Emily S French, Emily French,

 Medium Emily S French.   USA

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 Emily S French Medium,

Mr. Edward C. Randall gives an account of another good American voice medium, Mrs. Emily S. French, in his book "The Dead Have Never Died." She died in her home in Rochester, New York, on June 24, 1912. Mr. Randall investigated her powers for twenty years, and was convinced that her mediumship was of a very high character.



From the book "The Psychic Riddle"    Dr. Isaac Funk


WHAT are known in spiritualistic parlance as independent voices are a startling class of phenomena--hard to believe as are those of materialization.

What is an independent voice?

By this name the spiritualist usually means that the spirit entity organizes a set of vocal organs independent of the medium's body, and talks through these organs. A heavy draft this, on credulity, for it asks us to believe that there is extemporized out of hand in the seance-room a human throat, larynx, vocal cords, palate, tongue, teeth, lips and lungs--or something equivalent to them--all this in a few minutes of time.

"Immeasurably absurd," of course, nine out of ten average readers will exclaim.

Can we believe it?

That is not the question. The question to be settled is, is it a fact? If a fact, that settles it; but so strange a fact must be supported by proof of an incontestable sort. If a fact, we must accept it, and then account for it how and when we can. 

In the early part of 1905 I received a letter from a prominent lawyer in Buffalo, N. Y.--Mr. Edward. C. Randall, head of the firm of Randall, Hurley & Porter, requesting that I investigate "a remarkable medium" of his acquaintance, by name Emily S. French, through whom come independent voices and for whose honesty he would vouch. Said he: "About fourteen years ago I became acquainted with this woman. I was sure her phenomena were the result of fraud and I determined to expose it. After many sittings and exacting experiments I became convinced that they were genuine, and finally at the suggestion of the spirit intelligences I had fitted up a sťance-room in my own house in which my wife, the medium, and myself held sťances, and we have done this now for more than a dozen years. I have tested Mrs. French in every way I can think of, and am thoroughly convinced that the phenomena are what they claim to be. The talks are often exceedingly instructive and I have had many of them taken down in shorthand. I wish you would do me and others here the favor to investigate thoroughly these manifestations, and I would be very glad to have you visit us and remain as long as you desire at my house for this purpose. Every facility for thorough scientific investigation will be granted you. Rest assured, you will find the phenomena exactly what I tell you they are."

About the same time I received an urgent letter from an editor of one of the leading dailies in the western part of the State, urging a "scientific investigation of some extraordinary psychic phenomena that come through a Mrs. French, and which are perplexing some of our best minds. The phenomena are much out of the ordinary, and the medium is not a public medium who exhibits for pay."

Shortly after this correspondence Mr. A. W. Moore, the secretary of the Rochester Art Club, wrote to me as follows--I quote very fully from his letter as its story is interestingly told:

"My attention was called to Mrs. French's phase of mediumship about twenty years ago, when I was on the editorial staff of the Union and Advertiser, Rochester, N. Y. At that time I was not only an unbeliever in spiritual manifestation, but prejudiced against it, believing it nothing but fraud. In reporting of it to the press I always treated mediumship with ridicule and sarcasm.

"One summer's day I had occasion to visit Hemlock Lake and there met by chance J. Nelson Tubbs, the well known civil engineer, and now Inspector of the Erie Canal. Our conversation drifted into Spiritualism which I so firmly discountenanced and ridiculed that he asked when, where, and how long I had investigated the subject. I had to confess that I had really investigated the subject very slightly.

He pointed out the inconsistency of my condemning mediumship and taking such strong grounds against it without ever having taken the trouble to examine into the subject, and he warned me to be careful in writing about it until I got better posted. Mr. Tubbs then gave me an account of his investigations carried on during a series of years which resulted in his being a firm believer in spirit return. He gave an account of his experiences with various mediums and particularly the phase of manifestation peculiar to Mrs. French, viz.: Independent voices. He advised me to have a talk with Judge Dean Shuart of Rochester, who was for many years Judge of the Surrogate Court of Monroe County.

"The fact that two such level-headed men--one an eminent civil engineer and mathematician, demanding 'weight and measure' in his profession; the other, a learned jurist and man of such unimpeachable character that he had been repeatedly elected to the responsible office of Surrogate Judge--had profest their full belief in spiritism, caused me to reflect deeply. I, therefore, on my return home, sought out Judge Shuart, and that gentleman told me many things that set me to thinking. He spoke of Mrs. French and arranged for me to attend a private sťance at the house of a mutual friend.

"In the mean time, with a newspaper man's soul, I found out something about the lady's antecedents. She belongs to the American branch of the Pierrepont family, the head of which is the Earl of Manvers, whose principal estate is at Holme Pierrepont, Nottinghamshire, England. I borrowed a book giving the history of the American branch, in which there is a list of the members of the family then living in the United States. In the list I found the name of the late Judge Pierrepont, one time minister to the Court of St. James, London, and at the very end, I found the names of Mrs. Emily S. French and her only child, Mrs. D. Oberst. Mrs. French is the widow of the late Lieut. French of the United States Volunteers, who lost his life during the War of  the Rebellion. She draws the pension of an officer's widow. For many years she has made her home with her daughter, and her chief pleasure in life is administering to the comfort and education of her grandchildren. She is a lady of refinement and possesses the charming, unassuming, and gentle manners of a well-born race.

With this information I attended a sťance as arranged by Judge Shuart. There were present, besides my wife and myself, Mr. and Mrs. Austin (our hosts), and Judge Shuart and one or two others. We met in a small room upstairs and after being seated and taking hold of hands in a Circle, the light was extinguished. It was explained to me that it was absolutely necessary that not the slightest trace of light be allowed to enter the room. Judge Shuart asked all present to sing, saying that vibrations were necessary. We, therefore, sang several familiar songs and afterward talked on various subjects, when all at once, a voice, loud and sonorous, high above our heads, exclaimed: 'I greet you, my friends!' The suddenness of the voice startled all present into silence, and the speaker continued to talk. After continuing for a while, the voice said: 'Ask any questions you may wish and I will answer them to the best of my ability.' I asked, 'What is your name?' The answer came, 'I was known as Red Jacket when in the mortal.' I then asked him to describe conditions in the spirit-world and the passing of the spirit out of the body. In reply, Red Jacket gave a long talk on his own experience. He said at the time of his passing out he was in a very low spiritual condition, due to the excessive use of 'fire-water' which the white man had taught him to indulge in, and also to his intense hatred of the 'pale faces' on account of their having robbed his people of their hunting grounds, etc. He then described some of the ordeals his spirit had to undergo in order to overcome the desire for strong drink which still clung to him, and to turn his hatred of the white man into love.

"I can merely touch upon my experience at this seance. Other voices came, male and female. My impression at the close of the sťance was that the whole thing was an imposture, and I determined to find it out somehow. I told "Judge Shuart frankly that the voices were made by some living person, and that if he would examine the cellar of the house he would find a pipe leading from thence to the room. The Judge immediately requested me to go with him into the cellar, a damp low-ceilinged place, full of cobwebs, but we saw not the slightest indication of a speaking-tube. I then fell back on ventriloquism and accused Mr. Austin of doing the business.

"To all of this Judge Shuart listened kindly and suggested that I follow up my investigations until I had discovered the fraud. 'If there is fraud in Mrs. French's circles,' the Judge said, 'I would like to know it, because my time is too precious to waste by attending these sťances.' Continuing he said, 'I have been sitting with Mrs. French from time to time for the past five years and tested her in every possible way that my mind could suggest, but I have never discovered the slightest trace of fraud. My friend, you will, if you continue your investigations, be compelled to acknowledge that Mrs. French's voices are occasioned by a power beyond the material, and the only conclusion you can arrive at is that they are, as they claim to be, Spiritual.'

"To be brief, I will say I attended another sťance at the house of Mr Austin, with the full conviction that I would be able to detect Mr. Austin as the ventriloquist. But on arriving at the house I found that he had been telegraphed for by his son who was mayor of a town in Colorado. Consequently, the sťance took place without the presence of the man I suspected. The voices came as usual and stronger than on the previous occasion. I was placed next to Mrs. French in the Circle and took hold of her left hand, her other hand being taken by Judge Shuart. When the voices came Mrs. French placed her mouth on the back of my hand until the spirits ceased talking.

"While Red Jacket delivered an address his voice suddenly seemed to die out like the notes of an organ when the wind fails, and he exclaimed 'Sing!' When his voice came again he explained that the cause of his voice failing was lack of  vibrations, and he entered upon a discourse regarding the wonderful atmospheres, electrical conditions, ethers, and vibratory forces of which mortals were quite ignorant, that formed the conditions that enabled spirits to throw their voices into our atmosphere. At the conclusion of this sťance I was just as skeptical as ever, and still more determined to fathom the mystery of the voices.

"I went again and again to the sťances held by Mrs. French and I took with me one of the chief skeptics in the city, Mr. J. McCall, who denounced the whole proceeding as a fraud, but he failed to point it out. His vehement denunciation of Mrs. French aroused me to protest, and I said, surely before you are so loud in your condemnation you ought to point out where the voices come from. 'The fact is,' I said, 'I am beginning to think that they may be spiritvoices, because I have exhausted every device for detecting fraud and failed.' 'Did you ever have Mrs. French give a sťance in your own house?' asked McCall. 'No,' said I. 'Then,' replied he, 'if you can get her to produce the voices in your house you will find, if she accepts your invitation, that the thing won't work.' I asked Mrs. French if she would come to my house. She replied that nothing would give her greater pleasure.

A few days afterward, Mr. McCall and wife were at our house and I suggested that it would be a good opportunity to have Mrs. French over. I walked to her house, a short distance away, and brought her back with me. We sat in my study, and there were present on the occasion Mr. and Mrs. McCall, a nephew of mine just arrived from England, my wife, and myself. We had no sooner turned out the light when Red Jacket said in the loudest tones I had yet heard: 'You see, Brother Moore, I can come to you even in your own house!' He then went on to describe the work he was doing as a missionary spirit. It took him a long time, he said, to outgrow earth conditions and appetites, in order that he might try and undo many things he had done in the flesh. His great anxiety was to come and return good for evil among those whom he called the 'pale faces.' He was happy when he attracted the attention of the white men so that he could teach them something of spiritual law. He said the spirits are working very hard to bring about conditions by which there can be an intercommunication between the two worlds, and the time is coming, said Red Jacket, when materialized spirits would appear upon platforms and address large audiences. The reason that Indian spirits took a large part in spiritual manifestations is because America was their hunting-ground and the red men lived close to Nature and were thus tremendously magnetic.

"Well, in brief, the seance was most wonderful; not only did Red Jacket come with great power, but several other spirits who spoke on different topics.

"The result of this seance was, that Mr. McCall shook hands with me and said, 'Moore, I believe the voices are spiritual!' From that date Mr McCall became a thorough believer and prominent in Spiritualistic circles.

"Since that period I have attended so many of Mrs. French's circles that it would be impossible to give in a letter the many wonderful communications I have had. . . . I think I can say that I have attended in the neighborhood of one thousand of Mrs. French's sťances in the last twenty years.

"I have learned enough wisdom from the old Seneca Sachem Red Jacket regarding spiritual things to fill a large volume. His sermons are at times full of pathos and beauty, and I have known the circle to be brought to tears by his eloquence. He lays great stress on the necessity of living lives of purity, temperance, and benevolence. He admonishes us especially to be charitable toward those who oppose the spiritual philosophy and cling tenaciously to dogmatic theology. He tells us not to try and convert people, but by our example and words draw them to inquire into that which gives blessings and peace to us.

"I might add many things to this testimony regarding Mrs. French, whom I believe to be a most honorable and trustworthy lady, who would scorn to do a dishonest thing, and would never for one moment give herself over to fraud and deceit. The fact is, she does not have to, as her manifestations are among the most wonderful and instructive to be found in the world today."

Mr. Moore in his correspondence again and again urged that I undertake a serious investigation of the psychic phenomena as manifested through Mrs. French. Earnest as were these and other urgings, I said "No," having so often been led on wild-goose chases in hunting up phenomena of this class and classes similar to it, and besides I long since had made up my mind to accept no phenomena as genuine when the conditions were not wholly under my control, and these, it seemed to me, would not be, especially as they were produced in the dark.

Finally, I was visited in my New York office by a lawyer from Rochester, a man whose integrity and level-headedness are nowhere questioned and who is a lawyer of State-wide reputation. He came to urge me to the same investigation. He told me that he also had known Mrs. French for many years, and had visited her sittings very many times the past five years; that his partner, now dead, who was also a prominent lawyer and a judge, was thoroughly convinced of her honesty, and was convinced that the phenomena were of spirit origin; he declared that he himself was not a Spiritualist, and hence did not wish his name mentioned in connection with the matter, and finally suggested that he should try to induce this aged woman to come to New York for two weeks, and to be wholly under my direction, for the most thorough investigation that I would care to make. He said it would be best, however, for him to send with her a lady friend of his, as Mrs. French was now over seventy years of age and was exceedingly feeble, being afflicted with heart trouble which made it unsafe for her to travel alone. He assured me that she gave no sittings for pay, that she was a refined, well-bred woman, a delicate lady in every sense of the word, and that the friend whom he would send with her as an escort was one that he had known for nearly a quarter of a century, and for whom he would vouch in the strongest possible way.

I finally assented, and the conditions agreed upon were as follows:

1. No one was to come with Mrs. French except the one lady escort.

2. Both ladies should stop at the home that I designated.

3. That the sittings should be at such house as I would make known to them after their arrival in New York, and this house was not to be visited by the medium or her friend except during our sittings, nor by any person representing them.

4. Both women were to follow my directions absolutely while in New York City.

These terms were accepted cheerfully. The unconditional acceptance of the requirements made of the series of tests a very interesting case.

In the first place, there was nothing doubtful in the history of the medium. The testimony from those who knew her showed that she was most highly respected, that she had in her favor the verdict of the jury of the vicinage where she had lived over three score years. This rightly counts for much in one's favor. Among those of whom I have since inquired concerning her history are many who have known her for many years, all at least five years, and one, a man who had been acquainted with her for over sixty years. She has come of good stock, and that is also an element that counts; she is a Pierrepont, one of the most noted families of the State of New York; in short she is what the old-fashioned novelists would call high or lady-bred. Those of whom I have inquired--several of whom are not Spiritualists--are unanimous in telling me that they regard her as a person incapable of deception or falsehood.

But, in the acceptance of so uncommon a phenomenon as that of independent voices, our proof should be of a sort that does not depend at all on the honesty of the Medium. People of good reputation, even "Sunday-school men," have been known to lie. Proof that measures up to the standard required must be of a kind that implies an absurdity to suppose the phenomenon is not what is claimed for it.

Still, it was a satisfaction to have, for testing, a medium with an unblemished reputation, and to have for point two-a sťance-room that made trap doors and confederates impossibilities. A close friend of mine, a wealthy business man in New York, whom I have known for over thirty years, consented to permit me to use a room in his family apartment for this series of sťances. It would be difficult to conceive of a better room for this purpose. The windows of the apartment are so arranged that they all open out about fifty feet above the surface of the ground. It is entered by two doors, one from the hall which leads to the elevator, and the other from a fire-escape. The latter at all of our sittings was locked and chained from the inside, and in addition a heavy trunk rested against the door. The hall door was also locked from the inside. At several of the series of sittings I kept the key of this door in my pocket during the entire time. The persons at the sťances were this friend whom I will call Mr. Z., his wife and daughter and myself, the medium and her lady escort--these comprised all of the persons who were in the apartment; not a servant, not even an animal pet of any kind was allowed in the apartment during the sittings, except on two occasions-once we invited an outside friend, and once a friend and his wife.

Mrs. Z. has often investigated Spiritualistic phenomena with me during the last twenty years. She is an expert at this kind of detective work. Her daughter also has attended a large number of sťances, and withal is an author of reputation. Both Mrs. and Miss Z. are very skeptical as to the Spiritualistic hypothesis and are, in my judgment, keen investigators and have a lively knowledge of human nature, especially of the woman sort. Mr. Z. himself has been for years a student of psychic matters and has had no little experience with the tricks of mediumistic fakers. I know of no house or family better fitted for the work I here and then undertook.

There is another fact to be noted. After my attention was first called to Mrs. French, I had a friend who is an able expert in psychic matters go from New York to Buffalo to attend some of Mrs. French's sťances and to make report to me. He did so, and his report on the whole was unfavorable, basing his conclusions mainly on the darkness of the sťance room, the possibility of the medium producing the voices herself, and also on this other fact, that one of the voices spoke of a physician who was sick at a distance from Buffalo, a fact my friend afterward discovered was known personally to the medium. The opportunities for investigation by this friend were not of the best, and the time was brief and, as he afterward informed me, he was not acquainted "with all the facts that are favorable to Mrs. French." I had the detailed written report of this friend for my guidance in my own much larger series of sittings. Having the medium in the house of my selection gave me also a great advantage.

I trust my readers will pardon me for digressing at this point a moment in reply to certain critics.

Again and again Spiritualists lose patience with me, one saying very vigorously that I am not a medium and hence can not be competent to judge of mediumship. The conclusion may be sound, but it is a non-sequitur. I believe that I am better fitted to pass judgment on mediumship than a medium can possibly be, who is always supersensitive and often in a trance. John B. Finch used to say, "I can not lay an egg, but I am a better judge whether an egg is good or bad than all the hens in the country."

J. R. Francis, the editor of the Progressive Thinker, a Spiritualistic paper published in Chicago, has done more--I am sure I am well within bounds in saying it--to free Spiritualism from fraud than any other man in America. Mr. Francis has been pleased in writing recently to declare that he regards me as "an ideal investigator of psychic phenomena," and that he regards my methods as being exact and far-reaching and altogether fair. I think it well to say these things at this point so as to help lead my readers to free their minds as far as possible from all prepossession against my testimony concerning the extraordinary facts I record in the following pages.


First Sitting, Monday, May 29, 1905:

Mrs. French and her escort Mrs. Blank arrived in New York on Monday evening, May 29, 1905, at about 6 o'clock P.M. At 7:30 they were escorted from the boarding-house by Miss Z. to the apartment which I had selected for the sťances. The room off the parlor had been fitted up by Mr. Z. as a seance-room, simply by arranging the one window to the room so as to exclude the outside light. The size of this room is about twelve feet square. We were seated in a semicircle around a small table in the order indicated on the diagram.

It was decided that our series of meetings should be held in the evenings, beginning promptly at 7: 30 o'clock and that the sittings were to be strictly private.

I dislike the condition of absolute darkness in the production of psychic phenomena, as it immensely increases the difficulty of making absolute tests. I asked a "control" at one of our earlier meetings the reason why they could not produce their phenomena without darkness. The answer was: "The nature of the phenomena and the physical condition of the medium make any other course impossible. Were the medium in good health we might carefully experiment, but now we can not. To try it would be fatal to the medium. We understand your wishes and the reason for them, but you must believe us when we tell you that you ask what is impossible." This of course proved nothing, nor did it help us over the difficulty; yet, of course, it is true that light has a certain dynamic power. Every second, millions of light waves strike blows where they are admitted, and there are processes in nature from which it must be excluded. As has often been said, the prenatal child matures in absolute darkness, and light must be excluded from the photographic plate.

Electrical Engineer W. W. Bradfield of the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company wrote me, under date of May 23, 1906, that light at times has been found a serious detriment in wireless telegraphy. This fact was first noticed on the occasion of "a voyage made by M. Marconi on the SS. Philadelphia, when he observed that at 500 miles from our station at Poldhu, Cornwall, England, signals received in the day were not appreciably weaker than those received the night before at about 350 miles. So soon, however, as the distance exceeded 700 miles, no signals were received during the day, altho at night they remained clearly perceptible up to a distance of 2,000 miles."

Prof. Charles Richet, in his address published in the January (1905) number of the Annals of Psychic Science, says: Moreover, there is nothing unreasonable in the admission that light may exercise an inhibitory effect upon certain kinds of phenomena. It is often alleged: "Darkness is required by spirits only because all kinds of trickery are possible in the dark, but this conclusion is absurd." Pp. 28, 29. Richet further holds that if careful precautions are taken "it is rather foolish to consider worthless all experiments made in the dark."

Absolute darkness calls for special care, but this is not a sufficient reason to refuse to investigate. This evening before we entered the cabinet-room we observed that Mrs. French was exceedingly deaf, so deaf in fact, that it was difficult to make her hear in conversation except the voice was considerably raised, and this even when we were removed from her not more than three feet. This fact became an important one in our testings, and hence afterward I sought for fullest confirmation of her deafness by correspondence with several physicians who have attended her-including Dr. Alvin A. Hubbell, of Buffalo, a specialist in eye and ear diseases recognised as an authority of much weight; especially is his testimony here of special importance as he is not a Spiritualist. The testimony of these various doctors leaves no doubt in my mind as to the genuineness of this serious defect in the hearing of Mrs. French. (See Appendix A.)

We waited in the darkness about twenty minutes, having joined hands. It will be observed by the diagram [see page 100] that Mrs. Blank was placed between Mr. Z. and myself, he having hold of her left hand, and I having hold of her right hand; and Miss Z. was next to me and Mrs. Z. next to her. Mrs. French sat at the table directly in front of myself, about four feet distant. The first voice that came was an exceedingly loud masculine voice which, we were informed by Mrs. Blank, was that of one of the controls, the Indian chief, Red Jacket-the inevitable Indian !

The voice spoke consecutively about ten minutes on the work the "forces" wished to do at this series of meetings-he and those with him. They were exceedingly anxious, this voice assured us, to make us know, and make those with whom we came in contact know--not believe, but know that life is continuous.

"We live," he said, "as real lives--more real on this side than we did when on earth. The laws that govern life are the same here as with you. In fact, everything here is so real that many who come over--die, as you call it--do not know for a long time that they are dead. A great part of the work to be done here is to instruct the dead in the true science of progress. To the circles held by this medium we often bring dazed and earthbound spirits, so as to be able to reach their consciousness through earth surroundings. We and they are then brought to the same place and we then can better make them understand their condition, they at these sťances often recognize the voices of those whom in earth-life they knew, and who are in the circle. Many of you people in the flesh think that those who die are done with time and with the earth, but it is still time and it is still earth after we pass over. We have not reached the outlines of time nor of the material world. Life on both sides of the grave is part of the same plan and has the same object and is governed largely by the same laws.

"Think not that the spirit world has not a language of its own. We have a language compared with which the earth languages are blundering. It is heart-and mind-language. You have what you call telepathy. Do any of you know what that is? When you find that out you will know somewhat about our language.

"It may be said that the spirit hears what it wishes to hear, and that it makes its own world. Each spirit is a creator. You have faculties that are now only faintly imagined by you. There is reality. The Great Spirit is reality. We can not explain these things to you. Only the most developed among us know the beginnings of these things. We blunder here as you blunder on the earth, but there is great progress. You must not believe every spirit any more than you believe every man. To some this is a dream world, or rather dream worlds, for there are as many of these worlds almost as there are individuals. But this spirit world is also subject to law. It has its environments and its developments. It has its scientific basis and limitations as you would call it. You must learn to think of this world and of the people in it as real."

The various talks of Red Jacket this evening in all must have covered one hour, bearing largely on the main thought running through the above talk. This kind of talk is not new to those who frequently attend the better class of sťances. If we can believe these "spirits" death is not a barrier, but a highway, like was the sea to the Vikings. But the thoughts exprest had comparatively little interest to me, for I already believed these truths, and some of them seemed to be but an echo from my own mind and might have been gathered by any bright medium through reading my mind. What I wished to know was whether this loud voice was produced by that feeble little woman sitting at the table; or whether the voice was produced through extemporised vocal organs by a foreign intelligence--this latter alternative seemed to me extremely improbable.

The thought exprest by the other voices during this first evening was all of an exalted kind, and they were always ready to answer the questions which we asked. Some of the voices were bright and one or two even "snappy," but the voices of Red Jacket and Dr. Hossack, another of the principal controls, were exceedingly serious, impressing one that their owners were intelligences of great earnestness.

It was quickly evident that one of two hypotheses must furnish the explanation of these phenomena. Either they were produced through conscious fraud on the part of the medium, a fraud which has been continued now for more than two score years, or they were produced by foreign intelligences. Let it be remembered that the hands of all in the circle were joined together, except the hands of the medium, I having hold of the right hand of Mrs. Blank and Mr. Z. having hold of her left hand. We frequently talked to Mrs. Blank while the voices were talking. Mrs. Blank was in this way practically eliminated from the problem. The voice of Red Jacket appeared to come from a point some four feet above the head of the medium, and about three feet to the left of her as she sat facing the members of the semicircle.

After I had fully fixt the locality in my mind, I asked one after another in the circle to locate the point in the room from which the voice came. This I did without telling my own impression. All located it at about the same spot that I did. It must be remembered that it is not an easy thing to locate from whence a sound comes in darkness. Those who have never tried it will find it an interesting experiment. At my request, the voice of Red Jacket changed to different parts of the room. This it did always on the side where the medium was sitting. In reply to a question why he could not come behind those of us who were in the circle and speak, he said: "It is necessary for us to be near the Medium, as we draw force from her "-a possible, but an unfortunate necessity. Had the medium stood on a chair or used a long jointed megaphone she could herself have made the voice come from the point whence it seemed to come-that is, if possest of the power to produce the voice.

We sat in the circle about one hour and a half, and as the medium was fatigued by travel, it was suggested by one of the controls that we close the sitting for the evening. Instructions were given us by the controls to have the room on the succeeding nights the same as this night, and to occupy hereafter the same seats. This voice was introduced to us as that of Dr. Hossack, a physician who, we were told, when on earth was a professor in Columbia College, New York City.1 This was in the early part of the last century. There seemed a trace of Mrs. French's voice in that of Dr. Hossack, but none of us could discover in the voice of Red Jacket any semblance to the exceptionally feeble voice of Mrs. French. We determined hereafter to watch carefully for this similarity, believing that in it we might get the key to the mystery. Mrs. French is a frail woman of about one hundred and seventeen pounds weight, seventy-two years of age, with a pulse that indicates quite a weak and irregular heart. Immediately after the sitting I felt her pulse, and found it sixty-eight to the minute, missing every third or fourth beat. It is not often that one hears two voices more unlike than that of Red Jacket and Mrs. French.

Second Sitting, Tuesday, May 30, 1905:

Immediately upon the arrival of Mrs. French and Mrs. Blank, we entered the sťance-room, and were seated as on the first evening. It will be remembered that neither of these two women was permitted to visit the home of Mrs. Z. except at the time of the sittings. Before the lights were turned out, we all carefully marked the exact location of Mrs. French, and also trained ourselves to locate by the sound the distance and direction of a voice, observing how, when the head is turned in any one direction, the voice seems to proceed from a point toward the side of the room to which the head is turned. In that way a voice can be made to appear as proceeding from a point near the ceiling or a point near the floor, or to the right hand or left hand, or back of the one speaking. When Red Jacket's voice came, he directed, upon my suggestion, that the left hand of Mrs. French and the right hand of Mrs. Z. be joined. This made it more possible for Mrs. Z. to detect any movement of Mrs. French. It should be remembered that Mrs. Z. is not a novice in psychic investigation, and is keenly alert to the tricks of fake mediums. She made investigations with me some twenty-five years ago at sťances with the famous medium, Dr. Slade, detecting some of his tricks, and also at my house with one of the Fox sisters and with others, down to the present time, and as previously remarked, both Mrs. Z. and her daughter are very skeptical as to the spirit hypothesis, and hence are keen to suspect and detect fraud.

The voice of Red Jacket appeared to be of the same timbre as the night before, and it seemed equally high above the Medium's head, about eight feet from the floor, and toward the sliding door between the two parlors. Our various tests again confirmed our partial conviction of the night before--that Mrs. Blank had nothing whatever to do with these voices. This we proved by talking to her and having her talk to us while the voices were speaking. Our tests also eliminated the theory that Mrs. F. left her seat or stood up. All of these possibilities had been thoroughly canvassed by us prior to the coming of Mrs. B. and Mrs. F. this evening.

The theory of a megaphone manipulated by one hand of the medium, and the theory of the medium being an accomplished ventriloquist remained. To test these theories, I requested the medium to talk at the same time Red Jacket talked. If this could be done, it would help us also to locate the whereabouts of the medium when her hand was not being held by Mrs. Z. We were told by one of the voices that we must recognize the possibility of failures in this simultaneous talking because of the complexity and difficulty of the phenomena: "You do not fully realize," said Dr. Hossack, "how exceedingly delicate is the organ [medium] we have to work with. She is very frail. Many times we have kept her in her body when even her physicians were sure that she would pass out. She is of very great importance to us as an instrument, and you must not ask us to take undue risks; and yet, on the other hand, we understand perfectly the value of the experiments that you are making, and will do everything in our power to help you make these experiments satisfactory. It is far better for her that she keep quiet while the other voices are talking and are thus drawing upon her strength. We have here a band of medical experts who are watching closely the heart and mind of the medium, and we have also with us a chemical expert and a band of what you would probably call electricians, who are adepts in the manufacture and control of the vital currents. It may seem to you an easy matter that the medium should talk simultaneously with us; but I assure you it is an extraordinarily difficult and dangerous thing; and I again assure you that we have come here to do all that it is possible to do to satisfy you of the genuineness and the significance of these phenomena."

"Yes, yes," said the medium. Her "Yes, yes" seemed to be simultaneous with the voice, yet we were not all absolutely certain of this. During the remainder of the evening, a score of times the medium seemed to talk at the same time that did the other voices. Some of us thought Yes, others of us were slightly in doubt, believing that there was a fraction of a second between the voices. Mrs. Z., who had Mrs. F.'s hand, was fairly sure that the voices were simultaneous. To us all it seemed very hard to believe that any human being could have spoken in two different voices so nearly simultaneously and so often, without sometimes using the wrong voice; and also the conviction was constantly growing upon us, that the feeble, quiet, delicately refined voice of Mrs. F. could not have been produced by the same vocal organs that produced the strong masculine voice of Red Jacket even tho assisted by some mechanism. Another point to be tested was whether the defective hearing of Mrs. F. could catch our questions asked of Red Jacket when uttered in low conversational tones. We found that Red Jacket responded to our questions and remarks, no matter how low our tones were. This is a very important factor in the problem of determining the origin of these voices.

As to Dr. Hossack's suggestion that the phenomenon is difficult to produce, when we come to think of it, what reason have we to conclude that the spirit world is a simple and easy state of existence? Analogy tells us the contrary. As we progress, the problems of life, of thinking, and of acting grow more and more marvelous and difficult. Water seems to us an easy substance to handle, but as we go upward to hydrogen and oxygen, and then back to atoms and electrons, and the combining of these in many ways-well, who cares for all this? We cut the Gordian knot and say "God directs." Why may it not be that there, as here, God works through others these countless marvels, and that among these others are the spirits of the generations that have gone before, and that there as here the doing of things must all be learned in natural ways, and the human faculties developed gradually by exercise, so that there as here are all degrees of perfection and imperfection. This, of course, is only a guess, and yet our unbelief in the immensities of the universe leads us into countless absurdities. Only a few centuries ago, the sun, moon, stars, were believed to be only so many lamps that rose in the east and crossed the sky of the stationary earth to the west, and thus in childlike simplicity we settled it. Now we see immensities upon immensities, and complications untold. Suppose a hermetically sealed vial of radium is buried in the culture mixture of gelatin and beef tea, and life is evolved. Then what? Why, we have then only discovered a way in which life, that always existed, makes itself manifest. When we reach the end of the discoveries through our telescopes and microscopes and solar spectrums and chemical analyses, we have only scratched the borderland of the infinite immensities of the universe-the ocean of realities.

The sťance lasted this evening two hours, about one hour and a half being taken in talks by some half a dozen different voices. About fifty minutes of this time was taken in a talk of a most serious sort, by Red Jacket, urging the human race to brotherhood and to labor for others, insisting that each one make his life harmonize with truth, and saying that if we did this, we would be well advanced when we entered the other world, "for," he declared, "all real growth springs out of a desire for the welfare of our fellows."

Ventriloquism or a megaphone still seemed a possible explanation. Mrs. Z., who kept her hand during much of the evening on top of the hand of Mrs. F., declared that she could not detect the slightest tremor of her hand when the loud, vibrant voice of Red Jacket was most earnest. Nor could she detect the slightest movement that it would have seemed necessary for her body to have made in manipulating a megaphone. Of course, either of these hypotheses meant conscious fraud of a very depraved sort on the part of the medium whose personality and truthfulness imprest us more and more every time we spoke to her. She seemed an ideally refined, well-born, well-bred, and an ingenuous big-hearted woman.

I urged Mrs. Z. and Miss Z. to study both women very carefully, during the day, by calling upon them, giving full play to the intuitive knowledge which women are said to have of womankind. Red Jacket talked very much about himself during the evening. He seemed to understand himself quite well, and it may be, after all, the Irishman wasn't far wrong when he said, "We get the best view of our lives after we are dead." This seemed to be true of Red Jacket's post-mortem estimate of himself.

Third Sitting, Wednesday, May 31, 1905:

We added to our circle this evening Miss H., a celebrated author. She sat between Miss Z. and myself. The position of each sitter in the circle was otherwise the same as on the two previous evenings.

When Red Jacket's voice came I told him that the theory of the megaphone or speaking-trumpet would be used by the critical public as a possible explanation, also that ventriloquism would be urged in explanation, and asked him, if he could, to give us some experiments that would exclude both of these hypotheses. His answer was, "We will do whatever the strength of the medium will permit." In reply to a question whether he would not tell us his experiences upon his entrance into the other world at death, and also let us know what his present work was in the spirit-world, Red Jacket for fifty-five minutes, as nearly as I could judge by noting the striking of the clock in a near-by room, spoke in his usual loud masculine voice.

My purpose in putting these questions to Red Jacket was to have him make a long speech, believing that such an effort would test greatly the physical endurance of Mrs. French, provided she produced the voice. I have had much experience in judging of the carrying capacity of voices, and I have no doubt that the voice of Red Jacket as we listened to it this evening would easily have filled a hall with a seating capacity of two thousand people, while Mrs. F.'s voice, at its loudest, so far as I have heard it, would not fill a parlor twenty feet square. An address in a loud voice, lasting fifty-five minutes, is an exhausting strain upon the average strong man. Immediately after this speaking I felt Mrs. F.'s pulse, and found that it was as usual, weak and irregular; but not noticeably so beyond what I had found it when she first came into the room.

At the beginning of the sťance Mrs. Z. was requested by Red Jacket to put her hands upon both of the hands of Mrs. F. This she did throughout the speaking. Under these conditions the megaphone theory became wholly an impossible one. Mrs. Z. knows well the trick of a medium covering both hands with one, so as to make believe that both hands are being accounted for. She assured us that she covered fully each hand of the medium with her hands. Frequently at this sitting Mrs. F. replied in a natural voice, that certainly seemed at times simultaneous with Red Jacket's speaking. During the whole of the talking one of Mrs. Blank's hands was in Mr. Z's hand, and the other was held by me. The sitting lasted one hour and forty minutes.

Fourth Sitting, Thursday, June 1, 1905:

Red Jacket invited me to sit immediately in front of the little table at which Mrs. French is accustomed to sit, and to place my hands on her two hands. I separated her two hands about twelve inches, so that the one hand of the medium could not possibly be mistaken for two hands, a trick that I have known to have been played again and again; a trick I myself have played successfully in a dark circle. I put my hands straight out from my body, so as to have the width of my body between the two hands. I again requested Mrs. F. to talk much. Her face could not have been more than twenty-four inches from mine. I could hear her breathe as well as talk. Red Jacket and the other voices talked freely, and Mrs. F. frequently spoke, seemingly at the same time. This test lasted probably ten minutes. It made it impossible for me to hold longer the megaphone theory, and it is difficult to see how it was possible to explain the phenomena by ventriloquism.

As nearly as it is possible for the ear to detect, Mrs. F. breathed naturally and talked in her usual low tones, at the same instant that the explosive voice of Red Jacket spoke. I noted particularly the breathing of Mrs. French. Her breath came regular during the sentences of Red Jacket, whether they were long or short.

"Sit back!" Red Jacket suddenly thundered in an explosive voice that seemed to shake the room. I sat back. He afterward explained that the heart of the medium had begun "to thump," and that there was danger to her if the test continued longer. Just before the command, I was told I would feel the passing of a spirit over my face. I felt a cool breath of air. But this could have been produced by the medium, if she had so desired, for if you blow in the face of another at the distance of fifteen or twenty inches, the air will feel cold.

After I had resumed my seat in the Circle there came a strange, laughing voice, very loud, which seemed to come from the neighborhood of the door that led into the hall, or from out in the hall, some six or eight feet distant from the medium. This loud laughing voice was a curious phenomenon, and seemed to startle greatly the medium.

The voice came at our request repeatedly, some ten times in all, each laugh averaging possibly a dozen ha-ha's, and varying from a deep basso to almost a treble. We were told by Red Jacket that this phenomenon was permitted to show the impossibility "of the medium producing these voices through ventriloquism, as it must be manifest to all here that it is wholly beyond any conceivable compass of a female voice, and especially of so weak a voice as that of Mrs. French." The location of the voice seemed to change from place to place at our request, sometimes it sounded as if near the floor and then up high near the ceiling, and then about six feet to the left of the medium and then to her right, and then back of her, and then again immediately in front of her. This suggested the art of ventriloquism together with the turning of the head from side to side; but the utter physical weakness of the medium, and her exceptionally feeble voice added to the other tests that we had previously made, seemed almost conclusive--if not altogether so--against this theory.

At times when the laughing took place, Mrs. Z., at our request, took hold of both hands of the medium, and Mr. Z. and I held both hands of Mrs. Blank, so that the use of a megaphone was again wholly impossible. It is well again to remember that for Mrs. F. to have produced the laugh that we heard, requires us to believe that she possesses extraordinarily well developed lungs and vocal powers, while the truth is, her whole physical build is after a most delicate, feeble feminine model. It is as easy to think of a rabbit barking like a bulldog or bellowing like a bull, as to think of one physically made up as is Mrs. F. producing such a laugh.

It should also be remembered that Mrs. Z. and Miss Z. and Mr. Z. and I are all seasoned investigators. I myself have been at hundreds of seances of all kinds. The reader can take it for granted that not one of our company could be stampeded or excited by the novelty or weirdness of this sort of experiences.

During the evening there were female voices as well as male voices other than that of Red Jacket's. The phenomena continued until 9: 30. The theory of collective hallucination it would be very difficult to apply to this series of phenomena. We did not expect the laughing voice; we had not heard that anything of the kind ever occurred at Mrs. French's sittings. On inquiry I found it had not been heard at the sittings in Buffalo or Rochester. We criticized it one to the other, talked about it, and talked to the spirit's personality, and he responded. We talked in a low voice also to the personality and were correctly answered. Mrs. French seemed very much amused at the voice, and often laughed in her quiet way, but so loud that we could all hear her laugh, seemingly at the same time that this loud laughter occurred. A transmitted subjective impression is likely to have marks of subjectivity, while this voice had all the marks of objectivity. After listening to it on other evenings, I have no doubt whatever as to the inapplicability of the collective hallucination theory.

The following question was asked of Dr. Hossack during the evening: Why can not every one be a medium? Why does the spirit-world pass by some of our most excellent people, and choose sometimes unworthy ones for mediums? This was asked also to test the mental caliber of the personality who talked. The answer was: "Can you tell me why it is that copper is better than gold to carry the telegraphic message, or why is it that one material is better than another to hold the picture on the photographic plate, or why is it that radium is to be found in pitchblende and not in silver or gold? It is, my friend, a natural law, and it is not for us to quarrel with natural laws, but to conform to them. It is only by conforming to them that we can get anything from nature." This talk was written down from memory several days afterward and may not be verbally correct, but the thought is. In nearly all other incidents in this series I wrote out the talks the same evening.

Fifth Sitting, Friday, June 2, 1905

For about forty minutes no voices came. At all of these meetings Mrs. F. claims she sees, somewhat over our heads, a string of lights which at first are disconnected, and, when conditions are perfected for the voices to come, the lights join. Tonight she reported the lights as coming very slowly and as being very slowly to connect. The weather conditions were reported unfavorable, as it was stormy, and the atmospheric pressure heavy. The voices, however, finally came. Red Jacket delivered a talk of about half an hour in length, a well-sustained and connected talk. His addresses on these occasions are all markedly serious, no jesting or light talking, and they are remarkably free from errors in grammar. Sometimes he will ask for the proper technical word. The following is an outline of his talk as written down the day following by Mr. Z. at my request--it is as unlike as can be to conversations I have had with Mrs. French out of the sťance-room:

"Friends, I greet you ! I wish to call your attention to some of the conditions used by this medium in making communications possible.

"Referring back to many moons ago, or as the Pale Face says, years ago, after my entrance into spirit-life, a number of earnest spirits anxious to help mortals by imparting more accurate information about the conditions of life here and how life on your side affected life here, held meetings in an assembly-hall here called 'The Hall of Truth.' We decided to search among mortals if we could find any sensitives suitable for the special purposes that we had in view. We found but three, and one of these soon passed over to this side. Later we found that the kind of sensitives we had selected would not answer. We needed a different and higher grade. We made other explorations, testing other mediums. Finally we found the medium we have been using now for so many years.

"You understand the mind works through the brain. But to the mental force is added what may be called the vital force which is more closely connected with the entire nervous system. These forces produce what may be called electro-magnetism. Follow me closely. Now, we have found that there are some mortals born with a double spinal cord. This is very rarely a fact. This second spinal cord generates the force we need for our particular purpose, that is, to produce the vibrations which you call 'voices.' So delicate and important is the force produced by this second spinal cord, that a medicine man stands behind this medium all the time we use this force, and brings a pressure to bear at the end of the cord, near the base of the brain. This explains why this medium says she feels a tapping going on at the base of her brain while we are talking."

This curious explanation of the phenomena by Red Jacket was drawn out to a considerable length, and became very technical.

In answer to a question, Dr. Hossack replied that when he was practicing medicine on earth, he read the report of a case of the finding of a double spinal cord. This was found in dissecting the body of a Scotchman in Berlin, Germany. It was then regarded by the medical authorities as a mere freak, and little attention at that time was paid to it.

Suddenly in the midst of our talk there broke in a voice with a very pronounced Irish brogue. He seemed to pass to the right and then to the left of the medium again and again, and kept up a rattle of quaint remarks for about five minutes. We were afterward told by Dr. Hossack that the object of this interruption was to get us less intense, so as to make it easier for the spirits to use the vital forces of the medium and of the members of the circle. This voice had all the quaint humor with which we associate the typical Irishman. It is quite evident, if these phenomena are what they claim to be, that national and individual characteristics endure beyond the Great Divide.

Of course, the apparent change of location of the voice could be produced by a Medium, if tricky, by turning her head as already indicated. The left hand of the medium was held most of the time by the right hand of Mrs. Z. Mrs. Z. reported that the medium seemed to be wholly passive, and more than usually weak-" as weak as a child." I felt the medium's pulse, and it was very weak and very irregular.

Red Jacket's speech is often very picturesque. For example, this evening he was speaking to one in the circle who had just passed through much trouble and was discouraged. He said, "Your boat has rocked and your oars fallen out." Of a public character who was known somewhat for his bitterness of speech, he said, "He shot his words like arrows, and they wounded people. We should give health, not hurt. This is right. Say, friends, it is right."

During the last sitting or two we have directed our attention more to the thoughts uttered by the voices, and have sought to compare them with the thoughts exprest by Mrs. French when not in the circle, striving to judge of the mental caliber of the medium and the mental caliber of the individualities as revealed through these voices. There seems to be as great a difference between the mentality of the medium and the mentality of Red Jacket, Dr. Hossack, and two or three others of the individualities revealed through these strange phenomena as there is in the voices.

It is well constantly to bear in mind that a quick accurate ear is rare. A close observer is not a personage we meet every day. An investigator of phenomena of this kind should studiously avoid coming to any conclusions during his series of sittings, for an opinion is sure to bias his physical senses.

And let me just here whisper to the critic : We should all learn to judge leniently the opinions of others, knowing that our own are sometimes in error.

The moral quality of the talks at these sťances is an element that is to be considered. Not once at the sittings this week has there been uttered a word of hate, an unclean word, or even a silly word. In fact experiences at a great majority of the sťances I have attended with different mediums justify the testimony of Frederick Myers that the "spirit talks" are as a whole of an exceptionally exalted character. I find in my note-book this sentence which I jotted down from a prayer of Mrs. Pepper given at one of her meetings in Brooklyn, she supposed to be at the time in a trance: "We thank Thee for that divine and wonderful blessing men call birth, and we thank Thee for that equally divine and still more wonderful blessing which men have misnamed death."

When dozens of sentences of this kind come from the same individual under various circumstances it becomes increasingly difficult to believe that the soul that utters them is unclean or unspiritual.

Sixth Sitting, Saturday, June 3, 1905:

We made many efforts at the meeting tonight to have talking by the medium at the same time the "voices" spoke. The medium seemed very weak, having had, Mrs. Blank reported, a severe attack of heart trouble during the day, which was treated, she declared, by Dr. Hossack, the spirit doctor, they having "a sťance in a dark closet in the boarding-house." Mrs. Blank assured us that it is usual in these attacks of faintness and paroxysms of pain "to consult the spirit, Dr. Hossack," and his prescriptions are followed.

The sincerity of both these women, and their innate refinement and nobility of character have steadily become more and more factors in the problem that we have in hand. There has never been the slightest evidence of evasion or deceit. Whatever doubts we have of these ladies in their absence is wholly occasioned by the strangeness of the phenomena, and is dissipated in their presence, so straightforward are they, and simple, and perfectly ladylike in all their manners and talks.

Red Jacket tonight gave us a talk on mediumship. Among other things, he said: "Most mediums are mere playthings of their imagination; others, a smaller number, are the dupes of the intelligences, tricky, sometimes sportive, at other times malignant. It is a terribly dangerous mistake to think that there are no evil spirits. There are great hosts of them. They come at times without formal invitation of the medium or of the circle, and control to the hurt of the members of the circle and to the hurt of the medium."

To revert again to Sir William Crookes's vibration theory of the universe: If it be true that we are living in the midst of vibrations from both sides of the grave, then it is not hard to believe that those spirits on the other side who are nearest the earth, that is those who are most earthly, would find it easier to return, and may give us false communications altho the medium be altogether honest. Who then is safe? It is well to remember the words of the prophet: "The angel of the Lord encompasseth round about them that revere him, to deliver them." God Almighty is not dead, nor does He sleep. It is quite easy to believe that no mother ever so tenderly cared for her child as He for His children. But remember those words "that revere him"-this attitude of soul may make us recipients of help which otherwise could not possibly reach us.

At our request the laughing voice came again. He spoke for the first time. He said that when he died he was certain his family was glad, for they thought they could get the insurance money that was on his life, and that their grief was hypocritical. He laughed bitterly at their deceit. 'When he looked at himself in the coffin and saw that he looked so natural he could not believe that he was dead. He felt so deeply the wrong done him by his wife and family that he did not speak, and if any spirit talked to him he just laughed. But he said that he now begins to feel that he was wrong in this, and that we must forgive, and "now I feel that my heart grows warm again and I now talk." Then he broke out again into a good-natured laugh, very loud, but free from the bitterness that marked it heretofore. At our request, which we made for test purposes, he laughed again and again, and the medium laughed in a natural, low voice. Mrs. Z. had both hands of the medium in hers on the table, and reported that she could recognize distinctly that the medium was laughing at the same time that the voice laughed. At times her laughing was so loud we could all hear it. The contrast between the two voices was very great-the one loud, vibrant, and even coarsely masculine, so loud that it could have been heard a hundred feet distant; the other feeble, ladylike, that could be heard by us only by close attention, and then not at a distance of more than a few feet. Suddenly an explosive laugh, unusually loud, came seemingly immediately from behind the medium. She jumped and cried aloud-we were all startled. The medium faintly called for water. I found that her pulse was beating very feebly, and exceedingly irregular. It seemed for a while that we might have a corpse on our hands and our medium go to the beyond. If this was all acted, it was supreme acting and wholly inconsistent with the reputation of Mrs. F. and seemed vastly beyond her physical strength.

After a while the seance continued. Dr. Hossack's voice assured us that the test was given to show how impossible was the assumption that the medium could produce the voice. And again he assured us that the experiment was extremely dangerous to the medium, and asked that this suffice, because of the medium's condition of extreme weakness, telling us that anxious as they are to satisfy us and satisfy the scientists, they must not risk further injury to the medium, and that as to this danger we must trust their superior experience and judgment.

Mrs. Z. again assured us that in all these laughter scenes, when she held the medium's two hands, she did not feel the slightest vibration from the great lung effort required to produce these vocal explosive noises, but that she could feel the vibrations when Mrs. F. either spoke or laughed naturally as she frequently did.

It was decided to give the medium perfect rest on Sunday, and hence no sittings were held until the following Monday.

Seventh Sitting, Monday, June 5, 1905:

Before the arrival of the medium and her escort we reviewed our past week's work. All possible explanations of independent voices seemed to us to be included in the following:

1. Confederates from outside the circle
2. Confederates from inside the circle
3. Collective hallucination without hypnotism
4. General hallucination through hypnotic suggestion
5. Intentional fraud on part of medium through use of megaphone
6. False voices through use of various mouth devices
7. Ventriloquism
8. Unintentional fraud by the medium through trance as by alternating personalities
9. Outside intelligences making use of the vocal organs of the medium without the medium being conscious of the fact, or through vocal organs extemporized by the spirits.

The following seems to be a reasonable summing up:

1. Confederates from the outside during this entire series of sittings are absolutely excluded by the conditions.
2. The only possible confederate from the inside is Mrs. Blank. Against this theory are:

(1) Mrs. Blank's well-known character
(2) The fact that she always sits wedged in between Mr. Z. and myself, our hands being joined.
(3) Conversation is carried on with her frequently while the voices are speaking.

3 and 4. Any one after reading the descriptions given of conditions, and of what has taken place during the past week and who yet can believe the theory of collective hallucination or hypnotism of the entire circle, I am quite sure would be capable of believing anything, and given the proper mental twist toward Spiritualism he would, quite likely, become the most credulous of Spiritualists. The belief or disbelief of persons of this class does not rest on reason or fact, but on preconceived ideas.

5. All in the circle are sure that the megaphone theory has been absolutely excluded by the tests already made.

6 and 7. The possibility of the medium either through the trick of ventriloquism or by the use of mouth devices producing the various voices we determined further to test.

8. The possibility of the medium, in trance, speaking in these different voices, and this without intentional fraud, we thought also needed further testing.

As to this last theory including that of the secondary personalities, the rapidity with which these changes take place and the naturalness of the medium at all times seem to exclude this hypothesis, and yet it deserves further investigation. After many of the sittings I talk with the medium about what has taken place, and she remembers all perfectly, commenting intelligently upon the incidents. Also during the sittings Mrs. French often comments on what has been said and done, in a perfectly natural way, the same as the rest of us. Frequently I and other members of the circle ask her questions, and her answers are wholly natural. The reader must bear in mind that she is hard of hearing and each evening, frequently, we have occasion to talk to the outside intelligences, and often we do not raise our voices for them to hear us, but talk in our natural tones of voice, and sometimes purposely in lower tones, and are always understood by the intelligences. If we desire Mrs. French to know what we have asked, we are compelled to repeat in much louder tones of voice.

As to intentional fraud of any kind we must bear in-mind that there is no money motive for fraud. The medium was paid nothing for her trip to New York on this occasion. If there is deception on her part, there can be no motive for it except that of the gratification of vanity or a sense of power which is effective in many people. Otherwise the motive must be pure cussedness. But a morbid vanity is often a very strong motive in leading people to commit fraud along the mediumistic line, and should not be ignored. All of the appearances are against this theory, but still it should be borne in mind, for human nature is at times exceedingly untrustworthy, hence tests for supernormal powers should be insisted upon along the lines that involve something more than the good faith of the medium.

I asked Red Jacket this evening how he could account for the unfavorable opinion of the friend I sent to Buffalo to investigate this medium, he believing fraud a likely explanation.

"What is it," said Red Jacket, "that your friend says took place?"

"He says at one of these sittings he had with Mrs. French no voices came for a long time, and that when finally a voice did come it explained the delay by saying that the band were helping a doctor at a certain distant prison who was 'passing out' [dying].

The next day this friend in talking with a gentleman in Buffalo told him what the voice said. This gentleman remarked that Mrs. French knew all about that case, for she had told him about it prior to that meeting. Now this friend says that this was proof of deception on the part of Mrs. French."

Red Jacket replied, "In what way? Is this fair? Mrs. French did not say one word at that time. We spirits did not get our knowledge from her of the sickness of the doctor. We told at that sťance simply a fact. We did not give the name of the doctor because some doctors do not like to have it known that they are sick. Is this the reasoning of science: because Mrs. French knew of this case saying nothing about it--that therefore she is a cheat? I told you we did not get our information from her, and if we had got it from her mind, how would that have affected her honesty? What we said was true. We do not lie. But your friend is not fair, and does a great wrong by these guesses, and guesses are surely not science.

"You say the woman, Miss H., is sick. We did not know until you told us. Sometimes we get this knowledge from the minds of those who are in the circle and sometimes from their words, sometimes from the mind of the medium, and sometimes from the spirit friends of the person who is sick. How is it right to say because we tell something the medium already knows that the medium is not honest? This kind of treatment grieves us when we are trying to do good."

"Now, Red Jacket," I said, "we do not mean to wrong you, nor the medium, but are trying to get the exact facts. My friend does not mean to wrong the medium, but there are a great many cheats in the so-called medium business, and he was trying to get evidence that would shut out all possibility of fraud, even if the medium should desire to commit fraud. The evidence that is to convince the world must be of a nature that will not depend upon the honesty of the medium. You know what I mean. "

"Yes, I think I do, and we are trying to give you such evidence, and we tried to give such evidence to your friend, but he did not help us. He was hard to us and to the medium in his thought. The influences that came from him were not helpful. He had no intention to hinder, but he did. Some people give out help, but your friend did not. We will see what we can do for you. The influences that come from this circle are helpful."

"Would you tell us whether, in speaking, you make any use of the organs of the medium, or whether you organize your own vocal organs?"

Red Jacket: "We make our own vocal organs. How is it possible for her organs to speak as I speak? Science and common sense should make that clear. How is it possible for her organs to laugh as that laughing voice laughs? You must use your reason as you do in other matters. The medium has come a great distance and she gets nothing for it; but she comes to help you and we come to help you. Now, you must be fair. You have had hold of the medium's hands and the squaw [Mrs. Z.] is now holding the medium's hands while I talk, and we talk often at the same time she talks, altho this is dangerous to her. This we do to give you proof that it is not she who talks, and yet will you say the medium does it?"

"No, Red Jacket, we do not say the medium does it. What we wish is to get proof, not to convince ourselves, who now have met the medium, that she is honest, but proof that will convince those who have never met the medium."

"What do you ask us to do?"

"Would it be possible for the medium to talk if she put both of her hands in one of Mrs. Z.'s hands, and then permit Mrs. Z. to put her other hand over the medium's mouth?"

"Now, this may seem easy to you, and I do not know how to make you understand that any act of suspicion like that increases manifold the difficulty that we have of holding the medium's strength. We can not try this test tonight. It would not be safe. We will see whether we can do it tomorrow night. You don't seem to understand that the medium is exceedingly sensitive, and putting her under that kind of a test implies that she is a cheat, and this necessarily excites her nerves and affects her heart; but we will do what we can."

Curious that unbelief should hinder the manifestation of psychic powers, but can we be sure it does not? Even the great Master, Christ, insisted upon this condition, believe. He could not do any mighty works in Galilee, why? Because of the unbelief of the people. Note the words could not.

During this evening we had a singing voice which sang very pleasingly, and other new voices spoke. One voice reproved the thought that the spirits are to blame if in a circle errors are made or communications do not come readily.

This seemed just. I do not find it well in a circle to dispute with the intelligences as it is apt to interfere with the results, just for what reason I am not altogether sure. Quite likely it affects the passivity of the medium. A spirit in another circle explained the imperfection in communication after this manner:

Mediumship is not like a phonograph that Edison has so wonderfully invented, and that carries a message on it that is indelibly there, and repeats itself to you again and again. This is not so with the medium. You call up a friend on the telephone, and you ask him a question, and he speaks to you, and you say, "I can not understand a word you are saying. "You finally call up "central," and then you may not be able to hear any better. You do not think of blaming your friend, but you blame the medium, that is, the telephonic machine and wire. Your friend is all right, but the medium imperfect.

Eighth Sitting, Tuesday, June 6, 1905:

The voices were numerous tonight. The laughing voice again came at our request, and gave us much evidence to prove that it was independent of the medium. This lasted perhaps fifteen minutes. It was a natural human laugh, but the laugh of a physically powerful man. This laughing voice always arouses the risibilities of the medium, and she laughed at it heartily, so that it afforded us a constant opportunity of contrasting the timbre of the two voices. It is as hard to think that the weak delicate voice organs of the medium could produce that laugh as--to change a little the comparison I previously mentioned--to believe that a lark could imitate the bellowing of a bull. If we heard the barking of a dog in a room in which we were convinced that there was no other living thing than a canary bird, it might puzzle us to account for the phenomenon; but we would not hesitate to say that the canary's vocal organs did not produce that sound.

There was evidently a supreme effort of the intelligences in control to convince us that the medium's vocal organs did not produce these independent voices. But if not the medium's, whose vocal organs did produce these sounds loud enough to fill a large hall? I thought of every possible explanation. The only other persons present were Mr. and Mrs. and Miss Z. and Mrs. Blank, myself, and the medium. As I have already repeated several times, Mrs. Blank was always wedged in between Mr. Z. and myself, and all in the circle had hands joined, and Mrs. Blank was laughing and talking with the rest of us. Then, she is a woman whose history is well known, and she is deeply interested in investigating these phenomena, as deeply interested as are the rest of us. Had the phenomena taken place in the medium's home or in the house of any friend of hers, or of a profest and easily fooled Spiritualist, we might conclude that in some manner a confederate had slipt in, but here a confederate was simply impossible--utterly, absolutely impossible. The performance under the circumstances was a very puzzling demonstration.

Against accepting the spirit hypothesis spring up to the mind a score of difficulties. Of course, that threadbare one, why should spirits be engaged in a work of this kind? Why not help us to solve some great practical social problem, as a government problem, a great invention? The same old stone wall against which many of us have often before butted our heads. It is evident, if these are spirits, their ways are not our ways. Possibly it is true, as Professor James of Harvard says, they may be under some tremendous inhibitions. At any rate, we do not know enough to dogmatize for or against the spirit hypothesis. Let us keep gathering facts and keep our heads level and our feet within a reasonable distance of the earth, and largely let the research be carried on by experienced investigators.

In answer to questions, the voices talked much about the dwellings, occupations, etc., in the spiritworld, and then told how to live "in the life that now is" in order that our progress in the beyond may be rapid. The burden of the talk was that we should avoid selfishness in its many forms on earth, that we should live lives of self-denial and of service. These talks were of an ennobling character and the philosophy behind them all indicated clear logical thinking of no mean order.

Ninth Sitting, Wednesday, June 7, 1905

This evening Mrs. Z. asked the control whether her father was present. "No," was the reply, "we will send a message for him if you so desire."

"Yes, do."

"How can you send a message to a distant spirit?"

"Do you think that you in your world can send messages to a distant one and we can not? Believe me, the spirit-world is far ahead of your world in the arts and sciences and in all manner of conveniences. Why, my friends, yours is the shadow, and this is the real world."

Mrs. Z. said she felt a hand on her head. She asked if any one in the circle had touched her. The medium put both of her hands on Mrs. Z.'s hands. Red Jacket said, "That was your father who touched you." Mrs. Z. said, "Father, are you here?" A voice different from any we had yet heard replied, "Yes, my child, I am so glad to have you hear me talk to you and know that I talk to you once more. We know all you think and feel and do, and are helping you every way we can."

Then the voice indicated certain help to be given to a sick relative at a distance. There are many curious elements in this psychic problem, and that of receiving help from the dead is not the least curious.

Paul Carus says, "To call upon the forces of the dead to help us is to become beggars, mendicants."

Does not that depend upon how we receive the aid?

I may expect men on earth to do all my work for me, and by thus depending upon them become a parasite and helpless. But there are ways of getting help from our fellow men that are not demeaning to us. We are to help others. No man is to live for himself. Now, may we not apply this also to help extended from the other world? Why should I be any more demoralized or demeaned by getting assistance from a doctor who is out of the flesh than by getting assistance from a doctor who is in the flesh? There is nothing in the clothing of flesh and bones that will alter the essentials of this dependence.

Skepticism at the present stage of psychic investigation is reasonable, but we must see straight and argue straight and fair. Am I a beggar or mendicant if I call upon God for help, any more than is a drowning child when he calls upon his father or mother for help? God is to me Infinite Truth, infinite Holiness, Infinite Love. He is the embodiment of my highest ideals. When I seek God and submit to Him, I submit to Infinite Reason, and there is nothing demeaning to ourselves in such submission. It may be thought by some to be religious cant, but it seems to me these two things are the most important to be learned of all things in the universe: (1) How to cast all care literally and absolutely upon Infinite Reason and Infinite Goodness, that is, upon God; (2) To give all our ability to the helping of others. It is a hard thing to learn, but well worth the learning, that His care extends to the minutest ephemera, as well as to the biggest planet in the universe; surely nothing can be demeaned by this care.

I listened attentively to the voice, that claimed to be Mrs. Z.'s father, to see if I could detect any resemblance to the medium's voice, especially as this voice was mild and was within the capacity of her vocal organs and her physical strength. If the medium had so desired she, it is reasonable to believe, under the circumstances, could have produced this voice had she sufficient cunning and deceit, and the much practice necessary.

I this evening urged upon the control what I call the water-test, that is, that the medium should hold a measured quantity of liquid in her mouth, and then have the spirit talking to continue. The medium was to take from a measuring glass which I brought with me two tablespoonfuls of water, colored by a coloring-matter known only to myself, and her hands were to be held and we were to note whether any independent talking took place. If such talking would take place, then a light was to be struck and the water emptied from the medium's mouth into the measuring-glass. This of course, if carefully done, would be strong proof of the presence of outside intelligences.

We were told that, unfortunately, the medium during the day had had a bad turn with her heart, suffering very much, so that the controls reported to us that it would not be safe to make the test, but that they would be glad to do it at some time later if the medium ē would rally sufficiently to make it wise to take the risk.

I assured Red Jacket that I was very anxious to make the test. To help allay any fear that might be in the mind of the medium I said: "As to the coloring -matter which I have here, I will drink some water thus colored before the medium takes it, so that she may know that it is safe. I will tell her immediately before the test what is in the water, and I will see that she takes only two tablespoonfuls. Now, if this can be done with both hands of the medium held, and it be made known to scientists, it can not but be regarded as a test having evidential value."

"We will do it if we can," replied Red Jacket, "but not tonight--we dare not try it on account of the medium's condition. Even this talk of a test makes her heart beat irregularly. We must talk of something else." I was sorry we had not carried on the conversation in a low tone of voice-lower than the medium's ability to hear.

The after-talk was mainly on the mission-work of spirits in helping, as the control claimed, feebly developed souls that come over to the spirit side of life.

There was the usual variety of voices. The Medium talked considerably in her natural voice-as before, seemingly at the same time the other voices were speaking.

Tenth Sitting, Thursday, June 8, 1905:

The medium was said to be sick and conditions unfavorable. We sat for an hour but no voices came.

Eleventh Sitting, Friday, June 9, 1905:

Red Jacket spoke eloquently of the wrongs of the Redman, but claiming that notwithstanding these wrongs, a powerful band of his people were seeking to do the Palefaces in this country only good. "We know," he said, " that no other work is worth while either in your world or in the spirit-world--nothing but good to others. This is the only way spirits can grow from one state to a higher." Red Jacket greatly deplored the terrible war raging between Russia and Japan, as it sent over to the spirit-world so many who were violently forced out of life and hence immature as spirits. He was asked if he had ever seen Washington in spirit-life. "Oh, yes," he replied, "many times. I have often been in his home here. He has a beautiful dwelling, and he is a lofty spirit, doing a great work in teaching."

Red Jacket abruptly asked me, "What is imagnation?" After my answer, he continued, "Much of what you call imagination is the result of spirit influence, good or evil. A large proportion of your thoughts and impressions come from above." I urged again that we have tests of two voices speaking at the same time. This was done apparently in a number of cases; but only briefly and not absolutely satisfactorily. Again Red Jacket protested against these tests, insisting that such tests compelled "crosscurrents" in the medium. He gave an exhibition of the power of. his voice in contrast with that of the medium, by suddenly speaking unusually loud. I have seldom heard a more powerful male voice than this exhibition revealed. As quickly as the light was turned up I felt Mrs. French's pulse. It marked forty-eight and was extremely irregular.

Twelfth Sitting, Saturday, June 10, 1905

The medium was weak, seemingly exhausted. Mr. N . and his wife were guests this evening invited by myself. They sat between Miss Z. and Mrs. Z.; the rest of us sat as on previous evenings.

The voices were of a considerable variety.

This evening we gave the water-test, but the medium was in so feeble a condition that nothing satisfactory resulted. The controls suggested that when the medium grew stronger another effort be made. They assured us they fully understood the importance of the test for evidential purposes.

This concluded this remarkable series of sittings in New York.


Some weeks after Mrs. French and Mrs. Blank returned from New York to their home in Rochester I arranged for a sťance in Rochester. My object was, if possible, to try again the water-test. This arrangement was made through a prominent lawyer in that city, a man well known, but not a Spiritualist. This friend is deeply interested in the investigation of these mysterious phenomena. We met Mrs. French at a private house of my friend's selecting. I requested Mrs. Blank, who was to be present, to coach Mrs. French in holding two tablespoonfuls of water in her mouth and breathing at the same time through her nostrils. We hoped in this way to allay her nervous excitement which in our previous tests in New York was said to have been largely the cause of the fluttering of her heart during the trial. The conditions were wholly under my control the same as they were in New York.

The room was on the second floor, and the keys, after locking the two doors, I placed in my pocket. I bought the matter for coloring the water on my way to the house, and brought with me my own measuring-glass. No one but myself knew the color of the liquid I would use. I took into the sťance room the glass tumbler containing the two tablespoonfuls of water, and then placed in this glass the coloring-matter and permitted the medium to taste it, so as to relieve her mind as to any thought or any fear of it being unpleasant.

The plan to be pursued by us I outlined as follows:

A candlestick with a candle in it was placed on a table at the side of one of the members of the circle, and when the control gave the word, that gentleman, who is a dentist in Rochester, was to light the candle; then I was to give to the medium the liquid in the presence of all the members of the Circle, holding the glass in my hands, the medium was to take all of the liquid in her mouth; I was to place the empty glass on the floor between my feet; the light was then to be extinguished, and immediately thereafter Red Jacket, if possible, was to speak in his natural voice, and then the candle was to be relit and the colored water was to be ejected from the mouth of the medium into the measuring glass which I was to hold, and we were all to see whether the same amount of liquid had been emptied from the medium's mouth into the glass as was in it at the beginning of the sťance, and whether it was of the same color.

The four persons--besides my friend, Mrs. Blank, Mrs. French and myself--who made up the circle were all intimately known to my friend. The plan of procedure as described above was carried out to the letter, and Red Jacket spoke within a minute after the liquid had been taken into the medium's mouth and the light extinguished. It should be remembered that I held the glass to her mouth before the light was extinguished, and after the voice came the candle was relit and the medium emptied the liquid from her mouth into the measuring-glass which I held in my hand. The liquid emptied into the glass I found to be of the exact amount that I gave her, and was in the judgment of us all of the same color.

This test was a perfect one with only a single drawback which did not occur to me, I am sorry to say, until after I left the house. A very sly, tricky person might have had an empty bottle or glass concealed about her person and, as soon as the light was extinguished, emptied the liquid into this glass and then, after the speaking and before the light was relic, put the liquid back into her mouth. Had one of our number held both of the medium's hands while the room was in darkness, the test would have been complete in every part as far as I can see. This concealed-glass theory is an exceedingly unlikely one under all of the conditions. But it must be regarded as a possible one, and should be guarded against in any future tests. At some future sitting I will try to guard against this unlikely, but possible hypothesis.


From the book The Dead Have Never Died   Edward C. Randall


Dr. Isaac J. Funk, a man of much learning, spent forty years in psychic research. He published the result of his investigation and many of his conclusions, but he always lived in awe of the criticism of science. I spent many hours with Dr. Funk going over the details of my own work, and I discussed with him many of the problems with which we had to deal. He was much interested in the investigations that I was making with Mrs. French, and for that reason I arranged for her to go to New York where she spent eleven days with him and his associates. There, under conditions that he desired, she demonstrated the work she was doing with me. The result he published in his Psychic Riddle.

He was always anxious for proof that the voices which he heard were independent, and he wanted evidence of the identity of those with whom I had speech. These points he regarded as important to prove the continuity of life, and in his work he was unable to satisfy himself concerning them. His method was to attempt to prove a fact by the process of elimination, that is, to prove truths by demonstrating their opposite. He, like all other scientific men, attempted to rear a structure by tearing the structure down. This process has impeded the progress of nearly all psychic investigators, and I often said to him that one should seek what he wanted to find with open and receptive mind, always having in his thought that conditions cannot be changed to satisfy any one's particular notion; that we must accept conditions as we find them and make them better, to enable us to gain the end desired. In all of Dr. Funk's published works he left a loophole in his conclusions, that he might avoid criticism should he be found in error.

Some time ago the doctor left his physical body, and one night soon after, during one of the last sessions I had with Mrs. French, a man's voice spoke my name. The tone was familiar, but I could not associate the voice with any one whom I had known in the earth-life, although I knew a spirit was speaking.

I replied, Your voice is familiar, but I do not recognize it.

He replied, I am Dr. Isaac Funk. I have been out of the body but a short time and being interested in your work, I have been permitted to come.

I then said: You may be Dr. Funk, as you claim, but we cannot permit you to consume our time unless you establish your identity. This is one of the rules that we adopted some time since, for the reason that, knowing the person, we can form some judgment as to the value of what he may say. If you are Dr. Funk and desire to continue this conversation, you must establish that fact.

He quickly responded: You are entirely right about that; what you ask is fair. I ought to be able to establish my identity.

I said: Certainly, if you are Dr. Funk you can give us some proof of your identity. During your earth life you always made a great point of establishing identity.

Then he enquired: How shall it be done?

I answered: That is not for me to suggest. You know how technical the body of scientific gentlemen to which you belong always is. If you are going to have a test here, we want it to be evidential. If you are going to prove your identity, you must do it without suggestion from me.

He replied, after a pause: Identity was what I invariably wanted satisfactorily proved. I recall a conversation I had with you in my private office at which no one was present but ourselves.

Yes, I suggested, we had many such interviews.

He then said: I refer to one at which I asked you to make a special test at one of your meetings with Mrs. French. I asked that when some one with an independent voice was speaking, you put your hand upon the table and have Mrs. French put her mouth upon your hand; you were then to place your free hand over her head, holding it firmly, and in that situation see if you could hear the independent voice. I wanted such evidence to demonstrate that Mrs. French did not do the talking. No one knew of that conversation but ourselves, and that ought to be proof to you that I am Dr. Funk.

I replied: Yes, I do, recall that conversation at the time and place. I now recognize your voice, and your proof is satisfactory.

I then put my hand on the table. Mrs. French at my suggestion put her mouth upon the back of my hand, I put my free hand over the back of her head, holding it firmly, and then I said:

Is this what you asked me to do?

Dr. Funk replied: Yes.

I immediately said: Dr. Funk, you do the talking, and we will demonstrate that your voice is independent.

Afterward there was a general talk between Dr. Funk, certain of my group of co-workers upon his side of life, and me, and some plain things were said. I told Dr. Funk that because of his prominence, and as one who had investigated this important subject for many years, he could have been a great force for good; that many people in this world of men were interested in him and his writings and were guided by his conclusions, but that he never published them in full, for which reason his readers could not reach a better conclusion than he did. I told him that he had failed at the crucial moment, and had nullified the good he could have done. I added that I regarded this as a great misfortune not only to him, but to the world at large.

He replied: I realize that now more than ever. It is a fact that I was afraid of the criticism of men of science. I now regret very much that I did not fully publish my conclusions. In my own mind there was no doubt.

A spirit answered and said to him:

You were the custodian of much knowledge. Through your investigations you learned many things. By reason of your position you could have done much good. That was your stumbling block, and before you can progress, you must become strong where you were weak.



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