GHOSTS IN SOLID FORM

By Gambier Bolton

Ex-Pres. The Psychological Society, London, F.R.G.S., F.Z.S., etc.

 

CHAPTER I

"A single grain of solid fact is worth ten tons of theory."

"The more I think of it, the more I find this conclusion impressed upon me, that the greatest thing a human soul ever does in this world is to SEE something and tell what it saw in a plain way. Hundreds of people can talk for one who can think, but thousands can think for one who can see. To SEE clearly is poetry, prophecy, and religion all in one."—John Ruskin.

Working Hypothesis

That under certain known and reasonable conditions of temperature, light, etc., entities, existing in a sphere outside our own, have been demonstrated again and again to manifest themselves on earth in temporary bodies materialized from an, at present, undiscovered source, through the agency of certain persons of both sexes, termed "sensitives," and can be so demonstrated to any person who will provide the conditions proved to be necessary for such a demonstration.

Conditions

Looking back to the seven years of my life which I devoted to a careful and critical investigation of the claim made, not only by both Occidental and Oriental mystics but by well-known men of science like Sir William Crookes, Professor Alfred Russel Wallace, and others—that it was possible under certain clearly defined conditions to produce, apparently out of nothing, fully formed bodies, inhabited by (presumably) human entities from another sphere—the wonder of it still enthralls me; the apparent impossibility of so great an upheaval of such laws of Nature as we are at present acquainted with being proved clearly to be possible, will remain to the end as "the wonder of wonders" in a by no means uneventful life.

For, as compared with this, that greatest of Nature's mysteries—the procreation of a human infant by either the normal or mechanical impregnation of an ovum, its months of foetal growth and development in the uterus, and its birth into the world in a helpless and enfeebled condition, amazing as they are to all physiological students—sinks into comparative insignificance when compared with the nearly instantaneous production of a fully developed human body, with all its organs functioning properly; a body inhabited temporarily by a thinking, reasoning entity, who can see, hear, taste, smell and touch: a body which can be handled, weighed, measured, and photographed.

When these claims were first brought to my notice I realized at once that I was face to face with a problem which would require the very closest investigation; and I then and there decided to give up work of all kinds and to devote years, if necessary, to a critical examination of these claims, to investigate the matter calmly and dispassionately, and, in Sir John Herschel's memorable words, "to stand or fall by the result of a direct appeal to facts in the first instance, and of strict logical deduction from them afterwards."

And, as I have said, the result has been that the apparently impossible has been proved to be possible—the facts have beaten me, and I accept them whole-heartedly, admitting that our working hypothesis has been proved beyond any possibility of doubt, and that these materialized entities can manifest themselves to-day to any person who will provide the conditions necessary for such a demonstration.

Who they are, what they are, whence they come, and whither they go, each investigator must determine for himself, but of their actual existence in a sphere just outside our own there can no longer be any room for doubt. As a busy man, theories have little or no attraction for me. What I demand, and what other busy men and women demand in an investigation of this kind is that there should be a reasonable possibility of getting hold of facts, good solid facts which can be demonstrated as such to any open-minded inquirer, otherwise it would be useless to commence such an investigation. And we have now got these facts, and can prove them on purely scientific lines.

The meaning of the word materialization, so far at least as it concerns our investigation, I understand to be this: the taking on by an entity from a sphere outside our own, an entity representing a man, woman, or child (or even a beast or bird), of a temporary body built up from material drawn partially from the inhabitants of earth, consolidated through the agency of certain persons of both sexes, termed sensitives, and moulded by the entity into a semblance of the body which (it alleges) it inhabited during its existence on earth. In other words, a materialization is the appearance of an entity in bodily, tangible form, i.e., one which we can touch, thus differing from an astralization, etherealization, or apparition, which is, of course, one which cannot be touched, although it may be clearly visible to any one possessing only normal sight.

Let me, then, endeavor to describe to the best of my ability, and in very simple language, how I believe these materializations to be produced, and the conditions which I have proved to be necessary in order that the finest results may be obtained.

I will deal first with the question of the conditions, as without conditions of some kind no materialization can be produced, any more than a scientific experiment—such as mixing various chemicals together, in order to produce a certain result—can be carried out successfully without proper conditions being provided by the experimenter. What, then, do we mean by this word "conditions"?

Take a homely example. The baker mixes exactly the right quantities of flour, salt, and yeast with water, and then places the dough which he has made in an oven heated to just the right temperature, and produces a loaf of bread. Why? Because the conditions were good ones. Had he omitted the flour, the yeast, or the water, or had he used an oven over or under-heated, he could not have produced an eatable loaf of bread, because the conditions made it impossible.

This is what is meant by the terms "good conditions," "bad conditions," "breaking conditions."

The conditions, then, under which I have been able to prove to many hundreds of inquirers that it is possible for materialized entities to appear on earth, in solid tangible form, are these:

First, light, of suitable wave-length, i.e. suitable color, and let me say here, once and for all, that I have proved conclusively for myself that darkness is not necessary, provided that one is experimenting with a sensitive who has been trained to sit always in the light.

On two occasions I have witnessed materializations in daylight; and neither of Sir William Crookes's sensitives—D. D. Home or Florrie Cook (Mrs. Corner)—would ever sit in darkness, the latter—with whom I carried out a long series of experiments—invariably stipulating that a good light should be used during the whole time that the experiment lasted, as she was terrified at the mere thought of darkness.

I find that sunlight, electric light, gas, colza oil, and paraffine are all apt to check the production of the phenomena unless filtered through canary-yellow, orange, red linen or paper—just as they are filtered for photographic purposes—owing to the violent action of the actinic (blue) rays which they contain (the rays from the violet end of the spectrum), which are said to work at about six hundred billions of vibrations per second. But if the light is filtered in the way that I have described, the production of the phenomena will commence at once, the vibrations of the interfering rays being reduced, it is said, to about four hundred billions per second or less.

In dealing with materializations we are apt to overlook the fact that we are investigating forces or modes of energy far more delicate than electricity, for instance. Heat, electricity, and light, as Sir William Crookes tells us, are all closely related; we know the awful power of heat and electricity, but are only too apt to forget—especially if it suits our purpose to do so—that light too has enormous dynamic potency; its vibrations being said to travel in space at the incredible speed of twelve million miles a minute; and it is therefore only reasonable to assume that the power of these vibrations may be sufficient to interfere seriously with the more subtle forces, such as those which we are now investigating.

Secondly, we require suitable heat vibrations, and I find that those given off in a room either warmed or chilled to sixty-three degrees are the very best possible; anything either much above this, or more especially, much below this, tending to weaken the results and to cheek the phenomena.

Thirdly, we require suitable musical vibrations, and, after carrying out a long series of experiments with musical instruments of all kinds, I find that the vibrations given off by the reed organ—termed "harmonium" or "American organ"—or by the concertina, are the most suitable, the peculiar quality of the vibrations given off by the reeds in these instruments proving to be the most suitable ones for use during the production of the phenomena; although on one or two occasions I have obtained good results without musical vibrations of any kind, but this is rare.

Fourthly, we require the presence of a specially organized man or woman, termed the sensitive, one from whom it is alleged a portion of the matter used by the entity in the building up of its temporary body can be drawn, with but little chance of injury to their health. This point is one of vital importance, we are told, for it has been proved by means of a self-registering weighing-machine on which he was seated, and to which he was securely fastened with an electrical apparatus secretly hidden beneath the seat, which would at once ring a bell in an anteroom if he endeavored to rise from his seat during the experiment, that the actual loss in weight to the sensitive, when a fully materialized entity was standing in our midst, was no less than sixty-five pounds!

Before employing any person, then, as a sensitive for these delicate, not to say dangerous, experiments, he or she should be medically examined, in the interests of both the investigator and the sensitive, and should their health prove to be in any way below par, they should not be permitted to take part in the experiment until their health is fully restored.

I have been permitted to examine the sensitive at the moment when an entity, clad in a fully-formed temporary body, was walking amongst the experimenters; and the distorted features, the shrivelled-up limbs and contorted trunk of the sensitive at that moment proclaimed the danger connected with the production of this special form of phenomena far louder than any words of mine could do.

Needless to say, sensitives for materializations are extremely rare, not more than two or three being found to-day amidst the teeming millions who inhabit the British Islands; although a few are to be found on the European continent, and several in North America, where the climatic conditions are said to be more favorable for the development of such persons.

Now, what constitutes a sensitive, and why are they necessary?

Sensitives through whom physical phenomena (including materializations) can be produced have been described, firstly, as persons in whom certain forces are stored up, either far in excess of the amount possessed by the normal man or woman, or else differing in quality from the forces stored up by the normal man or woman; and secondly, as persons who are able to attract from those in close proximity to them—provided that the conditions are favorable—still more of the force, which thus becomes centered in them for the time being. In other words, a sensitive for physical phenomena is said to be a storage battery for the force which is used in the production of physical phenomena—including materializations—although it is by no means improbable that such highly developed sensitives as those required for this special purpose may be found to possess extra nerve-centers as compared with those possessed by normal human beings. But whether this hypothesis be eventually proved or not, there seems to be but very little doubt that "whatever the force may be which constitutes the difference between a sensitive and a non-sensitive, it is certainly of a mental or magnetic character, i.e., a combination of the subtle elements of mind and magnetism, and therefore of a psychological, and not of a purely physical character."

But why is a sensitive necessary? you ask. Think of a telephone for a moment. You wish to communicate with a person who is holding only the end of the wire in his hand, the result being that he cannot hear a single word. Why is this? Because he has forgotten to fit a receiver at his end of the wire, a receiver in which the vibrations set up by your voice may be centralized, focussed, a receiver which he can place to his ear, and in doing so will at once hear your voice distinctly—but without this your message to him is lost.

And it is said that this is exactly the use of the sensitives during our experiments, for they act as "receivers" in which the forces employed in the production of the phenomena may be centralized, focussed, their varying degrees of sensitiveness enabling them to be used by the entities in other spheres for the successful production of such phenomena, we are told.

And lastly, we require about twelve to sixteen earnest and really sympathetic men and women—persons trained on scientific lines for choice—all in the best of health; men and women who, whilst strictly on their guard against anything in the shape of fraud, are still so much in sympathy with the person who is acting as the sensitive that they are all the time sending out kindly thoughts towards him; for if, as has been said, "thoughts are things," it is possible that hostile thoughts would be sufficient not only to enfeeble, but actually to check demonstrations of physical phenomena of all kinds in the presence of such specially organized, highly developed individuals as the sensitives through whom materializations can be produced.

I shall refer to these men and women as the sitters. We generally select an equal number so far as sex is concerned; and, in addition, we endeavor to obtain an equal number of persons possessing either positive or negative temperaments. In this way we form the sitters into a powerful human battery, the combined force given off by them (if the battery is properly arranged, and the individual members of that battery are in good health) proving of enormous assistance during our experiments. If in ill-health, we find that a man or woman is useless to us, for we can no more expect to obtain the necessary power from such an individual than we can expect to produce an electric spark from a discharged accumulator, or pick up needles with a demagnetized piece of steel.

We are told to remember always that "all manifestations of natural laws are the results of natural conditions."


Minor details too, we find, must be thought out most carefully if we are to provide what we may term ideal conditions.

The chairs should be made of wood throughout, those known as Austrian bentwood chairs, having perforated seats, being proved to be the best for the purpose.

The sitters should bathe and then change their clothing—the ladies into white dresses, and the men into dark suits—two hours before the time fixed for the experiment, and should then at once partake of a light meal—meat and alcohol being strictly forbidden—so that the strain upon their constitutions during the experiment may not interfere with their health.

Trivial as such matters must appear to the man in the street, we are told they must all be carried out most carefully, in order that the finest conditions possible may be obtained, the one great object of the sitters being to give off all the power—and the best kind of power—that they are capable of producing, in order that sufficient suitable material may be gathered together from the sensitive and themselves, with which a temporary body may be formed for the use of any entity wishing to materialize in their presence.

Precautions Against Fraud

We are now ready to see what happens at a typical experimental meeting for these materializations, at hundreds of which I have assisted, having the services of no less than six sensitives placed at my disposal for this purpose. I will endeavor to describe what I should consider to be an ideal one, held under ideal (test) conditions.

Our imaginary test meeting is to be carried out—as it was on one occasion in London—in an entirely empty house, which none of us has ever entered before, a house which we will hire for this special event. By doing this we may feel sure that all possibility of fraud, so far as the use of secret trap-doors, large mirrors, and other undesirable things of that description are concerned, can be successfully thwarted.

We are now ready to start our experiment; the general feeling of all those in the room being that every possible precaution against trickery has been taken, and that if any results of any kind whatever should follow they will undoubtedly be genuine.

The sitters having been allotted their seats, so that a person of a positive and a person of a negative temperament are seated together, we now join hands, and form ourselves into what we are told is a powerful human battery; the two persons sitting at the two ends of the half-circle having of course each one hand free, and from the free hands of these two persons, it is said, the power developed and given off by this human battery passes into the sensitive at each of his sides.

Sitting quietly in our chairs and talking gently amongst ourselves, we soon feel a cool breeze blowing across our hands. In another two minutes this will have so increased in volume that it may with truth be described as a strong wind.

On looking at the sensitive now, we see that he is rapidly passing into a state of trance—his head is drooping on one side, his arms and hands hang downwards loosely, his body being in a limp real trance condition, and just in the right state for use by any entity desiring to work through him, we are told.

I have only experimented with one sensitive who did not pass into trance, who, seated amongst the sitters, remained in a perfectly normal condition during the whole of the experiment; watching the materialized forms building up beside him, and talking to and with them during the process. I shall refer to him shortly.


We now set our clairvoyants to work, and the statements made by one must be confirmed in every detail by the statements of the other as to what is occurring at the moment, or no notice is taken of their remarks.

Both now report that they see a thin white mist or vapor coming from the left side of the sensitive, if a man (or from the pelvis, if a woman), which passes into the sitter at the end of the half-circle nearest to the sensitive's left side. It then passes, they state, from Sitter No. 1 to Sitter No. 2, and so on, until it has gone through the whole of the sixteen sitters, passing finally from the last one—No. 16—at the end of the half-circle nearest to the sensitive's right side, and disappears into his right side.

We assume from this that the nerve force, magnetic power—call it what you will—necessary for the formation of one of these temporary bodies starts from the sensitive, passes through each sitter, drawing from each as much more force or power as he or she is capable of giving off at the moment, returning to the sensitive greatly increased in its amount and ready for use in the next process. This, then, we will term the first of the three stages in the evolution of an entity clad in a temporary body.

The Vapor Stage

In a few moments our clairvoyants both report that the force or power is issuing from the side of the sensitive, if a man (or from the pelvis, if a woman), in the form of a white, soft, dough-like substance, which on one occasion I was permitted to touch. I could perceive no smell given off by it; it felt cold and clammy, and appeared to have the consistency of heavy dough at the moment that I touched it.

This mass of dough-like substance is said to be the material used by the entities—one by one as a rule—who wish to build up a temporary body. It seems to rest on the floor, somewhere near the right side of the sensitive, until required for use: its bulk depending apparently upon the amount of power given off by the sitters from time to time during the experiment.

This we will term the second of the three stages of the evolution of an entity clad in a temporary body.

The Solid, but Shapeless Stage

We are told that the entity wishing to show himself to us passes into this shapeless mass of dough-like substance, which at once increases in bulk, and commences to pulsate and move up and down, swaying from side to side as it grows in height, the motive power being evidently underneath.

The entity then quickly sets to work to mould the mass into something resembling a human body, commencing with the head. The rest of the upper portion of the body soon follows, and the heart and pulse can now be felt to be beating quite regularly and normally, differing in this respect from those of the sensitive, who, if tested at this time, will be found with both heart and pulse-beats considerably above the normal. The legs and feet come last, and then the entity is able to leave the near neighborhood of the sensitive and to walk amongst the sitters, the third and last stage of its evolution being now complete.

Although occasionally the entity will appear clad in an exact copy of the clothing which he states that he wore when on earth—especially if it should happen to be something a little out of the common, such as a military or naval uniform—they are draped as a rule in flowing white garments of a wonderfully soft texture, and this, too, I have been permitted to handle.

Our clairvoyants both affirm that at all times during the materialization a thin band of, presumably, the dough-like substance can be plainly seen issuing from the side of the sensitive, if a man, (or from the pelvis, if a woman), and joined onto the center of the body inhabited by the entity—just like the umbilical cord attached to a human infant at birth—and we are instructed that this band cannot be stretched beyond a certain radius, say ten to fifteen feet, without doing harm to the sensitive and to the entity; although cases are on record where materializations have been seen at a distance of nearly sixty feet from the sensitive, on occasions when the conditions were unusually favorable.

On handling different portions of the materialized body now, the flesh is found to be both warm and firm. The bodies are well proportioned, those of the females—for they take on sex conditions during the process—having beautiful figures; the hands, arms, legs, and feet are quite perfect in their modelling, but in my opinion the body, head, and limbs of every materialization of either sex or any age which I have scrutinized at close quarters carefully, or have been permitted to handle, have appeared to be at least one-third smaller in size (except as regards actual height) than those possessed by beings on earth of the same sex and age.

Not only have we witnessed materializations of aged entities of both sexes, showing all the characteristics of old age—for the purpose of identification by the sitters, as they tell us—but we have seen materialized infants also; and on one occasion two still-born children appeared in our midst simultaneously, one of them showing distinct traces on its little face of a hideous deformity which it possessed at the time of its premature birth—a deformity known only to the mother, who happened to be present that evening as one of the sitters.

We are told that, for the purpose of identification, the entity will return to earth in an exact counterpart of the body which he alleges that he occupied at the time of his death, in order that he may be recognized by his relatives and friends who happen to be present. Thus, the one who left the earth as an infant will appear in his materialized body as an infant, although he may have been dead for twenty or thirty years. The aged man or woman will appear with bent body, wrinkled face, and snow-white hair, walking amongst us with difficulty, and just as they allege they did before their death, although that may have occurred twenty years before. The one who had lost a limb during his earth-life will return minus that limb; the one who was disfigured by accident or disease will return bearing distinct traces of that disfigurement, for the purpose of identification only.

But as soon as the identification has been established successfully, all this changes instantly; the disfigurement disappears; the four limbs will be seen, and both the infant and the aged will from henceforth show themselves to us in the very prime of life—the young growing upwards and the aged downwards, as we say, and, as they one and all state emphatically, just as they really look and feel in the sphere in which they now exist.

While inhabiting these temporary bodies, they state that they take on, not only sex conditions, but earth conditions temporarily too; for they appear to feel pain if their bodies are injured in any way; complain of the cold if the temperature of the room is allowed to fall much below sixty degrees, or of the heat if the temperature is allowed to rise above seventy degrees; seem to be depressed during a thunderstorm, when our atmosphere is overcharged with electricity; and appear bright and happy in a warm room when the world outside is in the grip of a hard frost, and also on bright, starry nights.

And not only this, but they take on strongly marked characteristics of the numerous races on earth temporarily too; the materialized entities of the white races differing quite as markedly from those of the yellow or brown races, as do these from the black races; and in speaking to us each one will communicate in the particular language only which is characteristic of his race on earth.

Five, six and even seven totally different languages have been employed during a single experimental meeting through a sensitive who had never in his life been out of England, and who was proved conclusively to know no other language than English; the latter number, we were told, being in honor of a ship's doctor who was present on one occasion, and who—although the fact was quite unknown to any of us at the time—proved to be an expert linguist, for he conversed that evening with different entities in English, French, German, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, and in the language of one of the hill-tribes of India.

On another occasion, when I was the only European present at an afternoon experimental meeting held in London by eight Parsees of both sexes from Bombay, during the whole of the time which the meeting lasted—two and a quarter hours—the entities and the Parsee sitters carried on their conversation in Hindustani; two entities and one of the Parsee men simultaneously engaging in a heated controversy, which lasted for nearly three minutes, over the disposal of the bodies of their dead, the entities insisting on cremation only, as opposed to allowing the bodies to be eaten by vultures—the noise which they made during this discussion being almost deafening. The sensitive, it was proved conclusively, knew no other language than English, and had only once been out of the British Islands, when he paid a short visit to France.


CHAPTER II

"Sit down before a fact as a little child: be prepared to give up every preconceived notion: follow humbly wherever and to whatever abysses Nature leads, or you shall learn nothing."—Thomas Huxley.

Tests

The tests given to me and to my fellow-investigators through the six sensitives who so ably assisted us during our seven years of experimental work in this little-known field of research—the tests have been so numerous, and were of such a varied character, that I find it somewhat difficult to know which to select out of the hundreds which were recorded in our books officially and elsewhere, the ones which will prove of the greatest interest to inquirers; but I have made extracts from ten of these records, and these, with a few taken from Sir William Crookes's reports on the experiments conducted in his presence, will, in my opinion, be sufficient to prove that we who have witnessed these marvels are neither hallucinated, insane, nor liars when we solemnly affirm that we have both seen and handled the materialized bodies built up for temporary use by entities from another sphere; all the statements made here being true in every detail, to the best of my knowledge and belief.

Experiment No. 1

Place—Lyndhurst, New Forest, Hampshire. Sensitive A, male, aged about 46.

As an example of a simple but exceedingly severe test, I would first record one given to me and a fellow-investigator on the outskirts of the New Forest, one for which no special preparation of any kind whatever had been made.

The sensitive, a nearly blind man, was taken by us on a dark night to a spot totally unknown to him, as he had only just arrived from London by train, and was led into a large travelling caravan, one which he had never been near before, as it had only recently left the builder's hands.

During the day I had made a critical examination of the interior of the caravan, and had satisfied myself that no one was or could possibly be concealed in it. I then locked the door, and kept the key in my pocket until the moment when, on the arrival of the sensitive, I unlocked the door and we all passed into the caravan together. I then locked and bolted the door behind us.

As I have already said, no preparation of any kind had been made for the experiment. It was merely the result of a desire to see if anything could be produced through this sensitive, under extremely difficult conditions—conditions which we considered as so utterly bad as to make failure a certainty.

We did not even possess a chair of any kind for the sensitive or ourselves to sit upon, so we placed for his use a board on top of the iron cooking-range which was fixed in the kitchen-portion of the caravan, whilst we sat upon the two couches which were used as beds in the living-portion of the caravan. There was no music, no powerful "human battery" in the shape of a number of picked sitters; in fact, the conditions were just about as bad as they could possibly be, and yet, within ten minutes of my locking the door behind us, the figure of a tall man stood before us, a man so tall that he was compelled to bow his head as he passed under the six-foot high partition which separated the two sections of the caravan.

He said, "I am Colonel — who was 'killed,' as you say, at the battle of — in Egypt. For many years during my earth-life I was deeply interested in materializations, and spent the last night of my life in England experimenting with this very sensitive; and it is a great pleasure to me to be able to return to you—strangers though you both are to me—through him. To prove to you that I am not the sensitive masquerading before you, will you please come here and stand close to me, and so settle the matter for yourself?"

I at once rose and stood beside him, almost touching him. I then discovered that not only were his features and his coloring totally different from those of the sensitive, but that he towered above me, standing, as nearly as I could judge, six foot two or three inches, and was certainly four inches taller than either the sensitive or myself.

Whilst thus standing beside him, and at a distance of about eight feet from the sensitive, we could both hear the unfortunate man moving uneasily on his hard seat on the kitchen-range, sighing and moaning as if in pain.

The entity remained with us for about three minutes, and his place was then taken by a slightly built young man, standing about five feet nine inches, one claiming to be a recently deceased member of the royal family. He talked with us in a soft and pleasing voice, finally whispering a private message to my companion, asking him to deliver it to his mother, Queen —.

Experiment No. 2

Place—Peckham Rye, London, S. E. Sensitive A, male, aged about 46.

An almost equally hopeless task was set this sensitive by the owner of the caravan and myself when we experimented with him at midday on a brilliant morning in July, with sunlight streaming into the room round the edges of the drawn down window-blinds, and round the top, sides, and bottom of the heavy window-curtains, which we had pinned together in a vain attempt to keep out the sunlight during the experiment.

And yet once again, and in spite of the conditions which we regarded as utterly hopeless, the figure of a man appeared in less than ten minutes, materialized from head to foot, as he proved to us by showing us his lower limbs. He left the side of the sensitive, walked out into the room and stood between us, talking to us in a deep rich voice for nearly three minutes. As he stood beside us we could hear the sensitive, twelve feet away, moving uneasily on his chair and groaning slightly.

Five minutes after he disappeared the same (alleged) recently deceased member of the royal family walked out to us and held a short private conversation with my companion, and sent another message to his mother, Queen —.

Experiment No. 3

Place—West Hampstead, London, N. W. Sensitive B, female, aged about 49.

Persons of middle age or older who happened to be in England a few years ago at the time that two lawsuits were brought against a celebrated conjurer by the clever young man who had succeeded in exposing one of his most mystifying tricks, will well remember the sensation caused by the giving of both verdicts against the conjurer; and the young man—to whom I shall refer as Mr. X—at once became famous as the man who had beaten one of the cleverest conjurers of the day.

A friend of mine, who had been present on several occasions when Sir William Crookes's sensitive—Florrie Cook (Mrs. Corner), referred to above as Sensitive B—had produced materializations in gaslight at my house in London, asked her to visit his house at West Hampstead one evening to meet several friends of his, and to see if it were possible for any entity to materialize in my friend's own drawing-room.

She at once accepted his invitation to sit there under strict test conditions; and, talking the matter over with some of his friends a day or two before the one chosen for the experiment, he told me that they had arranged to have the sensitive securely tied to her chair, to have strong iron rings fastened to the floor-boards, through which ropes would be passed, these ropes to be securely fastened to the sensitive's legs; all knots of every size and kind to be sealed, so as to prevent any attempt on her part to leave her chair and to masquerade as a materialized entity.

One of his friends happened to know the celebrated Mr. X—, and, as he had so recently succeeded in beating so notable a conjurer, he was invited to be present and to take entire charge of the tying up, the binding and sealing arrangements, in order to render the escape of the sensitive from her chair an impossibility.

When I joined the party in the drawing-room, Mr. X—, to whom I was introduced, was busily engaged in tying the sensitive up with his own ropes and tapes, sealing every knot with special sealing-wax and with a seal provided by our host. The room was a large one, and a portion at one end had been cleared of all furniture, and in the center of this space only the sensitive seated upon her chair, and Mr. X— busily at work, were to be seen; and the latter, after another fifteen minutes of real hard labor, was asked by our host if he was thoroughly satisfied that the sensitive was fastened to her chair securely. He replied that so securely was she fastened, that if she could produce phenomena of any kind whatever under such conditions, he would at once admit their genuineness.

The sensitive was all this time in a perfectly normal state, and not flurried in any way, her one anxiety being lest we should lower the lights, as she was so terrified at the thought of darkness.

Mr. X—, after stepping backwards to have a final look at the result of his labors, then walked close to the spot where the sensitive was sitting in gaslight, and put one hand up towards the top of the curtain, and was in the act of drawing this round her to keep the direct rays of the gaslight from falling upon her, when a large brown arm and hand suddenly appeared, the hand being clapped heavily upon Mr. X—'s shoulder, whilst a gruff masculine voice asked him in loud tones, "Are you really satisfied?"

I have witnessed some strange happenings in connection with my investigation of occult matters, but to my dying day I shall never forget the look of blank astonishment on Mr. X—'s face at that moment.

Quickly recovering himself, however, he at once examined the sensitive—a little woman, far below the average height, having small hands and feet, as we could all see quite clearly—and declared that every seal and every knot was unbroken, and just as he had left them not sixty seconds before.

Amongst other entities who materialized that evening was a young girl of about eighteen years of age who stated that when she left her earth-body she had been a dancer at a café in Algiers.

She came from the spot where the sensitive was seated, laughing heartily, stating that the hand and arm belonged to an old English sailor, whom she spoke of as "the Captain." She said, further, that he had been standing with her watching the tying-up process from their sphere, and laughing at Mr. X—'s vain attempt to prevent the production of the phenomena. The Captain had very much wished to materialize fully, so as to surprise Mr. X— as he stepped back from the sensitive; but, finding that he could only get sufficient "power" to produce a hand and arm, he was in a bad temper. And this was evidently the case, for during the ten minutes that the girl remained talking to us we could now and then hear the gruff voice of the Captain rolling out language which can only be described as "forcible and free."

The experiment lasted for nearly an hour, and at its conclusion Mr. X— examined the sensitive, and once again reported that every seal and knot were just as he had left them at the commencement of the experiment.

Experiment No. 4

Place—My House in London. Sensitive D, male, aged about 34.

On numerous occasions this sensitive has been seen by all present, in gaslight shaded by red paper, seated on his chair in a state of deep trance, and was heard to be breathing heavily, whilst two materialized entities stood beside him; or with one beside him, and the other standing five to eight feet away from him and close to the sitters.

Again, two female entities were seen simultaneously when this male sensitive was experimenting with us, one of them inside the half-circle formed by the sixteen sitters, and talking to them in a low sweet voice, at a distance of about eight feet from the sensitive; whilst the other female entity passed through or over the sitters, and, walking about the room outside the half-circle formed by the sitters, came up behind two of them, and not only spoke audibly to them, but also held a short conversation with the entity inside the ring, both speaking almost instantaneously.