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CHAPTER IX
THIRD VISIT TO AMERICA

Return to United States—Objects of my visit—Mrs. Georgia ill— Mrs. French still has power, though in her eightieth year—Mrs. Rossegue—Her psychometry—Miss Ada Besinnet— Singing and whistling by spirits—Spirit lights—A heavy table lifted off the floor—The singing of Oma Yoant and Iola—Mrs. Wriedt accompanies a party to a seance with Ada Besinnet—Her clairvoyance— Very good test to Mr. Xander—Black Cloud’s method of announcing his departure from the psychic—Talking through the trumpet— Automatic writings by the psychic—Professor Hyslop—he does not admit the possibility of materialisation—More seance s with the Jonsons— Grayfeather again—The antics of Viola—Her disappearance from one spot, and instant reappearance in another—The striking materialisation of Catherine—Discovery of the partial solidity of spirit forms—Edna, the nun—Privilege accorded me by Viola — Mrs. Wriedt attends a Jonson seance, and her control, Dr. Sharp, comes to her—I hold the coat of a partially materialised Spirit—Warned by my guide not to repeat a certain experiment—The Newtons’ children appear, and give a pretty test—Dr. Sharp again manifests to Mrs. Wriedt—Grayfeather: "I want my shadow here "—Sitting alone with Mrs. Jonson in the cabinet—Materialisation, only of scientific interest—Tests with the Bangs Sisters—Picture test successful in two days—Letter test takes three days—Depletion of the Mediums and of myself-—Slate-writing through the mediumship of Mr. P. 0. Reeler—No evidence of identity, but proof of the presence of invisible intelligences— Return to England.

ON December 10,1910, I left Southampton to pay a third visit to the United States to study psychical phenomena. During the previous twenty months I had, of course, discussed my American experiences with many people, but chiefly with a conjurer whom I believe to be the most modern and clever of his trade, who furnished me with over a hundred explanations on different points. There was not one of the many suggestions offered to me that met the cases of spirit action I had seen; each explanation was more wonderful than the spirit hypothesis. No doubt those who argued with me were at a great disadvantage; they were totally unacquainted with the electrical conditions in the States, with the country, and with the psychics whom I had seen. However that may be, the effect on my mind was to strengthen my belief in the genuineness of the phenomena; and I left England without a single doubt of what I had seen in 1909, but, at the same time, resolved to put all suggestions to the test whenever an opportunity occurred.

The main objects of my third visit were: (1) To interview my guide through the mediumship of Mrs. Georgia and Mrs. Wriedt; especially to try and discover what her occupation was, and what were the duties of other members of my family and friends in spirit life; (2) to see what development had been made in the mediumship of Miss Ada Besinnet, the famous young psychic at Toledo; and (3) to have some experiments with Mr. and Mrs. Jonson, not, indeed, to test their honesty, of which I was already fully assured, but to study more closely the tangibility of the forms, and particularly their methods of dematerialising, which had so much astonished me in 1909. As I thought an opportunity might occur to spend a few days at Chicago, I wrote letters ready for experiments with the Bangs Sisters, and put paper inside for reply, sealing the envelopes in such a way as to render it impossible for them to be opened in a normal manner, and in a short time, without detection. I also purchased a chemical and some ink, which was secured in a travelling bottle with spring; the application of the chemical to the ink would prove instantly if the ink of the replies, to the letters was the same ink as I put on, or near, the slates.

On arrival at New York, I proceeded to Rochester, which I reached on December 20,1910. I called upon Mrs. Georgia the following morning, and found her dangerously ill. The next day she was removed from her residence to a hospital. So critical was her condition that it was found necessary to perform a very serious operation upon her in one hour; and it was found that, bad this operation been delayed, she must have died in a few hours.

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I remained in Rochester till December 28, when Mrs. Georgia was pronounced "going on well "; and then proceeded to Toledo, Ohio. While in Rochester I had two interesting experiences. On Thursday, December 22,1910, owing to the kindness of friends, I sat with the venerable Mrs. French, now in her eightieth year, and heard the voices of Red Jacket, Dr. Hossack, and Bro. Riley. They were feeble; but the wonder is that we got anything at all, considering the advanced age and failing health of the psychic. There were five people in the semi-circle, and it was fifty minutes before any phenomena occurred. In The Psychic Riddle Dr. Funk has given such a full description of what happens in the presence of Mrs. French that it is superfluous to add any further testimony here.

(93) On Christmas Eve I visited a psychometrist, Mrs. H. E. Rossegue, to whom I was a perfect stranger; she had only been three days in the city. I wear a locket on my watch-chain, and I took this off and gave it to the lady. Very soon she said: "This has not always belonged to you. The Spirit of a lady came with you into the house. I get her character." Then followed a faithful description of my wife, which could not have been more accurate if she had known her twenty years. This was followed by a fairly accurate account of some events in my own life. Then she returned to the subject of the locket: " The former owner of this is not in spirit life ; she is far away from you, far away; she is not very strong; she is feeling she must come back to you " More about myself followed.

Q: "What is inside the locket?"

A: "I hear, ‘It was mine, but it is not I."

The rest of the reading was of little interest to my readers. (The locket was for over thirty years the property of my wife. After she had given it to me, we had a portrait of Iola put into it. The spirit said to be in the room was that of my wife, who was asleep in England. " It [the locket] was mine, but it [the picture] is not I." The time when this was said was 6:30pm., New York time, which would be about 11:30pm., English time.)

My next séance  was at Toledo, with Miss Ada Besinnet, on Friday, December 30, 8pm. She now lives with her adopted parents, Mr. and Mrs. Murray Moore, at "The Colman," 1923 Vermont Avenue. The other sitters were Mrs. Murray Moore and Mr. and Mrs. Z. The familiar spirits who were in evidence were "Maud" (a sister of Mrs. Moore), Oma Yoant (an old school-friend of Miss Ada), Pietro de Muria (the whistler), "Leonore," Black Cloud (Indian), and "Dan," who is the psychic’s principal guide. I soon found that Miss Ada had been much developed during the two years that had elapsed since I last sat with her. I sat on her right, and controlled her right hand. Directly the light was put out the table moved two feet, and opened in the middle (where a leaf can be put in). When we were fairly settled, a voice came directly in front of me, " Iola is here." A song was started on the graphophone by Mrs. Moore, who attended to the instrument; and a spirit, said to be Gina Yoant, joined in with a loud, rich voice, filling the room with sound. This voice appeared to me to be about three feet distant across the table, and on a level with my head.

Then followed various songs from the graphophone, accompanied by spirit-singing and the magnificent whistling of Pietro, which appeared to me to be even louder and richer than it was two years before. The Z.’s had brought with them many new "records," and the spirit-singers and Pietro seemed to be just as much at home with them as with their old familiar songs. A little hand, half the size of my own, stroked mine and my knees softly. I held it once above the table, and tried to keep it, but it wrenched itself away from me upward (there was no dissolving).

An Indian spirit called "Silvermoon" gave a fine war-whoop from the ceiling. Mrs. Z. ’s ring was taken off her finger, and put, as far as it would go, on my little finger. Mrs. Z. told me that considerable force had to be used by the spirit, as her ring was very tight. In a few minutes it was taken from me again, and returned to Mrs. Z.

There was much talking through the trumpet and singing in the direct voice independently of the trumpet; when this took place, the latter was laid on the arms of one of the sitters. None of the singing emanated near the psychic.

My left hand was pressed down on the medium’s right hand several times by a feminine hand, said to be that of the spirit "Leonore."

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During the conversation the table was frequently shaken, as if to simulate convulsions of laughter ; these demonstrations were always very apt, invariably happening when some comical remark had been made. several spirit lights were seen.

The graphophone was often stopped when a record was put in which the spirits did not like. On one occasion, when Mrs. Moore went out of the room to fetch a record that we asked for, the instrument was started and stopped several times by the spirits.

A tambourine was wrung out of my hand, as it had been two years before. Towards the end of the séance  the psychic spoke in trance, and described an old relative of mine who passed out in 1904. This "speaking in trance" and "automatic writing" are new developments of Miss Ada.

After two and a-quarter hours the séance  came to a close, the young psychic coming out of trance in three minutes without distress, apparently normal, and able to join in general conversation.

I propose to continue the account of my observations of Miss Ada Besinnet without regard to consecutive dates in the narrative of my education, and then to give accounts of my sittings with the Jonsons and the tests of the Bangs Sisters. The most mysterious and convincing of all my experiences, those which brought me into closest touch with the next state, are related in the next chapter, entitled "The Voices." There is no phenomenon so rare and so effective as that of the "direct voice," whereby an investigator is brought, so to speak, into the very antechamber of celestial life. The phenomena exhibited in the presence of Mrs. Wriedt, both in quantity and quality, exceed in value any other experiences I have in my notes. Not one half are recorded, for private reasons; but such as I have been able to make public will form an appropriate Jinis to the narrative of facts I have witnessed in my search for the truths of immortality.

(94) Saturday, December 31,1910. With Miss Besinnet. Sitters—Mrs. Murray Moore, Mr. and Mrs. Z., their nieces, and myself. On this occasion the circle round the table was complete. The atmospheric conditions were very good. I controlled the psychic’s right hand.

Mrs. Moore, as before, attended to the graphophone. She was often interfered with by the spirits, who stopped the instrument whenever they did not like the tune or song being played. When the lights were first put out the table was moved a foot, and opened where a leaf should go if required. Then the spirit singing and whistling, in accompaniment to the graphophone, went on for about an hour. The singing of Oma Yoant was specially fine; it appeared to come from about a foot above the centre of the table. The same magnificent whistling took place.

Mrs. Z.’s ring was taken from her hand to that of one of her nieces, and then brought to me, where, as on the previous evening, it was put on my little finger. It remained there ten or fifteen minutes, and was then returned by " Leonore" to Mrs. Z. Little hands stroked my hand and my knee several times, and once a hand touched my shoulder.

Presently I felt a little hand playing with my locket. Controlling Miss Ada ’s right hand with my left, I reached down my right hand under the table and felt a small hand, less than half the size of my own, apparently trying to remove the locket. I asked:

"Shall I assist you to unclasp it?" Answer, one knock on the table (indicating "No "). After the locket had been fingered about fifteen minutes, the motion ceased; I put my right hand down again, and found it gone; it was handed round to each member of the circle, and then returned to me open. A number of spirit lights appeared round it the moment before I was allowed to hold it. I asked:

"Who has been doing this? Is it Leonore?"

A: One knock on the table.

Q: "Is it Iola?"

A: Three knocks (indicating "Yes"); then a whisper through the trumpet: "I tried to show you my face in the locket." Before this I saw, dimly, the form of a woman bending over me with her hands on my shoulders, or trying to do so.

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Miss Ada’s control, "Black Cloud," bashed my left hand with his; many times a gentle feminine hand pressed my hand down on the right hand of the medium. "Silvermoon" gave a loud war-whoop from the ceiling.

When the séance was nearly at an end, the table, which weighs over a hundredweight, was lifted clean off the floor two or three inches for a second.

February 2,1911. With Miss Ada Besinnet and Mrs. Moore alone, 7:30 to 9pm. On this evening there was a great display of spirit lights; Iola tried to show her face by these. I dare-say there were, at different times, one hundred; about the size of a quarter dollar; not one emanated from the medium. One song was sung three times by Oma Yoant, and also by Iola. We had other songs and whistling, with and without the graphophone. Three new spirit singers made themselves known. "Leonore" spoke several times through the trumpet.

The psychic was brought out of trance, very suddenly, by "Black Cloud," her Indian control, and taken into the drawing-room, where she was made to lie down on the sofa, "Black Cloud" muttering all the while through her lips. As she passed round the table, among the chairs in the pitch-dark séance-room, she never stumbled, nor came into collision with any furniture.

(95) Friday, February 3,1911. With Miss Ada Besinnet, 8 to 10:30pm. The party consisted of Mr. and Mrs. Newton, Mrs. Wriedt, and three friends, besides Mrs. M. Moore and myself. The fact of Mrs. Wriedt being present added very much to the power. When the seats were being arranged, I suggested that a Mr. Xander should sit next to the medium, which he did, and talked to a spirit nearly the whole evening. His experiences during that séance  quite dispersed any doubts he may have had before; he is a man of strong character, and it was a fine instance of the comforting and elevating power of spiritism.

I sat next to Mrs. Wriedt. On my right was a man who obtained some convincing and consoling test. The Newtons’ two children in spirit life passed flowers and other articles backwards and forwards between their father and mother. Iola made herself known to me and to Mrs. Wriedt. But the best evidence of spirit power to the party as a whole came to Mr. Xander, through Mrs. Wriedt. He said to a spirit: " Please take this ring to Mrs. Wriedt, and ask her if she can tell me where it came from." Before receiving it in her hand, Mrs. Wriedt said: "I see a watch; the works are all out of it, and it appears to fuse while I look at it, as if it were in the melting-pot. I see the face of an old man [describing him], who once owned the watch." She received the ring in her hand, and passed it to me. After I returned it, the spirit carried it back to Mr. Xander, who said: "This is one of the most remarkable things which has ever happened to me. The watch seen by Mrs. Wriedt belonged to my father, whom she described correctly. After it came into my possession, I had the works removed, and the cover beaten up and made into this ring."

There were, on this evening, many songs on the graphophone, accompanied by spiritsinging; Oma Yoant, as usual, showing the greatest power.

Finally, I heard the voice of Black Cloud: "Me go"; Miss Ada came out of trance easily, and without any ill effects being apparent from the exercise of her gift.

February 10,1911. Alone with Miss Ada and Mrs. Moore, 7:30 to 9:50. I informed the controls in open voice that we did not want much spirit-singing, but would like the manifestations this evening to take the form of talking and mental phenomena. We began with songs through the graphophone, one Indian song— a favourite with me—being accompanied by Oma Yoant in her loud voice, and, in gentler tones, by Iola afterwards. When my favourite passages came round, Iola sang straight into my face. After this first singing was over, she talked to me through the trumpet, telling me how hard she was trying to do what I wanted (referring to Jonson’s séance s). Pietro, the whistler, joined in only when Cavalleria Rusticana was played by the graphophone.

There were some thirty good spirit-lights. Three letters written automatically by the psychic were given into my hands (1) My name is spelled Yoant. (2) I have come to you so many many times but you do not seem to see me or hear me and it is so difficult. I love to come to the home and the loved ones.

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I do so wish you had some good medium at home where I could come to you as I can here. There are so many difficulties to overcome when we come back here. There are so many things that we want to tell you and we know what we want to say when we are ready to come back but when we get here everything seems to disappear and we cannot say what we want to. I must go now, I will be with you to guide you safely home Iola.

(3) [Writing very bad.] Me think me go now medium very tired; me like you, like you come. Good night, goodbye. B. C. [Black Cloud].

What will be the fate of this gifted young psychic, Ada Besinnet? Her health is far from good. She is tenderly cared for by Mrs. Murray Moore, and, so far, there is no cause for anxiety; but the phenomena which occur in her presence are of such a remarkable character that the average ignorant and unprepared American finds himself unable to accept them. His undeveloped mind rebels against what is, to him, a totally new proposition. Not a year ago she was treated with insult and active hostility by a party composed of what a Yankee would call "ladies and gentlemen."

My friend Professor Hyslop has completed his long examination of Miss Ada, and has satisfied himself of the genuineness of all that goes on; but, as he has not yet educated himself to the point of understanding the phenomena of materialisation, his report is not a correct representation of all her gifts. The little hands, the extraordinary whistling of Pietro, the singing of Oma Yoant (loud, clear, and appearing in the middle of the table), and the stopping, starting, and changing records of the graphophone, can have no significance to a man who does not admit the word "materialisation" into his category of terms. Like his predecessor, Richard Hodgson, he has very much to learn; and his views on physical phenomena are so well known that I do not believe any medium of the first class whose gifts lie in that direction will sit for him. I should doubt if Mrs. Wriedt would consent to have him in her séance-room. It is a matter of unconcern to these powerful psychics in Toledo and Detroit whether either the American or London Societies for Psychical Research believe in them or not. We had many conversations on this subject, and I agreed with all of them that it was waste of energy and time to submit to the ridiculous tests of pseudo-scientists who have not mastered the fundamental principles of psychic force.

I trust that Miss Ada will continue to develop her gifts, and admit sitters who come with good introductions, and those only. Open-minded scepticism should be no bar, but all hostile persons should be refused; the " sweet young-girl," as Iola calls her, should not be subjected to the strain of a struggle with evil or antagonistic suggestions. Curious it is that, while the great secret of the knowledge of immortal life is to be found around the great lakes of North America, where the natural electrical conditions are so favourable to all forms of psychical manifestation, the people are, on this subject, the most ignorant, intolerant, and bigoted on the face of the civilised earth. With nine men out of ten, to mention the occult is to provoke a sneer; in this respect it is worse there now than it was in England sixty years ago. The motive of life is the chase of the almighty dollar; materialism is rampant, and, as far as I could see, there is no reason to hope for any improvement for very many years to come.

It is most improbable that the phenomena it was my good fortune to get through Miss Besinnet were so powerful as have been obtained, from time to time, by Mr. and Mrs. Z., and other people around who have sat very often. A passing tourist would not fare so well as old friends; but, perhaps, enough has been said to give my readers a general idea of what they would experience if they went to Toledo themselves. One phenomenon I did not see—the flashes of illumination like sheet-lightning; it is rare, but was seen by Dr. Hyslop on one or two occasions.

I now pass on to describe a few séance s I had with Mr. and Mrs. Jonson, the mediums alluded to in Chapter VI. Tuesday, January 10, 1911. 8:20 to 10:15pm. With Mr. J. B. Jonson. Sitters, Mr. and Mrs. Z. and myself. Mrs. Jonson in the séance-room attending to the musical-box and receiving the spirits as they materialised. The atmospheric conditions were good, but not of the best; fine overhead, but thawing.

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Though this sitting was by appointment, nothing was ready. We had to wait forty minutes for the séance-room to be warmed, and when we did go upstairs the cabinet was found full of chairs and other things that had been used during the afternoon for Mrs. Jonson’s cabinet sitting.

Grayfeather, the Indian, took possession of Jonson easily and naturally, and nineteen individual spirits materialised, some reappearing two or three times. The light was sufficient to read a watch with a white face. Jonson sat outside the cabinet, in a chair, for quite half the séance . My friends Mr. and Mrs. Z. were fortunate in seeing a number of their relatives, and I was more than satisfied. The antics of Viola, one of the habitués of Jonson’s cabinet, were remarkable. She came first and shoved her face to the three members of the circle, at a distance of one or two inches from theirs, allowing me to examine her long hair by taking it into my hand. She made three or four visits. On one of these she stood outside the cabinet curtains talking for a minute or so, then suddenly disappeared from that spot and reappeared instantly behind my chair with her hands on my shoulders and some of her hair over my right shoulder. The distance from one spot to the other was six feet. As she wore a white robe and the light was fairly good, it would have been impossible not to see her move if she had been a mortal. We three agreed that there was no sign of a form from the time she disappeared outside the cabinet to the moment her hands were placed upon me. I have described similar performances of this bright, active spirit in Chapter VI.

(96) But the most extraordinary manifestation of this excellent séance  was the materialisation of a sister of mine, Catherine, who passed from this life, when two and a-half years old, fifty-five years ago. She first came out of the cabinet, gave her name, and said in low tones: "We are all here, father and mother and brother Alldin."

Q: "Is Iola here?"

A: "Yes, we are all here."

This time her face was not very distinct; she returned into the cabinet, and, iii a minute or two, reappeared much plainer. Mrs. Jonson got a very strong impression to take her out into the better light behind the chairs, and only some six feet from the lamp. I moved first, Catherine behind me, and Mrs. Jonson brought up the rear. We passed Jonson, entranced in his chair, round Mr. Z., who occupied a chair opposite to him, and stopped behind Mr. Z., where the light was good enough to read a newspaper. Mrs. Jonson then told me to turn round; I faced about and found myself looking at a woman about 5ft. 4in. in height, with extremely pretty, animated face, full of character, and rich auburn hair. We kissed each other on the mouth; her lips were warm and moist. We then proceeded back to the cabinet in reverse order. As the spirit was entering between the curtains I brought my hand down upon her white shoulder and found—nothing! My hand met with no resistance whatever. I could not detect any family likeness.

(I discussed this incident afterwards at Detroit with Dr. Sharp, Mrs. Wriedt’s guide, and Catherine herself. I asked Sharp: "Why was it that it was so easy for my sister to materialise and come out into the middle of the room, and other spirits find it so difficult?" His reply was: "You are children of the same mother; it is a fact that, when brother and sister meet in this way, it is much easier than friends or even relations of more distant affinity." I asked Catherine why my hand went through her shoulder. She said, "I am not material "; but on another occasion she said, "I was just beginning to dematerialise.")

Mr. Z. told me this was the best materialisation he had ever seen at Jonson’s. Both he and Mrs. Z. saw Catherine, clearly, from where they sat, and declared that she was a very beautiful spirit.

An old relative of mine came out of the cabinet. I went back to the opening with her, and she kissed me on the left cheek. At the same moment I put my right arm round her waist and found— nothing! After an interval she came again, and for a second time I was able to satisfy myself of her non-substantiality. Hypatia and Cleopatra both put in an appearance, the latter wearing a gold bracelet on the left arm, exactly as in my precipitated picture. I put my hand on this bracelet and found—nothing! As on a former visit in 1909, she made passes over Jonson and stood beside him when he was on his feet; she was nearly the same height, say 5ft. l0in. None of these experiments did the medium any harm.

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Mrs. Z. ’s guide, a nun called Edna, when she came, arose from the carpet two feet in front of me; she was wearing a smaller cross than she wore two years ago when I last saw her. After stopping two or three minutes she dematerialised, and soon afterwards rose from the carpet in the same place as before.

My father and mother came together, and a little girl in Scotch plaid, said to be a guide of an artist in Canada, came to Mr. and Mrs. Z.

I should mention that, shortly after Grayfeather took possession of Jonson, he made the latter rise and collect magnetism from Mrs. Jonson and us sitters, with his hands. This he appeared to throw into the cabinet.

Thursday, January 19,1911. With the Jonsons. Sitters, Mr. and Mrs. Z., their two nieces, Mrs. Wriedt, and myself. The atmospheric conditions were satisfactory, but the séance was not so good as that of January 10.

(97) Grayfeather took possession of Jonson easily; he caused him to rise from his chair and throw his hands about as before, collecting magnetism from his wife and the sitters, and throwing it into the cabinet. Viola came out of the cabinet early, and flitted about, peering into our faces as she did at the last séance . With her consent I took hold of her tresses of long hair on either side of her head with both hands, drew her face gently down to mine, and kissed her. It was precisely the same as kissing any ordinary mortal. This experiment, in the interest of science, was remarked upon with jeers by "Kitty" inside the cabinet, who called out: "Oh! oh! he’s all amongst the girls !" I was told afterwards that this is a favour sometimes accorded by Viola to old friends. The light was quite good enough to see the face and form clearly down to her feet. She then retired into the cabinet. During a subsequent séance  at the house of Mr. Kaiser, in Detroit, Kitty spoke to me in the dark, and, among other things, said: "Viola thought that kiss of yours real nice.

Dr. Sharp, Mrs. Wriedt’s control, came according to a promise made to us at Detroit. It was easy to recognise the face and long beard as he appears in his picture in Mrs. Wriedt’s drawingroom; but, otherwise, he appeared to me to be very phantasmal, evidently not a solid form. Mrs. Wriedt had a conversation with him. I heard him say, "I came to keep my promise"; but he could not stop very long.

Hypatia and Cleopatra manifested, and were both shy. I had no opportunity of testing their tangibility. Friends and relatives appeared to all the party.

The name Alldin was given. I went up to the cabinet and saw a vague figure of a man, but could not make out the face. I put out my left hand, and clutched the lapel of a tweed coat. It evaded my hand after I had held it for two or three seconds; there was no struggle, and the form vanished.

(98) The same old relative whom I saw on the 10th came again. I got the name clearly, and saw the form at the opening of the cabinet. I approached her closely; she kissed me, as she would in life, and I instantly put my right hand straight through the white garment. Until my hand bad gone through about a foot or fifteen inches, it encountered no resistance; then my fingers met a slight obstruction, somewhat hard. There was, at this moment, a stagger back of the form, and it disappeared.

After this a white form tried to rise from the carpet outside the cabinet, but failed and sank again. Jonson came out of trance very suddenly. This was the only occasion upon which there was any sign that my experiments had disturbed him. He was quite himself in a few minutes and none the worse; but my guide (who must have been in the cabinet and seen what I was doing at the time) referred to the incident a few days later, in Detroit, and warned me that it must not be repeated. Friday, February 3, 1911. 2:30 to 4:40 p.m. Sitting with Jonson. Conditions good. The party consisted of Mrs. Wriedt, Mr. and Mrs. Newton, a lady friend of theirs, Mr. Xander, another gentleman, and myself. The most interesting event in this séance  will be described in the next chapter. It was by a mere accident that I was able to attend at all, and I consider myself fortunate in witnessing the final act of a pretty episode.

All the party got something. To me came Cleopatra, a seaman called "Carey," and Admiral T. I did not see any of the faces clearly except that of Ada Newton.

Grayfeather, talking through the lips of Jonson, was very indignant that his picture was not in the séance-room; it is in the drawing-room downstairs; "I want my shadow here." Then followed a description of what he would have done to his squaw if she had not obeyed him. Dr. Sharp appeared—much the same as before, very unsubstantial; but he was able to talk a little in whispers about a matter we had been discussing in Detroit.

On both this and the last occasion Mrs. Wriedt gave much assistance, not only by bringing extra power, but in sensing names and telling us who was present and who was coming out of the cabinet. Neither Mr. nor Mrs. Jonson were very well ; taking it all round, the light was much less than usual.

Saturday, February 4,1911. Alone with the Jonsons. 2 to 3:15pm. Both Mr. and Mrs. Jonson unwell, and Jonson did not go into trance. Finding we could get nothing outside the cabinet, we then sat inside. The only phenomenon we got was a whisper through the trumpet, "Iola." Tuesday, February 7,1911. Alone with Mrs. Jonson in the cabinet. First appeared a wretched etherealisation of Iola, not the least like her. Then the voice of Viola through the trumpet; then Catherine and Alldin. They none of them had much to say except promises of help in the expected Jonson experiments.

Iola then came in for a long talk, lasting nearly, if not quite, half-an-hour. Most of it was of a private character. The voice came from above my head.

Q: "Where did I spend yesterday afternoon?"

A: "With Mr. and Mrs. Z. You had a very pleasant afternoon with the family." (Correct)

Q: "What did we talk about?"

A: "I could not hear properly everything."

Oviola spoke for a minute or two, and called herself Mr. Z .’s papoose. Finally, Hypatia, who said she would always come at my call, and would help in the projected experiments.

Wednesday, February 8,1911. Alone with the Jonsons, 5:45 to 6:25pm. Jonson ill, with what he thought was lumbago, but what turned out to be kidney disease. He determined to sit. The only phenomenon that took place was the materialisation of my guide. She made four or five good attempts to come well outside the cabinet into the light. I saw her plainly; her eyes were luminous, and the face bore that unearthly reddish, dimpled appearance which is so common with materialised forms. She spoke a sentence that quite settled her identity, as it referred to occurrences in another city; but, though it was a beautiful face, it was not a good simulacrum of Iola. The build and height, however, were correct. On one occasion I looked inside the cabinet and found nothing whatever, though her white form had only the instant before passed the curtains. Jonson, controlled by Grayfeather, helped her with his power on one side, and Mrs. Jonson on the other, each time she reappeared from the cabinet. The second or third time she came I took hold of her right hand, which she gave me, but, to my surprise, it was rather roughly torn from mine. At a subsequent séance  at Detroit I asked Sharp to tell me how a form, apparently so feeble, acquired the strength for this. He said my hand imparted the strength to hers; but Grayfeather said he assisted her to disengage herself, and he added: "I draw from you to keep spirit [form] on her feet." Friday, February 10,1911. Visited the Jonsons at 2pm. Found Jonson very bad, quite unfit to sit. The public séance of the night before had been fairly successful. I booked the whole of the next week for séances; but he never sat again for me, as his malady increased. On Saturday, February 11, Grayfeather came to me at Detroit, fifty miles off, and told me his medium was very ill and could do no more for me. This incident is related in the next chapter.

So ended my experiences with these excellent mediums. I thank them for their confidence in me, and their readiness to meet my wishes in every particular. I should like to have continued my experiments by studying the dematerialisation of spirit forms while holding them by the hand; but it does not much matter. I proved, conclusively, that what I have conjectured for two years is

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true—viz., that there are all shades of substantiality in materialisation, from the phantasmal form which you can walk through (ghosts, in fact—more properly called "etherialisations") to a form wholly solid. The habitués of Jonson’s cabinet, like Viola, and especially Kitty (who seldom appears), are able to assume the substance of mortality at will, and throw it off in a fraction of a second. Not so the visiting spirits, those who are relatives and friends of the sitters. Though visible from head to foot, they are intangible, except in one or two places, more often than not faces and hands. It is only by long practice in the same cabinet that a large degree of substantiality can be obtained. If the visiting spirits attempted more than they do, they would fail altogether, or, as Kitty often said, "not stick together," but "go all to pieces." The genuineness of the Jonsons can only be doubted by those who do not know how to observe.

Materialisation of spirits is only of scientific interest; this phenomenon brings home, as nothing else will, the power of invisible beings around us; but the simulacrum is seldom perfect. I have seen really good materialisations of my guide twice in England and once in America. On a great number of occasions in England I have seen her, and she has identified herself, but I cannot say the faces were good copies of the original. It is the "direct voice" that takes the first place in spirit manifestation. Nothing brings the truth of spiritism so home to one as conversation with those who have passed on; the utterances of the materialised spirits are generally very brief, and confined almost wholly to proving their identity.

TEST-SITTINGS WITH THE BANGS SISTERS

(99) When I was at Detroit, Michigan, I thought a few days would not be ill spent if I ran over to Chicago and asked the Bangs Sisters to give me some test-sittings. I arrived, by appointment, at their house, 1759 Adams Street West, at 10am., on January 28, 1911, the door being opened by Mrs. Bangs, the mother. As usual, neither sister was ready, and I was left to my
own devices for an hour, during which time I made a careful re-examination of the séance-room, and found it precisely the same as I left in March, 1909. Mrs. Bangs was called in, and helped me to measure the room; the table was thoroughly examined underneath, and May Bangs’s drawer taken out. In this I found nothing more incriminating than five dirty pocket-handkerchiefs, a pencil or two, and a small pad.

About 11 a.m. I was able to collect the Bangs and explain the object of my visit. I said "Certain medium-hunters in this country, and a first-rate conjurer in England (who is quite sincere in believing you to be conjurers like himself), have spread reports about you very much to your detriment. One of the Americans I mention has written an article in an English magazine, saying that in June, 1909, you cheated him, quoting extensively from another person, who also says you deceived him some years ago. I do not suppose that either of these persons had the courage to send you a copy of their charges. You know me, and are quite aware that I have entered this room having full confidence in the genuineness of what I saw with you in 1909. You are psychics, and must know my state of mind at the present moment. I ask you to give me a complete test for both a picture and a letter. Let me upset your usual conditions, and direct the proceedings myself. Refuse me, and I think none the worse of you, for I have tested you before; but the fact that you have refused me will be reported in my accounts of this visit to America."

To this Lizzie Bangs replied "Mr. Moore, we trust you, and will submit to your wishes; but we warn you that the very knowledge of what the man has said in the English magazine will upset conditions to such an extent that I doubt if you will be successful. The man you mention was never in this house. We know his description, and should sense hostility if anybody came in that way No arrangements were made for him or anyone else by Dr. Funk in 1909, as he describes; nor have we ever sat three times for one person, for a picture, in one day." (And more of the same sort, all of which, I believe, is quite true.) "Do what you like, and tell us what to do."

I then proceeded to seal the two sashes of the one window in the room with five labels, each eight inches long. In the course of examination of this window, I found a peculiarity about it that I had forgotten when addressing the London Spiritualist Alliance on December 8, which effectually

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shatters the theories of substitution" of a prepared picture. May Bangs then took me out to the bottom of the small garden, and up into a loft, where I found forty-one canvases in a pile. I selected two at random, followed her back to the house, where she left me in the séance-room alone, and marked my canvases "Next" and "Furthest," adding my initials and the date. I then called for the psychics, and put the canvases perpendicularly on the table, near the window, face to face, the word "Next" being plainly visible to all. The blind was drawn down to a level with the top of the canvases, and curtains hung up at the sides; the three doors were thrown open; Lizzie Bangs took her seat on the east side of the table, and pinched the canvases together with her left hand; May Bangs sat where the sitter is usually placed, in front of the canvases; and I occupied the place on the west side of the table where May Bangs usually sits, and pinched the canvases together with my right hand. The window has a southern aspect.

We sat from 11:15 to 12:20 without much change happening to the canvases, nothing but a few waves of light colors sweeping over them. The messages, however, were encouraging from the guides. One said, "Go on sitting in this way when you come back." The sisters went down to dinner. I remained with the canvases, and something was brought to me to eat.

I ought to mention that May Bangs, the more volatile of the two sisters, was specially disturbed. She could not remain in her seat, but frequently rose from it and walked about the house, both in the morning and the afternoon, often exclaiming: "I feel these strange conditions cannot be right. I ought to be sitting where you are." I became exasperated with her perpetual restlessness in the afternoon, and complained to her sister. Lizzie said: "Well, if you can keep my sister in her seat, I tell you candidly, I cannot."

1:45pm. Assembled. The first thing that happened was a strange, creamy appearance over the inside of the "Next" canvas. It is difficult to describe. It looked something like streams and blots of light cream forming itself into faces, one of which I immediately recognised as that of Iola’s father. Once a perpendicular, dark shade, four inches broad, appeared on my side of the canvas, close to its edge. This remained for twenty-five minutes, and disappeared. Once we thought the picture was beginning to form, but this appearance faded away.

Both psychics, independently, saw my guide, and described her posing for her picture. Lizzie Bangs described her clairvoyant vision when May was out of the room, and afterwards May told me what she saw, without collusion with her sister. I had arranged with my guide, in Detroit (by direct voice), how the picture was to be, and it was thus the sisters described her. Eventually the picture itself proved the correctness of the clairvoyance of both sisters. One particular only was incorrect.

Dr. Sharp (Mrs. Wriedt’s control) appeared on the mottling canvas just as he appears in his portrait, smiling.

At 2:50 came the message: "You are too intent. The magnetism is used up for the day. Come tomorrow."

Q: "Is it necessary to leave the canvases here?"

A: "It would be better, but it would not satisfy your test." I accordingly packed up the canvases, and took them off to my hotel, three miles off, where they were locked up.

The second day, Sunday, January 29,1911, I arrived with my two canvases a little before 4 p.m., and we assembled for the séance at 4:15. I put the canvases up as before, and asked Lizzie Bangs to pinch them together on her side, while I did the same on mine. May Bangs sat opposite the canvases, in the visitor’s chair, as on the previous occasion. The doors were thrown open, and sealings of the window examined. Soon after the canvases were set up, the "Next" began mottling on the inside, as it did the day before. This time, not only did the face of my guide’s father appear for a short time, but that of my father. May Bangs, as before, left her seat several times and moved about the house. She appeared to be absolutely unable to sit still.

About 5 p.m. we were told that we were "too intent," and that we were to get up from our chairs and move about the house to "change vibrations." I did not leave the room, and never lost sight of the canvases; between 5:50 and 5:55pm. I smoked a cigar, sitting at first in the visitor’s chair, two and a-half feet from the canvases. Lizzie Bangs came to her seat about 5.20, and I

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resumed mine, both of us pinching the canvases. At about 5:45 May Bangs was sent for to take her proper seat, and I took the visitor’s seat. Even then she could not keep still.

Some of the delay was owing to a blunder of mine. It had been arranged at Detroit that Iola was to put round her neck a chain with locket, and that I was to put my watch on the table close to the canvases, in order that the invisible artists might extract the gold from it. This I had done the previous day; but to-day, at 5:30, it suddenly occurred to me that I had forgotten about my watch. I then put it down on the table.

The changes in the canvas first showed by a rose-tinted light at the bottom, after the faces had appeared on the white mottling. About 5:15pm. a black patch appeared right in the middle of the canvas, and increased in size and darkness. This is the opposite to what usually happens in the precipitations under ordinary circumstances—the dark shade begins at the edges of the canvas. Lizzie Bangs and I watched this black shade growing till 6pm., when it was dark outside, and we were told to light the room up. To my dismay, the canvas appeared blank. We asked:

Shall we light the globe?" (A "wandering lead.")

Answer: "Not yet."

A few minutes later the message came to "hang the globe behind the canvases." I did this myself. We were soon, all three, in our places. I was told to take up my watch with one hand, and pinch the canvases with the other. At 6:00 the picture began. The face and form were finished, as they are now, by 6:20; but there was a smudge on the neck, and the top of the canvas was very badly rubbed. The background was unfinished. I remarked on this. The message came: "Cover the picture, put out the lights, and come back later." We covered the picture, put out the lights, and all went downstairs to tea, after I had examined my labels on the window-sashes. In an hour we returned, switched on the lights, uncovered the picture, and found the defects entirely removed; the background was evidently improved, but not finished. I was told to take away the picture, and the background would be finished in the hotel, or on the passage home; it would be "mottled." I departed with both the canvases under my arm. The next time I saw the picture was in London, on March 9, and found that the background was mottled.

A graphophone played while the sitting was going on. Mrs. Bangs and two dogs strayed in and out of the room. On both days everything was of the most casual description. The messages came sometimes by impression through one of the sisters, but more often by taps on a slate. I obtained good evidence that all these messages were true communications from the "other side." As I was leaving the house, in order to coax the sisters into a genial frame of mind for the letter test which was to take place next morning, I put into their hands a pamphlet issued by the Society for Psychical Research, London, in January,1901, describing them as cheats and impostors of the first order. I never did believe this account; and, after hearing the evidence of a certain gentleman in Chicago who knew the writer well, I am now certain the whole story is the outcome of the latter’s excited imagination.

(100) My readers will forgive me for not disclosing the measurements and other particulars of the Bangs Sisters’ séance-room, or the nature of the chemical I took from England to prove that the ink used in the reply letter was the same ink as I put on or near the slates. I have good reasons for not doing so, in view of the statements made in an article published in The Annals of Psychical Science, June to September,1910.

On Monday, January 30, I bought two hinged school-slates and six broad india-rubber bands. The ink to be put on the table had been purchased in England; also a chemical that would speedily and effectively prove whether the ink with which the reply letter was written was my ink or not. I took with me a short letter, written in England, which contained one question; two blank sheets were enclosed for reply; all these were placed in one envelope, sealed in such a manner as to defy its being opened without detection. Thus equipped, and carrying some flowers, I attended the Bangs’ house at the appointed time—11am. Lizzie Bangs did not appear till 11:45, when we sat. I had moved the table close up against the centre of the west wall. I placed May Bangs on the north side of the table, with directions not to move her chair close up to it, and requested Lizzie to sit in a chair in the south-east corner of the room, and some four to five feet from me. I sat, with my back to the light, on the south side of the table, with my left shoulder against the west door. From this position I could see the hall and door into May Bangs’ house, for I threw open the north door of the

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séance-room, and also the east door (that which leads into Lizzie Bangs’ house), which is the alleged object of suspicion.

My letter was put between the slates, and Lizzie Bangs held one corner while I stretched three rubber bands around them lengthways and three crossways; then I laid them on the table, a little my side of the centre, put a small pot in the centre of the top, filled it more than half full with my ink, and surrounded it with a black cloth, stretching to the edge of the slates. Everything was as casual as possible. Mrs. Bangs (the mother) wandered in and out of the room; occasionally a dog or two would pass through. May Bangs frequently left her chair and the room; Lizzie left her chair only, at my request, to wind up the graphophone, which played nearly the whole time. If May Bangs drew her chair up to the table, she was put back. From first to last May Bangs did not touch the slates or the little inkpot. The parent bottle of ink was in my pocket. Conversation was going on all the time. We talked principally of the S.P.R. Report that I bad given to the sisters the previous night. Lizzie Bangs had, I think, heard of it, because she told me amusing stories of its author. May had not heard of it—she never reads anything. Certainly the author had not sent them a copy of the pamphlet, which was published in England.

Imagine the conditions: Table shifted to a part of the room to which it was a stranger; the psychic, who functions alone in the phenomenon of writing within sealed envelopes at the usual sittings for this purpose, placed with her face towards the southern light streaming into the room; both women seething with indignation at cowardly attacks published in England; the suspected door wide open; the door into the hall wide open; and Lizzie, the person who, it is alleged, hides behind the suspected door and writes the replies, in the room.

Lizzie said to me : "You have no idea how this sudden and complete upset of our usual conditions affects us. We have no objection to a gradual altering of our accustomed habits; for instance, investigators may come and take us first day as we usually sit (in the case of this phenomenon I should not be here, but doing other work); on the second day a slight alteration would be made, at the suggestion of the investigators; on the third day another item would be changed; on the fourth another—and so on, until every phase of our usual conditions was altered. But to come suddenly upon us and change all our conditions in one day is more than any sensitive can stand—the strain is too great. If you had not told me of these slanders, I assure you I would never have consented to your demands.

We will never do it again for anyone.

To this I replied "I knew I should not be able to get this test unless I gave you sound reasons for it. You are suspected of sitting, or crouching, behind that door [pointing to it], listening, and answering the letters passed out to you by your sister. I know it is untrue, and, moreover, impossible, as I examined this room in 1909, and again a few days ago; the thing cannot be done. But we must finish this test. I cannot spend more than a day or two here. I have confidence that we shall succeed." It is a fact that all through this troublesome work I felt a certainty of success. Perhaps this feeling was partly due to the recollection of my work with these true psychics in 1909.

At 12:20 the sisters went down to dinner separately, some food being brought to me in the séance-room, where I sat, controlling the slates. The spirits encouraged my smoking on every occasion, and I must have got through a good many cigars. At 1:20 we sat again in the same seats, May Bangs as restless as ever, seldom remaining in her chair for more than a few minutes. At 2:15 a message came: "You are too intent; it would be better to postpone the sitting till tomorrow." Question: "How are you getting on?" Answer: "Slow, but sure." I packed up my slates in paper, tied them up with a cord, and took them back to my hotel, where they were locked up. The little pot was emptied and washed out by me. On future days the slates were not removed from the paper, except on one occasion; and the small pot was not used; my traveling bottle of ink was unscrewed, and the cork taken out.

Second day—Tuesday, January 31. We sat under precisely the same conditions as before, from 11 to 12:50. Once May Bangs demanded to see the letter, saying, "How do I know if anything is within the slates?" The slates were then opened by myself, the sisters not touching them; and when May Bangs was satisfied by seeing the letter, I put the rubber bands on as before, and tied the slates

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up in paper. As usual, the graphophone was played, and the two doors were wide open. May Bangs again complained: "These conditions are all wrong; we cannot go on like this; I ought to touch the slates." I answered: "Very well, you shall, if the controls advise us to let you do so. Hold this plate [one belonging to the Bangs Sisters]; I will take the other end." We took the Bangs’ slate between us. Vigorous rapping was heard, and the sisters interpreted, "It is not necessary." With this the psychic was satisfied. At 12:50 we were told again that we were "too intent; no writing had been accomplished, but the slates were being surrounded with the necessary magnetism. We were to walk about and change vibrations." As May Bangs had important legal business in the city, and Lizzie had many letters to write, we separated till 7 p.m., I, of course, taking my slates and ink to my hotel. I found diversion in some business matter I had to attend to in town.

At 7pm. we sat again. I arrived a few minutes before, and questioned May Bangs as to her little outing, inquiring specially if she had derived any benefit from the fresh air. Then out came a story of incredible folly. After I had left the house, a man, evidently in distress, was let in, and implored May Bangs to give him a sitting for a letter. She refused him twice, having her business in view; but as he was turning away from the door, with obvious keen disappointment in his face, she relented. One letter answered, she functioned for another. Then it was too late to do her business in town; a second man came in, and she sat for him also. I was indignant. Both the sisters admitted the mistake, May Bangs saying: "Well, Mr. Moore,. I know it was wrong; but when I saw tears in that man’s eyes I couldn’t help it, and that is all there is about it."

My slates, wrapped in paper, were placed in the usual position on the table, my hand upon them. In a minute or two we were told that the power of the psychic had been exhausted during the afternoon, and that it was no good sitting. No writing had yet been done, but progress had been made during the day in surrounding the slates with the necessary force to meet the altered conditions. For the third time I walked off with my slates and ink.

Third day—Wednesday, February 1,1911. We met in the séance-room at 11am. I was told that friends were coming about noon, but we hoped the reply to my letter would be finished before that. Conditions as before; doors thrown open, graphophone playing, and both psychics present. May Bangs somewhat less restless. At 11:55, no signal having been given to open the slates, I asked: "When the visitors come, may they sit with us?" Answer: "We cannot tell till they are in the room; they are now outside." Immediately there was a ring at the front door, and Mrs. Bangs let in a gentleman and a lady. The Bangs Sisters went out to meet them, and I followed, after picking up my slates and ink. There was an interval of half-an-hour, during which time we all five talked in Lizzie Bangs’ drawing-room. The lady visitor told me they had ‘phoned for a sitting on the previous afternoon. Both she and her husband would gladly assist me and wait for their own business.

We all sat round the séance-table, and I again put my slates and ink on top of it in the same position as before, with one hand upon them. The chemical I had brought from England remained throughout all the sittings in the left pocket of my coat. At 12:40 Lizzie Bangs went down to dinner, and the restless May sat part of the time with the visitors and myself around the séance table, and then went to her meal, or walked about the house. I smoked and chatted with the visitors, who, I found, were both mediumistic.

A little after 1pm. the party of five assembled round the table. At 1:20 May Bangs said excitedly: "If this thing does not come off now, I refuse to sit again; I feel as if I was being torn to pieces." A message came: "The visitors are to go into the front parlour; the psychics and you [that was me] into the back drawing-room, which is to be darkened. You are to take your slates and ink with you." No need to tell me that ! Accordingly, the visitors departed to the front parlour, and the Bangs Sisters went with me into the neighboring room; this room was darkened with the shutters, but there was enough light left for me to see the white paper in which the slates were tied up, in front of me, with one of my hands on them. The, open bottle of ink was at my left elbow, Lizzie Bangs about two feet to my left, May in an easy chair some six or seven feet away. After five minutes Lizzie and I saw lights, from the size of half-a-dollar to that of a dollar, come and go round and behind the head of May Bangs. Later a faint ethereal form rose behind her. I was not able to see what this phantom did to the psychic, but it remained a few minutes, and at 1:45 she said she

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felt much better; we were told to separate and divert ourselves, but not to assemble in the séance-room for an hour.

I screwed up my ink-bottle, took my slates, and entered into conversation with the gentleman in the front parlour, who diverted my attention by relating to me a most interesting story of his conversion to spiritualism. Lizzie Bangs’ attention was taken off from the test by entertaining the lady in her own drawing-room, and May Bangs wandered about here and there. At 3:50 all five assembled round the séance-table. I laid the slates down and opened my ink, till then in my pocket. About 3:10 the message came: "We are making his chemical to work in the opposite way to what he intends." At 3:20 came the welcome order to "open the slates."

I removed the paper cover, took off the rubber bands, and opened the hinged slates. The letter had not been tampered with. I cut it open, and observed that on the second sheet (i.e., the first intended for a reply) a portion in the centre of the first page looked as if it had some sort of scratchy writing on it; it looked different from what it did when I had put it in at home. I was directed to try my chemical on the blank one-third of the page on which the question was written, and I also applied it to the one-third of a page of the suspicious-looking second sheet. When the first was dry, we found the following, in very faint characters, like milk-writing, but quite unmistakable when heat was applied :

Let this prove to you my presence here today— Iola.

When we had made ourselves quite sure of this writing, I examined the second sheet, and found a private message of four lines, in deep black characters, the writing being similar to that generally in evidence in all the Bangs Sisters’ reply letters. When I applied the chemical on it (I had already applied it under it), the test showed it was written with my ink. There was no reply to the question in my letter. The slates, ink, and chemical were under my control entirely throughout the three days of the experiment.

The last duty was to examine the houses, and to sit close to the alleged incriminating door, on the outside, and try if I could hear conversation in the séance-room. The visitors and one of the Bangs Sisters talked in the middle of the séance-room. I found it easy to detect that they were conversing in ordinary voices, but I only made out two words in a conversation of four or five minutes’ duration.

So ended a trying ordeal of five days. Both sisters were much exhausted. May Bangs could hardly stand, and Lizzie, though calm, had evidently reached the limits of endurance. I was considerably depleted, and left for the East the next morning.

It is necessary for me to deal with the following statements in the article in The Annals of Psychical Science, already referred to :—(1) That there is a wide slit in a door" (p. 449). There is no slit in any door, nor was there in 1909. (2) "I afterwards discovered several tiny pinholes in the strip of wood dividing the windows" (p. 452). There is only one window. If the author means "sashes," there is no strip of wood in sight dividing the sashes; there is, however, something else which he has failed to notice, but nothing suspicious. It is the same now as in 1909. At the present juncture it would be unwise to give away more about the room. But I must state this as my conviction: Either the author of that article has never been inside the Bangs’ house, or he is incapable of making ordinary observations with accuracy. The attack on these psychics, without sending them a copy, and in an English magazine which he knew they would not see, is an act that requires no comment from me. It may be left with safety to the judgment of my readers.

On my way down to the coast from Detroit I called at Rochester, and saw Mrs. Georgia in hospital. Lying on her back, she kindly wrote for me; the mirror-writing occupied seven pages in three interviews, and proved to be from Iola and Catherine. My guide referred to the subject of her script of two years before; and Catherine, so often alluded to in previous pages, called herself by the pet name she was known by, in my family, when in life. I am happy to say that the effort did not do any harm to the convalescent; but she has not, according to latest accounts, obtained phenomena since I left. There seems but little doubt that, as her health and buoyant spirits return, she will regain her gift of mediumship, and exercise it for the benefit of her mother and intimate friends.

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(101) The last experience I had before leaving America was with Mr. P. 0. Keeler, the well-known medium for slate-writing, who lives at 1362 Parkwood Street, Washington, D.C. He was, at that time, paying a visit to Brooklyn. The interview was on Friday, February 24,1911, 3 to 4 pm. The window near which the table was placed has a western aspect; the sun streamed in and flooded the table and room with light.

We sat opposite to one another at a small table two feet broad. After cleaning the slates together, Keeler asked me to take a pad off the table, tear off slips, and write the names of spirits on five or six of the papers; each little slip was to be folded up in any way I thought best, and the names were to be written as I would address the person in earth life. I rose from the table, turned my back to the medium, and wrote seven names—five of women, two of men; two of the pellets contained the name of one spirit, my guide, one giving her earth name and the other her spirit name, "Iola "; only six individuals, therefore, were indicated. These pellets I laid in a heap on the centre of the table. Keeler said: "Nothing will happen for a quarter of an hour or so, as the spirits have to be summoned." After an interval of ten minutes he touched the outside of each pellet with the tip of his finger, but did not handle them nor draw them closer to his side of the table. Five minutes or more passed, and he seemed worried that nothing happened, and became restless and jerky. It must have been twenty-five minutes from the time I had put the pellets on the table when he was impressed to say: "Add the names of one or two gentlemen; they say that, among these names, there is more than the right proportion of ladies."

Following my invariable custom of not purposely deceiving a medium, I had already told Keeler that two of the pellets contained names of the same individual, my guide; I added that, as I had talked with her in the morning, I had reason to believe that she was present (which I have since heard she was).

In my lap, as I sat facing the medium, out of his view, I wrote the names of two men, and added these pellets to the others on the table; before doing this I had drawn the heap of pellets closer to me than they were to the medium. Keeler did not have his hands on the table while I wrote the two extra names.

Soon after this the medium warned me that, when the slate writing began, it would go on continuously and rapidly. He touched the new pellets with the tip of his finger, and after a few minutes was impressed to write a name on a spare slate. He said, "What is this?" I looked, and saw the name of my brother, Alldin ; then, one after another, he wrote six names on this slate. Each name he wrote I had to search for among the pellets, which I did in my lap, where it was impossible for him to see the writing. When made up again, each pellet that had been opened and re-closed was put upon a pair of slates, kept ready for the purpose between us (with a bit of slate pencil inside), and these were not fingered in any way by the medium.

In time six pellets, containing the names of six individuals, were collected on top of the pair of slates. We had sat for about forty minutes, when Keeler suddenly lifted the pair of slates with one hand at each of the two corners nearest to him, thumbs on top and fingers below, and gave me the other end to hold, which I did in like manner, pinching the two slates together. The writing began immediately, and could be heard plainly; there was no downward pressure while it was going on. As soon as he was impressed that one slate was full, the medium put it down on his right without looking at it, picked up another, placed on it a bit of slate pencil, covered it with the original top slate upon which the pellets were lying, and gave me the other end to hold; the writing again was heard proceeding very rapidly. Precisely the same happened to this slate; a third was taken up, and so on, until five slates were covered with writing by eight individuals. The medium was then impressed to write the word "All" on a spare slate. He told me this meant that the séance  was over. The following points must be noted :

One spirit manifested who was not named at all. It was the son of the gentleman who had made the appointment for me the previous afternoon.

One spirit manifested whose name was in a pellet on the table, but not on the slates. One slate, full of close script, had two letters on it at right angles to one another in different handwritings. When one of these was finished, Keeler was impressed to move the slate to a rectangular position; we seized the slates at opposite corners, my left hand being where his right had been, and so on. The letters on the slates are very close together.

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One slate had a letter from my sister Catherine; in the upper left-hand corner there was a carefully-finished picture of a man’s head and shoulders, and underneath it the drawing of a forget-me-not. I do not recognise the man’s face.

One letter had two signatures—viz., the earth name and spirit name of my guide. In a postscript was an allusion to our meeting in the morning.

The names given in the signatures were all correct, except one. This I had written as Miss Bowman; the signature was Mary Bowman. The Christian name of the lady was not Mary. This note was on the same slate as that which contained a letter from my brother-in-law, who lived in the same house with her for some years.

All the letters were very commonplace. I attach them below. There are no proofs of identity in any of them. I am certain that my guide did not write the letter over her signature. The work was unquestionably that of invisible and intelligent beings who heard the conversation, read the names and short sentences inside the pellets, and wrote the replies.

We held the slates about nine inches above the table; Keeler’s hands never moved when holding them. Throughout the whole hour the psychic only rose from his chair once—to pull the blind down a foot, to shade our eyes from the glare of the western sun.

In all, the slate-writing contained 474 words written, and two pictures drawn, in a period not exceeding ten minutes, including the four delays necessary for taking up a new slate. I have seen evidence of identity obtained by others in slate-writing through the mediumship of Mr. P. 0. Keeler; but the only signs I got were the letters of Henry Usborne and Miss Bowman on the same slate. That is not enough to establish the point, for the lady’s Christian name is incorrect, and the association of the names of the two individuals may have been accidental.

THE CONTENTS OF THE SLATES (1) Good afternoon, dear Admiral. I am so very pleased that papa has come to know you so well. I hope you will be of mutual aid and companionship. I am heartily glad to greet you. I am quite familiar with this coming. Truly, BAILEY SLAYDEN

(2) Good afternoon. Is it not delightful to meet in this way? So many persons think me dead, and I presume they are forgetting me. I shall meet them when they come over and surprise them. I am glad I can do so well with this little piece of pencil. I feel about as I felt during my life in the physical body. Let me come again sometime when I may write better. You have a great usefulness of life before you in this field of work. HENRY USBORNE. I will always help you. MARY BOWMAN

(3) This is about the most remarkable experience one can have. I feel as much myself as formerly I felt. I am not changed to another person by this wonderful translation from the earth to

143

the spirit state. Your visit here to-day will make me happier than I have ever been. I shall come again. Your book will be a great success in all ways. Affectionately, SEPTIMUS P. MOORE. Note.—The medium was aware (and, consequently, his familiar spirits were aware) that I was collecting material for a book. At right-angles to the above, and in a very different handwriting, was the following letter

My Charge Oh do not be lonely, for time cannot sever The charm that unites us in memory’s chain, E’en though death the sweet voice seems to silence for ever In spirit its accents will waken again. I am pleased that you do not relegate me to the oblivion of the tomb, I have life, the immortal spark, the spirit cannot perish. I am living and happy and contented. I wish you could be here with me. Do not ever mourn me as dead. (Signed) [The earth name of Iola.] Iola.

Did not we have a delightful talk this forenoon?

(Considering the close communication that I had enjoyed with my guide throughout the previous two months, this letter is nothing short of idiotic. It affords no evidence of identity whatever; but it is a clear proof of the presence of invisible beings, or being, in the room who had heard our conversation, seen the name, and written the script.)

(4) I feel grateful to the powers that be for the beautiful privilege of meeting you and communicating in even this brief way. I cannot soon [sic] write a great deal but even a few words will express my existence. Endeavour to in some way establish means of communication when you get back. I should prize such a privilege there. I am at rest and I do not suffer the pains and vexations and troubles so common to mortal life. I am so glad that you came on here. Devotedly, CATHERINE MOORE. (It was in the upper left-hand corner of this slate that the drawing of a head appeared, with a stalk of forget-me-nots underneath. On the left side of the head there is a shadow of the same face, which is very remarkable.)

(5) Dear Brother Now, is not this great that I can write on this slate with this bit of a pencil? I am not in the slate, I am on the outside of it. I write this through the law of the fourth dimension in space. Sit with the slates in your own room. I might write then for you. I am at rest and contented here. I am often near you. Brother ALLDIN MOORE. Underneath, in red pencil, and a different handwriting:— I salute you. UNCLE MAJOR.

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I have no doubt that Mr. Keeler genuinely believed that evidence would be forthcoming of the identity of the spirits summoned; but it did not happen that I obtained it as others have done. This sitting was a most striking exhibition of spirit power; and that, in my opinion, is all that can be reasonably expected of this particular phase. The atmospheric conditions were perfect.

My readers must bear steadily in mind (1) that there was full light, (2) that the slates were held above the table, with no cloth or covering of any sort over them. I have read the reports of past slate-writings through Eglinton, Davey, and others. No explanation I have read will meet the case of this manifestation of spirit power through P. 0. Keeler. I heartily congratulate this gifted psychic on possessing a faculty which enables those who work through him to demonstrate in a convincing manner the presence and activity of the invisible intelligences which surround us. I left for England the following morning.

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