Frederic William Henry Myers.

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No normal tension of the mind, no effort of will, no abilities exercised at
their best could attain to the results of these rapid moments of temporary
hyper-stimulation. Never, except on the three occasions I have recorded,
have I been able to find the abnormal Asplenium, still less the abnormal
Ceterach, although every year, sooner or later, thousands of specimens have
passed before my eyes, amongst which I have often tried on solitary walks
in the most varied localities, with all the concentration of attention of which
I am capable, and the fullest use of a faculty of discovery developed by old
naturalistic habit, to discover the rare object, the eternal ambition of the
collector. I often found other things, but never that. . . .


[In answer to the following question by the Editor of the Annales,] As to
the fact of finding three [abnormal ferns] in a small space, is it possible
that this monstrosity may be determined by certain local causes in such a
manner that in a very limited area many may occur, whilst for several hundreds
of yards not one may be met with ? [Professor Guebhard replied :]

I can reply at once "Yes," for such was exactly the conclusion I came
to on my first study of this subject, confirmed by my last find at Contes-

These abnormal growths are almost always in little groups, forming well-
defined islands, as it were, in the midst of normal plants, proving the external,
local, and non-individual character of the original causal lesion, which might
be due, as I think, to some micro-organism, either vegetable or animal, a
parasite fungoid or gnawing insect. . . .

4 i 4 APPENDICES [821 A

821 A. In the following case, as in that of Mr. C. W. Moses, quoted
in the text, some subliminal sense of smell may be conjectured. It is
taken from the Proceedings S.P.R., vol. xi. p. 421.

March yst, 1893.

Fifteen or sixteen years have elapsed since I had the following clairvoyant
experience, but at the time I was much struck by it, and described it minutely
to several of my friends, so that I feel sure I can remember the facts accurately.
The circumstances were most prosaic, and I a matter-of-fact individual, with
little interest and less faith in psychical phenomena. I was about eighteen
years of age, at home for my winter holiday, but taking no interest in household
matters, and I question whether on that particular evening I knew that it had
been the washing-day.

I had gone upstairs to look for a missing knitting needle, and was returning
to the parlour wondering whether I had dropped it there, when suddenly I was
arrested by a strange feeling, and saw before me a vision of flames, and felt
irresistibly impelled to go through a door at the end of the passage and down
some steps into the kitchen. There all was quiet, and I came partially out of
the trance-like state, and found myself thinking, "Why am I here? I'll go
upstairs." But again I saw the fire, and felt I must go into the adjoining
laundry. On opening the door, I was in no way surprised to see just such a
scene as had during the preceding moments been distinctly before my mental
vision. A jointed gas bracket had just fallen on to a dry heap of sheets and
towels, which were blazing almost to the ceiling. With a little difficulty I
extinguished the flames, and went to tell the rest of the household what had
occurred. I remember I had a strange feeling in my head, as if I had just
awakened out of an unnatural state.

No other person was near at the time, the washerwoman having gone home,
and the servants being upstairs. Nor could I even unconsciously have smelled
burning, as two doors were closed between, and the gas-pipe had evidently
fallen only a few moments before I entered, or the flames would have spread
further. The laundry was situated just under a wooden staircase in the middle
of a very dry house, so if the fire had been undiscovered for even a few minutes
the consequences must have been disastrous to the house.

Several members of the family remember the occurrence, and I have still an
old servant of the family who distinctly remembers it. I have never had any
recurrence of such a phenomenon, and was at the time much surprised that I
should have been the subject of an experience so strange and so real.


The gentleman who sends this case writes that he has received orally
the confirmatory testimony of Jessie, the old servant, and encloses the cor-
roborative statement of Mrs. Elizabeth White, stepmother of the percipient.

Mrs. Elizabeth White does not remember that she was told at the time
of the fire part of the vision. She writes :

My daughter, at home from school, not naturally domesticated, seldom went
near the kitchen, which was shut off from the hall by a swing-door. On the
night above mentioned she came into the parlour looking so pale and agitated


being naturally nervous that I at once asked what was the matter, and when
she could speak she said, " Mamma, it is a wonder the house was not on fire,"
and then told of having the strong impression that she must go down to the
laundry,' that there was fire. She had to go through two closed doors to get
there, and was not aware that no one was in the laundry at the time. Her
promptitude in stamping out the fire of the burning sheets no doubt saved the
house, and accounted for her pallid look on returning to the parlour. This
occurred about fifteen years ago. ELIZABETH WHITE.


825 A. From Phantasms of the Living, vol. i. p. 285.


I respectfully beg to offer you a short statement of my experience on a
subject which I do not understand. Let me premise that I am not a scholar,
as I left school when twelve years of age in 1827, and I therefore hope you will
forgive all sins against composition and grammar. I am a working foreman of
masons at Winchester Cathedral, and have been for the last nine years a
resident in this city. I am a native of Edinburgh.

It is now more than thirty years ago that I was living in London, very near
where the Great Western Railway now stands, but which was not then built.
I was working in the Regent's Park for Messrs. Mowlem, Burt, & Freeman,
who at that time had the Government contract for three years for the masons'
work of the capital, and who yet carry on a mighty business at Millbank,
Westminster. I think it was Gloucester Gate, if I mistake not. At all events,
it was that gate of Regent's Park to the eastward of the Zoological Gardens, at
the north-east corner of the park. The distance from my home was too great
for me to get home to meals, so I carried my food with me, and therefore had
no call to leave the work all day. On a certain day, however, I suddenly felt
an intense desire to go home, but as I had no business there I tried to suppress
it, but it was not possible to do so. Every minute the desire to go home
increased. It was ten in the morning, and I could not think of anything to
call me away from the work at such a time. I got fidgety and uneasy, and felt
as if I must go, even at the risk of being ridiculed by my wife, as I could give
no reason why I should leave my work and lose 6d. an hour for nonsense.
However, I could not stay, and I set off for home under an impulse which I
could not resist.

When I reached my own door and knocked, the door was opened by
my wife's sister, a married woman, who lived a few streets off. She looked
surprised, and said, "Why, Skirving, how did you know?" " Know what?"
I said. " Why, about Mary Ann." I said, " I don't know anything about
Mary Ann" (my wife). "Then what brought you home at present?" I
said, " I can hardly tell you. I seemed to want to come home. But what
is wrong ? " I asked. She told me that my wife had been run over by a cab
and been most seriously injured about an hour ago, and she had called for
me ever since, but was now in fits, and had several in succession. I went
upstairs, and though very ill she recognised me, and stretched forth her
arms and took me round the neck and pulled my head down into her bosom.
The fits passed away directly, and my presence seemed to tranquillise her,
so that she got into sleep, and did well. Her sister told me that she had


uttered the most piteous cries for me to come to her, although there was not
the least likelihood of my coming. This short narrative has only one merit;
it is strictly true. ALEXANDER SKIRVING.

In answer to the question whether the time of the accident corre-
sponded with the time when he felt a desire to go home, Mr. Skirving
says :

I asked my wife's sister what time the accident occurred, and she said
" An hour and a half ago " that is, from the time I came home. Now, that
was exactly coincident with the time I wanted to leave work. It took me an
hour to walk home ; and I was quite half-an-hour struggling in my mind to
overcome the wish to leave work before I did so.

[He adds :] You ask me if I ever had a similar impression on any other
occasion. I never had. It was quite a single and unique experience.

Mr. Skirving's wife is dead. His sister-in-law, Mrs. Vye, is in New
Zealand. Her husband, writing from Otago on July ist, 1885, says that
she cannot now give particulars of the occurrence, though she remembers
the accident very well.

830 A. From the Proceedings S.P.R., vol. ii. pp. 226-31. In this
case, anagrams were written automatically by Mr. A., who describes his
experience as follows :


The experiment was made Easter 1883, upon one day, and, after an interval
of a week, continued upon three consecutive days; upon four days in all.
Upon the first day I became seriously interested ; on the second puzzled ; on
the third I seemed to be entering upon entirely novel experiences, half awful
and half romantic ; upon the fourth the sublime ended very painfully in the


Q. i. Upon what conditions may I learn from the unseen ?

My hand immediately moved, though not to a very satisfying issue. But,
as my expectation of the answer had been that the condition was a strict
adherence to the absolute rule of right, holiness in short, I took this answer to
be at any rate consistent with my expectation, and continued :

Q. 2. What\?> it that now moves my pen? A. 2. Religion. Q. 3. What
moves my pen to write that answer? A. 3. Conscience. Q. 4. What is
religion? A. 4. Worship.

Here arose a difficulty. Although I did not expect either of these three
answers, yet when the first few letters had been written I expected the remain-
der of the word. This might vitiate the result. . . . As if to meet the diffi-
culty, . . . my next question received a singular reply.

Q. 5. Worship of what? A. 5. wbwbwbwbwb . Q. 6. What is the

meaning of wb? A. 6. Win, buy. Q. 7. What? A. 7. Know(ledge).

Here I knew the letters which were to follow, and the pen made a sudden
jerk, as if it were useless to continue.

Q. 8. How ?

Here I was referred to the first answer. .



Q. i. What is man? (i.e. What is the nature of his being?) A. I. Flise.

My pen was at first very violently agitated, which had not been the case
upon the first day. It was quite a minute before it wrote as above. Upon the
analogy of wb, I proceeded.

Q. 2. What does F stand for ? A. 2. Fesi. Q. 3. 1? A. 3. le. Q-4->? A. 4.
ivy. Q. 5. s? A. 5. sir. Q. 6. e? A. 6. eye. Fesi le ivy sir eye.

Q. 7. Is this an anagram ? A. 7. Yes. Q. 8. How many words in the
answer? A. 8. Four.

I tried for a few minutes to solve it without success. Not caring to spend
much time in trying to solve what might have no solution, I gave it up.


Q. i. (rep.) What is man ? A. I. Tefi Hasl Esble Lies.

This answer was written right off.

Q. 2. Is this an anagram? A. 2. Yes. Q. 3. How many words in the
answer ? A. 3. V (i.e., five). Q 4. What is the first word? A. 4. See. Q. 5.

\Vhatisthesecondword? A. 5. Eeeeee . Q. 6. See? Must I interpret

it myself ? A. 6. Try.

Presently I got out, " Life is the less able." Next I tried the anagram given
upon the previous day, and at last obtained, "Every life is yes." But my pen
signified that it preferred the following order of words, " Every life yes is." . . .

I do not know whether any other interpretations can be given to the letters.
But these fulfil the requirements as to the number of words; and the action of
the pen, assisting in the process of interpretation, pointing to the letters,
accepting these and rejecting those combinations, left no doubt in my mind
that I had hit the meaning.

But now I was so astonished at the apparently independent will and in-
tellect manifested in forming the above anagrams that, for the nonce, I became
a complete convert to Spiritualism ; and it was not without something of awe,
that I put:

Q. 7. Who art thou ? A. 7. delta ! / Q. 8. Thou art a woman ? A. 8. Yes.
Q. 9. Hast thou ever lived upon the earth ? A. 9. No. Q. 10. Wilt thou ?
A. 10. Yes. Q. ii. When? A. II. Six years. Q. 12. Wherefore dost thou
speak with me ? A. 12. E if Clelia e 1.

It has been already said that when I experimented I had a certain fever of
speculative pessimism upon me. It was, therefore, with increasing excitement
that I perceived as an interpretation, " I Clelia feel." But upon my asking
whether this was right, " Clelia " wrote again thus : E if Clelia e 1. 20.

Q. 13. Is 20 your age? A. 13. oo. (She was eternal.) Q. 14. Then 20
what ? A. 14. Words. . . .


I began my questioning in the same exalted mood, but, to my surprise, did
not get the same answer.

Q. i. Wherefore dost thou speak with me ? A. i. [Wavy line. Repetition
and emphasis : Wherefore dost thou speak with me ?]

However, I thought this " a solemn and piercing rejoinder," and proceeded
to consider my motives, and purify them from all earthly and unspiritual alloy.

Q. 2. Wherefore dost thou answer me ? A. 2. [Wavy line. Wherefore dost

VOL. II. 2 D

4 i8 APPENDICES [832 A

thou answer tnef\ Q. 3. Do I answer myself? A. 3. Yes. Q. 4. Is Clelia
here? A. 4. No. Q. 5. Who is it, then, now here? A. 5. Nobody. Q. 6.
Does Clelia exist? A. 6. No. Q. 7. With whom did I speak yesterday?
A. 7. No one. Q. 8. Why didst thou lie? A. 8. [Wavy line. Why didst thou
lie?] Q. 9. Do souls exist in another world? A. 9. m b. Q. 10. What does
m b mean? A. 10. May be. Q. II. What was that last answer of yesterday
again? A. II. Eif Clelia o el, z'.e. I feel no Clelia; or, the original may
have been "I Clelia flee." And the 20 meant no, negativing my inter-

My pen now became altogether wild, sometimes affirming and sometimes
denying the existence of Clelia. . . . Almost the last anagram I received was :
Wvfs yoitet testify, vow. . . .

ffote. I simply took a pen into my hand. Since, I have tried with the
planchette, but without any success.

I have never known any one named Clelia.

I have not been in the habit of writing anagrams, though I have done so in

To the anagrams cited above two others should be added, which Mr.
A. obtained at about the same time. These were ieb iov ogf wle (I go,
vow belief), and neb 16 vbliyev 86 e earf ee (Believe by fear even ! 1866).
This last was an answer to the question, "How shall I believe?" and
seems quite to negative the hypothesis that the anagrams were mere
chance combinations of letters, which happened to be susceptible of
arrangement in sentences. It should be mentioned, however, that there
was an i too much in one of the anagrams previously cited.

832 A. From the Proceedings S.P.R., vol. iv. pp. 216-24.

This is a case typical at least in its main features, and specially suit-
able for record on account of the care with which the phenomena were
noted down as they occurred. The case was sent to us by Mr. F. C. S.
Schiller, now Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and I have myself
been present at one of the experiments where Mr. F. C. S. Schiller and
his brother, Mr. F. N. Schiller, of St. John's College, Cambridge, obtained
some of the old French writing. Some experiments in telepathy and
clairvoyance were also tried, but with no great success, and the description
of these is omitted here.

In the following account it must not be supposed that in speaking of the
"spirits" of planchette under their soi-disant names, I intend to endorse the
Spiritualist explanation, any more than I consider the reproductions of the
"mediums'" latent knowledge to be conclusive in favour of any form of "un-
conscious-self " theory.

The experiments in question were conducted during a great part of the Long
Vacation, with my brother, whom I will call F., and my sister L., as "mediums,"
writing conjointly at first, but afterwards separately. Of course, there could
thus be no doubt as to the good faith of the " mediums," even if the course
of the experiments had not afforded convincing proof that the phenomena were
independent of their conscious mind. There appeared at different times no less
than nine "spirits," of whom four wrote exclusively with F. and one mainly;


another freely with either or both but chiefly with L., and three exclusively
with L. or with F. and L. conjointly. They all wrote with a more or less distinc-
tive style of their own, and, as far as I could judge, there was not any marked
difference of style when the same spirit wrote with different mediums. Nor,
on the other hand, was there sufficient evidence to justify the assertion that the
style was so unmistakably similar that it must have proceeded from the same
intelligence. But although the evidence was not conclusive in establishing the
identity of the various " spirit " personages, there could be no doubt of their
complete independence of the mediums' conscious will. Both F. and L. were
at first entirely ignorant of what planchette was writing, and F. remained so to
the end, nor did the occupations of his conscious self appear in the least to
affect the progress of the writing. I have seen planchette write in the same
slow and deliberate way both while he was telling an amusing anecdote in
an animated way and while he was absorbed in an interesting novel ; and fre-
quently whole series of questions would be asked and answered without his
knowing what had been written or thinking that anything else than unmeaning
scrawls had been produced.

In L.'s case it is true that after some time she came to know what letters
were being formed and was able to interpret the movements of her hand. This,
of course, made it difficult to avoid, at times, a certain half-conscious influence
on the writing, and makes it necessary to allow for the personal equation. But
it is clear that this influence must tend to harmonise the answers of planchette
with the opinions and will of the medium, and as a matter of fact I observed
frequent cases, especially with L., of a conflict between her will and opinions
and those of planchette. . . .

The spirit of a " careless rhymer," after writing verses in English, French,
and German, professed its ability to do so in the classical languages. And
as F. said he had never read the Iliad, we asked the rhymer for a quotation.
This he was at first unable to do, but, some hours after, he, unasked, produced
the following : " Eratimoi kekaloseiai " and " Kouridion potheoumenos posin."
These extraordinary tags were found to be derived from the fifth book of the
Iliad (421, 454)1 an d to represent ^ pa rf /zot Kr^oXcoo-fiu and novpi&iov irodtovcra
iroviv. F. then remembered that he had read this very book, and this alone, a
long time ago. This was certainly the incident pointing most directly at uncon-
scious cerebration, and may, perhaps, help to explain the occurrence of an
entirely unknown language, namely Hindustani. A " spirit " gave his name as
" Lokenadrath," and wrote in an extraordinary Oriental style, rather resembling
some of Marion Crawford's rhapsodies. On introducing the words "Allah il
Allah," he was asked whether he was a Mohammedan. " Hindi apkahai." I
have since been informed l that [" apkahai " means] " I am yours," " At your
service," and that " Lokenadrath " should be " Lokendranath," and means " lord
of princes " ; and one or two other fragments of Hindustani were similarly
inaccurate. 3 Now, as F. left India as a baby of eight months, and has never
since, to the best of my belief, heard any Hindustani spoken, this is surely a
most curious case of unconscious memory, if such it was. . . .

1 On the authority of (i) an Anglo-Indian lady ; (2) a Balliol Brahmin of Bombay.
[The whole phrase means " A Hindu is at your service." The Oriental rhapsodies were
found to be mainly centoes of Mr. Isaacs, worked together so as to make sense.]

a I have now found out (December 1886) that Lokenadrath's description of his
nationality is not as totally unintelligible as I had hitherto thought it. He called him-
self a " Jude poerano," and I have been told that " poerano " is Romany for gipsy.

4 2o APPENDICES [832 A

Of the nine " spirits," six wrote only in English, and several of them failed
ignominiously with all other languages. The Hindustani of " Lokenadrath " I
have already mentioned. " Irktomar," the French Positivist, gave us specimens
of English, French, and Latin. Lastly, the poet " Closcar " rhymed in English,
French and German, Latin and Greek, and even sometimes wrote the last of
these with Greek letters. But with this exception, planchette never wrote any
German, though both the mediums are perfectly familiar with it, and in their
childhood probably knew it far better than English. If, then, these phenomena
are a dream-like recrudescence of long-forgotten thoughts, this absence of Ger-
man seems to require some explanation. 1 As regards the mode of writing, we
were unable to distinguish any differences of handwriting between the various
" spirits," except that one of F.'s wrote from right to left, mirror-writing, whether
or no the left hand was used. . . .

(Signed) F. C. S. SCHILLER.

BALLIOL COLLEGE, OXFORD, 26th October, 1886.


Since writing the preceding paper the experiments have been continued with
F., and I will give a short sketch of the results subsequently obtained. The
first thing to be noted is that F.'s power of writing seems to have diminished
sensibly, so that whereas he would formerly write on three out of every four
occasions he can now only do so about once out of every three. . . .
An interesting experiment was tried of writing with two planchettes, F.
having one hand on each. I suggested this in order to elucidate the con-
nection between left-hand writing and " mirror-writing," and fully expected that
the two hands would write the same communications. To my astonishment,
however, the communications, though written simultaneously, were different
and proceeded from different " spirits." I regard this as conclusive proof that
the phenomena have nothing to do with the medium's consciousness, for, as
every one can easily experience for himself, it is quite impossible, at least with-
out long practice, to write two different words at the same time.

Whenever F. wrote with two planchettes, the left hand wrote mirror-writing,
which was often very hard to decipher, but we did not observe anything like a
fixed rule in this respect on other occasions. For though planchette generally
wrote in the ordinary way even when the left hand was used, it sometimes pro-
duced mirror-writing with the right hand also. We have also had some in-
structive experiments in what I may call conjoint writing. I must begin by
saying that ordinarily I am quite unable to make planchette move at all. But
one night I put my hand also on, after F. had failed, as on several preceding
days, to make it write. Planchette soon began to move and to write intelligibly.
I repeatedly took my hand off and the writing stopped at once. Similarly,
whenever F. took his hand off, the writing also ceased, except that on one occa-
sion, when he did so without my knowledge, it appears to have written two or
three letters before stopping. I am inclined, therefore, to regard the pheno-
menon of conjoint writing, whatever may be its explanation, as genuine, i.e.
that the second operator really contributes to the result.

Passing from the method to the matter of the communications, I should note
that " Heliod " has shown a knowledge of German and alluded to Goethe's

1 Since this was written " Heliod " has shown a knowledge of German and Latin.

832 A]


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