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by Vice Admiral W. USBORNE MOORE

Chapter VII

Reason for visiting the Bangs Sisters—Account by a Canadian gentleman—First interview with May Bangs—She reads letter inside a closed envelope—Cleopatra appears to her clairvoyante vision—First precipitated picture—Picture is found on the further side of the canvas next to the sitter—The psychics receive messages from the Spirits by taps on a hard surface—Precipitated writing found inside an envelope gummed, and sealed with wax—Seal not tampered with—May Bangs does not touch the letter or slates after they are bound together—Instances of passage of matter through matter—Profile of Iola—Close resemblance to photograph in my pocket—Use my own slates, rubber bands, and ink for letters—Citrate of Lithium mixed with the ink—Replies written with the same ink—Letter from a Spirit purporting to be Cleopatra—Picture of Cleopatra—Various other letters and pictures—Letters under stretched frames, with ink in sight— Diminution of ink in the pot—Essence extracted from the ink—Dematerialisation of flowers—One bottle of ink used up in the precipitation of one letter—Flowers transferred into a closed envelope—Excitement and loss of self control of May Bangs—Pictures for backwoodsmen from Oregon—Much discussion with reference to phenomena that occur in presence of Bangs Sisters— Theory of fraud—Reasons why theory cannot be accepted—How the pictures are probably produced—Trials with Mr. William Marriot, the conjurer—Bangs not always successful. One of the principal reasons for my visiting the United States was to see a phenomenon described to me in the following letter, dated October 19,1908, by a gentleman of considerable position and influence in Canada :

Our next experience was at Chicago, with the Bangs Sisters, of whom we had heard both good and evil reports. We were, in consequence, specially on the alert. I will leave you to judge of what we obtained there. We were told by friends who had visited them to write our questions before going to the house, and place them, with a number of blank sheets of stamped or initialed paper, inside an envelope gummed and sealed. This we did, using paper from a Toledo hotel that was decorated with a gilt monogram. We reached Chicago early on the following morning. At nine o’clock we had found the Bangs residence, and secured an immediate seance, before the arrival of their numerous clients. We sat with Miss May Bangs. To this day she is ignorant of our names or where we came from; nor had she any inkling of our visit or its purpose. We accompanied her, each in turn, into a comfortable little boudoir on the sunny side of the house, looking out on a bit of lawn ; the only window remained open. In the centre of the room was a table, four feet square, covered with a woollen cloth. The medium sat opposite to me, about a foot or more from the table ; the only object on the table was an open inkstand. I said I had brought with me some questions in a sealed envelope, and hoped to obtain replies through her mediumship. She said, "We will try." She then fetched a pair of hinged slated, the frames of which were covered with dark cloth, gave them to me, and resumed her seat saying : "Place your letter between the slates, close them, and secure them with these stout rubber bands ; lay the slates on the table, in front of you, and place both hands flat on top of them."

The medium’s instructions having been carried out, we engaged in general conversation. Three times she interrupted the talk to ask, "Is the name or place correctly spelt?" (foreign names mentioned in my questions), showing that some knowledge of what I had written was reaching her. If I assented, or made a slight correction, she would write on a pad resting on her knee ; then resumed our conversation where it had dropped.

About half-an-hour was thus spent, when three distinct raps were heard and felt by me, proceeding, apparently, from the centre of the table. Miss Bangs then said : "The séance is over ; you have obtained what you are to get ; you may open your envelope now or later." I opened the


hinged slates, found the envelope as I had placed it, untouched and still sealed, thanked the lady, and left the room, when my brother passed in for his turn.

While waiting for my brother, in the adjoining room, I slit open the end of my envelope with my penknife, and found, besides my questions, nine and a-half pages of the blank paper covered with writing in ink, as if with a steel pen, duly numbered, and written at the instance of the spirit friend to whom I had addressed four out of five questions, and signed in full. The replies were categorical, giving or confirming information of great value to me personally ; referring to facts and happenings of forty years ago, which the spirit and I alone were aware of ; and adding the names of individuals whom I had not named in my questions, but whom we both knew in the past, and who had participated in the events referred to by me.

The reply to the fifth and last question was in the form of greetings from spirit friends who were known to me when they were in earth life, and now come to me as so-called "guides." When one writes rapidly a blotter is necessary at the turnover to a new page ; this, apparently, was not required by the spirit writer, for the ink is the same depth of black at the foot as at the top of the pages. The handwriting of the last message (and each signature at the bottom of it) differs from that which contained replies to my first four questions.  It is not claimed that this writing is done by spirit friends themselves, but, at their dictation, by the medium’s control, who has become expert in this form of manifestation. Can telepathy account for these replies? can it explain the transfer of the ink from the bottle on the table to the folded blank pages within the sealed envelope between the slates under my hands? It would take a very fast writer at least an hour and a-quarter to write what the spirit performed in half-an-hour, and this is leaving out consideration the deliberation required for penning the involved replies to my questions. I regret that they are of such a personal nature that I cannot even send you extracts.  My brother’s replies covered about thirteen pages ; among them were three signed notes from three different spirit friends who had come to him in my house here, or at Detroit, and at the Jonson’s, in Toledo.

On the way up from New York I had heard a great deal of evil about the Bangs Sisters ; and I had also seen five of the pictures done, as their owners told me, in there presence, within three feet of them, by invisible agency, and through the mediumship of these women, whose only participation in the production was that they held the canvases. I wished to make a through test of both letters and pictures. Many people in London were much interested in the Canadian gentleman’s account. It had been the theme of discussion, and I was determined not to return to England without making the best attempt I could to solve the mystery.

I arrived at Chicago on the afternoon of Sunday, January 17,1909, and called upon the Bangs Sisters by appointment at 6 p.m., ostensibly for the purpose of arranging sittings for the week. I persuaded May Bangs, however, to sit with me that evening for a letter. In anticipation of her consent, I had brought one in my pocket. She showed me into a small room some 12 ft. by 8 ft., and produced two slates, between which I placed my letter. We sat at a small oak table, which measured 3 ft. 8 in. by 2 ft. 4 in., covered with a green cloth that did not extend anywhere beyond the top. May Bangs pinched one end of the two slates together while I secured them with four rubber bands, two one way and two the other. My letter was written to my Guide, Iola, and inside the envelope I had enclosed four blank sheets of Secor Hotel (Toledo) paper for the expected reply. This paper was all marked with a private mark ; the envelope was closed with a two-cent postage stamp.

Upon the slates, now in my hands, she put a small pot of ink, and over that a piece of "bristol-board" very slightly larger than the slates. She then said (as if impressed with some doubt) : "Have you addressed this spirit, to whom you are writing, by a definite name?" "No," I replied. Then please write the name on a piece of paper and put it on top of the slates." This I did without her being able to see what I was writing ; the paper was doubled and placed my side of the pot of ink under the bristol-board. She now began to see clairvoyantly, and described the form of a young lady whom I recognised as Iola, bringing two old people whom I gathered from


her talk to be my father and mother. She also saw two young men (probably my brothers in spirit life).

She now began, sentence by sentence, to give me the exact questions in my letter. Presently she said : "Is this the name?" and handed me, from the pad she held, a piece of paper upon which was written quite plainly the Christian and surname of Iola when in earth life, the same name I had written on the piece of paper now on the slates close under my hand. She also said: "Your paper with the name has gone in between the slates."

All this time May Bangs was sitting one foot away from the table on the opposite side to me, with a writing-pad and pencil in her hands, which were two feet from the slates. The gas was burning brightly.

Three-quarters of an hour had passed from the time of our sitting down, when three taps on the slates announced that the reply was finished. I took off the bristol-board and found my piece of paper gone. When I opened the slates I found the paper inside by the letter. The letter was slit open from the top, and four pages of reply were found inside. I examined it, and found that it was the same paper I had put in at the Toledo hotel with my private mark on it.

The letter of reply contained private messages which I am unable to make public. I was signed correctly, and answered nearly all my questions.

During the sitting May Bangs saw the form of some Eastern queen surrounded by attendants. It was obviously Cleopatra, who came to redeem her promise given the day before at Toledo.

January 18, 11 to 12:30. Atmospheric conditions good. A slight thaw underfoot, but the air dry. (67) I asked for a picture to be precipitated of my guide "as she is now in spirit life." Inside my waistcoat I had a pocket, used for dollar bills, into which I put two full-faced photographs (cartes-de-visite) of Iola. One was taken in 1857, the other in 1867. Two thin canvases stretched on wooden frames and covered with thin paper were placed face to face and held up in the window. The blind was drawn to the top of the canvases, and curtains were hung up in my presence on either side. The window has a southern aspect, and the light coming through the two semitransparent canvases is sufficient for the purposes of taking notes and seeing everything that goes on. The small oak table was lengthways in the window ; the bottom of the canvases rests upon it. May Bangs sat on my right side, facing me, and pinching together with her right hand one side of the canvases ; Lizzie Bangs on my left side facing me, and pinching together the other side of the canvases with her left hand. I faced the middle of the canvases, my nose between two feet and two feet six inches from them. We had to wait some time. After a few minutes the canvas assumed various hues, rosy, blue, and brown ; it would become dark and light independently of the sun being cloudy or not.

Dim outlines of faces occasionally appeared in different parts of the canvas. When we had been sitting about twenty-five minutes May Bangs got up from her seat and said ; "Hold on to this, please ; I want to get something for my sister’s cold." I then took her place, pinching the canvases together with my right hand. In five minutes or so she returned with a small bottle for her sister to sniff, and we resumed our original seats. We had been sitting forty minutes when the right and left edges of the canvas began to darken, and the face and bust suddenly appeared. It was finished in thirty-five minutes—i.e.., one hour and fifteen minutes from the time we first sat down. On separating the two canvases, it was found that the picture was on the further side of the one nearest to me, and the material was quite damp ; the other canvas, which had been pressing against it all the time, was unsoiled. The stuff comes off on the finger, a smutty oily substance. This must be remembered, as it negatives the supposition that chalks or pastels only are used.

The actual picture, therefore, took thirty-five minutes to precipitate. It is richer in tone now than it was when put on a sofa after the sitting, but in other respects just the same. The likeness to the cartes-de-visite in my dollar pocket is not remarkable, but there are points about it which show that the invisible workers had access to these photographs.

We now wanted to find out which one of the other photographs in my possession it was the wish of my guide I should bring on the 20th, the day appointed for my next picture. Without the


psychics seeing them, I laid out five under the cover of a card, face downwards. May Bangs said : "Not the little one" (there was one taken at a very early age). The one nearest to me is a profile picture." (Correct) "She rather objects to the old-fashioned style of the hair, but selects that as she sees you like it best." (Correct)

During the sitting we communicated occasionally with the spirits by raps. I understood that the invisibles used Morse code.  (68) January 19,1909. 10 to 12(noon). Atmospheric conditions good. I took the Bangs sisters a letter containing two sheets (four pages) of questions. In the envelope I put four blank sheets of hotel paper marked with a private mark. The envelope which contained these six sheets was gummed and sealed with my signet ring. I had written twenty-three questions to my guide. I was received by May Bangs in the same small room, and, as before, the room was flooded with light. I put the letter between her two slates, which are covered with woollen at the edges so as to exclude the faintest ray of light. She took hold of the double slate ends with one hand while I put four rubber bands round the slates, as I had done two days previously. The slates were then put on the table, The same little vessel of ink was placed on top, and over all the bristol-board before mentioned. From this moment May Bangs had nothing to do with the slated ; they were in my own possession under my hands. The psychic and I sat opposite to one another, she was leaning back in her chair, writing on a pad of paper.

After we had been sitting, talking, for a quarter of an hour, May Bangs began telling me what my questions were, and answering some of them. Presently she said : "Tear off the corner of one of your visiting cards, so that you can identify it again ; put it on the slates, and we will see what happens to it." About fifteen minutes later she said : "Why do you write to your relative in such a formal style? Write a postscript on a piece of paper, naming your wife in the same familiar way as you would if writing to this spirit in life." This I did without her seeing what I had written, and put the piece of paper, doubled up, also on the slates. She then went on as before, repeating my questions within the sealed envelope. At 11:10 the psychic said : "Your card has gone into the letter." When an hour and three-quarters had elapsed from the time we began the sitting, three knocks on the table announced that the writing was finished.  I now opened the slates. Inside I found my packet intact, with seal untouched. On the outside of the envelope was written : "The little slip" (my postscript) has been arranged to your hat in the other room." This was signed by an initial—The Christian name of my guide. I slit open the envelope at the top and found inside it (a) my questions, contained in four pages ; (b) eight pages of reply from the spirit, in ink, as if written with a steel pen ; (c) my visiting card. I then went into the drawing-room, where I had left my hat, found that it had been moved, and that inside the lining was my postscript.

Before I left, May Bangs read out to me the questions in my letter, which she had written on her pad as she saw them in the "astral light." They were all correct in sense, though not in actual phrasing ; and the curious thing was that she read them out in precisely the proper consecutive order—(1), (2), up to (23). With some reluctance, she later eventually surrendered the pages of the pad to me ; it is one of the most curious documents in my possession. The following is the letter of reply to my questions :

My Dear —, I am with you once again and, as ever, delighted to manifest my presence in ever so slight a manner. Now……you are trying me again—trying my memory of earthly things, places, and persons and how I do wish I could tear asunder the little barrier preventing me from giving free and full expression, but do you know……in all these matters my memory is perfectly clear when I stand free and unhampered in the spiritual atmosphere but somehow when I return into earth’s atmosphere, so many things become hazy and incomplete ; in other words, it is not designed that mortals shall know it all. If it were so research would be of the past, and spiritual matters of earth be at a standstill. These little indifficiencies (sic) lead the mind to further inquiry, and little by little the returns bringing reassurance is given.

I am not familiar with all the laws governing spirit return in outward demonstration. I am constantly learning and in time know I shall bring the beautiful trust into your own home. I am


trying and shall continue to try for the desirable conditions, for I feel coming to you, and…alone I would find that condition of thought that heretofore has been missing, and thereby give free and full evidence of identity you so much desire. The law of evolution is carrying us onward and upward in spiritual truth just as fast as mortal mind is capable of accepting and understanding in its true light ; and if at times we fail to give you all that your mind requires do not doubt, but know, that time will reward you. It surely will, and right here I want to say to you that our beautiful "Cleopatra," who was such a wonderful intelligence here on earth, and in her many years of life and study in the higher advanced spheres in spirit life, is more capable in guiding you in these scientific problems than those who have been in spirit life in times of the past century, and to help you to solve and furnish the missing link for the world of science. This has never been given, because science in the material world has not yet reached an understanding of the elements and laws even of their own atmosphere. They acknowledge the existence of Electricity, its results and effect under certain conditions reached through long study and experimenting, but they cannot produce it independent in substance. It is the propelling power of all life, all action, and the time will com when your people of science will understand it better, and so there are other elements in the very atmosphere about you that spirits must understand and utilize to bring about these results. It is because of your ignorance of these elements and lack of knowledge of the average spirits, myself included, coming in contact with these laws that form the barrier of expression.

As before stated, in my own domain, all that you seek to know of me this morning is as clear as the noonday sun, but my great anxiety to have powers to give it, as also your anxiety to receive, for the time bars me in expression.  There are many subjects of your letter I would like to take in full explanation fully, but I fear I cannot in this one meeting, so I shall only refer to them briefly, for all come under the same law.

That I am with you in every move you make, traveling from your own location to that of your home in England, you need not doubt. I do not take record of the intervening space of action but rush on straight, glide through space, as it were, in the twinkling of an eye. I do not know all that transpires in your daily life as to material things, but make recognition of them on the whole, and particularly of your success and happiness for this is ever uppermost in mind. ...I will go to…and prepare her mind, so that she will overcome that timidity of spiritual matters, for I am desirous coming to her as I have to you, and believe, yes know, with her willingness and your combined efforts some wonderful demonstration may be received in the home proving this great truth.

I have been impressing the psychic how to answer some of your inquires, for I cannot refer to all in writing. I now feel the forces waning, and must soon close.

The little impressions forming on one of the photographs is my effort, and I hope to conclude my efforts with some manifestation conclusive and interesting to you…Adieu. (Signed by the earth name of Iola)

The hand writing is the same as that in the previous letter, and has no resemblance to that of Iola when she was in earth life. All the handwriting of replies to letters through the mediumship of the Bangs Sisters has the same characteristics, as if written or precipitated by one amanuensis. It seems probable that the spirit dictates to a "writing guide," whose idiosyncrasies creep in. There are Americanisms in the above letter which certainly did not emanate from my guide. I consider that the general tone of the letter is much in advance of the mind of the psychic in the room. The pages were numbered by the writer, and the sequence of the writing was as follows : Page 5 was found at the back of Page 4, page 6 at the back of page 3, page 7 at the back of page 2. (69) On the following morning, January 20,1909 ; atmospheric conditions good. Went to the Bangs Sisters for a profile portrait of Iola, as arranged on 18th. Everything was ready at 10:50, and we sat till 11:30. I had in my dollar-pocket a carte-de-visite of Iola, taken in the year 1874.

The mediums had never seen this or any other photograph in my possession. Fifteen minutes after we sat in the window the face and bust appeared ; the profile was looking to the right, precisely the same aspect as it has now, framed, hanging in my room. Remember, I was looking through the


back of the picture, and it was forming on the further side of that one of the two canvases nearer to me ; consequently, had it gone on as it was and been finished, it would now (when framed) be profile left. When the portrait was nearly finished the two canvases were lowered towards me on to the table (the mediums being impressed, apparently, to do this). A telegraphic message came by taps to May Bangs, who said : "She wants this picture for your wife specially, as well as for you. She thinks that your wife would prefer to see her in the pose to which she is accustomed." Up went the canvases again to the window, and I found that the whole picture was changed round, so that the profile looked to the left instead of to the right. In a few minutes the portrait was completed, May Bangs remarking : "She says she cannot put in the hand."

From the time the face and bust first appeared to the time the canvases were separated and the finished picture put on a sofa in the next room, twenty-five minutes elapsed. Neither of the psychics had ever seen the carte-de-visite in my pocket. How did they know normally that there ought to be any hand in the picture? As a matter of fact, in this photo there is a hand (the left) supporting the cheek on its left side. This was omitted in the colour picture.

When the portrait was finished, it bore a very close resemblance to the photograph. It was looking in the same direction—to the right. As to likeness, it is impossible for anyone who compares the photograph with the picture to deny that they are one and the same individual. At the same time the picture is by no means a slavish copy of the photograph. Its pose is more upright, the face spirituelle, and the dress not exactly the same. There is a firmness, a decision, and an appearance of calm and contented happiness in the face which is absent in the carte-devisite. It is a work of art. I can only say this of one other picture in my collection. They are all interesting, and each has its peculiar test value : but some of the dresses are stiff, and there are many anatomical deficiencies. This one, however, is without a flaw, and there is just sufficient difference between it and the photograph to show distinctly to the most casual observer that one is not a professional copy of the other.

By this time the Bangs Sisters and I were, more or less, on the terms of fellow students, and they offered to give me any test I desired. It was arranged that in future I should bring my own slated, rubber bands, and ink.

It was on this evening that Dr. Hudson took the message from me that he carried to Rochester and wrote through Mrs. Georgia a week later (see Chapter V.). January 21,1909. Atmospheric conditions good. With May Bangs from 10:45 to 12:30. I took with me two slates a little larger than those of the Bangs sisters. The edges were covered with woollen stuff, as were theirs (to exclude the faintest ray of light). I also took six india-rubber bands, a five-cent bottle of ink mixed with citrate of lithia, and a letter to an old friend, Sir A. G., who had been in spirit life some years.

I have already referred to a discussion which took place in London before my departure regarding the desirability of finding out if the ink used in the reply letters was the same as that in the vessel on top of the slates ; it was obvious that, if this could be satisfactorily established, we should have got more than halfway to proving the supernormal character of the writing. On that occasion Sir William Crookes happened to be present, and suggested that I should mix lithium with the ink ; spectroscopic investigation would enable him to say if the two inks were, or were not, identical. Needless to remark, I adopted his kind advise, and, before starting for America, I bought a small quantity of citrate of lithium from Messrs. Cruse and Co., Dispensing Chemists, 63 Palmerston Road, Southsea. A five cent bottle of ink was bought at "The Fair," in Chicago ; about one third of it was poured out, the whole of the citrate was poured into the bottle, and well shaken up. From this mixture a little cup was filled by myself and put on the slates ; the bottle was then corked and put into my coat pocket.

The letter that I wrote to Sir A. G. was as follows : Dear Sir A__, I had the pleasure of hearing you at Detroit on the 9th, when we had a chat about the Maine disaster. The ideas you then expressed did not coincide with your opinion while in earth life.


Will you kindly identify yourself as well as possible to me, and tell me what you now know as to the loss of the Maine ! Yours very sincerely, W. Usborne Moore.

Sir A. G. held The position OF English Consul-General in Cuba during the Spanish- American war. We had held conversations in London, after he retired, on the catastrophe ; and his opinion was that it was due to some want of precaution on board the ship, not to the outside explosion of a mine. At Detroit he had expressed the opposite view (see Chapter VIII.). The reply was as follows :

I am glad to come to you today and thank you for the privilege you grant in this grand phenomena, demonstrative that life is indeed eternal. There are many subjects I would love to converse with you, giving my knowledge as gained from the higher side of life : but I see you have placed before me, in your letter of today, the subject of the Maine disaster. Well, my good friend, I did come to you on a recent communication differing very much indeed in ideas of this disaster from my opinion when in earth form. When I reached life, and learned of the true life and greater possibilities, this was one of the main subjects that interested me. My sympathies and indignation was touched deeply over the matter when in the physical form, and so little of the real foundation of the disaster could be reached that I carried the desire of proving definitely the secret with me into my new life. I have since looked very closely into the entire subject and modus operandi, and solved the mystery ; this I imparted to you in my recent conversation. Thus my change of opinion since entering the higher life ; but, my good friend, I have also learned that all the circumstances of earth life are for a purpose. Looking from a material standpoint, many incidents, conditions, etc., would seem very unnecessary to the rounding out of a perfect life here ; yet, if all was perfectly smooth, uniform and harmonious, there would be no inquiry, that disposition or inclination to greater knowledge.. And without the wrong you would not be able to judge the right. So all the mistakes, disappointments, and failures in life are a necessary lesson that we shall all understand sometime when we start as equal in the higher realms of eternal life. Mine has been a wonderful experience since passing through the great change and I find to-day that summing up all the problems solved, I have, as yet only just begun.

Life is indeed wonderful and the more we learn of its laws, purposes and possibilities the greater our experiences here and hereafter the more fully we realise that which time and eternity holds for us.

I am glad to have met you in this way, my good friend ; and I shall hope to have the privilege of coming frequently in thought exchange. I shall be glad to give you further information on any subject you chose to the best of my present knowledge and experience, gathered in my new life. Yours as of Earth, A. G.

There is a resemblance between the handwriting of this letter and the other two.

(70) Directly we went into the room I asked May Bangs to sit on the opposite side of the table to that where she usually sat. "Change the table round," she asked. "No," I replied, "I want your drawer my side. You take out of the drawer what you want and put it on a chair or table beside you." She said, "Very well I will do so." She simply asked to see the letter, and she held my slates while I put round them four rubber bands, two one way, two the other. I then poured my own ink into the little vessel, which holds about a teaspoon and three quarters. The card was put over all. We held the card and slates together for about five minutes ; then she leant back in her seat and occasionally wrote on her pad, talking all the time. She told me the contents of my letter to Sir A. G.

The reply took one and a half hours to write ; probably my changing the conditions in the room had some effect in delaying the writing. There was a note from Iola on the back of my short letter to Sir A. G., which referred to some chaff that occurred during the sitting with reference to


certain erroneous spelling in a previous letter. On the outside of the envelope were the words "From Sir A. G.," in handwriting different to the above note and also to the writing of the reply letter. The signature of the latter bore some resemblance to that of my friend in earth life, but not sufficiently so as to be quite sure that it was his.

At 4:00pm this letter was posted to Sir William Crookes.

(71) On the same evening, January 21,1909. I sat with May Bangs from 7:15 to 8:50 for a reply to a letter I had written in the afternoon to Cleopatra. The atmospheric conditions were bad. It was raining, and the air was heavy and close. This letter also occupied an hour and a half. The psychic sat in her usual place. As before I used my own ink mixed with lithium, my own slates and bands. The conversation of May Bangs showed some knowledge of the contents of my letter, but not of all.

My letter containing a request that Cleopatra would cause her portrait to be precipitated at 10:30 on the following morning, and began in this way : "Will you precipitate your portrait on the canvas to-morrow at 10:30, and will you add such words or signs as will be recognised by an experienced student of Egyptian history?"

The following are extracts from the reply :

My good friend of earth. You have been told that I have come into your life for particular purposes, and it is true. A long, long time I have been on the spirit side of life. Ages it is as you calculate time, and during that period I have passed into realms far remote from earth. All that was near and dear to me of your sphere have long, long since joined me, and also advanced through numberless spheres. Truth is ever uppermost in the soul’s ambition, and the time has come when mortals shall come further into the light. There are many mysteries that only spirits of long time, experience, and study can impart to those of your sphere with any degree of understanding and practical application. So it is that I have come into your life to aid in this very desirable work and I have chosen you as my subject through whom to work. I know of your earnest honest desire to fathom for yourself and the world this great momentous question. And I am bringing to you these different phenomena in evidence of my presence in introduction of my identity. I am very desirous…you my portrait through this influence and the good artist that is also high and proficient in his art knowledge that you may know me better. And so from that chain of harmony and receptivity that will ensure the highest spiritual good. In brief, I desire to come to you through your own psychic power and receptivity that is gradually unfolding as you continue in your research.

I promise to come to you in likeness, dress, and all the characteristic emblems true to my native land of earth here that I am sure will be recognised by experienced students in Egyptian history……As you open the way, for the present all these wonderful experiences are for you alone. They will bring the truth and light in such a way that shall demonstrate to others, and make…thought.

Yes, people of different spheres live together in spirit life. This truth I will explain to you again when better conditions and space affords opportunity. It is always most wise to anyone (?) in the morning hour for spirit phenomena when the live current is at high tide as it were.

As you gain spiritual knowledge here so do you prepare yourself spiritually for a higher understanding in the life to come. Your chances for advancement are good in the life to come. My good friend, I have not come to you at best this evening. I shall therefore ask another opportunity at your pleasure and convenience. In guidance, Cleopatra.

Of course I am not in a position to assert that the Cleopatra of history wrote this letter. I cannot possibly tell whether it was a personation or not ; I have no means of doing so. The immediate interest in the letter does not, in this case, lie in the identity of the writer, but in the nature of the ink with which it was written. The writing is not dissimilar to that in the reply from Sir A. G. It seems highly probable that all the letters are written, or precipitated, by the same


spirit, a "writing guide" of the psychic, whom the individuals on the other side use as we do a typist. The letter was mailed to Sir William Crookes the following morning, January 22.

(72) January 22,1909. Atmospheric conditions were bad ; it was raining outside, and the air was heavy and close. Sat with the Bangs Sisters for a picture of Cleopatra. As before, two canvases were produced, covered with blank drawing paper, laid face to face, and held up against the window, the bottom of the canvases, in this case, resting on the sill of the window, as they were much larger in size than those used for the two portraits of Iola already obtained. I sat between the psychics, as on previous occasions, my eyes looking straight into the centre of the canvases from a distance of two feet to two feet six inches. We took our places at 10:55. About 11.5 the form began to appear, and it was roughly finished in ten minutes. We were then directed, by taps on a slate, to put the canvases on the table and sit around it. We moved the table to the centre of the room, placed the canvases flat upon it, covered them over with the felt table-cloth, and sat around as directed. At 11:30 we were informed that the picture could be raised ; the canvases were now separated and the picture put on a sofa in a neighboring drawing-room.

In all precipitations through the mediumship of the Bangs Sisters the picture is found to be on the further side of the canvas which is next to the sitter. The stuff of which the picture is composed is damp, and rubs off at the slightest touch, like soot. Notwithstanding this, the paper on the canvas furthest from the sitter is unsoiled. The picture, while in progress, can be seen clearly through the back of the canvas; but of course it presents the reverse aspect to that when it is framed—left arm for the right, and so forth.

The portrait of Cleopatra is practically the same now as it was when it was lifted from the table. Afterwards, but not while I was looking at it, the colors deepened a little, flowers were added to the embroidery of the dress, a ring was put on the finger of the left hand, and the picture acquired a general appearance of greater richness and finish. It was hanging in the lecture-room of the London Spiritualistic Alliance for four months, and it is therefore unnecessary to describe it. It cannot be called a work of high art; the dress is stiff, and the anatomical features are deficient ; but it is undoubtedly a representation of an Egyptian Queen, and, considering the way in which it was done, a fine example of spirit power.

(73) January 22,1909. 7:30 to 9pm. Sat at the Bangs Sisters’ house for a reply to a letter to Iola. Conditions bad. Raining at intervals outside. I tried sitting with the slates in my hands in the room next to the small séance room. Both Lizzie and May Bangs were in the latter. About 8:30, as this seemed to be a failure, no taps being heard to denote the finishing of the letter, I went into the séance room and sat with May Bangs alone. A few minutes after we were seated we were told by the percussive signals to look at the slates. We accordingly fixed our attention on the middle of the white card which, I have before explained, covers both slates and ink. After waiting about a quarter of an hour a bouquet of pink carnations and sweet-smelling narcissi fell from above with considerable force on to the card. This was in full gas-light. May Bangs started as if she had been shot; there was not a doubt as to her momentary fright.

Soon after this phenomenon occurred I opened the slates and the letter. There was no reply ; the blank sheets which I had, as usual, enclosed with my letter remained blank ; there was not a word on them.

(74) January 23,1909. I wanted a smaller copy of the profile picture which had been precipitated on January 20. The original picture was placed vertically on the table, and the new canvases behind it. This form commenced profile to left, and changed round during the process of precipitation. The dress was the color of pale Lavender.

On January 24, I left Chicago for Toledo, leaving directions with the Bangs Sisters for the dispatch of the last (small) picture to me, and the others to England. (75) I arrived at Rochester on February 6. On February 14, I received a letter from Sir William Crookes, dated 7 Kensington Park Gardens, February 4, 1909 :

Dear Admiral Moore,—I received your interesting letter a few days ago, and at once tested the ink for lithium, with the following result :

A word was cut from sheet 4 of Sir A. G. ’s letter, and it was burnt in the spectroscope. Abundant evidence of lithium was obtained. A blot of ink at the foot of the same sheet contained no lithium. A word from Sister …’s letter at the back of yours contained plenty of lithium. A piece of the picture of the hotel, in printing ink, was cut from the heading of the paper. It contained no lithium.

The envelope addressed to you to yourself, having on it the words "Communication from A. G.," had the word from cut out, and also the word "Admiral," in Admiral Moore’s own writing, cut out. These were tested in the spectroscope, with the result that the word "from" contained much lithium, while the word "Admiral" contained none at all.

I have this morning received the letter signed "Cleopatra" ; the ink here also contains much lithium.

These results you may rely on as absolutely correct. Is it possible that some hint of adding lithium to ink has slipped out? May I suggest an experiment which may be useful? Go to the medium whence these letters were obtained, taking your own ink and other things apparently as before ; but be very careful to have an ink that has no lithium in it. Get a letter as before, and let me test it for lithium. If the medium herself has been using ink which has lithium in it, she will use it again, and will be found out; but if she is genuine, there will be no lithium in the ink in which the letter is written.

When I reached home Sir William told me that some people imagined there was lithium in nearly everything. After he had finished his examination of the letters, he tested a piece of cigarette ash for lithium. It was found to contain it ; but the lithium in the ink was certainly a thousand times as much as that in the ash.

The suggestion of again testing the medium, coming from so eminent an authority, was not to be ignored. I could not say for certain that before the second (the Cleopatra) letter was obtained I had not used the word "lithium". The psychic and I had got by that time on the terms of fellow students, and she was as much interested as I was in this test. This much I knew : that if, perchance, I had let the word escape me, it would have conveyed nothing to her, and she could not have known where to get the citrate, nor, indeed, what to ask for. But, naturally, my mere assertion of this would not have satisfied Sir William.

Having plenty of time, I returned to Chicago (600 miles), And visited May Bangs on the morning of February 27, 1909, with every sign of wanting another test letter, taking my own materials, together with a small bottle of common ink. The sealed letter this time was written to a mutual friend of Sir William’s and mine, and the usual four blank sheets of hotel paper were enclosed. The ink used in the reply has been found by Sir William to contain no traces of lithium. I am greatly indebted to Sir William Crookes for so kindly interesting himself in my investigations ; his tests have enabled me to feel sure of my ground.

In the evening of Saturday, February 27, I sat for a reply from Iola, and obtained it in forty minutes. The contents were chiefly about a full-length picture of herself, to be done on Monday, March 1, and a portrait of Hypatia which she requested me to sit for (see chapter V.). It was decided that both should be precipitated on the same day.

(76) On Monday, March 1, 1909, I went to the Bangs sisters house, and found that they had sent to the town for two panel canvases, and there was considerable delay. At last they arrived, covered with paper that was wet, and I exposed them in the sun for about twenty-five minutes to dry. We sat for the full-length picture of Iola at 11:40. At 11:46 the figure appeared on the further side of the canvas next to me. It was roughly finished by 11:51, and placed on a chair at the side of the room still developing. At 12:10 we were told to cover it over and leave it, and return at 3 p.m. The mediums were not disengaged till 3:30, when we sat opposite the picture again for twenty minutes. Some changes had occurred in the interval, improving the picture much.


When I left at 12:10 I had expressed the opinion that the figure—then with bare arms—was too girlish, and I had also wished for a locket and chain to be put on the neck. I left a locket, similar to the one worn by Iola in earth life, close to the picture. On my return that arms were covered with sleeves, and the chain and locket were round the neck ; the dress also had been finished with embroidery, etc., and other improvements had taken place.

At 7:30 p.m. I returned to the house, and found the picture had undergone further improvements, especially in the sky and background. I mentally desired that the locket should be made larger, and that the monogram should be impressed upon it. Now occurred a very remarkable instance of invisible power. Nobody was present when I inspected the locket on this occasion ; the mediums were not at home ; I removed the locket at the foot of the picture, and took it away with me. My next visit was at 10:20 the following morning, March 2,1909. I then found that the monogram had been imprinted on the locket, not exactly a copy of the raised letters on the real locket in my possession, but the three correct letters were there ; one line was omitted, and the locket itself, as I had requested, was enlarged. Shadows had been added, improving the picture. The likeness is not very good. The interest in this picture does not lie in its fidelity as a portrait, but in the various alterations that were made after it was taken away from the window, and especially in the monogram precipitated at my mental request when nobody was present. (77) I have said above that the picture of Hypatia was precipitated on the same day as the full-length portrait of Iola—i.e., March 1, 1909—and I have referred to circumstances in connection with its execution at the end of Chapter V. We sat at 4pm. The picture came very quickly after we were elated, and the form was complete by 4:20m. We were told to take the canvases into the neighboring room, and place them in the full-lighted window. On their being placed in this window, it was observed that the figure had turned round, so that the right hand was on the books, instead of the left. The books and globe became more distinct, and the lower part of the dress developed its full color.

At 4h. 8m. we were told to take the picture down, and it was put on the floor against the wall of the room. The blank canvas was taken away; the back. ground now came out, and the picture was gradually completed as I watched it. It is practically the same today as it was at 4h. 20m. on that afternoon, though there is now an appearance of greater richness and finish.

The following incidents with reference to the phenomenon of the appearance of this picture must be noted : (a) While it was in process of development in the small séance-room a light, pattering noise was heard on the canvases, like fine sand thrown upon paper or glass. (b) The color did not come evenly, as in the other pictures; there was a large, dark patch on the lower part of the dress during the exposure in the small séance-room, causing me to think that the canvas or paper was spoilt.(c) On removing the canvases to the next room, and putting them (pinched together) in the fully-lighted window, the dirty patch developed into the deep-blue folds of the dress. If the object of the unseen operators was to convince the sitter that the "prepared-picture" theory was false, they could not have adopted a better means of effecting their object.

(78) On March 2, I wrote a letter in my hotel to Mr. F. W. H. Myers, reminding him of his promise made at Rochester to endeavour to reply to a letter from me at the Bangs Sisters’, at Chicago, and asking him to identify himself as far as he could for the benefit of his friends in England. The following was the reply found in the closed letter between the slates My Good Friend and co-worker.

I greet you this evening and am very pleased to come to you. It is very kind of you to give opportunity of all this grand phenomena proving continued life after so-called death. It is indeed unfortunate that spirit is somewhat limited in power of expression especially so when called upon to relate or recall some special event or circumstances occurring when in the earth form; this my good friend is due to the fact that the spirit is over-anxious to manifest in a way the mind suggests, the knowledge of which is perfectly clear to the spirit when in its free atmosphere—but when returning to manifest to mortals the atmosphere and all the conditions pertaining or surrounding to this life is


so dense and clouded, that for the time being memory of these matters are renewed only as you make reference to them; thus again the Science of Spirit communicating with mortals is so intricate that it is quite difficult to master this alone, without entering into other branches; or is it designed by the Great overwhelming power, that Intelligence men call God, that mortals should be able to penetrate all pertaining to this or higher life? Were it so, the people of Earth would become very dissatisfied with life, and more often tap (?) the time of their stay short, or, in other words, undo the set laws of Nature. Conviction is individual. Science in the material world can never reach a point of understanding to explain these things; it is utterly useless, but each member can receive and become satisfied to his or her own understanding: this is all. However the law of evolution is carrying you onward and upward until you all feel a close correspondence in your own soul to the Great One’s Soul, and little things like these manifestations do and will confound the mighty. Give my very best wishes to our great brother and co-worker, Sir __, also Sir __. I am with them heart and hand in this great cause and though they have been able to reach the point where they can determine this question for the world greater achievements are being made right away, until in a very short time sufficient evidence will be given that may be able to give to the world a clear solution that shall occasion mortals to accept it in great majority as a truth, absolutely fixed truths.

I urge you to continue in your research my friends, I find since entering this great world of worlds that I knew but little, nay nothing, in comparison with that which is to be known. I am still deeply interested in research and shall give you matters of interest from time to time, for our sensitives are growing more sensitive each day and this is the element required to give freedom of expression that brings evidence of identity. Yours ever in the cause of all truth and light, F. W. H. MYERS.

We commenced to sit at 7:30 p.m., and at 8h. 5m. the letter was finished. Lizzie Bangs joined us at 7:55 by request. On both sides of the outside of the envelope was a message from Iola about her portrait and other matters. The writing inside the envelope occupied six pages of hotel paper. It is in the same writing as other letters that I received through the mediumship of the Bangs Sisters: I have not the faintest idea whether it was dictated by Mr. Myers or not. There is nothing evidential in it. I did not know Mr. Myers; but he came to me, unasked, through Mrs. Georgia, at Rochester, and this led me to request him to correspond through the Bangs. It may have been dictated by some personating spirit, for they are legion. I have thought it best to record it, if only to show how much can be done in an hour. The style is not that of Myers, certainly; but, in my opinion, the sentiments are above the modest conceptions of the normal Lizzie Bangs. Moreover, if we are to assume the possibility of the letter being juggled out of the room (which I do not), the time for writing the reply would have to be reduced to less than forty minutes. Neither on this nor any other occasion was I able to detect any sign of the envelopes having been tampered with.

I obtained replies to four other letters at the Bangs Sisters’ house, and the Hudson communication referred to in Chapter V. It would be tiresome and uninteresting to record them all; they dealt with private matters. But I propose later to mention some curious happenings connected with two of them which struck me at the time as first-rate evidence of spirit power (see Nos. 80 and 81).

I have referred to three test-letters— two with lithium ink, on my first visit to Chicago, and one with ordinary ink, on my second visit. In the first of these letters there was a postscript from my guide Iola, alluding to some chaff that had taken place during that particular sitting. I had spoken to May Bangs (the only other person in the room) about some miss-spelt words in a previous letter which was also written by my guide or at her dictation, and the alleged writer vigorously defended herself. The doors of the room were always closed.

Again, when we sat for the last of the three letters, that on February 27, 1909, May Bangs asked me to cut off a small piece of wood, point it, and put it between the slates where the letter reposed; she thought the invisible writer would make use of it for his script. When the letter was finished, I was told not to open it. It was addressed across the flap to "Sir William Crookes, F.R.S."


When it was opened by him in London, he found my piece of pointed wood inside the letter. It had been dipped in ink, and one word at the beginning had actually been written with this blunt instrument. The letter itself was feeble.

The concomitant evidence of the fact that no mortal had anything to do with the replies to my letters is strong. Several times references were made to conversations that took place across the table while the writings were in progress.

The following incidents will suffice to close the subject (79) On Wednesday, March 3, from 11:15am. to 12:15pm., I sat with May Bangs for a reply from Hypatia. During the sitting I told the medium that some gentlemen in England had discussed with me the possibility of discovering if the ink on the slates was the identical ink used in the replies, by measuring the diminution of ink in the pot. My opinion was that we could not determine the question in this way, and May Bangs agreed with me. We were not using slates on this occasion, but had put the sealed letter under a stretched canvas; this was covered over by a cloth tucked in all round, and the ink was on top, not covered up. Immediately after Mary Bangs spoke (her hands were quite three feet from the ink, and we were sitting in full light), the ink fell in the pot. When the reply was finished, I found a communication from my guide outside the envelope referring to a matter, not the ink, which the psychic and I had been discussing a few minutes before. When I took away my letter, I was directed (through taps on the slates) to bring some flowers in the afternoon.

I must mention here that, after I began bringing my own materials, the slates used for communications by taps from the unseen were the Bangs’ own slates. It is very necessary to make this clear, for the casual reader might suppose that the psychic and I held the slates which contained the sealed letter.

(80) At 4 p.m. of the same day I returned with another sealed letter, a tea-rosebud, and two pink carnations; these flowers I put into a glass vase nine inches high, nearly full of water. May Bangs and I sat for the reply to my letter at 5:10. It was broad daylight. My letter was under a stretched canvas, which was covered over with a red cloth tucked in all round. On top of it I placed my own little open tin pot full of common ink, bought in Van Buren Street two hours before, and the corked ink-bottle.

The rosebud opened soon after we sat down. At 5:30 the flowers began to jump about spasmodically in the vase, and worked themselves halfway round the rim. At 5:35 the tea-rose and one carnation were pulled down by invisible power towards the letter. Constant commotion was going on with the flowers in the water; ultimately the rose nearly wriggled itself out of the glass vase.

At 5:40 I said: "I never heard of any phenomenon of this kind being done if the eyes of the observers were concentrated on the object." The Bangs’ slates were held between us, and the message rapped out, "Look out of the window." We both turned our heads simultaneously towards the window; instantly the vase upset away from the letter, the water was thrown upon the carpet, where it soon dried up, and the flowers disappeared.

At 5:42, as the light in the room was fading, I asked May Bangs to light the gas behind her; the window blind was still kept up.

At 5:48 my little pot of ink was nearly empty. I filled it up, by request, from the parent inkbottle.

At 5:52 the ink bubbled away again. The pot being empty, I filled it up a third time. We were then told by impression, or by taps on the slate, to examine the parent bottle. I put some of the liquid in it on a piece of paper, and found that the essence had been extracted from it and that it was very watery. and lower; at 6.0 it was dry. I filled it up for the fourth time.

At 6:50 taps announced that the letter was finished. On the outside of the envelope was written: "The remaining pink I claim to take with me, Iola." I slit open the letter at the top, and found inside the envelope (a) my letter; (b) reply of six pages, in which there was an allusion to the flower phenomenon described above; (c) the tea-rose, one carnation, and some leaves. Not a sign could I find in the room of the second carnation. I poured the ink from the little pot back into the ink-bottle, and again examined the contents of the bottle; there was nothing but dirty water.


All the essence of the ink had been extracted, and an entire five-cent bottle of ink had been consumed in one sitting.

On the evening of March 5,1909, I took a tea-rose, a carnation, and a letter to the Bangs’ house. I wanted the flowers to be taken away by Iola as my parting present, for the next day I was leaving for England. If the invisibles could accomplish what they had done the previous evening, they would certainly be able to dematerialise these flowers. I was not disappointed; but the phenomenon was, in a measure, spoilt by the nervousness of May Bangs. I had frequently observed her light-headedness in the evening on previous occasions; she was probably overworked. All psychics have their limitations, and possibly I ought to have known that such a delicate phenomenon should not have been started after a hard day’s work. The flowers were placed in water in the same glass vase as was used before, and the vase put in the same position on the table, the letter being under a stretched canvas as before.

At 7:42 we sat for a reply to the letter, and with the hope that the flowers might be dematerialised.

(81) At 8.00 the flowers began to shiver and jump a little, the water bubbling in the glass. The gas-jet was lowered and shaded from the vase, but there was enough light to see each other quite distinctly and all objects in the room. From the first the psychic fixed her eyes on the vase. I begged of her to become less concentrated, as I feared a failure. By-and-by the rose lifted itself out of the glass, and May Bangs, apparently unable to control herself, reached forward and, with her hand, dashed it back into the glass with an excited gesture. I thought the experiment had failed; but no, the two flowers still showed signs of animation, and kept on waggling to and fro, and apparently becoming smaller. I seized the glass vase with my left hand for some minutes. A message came by impression through May Bangs: "Put the vase on your side of the shelf of the table." At 8:15 I placed it almost touching my right leg under the table, on the shelf, well out of sight and reach of the psychic. At 8:20 May Bangs opened a door and shouted for her sister Lizzie to come into the room to assist by her power. At 8:28 a message came to turn up the light, which was done by May Bangs. I lifted the vase; the water was there, but the flowers had disappeared.

At 8:31 the usual taps announced that the reply to the letter was finished. The little pot (this time underneath the frame) was examined, and all the ink in it had dried up.

This was the only manifestation which occurred in partial light during my intercourse with the two sisters. All the others took place in full light.

The nervousness and want of self-control of May Bangs on this occasion, when a fine manifestation was partially spoilt, may be accounted for by an incident that took place late in the afternoon, and which must have taxed the mediumistic powers of the two sisters to the utmost. Two farmers from Oregon had come to the house between four and five o’clock. One brought a photograph with him into the room in his pocket, and asked that a portrait of his deceased wife might be precipitated. The other accompanied him to the sitting, as a friend, intending to ask for a precipitated portrait of his deceased wife if that of his companion should prove to be a success; he left his photograph in his overcoat pocket, ‘in the hall. Two canvases were produced, and the sitting commenced. In a short time the face and bust of a woman appeared. They were those of an apparently refined person, with delicate dress and etherialised countenance. The man watched it with undisguised impatience, and, when it was nearly finished, exclaimed: " That’s not my wife; if I take that picture home, my daughters will say that is not their mother!" Immediately the picture faded away. Two more canvases were set up, and another face and bust in due time appeared. After watching their development for some ten minutes, the man said to his friend (who, remember, had not disclosed his intention of asking for a precipitation) : "Bill, that’s not my wife; that’s your wife!" "I could have told you that some time ago," was the reply. The development went on till this portrait was finished to the complete satisfaction of the husband, and the picture was laid on one side on a chair. " Now," said the psychics to the first man, who had been disappointed, "we will try again to obtain for you a precipitation of your wife as she was in earth life." Canvases were set up as before (this time not in the window, for it had become dark), and presently a face and bust of his wife developed, precisely as in the photograph which he had brought into the room. It was now about 6.40 or 6.50, and I came to the house. May Bangs opened the door for me, and begged me to come into the seance-room to see what had happened. On going in, I was confronted by the picture


of what appeared to me to be a man—a friar. Fortunately, I said nothing to betray my belief in the sex of the person whose portrait was before me. I had a short conversation with the two men. Both were highly pleased at their success in obtaining good portraits of their wives just as they were in earth life. They accepted the pictures, and went away delighted.

In recent times no psychics have been so long and so constantly under fire of criticism as the Bangs Sisters. I record the fact, but entirely without surprise. The manifestations which appear through their mediumship are of such a startling nature as to render it in the highest degree improbable that anyone, however experienced he may be as an investigator, can credit the accounts of what takes place, unless he has actually seen the various phenomena that occur. Many have been the efforts to show that what happens in their presence is the effect of pure conjuring on their own part. All have failed. It was for some years supposed by critics that pictures were prepared beforehand, and concealed by a chemical process, the envelope, so to speak, disappearing on exposure to light. It is now quite certain that such a process does not exist; no painting of the substance of the Bangs’ pictures can be covered over so as to be invisible. The only possible means of fraud is to substitute a ready-made picture for the second canvas (that furthest from the sitter), and then bring it by degrees slowly to approach the first canvas (that next to the sitter). Even if this were done, we have not got very far, for the finished portrait eventually is found on the further side of the canvas which is next to the sitter. To achieve this it would be necessary to turn both canvases together right round. How, in the name of common sense, could this be done without the sitter, who is between the two mediums, detecting the swindle?

But there are two considerations which clinch the matter: (a) Where a big picture is concerned, such as "Cleopatra," which measures forty inches by thirty inches, the only possible means of making the alleged substitution is through the window—and the window is never opened. I have been left alone in the room for an hour at a time, and have examined it; it is a burglar-proof sash window, the two halves lifting up and down in the usual way. Moreover, it would be impossible for the sitter to be ignorant of the opening of the window, especially in winter, for it is only two feet nine inches from him; it would also be impossible for him to be blind to the shadow that the alleged substituted picture would throw upon the other canvas or canvases. (b) Under these supposed fraudulent conditions, how could the likeness be obtained? The second picture of Iola produced is a faithful, though etherialised, portrait of her at about the age she passed over. It is true the photograph which most resembles this picture was in my dollar-pocket, inside my waistcoat; but the psychics could not, and did not, see it normally.

I am confident that no fraud was practiced on me by these sisters. This being so, I pass on to this important question: What part do the psychics take in the process of precipitation? As mediums they assuredly have their allotted share.

I believe they (or one of them) are mirrors. They are clairvoyants, and do see the photograph in my pocket; and it is through them that the invisible artists are able to get the likeness. The spirit is present, no doubt, but the artist is much assisted by the photo.

Mr. William Marriott, the conjurer, has made a study of these Bangs pictures, and has cut strips from the corner of one of my portraits of Iola. He finds that the material basis is tempera, and this is worked upon with pastel, chalk, paint, and airbrush. If these are not the identical materials, they are, at any rate, the nearest counterpart to those which were used by the invisibles at Chicago.

We had two important experiments in December,1909, to ascertain if he could copy the Bangs manifestations without his methods (admittedly conjuring) being detected. Both were clever and amusing attempts, but unsuccessful. He proved this, however: that a rough picture can be made in the space of one hour and a-half from the time of possessing himself of the photograph, and that a very good finished portrait in freehand can be accomplished in two working days.

The theory of fraud set up to account for the replies to letters in sealed envelopes is that the letter is got out from between the slates or from under the stretched frame; passed out of the closed room under a door; opened; answered normally by Lizzie Bangs or some other confederate, and returned the same way. The ink is likewise conveyed from the room. I say that, under the circumstances in which I sat with May Bangs, such a feat of conjuring was impossible. In eight


cases out of twelve she had no opportunity of touching the letters or the ink. Any attempt to tamper with slates, stretched canvas, or ink would have resulted in the spilling of the ink; sometimes I used five rubber bands; on three occasions the ink was in sight, and only one foot or fifteen inches from me. In all cases the slates or stretched canvas were nearer to me than to the psychic. For the moment, however, let us suppose that this was the modus operandi. We have yet to account for allusions in the letters to conversations at the table during the séance , and to the knowledge possessed by May Bangs (the only other person in the room) of the contents of my letter. In at least six cases she told me the chief points (sometimes everything) of my own script while we were sitting at the table.

The Bangs are not always successful. As far as I could judge, the phenomena generally occurred when the sitter was positive, like myself—a person wholly devoid of any receptive mediumistic faculty. Their time is fully occupied; I was only one of many visitors. They offered every facility for examination of the premises, and I roamed through their rooms alone for at least a quarter of an hour, on the average, every day that I was in Chicago.




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