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Certain it is that Eusapia has been studied more carefully,
more exactly, and by a greater number of eminent men than
any other physical medium who has eyer lived. With very
few exceptions (which can easily be explained) every one
of these men has been converted to a belief in the reality
of her phenomena.. Now, if it were possible to show that
after all these years of work, and such a vast amount of re-
search; if, In spite of all the affirmative testimony in her
favor, nothing but fraud had been practised, it would deal
the physical phenomena such a crushing blow that they would
(probably) never recover from the shock. If nothing super-
normal really exists. If no genuine phenomena occur in her
presence, then surely, the case for their occurrence, else-
where, would be finally and irretrievably ruined — for In no
other case does the mass and excellence of the testimony in
their favor equal this. It may fairly be said that the case
for the physical phenomena stands or falls with this case of
Eusapia Palladino.

Mrs. Finch asserts that one faint light, witnessed at one
seance, was the only genuine phenomenon ever seen by her
In Eusapia's presence. In view of our own experience with
this medium, I should be strongly inclined to doubt this state-
ment. Where are the records of these seances? Who else
attended the sittings attended by Mrs. Finch? And where
Is their negative evidence? Statements of this sweeping char-
acter must be supported my proof; we do not want a mere ex
cathedra pronouncement upon her phenomena. Besides, it

Eusapia Palladino 341

must be remembered that this is a mere statement of one per-
son's experience; and others may have had experiences which
differ from it. As the reports show, their experiences have
differed ; and no one can read the published reports without
seeing that Mrs. Finch's explanation — simple fraud — is ludi-
crously inadequate to account for all the facts.

What, then, is the root and basis of Mrs. Finch's animos-
ity? It would seem that this is purely personal — a strong
antipathy toward Eusapia — which, I may add, is equally
shared by Eusapia. Mrs. Finch objects to her phenomena be-
cause, forsooth, she objects to the woman herself! She is
vulgar, dishonest, etc. On these grounds, and because of
them, Mrs. Finch cannot believe in her phenomena. One
can only say: "How like a woman!" {Some women.) For
science, of course, such reasons are ridiculous. For science,
it makes not a particle of difference whether a medium is
ugly or beautiful, whether she washes her neck, whether
she is vulgar or obscene in her speech or actions; she may
be all this, and a trickster, a fraud, and absolutely mad.
The question is: Do physical objects move ivithout contact
in her presence? That is the only point to be settled. No
matter how honest a medium may be, we always have to
assume, for evidential purposes, that she is fraudulent, and
conduct our experiments with the idea of debarring this pos-
sibility. Conversely, the medium may be as big a fraud as
you please, but if the conditions of the experiment prove
fraud to have been impossible, then we shall have to assume
that the phenomena are genuine. The personality of the
medium, in other words, should be quite discounted, and
should not be allowed to enter at all into the discussion, or
to the settlement of the main problem: Are her phenomena

342 Eusapia Palladino

Mrs. Finch asserts that the few scant phenomena of a
genuine character are "hidden in a quagmire of deliberate
fraud." This is precisely the reverse of my own experience.
I found that but a very small percentage were fraudulent;
and that the vast bulk of the phenomena were genuine. This
is also Professor Morselli's experience — who estimates that
ten per cent, of her phenomena (at the outside) might pos-
sibly be fraudulent. Besides, if Mrs. Finch was so assured
that E. P. was nothing but a clever trickster, and that her
phenomena were fraudulent, why did she continually pub-
lish accounts of her seances in the Annalsf I think that
some of us would like an explanation of that fact.

Of course it is very important to study the mentality of
the sitters at a spiritualistic seance. When such analyses are
made, what do they reveal ? Usually, that the bulk of the
sitters are so credulous that they are totally incapable of de-
tecting fraud — had such existed — and that they accept every-
thing presented in the name of Spiritualism. Among them
may be found a sprinkling of skeptics or genuine investiga-
tors. Now, when it comes to a question of fraud and its de-
tection, we should, of course, be guided, almost entirely,
by what the latter class has to say about the phenomena — as
the former is probably very easily suggestible, and see all
they are supposed to see, and more. Of two descriptions of
a phenomenon, also, we should select the less marvelous.
All that being granted, the question arises: Who are to be
trusted? Whose word is to be taken in a question of this

The consensus of opinion is, I think, that conjurers, or
scientists thoroughly familiar with conjuring, are the best
judges; and it was for that very reason that our special com-
mittee — Messrs. Feilding, Baggally, and myself — were asked

Eusapia Palladino 343

to undertake the investigation. If any of us had been sug-
gestible and easily "glamoured," is it not probable — nay, cer-
tain — that we should have been similarly affected, at least to
some extent, by other mediums, mostly women, with whom
we had obtained sittings in the past? Speaking personally,
I may say that never once had I seen anything but trickery,
upon the detection of which I bent my whole energies. Some
of these mediums, I may add, were far younger and more
"beautiful" than Eusapia, whom, I think I am safe in saying,
none of us ever thought of for a moment as anything more
than a "case" — and at first, possibly, a clever trickster. On
no occasion did we ever detect any such "erotic tendencies" as
Mrs. Finch describes — and as other authors, too, have re-
marked. Not the slightest symptoms were ever noticed by
any of us, I am safe to say. Eusapia did not touch us in
any close manner until the fifth or sixth seance. Besides,
none of us were in any sense emotional men; precisely the
reverse. Further, as I said before, how was it that no one
of us had ever been similarly affected by any other medium
with whom we had ever sat? Speaking personally, I may
say that I have sat for hours and hours with mediums alone
and in the dark — and never once did I feel any peculiar
symptoms — never once was I influenced in the slightest de-
gree; never once did I see anything but trickery; never was
there a hallucination! (See my report on "Lily Dale," Pro-
ceedings Amer. S. P. R., Vol. II, pp. 1-119.)

The introduction into this discussion of stories of what
Eusapia did when she was i6 has nothing whatever to do with
the problem before us. As I have said before, the sole ques-
tion for science is: Can she move objects without contact?
That is the question to be settled, and it has nothing more
to do with her past career than with the spots on the sun.

344 Eusapia Palladino '

One can obviously see, here, that the criticism has degen-
erated from a scientific to a personal one. Mrs. Finch is
totally wrong in saying that "nothing of an indisputably
genuine nature occurs in the light." That may have been her
experience ; it certainly was not ours. As our Report abun-
dantly shows, a large number of phenomena — and even the
^'ery best phenomena — occurred in a good light — light suf-
ficiently good to read the small print of a Baedeker. What
is one to say, therefore? Obviously, that Mrs. Finch's
statem.ents are totally incorrect, and that a large num-
ber of genuine phenomena do occur in light sufficient to
enable us to see the whole of the medium's body quite

Mrs. Finch speaks of "the medium's body being in perpet-
ual movement — her hands, arms, legs, and body are scarcely
ever still when phenomena are being produced. . . ." Noth-
ing of the sort occurred in our seances. At first — particularly
in bad seances — a certain amount of movement and restless-
ness was noted, I admit (who could sit for three or four
hours without moving a muscle?), but in the best seances
there was scarcely any movement at all. Note this: the bet-
ter the phenomena, the less the movement. Precisely the re-
verse of this should be the case on Mrs. Finch's theory. But
I must emphatically insist that, during the best seances — and
particularly during the production of the best phenomena —
Eusapia scarcely moved a muscle, but submitted herself to the
very fullest control, and her hands and feet were held im-
passively in ours. There was no attempt at movement, far
less at substitution, as our Report will show. Our experi-
ence on this point, therefore, formally and explicitly con-
tradicts that of Mrs. Finch, and shows it to be quite incorrect
from the point of view of fact.

Eusapla Palladino 345

Mrs. Finch asserts that Eusapia selects her controllers with
great care — choosing those whom she can influence — and that
these sitters are consequently incapable of a trustworthy
report of the existing control. Now as to the first point,
everyone knows this is absolutely false; Eusapia does not
choose her sitters, but the experimenters control her them-
selves. Occasionally, she asks that certain sitters change
places, that a new control be established, e.g., in order to
supply a better "current." But this is comparatively rare,
and the request is not always granted. Certain it is that
Eusapia could have had no choice in our first three sittings,
since only two of us were present! As to our being partic-
ularly suggestible, I should like to ask the mediums — men
and women — with whom we had previously sat, whether
they considered us so ! I think our previous records in psychic
experimentation would answer that question.

Now a word as to the value of photographs. Mrs. Finch
contends that "no man's account of her phenomena should
be accepted — no matter who he may be — unless he can cor-
roborate his account with photographs." In the first place,
these phenomena have often been so corroborated. Photo-
graphs of levitations and other phenomena have been taken
time and time again, and, so far as photographs can prove
anything, these phenomena have been proved thereby. But
I must contend (in direct opposition to Mrs. Finch) that
photography can very rarely afford any valuable corroboration
whatever. Generally, it is quite useless for establishing the
reality of a phenomenon — though it might often disclose
fraud. It can prove what is there, but not what is not there.
I have insisted upon this several times before, in discussing
these phenomena. Thus, in reviewing M. Flammarion's
book, Mysterious Psychic Forces, in the Journal, Amer.

34^ Eusapia Palladino

S. P. R., Vol. II, pp. 471-gi, long before I had had sit-
tings with E. P., I wrote:

". . . All photographs are open to this fundamental ob-
jection. They give us a picture, merely, of what is actually
happening at any one time, without telling us the preceding
actions of the medium and others present, leading up to that
event. . . . The worthlessness of photographic records is evi-
denced by the fact that on page 113 of J round the World
ivith a Magician and a Juggler, there is a photograph of a
table levitated by fraudulent means — it is impossible to see

This, it may be added, is also the opinion of Sir Oliver
Lodge, who wrote {Proceedings S. P. R., Vol. X, p. 23) :

'Tor myself, I would prefer to trust my own observation
rather than any amount of second-hand information, fortified
by the assurance of any number of Kodaks."

It will thus be seen that photographs, so far from furnish-
ing final and conclusive evidence — as Mrs. Finch contends
is the case — are practically worthless for establishing the
reality or supernormal character of these phenomena. So
far from being the best — and in fact the only — means of
satisfactorily proving the reality of the phenomena, it is a
totally inadequate method — one open to many objections, from
the evidential point of view, and proving nothing, in the
majority of cases, when successful!

A word more and I have done. Mrs. Finch has obviously
gone out of her way to attack a woman who can neither read
nor write, and who is, consequently, unable to defend her-
self in a controversy of this character. Those who know her
should, therefore, enter the lists for her, and fight her bat-
tles. Mrs. Finch has made the attack a personal one, and

Eusapia Palladino 347

has thereby laid herself open for just such replies as this —
and indeed far more severe ones which I trust may be forth-
coming from other quarters. Moreover, she has quite aban-
doned the scientific attitude in the matter, and thus forever
after denied herself the right to a serious hearing in all
matters scientific or psychic. The scientific problem is again
and again mixed with and governed by the personal animus,
as is shown over and over again, throughout her article. I
regret to say that this attitude has also been adopted (un-
consciously, doubtless) by other investigators, as her quota-
tion from Professor Morselli shows. The question we should
ask ourselves is not, "Can a soul so pure breathe in so foul
an atmosphere?" but does it? If the facts prove that to be
the case, we shall have to accept them, no matter whether
we care to or not. It is a question of fact; not of emotion
and belief. The inanity of the greater part of "spirit com-
munications" would seem to prove that the majority of the
inhabitants of the next world are little better than lunatics.
Yet, as Dr. Hyslop has so well pointed out and insisted upon :

"We have to accept the life to com.e, if it be a fact, with-
out any ability to escape it, and its degenerated nature would
not affect the evidence for the fact of it. Its being a mad-
house or an asylum for idiots would not weaken the evidence
for its existence."

The majority are incapable of divorcing their sentiments
from their judgment, and allow the mind to be swayed by
the emotions. Such persons should not investigate psychical
matters : they are totally unfitted to be scientific investigators.
Only those who are prepared to admit the facts, no matter
where they may lead, and who feel no personal interest in
the problem, one way or the other — these are the only per-

348 Eusapia Palladino

sons who should devote themselves seriously to psychic In-
vestigatlon and research.

In conclusion, I wish to say that this reply does not in-
volve either of my colleagues, or the opinion of anyone but
myself. However certain I might feel that I have their
moral support in this reply, I wish it to be distinctly
understood that my reply to Mrs. Finch comes entirely from
myself, and is prompted solely by the desire to defend an
absent and helpless woman, who, in spite of adverse criticism,
possesses many good qualities, and a more straightforward
and honest soul, perhaps — in spite of her petty trickery—
than some of her scoffers and critics.


Accordion playing, 46
Action at a distance, 314-15
Aggazzotti, Dr., 100-108
Aksakof, Count, 29, 274, 275
Arm, doubling of, 117
Armelin, M., 70-71
Ascensi, M., 28, 29
Astral double, theory of, 268,

Audenino, Dr., 89-100
Auto-hypnosis, 307

Baggally, W. W., 152, 153, 157,

Barisso, M., 139-140
Barzini, Dr., 84, 85, 86
Bell incident, 228-231
Blech, M., 61, 62-67
Bottazzi, Professor, 109-118,

138, 188, 190, 191-192
Bozzano, Dr., 145-147
Breeze, cold. See Cold Breeze.
BufFem, Professor, 30

Cabinet, construction of, 158-

reasons for, 329-330

Carrara, Mme. Paola, 20, 21-


Carreras, Dr. H., 75

Chalet incident, 48

Chiaia, Professor, 28, 59, 66
Ciolfi, M., 28

Clairvoyance, question of, 309
Clay, impressions in, 66
Clinical study of the medium,

280-281, 304-309
Cold breeze at seances, 198-

199, 205
Collective consciousness, theory

of, 271
Communications, question of,

Consciousness, collective. See

modifications of, 307
Control of medium, question of,

155-157, 159-167
Courtier, Jules, 129-134
Crawford, Misses, 213
Crookes, Sir William, 6, 41-44
Curie, Mme., 129, 130, 131

Dariex, Dr., 57, 58, 61
Darkness, reasons for, 329-33 1
d'Arsonval, M., 129, 132
Davis, Andrew Jackson, 7
Dehierne, Dr., 130
de Fontenay, G., 62, 63-67, 275
de Grammont, Count, 57, 75
de Rochas, Colonel Albert, 34,

S7, 58, 268, 269




de Siemiradski, M., 33
de Watterville, Baron, 57
Dissolving hands, 115
Doubling of the medium's arm,

117, 255-256
Dreams, question of, 308
DuPrel, Dr. Charles, 29
Dynamic theory, 275
Dynamometer test, 79

Ectenic force, theory of, 271
Electrical girls, 301
Electroscope, discharge of, 319
Ermacora, Professor, 29
Evil spirits, 276
Exteriorization of motivity, 268
Externalization of motivity. See

Externalization of sensibility,

Feilding, Hon. Everard, 152,

153, 157, 168-239
Finch, Mrs. L. I., reply] to,

Finzi, M., 30, 31, 32
Flammarion, Camille, 20, 63-

67, 71-72, 276, 277
Flournoy, Prof. Th., 202-203
Fluid, theory of, 267
Fluidic double, theory of, 268,

Foa, Dr. Charles, 100-108
Foa, Prof. Pio, 101-108
Fraud, question of, 182-184,

188-189, 206-207, 244-266,

Fraud, reasons for, 327-329,


Galeotti, Professor, 109-118,

188, 190, 191-192, 232
Gasparin, M., 267
Geley, Dr., 274
Gerosa, Professor, 29
Gibson, Mr., 195, 196
Gigli, M., 28, 29
Grasset, Dr., 271

Hall, Gilman, 118-126

Hallucination and photography,

Hallucination, theory of, 240-
244, 286, 287

Hartmann, E. von, 274

Hands, dissolving.. See Dis-

Herlitzka, Dr., 100-108

Hindu fakirs, 241

Hodgson, Dr. R., i, 33, 51-57

Home, D. D., 5, 6, 10, 41-44

Hutton, Mrs. 233, 235-238

Hyperaesthesia, 318-319

Hypnosis, 207

Hyslop, Dr. J. H., 347

Idealistic theory of phenomena,
272, 273

Illusions vs. Hallucinations,
286-287, 343

Imoda, Dr., 89-100, 319

Independent writing. See Writ-

Intermediary, vital, theory of,

John King, 24, 331

Johnson, Miss Alice, 33, 53, 152,




Key incident, 49-50

Laboratory, psychical, require-
ments for, 51

Language unknown to the medi-
um, spoken by phantom,

Le Bocain, M., 71

LeBon, Dr., 69-70

Left-handedness, transference
of, 279

Levitation of table, definition
of, 168

Levy, Arthur, 68, 69

Life, nature of, 297

Light, amount of, 168

Lodge, Sir Oliver, 33, 38-51,
52, 272, 273, 297

Lombroso, Cesare, 28-29, 35»
89-100, 137, 267, 278-281,

Lucidity, question of, 309

Luminous paint, as a test, 265

Mangin, M. Marcel, 61, 69,

Marzorati, Angelo, 331-332
Maskelyne, John Nevil, 53
Materialism, 14, 289-291
Maxwell, Dr. J., 17, 55-57, 57-

58, 271

Medium, psychological condi-
tion of. See Psychological

Meeson, Albert, 169

Mind and body, connection of,

Moody, Dr. Herbert R., 126-

Morselli, Prof. Enrico, 72, 73,

74, 75-89. 135. 136, 138,


278, 306-309
Moses, William Stainton, 10
Mucchi, Dr., 94, 97-100
Myers, F. W. H., ss, 38-50, 52,

53. 55, 274

Objections to phenomena, 12,

13, 14-18
Ochorowicz, J., 33, 34, 36-38,

38-50, 52, 268, 317-318

Perovsky - Petrovo-Solovovo,

Count, 54, 55
Personifications, question of,

Personnel of our committee,

Phantoms, teleplastic. 5if^Tel-

eplastic Phantoms.

Phenomena, classification of,

Phenomena, conditions for pro-
duction of, 325-327

Phenomena, list of, 75-77

Phenomena, progression of. See

Phenomena, theory of, 313-

Photographic plate incident,

Photography and hallucination,


Photography, value of, as evi-
dence, 265, 266, 345-346

Piper, Mrs., i, 2, 5, 291

Podmore, F., 7, 9



Poltergeist cases, 301

Porro, Professor, 72-74, 135,

136-137, 268
Prejudice, question of, 347-348
Progression of phenomena, 321-

Psychic force, theory of, 267
Psychode, theory of, 267
Psycho-dynamism, theory of,

Psychological condition of medi-
um, 31 i-3H
Psychological condition of sit-
ters, 310-31 1

Rabagliati, Dr. A., 296
Radiations, human, 269
Radioactivity of the medium,

108, 319
Ramorino, Mme., 283
Reality of the phenomena, 246
Reflection, theory of, 277
Reflex action, theory of, 276,

Richet, Prof. Charles, 29, 32-

33, 35» 38-50, 52, 130,

Ryan, Mr., 213, 214, 215, 217,

229, 230, 232

Sabatier, Prof., 57, 58
Samona, Dr. Carmelo, 74-75
Schiaparelli, Professor, 29, 30-

Schmolz, M., 139

Schrenck-Notzing, Baron von,

Seance room, 158, 159

Seances, general run of, 310

Searching medium, 206
Sensibility, extemalization of.

See Extemalization.
Sidgwick, Mrs., ^i, 40, 53, 250-

Sidgwick, Professor, 33, 40, 53,

Siemiradski, M., 34

Sitters, psychological condition

of. See Psychological

Smashed table incident, 106-

Spirits, evil. See Evil Spirits.
Spirits, theory of, 267-268
Spiritualism, grow^th of, 7
Subconsciousness, theory of,

Substitution of hands, question

of, 182-184, 188-189, 206-

207, 244-266
Sudeley, Lord, 213
Suggestibility, question of, 307-

Sully-Prudhomme, M., 61

Tamburini, Professor, 28, 29
Telepathy, question of, 309
Teleplastic phantoms, theory

of, 278
Theory of phenomena, 313-

Third arm, theory of, 71-72
Trance, nature of, 333-334
Trance, question of, 305, 307
Transformation of forces, 267

Unconscious, the, theory of, 274,



3 S3

Vassallo, M., 140-141, 142-143, Wagner, Professor, 33, 34

144 Wallace, Alfred Russel, 267

Venzano, Dr. Joseph, 134, 138- Weight, loss of, 30-31

139, 140, 145, 147, 151, Writing, independent, 45, 48-

283, 284 49

Visani-Scozzi, Dr. Paolo, 33,

59 Yourievitch, M., 129, 131
Vitality, nature of, 296-299

Vizioli, M., 28 Zingaropoli, M., 233, 237

Mme. Palladino's powerful hands

Flashlight photograph of the levitation of a table by Palladino. The medium is concealed by the

table, but a hand holding her knee may be seen

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This famous Italian medium, after convincing some of the foremost European and
American scientists she possessed supernatural powers, was detected in a com-
mon fraud at a recent seance in New York City and hr pretensions are now exposed.



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muslciv instri
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Online LibraryHereward CarringtonEusapia Palladino and her phenomena → online text (page 27 of 27)