Spiritualism - Eusapia Mystifies The Professors
This article is believed to have been published in 1907 or early 1908, about the time of the publication of the data mentioned in the article.
Eusapia Mystifies The Professors
No Trickery Possible
The “Rivieta d’Italia,” Rome, published an interesting account of some further experiments which have been made by several professors of the University of Naples with the remarkable medium, Eusapia Palladino.
The professors deliberately laid traps for the medium, placing objects with which she could produce effects within reach of her hand, and fixing electric lights close by, so as to throw instant light upon them if she attempted to make use of them, but no trickery could be discovered.
A dish containing clay to receive possible mouldings or marks was placed at a considerable distance from the medium, and her hands were carefully controlled by two persons, when she suddenly stretched out the three middle fingers on one hand, and rubbing the underpart of her fingers on the table in front, said, “How hard it is! What is it?” As there was nothing on the table she was asked to what she referred, and she replied that it was hard clay, and it was to be taken away.
On examining the distant dish of clay it was found to have the marks of three fingers upon it, of which the movements corresponded exactly to those which had been made by the medium, and it appeared as though she is able in some way to transmit the sensations of her own hands to a distance.
While Professor Botazzi, the leader of the experiments, was touching the fingers of Eusapia, an electric light, the tap of which had been fixed inside her cabinet, but out of reach, was lighted four or five times.
The Fading Hand
The same professor had a large and apparently natural human hand laid upon his neck, his head, and his arm. Each time he was able to touch it, and, when on his arm, to see it, and finally it was not dragged away, but faded out of sight and touch as he held it.
During one séance the wrists of Eusapia were tied to two iron rings, fixed in the pavement, the cords that held her were knotted, and sealed, and yet under these conditions a bottle of water was carried about, and a seat and large human hands were seen to appear.
Professor Galeotti, while holding Eusapia, distinctly saw a double figure in her place, with identical arms, which, however, were held in different positions.
In these séances the scientific men present are agreed that fraud was practically impossible, and as they exclude any supernatural or spiritual explanation, the can only suggest that they are biological phenomena, dependent on the organism of the medium, who at will can double or increase the range of her psychic personality, and even of her physiological personality.
- Eusapia Palladino was a controversial figure throughout her career. Whilst she was caught many times faking effects and manifestations, even skeptical viewers at her séances still believed that some of the phenomena must have been real.
- Eusapia Palladino and her phenomena (1909) by Hereward Carrington can be downloaded online
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