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34 Eusapia Palladino

others; In 1895, at I'Agnelas, at the house of Colonel de
Rochas; in 1896, at Tremezzo, at Auteuil, and at Choisy-
Yvrac; in 1897, ^^ Naples, Rome, Paris, Montfort, and
Bordeaux; in 1 901-2, at the Minerva Club at Geneva; in
1905, at Rome and at Paris — and other new^er investiga-
tions, all of which I shall summarize more or less completely
in the pages that iollow.

Professor Wagner obtained, apparently, but one or two
seances — which completely convinced him of the genuine
nature of the phenomena; but there is reason to think that
Professor Wagner was shortsighted, and in other ways a
poor observer, so that his testimony, such as it is, cannot be
given great weight. As the result of these seances, how-
ever. Professor Wagner induced Eusapia to go to St. Peters-
burg, where she was studied by him, and by Professor K

(whose name is not given) of the University of St. Peters-
burg — who was not convinced that he had seen any genuine
supernormal phenomena. It is probable, from the account,
however, that Professor K was more or less hyper-
critical. Thus, he would not believe in the levitations of the
table, because one leg touched Eusapia's skirt; but, as I have
said before, Professor Wagner's testimony cannot be given
great weight, in any case, and need not be given more fully
in this place.

§ 4. Experiments in Rome — 1893-4

The next series of seances, held in Rome in 1893-4 under
the direction of M. Siemiradski, and Dr. Ochorowicz, is
far more interesting and convincing. The following phe-
nomena were vouched for:

(i) Movements of objects without contact.

Eusapla Palladino 35

(2) Touches by invisible hands.

(3) Luminous apparitions.

(4) Auditory phenomena.

The light during the first set of manifestations is de-
scribed as being very good, and consisted of two candles and
an oil lamp. When the medium was in trance, the same phe-
nomena were produced in full light.

The sitters were unanimous in saying that the touches by
invisible hands were certainly not hallucinatory. They were,
they assert, objective in character, beyond all doubt.

The investigators are also certain that the apparitions seen
by them w^ere not hallucinatory, since the forms were seen
at the same moment and described in similar terms by all
the sitters. The same remarks apply to auditory phenomena
— raps, etc.

The seances in Rome in 1894 were attended by Professor
Richet, Baron von Schrenck-Notzing, of Munich, Professor
Lombroso, Professor Danilewski, of the University of St.
Petersburg, and Dr. Dobrzycki, director of the Medical
Gazette, at Warsaw. Various movements of objects with-
out contact occurred, and on af least one occasion it would
seem that an "apport" took place, which is described as
follows :

"Hoping to obtain the movement of an object without
contact, we placed a little piece of paper folded in the form
of a letter A under a glass, and upon a disk of light paste-.
board. . . . Not being successful in this, we did not wish
to fatigue the medium, and we left the apparatus upon the
large table; then we took our places around the little table,
after having carefully shut all the doors, the keys of which
I begged my guests to put in their pockets, in order that we
might not be accused of not having taken all necessary pre-

36 Eusapla Palladino

"The light was extinguished. Soon we heard the glass
resound on our table, and, having procured a light, we found
it in the midst of us, in the same position, upside down,
and covering the little piece of paper; only the cardboard disk
was wanting. We sought for it in vain. The seance ended ;
I conducted my guests once more into the antechamber. M.
Richet was the first to open the door — well bolted on the
inside. What was not his surprise when he perceived near
to the threshold of the door, on the other side of it, upon the
staircase, the disk that we had sought for so long. He
picked it up ; and it was identified by all as the card
placed under the glass."

§ 5. Experiments at Warsaw — 1893-4

Dr. Ochorowicz, having became greatly interested in the
phenomena he had observed, induced Eusapia to come to
Warsaw, in order to be studied at length by himself and his
friends. In all, forty seances were held, as many as twenty
persons being present at some of the seances, which included
a number of men and v\'omen eminent in science, philosophy,
and letters. Whatever we may think of the phenomena,
therefore, we can, under such circumstances, hardly con-
clude that the observed phenomena were hallucinatory in
character !

Partial and complete levitations of the table ; movements
of objects without contact (witnessed by more than a hun-
dred persons) ; touches, and visible hands (seen by fifteen
persons) ; levitations of the medium on to the table (witnessed
by five persons) ; luminous phenomena (witnessed by thirteen
persons) ; abnormal marks, etc., upon paper (witnessed by
twenty persons) ; exteriorization of sensibility, and instances
of clairvoyance, were all observed at this series of seances.

Dr. OchuDrowicz observed that all the seances began and

Eusapia Palladino 37

nearly all closed with levitations of the table — even though
these might not be wanted! He cites cases in which levi-
tations were obtained while both the medium's feet were
visible in the light, and other cases in which the feet were
tied and held under the table by a sitter, kneeling under it.

One case of great interest is given, in which Eusapia ap-
proached her finger tips to within a few centimeters of a
small bell, that had been suspended by means of a thread
from a metal arch, and, moving her fingers to and fro, the
bell followed their movements, "as though moved by an in-
visible thread." It is not definitely stated, however, tliat a
thread was not employed — though the hands were examined
immediately after the manifestation, and nothing abnormal
was found upon them. The phenomenon must be set down
as inconclusive, though it should be recorded, as it has been
produced a number of times lately under test conditions.

On January 7, 1894, ^ seance was held without a tabic,
in order that the force of the medium might not be
dispersed in mechanical phenomena. Eusapia soon went into
trance. Speaking in the name of "John," the medium said ;

"You have taken away the table in order that you may
see the legs of the medium! Allez! 1 am going to show you
that I do everything by the aid of the medium's legs!"

"Saying this, Eusapia extended her legs, and laid her feet
on the knees of Professor Prus-Glowacki. The medium, then
said: 'Look, I knock the table with my left leg.' At the
sam.e time she struck the knee of M. Prus-Glov.'acki with
her left foot ; and simultaneously strong blows resounded be-
hind the curtain, very like those which would be given by
the leg striking against the table, which was in the cabinet,
against the wall, tw'o meters from her."

Instances are then given of levitations of tlie medium,
which Dr. Ochorowicz considers undoubted, luminous phc-


38 Eusapia Palladino

nomena, touchings (during some of which both of Eusapia's
hands were held by one sitter), materializations of hands,
various abnormal marks, cold wind, etc. Several impro-
vised or "unofficial" seances were also held, which. Dr.
Ochorowicz informs us, "strangely enough, restore the
forces" — while the official seances, held under strict, scien-
tific conditions, only irritated the medium and exhausted

Dr. Ochorowicz concluded that the objective character
of the facts was proved beyond all reasonable doubt; and that
genuine supernormal phenomena were observed. As to their '
interpretation, that is another matter! He is inclined to the
belief that John is not a real person, but is a "subliminal
creation of the medium" — a sort of reflex of her unconscious
thinking, which has the capacity of externalizing itself in
space, and producing real, objective effects in the physical
world. However, we shall come to this in the chapter de-
voted to theories.

§ 6. Experiments at lie Roubaud — 1894

In July, 1894, a series of four seances was held in Pro-
fessor Richet's house, on the ile Roubaud. These sittings
were held by Professor Charles Richet, Sir Oliver Lodge,
Mr. F. W. H. Myers, and Dr. Ochorowicz. The island was
owned by Professor Richet, and inasmuch as the sittings oc-
curred in his own house with doors and windows locked, when
all the servants had retired, it seemed conclusive to the inves-
tigators that confederates of any sort were excluded.

It is unnecessary in this place to give a resume of Pro-
fessor Lodge's report, which deals with general subjects al-
ready familiar to students of Eusapia's sittings, and which

Eusapia Palladino 39

have been covered more or less thoroughly in this volume
already. Explanations were offered of the various instru-
ments and paraphernalia employed, a summary of the phe-
nomena given, and lengthy discussions on the various possi-
ble explanations — fraud, illusion, hallucination, etc.

Dealing with the question of fraud, Dr. Lodge offered
the following remarks, which I think further investigations
have fully warranted and justified.

"I happen to have had only good sittings with Eusapia,
and my own experience of what was likely to happen in the
others was based upon what happened when she was not en-
tranced at all. Judging from that experience, I thought it
not unlikely that she may sometimes somnambulicly attempt
to achieve effects which she thinks desired, in what may
readily appear a fraudulent manner. Later experience with
sittings of a less uniformly successful character, though it
has not so far verified that conjecture, leads m.e to supple-
ment it with the further opinions, ( i ) that it must be pos-
sible, by sufficient precaution, to check such attempts, even if
made; and (2) that if undue latitude were given, it would
be reasonable to expect some such attempt sooner or later.
. . . All danger of unfair accusation will be avoided if sit-
ters will only have the common sense to treat her not as a
scientific person engaged in a demonstration, but as a deli-
cate piece of apparatus, wherewith they themselves are mak-
ing an investigation. She is an instrument, whose ways and
idiosyncrasies must be learned, and to a certain extent
humored, just as one studies and humors the ways of some
much less delicate piece of physical apparatus turned out by
a skilled instrument maker."

Various points of interest were discussed, showing the ef-
fect of light on the phenomena, the nature of the objects
moved, the source of the energy, the seat of the reaction,
and the study of the sympathetic movements of the medium.

40 Eusapla Palladino

Parts of these passages I have quoted elsewhere. In a sum-
mary and conclusion, Dr. Lodge stated his position as fol-

"However the facts are to be explained, the possibility of
the facts I am constrained to admit. There is no further
room in my mind for doubt. Any person without invincible
prejudice who had had the same experience, would have
come to the same broad conclusion, viz. : That things hither-
to held impossible do actually occur. If one such fact is
clearly established, the conceivability of others may be more
readily granted, and I concentrated my attention mainly on
what seemed to me the most simple and definite thing, viz.:
the movement of an untouched object, in sufficient light
for no doubt of its motion to exist. This I have now wit-
nessed several times; the fact of movement being vouched for
by both sight and hearing, sometimes also by touch, and the
objectivity of the phenomena being demonstrated by the
sounds heard by an outside observer, and by permanent alter-
ation and position of object. . . . Instead of action at a dis-
tance in the physical sense, what I have observed may be said
to be more like vitality at a distance — the action of a living
organism exerted in unusual directions and over a range
greater than the ordinary. . . . The effect on an observer is
usually more as if the connecting link, if any, were invisible
and intangible, or as if a portion of vital or directing energy
had been detached, and were producing distant movements
without apparent connection with the medium. . . . The re-
sult of my experience is to convince me that certain phe-
nomena usually considered abnormal do belong to the order
of nature, and, as a corollary to this, that these phenomena
ought to be investigated and recorded by persons and societies
interested in natural knowledge." (p. 360 Journal S. P. R.,
Nov., 1894.)

At the conclusion of the meeting at which Dr. Lodge's
paper was read, Mr. Myers, and Professor and Mrs. Sidgwick,
offered corroborative testimony of Dr. Lodge's position, and

Eusapia Palladino 41

Sir William Crookes rose to point out the similarities be-
tween Eusapia's phenomena and many of those he had wit-
nessed in the presence of D. D. Home. Some of his remarks
are worthy of quoting in this connection — affording, as they
do, strong confirmatory evidence of the reality of these phe-
nomena. He said:

"When he (Home) was not in a state of trance, we fre-
quently had movements of objects from different parts of the
room, with visible hands carrying flowers about, and play-
ing the accordion. On one occasion I was asked by Home
to look at the accordion as it was playing in the semidark-
ness beneath the table. I saw a delicate-looking female hand
holding it by the handle, and the keys at the lower jend rising
and falling, as if fingers were playing on them, although I
could not see them. So lifelike was the hand that at first I
said it was my sister-in-law's, but was assured by all present
that both her hands were on the table, a fact which I then
verified for myself.

"The best cases of Home's levitation I witnessed were in
my own house. On one occasion he went to a clear part of the
room, and, after standing quietly for a minute, told us he ^ r-a^cfi
was rising. I saw him rise up with a continuous gliding
movement and remained about six inches off the ground for
several seconds, when he slowly descended. On this occa- / /
sion no one moved from their places. On another occa-
sion, I was invited to come to him when he rose eighteen
inches off the ground, and I passed my hands under his feet,
round him, and over his head when he was in the air.

"On several occasions Home and the chair on which he
was sitting at the table rose off the ground. This was gen-
erally done very deliberately, and Home sometimes then
tucked up his feet on the seat of the chair, and held up his
hands in view of all of us. On such an occasion I have got
down, and seen and felt that all four legs were off the ground
at the same time, Home's feet being on the chair. Less fre-
quently the levitating power extended to those sitting next

42 Eusapia Palladino

to him. Once my wife was thus raised off the ground In
her chair. ...

"One of the most common occurrences at the seances con-
sisted in movements of flowers and light objects; sometimes
those present could see fingers or a complete hand carrying
things about, but frequently no visible support was to be
detected. The hands felt warm and lifelike, and if retained,
would appear to melt away in one's grasp. They were never
dragged away.

"One of the most striking things I ever saw in the way of
movement of light objects was when a glass water bottle and
tumbler rose from the table. There was plenty of light in
the room from two large salted alcohol flames, and Home's
hands were not near. The bottle and glass floated about
over the middle of the table. I asked if they would answer
questions by knocking one against the other. Immediately
three taps together signified 'Yes.' They then kept floating
about six or eight inches up, going from the front of one
sitter to another, round the table, tapping together, and
answering questions in this manner. Quite five minutes was
occupied by this phenomenon, during which time we had
ample opportunity of seeing that Home was a passive agent,
and that no wires or strings, etc., were in use. ... I
never noticed any sympathetic movements of Home's hands
or body when objects at a distance were being moved. I
am certain that in most cases when Home was not in a
trance he knew no more of what was going to happen than
did anyone else present. He was an excellent raconteur, and
by no means kept silent. Frequently he was looking another
way, engaged in animated conversation with someone at his
side when the first movements took place, and his attention
had to be called to them, like the rest of us. He took a
childlike pleasure in what was going on, and he always de-
clared that he had no power whatever over the progress of
the phenomena.

"General conversation was going on all the time, and on
many occasions something on the table had moved sometime
before Home was aware of it. We had to draw his atten-
tion to such things far oftener than he drew our attention

Eusapia Palladino 43

to them. Indeed, he sometimes used to annoy me by his in-
difference to what was going on. When things were going
on well, ample opportunity was generally given us to ex-
amine the occurrences at leisure, and frequently things would
repeat themselves at request, or small objects, flowers, etc.,
would move abcrut for many minutes, passing from one to
the other of those present. For my part I was always al-
lowed to move about and examine what was taking place
as carefully as I liked. All that we were asked w^as that
we sliould not move suddenly. This was liable to stop the
phenomena for a short time.

"The drawback to accurate observation of Eusapia's phe-
nomena appears to have been the very dim light in which
most of the things occurred, rendering it necessary to take
special precautions against possible deception. Had the light
been better, the elaborate holding of hands, feet, and head
would have been unnecessary, and the unavoidable suspi-
cions that the person on the other side had liberated a hand
would have been impossible. Home always refused to sit in
the dark. He said that with firmness and perseverance the
phenomena could be got just as well in the light, and even
if some of the things were not so strong, the evidence of one's
eyesight was worth making some sacrifice for. In almost
all the seances I had with Home, there was plenty of light
to see all that occurred, and not only enabled me to write
down notes of what was taking place, but to read my notes
without difficult^'. . . .

"During the whole of my knowledge of D. D. Home, ex-
tending over several years, I never once saw the slightest oc-
currence that would make me suspicious that he was attempt-
ing to play tricks. He was scrupulously sensitive on this
point, and never felt hurt at anyone taking precautions
against deception. He sometimes in the early days of our
acquaintance used to say to me before a seance: 'Now, Will-
iam, I want 5'ou to act as if I were a recognized conjurer,
and was going to cheat 3'ou and play all the tricks I could.
Take every precaution you can devise against me, and move
about, and look under the table, or where else you like.
Don't consider my feelings ; I shall not be offended. I know

44 Eusapia Palladino

that the more carefully T am tested, the more convinced will
everyone be that these abnormal occurrences are not my own

"I think it a cruel thing that a man like D. D. Home,
gifted with such extraordinary powers, and always willing,
nay, anxious, to place himself at the disposal of men of science
for investigation, should have lived so many years in London,
and with one or two exceptions, no one of weight in the
scientific world should have thought it worth while to look
into the truth or falsity of things, which were being talked
about in society on all sides. To those who knew him,
Home was one of the most lovable of men, and his perfect
genuineness and uprightness were beyond suspicion ; but by
those who did not know him, he was called a charlatan, and
those who believed in him were considered little better than

To return, however, to Professor Lodge's report upon
Eusapia Palladino, which the above extended quotation is
merely to support, I now extract from the detailed records
of sittings, printed as Appendix I, to his paper:

The first seance, which took place on July 2 1st, com-
menced at 9.36 P.M. Tilts, levitations, and protuber-
ances of Eusapia's dress were noted, followed by raps — all
these in good light. These were followed by a series of
touches on the back and sides of the controllers. The fol-
lowing extracts from the records cannot fail to be of in-
terest :

"10.24. Light lowered more. M.^ held both hands in
the air; L. held her head, and each held one foot. M.
was again distinctly touched in the back.

"11.34. L., holding both hands of E., was distinctly
touched as by a hand on the shoulder and back of head. The
hairy mass again felt by him.

^ In all stances of this series, M = Myers, L = Lodge, R = Richet, and 0»

Eusapia Palladino 45

"11.36. M.'s chair was again drawn from under him,
and put on the middle of the table, and M. remained stand-
ing. The large table drew nearer. Hands and feet of E.
well held."

After lights had been seen, and further touches had been
experiericed, the record proceeds:

"12.04. M. and L., each holding one of E.'s hands firmly
in the air, R.'s hand was stronglj' grasped, and held, as by
a hand, while thirty-one was counted. At request of L., the
large table then turned itself over on its back behind M.,
and was left with its feet in the air.

"A light was now struck, and the under surface of table
(now turned upward) was examined for marks. Nothing
was found except joiner's lines, which had been there be-
fore. The table was now half raised so that its legs were
now horizontal, and its upper surface showed at once a
large blue scrawl. . . . There was now full light, and the
seance was understood to have stopped, but E. asked for a
blue pencil, and when one was found and given her she pro-
ceeded to cover the tip of her forefinger with blue chalk.
She then gave this finger to R. to hold, and with it extended,
she walked up to the vertically standing top surface of the
large table, and made near, but not touching it, a couple of
quick cross marks in the air. The blue had then disappeared
from her finger, and two large blue crosses, sharply drawn,
not as with finger tip, were found on the back, or far side
of the table, namely, on one of the side boards of the under
side, which had been just previously examined for such
marks. There was no fresh mark on the surface in front of
which she had made the gestures."

At 12.35 the seance was resumed, and while R. was holding
one hand of E., and while M. held both feet and her other
hand, R. felt a hand move over his head and rest on his
mouth for some seconds, during which he spoke to the other

46 Eusapia Palladino

investigators with his voice muffled. A series of remarkable
phenomena occurred at 12,49, which were recorded thus:

"A small cigar box fell onto our table, and a sound was
heard in the air as of something rapping. R. was holding
head and right hand ; M. holding left hand, raised it in the
air, holding it lightly by the tips of his fingers, but with part
of his own hand free. A saucer containing small shot, from
another part of the room, was then put into this hand of M.
in the air. A covered wire of the electric battery came onto
the table and wrapped itself round R.'s and E.'s hands and
was pulled till E. called out. Henceforth, R. held her head
and body ; M. kept one hand and both feet, while L. held the
other hand, and in this position E. made several spasmodic
movements, each of which was accompanied or followed by
violent movements of the neighboring round table.

"12.57. The accordion, which was on the round table,
got onto the floor, somehow, and began to play single notes.
Bellier (the stenographer) counted twenty-six of them, and
then ceased counting. While the accordion played, E.'s
fingers made movements in the hands of both M. and L,, in
accord with the notes, as if she were playing them at the
distance with difficulty. The lightly touched quick notes
were also thus felt by L, with singular precision, sometimes
the touch failed to elict a response, and this failure was
usually succeeded by an interval of silence and rest."

After these phenomena, the small chalet or music box,
which was on the round table, began to play, approached

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