== Historical evidence ==
Schoch (2012). Mysteries, Miracles, & Parapsychology.
Rogo (1982). Miracles: A Parascientific Inquiry into Wondrous Phenomena.
Harvey-Wilson (2005). Human Levitation. (Hereward Carrington, in The Physical Phenomena of Spiritualism, pp. 380-381, stated: "Now, what are we to do with such facts as these? They must either have occurred, as stated, or the narrators must have been under some sort of influence, hypnotic or what not, which induced in them the belief that the events occurred as stated. It is useless for us to simply deny that the facts took place, since that would be childish, no less than unscien- tific and prejudiced. Here is a great mass of evidence to be accounted for by some means, or we must admit that we cannot account for it at all. It is not that there are so few cases on record that the; can be lightly overlooked or passed by as the results of a disordered imagination, Crookes mentions several cases, quite as remarkable as those just given, which I refrain from quoting, from lack of space. The Rev. Minot Savage quotes a remarkable case that happened in his own presence in the case of an American medium. Several cases of levitation will also be found recorded in Occult Science in India, pp. 287-8, 267; Around the World with a Magician and a Juggler, pp. 56-7; Baldwin's Secrets of Mahatma Land Explained, p. 34, and various other works on Eastern travel. As Mr. Lang pointed out, "This phenomenon is constantly reported in the Bible, in the Lives of the Saints, by the Bollandists, in the experiences of the early Irvingites, in witch trials, in Iamblichus, and in savage and European folk-lore." Indeed, there is hardly a phenomenon that is so frequently recorded as is this phenomenon of levitation. And, "when we find savage biraarks in Australia, fakirs in India, saints in medieval Europe, a gentleman's butler in Ireland, boys in Somerset and Midlothian, a young warrior in Zululand, Miss Nancy Wesley at Epworth, in 1716, and Mr. Daniel Home, in London, in 1856-70, all triumphing over the law of gravitation, all floating in the air, how are we to explain the uniformity of stories palpably ridiculous?" - Carrington then goes on to provide a theory to account for levitation.
Some interesting early claims revolve around the Neoplatonist Iamblichus, of which the historian Eusapius relates the following in Lives of the Philosophers and Sophists (this text contains some interesting material on the other Neoplatonists, and this contains some interesting material as regards physical mediumship in general): "After these men comes a very celebrated philosopher, IAMBLICHUS, who was of illustrious ancestry and belonged to an opulent and prosperous family. His birthplace was. Chalcis, a city in the region called Coele Syria.19 As a pupil of Anatolius, who ranks next after Porphyry, he made great progress and attained to the highest distinction in philosophy. Then leaving Anatolius he attached himself to Porphyry, and in no respect was he inferior to Porphyry except in harmonious structure and force of style. For his utterances are not imbued with charm and grace, they are not lucid, and they lack the beauty of simplicity. Nevertheless they are not altogether obscure, nor have they faults of diction, but as Plato used to say of Xenocrates, "he has not sacrificed to the Graces" of Hermes.20 Therefore, he does not hold and enchant the reader into continuing to read, but is more likely to repel him and irritate his ears. But because he practised justice he gained an easy access to the ears of the gods; so much so that he had a multitude of disciples, and those who desired learning flocked to him from all parts. And it is hard to decide who among them was the most distinguished, for Sopater 21 the Syrian was of their number, a man who was most eloquent both in his speeches and writings; and Aedesius and Eustathius from Cappadocia; while from Greece came Theodorus 22 and Euphrasius, men of superlative virtue, and a crowd of other men not inferior in their powers of oratory, so that it seemed marvellous that he could satisfy them all; and indeed in his devotion to them all he never spared himself. Occasionally, however, he did perform certain rites alone, apart from his friends and disciples, when he worshipped the Divine Being. But for the most part he conversed with his pupils and was unexacting in his mode of life and of an ancient simplicity. As they drank their wine he used to charm those present by his conversation and filled them as with nectar. And they never ceased to desire this pleasure and never could have too much of it, so that they never gave him any peace; and they appointed the most eloquent among them to represent them, and asked: "O master, most inspired, why do you thus occupy yourself in solitude, instead of sharing with us your more perfect wisdom? Nevertheless a rumour has reached us through your slaves that when you pray to the gods you soar aloft from the earth more than ten cubits to all appearance;23 that your body and your garments change to a beautiful golden hue; and presently when your prayer is ended your body becomes as it was before you prayed, and then you come down to earth and associate with us." Iamblichus was not at all inclined to laughter, but he laughed at these remarks.24 And he answered them thus: "He who thus deluded you was a witty fellow; but the facts are otherwise. For the future however you shall be present at all that goes on." This was the sort of display that he made; and the report of it reached the author of this work from his teacher Chrysanthius of Sardis. He was a pupil of Aedesius, and Aedesius was one of the leading disciples of Iamblichus, and one of those who spoke to him as I have said. He said that there occurred the following sure manifestations of his divine nature. The sun was travelling towards the limits of the Lion at the time when it rises along with the constellation called the Dog. It was the hour for sacrifice, and this had been made ready in one of the suburban villas belonging to Iamblichus. Presently when the rites had been duly performed and they were returning to the city, walking slowly and at their leisure,----for indeed their conversation was about the gods as was in keeping with the sacrifice----suddenly Iamblichus even while conversing was lost in thought, as though his voice were cut off, and for some moments he fixed his eyes steadily on the ground 25 and then looked up at his friends and called to them in a loud voice: "Let us go by another road, for a dead body has lately been carried along this way." After saying this he turned into another road which seemed to be less impure,26 and some of them turned aside with him, who thought it was a shame to desert their teacher. But the greater number and the more obstinate of his disciples, among whom was Aedesius, stayed where they were, ascribing the occurrence to a portent and scenting like hounds for the proof.27 And very soon those who had buried the dead man came back. But even so the disciples did not desist but inquired whether they had passed along this road. "We had to," they replied, for there was no other road.
But they testified also to a still more marvellous incident. When they kept pestering Iamblichus and saying that this that I have just related was a trifle, and perhaps due to a superior sense of smell, and that they wished to test him in something more important, his reply to them was: "Nay, that does not rest with me, but wait for the appointed hour." Some time after, they decided to go to Gadara, a place which has warm baths in Syria, inferior only to those at Baiae in Italy, with which no other baths can be compared.28 So they set out in the summer season. Now he happened to be bathing and the others were bathing with him, and they were using the same insistence, whereupon Iamblichus smiled and said: "It is irreverent to the gods to give you this demonstration, but for your sakes it shall be done." There were two hot springs smaller than the others but prettier, and he bade his disciples ask the natives of the place by what names they used to be called in former times. When they had done his bidding they said: "There is no pretence about it, this spring is called Eros, and the name of the one next to it is Anteros." He at once touched the water with his hand----he happened to be sitting on the ledge of the spring where the overflow runs off----and uttering a brief summons 29 he called forth a boy from the depth of the spring. He was white-skinned and of medium height, his locks were golden and his back and breast shone; and he exactly resembled one who was bathing or had just bathed. His disciples were overwhelmed with amazement, but Iamblichus said, "Let us go to the next spring," and he rose and led the way, with a thoughtful air. Then he went through the same performance there also, and summoned another Eros like the first in all respects, except that his hair was darker and fell loose in the sun. Both the boys embraced Iamblichus and clung to him as though he were genuinely their father. He restored them to their proper places and went away after his bath, reverenced by his pupils. After this the crowd of his disciples sought no further evidence, but believed everything from the proofs that had been revealed to them, and hung on to him as though by an unbreakable chain. Even more astonishing and marvellous things were related of him, but I wrote down none of these since I thought it a hazardous and sacrilegious thing to introduce a spurious and fluid tradition into a stable and well-founded narrative. Nay even this I record not without hesitation, as being mere hearsay, except that I follow the lead of men who, though they distrusted other signs, were converted by the experience of the actual revelation. Yet no one of his followers recorded it, as far as I know. And this I say with good reason, since Aedesius himself asserted that he had not written about it, nor had any other ventured to do so."
On the Neoplatonists in general, a relevant source is the chapter Platonic Siddhas: Supernatural Philosophers of Neoplatonism by Gregory Shaw, which appears in aforementioned the text Beyond Physicalism.
As regards evidence, however, few cases carry enough unequivocal, patently obvious, in your face proof to warrant our attention. The only case that comes to mind that meets this criteria is that of the "thaumaturgist monk" Joseph of Cupertino, positively profiled by the skeptic Eric Dingwall in his book Some Human Oddities. Michael Grosso further overviews the evidence on this in Evidence for St. Joseph of Copertino’s Levitations, a summary overview of Grosso, M. (forthcoming), The Strange Case of St. Joseph of Copertino: Ecstasy and the Mind-Body Problem (Oxford: Oxford University Press). Some items I found notable from Dingwall's text are p. 13 where he describes levitation in the kneeling position. On p. 14, Dingwall notes "When he entered the basilica of the monastery and saw the crowds and notables who were gathered together, he raised his eyes to Heaven and saw the picture of the Virgin Mary painted on the ceiling surmounting the carved wooden group on the altar depicting the Immaculate Conception. Uttering a cry, Joseph rose into the air and flew eighteen paces (diciotto passi=about 15 yards) in order to embrace it, crying out : " Oh ! My Mother ! Thou hast followed me! "" From Dingwall, p. 15, we read of how Joseph flew from"the air from the middle of the church where he had been dancing on to the High Altar on which was the tabernacle which he embraced, and which was about twenty yards 1 distant from the spot from which he rose." From Dingwall p. 16, "It appears that one day Joseph went
to see a sick man in whose room there was a sacred picture which attracted his attention. Under the picture was a small table on which had been placed a number of bottles containing various medicines, among which was also a phial containing some kind of balsam. At the sight of the picture Joseph immediately flew up in the air and landed on the table in the kneeling position, remained a few moments, and then flew back to the place from which he had risen without overturning or breaking anything." Dingwall, pp. 16–17, "The flights and levitations of Joseph did not always occur inside buildings, but sometimes out of doors. For instance, it is recorded that one day a priest, Antonio Chiarello, who was walking with him in the kitchen-garden, remarked how beautiful was the heaven which God had made. Thereupon Joseph, as if these words were an invitation to him from above, uttered a shriek, sprang from the ground and flew into the air, only coming to rest on the top of an olive tree where he remained in a kneeling position for half an hour. It was noticed with wonder at the time that the branch on which he rested only shook slightly as if a bird had been sitting upon it. It appears that in this case Joseph came to his senses whilst still on the tree, as the Rev. Antonio had to go to fetch a ladder to get him down. This seems all the more remarkable as the fact that his weight did not bend down the branch on which he rested whilst in trance might have been ascribed to the force responsible for his levitation, which presumably would no longer be active after Joseph had recovered his senses. Why, then, did not the branch break, or did the holy man crawl to a safer one before being rescued?" "On more than one occasion the mystery of Joseph's levitations was deepened by the fact that he was reported to lift others with him on his aerial flights. For example, in the Church of Santa Chiara in Copertino a festival was once in progress in honour of the clothing of some novitiates. Joseph was present, and was on his knees in a corner of the church, when the words Veni Sfonsa Cristi (Come, Bride of Christ) were being intoned. Giving his accustomed cry, he ran towards the convent's father confessor, a priest from Secli, a village not far off, and who was attending the service and, seizing him, grasped him by the hand and (to quote Bernmo) "in a joyous rapture began to whirl round and round just as David did before the Ark of the Lord. 2 Finally both rose into the air in an ecstasy, the one borne aloft by Joseph and the other by God Himself, both being sons of St. Francis, the one being beside himself with fear but the other with sanctity. Thus it is noted in the Processes how a Custos of the Sacro Convento of Assisi, a lunatic and a priest of the Order of the Reformati were all at different times and in different places seized and carried aloft by this Angel of God, like Habbakuk by the hair,* or like the prophet Elijah in his aerial journey. Happy travellers," Joseph's biographer concludes, "to whom God conceded so rare' a gift as to travel towards Heaven without regard to their own merit but in the company of others!" Moreover, from p. 19, "One of the most interesting events of this kind was that connected
with Johann Friedrich, Duke of Brunswick, who died in [679, and who was the patron and employer of the great German
philosopher, G. W. Leibnitz (1646-1716), who for many years had charge of the Brunswick family library in Hanover. He visited
Assisi in February 1651, and expressed a wish to see Joseph in the
Sacro Convento. For this purpose the Duke, on his arrival and
accompanied by two of his noble retinue, Johann Friedrich Blume
and Georg Sittig, of whom Sittig was a Catholic and the other
not, was conducted to a room in the Convent which was called the Pope's Room. The next morning, which happened to be
Sunday, he with his two companions were secretly taken by a private staircase to the door of the chapel situated in the Noviziato
Vecchio, where Joseph was accustomed to say Mass, but on this occasion had no idea that he was being observed. There they heard
him give a loud cry and saw him rise in the air in a kneeling
position, passing backwards five paces and then returning in front
of the altar remaining in ecstasy for some time.
The Duke was naturally eager to see this unexpected phenomenon
a second time, and it was arranged that the next day he should
again see Joseph when he was saying Mass, as it seemed possible
that the Duke, hitherto a Lutheran, might be converted to the
Roman Catholic faith. On Monday morning, therefore, the Duke
was again present at the service ; and this time he saw Joseph
raised a palm high from the altar step and remain floating for about
a quarter of an hour. The Duke was so overcome by the sight
that his doubts were resolved and he became a Catholic. Not so Heinrich Blume, who was of the Lutheran persuasion, although
already tending towards Catholicism. He was frankly annoyed
and exclaimed : " May I be cursed for coming to this country !
I arrive with a quiet mind, but here I am always in a state of
agitation and anger and, further, I have difficulties with my
Regarding the contemporary nature of these accounts, Grosso, in the aforementioned document, noted that "The evidence is historical and consists of written narratives. The core documents depose eyewitness testimony given under oath. More than one hundred and fifty cases have been collected; in light of what we know, we may infer that the people who actually observed Joseph levitate numbered in the thousands, for Joseph was a public figure for thirty-five years, and his levitations, spontaneous and unpredictable, occurred throughout that period. Original records of sightings exist in letters, diaries, biographies; they are inscribed on relics, monuments, official documents, located in the many churches and convents of Italy where Joseph lived or visited; in addition, in the Vatican Archives, we find numerous riti, compendia, and 13 volumes of processi covering all aspects of his life." He also noted elsewhere, "The records show at least 150 sworn depositions of witnesses of high credentials: cardinals, bishops, surgeons, craftsmen, princes and princesses who personally lived by his word, popes, inquisitors, and countless variety of ordinary citizens and pilgrims. There are letters, diaries and biographies written by his superiors while living with him.": https://rhinemagazine.wordpress.com/2013/10/08/why-levitation-by-michael-grosso/
This continues throughout the text, and I encourage the reader to pursue the aforementioned research. One gets the impression from all of this that the "skeptics" deriding cases like this are complete liars, and once again are in the business of obfuscating extraordinary cases. Also, in some cases there is fraud, but still inexplicable phenomena, as with the mixed medium Eglinton, (cite full spectrum of evidence with Mirabelli), etc.
There is much that is really unclear in this, so I will attempt to narrow things down by looking at the more reliable cases. 2 physical mediums, Indridi Indridason and Stella C., were written about positively in Harry Price's Fifty Years of Psychical Research. Aside from that, Hereward Carrington wrote "... I personally am quite convinced of the reality of materialization. In saying this, however, it must not be understood that I accept the majority of phenomena which have been adduced it its favor; far from it. With few exceptions, every materializing medium I have ever seen has turned out, upon investigation, to be an arrant fraud. Nevertheless, such phenomena exist, and I believe that, in the presence of Eusapia Palladino, I have seen materializations of an unquestionably genuine character. I have seen, touched, and felt hands and portions of a living body which have occasionally melted in my grasp. It is my belief that similar manifestations have been seen by others, in the presence of such mediums as Home, Eva C., Willi and Rudi Schneider, etc. Genuine phenomena of the sort may be rare, but they are, in my estimation, undoubted." (Laboratory Investigations into Psychic Phenomena. (Kessinger Publishing, 2007). p. 78)
Following Cupertino, the most famous claimant to levitation is the Scottish Spiritualist Medium Daniel Dunglas Home, who is the most interesting paranormal claimant from that time period. He will be profiled below. For now, I will merely note that it is extremely useful to consult the chapter The Strange Case of Daniel Dunglas Home from the anthropologist Andrew Lang's 1905 text Historical Mysteries. This text rebuts some of the major arguments against him. For me the most interesting statement from the chapter is "In no instance, as far as I am informed, did anything extraordinary occur in connection with Home which cannot be paralleled in the accounts of Egyptian mediums in Iamblichus."
In his Appendix to "A Defence of Modern Spiritualism", section IV, Alfred Russel Wallace wrote, "I here give a few extracts strikingly illustrative of our subject. In the following passage from Jamblichus on Divination, quoted in Maurice's Moral and Metaphysical Philosophy, we find mention in a short space of a number of the most startling phenomena of modern Spiritualism:--
"Often at the moment of inspiration, or when the afflatus has subsided, a fiery appearance is seen--the entering or departing power. Those who are skilled in this wisdom can tell by the character of this glory the rank of the divinity who has seized for the time the reins of the mystic's soul, and guides it as he will. Sometimes the body of the man is violently agitated, sometimes it is rigid and motionless. In some instances sweet music is heard, in others discordant and fearful sounds. The person of the subject has been known to dilate and tower to a superhuman height, in other cases it has been lifted into the air. Frequently not merely the ordinary exercise of reason, but sensation and animal life would appear to have been suspended; and the subject of the afflatus has not felt the application of fire, has been pierced with spits, cut with knives, and not been sensible to pain.""
I recall p. 81 of Andrew Lang's Cock-Lang and Common Sense, where he shows cross cultural, independent examples paralleling the phenomena of the medium William Stainton Moses, and pp. 34–36 of that text: "Thus enough is known to show that savage spiritualism wonderfully resembles, even in minute details, that of modern mediums and seances, while both have the most striking parallels in the old classical thaumaturgy.
This uniformity, to a certain extent, is not surprising, for savage, classical, and modern spiritualism all repose on the primaeval animistic hypothesis as their metaphysical foundation. The origin of this hypothesis — namely, that disembodied intelligences exist and are active — is explained by anthropologists as the result of early reasonings on life, death, sleep, dreams, trances, shadows, the phenomena of epilepsy, and the illusions of Starvation. This scientific theory is, in itself, unimpeachable ; normal phenomena, psychological and physical, might suggest most of the animistic beliefs.
At the same time 'veridical hallucinations,' if there are any, and clairvoyance, if there is such a thing, would do much to originate and confirm the animistic opinions. Meanwhile, the extraordinary similarity of savage and classical spiritualistic rites, with the corresponding similarity of alleged modern phenomena, raises problems which it is more easy to state than to solve. For example, such occurrences as 'rappings,' as the movement of untouched objects, as the lights of the seance room, are all easily feigned. But that ignorant modern knaves should feign precisely the same raps, lights, and movements as the most remote and unsophisticated barbarians, and as the educated Platonists of the fourth century after Christ, and that many of the other phenomena should be identical in each case, is certainly noteworthy. This kind of folk-lore is the most persistent, the most apt to revive, and the most uniform. We have to decide between the theories of independent invention; of transmission, borrowing, and secular tradition; and of a substratum of actual fact."
The manifestations of such phenomena in the cases of the Neoplatonic Thaumaturgists, the Catholic Mystics, and the major Spiritualist Mediums, all operating in dramatically different social contexts, is very noteworthy.)
De Gasparin (1857). A Treatise on Turning Tables (a refutation by Count Agenor de Gasparin of the arguments of Michael Faraday and William Benjamin Carpenter on table turning, with accounts of large scale psychokinetic effects [including when heavy weights were on the table], that does not invoke the Spiritistic explanation. Camille Flammarion summarizes all of the essential points of this text in ch. 6 of Mysterious Psychic Forces. Marc Thury, professor of physics at the University of Geneva at the time, corroborated his account - see ch. 7 of Flammarion's Mysterious Psychic Forces. Hereward Carrington, in The Physical Phenomena of Spiritualism, p. 65n2, rejected Frank Podmore's dismissal of these experiments. Podmore, as we have seen elsewhere, is so distorted in these issues that we need not deal with him much - he implies no controls for fraud or excluding muscular action - Crookes' overview directly refutes it, as follows: "In 1854, Count Agenor de Gasparin published a book, giving full details of a large series of physical experiments which he had tried with some private friends in whom this force was found to be strongly developed. His experiments were very numerous and were carried on under the strictest test conditions. The fact of motion of heavy bodies without mechanical contact was demonstrated over and over again. Careful experiments were made to measure the force both of gravitation and of levitation thus communicated to the substances under trial, and an ingenious plan was adopted by which Count de Gasparin was enabled to obtain a rough numerical estimate of the power of the psychic force in each individual. The author finally arrived at the conclusion that all these phenomena are to be accounted for by the action of natural causes, and do not require the supposition of miracles nor the intervention of spirits or diabolical influences. He considers it as a fact, fully established by his experiments, that the will, in certain states of the organism, can act at a distance on inert matter, and most of his work is devoted to ascertaining the laws and conditions under which this action manifests itself.
In 1855, M. Thury, a Professor at the Academy of Geneva, published a work, in which he passed in review Count de Gasparin's experiments, and entered into full details of researches he had been simultaneously carrying on. Here, also, the trials were made with private friends, and were conducted with all the care which a scientific man could bring to bear on the subject. Space will not allow me to quote the valuable numerical results obtained by M. Thury, but from the following headings of some of his chapters, it will be seen that the enquiry was not conducted superficially:—Facts which Establish the Reality of the New Phenomenon; Mechanical Action rendered Impossible; Movements effected without Contact; The Causes; Conditions requisite for the Production and Action of the Force; Conditions for the Action with Respect to the Operators; The Will; Is a Plurality of Operators Necessary? Preliminary Requisites; Mental Condition of the Operators; Meteorological Conditions; Conditions with Respect to the Instruments Operated upon; Conditions relative to the Mode of Action of the Operators on the Instruments; Action of Substances interposed; Production and Transmission of the Force; Examination of the Assigned Causes; Fraud; Unconscious Muscular Action produced in a particular Nervous State; Electricity; Nervo-magnetism; M. de Gasparin's Theory of a Special Fluid; General Question as to the Action of Mind on Matter. 1st Proposition; In the ordinary conditions of the body the will only acts directly within the sphere of the organism. 2nd Proposition; Within the organism itself there are a series of mediate acts. 3rd Proposition: The substance on which the mind acts directly—the psychode—is only susceptible of very simple modification under the influence of the mind; Explanations which are based on the Intervention of Spirits. M. Thury refutes all these explanations, and considers the effects due to a peculiar substance, fluid, or agent, pervading, in a manner similar to the luminiferous ether of the scientist, all matter, nervous, organic, or inorganic—which he terms psychode. He enters into full discussion as to the properties of this state or form of matter, and proposes the term ectenic force (ἐκτένια, extension), for the power exerted when the mind acts at a distance through the influence of the psychode."
Flammarion's chapters are defense enough. And as Flammarion points out on p. 251, De Gasparin had specifically refuted Podmore's views on this when he conducted the experiment! See also p. 271 of Flammarion's text, and, regarding Thury, throughout the relevant chapter.
Wallace, in Miracles and Modern Spiritualism, pp.279-280,
states, when commenting on a work of Carpenter: "At p. 296 Dr. Carpenter says, that the only answer spiritualists give to Faraday's experiments is, that "Faraday's performers moved the tables with their hand*, whereas we know that we do not;" and he then continues " Those who make this assertion are (of course) scientifically bound to demonstrate it, by showing that in their case the table does go round without any deflection of the index by lateral pressure, but they have uniformly refused to apply this test to their own performance, although repeatedly challenged to do so." But Dr. C. omits to tell us who are the spiritualists whose "only answer" is above given, and who are they who have been " repeatedly challenged " and have " uniformly refused" to accept the challenge. On inquiry, it may be found that it is the men of science who have " uniformly refused " to witness the proof of what they say spiritualists are scientifically bound to demonstrate.
In the spring of 1867, when I had obtained the proofs of force in lifting (not turning) a table (as detailed at p. 141), I invited Dr. Carpenter to attend some sittings with every probability of being able to show the phenomena. He came once. The sitting was not very successful, raps and taps of varying character being alone produced. Although strongly pressed to do so, he never came again. With Professor Tyndall exactly the same thing occurred. He came once, and declined to come again ; although informed of phenomena which had repeatedly occurred in my own house, which he could not explain, and which I had every reason to believe would occur in his presence if he would only give three or four short sittings to these investigations. More recently Dr. Sharpey and Professor Stokes, Secretaries of the Royal Society, refused the invitation of one of their own Fellows, Mr. Crookes, to witness experiments which formed the subject of a paper offered to the Society. Where we are vaguely and generally accused of "uniformly refusing" to produce certain proofs, it is only right that the public should know how our scientific opponents receive our offers to exhibit even more conclusive proofs. We must also remember that Dr. Carpenter is acquainted with the evidence of the Dialectical Committee, of Serjeant Cox, of Mr. Crookes, of Mr. Varley, and of myself, as to the movement of heavy objects entirely without contact of the medium or any other person ; yet in 1874 he can adduce nothing but the utterly exploded and almost forgotten "table-turning" of the time of Faraday as worthy of notice!"
Regarding the paranormal nature of this, we find one of the few instances in which the conjurer Maskelyne and Wallace were in agreement
Moreover, in 1869, the Dialectical Society, a rationalist debating club, carried out forty table turning sessions, of which thirty-four were productive. In one session, the table moved four times in one minute up to a distance of one foot, when the members’ feet were out of range and their hands were extended four inches above the surface.
In Mysterious Psychic Forces, p. 369, Camille Flammarion provides a photograph of a levitated table.
Further rebuttal to Faraday occurs in the experiments of Ken Batcheldor and Colin Brookes-Smith, further replicated by Iris M. Owen and Margaret H. Sparrow)
Carrington (1907/1920). The Physical Phenomena of Spiritualism: The Fraudulent and the Genuine: Part II: The Genuine: Raps, Telekinesis
Hare (1855). Experimental investigation of the spirit manifestations (Podmore dismisses this in Modern Spiritualism, alleging that no precautions were taken, and Ray Hyman in his 1986 IEEE paper doesn't even attempt to refute it, but just notes that his conversion to Spiritualism, when he was a former skeptic, on account of his experiments was ridiculed by his colleagues.
The New York Times, November 21, 1855 noted that precautions were taken. As follows:
"Dr. HARE of Philadelphia, of World-Wide reknown, some years since embraced the theories of Spiritualism. The following correspondence explains itself. Through it the public will be gratified to know that the Doctor will lecture on this subject next Friday evening in the Tabernacle. CORRESPONDENCE.
Prof. Robert Hare, M.D. - Sir: Having a high appreciation of your abilities and life-long labors as a man of science; and learning that you have recently been employing your vast resources of ingenuity and experience in the investigation of the current phenomena known by some as "Spiritual Manifestations"; and having, moreover, been informed that you have, in this investigation, employed mechanical apparatus and other contrivances as, in your judgement, were calculated to preclude all possible deception, and exhibit the precise nature of the agent involved in the production of the phenomena aforesaid—the undersigned, citizens of New York, would respectfully invite you to explain your experiments, with their results, in a public lecture in this City, to be delivered at your earliest convenience. Signed by[a plethora of names]."
Crookes noted in his Researches in the Phenomena of Spiritualism:
"There is likewise another case on record in which similar test experiments were tried, with like results, by a thoroughly competent observer. The late Dr. Robert Hare, in one of his works,† gives an engraving of an apparatus very similar to my own, by which the young man with whom he was experimenting was prevented from having any other communication with the apparatus except through water; yet, under these circumstances, the spring balance indicated the exertion of a force equal to 18 lbs. The details of this experiment were communicated by Dr. Hare, to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, at the meeting in August, 1855."
Zollner noted, in Transcendental Physics, pp. 151-153:
"I cannot omit to impart the following fact observed by the celebrated American scientist and chemist, Professor Hare[FOOTNOTE: Robert Hare, Doctor of Medicine, Professor of Chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia; born 1781, died 15th May 1858. In Poggendorffs Literary Biographical Dictionary, from which I have taken the above particulars, will be found a catalogue, filling a whole column, of Hare's numerous chemical and physical treatises. In text-books of Physics his name survives in the so-called "Hare's Spiral," a galvanic element, in which a copper and zinc plate, properly separated by bad conductors, are rolled over one another for the production of the greatest possible surface. With this arrangement, previously to the construction of constant batteries, very strong effects of light and heat could be produced. The treatise of Hare's referred to is published in Tilloch's Philosophical Magazine, of the year 1837, under the title "New Voltaic Battery."
In his later years Professor Hare undertook, as a true man of science, the most thorough experimental investigation of the phenomena of Spiritualism, for which, in his country, convenient opportunities offered. He even evinced his acuteness in this field in the construction of suitable apparatus and instruments. One of these he named the "Spiritoscope." It consisted of an apparatus connected with a cipher-plate and index, similar to that which was applied to the first electric telegraphs. A detailed description, with picture, of this ingenious apparatus, in which the motions of the index are completely concealed from the medium, will be found in the pamphlet, Experimental Investigations of Spirit-Manifestations, by Dr. Robert Hare, Professor of Chemistry, &c., &c." German edition by Alex. Aksakow, Leipzig, 1874, Mutze.]
It is that described by State Councillor Aksakow in Psychische Studien (edited by him) in the July number of this year (1879), under the title "Some Experiments of Professor Hare Confirmatory of Zollner's Experiments." I confine myself here to the first experiment, described in a letter published on the 1st May 1858 by an eye-witness, Dr. S. A. Peters, who had visited Professor Hare in his laboratory, in order himself to witness some of the remarkable phenomena which Hare had publicly reported. The letter is addressed to the editor of The Spiritual Telegraph, and is as follows:—
"PHILADELPHIA, April 18, 1858.
"Mr. Editor, — Finding myself in this city on a visit from the State of Missouri, I availed myself of the opportunity to visit Professor Hare, in order to see what new developments or discoveries he has made in Spiritualism. I have no doubt that a history of the most astonishing spiritual manifestations which are now taking place in the Professor's laboratory will shortly be given to the public.
"I will now confirm what I saw myself. Dr. Hare, the medium (a young man named Ruggles, of from eighteen to nineteen years, to whom I was quite a stranger when I entered the laboratory), and myself, were the only persons present. The medium sat down in front of the spiritoscope, which stood on the table in the middle of the room. Dr. Hare and I sat opposite and close to the table. After some minutes it was said to us through the spiritoscope, 'Let Dr. S. A. Peters put two glass tubes and two pieces of Russian metal in the box.' Dr. Hare thereupon left his seat, and fetched me two glass tubes of about six inches length, and half an inch diameter, hermetically sealed at the ends, and also two pieces of Russian platinum, each of the shape of a common musket-ball. I first examined the box in which I was to deposit these objects. It stood on the table before me. It resembled a writing-desk; was about two feet long and half a foot broad, four to eight inches deep, and had a lid which let down slantwise, with hinges and a lock. In this box I placed the two glass tubes and the balls of platinum — there was nothing else in it, — and locked it. Dr. Hare and I then took our seats as before, and the medium, Mr. Ruggles, continued at the spiritoscope. After the lapse of fifty-five minutes there was said through the spiritoscope, 'We have a present for Dr. S. A. Peters ; let him go to the box and fetch it.' Hereupon I went to the box, which was only a single foot from me, opened it, and found — the two pieces of Russian platinum inside the two hermetically sealed glass tubes.
"I will make no observations on the above. What I have seen I hold it to be my duty to make known to the world. I have no other interest in making the above statement than the desire to serve my fellow-men. S. A. Peters.")
London Dialectical Society (1872). Report on Spiritualism, of the Committee of the London Dialectical Society, Together with the Evidence, Oral and Written, and a Selection from the Correspondence.
Home (1864). Incidents in my Life, (1872) Second series (Alan Gauld provided a reliable introduction to Daniel Dunglas Home, "Home, Daniel Dunglas (1833–1886), medium, was born at Currie, near Edinburgh, on 20 March 1833, the third son of William Home (c.1810–1882), a labourer, and his wife, Elizabeth, née McNeil (c.1810–1850), and was raised as a Presbyterian. He seems to have added his middle name later because of his belief that his father was the illegitimate son of the tenth earl of Home. Hostile biographers have alleged that he invented this story; but there is documentary evidence that the earl paid for William Home's apprenticeship and upkeep. Daniel Home was adopted in infancy by his mother's sister, Mrs Mary Cook, and with this lady and her husband emigrated about 1842 to the United States, settling in Greeneville, now part of Norwich, Connecticut. Here he attended school, receiving a sound basic education. His own family shortly settled in nearby Waterford, Connecticut.
Home was a studious, dreamy, and sensitive boy, often ill. A vision in 1850 of the unexpected death of his mother awoke in him religious interests that led to friction with his aunt. That lady, a strict Presbyterian, was further shocked early the following year when poltergeist phenomena, in the form of inexplicable raps and object movements, broke out around him. This was the period of the Fox sisters and the rapid spread of ‘spirit-rapping’ in the eastern United States. Daniel's rappings soon began to take the form of ostensible communications from the dead, and the terrified Mrs Cook threw out her nephew, still not quite eighteen, to fend for himself. The strange phenomena went with him.
In this way Home was precipitated into a mode of life that he pursued for many years. He did not become a professional medium, but almost a professional guest, moving from one hospitable family to another, mostly of spiritualists. At first they were solid middle-class folk, but after his return to Europe he moved increasingly among the cosmopolitan upper classes. Usually there was a tacit understanding that he would, if ‘in power’, hold séances for his hosts and their friends. He would never sit for money, though he did receive indirect benefits over and above hospitality—for instance travelling expenses and gifts, especially of jewellery (which he retained rather than sold).
During Home's residence in the United States most of his characteristic phenomena were already in evidence. The company generally sat with their hands on a table, often a large and heavy one. Raps would come from it, spelling out messages from the ‘spirits’, who sometimes produced information which the medium could hardly have known. Commonly the table would move about, rock, and rise clear of the floor, sometimes to a considerable height. Or it might tilt steeply while objects on it remained as if glued in position. Surrounding items of furniture might be moved, or small objects carried through the air. These phenomena would often occur in good light, and sitters were at liberty to search beneath levitated tables. Dimmer, though usually passable, light was required for the playing of musical instruments by unseen hands, and for the visible or tangible manifestation of the hands themselves. Near, though not total, darkness was needed for the relatively frequent phenomenon of ‘spirit lights’ and the much rarer one of levitation of the medium's body. Later developments included the unscathed handling of red-hot coals, the supposed elongation of his body, once by as much as 11 inches, and the materialization of dim or misty phantom figures. During all these happenings (which were by no means confined to séance situations) Home might be awake, or sleepy, or ostensibly in a trance state. When in trance he might clairvoyantly ‘see’ spirits and deliver messages from them (some of which profoundly impressed the recipients) or be ‘taken over’ and speak as if controlled by them.
Meanwhile, friends at Newburgh, New York, had been urging him to resume his education. Early in 1853 he went as a boarder to the Newburgh Theological Institute, and began the private study of French and German. That autumn he commenced medical studies in New York, but after a few months his health broke down. A second attempt the following autumn had the same result. In January 1855 pulmonary consumption was diagnosed and a voyage to Europe recommended. On 31 March he sailed for England, probably subsidized and furnished with introductions by prosperous American spiritualists.
In the spring and summer Home stayed for extended periods with two spiritualist sympathizers, Mr William Cox of Cox's Hotel, Jermyn Street, London, and Mr J. S. Rymer, a solicitor of Ealing. Invitations to his sittings were eagerly sought. Among notables who attended and were impressed were Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton, Robert Owen, Lord Brougham, Sir David Brewster (who later denied that he had seen anything remarkable), J. J. Garth Wilkinson (a well-known Swedenborgian), T. Adolphus Trollope and his mother, and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. However Elizabeth's husband, Robert, conceived a violent loathing of Home and later lampooned him viciously in ‘Mr Sludge the Medium’ (1864).
In autumn 1855 Home travelled to Florence at the invitation of the Trollopes. There ‘the manifestations were very strong’, and hostesses were eager to secure him. But he became the subject of obscurely unfavourable gossip, and on 10 February 1856 the spirits informed him that his power would depart for a year. Shortly afterwards he visited Naples and Rome with friends, and while at Rome was received into the Catholic church. In June 1856 he went to Paris and remained there through the winter, despite serious lung ailments. On 10 February 1857 his powers duly returned. The emperor, Louis Napoleon, immediately summoned him, and for much of the next year he was frequently at court, where his virtuoso displays caused amazement and his supposed influence over the emperor and empress dark rumours. Towards the end of March he returned briefly to America to fetch his sister, Christine, whose education the empress had offered to arrange; in August and September he visited Baden Baden, and there gave three sittings to Friedrich Wilhelm, the crown prince of Prussia (later emperor of Germany). In February 1858 he was taken to Holland for sittings with a rationalist group, De Dageraad, and also gave sittings to the queen of Holland. On his return to Paris he received medical advice to seek a warmer climate, and in March went to Rome. There he met, and after a swift courtship became engaged to, Alexandrina (Sacha) de Kroll, a diminutive, vivacious, and charming Russian girl of seventeen, the daughter of Count de Kroll, and a goddaughter of the tsar. They were married at St Petersburg on 1 August 1858.
For almost a year they remained in Russia, where Home gave sittings to many in high society, including the tsar. On 8 May 1859 the Homes had a son, Gregoire (Gricha). In the autumn they made their way to England, staying there for the best part of the next two years. Home was now famous, and much in demand by fashionable hostesses. Persons of greater intellectual consequence also showed some interest, especially following publication of Robert Bell's article ‘Stranger than fiction’ in the Cornhill Magazine for August 1860. Sacha Home, by now a total convert to spiritualism, frequently attended her husband's sittings, but she was consumptive, and her health was failing. Visits to health resorts in England and abroad did not halt the disease, and she died in France on 3 July 1862.
On returning to London, Home found himself in financial difficulties. Sacha's modest estate had been seized by relatives. To raise funds he produced, with the help of two recent converts, W. M. Wilkinson, a solicitor, and Robert Chambers, his autobiographical Incidents in my Life (1863). He also embarked on a disastrous attempt to train as a sculptor in Rome. He arrived there in November 1863, but early in January was summarily expelled as a practitioner of the black arts. In England again, he decided to earn his living by giving public readings, and in the summer of 1864 successfully toured America. On his return in May 1865 he set out for Russia, where his phenomena were very powerful and he became the guest of the tsar and of Count Aleksey Tolstoy. Back in England later in the year his health deteriorated, and he spent several periods at the Malvern hydropathic establishment of another convert, Dr James Manby Gully. In the summer of 1866 Gully joined Mr and Mrs S. C. Hall and other well-wishers in establishing a spiritualist centre, the Spiritual Athenaeum, at 22 Sloane Street, London, of which Home became resident secretary without any obligation to hold sittings.
This comfortable arrangement was upset after a few months by the intrusion into Home's life of a dominating and emotionally disturbed elderly widow, Mrs Jane Lyon, who pressed upon him £60,000 by deeds of gift on condition that he added her surname to his own. Home foolishly agreed. In the summer of 1867 Mrs Lyon changed her mind, accused Home of swindling her, and instituted a chancery suit. At the hearing in April 1868 she was detected in numerous lies and contradictions, but the vice-chancellor, although refusing to award her costs, found against Home on the curious but legally correct grounds that the onus was on the defendant to prove that he had not exercised undue influence.
Home was befriended during this difficult period by Lord Adare (later fourth earl of Dunraven) and the master of Lindsay. He spent much time in the company of Adare, whose accounts (and his father's) of seventy-eight sittings from November 1867 to July 1869 (Experiences in Spiritualism with D. D. Home) constitute the most extensive, and the most controversial, record of the phenomena Home produced both within and between séances.
The Lyon lawsuit left Home heavily in debt, and in 1869 and 1870 he toured England and Scotland giving highly successful public readings. On the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War in July 1870 he travelled to France as war correspondent for the San Francisco Chronicle. In February 1871 he accepted an invitation to recuperate in Russia. There he was investigated by a number of savants, including A. Butlerov, professor of chemistry at St Petersburg. He also met Butlerov's sister-in-law, Miss Julie De Gloumeline, a keen spiritualist, and almost immediately became engaged to her.
Before the marriage, however, Home returned to England to fulfil a promise to William Crookes, the eminent chemist. Between April and July 1871 Crookes conducted the only attempts ever made to record Home's phenomena on self-registering instruments. In the most remarkable of these experiments Home, watched and held in sufficient light, was several times able to depress, without contact, a pivoted board and a parchment drum.
Home (now received into the Greek Orthodox church) and Miss De Gloumeline were married in Paris on 16 October 1871. She was a person of considerable worldly competence and took total charge of their affairs. She came from a well-to-do and well-connected family, and Home had by this time obtained the residuum of his first wife's estate. They travelled a good deal around Europe, visiting friends and health resorts. Their only child, a daughter Marie, born in April 1872, died a few months later. Though Home's health problems, pulmonary and arthritic, grew steadily worse, he still gave occasional sittings. He kept up a large correspondence, and published two more books, a second series of Incidents in my Life (1872) and Lights and Shadows of Spiritualism (1877), which shocked spiritualists by its attacks on mediumistic fraud. He died at Auteuil in France on 21 June 1886, survived by his second wife, and was buried at St Germain-en-Laye.
Home was about 5 feet 10 inches in height, slim, blue-eyed and red-haired, often tired or ill, but always fastidious in dress. There are many photographs of him. He had no immediately obvious faults of character, unless one counts a somewhat marked vanity, an occasional prickliness, a delight in wearing jewellery, and a willingness to be cossetted by the ladies; he was often accused of effeminacy. He was a pleasant guest, musically talented, a fair linguist, kind, humorous, sociable, and happy to participate in parlour games and amateur dramatics. Scandalous rumours about him sometimes circulated, but are difficult to trace to any satisfactory source.
Of the strange happenings that surrounded Home many contemporary reports remain which, though varying in value, raise considerable problems. If the phenomena were as described, the framework of conventional science cannot accommodate them. But explaining them away presents its own difficulties. That (as sometimes suggested) Home hypnotized his sitters could be maintained only by someone who knew nothing of hypnosis. That he was a clever conjuror there is little evidence. The few allegations that he was detected in fraud were second- or third-hand, or were related long after the event, or both, and are of unclear significance. The conjuring hypothesis is almost pure speculation and generally involves passing over many of Home's performances, and supposing that others were radically different from the reports of them. He remains a puzzle.
G. Zorab, D. D. Home il medium (1976) · E. Jenkins, The shadow and the light: a defence of Daniel Dunglas Home the medium (1982) · J. Burton, Heyday of a wizard: Daniel Home the medium (1948) · J. Home, D. D. Home, his life and mission (1888) · J. Home, The gift of D. D. Home (1890) · D. D. Home, Incidents in my life, 2 vols. (1863–72) · F. W. H. Myers and W. F. Barrett, ‘D. D. Home, his life and mission’, Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 4 (1889–90), 101–36 · E. J. Dingwall, Some human oddities: studies in the queer, the uncanny and the fanatical (1947), 91–128, 187–93 · F. Podmore, Modern spiritualism: a history and a criticism (1902), 2, 223–43 · Crookes and the spirit world, ed. M. R. Barrington and others (1972) · Viscount Adare [W. T. Wyndham-Quin], Experiences in spiritualism with D. D. Home (1870) · F. W. H. Myers, ‘The character of Mr D. D. Home’, Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 6 (1893–4), 176–9 · Report on spiritualism of the committee of the London Dialectical Society (1871), 187–94, 206–16, 213–17, 359–71 · W. Crookes, Researches in the phenomena of spiritualism (1874) · W. Crookes, ‘Notes of séances with D. D. Home’, Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, 6 (1889–90), 98–127 · J. S. Rymer, Spirit manifestations (1857) · P. P. Alexander, Spiritualism: a narrative with a discussion (1871) · F. Podmore, The newer spiritualism (1910), 31–86 · A. Lang, Historical mysteries (1904), 170–92 · J. Oppenheim, The other world: spiritualism and psychical research in England, 1850–1914 (1985), 10–16, 34–5 · G. Stein, The sorcerer of kings (1993) · T. H. Hall, The enigma of Daniel Home: medium or fraud? (1984)
Archives CUL, Society for Psychical Research archives, corresp. · NA Scot., earl of Home MSS
Likenesses J. Durham?, bronze bust, c.1860, Society for Psychical Research, London · H. W. Pickersgill, oils, 1866, College of Psychic Studies, London · Maull & Co., photograph, London Library [see illus.] · photographs, CUL, SPR Archives · photographs, Mary Evans Picture Library, London · prints, NPG
Wealth at death £40: probate, 30 Aug 1886, CGPLA Eng. & Wales"
- Alan Gauld, ‘Home, Daniel Dunglas (1833–1886)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 17 Oct 2014
As to accusations of fraud, it is instructive to consult Zorab's 1971 paper Were D. D. Home’s ‘spirit hands” ever fraudulently produced? (pt. 1, pt. 2). Zorab's paper is worth reading in full, but part of his hypothesis as regards the Merrifield sitting involves ectoplasmic pseudopods, a psychical research concept that was perhaps demonstrated most reliably in the sittings with Stella Cranshawe, described below.
There is also a highly critical review in 1898 from Richard Hodgson, a fellow skeptic of physical phenomena, of Mr. Henry Ridgely Evans's "Hours with the Ghosts.", noting inaccuracies and shortcomings. As regards DD Home, pp. 149–150 of the review notes: "Although Mr. Evans devotes more than forty pages of his book to D. D. Home, there is clear indication that he has not made any careful examination of the mass of testimony to Home's phenomena, and in fact it is difficult to understand that, if he had ever even read the bulk of this tehtimony, he could have offered the "cheap and ready-made" accounts of the music-box tricks and fire-tricks as providing in themselves an adequate explanation of certain notable incidents described by Home's witnesses. I refer to two other instances of the want of care shown by Mr. Evans. He quotes a statement from "Celia Logan, the journalist," concerning "one of Home's seances at a nobleman's house in London," in which occurs the charge that the host saw Home place a bottle on the mantelpiece just before leaving the room for the staircase where luminous hands wero seen. The host, it is alleged, seized the bottle and found later that it contained "phosphorated olive oil or some similar preparation," and "after the discovery of the phosphorus trick he dropped Homo at once." Who is Celia Logan? Where and when did this account originally appear, and who was the host? We protest against any such vague and uncorroborated charge. At least two such charges against Home have come under my own direct notice; in each case the person making the charge was compelled to acknowledge that the charge was completely unfounded, and, oddly enough, one of the charges was based upon a quotation from Home himself, who was describing the tricks of another medium. This question as to the proof of fraud on the part of Home was considered fully in the article in the Journal S.P.R. for July, 1889, by Professor Barrett and Mr. F. W. H. Myers, and at that time no proof of fraud was forthcoming. Later, in 1897, Mr. Podmore writes (Studies in Psyehical Research, p. 111): "I am not aware that clear proof of imposture was ever brought forward against him." Again, Mr. Evans quotes the statement made by Dr. Carpenter in the Contemporary Review for January, 1876, concerning Home's alleged levitation, that "a single honest sceptic declares that Mr. Home was sitting in his chair all the time." This was proved to be a gross misstatement, and was so proved by Captain C. Wynne, the supposed "sceptic" himself, who actually corroborated the account of the levitation. (See D. D. Home: His Life and Mission, by Madame Dunglas Home, p. 307; also Journal S.P.R., July, 1889, p. 108.) In dealing with Home, Mr. Evans seems to have followed blindly the lead of Dr. W. A. Hammond's inadequate treatment in his book Spiritualism and Nervous Derangement, published in 1876. Whether Home's phenomena can be explained away or not—and there is a large mass of testimony to be taken into consideration—they most assuredly have not been satisfactorily accounted for as yet by any ordinary explanations which I have seen offered, and we cannot but condemn such ignorant and superficial treatment as that accorded to them by Mr. Evans. I should, however, regret if I did Mr. Evans an injustice. Possibly he may have intended merely to present a loose and popular view of Home by quoting various opinions for and against him; but this would be hardly consistent with his professed intention in his preface "to give an accurate account of the lives and adventures of celebrated mediums and occultists.""
Madame Home offers a critique of Hammond on p. 305 of "DD home: His Life and Mission", and on p. 124, provided evidence that Celia Logan was unreliable.
William Crookes noted in Researches in the Phenomena of Spiritualism, in the section Notes of an Enquiry into the Phenomena Called Spiritual, contra Celia Logan, that
These, being rather faint, generally require the room to be darkened. I need scarcely remind my readers again that, under these circumstances, I have taken proper precautions to avoid being imposed upon by phosphorised oil, or other means. Moreover, many of these lights are such as I have tried to imitate artificially, but cannot.
Under the strictest test conditions, I have seen a solid self-luminous body, the size and nearly the shape of a turkey’s egg, float noiselessly about the room, at one time higher than any one present could reach standing on tiptoe, and then gently descend to the floor. It was visible for more than ten minutes, and before it faded away it struck the table three times with a sound like that of a hard, solid body. During this time the medium was lying back, apparently insensible in an easy chair.
I have seen luminous points of light darting about and settling on the heads of different persons; I have had questions answered by the flashing of a bright light a desired number of times in front of my face. I have seen sparks of light rising from the table to the ceiling, and again falling upon the table, striking it with an audible sound. I have had an alphabetic communication given by luminous flashes occurring before me in the air, whilst my hand was moving about amongst them. I have seen a luminous cloud floating upwards to a picture. Under the strictest test conditions, I have more than once had a solid, self-luminous, crystalline body placed in my hand by a hand which did not belong to any person in the room. In the light I have seen a luminous cloud hover over a heliotrope on a side table, break a sprig off, and carry the sprig to a lady; and on some occasions I have seen a similar luminous cloud visibly condense to the form of a hand and carry small objects about. These, however, more properly belong to the next class of phenomena."
As to the Morio/Barthez attack on Home, I will in the future excerpt Zorab's refutation of it, which is in an Italian biography:
As regards the false allegation that Home refused to have the magician Robert Houdin attend a sitting, see p. 221 of Mme. Home's "The Gift of D.D. Home", see also p. 13 of the text regarding the vindication of Home by the magician Bosco. Regarding p. 221, Barkas noted "Mons. Canti, the celebrated French conjuror who witnessed the phenomena produced through Mr. Home, told Prince Napoleon “that he could in no way account for the phenomena he saw on the principles of his profession.” He also published a letter expressing the same opinion." (Thomas Pallister Barkas. "Outlines of Ten Years Investigations into the Phenomena of Modern Spiritualism, embracing letters, lectures,&c". Frederick Pitman, 1862. p. 54: http://books.google.com/books?id=CA9bAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA54?lr=&output=html)
Leslie Shephard, in the Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology, Vol. II (Gale Research Company, 1991), p. 1010, quoted Carl du Prel's "Experimentalpsychologie und Experimentalmetaphysik" (Leipzig, 1891) to the effect that Houdin stated "I have come away from that seance as astounded as I could be, and persuaded that it is perfectly impossible by chance or adroitness to produce such marvellous effects."
So it is possible that Houdin later vindicated Home after that disputed item, covered on p. 221 of Mme Home's book cited above.
Of biographical relevance is Myers' and Barrett's 1889 article Review of "DD Home: His Life and Mission", with appendices offering additional evidence, which reviews and corroborates the book DD Home: His Life and Mission. See also Myers' 1890 article Review of "The Gift of DD Home", which reviews and corroborates the book The Gift of DD Home.
Alan Gauld, in The Founders of Psychical Research wrote that Horace Wyndham's biography of Home is unreliable - this view receives some support in a source one would not expect, a review of the text by Perovsky-Petrovo-Solovovo, an opponent of Home's and physical mediumship in general, which lists errors. Conversely there is Elizabeth Jenkens' text The Shadow and the Light- Stephen Braude argued that Zorab's biographer was far superior insofar as it presented an analysis of ostensible psychic phenomena (cite source), the parapsychologist Roger I. Anderson argued that Jenkens' account was hagiographical and credulous (see from p. 91), though Eric Dingwall, in a review of the text, praised it as a source of biographical information. As to negative biographies, it is useful to see Braude's 1985 Review of "The enigma of Daniel Home" by Trevor Hall, Barrington (1994). Review of "The Sorcerer of Kings: The Case of Daniel Dunglas Home and William Crookes" by Gordon Stein, and most importantly Beloff's 1994 Review of "The Sorcerer of Kings: The Case of Daniel Dunglas Home and William Crookes" by Gordon Stein, which is perhaps the most interesting introductory item, and raises important points about Eric Dingwall, who Stein dedicated the critical attack to. An interesting review of a contemporary biography is from Zofia Weaver in 2008 - Daniel Dunglas Home Revisited- Evidence Old and New.
Hereward Carrington (1907/1920) book The Physical Phenomena of Spiritualism: The Fraudulent and the Genuine: Part II: The Genuine: The Mediumship of D.D. Home, is an important source countering the idea that the magic tricks related to fraudulent performances, e.g. - with accordion playing, fire handling, etc., accounted for the phenomena with Daniel Dunglas Home. Charles Richet noted on p. 411 of Thirty Years of Psychical Research,
"The experiments with Home were made under unexceptionable conditions and this gives them considerable value. Mr. E. W. Cox, a serjeant-at-law, holding a high social position and a man of strong good sense, wrote to Home in 1876 as follows:
“My dear Home, in the experiments to which you submitted yourself before me, there was nothing of the nature of precaution or mystery. You sat down near me, anywhere, at any time in my garden, in my house, day or night, always, with one memorable exception, in daytime and in full light. You never refused to submit to any desired control. . . .You sat alone with me and there came to pass things that the united efforts of four men could not have obtained. Sometimes the phenomena took place, sometimes they did not. The results were of such a nature that no human hand could have produced, in my drawing-room, my library, and my garden, where all mechanism was impossible.”"
As regards Home's elongations, see Holms (1927), pp. 318-320. The scope of this phenomenon has been underestimated, and probably tendentiously misrepresented, by the critic Gordon Stein. Stein (The Sorcerer of Kings, p. 78) claims that Home was performing a magic trick body stretching method called the Willard method. This ignores the full testimony of people like H.D. Jencken, cited by Holms, which notes the elongation and shortening of nearly every body part including hands by Home, and also, the testimony of others concerning the force with which they were pushed away. Also, Thurston noted, in The Physical Phenomena of Mysticism (1952, Burns Oates), p. 196: "Adare remarks concerning Home's elongation on April 3, 1869, in the presence of six observers:
"While his arms appeared to be increasing in length, his chest became greatly expanded, and he said to me: "You see how it is; the extension is from the chest." He then placed himself against the wall and extended his arms to their full natural length; I made a pencil mark at the tips of his fingers. His left arm was then elongated. I held the pencil against the wall, suffering it to be pushed along by his fingers until he told me to make another mark. His right arm was then elongated, and I marked the movement in the same manner. The total elongation, as ascertained by this means, amounted to 9 1/2 inches. [FOOTNOTE: Dunraven, Experiences with D.D. Home, p. 239.]
As regards the fire-tests, the scope of which has been under-estimated by skeptics as it included bathing his face in fire and the transference of incombustibility to others - and all without creating any smell of burning whatsoever - see Holms (1927), pp. 321-325. The scope of the fire tests that I outlined serves to rebut critics like Ruth Brandon who makes her case in an appendix to her book The Spiritualists and Gordon Stein, who minimize the extent of it, and suggest that he employed fire handling magic tricks. Particularly Brandon likes to assume that William Crookes was a fool, and was clueless as to such tricks.
For Home's fire tests, Wallace in "Miracles and Modern Spiritualism", pp. 166–167, noted that they extended to the transference of incombustibility, and that others who held the coals when incombustibility was transferred were also shielded from the temperature, though other objects would burn from the coals and other body parts would feel the heat: https://archive.org/stream/miraclesmodernsp00walliala#page/166/mode/2up
Lord Lindsay noted how the transference could be turned on and off, verifying that this was a real phenomenon "I have frequently seen Home, when in a trance, go to the fire and take out large red-hot coals, and carry them about in his hands, put them inside his shirt, etc. Eight times I myself have held a red-hot coal in my hands without injury, when it scorched my face on raising my hand. Once I wished to see if they really would burn, and I said so, and touched a coal [held by Home] with the middle finger of my right hand, and I got a blister as large as a sixpence; I instantly asked him to give me the coal, and I held the part that burnt me in the middle of my hand for three or four minutes, without the least inconvenience. A few weeks ago, I was at a seance with eight others. Of these, seven held a red-hot coal without pain, and the two others could not bear the approach of it; of the seven, four were ladies." - Dialectical Society report, p. 208.
Carrington refuted the speculations of the magician Henry Evans as regards ALL of Home's fire tests by noting not only Crookes' presumed precautions, but also the lack of burning smell in the tests, in "The Physical Phenomena of Spiritualism". This can be further verified by searching "The Gift of DD Home" for the word "fire". See, for more evidence of the authenticity of the tests, the following from appendix M of the SPR review:https://archive.org/stream/journalofsociety04sociuoft#page/136/mode/2up
Regarding the fire tests with Home, McCabe cites in Is Spiritualism Based on Fraud? (p. 78) the famous one as recorded by Mrs. S.C. Hall. He suggests that there is nothing in the narrative countering the possibility of a non-conducting substance being applied to the hair of Hall's husband. It is instructive to compare the primary source with McCabe's animadversions. The original source states: " Dear Lord Dunraven,—You have requested me to recall the circumstances of a séance that took place here several weeks ago. I have much pleasure in doing so, but I never take notes. I am, however, certain of the facts ; though I shall not be able to place them in the order in which they occurred.
" We were nine (a greater number than Mr. Home likes) ; we were seated round the table as usual, in the small drawing room, which communicates with a much larger room ; the folding doors were pushed back into the wall, and the portiers unclosed. I think there was one lamp burning over the table, but a very large fire was blazing away in the large room—I know there was a great deal of light. The Master of Lindsay, the Rev.
Mr. Y------, and his wife, Mr. Hall and myself, Mr. Home,
and the Misses Bertolacci were present. We sat for some little time before the tremulous motion that so frequently indicates stronger manifestations commenced, but it was quickly followed by raps, not only on the table, but in different parts of the room ; the table was moved up and down,—lifted perfectly off the ground—made ' light ' and ' heavy ' at the request of one or two of the gentlemen present ; and after the lapse of, I suppose, nearly an hour, Mr. Home went into a trance. Presently he pushed his chair, or his chair was pushed away—quite away from the table. He got up ; walked about the room in his usual manner ; went to the fire-place ; half knelt on the fender stool ; took up the poker and poked the fire, which was like a red-hot furnace, so as to increase the heat ; held his hands over the fire for some time, and finally drew out of the fire, with his hand, a huge lump of live burning coal, so large that he held it in both hands, as he came from the fire-place in the large room into the small room ; where, seated round the table, we were all watching his movements. Mr. Hall was seated nearly opposite to where I sat ; and I saw Mr. Home, after standing for about half a minute at the back of Mr. Hall's chair, deliberately place the lump of burning coal on his head ! I have often since wondered that I was not frightened ; but I was not ; I had perfect faith that he would not be injured. Some one said— 'Is it not hot?' Mr. Hall answered—'Warm, but not hot ! ' Mr. Home had moved a little away, but returned, still in a trance ; he smiled and seemed quite pleased ; and then proceeded to draw up Mr. Hall's white hair over the red coal. The white hair had the appearance of silver threads, over the red coal. Mr. Home drew the hair into a sort of pyramid, the coal still red, showing beneath the hair ; then, after, I think, four or five minutes, Mr. Home pushed the hair back, and, taking the coal off Mr. Hall's head, he said (in the peculiar low voice in which, when in a trance, he always speaks),
addressing Mrs. Y------, ' Will you have it ? ' She drew
back ; and I heard him murmur, ' Little faith—little faith.' Two or three attempted to touch it, but it burnt their fingers. I said, ' Daniel, bring it to me ; I do not fear to take it.' It was not red all over, as when Mr Home put it on Mr. Hall's head, but it was still red in parts. Mr. Home came and knelt by my side ; I put out my right hand, but he murmured, ' No, not that ; the other hand.' He then placed it in my left hand, where it remained more than a minute. I felt it, as my husband had said, ' warm ' ; yet when I stooped down to examine the coal, my face felt the heat so much that I was obliged to withdraw it. After that Mrs. Y------ took
it, and said she felt no inconvenience. When Mr. Hall brushed his hair at night he found a quantity of cinder dust. Mr. Home was elongated, and all the manifestations that evening were very remarkable ; but I believe your Lordship requested me to relate only what I remember of the coal test.
" Dear Lord Dunraven, sincerely yours,
"ANNA MARIA HALL."
(Mrs. S. C. Hall.)
The following is an additional case of the fire test
witnessed at a séance held at Lady Louisa ------'s, at
Brighton, furnished me by the Countess M. de Pomar. Lady Gomm has permitted me to make use of her name in corroboration of the statement about the red-hot coal being placed in her hand.
" Mr. Home went into a trance ; he walked about the room ; played the piano ; stood behind Mr. Douglas's chair, who also went into a sleep or trance ; and Mr. Home appeared to be speaking with some one about him, and to magnetize him ; he said it was for his good, and would remove his headache finally. Mr. Home went to the fire and took out a large red-hot mass of coal, which he held in his extended hands, and blew up to keep it alight. He walked up and down the room with it, then went to Lady Louisa and wanted to put it in her hands, but she drew back. He then said, * No, you must not have it, for if you have no faith, it will burn you.'"
Podmore dismissed the tests as Home using some "non-conducting" substance, though in light of the temperature shielding and lack of burning smell alone that is clearly inadequate as an explanation. Andrew Lang on pp. 333–339 of The Making of Religion, noted inadequacies in Podmore's arguments, as did Carrington in "The Physical Phenomena of Spiritualism", pp. 399–409. Thurston in "The Physical Phenomena of Mysticism" (as cited above), p. 183 noted additionally, as regards Podmore's general dismissal, "It is hard to believe that Lord Lindsay was hallucinated, or lying, and hardly less difficult to suppose that on each of these eight occasions Home was successful in slipping in, as Podmore suggests, a thin clinker or a pad of ashes between the burning coal and the hand. Also, if he put an innocuous substitute in his own shirt, what became of the real red-hot coal in the meantime? Red-hot coals have a way of betraying their presence to more senses then that of sight if they are left lying on carpets or thrown into water. But what I would more especially insist upon is the audacity of all this playing about with fire. There seems to have been very little of the dare-devil, either physically or morally, in the normal Home when not entranced. Think of the social ruin to which he would have exposed himself if anything had gone wrong. Mr. Jencken stated: "Only within these last few days, a metal ball, heated to redness in the fire, was placed on a lady's head without causing injury," and in the case of another lady on a different occasion, a red-hot coal "was dropped," she said, "on to my white muslin dress, where it remained for some seconds, as it was so hot we all feared to touch it. My dress though made of the finest muslin was not ignited, and we even failed to detect the slightest trace or mark of any kind after examination." Nothing was dearer to Home than the vogue he enjoyed in the aristocratic circles, but if a lady had had to carry a scar for the rest of her life, or had had her dress set on fire as the result of one of these experiments, he must have known that such an incident would not easily have been forgiven or forgotten."
Frank Podmore, in "The Newer Spiritualism", p. 80, expresses difficulties in dealing with the following account from Crookes, “Mr. Home again went to the ﬁre, and, after stirring the hot coal about with his hand, took out a red-hot piece nearly as big as an orange, and, putting it on his right hand, covered it over with his left hand so as to almost completely enclose it, and then blew into the small furnace thus extemporised until the lump of charcoal was nearly white-hot, and then drew my attention to the lambent ﬂame which was ﬂickering over the coal and licking round his ﬁngers; he fell on his knees, looked up in a reverent manner, held up the coal in front, and said: ‘Is not God good? Are not His laws wonderful? ’ ” - he toys with the hypothesis of hallucination in much of Home's phenomena, but admits, that this doesn't apply to this experience of Crookes, and on p. 85, wrote that "It is difﬁcult to see how Sir W. Crookes, if in full possession of his normal senses, could be mistaken in describing the ﬂames licking Home’s ﬁngers. We don’t quite see how some of the things were done, and we leave the subject with an almost painful sense of bewilderment. But to say that because we cannot understand some of the feats, therefore they must have been due to spirits or psychic force, is merely an opiate for the uneasiness of suspended judgment, a refuge from the trouble of thinking." - however, see throughout this piece for refutation of his views of Home.
Definitive rebuttal to the idea of Home's fire handling being a magic trick comes from FWH Myers PSPR IX article "The Experiences of W. Stainton Moses" on pp. 306–309 [particularly William Crookes' commentary on pp. 308–309]: http://books.google.com/books?lr=&output=html&id=BRMrAAAAYAAJ&dq=editions%3ALCCN09022954&jtp=306
John Beloff, writing in chapter 1, "Historical Overview" of Handbook of Parapsychology (Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1977), on p. 9, "Recent historical research (Zorab, 1975), however, has made all these hypotheses difficult to sustain. We can discount straight away the use of machinery, at least where the table levitations were concerned, for the tables in question were not flimsy little card-tables of the sort that one could hoist on the end of one's toes but massive mahogany dining-room tables of the sort could seat a dozen or more at dinner! Next, the idea that Home exercised a veto on those who were to be admitted does not square with the facts. Podmore (1902) grossly underestimated the total number of different individuals who witnessed the phenomena during Home's lifetime, and while no doubt many of them were his friends and supporters, they included also some of his bitterest enemies and critics. Likewise, if many sitters were already convinced beforehand of the truths of Spiritualism, others were professed skeptics, like the Dutch rationalists who who invited Home to Amsterdam hoping to expose him but then had to acknowledge that there was no explanation for what they had observed with their own eyes (Zorab, 1970). The "defective-memory" hypothesis is also quite inadequate to account for more than minor discrepancies. Some of the reports were penned on the same day, and a comparison between contemporaneous and delayed reports shows none of the progressive embroidery of the incidents one would expect on this hypothesis. Thus, the hypnotic hypothesis remains the only serious contender that stops short of a paranormal explanation; after all, there were as yet no recording instruments to prove that the events described actually took place.
Nevertheless, the theory that the events were purely hallucinatory runs into grave difficulties. In the first place, the annals of hypnotism and mesmerism provide no independent evidence of any powers of comparable magnitude. But even if, faute-de-mieux, we attribute to Home this unique power over his sitters we would have to suppose that he could wield it with 100 per cent efficacy. If even one witness for even part of the time had failed to succumb to it, the game would have been up. Yet there is no record of one such witness failing to see, say, a table-levitation, which every one else present claimed to observe, and this is the more telling in as much as investigators were well aware of the danger of falling a victim to Home's charisma and took strenuous precautions against it (Dingwall, 1953; Zorab, 1970). There is also some evidence of tables being broken by a too precipitate descent which is hard to reconcile with an hallucinatory explanation.")
Skeptics who praise Eric Dingwall should quote the full breadth of his writings more often. He noted, in contrast to myths propagated by unscrupulous writers, "There was a time when it would have been possible to examine Home's mediumship with as much care as could have been given to one single branch of scientific research. That opportunity was passed by through the almost criminal negligence of so called scientific men, who, in order to bolster up their own ideas of what nature ought to be, refused even to look at phenomena which appeared at first to contradict their own theories. Of all mediums of whom we have any record Home was probably the most open for investigation. He asked for it; he delighted in it; he held his sittings in either full daylight or in subdued light, only very rarely requiring darkness. His phenomena were extremely varied, of an amazing character, and had abundant testimony in their support." - JASPR Vol. 15, p. 498: http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=njp.32101063849457;view=1up;seq=512
Eric Dingwall, in Zetetic Scholar, 12/13, pp. 154–159, corrected Trevor Hall's views of Home.: https://web.archive.org/web/20140202123407/http://www.tricksterbook.com/truzzi/ZS-Issues-PDFs/ZeteticScholarNos12-13.pdf
Peter Lamont in his book "The First Psychic" (Abacus, 2006) corrected parts of Trevor Hall's view of Home that Dingwall did not address. For instance, Lamont noted in his endnotes, such as endnote 1 for chapter 1, given on p. 279, "Home's birth certificate refers merely to 'Daniel Home'. On the other hand, the aristocratic connection is not without evidential support. According to John Dea, a retired paper-maker of Colington parish, who had family in Currie when William was there, it was a 'fact well known that he was a natural son of the late Earl of Home and was spoken of as such' (SPR .MS 28/139, Home collection, Cambridge University). Furthermore, I have checked the census, and it shows a Dea family in Currie at the time,suggesting John was related to neighbors (or at least acquaintances) of the Homes." And endnote 18 for chapter 2, on p. 282 - "The authenticity of both the middle name, and the claim associated with it, has been a subject of much controversy. The main critic, Trevor Hall, went into somewhat tedious detail to argue that, since Dunglas did not appear on the birth certificate, the name and the associated claim was the invention of the medium. Hall supports his argument by claiming that Home did not use it until much later in life, though he failed to point out that there were several earlier references to the middle name, including a letter addressed to 'Daniel Dunglass Home' from L. Aurelia Ely, Lebanon, dated 29 June 1851 (Home collection, SPR.MS 28/179)."
Dingwall corrected many other parts of Hall's view of Home. For instance, he noted in correction to the view that Home selected his sitters in seances, "In his general treatment of Home's phenomena. Hall is inclined to follow Podmore's guidance in the latter's views on the physical phenomena and quotes passages from his books where his views on Home are given. For example, he says that as Home was treated as a distinguished guest he was able to select his sitters and arrange their positions at the table. This may have occurred at times, but it was clearly not the rule since it was not usual to inform the medium who was going to be invited to the sitting. For instance, Mrs. Honywood, who knew Home well, said that she had often taken Home in her own carriage to the houses of her friends who were strangers to him and had there seen violent movements of furniture at sittings in rooms where she knew that Home had never entered until that moment."
Ray Hyman, in his 1986 IEEE paper given above, also cited, as a basis for his criticism, Frank Podmore's false statement for dismissing the experiments - that Home imposed his own conditions. Contra this, Crookes noted on page 3 of the Sept. 13, 1876 Glasgow Herald, as regards work with the medium Slade (on that, see below), which applies equally to Daniel Dunglas Home: http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=GGgVawPscysC&dat=18760913&printsec=frontpage&hl=en
"I was asked to investigate when Dr. Slade first came over, and I mentioned my conditions. I have never investigated except under these conditions. It must be at my own house, and my own selection of friends and spectators, under my own conditions, and I may do whatever I like to make the physical apparatus test the things themselves, and have not trusted more than is possible to my senses."
Joseph McCabe makes many misrepresentations of the work of William Crookes with Daniel Dunglas Home, and I suggest reading Crookes' Experimental Investigation of a New Force for cross-referencing. McCabe states on p. 140 of his Spiritualism: A Popular History that Crookes modified tests in favor of Home's whims, however, Crookes actually states, "Before Mr. Home entered the room, the apparatus had been arranged in position, and he had not even the object of some parts of it explained before sitting down. It may, perhaps, be worth while to add, for the purpose of anticipating some critical remarks which are likely to be made, that in the afternoon I called for Mr. Home at his apartments, and when there he suggested that, as he had to change his dress, perhaps I should not object to continue our conversation in his bedroom. I am, therefore, enabled to state positively, that no machinery, apparatus, or contrivance of any sort was secreted about his person." Of the accordion, Crookes states "The accordion was a new one, having been purchased by myself for the purpose of these experiments at Wheatstone’s, in Conduit Street Mr. Home had neither handled nor seen the instrument before the commencement of the test experiments."
The skeptical biographer William Brock for his comments about "diversionary" signals in the Crookes-D.D. Home experiments relies on cherry picked critiques of the later notes on seances with DD Home from Oppenheim (see p. 345): http://books.google.com/books?id=VcBs8enYCCcC&printsec=frontcover&dq=the+other+world+oppenheim&hl=en&sa=X&ei=dndGVI_9H6r1iQKetYG4DA&ved=0CB8Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=345&f=false - though various noises were made by Home in the later seances - religious commentary, calling attention to himself as phenomena arose, etc., there seems to be no support for the view that he made "diversionary signals".
Frank Podmore was a major source of criticism, though in the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, Volume 1 (1907), p. 502, we find the following:
"STATEMENT OF SIR WILLIAM CROOKES.
[We asked Sir William Crookes if he wished to see Mr. Frank Podmore’s article and he replied that he had not time to consider it, but he requested us to formulate our questions, to which we desired an answer. The following letter from him is in reply to the question whether he could furnish further particulars in regard to the statements which he had made respecting Home’s mediumship. These statements were made at the conclusion of a paper by Sir Oliver Lodge, in the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, Vol. VI., pp. 341-345. We quote these statements after giving his letter in reply to our inquiry.—-Editor.]
7 Kensington Park Gardens, London, W. August 10th, 1907. Hereward Carrington, Esq,
Dear Sir :—If you will kindly read my introduction to the series of séances with D. D. Home, as printed on pp. 98-100 of Part XV. of the Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, you will, I think, find answers to all your queries, written with more care and accuracy than I could now write them at this distance of time and in the hurry of other avocations. I have no objection to your reprinting this Introduction in your Journal. Indeed, I should like it to be reprinted, as it gives a clear statement of my present position in respect to these phenomena.
I remain, truly yours,
The article then follows with the relevant commentary from the introduction.
You would think on account of the critics' distortions that Crookes' seances were of low quality, though as Lang notes in "Historical Mysteries", "Into the details of the mechanical tests as to alterations of weights I cannot go. Mr. Angelo Lewis (Professor Hoffman), an expert in conjuring, says that, accepting Sir William's veracity, and that he was not hallucinated, the phenomena 'seem to me distinctly to be outside the range of trick, and therefore to be good evidence, so far as we can trust personal evidence at all, of Home's power of producing motion, without contact, in inanimate bodies.' Sir William himself writes (1890): 'I have discovered no flaw in the experiments, or in the reasoning I based upon them.' The notes of the performances were written while they were actually in course of proceeding. Thus 'the table rose completely off the ground several times, whilst the gentlemen present took a candle, and, kneeling down, deliberately examined the position of Mr. Home's knees and feet, and saw the three feet of the table quite off the ground.' Every observer in turn satisfied himself of the facts; they could not all be hallucinated.": http://www.online-literature.com/andrew_lang/historical-mysteries/8/
Lewis is able to make his commentary because of his examination of the full context of the sittings. Regarding that, William Crookes in JSPR Vol. 6, pp. 344–345 noted: "Home always refused to sit in the dark. He said that with firmness and perseverance the phenomena could be got just as well in the light, and even if some of the things were not so strong, the evidence of one's eyesight was worth making some sacrifice for. In almost all the seances I had with Home there was plenty of light to see all that occurred, and not only to enable me to write down notes of what was taking place but to read my notes without difficulty. Home was very anxious to let everyone present be satisfied that he was not doing any of the things himself—too anxious, I sometimes thought, for frequently he would interfere with the progress and development of what was going on by insisting that some sceptic or other should come round and take hold of his hands and feet to be sure he was not doing anything himself. At times he would push his chair back and move right away from the table when things were moving on it, and ask those furthest from him to come round and satisfy themselves that he had nothing to do with the movements. I used frequently to beg him to be quiet, knowing that if he would not move about in his eagerness to convince us of his genuineness, the strength of the phenomena would probably increase to such a degree that no further evidence would be needed that their production was beyond the powers of the medium."
"During the whole of my knowledge of D. D. Home, extending over several years, I never once saw the slightest occurrence that would make me suspicious that he was attempting to play tricks. He was scrupulously sensitive on this point, and never felt hurt at anyone taking precautions against deception. He sometimes, in the early days of our acquaintance, used to say to me before a stance, 'Now, William, I want you to act as if I was a recognised conjurer, and was going to cheat you and play all the tricks I could. Take every precaution you can devise against me, and move about and look under the table or where else you like. Don't consider my feelings. I shall not be offended. I know that the more carefully I am tested the more convinced will everyone be that these abnormal occurrences are not of my own doings.' Latterly I used jokingly to say to him, 'Let us sit round the fire and have a quiet chat, and see if our friends are here and will do anything for us. We won't have any tests or precautions.' On these occasions, when only my own family were present with him, some of the most convincing phenomena took place."
"I think it is a cruel thing that a man like D. D, Home, gifted with such extraordinary powers, and always willing, nay, anxious, to place himself at the disposal of men of science for investigation, should have lived so many years in London, and with one or two exceptions no one of weight in the scientific world should have thought it worth while to look into the truth or falsity of things which were being talked about in society on all sides. To those who knew him Home was one of the most lovable of men, and his perfect genuineness and uprightness were beyond suspicion, but by those who did not know him he was called a charlatan, and those who believed in him were considered little better than lunatics.": http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=uc1.b3967794;view=1up;seq=368
A canard has been levied against William Crookes that his eyesight was bad, therefore his observations in his experiments with Daniel Dunglas Home were worthless. This comes from Edward Clodd, an unrelible source. Aside from the fact that his observations were corroborated by others, primary sources are especially useful in disposing of myths, for instance, William Crookes said, refuting the idea that he had bad eyesight in this period, ""Home always had a great objection to darkness, and we generally had plenty of light. I tried several experiments on lighting the room. Once I illuminated it with Geissler vacuum tubes electrically excited, but the result was not satisfactory; the nickering of the light distracted one's attention. Another time I lighted the room with an alcohol flame coloured yellow with soda. This gave everyone a ghastly look, but the phenomena that took place were very strong, and I was told it was a good light for the purpose. One of the best seances I ever had was. when the full moon was shining into the room. The blinds and curtains were drawn back and there was light enough to enable one to read small print." - JSPR 6, p. 342: http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=uc1.b3967794;view=1up;seq=366
McCabe dismisses the accordion experiments on the same page on account of alleged scanty lighting. Crookes stated, "The meetings took place in the evening, in a large room lighted by gas."
The citation of critics of Carpenter's "Quarterly Review" article, critiquing Crookes for testing Home with the accordion under the table, is a cynical joke in light of the notorious falsehoods it contained, but it the rebuttal to the article, Crookes stated, "My reviewer objects to the accordion being tried in a cage under the table. My object is easily explained. I must use my own methods of experiment. I deemed them good under the circumstances, and if the reviewer had seen the experiment before complaining it would have been more like a scientific man. But the cage is by no means essential, although, in a test experiment, it is an additional safeguard. On several subsequent occasions the accordion has played over the table, and in other parts of my room away from a table, the keys moving and the bellows action going on. An accordion was selected because it is absolutely impossible to play tricks with it when held in the manner indicated. I flatly deny that, held by the end away from the keys, the performance on an accordion “with one hand is a juggling trick often exhibited at country fairs,” unless special mechanism exists for the purpose. Did ever the reviewer or anyone else witness this phenomenon at a country fair or elsewhere? The statement is only equalled in absurdity by the argument of a recent writer, who, in order to prove that the accounts of Mr. Home's levitations could not be true, says, “An Indian juggler could sit down in the middle of Trafalgar Square, and then slowly and steadily rise in the air to a height of five or six feet, still sitting, and as slowly come down again.” Curious logic this, to argue that a certain phenomenon is impossible to Mr. Home because a country bumpkin or an Indian juggler can produce it.": http://www.esalen.org/ctr-archive/crookes-researches.html#sf
See p. 297 of "The Gift of DD Home" for a counter to the objections of Carpenter on the accordion phenomena from another observer: http://books.google.com/books?id=RGkyAQAAMAAJ
Regarding the accordion phenomena with Home, McCabe suggests trickery in Is Spiritualism Based on Fraud?, p. 80. This is accomplished by ignoring items that refute his hypothesis. I will now cite the relevant excerpts from Crookes' text:
"The height of this cage was such that it would just slip under my dining table, but be too close to the top to allow of the hand being introduced into the interior, or to admit of a foot being pushed underneath it." (this is why Crookes conducted the experiment in the way he did)
"Mr. Home took the accordion between the thumb and middle finger of one hand at the opposite end to the keys (see woodcut, Fig. 1), (to save repetition this will be subsequently called “in the usual manner.”) Having previously opened the bass key myself, and the cage being drawn from under the table so as just to allow the accordion to be passed in with its keys downwards, it was pushed back as close as Mr. Home's arm would permit, but without hiding his hand from those next to him (see Fig. 2)."
"Presently the accordion was seen by those on either side of Mr. Home to move about, oscillating and going round and round the cage, and playing at the same time. Dr. A. B. now looked under the table, and said that Mr. Home’s hand appeared quite still whilst the accordion was moving about emitting distinct sounds." (refutes separate music box suggestion)
"Mr. Home still holding the accordion in the usual manner in the cage, his feet being held by those next him, and his other hand resting on the table, we heard distinct and separate notes sounded in succession, and then a simple air was played. As such a result could only have been produced by the various keys of the instrument being acted upon in harmonious succession, this was considered by those present to be a crucial experiment. But the sequel was still more striking, for Mr. Home then removed his hand altogether from the accordion, taking it quite out of the cage, and placed it in the hand of the person next to him. The instrument then continued to play, no person touching it and no hand being near it." (contra McCabe's hook suggestion, this was Crookes' own accordion, so it would not have played a melody in this way)
"The accordion was now again taken without any visible touch from Mr. Home’s hand, which he removed from it entirely and placed upon the table, where it was taken by the person next to him, and seen, as now were both his hands, by all present. I and two of the others present saw the accordion distinctly floating about inside the cage with no visible support. This was repeated a second time, after a short interval. Mr. Home presently re-inserted his hand in the cage and again took hold of the accordion. It then commenced to play, at first chords and runs, and afterwards a well-known sweet and plaintive melody, which it executed perfectly in a very beautiful manner. Whilst this tune was being played, I grasped Mr. Home’s arm, below the elbow, and gently slid my hand down it until I touched the top of the accordion. He was not moving a muscle. His other hand was on the table, visible to all, and his feet were under the feet of those next to him."
Whilst it is true that nobody specifically referred to the manipulation of keys in the accordion experiment (reference was made to "the accordion was seen by those on each side to be waving about in a somewhat curious manner; then sounds came from it, and finally several notes were played in succession. Whilst this was going on, my assistant went under the table, and reported that the accordion was expanding and contracting; at the same time it was seen that the hand of Mr. Home by which it was held was quite still, his other hand resting on the table." and "Presently the accordion was seen by those on either side of Mr. Home to move about, oscillating and going round and round the cage, and playing at the same time. Dr. A. B. now looked under the table, and said that Mr. Home’s hand appeared quite still whilst the accordion was moving about emitting distinct sounds.")), in other work with Crookes, this was addressed. But first, one extraordinary event occurring with Crookes' work with Home:
Alfred Russell Wallace, in My Life, vol. II, p. 304, stated "Here I attended many seances - on one occasion when Home was the medium and Mr. (now Sir William) Crookes was present. As I was the only one of the company who had not witnessed any of the remarkable phenomena that occurred in his presence, I was invited to go under the table while an accordion was playing, held in Home's hand, his other hand being on the table. The room was well lighted, and I distinctly saw Home's hand holding the instrument, which moved up and down and played a tune without any visible cause. On stating this, he said, 'Now I will take away my hand - which he did; but the instrument went on playing, and I saw a detached hand holding it while Home's two hands were seen above the table by all present. This was one of the ordinary phenomena, and thousands of persons have witnessed it; and when we consider that Home's seances almost always took place in private houses at which he was a guest, and with people absolutely above suspicion of collusion with an impostor, and also either in the daytime or in a fully illuminated room, it will be admitted that no form of legerdemain will explain what occurred."
Now for the rebuttal: In William Crookes' "Notes of seances with D.D. Home" (PSPR 6: 98-127), on p. 119, it is written, "we heard the accordion fall heavily to the ground. It had been suspended in the air behind the chair where Mr. Home had been sitting. When it fell Mr. Home was about 10ft. from it.
Mr. Home still standing behind Mrs. I. and Mr. Wr. Crookes, the accordion was both seen and heard to move about behind him without his hands touching it. It then played a tune without contact and floating in the air.
Mr. Home then took the accordion in one hand and held it out so that we could all see it (he was still standing up behind Mrs. I. and Mr. Wr. Crookes). We then saw the accordion expand and contract and heard a tune played. Mrs. Wm. Crookes and Mr. Home saw a light on the lower part of the accordion, where the keys were, and we then heard and saw the keys clicked and depressed one after the other fairly and deliberately, as if to show us that the power doing it, although invisible (or nearly so) to us, had full control over the instrument.
A beautiful tune was then played whilst Mr. Home was standing up holding the accordion out in full view of everyone.
Mr. Home then came round behind me and telling me to hold my left arm out placed the accordion under my. arm, the keys hanging down and the upper part pressing upwards against my upper arm. He then left go and the i accordion remained there. He then placed his two hands one on each of my shoulders. In this position, no one touching the accordion but myself, and every one noticing what was taking place, the instrument played notes but no tune."
In other work with Crookes, this was also addressed. Regarding the claim ofabout keys never having been depressed by Crookes and his fellow observers, Thurston, in his writing on the accordion phenomena cited below, wrote:
Sir William Crookes, F.R.S., speaking of a séance held at the house of Miss Douglas, 81 South Audley Street, London, W., on May 9, 1871, records in his contemporary notes:
“I took particular note that Mr. Home’s feet had boots on and were both quiet, at some distance from the instrument, and that although the keyed end was rising and falling vigorously and the keys moving as the music required, no hand, strings, wires or anything else could be seen touching that end.”
He goes on to remark that the room. was lit by four candles, one on the table, two on the mantlepiece, one on a side table, and that there was a wood fire in the grate, though this was rather dull. The accordion was then given to others, Home's two hands remaining on the table, and while they held it, it played for a time.14 Similarly Crookes’ notes of another sitting at the same house record that “we then heard and saw the keys clicked and depressed one after another, fairly and deliberately, as if to show that the power doing it had full control over the instrument.”15 On this occasion three spirit lamps were used to examine the phenomenon at close quarters."
Of other accordion phenomena Crookes wrote: "A medium, walking into my dining-room, cannot, while seated in one part of the room with a number of persons keenly watching him, by trickery make an accordion play in my own hand when I hold it key downwards, or cause the same accordion to float about the room playing all the time. He cannot introduce machinery which will wave window-curtains or pull up Venetian blinds 8 feet off, tie a knot in a handkerchief and place it in a far comer of the room, sound notes on a distant piano, cause a card-plate to float about the room, raise a water-bottle and tumbler from the table, make a coral necklace rise on end, cause a fan to move about and fan the company, or set in motion a pendulum when enclosed in a glass case firmly cemented to the wall.": http://www.esalen.org/ctr-archive/crookes-researches.html#no [for similar accordion phenomena, see the JASPR vol. 15 article "The Divinity Student and DD Home": http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=njp.32101063849457;view=1up;seq=237]
In the Dialectical Society report, pp. 138–139, a sitter Coleman describes how Home (or spirits, or whatever) psychokinetically made an accordion play in his own hand in the manner that Crookes described in the passage quoted directly above: https://archive.org/stream/reportonspiritu00socigoog#page/n156/mode/2up/search/coleman
Cox, in "The Mechanism of Man", Vol. II, pp. 450–451, noted similar phenomena: https://archive.org/stream/mechanismman00coxgoog#page/n462/mode/2up
And Alfred Russell Wallace, in My Life, vol. II, p. 304, stated "Here I attended many seances - on one occasion when Home was the medium and Mr. (now Sir William) Crookes was present. As I was the only one of the company who had not witnessed any of the remarkable phenomena that occurred in his presence, I was invited to go under the table while an accordion was playing, held in Home's hand, his other hand being on the table. The room was well lighted, and I distinctly saw Home's hand holding the instrument, which moved up and down and played a tune without any visible cause. On stating this, he said, 'Now I will take away my hand - which he did; but the instrument went on playing, and I saw a detached hand holding it while Home's two hands were seen above the table by all present. This was one of the ordinary phenomena, and thousands of persons have witnessed it; and when we consider that Home's seances almost always took place in private houses at which he was a guest, and with people absolutely above suspicion of collusion with an impostor, and also either in the daytime or in a fully illuminated room, it will be admitted that no form of legerdemain will explain what occurred." [note how utterly different this statement is from those of hostile secondary sources]: https://archive.org/stream/myliferecordofev02wall#page/304/mode/2up
see also appendix J of the SPR review, regarding the accordion floating around the room on a different occasion by a different sitter, with nobody holding it, and some even more striking phenomena: https://archive.org/stream/journalofsociety04sociuoft#page/132/mode/2up
The scholar Herbert Thurston, in the chapter The Accordion Playing of D. D. Home, from his book "Church and Spiritualism", published in 1933, and reprinted in the PsyPioneer Journal, a publication dedicated to the serious discussion of Spiritualism and Psychical Research, in Vol. 10 No. 5 - May 2014, on pp. 142–155, counters claims of critics about the accordion phenomena (e.g. - the claim of skeptics, not sitters, that it played only "Home Sweet Home" and "The Last Rose of Summer"), totally falsifies claims that Home was never searched with his seances, etc. It counters the claim that in his accordion performances Home played only a couple of tunes, and it counters both Frank Podmore's claim that the accordion feat was a concealed music-box, and Carlos María de Heredia's claim that a secret accomplice was playing another accordion. As regards comparison to Slade on the accordion phenomena, Carrington countered this in "The Physical Phenomena of Spiritualism", though I think him to be biased on this. The speculations of Robison in "Spirit Slate Writing and Kindred Phenomena", pp. 104–105, as to Slade's production of the phenomena: https://archive.org/stream/spiritslatewrit00robigoog#page/n118/mode/2up, are in opposition to the facts of the experiment as recorded on pp. 39–40 of Zollner's "Transcendental Physics": https://archive.org/stream/transcendentalph00zlrich#page/38/mode/2up
The comparison to the medium Francis Ward Monck can be refuted, but as regards claims against Monck on this account, note this, from Wallace: http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/wallace/S416.htm
Joseph McCabe's suggestion for how the Crookes spring-balance experiments were accomplished, in Is Spiritualism Based on Fraud?, p. 80., is that foot manipulation on the side opposite Home's fingers will explain them.
The picture in figure 3 precludes this explanation. Crookes also stated "In order to see whether it was possible to produce much effect on the spring balance by pressure at the place where Mr. Home’s fingers had been, I stepped upon the table and stood on one foot at the end of the board. Dr. A. B., who was observing the index of the balance, said that the whole weight of my body (140 lbs.) so applied only sunk the index 1½ lbs., or 2 lbs. when I jerked up and down. Mr. Home had been sitting in a low easy-chair, and could not, therefore, had he tried his utmost, have exerted any material influence on these results. I need scarcely add that his feet as well as his hands were closely guarded by all in the room." (emphasis added)
This explanation also ignores the primary source description from best experiments:
Experiment I.—The apparatus having been properly adjusted before Mr. Home entered the room, he was brought in, and asked to place his fingers in the water in the copper vessel, N. He stood up and dipped the tips of the fingers of his right hand in the water, his other hand and his feet being held. When he said he felt a power, force, or influence, proceeding from his hand, I set the clock going, and almost immediately the end B of the board was seen to descend slowly and remain down for about 10 seconds; it then descended a little further, and afterwards rose to its normal height. It then descended again, rose suddenly, gradually sunk for 17 seconds, and finally rose to its normal height, where it remained till the experiment was concluded.
The lowest point marked on the glass was equivalent to a direct pull of about 5000 grains. The accompanying figure (5) is a copy of the curve traced on the glass.
Experiment II.—Contact through water having proved to be as effectual as actual mechanical contact, I wished to see if the power or force could affect the weight, either through other portions of the apparatus or through the air. The glass vessel and iron stand, &c., were therefore removed,as an unnecessary complication, and Mr. Home's hands were placed on the stand of the apparatus at P (Fig. 2). A gentleman present put his hand on Mr. Home's hands, and his foot on both Mr. Home's feet, and I also watched him closely all the time. At the proper moment the clock was again set going; the board descended and rose in an irregular manner, the result being a curved tracing on the glass, of which Fig. 6 is a copy.
Experiment III.—Mr. Home was now placed one foot from the board A B, on one side of it. His hands and feet again set going; the board descended and rose in an irregular manner, the result being a curved tracing on the glass, of which Fig. 6 is a copy.
Experiment III.—Mr. Home was now placed one foot from the board A B, on one side of it. His hands and feet were firmly grasped by a bystander, and another tracing, of which Fig. 7 is a copy, was taken on the moving glass plate.
Experiment IV.—(Tried on an occasion when the power was stronger than on the previous occasions). Mr. Home was now placed 3 feet from the apparatus, his hands and feet being tightly held. The clock was set going when he gave the word, and the end B of the board soon descended, and again rose in an irregular manner, as shown in Fig. 8." (This appears not only in the primary source, but also in a secondary source, Camille Flammarion's Mysterious Psychic Forces, pp. 220-222)
A refutation of the full set of commentary of critics regarding the Crookes spring-balance psychokinesis experiments has occurred here, using the source Barry Wiley relies on in his book The Thought-Reader Craze for his critique about the Crookes experiments being a part of a larger test seance: http://monkeywah.typepad.com/paranormalia/2013/05/dean-radins-psi-research-list.html?cid=6a00d8341c6d8553ef017eeb285860970d#comment-6a00d8341c6d8553ef017eeb285860970d
"But ok, since I have the book "Crookes and the Spirit World" in my possession, I will debunk the debunker. If you don't know, this book is a collection of Crookes' actual writings and correspondences about his experiments.
Point 1: Yes, the experiments were conducted in Crookes' own laboratory and that consisted of a room with his scientific apparatuses in it. The exact dimensions of the room don't really matter and don't really have any bearing on the experiments.
Point 2: Crookes states: "I called for Mr. Home at his apartments, and when there he suggested that, as he had to change his dress, perhaps I should not object to continue our conversation in his bedroom. I am, therefore, enabled to state positively, that no machinery, apparatus, or contrivance of any sort was secreted about his person." (24) In other words, Crookes carefully watched Mr. Home as he dressed and saw no evidence of him placing any device about his person.
Point 3: Crookes never said he was forced to sit far away from Home. He states: "Mr. Home placed the tips of his fingers lightly on the extreme end of the mahogany board which was resting on the support, whilst Dr. A. B. and myself sat, one on each side of it, watching for any effect which might be produced." (28) He makes no mention of sitting far away. In fact he says, "his feet as well as his hands were closely guarded by all in the room" (28) [unfortunately Wiley is in error on this - and as regards Crookes taking notes, it is important to note that Crookes' observations were independently verified. He noted, "I have now given a plain unvarnished statement of the facts from copious notes written at the time the occurrences were taking place, and copied out in full immediately after. Indeed, it would be fatal to the object I have in view—that of urging the scientific investigation of these phenomena—were I to exaggerate ever so little; for although to my readers Dr. A. B. is at present represented by incorporeal initials, to me the letters represent a power in the scientific world that would certainly convict me if I were to prove an untrustworthy narrator."
"Mr. Home now of his own accord took a small hand-bell and a little card match-box, which happened to be near, and placed one under each hand, to satisfy us, as he said, that he was not producing the downward pressure (see Fig. 3). The very slow oscillation of the spring balance became more marked, and Dr. A. B., watching the index, said that he saw it descend to 6½ lbs. The normal weight of the board as so suspended being 3 lbs., the additional downward pull was therefore 3½ lbs. On looking immediately afterwards at the automatic register, we saw that the index had at one time descended as low as 9 lbs., showing a maximum pull of 6 lbs. upon a board whose normal weight was 3 lbs.
In order to see whether it was possible to produce much effect on the spring balance by pressure at the place where Mr. Home's fingers had been, I stepped upon the table and stood on one foot at the end of the board. Dr. A. B., who was observing the index of the balance, said that the whole weight of my body (140 lbs.) so applied only sunk the index 1½ lbs., or 2 lbs. when I jerked up and down. Mr. Home had been sitting in a low easy-chair, and could not, therefore, had he tried his utmost, have exerted any material influence on these results. I need scarcely add that his feet as well as his hands were closely guarded by all in the room.
This experiment appears to me more striking, if possible, than the one with the accordion. As will be seen on referring to the cut (Fig. 3), the board was arranged perfectly horizontally, and it was particularly noticed that Mr. Home's fingers were not at any time advanced more than 1½ inches from the extreme end, as shown by a pencil-mark, which, with Dr. A. B.’s acquiescence, I made at the time. Now, the wooden foot being also 1½ inches wide, and resting flat on the table, it is evident that no amount of pressure exerted within this space of 1½ inches could produce any action on the balance. Again, it is also evident that when the end furthest from Mr. Home sank, the board would turn on the further edge of this foot as on a fulcrum. The arrangement was consequently that of a see-saw, 36 inches in length, the fulcrum being inches from one end; were he therefore to have exerted a downward pressure, it would have been in opposition to the force which was causing the other end of the board to move down."]
Point 4: Crookes states that the room was lit by gas when the experiments with the board and balance were conducted. He further states in another section of his writing that: "Indeed, except on two occasions, when, for some particular experiments of my own, light was excluded, everything which I have witnessed with him [Home] has taken place in the light." (111)
Point 5: Crookes considered the individuals present "irreproachable witnesses". They included Dr. Huggins, F.R.S., Mr. Serjeant Cox, Mr. Crookes, Mrs. Crookes, Mr. W. Crookes, Mrs. W. Crookes, Mrs. Humphrey, Miss Crookes, and Mr. Gimingham. (172) They did not assist Home. Besides, the way the experiment was set up I'm pretty sure Crookes or someone present would have caught the person trying to aid Home by passing him an apparatus or by trying to effect a pressure on the board.
Point 6: Where is this in the reports? Give me a specific reference. From what I can see there is no evidence that Home was trying to divert attention to the other side of the room. I suspect this is just a deliberate lie [...]. [this is as regards diversionary signals]
Point 7: As far as cheating, Crookes never detected this and states that the facts he attests to "have all taken place in my own house, at times appointed by myself, and under circumstances which absolutely precluded the employment of the very simplest instrumental aids." (110)
Point 8: Crookes states that a passing train could not produce the effects and invites witnesses to verify the fact. He calls this assertion "utterly baseless" (72) [he continues, "but as he is careful to tell us that in this particular case the “fact” is not one of his own invention, what is to be said of his discretion in believing his “highly intelligent witness”? No such occurrence took place; nor will a passing railway train produce a ripple on the surface of water in the basin in my room. I invite the “highly intelligent witness” to verify the fact."]
Point 9: Crookes states: "I have chosen my own circle of friends, have introduced any hard-headed unbeliever whom I pleased, and have generally imposed my own terms, which have been carefully chosen to prevent the possibility of fraud" (110)
Point 10: Crookes performed numerous experiments with not only Home but other mediums as well. These experiments with Home were, in fact, repeated many times with many different apparatuses. I endeavor you to do some actual research so you can read about them. [in addition to noting replications, e.g., "A committee of scientific men met Mr. Home some months ago at St. Petersburg. They had one meeting only, which was attended with negative results; and on the strength of this they published a report highly unfavourable to Mr. Home. The explanation of this failure, which is all they have accused him of, appears to me quite simple. Whatever the nature of Mr. Home’s power, it is very variable, and at times entirely absent. It is obvious that the Russian experiment was tried when the force was at a minimum. The same thing has frequently happened within my own experience. A party of scientific men met Mr. Home at my house, and the results were as negative as those at St Petersburg. Instead, however, of throwing up the inquiry we patiently repeated the trial a second and a third time, when we met with results which were positive."
As regards the replications of others, Crookes wrote, "I am informed by my friend Professor Boutlerow,* that during the last winter, he tried almost the same experiments as those here detailed, and with still more striking results. The normal tension on the dynamometer being 100 lbs., it was increased to about 150 lbs., Mr. Home’s hands being placed in contact with the apparatus in such a manner that any exertion of power on his part would diminish, instead of increase, the tension."
and there are of course his own modified replications - see his article Some Further Experiments on Psychic Force - as Crookes noted, "The objection has been raised that announcements of such magnitude should not be made on the strength of one or two experiments hastily performed. I reply that the conclusions were not arrived at hastily, nor on the results of two or three experiments only. In my former paper (“Quarterly Journal of Science,” page 340), I remarked:—“Not until I had witnessed these facts some half-dozen times, and scrutinised them with all the critical acumen I possess, did I become convinced of their objective reality.” Before fitting up special apparatus for these experiments, I had seen on five separate occasions, objects varying in weight from 25 to 100 lbs., temporarily influenced in such a manner, that I, and others present could with difficulty lift them from the floor. Wishing to ascertain whether this was a physical fact, or merely due to a variation in the power of our own strength under the influence of imagination, I tested with a weighing machine the phenomenon on two subsequent occasions when I had an opportunity of meeting Mr. Home at the house of a friend. On the first occasion, the increase of weight was from 8 lbs. normally, to 36 lbs., 48 lbs., and 46 lbs., in three successive experiments tried under strict scrutiny. On the second occasion, tried about a fortnight after, in the presence of other observers, I found the increase of weight to be from 8 lbs. to 23 lbs., 43 lbs., and 27 lbs., in three successive trials, varying the conditions. As I had the entire management of the above-mentioned experimental trials, employed an instrument of great accuracy, and took every care to exclude the possibility of the results being influenced by trickery, I was not unprepared for a satisfactory result when the fact was properly tested in my own laboratory. The meeting on the occasion formerly described was, therefore, for the purpose of confirming my previous observations by the application of crucial tests, with carefully arranged apparatus of a still more delicate nature." "Experiment I.—The apparatus having been properly adjusted before Mr. Home entered the room, he was brought in, and asked to place his fingers in the water in the copper vessel, N. He stood up and dipped the tips of the fingers of his right hand in the water, his other hand and his feet being held. When he said he felt a power, force, or influence, proceeding from his hand, I set the clock going, and almost immediately the end B of the board was seen to descend slowly and remain down for about 10 seconds; it then descended a little further, and afterwards rose to its normal height. It then descended again, rose suddenly, gradually sunk for 17 seconds, and finally rose to its normal height, where it remained till the experiment was concluded. The lowest point marked on the glass was equivalent to a direct pull of about 5000 grains. The accompanying figure (5) is a copy of the curve traced on the glass.
Experiment II.—Contact through water having proved to be as effectual as actual mechanical contact, I wished to see if the power or force could affect the weight, either through other portions of the apparatus or through the air. The glass vessel and iron stand, &c., were therefore removed,as an unnecessary complication, and Mr. Home's hands were placed on the stand of the apparatus at P (Fig. 2). A gentleman present put his hand on Mr. Home's hands, and his foot on both Mr. Home's feet, and I also watched him closely all the time. At the proper moment the clock was again set going; the board descended and rose in an irregular manner, the result being a curved tracing on the glass, of which Fig. 6 is a copy.
Experiment III.—Mr. Home was now placed one foot from the board A B, on one side of it. His hands and feet again set going; the board descended and rose in an irregular manner, the result being a curved tracing on the glass, of which Fig. 6 is a copy. Experiment III.—Mr. Home was now placed one foot from the board A B, on one side of it. His hands and feet were firmly grasped by a bystander, and another tracing, of which Fig. 7 is a copy, was taken on the moving glass plate.
Experiment IV.—(Tried on an occasion when the power was stronger than on the previous occasions). Mr. Home was now placed 3 feet from the apparatus, his hands and feet being tightly held. The clock was set going when he gave the word, and the end B of the board soon descended, and again rose in an irregular manner, as shown in Fig. 8.""
...Crookes also cited the work of Robert Hare, and the work of de Gasparin, Thury, and the Dialectical society as corroborating evidence. For that, see above. Further replication by Crookes witnessed by many others is provided in his Notes on Seances With D.D. Home.
Incidentally, that article contains an excerpt,, pp. 100-101:
"Phenomena.—The table tilted several times in four or five directions at an angle of about 25deg., and kept inclined sufficiently long for those who wished to look under with a candle and examine how the hands of Mr. Home and the others present were touching it. Sometimes it stood on two legs, and sometimes' it was balanced on one. I, who had brought a spring balance in my pocket, was now invited by Mr. Home to try an experiment in the alteration of weight.
As it would have been inconvenient without disturbing the sitting to have experimented on the total weight of the table, the balance was hooked under one edge of the table, and the force required to tilt it measured.
Experiment 1.—" Be light." An upward pull of 2lb. required to lift one of the feet off the ground, all hands lightly touching the top of the table.
Experiment 2.—"Be heavy." As soon as this was said, the table creaked, shuddered, and appeared to settle itself firmly into the floor. The effect was as if the power of a gigantic electro-magnet had been suddenly turned on, the table constituting the armature. All hands were, as before, very lightly touching the upper surface of the table with their lingers. A force of 36 lb. was now required to raise the foot of the table from the floor. I lifted it up and down four or five times, and the index of the balance kept pretty constant at 36 lb., not varying more than 1/2 lb. Whilst this was going on, each person's hands were noticed. They were touching the table so lightly that their aggregate downward pressure could not have been many ounces. Mr. Home once lifted his hands for a moment quite off the table. His feet were tucked back under his chair the whole time.
Experiment3.—"Be light." Conditions the same as before. An upward pull of 7 lb. required to tilt the table.
Experiment 4.—"Be heavy." The same creaking noise as in Experiment 2 was again heard. Every person (except Mr. O. B. and myself, who was standing up trying the experiment) put the ends of the fingers underneath the table top,the palms being upwards and the thumbs visible, so that, if any force were unconsciously exerted, it should tend to diminish the weight. Ac the same time Mr. O. R. took a candle and stooped under the table to see that no one was touching the legs of the table with their knees or feet. I also stooped down occasionally to verify Mr. O. R. 's statement that all was fair beneath. Upon applying the spring balance, I saw that 1 the table was pulled up at 45 lb. Immediately this was announced I felt an increase of weight, and, after a few trials, the pull was increased to 48 lb., at which point the index stood steady, the leg of the table being about 3in. off the floor.
Experiment 5.—"Be heavy." The conditions were the same as before, a little more care being taken by the sitters to keep their feet well tucked under their chairs. Hands touching the under side of the table top as before. The index of the balance rose steadily, without the table moving in the least, until it pointed to 461b. At this point the table rose an inch, when the hook of the balance slipped off, and the table returned to its place with a crash. The iron hook had bent out sufficiently to prevent it holding the table firmly any longer, so the experiments were obliged to be discontinued.
(After the seance was over, the normal weight of the table was taken. Its total weight was 321b. In order to tilt it in the manner described in the experiments a pull of 8 lb. was required. When lifted straight up at three equidistant points, the spring-balance being at one point, a pull of 10 lb. was required. The accuracy of the balance could be depended on to about 1/4 lb., not more.)"
This replicates phenomena given at the Amsterdam seances Home had with skeptics, as cited in the Zorab article given below, in that article, they noted, "We then ordered the table to become as light as possible so that we should be able to lift it with one finger. And so it came to pass. When the order was reversed (i.e., to increase the table's weight) the table could hardly be lifted at all in spite of our utmost efforts." (p. 55)]
Crookes responded to initial criticisms like that of Balfour Stewart and WB Carpenter in his 1874 text - the sections "Some Further Experiments on Psychic Force", "Psychic Force and Modern Spiritualism",and "Correspondence" also, the scientific community was not universally hostile to the work - see, for example, this commentary in Nature: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v4/n92/abs/004279a0.html
But as to later criticisms, William Crookes, in JSPR Vol. 9, p. 324, also noted: "For nearly twenty-five years I have been attacked on account of these experiments, and I have not replied. All the attacks I have seen have been criticisms of one or two isolated experiments or statements I made, with an entire avoidance of passages which would explain the former. They have been written more with the object of showing I was wrong and untrustworthy than with the object of getting at the real truth."
Of particular relevance is Ishida (2012). A Review of Sir William Crookes' Papers on Psychic Force with some Additional Remarks on Psychic Phenomena, which defends the Crookes spring-balance experiments with Daniel Dunglas Home, which replicated, with modifications, previous experiments from the chemist Robert Hare, and with modifications for greater control. This paper reviews Crookes' spring-balance experiments with the medium D.D. Home by theoretically simulating the experiments based on Newtonian mechanics. It shows in the simulation that even if a competent magician is permitted to use a trick to realize similar variations in spring force to the one recorded in Crookes' second experiment, the magician could not realize it because the experimental results (time-dependent variations in spring force) showed features which could not be explained on the basis of Newtonian mechanics.
It also, among other things, refutes the view that external tremors could account for the phenomena, and refutes the other speculations of critics like Gordon Stein.
Evidence as regards levitations of Home himself and of furniture is provided in Holms (1927), pp. 306-308.
There are other interesting sources on this showing Home exceeding test conditions of skeptics. One such item is Aidé (1890). Was I Hypnotised? On this, readers of Gordon Stein's book on Daniel Dunglas Home will find it instructive to compare the primary source for Hamilton Aide's "Was I Hypnotised?" account with Gordon Stein's commentary to see that Stein was tendentious - a particularly relevant excerpt is here: http://books.google.com/books?id=jLkCAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA579&focus=viewport&lr=&output=html
In Modern Spiritualism, Vol. II, p. 245n, Podmore wrote of Hamilton Aide's commentary, "The question asked by Hamilton Aide, in his article, "Was I Hypnotised?" (Nineteenth Century, April, 1890) may no doubt be answered in the negative. If we were forced to take Mr. Aide's narrative as an accurate representation of what he saw at a sitting with Home, we might be hard put to it for any better explanation. But the article was written twenty years after the events which it records, and, though the author speaks of "referring to his note-book," bears internal evidence of being founded mainly on memory. "
He thus rejects it on this account. His view however is countered by Andrew Lang, who noted, in "Historical Mysteries", "In The Nineteenth Century for April 1896 Mr. Hamilton Aïdé published the following statement, of which he had made the record in his Diary, 'more than twenty years ago.' Mr. Aïdé also told me the story in conversation. He was 'prejudiced' against Home, whom he met at Nice, 'in the house of a Russian lady of distinction.' 'His very physical manifestations, I was told, had caused his expulsion from more than one private house.' Of these aberrations one has not heard elsewhere. Mr. Aïdé was asked to meet M. Alphonse Karr, 'one of the hardest-headed, the wittiest, and most sceptical men in France' (a well-merited description), at a séance with Home. Mr. Aïdé's prejudice, M. Karr's hard-headed scepticism, prove them witnesses not biassed in favour of hocus-pocus.
The two arrived first at the villa, and were shown into a very large, uncarpeted, and brilliantly lighted salon. The furniture was very heavy, the tables were 'mostly of marble, and none of them had any cloths upon them.' There were about twenty candles in sconces, all lit, and a moderator lamp in the centre of 'the ponderous round rosewood table at which we were to sit.' Mr. Aïdé 'examined the room carefully,' and observed that wires could not possibly be attached to the heavy furniture ranged along the walls, and on the polished floor wires could not escape notice. The number present, including Home, was nine when all had arrived. All hands were on the table, but M. Alphonse Karr insisted on being allowed to break the circle, go under the table, or make any other sort of search whenever he pleased. 'This Home made no objection to.' Raps 'went round under the table, fluttering hither and thither in a way difficult to account for by the dislocation of the medium's toe' (or knee), 'the common explanation.' (I may remark that this kind of rapping is now so rare that I think Mr. Frederick Myers, with all his experience, never heard it.) Mr. Aïdé was observant enough to notice that a lady had casually dropped her bracelet, though she vowed that it 'was snatched from her by a spirit.' 'It was certainly removed from her lap, and danced about under the table....'
Then suddenly 'a heavy armchair, placed against the wall at the further end of the salotto, ran violently out into the middle of the room towards us.' Other chairs rushed about 'with still greater velocity.' The heavy table then tilted up, and the moderator lamp, with some pencils, slid to the lower edge of the table, but did not fall off. Mr. Aïdé looked under the table: Home's legs were inactive. Home said that he thought the table would 'ascend,' and Alphonse Karr dived under it, and walked about on all fours, examining everybody's feet—the others were standing up. The table rose 'three or four feet,' at highest, and remained in air 'from two to three minutes.' It rose so high that 'all could see Karr, and see also that no one's legs moved.' M. Karr was not a little annoyed; but, as 'Sandow could not have lifted the table evenly,' even if allowed to put his hands beneath it, and as Home, at one side, had his hands above it, clearly Home did not lift it.
All alike beheld this phenomenon, and Mr. Aïdé asks 'was I hypnotised?' Were all hypnotised? People have tried to hypnotise Mr. Aïdé, never with success, and certainly no form of hypnotism known to science was here concerned. No process of that sort had been gone through, and, except when Home said that he thought the table would ascend, there had been no 'verbal suggestion;' nobody was told what to look out for. In hypnotic experiment it is found that A. (if told to see anything not present) will succeed, B. will fail, C. will see something, and so on, though these subjects have been duly hypnotised, which Mr. Aïdé and the rest had not. That an unhypnotised company (or a company wholly unaware that any hypnotic process had been performed on them) should all be subjected by any one to the same hallucination, by an unuttered command, is a thing unknown to science, and most men of science would deny that even one single person could be hallucinated by a special suggestion not indicated by outward word, gesture, or otherwise. We read of such feats in tales of 'glamour,' like that of the Goblin Page in The Lay of the Last Minstrel, but to psychological science, I repeat, they are absolutely unknown. The explanation is not what is technically styled a vera causa. Mr. Aïdé's story is absolutely unexplained, and it is one of scores, attested in letters to Home from people of undoubted sense and good position. Mr. Myers examined and authenticated the letters by post marks, handwriting, and other tests.": http://www.online-literature.com/andrew_lang/historical-mysteries/8/
Podmore would likewise probably reject the account given in appendix K of the SPR review of DD Home: His Life and Mission: "The next account is from the Rev. H. Douglas, rector of Edmondthorpe, Rutlandshire. Our colleague, Mr. Barkworth, to whom this account was sent, writes : " Mr. Douglas is a man of acute and scholarly intelligence, and of wide and varied acquaintance with the world and society. I mention this to enable you the better to form a judgment on his testimony." Edmondthorpe Rectory, Wymondham, Oakham.
April 11, 1889.
DEAR MR. BARKWORTH, The incident I related to you, to which you refer, happened some 25 years ago, or perhaps 26 or 27. It took place at the home of Lady Poulett, in some square out of Regent-street. I cannot recollect where, but Lady Mount-Temple and the late Lord Mount-Temple were there also. Mr. Home was there. We all saw the supper table, on which there was a quantity of glass and china full of good things, rise, I should say, to an angle of 45deg. without anything slipping in the least, and then relapse to its normal position. There was also a so-called centre-table in the room, round which we were seated it had nothing upon it and as we joined hands it moved and we followed it. There was Baron Reichenbach, the discoverer of paraffin, present, who laughed at us, and challenged us to move the table if we would let him get under it and hold it. He was a rather tall and powerfully-built man, and he got under the table and clasped it with both his arms, but it moved as before, dragging him all round the room. Another thing happened which I cannot forget. A friend of mine, also present, doubted the evidence of hell. The "spirits" rapped out, "Put a Bible under the table!" and when we had done so, we all heard a distinct, rapid, sharp turning over of the leaves, and it was rapped out again, "Let Mr. Douglas take up the Bible. No one else!" On taking it up we found the leaves turned down at Psalm ix., exactly at verse 17, "The wicked shall be turned into hell," &c. Collusion was, it seemed to us all, impossible.
I went to this seance, and to others, because I felt it a duty to examine what seemed to me a supernatural phenomenon. But I have been told so many utter falsehoods [not, however, by Home, as Mr. Douglas explains in a later letter] that I am persuaded of its Satanic origin, if it is supernatural. I have no objection to my name being used, if it is of any good, only I should like it to be understood what I believe about it. I remain, yours very sincerely, H. DOUGLAS.
In a subsequent letter Mr. Douglas writes:
April 22, 1889.
I have not kept my note of the occurrence in question, as I dismissed the subject from my mind as useless; and what I wrote to you is simply what I remember. But my memory has been very good, and the circumstances were too remarkable to be forgotten. I cannot recall the date with anything like precision, but think it must have been about 1862–4. I believe there was no cloth on the table, but the Bible was not in view. It was the centre-table under which the Bible was placed, not the supper table. It must have been, I should say, some 7 ft. or 8 ft. in diameter, and was massive and heavy. This was the table which moved and dragged Baron Reichenbach round the room.
We were perhaps 10 or 12 persons whose hands were on the table, and I think Mr. Home was one of us. He was not in a trance, but in a perfectly normal condition. H. DOUGLAS.": https://archive.org/stream/journalofsociety04sociuoft#page/132/mode/2up
But these objections do not apply, and the objections of critics as regards Home's seances are completely refuted by consideration of the Amsterdam test seances. Beloff noted in his rebuttal to Stein, "on that occasion, Home was the guest of a group of skeptics who were, one might say, the CSICOP of their day and published their own journal, De Dageraad (The Dawn). They were all agog to trip him up and expose his pretensions. The sittings were held at the hotel where Home was staying and were attended by not less than 10 persons seated around a large circular mahogany table. Here, in translation, is an extract from the report as published in the Dageraad for 1858 by a Dr. F. C. Gunst:
During the first sitting, for we had three seances, two in the evening and one at noon, the table started to make a sliding movement toward the place where Mr. Home was sitting. Those sitting at Mr. Home's side of the table were requested to try to stop this movement; this, however, they could not do. At the other side of the table (i.e. our side) the same maneuver was attempted, but without any more success. When the table had come to a standstill, raps were heard to proceed from all parts of the room. We then asked the table to rap in a certain manner, and as many times as we should indicate. This wish was carried out to the full.
The table now started to rise up on one side, and though I do not want to claim that it was raised so high that the candelabra placed on the top necessarily had to lose their equilibrium and topple off, the fact remains that the table rose so high that all of us were much afraid that they would fall off [author's italics!.
It was at this time that the rising up of the table also took place in spite of the fact that some of us tried very hard to prevent the table from going up and that our D.Phil. took his hands off it and, with a light in his hand, [my emphasis! squatted on his haunches under the table to investigate.
Clearly, then, something more was involved here than the use of some mechanical device for jacking-up tables!"
This is also cited in Lamont's book. The full text can be read in Zorab (1970). Test sittings with D. D. Home in Amsterdam (1858).
As Zorab notes, it refutes all major objections to it as valid physical mediumship.
Cromwell Varley, who began as a skeptic, in the Dialectical Society Report, pp. 159–160, noted similar phenomena with Home, in full light: https://archive.org/stream/reportonspiritu00socigoog#page/n176/mode/2up
Cox, in "The Mechanism of Man", Vol. II, p. 439 wrote, "EXPERIMENT VIII.
At the private house of a friend, Mr. Home being the Psychic, in full light, a chair came slowly gliding along the floor from the inner room into that where we were sitting. It came up to me, turned, and its back was presented to my hand. I placed my hand upon it and instantly it rose into the air so high that I was obliged to stand on tiptoe, my hand merely touching - not holding - it. Having thus risen to the full stretch of my body, I forcibly withdrew my hand, and the chair fell upon the table. It was a light cane-bottomed chair, and I wanted to replace it upon the floor. I was unable to lift it, although applying to it my whole strength. If it had been made of lead it could not have been more immovable. It had not been touched by any person. It was still lying as before. I grasped it again, applying the same force. Not merely was it not heavy now; it was as light as a feather. It seemed to have no weight, and I staggered and fell down with it from the excess of force I had applied. No person was near it at the time.": https://archive.org/stream/mechanismman00coxgoog#page/n450/mode/2up
Asa Mahan, the first president of Oberlin College, recorded the following contemporary account in his, in "Modern mysteries explained and exposed" (1855), pp. 112–114: https://archive.org/stream/modernmysteriese00maha#page/112/mode/2up
As an example of the physical manifestations, we will adduce the following case, which is so well attested as to remove from all candid minds all rational doubt in regard to its actual occurrence. Among the signers of this document which originally appeared in the Springfield Republican [c. 1852, c.f. DD Home: His Life and Mission (1888), pp. 13–14] we have the names of such men as Prof. Wells of the Cambridge Laboratory, and other individuals of such character for intelligence and integrity, as to demand the credence of the public. The document is entitled, The modern wonder - a manifesto.
" The undersigned, from a sense of justice to the parties referred to, very cordially bear testimony to the occurrence of the following facts, which we severally witnessed at the house of Rufus Elmer, in Springfield, on the evening of the fifth of April:-
1. The table was moved in every possible direction, and with great force, when we could not perceive any cause of motion.
" 2. It (the table) was forced against each one of us so powerfully as to remove as from our positions, together with the chairs we occupied, - in all, several feet.
" 3. Mr. Wells and Mr. Edwards took hold of the table in such a manner as to exert their strength to the best advantage; but found the invisible power, exercised in the opposite direction, to be quite equal to their utmost efforts.
" 4. In two instances, at least, while the hands of all the members of the circle were placed on the top of the table, and while no visible power was employed to raise the table, or otherwise move it from its position, it was seen to rise clear of the floor and to float in the atmosphere for several seconds, as if sustained by a denser medium than the air.
" 5. Mr. Wells seated himself on the table, which was rocked to and fro with great violence; and at length it poised itself on two legs, and remained in this position for some thirty seconds, when no other person was in contact with the table.
" 6. Three persons, Messrs. Wells, Bliss, and Edwards, assumed positions on the table at the same time, and while thus seated the table was moved in various directions.
" 7. Occasionally we were made conscious of the occurrence of a powerful shock, which produced a vibratory motion of the floor of the apartment. It seemed like the motion occasioned by distant thunder, or the firing of ordnance far away, - causing the tables, chairs, and other inanimate objects, and all of us, to tremble in such a manner that the effect was both seen and felt.
" 8. In the whole exhibition, which was far more diversified than the foregoing specification would indicate, we were constrained to admit that there was an almost constant manifestation of some intelligence which seemed, at least, to be independent of the circle.
" 9. In conclusion, we may observe that D. D. Hume, the medium, frequently urged us to hold his hands and feet. During these occurrences the room was well lighted, the lamp was frequently placed on and under the table, and every possible opportunity was afforded us for the closest inspection, and we submit this one emphatic declaration: We know that we are not imposed upon or deceived.
David A. Wells, Wm. Bryant, B. K. Bliss, Wm. Edwards.""
Gauld ("The Founders of Psychical Research", pp. 15–16) rejects Podmore's views of early investigations on account of tests like these.
There are also other sources of relevance like Dingwall's 1953 article Psychological Problems Arising from a Report of Telekinesis.
Beloff, in his rebuttal to Gordon Stein's book, summarized it as follows, "This [Stein's] book is dedicated to the late Eric Dingwall, whose photograph adorns its frontispiece. Dingwall is in the author's good books because in 1966 he published a pamphlet, The Critic's Dilemma, in which he sided with Trevor Hall in suggesting that Crookes must have been in collusion with Florence Cook. It is extraordinary, therefore, that the author has paid no attention to Dingwall's views on Home other than including in the bibliography one reference to a chapter in his 1947 book, Human Oddities, for the fact is that Dingwall maintained until the end that the problem of Home had never been solved.
Thus, in 1953 Dingwall published a letter he had discovered in the library of the 25th Earl of Crawford.(4) It was a lengthy letter written by the Earl (then Lord Lindsay) to his sister-in-law Mary Anne Lindsay. A certain Major Gregorie had invited him, in 1856, to stay at his villa in Florence and to be present at a few sittings with Home. Dingwall tells us: "The contents of the letter reveals the writer as a remarkably careful and acute observer. It is full of vivid and meticulous detail regarding Major Gregorie's house, the history of his relatives, the appearance and family story of the medium and the nature of the phenomena observed." Lord Lindsay was present only at the third of the three sittings, but, after describing two amazing sittings as witnessed by his brother-in-law, Robert Lindsay, he then describes what he personally witnessed. I quote from Dingwalls's article:
After the rest of the circle had taken their places, with Home sitting between Mrs. Baker and Miss Crossman, the usual manifestations occurred. Taps began almost at once on the underside of the table, and then "the table began to vibrate, and then the chairs; and then the floor and then the whole room trembled and shook, while the china rattled on the table at the far end of the room."(5)
On looking under the table Lord Lindsay saw nothing except the feet of the persons present [and presumably the central leg that supported it]. But immediately afterwards the table "rose suddenly in the air for about half a minute, swaying about in different directions - I again looked under the table, while it was moving about, but there was nothing visible - and then came down again quite gently. . . ."
Dingwall concludes with a discussion of the possible counter-explanations: that Lord Lindsay and Robert Lindsay were liars; that all concerned were hallucinated; or that Home did it all by conjuring. None of these does he consider remotely plausible.
Dingwall died in 1986, four years short of his century. But he lived to review The Enigma of Daniel Home(6) by his friend Trevor Hall. The review was published in the Zetetic Scholar for August 1987. This lengthy review ends with the words:
The chief lesson to be learnt from this book is that the enigma of D. D. Home remains an enigma, and there is no sign of it being resolved.
Had Dingwall lived to review this book by Gordon Stein, I do not think his conclusions would have changed."
There is the disputed Ashley House levitation of D.D. Home, on which I will note the following:
Dingwall did state this in his biographical overview of Home in his response to Trevor Hall's book in the Zetetic Scholar, "There is little doubt that Dr. Hall is quite right to suggest that Home did have considerable influence over Adare during the series of experiments described in this book, especially when he shared an apartment with him and was intimate with him and his friends in their everyday lives, and especially so in the later sittings such as No. 74 at Ashley House when it was obvious that Home had close relations with Adare since previous contacts with Bergheim were mentioned, and it seemed that Home had some fear of the strong magnetic influences emanating from that quarter. How far Home himself used his own powers of suggestion either consciously or unconsciously remains a matter of speculation, but, as Hall points out, they may have been exercised to a considerable degree at the famous window levitation which the author deals with in detail in Chapter 9 to which we will now turn our attention.
It was in 1965 that Dr. Hall first wrote a long account and analysis of this extraordinary incident which is too well-known to be described here. Suffice it to say that Hall again draws attention to the deplorable mass of contradictions and inconsistencies which abound in the accounts recorded by the witnesses which has led later students of the affair to come to a variety of conclusions as to the explanation of what actually occurred. Of these speculations those advanced by the author are some of the best, and much credit should be extended to him for the care he has taken in collecting the data and to account for them. He thinks (p. 126) that the mistakes made by the witnesses were too ridiculous and that there were too many of them. He suggests that those present must have been "in a mildly abnormal state" and that
Home was "one of those rare individuals" who possessed the power of imposing suggestions upon others to a marked degree. In any event, he is of the opinion that Home strode quite normally over the window sill and on to the balcony and thence to the adjoining balcony and window. Thus the case suggests that the alleged levitation was simply an ingenious fraud perpetrated by the medium for his own advantage in a crisis in his own career.
If this view be accepted, and it does, I think, deserve serious consideration, then the question in the title of this book Medium or Fraud? would have to be answered by a statement such as Medium or Fraud: or Both? and this view would be one applicable to many others in the frustrating and tangled history of psychical research."
I am inclined to reject Hall's views on the Ashley house levitation, and I will now justify my position. Hall claimed, based on estimates, that the Ashley house window was 35 feet above the ground and the distance between the two windowsills was only four feet, allowing for his fraud scenario. People wanting to know the difficulties of accepting Hall as a source might want to read Nichol's 1966 article "The Silences of Mr. Trevor Hall", and Randall, in "Harry Price: The Case for the Defence", noted, "McCulloch may have prophesied better than he knew, for in recent years several people have begun to question Hall's credentials. Thus, Robert Wood (1992) refers to "Hall's boundless respect for Cambridge, expressed in his own fantasy that he was a Cambridge graduate himself, which he wasn't." Ivan Banks writes that "there have been doubts expressed as to his true academic background. Among other qualifications he applied for a Litt.D. from Leeds University, but was turned down" (Banks, 1996, p. 207). There are sound reasons for these misgivings. In his Who's Who entry, Hall describes his education as "Wakefield Sch.; Trinity Coll., Cambridge (Perrott Student; MA)." Alan Wesencraft and I have independently checked these statements with the authorities at Cambridge University, and we received the same answers. Although Hall held the Perrott Studentship from 1954 to 1956, he was never a member either of Trinity College or of Cambridge University, nor was he awarded any degree by that University. In the circumstances, his self-righteous condemnation of Harry Price's supposed duplicities would seem to be a case of 'pot calling kettle black'.(7)" and "Mostyn Gilbert, in reviewing Hall's book, took the author to task for failing to contact Price's surviving family (Gilbert, 1979). I have done this, and I have been told that, after Hall's book was published, Price's nephew wrote twice to Trevor Hall, but received no reply. The same gentleman also wrote to The Times, the Daily Telegraph and London Weekend Television, protesting about the misrepresentation of his family's affairs. According to the family, Hall's assertion that Price "married into money" is simply untrue. Connie Price "had virtually no personal income at all and any capital was in a trust to which neither she nor her husband had access" (Knight, 1994). The oft-repeated suggestion, based on Hall's book, that Price used his wife's money to finance his psychical experiments is just one of many falsehoods which have been put around since Harry Price's death.(9)": http://www.harrypricewebsite.co.uk/Biography/price-randall.htm
We should thus tread carefully with Hall's work. It is thus unsurprising that there are contradictory measurements. Gordon Stein noted in "The Sorcerer of Kings", p. 89, "Archie Jarman, a friend of Hall, seems to have actually measured the building itself in 1964, while it was still standing. The building was demolished about 1970. Jarman's article was published in 1980 and seems to have been unknown to Hall. Jarman says that the windows were 7 feet 4 inches apart, as Adare had said. He also measured the distance from the bottom of the windows to the ground as 45 feet. Jarman tried to cross the space between the two balconies by means of the string-course, he found this impossible because of of the fact that his center of gravity was thrust too far from the wall, making a fall inevitable. Yet Jarman discovered that there were steel bolts protruding from the building on either side of the balconies. These had been intended as fasteners for what were called "perambulator blinds," a kind of fan shaped shutter that shaded the plants on small balconies. It was possible, Jarman thought, for a heavy cord to have been fastened by Home to the two bolts at the near ends of the balconies. With this cord securely attached, it could serve as a support at the back of a man as he edged his way along the string-course. In other words, Home could have easily passed from one balcony to the other with the aid of a rope that would be unobservable except if someone had leaned out the windows." - he continues that Jarman's explanation renders Hall's view untenable, but is still a counter-hypothesis to paranormality.
We do know from Jarman's measurements that at least the distance between the window sills was consistent with the report by witnesses, though the 45 feet height was a discrepancy with the 70-85 feet claim reported by witnesses. We need note, for what its worth, that Jarman is also a difficult source.: https://ia601200.us.archive.org/13/items/NotesonSpiritualismandPsychicalResearch/GauldAndSalterRebuttJarmanJsprVolume42_pg317to325.pdf
However, he is less problematic than Hall.
Contemporary accounts of the building's height are consistent with the observations of witnesses. Thus HD Jencken, in the article that was the basis of the claim that Home stepped out onto the window ledge on Nov. 20., 1868, prior to the Dec. 13th levitation, also noted that the height from that ledge to the ground was 80 feet: https://archive.org/stream/ldpd_10819612_001#page/n57/mode/2up
This is prior to the apex of the alleged "abnormal mental condition" of the observers at the time of the levitation, a charge that Elizabeth Jenkins refutes in "The Shadow and the Light: A Defence of Daniel Dunglas Home, the Medium" (Hamish Hamilton, London. 1982), by noting, p. 237, "Dr. Zorab has pointed out that this suggestion is refuted by Lord Adare's having written a detailed report for his father three days after the seance 'showing an excellent and accurate memory' quite incompatible with a tipsy condition."
Elizabeth Jenkins has written (op. cit., pp. 228–229), of all the Adare seances, "The places in which the seances were held were varied: they included three houses in Sydenham: Mr. Jencken's Kilmorey House and Mrs. Hennings Sunninghill House, in Anerly Road, and Mr. Enmore Jones' Enmore Place, of which the site is now recalled by Enmore road in South Norwood; the S.C. Hall's house in Essex Villas and the one to which they afterwards removed, 15 Ashley Place; Lord Dunraven's town house, 5 Buckingham Gate, and the apartments Lord Adare occupied in Ashley House.
The loose manner in which nineteenth-century writers and indeed Kelley's Directory, sometimes identified addresses is often a source of confusion now. Albert Place was said to be on Campden Hill, from which it is far enough; Kilburn was called Hampstead and the Milner Gibsons' address is sometimes given not as Hyde Park Place, but Hyde Park Terrace, a non-existent locality." - Jenkins then notes that the scene of Lord Adare's rooms was found to take place at Ashley Place, which joins Carlisle street and Victoria Street, though the discrepancies are understandable errors from memory in light of the full account of seances.
Additionally, Thurston noted in "Church and Spiritualism", pp. 155–56, of Adare's records of seances, "Over seventy seances, held between 1867 and 1869, are described in his book, and the names are given of some fifty people who were present on different occasions. A copy of the report was sent to each "with a request that if it coincided with their own recollection of what took place they would kindly allow their names to be appended as testifying to its accuracy." We are told that every answer was in the affirmative as to the correctness of the accounts.The names given include those of scientists like Dunraven himself, the Earl of Crawford, and Dr. Gully (the father of Viscount Selby, Speaker of the House of Commons), lawyers, soldiers, literary men, and a number of ladies well known in London society. The descriptions seem to have been written down within a day or two after the seances, and they are for the most part carefully dated. Although, unfortunately, definite information regarding the lighting of the room is not always given, still, in many of the accounts, there is mention of lamps, candles, and a bright fire. What lends additional interest and reliability to the volume is the fact that Lord Dunraven, pere, a convert to Catholicism, although fully satisfied as to the reality of the phenomena, by no means proclaims himself a spiritualist." - Thurston proceeds with examples of Dunraven/Adare disputing the doctrines of spiritualism.
There are enough consistencies in the initial account, in spite of later discrepancies, to reject the counter hypotheses. For convenience I am referencing DD Home His Life and Mission,. pp. 300-302: https://archive.org/stream/ddhomehislifean00homegoog#page/n314/mode/2up
Lindsay: "The moon was shining full into the room. My back was to the light; and I saw the shadow on the wall of the window-sill, and Home's feet about six inches above it He remained in this position for a few seconds, then raised the window and glided into the room feet foremost, and sat down."
Adare: "the light from the window was sufficient to enable us to distinguish each other, and to see the different articles of furniture."
Adare: "We heard Home go into the next room, heard the window thrown up, and presently Home appeared standing upright outside our window. He opened the window, and walked in quite coolly."
Lindsay: "Lord Adare then went into the next room to look at the window from which he had been carried. It was raised about eighteen inches, and he expressed his wonder how Mr. Home had been taken through so narrow an aperture. Home said (still in trance), I will show you; and then, with his back to the window, he leaned back and was shot out of the aperture head first, with the body rigid, and then returned quite quietly."
Adare: "I got up, shut the window, and in coming back remarked that the window was not raised a foot, and that I could not think how he had managed to squeeze through. He arose, and said, 'Come and see. I, went with him: he told me to open the window as it was before. I did so : he told me to stand a little distance off; he then went through the open space, head first, quite rapidly, his body being nearly horizontal and apparently rigid. He came in again, feet foremost ; and we returned to the other room. It was so dark I could not see clearly how he was supported outside. He did not appear to grasp, or rest upon, the balustrade, but rather to be swung out and in."
The short window height refutes Jarman's hypothesis, assuming his observations were reliable.
The initial accounts become even more congruent, for as Nandor Fodor noted, in "The Encyclopedia of Psychic Science" (University Press Books, 1966), p. 196: "Frank Podmore, the author of Modern Spiritualism, who discredited the phenomenon of levitation says that he looked up a National Almanack of 1868 and found that the moon was new and could not light the room, however faintly. But, in Lord Adare's almost contemporary account there is no mention of the moon. He only says that "the light from the window was sufficient to enable us to distinguish each other." As the moon is not mentioned in the Master of Lindsay's account before the Dialectical Committee either, Podmore's criticism is probably based on a misstatement of the facts." - for the fact that the dialectical society account of Lindsay is congruent with the other account, see: https://archive.org/stream/reportonspiritu00socigoog#page/n232/mode/2up
Fodor noted, (op. cit., p. 197), "Joseph McCabe in his History of Spiritualism also attacks the case on the grounds of visibility and holds it likely that it was only the shadow of Home which was seen. Andrew Lang took the stand that people in a room can see even in a fog a man coming in by the window, and go out again, head first, with body rigid."
Finally, as Lang himself noted in "Historical Mysteries", "The other person present [at the levitation], Captain Wynne, wrote to Home, in a letter printed (with excisions of some contemptuous phrases) by Madame Home, and read in the original MS. by Mr. Myers. He said: 'I wrote to the Medium to say I was present as a witness. I don't think that any one who knows me would for one moment say that I was a victim to hallucination or any humbug of that kind.'": http://www.online-literature.com/andrew_lang/historical-mysteries/8/
So, in spite of the difficulties with the levitation, it would appear that it did happen, as the initial accounts are more consistent and the later contradictions occur due to errors of memory. The going out again, head first, body rigid, is a definitive indicator of genuineness. There are other accounts that skeptics have not come to terms with the full implications of. Thurston noted in "The Physical Phenomena of Mysticism" (op. cit.), p. 4n, "Mr. Podmore does not seem to attach sufficient importance to the other details recorded in the manifestations of Mr. Home when the medium was levitated within the room itself. See, e.g., the account given, without the names of the sitters, in The Spiritual Magazine, April, 1869, p. 177. From this it appears further that Home actually repeated the experiment to show them how he went out of the window. "An invisible power then supported Mr. Home all but horizontally in space and thrust his body into space through the open window, head foremost, bringing him back again feet foremost into the room, shunted not unlike a shutter into the basement below.""
Doyle noted of Home's levitations in "The Edge of the Unknown", "In 1857, in a chateau near Bordeaux, he was lifted to the ceiling of a lofty room in the presence of Mme. Ducos, widow of the Minister of Marine, and of the Count and Countess de Beaumont."
Alexei Tolstoy noted, "Home was raised from the ground; and I clasped his feet while he floated in the air above our heads.": https://archive.org/stream/ddhomehislifean00homegoog#page/n176/mode/2up
Regarding the famous Robert Bell levitation, printed for "Cornhill Magazine", in the article"Stranger than Fiction", Jenkins, op. cit., p. 117, excerpted the following, and noted how skeptics had overlooked important parts - "'In a moment or two he told us that was going to pass across the window, against the gray, silvery light of which he would be visible. We watched in profound stillness and saw his figure pass from one side of the window to the other, feet foremost, lying horizontally, on the air. He spoke to us as he passed and told us that he would turn the reverse way and re-cross the window, which he did.'"
Doyle noted, in "The Edge of the Unknown", "In the same year Home was raised at Mrs. Milner Gibson's house in the presence of Lord and Lady Clarence Paget--the former passing his hands underneath him to assure himself of the fact. A few months later, Mr. Wason, a Liverpool solicitor, with seven others saw the same phenomenon. "Mr. Home," he says, "crossed the table over the heads of the persons sitting around it." He added: "I reached his hand seven feet from the floor, and moved along five or six paces as he floated above me in the air." In 1861 Mrs. Parkes, of Cornwall Terrace, Regent's Park, tells how she was present with Bulwer Lytton and Mr. Hall when Home, in her own drawing-room, was raised till his hand was on the top of the door, and then floated horizontally forward. In 1866 Mr. and Mrs. Hall, Lady Dunsany and Mrs. Senior, in Mr. Hall's house, saw Home, his face transfigured and shining, twice rise to the ceiling, leaving a cross marked in pencil upon the second occasion, so as to assure the witnesses that they were not victims of imagination. In 1868 Lord Adare, Lord Lindsay, Captain Wynne, and Mr. Smith Barry saw Home levitate upon many occasions."
Doyle continued, in "The Edge of the Unknown", "Professor Crookes was again and again a witness to the phenomenon, and refers to fifty instances which had come within his knowledge. But is there any fair-minded person, who has read the little that I have recorded above, who will not say with Professor Challis, "Either the facts must be admitted or the possibility of certifying facts by human testimony must be given up"?": http://www.gutenberg.net.au/ebooks05/0500151.txt
Fodor, op. cit., p. 197, noted, "Crookes saw him [Home], in one instance levitate in a sitting posture. On April 21st, 1872, he recorded: "He was sitting almost horizontally, his shoulders resting on the chair. He asked Mrs. Walter Crookes to remove the chair from under him, as it was not supporting him. He was then seen to be sitting in the air, supported by nothing visible."
William Crookes noted, in Notes on Seances with D.D. home (PSPR Vol. 6, p. 119), "Mr. Home then walked to the open space in the room between Mrs. I.'a chair and the sideboard and stood there quite upright and quiet. He then said, "I'm rising, I'm rising" ; when we all saw him rise from the ground slowly to a height of about six inches, remain there for about 10 seconds, and then slowly descend. From my position I could not see his feet, but I distinctly saw his head, projected against the opposite wall, rise up, and Mr. Wr. Crookes, who was sitting near where Mr. Home was, said that his feet were in the air. There was no stool or other thing near which could have aided him. Moreover, the movement was a smooth continuous glide upwards."
William Crookes in JSPR Vol. 6, pp. 341-342 wrote, "The best cases of Home's levitation I witnessed were in my own house. On one occasion he went to a clear part of the room, and after standing quietly for a minute, told us he was rising. I saw him slowly rise up with a continuous gliding movement and remain about six inches off the ground for several seconds, when he slowly descended. On this occasion no one moved from their places. On another occasion I was invited to come to him, when he rose 18 inches off the ground, and I passed my hands under his feet, round him, and over his head when he was in the air.
"On several occasions Home and the chair on which he was sitting at the table rose off the ground. This was generally done very deliberately, and Home sometimes then tucked up his feet on the seat of the chair and held up his hands in view of all of us. On such an occasion I have got down and seen and felt that all four legs were off the ground at the same time, Home's feet being on the chair. Less frequently the levitating power extended to those sitting next to him. Once my wife was thus raised off the ground in her chair.": http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=uc1.b3967794;view=1up;seq=366
In "Appolonius: or, The present and future of psychical research.", p. 80, Bennet noted, ""On that very hearthrug where you are standing," said to me the late Sir William Crookes, F.R.S., "I saw Home raised eighteen inches from the ground in broad daylight and verified the phenomenon visu et tactu."": https://archive.org/stream/apolloniusorpres00benniala#page/80/mode/2up
In Dingwall's review of Hall's book on Home, he noted, "Another striking example of a remarkable incident was that when Mr. J.S. Bergheim described to Lord Rayleigh a meeting with Home. Bergheim, a noted mesmerist of the period, was a wealthy business man and was much interested in spiritualism, attending a number of seances. He was very friendly with Lord Rayleigh who had met him in the City and found that he had no use at all for what he called the "feeble tomfoolery" of the ordinary spiritualistic sittings, but that Home's performances "had no kinship" with them.
In about 1869 he told Rayleigh that he met Home one day in broad daylight with the sun shining into the window and began talking to him about levitation. He proposed an experiment which Home accepted and in which he placed his arms loosely around Home who then "floated up through their embrace, and landed on the floor.""
On page 3 of the Sept. 13, 1876 Glasgow Herald, : http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=GGgVawPscysC&dat=18760913&printsec=frontpage&hl=en
we find that "The levitation of Home had not occurred once in a dim light, but had occurred over a hundred times under all imaginable conditions - in the open air, in broad sunshine, in a room, in the evening, and sometimes in the daytime - and on each occasion it was witnessed by a separate number of persons.")
Crookes (1874 & 1889-1890), Medhurst, Goldney, & Barrington (1972). Crookes and the Spirit World.
Bozanno (1905). In Defense of the Memory of William Stainton Moses. (Joseph McCabe's attacks on Stainton Moses are not worth commenting on - they are unsourced, unverifiable fictions that cannot be traced to any primary source, and seem to be interpolations, based on the real source of attack, Frank Podmore. Hereward Carrington, a skeptic of the medium who referred to Podmore's arguments, though pitted them against previous arguments of Myers, and expressed agnosticism, nevertheless stated, in The Physical Phenomena of Spiritualism, p. 15, "His object was certainly not notoriety, for the full accounts
of his seances were never published during his lifetime, but were edited and published by Mr. Myers after his death. If he had sought notoriety, he certainly would have publicly proclaimed his mediumship, and published an account of his seances during his life; and that is the only conceivable reason for producing the phenomena by fraud - if they were so produced. Mr. Moses' private character had always been irreproachable and he was beloved by all who knew him." But reading Podmore would suggest otherwise. Here, Bostazzi conclusively demonstrates that Podmore was engaging in deceptive sophistry in his attack on the medium. Podmore's speculations are thereby seen to have no merit. Podmore's speculations as to the automatic writings of Moses are likewise strongly countered in this, and his attempt to explain away evidential cases is in conflict with sections 946 - 951 of Myers' work. With this, Stainton Moses can be regarded as a genuine medium, through whom macro-pk associated with physical mediumship occurred. Gauld argues, in The Founders of Psychical Research (1968), that while one could not base a belief in the paranormal on the case of Moses, it is supplementary to the case of Daniel Dunglas Home)
Alvarado (2011). Eusapia Palladino: An Autobiographical Essay (this is a very important text in helping us to realize that the fraud committed by Palladino was unconscious fraud)
Gauld (1968). Eusapia (balanced overview of the mixed medium Eusapia Palladino ... Psicologia e
“Spiritismo” - Vol. 1, Vol. 2 - according to McCabe and Morrell, Morselli put Eusapia's fraudulent performances down to 10%)
(As usual, "skeptics" have created a hatchet job regarding Palladino, and Nandor Fodor's Encyclopedia of Psychic Science can correct this Hatchet job:
Her control, John King, communicated through raps and in trance spoke in Italian alone. Eusapia Palladino was always impressed what phenomenon was going to take place and could warn the sitters. She suffered extremely during the process and exhibited a very remarkable synchronism between her gestures and the movement without contact. If she glared defiantly at a table it began to move towards her, if she warned it off it backed away. A forcible motion of her head was accompanied by raps and upward movements of her hand would cause the table to lift in the air.
Another peculiarity of her séances was that any particular phenomenon had to be wished for and incessantly asked. Strong desire on the part of the sitters present always brought about the occurrence.
The first scientist who boldly proclaimed the verity of her extraordinary phenomena was Dr. Ercole Chiaia. His opportunity to invite public attention to Eusapia Palladino came when Cesare Lombroso published an article on The Influence of Civilisation upon Genius and concluded it:
"Twenty or thirty years are enough to make the whole world admire a discovery which was treated as madness at the moment when it was made. Even at the present day academic bodies laugh at hypnotism and homoeopathy. Who knows whether my friends and I, who laugh at Spiritualism, are not in error, just as hypnotised persons are?"
On August 9, 1888 Chiaia addressed an open letter to Lombroso and challenged him to observe a special case, saying:
"The case I allude to is that of an invalid woman who belongs to the humblest class of society. She is nearly thirty years old and very ignorant; her appearance is neither fascinating nor endowed with the power which modern criminologists call irresistible; but when she wishes, be it by day or by night, she can divert a curious group for an hour or so with the most surprising phenomena. Either bound to a seat, or firmly held by the hands of the curious, she attracts to her the articles of furniture which surround her, lifts them up, holds them suspended in the air like Mahomet's coffin, and makes them come down again with undulatory movements, as if they were obeying her will. She increases their height or lessens it according to her pleasure. She raps or taps upon the walls, the ceiling, the floor, with fine rhythm and cadence. In response to the requests of the spectators something like flashes of electricity shoot forth from her body, and envelop her or enwrap the spectators of these marvellous scenes. She draws upon cards that you hold out, everything that you want - figures, signatures, numbers, sentences - by just stretching out her hand towards the indicated place.
"If you place in the corner of the room a vessel containing a layer of soft clay, you find after some moments the imprint in it of a small or a large hand, the image of a face (front view or profile) from which a plaster cast can be taken. In this way portraits of a face at different angles have been preserved, and those who desire so to do can thus make serious and important studies.
"This woman rises in the air, no matter what bands tie her down. She seems to lie upon the empty air, as on a couch, contrary to all the laws of gravity; she plays on musical instruments - organs, bells, tambourines - as if they had been touched by her hands or moved by the breath of invisible gnomes. This woman at times can increase her stature by more than four inches.
"She is like an India rubber doll, like an automaton of a new kind; she takes strange forms. How many legs and arms has she? We do not know. While her limbs are being held by incredulous spectators, we see other limbs coming into view, without her knowing where they come from. Her shoes are too small to fit these witch-feet of hers, and this particular circumstance gives rise to the suspicion of the intervention of mysterious power."
It was not until two years later that Lombroso found time enough to visit Naples for a sitting. His first report states:
"Eusapia's feet and hands were held by Professor Tamburini and by Lombroso. A handbell placed on a small table more than a yard distant from Eusapia sounded in the air above the heads of the sitters and then descended on the table, thence going two yards to a bed. While the bell was ringing we struck a match and saw the bell up in the air."
A detailed account of his observations and reflections appeared in the Annales des Sciences Psychiques in 1892. He admitted the reality of the phenomena and, on the basis of the analogy of the transposition of the senses observed in hypnotic cases, suggested a transformation of the powers of the medium as an explanation. He continued his researches for many years and ended in the acceptance of the spirit theory." (Nandor Fodor. Encyclopedia of Psychic Science. ...)
I will provide sources of interest below, but of those not listed, I will note that the skeptic Dingwall provides some supportive commentary on Palladino in his text The Unknown. Is it Nearer?, and see also his text Very Peculiar People for some biographical information. Richet also, in Thirty Years of Psychical Research, pp. 412-420, provides a useful overview of phenomena.
These are some notes I made on Palladino - please forgive the style
criticism of attitude of investigators in Cambridge sittings by Maxwell: https://archive.org/stream/eusapiapalladino1909carr#page/54/mode/2up
For strong criticism of Richard Hodgson's views on Palladino, see Alan Gauld, "The Founders of Psychical Research", pp. 233–241
Information regarding Palladino's unconscious fraud in the Cambridge sittings: https://archive.org/stream/mysteriouspsychi00flamuoft#page/168/mode/2up, https://archive.org/stream/mysteriouspsychi00flamuoft#page/170/mode/2up, https://archive.org/stream/mysteriouspsychi00flamuoft#page/172/mode/2up
validation by 2 magicians: https://archive.org/stream/mysteriouspsychi00flamuoft#page/68/mode/2up
from above, "nearly all observers record some phenomena in electric light"
With Richet, Lombroso, and Finzi, levitation of Medium to top of table: https://archive.org/stream/mysteriouspsychi00flamuoft#page/158/mode/2up
Method of control by Lombroso during table levitation: https://archive.org/stream/mysteriouspsychi00flamuoft#page/154/mode/2up
Tricks described by Lombroso: https://archive.org/stream/afterdeathwhats00lombgoog#page/n140/mode/2up
Lombroso full-daylight: https://archive.org/stream/afterdeathwhats00lombgoog#page/n62/mode/2up
Lombroso Palladino light: https://archive.org/stream/afterdeathwhats00lombgoog#page/n64/mode/2up
The source concerning Lombroso allegedly being sexually interested in Palladino is The Secret Life of Houdini (Atria Books, October 2007), p. 419, which reads "Palladino had no qualms about sleeping with her sitters; among them werethe eminent criminologist Lombroso and the Nobel Prize-winning French physiologist Charles Richet." The text containing footnotes to this is offered here - the relevant excerpt is 41. page 419. Pallandino had no qualms... Harry Houdini, Houdini A Magician Among
The Spirits (New York : Arno Press, 1972), 64–65. Lombroso, C., After Death-What?
(Boston : Small, Maynard, 1909), 112–113.) The actual excerpt does not support this view: https://archive.org/stream/afterdeathwhats00lombgoog#page/n150/mode/2up
As applies to the whole of the sittings, Antoniadi, in his declaration of fraud, is in conflict with the sources Levy: https://archive.org/stream/mysteriouspsychi00flamuoft#page/82/mode/2up, Brisson: https://archive.org/stream/mysteriouspsychi00flamuoft#page/92/mode/2up, Sardou: https://archive.org/stream/mysteriouspsychi00flamuoft#page/94/mode/2up, Le Bon (positive): https://archive.org/stream/mysteriouspsychi00flamuoft#page/100/mode/2up, particularly Armelin regarding the same Seance: https://archive.org/stream/mysteriouspsychi00flamuoft#page/104/mode/2up, Mathieu: https://archive.org/stream/mysteriouspsychi00flamuoft#page/110/mode/2up, Pallotti: https://archive.org/stream/mysteriouspsychi00flamuoft#page/114/mode/2up, Le Bocain: https://archive.org/stream/mysteriouspsychi00flamuoft#page/116/mode/2up,
It is clear that Flammarion believes most of the phenomena to be genuine, he also notes her compliance on good days like November 19: https://archive.org/stream/mysteriouspsychi00flamuoft#page/120/mode/2up
There is conflation of Antionadi's statement alleging fraud with Lombroso's statement regarding some of the tricks she would employ on off days: https://archive.org/stream/afterdeathwhats00lombgoog#page/n140/mode/2up
As for the later experiments of Le Bon and Dastre, Flammarion recorded that they were fraudulent: https://archive.org/stream/mysteriouspsychi00flamuoft#page/102/mode/2up
This in opposition to his previous positive experiment.
Hereward Carrington mentioned phenomena from Palladino "in plain light": https://archive.org/stream/eusapiapalladino1909carr#page/58/mode/2up
From Carrington, Hereward. (1931). The Story of Psychic Science (Psychical Research). (New York: Ives Washburn), pp. 207–208, "The medium enters the seance room, and readily submits to being searched. The seance may be held in any room, anywhere - a private home, a hotel room, a laboratory, etc. Across one corner of the room a wire is fastened, from which two black curtains are suspended, enclosing a small triangular space. This constitutes the 'cabinet.' Inside are placed a small table, and upon it various small instruments. The medium is seated on a chair outside the cabinet, and in front of her is placed the seance table. One investigator sits to her left, carefully holding the left hand, foot, and knee. Another sits to her right, carefully taking charge of the members on that side of the body. The remainder of the sitters are seated about the table, or stand about the room, close to the cabinet and medium. The sitting begins in bright white light, and many of the initial phenomena occur at that time. Then red light is substituted; the medium passes into semi-trance, and the more striking manifestations take place. Raps and lights are noted The curtains of the cabinet are blown out, as though by a strong wind inside. Movements of the objects in the cabinet are heard. The seance table is completely levitated a number of times (this in full light, giving the investigators ample opportunity to verify the fact that there is no material connection between medium and table). The small objects in the cabinet are brought out and placed upon the seance table, or thrown into the room, sometimes by visible hands. Touches are felt by by the sitters on both sides of the medium. Musical instruments float about, playing. Hands, heads, and bits of bodies finally materialize, and are seen and felt by the sitters. At the conclusion of the seance, a cold breeze is frequently felt, issuing from an old scar in the medium's head", or from her finger tips or her left knee. The lights are gradually turned up, and the seance ends."
Fraud was not proven by Dessoir. Psicologia e Spiritismo states in its annotated bibliography, Vol. 1, p. 163:
"Dessoir Max, Sulla E. P., in " Berliner Lokal-Anzeiger „, ottobre 1903.
[Riferisce in una conferenza, su cinque sedute con la E. P. accusandola di ciarlataneria].
Bormann Walter, in "Uebersinnliche Welt „, Berlino, ottobre 1903.
[Difende la E. P. contro le accuse del Dessoir, dimostrando che egli non ha saputo sperimentare, ne è riuscito a scoprire, tanto meno a dimostrare le frodi denunziate]."
for photographs, see, from Flammarion, levitation of a table without contact: https://archive.org/stream/mysteriouspsychi00flamuoft#page/n40/mode/1up
Of the imprint in putty resembling eusapia's face: https://archive.org/stream/mysteriouspsychi00flamuoft#page/n115/mode/1up, Flammarion discusses the factors precluding fraud on pp. 75–76: https://archive.org/stream/mysteriouspsychi00flamuoft#page/75/mode/1up
photograph of medium not in contact with table, and table levitating : https://archive.org/stream/mysteriouspsychi00flamuoft#page/82/mode/1up
on p. 83,method of control precluding fraud
imptints not matching body parts: https://archive.org/stream/mysteriouspsychi00flamuoft#page/138/mode/1up
drawing from photograph, showing method of control by professors Lombroso and Richet of Eusapia. Table completely raised: https://archive.org/stream/mysteriouspsychi00flamuoft#page/154/mode/1up
photograph of table suspended without contact: https://archive.org/stream/mysteriouspsychi00flamuoft#page/n222/mode/1up
levitation of a table without contact: https://archive.org/stream/afterdeathwhats00lombgoog#page/n70/mode/2up
imprints in clay: https://archive.org/stream/afterdeathwhats00lombgoog#page/n98/mode/2up, factors precluding fraud given on subsequent page
imprint with page mediated by electronic instruments so as to prevent sense errors: https://archive.org/stream/afterdeathwhats00lombgoog#page/n120/mode/2up
photograph of levitation of table without contact taken with magnesium light: https://archive.org/stream/afterdeathwhats00lombgoog#page/n154/mode/2up
from courtier - levitation of table without contact from medium: https://books.google.com/books?id=dlkyAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA425#v=onepage&q&f=false
extremely convincing table levitation: https://books.google.com/books?id=dlkyAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA427#v=onepage&q&f=false
imprint of thin fingers: https://books.google.com/books?id=dlkyAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA533#v=onepage&q&f=false
Maxwell, in Metapsychical Phenomena, noted, on pp. 93–94, "I have frequently observed this phenomenon with Eusapia Paladino under satisfactory conditions of light and other tests. She has given me several unimpeachable examples of parakinetic levitation, and, I repeat, in full light. A detailed report will be found in the accounts of seances at l'Agnelas, published in 1896 in the Annales des Sciences Psychiques. (spacing) These accounts, however, give only the physiognomy of the regular seances. We sometimes improvised experiments in the afternoon with striking results ; and I remember having observed under these conditions a very interesting levitation. It was, I think, at about five o'clock in the afternoon; at all events it was broad daylight in the drawing-room at l'Agnelas. We were standing around the table; Eusapia took my hand and held it in her left, resting her hand on the right-hand corner of the table. The table was raised to the level of our foreheads; that is to say, the top of the table was raised to a height of about five feet from the floor. (spacing) Experiences like this are very convincing. It was utterly impossible for Eusapia, given the conditions of the experiment, to have lifted the table by normal means. One has but to consider, that she touched only the corner of the table to realise what a heavy weight she would have had to raise had she done so by muscular effort. Moreover, she had no hold whatsoever of the table. And, given the conditions under which the phenomenon occurred, she could not have had recourse to any of the means suggested by her critics, such as straps or hooks of some kind.": https://archive.org/stream/metapsychicalph00richgoog#page/n122/mode/2up
Useful sources on Palladino, following the SPR Cambridge sittings, are
Maxwell (1905). Metapsychical Phenomena.
Flammarion (1907). Mysterious Psychic Forces.
Morselli (1907). Eusapia Palladino and the Genuineness of her Phenomena, continued on p. 399 (Morselli was originally a skeptic)
Botazzi (1907). The Unexplored Regions of Human Biology (Observations and Experiments With Eusapia Palladino), continuation, conclusion. (cf. Guiditta (2010). The 1907 Psychokinetic Experiments of Professor Filippo Bottazzi, and Alvarado (2012). Bottazzi and Palladino: The 1907 Seances)
Courtier (1908). RAPPORT Sur les séances d'Eusapia Palladino. (see Geley (1927). The Similarity of Experiments at the General Institute of Psychology and those at the International Metapsychic Institute for a partial overview in English)
Lombroso (1909). After Death - What?
Carrington (1909). Eusapia Palladino and Her Phenomena. (defense of the medium, after personal experience with her, cf. Morselli (1908). Mediumship and Conjuring (in Connection with Eusapia Paladino), a criticism of Hereward Carrington, who at that time was dismissive of the Palladino phenomena)Perhaps the most famous and important report on Palladino is
Feilding, Baggally, & Carrington (1909). Report on a Series of Sittings With Eusapia Palladino. (This is one of the most important historical reports on ostensible large scale psychic phenomena, which is important, in spite of other aspects of the subject's career, because of the very high degree of control in the report, by people who were very familiar with the usual tricks of mediums. It has been referred to as the Fielding report.
To remove factors that might dissuade us from reading the Fielding report itself - some confusion has arisen on the nature of Podmore's account, thus we read some online critics alleging that Podmore found that the Fielding report contained contradictions as to who was holding the medium.
The confusion is as follows - Podmore in "The Newer Spiritualism", pp. 127–131, took note of a "contradiction" between Palladino's left hand stroking vs. the left hand resting on "R."'s wrist - this is superficial criticism, and it referred to SEANCE 8. However, on his footnote, p. 131, he stated that Carrington made different descriptions to the "contemporary account" - this might create some confusion. Carrington, however, was describing seance 9, Podmore previously was describing seance 8. See Carrington's descriptions on p. 274 of the article in McClure's Magazine, Volume 33, entitled "Eusapia Palladino, The Despair of Science": http://books.google.com/books?id=aI9EAQAAIAAJ&pg=PP10&dq=hereward+carrington+mcclure%27s&hl=en&sa=X&ei=t-L1Ur2SLc_voAS2y4HIDQ&ved=0CDMQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=I%20was%20holding%20both&f=false
Podmore asserted that there were inconsistencies with this account and p. 518 of the original report. For my references to the report when critiquing Podmore, page numbers refer to "Sittings With Eusapia Palladino & Other Studies", published in 1963, with a supportive forward from Eric Dingwall, because when I initially refuted him, I was not aware of the online source. Podmore stated, "In his article in McClure's Magazine, reprinted in the Journal of the American S.P.R., Mr. Carrington, in a similar fashion, amplifies at a later date the contemporary notes. In relating that he felt his arm gripped by a hand, he says in the magazine article : "I was holding both of Eusapia's hands in mine. ... Her feet, knees, and head were also visible." But from the shorthand notes (Report, p. 518) it appears that one of Eusapia's hands was under the curtain, and nothing is said about the feet and knees being visible. Perhaps Mr. Carrington means that he would have seen them if he had looked under the table."
However, the McClure's article does not mention that both hands were visible, but that they were held and controlled. And on p. 228 of the book, corresponding to the relevant page of the report, we find his statement.
"C. I am touched on the left side by a hand.
C. I was holding both medium's hands in both of mine and she was squeezing tightly, one being clearly visible and one on the table under the curtain. Absolute control of right foot and leg; her right foot pressing strongly on my left foot in contact with my right.
B. I was holding the wrist of her left hand with my right hand on the table in full view of us all,-perfectly visible. My right knee against he left knee. My right foot under her left foot."
Criticism of the Fielding report came from Wiseman (1992). The Feilding Report: A Reconsideration (taken from the google preview of his 1997 book Deception and Self Deception: Investigating Psychics, cf. Braude (1997). Richard Wiseman's Critique of the Feilding Report Refuted.)
as well as Polidoro & Rinaldi (1998). Eusapia's Sapient Foot - A New Consideration Of The Feilding Report (but cf. Fontana (1998). Polidoro And Rinaldi- No Match For Palladino And The Feilding Report, and Martínez-Taboas (1999). Some Critical Comments On The Thesis Of Eusapias Sapient Foot).
A reading of the General Account of the Sittings in the Fielding report contains within it material that refutes some of the animadversions. As follows:
"The degree of control permitted by her varied very much,
and appeared to depend upon her mood. If she was in a good
temper she would generally allow us to control her as we
pleased, that is, to hold the whole of her hand, to tie her
hands and her feet, or to encircle her feet with ours. If,
as happened on two or three occasions, she was in a
bad temper, she made difficulties about everything, com-
plained of our suspicious attitude, allowed the poorest light,
and was generally intractable. We never found, however, that
the adequacy of the control influenced unfavourably the pro-
duction of the phenomena. On the contrary, it was on the
nights when she was in the best humour, and consequently
when our precautions were most complete and the light the
strongest, that the phenomena were the most numerous. On
the other hand, when she seemed in bad health, or was in a
bad humour or indisposed for the seance, she appeared to try
to evade our control: she would not allow us to grasp her
hands fully, but merely rested them on ours; she asked for
the light to be reduced, and her movements were furtive and
hard to follow. The phenomena on these occasions were rarer
and of small account, and we did not find that the reduction
of light, and the consequent increased facility for fraud had
any effect in stimulating them."
"Sometimes, though rarely, she allowed
the controllers' feet to be placed on hers; sometimes she
allowed both their feet wholly to encircle hers; sometimes she
encircled the leg of one of the controllers tightly between her
.own or rested both her legs across his knees; and sometimes
her feet were held beneath the table. Nearly always the
controllers' knees pressed closely against the outside of her
knees, so that her leg was felt and imprisoned from the knee
to the foot, and very frequently (and whenever he wished)
a controller's free hand was laid across her knees.
On certain occasions, as will be seen by reference to the
Remarks on the various stances, she permitted us, and on
others, invited us, to tie her hands to our own and to one
another, and her feet to her chair or to ours."
p. 328 : "A general discussion of Eusapia's fraud and of
the impossibility of considering it applicable to the phenomena
on which we rely for our own conclusions will be found in C.'s
and F.'s notes to Seance III. and E.'s supplementary note to
the same stance; F.'s note to Seance V.; all the notes to
Seance VI.; B.'s note to Seance VII.; F.'s note to Seance
X.; and B.'s final note."
"A series of these movements generally occurred at the be-
ginning and end of each stance, while occasional levitations
occurred during its course. They were among the most frequent
phenomena, and were produced in the strongest prevailing light,
viz. a light in which we were able to read small print. As a
rule the table began to rock in a manner explainable by the
ordinary pressure of Eusapia's hands. It then tilted in a
manner not so explainable, that is, in a direction away from the
medium while her hands were resting lightly on the top, and
finally it would leave the ground entirely and rise to a height of
from six inches to two feet rapidly, remain there an appreciable
time and then come down. Sometimes there would be slight
contact of the medium's hands on the top, but very frequently
no apparent contact whatever, her hands being held by us at
a distance of a foot or two from the table, either in her lap
or above the table. No precautions that we took hindered
these movements in the slightest. Eusapia had no hooks,
either at her wrists or under the front of her bodice, and we
could never discern the slightest movement of her knees or
feet. We very often had our free hands on her knees, while
her feet were controlled either by our feet or by one of us
under the table, and were generally away from the table legs,
an absolutely clear space being sometimes discernible between
her and any part of the table. The total levitations in our
series lasted as a maximum two or three seconds, though other
observers have reported levitations lasting a much longer space
p. 333: regarding some periods in which light was reduced, " it
still remained sufficient to enable every movement of the
medium to be clearly seen, even from the further end of the
table. She would generally hold out one of her hands towards
the curtain, always held by or holding one of ours at a dis-
tance of about 8 or 12 inches from it, and the curtain would
balloon out towards it in a bulge. Sometimes the same effect
would be produced if one of us held our own hands towards
the curtain at her request. The bulge was a round one, as
if the curtains were pushed out from behind. If we made a
sudden grab at the bulge, no resistance was encountered, and
the bulge subsided as though one had pricked the surface of
a balloon. "
p. 340: "It was only through constant repetition of the same phe-
nomenon, in a good light and at moments when its occurrence
was expected, and after finding that none of the precautions
which we took had any influence in impeding it, that we
gradually reached the conviction that some force was in play
which was beyond the reach of ordinary control, and beyond
the skill of the most skilful conjuror."
p. 341: "The conditions in which the stances were held render
absolutely inadmissible the supposition that there was any
accomplice. There remains therefore, in our opinion, only one
possible alternative to the hypothesis of some supernormal
physical force, namely, the hypothesis that in some way we
were collectively hallucinated."
As for the rest, a reading of the primary source will show that initial impressions were recorded by a stenographer, but greater detail of descriptions, which matched across witnesses, was recorded later. A useful summary of what was experienced is given beginning on p. 122 of the Journal of Society for Psychical Research, July, 1909.: "The seances took place in my bedroom on the 5th floor of
a hotel. Across a corner of the room we hung, at the
medium's request, two thin black curtains forming a triangular
recess which is called the "cabinet," about three feet deep in the
middle. Behind this curtain we placed a small round table, and
upon it various toys which we bought at Naples, a tambourine,
a flageolet, a toy piano, a trumpet, a tea bell, and so forth.
If you ask me to defend the reasonableness of this pro-
cedure, I can only say that, as the phenomena which take
place in Eusapia's presence consist chiefly, though not ex-
clusively, of the movements and transportations of smallish
objects within a certain radius of her, objects of some kind,
—it doesn't much matter what,—have to be placed there.
And as to the curtain, all I can say is that Eusapia believes
that the provision of a closed space helps to concentrate
"force," and that, as most of the effects seemed to radiate
from the curtain, she is possibly right.
Eusapia herself never looked behind the curtain and did
not know what had been arranged there. Outside it was
placed a small oblong table 85| cm. x 48 cm. (2 ft. 9 in. x
1 ft. 61 in.). Eusapia herself sat at one end of this table with
her back to the curtain, the back of her chair distant from
the curtain about a foot or 18 inches. One of us sat on
each side of her, holding her hands and controlling her feet
with our legs and feet, while on certain occasions a third was
under the table holding her feet with his hands.
In front of her hung from the ceiling at a distance of
about 6 feet from her head, a group of 4 electric lights of
varying voltage, candle power, or colour, and therefore of
varying illuminating power, which could be altered from the
shorthand writer's table by means of a commutator. The
strongest light was bright enough to enable us to read small
print at the furthest end of the room, and of course at our
places at the table, while the weakest was sufficient to enable
us to see the hands and face of the medium. On a very few
occasions we were reduced to complete darkness.
We had eleven seances in all, at some of which we were
alone, while at others we invited the assistance of friends
of our own, and by way of experiment, of Eusapia's. The
seances varied greatly. It is noteworthy that among the
worst seances were those at which Eusapia's friends assisted,
while the best were among those at which we were quite
alone. As a general rule, though not invariably, the pheno-
mena classified themselves according to the prevailing light;
that is, for certain phenomena a feeble light seemed necessary,
while for others it was immaterial whether the light was weak
or strong. From the point of view of facility for trickery we
were unable to trace any special connection between the de-
gree of light and the phenomena generally producible in it.
From the first seance to the last, with certain sets back, there
was a gradual progression in the phenomena; that is, in the
earlier seances they were restricted in variety, though not in
frequency of occurrence, while later on they became more com-
plicated. Sometimes they took place so rapidly, at the rate
of several a minute, that the dictation of one was constantly
interrupted by the occurrence of another. Sometimes they
were sparse and intermittent. On these occasions Eusapia
would ask for the light to be reduced, but we did not find
that the reduction of light had any favourable influence on
the production of the phenomena. On the contrary, the dark-
est seances were those at which least occurred.
The actual procedure of a seance was as follows: About
half-an-hour before the expected arrival of Eusapia the room
was prepared by the removal of unnecessary furniture, the
arrangement of the objects inside the curtain, and so on.
One or two of us remained there, while one went downstairs
to await her arrival. She came escorted by her husband, who
then went away, and Eusapia was brought alone up the five
flights of stairs to our rooms. She immediately sat down at
her place at the table, with her back to the curtain, behind
which, as I have said, she never looked. Sometimes the
manifestations, which I will describe presently, began at once
in the brightest light. Sometimes we had to wait half-an-
hour, an hour, even an hour and a half, before anything took
place. Those delays seemed to proceed from one of two
causes. Either she was in such a flamboyantly good temper
and talked so incessantly that she did not give her mind to
the proceedings; or else she appeared so unwell and fatigued
as to be incapable of accomplishing anything. On the former
occasions there was nothing to do but to wait till she had tired
herself out with her own conversation. Eventually she would
begin to yawn. This was a favourable symptom, and when
the yawns were followed by enormous and amazing hiccoughs,
we knew it was time to look out, as this was the signal for
her falling into a state of a trance.
Her trance was of varying stages. It was not absolutely
necessary for the production of phenomena of a simple kind,
and in two or three seances she remained wide awake
throughout and had a continuous memory of the proceedings.
Her state of half trance, which was her usual condition during
the production of phenomena, was only distinguishable from
her normal state by the fact that she was quieter in demean-
our and by the fact that she professed to have no recollection of
what had happened; in her state of deep trance, however, which
did not often supervene, but, when it did, was nearly always
accompanied by the more startling phenomena, she appeared
deeply asleep, sometimes lying immovable in the arms of one
of the controllers at either side and always surrendering her-
self completely to the fullest control of her hands. In this
state she spoke little and in a deep bass voice, referred
to herself in the third person as "my daughter" or "the
medium," and called us "tu." In this state she professes to
be under the "control" of a spirit to whom she gives the name
of "John King" and who claims to be the chief agent for
the production of her phenomena. In her state of half trance
there constantly appears to be a battle between her and this
"control," which manifests itself through tilts or levitations
of the table, and, by means of a code, gives directions as to
the conduct of the seance and the degree of light to be
allowed, against which Eusapia herself often protests vigor-
ously. Thus 5 tilts of the table mean less light. Eusapia
generally insists on the light remaining up, or if it has been
diminished, on its being turned up again. The table, how-
ever, persists in its demand and Eusapia eventually gives way.
Now as to the phenomena themselves. They consisted in
the first place of levitations of the table at which we sat,
outside the curtain. As a rule the table began to rock in a
manner explainable by the ordinary pressure of her hands. It
then tilted in a manner not so explainable, that is, in a direc-
tion away from the medium while her hands were resting
lightly on the top, and finally it would leave the ground
entirely and rise to a height of one or two feet rapidly,
remain there an appreciable time and then come down.
Sometimes there would be slight contact with the hands on
the top, but very frequently no apparent contact whatever, her
hands being held by us at a distance of a foot or two from
the table, either in her lap or above the table. These levita-
tions were among the most frequent phenomena and took
place in the brightest light. No precautions that we took
hindered them in the slightest. She had no hooks, and we
could never discern the slightest movement of her knees or
feet. We very often had our free hands on her knees, while
her feet were controlled either by our feet or by one of us
under the table, and were generally away from the table legs,
a clear space being discernible between her and the table.
Sometimes a partial levitation or tilt would last a very long
time, half a minute or even a minute, during which the table
remained at an angle. We would press it down and it would
come up again as though suspended on elastics.
One of the most frequent phenomena was movements of the
curtain behind her. For this she generally, though not always,
demanded a reduction of the light, but it still remained suffi-
cient to enable every movement of the medium to be clearly
seen even from the further end of the table. She would
generally hold out one of her hands towards the curtain,
always held by or holding one of ours at a distance of about
8 or 12 inches from it, and the curtain would bulge out to-
wards it. Sometimes the same effect would be produced if one
of us held our own hands towards the curtain at her request.
The bulge was a round one, as if the curtains were pushed
out from behind. If we made a sudden grab at the bulge, no
resistance was encountered. There was no attachment to her
hand, as we constantly verified by passing our hands between
her and the curtain. Nor would any attachment produce
the same effect, as the curtain was so thin that the point of
attachment of any string would at once have been seen. Be-
sides these bulges in response to her or our gestures, there
were spontaneous movements of the curtain, often very violent,
and frequently the whole curtain would be flung out with so
much force that the bottom of it came right over to the
further end of the table. This occurred notwithstanding that
Eusapia herself was perfectly visible and motionless, both hands
held and separately visible upon the table, her feet away from
the curtain in front of her under the table.
The next phenomenon was touches by some invisible object;
that is, while the light was strong enough to see the face and
hands of Eusapia, we were constantly touched on the arm,
shoulder or head by something which we could not see. The next
development was grasps through the curtain by hands. When I
say hands, I mean palpable living hands with fingers and nails.
They grasped us on the arm, shoulder, head and hands. This
occurred at times when we were absolutely certain that Eusapia's
own hands were separately held on the table in front of her.
The first occasion on which this occurred to me is among
the phenomena most vivid in my memory. I had been sitting
at the end of the table furthest from Eusapia. Mr. Car-
rington and Mr. Baggally had for some time been reporting
that something from behind the curtain had been touching
them through it. At last I told Eusapia that I wanted to
experience this also. She asked me to stand at the side of
the table and hold my hand against the curtain over her
head. I held it 2 | to 3 feet above her head. Immedi-
ately the tips of my fingers were struck several times;
then my first finger was seized by a living hand, three
fingers above and thumb beneath, and squeezed so that I felt
the nails of the fingers in my flesh; and then the lower
part of my hand was seized and pressed by what appeared
to be the soft part of a hand. ' Eusapia's two hands were
separately held by Messrs. Carrington and Baggally, one on the
table and one on her knee. These grasps, if fraudulent, could
only have been done by an accomplice behind the curtain.
There was no accomplice behind the curtain.
The next development was that these hands became visible.
They generally, though not always, appeared between the part-
ing of the curtains over Eusapia's head. They were of
different appearances, dead, paper white, and of a natural colour.
I think only once was a hand both seen and felt at the
same time, and that was when a hand came out from the
side, not the middle of the curtain, seized Mr. Baggally and
pulled him so hard as almost to upset him off his chair.
I have followed the general development of these hands
through the course of the seances, but meanwhile other pheno-
mena had been occurring. As a rule, after the movements
of the curtain, the first manifestation took the form of violent
noises inside the cabinet, as though the tea table were being
shaken. It was sometimes shaken so hard that the objects
on it fell off. It then itself appeared over Eusapia's shoulder
and landed on our table horizontally, that is, with its top
resting on our table and its legs pointing into the cabinet.
It would then, during the space of a minute appear to hang
there, partly supported no doubt by Eusapia's arm or ours
as we held her hand, and try to climb on our table, which
it never, however, succeeded in doing, but eventually fell back.
This transportation of the table took place several times, till
at length, to prevent its upsetting our arrangement of the
objects on it, we took to tying it down, after which it was once
or twice violently shaken, but did not otherwise molest us.
After this, however, the objects which had been placed upon
it were transported from within one by one. The flageolet
tapped me on the head, the tambourine jumped on to my lap,
the toy piano landed on the head of a friend of mine; the
tea bell was rung and presently appeared, ringing, over
Eusapia's head carried by a hand which attached it quickly
to her hair, and just as I was putting up my free hand to
detach it, reappeared, detached the bell itself, rang it again
over Eusapia's head, and threw it on to the seance table.
While this was occurring I was holding Eusapia's left hand
close to my face, while Mr. Baggally held her right hand
under the curtain on the opposite corner of the table, and
the light was sufficient for the shorthand writer from his
table, at a distance of about 8 or 9 feet from Eusapia, to
see the hand which carried the bell.
One of the most interesting transportations of objects was
that of a board on which we had put a large lump of wet
clay in the hope of obtaining an impression of one of these
hands. I was controlling to Eusapia's right, and Mr. Ryan, a
friend of mine whom we had invited to the seance, to her
left, and therefore opposite to me. Her right hand was under
mine on my side of the table. Her left hand was on Mr.
Eyan's on his side. Both were motionless and visible. Mr.
Carrington was standing behind me. The clay had been placed
on the tea table inside the curtain, directly behind Eusapia.
At a certain moment Mr. Carrington saw it appear at the
further side of the curtain, behind Mr. Eyan, and travel
through the air on to Mr. Ryan's shoulder. I noticed it first
at that point. I saw it slide gently down his right arm, across
Eusapia's hand which held his, cross the table towards me, and
land on the top of my hand which held Eusapia's right.
Another class of phenomenon consisted of lights, which at one
seance appeared twice over her head, once in her lap, and once
at the side of the curtain furthest from her. They were of three
kinds, a steady blue-green light, a yellow light, and a small
sparkling light like the spark between the poles of a battery.
Besides the visible hands, which were clear and distinct,
there were also more or less indescribable appearances of
various kinds, in themselves of the most suspicious character;
white things that looked like handfuls of tow; black things
like small heads at the end of stalk-like bodies, which emerged
from the middle or side of the curtain and extended them-
selves over our table; shadowy things like faces with large
features, as though made of cobweb, that shot with extreme
rapidity and silence from the side of the curtain.
There were also other phenomena, but the last which I
shall touch on now were movements of objects outside the
curtain at a distance from Eusapia of from one to three feet. I
speak chiefly of a stool which was placed on the floor, about
a yard from Eusapia. She held her hand towards it, held by
one of us, and presently the stool moved towards her; she then
made gestures of repulsion, and it moved away from her. The
shorthand writer, who, during part of the time, was standing
close to it, passed his hand round it several times to ascertain
that it had no attachment, but it continued to move. There was
a clear space between her and it. The light was sufficient for
me to follow the movements of the stool while I was standing
up at the end of the table furthest from Eusapia.
I am not attempting in this paper to do more than describe
the kind of thing that took place. For the precautions that
we took, for the searchings of the medium's person, for the
control that existed at the time of the production of each
phenomenon, and for a general discussion of the possibilities
of deception (incidentally I may remark that two or three
times we had opportunity in sufficient light to observe her
substitution trick, unaccompanied, however, by any phenomena),
or hallucination, I must refer you to our detailed report when
it is published.
I am fully aware that for evidential purposes a statement
of the kind I am now making is absolutely valueless, nor do
I pretend that for all the phenomena I have described the
conditions were of equal evidential value. I have, however,
to report on the part of my two colleagues and myself our
firm conviction that for some of the phenomena, including
some of the more remarkable ones, we obtained evidence of
unimpeachable validity. Further, that though a considerable
portion of the manifestations, taken by themselves, must be
regarded as non-evidential, we had no ground for believing in
the fraudulent production of any one of them.
On the other hand, I wish it to be clearly understood that
this expression of conviction is a purely personal one on the
part of the actual investigating committee, and in no way
represents the corporate view of the Council of this Society,
which, by the way, has no corporate view on any subject
whatever, and the majority of which has not yet even seen
our report, which has not yet passed through the press.
I will, in conclusion, say one thing more. While I have
convinced myself of the reality of these phenomena and of the
existence of some force not yet generally recognised which is
able to impress itself on matter, and to simulate or
create the appearance of matter, I refrain for the present
from speculating upon its nature. Yet it is just in this
speculation that the whole interest of the subject lies. The
force, if we are driven, as I am confident we are, to pre-
suppose one other than mere conjuring, must either reside in
the medium herself and be of the nature of an extension of
human faculty beyond what is generally recognised; or must
be a force having its origin in something apparently intelligent
and external to her, operating either directly from itself, or
indirectly through or in conjunction with some special attribute
of her organism. The phenomena then,—in themselves pre-
posterous, futile, and lacking in any quality of the smallest
ethical, religious, or spiritual value,—are nevertheless sympto-
matic of something which, put at its lowest by choosing the
first hypothesis, must, as it filters gradually into our common
knowledge, most profoundly modify the whole of our philosophy
of human faculty; but which, if that hypothesis is found in-
sufficient, may ultimately be judged to require an interpreta-
tion involving not only that modification, but a still wider
one, namely, our knowledge of the relations between mankind
and an intelligent sphere external to it. Although one may
approach the investigation of the phenomena themselves in a
light, shall I say, even a flippant spirit,—(I sometimes think
that in this way alone one can preserve one's mental balance
in dealing with this kind of subject),—one must regard them
as the playthings of the agency which they reveal, and the
more perfect revelation of that agency, whatever it may be,
through the study of them, is surely a task as worthy of the
most earnest consideration as any problem with which modern
science is concerned. If our report, by reason of its form and
detail, is found to do something towards supplying a further
evidential basis for, and therefore directing the attention of
men of science in this country towards, the far more important
and elaborate published investigations of many of our more
eminent predecessors, and of inducing them to take a part in
the research, I shall feel that it has amply served its purpose."
A follow-up sitting in Naples apparently was negative, however, see Perovsky-Petrovo-Solovovo (2011). Statement by Count Perovsky-Petrovo-Solovovo. (discusses the occurrence of some genuine phenomena in the second Feilding investigation of Palladino, this notably coming from a very strongly skeptical individual)
As for the American sittings, I will attempt to compare Joseph Rinn's "Searchlight on Psychical Research" with Carrington's "The American Seances with Eusapia Palladino", for the time see Sommer (2012). Psychical research and the origins of American psychology: Hugo Münsterberg, William James and Eusapia Palladino, which discusses how this alleged exposure in America was not an exposure at all.
The aforementioned review of Carrington on Palladino's seances, cited in my overview of Slade when I noted that Krebs presented difficulties, argues that Krebs' negative comments on Palladino were unreliable.)
Gissurarson & Haraldsson (1989). The Icelandic Physical Medium Indridi Indridason. (see also Haraldsson (2012). Further Facets of Indridi Indridason's Mediumship, Including 'Transcendental' Music, Direct Speech, Xenoglossy, and Light Phenomena).
Steigmann (2016). Marthe Béraud (Eva C). (Defense of the medium. Other relevant sources are linked to below. Of particular relevance, prior to pursuing that material, is the following defense of Gustav Geley (archived here)).
Richet (1906). Concerning the Phenomenon Called Materialization, continuation.
(various) (1906). Polemics on the Phenomenon at the Villa Carmen, Algiers
Maxwell (1906). Concerning the Criticisms of Professor Richet's Algerian Experiences.
Verrall (1914). The History of Marthe Beraud.
Schrenck-Notzing (1913/1920/1923). Phenomena of Materialization (see in particular, for response to accusations against these experiments the following sections: The Rumination Hypothesis, Expert Opinion on the Fraudulent use of Certain Materials in Producing Teleplasmic Images, Front Page Illustrations from the Journal Le Miroir, Result of the Observations (note on replications with others as witnesses); for other positive replications, see Reports of French Investigators (1916), Dr. V. Gustave Geley on his Observations with Eva C., 1918
Although it seems idiotic to argue in favor of Eva C's phenomena in light of the bogus looking pictures that the researchers candidly reproduced, the item that is in her favor is the testimony of numerous witnesses to the permutations of her ectoplasmic materializations. This is quoted throughout the text, and reading the linked to items also will be illuminating).
Dingwall (1922). The Hypothesis of Fraud (skeptical commentary following SPR experiments with Eva C that does not make positive conclusions as to fraud, analyzes information pro-and con from earlier experiments, calls for further research. Contains the statement, on p. 310, "not a shred of evidence exists which implicates Mme Bisson in anyway whatsoever with the alleged fraudulent aspect of the phenomena of Eva C." Of this series of sittings, Richet, in the English translation of his Traité de métapsychique, stated, "The official reports of the séances lead to very distinct inferences; it seems that though the external conditions were unfavourable to success, some results were very clear and that it is impossible to refer the phenomena to fraud. Nevertheless, our learned colleagues of the SPR came to no conclusion. They admit that the only possible trickery is regurgitation. But what is meant by that? How can masses of mobile substance, organised as hands, faces and drawings be made to emerge from the oesophagus or the stomach? No physiologist would admit such power to contract those organs at will in this manner. How, when the medium's hands are tied and held could papers be unfolded, put away and made to pass, through a veil? The members of the SPR, when they fail to understand, say 'It is difficult to understand how this is produced.' Mr. Dingwall, who is an expert in legerdemain, having seen the ectoplasm emerge as a miniature hand, making signs before disappearing, says 'I attach no importance to this.' We may be permitted to remark that very great importance attaches to Mr. Dingwall's testimony.")
Schrenck-Notzing (1923). Concerning the Possibility of Deception in Sittings With Eva C.
The Paraphysics Research Group (no date). Macro-PK in Gifted Subjects (overview of the phenomena of Rudi Schneider and Stella C)
Tillyard (1926). Science and Psychical Research (article in Nature that is partially a reviewof Conan doyle's book, and partially a discussion, along with a graph, of psychokinetic temperature fluctuations caused by Stella Cranshawe in a controlled test sitting)
Price (1939). Stella C.
(Various) (no date). Harry Price & Stella Cranshaw - The 'Electric Girl'
Randall (2001). The Mediumship of Stella Cranshawe: A Statistical Investigation. (shows that fraud, by Price or Stella C, could not have taken place in the test seances)
Geley (1927). Experimental Demonstrations by Dr. von Schrenck Notzing (section from Clairvoyance and Materialization concerning prominent people who came out in support of Willy Schneider - this includes skeptics - from the text, "A round hundred of scientists, all profoundly sceptical, and some openly hostile, declared themselves, without exception, completely convinced after having worked under the direction of Dr. Schrenck-Notzing with his medium Willy [Schneider]."
Warren Vinton made attacks on him, however, a rebuttal occurs on pp. 78–90 of Anita Gregory's The Strange Case of Rudi Schneider. Compare that to his illustrious supporters, listed in the excerpt from Geley.
Willi allegedly was caught in fraud, however, as with Eva C., this seems to be a case of fraudulent looking ectoplasm that was not actually fraudulent per the experimental conditions. I will have to investigate the sources further, but I was given as relevant resource from Alan Gauld in personal correspondence on Tue, Dec 9, 2014: "Perhaps the reference is to p. 181 of F. Kogelnik's article 'Willy Schneider: The Story of the Early years of his Mediumship,' Psychic Science, Vol. 16, 1937, or to the letter and photograph sent by Kogelnik to Harry Price and published by him in 'Bulletin IV of the National Laboratory of Psychical Research' (1933, pp. 162-3 and Plate XXII). Schrenck-Notzing published several photos of Willi's 'teleplasms' in his 'Materialisations-Phaenomena' (1923; NB this is S-N's second book of that title).")
Gregory (1977). Anatomy of a Fraud. (refutes accusations of fraud against the Schneider brothers - Of Braude's SPR article on the Schneider-Osty experiments, note also that the major attacks against Rudi Schneider are refuted with the following summary points from Anita Gregory's "The Strange Case of Rudi Schneider", which I will post excerpts from at a later time, to attempt to really defend the validity of this case, and show that it is a positive proof of the paranormal: http://forum.mind-energy.net/forum/parapsychology-and-psi-abilities/scientific-debates/6046-rudi-schneider-case-an-example-of-errors-galore-on-wikipedia-by-so-called-skeptics
See Hereward Carrington's The Story of Psychic Science for positive comments about the electrical controls placed upon Schneider. Then, from this text, p. 456: "Phenomena systematically reported over a substantial number of Rudi's seances can be divided into four categories: (1) the movement of objects at some distance from the medium; (2) the appearance of a visible substance or matter, frequently in the form of a body or part of a body, a so-called ' pseudopod ', or a thin mist, named ' materialisation '; (3) the experience of persons present at a session that they were being touched by an invisible hand usually on the head; and (4) the levitation of the entire body of the medium without visible moans of support. In addition, there were frequent reports from participants of experiences of extreme localised cold, such as might be felt at the mouth of a flask of liquid air. Interestingly enough, reports of being touched by an unseen hand were the least frequently reported phenomena." p. 456, "Initially, levitations of the medium's whole body wore reported at virtually every seance, and these were described and reasonably well attested in Schrenck-Notzing's laboratory in Munich. However, this phenomenon was not observed in the French and English experiments, and was the first type of occurrence to disappear altogether. ' Materialisations ', at first as frequently reported as movements of objects, became gradually less intensive and less frequent. The reported movement of objects, however, persisted to the end of the mediumship (though in a much attenuated state), as did the ' cold air ' manifestation. It is certainly the case that the alleged phenomena were far more spectacular, vigorous and abundant in the early days of the mediumship: bells and a cardboard figure named 'August' would sail through the air, a broken-down musical box would play, a typewriter would type by itself, invisible hands would trim a bonnet, a boot would be torn off a foot with some violence, windows would be shattered, and a 'hand' visible or otherwise might be described as playing tug-of-war with an object such as a wastepaper basket, or a handkerchief, which might be torn in half by the struggle." p. 487: "The phenomena observed during the Third Series were similar to those that had taken place in previous investigations. Objects were moved, the wastepaper basket was wrenched from people's hands, the curtains billowed, the handkerchief was knotted and tugged and displaced, people felt themselves touched, and experienced the curious feeling of extreme cold that is so characteristic of physical sittings, ' materialised ' partial forms were seen, and the infra-red apparatus worked and recorded occultations similar to those obtained by Dr. Osty. Harry Price obtained a number of photographs of the phenomena. These purported to demonstrate the displacement of objects taken by the same flash that shows sitters and medium in place whilst the movements were taking place (see, for example, figures 12-15). The plates are still in existence at the Harry Price Library, at Senate House, University of London." cite "anatomy of a Fraud", pp. 478–479: "Mr. Will Goldston, Founder and President of the Magicians' Club, 'the premier British conjuring society', attended a seance, was thoroughly satisfied with what he found, and duly wrote up his experiences for the Sunday Graphic of 22 December 1929, under the title 'A night with the ghosts '" Because I am an illusionist and a conjuror I made a special point of being the first sitter to arrive for the seance . . . . That gave me time to have a good look at the seance room. When I said 'a good look' I mean a conjuror's inspection which is severe and detailed. No objection was made against my examining the room and its fittings, so I tapped the walls, looked carefully at the floor for trapdoors and felt every inch of the two curtains which hung in the corner of the room forming the cabinet . . . . But more than that, I tested the electrical c o n t r o l . . , ingenious system . . . I could find no fault in this system of control or in the way it works. I examined also the cabinet as well as the stool and the waste-paper basket which was placed in front of the cabinet. The four ribbons attached to the curtains were just ordinary luminous ribbons . . . I kept my eyes wide open and my sense alert . . . I understand German and followed everything said. It was suggested that an interval of 10 minutes should take place to allow the control to gather force and we adjourned to the next room for a smoke, Rudi having come out of his trance. I was the last to leave the room and I was the first to return to it. Rudi was the third person to walk from the room. He seemed tired. We saw the stool on which stood the basket illuminated by phosphorous paint move towards us. It moved in a peculiar way and then suddenly toppled over. Curtains flew apart. We felt a fearful icy draught blowing. It was uncanny. I watched keenly for signs of trickery, but saw none. Raps. One of the students (Mr. Oliver Gatty) suggested nine . . . I am convinced that what I saw was not trickery. No group of my fellow magicians could have produced those effects under those conditions.")
Harrison (1987). Harry Price and the Rudi Schneider Phenomena. (hypothesis concerning Price's dealing with Rudi Schneider that exonerates both)
Braude (2017). The Mediumship of Carlos Mirabelli (1889–1951) (see also Dingwall (1930). An amazing case: The mediumship of Carlos Mirabelli. (JASPR 24, pp. 296–306))
Gauld & Cornell (1979). Poltergeists (Routledge & Kegan Paul).
Mulacz, Peter (1999). "Eleonore Zugun – the Re-evaluation of a historic RSPK case". Journal of Parapsychology, 63, 15-45 (aside from this, concerning the attacks on the Borley Rectory case in the Skeptic's Handbook of Parapsychology, Alan Gauld told me (personal correspondence, Sun, Dec 21, 2014 at 9:00 AM) "To put Hovelmann's references in context you need to look at Paul Adams, Eddie Brazil and Peter Underwood The Borley Rectory Companion, The History Press, 2009, which, despite the title, is a work of considerable scholarship and balance. For immediate purposes look especially at the entries on 'Foyster Phenomena' and 'Hall, Trevor Henry'. There are two questions that ought to be separated - is there any good evidence for paranormal phenomena at Borley (not a lot but perhaps some) and is anything Trevor Hall says to be trusted (not without checking up on it oneself).
Hall wrote about two thirds of the Borley Report. In connection with Hastings' Reply I had to compare the Report in detail with the original sources. It would be tempting to call Hall a crook, but that would be too simple because I think he often believed his own fabrications. But he was capable of real nastiness, e.g. the case mentioned on Adams et al. p. 185 about the student who saw the Leeds Library ghost (which Hall claimed to have demolished in 'Four Modern Ghosts'). He threatened her not just with loss of her part-time job in the Library (of which he was a trustee and past president) should she publish her account of seeing the ghost, but with blockage of her degree (which I am sure he had no power to do).")
Bender (1974). Modern Poltergeist Research: A Plea for an Unprejudiced Approach. (this, among other things, overviews the Rosenheim Poltergeist case, and provides citations of physicists from the Max Planck institute, which, when read, prove the paranormal nature of at least some of the events - as they show that aspects of the phenomena went beyond the scope of conventional physics. Many people go about thinking that parapsychologists never rebut criticisms. While what is attached is a general overview, Hans Bender did write a rebuttal to Allan, Schiff, and Kramer - counter-advocates to this case - that appeared in the text Verborgene Wirklichkeit. Some overview of this controversy is available in the book Die Geister, Die Mich Riefen, which can be seen on google books here, pp. 75–85.
Also, in an overview of Rosenheim case, Sommer noted: "Regarding the Rosenheim case, I’m afraid there’s no way around the (rather extensive) original German sources, and archival material located at the ‘Institut für Grenzgebiete der Psychologie’ in Freiburg, Germany.": http://www.forbiddenhistories.com/?p=93#comment-10)
Roll & Persinger (2001). Investigations of Poltergeists and Hauntings: A Review and Interpretation (in Hauntings and Poltergeists: Multidisciplinary Perspectives edited by James Houran and Rense Lange)
Panati (1976). The Geller Papers (includes articles by magicians who endorsed Uri Geller's psychic abilities. With Randi, there is evidence of bias and fraud, with these people, there is no such evidence:
The "Official Report: Society Of American Magicians, Assembly 30, Atlanta Chapter" by Artur Zorka, Chairman of The Occult Investigations Committee, as excerpted in this book, stated:
"... it is the unanimous finding of this committee that although we, as magicians, can duplicate each of these test results using methods known by us, under the proper conditions . . . there is no way, based on our present collective knowledge, that any method of trickery could have been used to produce these effects under the conditions to which Uri Geller was subjected."
Leo Leslie, a Danish magician wrote in his book "Uri Geller":
"The judgment of all of us who were present for what occurred was one of total endorsement of Geller's paranormal claims: both his ability to bend metal and his talent for receiving telepathic signals.":
In an interview, Playfair, who wrote a book on Geller, noted, "As for his skills, I'm still waiting for a normal explanation of how he managed to bend a chrome vanadium spanner (which I still have) as I described in Fortean Times (issue 250, 2009). His critics have gone all quiet about that."
On this, see also Randi vs. Hasted (1977–1978). Dispute over paranormal metal bending phenomena, and Hasted (1981). The Metal Benders.
Roger Nelson, on his site, posted this, dealing with controversies on these issues:
A list of skeptical lies by Olavi Kiviniemi, Finland, 15.10.2014
1. Martin Gardner (1981/1989), 'Science; Good, Bad and Bogus', p. 93:
"Oddly, Taylor never sees anything bend, …" [italics/MG].
John Taylor (1975), 'Superminds', p. 74:
"I saw a strip of silver bend up and flop over on being rubbed gently by one subject".
2. Gardner used to reference unspecified researchers and experts who supported his claims. One example is what he wrote about the spheres with paperclip scrunches inside that John Hasted had.
Martin Gardner (1981/1989), 'Science; Good, Bad and Bogus', p. 205:
"Other experimenters have had no difficulty twisting paper clips and pushing them into such globes where they intertwine to form tight scrunches, and to do it in just a few minutes."
An outright lie—such experiments and experimenters have never existed. It is easy to see how those scrunches were produced and it did not happen by using the Gardner method.
3. Martin Gardner (1983), 'The whys of a philosophical scrivener'. New York, Quill:
"How can the public know that for fifty years skeptical psychologists have been trying their best to replicate classic psi experiments, and with notable unsuccess? It is this fact more than any other that has led to parapsychology's perpetual stagnation. Positive evidence keeps coming from a tiny group of enthusiasts, while negative evidence keeps coming from a much larger group of skeptics."
Charles Honorton wrote concerning the above:
"Gardner does not attempt to document this assertion, nor could he. It is pure fiction. Look for the skeptics' experiments and see what you find."
4. James Randi (1980?), 'Flim Flam!', p. 221, concerning how John Hasted supervised his metal-bending children:
"… a young woman who was with the crew peeked in at Steve during one of the tests in which he was – as usual – left unattended and unobserved except by recorders hooked up to the metal samples. This is a favorite Hasted method of testing children".
"Bersari (right: Bersani) reveals that he also "observed" his subjects by merely watching a chart recorder in the next room, as Hasted did."
The situation Randi writes about was a TV-recording. Hasted gives no details, but the last sentence is an outright lie. Hasted writes much about his control methods, and he has tried to keep them as stringent as possible. Now and then it was necessary to let the children "warm up" having sloppy controls but he did not take those results as evidence.
An example of the usual controls:
John Hasted (1981), 'The Metal-benders', p. 54:
"Nicholas Williams was seated by my side on the sofa in the lounge whilst the key was hanging by its wire from the mantelpiece on the opposite wall".)
Moreira-Almeida et al. (2009). A Study of the Mediumistic Surgery of John of God. (Among other things, this paper refutes the view of Joao de Deus put forth by James Randi and Joe Nickell. Prior to this, we had Fuller's 1974 text Arigo: Surgeon of the Rusty Knife, and Trick or Treatment, a dispute between Fuller and Martin Gardner over that text. Playfair, in "The Flying Cow" in excerpts I will post, demonstrates that the evidence on Arigo comes from a multiplicity of sources and, when evaluated, it can be shown to supersede the objections of the critics (see also Bonilla (2010). Conexión mente-cuerpo, fenómenos parapsicológicos y curación espiritual. Revisión.)