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Some time before these observations I had met a gentleman who had told me of most wonderful phenomena occurring in his own family—among them the palpable motion of solid bodies when no person was touching them or near them; and he had recommended me to go to a public medium in London (Mrs. Marshall), where I might see things equally wonderful. Accordingly, in September 1865, I began a series of visits to Mrs. Marshall, generally accompanied by a friend-a good chemist and mechanic, and of a thoroughly sceptical mind. What we witnessed may be divided into two classes of phenomena-physical and mental. Both were very numerous and varied; but I shall only select from each a few which are of a clear and definite nature.

1st. A small table, on which the hands of four persons were placed (including my own and Mrs. Marshall's), rose up vertically about a foot from the floor, and remained suspended for about twenty seconds, while my friend, who was sitting looking on, could see the lower part of the table with the feet freely suspended above the floor.

2nd. While sitting at a large table, with Miss T. on my left and Mr. R. on my right, a guitar which had been played in Miss T.'s hand slid down on to the floor, passed over my feet, and came to Mr. R., against whose legs it raised itself up till it appeared above the table. I and Mr. R. were watching it carefully the whole time, and it behaved as if alive itself, or rather as if a small invisible child were by great exertions moving it and raising it up. These two phenomena were witnessed in bright gaslight.

3rd. A chair, on which a relation of Mr. R.'s sat, was lifted

up with her on it. Afterwards, when she returned to the table from the piano, where she had been playing, her chair moved away just as she was going to sit down, on drawing it up, it moved away again. After this had

happened three times, it became apparently fixed to the floor, so that she could not raise it. Mr. R. then took hold of it, and found that it was only by a great exertion he could lift it off the floor. This sitting took place in broad daylight, on a bright day, and in a room on the first floor with two windows.

However strange and unreal these few phenomena may seem to readers who have seen nothing of the kind, I positively affirm that they are facts which really happened just as I have narrated them, and that there was no room for any possible trick or deception. In each case, before we began, we turned up the tables and chairs, and saw that they were ordinary pieces of furniture, and that there was no connection between them and the floor, and we placed them where we pleased before we sat down. Several of the phenomena occurred entirely under our own hands, and quite disconnected from the "medium.” They were as much realities as the motion of nails towards a magnet, and, it may be added, not in themselves more improbable or more incomprehensible.

The mental phenomena which most frequently occur are the spelling out of the names of relations of persons present, their ages, or any other particulars about them. They are especially uncertain in their manifestation, though when they do succeed they are very conclusive to the persons who witness them. The general opinion of sceptics as to

. these phenomena is, that they depend simply on the acuteness and talent of the medium in hitting on the letters which form the name, by the manner in which persons dwell upon or hurry over them—the ordinary mode of receiving these communications being for the person interested to go over a printed alphabet, letter by letter-loud taps indicating the letters which form the required names. I shall select a few of our experiences,



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which will show how far this explanation is likely to be a true one.

When I first received a communication myself I was particularly careful to avoid giving any indication, by going with steady regularity over the letters; yet there was spelt out correctly, first, the place where my brother died, Para; then his Christian name, Herbert; and lastly, at my request, the name of the mutual friend who last saw him, Henry Walter Bates. On this occasion our party of six visited Mrs. Marshall for the first time, and my name, as well as those of the rest of the party, except one, were unknown to her. That one was my married sister, whose name was no clue to niine.

On the same occasion a young lady, a connection of Mr. R.'s, was told that a communication was to be made to her. She took the alphabet, and instead of pointing to the letters one by one, she moved the pencil smoothly over the lines with the greatest steadiness. I watched her, and wrote down the letters which the taps indicated. The name produced was an extraordinary one, the letters being Thomas Doe Thacker. I thought there must be an error in the latter part; but the names were Thomas Doe Thacker, the lady's father, every letter being correct. A number of other names, places, and dates were spelt out on this occasion with equal accuracy; but I give only these two, because in these I am sure that no clue was given by which the names could have been guessed by the most preternaturally acute intellect.

On another occasion, I accompanied my sister and a lady who had never been there before to Mrs. Marshall's, and we had a very curious illustration of the absurdity of imputing the spelling of names to the receiver's hesitation and the medium's acuteness. She wished the name of a particular deceased relation to be spelled out to her, and

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pointed to the letters of the alphabet in the usual way, while I wrote down those indicated. The first three letters were y r n.

“Oh!” said she, “that's nonsense; we had better begin again.” Just then an e came, and thinking I saw what it was, I said—“Please go on, I understand it." The whole was then spelt out thus-yrnehkcocffej. The lady even then did not see it, till I separated it thusyrneh kcocffej, or Henry Jeffcock, the name of the relation she had wanted accurately spelt backwards.

Another phenomenon, necessitating the exertion both of force and intellect, is the following :—The table having been previously examined, a sheet of note paper was marked privately by me, and placed with a lead pencil under the centre foot of the table, all present having their hands upon the table. After a few minutes taps are heard, and on taking up the paper I find written on it in a free hand-William. On another occasion, a friend from the country-a total stranger to the medium, and whose name was never mentioned-accompanied me; and, after receiving what purported to be a communication from his son, a paper was put under the table, and in a few minutes there was found written on it Charley T. Dodd, the correct name. In these cases it is certain there was no machinery under the table; and it simply remains to ask, if it were possible for Mrs. Marshall to slip off her boots, seize the pencil and paper with her toes, and write on it a name she had to guess at, and again put on her boots without removing her hands from the table, or giving any indication whatever of her exertions?

I now for some months left off going to Mrs. Marshall's, and endeavoured to produce the phenomena at home. My friend Mr. R. soon found he had the power to produce slight movements of the table, but they were never of such a nature as to satisfy an observer that they were not produced consciously or unconsciously by our own muscles. The style and character of the communications obtained through these movements were, however, such as to satisfy me that our own minds had no part in producing them.

We tried among all our friends to find one who had power to produce distinct taps, a class of phenomena that appeared to us much more satisfactory, because we could not produce them ourselves, either consciously or unconsciously, under the same conditions. It was in November, 1866, that my sister discovered that a lady living with her had the power of inducing loud and distinct taps and other curious phenomena; and I now began a series of observations in my own house, the most important of which I shall briefly narrate.

When we sat at a large loo table without a cloth, with all our hands upon it, the taps would generally commence in a few minutes. They sound as if made on the under side of the leaf of the table, in various parts of it. They change in tone and loudness, from a sound like that produced by tapping with a needle or a long finger nail, to others like blows with a fist or slaps with the fingers of a hand. Sounds are produced also like scraping with a finger nail, or like the rubbing of a damp finger pressed very hard on the table. The rapidity with which these sounds are produced and are changed is very remarkable. They will imitate, more or less exactly, sounds which we make with our fingers above the table; they will keep good time to a tune whistled by one of the party; they will sometimes, at request, play a very fair tune themselves, or will follow accurately a hand tapping a tune upon the table. When these sounds are heard repeatedly in one's own well-lighted room, upon one's own table, and with every hand in the room visible, the ordinary explanations given of them seem utterly untenable. Of course


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