

The next night Esther Cox had retired only a 
short time when she screamed, exclaiming, " My 




" Forest Temple Woods Meeting," Ltlv Dale. 




The " Haunted House '" 

IN '■ THE GREAT AMIIEKST MYSTERY." 



IN SPIRITUALISM 97 

God, I'm dying." Her sister turned up the light, 
and saw her in a remarkable condition. Her hair 
was almost standing upright on her head ; her eyes 
were bloodshot, and her finger-nails were sunk 
deep into the wood of the bed. When the rest of 
the household had been called in, they watched 
Esther. Suddenly Daniel exclaimed, " The girl 
is swelling! " Sure enough, she seemed to be 
puffed out to an abnormal size. Physicians were 
called. Her whole body had swollen, and she was 
screaming with pain. Nothing could be done for 
her to relieve her agony. In a short time, the 
swelling subsided, and she was enabled to go to 
sleep. 

Soon after, however, a terrific noise was heard, 
" like a peal of thunder," which awoke everyone 
in the house. It was a perfectly clear night. 
Three loud knocks were then heard in the room, 
on the bed on which Esther lay. 

The night after this, Esther being in bed and 
Jennie in the room (she had not yet retired), all 
the bedclothes, except the bottom sheet, flew off 
and settled down in a confused heap in a far corner 
of the room. They could see them passing 
through the air by tneans of the kerosene lamp 
which was lighted and standing on the table. The 
girls screamed and Jennie fainted. 

No sooner had the bedclothes been replaced 
than they instantly flew off to the same corner of 
the room ; and the pillow, from under Esther's 

G 



98 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

head, came flying through the air and struck John 
Teed in the face. Again, three loud knocks were 
heard, " so loud that the whole room trembled 
from their vibrations," and again Esther, who had 
become immensely swollen, assumed her normal 
appearance, and went quietly to sleep. 

These things continued for several nights. The 
bedclothes were torn off the bed and thrown into 
a confused heap in the corner of the room. Dr 
Carritte was called in to see what he could make 
of the disturbances. When he was standing by 
Esther's bedside, all heard the sound of writing 
on the wall, and looking round they saw cut deeply 
into the plaster of the wall the terrible words, 
" Esther Cox, you are mine to kill! " Every 
person in the room could see the writing plainly, 
which remained visible for years afterwards, and 
has been testified to by numbers of the citizens of 
Amherst. 

These strange things kept happening week after 
week, without any natural cause being found for 
them. The same loud knocks, the same tremen- 
dous blows, the bedclothes still being pulled from 
the bed, the same mysterious swellings of Esther 
Cox! None could be explained. Besides these 
manifestations, numerous other strange incidents 
occurred — one of the most curious being the 
apparent boiling of a bucket of cold water, placed 
on the middle of the kitchen table. The water 
was cold, and yet it bubbled and hissed like boihng 



IN SPIRITUALISM 99 

water! This was witnessed, among others, by the 
Rev. R. A. Temple, pastor of the Wesleyan 
Church of Amherst. 

A few nights later Esjther heard a "voice," 
which informed her that the house should be set 
on fire! Soon after, to the amazement and con- 
sternation of all present, while they were talking 
and laughing about the ridiculous statement the 
girls had made, all saw a lighted match fall from 
the ceiling to the bed, having come out of the air. 
It would certainly have set the bed-clothing on 
fire, had not Esther put it out instantly. During 
the next few minutes eight or ten lighted matches 
fell on the bed and about the room, out of the air, 
but were all extinguished before anything could 
be set on fire by them. In the course of the night, 
the loud sounds, which had ceased for a day or 
two, commenced again. 

Soon after this lighted matches fell all over the 
house. Half a dozen times it was set on fire, and 
only extinguished by the prompt application of 
buckets of water. On one occasion a barrel of 
shavings was set on fire, and the house nearly 
burned to the ground. This happened when 
Esther was sitting in the front room, watched by 
her sister — as she was afraid to go anywhere alone. 

By this time " communication " had been estab- 
lished with the " ghost " by means of raps. He 
stated that he was once a human being, now an 
€vil spirit bent on mischief! He stated that he 



100 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

would burn the house down and torment Esther 
until she died. Shortly after this he became 
visible to Esther, though none of the others could 
see him. Then things became so bad that Esther 
was compelled to leave home, and took shelter, for 
the time being, beneath the roof of a friend, Mr 
White, who offered her the protection of his home. 

For nearly a month after her departure, Esther 
saw nothing of her " ghost." Then, one day, when 
she was scrubbing the hall floor, the brush sud- 
denly disappeared from her hand. A few moments 
later it fell from the ceiling, narrowly escaping 
Esther's head in its fall. This was the first of 
the ensuing disturbances. They soon grew and 
increased. The " ghost " began kindling fires 
about the White homestead, as he had before, and 
walking about the house so that he could be heard 
by all present. 

Things went from bad to worse. Articles were 
thrown about the house and fires constantly lighted. 
On one occasion the door was wrenched off its 
hinges and flung to the ground with a terrific force. 
Mr White was looking at it when this happened. 
On another occasion, a sharp knife, belonging to 
little Frederick White, was taken from his hand 
" by the devilish ghost," who instantly stabbed 
Esther in the back with it, leaving the knife stick- 
ing in the wound, which was bleeding profusely. 
Frederick pulled the bloody knife from the wound, 
wiped it, closed it and put it in his pocket, which 



IN SPIRITUALISM JOr 

he had no sooner done than the ghost obtained 
possession of it again, and, quick as a flash of 
Hghtning, stuck it into the wound again ! 

A day or two later someone tried the experi- 
ment of placing several iron spikes in Esther's 
lap. To their astonishment, they became too hot 
to be handled with comfort. They were then 
thrown to the far end of the room, a distance of 
twenty feet. Soon after this, the furniture all over 
the house began to move about of its own accord. 

It was about this time that Mr Walter Hubbell 
visited Amherst, and saw many of the strange 
sights himself. Here are a few of the incidents 
he relates, among many others : 

" I had been seated about five minutes when, 
to my great astonishment, my umbrella was thrown 
to a distance of fifteen feet, passing over my head 
in its strange flight, and almost at the same instant 
a large carving-knife came whizzing through the 
air, passing over Esther's head, who was just then 
coming out of the pantry with a large dish in both 
hands, and fell in front of her, near me, having 
come from behind her out of the pantry. . . . My 
satchel w^as throw^n across the room, and, at the 
same instant, a large chair came rushing from the 
opposite side of the room, striking the one on 
which I was seated with such tremendous force 
that it was nearly knocked from under me. . . . 
After dinner I lay upon the sofa in the parlour ; 
Esther was in the room, seated near the centre in 
a rocking-chair. I did not sleep, but lay with my 
eyes only partially closed so that I could see her. 



1G,> PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

While lying there a large glass paper-weight, 
weighing fully a pound, came whizzing through 
the air from a corner of the room where I had 
previously noticed it on an ornamental shelf — a 
distance of some twelve or fifteen feet from the 
sofa. Most fortunately for me, instead of striking 
my head — for my head was toward that corner — 
as was the evident intention of the ghost who threw 
it, it struck the arm of the sofa about three inches 
from my head, and, rebounding to a chair that 
stood within a foot of the arm of the sofa on which 
my head rested, spun round on the seat of the chair 
for fully one-quarter of a minute — so terrible was 
the force employed to throw it — and it afterwards 
remained on the seat of the chair. . . . Later in 
the afternoon, the ghosts set some old newspapers 
on fire upstairs ; and then, as if to wind up the 
tortures of the day with a climax, they piled the 
seven chairs in the parlour on top of each other, 
making a pile fully six feet in height, when, pulling 
out one or two near the bottom, they allowed the 
rest to fall to the floor with a terrific crash. The 
last manifestation of the day was startling. They 
kindled a large fire upstairs, which created some 
excitement. The burning papers and fire were 
extinguished, however, without serious damage 
being done to the house or furniture." 

Such are a few of the many weird happenings 
which occurred in the presence of Esther Cox for 
nearly a year, no matter where she was, or how 
watched. Naturally enough, the first thought that 
comes to the mind is that some trick is at the 
bottom of the whole affair. But this becomes 



IN SPIRITUALISM 108 

more and more improbable when we remember 
that the medium herself was the chief sufferer. 
She was the one who was wounded, who lost 
sleep, who " swelled-up," who was the object of 
hatred and attack by " the ghosts." Her own 
home was repeatedly set on fire — as well as the 
homes of the friends who kindly sheltered her. 
It would seem incredible that any girl would volun- 
tarily perform such tricks herself, against herself, 
when no object was to be gained thereby. More- 
over, Mr Hubbell is insistent that it would have 
been an utter impossibility for her to have per- 
formed many of the phenomena herself — even had 
she been incHned to do so. She was often watched 
when the phenomena occurred, since everyone 
naturally took the view, at first, that she was pro- 
ducing the manifestations herself. Mr Hubbell 
tells us positively that not only he himself but 
numbers of the citizens of Amherst watched Esther 
closely while they were taking place. They were 
all equally certain that she had no voluntary share 
in their production. 

In 1908, Mr Hubbell re-visited Amherst and 
obtained from the surviving citizens of the town 
the following Document, which certainly has some 
historical value, and seems to support the authen- 
ticity of the phenomena to a great extent. These 
Documents are here published for the first time. 



104 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

Testamentary Document presented to Walter 

HUBBELL BY CITIZENS OF AmHERST, NoVA 

Scotia, in June, 1908, twenty-nine years 
after he lived in the haunted home of 
Esther Cox 

" We, the undersigned inhabitants of the Town 
of Amherst, County of Cumberland, Province of 
Nova Scotia, and Dominion of Canada, in British 
North i\merica: 

" Having of our own personal knowledge and not 
by or through hearsay or behef, absolutely known 
individually all or some of the demonstrations, 
manifestations, and communications of an invisible, 
intelligent and malicious power within the atmos- 
phere that continued its awe-inspiring and mysteri- 
ous operations in the home of Daniel Teed, No. 6 
Princess Street, Amherst, Nova Scotia, and else- 
where, in the actual presence of his sister-in-law, 
Esther Cox (but never manifesting itself during 
her absence from the house), and continued to 
manifest itself for the period of one year from 
1878 until 1879 as narrated by Walter Hubbell, 
the actor who lived in the aforesaid home, in a 
book written by him entitled ' The Great Amherst 
Mystery,' which account, a true narration of the 
supernatural, being known to us as accurate and 
truthful as to all and each, fact, particular, and 
description given in the aforesaid book, we hereto 



IN SPIRITFALISM 105 

of our own free will affix our names to this testa- 
mentary paper, so that it may be printed in all 
future editions of aforesaid book and go before the 
world in corroboration and verification of what 
actually transpired in the presence of the Teed 
family, Walter Hubbell, and hundreds of the 
inhabitants of Amherst, including ourselves, some 
thirty years ago. 

" Signed by us and delivered to Walter Hubbell, 
whom we each know personally this tenth day of 
June, A.D. 1908. 

Daniel Teed Wm. Ripley 

Olive Teed D. T. Chapman 

N. D. Quigley John W. Stewart 

J. A. Simpson Larnee White 

A. W. Moffett Rufus 'Hicks 

J. Alb. Black E. T. Chapman 

S. C. McNuTT C. I. Hillson 

Wm. Beattie B. D. Bent 



Letter from Arthur Davison 

Letter from the late Arthur Davison, Esq., 
Clerk of County Court, Amherst, Nova Scotia, to 
F. E. Morgan. Copied from the Central Ray 
Magazine, vol. xvii.. May, 1893, No. 8, published 
in Pella, Iowa, by the students of Central Univer- 
sity of Iowa. . . . Through kindness of R. B. H. 
Davison, High Sheriff, Amherst, N.S., son of 
Arthur Davison. 



106 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 



" Amherst, Nova Scotia. 
" 2^th April, 1893. 



Fred E. Morgan. 



" Dear Sir, — Your letter of the 19th inst., 
addressed to the Superintendent of the High 
School, Amherst (E. J. Lay) has been handed to 
me. Mr Lay did not live at Amherst at the time, 
and has asked me to reply for him, 

" I do not believe in spiritualism. My own 
idea is that in some way magnetic power in this 
girl became unhinged. I hope that your study 
and research may unfold this to the world. Esther 
Cox worked for me three months, and a better 
girl we never had since. We have been married 
twenty years. I have often watched her to find 
out how she came downstairs, she seeming to fly. 
It proved a bad day for me before she left, as she 
burned my barn. I may say in passing, I read the 
book published by Hubbell, and while he painted 
the facts up to make the book sell, the facts were 
there all the same. She was not good-looking, 
very ignorant, only a common education, could 
read and write but not spell. She was very much 
afraid of it. I tried several times to teach her 
to exert control by her will-power, but just as I 
had gained a point she became afraid and would 
go no further nor do anything. My house and 
where she lived before she came to live with me 
was only about fifty yards distant, and I used to 
call often to see how she got along. Hundreds 
did the same. 

" At first it was only rapping and pounding, 
but at times it assumed a more serious aspect. One 



IN SPIRITUALISM 107 

night as 1 was on my way home 1 met the doctor 
who attended her (Dr Carritte, since dead). He 
asked me to go with him to see Esther, as he 
feared she was going to die. He had then tried 
everything to arouse her from a semi-unconscious 
state, and as a last resort was going to try a battery. 
When I saw her she was on a cot bed, and seemed 
to be dead but for a violent heaving of her body, 
that is from her breast down to her legs. She 
would fill up and lift the clothes as you would 
inflate a bladder and then it would suddenly 
collapse. Those spells came in regular order, 
about every minute. While the doctor was getting 
ready I watched her in company with her sister 
and her sister's husband, expecting her death 
every moment, but all at once we heard tappings 
on the footboard, at first faint and then louder and 
louder, when all at once she opened her eyes and in 
a few moments spoke to us, and soon rallied, was 
up on the next day, but weak. She had several 
of these turns but this one I saw ; but it is hard to 
describe it fully, for it was the hardest scene I ever 
witnessed. 

" Another : One evening while living with me she 
was putting the things on the table for tea (I had 
told her not to leave the drawer, where the forks 
were kept, open, but this time she forgot). I was 
reading the paper, not paying any attention to her, 
but I happened at the time to be sitting between 
her and the drawer. The first thing I knew a 
dinner fork struck me on the back of the head. 
Some people may doubt these things, but when a 
man gets a whack on the head, it then, with him at 
least, assumes a reality. 

" Another, and this was the only thing that 



108 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

gave me any fright : I kept a horse and cow at the 
time ; Esther used to milk the cow. I attended 
the horse myself. The cow stood at the farther 
end of the barn (say twenty-five feet from the door) 
where I kept a box with my curry-comb and 
brushes. This particular evening she had just 
finished milking and met me at the door. As I 
stepped inside I saw my curry-comb running 
along the floor about eight or ten feet behind her. 
You may depend upon it that I stepped out of the 
way, quick too. It struck the door-post. I then 
picked it up and after that I kept the key in my 
pocket. The next evening when I came home 
she wanted the key to go and milk. I handed it 
to her, she had the milk bucket in her other hand, 
and just as our hands met, a large two-quart 
dipper of water which had been on the table struck 
our hands and spilled the water over both of us, 
giving me a pretty good wetting, spoiling my cuffs. 
It appears she had just been using this dipper, but 
it was lying six or eight feet from us and had to 
pass through an open door at right angles to get 
to where it did. 

" My wife saw ashes, tea-leaves, scrubbing- 
brushes, soap and mop rags, and an old ham bone 
often flying around, and it sometimes put them out 
in their work, but we got so used to it that we put 
up with all these things, as it was hard at the time 
to get help, especially help like her, until she set the 
barn on fire ^ ; we then had her put in jail, and since 

' Esther Cox never set anyone's house or barn on fire or 
stole anything from anyone. Bob Nichol, the demon ghost, 
was not only a thief but also a fire fiend, and all such charges 
against her should be attributed to him as already stated and 
fully explained by myself and others. — Walter Hubbell. 



IN SriRITUALISM 109 

then I don't know if she has had any of her turns. 
Sb** got married, married poor, and has several 
children. I can't give her name, but if it is of any 
use to you I will get it. 

" What 1 have written may not be what you 
want, as you know in writing such things off-hand 
they are not well done. Please let me hear from 
you, and if I can say anything more, will be 
happy to do so. 

" Yours truly, 

" Arthur Davison, 
" Clerk of County Courts 

Letter from Mrs Olive Teed 

"Amherst, N.S. 

"21J/ June, 1908. 

" Mr Walter Hubbell, 

" 6 Princess Street, Amherst, N.S. 

" Dear Friend, — Mr Teed and myself have 
read your book on Esther and the ghosts, or 
demons, and there is one thing that you have not 
got that should be in the book. 

" One Sunday night after we all were in bed, 
Esther being in her own room, having come in 
from Van Amburghs to stay with us over night, 
before going to live with Arthur Davison, 
after you had gone away from Amherst, and 
Jane being away for that night, the following 
occurred : 

It was about ten o'clock. Esther was in her 
bed, and, as you know, her room was opposite 



110 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

mine and Mr Teed's. Our doors were both open 
and we could both look into her room for it was 
moonlight. 

" We saw a chair slide across the room from the 
hall, and when it was near her bed, close up to it; 
the pillow under her head came out and settled 
down on the chair. Esther could see Maggie 
Fisher, the ghost, sit down on the pillow in the 
chair ; we could not see her at all. 

" Maggie rubbed Esther from head to foot and 
then began to pinch her, and to scratch her body 
with a hairpin we found in the bed next day, on 
the arms and neck. Esther said she could not 
stand it any longer. 

" Bob Nichol, the ghost, then got to work and 
threw all the furniture except the bed out of the 
room into the entry. Esther could see him do it. 
We could only see things come out and see that 
she lay there in the bed still and quiet. After the 
furniture had all been thrown out of the room. 
Bob Nichol commenced to rock and shake the bed 
as Esther lay there in it. The noise was so great 
we could not sleep, so Mr Teed, at my request, 
went into her room and took Esther's mattress off 
her bed and brought it into our room, where he 
put it on the floor at the foot of our bed so we 
could all go to sleep, for, as you know, Bob and 
Maggie, the ghosts, did not like Daniel any more 
than they did you, although they never tried to 
kill him as Bob did you with the glass paper- 
weight, you remember, which I still have after all 
these years. All the demons could work better in 
our cottage in Princess Street than anywhere else, 
and they were afraid to do much in our room when 
Mr Teed was in it because they did not want him 



IN SPIRITUALISM 111 

to say Esther must go away for fear all would be 
burned up by Bob, as we nearly were. Well, 
after the mattress had been brought into our room 
and Esther was lying on it, the ghosts took hold 
of the lid of an old trunk in our room that was not 
locked but shut down, and gave it just one parting 
slam as a good night. Nothing else occurred, 
and we all went to sleep in peace. I still have 
the lounge on which you lay when Bob threw the 
glass paper-weight at your head, also six of the 
chairs that they used to pile up and throw over and 
around in our [)arlour. You may put this all in 
the new edition of your book if you choose. Daniel 
has no objection for it's all true like the rest you 
have. 

" Yours truly, 
" Olive Teed." 



112 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 



VIII 

REPORT OF A PERSONAL INVESTIGA- 
TION INTO "THE GREAT AMHERST 
MYSTERY " 

In January, 1907, I travelled to Windsor, Nova 
Scotia, in order to investigate the case of " polter- 
geist " that had been reported to the Society for 
Psychical Research, and is given on pp. 3-19. 
These accounts had been coming in for some time, 
and it seemed probable that genuine phenomena 
had been observed. The result of my investiga- 
tion of that case, however, was to show that 
nothing but trickery had been involved through- 
out, and that fraud was the sufficient explanation 
of the whole case from start to finish. (See my 
report in the Proceedings of the American 
S.P.R., vol. i., pp. 431-519.) As I had to go 
back to New York through Amherst, and as my 
interest in that case had been already aroused by 
a reading of Mr Hubbell's book, I decided to 
" stop off " at Amherst and gather what first-hand 
information I could on the actual scene of opera- 
tions. Accordingly, I spent the best part of two 
days (January 26-27, 190?) in interviewing what 



IN SPIRITUALISM 118 

witnesses I could find (who were still alive) and in 
visiting the house in question. 

The great majority of the witnesses unfor- 
tunately proved to be dead — Parson Town send, 
Mr Robb, Dr Nathan Tupper, Dr Carritte, and 
others who might have proved excellent witnesses 
had they been still alive, all had passed into the 
Great Beyond, and with them their testimony for 
or against " The Great Amherst Mystery." Nor 
could I find any trace of Jennie Cox, the elder 
sister, who witnessed the greater part of the 
phenomena, nor John Teed nor William Cox. 
All had died or moved from Amherst. Mr and 
Mrs Teed, however, are still alive, and the latter 
gave me a great deal of valuable information, 
which I give herewith, Mr Hubbell has collected 
the testimony of some sixteen more witnesses 
of the phenomena — still living — which greatly 
strengthens the evidential value of the case. In 
spite of the fact that my interview with " the 
medium " herself (Esther Cox) did not prove as 
satisfactory as it might have been, the case is, 
however, far stronger than when Mr Hubbell first 
published his book more than tv\^enty years ago. 

It is fortunate that this investigation, tardy as 
it is, has been made before all the first-hand wit- 
nesses — including the medium herself — have died, 
and all chance of personal investigation lost for 
ever. 

The following is a copy, almost verbatim, of 

H 



114 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

my original series of notes, made immediately upon 
my return to the hotel after interviewing the Teed 
family in Amherst in 1907. 

" I called on the Teeds to-day. They have 
moved from their old house, which is now occu- 
pied by a Mrs CahilL She knew of the phenom- 
ena, and appeared to beheve in them ; but stated 
that nothing of the sort had appeared since her 
occupancy of the house. Since the Teeds had 
left the house, it had been entirely renovated, 
repapered, etc., so that all the markings on the 
walls, the burnt timbers, and so forth, were 
entirely covered up. Unfortunately, therefore, 
these can no longer be seen. The house is a 
small, single house, quite detached from those on 
either side of it by some twelve feet, and presents 
the appearance of isolation and desolation. It is 
so small that one cannot conceive how any person 
could be concealed within it without instant de- 
tection, while it is certain that no one could have 
remained long upon the low roof without dis- 
covery." (The photograph of it in this book will 
serve to indicate this.) 

" Having taken a good look at the house, inside 
and out, I called upon the Teeds, whose new 
address I had ascertained from Mrs Cahill. Mrs 
Teed struck me as a quick, active woman, alert 
and quick in thought and action. She appeared 
to be a very good witness. She remembered very 
well all that had transpired, and agreed that Mr 
Hubbell had accurately outlined the phenomena 
in his book, though she added that she thought 
he had dramatised and embellished it in places. 



IN SPIRITUALISM 115 

Mrs Teed said that she had a copy of the book 
which she had read through, but had not looked 
at it for years. Her manner appeared to me per- 
fectly natural, and I was struck at the time by her 
absence of desire to make capital out of the affair. 
If she had wished to bring a certain degree of 
notoriety upon herself and family, she would have 
elaborated and gloated over the incidents ; but 
such was by no means the case. She took a 
natural interest in it, but that was all. Her 
manner certainly impressed me very favourably. 

" I asked her if any fraud had ever been dis- 
covered in connection w4th the case. Mrs Teed 
assured me that, so far as she knew, nothing of the 
sort had been discovered at the time, and none had 
ever come to light since. Her own faith in the 
reality of the facts had obviously remained un- 
shaken. She gave me Esther Cox's address in 
Massachusetts, and talked freely with me about the 
whole case. I asked her her opinion of several 
of the phenomena, but in nearly every case her 
memory was clear and her testimony confirmatory. 
She told me that the independent voices in the air, 
the writing on the wall, were all terrible realities, 
and that no explanation of these facts had ever 
been found. The whole family had been terrified, 
and had searched constantly for the causes of 
these phenomena, but always unsuccessfully. I 
asked particularly concerning the incident (p. g8) in 
which a bucket of cold water had bubbled and 
apparently boiled on the table while she was looking 
at it, and without apparent cause. She remembered 
this clearly, and assured me that it was ' an exact 
fact,' as described. She added that the water 
frothed at the same time, but stated that it 



116 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

remained cool. She saw this several times. Esther 
Cox was standing close by the pail on every occa- 
sion, but Mrs Teed assured me that Esther did not 
touch the pail, and that her (Esther's) hands were 
visible to her throughout. The first time this 
occurred, she observed Esther through a crack in 
the door, thinking that she might be playing some 
trick, but saw that she did not approach the pail 
on the table, the water in which, nevertheless, acted 
as she had described. 

" At first, I was told, phenomena would happen 
when Esther was ill in bed, and when she certainly 
could not have produced the phenomena herself, 
even had she wished to. Knocks were heard, and 
great patches of the plastering came down with 
the force of the blows. Sometimes, however, the 
plaster would come down in exact squares as 
though cut cleanly through with a knife. The 
pillows were often snatched away from under 
Esther's head, while other members of the family 
were looking on ; and the pillows would be blown 
up like a balloon, to the bursting point. The 
sheets were also snatched away — just as Mr 
Hubbell has said in his book — and would stand on 
end in the centre of the room. As soon as anyone 
attempted to grab these sheets, however, they 
would collapse and fall to the floor. Mrs Teed 
added that it was certainly very ' funny.' All this 
was common property at the time, it appeared, and 
many people came to observe the phenomena. 
At times, as many as a hundred people would be 
present at once, looking on, as the various events 
transpired. 

" When the family had grown accustomed to the 
happenings, they would sometimes be amused at 



IN SPIRITUALISM 117 

them, and then Esther would laugh too. She 
seemed to observe the facts from an outside point 
of view, just as did the rest of the family. It was 
true, Mrs Teed informed me, that Esther Cox had 
been cut and had been stuck with pins, just as Mr 
Hubbell narrated ; and she added that this would 
often happen at meal times, when Esther was 
engaged in eating, and when both her hands were 
visible. On such occasions pins had often been 
stuck into her very deeply. On being ques- 
tioned, however, Mrs Teed admitted that she had 
never seen an object start on its journey through 
the air, and, so far as she could remember, she had 
never actually seen it in the air. It had invari- 
ably finished its journey when she observed it. 
(This rang true, and in my estimation went a long 
way toward proving her perfect honesty in the 
narrative she was giving me. For example, the 
cover of the sugar bowl was found missing. A 
slight noise w^ould be heard, and the cover had 
disappeared! Two hours later this cover was 
found behind Esther on the sofa upon which she 
had been sitting. On the contrary, Mrs Teed had 
seen the lid of a trunk open and close several 
times apparently of its own accord, when she was 
looking at it, and when Esther was seen to be in 
another part of the room.) 

" Mrs Teed then told me of one or two incidents 
of interest that had occurred, and which she clearly 
remembered, but which are not in Mr Hubbell's 
book. One such incident is the following: Mrs 
Teed and Esther Cox were washing the dishes 
together in the kitchen, no one else being present. 
Mrs Teed was engaged in washing the dishes, and 
Esther in drying them. The dish-pan, containing 



118 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

a handful of silver, was half full of water, when 
Esther turned and walked to the stove at the 
opposite end of the kitchen, to get some more 
hot water. Her back was turned to the dish-pan, 
and she was about three feet away from it when 
suddenly it jumped into the air, turned completely 
over, and fell to the floor with a crash, spilling the 
water and the silver all over the floor! Mrs Teed 
was sure that, on that occasion, Esther was 
not near the pan, and that she could not have 
touched it. 

" Another such incident is the following : On one 
occasion Esther was asleep in one room, Mr and 
Mrs Teed being in the room across the hall, and 
both doors being open. 

" Esther was asleep in bed. Mr and Mrs Teed's 
bed was in the room on the opposite side of the 
hall, and from it they could see Esther, in the 
opposite room across the hall, through the doors, 
both of which were open. At the end of the hall 
were the stairs ; first a flight of three, then a straight 
flight, leading down to the ground floor. Under 
these conditions, and while Esther was asleep in her 
bed (so Mrs Teed assured me) articles of furniture 
— chiefly chairs — were taken out of Esther's room 
and thrown downstairs, a distance of fifteen or 
twenty feet. They could be seen to come out of 
the door of Esther's room, pass noisily along the 
floor of the hall to the top of the stairs, tumble 
down the flight of three steps, turn the corner and 
tumble down the remaining flight of steps to the 
floor below. All this while Esther was motionless 
in bed! 

" I was also told other items of interest. Dr 
Carritte, it was said, would frequently place his 



IN SPmiTUALISM 119 

hat on the bed while examining Esther, and it 
would be thrown to the floor violently. All could 
see that Esther had not touched it, or moved in 
any way. On one occasion, the baby was taken 
out of the cot, and deposited very gently upon the 
floor. Loud knocks were heard in all parts of the 
house, and particularly in the cellar ; but investiga- 
tion always proved fruitless. On one occasion, 
Esther was tied to her chair and carefully watched, 
but still the thumps and bangs continued on the 
walls, floor, and in the cellar of the house. While 
these demonstrations were going on, some of the 
family w^ent into the cellar to investigate, but could 
find nothing to account for the noise, which, never- 
theless, continued on the floor directly over their 
heads! Esther's presence seemed necessary to 
ensure phenomena, however, and in her absence 
nothing happened. 

" I asked Mrs Teed if she remembered the 
remarkable bodily swellings from which Esther 
suffered at the time. She rephed that she did, 
and that Mr. Hubbell's account was quite accurate 
in this respect. The trouble was caused in this 
manner. Esther had been told to place glass in 
her shoes ' to prevent the escape of electricity 
from her body! ' and the result was that she had 
swollen up in the manner indicated. As soon as 
the glass had been removed from her shoes, the 
swelling subsided, and she felt immediate reHef ! 

" On another occasion, Mrs Teed told me, she 
had seen a number of chairs piled one on the top 
of another, before her eyes, until a pile of five or 
six had been made, and then the bottom chair 
suddenly withdrawn, and the whole pile tumble to 
the floor. Frequently, furniture had been shaken 



120 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

and knocked about in this manner until it was ' all 
nicked and dented.' I examined the chairs — the 
identical ones which had been used by the intelli- 
gences for this famous ' juggling feat ' ; and, 
sure enough, they were badly dented, and showed 
unmistakable evidences of having been roughly 
handled and thrown about. I also examined the 
paper-weight which Mr Hubbell mentioned (p. 
102), and found it solid, heavy and badly nicked 
in one corner. It could certainly have done 
considerable damage had it been thrown with force. 

" Esther herself had been greatly afraid, 
especially at first, and would never stay in a room 
alone, if she could help it. Her bed would be 
shaken, when she retired for the night, until she 
was worn out from fear and lack of sleep. Every- 
one wished that the phenomena would cease, but 
they continued, in spite of all their efforts to 
prevent them. No fraud was discovered at any 
time, however, then or later, and Mrs Teed was 
sure that none had been practised at the time. 

" It may be objected to all this, of course, that I 
give the confirmatory evidence of only one person, 
and that person the sister of 'the medium,' one 
who would naturally wish to shield her younger 
sister against all charges of fraud or imposture. 
As to the first point, that is, fortunately, answered 
by the additional evidence which Mr Hubbell has 
been enabled to gather. As to the latter objection, 
I can only say that I think Mrs Teed too fair- 
minded to protect her sister from public criticism 
if she had found her, either at the time, or subse- 
quently, to have been guilty of fraud. Evident 
precautions were taken at the time to prevent this, 
and, as I have said before, the whole household 



IN SPIRITUALISM 121 

(not to speak of outsiders) were on the constant 
look-out to prevent it. Further, it Mrs Teed had 
feh that she should protect her sister at the time, 
I do not think that she would feel bound to do so 
now, after a lapse of nearly thirty years, when all 
the novelty and notoriety has worn off, and all 
the ' glory ' — ^such as it was — might have been 
supposed to have been achieved years ago! 
Esther Cox is now married, and hving in another 
part of the world altogether ; she has not seen her 
sister, Mrs Olive Teed, for a number of years. 
Must we suppose that, in spite of this, the whole 
family, and not only they, but all the other wit- 
nesses in the case, would persist in sticking to a 
lie, simply to defend the absent Esther Cox? It 
is incredible ! Whatever the interpretation of the 
facts, I am quite sure that Esther alone was re- 
sponsible for them ; and that all the other members 
of the family are entirely innocent of any partici- 
pation therein." 

So much, then, I concluded from my investi- 
gation at Amherst. The principal witness, how- 
ever, had yet to be interviewed, viz. Esther Cox 
herself ; and she I proposed to interview as soon 
as I reached Boston. 

On arriving in Boston, then, on my way back to 
New York, I went to see Esther Cox and found 
her living in a small cottage. She stated, very 
reluctantly, in reply to my questions, that the 
" power " had not visited her since her marriage, 
but gave the distinct impression that she still be- 
lieved in the phenomena. Pressed with questions. 



122 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

she stated that she would not talk about the 
case, as she was " afraid they would come back." 
She showed great reluctance to discuss the story 
at all. She appeared to be angry with her sister, 
Mrs Teed, for having given me her address, and 
with Mr Hubbell for having written the book ; not 
that she did not still believe in the phenomena, 
apparently, or was in any way inclined to admit 
fraud on her own part, but she did not wish to 
discuss it at all, and appeared simply irritated 
whenever it was mentioned. The more I pressed 
her with questions, the more irritated she became, 
and finally her husband intervened, and said that 
for $ioo he would consent to her telling me all 
necessary details, but not unless! I said to him 
frankly that I should, in that case, have no 
guarantee whatever that I was not furnished with 
a hundred dollars' worth of lies — as bought testi- 
mony — particularly in a case of this character — 
would be absolutely worthless. It being useless 
waste of time to prolong the interview, I put 
on my hat and left, none too pleased with 
the interview, or the late medium and her 
husband. 

After returning to New York it struck me 
that I might have received a wrong impression 
of Esther Cox herself, simply because of her 
husband's attitude ; so I wrote to my friend, Mr 
Herbert B. Turner, then living in Boston, and 
asked him to look up her record, if possible, and 



TN SPIRITUALISM 128 

let me know the result. He was not enabled to do 
so himself, but asked the wife of a very old friend of 
his to investigate for him, and report her findings.- 
1 give her letter below. Concerning Mrs H — — , 
the lady who undertook the investigation, Mr 
Turner writes : 

" Gray H , the husband of Grace H . 



is a life-long friend of mine. We grew up as 
brothers, and I know he would not draw upon his 

imagination. Grace H I do not know except 

as a speaking acquaintance, as she was a Brockton 
girl and he an Arlington fellow. However, she 
looks to be a matter-of-fact and sensible woman, 
and I have been told that she impresses all who 
know her as a girl of sterling qualities. . . ." 

The following is Mrs H 's report : 

" My Dear Mr Turner, — As I am consider- 
ably more familiar with and its people than 

Gray is, he turned your letter over to me for inves- 
tigation, and I can now report as follows : 

" From a department of this city I have learned 
that Esther Cox is a very hard-working woman, 
but respectable, honest and reliable. In fact, the 
department officials consider her as one of their 
very best workers. They tell me that during the 
four years she has been known to them they have 
found her square in all her dealings with them, 
and perfectly truthful — this last having been 
verified at various times, when they had investi- 
gated statements made by her, and found them 



124 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

always true ; and they say they would not hesitate 
to take her word as to this old experience of hers, 
as she is not at all of an imaginative turn of mind, 
and would not be likely to make up any such thing. 
In regard to that experience, however, she could 
not be induced to say a word ; said it was some- 
thing she ' dared not talk about.' It is quite 
possible that fear of her husband keeps her silent. 
Whatever the reason, no satisfaction could be got 
from her answers to this question, and so they gave 
up trying. 

" I am sorry we could find out so little for you, 
but hope even this little bit of information may be 
of some assistance to you. 

" Sincerely, 

" Grace R. H 

" Atth February, IQO?-" 

It will be observed that this agrees with my own 
experience almost exactly. I could not induce 
Esther Cox to make any statement to me, appa- 
rently for the same reason : she was " afraid of their 
coming back." Late testimony as to her character 
and veracity has, therefore, been favourable, rather 
than the reverse ; and her honesty and sincerity 
have been largely vindicated. To this extent, 
therefore, the "poltergeist" phenomena in "The 
Great Amherst Mystery " have received additional 
confirmation and support. 



PART II 

EUSAPIA PALLADINO'S AMERICAN 
SEANCES 



IX 

INTRODUCTION 

EusAPiA Palladino is too well known to need 
any introduction to students of psychical research. 
Her case has been before the world for the past 
quarter of a century, and still remains in many 
ways as baffling as when first attention was drawn 
to it. This medium has been studied by groups 
of savants in nearly every country of Europe ; 
and every group — with one or two exceptions — 
has emerged with the conviction that she presents 
unknown and supernormal physical phenomena of 
an extraordinary character. The general nature 
of the facts, and a resume of all the work which 
has been done upon her case in the past, has been 
summarised by me in my former book devoted 
exclusively to her, viz. : " Eusapia Palladino, and 
Her Phenomena." To this I would refer the 
reader for all information concerning this medium 
prior to her visit to America in 1909 — when I 
brought her over in order that her phenomena 
might be studied by the scientific men of this 
country, as they had previously been studied bv 
their confreres in Europe. Much fraud was 

127 



128 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

discovered during the latter part of her American 
trip ; and the impression which many persons have 
is simply that she is a clever trickster, who was 
here found out in fraud for the first time! How 
erroneous this view of the facts is will be evident 
to anyone reading carefully the following Report. 

It is hardly necessary to remind the reader that, 
in 1908, the Hon. Everard Feilding, Mr W. W. 
Baggally, and myself visited Naples, under the 
auspices of the Enghsh S.P.R., and there held 
ten seances in our own rooms in the hotel, the 
results of which were such as to convince us all 
that genuine physical manifestations of a remark- 
able character had been witnessed by us. The 
full report of these sittings is to be found in the 
Proceedings, S.P.R., vol. xxiii., pp. 309-569. 
The object of that report was to give, in as exact 
detail as possible, the conditions under which the 
phenomena had occurred ; and this we felt we had 
done. It was impossible to do this in the Ameri- 
can seances, when new groups of inexperienced 
sitters were constantly being introduced. We had 
to make the best of the situation, and obtain what 
phenomena we could under unfavourable con- 
ditions. Some of these were, however, startling 
enough, as will be seen from the records. 

Before entering upon an account of the actual 
seances — which must, unfortunately, be abbre- 
viated in this volume — one or two final comments 
arc necessary. Although fraud was discovered in 




EisAi'iA si:.\ ri:i) a i i iii- Si:ance Iaislk. 



IN SriRITUAUSM 129 

the American seances, I do not for a moment 
admit — and never have — that this at all invalidates 
our former report or the report of others. I am 
just as fully convinced as ever of the supernormal 
character of the facts. Fraud was discovered, it 
is true ; but it was also found by practically every- 
one who has ever investii^ated Eusapia's powers 
seriously. Driven into a corner, unable to 
produce genuine phenomena, she will resort to 
trickery — trickery of a type well known to exist, 
and described by Richet, Morselli, and others, 
years before. We ourselves caught this same 
trickery in Naples ; and I described it in detail in 
a circular letter which I sent to all sitters before 
E. P. landed in America. Yet, in spite of these 
facts, when trickery was detected, it was heralded 
forth as a new discovery, and the public gained 
the impression that it had been discovered for 
the first time! Had the investigators in America 
studied the case more carefully and for a longer 
period of time, they would have ascertained — as 
did their European confreres — that genuine 
phenomena were also produced ; and that their 
task was to sift and separate the two classes of 
phenomena. That genuine phenomena arc pro- 
duced in her presence I have not the slightest 
doubt ; and I feel more assured than ever of this 
fact after witnessing nearly forty seances, under 
all conceivable conditions of control. Inasmuch 
as I had in the past had no difficulty in detecting 

I 



130 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

fraud in practically every physical medium I had 
investigated at the first sitting, I feel that I could 
not possibly have been deceived time after time 
by the few comparatively simple phenomena which 
Eusapia produces. This, at least, is my con- 
viction ; and I may say that this attitude is shared 
by practically every careful and patient investi- 
gator who has ever obtained a series of sittings 
with this medium. 

And just here I must answer the oft-repeated 
question: If Eusapia can produce genuine 
phenomena, why does she trick? 

The answer is simply this: she depends, for 
successful results, upon a power over which she 
has little or no voluntary control. Sometimes it 
is forthcoming, and sometimes it is not. When 
it is, the phenomena begin at once, and nothing 
can stop them. These are the so-called " good " 
seances, at which (as I believe) practically all the 
phenomena seen are genuine. At other times, on 
the contrary, the power, whatever it is, is weak ; 
and at such times, after waiting for an hour or 
more, with no result, Eusapia will insist upon 
less light, and will then resort to fraud, in an 
endeavour to reproduce the genuine phenomena 
which fail to appear. Her vanity is the cause of 
all the trouble. Did she but say to her sitters 
that she could do nothing that night, all would 
be well ; but rather than admit failure she would 
resort to any device, and the result is that she is 



IN SPIRITUALISM 181 

caught in trickery, as before mentioned. It is a 
great pity, but no amount of argument will influ- 
ence her in the least or induce her to act otherwise! 

The |)henomena seen in America were of the 
usual character — there being a great " sameness " 
about all Eusapia Palladino's seances. Levita- 
tions of the table open the proceedings, these being 
followed by raps and scratches upon the table, 
in response to raps and scratches made with 
Eusapia's fingers above it. Next the curtains of 
the cabinet blow out, and about this time less light 
is demanded. After this has been reduced suffi- 
ciently, movements of objects take place in the 
cabinet ; the bell is rung, the tambourine played 
upon, etc. These objects are then moved out of 
the cabinet and deposited on the seance table, 
and, finally, the small table itself, within the 
cabinet, drags along the floor and is thrown out, 
or lifted on to the larger seance table. Following 
these phenomena " touchings " ensue, and occa- 
sionally visible hands and faces are seen. This 
is the general run of a seance. 

Eusapia sits otttside the cabinet, the curtains 
of which are behind her, and her hands and feet 
are held or " controlled " by those seated on either 
side of her. These are called the " controllers." 
Their business is to see that her hands, feet and 
knees are well held, and that she cannot produce 
any of the phenomena by their aid. Sometimes 
the medium would be searched ; on other occasions 



132 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

this precaution would not be taken. Confederates 
were out of the question, since the medium has 
given her seances in private houses, laboratories, 
etc., for years ; and even on board the boat coming 
to America. Hallucination, as a hypothesis, has 
been refuted so many times before that it cannot, 
at this late date, be considered seriously. There 
remains only the hypothesis of fraud. This also 
has been discussed fully in many previous reports, 
and every reader must estimate its possibility, on 
any given occasion, for himself. For my own part, 
I merely record my complete conviction that it is 
totally incapable of explaining many of the mani- 
festations which have been witnessed in the past, 
which we ourselves witnessed in Naples, or the 
bulk of the phenomena which were recorded in 
the American seances. It is of no use to say: 
" Of what value are such phenomena, even if true? 
Of what practical use and utility are they? " Such 
questions must not enter into a scientific problem, 
which attempts, only, to answer the question: 
Are such facts true? Cui bono? must not enter 
into a scientific problem. As Mr Andrew Lang 
remarked, in replying to critics of this character: 
" What is the use of argon ? Why are cockroaches 
permitted} " 

Eusapia Palladino landed in America on loth 
November, 1909, and left on i8th June, 1910. 
She gave between thirty and forty seances during 
that period, nearly all of which were seen by my- 



IN SrilUTUALISM 133 

self. On some occasions I was not present. The 
majority of the sittings took place in the regular 
seance room, which had been specially prepared 
for her visit. An office had been rented, special 
bolts and burglar-alarms placed on the doors and 
windows, a cluster of live graduated electric lights 
placed in the centre of the room, arranged as 
follows: No. I — 16 c.[)., white^ unshaded; No. 2 
— 4 c.p., white, unshaded; No. 3 — 4 c.p., white, 
shaded with two thicknesses of white tissue-paper ; 
No. 4 — 4 c.p. red, shaded with two thickesses of 
red tissue-paper; No. 5 — 4 c.p., red, shaded with 
four thicknesses of red tissue-paper. The second 
hand on the watch could be see in No. 3. The 
outline of all figures could be clearly seen in No. 
4 ; less clearly in No. 5. A separate table and light 
for the stenographer had been provided ; a wooden 
cabinet constructed at one end of the room, etc. 
Cane-bottomed chairs were procured ; musical 
instruments, small tables, etc., were also placed 
in readiness, as well as the large seance table, 
weighing 12 lb., 36 x 20 inches wide, 30^ inches 
high, and devoid of metal, according to Eusapia's 
instructions. Scales, clay, and other necessary 
instruments were also on hand.^ 

' The interested reader is referred to " The Annals of 
Psychical Science," July-September, 1910, pp. 337-75, for details 
and exact measurements of all the chairs, tables and instru- 
ments employed — also for the verbatim stenographic report of 
Seance I and the stance on board ship. Owing to the nece.s- 
sity of condensing the material, much of this has necessarily 
been omitted in Uie present summary. 



134 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

On her way to America, Eusapia gave a seance, 
as before said, on board ship, in one of the officers' 
cabins, at which " materiahsations " and the usual 
phenomena occurred. The following extracts 
from the report which appeared the next day in 
the papers, based upon statements of the witnesses 
of the seance, will give an idea of what occurred: 

"... Suddenly three distinct raps came on the 
back of my chair, and a very forcible one on the 
back of my neck, and still another on the centre 
of my back. Everyone in the room received some 
manifestation of this sort. The young girl gasped 
and turned fearfully pale. ... No loud word was 
spoken, only there was the moaning of the medium, 
who sat stiff and apparently lifeless in her chair.' 
Her hand that I held was warm, and I held it 
firmly down on my knee. Then there came 
knocking on the table — the sound seeming to 
emanate from that part of the table opposite Mme 
Palladino. ... I felt something grasp my ankle. 
It felt like a hand. One of the girls cried out in 
terror, ' Someone's hand is on my shoulder! ' 
She appeared ready to faint. At this instant a 
strong cold wind swept round the room, making 
the temperature seemingly fall several degrees, and 
the curtain-hangings in front of the berth bulge 
out. A gasp of dismay fell from the lips of the 
women. One of them screamed as she looked at 
the top of the curtains near the ceiling. There 
was a ghastly appearing hand and fingers point- 
ing, and part of the arm. Underneath it was 
what everyone afterwards described as a black 
mask. The latter melted away, but the arm and 



IN SPIRITUALISM 135 

hand seemed to float down until we saw it resting 
over the doctor's shoulder. . . . 

" Dr Oteri, pale and unmistakably moved, 
asked for the spirit of his daughter. At once, 
according to his statement, he was seized with an 
affectionate embrace. To his query as to whether 
his daughter was satisfied with her life in spirit- 
land, there came three knocks on the side of the 
table most distant from the medium. At this 
juncture the cold wind began circulating in the 
room. The curtains blew out violently, and one of 
them wrapped itself round the doctor's shoulder. 
Suddenly Mrs Bonfiglio screamed and looked 
toward the top of the curtains. All saw float- 
ing there a hideous, black, mask-like thing. 
Thoroughly unnerved, one of the women fainted, 
and was taken from the room in hysterics a few 
minutes later. All rose from the table tempor- 
arily but Mme Palladino, who sat motionless, 
emitting little moans. Her face was somewhat 
haggard. . . ." ^ 

We now come to an account of the American 
seances, and I shall give these seriatim, sum- 
marising them as fully as possible in the limited 
space at my disposal. They will thus form one 
chapter in the life and history of this remarkable 
medium. 

' These psyoholog-ical and physiological after-effects of the 
stance are, at times, very marked ; and tell strongly against 
any hypothesis of fraud. No one who has seen the effects of 
a good stance upon Eusapia can doubt its genuineness ! See 
my discussion of these points in " Eusapia Palladino," etc., pp. 
315, 319-20, 333-34, etc. In the case of poor or fraudulent 
stances, on the contrary, these after-effects are as a rule almost 
entirely lacking. 



136 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 



X 

THE AMERICAN SliANCES 

Seance I 

The first seance was given for the benefit of 
the Press, and was attended almost solely by 
Press representatives. The seance began at 9.38 
p.m., and at 9.44 the first complete levitation 
occurred. Several more followed in rapid suc- 
cession, as well as raps and scratches on the table- 
top. During most of these levitations, both the 
medium's hands were off the table, clenched and 
held some six inches above its surface. At 10.4 
movements inside the cabinet began, and con- 
tinued for more than an hour. The " stocks " 
apparatus was put on the table later in the seance, 
and, at 10.34, ^ complete levitation was obtained, 
when both hands were fully accounted for, and 
the stocks apparatus ivas in position. 

" She was holding Mr M.'s wrist, and the hand 
which was covered by the left curtain was held 
underneath it. The right hand was visibly held 



IN SPIJUTUALISM 137 

on her right knee, and Dr Caccini was also hold- 
ing her hand under the table." 



At 10.42 the following incident occurred, which 
I take from the shorthand report: 

" The stool moved about six inches toward 
her. Someone passed his hands round her body, 
between her and the stool, and said, ' There is no 
string, or anything.' At this juncture Mr Har- 
rington of the Herald gets under the table and 
holds her feet, at the medium's recjuest. The 
stool is lifted right on to the table and put down 
without contact. Control said to be perfect. The 
medium calls for them to control her feet well. 

" The stool, which is upside down on the table, 
moves about. Control said to be perfect." 

A long series of movements of the stool 
followed, and finally a complete levitation of the 
large seance table, when both feet were held under 
the table by the Herald reporter, and both 
knees and both hands were also held (10.49). 
The same thing occurred again two minutes 
later. 

At 1 1. 1 5 the reporters left, but about half a 
dozen persons remained, and the most striking 
phenomena occurred after this time. Eusapia 
complained of being very tired, but seemed unable 
to terminate the seance. She soon went into deep 
trance, at which time I took my place by her side, 



138 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

and supported her, resting her head against mine, 
and assuming control of one side of her body. 
The curtains blew out, and people began to be 
touched, and, shortly afterwards, visible hands 
and arms were seen. At this point I resume the 
stenographic record : 

" A Voice : Someone absolutely touched me ! 

" C. : Her right hand was perfectly visible on 
the table, on my corner. As she hits my head 
with hers, Mr Brady is touched by a hand. The 
control is perfect. Her hands are firmly held 
about six inches from" one another. With the 
fingers of my left hand I am holding her left hand, 
and with her right hand she is holding the wrist 
of the same hand. 

" 11.37. C. : As she hits my head with hers, 
Mr Brady is touched. Every time she strikes 
her head against mine, Mr Brady is touched. I 
was feeling both her hands, one with my wrist and 
one with my fingers. 

" 11.40. Table tips slowly at first, and then is 
completely levitated ; staying up about nine 
seconds, it wiggles up and down several times 
and then falls. . . . 

" 1 1.4 1. Movements in the cabinet become 
plainly audible. The small table which was 
placed, by one of the newspaper men, in the cabinet 
was heard moving about and the bell was heard 
to sound. 

" 11.42. Loud movements in the cabinet. 

" C. : Her right hand is perfectly visible above 
the table. Her left hand and both her feet and 
knees are well held. She is moving her right 



IN SPIRITUALISM 139 

hand on the table now. Loud noises in the 
cabinet. 

"11.43. Raps or movements in the cabinet. 
The medium screams ' Controllo ! ' and the small 
table in the cabinet is moved right out and up, 
on to the edge of the table outside ; the bell is 
thrown off and rattles on to the floor. 

" C. : I could feel both her hands separated from 
each other, the body resting against mine. The 
bell is being moved again. The table is being 
moved. She squeezes my hand, and at every 
squeeze the table is moved. 

'* 11.44. The medium exclaims, 'Controllo 
bene! Oh dear me,' as the flageolet is lifted 
right out on to Mr Brady's lap. 

" C. : Her right hand is visibly in mine. Her 
left hand in Mr Brady's, under the curtain. 

"11.45. Flageolet still in Mr Brady's lap. 
The little table is moving. The little round table 
from the cabinet is lifted right up against Mr 
Brady. . . . The tambourine is lifted on to the 
table and thence on to Mr Brady's lap by a per- 
fectly visible hand. 

" C. : She is in deep tranqe now. Her hands 
are separated eighteen inches from each other. 
The small round table continues to move visibly 
while two or three people are looking at it. 
My left hand is across her knees all this 
time. 

" 11.48. The small table is lifted right on to 
the seance table by a visible white hand. Control 
perfect. 

" C. : Now I am holding her left hand in my 
right; with her right hand she is holding my wrist. 
The little table is continually moved about, trying 



140 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

to get on to the seance table, but it fell to the 
floor. . . . 

11.58. The medium cries ' Enough, enough,' 
and screams. The largest light is turned on. 
Eusapia calls for water. . . . 

" The medium rises from the seance table with 
the assistance of two men and comes over to the 
reporter's table, when Mrs Carrington and the 
reporter take her hands. She appears dazed and 
suffering, and is assisted to a reclining position 
across three of the small chairs, where she lies for 
about ten minutes. Then, gradually, she recovers 
herself." 

The following extracts from the report of this 
first seance made by Mr Will Irwin, well known 
as an exposer of fraudulent mediums, appeared 
the next morning in the N ew York Tunes, and 
will doubtless prove of interest, and will serve to 
indicate the impression made upon a cautious but 
open-minded observer by a fairly good seance : 

" Directly under the full light of a sixteen candle 
power electric lamp, with two men holding her 
feet and knees and with her hands in plain 
view a foot above the table, Signora Palladino 
caused it to rise again and again — three times with 
all the feet clear of the floor. In all these levita- 
tions the spectators on the edge of the circle could 
look under the table and see her feet and knees 
quiet and absolutely controlled. . . . Carrington 
had taken the most elaborate precautions to 
forestall a chance of fraud. He had sealed the 
windows and connected them with burglar-alarms, 
and put special bolts on the doors. . . . 



IN SPTKITIALTSM 141 

" The seance began whh levitations. After one 
of these, as soon as the thing began to rise, I knelt 
on the tioor and watc-hed her knees — there was no 
need to watch her hands, for they were high in the 
air. Her feet were on the floor, and the arm of 
the Sun man rested across her knees. 

" Levitation followed levitation. Sometimes 
she would clinch her hands separately, sometimes 
one in the other, but always intently, and never 
at this stage of the seance did she touch the table. 
. . . Then followed a complete levitation of a 
foot and a half. It lasted perhaps five seconds, 
during which I stooped and watched her legs. 
Again I plainly saw her feet on the floor, and 
knees together and away from the table-leg, and 
all three of her nearest sitters holding her legs 
under the table. After this demonstration she 
fell back and took a short rest. . . . 

" Carrington, who had been expounding the 
phenomena all along, said at this point : ' She has 
not assumed full trance yet. Hiccuping is a 
sign of that.' She never did reach full trance — 
at least, not while the reporters stayed. Suddenly 
she reached back and began to rub the curtain. 
Carrington asked the reporters outside the circle 
to feel them and assure themselves that she had 
not connected a string to them. . . . Palladino 
raised her hands high above her head. The table 
followed and stood at an angle of forty-five degrees, 
the edge nearest her five and a half feet in the 
air, and the opposite end clear of the fioor. In 
that light I could see all the hands. Not one of 
the circle was touching the table. It met nothinqr. 
... I passed my hand between the table and the 
medium on her side of the taBle. It met nothing. 



142 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

I timed this levitation roughly and I estimate its 
duration, from the time when the motion started, 
at thirty-five seconds. . . . 

" Suddenly the left-hand curtain with a violent 
motion blew out, and we saw its end resting over 
the left shoulder of Palladino. ' Careful about 
taking that as evidential,' said Carrington; 'that 
can be produced by fraud, and we have to watch 
her for faking.' 

" My attention wandered to the cabinet. It 
was recalled by a light scream from Miss George. 
I looked at the table. The stool stood upon it, 
upside down. . . . The end of the cabinet cur- 
tains on which it rested seemed to rise with it. I 
called Carrington's attention to that fact. ' That's 
true,' he said. ' It is not evidential for that 
reason.' Palladino began to complain that she 
was tired. ... It grew so late that the reporters 
left her in half-trance.'^ 

After the reporters had left, the seance con- 
tinued, and the following extracts from the notes 
taken by Dr Caccini will prove of interest: 

" The table rose. . . . While in the air, she 
invited the audience to press down upon it with 
full force. In spite of all efforts to press it down, 
it rose up a few more inches, and then crashed 
down. The curtain moved again, and blew out 
on the left side. Something like an arm pushed 
it toward the audience for over two feet. So 
it remained for five seconds. Scarcely had it 
dropped back than a hand, larger in size than 
the average man's hand, but clear and visible, 



IN SPIRITUALISM 143 

alabaster in colour, and somewhat phosphorescent, 
appeared from behind the curtain, pushing itself 
toward the table. . . . 

" The table knocked five times, asking for less 
light. The red lamp was lighted. . . . Several 
shakings of the curtains followed, and then sud- 
denly the flute was seized by the alabaster hand 
and thrust against a man's chest in three succes- 
sive jumps. The hand was shiny and as usual 
phosphorescent. A last push threw the flute on 
the table. . . . Soon after this the seance ended." 

At the conclusion of the seance, the cold wind, 
so often noticed coming from the scar on Eusapia's 
head, was felt by those present, and continued for 
several minutes — in spite of the fact that Eusapia 
blew forcibly, at our request, with her mouth, 
while the cold air was issuing from the " scar." 
The upper part of her face was carefully covered 
with our hands ; this proved to us conclusively that 
the air coming from her mouth had nothing to 
do with the " breeze " noted — notwithstanding the 
" explanations " which have accounted for it in 
this manner! 

STANCE II 

I reofret to state that I have no shorthand notes of 
Seances II, III, and IV. The shorthand notes for 
these seances were taken by Miss G. Allen — Dr 
Hyslop's former secretary — who, since leaving 
him, has refused to surrender them to me. For 



144 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

these seances I must, therefore, depend upon (i) 
my memory-record of the sittings, and (2) letters 
and notes supphed by some of the sitters. Frorri 
these I abstract a few of the most interesting and 
saHent features. 

The second sitting was attended by several 
ladies and gentlemen, including Mr S. S. McClure, 
Editor of McClure s H/agazine, and Drs Bosworth 
and Saram R. Ellison, friends of Mr Harry Kellar, 
the maeician. Drs Bosworth and Ellison con- 
trolled during the greater part of the seance. 
Levitations began the proceedings, followed by 
curtain phenomena and touches. Then followed 
an incident worthy of particular note. Mr B. 
was standing behmd the right controller, and 
about four feet from the medium. Suddenly 
there appeared, floating in space, high over his 
head, the small flageolet, easily visible in the semi- 
darkness on account of its light colour. Mr B. 
stretched out his hand, and took hold of the instru- 
ment, which seemed to be suspended in space. 
It was certainly suspended for some moments — 
long enough for him to put out his hand in a 
leisurely way and take it, as it floated before him. 
The instrument was far beyond Eusapia's reach, 
even had she been standing ; and we could all 
see her seated in her chair at the head of the table, 
and, with the same clearness, we could all see 
that it was iinpossihie for her hand to hold the 
flageolet in that extremely high position. 




Intkkiou of THI-: Cahinkt. 



IN SPIRITUALISM 115 

It was durino- this seance that one of the most 
interesting incidents in the whole series occurred. 
At the request of one of the sitters, I went into 
the cabinet to ascertain that no one was there, and 
to place the small table upright, and the instru- 
ments upon it. These had fallen to the floor, and 
we desired to have them again thrown from the 
table, if possible, by the intelligence in the cabinet. 
Miss Y., quite unexpectedly, entered the cabinet 
at the same moment from the opposite side. (That 
is, I lifted up the curtains and entered on the 
extreme right and Miss Y. on the extreme left of 
the cabinet — I entering about a second before she 
did.) As Miss Y. entered the cabinet, the tam- 
bourine which was lying on the floor was thrown 
at her and struck her left ankle. At the same 
moment she experienced a violent resistance, as 
of a strong current of air or other invisible force, 
which was pressing against her and forcing her 
out of the cabinet. This happened when I myself 
was inside the cabinet and could see that nothing 
was touching her. Miss Y. re-entered the cabinet, 
however, and stooped down to pick up the tam- 
bourine, which had struck her ankle. As she did 
so, the small table w^as lifted up and placed on 
her bark and shoulders, as she bent over, and she 
was again pushed out of the cabinet. She told 
me after the seance that she had never been so 
impressed in her life as when she received this 
push, as though by invisible hands forcing her 

K 



146 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

out of the cabinet. I myself experienced no 
phenomenon of the kind ; but when I set the small 
table upright, in order to place the musical instru- 
ments upon it, it was immediately levitated and 
forced against me with considerable pressure. A 
moment or two later, Mr McClure approached the 
cabinet curtains on the right side (within about a 
foot of them, a clearly lighted space being between 
his body and the curtains), when he started back 
and exclaimed that he had been forced away from 
the cabinet curtains by a small hand placed against 
his chest. Immediately after this, Mrs L., sitting 
on the right side o'f the table, was touched, 
although she was two seats removed from E., and 
therefore not controlling her Following this 
came a series of touches which seemed to be on 
the sides of the right and left controllers <t the 
same time. 

Seance III 

This seance was held in the usual room, igth 
November, 1909. Present: several ladies and 
gentlemen ; also Prof. R. W. Wood, of Johns 
Hopkins ; Prof. Augustus Trowbridge, of Prince- 
ton ; Dr J. D. Quackenbos ; and Dr Caccini, 
who brought with him a fox-terrier, as a test, to 
see whether or not the latter would " sense " any- 
thing unusual during the seance — as they have 
often been reported to do in " haunted houses," 



IN SPIRITUALISM 147 

etc. The seance was a poor one, comparatively 
speaking — there being no well-defined materiali- 
sations ; and the dog gave practically no evidence 
of " sensing " anything unusual. 

At the beginning of the seance Dr Quackenbos 
controlled on the left side, and Prof. Wood on the 
right, of the medium. Dr Quackenbos used his 
will-power whilst controlling, to the effect that no 
phenomena should occur, and at the same time 
never took his eyes off the medium. The natural 
result was that she appeared restless and " fid- 
gety," and no phenomena took place! At the end 
of an hour, Dr Quackenbos put on his hat and 
coat and left! The j)henomena then slowly 
commenced. 

This seance was so unsatisfactory that no 
phenomena are worthy of being recorded in full, 
with the exception of the following incident, which 
occurred, as it were, spontaneously and outside 
the seance, and the description of which I quote 
from a letter written me some days later by Prof. 
Wood, who says: 

" 28/^ November, 1909. 

" My Dear Carrington, ... As it seems 
important to record everything seen, I am going 
to tell you about something else, which I did not 
mention to you for reasons that will be obvious. 
(It was not till we got back to the hotel that any- 
thing peculiar was suggested.) While I was on 
the floor behind Trowbridge, about fifteen minutes 



148 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

before he surrendered control, I saw what appeared 
to be a dark object going from his left shoulder 
to the side of the cabinet. It was precisely as if 
he were leaning his hand against the cabinet. I 
thought that he was either supporting himself 
against the partition, or had put his hand out for 
some purpose. It was there for a long time — 
fully ten minutes. I saw it repeatedly. Once I 
put my face up close to where the hand should 
be — if it was his arm. I saw the outline of a large 
hand distinctly, with a ring on the finger. I 
thought: 'That's all right, I'm sure it's Trow- 
bridge.' It did not move at all. I did not see it 
removed, as I gave it no further attention, neither 
did I see it put in position originally. The light 
was very dim, but I got very close to it, and every- 
thing was precisely as if T. were leaning against 
the wall. On mentioning it to him, he said he 
had never placed his hand on the wall at all, and 
that he had removed his ring! It looks hke hallu- 
cination somewhere, and I mention it as it may 
be that similar impressions have been recorded at 
other sittings. I would have sworn that he had 
his arm out, that his hand was on the partition, 
and that he had on a ring. He is sure that he did 
not — so there you are! I wish I had taken hold 
of it. It bothers me now more than anything 
else. I had my face within six inches of the hand, 
and could see a good deal of the detail, i.e. the 
thumb and fingers and the ring. 

" The simplest explanation would be that Trow- 
bridge did really rest his arm against the wall and 
forgot about it. But there is the trouble of the 
ring! Yours sincerely, 

" R. W. Wood." 



IN SriKITUALISM 149 



Seance IV 

This seance was held in the usual room, on 
22nd November. Present: several ladies and 
gentlemen, and Professors Wood and Trow- 
bridge. This seance is memorable for the appear- 
ance of a number of nondescript black objects 
which issued from the cabinet, closely resembhng 
hands or fists wrapped in black cloth — though it 
is certain that, in the greater number of these 
appearances, the curtain did not move, but re- 
mained stationary, while the objects themselves 
extended into the room as far as two or three 
feet. Many of them came from a low level, 
not more than two feet from the floor, and 
shot upwards as high as the shoulders of the 
controllers. 

During the early part of the sitting, Profs. 
Wood and Trowbridge controlled the medium. 
A number of complete levitations occurred, which 
were acknowledged by all to be exceptionally 
good. One forcible downward pressure by Prof. 
Wood caused the two legs of the table farthest 
from Eusapia to touch the floor, while the legs 
nearest her were still suspended in the air, and 
did not fall until several seconds later. . . . These 
experiments seemed to irritate Eusapia, however, 
and after two or three attempts they were discon- 



150 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

tinned. During the latter part of the seance, 
Prof. Wood was crouching" on the floor at 
Eusapia's right, with his head against the wood- 
work of the partition, and in this manner he could 
get a fairly clear outline or profile of the medium's 
body against the whitish background of the wall- 
paper. A number of phenomena occurred under 
these conditions, and no suspicious movements 
were detected. 

Shortly before the seance began Professors 
Wood, Trowbridge, and myself painted the table 
with red iodide of mercury — a substance which 
shows dimorphism, Becoming yellowish (the 
colour of the seance table) when heated, and turn- 
ing red again under pressure. The reason for this 
was to see by means of the red marks just where 
the medium applied pressure during the levita- 
tions. No one but ourselves and my wife knew 
of this. After it was completed, we locked the 
door and went out to dinner, returning together 
just before the seance. It may be said, however, 
that this test, twice carefully prepared, failed, for 
the reason that so many hands touched the table 
at all points during the seances, that no conclu- 
sive decision could be reached as to the parts 
touched or pressed by the medium. 

During one of the levitations, Profs, Wood 
and Trowbridge, at a preconcerted signal, swept 
their hands down between Eusapia Palladino and 
the table, while it was in the air. They found no 



IN SPIIMTUALISM 151 

contact, but the table dropped just as their hands 
reached the floor. 

It is to be regretted that the lack of steno- 
graphic notes prevents my giving the exact con- 
ditions under which the various odd black objects 
appeared ; and for this reason I shall merely 
mention them, and pass on to the next seance. 



Seance V 

With this sitting we resume the shorthand notes. 
Present at this seance, in addition to several 
ladies and gentlemen, were Prof. D. S. Miller, 
Dr I. K. Funk and Prof. Snezy. 

The seance was, on the whole, a poor one — 
very few striking phenomena occurring. Levita- 
tions and curtain phenomena, as usual, opened 
the proceedings, followed by movements of 
objects in the cabinet, and " touchings." The cold 
breeze was very plainly felt, issuing from Eusapia's 
head. The followincf were the most important 
phenomena which occurred at this seance: 

" lo.io. Small stool standing on the floor about 
four feet away from left side of medium lifted on 
to the seance table. During this phenomenon 
Dr Funk said that the medium's left hand was in 
his, on her lap, and that her left foot and knee 
were perfectly controlled. Controller on right 
said the same. 



152 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

"10.13. Dr F. said he felt a hand which 
cauoht hold of his rioht shoulder. This hand 
was visible to Dr F. The small stool was at the 
same time thrown right under the table. While 
this was going on, Dr F. said he could feel all 
her fingers and her thumb separately in his hand. 

" 10.14. Small table in the cabinet moved, and 
a flute lying on it was thrown (or fell) to the floor. 
Control said to be perfect on both sides when this 
happened. Medium's head on Dr F.'s shoulder, 
her right hand stretched out, perfectly visible, left 
hand held by Dr F. (who felt the ring on her 
finger, thus assuring himself it was really her left 
hand he was holding). 

" 10.19. Medium's right hand is up in the air, 
Mr Carrington holding her left hand, the right 
perfectly visible all the time. Control perfect. 
Small table from the cabinet came on to the 
seance table. Several persons said they saw a 
hand. It took about eight seconds for the table 
to get up on to the seance table. . . ." 



Seance VI 

This seance took place in the usual room on 
the evening of 29th November, several ladies and 
gentlemen being present. 

No phenomena occurred for about twenty 
minutes, when the first complete levitation 
occurred. After this, several took place in rapid 
succession, and at 9.58 the " stocks " apparatus 
was put to the table. A moment later there was 



IN srrurn ALiSM 153 

a complete levitation. Practically at the same 
instant the music-box in the cabinet began to 
play — the handle being turned several seconds. 
After a few more levitations, the phenomena again 
lagged for some time, until touches began to be 
experienced at 10.22, and they continued for some 
considerable time after that. 

At 10.39 an incident of considerable interest 
took place. The small stool, which had begun 
to move in a faint light, continued to do so after 
the light had been raised, so that everything could 
be seen distinctly. After several movements it 
began to rise from the floor, when Eusapia's hand 
accidently touched the stool, and it immediately 
fell to the floor. It presented the exact appearance 
of an electric " discharge." 

The following levitation, which occurred at 
9.25, is of interest, because of the light it throws 
upon the " exposure " of her methods of levita- 
tion, which occurred later: 

" Complete levitation. Light No. 3. Com- 
plete levitation lasting about four seconds of about 
eight inches. Both medium's hands off the table 
at least eight inches. Her feet and knees per- 
fectly controlled and seen not to be in contact 
with the fable. . . . All feet, knees and hands are 
seen free from contact with the table." 

As to the " touchings " which occurred toward 
the end of the seance, the following note, extracted 



154 PERSONAL EXPEIIIENCES 

from a letter sent me by one of the sitters, 
may prove of interest. After describing some of 
tiis early experiences and the various initial 
" tOLichings," the account goes on: 

" My next experience was certainly strange and 
realistic. It was that of having my right cheek 
pinched firmly by the thumb and forefinger of a 
human hand, and it in every way resembled such 
an action by a real person. The sensation was 
cold and clammy, but like that of human flesh. 
This pinching was the longest of all, and seemed 
to last fully three seconds, though I saw nothing." 



Seance VII 

This seance occurred in the usual room on 2nd 
December, several ladies and gentlemen being 
present. A small box of clay had been placed in 
the cabinet in the hope of obtaining an impression 
of a " spirit hand " — but without success. A sheet 
of paper and a pencil had also been placed in the 
cabinet, and on examination at the conclusion of 
the seance it was shown that a small and irregular 
scrawl had been marked upon the paper. As, 
however, it is difficult to prove that Eusapia did 
not, during the course of the seance, find time to 
release one of her hands long enough to make 
this scrawl, it cannot be held as " evidential." A 
small round table was used at first in place of the 



IN SPIRITUALISM 155 

usual seance table ; but as the medium did not like 
this arrangement, the usual table was replaced at 
the end of ten or twelve minutes. 

Some interesting raps occurred at 9.58 on the 
chair of the right controller, synchronising with 
movements of the medium's hand. At 10.4 one 
of those (jucer black objects, often seen at 
Eusapia's seances, issued from the cabinet, and 
was visible for several seconds. A minute later, 
at 10.5, it again issued from the cabinet, staying 
out an appreciable time (seven or eight seconds at 
least) and was seen by everyone at the table. 
Following this, at 10.6 and 10.7, a distinct black 
hand issued from between the curtains and 
touched the left controller. This occurred several 
times. At 10.30 this black hand was again seen 
— also a luminous hand — both following what is 
described in the shorthand notes as " a flash of 
light." At 10.31 I got on to the table, and, at 
the medium's request, stretched my right hand 
high over her head against the curtains. A 
distinct solid object was felt behind the curtain, 
which came out and pressed against my hand. 
At 10.35 I picked up the accordion, and held one 
end of it against tfie cabinet curtains, retaining 
the other (key) end in my own hand ; that is, 
several keys remained depressed, and, in order 
to play upon the accordion. It was necessary to 
grasp its opposite end through the curtain, and 
pull and push it several times, which, apparently, 



156 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

could only be done by a human hand. At the 
time that the accordion was held in this manner, 
the right controller (as shown in the stenographic 
notes) was holding both the medium's hands 
and the left controller her two knees. Under 
these conditions, nevertheless, a hand from 
within the cabinet grasped the free end of the 
accordion, and, pulling and pushing upon it, 
caused several distinct chords to issue from the 
instrument. 

The left-hand controller, writing his impres- 
sions after the seance, records the following inter- 
esting observation regarding the course of the 
hand and arm which touched his side during the 
latter part of the seance : 

" I wish to describe the course and 'general 
position of the hand and forearm from the moment 
I saw it until it disappeared. The movement of 
the hand was upward and outward. . . . The 
movement was in the shape of a curve, like the 
letter ' S.' . . . It remained visible fully three 
seconds, and when it withdrew it retired in the 
same course (or curve) inward and downward 
towards a point where the right curtain would have 
been hanging naturally from its support — near the 
edge of the cabinet. ... If, for argument's sake, 
you allow that a human or other being was stand- 
ing in the cabinet with its breast about on a line 
with the outer edge of it, the natural movement 
of the hand and arm would have taken the precise 
course and direction I actually and very plainly 
saw. . . ." 



IN SPIRITUALISM 157 



STANCE VIII 

The eighth seance took place in the regular 
seance room, on the evening of 4th December — 
several ladies and gentlemen being present — 
including Mr J. R. Meader and Mr Waldemar 
Kiempffert, editor of the Scientific American. 
Phenomena at this seance developed very slowly 
— nothing but tilts and levitations occurring for 
nearly an hour. Various " touches " followed 
these manifestations ; then a remarkable series of 
movements of the small table in the cabinet, in 
good light — the hands, feet and knees of the 
medium being clearly visible and wtII controlled. 
The small table having been thrown from the 
cabinet, the medium asked me to replace it, but 
in the act of doing so (I being right in the cabinet 
at the time) it was levitated under my hands and 
pushed against me with great force. This was 
repeated two or three times, tlie table continuing 
to move about, etc., while I was in the cabinet 
looking at it. Soon after this, some of the most 
remarkable levitations occurred that have been 
reported anywhere. The table rose completely 
into the air, to the height of at least two feet, 
and stayed up for several seconds, descending 
somewhat abruptly to within a few inches of the 
floor ; it was then again levitated to an almost 



158 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

equal height, without having touched the floor. 
While this movement was taking place, I crouched 
down and saw a clear space of about eighteen 
inches between the medium and the table. 

At 10.55 the mandolin came out of the cabinet, 
and was deposited on the seance table. Here, in 
full light, it played for fully a minute — Eusapia's 
right hand being about two and a half inches 
above the strings, making movements as though 
picking them, at that distance. The left hand 
throughout was held beneath the curtain on the 
table. This continuous playing of the mandolin 
on the seance table, in full light, was perhaps one 
of the most striking incidents of the whole series. 
Soon after this, the left controller was touched 
by a hand while he was holding both the medium's 
hands in his. 

At 11.30 a most convincing levitation occurred. 
Eusapia Palladino was standing, and at least two 
feet from the table ; one of the sitters was on 
the floor holding Eusapia's feet in his hands ; 
Eusapia's hands were also controlled. Under 
these conditions, a complete levitation of about 
one foot occurred. 

The following sample quotations, taken from 
the shorthand report of this sitting, may be of 
interest to the reader : 

" 10.40. Small table moves again. As curtain 
blows out, C. says, ' I can see the table sliding 



IN SPIRITUALISM 159 

along the floor, with alujut eighteen inches space 
between it and the mecHum. Controllers say, 
* The control is very good.' There is a sound of 
musical instruments. Two of the gentlemen look 
behind the curtain and see the table moving. 

" 10.43. Control perfect. Small table continues 
to move without apparent cause. Absolutely no 
contact between E. and the small table. Table 
comes right out of cabinet for the second time. 
E. asks gentleman standing near table, w^atching 
it, to feel the table all over, and assure himself 
that there are no strings attached to it, and no 
connection in any way. . . . He does this and 
says there is no connection. Those on both sides 
of E. say she is not moving, and that she has not 
moved while the table was coming out of the 
cabinet. They are holding her well. . . . 

" 10.55. Mandolin comes out of the cabinet, 
coming through the air in a horizontal position, 
and lands on the table in front of all. It moves 
about on the table several times. No one 
touches it and Palladino is well held. Both her 
hands are held tight. . . . 

"11.22. C. tries experiment with accordion, 
holding it with one hand against the curtain. 
Right-hand controller is touched by a hand. 
Accordion is 'grasped by an invisible hand and 
opened and closed, making sounds. Accordion 
sounds again, and is then taken away. 

" Controller : ' There was no substitution of 
hands.' 

11.30. Table rises on one leg at an angle of 
forty-five degrees and moves in every direction. 
One gentleman kneels on floor and holds E.'s 
legs and feet. E. is at least two feet from the 



160 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

table. Complete levitation about one foot from 
floor. . . . Table continues to move in every 
direction. E. seats herself and controllers on 
right and left sit and hold her. Perfect control, 
no contact with the table. E. moans and leans 
back in chair. Complete levitation. . . . Hand- 
kerchief is tied over E.'s eyes, and the bright light 
is turned on. Seance ends." 



Seance IX 

The ninth seance took place in the usual room 
on the evening of 6th December. Present: a 
group of ladies and gentlemen. Before the 
sitting began, I placed on the seance table, in 
front of Eusapia, the small letter-weight (shown 
in the illustration) and asked her to depress it with 
her fingers, as she had previously done for M. 
Flammarion and others. I placed the scale in 
such a position that it could not be depressed (I 
thought) by a thread or hair, either by means of 
her body or hands. Fig C. shows one method 
of depressing the scale by means of a hair; Fig. 
B. another method, in which the medium pulls 
with her body. Both these methods were pre- 
vented by the position of the balance. Never- 
theless, the scale was depressed! 

While this was going on, I was standing to the 
right of the medium, slightly behind her. I was, 
from my posftion, enabled to follow the whole 




TiiK Si'RiXG Balance used 
TO TEST 1usa:ma. 

(KIG. A.) 




Possible Method of 
Trkkerv : 

(U'.\Ki)i:n ACAiNST i;v iukning 

THE ori'OSITK SI Die OK TllK 

SCALKS TDWAKI) Till- Ml.DICM. 

(FIC. U.j 




.M::TH{jn of 'iku kkr\ 

ACTUALLY E.MPLOVEU n\ 

EUSAIMA. 

(fic. c.) 




" TiiK 1mimci:ssl)\ of rx- 
E\i:\ spiRir-LiKic it\c.i;ks i\ 

11 IE CLAY." 
(lie. D.) 



IN SPIRITUALISM 101 

performance, and it is rather curious and interest- 
ing to note that I was the only one in the room 
who detected the manner of the fraudulent de- 
pression of the spring balance, by means of a 
hair, as shown in Fig. C. As I was on the look- 
out for just this attempt on her part, I followed 
the whole process, and caught her in trickery — 
as M. Flammarion had done! It is most curious 
that a medium such as Eusapia, possessing un- 
doubted supernormal power, should resort to such 
silly trickery — yet such is the case ; and this fact has 
been amply attested by Profs. Richet, Morselli, the 
investigators of the Paris Psychological Institute, 
etc. — all of whom caught her in just such trickery. 
This seance was in many ways a most interest- 
ing one — " bursts " of phenomena seeming to 
occur, at various intervals, followed by periods 
which were almost blank. The following extracts 
from the stenographic report will show the general 
character of the phenomena, but these must be 
prefaced by the following incident, which gives 
the reader a true insight into Eusapia's psychology 
at the beginning of a good seance. Those who 
have had many sittings with this medium will 
doubtless recognise the touch (characteristic of 
Eusapia) here shown: 

" Mr B. appears very sceptical, and E. seems 
anxious to have him see that she is not tipping 
the table. B. looks under the table. E. looks 



162 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

at him. . . . The table tilts again. E. laughs 
because Mr B. watches so closely. She takes hold 
of the cord of his glasses, and says, ' I have a cord, 
I have a cord,' and laughs again. . . . Complete 
levitation. Mr B. says that she did not do it. . . . 
B. suggests that he change his place and let some- 
body else control, but E. objects. She says that 
if he stays near her, ' John will come and embrace 
him.' After E. says this, three raps are heard on 
the table. Curtain blows out. Mr B.'s scepticism 
is changing to wonder. . . . 

" Table moves. Complete levitation for about 
eight seconds. Left-hand curtain blows out. E. 
cries ''Bene controllo .^ ' The controllers assure 
her that the control is satisfactory. Levitation 
about tv/o feet from the floor. It lasts for five or 
six seconds. All hands raised above table. Table 
rises five or six times in rapid succession. B. 
says: 'I am convinced! I held her hands and 
both her legs.' Curtain blows right out, over 
B.'s head. . . . 

" Tambourine comes out of cabinet and hangs 
in the air, directly over left controller's head and 
sounds continuously. Right controller's chair is 
moved about on floor. Continuous noise of instru- 
ments in cabinet. Tambourine appears to fly 
over heads of sitters and land on table. E. is well 
controlled. . . . 

" The clay (in box) comes right out of the 
cabinet and is deposited on seance table. Con- 
stant control of medium. Articles fall and move 
about. Something comes out of cabinet. Several 
sitters are touched by hands. Chair comes out of 
cabinet and rises up on table. A black object 
comes out of cabinet and is seen by all. . . . 



IN SPIRITUALISM 168 

" Noises continue in cabinet. E. scratches on 
back of C.'s hand, and sounds are heard as of a 
hand pulled across mandolin strings (in cabinet). 
Distinct sound of fingers on mandolin strings. 
Mandolin continues to play. E. appears to be in 
deep trance. . . . 

" Sound of one mandolin string several times ; 
then another string. Sound of mandolin rocking. 
Sound of all the strings. E. well controlled. Her 
hands visible. Her body motionless. She rests 
against right controller. . . . 

" Mandolin comes out of cabinet. It remains 
suspended in air over left controller and plays 
loudly ; then flutters over the table and finally 
settles on it. Here it sounds for some time. 
Mandolin then goes over, and rests on shoulder of 
right controller, playing lightly ; it then descends 
to table again. Right and left controllers and C. 
are holding medium. Sounds from mandolin 
strings at close intervals. 

" Left controller is clasped several times on left 
elbow. Right controller is touched at same 
moment. Mandolin moves about on table and a 
chair rises to left controller's lap. A black head 
and a white hand seen. At the same time left 
controller is touched by a hand on his arm, which 
is behind medium. . . . 

" A hand appears against curtain above E.'s 
head. Both her hands well held. Then a won- 
derful little square light (so square we could see 
the corners) very bright, and yet not lighting up the 
darkness round it, appears in the air to the right of 
medium. . . . This light appears five times. . . ." 

At the conclusion of the seance, the boxes of 



164 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

clay were examined, and in one was found the 
impression of four fingers, palm upwards — that is, 
nails showing. We tried to imitate these in the 
other box of clay, but were unable to. Whenever 
we touched the clay, we left a rough surface by 
pulling some of the wet clay after the fingers. The 
" spirit " impression was neat and clearly cut {see 
Fig. D., p. i6o). 

AN INTERLUDE 

On the afternoon of 9th December, I took up 
Prof. Robert Kennedy Duncan, and his brother, 
Mr Norman Duncan, to call upon Eusapia. She 
produced some informal levitations for his benefit ; 
also tried automatic and planchette writing, which 
I thought might be interesting, in view of the fact 
that Eusapia cannot write more than her own name. 
Her own attempts at writing were failures ; but 
when Prof. Duncan took the pencil, and Eusapia 
placed her hand Hghtly upon his hand — so lightly 
that he could feel no pressure — it wrote several 
words, such as " Nellie " and " Ettore." Nothing 
of value was obtained, however. Prof. Duncan 
himself cannot obtain automatic writing. 



Seance X 

The tenth seance, which was in many ways one 
of the best of the whole American series, took 



IN SPIRITUALISM 165 

place on gth December, 1909, nearly a year to the 
clay from our tenth Naples sitting, which was the 
worst of the series! It took place in the usual 
room, only four sympathetic, yet critical, investi- 
gators being present. The phenomena began at 
once, and continued throughout the sitting. The 
following summary or the stenographic notes will 
give a fair idea of this remarkable seance : 

The first complete levitation took place after 
sitting about ten minutes. The second, which 
took place a few moments later, was very re- 
markable, lasting twenty-five seconds, as recorded 
by the watch on the stenographer's table, and gave 
ample opportunity to verify the control at all 
points. 

At 9.57 occurred one of the most remarkable 
incidents it has been my good-fortune to witness. 
Mr F. was controlling the left side of Eusapia, 
completely encircling her hand in his. F. 
suddenly felt a hand introduced into his coat 
pocket, and his cigar-case was a moment later 
placed on the seance table. As this latter was of 
light wood, we could see plainly that no arm or 
similar dark object approached it. I was looking 
at this object intently when it seemed to become 
double. It was a leather case, and the lid had been 
slipped off the case proper. A moment later, F. 
called out that a cigar had been placed in his 
mouth! I could see that nothing was touching 
him, and that Eusapia was seated at her end of 



166 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

the table, practically immovable. This complicated 
and intelligent action created a profound impres- 
sion upon all present. 

Soon after this the music-box on the small table 
in the cabinet began to play, and sounded for 
about twenty seconds. It was ascertained that 
there was no contact between the box and the 
medium. At 10.32 a white face was seen, the 
medium's head still being visible. The inter- 
preter stated that he saw a form in the cabinet 
resembling the medium (who was still visible) 
which had grasped his hand, raised it to its mouth 
as though wishing to bite the finger. At 10.41 a 
remarkable levitation occurred. E. had risen to 
her feet, as had all the sitters, who stood round 
the table. A complete levitation of nearly three 
feet then took place. E. had to stretch her arms 
above her head to keep them on the top of the 
table. In this position, she walked five or six 
feet away from the cabinet before the table fell 
with a crash to the floor. In face of evidence such 
as this, how absurd to contend that these levita- 
tions are produced by the toe of one foot 
surreptitiously introduced beneath one of the 
table-legs ! 

At 1 1. 1 2 the seance table tilted on the two legs 
farthest from the medium, while C. was kneeling 
upon it. It would have been impossible for the 
medium to have duplicated this by normal means, 
even had she had hands and feet free. 



IN SPIRITUALISM 167 

At 1 1. 1 3, the Report reads: 

" Tambourine goes back into cabinet. Then 
comes out again. Plays several times outside 
left curtain ; then is placed over medium's head 
and struck several times. Then withdraws into 
cabinet round left-hand curtain and takes its place 
on small table, still playing. This occupied ten 
or twelve seconds. 

"11.16. Complete levitation of about twenty 
seconds. While table tilts, the tambourine is 
shaken in cabinet and again moved beyond left- 
hand curtain. It is then thrown on table. Music- 
box plays and continues to play for about twenty 
seconds. All this time the table is tipping up and 
down. 

" C. : I had a good profile view of the medium, 
and could see a clear space between her body and 
the cabinet. 

" At the conclusion of the seance, Eusapia 
insisted upon getting upon the scales. She 
weighed 132 lb., and apparently dropped to 
128 lb.; but as she was weak, she had to be 
supported several times ; and the experiment was 
not considered conclusive for this reason." 

STANCE XI 

This seance, which took place on the evening 
of nth December, was the first held outside the 
usual seance room. Owing to this fact, and the 
inexperience of the sitters, the seance was a very 
poor one, and but few phenomena are worthy of 
special note. The sitting was held in Sherry's 



168 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

Hotel, a number of ladies and gentlemen of the 
curious, rather than the interested type, being 
spectators. 

The following incident is the one most worthy 
of note, though, owing to the inexperience of the 
controllers, I should not produce it as " evi- 
dential " : 

" Flute comes out of the cabinet. It moves 
slowly until in front of the lady to left of E. It 
remains in the air, near her face, bending and 
touching her cheeks and chin, and then moving 
over and touching her left shoulder. Some say 
that they see a white hand holding the flute. 
Medium's hands are held and rest on table. They 
are perfectly visible. . . . Mandolin rises from 
floor to seance table. It touches the left controller 
on .shoulder. Left controller feels a hand on her 
leg between knee and ankle, . . ." 

The seance did not begin until after 1 1 p.m. 
and ended at 1.18. 



Seance XII 

This seance, held in the usual room, took place 
on the evening of 13th December, and was 
attended, among others, by Mr George B. Dorr, 
Mr Prescott F. Hall, and Prof. Hugo Miin- 
sterberg. It was, on the whole, a poor seance, 
and Eusapia complained of being extremely tired, 
etc., before the sitting began. Phenomena were 



IN SIMUnUAIJSIM 169 

slow in making their appearance, and at no time 
were they very striking. 

A complete levitation, which occurred at 10.46, 
should, perhaps, be given special mention, as, 
while this was occurring, one of the sitters, who 
was beneath the seance table, Hashed his electric 
pocket-lamp (with Eusapia's permission), and by 
its light plainly saw that there was no contact at 
any point between the table-legs and her feet, 
knees, etc. The sitters were all extremely 
sceptical. 

At 11.46 a cold air coming from the medium's 
left knee was felt by all those at the table. Soon 
after this, touches began to be experienced. At 
12.8 the right controller was gripped by a hand 
on his elbow. He stated that it felt like a hand, 
and gripped him with considerable force. He 
could feel the finger and thumb. 

At the conclusion of the seance, the " cold 
breeze " was felt issuing from the medium's head. 

STANCE xni 

Neither Mrs Carrington nor myself attended this 
seance, nor did the usual interpreter attend the 
sitting. Inasmuch as we had attended every 
seance held in America so far, we considered it 
advisable, for evidential reasons, to absent our- 
selves from this sitting. This we accordingly 
did. The seance may be considered an eminently 



170 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

satisfactory one, on the whole, though held in 
another corner of the room, and not in the usual 
cabinet. 

At 1 1. 1 5, about half-way through the seance, 
Eusapia's feet were tied with rope to the feet of 
her controllers, allowing but a few inches play, and 
her feet were still tied when we entered the seance 
room at the conclusion of the sitting. In spite of 
this tying, however, the small table in the cabinet 
continued to move, and was brought out several 
times, and the instruments upon it upset — both her 
hands being separately accounted for at the time. 

At 1 1.4 1, all the sitters at the table declared 
that they saw a " white flame " issuing from the 
medium's head. 

Earlier in the seance, at 10.2, the cabinet 
curtains were drawn back into the cabinet, away 
from the medium — a phenomena I have never 
seen, and which I have never heard recorded else- 
where. 

During this seance, the controllers took great 
pains to see that they were holding separate hands, 
and frequently, at a prearranged signal, they would 
both rapidly raise the hands they were holding, 
and thus ascertain that they were really holding 
separate hands. The same care was taken with 
the medium's feet. In spite of these precautions 
the phenomena continued as usual. 

The sitters, on this occasion, were much the 
same group as before, with the exception that 



IN SPIRITUALISM 171 

Prof. Miinsterberg's place was taken by Prof. 
Trowbridge. A separate, brief report was written 
by Prof. Trowbridge, and forms a part of the 
original record. 

The following extracts from the shorthand 
Report are noteworthy: 

" Complete levitation. Mr B. passes his hand 
between the medium and the table. Another 
sitter passes his hand between the legs of table 
and the medium, and under them. Medium 
clenches her hand, and makes a motion of knock- 
ing on the table without touching it. Raps on the 
table distinctly heard. 

" Small table tumbles out of cabinet. Bell 
alights on seance table. Small table suspended 
in air for several seconds. It then rises again 
and rests against the arm of one of the sitters. 
Control i)erfect. Medium does not move. Cold 
wind from the cabinet. Curtain blows out. Her 
hands separated about one foot. Light is suffi- 
cient to see. White hand seen distinctly over 
medium's head by nearly all at the table. Flute 
comes out of the cabinet. Someone feels a touch 
on his elbow. Breeze is felt coming from cabinet. 
Indistinct form seen near the curtain by 
several. . . . 

" Curtain blows out on right side. Right con- 
troller says he is holding one of medium's hands, 
and that one of her feet rests on his. Bell, which 
was on stool, falls to floor, and the small table is 
raised on to large seance table. This is done in 
one continuous movement — it is raised and put 
down on seance table without any noise. The 



172 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

stool is then lifted off the table on to the floor 
again. Mr H.'s chair is pulled strongly. Right 
controller says he is holding both medium's knees 
and both her feet are tied. Right controller says 
he is holding one hand. Mr H. does not let go 
the hand he is holding when his chair is pulled. . . . 
" Mr and Mrs Carrington and the interpreter 
are admitted. The lights are turned up and the 
seance ends. . . .' 



Seance XIV 

This is, possibly, the most famous seance of 
the series — not on account of the excellence of 
the phenomena, which were not very good, but 
because of the famous " foot-grabbing incident," 
of which Prof. Miinsterberg made such excel- 
lent " copy " in the M ciropolitan Magazine for 
February, 1910. This is the incident which 
was used by him to discredit, not only all the 
the American seances, but the whole twenty years' 
work with this medium which had preceded her 
trip to this country! The incident itself I shall 
give later on ; here I may refer the interested 
reader for a reply to Prof. Miinsterberg's article, 
to Chapter VI of Gustavus Myers' book 
" Beyond the Borderline of Life," (pp. 134-48), 
where I have replied to Prof. Miinsterberg at 
the necessary length. For our present purposes 
the shorthand record will be sufficient, and will 
alone discredit the absurd hypothesis which was 



IN SPIRITl ALISM 173 

advanced to cxj)lain the "touches" on this historic 
occasion. 

The seance took place in the usual room, i8th 
December, very much the same group of sitters 
being present who had attended the last two 
sittings. Prior to the seance, Eusapia was 
thoroughly searched, every article of clothing 
being separately removed and carefully inspected. 
Even her skin was examined, to be sure that she 
did not possess a false epidermis! The tube-and- 
bellows theory for the production of the cold breeze 
was effectually excluded at this seance ! 

The sitting was not, on the whole, a good one. 
Levitations were all that occurred for a long time. 
At I I.I, one of the sitters suddenly, and without 
warning, entered the cabinet, feeling assured that 
someone was concealed within it. Eusapia cried 
" No, no, no! " and broke into sobs, leaning on her 
right-hand neighbour. Needless to say, nobody 
was found! At 11.18, Prof. Miinsterberg 
assumed control of the left side, Prof. Bumpus 
controlling the right side of the medium. It was 
at 1 1.44 that the famous " foot-grabbing incident " 
occurred. To show the comparative unimportance 
of this incident, as it struck us at the time, the 
following extract from the shorthand notes will 
be of interest: 

"11.44. E- screams sharply. Reason not 
known. Right controller says right foot and knee 
rest against his. His hand across both knees. 



174 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

Left controller holding both hands. Controllers 
say that control is all righiT 

That is all! From Prof. Miinsterberg's 
article, one would have imagined that the 
seance thereupon broke up ; but it continued 
peacefully for more than a quarter of an hour 
longer! It is possible that Eusapia did lift her 
foot from that of her controller; quite possible 
also that she was endeavouring to produce a frau- 
dulent phenomenon with it ; but that argues nothing 
more than that this particular phenomena (had it 
taken place) would have been non-evidential. Yet 
from this incident Prof. Miinsterberg succeeded in 
so manipulating the evidence as to discredit the 
whole case in the eyes of the unsuspecting public ! ^ 

^ As it afterwards transpired, this incident was the basis 
of Prof. Miinsterberg's article in the Metropolitan Magazine. 
One of the sitters, unknown to Eusapia, had apparently knelt 
on the floor; and, as Eusapia lifted her foot from that of her 
left-hand neighbour, had grasped it in his hand — causing her 
to shriek out with pain, and, doubtless, fright also! Eusapia 
herself contended that she merely raised her foot a little off 
her controller's — " to stretch it " — as her foot was paining 
her; and that the very instant she did so, it was seized with 
an iron grip, over her sensitive instep ! I think it higihly 
probable, however, that Eusapia was trying to trick on this 
occasion ; and that she had actually effected a substitution of 
her feet, and was about to reach behind her witih the free 
foot, in an endeavour to obtain or to move some of the articles 
in the cabinet. What the facts of the case are, we shall, of 
course, never know ; but in any event it appears to me obvious 
that, even assuming that fraud was intended on this occasion, 
it proves nothing more than the fact that Eusapia will resort 
to clever trickery whenever the occasion is given her to do so 
— a fact which all students of her phenomena know full well 
already; and it does not in the least prove that the whole 



IN SiniUTUALTSM 175 

As to the " touches " which occurred later, and 
which Prof. Miinsterberg, in his article, says were 
produced by Kusa[)ia's lejl foot, the following 
record will prove conclusively that this would have 
been impossible, since her left foot was across his 
ozvn knees at the time the touchings occurred : 

" 11.49. E. places one leg across Prof. M.'s 
knees. 

" 11.50. Complete levitation. 

"11.52. Prof. M. touched again on elbow. 
Right hand perfectly visible. Left hand held by 
Prof. M. 

" 11.53. Prof. M. touched again distinctly. 

"11.55. Prof. M. gives his place to Mr 

Dorr .. . ." 

This shows us conclusively that it was impos- 
sible for Eusapia to have produced the touches in 
question with her left foot, which was resting upon 

stance was fraudulent — far less that the whole scries of s^ajfices 
contained nothing genuine — which is what is implied in Prof. 
Miinsterberg's article I Everyone knows well enough that 
scores of phenomena have been observed in the past which 
could not pos^sibly have been accounted for, even assuming 
that the medium had both her feet free — a fact I have fre- 
quently pointed out. The dnfTerence between Eusapia and 
the other mediums spoken of in this volume is this : that, in 
their case, they invariably fail whenever " test conditions " 
are imposed, whereas Eusapia generally succeeds ; further, 
the whole tenor and setting of the stance, so to speak, is 
entirely different. Lastly, we have the unanimity of opinion 
among scientific men as to Eusapia 's powers — whereas we 
have nothing of the sort in the case of any other medium. 
On the contrary, whenever they are investigated along these 
lines, they either fail altogether or are detected in fraud. 



176 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

Prof. Miinsterberg's knee. This is the kind of 
thing which typified the reports of the " scientific " 
investigators throughout. 

I shall not detail the phenomena at this seance, 
which, as before said, was not particularly striking. 
It is only noteworthy because of the above inci- 
dent. After all the other sitters had left, however, 
Mrs M., the interpreter, my wife and myself held 
an informal seance at Eusapia's request, and some 
very striking and dramatic phenomena occurred. 
In Light 4 mal-formed heads and other non- 
descript objects came out from behind the cabinet 
curtains, while the medium was plainly visible to 
all of us, seated in her chair. One of these 
" heads " approached Mrs M. and kissed her. We 
all heard the sound of the kisses. The controllers 
on both sides were repeatedly touched at the same 
time. The interpreter stated that he had seen a 
form in the cabinet, and recognised " his father," 
who had " a long white beard." All these touch- 
ings and materialisations proceeded in a most 
leisurely manner, allowing us several seconds in 
which to view them ; and were not the usual rapid 
dartings-out and recedings typical of her seances. 
I have endeavoured to sketch my memory impres- 
sions of a few of the most odd and striking 
of these materialisations. They were intensely 
black, though they appeared to be composed of 
shadow rather than solid matter. One interesting 
phenomenon was the transportation of the small 



IN SPIRITUALISM 177 

tabic on to the seance table, and again on to the 
floor. It was steered carefully over ELisapia"'s left 
shoulder, and, while we were looking at it, as it 
rested on the seance table, it was slowly lifted 
upwards and sideways and placed on its feet on 
the floor behind the left controller, its passage 
being distinctly seen by all of us. 

At the conclusion of this informal seance, the 
cold breeze was distinctly felt by us all, though 
it had been absent after the " official " seance. 
This tends to confirm what I have previously said 
regarding this phenomenon — that it only appears 
after fairly successful seances, and not otherwise. 

STANCE XV 

This seance, which was held in the usual room, 
took place on the evening of 20th December, Dr 
I. K. Funk and his brother being present, as well 
as several ladies and gentlemen who had attended 
previous seances. The greatest care w^as exercised 
in the control ; yet several striking phenom- 
ena occurred. Of these, perhaps the most note- 
w'orthy were the series of touches, which occurred 
at 10.13, oil both controllers at the same time when 
both Eusapids hands were held by the right 
controller. At 10.24 the small table came out of 
the cabinet, where both Eusapia's hands were separ- 
ately accounted for, and when one of the sitters 
was underneath the table holdinor her ankles in 

M 



178 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

his hands. Under the same conditions of control, 
the small table was repeatedly thrown out of the 
cabinet, when one of the sitters attempted to place 
it inside. At the time, he was actually in the 
cabinet, holding the table in his hands, and he had 
just ascertained that no strings, threads, etc., were 
attached to it. It was repeatedly levitated and 
pushed against his body with such force that he 
had great difificulty in retaining his position in the 
cabinet, and he had to prevent himself from being 
pushed out, table and all, into the seance room. 
The following is the shorthand account of this 
incident : 

" Mr J. puts the small table back. He no sooner 
places it on the floor, however, than it is thrown 
out again violently. It follows him right out of 
the cabinet. He puts it in again with the same 
result. It seems as if pushed out with great force 
by something within. It does this three times. 
Mr J. says it seems as if the table were on air- 
cushions. It seems impossible to make it touch the 
floor. He finally makes it stay in the cabinet. . . . 

" The small table falls to the floor upside down. 
The tambourine has been sounding for several 
seconds. One of the sitters tries to put the small 
table back into the cabinet, and it is thrown out. 
Miss Pope tries to put the table back, with the 
same result. She tries again, placing the table in the 
cabinet, with the instruments upon it. But as she 
leaves the cabinet the table follows her, sliding 
along the floor, without upsetting the instruments. 



IN SPTRTTUALTSM 179 

She puts it back again, and this time it just goes 
out sHghtly. . . ." (It was pushed out several 
times after this.) 

" Soon after this Miss Pope's hat was removed 
from her head, and everyone could see that her 
hat was being removed, without anything visible 
touching it." 

After the seance had concluded, another " infor- 
mal sitting " was held, only Mrs M., Miss Pope, 
the stenographer, interpreter, my wife and myself 
attending. A complete levitation, lasting ten 
seconds, commenced the proceedings in full light. 
Touchings and materialisations followed soon after 
this, in light No. 3. Some of these could be seen 
very clearly, and remained visible for some time. 
They were usually of a nondescript character, 
and appeared more like matter in the process of 
condensation than any clearly formed heads or 
features. A large black hand was, however, seen 
by all present over the centre of the table. The 
light was now still further reduced, and a white 
object, the size and shape of a head, was seen 
close to Mrs M. Mrs M. attempted to induce this 
" head " to speak to her, but without success. 
Soon after this the seance ended. ^ 

* A number of very striking phenomena occurred at these 
private and informal stances, which, unfortunately, I cannot 
record in detail, owing to the fact that no shorthand notes 
were taken at the time. It is the impression of all who 
attended them, however, th;it more striking manifestations 
took place during these sessions than at any of the more 
formal stances. 



180 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 



Seance XVI 

This seance was held in the afternoon of 22nd 
December, as some of the sitters could not wait 
until the evening — being so near Christmas 
Day. The sitting was held in the usual room, 
Messrs Fremont Rider, John R. Meader, Dr 
C. C. Gibson, and others being among the 
sitters. 

The room was rendered quite dark by the usual 
thick black curtains, and the seance was of short 
duration, beginning at about 5.30, and ending a 
little before 7 p.m. The following phenomena are 
particularly w^orthy of mention, and are quoted 
verbatim from the stenographic record : 

" 6.17. A very slow levitation. The table 
remains raised about fifteen seconds. The control 
is perfect. The table rose perfectly horizontally, 
without any previous tippings. . . . The table 
rose again in the same manner, remaining up for 
ten seconds. These two levitations were very 
convincing. . . . 

"6.32. The small music-box in the cabinet is 
played for several seconds. While this is going on 
E. makes motions with her hands, which, how- 
ever, do not leave those of her controllers. E. is 
holding the hands of both controllers in hers. . . . 
The flute comes out of the cabinet on the left side. 
It taps Mr J. on the back of the neck several times, 



IN SPIIUTUALISM 181 

and then comes round and is held to his mouth. 
He blows it ; it is then taken back into the cabinet. 
Both E.'s hands are held. Her feet and legs are 
controlled. . . . 

" The small table is moved around in the cabinet. 
It seemed to be beating a rhythm on the floor. 
Then it made little short slides over the floor. The 
tambourine sounded continually, and Anally came 
out of the cabinet on the left side. It was struck 
in the air several times, and finally thrown on the 
table. While the tambourine was being struck, 
the controllers said that E. made motions with her 
hands as if striking it. Her hands were held by 
her controllers, and rested on her knees. Imme- 
diately after the tambourine was thrown on to the 
table, the small table came out of the cabinet. It 
did not slide out of the cabinet, as usual, but 
seemed to float out, being raised fully two feet from 
the floor. When outside, it stood up against the 
cabinet, still two feet from the floor, and four feet 
from Eusapia, and struck against the partition five 
times with great force. It then turned upside 
down and fell to the floor. (All this time C. was 
under the table, holding E.'s feet. Before the 
table started out of the cabinet, E. asked him 
to do this, and he did not cease to control her 
thus until after the small table had stopped moving. 
Mr J.'s hand was holding E.'s, their fingers inter- 
twined. Mr R. was holding E.'s right hand. This 
was the way E.'s hands were held during the entire 
period from 6.35.)" 



182 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 



Seance XVII 

This seance was held in the usuai room, on the 
evening of 27th December, those present being 
Mr and Mrs Otto Kahn, and a group of their 
personal friends. The seance was noteworthy for 
the number of complete levitations which occurred 
under eminently satisfactory conditions of control. 
Later in the seance, touches were experienced 
almost constantly. At 10.26, a white face was seen 
near the curtain, Eusapia's head being visible at 
the same time. Shortly after this, at 10.32, the 
left controller was touched a number of times, 
and, during these touches, several of the sitters 
(particularly the right controller) saw what 
appeared to be streaks or rays of bluish light 
emerging from the curtains and touching him. 
Towards the end of the seance, a number of non- 
descript objects, both black and white, were seen 
to issue from the cabinet. 

At the conclusion of the seance, phenomena still 
continued to occur, even after Light i had been 
turned on. It seemed difficult for the medium to 
stop the phenomena — as we had noted on two or 
three previous occasions, particularly at the con- 
clusion of Seance I. 

The following extracts from the stenographic 
notes begin at : 



IN SPIRITUALISM 183 

" 10.35. i l^*^ flageolet comes out of the cabinet 
and touches the controller on the left several times 
on the back, and feels about for his mouth. It 
then goes over and touches the right controller on 
the back, and then goes back into the cabinet. . . . 
E. puts the left controller's hand on the tam- 
bourine on the litde table, and places her hand 
on the top of his. The whole table, instruments 
and all, rises in the air and then falls with a 
ereat noise. The tambourine is struck for some 
minutes. 

" Mr M. tries to put the small table back in 
the cabinet, but does not succeed the first 
time, and it is thrust out again under his hand. 
After a second attempt, it remains in the 
cabinet. 

" The right controller is touched on the shoulder. 
The small table starts out of the cabinet again. 
The small table is raised on to the seance table, 
pushing the left-hand curtain with it. The tam- 
bourine on the floor is played continuously. E.'s 
right hand, held by the right controller, moves 
as the tambourine is struck. She slaps her hand 
against his, and with each slap the tambourine 
is struck. The light is good and the medium can 
be plainly seen by all. E. sits still with her 
hands resting on the table, and the tambourine, 
after being quiet for a second or two, moves 
around the floor, making a great deal of noise. 
Finally E. makes a quick motion of her hand as 
though throwing something, and the tambourine 
is thrown about six feet across the room to 
the left. 

" The small table gets down from the seance 
table on the right. . . . The little table is again 



184 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

lifted on to the seance table. A large, square 
black object comes out, over the right controller's 
head. It is seen by all. A white object comes 
out over the table near the left controller. A per- 
fectly clear white arm, visible to the elbow, and 
a hand, come from the cabinet, and the hand 
touches the right controller. The control is 
good. The controllers say that E. does not 
move. 

" Knocks are heard on the wood of the cabinet. 
The mandolin comes out of the cabinet. It can 
be seen by those sitting round the table. It plays 
loudly and in a perfectly intelligent manner. It 
comes over and rests on the table. 

" The mandolin rises about three feet above the 
seance table, playing lightly, and then disappears 
into the cabinet. 

" The mandolin comes out of the cabinet again. 
It moves back and forth over the medium's head, 
playing all the time. It moves about like this, 
playing, for about a minute and a half. Although 
only Light 5 is up, the mandolin can be seen 
plainly on account of its shiny surface, which 
reflects the light. 

" The small table gets off the seance table again. 
The curtain blows out. The toy piano moves. . . . 
The toy piano comes out of the cabinet and 
is played upon. A round black object comes out 
of the cabinet and remains visible for several 
seconds. It is very large. 

" Seven raps on the table. The lights are 
turned up. In Light 3, a complete levitation. 
Even after Light i is turned up, and the chain is 
broken, E. levitates the table. About three 
minutes later, E., still sitting at the head of the 



IN SPIRITUALISM 185 

table, levitates it a foot, and it remains up five 
seconds. . . ." 



Seance XVIII 

The eighteenth seance was held in the usual 
room, on the evening of 30th December, 1909. 
Among others, there were present Dr Stanley L. 
Krebs, Prof. Leonard K. Hirshberg, of Johns 
Hopkins, Dr and Mrs Leroy Satterlee, Dr F. T. 
Simpson, and Mr C. V. Miller. 

Prof. Hirshberg refused to examine anything, 
or take any active part in the seance. About 
half-way through the sitting, the small table was 
thrown out of the cabinet, and Eusapia asked him 
to replace it in the cabinet. He started to do so, 
but, finding the resisting force (so often en- 
countered and spoken of before in this record) he 
immediately stated that he had discovered the 
trick — that there was a thread attached to the 
table, and that the whole thing was a fraud! 
Eusapia insisted upon the light being turned up, 
and a thorough examination being made, not only 
of the table, but of her person and surroundings. 
No thread was found! Nevertlieless, Prof. Hirsh- 
berg was satisfied there had been one, and put on 
his hat and coat and left, saying that he was going 
to state the true facts in the newspapers. So 
much for " scientific " investigation ! 



186 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

The controllers were, during the major part of 
the seance, Dr Krebs to the left of the medium, 
and Mr M., an electrical engineer, and very scep- 
tical, to the right. 

Levitations and raps occupied the first hour. 
At 1 1. 1 5, the small table rose on to the seance 
table, and the tambourine was also lifted and 
placed on the table. Eusapia's right hand was 
visible, the left hand being beneath the curtain, 
held by Dr Krebs, who said he was sure of his 
control. 

At 11.52, Eusapia's feet were tied to those of 
her controllers with rope. Thenceforward, they 
remained tied. Dr Simpson had now assumed 
control of Eusapia's right side, and Mr B. of 
her left. 

The following extracts from the detailed notes 
will serve to illustrate the phenomena, and the 
degree of control exercised throughout. I shall 
have occasion to refer to this later on. 



" 11.56. The small table in the cabinet moves. 
The tambourine sounds. Dr S. is holding E.'s 
right hand in his right hand. His left arm is 
stretched across in front of E., and he is holding 
her left hand, which Mr B. is holding also. The 
mandolin is sounded in the cabinet. One string 
and then another sounds. 

" The right cotroller is now holding E.'s right 
hand in his left. It is visible. Her left hand is 
under the curtain, but is held by B. The mandolin 



IN SriRTT( ALISM 187 

plays again. A distinct cold wind is felt under 
the table. . . . 

" The toy piano comes out of the cabinet over 
E.'s shoulder with a jangling of keys. It falls on 
to the seance table. E. is well controlled. The 
toy piano moves about on the table. It rises off 
the table and waves about in the air, then drops 
to the seance table again. Light 4. In this 
light, the small piano again rises from the seance 
table and bangs down on it three times. Both 
E.'s hands are well held. Everyone can see the 
piano moved. 

" Light 2. Mr C. takes off the ropes, which 
are still securely tied. Seance ends." ^ 

' A note should be added here in reply to the criticisms and 
explanations offered by Dr Krebs of the phenomena of this 
seance, and that of loth January, 19 lo, which he also 
attended. He has attempted to account for all Eusapia's 
phenomena by the time-honoured explanation of " a free hand 
or a free foot," and has published lavishly on the subject 
as the result of his tivo sittings, both in the American' and 
English Journals, S.P.R., in the Reformed Church Review, 
and in a separate pamphlet. Trick Methods of Eusapia 
Palladino, issued by him. It is hardly necessary to say that 
I disagree with him entirely, bi)th as to the facts and the 
theories adduced by bim in his papers. The theory he 
advances has been brought forward time after time, for 
twenty years, always to be refuted by new and crushing 
facts, which such a theory cannot explain. I need only say 
that I have seen Eusapia dozens if not hundreds of times 
produce phenomena, when it could be seen, perfectly clearly, 
that she did not use her hands or feet for the purpose, and 
any impartial student of the records will see this for himself. 
Dr Krebs asserts that the instruments in the cabinet placed 
beyond Eusapia's reach were brought within her radius by 
means of the small tahlf, which she used as a " hook," with 
which to reach them. Her feet could not possibly have been 
used, since they were, and remained, securely tied with rope 



188 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 



Seance XIX 

This seance was held in the usual room, on 
the evening of 3rd January, 1910. There were 
present, among others, Dr Frederick T. Simpson 
and Dr I. K. Funk. Before the official seance 
opened, one of the sitters placed a small doll's 
table on the seance table, and requested Eusapia 
to move it. She tried several times, failing in the 
attempt. A few minutes later she cried out for 
us to " look," and we saw the small table moving 

to those of her neighbours, as the record shows. There 
remains for this purpose only her hands. One hand was 
visibly upon the table during the whole of the stance. One 
was held beneath the cabinet curtain, which had blown out. 
But this must have been the other hand of the medium — for 
if it were not, what hand was it? Inasmuch as the sitters 
were extremely cautious at this sitting — even more so 
than those usually present — it is hardly credible that they 
should have allowed Eusapia to offer them a dummy hand, 
w hich they held all the time, under the curtain ; and that they 
did not once discover that it ivas a dummy hand, and not one 
of flesh and blood, throughout the seance ! But if it was the 
medium's hand, with what hand did she produce phenomena 
— unless she materialised a " third arm," as some of her 
European investigators are inclined to think ! This explana- 
tion of Dr Krebs, plausible as It may appear to one who has 
not attended a number of seances, completely fails to account 
for the facts presented — not to speak of the manifestations 
presented in our Naples sittings, or the phenomena witnessed 
by other European investigators. I have, however, replied in 
a more detailed way to these and other criticisms in my 
pamphlet. An Account of Eusapia Palladino's American 
Seances, fwinted by Dr I. K. Funk, and included by him as 
a chapter in the last edition of his book, " The Widow's 
Mite," which was issued shortly before his death. — H. C. 



IN SPIRITUALISM 189 

across the top of the seance table, very evidently 
propelled by a long hair held between her hands, 
with which she was pushing the table! The 
" phenomenon " was so crass and so apparent, and 
I'Aisapia looked so sly and guilty while doing it, 
that I do not think that any of the sitters were 
taken in for a moment by this manifestation. 
Here, again, this was like many of Eusapia's 
tricks, noted by the Paris Psychological Institute, 
and did not bear the slightest resemblance to the 
real phenomena. 

A large number of levitations, under particularly 
stringent conditions of control, made this seance 
noteworth}-. Touches followed these, in the lessened 
light. At 11.52, the photographic plate, encased 
in several thicknesses of black paper, which Dr 
Simpson had placed in the cabinet just before the 
seance began, was lifted from the table, where it 
had previously been deposited, by a visible head, 
and carried into the cabinet over Eusapia's head. 
Shortly after this, a hand pressed upon Mrs H. 
for a long period of time, enabling her, on one 
occasion, to count eleven slowly, and at another 
time ten. At 12.18, Dr Simpson held the 
accordion against the cabinet curtains, as I had 
held it in previous seances, and it was played upon 
several times by being pushed and pulled by a 
hand from within. This continued after Light 4 
and even after Light 3 had been turned on, which 
enabled the medium to be seen distinctly. 



190 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

The following extracts from the shorthand notes 
will Drove of interest : 



" 1 1.24. Mr J. says that a hand is moving near 
the floor on his side. He is controlling one hand 
and both feet. Mrs H. is positive she is holding 
E.'s other hand. Mr J. says that the hand is 
moving about on the floor. Light 3. Mr J. says 
he felt a hand that was icy cold. He says that the 
hand he saw was very plain and was solid, when 
he touched it . . . 

" Both E.'s hands are now resting on the table, 
on those of her controllers. Mrs H. feels some- 
thing pressing upon her back, which, she says, 
seems ' like two hands clasping her shoulders.' 
She feels this twice. At the same time the left 
controller is touched by a hand on the arm several 
times. 

" Mrs H.'s hand, which is resting on the table, 
and held by Mr G., is touched. Mr G. feels this 
also. . . . 

" The photographic plate, which was on the 
table, is taken off. It rested on E.'s head, and 
then went into the cabinet. Mrs C. says she saw 
a hand stretch out of the cabinet. Dr S., standing 
behind the right controller, is touched on the fore- 
head. Mr J. is also touched. Something moves 
in the cabinet. Mrs H. feels a hand laid on her 
shoulder. . . . 

" The mandolin comes out of the cabinet, play- 
ing. Dr S. holds the accordion against the 
curtain by one end. The other end is grasped 
and pushed back and forth so that it sounds. E. 



IN SPIRITUALISM 191 

is perfectly controlled. Dr S. is holding the 
accordion high up against the curtain on the right 
side, quite beyond E.'s reach. It is sounded 
several times. Dr S. can feel it being pulled. 
Light 4 and then Light 3 is turned, the accordion 
still playing. E.'s hands are visible on the top 
of the table. Light 2 ; the curtain still blowing." 



After all the sitters had gone, except Mr G. 
and Mrs H. and ourselves, a second informal 
seance was held at Eusapia's suggestion. G. con- 
trolled on one side, Mrs H. on the other. Levi- 
tations, raps, and curtain phenomena began the 
sitting, as usual. Touches then began. At 12.50, 
a hand came out of the cabinet, over the table, 
holding a flageolet. It remained visible for fifteen 
seconds, a foot above the table. It then dropped 
the flageolet on the table, and receded into the 
cabinet. 

The bell comes out of the cabinet, ringing. 
It touches Mr G. on the knee, and then goes back 
into the cabinet. A few seconds later it comes 
out again and touches Mrs H. upon the arm. 
The bell is then laid on the table. 

" The tambourine in the cabinet sounds. Mrs 
H. is touched continually. The small table in 
the cabinet sounds as if it were jumping up and 
down ; at the same time, Mrs H. is being touched 
on the side, and the seance table is tipping on one 
leg. Mrs H. says that she feels a ' loving hand 
on her arm.' C. is touched on the hand. The 



192 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

outline of a head is seen near Mrs H. A black 
object is seen floating about near Mrs H., on a 
level with her face. The tambourine is struck, 
and then brought out of the cabinet and placed on 
the table. A white object comes out of the cabinet 
and floats over the seance table ; then disappears. 
The music-box comes out of the cabinet, playing. 
It rests for a moment on Mrs H.'s shoulder, and 
is then placed on the table. A loud thump is 
heard on the table. . . . Mrs H. is caressed. She 
feels an arm slipped round her shoulders. Mrs 
C.'s and Mrs H.'s hands, which are joined on the 
table, are pulled across the latter towards the 
cabinet. Seven loud raps on the table. The 
seance ends." 

The following extract from an account of this 
seance, written by one of the sitters, Mr E., is of 
great interest, for the reason that he saw a com- 
flete form standing close beside him, and near 
the cabinet curtains, and as these complete forms 
are extremely rare at Eusapia's seances — particu- 
larly of late years — it should be quoted here. 
Personally, I have never seen a form of this 
character, and I think this was the second time 
anything of the sort was recorded in America ; but 
the many striking phenomena which took place 
during this informal after-seance renders it prob- 
able that " now or never " would have been the 
time for such an occurrence ! 

" Feeling a touch on my left shoulder," writes 



IN SPIRITUALISM 198 

Mr E., " I turned my head quickly to the, left, 
and saw behind me, about four feet from the 
cabinet, a form more than five feet in height, 
vaguely outlined, but giving the impression of a 
human figure. The appearance was black in 
colour, shifting and nebulous (foggy) in consis- 
tence, having a formless head, without trace of 
features or colour, the lower part being a shape- 
less mass. As soon as I observed it, the appear- 
ance began to fade away in the direction of the 
cabinet, in a manner difficult to describe, but 
somewhat as if a cloud of smoke or fog were being 
dissipated by a draught of air. This dissipation 
was rapid though not instantaneous, and afforded 
little opportunity for observation ; but the last 
seen of the form (in the shape of a wisp of smoke 
two feet in length being drawn into the cabinet at 
the edge of the curtain, about two feet from the 
floor) was comparatively very distinct, slow- 
moving and susceptible of close observation. This 
appearance was visible to others present, and was 
remarked upon by them as well as by me at the 
time. The control was perfect, and I am satisfied 
that the medium could not have produced this 
manifestation, even had her hands and feet been 
free. . . ." ^ 

' A photographic plate (X-ray plate) was placed in the cabinet 
before this seance, by Dr F. T. Simpson, who took the plate 
back with him, and the next day developed it. He writes me 
as follows, regarding the marking's he found upon it : 

" Dear Mr Carrington, — I enclose photograph, showing- 
imprint found on the X-ray plate placed by me in the cabinet 
of Eusapia. As you will see, there are four fingers outlined 
upKm it — feminine fing-ers. I had the photographer, who de- 
veloped the plate, print a picture of his own hand, holding- 
another plate eight inches from a red light in a dark room, 

N 



194 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 



STANCE XX 

On the evening of 5th January, Eusapia gave a 
private seance to some of her friends at her own 
house, and asked me to be present. While the 
following facts cannot be held to be in any way 
" evidential," therefore, one or two manifestations 
should be mentioned as being of interest. Some 
of the best and longest levitations I have ever seen 
occurred during this seance, in full gaslight. 
Some of them, as timed by the stenographer, were 
fifteen seconds and even longer. The left con- 
troller was pushed and pulled about, when nothing 
could be seen touching him. The music-box 
came out of the cabinet when both Eusapia's hands 

and I enclose it. You v;ill see the difference, and that the 
fingers in the original X-ray plate do not belong to him. 
Thus the negative was not caused in Hartford, and there 
seems to be no explanation of it by the experts here. Eusapia 
did not handle my plate personally. ... I have no explana- 
tion to offer, except that I have eliminated the possibilities of 
accidental production of the results found on the negative, so 
far as Hartford is concerned. . . . 

" F. T. Simpson, M.D." 

A photograph of this " hand " is given herewith, together 
with one of the fingers of the photographer. Under the con- 
ditions in which the " radiograph " was obtained, however, 
one cannot account for the impression, save by supposing 
that the hand which held the plate was in some way radio- 
active — resembling the hands obtained by Dr Ochorowicz, in 
the presence of Mile Tomczyk. Professor Lombroso also ob- 
tained the imprint of a hand, with Eusapia, under somewhat 
similar conditions, and has reproduced a photograph of this 
in his " After Death— What? " p. 84. 





X 



IN SIMIUTUALISM 195 

were clearly visible on the table. A distinct " cold 
breeze " issued from the cabinet, when we could 
see inside it. Towards the close of the seance, 
one of the sitters asserted that he had seen a head 
which resembled his mother's. Many touches and 
partial " materialisations " occurred during this 
seance. 

Nevertheless, for evidential purposes, this 
seance cannot of course be held to be of any value. 



STANCE XXI 

This sitting-, held in the usual room, took place 
on the evening of 8th January, 1910, and was 
attended by Profs. D. S. Miller, Busch, Dey, Wm. 
Montague, and W. B. Pitkin. Profs. Dey and Busch 
controlled at first ; afterwards Prof. Miller. Phe- 
nomena were slow in making their appearance. At 
1 1.3 the small table was brought out of the cabinet 
under exceptionally good conditions — Eusapia's 
left hand being held under the curtain, her right 
hand being on the table, and visible, and both her 
feet held under the table by Prof. Miller. A 

burst " of phenomena occurred at ii.ii, several 
things apparently happening at the same time, when 
both Eusapia's hands were separately accounted 
for. At 1 1. 1 7, the left controller was touched 
on the arm, when both Eusapia's hands were 
perfectly visible, and the light was sufficiently good 



196 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

to see everything in the room quite plainly. At 
11.23, ^ very remarkable levitation occurred — the 
seance table rising so slowly and steadily that the 
various instruments upon it were not disturbed to 
any appreciable degree. At 1 1.30, two white hands 
Avere seen, apparently simultaneously, one over the 
medium's head, and the other between the medium 
and Prof. Miller. At 11.35, ^ white object was 
again seen over Eusapia's head, and, upon the 
right controller taking both the medium's hands in 
his, he was touched on the shoulder, and immedi- 
ately afterwards his chair was pulled about, while 
he was sitting upon it. At 1145, the "cold 
breeze " coming from Eusapia's head was dis- 
tinctly felt, and a small piece of tissue-paper, 
placed over the scar, was blown outwards several 
times. 

At the commencement of the seance, Eusapia 
produced a peculiar phenomenon which I have 
seen her perform on several occasions. She 
rapped on the table, and echoes of these raps were 
heard by the sitters a second or so afterwards. 
She then scratched on the table with her lingers, 
and, a moment later, the " echo " of the scratch 
was heard on the table top. She repeated this 
several times. 

The following are one or two brief extracts from 
this seance : 

" A white hand is again seen above E.'s head. 



IN SriRITUALISM 197 



The bell rings in tlie cabinet. The small table 
is placed in the cabinet, with the toy piano, music- 
box, tambourine and flute upon it. Immediately 
after being- placed on the table the tambourine 
comes out of the cabinet on the left, and settles on 
the table on the opposite end from E. Both K."s 
hands are held. The left controller is touched on 
the arm above the elbow. Both E's hands are 
visible on the table. The left controller is touched 
on the arm again. The light is sufficiently good to 
see plainly. The flageolet comes out of the cabinet 
and seems to spin around above E.'s head for 
several seconds ; it then drops to the seance table. 

" The small table comes out of the cabinet, being 
raised about six inches off the floor, and is lifted 
on to the seance table. The small table, now on 
the seance table, moves about, and the flageolet, 
also on the seance table, moves at the same time, 
and with the same kind of motion. The table and 
the flageolet roll to the right and then to the left 
together. There is light enough to see that 
nothing is touching these objects. 

" A white hand is seen above E.'s head, and at 
the same time a white hand is seen lower down, 
between the medium and Prof. Miller. . . . The 
curtain blows out. . . . The table raps seven 
times. The seance table is taken away from 
Eusapia, and the seance ends." 



SfiANCE XXII 

This seance, held in the usual room, was in 
many ways very striking. It took place on the 



198 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

evening of loth January—there being present, 
among others, Dr Stanley L. Krebs, Dr C. C. 
Gibson, Mr Daniel Frohman, Mr Frank Tilford 
and Mr Edward K. Keep. There were almost no 
levitations at all, all the phenomena being of 
another type. x\t 11.54, at Eusapia's request, her 
feet were tied to those of her controllers with rope. 
This was done by Dr Gibson — Dr Krebs inspect- 
ing the knots, and finding then solid and satisfac- 
tory. Shortly after this, Eusapia's wrists were 
also tied to the wrists of her controllers. At 12, 
Eusapia still being securely tied hand and foot, 
the small table was lifted out of the cabinet, 
and thrown some distance into the seance room. 
Ten minutes later, the lights were turned up, and 
the rope still found securely knotted. Soon after 
the reduction of the light, however, Mr Tilford 
reported that the rope fastening his wrist was being 
untied, and a moment later it was thrown on to 
the table. Mr Tilford remarked that he had not 
released her hand for an instant. Eusapia com- 
plained that " it was not her fault that the rope 
was untied," and asked to have it tied again. This 
was done. Soon after the lights were lowered, the 
rope was again untied, several sitters seeing a 
white hand untying the knots. Both Eusapia's 
wrists and her left ankle were thus untied by a 
hand that was frequently visible to the sitters. 
During this time, the controllers on either side 
had ample time to see and ascertain that they were 



IN SPIRITUALISM 199 

holding separate hands, and were controUing the 
medium well. In each case the rope was thrown 
on to the seance table, or at one of the sitters, after 
it had been untied.^ 



The following: extracts from the shorthand notes 
will suffice to explain the general character of the 
phenomena at this seance : 

" The small table comes out of the cabinet again. 
It jumps about. It slides about on the floor some 
two feet from E., and near Dr K. Once it is 
levitated, falling down on Dr K.'s foot. Several, 
of the sitters say that they see a hand holding this 
table. Both E.'s hands are held. The controllers 
say they are sure of this. 

" The small table gets on to the seance table, 
easily and without noise. One of the sitters says 
he saw a white hand holding the seance table. Mr 
T. says he saw this hand, and it was holding 
the legs of the table. Mr T. says he is certainly 
holding E.'s left hand. H. says he is sure it is 
not a dummy hand. Her right hand is held by 
Mr F. and is visible. . . . 

" Complete levitation of the table about one foot 
from the floor. Table remains up for twenty-five 
seconds. Left-hand curtain blows out. Table 

' Readers of our Naples report will remember that, during- 
our eighth sitting-, the rope fastening the medium's left foot 
had similarly been untied {Proceedings, S.P.R. vol. xxiii., 
pp. 499-500) and I am glad to be able to furnish this appar- 
ently supplementary evidence, which serves to throw an inter- 
esting side-light not only on this one previous incident, but 
also on many historic phenomena in the history of spiritualism. 



200 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

raps several times. The small table is thrown out 
of the cabinet and hits Dr G., who is standing 
on the left side of the cabinet. The ropes are 
examined. E. is still tied securely. 

" The table rises fully two feet from the floor 
and remains up twenty-five seconds. The table 
again rises about eighteen inches, remaining up 
sixteen seconds. The small table is thrown across 
the room, almost to the left wall. The bell is 
heard ringing. Light 2 is turned on, and it 
is seen that E. is still securely tied. The 
controllers both say that her hands were resting 
on theirs all the time — her knees and feet against 
theirs. . . . 

" Mr T. says: There is a great pulling on my 
arm. Something is pulling at the rope. I have 
her hand all the time. 

" The rope is untied from Mr T.'s hand and 
thrown across his arm. T. says : ' I certainly had 
her hand all the time. ... A hand is again try- 
ing to untie the rope. I have her hand.' The 
sitters can see the knots being untied. T. says: 
' I have her hand. It has never left mine. Here 
it is — see it ? ' He throws the curtain back and 
shows her hand. . . . There is still one knot in 
the rope. A hand is seen on the rope by one of 
the sitters. T. says: ' Mind you, I have her hand 
all the time. It is lying on mine.' T. says : ' See 
the hand on my arm? See it! ' Some of the 
sitters did not see it. They ask to be shown the 
hand. Between the left controller and E. a white 
hand comes up. It seems to come from under 
the table, and shows a forearm in a black sleeve, 
with a white frill around the wrist. (E.'s dress 
had no frill.) It is a very small hand, and quite 



IN SPIRITUALISM 201 

white. It is seen by all, and remains visible for 
at least five seconds. The rope is untied. . . . 

" Mr F. (right controller) says: ' The rope on 
my arm is being untied.' A few seconds later: 
' The rope is pulled off my arm now. Her hand 
is on mine all the time.' T. : ' Her hand has never 
left mine.' 

" A cool breeze is felt coming from the cabinet. 
Dr G., standing to the left, is struck in the face 
by a rope. . . . 

"The small stool, which was standing on the 
left, is picked up and placed on the table, coming 
between F. and the gentleman to his right. C. 
was standing near the stool when it was moved. 

" The hghts are turned up. The rope is found 
coiled up on the table. Seance ends." 



AN INTERLUDE 

Before going to Boston, I had written to Prof. 
James, telling him of the seance which, unfortu- 
nately, he could not attend, and asking him to 
meet us at the hotel, for a few minutes' chat, 
at about six o'clock. Ui)on introducing him to 
Eusapia, she seemed to take a great liking to him 
immediately, and, taking him by the hand, said 
that he had a very " good fluid." She then seated 
him on a chair to her left and pulled up a small 
table from the side of the room, asking me to 
assume the usual position of the right-hand con- 
troller, while Prof. James assumed that of the 



202 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

controller on the left. For some minutes we three 
sat in silence awaiting phenomena; but we had 
not long to wait! The table vibrated, jarred, 
moved, and finally tilted on to the two legs farthest 
from her — her hands being clenched above it and 
her feet and knees controlled as usual, visibly 
several inches from the table-legs. This was re- 
peated several times. The light at the time was 
full on, there being, I think, four sixteen candle 
power electric lamps burning in the room. 

Eusapia then stretched out her left hand, palm 
outward, and held it outstretched at a distance of 
about fifteen inches from Prof. James' chair. 
Faint raps were then heard to come on the back of 
his chair. A few moments later, it was slightly 
pulled (he still sitting upon it), and an effort made 
by ,some invisible force to displace it from its 
position and move it along the floor. This, how- 
ever, was unsuccessful, and Eusapia, not wishing 
to tire herself, in view of the evening's seance, 
abandoned the attempt. 



STANCE XXIII 

This seance was held in Boston, in the home of 
Mr Henry S. Grew, jun., on the evening of 12th 
January, and was attended by a number of ladies 
and gentlemen — friends of Mr Grew. No short- 
hand report was taken of this sitting, as the steno- 



IN SPIRITUALISM 203 

grapher did not accompany us to Boston. Levi- 
tations, raps, curtain phenomena and a cold breeze 
were the chief manifestations noted at this seance, 
which was not a good one, phenomenally or evi- 
dentially. Movements of the musical instruments 
and a few touches concluded the sitting, which it 
is unnecessary to summarise more fully here. 



STANCE XXIV 

This was the last sitting held in the regular 
seance room, and terminated the original series of 
sittings, as arranged. It took place on the even- 
ing of 15th January, 19 10, and was attended by a 
number of ladies and gentlemen, including Prof. 
D. S. Miller. Eusapia's skirt blew out during 
this seance, for the first time during her American 
visit (it is a comparatively rare phenomenon). At 
the conclusion of the sitting, the left controller was 
pulled, chair and all, completely into the cabinet! 

One or two extracts from the latter part of the 
shorthand report may be of suflficient interest to 
quote verbatim. At 12 midnight, e.g., the follow- 
ing series of incidents took place : 

" Right controller takes control of both E.'s 
feet. Her hands are held on the table. Small 
table moves farther from the cabinet. It is raised 
as high as the right controller's head, and then 



204 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

moves across the seance table, over his arm. It 
falls to the floor. Controllers say they are positive 
they have both E.'s hands. Small table rises 
again very high from the floor, and is laid on the 
seance table. Control perfect. Small table rolls 
about on the seance table. 

" Small table falls into the lap of the right con- 
troller. Upon being picked up and laid on the 
seance table, it moves about for several minutes. 
The left-hand curtain blows out. At the same 
time the left-hand curtain is jerked toward the 
cabinet. It finally rolls into the controller's lap, 
and goes down between his body and the sitter to 
his left. It goes almost under the large table, by 
a series of complicated actions, the large table 
being levitated a number of times, as if to help the 
small table get underneath it ! The left controller 
is grasped forcibly by the arm. Complete levita- 
tion of the seance table, fully eighteen inches. The 
small table is thrust under the seance table, 
during this levitation. Controllers say that during 
all this time the control was perfect. Both her 
feet still controlled by the right controller. 

" Soon after this, something touched the left 
controller's arm. The other sitters all see black 
objects touching the left controller. ... A white 
hand is seen unbuttoning the coat of the left 
controller. His eyeglasses are taken off and 
deposited gently in his lap without being broken. 
He is then touched about the head and face, and 
raps on the chair are heard. His chair is pulled 
into the cabinet. The table raps seven times. 
The lights are turned up and the chain broken." 



IN SPIRITUALISM 205 



Seance XXV 

This seance was held in a private house — a 
number of distinguished persons being present, 
including Prof. Nicholas Murray Butler, of 
Columbia University. It was held on the even- 
ing of 27th January. A cabinet was improvised 
in one corner of the room, and the sitters arranged 
themselves in the usual horseshoe form around 
the seance table. It was not a good seance- — 
nothing but levitations, raps, and curtain pheno- 
mena occurring for more than an hour. Perhaps 
the best phenomena were a series of movements 
of the small stool outside the cabinet, in good 
conditions of light and control. A number of 
touches then took place ; and the seance closed 
with a series of complete levitations, one of which 
lasted about twenty-five seconds. The seance 
cannot be held as " evidential," owing to the in- 
experience of the controllers, and the conditions 
under which it was held. 



Seance XXVI 

This seance was held in one of the rooms of 
an empty apartment, directly across the hall from 
that occupied by myself. It took place on the 



206 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

evening of 7th February, and was attended by 
five sitters only — four of whom had obtained a 
number of sittings before. Dr Caccini acted as 
spokesman, instead of the usual interpreter. The 
seance was a very good one, on the whole. A 
number of remarkable levitations began the 
seance, and, within a quarter of an hour, the lights 
were reduced, and the first touches experienced. 
Several times the controller to the left was touched 
w^hen the other sitters, looking directly at him, 
could see nothing touching him. This seance — 
the last good one seen by me in America — is, per- 
haps, worth quoting somewhat fully. A portion 
of the record reads as follows : 

" Complete levitation of the table in an abso- 
lutely horizontal position, lasting about twenty-five 
seconds. The left and right controllers both had 
their hands across E.'s knees. 

" Mr F. is touched twice on the arm. He says : 
' I am holding her left hand in her lap and her foot 
rests on mine.' E.'s right hand is visible on the 
table. 

" The right-hand curtain blows right out, so 
that the interior of the cabinet can be seen. Mr 
F. is touched again on the arm. The light is 
good, the medium and all the sitters can be seen 
perfectly. Mr F. is touched on the shoulder. 
None of the other sitters can see anything touch- 
ing him. There is a clear, light space between 
him and the medium or the curtain. 

" A white object is seen over Mr F.'s head. It 
touches him on the head. He is touched on the 



IN SIMIUTUALISM 207 

shoulder. Mr E. is touched at the same time on 
the shoulder. 

" xMr F. says: 'My right arm was smoothed 
down from the shoulder to the elbow by a hand.' 

" A black object is seen to come out of the 
cabinet. 

" The music-box plays. A hand comes from 
the curtain holding the music-box ; it throws it on 
to the table. Raps are heard in the cabinet. 

" The tambourine is heard to sound in the 
cabinet. The controllers say that they are con- 
trolling E. perfectly. 

The mandolin comes out of the cabinet to the 
right about on a level with E.'s face, and two or 
three feet from her. It is held by a white hand, 
and is being played by an invisible hand. The 
light is very good and the mandolin and the hand 
holding it can be seen plainly by all the sitters. 
The mandolin goes back into the cabinet and comes 
out again immediately, higher up, near the top of 
the curtain. The hand is still holding the man- 
dolin. E. stands and stretches out toward the 
mandolin, moving exactly as though she were 
holding it and waving it in the air ; her right hand, 
however, is seen lying on the table on Mr E.'s. 
The mandolin is deposited on the table. It has 
thus been playing all the time, although nothing 
can be seen touching the strings. E.'s left hand 
was held under the curtain. The controllers raise 
E.'s hands and see that they are holding both. 
The control is perfect. 

" Complete levitation for twenty-five seconds. 
The table is raised two feet. Mr E. and Mr F. 
are touched at the same time. Mr E. is touched 
on the knee. Control is perfect. 



208 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

" The tambourine appears on the left side of 
the left-hand curtain. It is held outside the curtain 
by a hand. It is more than three feet from E. 
It is held by an arm stretched out from the inside 
of the cabinet. It then disappears and appears 
again about a foot over E.'s head. This is done 
in a very leisurely way — the tambourine being 
shaken, as if to attract the attention of the sitters 
toward it. It remains visible and waving above 
E.'s head for fully twenty seconds, when the arm 
stretches out over the table (above E.'s head), and 
drops the tambourine with scarcely any sound on 
the table. 

" Mr E. is seized roughly by the shoulder. E. 
is kicking her foot back and forth on the floor. 
Everybody can hear her feet tapping on the floor. 
Mr E. is violently pulled on the arm.. Mr F. is 
touched at the same time on the elbow. E.'s 
right hand is visible, her left hand is held under 
the curtain. A hand is seen at the right side, 
near the curtain. E.'s right hand is visible. The 
right-hand curtain blows out. 

" E. says that she is becoming unconscious and 
suggests that they tie her hands and feet. Mr C 
gets a rope, but the sitters do not care to tie E., 
so this is not done. 

" Mr E. is pulled roughly. His chair is shaken 
and finally pulled out from beneath him, upsetting 
him to the floor. 

" Light No. 5 is lighted, and a shade is pulled 
up on one of the windows, letting a good light into 
the room from the street. 

" Noises are heard in the cabinet, as if the table 
were moving. 

" The instruments are thrown off the small table 




Wire Scrichx made to c()\er Cabinet and side of 

r 

Seance Table neakesi Medilm. 



IN SPIRITUALISM 209 

in the cabinet. Three loud knocks are heard in 
the cabinet. The control is perfect. 

" The right controller says : ' The control is 
good.' The left controller says : ' There is no 
question of the control on my side.' 

" Mr E. is touched. Mr E. feels a hand on the 
top of his head. Nothing can be seen touching 
him. 

" E. leans on the right controller. The table in 
the cabinet moves. At each movement of the 
table, E. stretches out her right leg. A white 
hand appears over E.'s head for an instant, re- 
appearing three times, and each time is instantly 
withdrawn. E.'s face appears luminous in the 
darkness, although this may be the effect of the 
light from the window. 

" Mr F. says : ' I am touched three times on the 
left elbow.' Mr C. tells him: 'The curtain is 
blowing out and touching you.' 

" Mr E. is touched on the face. There is a 
clear, light space between him and the curtain, 
and nothing can be seen touching him. Mr F. 
is touched continually. One of the sitters saw a 
white object come out of the cabinet and touch 
Mr E. 

" The small table has now reached the outer 
edge of the cabinet on the right, and it falls over 
with the top out of the cabinet, as if pushed over 
from behind. The curtain has slipped toward the 
centre, so that it is not there to obstruct the move- 
ments of the table. Three raps are heard on Mr 
E.'s chair. 

" The table rises with a quick, easy motion — 
the top being pushed up and the table raised in an 
upright position two feet above the floor. It is 

o 



210 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

then brought over and laid on the seance table. 
As it is laid on the seance table, a hand is seen to 
be holding it by the legs. 

" Mr E. leans forward to look at the hand and 
accidentally touches it with his face. The hand 
feels warm and moist — like a human hand. The 
table is lifted up and slid over Mr E.'s back as he 
remains in a stooping position, and falls to the 
floor without much noise at a distance of four or 
five feet from the table. 

" Mr F. and Mr E. are both touched at the same 
time. 

" Mr C, standing behind Mr E., is touched 
twice. He is too far away for E. to touch him. 
The controllers say that they are positive that they 
are controlling E. perfectly. 

" Mr C. is touched again. Mr F. is touched. 
Mrs H., second from the medium on the right, is 
touched. Three raps are heard on the table. 

" E. recedes at times into the cabinet — the cur- 
tain being blown over her face. 

" A third arm is seen to come from E.'s shoulder 
on the right, while her right hand is lying on the 
table visible and touching Mr E.'s. 

" The tambourine, lying on the centre of the 
table, beats a rhythm on the table, banging up and 
down loudly. E. is rapping with her foot on the 
floor. The tambourine keeps this up for about a 
minute. 

" A long arm pushes the curtain out on the right 
side, shaking it about. The effect of this is exactly 
as if E. stretched out her right arm and did it her- 
self. Mr E. says, however, that her hand never 
left his, and in fact her hand can be seen resting on 
his on the table. This is repeated three times. 



IN SPIRITUALISM 211 

" The curtains blow out violently. 

" Mr E. holds up the hand that he is controlling. 
A few moments later he says : ' I have lost her 
hand.' Nothing happens at this time, and he 
immediately regains possession of the hand. 

" Raps are heard in the cabinet. 

" Mrs H. is again touched. Mr E. is touched. 

" Mr F. and Mr E. are touched at the same time. 

" The red electric light, which had been turned 
off, is turned on by itself. The control is changed 
— Mr F. giving his place to Miss A. E. rests ; 
she stands up for a moment. 

" The toy piano at the left side of the cabinet 
moves sHghtly on the floor. A white hand comes 
over E.'s head. 

" Complete levitation of the table about two 
feet ; the table goes down almost to the floor and 
is then raised up again. It remains off the floor 
for twenty-five seconds. 

" The table raps several times with one leg. A 
white hand is seen near E. 

" The table beats a rhythm. The left controller 
is pulled. The curtain blows out. 

" The flageolet, which was lying on the table, 
is taken off, and touches the left controller on the 
neck. The flageolet is then stretched out and Dr 
H. takes it. 

" E.'s right hand is visible, and her left hand 
is held under the curtain. Mr E. holds up the 
hand which he is controlling, and in this way Miss 
A. finds that she is controlling E.'s other hand, 
and not the same one. The hand which she is 
controlling is under the curtain. Mr F. holds the 
flageolet near the curtain, and it is taken away 
from him. It is then waved about in the air. . . . 



212 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

" A white hand is seen to sweep up from E.'s 
side in a semi-circle and remain visible over her 
head for a few seconds. It then disappears. 

" The controllers on both sides are touched. 

" Mr F. : ' The hand with which I am control- 
ling E.'s hand is pulled about on the table.' 

" The small table is placed back in the cabinet 
and is thrown out again immediately. 

" Dr C, standing near the curtain on the left, 
is touched. His face is touched. The left con- 
troller is touched also. The control is good. 

" Dr C. says that something is holding him near 
the curtains. 

" There is nothing visible touching him. 

" The left and right controllers are touched, 
pinched, and pulled continuously. . . . 

" E. is leaning toward the right. 

" Noise of the table moving in the cabinet. Left 
controller says : ' I am touched on the waist.' 

" E. moves her hand back and forth over the 
table, and the small table in the cabinet moves. 

" The small table makes a great deal of noise 
in the cabinet, as if it were being banged about. 
E. says: ' I will smash it.' 

" E. says: ' I have no more strength.' She 
asks all the sitters to stand up, away from the 
table, with hands joined. This is done, and the 
table moves away from the cabinet. 

" Complete levitation of the table about two 
feet. E. is more than a foot from the table and 
is not touching it in any way. The table moves 
to the right and tips. E. sits down and the table 
is taken away from her. The seance ends." 



IN SriRITUAIJSM 213 



STANCE XXVII 

The following seance is given somewhat out ot 
its chronological order — the Columbia sittings 
having occurred between those last reported and 
this one. As this was the last seen by myself, 
however, I insert it in this place. It was held on 
the evening of gth May, 1910, after the N ew York 
Times and Collier s Weekly had published their 
exposes of Eusapia's trick methods — as exposed 
by Messrs Jastrow, Miller, Rinn, Davis, Kellogg, 
and Co., and was arranged largely to enable me 
to test out the explanations proposed in the papers 
and the various reports, so far as I was enabled to. 
The sitting was held in the rooms of my friend, 
Mr Maurice V. Samuels, in the Hotel St Mar- 
garet, and was attended, among others, by Prof. 
Augustus Trowbridge (who had shared in the 
Columbia sittings), at my request. 

The seance was, unfortunately, almost barren 
of striking incidents. Prof. Trowbridge and my- 
self controlled throughout the sitting, this being 
the first time I had controlled Eusapia throughout 
a seance during her whole American trip. The 
" force " seemed to be so weak that we did not 
obtain a single complete levitation, even in sub- 
dued light! It was a typically "bad seance." 
Several times I caught Eusapia in trickery, or 



214 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

attempts at trickery, and had no difficulty in doing 
so. The seance struck not only myself, but Prof. 
Trowbridge and several of the other sitters who 
were present, as being entirely different from 
many of the good seances which had preceded 
it. It closely resembled our tenth seance in 
Naples. 

This testing of my impression of the sittings is 
rather interesting, for the reason that I can quite 
see how a seance of this character — or a series of 
them, for that matter — could not fail to convince 
a new sitter (who had not seen at least one good 
seance) that all was fraud, and probably would 
ground him firmly in his scepticism. As I said 
in a circular letter sent prospective sitters before 
Eusapia landed in America: 

" During the course of the sittings, there will 
probably be both good and bad seances. While 
the first are convincing, the second will probably 
leave on the mind the impression that skilful 
trickery has been employed from time to time ; 
and will not prove convincing. It is essential that 
at least one good seance be witnessed before 
making up the mind as to the character of the 
facts." 

This seance furnished me conclusive proof of 
the correctness of this attitude, and the necessity 
for the warning. The manifestations which oc- 
curred at this sitting were of a most suspicious 



IN SPIRITUALISM 215 

character — not being worth recording. They 
were totally different in character from many of 
those which occurred at the good seances, when 
striking phenomena took place in good light, and 
under excellent conditions of control. 



21G PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 



XI 

NOTE ON THE SITTINGS HELD AT 
COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY 

A series of six sittings were to be held in the 
Physical Laboratory of Columbia, but, owing to 
the character of the seances, the amount of fraud 
detected, etc., onl; four were held. These took 
place on 17th, 19th, 22nd, and 24th January, 1910, 
respectively. The sittings were attended by 
Prof. Hallock (Physics, Columbia) ; Prof. R. W. 
Wood (Physics, Johns Hopkins) ; Prof. Augustus 
Trowbridge (Physics, Princeton) ; Prof. E. B. 
Wilson (Biology, Columbia) ; Drs Charles L. 
Dana and Frederick Peterson — two of New 
York's most eminent neurologists and psychi- 
atrists ; Prois. Miller, Montague and Pitkin (Phil- 
osophy, Columbia) ; Prof. Busch (Columbia) ; 
Prof. Bigiongiari (Romance Languages, Columbia) 
— who kindly acted as interpreter for Eusapia; 
and Mr Sewell Haggard, as literary executive. 
Messrs Pyne and Vos acted as stenographers. 
Miss Patmore, a trained nurse, was present at the 
second, third and fourth seances, and searched 
Eusapia before they began. I myself did not 







> X 



IN SPIRITUALISM 217 

attend the Columbia seances, for evidential 
reasons. 

The usual conditions of light, control, etc., were 
maintained at this series of sittings, and, aside from 
an elaborate system of spying into the cabinet, 
nothing new was attempted in the way of scientific 
tests. This is greatly to be regretted, since a 
number of experiments of this nature had been 
planned by Professors Wood, Trowbridge and 
myself, and it had been resolved to " test them 
out " at the Columbia sittings. Among these 
were the followinor; 



'53 



1. The interposition between the medium and 
the cabinet of a fine screen, effectually preventing 
Eusapia from introducing either a hand or a foot 
into the cabinet. If, e.g., a bell had been rung 
under such conditions, it would have been pretty 
conclusive evidence that Eusapia had not pro- 
duced the phenomenon by means of her hands 
or feet. 

2. A duplication of the experiments conducted 
by Sir William Crookes, with the medium D. D. 
Home — more particularly the experiment of the 
spring balance. 

3. A collection and analysis, if possible, of tJie 
" emanation " constituting the " cold breeze " that 
issues from the scar over Eusapia's forehead. 
Special metal vacuum tubes had been constructed 
for this purpose. 



218 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

4. An electrical connection, unknown to the 
medium, between one of the controllers and one 
of the objects in the cabinet, e.g. the bell. This 
was to have been accomplished in the following 
manner. The bell was to be connected by means 
of wires to a battery. The opposite wires were to 
be attached to the controller — passing under his 
clothes and down one arm to his hand — so that 
this end of the circuit would be conveyed as far as 
Eusapia's hand. The complete circuit was thus 
broken only by the space between the bell and 
Eusapia's body ; and it will be seen that, if she 
touched the bell, the circuit would be complete. 

5. The most crucial and best test of all, how- 
ever, was the following. It consisted in placing 
an X-ray tube on one side of the cabinet (outside, 
of course) and, on the other side, a large fluorescent 
screen. The rays, passing through both walls of 
the cabinet, as well as the cabinet itself, would be 
caught upon the fluorescent screen, and the 
shadow of any solid object placed or introduced 
into the cabinet would in this manner be cast upon 
the screen — which would be constantly watched 
by one of the investigators. It will be seen that, 
had Eusapia succeeded in releasing one of her 
hands, and introduced it into the cabinet, the 
shadow of the bone in the arm (or leg) would 
immediately have been cast upon the screen, and 
the fraud detected in this manner. On the con- 
trary, if a " third arm " had developed, or if 



IN SPIRITUALISM 219 

materialised arms or " pseudopodia " had been 
formed, the density and structure of such tempo- 
rary forms and agglomerations of matter could 
have been studied ; and it could have been deter- 
mined, in this manner, once and for all, whether or 
not the arms introduced into the cabinet were 
Eusapia's or those of some other entity; and, if 
the latter, the degree of material density of this 
arm, and whether or not it possessed bones, etc. 

As a matter of fact, with the exception of one 
experiment with an electroscope, no new experi- 
ments of any kind were tried at Columbia — the 
usual seances, under the usual conditions of 
control, being given! As these seances w^re 
remarkably poor, they cannot be said to have 
added anything towards a definite understanding 
of the case. When such elaborate precautions 
had been made, how was it that no new experi- 
ments were tried? How was it that not one of the 
means we had devised for testing and checking the 
phenomena was actually employed and put into 
execution.'^ Why, in short, were the Columbia 
sittings such a complete failure, when they should 
have been a success — and added much to our 
understanding of the case ? The answer to these 
questions has never been forthcoming! 

The Columbia seances were almost entirely 
barren of results. Eusapia was exhausted and 
worn out, as the result of her long series of 



220 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

sittings, and she should not have attempted the test 
seances without adequate rest. At the first seance 
only one complete levitation was recorded (this in 
semi-darkness), a few raps and curtain pheno- 
mena ; a cold breeze, and a few touches, in almost 
complete darkness, toward the end of the sitting. 
The second seance was a little better, there being 
seven complete levitations in all, but fewer raps, 
curtain phenomena, and almost no cabinet mani- 
festations or touches. It was during this sitting, 
however, that Prof. Wood, who was peering into 
the cabinet from a " peep-hole " in the top, saw 
what seemed to him to be " a white object which 
appeared in the region of the middle of her back." 
This has never been explained, and was not 
mentioned in the published statement of the 
Committee. During the third seance, there were 
four complete levitations, a few raps, curtain 
phenomena, noises in the cabinet, and, toward the 
end of the seance, touches, and one " black object," 
which issued from the cabinet in almost complete 
darkness. The fourth seance was even worse — 
only one complete and satisfactory levitation being 
noted, and a few minor phenomena! 

I have studied the records of the Columbia 
seances carefully, and have failed to find in them 
any striking phenomena beyond those enumerated. 
They were almost entirely blank, the fourth being 
of such a nature as to leave on the mind of Prof. 
Wilson " the strongest possible impression of 



IN SPIRITUALISM 221 

fraud." In other words, they were typically " bad 
seances," and would never have served to convince 
anyone of the supernormal character of the phenom- 
ena. They certainly would not have convinced 
me ; and would probably have served to confirm me 
in the belief that nothing but fraud had been em- 
ployed throughout! I cannot blame the investi- 
gators, therefore, in their conclusion that no 
genuine phenomena had been observed. One 
could hardly have expected otherwise ! But what 
is subject to criticism is the fact that the negative 
results of these poor seances was held to invalidate, 
not only all the other American seances, but also 
the whole twenty years' work which had been 
carried on in Europe! This was certainly an un- 
warranted conclusion ; and the same may be said 
of the more detailed report issued by Messrs 
jastrow, Miller, Rinn, Davis, etc., based on the 
two seances which were held in the house of Prof. 
Lord, on 17th and 24th April, 1910. As I am 
not in possession of the shorthand records of these 
sittings, I regret that I am unable to publish them. 
The whole cmx- of the matter is just here. Poor 
seances prove nothing ; good ones prove the 
apparently supernormal character of the facts, 
and, until one has seen both good and bad 
seances, one is not entitled to express any opinion 
upon the whole case. As the members of the 
Scientific Committee at Columbia did not have 
this opportunity and experience, I claim that they 



222 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

are not in a position to dogmatise one way or the 
other. It is, at all events, noteworthy that this 
opinion seems to be shared equally by the Euro- 
pean investigators who have studied Eusapia ; 
and that the American investigation and so-called 
" exposure " has not influenced them in the 
slightest in their attitude of belief. They contend 
— as I do — that, had Eusapia been studied long 
enough and carefully enough, genuine phenomena 
would have been observed — as well as the fraudu- 
lent phenomena to which she resorts, in an attempt 
to reproduce genuine manifestations, when they 
fail to appear. 



IN SPIRITUALISM 228 



XII 
THEORETICAL DISCUSSION 

The facts are now before the reader, and it but 
remains for us briefly to discuss them. I shall 
assume that their genuine character is proved by 
the records themselves, and that neither fraud nor 
hallucination will in any way serve to explain 
the facts as herein presented. These and other 
theories have been dealt with so fully in the last 
three chapters of my " Eusapia Palladino and Her 
Phenomena," and in the footnotes to Prof. Flour- 
noy's " Spiritism and Psychology," that we need 
not detail them here. I shall assume that the 
reader is famihar with these earlier views, and is 
more interested in ascertaining what new Hght, if 
any, these American seances have thrown upon 
the general problem of " psychical research," and 
particularly upon the great question of spirit-return, 
in connection with the observed phenomena. 

I shall endeavour to present, then, as briefly as 
possible, a few conclusions and theories which seem 
to me warranted, after a fairly exhaustive study 
of this case — advancing these in all modesty, as 
tentative speculations and observations, subject to 



224 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

revision at any time in the future — should occasion 
demand. 

When Eusapia agreed to come to America and 
give a series of sittings there, I had hoped that 
some definite conclusion would be reached before 
her departure — not only as to the reality of the 
facts (which to my mind had already been demon- 
strated by our Naples experiments), but also as to 
their interpretation. It would seem reasonable to 
suppose that, after having seen about forty sit- 
tings, one would be in a position to form some 
clear idea of the nature of the phenomena one way 
or the other, particularly as her seances resemble 
one another so much throughout. I find myself, 
however, quite unable to arrive at any definite con- 
clusion as to the nature of the phenomena — their 
ultimate origin and source. No sooner had I 
formed a theory, based upon certain facts, than 
other facts appeared, forcing me to reconstruct 
the earlier views, and reach other conclusions! 
And just here I must say that my own mind has 
gone through a curious transformation regarding 
these phenomena and their interpretation, which 
is briefly this. 

In Chapter VI of my book, " Eusapia Palladino 
and Her Phenomena," I elaborated a theory of 
these curious manifestations, which was, briefly, 
this: that one half of them are produced by some 
vital energy, under the control of the medium's 
own conscious or subconscious mind, while the 



IN SPIRITUALISM 225 

other half arc produced by an independent inteUi- 
gence acting upon and utiUsing this same energy. 
After having seen many more seances with 
Eusapia, this curious conclusion has been reached: 
that the seances are, in a certain sense, far less 
spiritistic in character than I originally supposed ; 
that is, that few of the phenomena appear to be 
other than the direct result of Eusapia's own 
volition. They all seem to depend upon her, or 
the energy, whatever it is, that radiates from her ; 
and they almost all seem to depend upon her own 
will. Nevertheless, if her own statements are to 
be trusted, or if they are to count for anything in 
the interpretation of these phenomena, all of them 
might be spiritistic — even those which are appar- 
ently the least so ! 

For example, I was inclined to believe that, 
when Eusapia clenched both hands above the 
table and moved them sideways at a distance of 
several inches from it, and the table moved, it was 
the direct result of her own will. This is, at least, 
the appearance of the phenomenon. But Eusapia 
herself says that this is not the case ; that she is 
impelled {why, she does not know) to clench her 
hands, to move them in the manner indicated, and 
to perform other automatic actions ; but that 
she " wills " nothing. Coincidentally with these 
movements, the phenomena take place. I asked 
her how it was that she ensured the occurrence of 
these manifestations. She replied : " When the 

p 



226 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

phenomena are asked for, I merely call upon 
' John King,' or God, or whatever intelligence it 
is that conducts these seances, to produce the 
phenomenon asked for; sometimes it is done, 
sometimes it is not." She cannot control them, 
far less ensure their success. It will thus be seen 
that the phenomena may depend far more than 
one would think upon an active external intelli- 
gence — even those phenomena which are least of 
all indicative of such intervention. Of course, 
her own explanations are to be doubted, as are 
those of all other mediums. What appears 
spiritistic or external to them may, after all, be 
purely subjective in character. Nevertheless, 
some of the phenomena do bear the distinct im- 
pression of being wrought by an outside intelli- 
gence, differing from that of the medium or from 
any part of the medium's mind, and if even one 
of these phenomena could ever be proved, it would 
require almost as great a remodelling of science 
as would any of the more complicated manifesta- 
tions. We might not have to extend our specu- 
lations so far, but present-day science would be 
upset, and that, after all, is the most important 
factor to be considered. 

This leads us to another interesting question. 
One is frequently tempted to ask Eusapia whether 
she can or cannot produce certain effects — whether, 
e.g., she can cause a loss of her own weight, as 
registered by the balance ; whether she can depress 



IN SmUTlALTSM 227 

a scale, etc. Plied with such questions, Eusapia 
merely shrugs her shoulders and says she cannot 
tell. " I am asked to do certain things," she said : 
" to place my hands here or there ; to wish in a 
certain way ; to try to produce certain manifesta- 
tions. I do not know whether or not they are 
performed or whether I can do them ; sometimes 
I am in a trance and know nothing. In any case, 
I seldom understand the purpose of the experi- 
ments. The reason for all this is a question for 
my experimenters to settle. All I can do is to try 
as hard as I can to produce such manifestations." 
Certain it is that the impression made upon the 
majority of the sitters is, that the phenomena are 
due to some unrecognised force emanating from 
the body of the medium, and that they are not 
spiritistic in character. At the same time, it must 
also be acknowledged that the longer any one 
group of experimenters sits with Eusapia, and the 
more satisfactory the conditions, the more startling 
do the phenomena become, and the more indicative 
of an external intelligence. First seance& rarely 
yielded any phenomena such as could not be 
accounted for on some psycho-dynamic theory ; 
but when the same group of sitters sat several 
times in succession, phenomena of the character 
of those recorded on gth December took place. 
In other words, the better the conditions supplied, 
the more intelligent and the more spiritistic in 
character were the phenomena. 



228 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

I may say that this has also been the experience 
of other experimenters who have had the good 
fortune to witness genuine physical phenomena 
for long periods together. Thus, Mr J. Godfrey 
Raupert (whose valuable work has, I think, 
received far too little attention) writes in his 
"Modern Spiritism," pp. 27-28: 

" In very many instances, of course, and especi- 
ally under unfavourable conditions, the phenom- 
enon does not rise above the initial stage, leaving 
the impression on the minds of the investigators 
that the force exhibited is, if at present unknown 
and unaccounted for, nevertheless a natural and 
mechanical one, and that the action of independent 
intelligence in connection with it cannot be con- 
ceded. This has been the experience and has been 
the verdict of even scientific inquirers, who have 
not hesitated to give that verdict to the world. 
Such a conclusion, however, is based upon 
inaccurate knowledge and upon imperfect and 
superficial observation. All experienced psychic 
students are aware that it is often only after re- 
peated and prolonged sittings that the full develop- 
ment of the ' psychic force ' is obtained, and that 
independent intelligence is exhibited in connec- 
tion with it, and that in by far the larger number 
of instances that stage of the experiment is never 
reached at all. That it is, however, the ultimate 
issue of the experiment is now admitted by all 
patient and painstaking students who have devoted 
sufficient time to the observation of the phenom- 
ena, and who have carried on their investigations 
with an open mind and in a systematic manner." 



IN SPIRITUALISM 229 

If a phenomenon displays any intelligence at 
all, if it is not the product of mere blind force, 
then there is evidently a consciousness of some 
sort at work, for we know that all physical forces 
are devoid of intelligence. One frequently hears 
the expression, " But such phenomena may be 
due to magnetism, or to electricity." These 
persons forget that magnetism and electricity 
display no intelligence ; they are mere blind 
forces, and if intelligence be displayed, we have 
here an example of force flus sometliing, and in 
the " plus something " consists the whole mystery. 
We have not advanced at all in the comprehension 
of the phenomena. 

The whole question is, it seems to me, nicely 
summed-up in the following extract from a letter 
received by me some time ago from Mr Wm. S. 
Browne of Derby, Conn. He says : 

" If objects move intelligently, they do so 
because some intelligence wills that they should. 
When articles are taken from a table and put in a 
man's side pocket, intelligence is shown and also 
humour. Whose intelligence? Not Palladino's 
conscious intelligence, because such things are 
done when she is in deep trance. Has the sub- 
consciousness any power to will? I think not. 
Then it is an intelligent will, other than Palla- 
dino's. Whose ? Certainly not that of any other 
person present. Then it must be done by the 
will of an intelligence that is invisible. As these 
things never take place except in the presence of 



230 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

Palladino, she must furnish the conditions under 
which they can be done." 

Of course opinions differ, and some critics may 
prefer to beheve that the phenomena are produced 
by externahsations of the medium's subhminal: 
of pictures and creations it contains. This is a 
question, however, which I have already considered 
at some length in my former book, and is one 
which I do not feel it necessary to go into again 
in this place. The common-sense aspect of the 
case is, it appears to me, that outlined above. 
Still, I admit that there are certain difficulties in- 
volved in the acceptance of this (as of any other) 
theory. Consider, for example, the following 
facts. 

It has frequently been noticed that when the 
sitters on both sides of Eusapia are touched simul- 
taneously, they are touched in about the same 
place. If, e.g., the right-hand controller is 
touched on the upper arm, the left controller is 
touched on the upper arm also. If the right con- 
troller is touched on the thigh, the left controller 
is touched there likewise. What is the reason 
for this? Seemingly it happens more frequently 
than chance could account for, and hence demands 
some casual explanation. 

I suggest that the explanation might be some- 
thing like this. Both sides of the medium's body 
are practically alike in their anatomical structure. 



IN SiMKITUALISM 281 

If, therefore, there be an externahsation of vital 
force, it seems probable that this externahsation 
would take place from both sides of the body (i.e. 
from the same nerve ends on both sides) simul- 
taneously, because of the correspondence and 
sympathy between the two sides. If a nervous 
current originated in the brain or spinal cord, and 
was shot outward to the periphery, it would pass 
along the nerve tracts on both sides, and (granting 
that externahsation takes place at all) would con- 
sequently be externalised on both sides in the same 
manner and about at the same time. Upon such 
a theory, one wonders why simultaneous touchings 
are not recorded more frequently, and it must be 
admitted they are comparatively rare. For this 
reason, the theory does not appeal to me as valid, 
though it might be employed as a " working hypo- 
thesis." Still, there is the difficulty presented by 
such cases as that on page 193, when a complete 
form was seen standing behind the sitter after he 
had received a touch. Such cases would seem to 
point to a spiritistic interpretation rather than to 
an externahsation of vital force. 

Eusapia often desires to touch the instruments, 
the table, the curtain, or whatever they may be, 
before they are moved. This seems to establish a 
sort of " rapport " between them, which enables 
the phenomena to take place later on. The sceptic 
will reply at once : " Of course, when she touches 
an object, she attaches a string to it, or a thread 



232 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

or a hair, and afterwards pulls this. Result — a 
magnificent phenomenon ! " Such, however, was 
not the case. Whenever the medium asked to 
touch an object — the stool, one of the curtains, 
the mandolin, or whatever it might be — we invari- 
ably ascertained that she had not attached any 
string, thread, or hair to the instrument or curtain, 
but that she had only touched it and replaced her 
hands in those of her controllers. 

We verified this again and again by passing our 
hands to and fro between the object moved and 
the medium. 

If, then, she attached no material thread to the 
curtain (let us say), what was the bond that existed 
between them, after she had once touched it? This 
is a most interesting and intricate question — one 
that will probably take years of experimenting to 
answer satisfactorily. At the same time, it may 
be possible, even now, to formulate some provi- 
sional theory — from the limited study of the 
medium that has been possible. 

The curtains of the cabinet appear to become 
more or less soaked or impregnated with the 
" fluid " (whatever it may be) that is employed in 
the production of these phenomena.^ 



' An interesting occurrence at the eleventh stance at 
Naples, after I had left and returned to England, seems to 
bear this out. Thus Mrs Hutton, who controlled the left 
hand of the medium on this particular occasion, wrote the 
next morning : 



IN SPTKITl lAIJSM 233 

Let us suppose, then, for the sake of argument, 
that the objects do become more or less charged 
with this energy, as the result of her touching 
them. There would then be, in them, a certain 
amount of this energy — a " charge," let us say — 
and in her there would be a larger amount of the 
same energy. The relation might be positive and 
negative, or negative and positive. It would thus 
seem to me that the phenomenon is closely akin 
to induction, and that it bears some relation, if 
not similarity, to electrical and magnetic pheno- 
mena. Whether or not this is the case may, per- 
haps, be settled by later experiments, but there is 
here, it seems to me, at least a field for inquiry 
and perhaps for verification. 

Let me answer, just here, one objection which 
is always raised against the reality of the phenom- 
ena occurring in the presence either of Eusapia 
Palladino or any other physical medium. The 



" I want to draw your attention to a curious incident : when, 
after the stance, and after successfully producing the raps on 
the door, Eusapia failed to produce them again, she seized 
my right hand in her left, and squeezed my hand with great 
force. At the same time she took the curtain in her right 
hand and squeezed it tightly, as if she were pressing a wet 
sponge. She retained both my hand and the curtain (the 
latter between her thumb and forefinger, extending the other 
fingers), and then made the usual gesture toward the door, 
and produced the raps, though feebly. On again attempting 
to do so without either my hand or the curtain, she failed. It 
seemed almost as if the curtain were impregnated with some 
fluid, and my own sensation was that of my strength being 
drawn out of me, leaving a feeling of great exhaustion." 



234 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

question is : Why use a cabinet at all ? why is it 
necessary to employ such a suspicious contrivance ? 
Let it be stated frankly that a cabinet is generally 
employed by mediums to facilitate fraud. They 
sit behind the cabinet curtains, and this covers 
their various manipulations: dressings and un- 
dressings ; the introduction of confederates, etc. 
In such a case the cabinet is certainly suspicious ; 
more than that, it is almost an indication of fraud. 
But in Eusapia's case it is different. She does 
not sit inside the cabinet, but, on the contrary, 
outside — a foot or more distant from the curtains 
behind her, held hand and foot, and there is no 
apparent contact or connection between her and 
the cabinet during a large portion of the seance. 
Eusapia herself says that the reason is this: the 
cabinet serves to concentrate and store up the 
energy liberated during the sitting; and certain it 
is that the majority of the phenomena radiate from 
behind the curtains. The first part of the seance 
seems to be employed partially in storing up the 
energy, which is used later on for the production 
of phenomena. Eusapia herself explained the 
necessity of this cabinet to us in her usual simple 
fashion. She took a sheet of foolscap paper, and 
said, " Now, suppose I want to convey my breath 
across to you by blowing. I should not hold the 
paper so (holding it flat), but so " (rolling it into 
a tube, open at both ends). The analogy was 
obvious. If you wish to convey power from one 



IN SPIRITUALISM 235 

point in space to another, or if you wish to store 
it, you must employ a closed space for the purpose, 
and the cabinet is that closed space. The cabinet 
may consist of one sj)ecially built, of a cupboard, 
a bureau, a curtained recess, or whatever may be 
preferred — so long as it is approximately the right 
size and empty — but something of the kind must 
be supplied. 

Now, let us consider the second great objection 
to these phenomena — namely, the fact that they 
take place in more or less darkness. Again it 
must be admitted that this is usually a suspicious 
fact. Fraudulent mediums employ darkness in 
order to release their hands, or manipulate hidden 
apparatus, unseen by the sitters, etc. But again 
this objection is hardly applicable in the case 
before us. For here, although the light is often 
greatly reduced, it is hardly ever extinguished 
altogether. The hands and face of the medium 
can usually be seen with more or less distinctness 
by the circle, and any sudden or violent move- 
ment on her part would certainly be seen, if she 
attempted it. In her case the light is reduced, 
but not extinguished. 

But why this reduction? This is an objection 
constantly raised, yet it is one which may be 
answered with more or less plausibility. Apart 
fromi the obvious explanation (that it facilitates 
fraud) there are several others which, granting the 
phenomena are genuine, might easily be invoked 



236 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

to explain them. Roughly there are three such 
explanations : 

1. Light is known to be a very destructive 
agency. Many delicate chemical reactions are 
brought about by the action of daylight alone, and 
if this be the case with chemical reactions, far 
more probably is it true in the case of life phenom- 
ena. Indeed, strong sunlight has been found to 
be extremely destructive to both animal and vege- 
table protoplasm. That being the case, it is at 
least conceivable that this light-energy should 
interfere more or less directly with the energy 
liberated and employed during the seance for the 
production of these phenomena. That is the 
theory held to by the mediums themselves, and by 
a large number of men and women who have in- 
vestigated these subjects for a number of years. 
Materialised forms, or any deHcate form of matter 
or energy, are said to be destroyed by the action 
of light-rays. 

2. It is possible that the light may influence 
the phenomena indirectly, by its physiological 
action upon the medium. It may so effect her, 
when in a state of trance, that the phenomena are 
thereby rendered impossible. This is not at all 
inconceivable, and becomes more plausible when 
we remember how extremely sensitive the medium 
is to light, when in the trance state. 

3. It is possible that the effect is psychological 
merely, and that the phenomena are inhibited 



IN SPI urn A LISM 237 

merely because the medium believes they will be. 
If this be the real explanation, it might be that, 
by hypnotic suggestion and similar means, we 
could procure the medium's consent to try and 
produce phenomena in greater and greater light. 
So far as I know, however, this has not yet been 
tried. 

This question of light is a very vexed one. 
Naturally, it is highly desirable to obtain as much 
light as possible on all occasions ; but it is not very 
often practicable. Although desirable, it is not, I 
think, indispensable (as some writers seem to 
imagine). There seems to be a current opinion 
that no phenomena, however well attested, can be 
accepted, if they occur in the dark, or even in 
semi-darkness! I do not agree with this attitude. 
Though I value the evidence afforded by light as 
much as anyone well can, I nevertheless think 
that, in its absence, we should make the best of 
conditions as we find them ; and, if the facts seem 
to be proved under the prevailing conditions, let 
us accept them — or at least say frankly that we 
cannot explain them — instead of insinuating that 
they are not and cannot ever be proved, simply 
because they do not appear under conditions that 
we select. There may be other minds and other 
conditions to be reckoned with — as well as those 
of the sitters — conditions of which we know little 
or nothing. As Count Solovovo so well expressed 
\i{fonrnal, S.P.R., February, 1910): 



288 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

" . . . We ought not to lay down a priori rules, 
but try to elicit them (that is, rules which regulate 
the supposed ' phenomena ') from apparently well- 
established facts. For instance, it would be, I 
think, rash and anti-scientific to start from the 
assumption that, if genuine, the phenomena must 
occur in a tolerably good light. For, after all, we 
know nothing about it, technically speaking. . . . 
If they are genuine, I am incHned to believe that 
some day we shall find that these strange mani- 
festations are produced, not so much by ' psychic 
force ' — whatever that may mean — as by epheme- 
ral, enigmatic protuberances, projected momen- 
tarily from the medium's body ; protuberances of 
various degrees of density — from fluid to hand — 
which spring into existence and vanish in the 
twinkling of an eye. . . . 

" If so, we can easily understand : 

" (i) That light may have a deteriorating in- 
fluence on these ephemeral organisms. . . . 

" (2) That material obstacles — screens, etc. — 
may present to such ' pseudo-limbs ' almost insur- 
mountable difficulties. For acting through them 
would almost involve ' passage of matter through 
matter.' . . . 

" (3) That the phenomena would invariably 
occur in close proximity to the medium. . . ." 

These speculations are, I believe, more or less 
borne out by facts. In the first place, the " pro- 
tuberances " seem to be verified by the Columbia 
sittings (p. 220) ; while the fact that the curtain 
acts as an impediment can easily be demonstrated. 
For, on either theory — that some externalised 



IN SrUinUALISM 280 

energy is at work, or that " John King " is there 
in person — it is, I think, quite reasonable to 
suppose that the action must all take place — not 
through the curtains, but through the openings 
between them. Unfortunately, of course, there is 
the alternative theory that this opening facilitates 
fraud, and that has to be eliminated by the tying 
and by the adequacy of the control. But on the 
theory that genuine phenomena are in progress, it 
is, it seems to me, most unreasonable to suppose 
that the energy acts or can act through the curtain ; 
but rather that it acts between or around them. 
And this is borne out by the fact that (i) when the 
small table or any object from within the cabinet 
is placed on the seance table, it comes up either 
between the curtains or under them — carrying them 
with it; (2) that, when the tambourine, e.g., is 
played at the extreme side of the cabinet, it is 
placed beyond the curtain ; (3) that, when materia- 
lised hands, faces, etc., appear and touch the 
sitters, they almost invariably carry the curtain 
with them, and do not pass through the curtain 
(there is, I think, no good evidence whatever that 
they do or can do this) ; (4) certain incidents 
(notably that described on p. 207) seem to point 
to the conclusion that the hands act exactly as 
though they were attached to a more or less 
material body, and that they must obey the laws 
of physics, just as any other hands. The incident 
referred to is very instructive in this respect 



2i0 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

There is, then, no reason for supposing that 
Eusapia could " materiaHse " hands, faces, and 
forms outside a sack, if she were placed in it. 

The investigators of Eusapia well know that 
she is extremely sensitive to light during the trance 
state, and even the faintest illumination seems to 
hurt her intensely. One curious feature, how- 
ever, is the fact that, when she is prepared for 
light, she can stand even the strongest and 
brightest flashlight for photographic work. It 
would seem that she nerves herself to it in some 
way, so as to withstand its effects, A natural 
question that presents itself is, " Why does not 
Eusapia permit her investigators to blindfold her 
eyes during the increased illumination ? " and 
" Why cannot her eyes be covered with some dark 
material during a large part of the seance ? " In 
reply to this question, Eusapia stated that she 
could not consent to it for the reason that, under 
such circumstances, she could not concentrate her 
mind on the work in hand. She said, " Close 
your eyes for a minute or two and you will find it 
difficult not to imagine yourself drifting away in 
space to some other location. You will find it 
very hard to concentrate, mentally. As this 
' concentration ' is essential, I have to keep my 
eves open during the greater part of every sitting. 
It is for this reason that I cannot consent to blind- 
folds or bandages." 

Throughout our series of sittings, there have 



IN SPIRITUALISM 241 

been both good and bad seances. What is the 
cause of these bad seances? Eusapia blames her 
sitters for this failure, very largely, saying that 
their antagonistic mental attitude and their scepti- 
cism " ruin the phenomena." I think that she is 
inclined to blame her sitters too much, however, 
for any failure there may be, and that the fault 
lies largely in herself — in the fact that she is un- 
well or fatigued, or in a ruffled mental condition. 
It is well known that all these factors play a part 
in the seances and in the production of the phenom- 
ena. Yet Eusapia's own statement certainly 
carries with it more than a grain of truth. As she 
expressed herself on one occasion : " I am like a 
piano. If you play well on me, you get good 
music ; if you play badly, you get poor music." 
Certain it is that the attitude — the mentality and 
the general make-up of the sitters — have an 
appreciable effect upon the production of these 
phenomena. 

Of course, the first inference to be drawn from 
this fact by sceptical sitters is that those in any 
degree suspicious of the medium receive the least, 
for the reason that she can impose least fraud upon 
them. This, however, is not a legitimate conclu- 
sion. Eusapia often selects the most sceptical of 
her sitters to control her, and will not let them go 
from her side throughout the whole course of the 
seance. She does, however, object to certain 
actions on their part, or even to the same actions 

Q 



242 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

on the part of believers ; such, for instance, as 
constantly passing a hand between her body and 
the table, or between her skirt and the table-leg^, 
etc. She does not mind this once or twice, but 
she says (rationally enough, perhaps), " If you have 
felt once or twice and found no strings or threads 
or anything of the kind, and if you control me well 
afterwards, why should you want to keep passing 
your hands up and down? It disturbs the ' fluid ' 
and prevents phenomena! " 

Eusapia generally requests her sitters not to 
touch the table with their feet, knees, or any part 
of their clothing. This is, I believe, partly because 
of the fact that contact of this character thereby 
impedes the movements of the table ; but it is (so 
she says) also due to the fact that the sitters would 
convert themselves into " conductors," and would 
discharge the collection of " fluid " in the table, 
by conveying it to the floor. At least, that is what 
Eusapia seems to think, and, if the phenomena 
are genuine at all, her word should, perhaps, count 
for something. 

I do not think that anyone who has seen the 
effects of a good seance upon Eusapia could 
doubt its reality. She has been known to suffer 
from partial paralysis, hysteria, nausea, amnesia, 
loss of vision — as well as great weakness, prostra- 
tion, etc., after the seance. I have seen her 
actively nauseated — excessively ill — after a good 
seance of this character ; a symptom which is 



IN SPIRITUALISM 248 

unlikely to be simulated, even if it could be. It 
is only after a good seance that such things occur, 
however. After a poor seance — at which, per- 
haps, much fraud has occurred — I think that 
Eusapia often simulates exhaustion when, as a 
matter of fact, there is little or none. But this 
would not deceive one who has carefully watched 
her for weeks and months together, and has 
observed the effects of a genuine seance upon 
her. 

Eusapia rarely goes into a trance, if she can 
help it. I have only seen her in a deep trance 
half a dozen times: during the sixth and ninth 
seances in Naples ; for an instant, only, during 
the second seance, when the guitar was struck ; 
and a few times in America — not more than four 
in all, I should say, and then only for short periods 
of time, and during a small part of the sitting. As 
the best phenomena all occur during the trance 
state, it is evident that, when she does not enter 
this condition, the seance may be considered a 
comparatively poor one ; and but Httle of interest 
will be seen, while much fraud may be practised. 

It is because of this fact that poor seances are 
unconvincing, and this is why the sittings attended 
by scientific men in this country yielded such 
negative results. Eusapia refused to allow her- 
self to pass into trance — feeling that her sitters 
knew little or nothing of her " conditions " — and 
hence the scant phenomena and the inconclusive 



244 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

character of those seen. She kept her mind pur- 
posely alert and active, and would not allow her- 
self to sink into the deeper trance state. And it 
is this fact which, in my estimation, prevented the 
occurrence of phenomena during the latter part of 
the seance of 24th April, 191 o, when Messrs Rinn 
and Davis held Eusapia in such a manner that 
she could not escape. It is, at first sight, a most 
suspicious fact that phenomena occurred only when 
the medium was permitted to resort to fraud, and 
that they ceased immediately she was held in such 
a manner that fraud was rendered impossible. The 
natural inference to be drawn from this fact would 
be that, when fraud was prevented, no phenomena 
occurred ; and, consequently, that everything was 
produced by fraud. Inasmuch as I feel certain 
that Eusapia has produced genuine phenomena, 
however, when she has been held in such a manner 
as to render fraud impossible, the question arises : 
why was it that, at this particular seance, the 
results noted were observed? I think we may, 
perhaps, suggest, tentatively, the following ex- 
planation : 

So long as the mind of the medium is kept active 
and alert, important phenomena are prevented, at 
least to a great extent. If she is worried, anxious 
or irritated, the same effect is noticed. During 
the first part of the seance in question, then, 
Eusapia had resorted to fraud with apparent im- 
punity, and found that she could (so she thought) 



IN SPIRITUALISM 245 

trick her sitters with ease. The result was that, 
instead of composing herself and trying to pass 
into trance — the suitable condition for genuine 
phenomena — she became intensely active and 
alert in mind, and induced a condition precisely 
the opposite to that which should have been 
induced. This went on for half an hour. Then, 
when the control was suddenly tightened, and she 
found herself unable to move or produce fraudu- 
lent phenomena, she realised that a trap had been 
laid for her. She became irritable, excited, and 
cross. Attempts wTre made to evade the control, 
without success. The mental perturbation and 
irritation increased. All hope of trance and the 
more important phenomena vanished. She was 
now so completely roused that nothing could 
happen in a genuine manner. In fact nothing did. 
Instead of trying to produce genuine phenom- 
ena, Eusapia simply nursed her grievances, and 
stewed with irritation ! The consequence was that 
nothing happened. This is, I believe, the real 
reason for the non-appearance of phenomena 
on this particular occasion. In the case of any 
other medium, of course, one would be obliged 
to infer that fraud had simply been prevented ; 
but, inasmuch as this medium has often succeeded 
in producing phenomena, when she has been held 
and bound as securely as on this occasion, soyne 
explanation becomes necessary. From a long and 
careful study of this medium and her methods, I 



246 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

should be inclined to think that the explanation I 
have advanced is probably the correct one. 

It is a remarkable fact that, while phenomena 
were frequently exceedingly slow in making their 
appearance at the " official " seances, they began 
immediately and developed rapidly at the after or 
" unofficial " sittings. I remember on one occa- 
sion that levitations did not begin for half an hour, 
during the official seance ; but as soon as the 
informal seance began, levitations commenced 
immediately, and the table appeared hardly to 
touch the ground, all four feet together, for ten 
minutes at a time. It appeared to be glued to 
Eusapia's hands! When she raised her hands in 
the air, the table followed them and stayed in that 
position for a considerable time without visible 
support. 

It is curious, also, that at these unofficial seances 
Eusapia never seems completely to lose conscious- 
ness, but remains in a more or less wide-awake 
condition throughout, in spite of the fact that 
materialisations and all the more striking phenom- 
ena are in progress. These informal seances do 
not seem to tire Eusapia. She rises from them 
in as rested a condition (apparently) as when 
assuming her seat at the commencement of the 
seance. This agrees with Dr Ochorowicz's ob- 
servations — he found that, while official seances 
exhausted Eusapia, the unofficial ones seemed to 
refresh her, rather than the reverse. 



IN SPIRITUALISM 247 

On one occasion a most instructive incident 
occurred, tending- to throw a certain amount of 
light upon Eusapja's fraud. The ciucstion of 
" control " had come up, and Eusapia was pro- 
testing that her controllers did not hold her 
securely enough. She said in effect: ''Do hold 
me securely, do hold me tightly, because, if you 
don't, I am liable to do these things myself ; I 
have a tendency to do them, and I want you to 
prevent that tendency from becoming active and 
permitting me to produce these phenomena. I 
beg of you, therefore, to control me securely, for 
I warn you that, if you do not, I am likely to 
perform certain actions automatically, when in 
trance, which will be interpreted as fraudulent." 

I think this statement is most significant, and 
that, after such a statement on her part, it would 
have been only just and honourable on the part of 
the sitters to have held her as securely as possible 
on all occasions. It exonerates her, also, to a 
great extent, from her own so-called trickery, by 
showing that a large portion of it is subconscious 
automatic action, for which she is not responsible. 

Eusapia generally insists that adequate pre- 
cautions be taken at the time, in order that no 
question may be raised later on as to the reality 
of any particlar phenomenon. She would much 
rather be tied with rope and severely controlled 
than be controlled with laxity, and then to have 
the sitters go away and assert that, because of this 



248 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

laxity, they did not deem her phenomena proved! 
This she cannot tolerate, and one can quite under- 
stand her attitude in this matter. It is but common 
justice to accede to her requests. 

On several occasions Eusapia asked her sitters 
to tie her feet with rope, and in other ways to 
secure them thoroughly. Generally this wish was 
complied with, but not always. When asked why 
she wished to be tied in this manner, Eusapia 
replied that if she were constantly worried and 
distracted by thinking about her feet, her " cur- 
rent " would be directed thither, and the phenom- 
ena suffer in consequence ! In other words, she 
wished to have a " free mind," and tying her feet 
helped to furnish that desirable condition. 

Similarly, on another occasion, Eusapia told us 
that she desired only one person to ask for phe- 
nomena. If several clamoured for them at the same 
time, it was probable, she said, that nothing of 
value would be obtained. She said : " If you ask 
the maidservant to do this, then to do that, and 
to do half a dozen things all at once, she will get 
excited and flustered, and probably none of them 
will be done properly! It is the same with 
' John ' ! Let one person act as spokesman and 
let him conduct the stance throughout. In that 
way you will get the best phenomena." 

Hardly a seance passes that the table does not 
rap four times, which is the signal for " talk." One 
would think it an easy matter to commence a light 



IN SPIRITUALISM 249 

conversation when called upon to do so, but the 
sitters almost invariably had great difficulty in 
discussing anything except the phenomena them- 
selves, and often there would be an awkward and 
long-continued pause and silence after the table 
had commanded the sitters to " talk." At such 
times, I could not but think that here at least was 
a somewhat close parallel to the " communicators " 
in the Piper case, who were called upon (sup- 
posedly suddenly and under great difficulties) to 
ransack their memories, communicate important 
messages, answer questions hurled at them hap- 
hazard, etc. etc.! Judging from the difficulty 
experienced by the sitters at Eusapia's seances, 
one could not but marvel at the amount of lucid 
and connected conversation which comes from 
the intelligences through Mrs Piper's entranced 
organism ! 

As regards personal idiosyncrasies, it may be 
said that, in many respects, Eusapia is entirely 
different from almost every other medium — at least 
every medium whom I have known. For example, 
most mediums can obtain better results for an 
individual who is more or less " mediumistic " or 
" psychic." Eusapia does not, as a rule, like 
psychic people about her during a seance ; and if 
one is at the table, she generally knows it sooner 
or later, and asks that person to retire from the 
" chain," and permit someone else to take his 
place. 



250 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

Again, it is usually believed that better results 
can be obtained for women than for men ; and my 
experience with other mediums would seem to 
support this claim. But Eusapia says that, in her 
case, it makes no difference at all ; in fact, she 
would rather have a man control her, chiefly, I 
believe, because she can get more " power " from 
him than she can from a woman. It is, perhaps, for 
this reason, also, that she picks out stout, jolly, 
happy, red-faced men to control her whenever she 
can ; she feels that their fund of vitality, their 
stock of animal spirits, is higher than that of their 
slimmer and paler brethren ; and for that reason 
she hkes them next to her — to " draw power " ! 

Eusapia frequently wishes to proceed with a 
seance and obtain more phenomena if possible, 
after the seven raps have resounded — which are 
" John's " signal to " end the seance." Eusapia 
is " game," and so long as she has any strength 
or energy left, she would go on until she dropped 
from exhaustion, if permitted to do so. Her 
own willingness to continue the seance should not 
always be acquiesced in, for this reason, and it 
will be found that, if the seance be continued, 
after directions have been given to cease, Eusapia 
will become rapidly more and more exhausted, 
while the phenomena become less and less striking 
as they progress, finally lapsing into levitations, 
as at the beginning of the seance. 

Frequently Eusapia seems unable to stop the 



IN SPIRITUALISM 251 

phenomena ; she would if she could, but somehow 
she cannot. On such occasions the sitters must 
take matters into their own hands and terminate 
the seance themselves. This may be done by 
gradually raising the lights (even in spite of 
Eusapia's protests) and by removing her from the 
cabinet entrance and seating her in a comfortable 
chair at some distance from it. The " rapport " 
thus seems to be broken, and the phenomena 
cease. 

After a seance, she is invariably more or less 
exhausted and occasionally actively nauseated. 
She desires nothing to eat ; merely a cup of weak 
tea or coffee. She eats nothing on the day of the 
seance after i or 2 p.m. 

It seems curious, at first sight, that so few experi- 
ments have ever been tried upon Eusapia, other 
than those at her regular seances. The reason is, 
perhaps, that, except at those times, Eusapia is 
not at all mediumistic. She rarely dreams ; very 
rarely does she experience any supernormal mani- 
festations, other than those witnessed at the 
seances. That is, spontaneous phenomena rarely 
develop in her case, but purely those of an experi- 
mental type.^ Nevertheless, I thought it might 

' To this broad g-eneralisation there is, however, at least 
one interesting exception. We had taken Eusapia, her sister- 
in-law, the interpreter and his wife to the opera, and later 
to supper at a well-known restaurant in New York. When 
half through the meal Eusapia looked beneath the table with 
an exclamation, saying that a dog had brushed against her 



252 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

be interesting to ascertain, if possible, the extent 
of Eusapia's psychic capacity, and, for that reason, 
I asked her on one or two occasions to try some 
experiments with the planchette board, the crystal 
ball, and with two shells held to the ears — these 
last to induce, if possible, auditory hallucinations 
of a possibly supernormal character. The plan- 
chette phenomena amounted to practically nothing, 
as will be found by referring to p. 164. The same 
may be said of the experiments with the shells — 
nothing unusual was perceived. As regards the 
experiments with the crystal ball, Eusapia, after 
peering into it for some time, stated that she saw, 
as though in the ball, one of those Indian figures 



leg". We turned back the tablecloth, but no dog- could be 
found. A minute or two later, Mrs Carring-ton, who was 
sitting next to Eusapia, exclaimed that her knee had been sud- 
denly seized by an animal having sharp claws, which sank 
into her flesh. The tablecloth was again turned back and 
another search made — this time by several waiters, who 
had been summoned to investigate the disturbance. Again 
nothing was found. Hardly had the meal been resumed when 
die interpreter's wife turned suddenly pale, pushed her chair 
away from the table and exclaimed that a hand had patted 
her knee several times, and then, lifting her hand (which was 
resting upon it) had thrown it sideways, away from her. She 
was thoroughly alarmed by the incident — so much so that 
she oould not finish her supper. Eusapia did not know what 
to make of the incident any more than we, and stated that 
nothing of the kind had ever occurred before (she herself is 
never touched during the stance). On their way home in the 
taxi-cab the interpreter's wife was again pinched and gTasp>ed, 
as though by a hand, on at least two occasions, and was so 
thoroughly upset that she remained in bed the greater part 
of the following day I 



IN SPIRITUALISM 258 

frequently seen outside tobacconists' shops in 
America. Upon questioning her, I ascertained 
that she had seen such a figure carKer in the day. 
Clearly, therefore, this was merely the reproduc- 
tion of a subliminal memory. A second trial 
yielded entirely negative results — nothing being 
perceived. I regret that I knew of no haunted 
house at which experiments might have been tried 
during Eusapia's stay in America! 

It would, I suggest, be most instructive to intro- 
duce a well-known and rehable psycEic into one 
of Eusapia Palladino's seances, and see whether 
or not she perceived anything remarkable when 
the seance was in progress. If she were clair- 
voyant, she ought, theoretically, to be enabled to 
see " John King " when he was actively 'manifest- 
ing himself — or, at least, see something unusual, 
which the rest of the sitters did not see. I did 
not, unfortunately, think of this test until Eusapia's 
seances had been completed, but I suggest that 
some future group of experimenters might apply 
this test — either at one of Eusapia Palladino's 
seances, or at the seance of some similar medium 
— if another such can be found. 

Animals, it seems to me, should furnish a fruit- 
ful field for inquiry at spiritistic seances. We had 
intended to introduce either a dogf or a cat into 
several of Eusapia's seances — observing the effects 
of the phenomena upon them — but for various 
reasons it would take too long to recount here, the 



254 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

experiment was tried on only one occasion (at 
Seance II), when a fox-terrier was introduced for 
this purpose. The seance was comparatively such 
a poor one, however, that he was not released — 
as will be found described in the shorthand report 
— and, consequently, the experiment was indeci- 
sive. It is one, however, which should be re- 
peated, and it should not take long to ascertain 
whether the animals were really affected by what 
they saw, or whether their condition could be 
accounted for by their physical and mental 
surroundings. 

Eusapia has a great hatred and fear of hyp- 
notism, so that all experiments in this direction 
were barred. She seemed, however, at times, 
particularly affected by passes made over her — 
both with and without contact. Making passes 
over her forehead seemed to dispell counter- 
suggestions and relieve the mental tension which 
resulted from a seance. Placing the hand on the 
back of the neck, also, seemed to afford great 
relief after or, at times, during a seance. 

I questioned Eusapia closely about her dreams, 
hoping to find some connection between them and 
her subconscious life — perhaps the personality 
calHng itself " John King," etc. After eHciting 
all the information I could get, however, and 
analysing it to the best of my ability, I was unable 
to find the slightest connection between the two. 
Eusapia rarely dreams, and when she does they are 



IN SPIRITTTALISM 255 

of the usual character, having no supernormal 
content; nor was any knowledge shown in them, 
at any time, of those periods of the seance when 
the deeper trance supervenes and complete 
amnesia sets in. 

As to " John King " himself, he is a far more 
dubious personage than I had supposed! The 
phenomena certainly appear, as a rule, to lend 
themselves more readily to the theory that they 
are produced by a force of some kind, emanating 
from Eusapia's body, than to a distinct intelligence. 
The pauses between phenomena, which Eusapia 
is forced to take, also point to the conclusion that 
the phenomena depend upon energy directed by 
and radiated from her. Of course, there is the 
alternate explanation that " John King " draws a 
certain amount of energy from her, and with it 
" produces phenomena " ; and that he is forced to 
" rest " in the intervals in order to draw more 
energy for the production of more phenomena! 
This, however, seems to be negatived by the fact 
that, were this the true explanation, Eusapia 
should become more exhausted during the periods 
of repose, for, on this theory, it is at these times 
that John is drawing the energy from her; yet she 
appears to be refreshed as a result of these rests. 

Looking at the phenomena from the purely 
phenomenal standpoint, one cannot but wonder 
what becomes of " John King " during those 
intervals of repose. He appears to be completely 



256 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

" extinguished " — to go out like a candle flame, 
and there is not the smallest trace of any being, 
any intelligence, any force, present or manifest at 
such times. Of course, inasmuch as " John 
King " is, on any theory, mvisible, this is rather 
a difficult question to answer satisfactorily, and 
is perhaps more fit to be thrashed out by " spirit- 
ualistic theologians " than by one who looks at the 
phenomena purely from the scientific point-of- 
view. 

These few crude remarks embrace all I have 
to say at the present time concerning Eusapia 
Palladino and her phenomena, from the theoreti- 
cal standpoint. I can only hope that they may 
prove in some degree serviceable to other 
students ; and that the day may not be far distant 
when another Palladino shall be found, from 
whom we may, perhaps, learn more, both as to the 
internal causal aspect of the manifestations, and 
the external phenomenal aspect. Still I believe 
that this will only be possible when a properly 
equipped and endowed Laboratory for the study 
of psychical phenomena shall be forthcoming — in 
which cases of this character could be studied at 
the necessary length. I refer the reader to the 
" Appendix " for a statement as to the require- 
ments of a Laboratory of this nature. 



APPENDIX 

THE NEED OF A PSYCHICAL 
LABORATORY 

By Hereward Carrington 

It is generally admitted that Aristotle possessed 
the ereatest single intellect the world has ever 
known ; yet any schoolboy to-day knows more of 
the structure of our universe than did Aristotle! 
The reason for this is that science has more fully 
penetrated the secrets of nature, and we now 
know approximately the constitution of matter and 
a good deal concerning life and mind. How has 
this progress been possible? Only in one way. 
Improvement in the 7necJhanical instruments by 
means of which we study nature. We might 
" speculate " as to the constitution of matter for a 
thousand years, but we should never have arrived 
at our present positive knowledge, had it not been 
for the delicate and sensitive instruments which 
are to-day in the hands of the physicist and the 
chemist, and employed by him in his laboratory. 
Doubtless much the same law will be found to 
257 R 



258 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

apply in the realm of " psychics." Until we can 
apply definite " laboratory methods " and study 
psychics by means of physical instruments far 
more delicate than our senses, it is probable that 
the present state of things will continue to exist; 
but it is my firm belief that, were a laboratory 
fitted up with physical and electrical apparatus, 
suitable for this work, and if we could by their aid 
study a promising case of " psychic " or " medium- 
istic " phenomena, we should (within ten years or 
so) arrive at some definite conclusions. We should 
then know something about the laws and condi- 
tions under which telepathy, clairvoyance, tele- 
kinesis, etc., operate, and not until this is done, 
I believe, will such a positive conclusion be 
reached. 

I am by no means alone in thinking that a 
psychical laboratory of this nature is one of the 
pressing needs of our time. As long ago as 1894, 
Sir Ohver Lodge contributed a paper to the 
Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 
(vol. vi., pp. 357-60), On Some Affliances 
Needed for a Psychical Laboratory. In that 
paper he said, among other things : 

" If the observations are to go on easily and well, 
special appliances must be contrived and arranged 
conveniently for use, precisely as is done in any 
properly fitted laboratory. It has already doubt- 
less been realised that one of the needs of the 
future is a psychical laboratory, specially adapted 



IN SPIRITUALISM 259 

for all kinds of experimental psychology and 
psycho-physics. . . . No more well-developed 
mediums ought to be wasted in fruitless efforts to 
obtain scientific recognition for the phenomena 
which their organisms are able to exhibit. The 
result of my experience is to convince me that 
certain phenomena, usually considered abnormal, 
do belong to the order of nature, and as a corollary 
from this, that these phenomena ought to be inves- 
tigated and recorded by persons and societies 
interested in natural knowledge." 

Sir Oliver Lodge suggested at the time, among 
other necessary appliances, a dehcate registering 
balance, so adjusted that it would record the 
medium's weight, unknown to her, at all times 
during the seance — the fluctuations in weight, if 
any, to be recorded on a revolving drum. Means 
ought also to be provided for studying the tempera- 
ture, pulse, muscular exertion, breathing, etc. etc. 
The lighting of the room should be carefully 
attended to and capable of the slightest gradation. 
Means should be provided for obtaining moving 
pictures of the seance from without the room, 
unknown to the medium. Were the sittings held 
in complete darkness, these photographs could be 
obtained by means of ultra-violet light, with which 
the room might be flooded — of course, unknown 
to the medium. In addition to these devises we 
may add others — such as X-ray tubes, high 
frequency currents, a delicate field of electric force, 
while instruments for testing the ionization of the 



260 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

air (if it exists) in the immediate vicinity of 
the medium, during a seance, should also be 
employed, together with the more strictly 
psychical instruments and devises to be mentioned 
later. 

In a rich and progressive country, which prides 
itself upon its intelligence and its front-rank 
position in all true progress, the founding and 
maintenance of such a laboratory should be an 
easy matter. In France, there exists the Institut 
General Psychologique, endowed by the French 
Government with 800,000 frs., and equipped, both 
as regards men and money, to carry on strictly 
scientific investigations in the realm of psychical 
research. In Italy there exist several large 
societies, maintaining properly equipped lecture- 
halls, society-rooms, etc., in which experiments and 
meetings on a large scale are regularly conducted. 
At Milan, Rome, Turin, Genoa, and other large 
cities the same conditions prevail. Russia, Por- 
tugal, Germany, Switzerland, and other countries 
in Europe have properly organised psychical 
societies which conduct investigations on a large 
scale. In England, the Society for Psychical 
Research maintains a staff of research officers and 
workers, and is at present a richly endowed society, 
capable of carrying on any investigations which it 
may deem necessary. Branches of this Society 
also exist in Dublin, Liverpool and elsewhere. 
Among the scientific men and women, forming the 



IN SPIRITUALISM 201 

advisary counsel of this Society we may mention : 
Rt. Hon. A. J. Balfour, Rt. Hon. G. W. Balfnur, 
Sir Wm. F. Barrett, F.R.S., Sir Wm. Crookes, 
F.R.S., Sir Oliver Lodge, F.R.S., Lord Rayleigh, 
F.R.S., Mrs Henry Sidgvvick, LL.D., Sir Law- 
rence J. Jones, Bart., Dr W. McDougall, F.R.S., 
Professor Gilbert Murray, LL.D., Professor F. 
C. S. Schiller, D.Sc, Sir J. J. Thomson, F.R.S., 
and many others of like standing. 

Among the past presidents of the Society may 
be mentioned: Professor Henry Sidgwick, Pro- 
fessor Balfour Stewart, F.R.S., Professor 
William James, Mr F. W. H. Myers, Professor 
Charles Richet, Mr Andrew Lang, LL.D., The 
Rt. Rev. Bishop Boyd Carpenter, D.D., Profes- 
sor Henri Bergson, and others of similar scientific 
repute. 

These men are all actively interested in the 
work, many of them contributing to the Society's 
Proceedings, and sharing in the work. 

Contrast with this the scientific psychical 
research work conducted in America! Since the 
death of William James and Dr Richard Hodgson, 
there is left practically no one, with the single 
exception of Professor Hyslop, and, in a lesser 
degree, myself, who is studying the subject from 
the scientific point of view, and willing to devote 
the best part of his life and energy to the work! 
In view of this, it is hardly likely that progress can 
be made which in any way compares with thit 



262 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

accomplished in England or upon the Continent. 
Only when a number of qualified experts under- 
take the work, and when sufficient money is forth- 
coming to ensure its continual scientific advance, 
will results be obtained which are in any way 
striking, and which are calculated to further our 
knowledge of these obscure phenomena. 

This advance in our knowledge can only come, 
I believe, when a properly equipped Laboratory 
is instituted. Even then, it is probable that many 
years of persistent work will be necessary before 
any definite conclusions can be reached. It must 
be remembered that psychical research is but 
thirty years old, as compared with nearly thirty 
centuries in the field of chemistry, physics, 
anatomy, astronomy, and other sciences. In view 
of this fact, it is only natural to suppose that 
progress must be slow, and that many years of 
work will be necessary before we can discover even 
the basic principles upon which psychic phenomena 
depend. When once these are discovered, how- 
ever, they will doubtless prove so far-reaching 
and so important to humanity that they will amply 
repay all the work, effort and money which can be 
put into such investigation, and that the returns 
will more than equal those in any other depart- 
ment of physical or experimental science. 

Could we but find an energy common to the 
two worlds — the spiritual world and the material 
world — we should have here a means of direct 



IN sriuniiAUSM 203 

communuation, possibly by instrumental means! 
Delieate physical and electrical apparatus might 
be the means, after all, by wliich such communi- 
cation will ultimately be established. At all 
events, when subtle causes and forces are in 
operation (as they doubtless are during a seance) 
it is only natural to suppose that instruments 
far more delicate than our senses would be the 
logical method of detecting them, and, as yet, 
such experiments have practically never been 
conducted. 

It is true that initial studies of a very interesting 
and suggestive nature have been made by certain 
scientists, under the supervision of the Paris 
Psychological Institute, and, at the time of his 
death, Professor Curie was busy devising an instru- 
ment which would register and direct psychic power 
liberated from the body of a physical medium 
when in trance. Dr Imoda, the assistant of Pro- 
fessor Mosso, has also conducted a number of 
experiments in the discharge of an electroscope, 
by means of rays issuing from the human body — 
his conclusion being that " the radiations of radium, 
the cathode radiations of the Crookes tube and 
mediumistic radiations are fundamentally the same." 

Interesting clinical and biological investigations 
have also been made by Lombroso and Morselli 
as to the mental and physiological state of the 
medium during a seance. These, and many 
similar observations, are of great value, but they 



264 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

should be revived and amplified a thousandfold 
before psychical research can claim to be in any 
way a " science," and before its laws can in any way 
be understood. 

Consider, for a moment, the possibilities which 
await the investigator, were such phenomena as 
" thought photography," " mediumistic radiations," 
telepathic phenomena, physical pressure exerted 
by the human will, etc., once admitted! Such 
experiments have been conducted and vouched for 
by eminent and careful operators. Photographs 
of the human body at the moment of death, the 
nature and character of the human " aura," " spirit 
photography," raps, the cold breeze so often felt at 
seances — a whole world of forces and curious 
phenomena is thrown open to the impartial in- 
quirer calling for exact observation and scientific 
interpretation. These phenomena alone, apart 
from the far more delicate and subtle psychological 
manifestations, would require years of work to 
determine their exact character; and historical 
phenomena, such as those obtained by Crookes, 
Hare, Gasparin and others, should also be 
repeated, if possible, and verified. For this 
purpose suitable instruments must be devised and 
tested, in addition to the ordinary physical apparatus 
at present employed in the laboratory — apparatus 
especially adapted for the testing of psychic and 
mediumistic power. Some instruments of this 
character have already been devised, such as the 



IN SPIRITUALISM 265 

" sthenometer," invented by Dr Paul Joire, the 
so-called " spiritoscope," of Dr Hare, the " sen- 
sitometer," employed by several French psychic 
investigators, the " polariscope " for testing the 
supposed polarity of the " magnetism " on the 
opposite sides of the body, etc. These, and many 
similar instruments, should be employed, as well 
as such usual means of investigation as crystal 
balls, planchctte and ouija-boards, photographic 
plates, dowsing rods, Dr Kilner's screens for test- 
ing the aura, etc. 

As the work progressed, more and more sensi- 
tive instruments would doubtless have to be 
employed, and the necessity for these would be 
indicated as the work advanced, as well as the 
means for devising the same. 

Such a laboratory could become a centre of 
national interest and importance. To it could be 
sent all embryonic psychics and mediums to 
have their phenomena tested by experts. Those 
claiming unusual power of any kind — whether 
mental or physical — could find here a centre where 
their powers could be tested by sympathetic 
investigators, free of all cost, and where (it is 
hoped) they could afterwards secure a definite 
salary during the period of their experimentation. 
Were such means provided and such induce- 
ments possible, it is certain that within a com- 
paratively short time a number of striking mediums 
and psychics could be discovered and developed, 



206 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 

and not until such a Mecca is established will 
definite progress be made. 

A qualified scientific investigator, who would 
be entitled to manage such a laboratory, should 
possess a thorough knowledge of psychic phenom- 
ena, past and present — facts as well as theories. 
He should know what has been accomplished 
in this direction in the past, and the nature of 
the facts observed by eminent investigators. The 
various explanatory theories which have been 
advanced should also be familiar to him — just as 
they would be necessary to any expert who pre- 
tended to pass judgment on an involved problem 
in chemistry or physics. This investigator must 
also be possessed of a thorough knowledge of 
conjuring devises, methods of trickery, sleight- 
of-hand, and the psychology of deception. Such 
a knowledge would enable him to distinguish 
fraudulent cases from the genuine — and here 
experts in this direction might properly be con- 
sulted to check off his conclusions. This investi- 
gator should also be famihar with psychology, 
normal and abnormal, and also with supernormal 
"psychical appearances." He should have a 
thorough working knowledge of physiology, 
biology, chemistry and physics, as well as a good 
knowledge of the essential problems of meta- 
physics and philosophy. In addition to this he 
should have clear judgment, good common sense, 
a thorough knowledge of human nature, and a 



)ry, I repeat, is one of the prime X/^^//^; 
), and, could any of our philan- //,^,gr< 



IN SPIRITUALISM 267 

sense of humour! These should all be combined 
in right proportion in our ideal investigator. 

Now, it is highly improbable that such an ideal 
combination can be found, but we must secure 
the best and most fully equipped man available 
under the circumstances, and one who fulfils the 
most nearly these requirements. However this 
may be, it is essential that he should be wilhng to 
devote his life and energies to the work, and seek 
in return lor his services no large pecuniary 
reward. 

Such a laboratory, 
needs of our time, 

thropists be prevailed upon to found such a y^ J 
laboratory, it would, I feel convinced, not only ' 
redound to their everlasting credit, but would * ^ 

yield, within a few years, valuable knowledge which 
would more than compensate for the outlay 
involved (though not perhaps in a material sense) 
and would prove of inestimable value and interest 
to the whole of humanity. If one such individual 
cannot be found, possibly a number, acting in 
concert, might be prevailed upon to interest them- 
selves in this project, and to found, jointly, a 
laboratory of this nature. It is my earnest hope 
and sincere wish that this appeal may be the 
means of starting a movement in this direction, 
and that a number of men and women may feel 
that they can contribute a certain sum of money 
toward the fulfilment of this object. 



268 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 



PARTIAL LIST OF PHENOMENA WHICH 
COULD BE STUDIED IN A " PSYCHICAL 
LABORATORY "—IN THE ABSENCE OF 
A MEDIUM 

Experiments in thought-transference ; experi- 
ments in clairvoyance, normal and induced ; 
experiments upon the human " aura " (should it 
be proved to exist) so as to ascertain its structure, 
constitution, etc. ; the exteriorisation of moti- 
vity ; the exteriorisation of sensitivity ; the so- 
called " polarity " of the human body — tested by 
instruments and otherwise ; automatic-writing, 
crystal-gazing, shell-hearing ; the projection of 
the double ; self-projection ; exploration of the 
subconscious mind ; experiments in magnetising 
animals and inanimate objects {a la Mme X.) ; 
experimentally induced dreams ; experimental 
apparitions ; experiments in magnetic healing — ^the 
" laying-on of hands," etc.; study of "obsession" 
cases ; experiments with the so-called human 
" Fluid " ; study of the power of the Will over 
inanimate matter ; experiments in levitation ; ex- 
perimental study of the Yogi exercises — breath- 
ing, awakening of the so-called " Chakrams," 
etc. ; thought-photography ; spirit-photography ; 



IN SPIRITUALISM 269 

materialisation ; study of the " cold breeze " 
felt at seances ; study of the action of drug's 
on consciousness, and the influence of powders, 
incense, perfumes, etc., on the senses; experi- 
ments in duplicating spiritistic phenomena by 
physical and electrical means ; study of " dows- 
ing " or water-finding ; experiments with magnets 
— a la Reichenbach ; experiments in trance, 
ecstasy, etc. ; study of the psychology of decep- 
tion ; study of suggestion, normal and abnormal ; 
experiments in the induction of illusions and 
hallucinations ; experiments in the " passage of 
matter through matter " ; study of secondary per- 
sonality cases ; psycho-analysis ; experiments in 
telepathic hypnotism; visions of the dying; 
weighing and photographing the soul at the 
moment of death, etc. etc. 



INDEX 



Abbott, David P., 76, 88, go 
Accordion tests, 155-56, i8g-QO, 

iQO-gi 
After-effects of seance, 135, 

242-43 
Aksakof, Count Alexander, x, 

xi-xii 
Allen, Miss G., 143 
Animals, tests with, at seances, 

'4'>47, 253-54 
Aristotle, 257 
Automatic writing, tests with, 

164, 252 



B 



Bad seances, reason for, 240- 

41 
BaRgallv, W. W., 128 
Balance, see Letter-weight 

tests 
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J., 261 
Balfour, Rt. Hon. G. W., 261 
Bangs Sisters, slate-writing of, 

77-'i7 ; " spirit pictures " of. 

87-gi ; plan of house of, go- 

94 
Barrett, Harrison D., on the 

Bangs Sisters, gi 
Barrett, Sir Wm. F., 261 
Bergson, Prof. Henri, 261 
Bigiongiari, Prof., 216 
Bosworth, Dr, 144 
Breeze, cold, 143, 171, 177, 

ig6, 201, 217 
Browne, W. S., 22g-3o 
Hu^ch, Prof., ig5, 216 
Butler, Prof. Nicholas Murray, 

205 



necessary, 234- 



^7, 142-4.3, 



Cabinet, why 

35 . 
Caccini, Dr A 

146, 206 
Caird, Dr Alex., g2-g4 
Carpenter, Rt. Rev. Bishop 

Boyd, 261 
Cigar incident, 165-66 
Clay, impression in, 164 
Clinical observations, 263 
Cold breeze, see Breeze 
Confessions obtained, of 

fraud, 17-ig 
Connection between E. P. and 

objects moved, 231-33 
Control of phenomen^j ques- 
tion of, 226-27 
Cox, Esther, g6-i2i passim; 

investigation of, 121-24 
Craig, Dr, 52-56 
Crookes, Sir William, 217, 

261, 264 
Crystal-gazing, experiments 

with E. P., 252-53 
Cut Bono F objection, xi-xii 
Curie, Prof., 263 
Curtains as impediments to 

phenomena, 238-40 



D 



Dana, Dr Charles L., 216 
Darkness, question of, 235-38 
Davison, Arthur, letter from, 

105-g 
Davis, Wm. S., 213, 221, 244 
Dey, Prof., ig^ 
Documents concerning " The 

271 



272 



INDEX 



Great Amherst Mystery," 
1 04- 1 1 
Dorr George B., 168 
Dreams, E. P.'s, 254-55 
Duncan, Norman, 164 
Duncan, Prof. Robert Ken- 
nedy, 164 



Echo phenomena, iq6 
Electrical test, 218 
Ellison, Dr Saram R., 144 
Energy common to two 

wonlds, 262 
Evans, Henry Ridgely, 48 



False names, question of, 36, 

7Q 
Feilding, the Hon. Everard, 

12S 
Flammarion, Prof. Camille, 

160, 161 
Flournoy, Prof. Th., 223 
Fraud, motiveless, 58-5Q, 5q- 

61, 6i-6g 
Fraud, in the case of E. P., 

128; reason for, 130-31, 247- 

48 
Frohman, Daniel, iq8 
Foot-grabbing incident, 173-75 
P'orms seen at seances, 171, 

IQ2-Q3 
Funk, Dr I. K., 151, 177, 188 



Gayer, Dr Gustav A., 26, 61 
Gasparin, Count, 264 
Gibson, Dr C. C., 180, iq8 
Gray, Miss, case of, 6i-6q 
Grav, Mrs Stoddard, medium- 
ship of, 70 
Grew, Flenry S., Jr., 202 

H 

Hager, Dr D. S., Q2-Q3 
Hair, fraudulent use of, 160- 

61, i8q 
Haggard, Sewell, 216 
Hall, Prescott, F.. 168 



Hallock, Prof,, 216 
Hare, Dr, 264, 265 
Hirshberg, Prof. Leonard K., 

185 
Hodgson, Dr RiAard, 36, 48, 

261 
Home, D. D., 217 
Hough, de Witt, mediumship 

of, 70-75 
Hubbell, Walter, q5, 101-2, 

103, 108, lOQ, 112, 113, 122 
Hutton, Mrs, 232-33 
Hyslop, Prof. J. H., 51, 52, 

261 



Imoda, Dr, 263 

Informal versus formal 

seances, 177, 180, 246 
Instruments, necessity for, 

257, 258-5Q, 263-65 
Iodide of mercury test, 150 
Irwin, Will, 140 



James, Prof. William, q5, 201- 

2 ; 261 
Jastrow, Prof. Joseph, 213, 221 
John King, personality of, 

255-56 
Joire, Dr Paul, 265 
Jones, Sir Lawrence J., 261 
Jonson, Joseph, mediumship 

of, 28-30 



K 



K.xmpfFert, Waldemar, 157 

Kahn, Otto, 182 

Keeler, Pierre, materialising 

seance, 34-35 : slate-writing 

of, 3 5-45, 46-56 
Keep, Edward Kirk, iq8 
Kellar, Plarry, 144 
Kilner, Dr, 265 
Krebs, Dr Stanley L., 185, 

186, 187-88, iq8 



Laboratory, psychical, need of 
a, 257-68 



TNDRX 



27J] 



Lang, Andrew, 132, 261 
I.etter-wcisht tests, 160-61 
Light at seances, question of, 

-:.35-38, 240 
Lights, arrangement of, at 

E. P.'s seances, 133 
Lily Dale, the camp, 20-21 
Lodge, Sir Oliver J., 258-5Q, 

261 
Lombroso, Prof. Cesare, 194, 

263 
Lord, Prof., 221 

U 

McClure, S. S., 144, 146 

JNIcCov, Mrs, trumpet 

medium, 24-26 

ATcDougall, Dr Wm., 261 

Mandolin playing incidents, 
158,^ 15Q, 163, 184, 207 

ALnterialising mediums, frau- 
dulent 28-S5, 70-75 

Meader, John R., 157. 180 

Melting of faces, apparent, 32 

Mental condition during " pol- 
tergeist " phenomena, 10- 11 

Miller, C. V., 185 

Miller, Prof. D. S., 151, 1Q5, 
iq6, 203, 213, 216, 221 

Montague, Prof. Wm., 105, 
216 

Moore, Rear-Admiral, 01-02, 
04 

iMorselli, Prof. Enrico, 120, 
161, 263 

Moss, Mrs, mediumship of, 
30-32 

Mosso, Prof. A., 263 

Miinsterberg, Prof. Hugo, 
168, 171, 172, 173, 174, 175, 
176 

Murray, Prof. Gilbert, 261 

Myers, F. W. H., x, 261 



N 



Names, false, question of, 36, 

Nichols, C, mediumship of, 
.32-34 

Norman, A., spirit photo- 
graphs of, 22-24; slate- 
writing of, 26-2S 



O 

Ochorowicz, Dr J., ig4, 246 



Palladino, Eusapia, 45, 48, 6q, 

127-256 passim 
Patmore, Miss, 216 
Patterson, C. G.. 50-56 
Pemberton, Mrs, mediumship 

of, 24-26 
Peterson, Dr Frederick, 216 
Phenomena for laboratory, 

268-60 
Photographic plate, test with, 

1 03-04 
Physical phenomena in private 

circles, 57-60 
Pictures, " spirit," question of, 

87-01 
Piper, Mrs, 36, 44, 240 
Pitkin, Prof. W. B., 105, 216 
Pndmorc, Frank, x 
Poltergeist phenomena, rarity 

of, 3; cases of, 3-1O5 05-124 
Pope, Miss Theodate, 170 
Pseudopodia, 210 
Psychics at seances, tests with, 

2 53 
Pvne, Mr, 216 







Quackenbos, Dr T- D., 146, 
147 

Queen Victoria, materialisa- 
tion of, yy, 



R 



Radiations, mediumistic, 263 
Raupert, J. Godfrey, 228 
Rayleigh, Lord, 261 
Richet, Prof. Charles, 120, 161 

261 
Rider, Fremont, 180 
Rinn, Joseph F.. 213. 221, 244 
Rope-tying incident, io8-qq, 

200-1 

S 

Samuels, Maurice V., 213 
S 



274 



INDEX 



Satterlee, Dr Leroy, 185 
Schiller, Prof. F. C S., 261 
Scales, see Letter-weight tests 
Shell-hearing tests with E. P., 

252 
Ship, seance on board, 134-35 
Sidgwick, Prof. Henry, 261 
Sidgwick, Mrs Henry, x-xi, 

261 
Simpson, Dr F. T., 185, 186, 

188, i8q, IQ3-Q4 
Skirt phenomena, 203 
Snezy, Prof., 151 
Soloyovo, Count, 6g, 237-38 
Spirit photography, 22-24 
Spirit pictures, question of, 

87-Qi 
Slate-writing : A. Norman, 26- 

28 ; Pierre Keeler, 35-45 ; 

H. Carrington, 51-56; the 

Bangs Sisters, 77-87 



Teed Family, q5-q6 ; 104-5; 
letter from Mrs Teed, ioq- 
i_i ; evidence from, 1 14-21 

Third arm, question of, 188, 
210 

Thomson, Sir J. J., 261 

Tilford, Frank, iq8 

Tomczyk, Mile, IQ4 



Touches, simultaneous, ques- 
tion of, 230-31 

Trance, question of, 243-46 

Trowbridge, Prof. Augustus, 
146, i4y, 150, 171, 213, 216, 
217 

Trumpet mediums, fraudu- 
lent, 24-26 

Turner, Herbert B., 122, 123 



V 



Victoria, Queen, materialisa- 
tion of, 73 
Vos, Mr, 216 

W 

Weight of medium, variations 

in, 167 
Wilmar, Dr, 76 
Wilson, Prof. E. B., 216, 220 
Wood, Prof. R. W., 146, 147- 

48, I4Q, 150, 216, 217, 220 

X 

X., Judge, reports of, 4-6, 7-8 
X-ray plate, photographic, 

IQ3-Q4 
X-ray test for E.P., 218-IQ 



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