.

.

POSTS BY SUBJECT

POSTS BY SUBJECT

''ESTONIA'' (15) "Hindenburg" (2) “Yom Kippur” War (1) 2017 Westminster attack (1) 20th_Century (3) 7/7 London bombings (38) 911 (390) A.H.M. RAMSAY (2) Abu Ghraib (1) ADL (1) ADOLF_HITLER (23) ADVENTURE (1) Affirmative Action (1) Afghanistan (7) AFRICA (45) African Origins (1) Agriculture (3) AIDS (24) Al Azhar University (1) Alain de Benoist (15) Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (34) Alois Irlmaier (1) AMAZONIA (3) America (4) American Islamization (21) American Universities (2) American_Indian (1) Ancient Egypt (1) ANCIENT_CIVILISATIONS (2) Angels (1) Animal_Rights (6) ANTEDILUVIAN_CIVILISATION (15) Anthony Blunt (1) Anthony Ludovici (3) ANTHROPOLOGY (7) Anti-Semitism (3) Antifa (2) Apartheid (1) AR. LEESE (4) ARCHAEOLOGY (3) Argentina (1) Armenia (4) Armenian Genocide (1) Art (15) Arthur Koestler (1) Astronomy (30) ATHEISM (1) AUSTRALIA (2) AUSTRIA (1) Ayaan Hirsi Ali (3) Baha'i faith (1) BALI (1) Balkans (4) Bangladesh (2) banned_weapons (1) Barbarossa (2) BELGIUM (2) Benjamin Freedman (1) BENJAMIN SOLARI PARRAVICINI (11) Beslan (1) Bill Clinton (1) Biological Warfare (2) Black America (1) BLOOD PASSOVER (12) BOLSHEVIK REVOLUTION (15) Book purge (1) Boycottage (1) Brainwashing (1) BRAZIL (1) Brigitte Gabriel (1) British politics (1) Buddhism (5) California (1) Cambodia (8) CANADA (9) CANCER (40) Carolina bays (1) Celebrities-Show Business (3) Cell Phone towers (6) Censorship in Europe (7) CENTRAL_ASIA (1) Central/South America (1) Ch. Bollyn (30) Charles Tart (8) Charlie Hebdo (1) Che Guevara (2) CHEMTRAILS (13) CHINA (6) Christian Zionism (1) CHRISTIANISM (46) CHRISTIANISM in EUROPE (1) Churchill (7) CINEMA (2) Circumcision (10) CLIMATE (7) Climate Change (8) cluster bombs/mines (2) Cold Fusion (1) COLD_FUSION (1) COLONIALISM (1) Colonization of Europe (26) Commerce (1) Communism (49) CONGO (5) Consciousness (9) Conspiracies (8) Consumerism (1) contemporary society (8) COPTS (1) Cosmogony (1) Crime (5) Criminal_Sciense (1) CRIMINALITY (1) crop circles (5) CUBA (16) Cultural Marxism (7) DARFUR (3) Dead Sea Scrolls (1) Death penalty in ISLAM (1) Death-Bed Visions (1) DECADANT_ART (1) Deir Yassin (8) Democracy (1) DENMARK (3) Depleted uranium (6) DIAMOND CARTELS (1) DIANA (10) DIETRICH ECKART (1) DILUVIUM (5) Disney (2) DOGS (1) Donald TRUMP (4) Dönmeh (1) Doppelgangers (1) Dresden (6) DRUG ADDICTION (1) E.U. (11) Eastern Europe (1) ECHELON (1) ECONOMY (14) EDUCATION (4) Egypt (11) Eisenhower (4) El Inglés (2) Elie Wiesel (1) Elite_Child_Sex_Rings (16) Elizabeth Taylor (1) ENERGY (9) Enoch Powell (1) environmentalism (10) Ernst Zundel (1) EUROPE viz. ISLAM (8) EUROPE's FUTURE (7) European Parliament (1) EUROPEAN UNION (10) EUROPEAN_IDENTITY (4) Eustace Mullins (10) Evidence for the Afterlife (2) EVOLUTION (9) EXPLORATIONS (1) Ezra Pound (1) Facebook (1) FALSE_HISTORY (2) Fascism (4) Fashion industry (1) FATIMA (9) Female Genital Mutilation (2) FEMINISM (14) FINLAND (2) Fjordman (7) Flight 007 (1) Fluoride (1) Food (11) FRANCE (29) FRANCE viz. ISLAM (2) Francis P. Yockey (5) Frankfurt School (1) Franklin D. Roosevelt (6) freedom of speech (1) Fukushima (2) G7 (1) Gas chambers (1) Gaza (1) Geert Wilders (9) GENDERISM (1) genetically modified organisms (GMO) (8) Georges Bensoussan (2) German National Socialism (14) GERMANY (43) GERMANY viz. ISLAM (2) Gilad Atzmon (11) Global warming (2) Globalism (5) Great Britain (58) Great Pyramid (16) GREECE (2) GREENPEACE (3) Guatemala (1) Guillaume Faye (1) Gulag (3) Gulf War (1) Gulf War Syndrome (1) Guylaine Lanctot (2) HAARP (10) Hans Günther (8) Harry Potter (1) HEALTH (114) HEMP (1) Henry Makow (2) Hidden History (15) HIDDEN HYPNOSIS TECHNIQUES (1) Hiroshima (4) Historical Review (67) History_of_IDEAS (3) HMS Hampshire (3) Hollow Earth (22) Hollywood (11) Holocaust (138) HOLODOMOR_1932-33 (17) Homosexuality (6) Horst Mahler (4) Howard Hughes (1) HUMAN_ORIGINS (1) HUMAN_RIGHTS (2) Humorous (2) HUNGARY (2) HYPERBOREA (7) IAN STEVENSON (13) ICELAND (1) Image of Guadalupe (2) Immigration (15) IMPORTANT (5) INDIA (24) IndoEuropean (12) Indonesia (4) Infrasound Weapons (1) Intellectual_freedom (1) Intelligence (15) Intelligent design (8) International Criminal Tribunal (3) INTERNET (2) INTERRACIAL_RELATIONS (1) INTIMIDATION (3) INVENTIONS (3) IRAN (11) Iranian regime violence (1) IRAQ (21) IRAQ_war (11) IRELAND (1) ISLAM (325) Islam in Europe/America (92) ISLAM in RUSSIA (1) ISLAM propagandists (4) ISLAMIST INTIMIDATION (24) ISLAMIST_VIOLENCE (40) ISLAMIZATION OF EUROPE (65) Islamophobia (6) ISRAEL (127) Israel Supreme Court (1) ISRAEL-ARAB RELATIONS (9) ISRAEL's_ATOMIC_BOMB (4) ISRAEL/EU RELATIONS (1) ITALY (7) J.Kaminski (4) Japan (2) Jewish History (1) Jewish Question (1) JEWS (110) JEWS/ISRAEL-USA_relations (53) JFK Assassination (27) JFK/RFK (1) Jihad (15) Jo Cox (6) Joe Sobran (4) John Bryant (17) John Lear (3) Journalists (2) Julius Evola (38) Jyllands-Posten newspaper (1) Kafirs (1) Karl Marx (1) Katie King (1) Katyn (11) Kevin MacDonald (37) KHAZARs (1) Knut Hamsun (1) Kurdistan (1) KURDS (1) Lasha Darkmoon (13) Laurel Canyon (4) Layla Anwar (4) LEBANON (3) LEFT (16) Liberalism (1) Lord Kitchener (4) Lord Northcliff (1) Lost Civilisations (2) Lost Technology (1) LYDDA (1) MADELEINE McCANN (4) Magic (1) Magnesium (7) Mahathir (1) Mahatma Gandhi (4) Malaysia (2) Manchester terrorist attack (11) Manipulation (69) MAPS (1) Mark Weber (10) Mass immigration_Multiculturalism (20) Mass_Media (3) Mass-Psychology (3) Massacres (1) May-June 2017 London Jihadist attacks (4) Medjugorje apparitions (3) METEMPSYCHOSIS (17) MEXICO (1) MH370 (2) MIDDLE EAST (44) Military Tribunal at Nuremberg (10) MIND CONTROL (23) MONEY-Banking (8) Monsanto (9) Morality (1) Mormonism (1) Mortacracy (6) MUSIC MAFIA (2) Muslim Brotherhood (5) Muslim Honor Killings (1) Muslim Persecution of Christians (2) MUSLIMS IN EUROPE (71) Mussolini (3) Mysterious (69) Mysterious_SKY (1) Nathuram Godse (3) National Memorial and Arboretum (1) Native Americans (1) Neapolis (1) NESSIE (17) Netherlands (10) New World Order (4) NEW_ZEALAND (1) NGOs (2) Nicolai Sennels (1) no-go zones (2) NOAM CHOMSKY (4) Nonie Darwish (12) North Africa (3) NORWAY (1) Norway massacre (5) NUCLEAR (11) Nutrition (20) Obama (2) Occult Symbols (21) Oklahoma City bombing (7) OLYMPIC_GAMES (13) OPINION (9) Orel_Yiftachel (5) Organized Jewry (6) P. Buchanan (26) PACIFISM (1) PAEDOPHILIA (15) Paganism (2) PAKISTAN (2) PALESTINE 1944-1948 (1) Palestinians (18) PARIS (1) Patrice Lumumba (1) PATRICIA HEARST (2) Patton (2) Paul Craig Roberts (1) Paul Weston (9) PEARL HARBOR (1) Persecuted Christians (7) PERSONALITIES (1) Philosophy of Civilization (1) Photographic_Archive (1) Photography (2) Physics (9) POLAND (5) POLAR REGIONS (30) Poliomyelitis (8) Political Thought (52) Pollution (3) Polynesia (25) Pope Benedict (1) Pornography (2) PORTUGAL (6) PREHISTORY (28) propaganda (3) Prophecies (14) Psychedelics (64) PSYCHIATRY (10) Psychical Research (124) Psychology (6) QATAR (2) QUEBEC (1) Queen Victoria (1) R.R.Rife (10) Race (126) Racism (4) RED_Alert (4) Religion (27) René Guénon (1) Revilo Oliver (16) Richard Dawkins (1) Riyadh address to the Muslim world (1) Robert Faurisson (1) Rockefellers (1) Roger Garaudy (6) Roman Catholic Church (12) Ron Paul (7) Rudolph Hess (1) Ruling_by_CORRUPTION (14) RUSSIA (8) RUSSIAN REVOLUTION (1) RWANDA (31) S. H. Pearson (1) Sabra-Shatila massacre (10) Sandy Hook (1) Sanskrit (1) SAUDI ARABIA (6) Savitri Devi (27) Scandinavia (1) SCIENCE (45) Secret Military Technology (14) Secret weapons (10) Sedition Trial (1) SERBIA (1) sexual freedom (6) Sexualization of Culture (5) Sinister sites (11) Skepticism (1) Slave trade (1) SOUTH AFRICA (4) Space/Apollo_Hoax (54) SPAIN (2) Spengler (6) Spirituality (1) Srebrenica (1) STALINISM (1) State_criminality (8) Steganography (16) Steven Yates (7) STRANGE SOUNDS (4) Subterranean_world (10) SUDAN (2) SUPERNATURAL (16) Surveillance (1) SWASTIKA (33) SWEDEN (11) Switzerland (1) SYRIA (8) Taj Mahal (13) Ted Kaczynski (1) Terrorism (42) TESLA (6) The 1001 Club (1) The Celts (1) The Cultural Integration Initiative (1) The Frankfurt School (1) The Great Flood (8) The Irish Savant (9) The Mass Rape of German Women by the Red Army (1) The Nuremberg Trials (4) The plutonium injections (4) Theo van Gogh (1) Thought of the Right (63) TITANIC (72) Tommy Robinson (1) Torture (1) Tradition (5) Transatlantic Slave Trade (1) Transcendent Experience (6) Tunguska (1) Tunisia (2) TURKEY (7) TWA flight 800 (1) U.S.A. (143) U.S.A. ARMY CRIMINALITY (18) U.S.A. Foreign policy (13) U.S.A. Military (2) U.S.A._HISTORY (2) U.S.A._POLITICS (8) U.S.A._SOCIETY (6) U.S.A.-CIA (12) U.S.A.-Power Structure (6) U.S.S. Liberty (7) UFOs (166) Ukraine (15) United Church of Christ (1) United Nations (3) UNKNOWN_EARTH (2) USA (3) USA_Press (2) USA/USSR_relations (2) USS San Francisco (1) USSR (54) Vaccination (1) VATICAN (12) Vatican II (3) VELIKOVSKY (2) Vernon Coleman (14) Voynich_manuscript (15) WAFA SULTAN (1) War Crimes (35) water (2) Wayne MADSEN (2) WEST (14) WEST viz. ISLAM (10) WEST/ISLAM Relations (22) WESTERN_ELITES (3) White Guilt (1) White phosphorous (1) White Race (2) WILD_LIFE (1) Wilhelm Reich (4) William Gough (10) wind farms (1) Wm F. Koch (8) Women in Islam (7) World Wildlife Fund (8) WORLD_ORDER (57) WWI (6) WWII (98) WWII Aftermath (42) WWIII (1) Younger Dryas Ice Age (4) Yugoslavia (8) ZIONISM (11)

Friday, May 25, 2012

Harry Price - Poltergeist Mediums


Poltergeist Mediums
 - Harry Price -
           ACTUALLY NO such people as Poltergeist mediums are known to investigators, but some psychics do produce phenomena comparable with those witnessed during Poltergeist disturbances. In fact, one girl was known, and is known to this day, as the 'Poltergeist girl' on account of the fact that phenomena, indistinguishable from true Poltergeist movements, occurred spontaneously in her presence.

Of course, many mediums, under good conditions, have been able paranormally to displace objects at séances, usually when in trance. The brilliant exception to this general rule was the late Frau Maria Silbert, whom I tested at Graz, Austria, and in London. Maria did not go into a trance, and sat usually in a good light - often the ordinary illumination of a well-lit room. But, alas! the phenomena occurred - or at least originated - under a heavy table at which she sat, and which was part of the séance technique. So, if she actually sat in the light, the manifestations occurred in what amounted to darkness. This was unsatisfactory. But with her 'raps' it was different.

Frau Silbert's phenomena consisted of brilliant lights, most of which appeared to come from her finger-tips; innumerable raps, which appeared to emanate from the séance-table chairs and sometimes from behind the medium; the apparent spontaneous transit of objects from below the séance-table to some point above it, finally resting in the medium's hands; the billowing of the cabinet curtains; the spontaneous engraving of metallic objects (placed under the table for that purpose) with the word 'Nell' (her alleged 'spirit control') and similar manifestations.

There were some good phenomena seen at the London séances with Frau Silbert. My heavy penknife (weight 3½ ounces), which I placed on the floor under centre of the table, was, a few moments later, instantly precipitated into her right hand, which was above the table. All this occurred in the ordinary electric lighting of the room. I sat next to her, and helped to control her. The phenomena were impressive and interesting - and very puzzling. I will remark in parentheses that at a later London séance. Clive Maskelyne, of the famous conjuring family, was present in order to discover the modus operandi of the 'tricks'. He completely failed(1). By the way, the spontaneous paranormal displacements of objects at séances given by physical mediums are known as telekinetic phenomena - though Poltergeists produce the same effects. Other movements I saw at this particular London séance included the flight of a small bell, many raps in various parts of the room - and our own raps, of varying number and intensity, were instantly duplicated, at request, on pieces of furniture, etc.

(1) 'Evoe', in Punch (Jan. 27, 1926), had some amusing verses about this.

I had often wondered what Maria's phenomena would be like in her own house, if they were so good in a foreign country, and among strangers. The opportunity to visit her home occurred in 1925. I journeyed thither with some friends and in her cosy flat in Waltendorf, a suburb of Graz, we saw more 'miracles'. But curiously, the phenomena were not so impressive as those I had seen in London, notwithstanding the fact that she was in her own home and surrounded by her family. But we saw the spontaneous flight of a number of objects: my own gilt petrol lighter (which was also inscribed with the word 'Nell'), a gold cigarette case, and one of the sitters even risked his gold watch and fob! And the heavy table was levitated and dropped to the floor with a terrific bang. This effect might have been due to trickery. But what was not due to trickery were the magnificent succession of raps that occurred all over the room, in various selected places on the walls and furniture to order, and at command. The raps were almost continuous throughout the séance, which was lighted by a 20-watt electric bulb over the centre of the table.

We held another séance on the following evening (November 4) and similar phenomena occurred. But on this occasion, by calling over the alphabet, the 'entity' rapping at certain letters, we managed to get intelligent messages (in German) that informed us that we were leaving for London on the following morning (a fact known to the medium), etc. All very interesting, but not very enlightening. I paid a second visit to Graz in the summer of 1931 as the guest of Professor Haslinger of Graz University, who arranged a séance with Maria at his flat. The medium was ill but, under a brilliant electric light, she produced raps in profusion all over the room and furniture. Any kind of rap called for was given, at the place requested. Our own raps were imitated and altogether it was a most convincing demonstration of some sort of power that the medium possessed(2).

(2) Frederica Hauffe, the 'Seeress of Prevorst', when in the 'magnetic sleep', could rap at a distance. See Die Seherin von Prevorst, by Justinus Kerner, Stuttgart, 1832.

Other mediums have produced displacements of objects by paranormal means. The Austrian boys, Willi and Rudi Schneider, have some brilliant examples of 'telekinesis' to their credit. I have tested these lads in Munich, Vienna, Braunau-am-Inn (their birthplace, and that of Hitler) and London, always with the same result - the most convincing telekinetic phenomena, in addition to the most varied manifestations, from materialisations to 'pseudopods'. And they convinced practically every scientist who sat with them.

Miss Stella C., the young English medium, produced 'Poltergeist phenomena' under perfect conditions of control, including movements of objects in a locked and sealed cage. And I could name other psychics who have been equally successful. For example, another young woman, Mlle Stanislawa Tomczyk (now Mrs. Everard Feilding), a Polish medium, was tested by Dr. Julien Ochorowicz, in 1908-09 at Wisla, Poland, with positive results. She was controlled by an 'entity' known as 'Little Stasia' which probably emanated from her subconscious mind. It was claimed that she could produce movements of objects at a distance; stop the pendulum of a clock in a glass case (as Anna Rasmussen has been proved to do); control the spinning of a roulette wheel, so that certain numbers turned up more frequently than chance would account for, and similar telekinetic movements. Dr. Ochorowicz concluded that certain rays emanating from her fingers acted as rigid rods.

And, of course, some mediums have been able to move themselves! I mean paranormally. Did not D. D. Home on Sunday, December 13, 1868, 'float' out of a third-floor window of Ashley House, Victoria Street, hover in the air for some seconds, and then float back into the same suite of rooms through another window, none the worse for his aerial adventure? It is true that this alleged levitation occurred almost in total darkness. But it was witnessed by some credible (and credulous?) observers, including Lord Adare, afterwards the Earl of Dunraven; the Master of Lindsay, and others. D. D. Home produced many Poltergeist effects, which were ascribed to the spirits. See The Heydey of a Wizard, by Jean Burton (New York, 1944). It is a biography of Home.

But the greatest feat, of the Poltergeist order, connected with any medium, was that of Mrs. Samuel Guppy who, in 1871, was instantly precipitated from her home at Highbury to a house in Lamb's Conduit Street, some three miles away, where she came down bump right in the middle of a séance. Of course the whole thing was a swindle; but this modern 'transit of Venus' (who was wearing only her underclothes and weighed seventeen stone) was never proved to be a swindle.

But I am not concerned in this volume with mediums who are levitated, or with those who float over London in deshabille. I am trying to link up the telekinetic or 'displacement' phenomena of some mediums with typical Poltergeist manifestations. And, for my argument, I can cite two outstanding examples with whom I have experimented. They are Anna Rasmussen, a Danish private medium (who has been tested in London), and Eleonore Zugun, a young Rumanian peasant whom I brought to London in 1929. She actually became known as the 'Poltergeist Girl'. It will come as a shock to those uninformed critics who declare that physical phenomena occur only in the dark, to learn that both Anna and Eleonore never sat in the dark, and that their phenomena occurred often in brilliant sunlight or under the glare of 500-watt electric lamps.

I first heard of Anna Rasmussen through my friend Professor Christian Winther of Copenhagen University, who had been experimenting with her for many years. As I had arranged to give a talk at the University during my second Scandinavian lecture tour, the Professor invited me to two séances with Anna. The first was held in one of the University's laboratories, the other in Professor Winther's own home on the outskirts of the Danish capital. This was in June, 1927. Anna was then twenty-nine years old.

At 2.45 p.m. we seated ourselves round the heavy, oblong, plain oak laboratory table, weighing eighty pounds. The sun was streaming through the windows. The sitters, whose chairs were well away from the table, included the Professor, his wife, the medium, her boy friend named Melloni, and another lady. All the sitters joined hands in light contact.

On top of the séance-table was a tabourette or stool, 27½ inches high, of plain wood, with four legs with supporting struts some third of the distance from the bottom. On the under side of the stool-top were screwed two hooks, 90 min. apart. From these hooks were suspended (by means of threads) two steel balls such as are used for ball-bearings in machinery. The weight of the balls was about one ounce each, though the weights were not identical. They reached nearly to the table-top. To exclude draughts or conscious or unconscious blowing by the medium or sitters, sheets of plate glass were firmly clamped to the four sides of the tabourette - thus forming it into a glass chamber containing two pendulums of dissimilar weights.

Like most mediums, Anna has a 'control' or trance personality named 'Dr. Lasaruz', who appears to direct the proceedings either by raps on the table or tabourette, or by inspiring the medium, who goes into a very light trance, to write automatic messages on pieces of paper, telling us what he wants done, the order of the sitters, etc. By these means, 'he' suggested where we should sit, and stated what phenomena would occur.

Up to this point the psychic had been quite normal; that is, so far as I could judge from the demeanour of a person whom I had met for the first time. But Anna now underwent some subtle change. She did not go into trance or appear sleepy, but her manner altered and she seemed 'different'. Her right wrist began to swell slightly - always a sure sign that she is about to produce some automatic script. Her respiration also grew more rapid. Dr. Winther told me that in a fairly deep trance the respiration rate increases to 244 to the minute.

3.03 p.m. A series of quick raps from the table demanded our attention, and we ascertained by question and answer that I was to change places with Melloni. This was done and I now sat on Anna's right hand, helping Mrs. Winther to control the medium. We now suggested to the 'doctor' that he should try to swing one of the pendulums in the enclosed tabourette. Frau Rasmussen picked up the pencil and in a listless manner (suggestive of the early stages of the trance state) wrote on a piece of paper a message that purported to come from the control. It read: 'I do not know what you mean by "the pendulum." (Signed) Dr. Lasaruz.' At which we all laughed heartily, this being a favourite joke of the 'doctor's.' We then asked the control whether he would swing the right pendulum. Three knocks from the table indicated that he would not, at which we expressed our disappointment. Immediately two quick raps from the table informed us that the control had changed his mind and would oblige us - for which we thanked him.

3.14. Anna now picked up the pencil and in mirror writing produced a message, signed by 'Lasaruz', to the effect that we should sing. This we did somewhat inharmoniously, and afterwards I suggested to the control that after such an exhibition of our vocal powers he should produce some good phenomena. 'No!' was at once rapped out on the table. Dr. Winther remarked that 'Lasaruz' would have his joke! Immediately after, the right pendulum quivered slightly and in two minutes commenced swinging. About a minute later the left pendulum began to swing, at the same time as the right bobbin was damped down. The right bobbin then increased its arc, and almost - but not quite - touched one of the glass sides. The total swing was about eight inches. For three or four minutes the arc described by the right pendulum (the heavier of the two) never varied, and we sat fascinated by the swing of the steel ball which we imagined must hit the glass next time - but which did not actually do so. I remember thinking that Galileo must have been fascinated in a similar manner, when watching that famous swinging lamp in the church at Pisa, whose oscillations are said to have suggested to him the isochronism or 'equal-timeness' of the pendulum.

In nine minutes the right pendulum was tapping regularly on one of the glass sides of the tabourette. It then slackened somewhat, for no apparent reason. Dr. Winther then called out the letters of the alphabet and at certain letters the right bobbin tapped the glass. In this manner we obtained messages and directions. We asked whether conditions were now good, and 'Yes' was given in reply. During the whole of this activity on the part of the right pendulum, its fellow bobbin was swinging very slowly, describing an arc of about half an inch.

3.30 to 3.45. For fifteen minutes the right-hand ball was swinging steadily, the left bobbin merely oscillating slightly. Occasionally Professor Winther would request 'Dr. Lasaruz' to damp the right pendulum or to increase its arc. This was always done, very gradually, but the change was at once noticeable. Once it practically ceased moving, and Dr. Winther then asked that the bobbin should be swung at right angles to its previous motion. This was done at once.

In my notes I have a query' to the effect whether any magnetic emanation from the medium would affect the balls. But as the emanation would have to be intermittent (in order to allow for the return swing of the balls) and controllable, this theory will not stand much analysis. And any magnetic or electrical emanations would affect both balls equally. This also applies to any secreted powerful that might be employed for moving the balls normally; both or neither of the steel bobbins would react to any extraneous magnetic influence.

4.03. Dr. Winther says: 'Bankibord', a catch-phrase which means that 'Dr. Lasaruz' is requested to 'bang the table'. This was done two or three times by the control. The following are the verbatim notes that I made of the latter part of the séance:

4.08. Left pendulum swings at request of Dr. Winther.

4.10. Medium complains of headache. This is regarded as a sign of good phenomena.

4.12. Left-hand ball changes course at suggestion of Dr. Winther. Arc: 2½ inches. Right ball stationary.

4.17. Anna now writing (mirror writing). 'Dr. Lasaruz' says, 'Be patient and you will have good phenomena in the evening.'

4.19. Left-hand ball swinging. Arc: 4 inches. Right ball still motionless.

4.23. Arc of left pendulum now extended to 4¾ inches. A lady remarks that she feels very cold. The medium, too, is obviously cold; her hands extremely cold, as I confirm. The hand I am controlling is very cold. Left bobbin now slowing down and almost stationary. We had no means of measuring the temperature, as it was purely a demonstration séance for my benefit. But it certainly felt cooler. Professor Winther has repeated my Rudi Schneider and Stella C. thermometric experiments with Anna Rasmussen and appears to have definitely confirmed the fact - first instrumentally demonstrated by me - that at the moment of telekinetic action the normal rise of the temperature in the medium's immediate vicinity appears to be checked, or that the temperature apparently falls. He is convinced 'that the production of telekinetic energy is accompanied by a drop in the room temperature.'

4.27. Arc made by left pendulum now increased to 5 inches. Right bobbin stationary.

4.30. Swing of left pendulum now 6 inches. The medium's hand which I am holding becomes moist and clammy, but still cold. Left bobbin is being damped rapidly, and becomes quite stationary. Right bobbin now moving.

4.33. Right pendulum swinging steadily. Arc described: 8 inches. Has appearance of being 'pulled.' [This remark in my notes accurately describes the impression I received at the time. It was a different swing from that of the left ball - or appeared different. It seemed more jerky, with less regular phase. Other sitters noticed it.]

4.34. Right pendulum gradually increases its swing to 9 inches.

4.36. Right ball rapidly increasing its arc, and touches glass. At request it gives twenty-two taps on the glass side of stool; then slows down for half a minute; then strikes four on the glass.

4.41. Right pendulum slowing down. Left pendulum suddenly comes into action.

4.43. Both pendulums swinging. Arcs: Right, 3 inches; left, 5 inches. Both balls swinging very steadily.

4.46. Right pendulum is damped and stops. Left pendulum increases its swing to 8 inches.

4.53. Left pendulum slowing down (to 2-inch arc). Right pendulum again starts swinging. When both balls swinging 2 inches, Dr. Winther asks that their movements be reversed. Without actually coming to rest, both balls then commence to swing at right angles to their previous motions. This continues for some minutes.

5.01. A number of raps on the table attract our attention and we ascertain that 'Dr. Lasartiz' wishes the Professor to bring the pendulums to rest. Dr. Winther removes one of the glass panels and damps the balls.

5.06. Anna Rasmussen picks up pencil and automatically writes 'We have to prepare for this evening, but now this will take too long for now. Goodbye, Dr. Lasaruz.' A series of rapid raps on table denote end of séance. (The message itself appeared very ambiguous, but its meaning was quite clear.) The medium, or her control - or both - required a rest before the evening sitting. I was not then aware of the fact that Frau Rasmussen knew we were having another séance, but it afterwards transpired that she did.

At the next séance a much more elaborate set-up was used. In his own home, Professor Winther was able to make the conditions of the séance, and the control of the medium, even more scientific. The sitters included members of the Professor's family, a Dr. P. Borberg, Melloni, and myself.

The set-up used at the evening séance was a very different proposition from the one we used in Professor Winther's laboratory. As much of the experimental work had been carried out in his own home, Dr. Winther had had constructed a most elaborate form of table, quite vibration-proof, with apparatus for photographically recording the oscillation periods of the pendulums by means of a tiny pencil of light emitted by the special bobbins.

I will not describe in detail this special set-up, beyond saying that it is an oblong, rectangular table, supported on, and bolted to a concrete pillar, the whole clamped to a concrete floor. Firmly fixed to the tabletop is a form of tabourette, the lower portion enclosed by red glass, like a dark-room lamp. From the top of the enclosed upper portion of tabourette are hung bobbins of various weights and sizes suspended by means of thin electrical flex, which is connected to pea-lights contained in the bobbins. A tiny lens in each bobbin traces, by means of a pencil of light, its pendulatory motion on to an electrically-rotated strip of bromide paper. When developed, the path of the pendulum is clearly shown on the sensitised emulsion and makes a permanent record. I need only add that in my opinion the table is entirely fraud- and vibration-proof.

I will not detail the phenomena we witnessed that evening, as they were very similar to those we had seen in the afternoon. But they were produced under perfect conditions of control. And the paranormal movements of the bobbins were photographically recorded by means of the pea-lights and travelling bromide strip. Professor Winther has published a very full, illustrated monograph on his experiments, in the Journal of the American S.P.R., New York, January-March, 1928.

At supper-time we were entertained to some striking phenomena of true Poltergeist character. At request, 'Dr. Lasaruz' gave us excellent imitations of the sounds made by 'sawing', 'weaving', 'running water', 'bouncing of a ball', etc. Just before nine o'clock, we asked the 'doctor' whether he would bang the underside of the table when the clock struck the hour, keeping time with the strokes. By means of raps somewhere in the table, the doctor said he would. And he did! But he gave only five bangs, synchronising with the last five strikes of the clock, instead of nine.

These supper-table phenomena were very impressive and convincing. They occurred in a brilliant light, and frequently I looked under the table during the progress of the manifestations, and could see the sitters' feet. Their hands were on the table during the whole of the demonstration, which could not have been produced normally by any person present.

In Eleonore Zugun we have a girl whose psychic life-story is known almost from her cradle to the present day. This is very unusual in the case of a medium, and her history is a curious one. She was born at Talpa, Rumania, on May 24, 1913. Talpa is a village and her parents are peasants. At the age of twelve she went to live with her grandparents at a village named Buhai. A few days after Eleonore's arrival a shower of stones entered their cottage, smashing several windows. Then in full sunlight a big stone, a piece of porcelain, and half a brick also entered the house, breaking more windows. No one was seen to throw the missiles, which invariably fell at the child's feet. Then observers saw an iron ring fall from a stove and that, too, fell near Eleonore. Then a small mug fell off the dresser - all these phenomena being reminiscent of the Stockwell manifestations. The simple peasants thought that the girl was 'bewitched', or possessed by the Devil, and sent her back home(3).

(3) For the early history of Eleonore, and account of the phenomena, see Der Spuk von Talpa, by Countess Wassilko, Munich, 1926.

Home once more, the Zugun family were having a meal in their kitchen when a stone from outside came crashing through the window pane. The stone was wet(4) and round - similar to those found in the river Seret, a few yards from their cottage. A priest was called. He marked the stone with a cross, and threw it back into the river. Then he returned to the house. A little later, the same stone, recognised by the priest's mark, was flung into the house again.

(4) An identical phenomenon heralded the outbreak of hostilities in the 'Mill on the Eden', p. 206.

Then her parents became frightened and sent the child to a neighbour's house. The villagers were more and more convinced that Dracu, the Devil, was the cause of all the trouble, especially as the manifestations followed the girl from place to place. They threatened to put her in an asylum. Frightened, the child returned to her parents, and, immediately following her home-coming, large potatoes came from under the bed and fell violently upon her father's shoulders. Her father then resolved to take the child to a priest, and next morning he, together with fourteen other peasants, conducted Eleonore to the old priest of Zamostea, named Macarescu, a bedridden old man of about eighty. Soon after Eleonore had entered his room, an iron vessel, which had before been placed on a stand, suddenly burst into many pieces. Immediately afterwards, an earthen vessel which had been on the hearth, also burst. The splinters were thrown into the court. Scarcely had the people recovered from the shock, when both inner windows broke, and one of the splinters fell into the room. The outside windows remained intact. During these events the old priest, his son, and the school teacher, Teodorescu, were all present. All, startled, ran out of the room. The teacher looking through the window, alone saw a big chest, which stood against the wall, move backwards and forwards, as well as from side to side, of its own volition. Only one young man, Joan Ostafi, had remained in the room. When he saw the chest moving, he stopped it, saying: 'Wait, devil, I see you cannot do it alone, I will help you.' At this very moment, a plank, hidden in a corner, sprang upon the young man and injured him. Then all again entered the room and one of them proposed going on a pilgrimage to St. Johannes at the Convent of Suczava. The name of the saint being pronounced, a stone was thrown against a picture of him that hung on the wall, destroyed the picture, and remained lodged in the wall. Only the teacher was sufficiently courageous to remain in the room. He sat opposite a bench on which was a can of water. Suddenly this can of water was levitated eighteen inches, described a half circle, and came down on the other end of the bench without spilling a single drop of water. The peasants begged the priest to hold a mass, in order to cast out the 'devil' that was supposed to be in possession of Eleonore - as the villagers believed. This ritual was without success, and the pilgrimage was accordingly performed, also without any success; on the contrary, the phenomena grew more and more violent and frequent.

As the pilgrimage was not successful, the girl was sent to the Convent of Gorovei, near Talpa. The most amazing phenomena happened - or were alleged to happen, at Gorovei. The priests said masses for her; she was exorcised; she was examined by psychiatrists; she was experimented with - and on - and she was hypnotised. But the phenomena still occurred. Then the University of Czernowitz became interested, but failed to do anything. Finally the case got into the Press - as was inevitable.

It was various articles in the Czernowitzer Morgenblatt and the Allegemeine Zeitung that attracted the notice of my friend, the late Fritz Grunewald, the well-known Berlin engineer and psychical researcher. He was interested not only in the girl, but in the controversy that was raging in the Press. Certain papers declared that the whole thing was a swindle; others were convinced that Eleonore was mad; while those newspapers which had investigated for themselves, said the phenomena were genuine. However, the girl was declared insane, and was incarcerated in the local asylum - where she was confined, alone, in a dark room - treatment comparable with the witchcraft persecutions of the seventeenth century.

It was at this juncture that Grunewald came on the scene. In the true spirit of investigation, he visited every place where Eleonore had stayed; interviewed hundreds of people; saw many phenomena for himself; and was convinced that a thorough and scientific investigation was necessary. He persuaded Eleonore's father to withdraw her from the asylum. Having obtained possession of the girl, he returned her to the Convent of Gorovei, where he observed her for three weeks. All the major phenomena were confirmed. He returned to Berlin to make arrangements for the reception of the girl in the family of some friends of his - and then suddenly dropped dead. He lived by himself, and the body lay in the hall of his flat in the Spandauerstrasse for twelve days before it was discovered(5).

(5) Curiously, I had an appointment in Berlin with Grunewald, who was going to write a preface to a German edition of one of my books. I called at his flat early in July, 1925, and because I could get no answer, hammered at his door. I little knew that his body lay a few inches from me, on the other side of the door.

With the death of Grunewald, Eleonore was again left to the tender mercies of the superstitious villagers of Talpa, and the Countess Wassilko-Serecki(6), a Rumanian lady living in Vienna, decided to rescue her. She, too, was interested in psychical research.

(6) See her 'Early History and Phenomena of Eleonore Zugun', British Journal of Psychical Research, Jan-Feb., 1927.

Eleonore arrived in Vienna in September, 1925, and at once puzzled the Austrian scientists, especially the physicists. Her phenomena grew stronger and more spectacular. My friend, Professor Hans Thirring, the distinguished physicist of Vienna University, was especially interested and wrote to me about the girl. I had already received Grunewald's report(7), so was acquainted with the case. Dr. Thirring invited me to investigate the girl, and arranged for me to give a talk on psychical research at his University.

(7) Psychische Studien, Munich, July, 1925.

I arrived in Vienna on April 30, 1926, and began my observational periods next day. I found Eleonore installed in the Countess's charming flat in the Josefstadterstrasse and I at once set about arranging a test. I decided to utilise the Countess's bedroom-study for my experiments. This room was divided longitudinally by a matchboard partition, about six feet high, with an opening at one end for communication between the two divisions. A pair of French windows, leading to a balcony overlooking a quiet wooded garden, provided ample illumination for both study and bedroom.

I have already intimated that the apartment was divided into a study and bedroom and these I minutely examined after I had carefully fastened both doors and windows. A bed, toilet table, chairs, etc. comprised the bedroom furniture; and a low bookcase, filled with books, a couch, a writing table, chairs, etc. were placed in conventional positions. in the study portion of the room.

Having completed my examination of the room, I now turned my attention to Eleonore and the Countess who, not without amusement, were watching my precautionary measures. I had already met the Countess on a previous visit to Vienna.

I found Eleonore to be an intelligent, well-developed, bright girl with a sunny disposition. She was then nearly thirteen years old. Though physically strong and healthy, she was 'young' mentally. In many ways, she was more like a girl of eight: her shyness; her extreme fondness for simple toys; her simple games and childish ways. But she could read and write well and was even something of an artist. She was five feet tall and weighed 123 pounds. The Countess and I seated ourselves on the couch and watched Eleonore playing with a toy that fascinated her: a spring gun that projected a celluloid ping-pong ball, which was caught in a sort of conical wire basket that was attached to the gun. Suddenly, as we watched, the ball came to pieces, its component halves falling at our feet. The girl ran to the Countess and asked her to mend it. She jumped up, and so did I. As I watched my hostess examining the join, a steel stiletto with handle, used for opening letters, the whole about ten inches long, shot across the room from behind me and fell against the closed door. I instantly turned round and a minute investigation revealed nothing - and no one - that could have projected the stiletto, which was normally kept on the writing table behind us, against the wall farthest from where we stood.

Let me say at once that no one in that room, and certainly not Eleonore, could have thrown the paper-knife. We were at least ten feet from the table; I had both Eleonore and the Countess in full view. Eleonore had one half of the ball in her right hand, and the gun in her left; the Countess had the other half of the ball in her hand, and I was actually watching both my hostess and the child; the stiletto came from behind and to the right of us, and I was between the missile and the door. It was a brilliant introductory phenomenon.

I will not describe the many other manifestations I witnessed during the days I spent in Vienna, as they have been detailed elsewhere(8). But the phenomena included the precipitation of a small mirror over the partition from the bedroom side, while we three were in the study portion. Then a metal cap followed the mirror. A large black cloth dog, that Eleonore used to cuddle, shot from the study side of the room, over the partition, and fell on to the coal-scuttle near the bed. No one was nearer to the dog (which was lying on a chair near the French windows) than ten feet, and Eleonore, at the moment of the flight, was pushing a table against a wall, using both her hands. Then I saw a cushion on one of the chairs begin to move. As I watched, it slid slowly off the chair and fell to the floor. No one was near it. After each of these phenomena, and many others, I examined the room, the furniture, etc. but everything was normal. I reiterate that there were no wires, threads, spring releases, rubber bands, compressed air tubes, springs released by the gradual expansion of a viscous substance, or similar contrivances: things difficult to hide and easy to find in this sunlit room. We also witnessed another type of phenomenon - stigmata - but a description of these I am leaving for another chapter.

(8) Leaves from a Psychist's Case-Book, by Harry Price, London, 1933.

Well, I was much impressed with what I had seen. So impressed in fact, that I decided to import both the 'Poltergeist girl' and her benefactress - and, I hoped, the phenomena - to London in an attempt to witness again the wonders I had seen in Vienna. The girl and the Countess accepted my invitation with joy.

Countess Wassilko and Eleonore arrived in London on September 30, 1926. A number of phenomena, I was told, had been witnessed on the long journey from Vienna. They were delighted to be in London. Eleonore looked even more robust than when I saw her in the previous spring; and, although she was now turned thirteen years of age, there was no sign of the menses.

The first alleged phenomenon that occurred was that a silver fingerring, suddenly missed from Eleonore's dressing-table on the first night of their arrival, tumbled from nowhere as the girl was playing with a Cairn terrier that used to visit my Kensington laboratory.

Soon after the ring incident, two or three Press representatives came to see me. One of them, Mr. E. Clephan Palmer, had brought Eleonore a large package of toys, including a wonderful clockwork black cat, with eyes that spat fire, if not brimstone; a fit plaything for Dracu. It was a pleasure to watch the child's face as she undid the parcel. When she came to the clockwork toy her eyes sparkled almost as much as the cat's. She at once wound up the cat and placed it on the floor. We were all watching with amusement the glee with which she was handling the toy, and were interested to see how the thing would work. Eleonore wound it up, stooped down, and placed the cat on the floor-at the same instant as something fell upon her head and dropped to the floor. I immediately picked up the object and saw that it was an L-shaped piece of metal (size 14 x 11.5 mm., weight 24 grains), enamelled white. I at once thought it was a part of one of the toys which Mr. Palmer had brought for the girl, but upon closer inspection it was quite obvious that the object was a small metallic sign such as is used for affixing to notice-boards. I then remembered that I had seen a notice-board in the hall on the ground floor on which were a number of similar letters which are magnetic, thus easily attaching themselves to the metal surface of the board. We naturally thought that the L had come from the board and that its absence would at once be noticed. We accordingly rang through by means of the house 'phone in order to confirm our assumption. To our astonishment, the young lady typist informed us from the library that every letter on the notice-board was in its allotted position and none was missing. We then descended the four flights separating the laboratory from the library in order to investigate. We found every letter in its place on the notice-board and asked to see the remaining stock, if any. It appears that six specimens of each letter were supplied with the set sold with the notice-board, which had arrived only the previous day. Upon checking the unused letters, we found that one was missing - the letter L. Only three persons in existence knew where the unused letters were kept. One of these was out, and the other two - the typist and a youth employed in the library were actually in the room (the library), when the letter appeared in the laboratory. The unused letters were in the box secured by two fasteners, and kept in a closed cupboard. It was proved absolutely that no one in the Laboratory suite had entered the library for days - the Countess and Eleonore have never been in to this day - and the notice-board and sets of letters had not been in the building twenty-four hours. The Countess was not in the building at the time. Mr. Palmer in his report(9) stated that he saw the letter drop from the ceiling, falling upon my shoulder, and then to the ground. I distinctly saw the letter strike the girl's head and then fall upon the floor. Not being under stringent test conditions, we are not hailing the L incident as a phenomenon. On the other hand, there is not the slightest evidence that anyone was cheating; nor have we yet discovered how it was possible for a person to abstract the letter from the fastened box and closed cupboard in view of the fact that three persons only knew where the letters were kept. None of these was connected with the Laboratory. It has been suggested that because the letter is magnetic it might have had some affinity for the girl, but I think this theory is fantastic. The fact remains, though, that these magnetic letters played a major role in the manifestations which occurred during the girl's visit. But how the L found its way from the library to the laboratory - a distance of forty-eight feet - is still a mystery.

(9) Daily News, Oct. 2,1926.

Tuesday, October 5. I was not at the Laboratory during the morning of this day, but arrived at about 1.45 p.m. I made my way to the Laboratory suite on the top floor and found that my secretary had not returned from lunch and Eleonore had not yet arrived. I unlocked the various rooms comprising the suite, opened the doors, and sat down in the office to do some writing. At 2.15 Eleonore appeared and I rose to greet her. She took off her hat, etc. and placed them in the room where coats were kept. The door, leading to séance-room, was locked. Eleonore picked up her clockwork cat and - because there was more room for it to run without meeting obstacles - went into the passage to play with her toy. She did not enter the séance room. As I had risen from my chair, I thought I would prepare the séance-room in readiness for the afternoon observational period. Dr. R. J. Tillyard (who had recently returned from the Continent) had a number (thirteen) of Danish, French and other coins, of low values, which he had marked and had placed about the room. It was these coins that I went to check and place in their prescribed positions. Four of the coins I placed on the ultra-violet ray cabinet, spaced evenly, five inches apart. The one on the extreme right was a Danish copper 1-ore piece. On the lintel of the door leading to cloak-room, I placed four more coins, about six inches apart. The third coin from the left was a brass 1-franc piece. I placed other coins in various positions or checked those that were already there. I then returned to my writing in the office. During this, checking of the coins Eleonore was playing with her cat in the passage, the whole length of which I could see through the open office door. At exactly 2.30 I heard a coin drop in the séance-room. I looked at Eleonore, who also looked up at the same time. She said 'Dracu!' I rose from my seat, and with Eleonore (who waited for me) entered the séance-room. I at once looked at the coins which I had so recently checked and arranged, and found that the 1-ore piece from the right of row on ultra-violet cabinet, was missing. The others on the lintel of the door had not been touched. After about two minutes Eleonore found the coin not far from the curtained 'cabinet' across corner of room near window. As a matter of fact, we saw the coin simultaneously. While she was stooping down to pick up the Danish 1-øre piece, and I was watching her, the French franc - which two minutes previously I had seen firmly in position on the wide lintel of the door, fell from its place and was discovered to right of gramophone cabinet. It must have rolled - at least, that would be the normal explanation - but I did not hear it roll; I heard merely the sound of the coin (weight, twenty-seven grains) falling. No other person was on the Laboratory floor - no one was nearer than the ground floor, four stories below.

The fall of the franc was a true Poltergeist phenomenon. It would have remained on that lintel (6 feet, 10¾ inches from the ground, and 3 feet wide) for a thousand years without falling. Nothing but an earthquake would have shifted it unless it was removed normally oras I am convinced was the case - paranormally. The diameter of coin was 23mm, the depth of lintel was 24mm, and all coins were purposely placed hard up against the wall so that if they did fall there would be no ambiguity about the matter. I am as convinced of the reality of this particular phenomenon as I am of the fact that I am breathing. At one moment the coin was securely resting on the lintel, and two minutes later it was flicked to the right of the gramophone (a distance of 5 feet 9 inches), with no one nearer to it than thirteen feet. Here we have a characteristic example of a so-called Poltergeist displacement or telekinetic movement witnessed under ideal conditions. True, it was only a small and light article that was displaced; but the conditions under which the displacement occurred make it an exceptionally brilliant phenomenon. But, unlike some psychic phenomena which can be induced more or less at will, Poltergeist manifestations are of such a sporadic and spontaneous nature that their repetition at a given time and place becomes impossible. The fall of the franc was the first telekinetic phenomenon of Eleonore's witnessed at the Laboratory, concerning which I was absolutely satisfied. The falling of the coin off a ledge may be a simple movement, but for this movement to take place automatically by mechanical means would require fairly elaborate apparatus which could not be rendered invisible.

I could fill many pages with accounts of the phenomena we witnessed, under scientific conditions, during Eleonore's stay in London(10). Her visit caused the greatest interest among scientists and others who attended many of the observational periods, and those whom I invited included: Dr. R. J. Tillyard, F.R.S., Mr. W. R. Bousfield, F.R.S., Mr. Edward Heron-Allen, F.R.S., Professor William McDougall, F.R.S., Professor Hans Thirring (who travelled specially from Vienna in order to see our experiments), the Hon. Everard Feilding, Professor A. O. Rankine, F.R.S., Dr. Theo. B. Hyslop, late chief of Bethlehem Hospital, the London mental asylum, and many more.

(10) For a full account, with illustrations and plans, see Proceedings of the Nat. Lab. of Psy. Research, Vol. 1, Part 1, London, Jan. 1927.

If the 'Poltergeist' phenomena were interesting, her stigmata were equally puzzling, and they deserve a chapter to themselves. Eleonore had an idée fixe that Dracu - the Rumanian Devil - used to bite and otherwise maltreat her - an obsession that we tried to eradicate, without success. The painful weals, teethmarks and scarifyings that she experienced were more than a match for our logic.
Note: 
The article above was taken from Harry Price's "Poltergeist Over England: Three Centuries of Mischievous Ghosts" (1945, London: Country Life Ltd.)
Can we explain the Poltergeist?
 - Harry Price -
           NO! WE know nothing whatsoever about why Poltergeists should infest a place, what they are, how to get rid of them, or how to attract them. There is a curious belief that opals do so. If there was any evidence for this, I would buy a sackful! We cannot explain the mechanism of Poltergeist movements, displacements, 'voices', how they transport things, or how they produce fire or water, or the many varieties and varying intensities of sounds and noises. We do not know where they obtain the energy from with which to move objects - sometimes heavy objects - or how they can hallucinate some people into believing they see or hear certain things or sounds, while other persons in the immediate vicinity see and hear nothing. And where do all the 'apports' (things that spontaneously 'appear' during an infestation) come from? Who loses them? And where do they go to when, as often happens, they disappear? If things 'appear', then they must have disappeared from somewhere, and someone must have lost them. Perhaps another Poltergeist victim! There have been speculations concerning all these puzzles, and I will later mention some of the more interesting. But they are theories only, ingenious as some of them are. We know nothing as to the causation of Poltergeist phenomena.

If we know so little about the Poltergeist per se, we are certain that there is some connection, between Poltergeists and puberty and that the mysteries of sex enter largely into their doings. And all the available evidence points to the fact that Poltergeists prefer little girls and girl adolescents to boys - the ratio is about 95% to 5% respectively. Though we know there is this connection, we cannot explain it.
The fact that little girls are so mixed up in Poltergeist cases has led the uninformed to assume that these young creatures are consciously responsible for the phenomena; that the manifestations are produced fraudulently and that the whole thing is hocus-pocus. Perhaps the reader thought like that too - until he read this book. It has probably never occurred to our hypothetical - and ignorant - critic that, if his 'explanation' is correct, and that all these Poltergeist girls trick, then they have been tricking in exactly the same way, in every country, and in every age. That would be a phenomenon in itself, and a very remarkable one. That girls have tricked is undeniable, but these cases are few compared with those in which girls have not tricked. And those girls who have tricked were sometimes of the abnormal type, psychoneurotics, hysteriacs, a 'borderline case', one who had received a nervous shock, or one with a nervous disorder or some mental affliction. I have said that fraudulent phenomena are sometimes associated with abnormal girls; but this applies to genuine phenomena, too. And one can always tell where the genuine phenomena end and the spurious begin. As I have pointed out in another chapter, it was after a nervous shock that Esther Cox, in the Great Amherst Mystery, was sucked into the vortex of a violent Poltergeist disturbance. I shall have more to say about this later.
I reiterate that one of the most puzzling facts connected with Poltergeist infestations is why so many young girls are concerned in these cases. Assuming for a moment that every known case of Poltergeist haunting was due to trickery, why should so often a 'young girl' be suspected and so seldom a 'young boy'? Are young girls more prone to cheating than young boys? Surely not!

Another remarkable fact is that it was usually a 'young girl' who was the victim (or the pretended victim) in the sixteenth and seventeenth century witchcraft trials. It was so often a young girl who became 'possessed', or went into convulsions, or vomited crooked pins and tenpenny nails. Sometimes the witch mania spread to the girls themselves, who 'confessed' to the practice of witchcraft, riding on broomsticks, intercourse with the devil, the possession of 'familiars', etc. Podmore[1] cites the case of Antoinette Bourignon's girls' school at Lille where, in 1639, the whole thirty-two children ultimately accused themselves of witchcraft, confessed to having dealings with the devil, and to riding through the air nightly to attend his infernal banquets. All but one of the children recanted when examined by the magistrates. The one girl who maintained her guilt to the last was imprisoned. Mlle Bourignon expressed a pious regret that for the good of her soul she had not been burnt[2].
[1] Modern Spiritualism, Vol. 1, p. 17.
[2] See Complete Works of Antoinette Bourignon, Amsterdam, 1686, Vol. II, p. 200. In a girls' school at Derby, in 1905, forty-five girls, during a period of five days, became 'possessed', screamed, laughed, cried, and dropped to the floor unconscious. 'The girls were exceedingly weak, and had to be carried home.' A clear case of contagious hysteria. (See the Derby Mercury for May 15, 1905, and following issues.)
During the witchcraft mania in Sweden in 1669 and 1670 three hundred children in the one village of Moira (Mora?) confessed to the practice of witchcraft. Joseph Glanvill, whom we have so often quoted, gives a full account of the examination, confessions, trials and executions of the witches of Moira during this period. Seventy women were accused and most of these were executed. Then, says Glanvill[3]:

[3] Saducismus Triumphatus, London, 1681. Part 2, pp. 313-4.
'Fifteen Children which likewise confessed that they were engaged in this witchery, died as the rest; six and thirty of them between nine and sixteen years of age, who had been less guilty were forced to run the gantlet; twenty more, who had no great inclination, yet had been seduced to those Hellish Enterprizes, because they were very young, were condemned to be lash'd with Rods upon their hangs, for three Sundays together at the Church-door; and the aforesaid six and thirty were also deem'd to be lashed this way once a week for a whole year together. The number of the Seduced Children was about three hundred.'
Glanvill does not tell us whether all of these children were girls, but I am pretty sure they were. Anyway, he says that when the 'notoriously guilty' were executed, 'the day was bright and glorious, and the sun shining, and some thousands of people were present at the spectacle'.

I am convinced there must be something, either psychological or physiological, in a young girl's organism, that turns her into a girl-witch or Poltergeist-attractor. In this connection it is worth noting that the modern cult of spiritualism was started by two young girls, Margaret and Katie Fox, in 1848; though, as the reader knows, another young girl, Elizabeth Parsons, had produced identical phenomena in Cock Lane nearly a century earlier.

In the foregoing pages I have given several examples of the link between phenomena and pubescency. Eleonore Zugun's 'power' vanished overnight with the first appearance of the menses. Conversely, Stella C.'s manifestations were not frequent until she had matured. The same can be said about Esther Cox. On the other hand, Damodar Ketkar was troubled no more when he 'grew up'. The Schneider boys' phenomena were brilliant during and immediately after pubescency - then, as they approached adolescency, their powers waned. Also, with the adolescency of ailing Teddie Fowler, the 'Mill on the Eden' was troubled no more with Poltergeists.

Professor Hans Thirring, Ph.D., of Vienna University has, like myself, experimented considerably with Willi and Rudi Schneider, the famous physical mediums, and has expressed his views concerning sex and phenomena - especially in connection with these two young Austrian boys. In an article[4] he wrote for me, he refers to this subject more than once. Describing some sittings with Willi that he arranged, he says:
'During the trance, both Willi's elbows were resting on the principal controller's (Mrs. Holub's) lap and his head was lying on the same controller's left shoulder. Taking into account the possible connection between psychical phenomena and sexuality, it was not at all astonishing that the telekinetic forces were stronger when a sympathetic female was principal controller than it was when a sceptic and suspicious scientist was controlling. (As a matter of fact, we had sittings with different controllers a year later. They were successful only with a lady as principal controller.)'
[4] Psychical Research in Vienna', Journal of the Am. SPR, New York, 1925, Vol. XlX, pp. 693 and 705.
Dr. Thirring returns to the subject in the same article, when discussing the best conditions for producing good phenomena. He says:
'The far more delicate metaphysical phenomena cannot be produced by the mere will of the medium. Some psychic emotion seems to be necessary in the same way as certain sexual functions are started by emotions and imaginations. In the case of our medium the necessary emotions seem to be furnished by rhythmical music; by the touch, of a woman; or by the buoyant spirit of a cheerful circle'.
On one of my visits to Vienna, I invited Professor Thirring to lecture for me in London, before the National Laboratory of Psychical Research, of which I was then Director. Dr. Thirring arrived in October, 1926, and the title of his talk was 'The Position of Science in Relation to Psychical Research'[5] Dr. Thirring delivered his lecture at our rooms on October 19, 1926, before a large audience that included Sir Richard Gregory, F.R.S., Professor A. O. Rankine, F.R.S., Dr. R. J. Tillyard, F.R.S., Sir Horace Plunkett, and many scientists. Dr. Thirring again referred to his experiments with Willi Schneider and remarked that for good phenomena 'it seemed to be necessary for the medium to have a female very near him. The connection between sex and psychical phenomena was a well-known fact. In this instance, no manifestation could be obtained unless a lady were near'. In my own experiments with the Schneider boys, I have, always found that the phenomena were better when women - especially young women - were present at the sittings.

[5] Printed in The British Journal of Psychical Research, London, March-April, 1926, Vol. I, pp. 165-181.

Mention of Vienna reminds me that during one of my visits to the Austrian capital, I endeavoured to obtain sittings with a young physical medium, Frieda W. I failed, but I had a chat with her husband, who endorsed Professor Thirring's views on sex and mediumship. Herr W. told me that during the early months of their married life, Frieda's mediumship was strongly affected by their marital relations. At the height of his wife's sexual excitement, the ornaments would sometimes fall off the mantelpiece in their bedroom, or the alarm clock would start ringing. Once, he assured me, all the pots and pans in the kitchen of their flat began dancing. He also informed me that his wife never gave séances during her Monatsfluss, as no phenomena occurred at these periods.

The link between sex and mediumship was well known and recognised in classical times. There were young girls known as Pythias who, when 'possessed', went into a sort of trance or ecstatic condition, shivered violently, foamed at the mouth and, in their impersonation of Apollo, answered - in ambiguous hexameters - the questions put to them by the audience. Delphi and Dodona were famous for their Pythias, and lesser sanctuaries also employed them.

Plutarch, from A.D. 95 to A.D.125, was one of the priests of the oracle and, though he has left us three, essays[6] on the subject, tells us really very little about it. But we learn that the girls had to be virgins, and that loss of virginity would kill the faculty to prophesy. Plutarch mentions one priestess who, having broken the rule about chastity and who still attempted to exercise her faculty, was horror-stricken to find that her 'power' had gone. She fled, fell to the ground, and died several days later. There are many recorded cases of these young girls being violated, and this led to the employment of less-attractive virgins of fifty years or more, who were attired as maidens. At Delphi two Pythias were in constant attendance, with a third in reserve in case of the 'defilement' of either of the two regular priestesses.

[6] On the E at DelphiOn the Pythian Responses, and On the Sanctuaries Where Oracles have Ceased.

If loss of virginity is said to upset the mediumistic faculty in some girls, it appears also to awaken the slumbering powers possessed by certain subjects to attract Poltergeists. A striking example is that of Olive, in the Sunderland case. And the Poltergeists appear to have departed when Mrs. Mara Mack and her sisters left the parental roof for marriage and a new sexual life. Even the attempt to violate Esther Cox[7], was sufficient to set in motion those strange and terrific forces that culminated in the famous Poltergeist case known as the Great Amherst Mystery. It was on August 28, 1878, that a boy friend, Bob McNeal, drove Esther into the woods and attempted to rape her. She resisted, even at the pistol's point. She was then exactly eighteen years, five months old. McNeal drove the terrified girl to her home and then fled the township. Esther suffered a severe nervous shock which, coupled with the loss of Bob, of whom she was fond, effected a remarkable change in her. From this fatal night until September 3, she cried herself to sleep every evening. On September 4 (i.e. seven nights later), the phenomena began. They continued until December when Esther was ill for two-weeks, and no manifestations were recorded during this period. Then they recommenced and continued until August 1, 1879.

[7] Born March 28,1860. Died at Brockton, Mass., November 8,1912.

The above facts are related in detail in Walter Hubbell's book[8]. Hubbell makes the significant statement (p. 80) that the 'power' 'was always at its greatest strength every twenty-eight days' - a periodicity corresponding with the menstrual flux. If only we knew more about the Poltergeist and the link with adolescency, we might glean some valuable data from the Esther Cox case. Unfortunately, the 'subjects' or victims themselves know as little about it as we do. Very rarely, as in the case of Ann Robinson of Stockwell, and the French bonne, adolescents do know that they are responsible for all the trouble.

[8] The Haunted House... The Great Amherst Mystery, op. cit.

We know it, too. One of the things that we are certain of is that there is a connection - psychological or physiological - between young people and the observed phenomena. The reader must also be sure of it, if he has studied the foregoing cases. All the investigators recognise this fact, and I will cite one or two views (they are not explanations) of writers who have devoted some time to the subject. Hereward Carrington says[9]:

[9] The Story of Psychic Science, London, 1930, p. 146.
'An energy seems to be radiated from the body, in such cases, which induces these phenomena, when the sexual energies are blossoming into maturity within the body. It would almost seem as though these energies, instead of taking their normal course, were somehow turned into another channel, at such times, and were externalised beyond the limits of the body - producing the manifestations in question. The spontaneous outburst of these phenomena seems to be associated with the awakening of - the sex-energies at that time - which find this curious method of externalisation.'
Of course, very occasionally, a Poltergeist case is remarkable for the fact that no young people appear to be connected with it.
Mr. Sacheverell Sitwell says[10]:
'The mysteries of puberty, that trance or dozing of the psyche before it awakes into adult life, is a favourite playground for the Poltergeist. Pregnancy[11], it might only be natural to suppose, might produce the same sub-conscious receptivity'.
[10] Poltergeists, op. cit., p. 83.
[11] See the Sunderland case in this connection. - HP.

Canon W. J. Phythian-Adams, in his study of the Borley Rectory Poltergeists, says[12]:
'Whatever the explanation of them may be, it seems certain that the energy which plays the pranks is drawn mainly if not exclusively from living persons (often young ones) who thus become its unconscious "accomplices". At Borley Mrs. Foyster was pretty obviously the most conspicuous though of course not the only unconscious "accomplice"; and the house seems to have been able to store up a reservoir of such energy, since the phenomena continued even when it was empty... If we accept the view that a place can become saturated with the "mental vibrations" of a person who has lived there in a state of strong emotional tension, it is not unreasonable to suppose that they may remain on the spot as potential stimuli of Poltergeist activity.'
[12] His essay will be published in the forthcoming Borley book.

Dr. Phythian-Adams is of course referring to my oft-expressed opinion that a house or place can become saturated with the ego, personality, or intelligence of a person who has lived - or died - in it. And I have postulated a theory, for what it is worth, that these 'emanations' do, under certain conditions, produce phantasms or ghosts. Whether we can apply this very tentative theory to the causation of Poltergeist phenomena is another matter. Mrs. Foyster was a young woman during her residence in Borley Rectory and undoubtedly there was a very sympathetic nexus between her and the 'nun' - witness the wall-writings and the pathetic appeals for 'help'. But, except for a very brief period during the incumbency of the Rev. G. Eric Smith, and when I leased the place, there have always been many young girls living at the Rectory, and their 'mental vibrations' may still be clinging to their old home.

A reviewer in the Times Literary Supplement (October 5, 1940), in discussing the Borley manifestations, observed 'that the phenomena of the Poltergeist order increased and decreased in a fairly consistent ratio according to what we may assume as the potentialities of the occupants for providing "power". It could be argued, then, to take but a single instance, that during the period 1930-35, one of these occupants was an unconscious medium of the same type as Hetty Wesley in the Epworth Rectory case, which is to say that while she was innocent of any intention to produce the phenomena, her emanations (teleplasmic?) could be used by the Poltergeister.'

Both Dr. Phythian-Adams and The Times reviewer speak of the 'energy' required by the Poltergeists to produce their telekinetic phenomena at Borley. Mr. Andrew J. B. Robertson, the rising young Cambridge scientist, whom I mentioned in my chapter on Borley Rectory, has studied Poltergeist manifestations for many years and he has kindly sent me his views - the views of a physicist. Here is his essay:
The Poltergeist Problem: A Physical View
Any discussion of the interesting scientific problems raised by the behaviour of Poltergeists must, at the present time, be speculative. This is necessitated partly by the extraordinary nature of the phenomena themselves, partly by the rather dubious nature of the evidence in many cases, especially in matters of detail, and partly by the fact that most investigations into Poltergeists have been confined to simply observing the phenomena. Few investigators have conducted experiments which might perhaps throw some further light on the problems raised, and any such investigations would be rendered very difficult by the sporadic nature of the phenomena. Nevertheless accounts of Poltergeist activity from widely varying sources show a remarkable measure of agreement, a fact tending to point to the genuineness of the happenings. On examining the various reports of Poltergeist behaviour it appears that most of the phenomena are essentially objective: this immediately raises a physical problem which one might express generally as that of the energeties or thermodynamics of Poltergeist manifestations. These objective effects seem to be of two kinds, the first being mechanical phenomena, as for example the displacement of objects, the production of ghostly footsteps and knockings, the breaking of objects, and the production of paranormal writings. The second kind of Poltergeist phenomenon can be called thermal, including such effects as the spontaneous outbreaks of fire, the heating of objects which have been displaced by the Poltergeist, the occurrence of spontaneous temperature fluctuations in the air, and possibly the appearance of paranormal luminosities.

Both the thermal and mechanical phenomena show considerable evidence of being produced by some kind of intelligence. In this and in other respects an appreciable degree of correlation is noticeable with the phenomena produced by physical mediums. According to one school of thought physical mediums merely act as the agents for definite entities or spirits entirely separate, in their normal existence, from the mind of the medium, and the view is often expressed that Poltergeists are mischievous spirits, possibly rather undeveloped, which remain confined to a particular house or locality and are able to utilise certain people, especially adolescent children, as physical mediums. On the other hand the activities of physical mediums can be interpreted without the help of the spirit hypothesis, since in many cases the apparent entities are equally explicable as being secondary personalities of the medium. In a rather similar way one might regard a haunted house (in the Poltergeist sense) either as the abode of a separate entity or spirit of some kind, or as a place where for some unknown reason certain people are able to exert some of the powers possessed by physical mediums. The connection between the occurrence of Poltergeist phenomena and the presence of certain people at the same time, and the possibility of Poltergeist phenomena taking place in the absence of any persons, are matters requiring further investigation. At the present time the evidence seems to rather favour the view that a Poltergeist is at least a partially independent entity.

In order to produce objective phenomena, such as the throwing of kitchen crockery, a Poltergeist has to exert force of some kind, and it would in fact appear that Poltergeists have access to some form of energy. The basic assumptions made here are that Poltergeist phenomena are real and not fundamentally dissimilar to ordinary physical processes involving energy changes, so that the thermodynamics of Poltergeists is a definite problem to be considered, at least for a start, in the normal scientific way. One might tentatively suggest three sources of energy as being available to a Poltergeist: First there is the adolescent child. In numerous cases it has been noticed that phenomena are produced most vigorously when the child is lying or sleeping in bed. The conditions may then be rather favourable for the removal of energy from the child by the Poltergeist; the child under these conditions approaches more closely the state of a medium when in trance. Some metabolism experiments might perhaps be carried out, although a consideration of the actual magnitude of the energy changes involved in Poltergeist phenomena shows that any correspondingly increased metabolic rate would be difficult to detect, unless the efficiency with which the Poltergeist can transform energy is very low. A second possible source of energy is from the cooling of air and perhaps other bodies. One cubic foot of air (at N.T.P)[13] when cooled through one degree of Fahrenheit loses about fifteen foot-pounds of energy (this is the amount of work expended in lifting a fifteen-pound object through a vertical distance of one foot). The cooling of a small quantity of air therefore releases a considerable quantity of energy. Such a process, although in agreement with the first law of thermodynamics would be a violation of the second law under some conditions. It follows from the second law that a volume of air surrounded by a quantity of air at the same uniform temperature can only be cooled with respect to its immediate surroundings by means of some agency which does work and thereby transfers the heat to some other place. In actual fact the experimental evidence on temperature variations in haunted houses is scanty, but both rises and falls in temperature have been noted. It is not at all clear whether the Poltergeist can escape the restrictions of the second law, or alternatively can act in a manner similar to that of a refrigerating machine.
[13] Normal temperature and pressure: i.e. 0° Centigrade and 760 mm. of mercury. - H.P.
A third possible energy source is suggested by an examination of Poltergeist displacements themselves. In many cases it happens that the object displaced finishes on a lower horizontal level than it started from, its resultant movement being in a downward direction. An examination of some of the literature on Poltergeists suggests that movements of objects downwards are considerably more frequent than movements upwards. In general therefore a Poltergeist displacement is accompanied by a decrease in potential energy. At the same time it is noticed that the objects fall much more slowly than they would do under the influence of gravity alone. Now an object when falling in the normal way loses potential energy which is converted into kinetic energy, and at any point on the path of the falling object the potential energy lost is equal to the kinetic energy gained (neglecting small order corrections). But with Poltergeist manifestations this is clearly not the case: the potential energy lost is only partially transformed into kinetic energy, and hence part of the potential energy is lost in some unknown way - perhaps to the Poltergeist. This consideration raises the general question of whether the Poltergeist can store energy. If so, and if the store of energy is situated in a localised region of space, it might perhaps be detectable with suitable instruments. One might enquire whether the 'cold spot' at Borley Rectory has some special significance in this connection, being a localised region apparently having rather curious properties at times.
The heating of objects which have been moved by a Poltergeist is of interest. This involves much larger energy changes than those involved in displacements. Thus a kilogram falling through a metre loses only about 2.3 calories of potential energy; if this quantity of energy was used in heating the kilogram its temperature would rise only by 0.023 degrees Centigrade even with a specific heat as low as one tenth. Actually, the objects have been reported to be quite hot to the hand. But in such cases an adolescent child is usually present. These thermal phenomena are of great interest and require further experimental investigation.

It must be again emphasised that the above suggestions are speculative. But the phenomena presented by Poltergeists are not readily explicable in terms of normal concepts, so that in the present state of knowledge one might hope that such speculations are not entirely valueless in that further researches may be suggested which may contribute to a further clarification of the problem.

Andrew J. B. Robertson
Mr. Robertson notes that Poltergeist phenomena are often more vigorous when the young child or adolescent is sleeping or lying in bed - a fact I have drawn attention to in the pages of this volume, and the reader will recall how Hetty Wesley trembled in her sleep when phenomena were occurring. Perhaps energy was then being extracted from her. In many examples in this book the Poltergeist has 'attacked' sleeping children, or their beds if the children were not in them, as in the case of Olive W. of Sunderland. And Poltergeistic phenomena have been witnessed frequently where there were sick children in the house, or in the homes of dying persons (e.g. Battersea). I think Mr. Robertson is correct in stating that under such conditions, the removal of energy becomes favourable.

The cooling of the air during séances with certain subjects is now a recognised fact. With the 'Poltergeist mediums', Stella C.[14] and the Schneider boys, my very delicate transmitting thermographs repeatedly recorded a drop in temperature instead of a rise. Mr. Robertson has noted curious thermal changes at Borley Rectory, and so have I. Every observer who stayed in Borley Rectory was struck, as I was, with the fact that the place was consistently and unnaturally cold. Were the Poltergeistic entities at work there continuously extracting heat from the place and transforming it into energy? Perhaps. During my broadcast from the 'haunted manor' at Meopham, Kent, on March 10, 1936, my sensitive thermograph in the 'haunted cellar' showed that the temperature was quite constant during the whole of the day, by the straight line of the graph across the chart. But at 9.45 p.m., during the broadcast, the temperature suddenly rose slightly, and then fell sharply below what had been measured during the day. The kick in the graph[15] could not be accounted for in terms of normality. The 'cold spot' referred to by Mr. Robertson was a certain place on the landing at Borley Rectory, just outside the Blue Room. Several observers and others, when passing this spot, suddenly felt very cold or had shivering fits. There is good and independent evidence for these strange effects.

[14] See my 'Some Account of the Thermal Variations as Recorded During the Trance of Stella C.', Journal of the Am. SPR, Nov., 1927, pp. 635-41. (With many graphs.)
[15] Reproduced in my article in The Listener, March 18,1936.

It is thought by some people, that the energy used in Poltergeist phenomena is of an electrical nature, obtained from the atmosphere. There is no evidence for this. It occurs to me, though, that the alleged 'new current' recently discovered by Professor Felix Ehrenhaft might be an explanation. Professor Ehrenhaft, a Viennese physicist, demonstrated to the American Physical Society at Columbia University on January 16, 1944, that he had obtained experimental proof of the existence of pure magnetic current. This meant, he declared, that 'not only electric currents, but also magnetic currents flow through the universe.' He said, 'the discovery has terrific possibilities'[16]. It is possible that the Poltergeist can utilise this current in some way.

[16] For full account see the Daily Telegraph, January 17, 1944.

A correspondent, Mr. Percy Pigott, of Kirk Ella, Hull, has sent me his views of how the manifestations might be explained. His speculations are ingenious and novel, and I have pleasure in reproducing them:
'Is it not possible that the substance which pervades all space, interpenetrating and enveloping our earth and our bodies, which scientists simply name ether, but do no pretend to explain, is capable of receiving and retaining pictures of our actions and the sounds which emanate from such actions and even of reproducing them when conditions are favourable, as for instance, the evening light, the temperature and the weather generally?

'In other words, this little understood substance is perhaps capable of acting as a photographic negative. This is simply what a cinema film does. It reproduces form, motion and sound. Why should not Nature also do it? May we not have a mirage of a past event as well as of a distant scene? The fact that we always associate motion with consciousness has subjected us to an error of interpretation.

'If this is so, it seems feasible that those events which have been accompanied by, intense feeling and concentrated thought, such as accompany the great tragedies of life, should be more deeply impressed land therefore more clearly reproduced than those which are performed unheedingly and habitually.

'Thus I have heard of a street in London where the sound of running footsteps are sometimes heard. I am told also that the hearer gets the impression that these footsteps are being panic driven. Over this pavement a murderer once fled from the crime he had committed. Which is the more reasonable, to suppose that the murderer is constantly running again and again over this pavement, and that though his body is invisible his footsteps are audible, or to suppose that the original sound is simply being reproduced?

'Again I have heard that Ann Bullen still haunts Hampton Court and that the sound of her footsteps and the wail of her anguish as she fled from her husband, having failed to obtain the mercy she had been pleading for, are heard at certain times. Her form may have been seen, I do not know. Is it not incredible to suppose that Ann Bullen has been thus employed, at intervals at least, for four hundred years? It is not in the least incredible, in these days of gramophones and radio, to believe that the sound of her distressed wail can be, and is at times reproduced.

'Thus the coach, the galloping hoofs, the bay horses, the glittering harness, etc., at Borley, are all real in that they are an objective actuality; but the observer is mistaken if he thinks he is viewing real horses or a driver consciously directing them. The name, a spectre, a phantom literally applies. This theory would also account for the nun. I think there is generally reason to be sceptical of ghosts being conscious egos after the lapse of a number of years after passing over. It would also account for the light in the window. It could account for all the noise of footsteps, shufflings, scrabblings, tappings, thuds, etc. Is it not significant that no one ever spoke to the nun? Had they approached her for this purpose she would probably have vanished, the necessary distance, or angle, for seeing this mirage having been altered. It would then have been regarded as uncanny. Is it not significant also that no ghost of any sort was seen to account for the footsteps, thuds, etc., which were heard? Is it reasonable to suppose that spirits, or ghosts, who pass silently through solid walls, should make such a noise with their feet? I submit it is more reasonable to regard these noises as being echoes of an ancient tragedy.

'This, however, will not account for the messages on the wall, stone throwing, furniture moving, bottle dropping, hair-ruffling, bell-ringing, belt-raising, etc. For these phenomena I accept your theory of Poltergeist, and of course it is possible that the Poltergeist accounted for all the noises in the house. But to give a mystery a name does not always explain it. What is a Poltergeist? You refer to "these playful little fellows"[17]. For my part I cannot regard a Poltergeist as in any sense a being. In my judgment we should be more correct to regard it as a vaguely conscious, instinctual, elemental force. Such elemental force may emanate from, and in the Borley case certainly has emanated from, the distress and restlessness of some departed human being. It is fully charged with power, but power only for one sole purpose, namely, of expressing this restlessness and distress on the physical plane in the hope of receiving help from the place where its trouble originated. The vagueness of its consciousness is shown by the feeble effort either to write or compose a simple sentence or understand one. If you ask me how could a blind force throw stones or ring bells, I can only reply that neither you nor I can claim to know all the laws of nature, and that these phenomena are evidence of such a law. Because there are no visible hands it is not, therefore, necessary to postulate invisible ones. The Egyptians were supposed to be able consciously to charge objects with such a force, and there is some evidence to support this.
[17] I, too, was being playful. - H.P.
'The headless driver is more difficult to account for. I notice there are only two witnesses of this. I will not question the honesty of their testimony, but suggestion might account for it. They see what they believe to be a ghostly coach, ghosts are associated with tragedies and beheadings, immediately they see the driver headless. This is quite easy when viewing a mirage, which I am suggesting this was.

'Another method for accounting for this very gruesome apparition is along the following lines:

'There is little doubt that at some time there was a cruel tragedy at Borley in which a group of people were involved. Both the apparitions and the Poltergeist manifestations would have their origin in this tragedy, in which the coachman would be concerned and may have lost his head. Then he might very likely think of himself as headless after passing over. It is well, known that all apparitions of the living are caused by the subject thinking of himself as with a distant friend or in a distant place, and thus projects his form to that place, and it is occasionally seen and even heard. Now I have heard, and I can well believe, that it is much easier for the so-called dead to thus project their appearances than the living. I am confident that many apparitions of those recently departed occupying their accustomed chair or walking down a certain path with their own particular gait are due to their thinking of themselves thus occupied after passing over. Perhaps the coachman thus pictured himself as headless.

'Finally there is in my judgment the most remarkable of all phenomena, matter passing through matter. This is not unknown at spiritualist séances. It puzzles chemists. "If it is true," I once heard a chemist say, "it overthrows all our ideas about matter." But do chemists, or anyone else, know what constitutes the solidity of matter? Another chemist, who was also an occult student, when I asked him what made a wall solid and impassable, replied, "Thought." I believe he was right. We think of things as solid and solid they are to us. But our Poltergeist friend may not have been subject to those illusions of sense to which we humans are'.
There have been other 'explanations' of Poltergeist phenomena, one of which has been called 'exteriorisation of motricity' - that is, the action of the subject's (e.g. a young girl) motor force outside the periphery of her organism. This theory is that there is a repulsive force on one side of the subject's body, and an attractive force on the other. In normal persons these two forces, it is alleged, are equal. When they are not, telekinetic movements are likely to occur in the vicinity of the subject. Obviously this theory does not cover many of the observed Poltergeist phenomena.

Another theory, postulated by Adolphe d'Assier[18], suggests that the noise of crashing crockery, smashing windows, etc., when in fact nothing is broken (as in the case of Edward Cooper at Borley, who one night thought that all the china in his kitchen had been shattered) is caused by the Poltergeist hurling a sort of psychic 'double' or astral duplicate of the real objects. In other words, that inanimate things have 'ghosts'. This theory does not explain why the objects are broken in reality, as so often happens.

[18] Essai sur l'Humanité Postume ... Paris, 1883. English translation, posthumous Humanity: A Study of Phantoms, London, 1887.

Charles Fort believed in a sort of cosmic Poltergeist, a power that permeates the Universe: that hurls lumps of distant planets, and other things to, or on, our planet. And the name he gave to these strange flights was 'teleportation':
'The crash of falling islands - the humps of piling continents - and then the cosmic humour of it all ... or that the force that once heaped the peaks of the Rocky Mountains now slings pebbles at a couple of farmers... So I'd conceive the existence of a force, and the use of it, unconsciously mostly, by human beings. It may be that, if somebody, gifted with what we think we mean by "agency", fiercely hates somebody else, he can, out of intense visualisations, direct, by teleportation, bombardment of stones upon his enemy... My general expression is against the existence of Poltergeists as spirits - but that the doings are the phenomena of undeveloped magicians, mostly youngsters, who have no awareness of their powers as their own - or, in the cases of mischievous, or malicious persecutions, are more or less consciously directed influences by enemies - or that, in this aspect, "Poltergeist disturbances" are witchcraft under a new name'[19].
[19] The Books of Charles Fort, op. cit., pp. 571-2, 983.

No one, I think, now believes that Poltergeists are spirits in the accepted meaning of the term. Certainly, the spiritualists do not. But in Glanvill's day Poltergeists were regarded as spirits - evil spirits - or devils. The Wesley family thought that Epworth Rectory was haunted by devils. They also thought that the disturbances presaged the early death of old Rev. Samuel Wesley, or, to their greater concern, the premature demise of young Samuel, alone in London.

Andrew Lang, in his article 'Poltergeist'[20], mentions that 'the Highlanders attribute many Poltergeist phenomena, inexplicable noises, sounds of viewless feet that pass, and so forth, to tàradh, an influence exerted unconsciously by unduly strong wishes on the part of a person at a distance. The phrase falbh air fàrsaing ("going uncontrolled") is also used'[21]. This Scotch view of Poltergeists is reminiscent of Fort's beliefs. Lang suggests the wordtelethoryby, 'a racket produced at a distance.'

[20] Encyclo. Brit., op. cit., p. 16.
[21] Campbell, Witchcraft and Second Sight in the Scottish Highlands, 1902, pp. 144-147.

There are still a few words to be said about the 'psychological' explanation, so assiduously put forward by Frank Podmore and a few other dyed-in-the-wool sceptics. They contend that these young girls and adolescents have a dual or multiple-personality, one part of which is responsible for the 'phenomena', which the other part knows nothing about. The argument is that this secondary state or 'personality' comes to the surface, 'goes berserk', smashes the windows, shivers the mirrors, ignites the bedding, etc. - and without a single person detecting the culprit! All this presupposes a diabolical cunning and a consummate skill on the part of the 'dissociated' victim. Although I agree that psychological abnormalities have sometimes entered into these cases[22], they are of rare occurrence. And psychopaths and psychoneurotics exhibit certain indicia by which they can be recognised.

[22] A remarkable story of a 'Poltergeist' was recorded in The Times (Aug. 30 to Sept. 13, 1919). The disturbances occurred at the Rectory of Swanton Novers, near Melton Constable. Spontaneous outbreaks of fires; petrol, paraffin, methylated spirits, sandal-wood oil and water pouring from the ceilings, floorboards torn up and ceilings tom down, etc. The manifestations lasted for days. Finally, a passing conjurer was called in and in an hour or so had solved the 'mystery'. He set a trap and the 15-year-old maid-servant fell into it. She confessed to hoaxing the family. But the story does not end there. Nevil Maskelyne, the famous illusionist, also visited the rectory and saw 'barrels of oil' pouring through the ceiling. He could not explain the mystery. Then the girl denied that she had confessed, or that she had tricked. The rector also denied (The Times, Sept. 13) that she had confessed. For other accounts of this case, see the Daily Mail, the Daily Express, the Daily News, etc., for this period, and the Norfolk News for Nov. 8, 1919. Two photographs of oil pouring through the ceiling were published (Sept. 3) by the Daily Mail. Fort (Books of Charles Fort, op. cit., pp. 577-81) discusses the affair at length. The psychological aspect of the case is as important as the phenomena.

And there are other arguments against the acceptance of the theory as a formula. Many of the sights, sounds, and other phenomena, well evidenced in some Poltergeist cases, could not be produced normally by man, woman, or child, if they possessed a dozen 'personalities' each. This book is full of such illustrations. And a minority of 'infestations' are not associated with 'young persons' - or in fact any person - at all. And to think that a 'young person' could smash half the china in the house, break the furniture, set fire to the baby, and make twenty bells ring simultaneously - and an without a single occupant in the house detecting her (whatever 'personality' she was using!) suggests that Poltergeist phenomena occur not in the private residences of sane and intelligent people looking for trickery, but in lunatic asylums!

Finally, Dr. John Layard, the psychologist, has put forward the most recent hypothesis 'that Poltergeists are not chance phenomena, but have a definite purpose, and that this purpose, like all psychological phenomena (as I believe them to be) is a curative one, having for its object the resolution of a psychological conflict.' He believes that all true Poltergeist phenomena 'are also purposeful and probably occasioned by similar conditions of unresolved tension in the psyche of those involuntarily producing them.' His paper, Psi Phenomena and Poltergeists (Proc., SPR, July, 1944), should be read in full.

Well, I have come to the end of my fascinating quest of the Poltergeist and I will conclude, as I have concluded so many of my books - with the urgent demand that Official Science and official scientists should get on with their job of explaining these things to us. Though it is true that many scientists are completely ignorant of the serious literature of our subject, there are others who - unofficially - take a profound interest in it. Many scientists are sympathetically inclined towards us and our work. And the new science has even seeped through to a few universities in this (e.g. Oxford, Cambridge, and London) and other countries. But, there still remain the die-hards, the last-ditchers and, saddest of all, those men of science who have made up their minds as to what Nature is capable, and not capable, of doing. If, for example, you broach the subject of Poltergeists to them they will murmur something about an 'outrage to common sense' and 'gross superstition' - forgetting that all scientific progress is from the 'outrageous'[23] to the commonplace, and that often the 'superstition' of to-day is the science of to-morrow.

[23] Charles Fort (Wild Talents, op. cit.) makes the ‘outrageous' suggestion that the strange paranormal powers possessed by some people, which he calls 'wild talents', may one day be put to good - or bad - uses. For example, in time of war: 'A squad of Poltergeist girls - and they pick a fleet out of the sea, or out of the sky... Girls at the front - and they are discussing their usual not very profound subjects. The alarm - the enemy is advancing. Command to the Poltergeist girls to concentrate and under their chairs they stick their wads of chewing gum. A regiment bursts into flames, and the soldiers are torches. Horses snort smoke from the combustion of their entrails. Reinforcements are smashed under cliffs that are teleported from the Rocky Mountains. The snatch of Niagara Falls - it pours upon the battlefield. The little Poltergeist girls reach for their wads of chewing gum.'
Note: 
The article above was taken from Harry Price's "Poltergeist Over England: Three Centuries of Mischievous Ghosts" (London: Country Life Ltd., 1945.)

No comments:

Post a Comment