Hereward Carrington.

Eusapia Palladino and her phenomena online

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our protective paper and the varied precautions observed by


Eusapia Palladino

us. Sometime before this, Eusapia had asked Professor Bot-
tazzi to assume control of her right side in place of Mr.
Feilding. I retained control of the left side up to this point.
Writing the next day of this levitation, Mr. Feilding says:


Position II

-:ic @ ©

X Y 2^

X V z

Position III



T [x YZ- I^riehd:) of Eusapia]

Eusapia Palladino 191

"Having been removed from the place of controller of the
medium, I occupied myself in guarding the end of the table
farthest from her. The levitation, which began with only
a tilt on two legs, then on three, and finally a levita-
tion of all four legs, lasted long enough for me to be able
to pass my hands several times round the farthest end of the
table and down the legs, and verify that there was no contact
with any of the sitters. Of this I am certain."

The medium at this juncture asked Professor Galeotti to
change places with me. He therefore assumed control of the
left side, while Professor Bottazzi retained control of her
right side. The medium also stated that the paper was anti-
pathetic to her and asked that the ends of the table might be
reversed. This was accordingly done. Throughout the
early part of this seance the light was exceedingly poor, and
we were not altogether satisfied, for many reasons, with
the phenomena. The following extract from the report will
show this:

"10.32 P.M. F.^ Medium makes gestures with B.'s
hands up in the air.

"B. I have the right hand of the medium in my left
hand in the air.

"G. I hold the hand of the medium in my hand in the
middle of the table.

''Things tumble about on the small table in the cabinet.

"G. The medium has her foot on my foot.

"G. Something touched my arm. Something has moved
under my chair. Something has again moved under my chair.
She holds my fingers well.

"M. Medium gasps and moans.

"10.37. F. Note the position of heads is unknown.

"B. I have been touched on my left shoulder.

'In this seance, F = Feilding, C = Carrington, M = Meeson, B = Professor
Bottazzi, and G = Professor Galeotti.


Eusapia Palladino

"C. (to B.). Can you see her head?

"B. No.

"10.39. Complete levitation of the table.

"B. The table is coming up; right hand held as before.
Medium taps violently with her foot.

"C. Another complete levitation of the table. Medium's
right hand on my shoulder.

"G. Medium's left hand was on the table.

"The table rose up about two feet away from the me-

d)> •'


At 1 1.04 the small table in the cabinet came out of its own
accord and attempted to climb on to the seance table. It
finally ceased its movements and appeared to be resting part-
ly on the table, partly on Eusapia's shoulder, and partly on
Professor Galeotti's shoulder. I went round to investigate
and found this to be the case.

At 1 1. 1 6, however, the small table made another series of
attempts to climb up, and this time with more success, as it
clambered completely on to the larger table.

Position P/

Shortly before 12 midnight, Eusapia's three friends and
Professor Bottazzi took their leave — only Professor Galeotti,
Mr. Feilding, and myself remaining. F. assumed control of

Eusapia Palladino


the right side, while G. retained control of her left hand and

I then went under the table, and, kneeling down, held
Eusapia's two feet in my hands by the ankles. F. was holding
her right hand in the middle of the table, while G. was hold-
ing her left hand close to its rim. Under these conditions,
and while the medium was standing, we obtained a com-
plete levitation, the table rising into the air, all four legs
at once.


At 12.16 I again resumed control of the left side of Eusa-
pia. The table tilted on its two legs farthest from her while
I was holding her left hand completely away from the table,
so that contact was impossible. F. then stood between the
medium and the table, her outstretched arms passing over
his arms, as over a fence. Under these conditions the table
continued to stand on the two legs farthest from her for
several minutes. After several movements of objects in the
cabinet, the following incident then occurred :

"12.23 A.M. F. The tambourine has jumped on to my
left knee (and fell down again).

"C. The medium held my right hand firmly and raised
it toward the cabinet. . . .

194 Eusapia Palladino


'F. Her foot is still on mine.

"C. I am touched on the right arm. I am holding
the medium's left hand on the table by the thumb and
wrist. I was touched on the hip. Her left foot was on

"F. I can see her face. Medium now takes both my
hands. The small table has come up on to my lap.

"12.25. C. Medium held all our hands on both her
hands [that is, a pile of hands].

"C. Her left foot is on my right foot. Her left arm
rests on my right arm ; with my right hand I am also holding
the medium's left hand.

"F. I am sure of her right foot.

"12.27 A.M. C. Her left foot is now on my right,

"F. And the right foot is on my left foot.

"12.28. Movements in cabinet.

"C. With her left hand medium holds my right hand,
about a foot above the table.

"12.30. Medium says she wants to rest. An intermis-
sion of about two minutes.

'12.32. Things in cabinet move about.

'F. The small table falls over to my left. Her right foot
is absolutely certainly on my left foot. I am holding her
right hand motionless on the table.

"C. The left foot was thoroughly on my right foot, her
left hand was held by my right hand, about two feet above
the table, and she made a gesture with it in the direction of
the small table which was on her right side."

It is a significant fact that all our best phenomena were
obtained after Eusapia's friends had left, and when only
Professor Galeotti, Mr. Feilding, and myself remained. Had
Eusapia attempted to resort to fraud, and were her friends
invited for the purpose of assisting her, it is certain that phe-
nomena should have been noticed before they had left. Since
these were only observed after their departure, however, it
















1> _










~ o







•u o


Eusapia Palladino


serves to indicate that the phenomena obtained were genuine,
and that they depend on other conditions than those which
would facilitate fraud.


After the fourth seance we were joined from England by
Mr. W. W. Baggally, who shared in every seance thence-
forward until the close of the series. We had also invited
to our fifth seance, which took place on December 2, 1908,
Mr. Gibson, who, however, merely sat at the opposite end of
the table from Eusapia, at no time assumed control, and took
no active part in the control of the phenomena. The seance
commenced at g.44 p. M.^ in a good light, F. controlling the
left side of Eusapia and I the right. Various raps and tilts

Position I


' 'Portion II

E P-
B 1 1 F

[d « Mr Gibson]

of the table occurred, the table continuing to remain on two
legs, at an angle of about forty-five degrees, in spite of our
repeated efforts to press it to the floor.

At 10.18 I resigned my position of control to Mr. Bag-
gally, who retained it during the rest of the seance. Remark-

196 Eusapia Palladino

able tilts continued to occur on the two legs farthest from
Eusapia, and at 10.32 I went under the table and held Eusa-
pia's feet in my hands. I reported that I could feel the live
foot through the shoes, and knew that I was not merely hold-
ing her empty shoes in my hands. Under these conditions,
and while her hands were securely held by B. and F., the
table forcibly tilted on two legs farthest from her.

About 10.40 the curtains of the cabinet blew out and we
all felt a strong breeze coming from the cabinet and blow-
ing over the seance table. At 10.52 strong movements of the
little table in the cabinet took place, both Eusapia's hands
being well held, her right foot being on B.'s left foot, and
her left leg resting across F.'s two knees.

At 1 1. 10 F. and I both saw a white hand come over the
medium's head, moving rather slowly, clench its fingers, and
recede again into the cabinet. B. and G. did not see this hand,
owing to the position of the right-hand curtain. B. and F.
were both securely holding the medium's hands when this

At 1 1. 1 8 F. and I both saw a black object somewhat re-
sembling a head in shape, which F. described as "a grotesque
face with a Jewish nose," come to within a few inches of
B.'s face, then recede quickly into the cabinet. Eusapia's
head was resting against F.'s, and both her hands securely

Shortly after this, the following interesting incident oc-
curred :

"11.22. B.^ The small table is moving.
"F. She clenched my right hand at the time with her left
hand on her lap ; her left foot quite clearly on my right.

* In this seance, besides the usual symbols, B = Baggally. This is retained
throughout the remainder of the series.

Eusapia Palladino 197

"B. Same control as before. The small table rises and
touches my elbow, while I am perfectly certain that her right
hand is on my left hand on the table, and I can feel the whole
length of her leg.

"B. The small table is again moving. The same con-

'T. IVIy right hand was on her two knees, and her left
hand in mine, visible, and close to me. Legs both firmly be-
tween B.'s and mine, as I have felt their position with my

"11.25. The small table is rising again,

"C. The small table is put right on to the seance table.
(Falling down again.)

"B. Control perfect.

"11.26. C. The small table is levitated right on to the
seance table (and again falls to the floor) through the cur-
tains, between B. and the medium. It rose to a height of
two and a half feet from the floor and is now resting on the
seance table."

Two or three minutes later I reached down and lifted the
small table, and put it into an upright position. No sooner
had its feet touched the floor, however, than the table was
completely levitated, rising up forcibly against my hand, to
the height of about six inches. F. and B. verified their hand
and foot control and found them perfect. I kept my hand
flat on the surface of the table, and it was again levitated,
twice. While I was leaning over, with my hand on the table,
the curtain blew out strongly and brushed against my face.
Several raps occurred on the wood of the small table. It
continued to tilt back and forth, and at 11.36, I alone having
my right hand on the small table, it tilted violently to the
right, as though in response to a forcible pressure from one
side. At the moment this was taking place, the medium, in
trance, was leaning completely back in F.'s arms, her body

198 Eusapla Palladino

being encircled by them. His right hand was on her two
knees, her left hand was visible on the table, and her right
hand on the opposite corner. Her right foot, resting on B.'s,
was swinging backward and forward under her chair — B.
continuously following it with his left foot.

At 12.06 A.M. a forcible tilt, followed by a complete
levitation of the table, occurred under excellent conditions.
I quote from the record in order that the reader may see
the precautions taken by us to guard against any deception,
or the possibility that the medium might have effected these
tilts by pressure on one side or other of the table, or by her
fingers, thumbs, or wrists, placed over the edge.

"12.06. The medium stands up.

"F. The table tilts on its two legs farthest from me-
dium. My left hand is under the left table leg. I passed
my hand down the leg also. Her left hand is motionless in

"C. Her right hand on the top of the table. I am pass-
ing my fingers along the edge of the table; her fingers and
wrists are well above the edge.

"B. I am holding her right hand.

"F. Both hands are now above the table. I was between
her and the table. I pulled the table toward me, and it
resisted considerably before it fell down — this after her hands
had left."

Immediately after this, a complete levitation took place.
At the conclusion of the seance, we tested the cold breeze
that issued from her forehead — which we had distinctly felt
during the last few minutes of the seance. I examined the
famous scar, both with my fingers and optically, and held
my hand at a distance of about three inches from her head.
The cold breeze was distinctly perceptible. We all felt this
in turn, holding Eusapia's mouth and nose, so that she could

Eusapia Palladino


not breathe. We held our own breaths, and again placed our
hands over the famous scar. We felt the breeze as distinctly
as ever — it being considerably colder than the temperature of
the room. Although it was clear to us that this was objec-
tive in character, we determined to demonstrate this fact at
our next seance. Our experiments will be detailed at the
conclusion of the next sitting, together with the remarkable
results we obtained.


The sixth seance, which was perhaps the most remarkable
of the whole series, was held on the evening of Decem-
ber 4th — only the members of the committee — Messrs.
Feilding, Baggally, and myself being present. For more
than an hour and a half no important phenomena with the
exception of a few tilts of the table took place, until 11.35.
when B. was touched for the first time upon his shoulder.

Position Throughout


He was controlling the right side of the medium at this
seance, I the left side, while Mr. Feilding was sitting oppo-
site Eusapia at the other end of the table. At this time.

200 Eusapia Palladino

also, a square, black object, resembling a head, came out of
the cabinet, approached to within a few inches of my face,
then receded instantaneously. It was irregular in outline,
and I described it as looking "like a cauliflower." I'he me-
dium, who had gone into a deeper trance than she had entered
at any previous seance, had fallen toward me, her body
resting against my right side, her head resting against my
head, and the whole of her left hand and arm being under
my control. Her left foot was also under my feet; her right
hand was held by Mr. Baggally on the table. I now quote
from our detailed notes portions of this remarkable seance:

"11.41 P.M. C. I am touched by a hand on the head.

"F. I saw a white thing come out from the curtains over
the medium's head and touch C.'s head.

"C. While this was going on, the medium's head was
resting against mine, my right arm being around her shoul-
ders, her left hand being visible on mine on the table, her
left foot pressing on my right.

"B. Mine exactly the same as before. Her right hand
was resting on my left hand on the table under the curtain
[which had blown out] and her right foot is resting on
my left foot, and her right knee is pressing against my left
knee. I could tell it was her riffht hand by the feeling
of the relative position of her hand to her fingers, and feel-
ing the thumb in the palm of her hand ; and that it was
her real hand, by the warmth and by the response to my

"11.44. The medium says: 'It is coming. There!' [Me-
dium said to C. : "Look, he will come there!" indicating
a particular spot to the left of B.]

"C. I am touched on the head through the curtain, twice,
the medium's head resting against my head, the left hand
visibly on the table in my hand, her left knee pressing against
my right knee.

"B. Her right hand is resting in my left hand on the

Eusapia Palladino 201

table, and her right foot Is resting on my left foot, and I
still continue pressing my knee against her knee.

"F. I saw something white just over the medium's head.
A sort of flash of white. The medium's head was motion-

11.^8. C. The medium moves the hand held in B.'s
hand, and makes him feel with his hand that we are holding
different ones.

"B. And she tells m.e she is going to do it.

"11.50. C. 1 hear sometiiing moving in the cabinet.

"B. The curtain is thrown over my side.

"F. It has come as far as my end of the table.

"C. Her left hand held my right firmly on her knee, her
left foot resting on my foot; I was also stroking her fore-
head with my left hand.

"B. Her right hand on my left hand, on her right knee.
Her right foot on my left foot, and 1 could feel the whole
length of her leg against mine, our knees touching.

B. and C. both say they cangfeel her thumbs. . . ."

Under these conditions of control, w^e saw a white hand
several times appear over Eusapia's head, and several of us
experienced touches. I was hit on the head several times
by a hand, of which I could feel the four fingers and the
thumb. The medium said she was getting cold. A hand
came out from behind the cabinet, and pressed B. tightly on
the shoulder. He could feel its thumb and the four fingers.
He was at the moment holding her right hand, and both her
knees, while I was holding the other hand by the thumb on
her left thigh. I resume the record at:

<( ■,

'12.05. C. The medium holds my right leg in between
her two legs and is kicking to and fro, saying she wants to
bring something out of the cabinet with her foot, but her
foot remained under the table all the time.

"B. She has removed her foot from mine.

202 Eusapia Palladino

"12.06. F. I again saw a white thing over her head. I
could not say what it was.

"C. My control was exactly the same as before. I also
saw the white thing. The curtain blows out twice, as
though pushed by some substance. I can see the round
swelling of the curtain. Her hand was pressing firmly
against my hand, and I am holding it by the thumb. Both
her legs around my right leg.

"B. Her right hand is on my left hand, on her right

"F. I have asked the medium whether I could feel the
hand also. F. stands to the left of C, and leans over with
his left hand outstretched about two and a half feet above
and to the left of the medium's head. Immediately after:

"F. I am touched by something directly on the point of
the finger.

"12.11 A.M. F. I am touched again. I am taken hold
of by fingers, and I can feel the nails quite plainly.
[My forefinger was pressed hard by three separate fingers
above it and by a thumb below, through the curtain. I felt
the nails quite distinctly as they pressed into my finger.]

"C. Her head pressing against my head. I am abso-
lutely holding her left hand on the table. Both her legs
are around my right leg under the chair.

"B. I am absolutely certain that her right hand is on
my left hand on her right knee.

"F. I am touched again, grasped this time as though
by the lower part of a thumb and fingers. . . .

"C. The medium has taken her two legs from around
my right leg, and now has her left foot on my right foot.

"B. And she places her right foot on my left foot, and
I am feeling her knee with my knee.

"C. The medium rests her head on my right shoulder,
and is pressing against it. I have my arm around her
neck. I have her left hand in my left hand on the table. I
saw the curtain blow out in front of me.

"B. Medium's right hand is in my left. . . .

"C. I am touched on the head by a hand. At this mo-

Eusapia Palladino 203

ment the medium's head is pressing against my head, her left
hand is on my left hand on the table, and with my right hand
I am holding the whole of her left arm. Her left foot on
my right foot.

"B. Medium's right hand resting on my left, on the
table. Right foot on my left foot, which she moves back-
ward and forward, and I follow with my foot.

"C. My foot was motionless."

At 12.25 an exceedingly interesting and remarkable phe-
nomenon occurred. My right foot was resting on its heel
under the table, my toes pointing upw^ard at an angle of
about forty-five degrees. In the angular crutch thus formed
Eusapia's left foot was resting. She suddenly kicked upward
with her foot, and immediately there resounded on the under
surface of the table a tremendous blow. It seemed as though
the table had been struck by a mallet or kicked with terrific
force. Now Eusapia's foot had quitted mine but the small-
est fraction of a second, and I felt morally certain that,
however quick she might have been, the time interval would
not have been sufficient for her to have raised her foot to the
height required, and lower it again. At the same time I
could not present this subjective feeling as proof to a skep-
tical outsider. I therefore stretched my left arm across,
under the table, reaching from side to side, so that, if her foot
attempted to kick the table a second time, she must neces-
sarily have kicked my arm. I then asked her to repeat the
performance. Her foot quitted mine for an instant again,
and again the thunderous rap was heard on the under side
of the table, but her foot did not touch my arm. I am,
therefore, certain that the blow was not produced by the
normal process of kicking, but probably by some projection
of nervous, vital force from the toes of her foot.

204 Eusapia Palladino

A minute or two after this, Mr. Feilding rose and stood
close to the cabinet curtains, holding his hand outstretched
against them. He felt a cold breeze about his hand. At
the same moment, a hand came out under cover of the cur-
tains, and distinctly pulled my hair. At this moment the
medium's head was resting against mine, her left hand and
the whole of her left arm were under my control. Mr.
Baggally was certain that he was holding her right hand upon
the table. Both her feet were also accounted for.

At 12.30 I saw a head come out from the cabinet slowly,
remain visible two or three seconds, within six inches of my
face, and slowly retire. The medium's head was resting
against mine, I was holding her left hand in her lap, while
Mr. Baggally was guarding her right hand.

Mr. Feilding held his hand about three feet above Eusa-
pia's head, wishing to see at how great a height he could
be touched. Eusapia's hands were clearly held in ours, and
she raised her own and our hands, held in hers about two
feet above the table, saying that "it helped." F. felt a cold
breeze, and blows on his wrist, but no hand grasped his.
Immediately afterwards I perceived a head coming out from
between the cabinet curtains, between Eusapia's head and
mine. She had removed her head from contact with my
head, and it was now about eight inches distant, and per-
fectly visible.

Various touches concluded the seance, but not the phe-
nom.ena. After we had turned up the lights, pulled aside
the cabinet curtains, examined the cabinet and its contents,
and were discussing the seance, B. still continued to feel
hands playing about with his back and side, this, be it ob-
served, in full light, and when Eusapia zvas ivearily resting
her head on her tivo hands on the table. The curtain blew

Eusapia Palladino 205

out several times in full light, and under the same conditions.
Several tilts of the table also occurred. We then asked
"John" to try and pick one of the strings of the small guitar
which was standing in the corner of the cabinet. We all
stood up, including the medium, who was about six inches
in front of the cabinet curtains, her skirt not touching them,
and her two feet controlled by those on either side of her;
her hands also being held. The light was sufficiently good
to enable us to read small print with ease. We stood thus
for about a minute, when B. and M. exchanged remarks
upon some subject bearing on the seance. At that moment
F. and I, who were listening intently, clearly perceived a
slight twanging sound of the strings of the guitar, as though
fingers were playing with them lightly, but were unable to
pull one of them with sufficient force to make it resound. The
attempt to play these strings was, however, quite clear and
audible to F. and myself, who heard it at the same instant.

After the medium had resumed her chair, we felt her head
with our hands, to see if the cold breeze was issuing from
her forehead. We all clearly perceived it with out hands,
placed at a distance of about three inches from the medium's
head. F. held his hand over her mouth and nose, and we
all did likewise, holding our noses and mouths and refrain-
ing from breathing, and the breeze was still distinctly per-
ceptible. B. then held a small paper flag to the medium's

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