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by Vice Admiral W. USBORNE MOORE


Chapter IV

Further manifestations---Table-tilting---Disadvantages of using material objects ---Automatic writing, ouija board, planchette and table-tilting only the physical means of expressing one spiritistic phenomenon---Admiral T. gives information in Southsea of an unexpected disaster in China---His forecast the same as that of Director of the Observatory at Hong Kong----Table -tilting with the Endicott’s - Theory of mind-reading considered - The Photograph test---Mrs. Endicott very successful---the astral form of Mr. Henry Crookes---the Photograph test again successful---Captain Alleyne in Spirit life picks out a photo of Iola---Mr. Peters' tests---Mrs. Arnold---Miss MacCreadie---General success with the photograph test---Premonition of a relative’s death through Mrs. Davies---'Clairibelle---carte-de-visite of Spirit present falls on the floor---Planchette writing of Mrs. Arnold—Fallacy of the theory of mind-reading---Miss. Earle predicts the death of my mother, which occurred a few hours later---Mr. Von Bourg---My relative controlled by Iola to take papers from a bureau---My own attempts at Spirit photography---Mr. Richard Boursell---Committed fraud occasionally, but had genuine power---Photograph of a gentleman in his library while his funeral was going on---Precipitation’s upon old photographs---I again visit America.

When we seek to establish communication with the unseen without going to professional Mediums, it is usual to adopt an intermediary such as a small three-legged table, an ouija board, or planchette. These are clumsy methods and slow, especially the first, and they are all subject to the same disadvantage. The true psychic is aware that the letters or words are in his head before the table or other object moves; consequently, he does not quite know, when the word is spelt out, how much is due to his own automatism. I have sat many times at a table in my library with my relative A., and I understand from him that he is conscious of two letters ahead, of what, at the moment is being manifested by the leg of the table. He is not conscious of moving the table, but believes that the tilts are performed in some way through his organism. This does not invalidate the message. Indeed, the answers to the questions I have often put through the table have been such as he would be unable to give from his personal knowledge.

If I may risk a prophesy as to how messages from the unseen will be received in years to come, I should say that what is now known as ‘inspirational writing’ will be found to be the most effective means of communication between the discarnate and the incarnate Spirit. As far as I can judge, automatic writing, table-tilting, ouija board, and planchette are only the physical means of expression of one phenomena, the message from the discarnate Spirit impressed upon the brain of the psychic, probably through the Spirit brain. The brain commands the nerves and muscles to deliver the message by means of pencil, table, or whatever the inorganic object may be in the room. I do not wish to dogmatise on this or any other subject, but I think this will be found to be so: if I am right in my conjecture, it is futile to use the intermediary. Why not in the first instance sit down and write what comes into your head?

I have gradually come to the conclusion that the best plan is for the psychic and the positive to sit opposite to one another at a small, unvarnished, deal, three-legged table, with their hands on it, but not touching. After a few words have come through by ordinary tilting, the psychic will be found to be receiving impressions. These should be recorded in the notes in brackets. The table is required as a connecting-link between psychic and the sitter. It will be found after a few minutes, that the impressions will come with fair rapidity, and the tilting, which causes great waste of energy, can be almost dispensed with.

Through the clumsy process of table-tilting I have receive many messages from relatives and friends. After a short time got to know which of my relatives was present by the nature of the tilt. The gentle movement of the table was Iola, and the decisive, dignified taps of my father, were most characteristic. A., the psychic could get very little alone. I got nothing whatever out of the table myself; but when we sat together, and conditions were favorable, we were able to receive trustworthy messages. I will give an example:


(34) On Sunday, April 30,1905, at ten pm., my relative and I were having an interesting conversation with a friend who had lately passed over to the other side, when the direction of the tilting was suddenly changed. Instead of tipping towards the psychic, as it had been doing before, it moved across the line between us, showing that a new influence was present. I said: "Please give your name"; and the taps indicated "T…". This was the name of a distinguished admiral under whom I had served twenty years before.

Q: "Have you any messages to give?"

A: "Yes; I expect that Rojdestvensky will meet with a typhoon tomorrow."

Now ten p.m. April 30, in England would be six a.m., May 1 in China. If Admiral T. were phrasing his message in China time, he would be referring to Tuesday, May 2, as "tomorrow." Admiral T. who passed over many years before, had manifested himself to me on at last twenty occasions, on both sides of the Atlantic, and through five or six mediums. Though a typhoon in May, in the China Sea, is of a very rare occurrence, I thought this message had some significance, and I took care the next day to give a copy of it to a friend in London.

It subsequently transpired that Admiral Rojdestvensky, with the larger part of his fleet, was at Van-Phong Bay, on the south coast of Hainan, on May 1. It is a very exposed anchorage. On Thursday, May 4, the following notice was in the London daily papers: "A typhoon visited the South China coast this week, and it is reported that the Russian Baltic squadron was caught in it, the smaller craft being scattered."

I now wrote for information to my friend Dr. Doberck, the Director of the Observatory at Hong Kong, and received his reply in August, together with a copy of his monthly report, from which I extract the following items:

On April 30, 1905,12:10p.m. The barometer has fallen on the China coast, particularly in the North, and risen quickly of Luzon, probably moving towards W.N.W.

On May 1, at 12:14pm. The typhoon in the China Sea may be situated to the S.S.E. of Hong Kong and between the Paracels and the W. coast of Luzon. Probably it is moving towards W.N.W. Red S. Cone and Drum hoisted. {These are the warning signals for the approach of a typhoon.}

On May 2, at 6:25am. Red S. Cone and Drum lowered. The depression in the China Sea no longer traced.

So it appears that the London daily papers were wrong, and the typhoon dissipated in the middle of the China Sea. That is of small consequence. Admiral T. did not say that Rojdestvensky would meet with a typhoon, but "I expect….". The point is this: there was a typhoon I the China Sea on May 1, and it was in such a position that, if it had traveled as was expected by the Director of the Observatory, it would have passed over Hainan the next day. Considering the exposed position of the Russian fleet, it cannot have failed to do much damage---as much probably, as the guns of the Japanese did a fortnight later. In short, Admiral T. made the same forecast as the Director, who gave instructions for the storm-signals to be shown at Hong Kong.

This is a good example of accurate information furnished by a denizen of the next state of existence. It was, no doubt, given to me as a test. Admiral T. 's communication to me was six hours before the time of the storm-signals being shown. He may have judged for himself, or he may have seen into the mind of Dr. Doberck. Either way it does not matter; for the fact remains that he gave me in a house in Southsea an unexpected item of information of a disastrous event that was officially forecasted six hours later in China.  (35) To continue my experiences in table-tilting. On September 20, 1905 I paid a visit to a fisherman, Mr. Endicott and his wife at Brixham in Devonshire. They have an old three-footed table made out of some wreckage, at which they had often sat and obtained manifestations. They are both psychics, but Mrs. Endicott has the greater power. We sat with our hands flat upon the table. In a few minutes the latter gave signs of animation, and indicated that a spirit was present for me. I called out the letters of the alphabet, and the following dialogue took place:

Q: "Will you give me your name"?


A: "Yes; Iola."

Q: Have you a communication to make?"

A: "Yes, W.; I am going to arrive on session night to greet you both." (Correct. The session of sittings was to begin in a fortnight in our private room in London, after a pause of three months; a member of my family had decided to go with me.)

Q: "Will you give me a test? You know the trouble we have had with personating Spirits?"

A: "Yes."

Q: "What is the name of your youngest sister in earth life?"

A: "Dear T. (Correct. The name given had not been applied to her sister for thirty-five years, as I afterwards found out. It was a pet-name and only used by one member of the family.) Five minutes later Mrs. Endicott said: "Who is G.- a little lady?" (the name was the working name of the sister called T.).

Q: "Please give the name of the town where you passed over."

A: "Kilmarnock." (Correct).

Q: "What country?"

A: "England." (Wrong)

Q: "Can you give the number of years since you passed over? Please tap the floor once for each year."

A: Thirty-one taps. (The proper answer should have been thirty years, four months.)

Q: "What is the short name of your eldest brother?"

A: "T." (Correct).

Q: "What is the number of the house in R. Square, where you lived?"

A: Thirty five taps. (Correct).

Q: "What is the number of the house in which you lived in E. Square?"

A: Twenty-one taps. (Wrong' but on my saying so, two taps were added, which made the number correct.)

Some private conversation followed with a male relative, the table tilting at right angles to its former direction.

We now had tea, and afterwards sat again. Mrs. Nowell Endicott (a psychic, daughter-inlaw of the fisherman and his wife) came in, and made a fourth sitter at the table. In a minute or two Iola announced her presence.

Q: "Can you tell me what I have in my pocket?"

A: "Yes, photographs." (Correct)

Q: "How many?"

A: Three taps. (Correct).

Q: "Which of the three do you like best?"

A: "The one you have enlarged. (I laid photographs on the table and penciled the numbers 1,2,3 on them respectively.)

Q: "Do you mean No.1?"

A: "Yes." (Correct. The face is four times the size of the others).

Q: "Do you remember the one which Captain Alleyne picked out?" (This incident is described later in this chapter.)

A: "Yes" One tap. (Correct)

Q: "What is the name of the lady who is taken with you in No.2?"

Mrs. E. sensed Agnes, which is correct for the Christian name. The Spirit could not give the surname.

Q: "What is your first name?"

A;: (Given correctly.)

After some private details: Q: "Do you know we have just moved a picture of yours?"

A: "Yes." (Mrs. E. said "Not long ago.")

Q: "In what room did I put it?"

A: "Dr. ----" (Mrs. E. called out the correct answer)


Q: "Do you know the name of my eldest daughter's husband?"

A;: "G __ " (Correct surname).

Various other details were given. It was obvious throughout that Mrs. Endicott’s "sensing" was as reliable as the table, but the latter was required for connecting the members of the Circle. She gave the correct surname of Iola. During the second sitting (after tea) I let the table slip through my fingers as it tilted, and at all times only touched it lightly.

I had met Mrs. Endicott before in London, and also her daughter-in-law; but neither of them knew, normally, anything whatever about my affairs, or relatives, alive or dead. It was the first time I had seen the fisherman. There are only two theories to account for the foregoing phenomena---(a) mind-reading; (b) the presence of invisible intelligence's.

Let us consider this much-talked-of and, in my opinion, overworked theory of mind-reading. First I would ask, Whose mind is being read? Is it mine? Well, if so, how is the pet name "T." to be accounted for, and the wrong answer of "England" for "Scotland"? Certainly neither of these items came out of my mind. Then, how is it I have never since been able to obtain such precise information through the mediumship of the Endicotts, , though, of course, I have had excellent tests through Mrs. Endicott in other ways? Again, who moved the table? It generally, but not always, tilted towards Mrs. E. I watched her and her husband carefully. She did not consciously move the table, I am sure. The impressions she often received had nothing to do with what was passing in my mind. Take the first message from Iola on this particular day. It did not originate with me, and was on a subject of which the Endicotts were entirely ignorant. I paid several visits to these psychics after the one I am describing, and came away with a number of questions unanswered or answered wrongly, though in every case I was acquainted with the correct answer. If "mind-reading" is the correct solution of the difficulty, why is it all-powerful one day and powerless the next?

I attribute the phenomenon to the presence of Spirits, who impressed the psychics, chiefly Mrs. Endicott. I do not deny that Iola may have assisted her own memory by tapping my consciousness, especially in the case of the numbers given ; but it was she who gave the replies through the organism of the psychic. As in the case of my relative A., it may be that Mrs. Endicotts hands automatically moved the table after the message was received in her brain. That is not proved ; it is possible ; but Iola was there in the room, and that is all I care to establish at present.

At the end of August,1906, I again visited the Endicotts. The table seances were very wearisome and unsuccessful. I asked many questions, but got only one reply worth recording. Iola manifested, and I inquired the name of her father. The reply was correct, and it is a very peculiar name ; I doubt if there is another person in Great Britain with the same Christian name. A characteristic message, as from the father was added.

(36) In another form of Spirit manifestation we were more fortunate. I gave Mrs. Endicott a packet containing forty crates-de-visite, and asked her to pick out the portrait of Iola, whom she had often seen clairvoyantly. I retired to another part of the room, and turned my back to the psychic, who unfastened the packet herself. After feeling them for a moment or two, she said : "There is more than one of the spirit here." I said : "Yes ; two." In two minutes both of the photos were handed to me across my shoulder. This was done without any preliminary guesses; they were the first two given back into my hand. Neither picture had ever been shown to the psychic before. Towards the end of August,1907, I again visited the fisherman’s cottage. My first sitting was on the 19th. Within five minutes of my greeting Mrs. Endicott she said :--- "A man has come with you. He is a big man ; his name is Henry ; he has a broad, open forehead, square face, and big jaw. One eye looks a little fuller than the other. I should say he opens one eye a little wider than the other. His hair is brown, but there is grey in it. I get a B. What is that for?"

This was about 3:43 Greenwich mean time. At 4:10 she said : "That man is still here. He is not an old man ; looks about forty. I have noticed that the astral form always looks younger than the natural body. I have got the idea that he is sitting, resting,. Does he ever talk with you about New York? I have an impression that way.


At 6:40 p.m. I posted a card to Mr. Henry Crookes, at the Carlton Hotel, Southsea, asking him to make a note of his doings between 3.40 and 4.40 p.m. that day. He did not receive the card till the morning of Wednesday, the 21st, when he wrote the following from memory :

Between 3 and 4pm. (on Monday, 19th) I was sitting in an arm-chair in the recreation-room at Carlton Hotel, Southsea, reading the Express. At about 3:40 I felt rather sleepy. I tried to keep awake, but could not. At about 3:45 I dozed off for five or ten minutes. Was awakened by the waiter clattering teacups and plates…….At 4:00 pm. I, in company with my wife and four other ladies, walked to the Mikado Tea Rooms in Palmerston Road, where we had tea, and remained there till about 5pm.

The description of Mr. Henry Crookes given by Mrs. Endicott is very good ; better than she has ever given me of any other spirit except Iola. Her tells me that the allusion to the eyes is significant, and that his spectacles are constructed to obviate the inconveniences of different forms of astigmatism in the two eyes. This peculiarity is not now noticeable to a casual observer, on account of the glasses ; and I was entirely ignorant of any difference between them I returned to Southsea from Devonshire on the afternoon of Thursday, August 22 ; and at 6:00pm. the description in my note-book was read to Mr. and Mrs. Crookes. After this I opened his notes, which I had not before seen, and read them. The night previous to the appearance of his astral I had been discussing with Mr. Crookes my photograph test with Dora Hahn in New York.

Before getting to Eastleigh on the morning of the 19th, I had completed my notes of a seance which I had attended with Mr. Crookes on the previous evening ; and my thoughts did not dwell on him during the run down to Brixham. It was no "thought-form" that Mrs. Endicott saw ; she has often told me that she can distinguish thought-forms from astral or Spirit-forms.

In subsequent conversation Mr. Crookes has told me that he never sleeps in the afternoon, and that on Monday he dropped off into a deep sleep at the time mentioned, and against his own desire. His glasses were not in place.

Remarks by Mr. Henry Crookes. My eyes are both astigmatic ; the cylindrical axis of the right spectacle-lens is nearly vertical, while that of the left lens is almost horizontal. I have been wearing glasses two and a half years only ; and, until a few years ago, I could not read ordinary print at all with the left eye. Mr. Juler, the oculist, tells me that, with the naked eye, my sight is only 1/10th (one-tenth) of normal. This allusion to my eyes is certainly significant, as nothing special is noticeable to a casual observer. Another point to be mentioned is that, when my eyes are closed, they go out of accommodation nearly vertically, instead of horizontally, as is the case with most people.

With regard to my sleeping in the afternoon, it is not at all a habit of mine ; and this was the only occasion on which I have done so during my visit to Southsea. H. C.

(37) After this we sat down to the same table, as on previous occasions. Iola made herself known, and gave a correct description of what she saw me doing two days before in my library. A brother-in-law came, and identified himself by name. I then put a packet of forty photographs into Mrs. Endicott's hands, told her to open it herself and select the picture of Iola, taking up a position several feet distant, with my back towards her. The packet contained some of these photographs used for a similar test the previous year, and many new ones. She had never seen either of the two portraits of Iola that I had inserted among them. In less than five minutes one of these was handed to me over my shoulder, and shortly afterwards the other (no preliminary guesses).


The next day after some unsuccessful table-tilting, Mrs. Endicott said of Iola : "Once she came to me in an earth dress. It was a check, with large, but not long, sleeves ; the bodice was short.

Q: "How old were you when that picture was taken? "

A: "Eleven years." (Correct)

Mrs. E.; "It was a short bodice, with big sleeves, a low neck ; three or four little flounces round the bottom of the dress, braidings around the flounces ; something around her neck. It was a check dress ; the hair was brushed back."

Q: "I have a picture of Iola in that costume. It is a daguerreotype."

A: Three taps (yes).

Q: "Where is it?"

A: "Large bookcase." (Correct)

Q: "What part of bookcase? "

A: "Top." (Wrong.)

Q: "You have often seen it. You know it is not on the top of the bookcase?"

A: "Drawer." (Correct)

I described the place, which is the top private drawer of the solitary big drawer of the largest bookcase in my room. This elicited emphatic tilts from the table.

The daguerrotype incident is very good. The existence of the picture is only known to my wife and children, and it is the only portrait of Iola in my possession that has not at some time or the other been used as a test ; it has never left the house. The description is not perfect, but so nearly so as to make it absolutely certain what it was my guide wished to indicate through Mrs. Endicot.

There were many other communications through the table, but they were mostly rubbish, and not worth recording. Throughout there was a knowledge shown of terrene affairs. I now give an instance of a lying spirit (Diakka) that manifested in this cottage the following year :

At 3:40pm., Monday, August 17,1908, I commenced a sitting with a fisherman, Mr. Endicott, and his wife, at 11 St. Peter's Terrace, Brixham, Devonshire. The meteorological conditions were satisfactory.

At 3:50 table tilted, and a guide called "Racca" made himself known, and promised to guard the circle.

At 3:55 a vigorous spirit made herself known, and gave the following information in answer to questions put by me :

"Sarah Matherson ; passed over in London, at the Savoy Hotel, on September 9,1891, from cancer of the throat, at the age of thirty-three. Widow of a soldier, colonel of artillery in the English Army. Lived at Maclinwater, near Dumbarton. Passed out seventeen years ago. Husband passed out with sun-fever eight years before me, when I was twenty-six years of age."

Q: "What caused you to come to us today? "

A: "Perceived a bright Spirit light."

"’Harris' is father’s name. Only one child---spirit babe---Ida, who died when one year old; buried at Dumbarton. I attended Protestant Church---Scotch Church. Sister, Mary Louisa Harris---in Leith now ; cannot give her address.

"Gordon was the first name of my husband." (Mrs. Endicott described the Spirit as a tall, big, straight woman.) During the above communication the table tilted down towards Mr. Endicott.

I have made particular enquires at the War Office, Dumbarton, Leith, the Savoy Hotel, and of two old officers of the Royal artillery. There is no such place as Maclinwater, and there never was an artillery officer in the English Army called Gordon Matherson. There is a negative sort of value about even this communication. It shows a knowledge of terrene affairs, and therefore probably emanated from someone who once lived on earth.


I have alluded above to certain tests by photographs. It will be remembered that I found this plan of testing the powers of clairvoyants successful in America. On my return to England I increased the number in the packet to twenty, and later to forty. Friendly critics had said to me : "It is all very well, but the psychic can see into your mind and sense the image of the person whose picture you expect to receive ; this done, the task of selecting the picture from the pack is easy."

Among the twenty or forty cartes-de-visite, therefore, I always took care to have two of Iola at widely different ages and in different attitudes. It occurred to me that, if the clairvoyant by normal means could pick out the composite portrait of these two that are said to be in my mind, it would be a more remarkable way of accounting for the selection than by the Spirit hypothesis. I propose now to record how many times this test succeeded. But before doing so I will note a rather different test.

(38) I have already referred to Mrs. Alleyne, one of the members of our investigation societies in London, who usually sat on the left of Husk at the séances we held with him. During many of these pleasant evenings I was her neighbour; consequently when Iola appeared she could be as well seen by Mrs. Alleyne as by me. Mrs. Alleyne's husband generally manifested about the same time as my guide, and I argued that he should be well acquainted with the latter and be able to pick out her portrait.

On June 20,1905, after Iola had appeared twice to us both together, I handed to Mrs. Alleyne twelve photos in a closed packet, and asked her to be so kind as to take it home and to beg her husband to pick out the portrait of the Spirit she had seen. A week later she returned me the packet, and showed me the photo that her husband had selected. It was the only picture of Iola in the pack ! She told me that she had laid the photographs out in a line on a ouija board in her room ; that her husband, through her hand holding the pointer, had first indicated by the letters of the alphabet, "Take the third from the right," and had then pushed the required portrait out of the row exposed to view.

Now, of course, Husk had nothing to do with this phenomenon, as the selection was made at Mrs. Alleyne's home. Neither Mrs. Alleyne nor her husband when in earth life had ever known Iola. The only person in London who knew the spirit or her photograph was myself ; and I was three miles away when the selection was made. There was not a single normal circumstance that could have assisted in the selection except that Mrs. Alleyne had twice seen the materialised face of the Spirit. If that helped her in the choice, so much the better for the mediumship of Husk ; but I doubt if it could have conveyed much to the brain of the lady, because on both occasions the face was muffled under the nose, and only a sitter like myself, who was well acquainted with the original, could recognise the likeness.

I do not record here any photographic test as a success unless one of the portraits of the Spirit alleged to be present was selected outside my range of vision at first shot. To have two handed to you as was done by Mrs. Endicott on two occasions, separated by twelve months, and when the number in the pack was forty, is rare, and cannot be expected except in the case of clairvoyants of the first rank.

Mr. Peters, in a private interview on July 7,1905, handed me one picture of Iola, whom he had previously described accurately, out of a packet of twenty. There were two in the collection. The second he handed me was a portrait of her younger living sister, who has been alluded to in these notes.

(39) This Medium described an article of dress worn by the Spirit that I have never seen. In fact, it was so unusual that I declared I did not believe she had ever worn it. Peters firmly adhered to his statement, and denied that there was any mistake in his clairvoyant vision. Some days afterwards I had an opportunity of inquiring into the truth of this allegation, and discovered that fifty years before there had been such an article in vogue, and that, as a little girl, Iola had actually worn it for about six months.

Peters also described two naval officers. One, he remarked, "says he was under you in some foreign place. His name is 'Fred.' I hear the name 'More.' 'More.' (Rolls a newspaper up into the size and shape of a small telescope.) He is holding something under his arm like this. He was with you when you had a very bad fever over twenty years ago. I am no good at dates ; you nearly died ; you were in great danger of your life. Others died at this time, but you survived."


(Correct. A sub-lieutenant, J. Frederick B., long passed over, was under my command at a time when I contracted a bad dose of East African fever up a river near Zanzibar.) The second form was identified at once; for a close approximation to his surname was given, and the medium took on the conditions of his death, which was by drowning. He added, which was true, that on the day of his death abroad this officer was seen clairvoyantly in London.

On September 27,1905, I strewed twenty cartes-de-visite on a table at Southsea, and, turning my back on them, asked Mrs. Arnold, a clairvoyant, to select the picture of Iola, who, she had previously declared, was present. There were two in the collection ; within two minutes the psychic gave me one of the two, and then took up another picture, saying, saying : "She says this is her sister." (Correct) It was a little girl in a short frock.

(40) On May 20,1906, I called upon Miss MacCreadie, to whom I was a perfect stranger. She gave me a good reading, and, among other things, described Iola with fair accuracy. Shortly after she said ; "Somebody passed out of your life six years ago." I denied it ; but the psychic got a clairaudient message ; "Somebody did pass out of his life six years ago." On reconsideration, I remembered the death of a relative by marriage in whom I did not take particular interest, and who had passed over in the year 1900. This relative was a particular friend of Iola. The psychic was controlled ten minutes later by her guide "Sunshine," who gave a more accurate description of my guide. After some talk I handed my closed packet of forty cartes-de-visite into the hands of the Medium, and went into the corner of the room, turning my back, and asked "Sunshine" to pick out the photo of anybody who was present in Spirit. I waited in the corner, perhaps, five minutes, when the control called me back to the table and presented me with a portrait of Iola taken not long before she passed over. There were three photos of the spirit in the pack.

I am at a loss to see how the selection of photographs under the circumstances I have mentioned, when I was not in a position to know which one the psychic or her control was handling, and therefore wholly unable to assist them by impression, can be attributed to any mundane intelligence whatever. It might be argued with some plausibility that the phenomenon was due to the agency of some earth-bound Spirit, who had accompanied me about for two years with the express intention of deceiving me at every séance that I attended. Such a being, having once discovered the photos of Iola, might impress the Medium time after time to put one or two of them forward ; but no person on earth could do it without some assistance, beneficent or malevolent. If I had tried this test once, the success might be put down to coincidence, for the chances are only ten to one or twenty to one against the right choice being made ; but the fact is I have scarcely ever failed to obtain this test from psychics of acknowledged powers. It had come off four times in America, two with faces downwards, and ten times in England ; and the selection of the picture was generally preceded by a good description of the person and face of Iola. I do not myself believe in the malevolent-spirit theory. What motive would such a devil have in giving me a proof of immortality? For assuredly, if this test was not engineered by a devil, it was given by my guide herself, whose appearances and manifestations have been consistent throughout, leading me gradually to a belief that she is alive, and, therefore, that existence beyond the grave is a fact. I have long ago come to the conclusion that, on each of the occasions I have related, Iola was present in the room, and affected the selection of her own and her sister’s pictures.

I have two other incidents to record in which photographs played a part. On September 30, 1905, I gave Mrs. Davies, a clairvoyant, then in Portsmouth, my packet of forty, and asked her to pick out the portraits of any people who impressed her as being near to me. As was arranged on all other occasions when photographs were used, some were near relatives, some distant ; some strangers, some friends. About half the pack were portraits of people alive. I turned my back to her. Presently she handed over my shoulder the photo of a lady taken at the age of sixty or thereabouts, saying : "I see a bright light upon this picture ; I am confident that this lady is about to pass over shortly, if she has not already done so." The portrait was that of a very near and dear relative, who died ten weeks later in her ninety-first year. She then gave out another relative for whom she prophesied an early death (which I fear will come true). Finally, she was told


clairaudiently to take up "the funny little one," and produced a carte-de-visite of Iola at the age of eleven years, taken nearly fifty years before. There were two of my guide in the collection.

Mrs. Davis is a good clairvoyant. Twice I visited her shortly after the death of relatives. There was nothing in my dress to indicate bereavement, but on both occasions she saw Iola helping these people. By normal means she could not have learnt of the recent demise of either.

One day on my entering her room, she said to me ; "A man called Alldridge has been here this afternoon. He said, ‘Tell him [that is, me] I have seen East." By no possible means could the woman have known normally that I had ever heard of these names. As a matter of fact, the former was an old naval captain whom I heard of, but never seen. He died in the West country some months before. East had passed over many years before. He was a lieutenant, and I knew him slightly. I had never thought of either gentleman; but both belonged to the surveying branch of the Navy, to which I was attached myself before I retired---a fact of which the Medium was ignorant. Alldridge was reputed to be mediumistic ; he died at the advanced age of ninety.

On April 3,1908, I had a sitting with "Clairibelle" in York street, near Baker street, London. Her "reading," as it is called, was not very clear. She was controlled early in the sitting ; and after some descriptions, more or less true, I handed to her my packet of forty photos, in which there were two of Iola, and turned away. After the control had been looking at them some minutes (held in her medium’s lap), I heard one fall to the floor. I looked round, and saw that it was one of the portraits of my guide. The clairvoyant picked it up and handled it, but said nothing at the moment. Presently the control went on talking, and giving a somewhat loose description of Iola. She then tried to make a selection again, and called me to receive the same portrait that had fallen to the floor. I told her that there was a second picture of the same spirit on her lap, and she gave me two photos, both of relatives who have the same Christian name as my guide, and who are considered to resemble her. There were more descriptions, and she came out of trance. In her normal state she tried to pick out photos, and gave me again the same picture of Iola and that of one of the relatives previously selected, and who resembled her most. The second portrait of my guide was not found.

Now, what caused that one carte to fall off the Medium on to the floor?---there was plenty of room on the Medium’s capacious lap. Observe, the control did not recognise the significance of the little accident, and passed out that same picture after. Before I left the house, the medium said; "The conditions surrounding all those pictures are mixed up, as there is no paper between them. Probably the Spirit threw her portrait out on the floor to separate it from the others." In my opinion, the selection was made in this way, and it was thrown on the floor intentionally; in which case the phenomenon is quite as evidential as the photograph tests through Mrs. Endicott. "Clairibelle" knew nothing whatever about me, and knows nothing now.

Through the Mrs. Arnold referred to in my notes on photographic tests, I have had a great deal of planchette-writing. Some of it is pure rubbish ; it is nearly all of a private character. Some sentences bear internal signs of guess-work by the writer ; but among the records of our many sittings I find abundant evidence of the presence of Iola. Mrs. Arnold knew nothing of my deceased relatives ; there were no possible means of her acquiring such knowledge. She knew nothing of my house, into which she had never entered ; yet the writing referred to relatives who had passed over, and alluded to assistance given them by Iola, who, from the first, signed her full earthly Christian names and surname. Allusions, also, were made to my house, which were correct. I have tried to spoil many of these messages, but some I cannot ; they were so obviously spontaneous and unexpected. For instance, I asked one day ; "Can you tell me whose portraits are those on either side of the fireplace in my dressing-room?" The reply was quite clear ; "Mine and that of your wife." (Correct) "And who is between them?" "Father." (Correct) I have numerous relatives, near and distant ; I cannot see any reason why so exact a reply should have been given, unless the Spirit impressing the Medium had actually seen the room and the pictures. Another time the Spirit gave an answer which implied a knowledge of what my library contained and how articles were placed. On another she impressed the psychic to write out a foreign name---a most unusual one---that of a particular friend of hers when she was in earth life.


My wife was frequently mentioned by her initials in such a way as I only in the family have written them. The crystal-gazing of this Medium was also sometimes very good. I have known her to describe faithfully our séance-room in St. John's Wood, London, though at that time she had never been inside of it.

A friend once came down to spend the week-end with me. On the Sunday morning he went to Mrs. Arnold, to whom he was a perfect stranger. A Spirit manifested through planchette, and gave his surname. When asked for his Christian name he gave, not his real name, but a nickname that had been bestowed upon him by his comrades in Canada, where he had died.

The "fallacy of the "mind-reading theory was very apparent when sitting with this psychic. I often asked questions, the replies to which were, so to speak, on the tip of my tongue ; but I got either no answer or the wrong one.

(41) I sat with Miss Earle in our room in George Street, Portman Square, two or three times. There were generally twelve to fifteen people in the circle, and she gave messages to all in turn. At 7 p.m. on December 7,1905, before the Circle was formed, she said ; "I see the form of a gentleman behind you. He has been in Spirit life some years. He is holding out his arms as if to greet a lady whom I can also see. I sense these two are closely related to you---that they are husband and wife, and that you are their son." After the Circle was formed, and my time came for a message, she talked in my ear as if controlled by my father ; "I am in a ship with many on board, but we have not enough flags." (Symbolical.) "I like your researches ; I and others are helping you. The golden thread is nearly broken."

Q. "What do you mean? "

A. "One who is dear to us both."

My mother passed away the following morning, having been unconscious for many hours. She had been bed-ridden for a short time, and was at a very advanced age ; but she was conscious at the time I met Miss Earle, and the end was not expected so suddenly. I have no reason to suppose that the psychic knew, normally, either that my father was in spirit life or that my mother was in earth life. I thought then---and I think now---that this was a true prophetic vision, and that my father was actually present.

(42) On November 4,1905, Mr. Von Bourg, the well known psychic, gave a seance at Southsea in a private house. I had been invited, but was unable to attend. My relative A. was stopping with me at the time, and I asked him to take my place, which he consented to do. He returned late, and told me that during the séance a spirit manifested to him ; from his description I gathered that it was Iola. While he was talking to me in my library, standing against the fireplace, he was partially controlled suddenly, rushed to a bureau where, at that time, I kept my records of psychical phenomena, and, muttering "third on the middle row," dragged out a packet of papers, and, selecting one of the latter, which he handed to me, said, "What is this? " While I read it he kept on muttering, "Was I not right, was I not right? "—as if giving voice to a clairaudient message.

The paper contained notes of a private seance of July,1905, in my room. A premonition was then given respecting a family trouble. A. said ; "She wishes me to understand that she was not certain then, but she is now." I let A. read the paper after this, and when he was going to put the packet back in the bureau I said, "Let me have the papers." He then handed them to me, and was impressed to say, "Take the third." I did so, and found it contained references to the same matter during a seance dated April,1905.

In the previous April I had been in some trouble ; a misfortune threatened me that I did not know how to avert. I consulted my friend Miss Bates, who wrote inspirationally that all would come right, and, in July, I again asked Miss Bates to assist me. The answer this time was not so cheerful as before, but the Spirit still gave it as her opinion that the trouble would pass away. In August it completely disappeared, how I know not ; but I am convinced it was in some way through the influence of Iola ; also that she partially controlled A. in my room and prompted his giving the papers to me. The two papers he placed in my hands were the notes of the séances with Miss Bates in April and July. The July paper was given first. In the bureau there were over one hundred papers.


On December 17,1905. A., who was again my guest, went with me to Mrs. Arnold's for some planchette writing. Iola came and wrote for A., "I was with you and it was about your papers."

Q. "What papers?"

A, "Did I not get you to look for a paper out of a certain drawer?"

Q. "Was that last message for Admiral Moore or for me?"

A. "It was for you, one Saturday about a moon ago. I gave the message and you should not have forgotten, and the paper was not at V. B. [Von Bourg], but on the Parade" (S Western Parade).

It is out of the question that Mrs. Arnold could have known anything about the curious scene in my library on November 4.

I have exposed some hundreds of plates in attempts to obtain photographs of spirits. A red flannel screen was used for background and a Jena mercury lamp for illumination. About a third of the prints show abnormalities of different kinds ; there are many very faint faces difficult to distinguish clearly, and none distinct enough to be reproduced by photography of the existing prints. Sensitives can see a great deal more in these prints than I do ; on the other hand, quite half those to whom I have shown them can see nothing at all.

Mr. Richard Boursnell often obtained genuine psychic photographs. He was a Medium, and, when the power was with him, his pictures were reliable. But, like some other professional psychics, when his gift was in abeyance he faked. I have given to the London Spiritualistic Alliance a complete proof of a fraudulent production by this man. The negatives and the prints show unmistakably how the fraud is accomplished. I have, however, in my possession two or three of his photos that I believe are true evidences of Spirit presence. The only proof is the likeness to the person when in earth life, together with the certainty that the photographer had no means of access to any existing photograph of that person. Duplicates, triplicates, and quadruplicates of Boursnell's Spirit pictures are numerous. Some years ago a man was stopping with me who had photographs of three precisely the same Spirit persons near him as I had near me. The attitude, face, and form were exactly the same, down to every crease in the robes. Boursnell's story was that Spirits, having once entered his studio, reappeared again and again. This may be, but it seems improbable that they should keep for many years the same cast, so to speak ; as they appear now, you can put a tracing of the form in one photograph over the form in another, and not be able to detect the smallest difference in detail. It cannot be doubted that some sitters bring better conditions than others, and these enabled Boursnell to exercise his gift of mediumship to the best advantage ; I have seen several photographs obtained in his presence that I believe show genuine Spirit forms behind or beside the sitters. He was also an excellent clairvoyant. Once he gave me an account of a very eccentric naval captain who died over forty years ago. His peculiarities were well described, and the name of the ship he last commanded was mentioned. The information was not available to the public. Though I had heard of this officer, I had never met him. On another occasion he affirmed that he saw a marine who was drowned at the time of the capsizing of the Eurydice, and gave his name. I ascertained that there was such a man in the crew of that ill-fated ship.

That showing on a sensitised plate is one of the hundred or more methods of Spirits to prove their existence to mortals is, in my opinion, proved in the United States and this country by the many portraits which have been obtained.

Some years ago the body of an old gentleman who died in London was taken to his country seat to be buried. The house was in the occupation of relatives, and the coffin was conveyed straight from the railway station to the church. A young lady, who was a guest in the house, and about to take her departure, took a photograph of the library during the time the funeral ceremony was in progress. When the negative was developed, the dead man was found in the picture sitting in the chair he usually occupied when alive. I have seen this picture, and cannot doubt that it is genuine.


There are certain features in it which point to its fidelity, and the spirit form has been recognised by members of the family. Moreover, the circumstances under which it was obtained render the theory of imposture incredible.

There is a phenomenon in connection with photographs that has not yet attracted sufficient attention. I allude to the "precipitation's" of faces and forms on old photos which have been in the possession of one person many years. I have in my possession a carte-de-visite of a girl relative, taken at fifteen years of age, at Brighton, in the year 1865. About four years ago the background of this picture began to show signs of what I thought was deterioration in the varnish ; the defect, as it appeared to be, became lighter and lighter in colour ; six or eight months later the faint impression of a face was discernible. It is now clear that the face is that of the young lady's father. The eyes are closed as if in sleep, but the features resemble those in an existing portrait. He was alive at the time the portrait was taken, and did not pass over till three years later. Why he should appear in this way I am unable to explain ; but I am satisfied that the image is no fancied coincidence suggested by the decay of chemicals.

(43) I have in my possession a photograph of Iola taken at the age of fifteen. There is one face faintly precipitated in the background over her head, and five on the dress. The initials of one sister and the name of another are impressed on the dress. It is a curiosity. I have seen precipitation's on other photos in my collection.

This phenomenon is a mild introduction to the colored precipitation's done by Spirit agency in the presence of the Bangs sisters at Chicago, which I will describe in a later chapter. I had interviews with several other clairvoyants in England than those I have mentioned. Most of the information conveyed was of a private character. Good tests came through Ronald Brailey, J. Vango, Otto Von Bourg, and others. The relation of what occurred at these seances would only weary my readers, without adding appreciably to the evidence already adduced in support of my belief that those whom I once, in my ignorance, thought dead are very much alive. It became more and more plain to me that the presentation of all the delicate phenomena of spiritism depended for its success, in a large measure, on the mental condition of the sitter. If he believed through personal investigation, or by studying the records of the experiences of others, that communication with the unseen was possible, he got some test---hardly ever the one he expected, but an answer, maybe, to some inquiry made weeks before, or, at any rate, an item of information, crisp and clear, that could not be accounted for by any knowledge in the possession of the psychic nor by what was in his conscious mind.

By 1908 I had read everything worth reading on the subject of spiritism, and a great deal that was not ; and, it was impossible to make any progress in the subject in this damp climate, I determined to visit America again.




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