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of the medium. We make sure that her hands are all the
time tightly held, and that the chain is unbroken. After
a short wait of five or six seconds I feel the accordion drawn
by its free end, and the bellows is immediately pushed in,
several times successively, and at the same time the music is
heard. There is not the least doubt that a hand, a pair
of pincers, or what not, has hold of the lower end of the
instrument. ... I perceive very well the existence of this

72 Eusapla Palladino

prehensile organ. All possibility of fraud is eliminated
for the instrument is well above Eusapia's head, her hands
are firmly held, and I distinctly see the distention of the cur-
tain as far as the instrument. The accordion contiii'ies to
make itself heard, and is pulled on so strongly thai I say
to the invisible power, 'Well, since you have such a good
hold on to it, keep it.' I withdrew my hand, and the instru-
ment remains as if glued to the curtain. It is no longer
heard. What has become of it? I propose to light a candle
and hunt for it, but the general opinion is that since things
arc going so well it is better to make no changes in the en-
vironment. WTiile we are talking, the accordion begins to
play — a slight and rather insignificant air. In order to do
that it must be held by two hands. At the end of fifteen
or twenty seconds it is brought to the middle of the table,
playing all the while. The certainty that hands are playing
is so complete that I say to the unknown, since you have
got the accordion so well, you can doubtless take my hand
itself. I reach out my arm at the height of my head, rather
a little higher. The curtain inflates, and through the cur-
tain I feel a hand (a pretty strong left hand) — that is to
say, three fingers and a thumb — and these grasp the end of
my right hand."

§ 14. Experiments at Genoa — 1901

In 1 901 Eusapia went to Genoa, where, at the Minerva
Club, she gave a series of remarkable seances, which were
attended by Professors Porro, Morselli, Bozzano, Venzano,
Lombroso, Vassalo, and others.

I shall cite extracts from these reports later on in this
volume. It is of interest to quote in this connection the
conclusions arrived at by Professor Porro, as a result of
this series of experiments. Speaking of the sittings, he says :

"... A formidable blow, like the stroke of the fist of an
athlete, is struck in the middle of the table. The person

Eusapla Palladino 73

seated at the right of the medium feels that he is grasped
in the side. . . . The blows are redoubled, and are so terri-
fic that it seems as if they would split the table. We begin
to perceive hands lifting and inflating the curtains, and ad-
vancing as far as to touch, first one, then another, of the
con. j: any, caressing them, pressing their hands, daintily pull-
ing their ears, or clapping hands merrily in the air above
their heads. . . .

"A bouquet of flowers, placed in a carafe on the larger
table, comes over on to ours, preceded by an agreeable perfume.
Stems of flowers are placed in the mouth of No. 5 ; and No.
8 is hit by a rubber ball, which rebounds upon the table.
The carafe comes over to join the flowers on our table ; it
is then immediately lifted and put to the mouth of the me-
dium, and she is made to drink from it twice; between
times it sinks down to the table and stands there for a
moment right side up. We distinctly hear the swallowing
of the water, after which Mme. Palladino asks some one to
wipe her mouth with a handkerchief. Finally, the carafe
returns to the large table. . . .

"The guitar took its flight around the room, coming to
a standstill in the middle of the table, where, finally, it came
to a rest. In a final, supreme effort, Eusapia turns toward
the left, where, upon a table, is a typewriting machine weigh-
ing fifteen pounds. During the effort, the medium falls
exhausted and nervous upon the floor; but the machine rises
from its place and betakes itself to the middle of our table,
near the guitar.

"In full light, Eusapia calls M. Morsclli, and controlled
by the two persons next her, brings him with her toward the
table, upon which is placed a mass of molding plaster. She
takes his open hand and pushes it three times toward the plas-
ter, as if to sink the hand into it and leave upon it an impres-
sion. M. Morselli's hand remains at a distance of more than
four inches from the mass; nevertheless, at the end of the
seance, the experimenters ascertain that the lump of plaster
contains the impression of three fingers — deeper prints than it
is possible to obtain directly by means of voluntary pressure.

74 Eusapia Palladino

"The medium lifts her two hands, all the time clasped in
mine and those of No. 5 (Morselli) and, uttering groans,
cries, exhortations, she rises with her chair, so far as to place
its two feet and the ends of its two front cross bars upon
the top of the table. It was a moment of great anxiety.
The levitation was accomplished rapidly, but without any
jarring or jolting or jerking. . . .

"There is more to follow. Eusapia was lifted up still
farther with her chair, from the upper part of the table, in
such a way that No. 11, on one side, and I, on the other,
were able to pass our hands under her feet and under those
of the chair. ..."

These are the conclusions of Professor Porro:

"The phenomena are real. They cannot be explained
either by fraud or by hallucination. . . . While admitting
it as the most probable hypothesis that the intelligent beings
to whom we owe these psychical phenomena are preexisting,
independent entities, and that they only derive from us the
conditions necessary for their manifestation in a physical
plane accessible to our senses, ought we to admit also that
they are really the spirits of the dead?

"To this question I will reply that I do not feel that I am
as yet capable of giving a decisive answer.

"Still, I should be inclined to admit it, if I did not see
the possibility that these phenomena might form part of a
scheme of things still more vast. In fact, nothing hinders
us from believing in the existence of forms of life wholly
different from those which we know, and of which the life
of human beings before birth and after death forms only a
special case — just as the organic life of man is a special
case of animal life in general. . . ."

§ 15. Experiments at Palermo — 1902 ; at Rome and at

Paris — 1905

In July and August, 1902, a series of experiments was
held at Palermo, under Dr. Carmelo Samona, which are

Eusapia Palladino 75

reported in the Annals of Psychical Science, 1903, pp. 72-
82. (French edition.) Again, in 1905, at Rome and at
Paris, Eusapia gave a series of seances, in the former city
to Dr. H. Carreras — which were reviewed in the Revue
Scientific et morale du spiritisime ( 1 904-5, pp. 585-91);
and in Paris, to Count de Grammont — a full report of
which, so far as I know, has not been published. These
experiments, while they are doubtless of interest, can be said
to add little to the evidence for the supernormal in the case
of Mme. Palladino — inasmuch as the reports do not state
the amount of control exercised, and in other ways are im-
perfect — being extremely abbreviated.

§ 16. Experiments at Genoa — 1906-7

In 1906-7 Professor Morselli renewed his investigations
of Eusapia, and the seances conducted by him are among
the most remarkable and convincing that have ever been held.
They at all events completely converted Professor Morselli,
and so impressed him that he decided to publish his volu-
minous book, which he had held in reserve, even after the
proofs had been sent in, because of laudable scientific scruples !
I give a resume of these seances herewith, as they were
reported at the time.

Professor Morselli has noted no less than thirty-nine dis-
tinct types of phenomena, which he lists as follows:

1. Oscillations and movements of the table without sig-

2. Movements and beatings of the table having a sig-

3. Complete levitation of the table.

4. Movements of various objects, as soon as touched by
the hands or body of the medium.

"^6 Eusapia Palladino

5. Movements, undulations, and swellings of the curtains
of the cabinet.

6. Movements and swelling out of the medium's clothes.

7. Oscillations of the table without contact.

8. Independent liftings of the table.

9. Movements occasioned in material objects by the hands
being voluntarily turned toward them, but at a distance, and
gestures made from or toward the object.

10. Spontaneous movements and displacements of dif-
ferent objects at various distances from the medium.

11. Bringing of distant objects on to the table.

12. Displacements of the seats of the experimenters.

13. Movements of operation of mechanical instruments
placed at a distance.

14. Spontaneous changes of weight in a scale.

15. Change of weight in the body of the medium.

16. Raising of the medium's body in the air.

17. Wind from the cabinet.

18. Intense cold.

19. Radiations from the head and body of the medium.

20. Blows, raps, and other sounds in the table.

21. Blows and raps at a distance from the medium.

22. Sounds of musical instruments.

23. Sounds of hands, feet, etc., being moved.

24. Sounds of human voices.

25. Mysterious signs left at a distance.

26. Direct writing.

27. Impressions in plastic substances.

28. Apports.

29. Touching, feeling, grasping, by invisible hands.

30. Organization of solid forms having the character
of members of the human body.

Eusapia Palladino ^'j

31. Organization of hands, naked, and distinguishable
to the touch.

32. Comph'cated actions of materialized forms, tangible,
but invisible.

33. Appearance of luminous points.

34. Appearance of whitish clouds or mists.

35. Formation of dark prolongations of the body of the

36. Forms having the appearance of arms and hands
coming out of the cabinet.

37. Appearance of hands.

38. Appearance of obscure forms, of indeterminate char-
acter, and not very distinct.

39. Appearance of forms having determinate and per-
sonal characters.

At the seances attended by Professor Morselli, several re-
markable phenomena occurred. His arm was seized by a
big hand, of which he felt the fingers distinctly — while he
was holding the hand of Eusapia next himself. The lamp
was switched on and off several times — the switch being
at a distance of several feet from the medium and bcj-ond
her reach. Professor Morselli was then drawn backward
in his chair several inches, A chair from within the cabi-
net came out, and under the conditions of the strictest con-
trol climbed on the seance table. A metronome was started
and stopped several times, and finally conveyed on to the
seance table by invisible hands, where it again began to beat
time. At the conclusion of the seance, several large objects
at some distance from Eusapia changed their positions — mov-
ing several inches along the floor.

The second seance was far more remarkable, and the re-
port deserves to be quoted at some length. It reads in part ;

yS Eusapia Palladino

"Second Seance. Eusapia was again carefully examined
by Professor Morselli. The same persons took the same
places round the table. The room was lighted by a tiny
night lamp which, after a minute or two, made it possible
for the sitters to see sufficiently clearly. . . . Eusapia pressed
my (M. Barzini's) hand forcibly from time to time; each
time she did so we heard on the table a thud which seemed
to be given by a clenched fist.

"A white hand came out of the cabinet and touched Pro-
fessor Morselli on the shoulder, while he showed us the left
hand of the medium under his control and I did the same
with the right.

"These mysterious hands which, for very brief moments,
often appeared, generally issued from the opening between
the curtains, but sometimes even from their surface; they
seemed to come through the stuff."

To the chair of Eusapia two vertical rods had been tied,
to which a frame of wood (13 cm. by 18 cm.) had been at-
tached containing two photographic plates, intended, if pos-
sible, to register radiations from the head of the medium.
All the knots had been fastened by Professor Morselli, who
had used blue and white threads easily recognizable.

"We heard," continues the Editor of the Corriere, "a
delicate and restrained sound behind the medium ; I looked
and saw the frames slowly moving. We assured ourselves
that the controls were as they should be. Moreover, Eusa-
pia's hands were visibly resting on the table with ours. We
waited with curiosity. There was no doubt that the knots
were being patiently undone, under our very eyes. In truth,
after a few minutes, the frame raised itself and disappeared
into the cabinet. It did not fall, for we should have heard
the noise. Dr. Morselli remarked : 'It seems to be in some
one's hands!'

"He had scarcely finished speaking when the frame re-
appeared, with an oscillating movement, and placed itself

Eusapia Palladino 79

on the head of the medium ; on it was a rod which cheerily-
tapped out the rhythm of a tambourine. We recognized it
as one of the two rods which were attached to the back of
the chair. After a little while the frame and the rod fell
noisily on the ground. 'I had, however, fastened them well!'
observed Professor Morselli, regretting somewhat that his
photographic experiment should have failed. . . .

"All this time, everyone could see the medium motionless
in her place, under our control, outside of, and almost in-
different to, the phenomena which were produced behind her,
and which lasted long enough to exclude the possibility of
such tricks as are favored by rapidity.

"At one moment we saw the dynamometer, which was
almost touching the bottom of the curtain, upon the table,
move about and disappear behind the curtain. We discussed
what could have happened to it. At once a hand came out
of the cabinet on to the head of the medium; it held the
dynamometer and seemed to show it to us. Then it re-
tired ; after some seconds the dynamometer reappeared on
the table. Dr. Morselli seized it, and examined the gradua-
tion to find out whether the instrument had been under any
pressure. The needle showed a pressure of 110 kilogram-
meters — which is, as we know, equivalent to the effort neces-
sary to raise 100 kilogs. i meter from the ground during the
space of half a second.

"At another moment Eusapia said to Dr. Morselli, 'At-
tention!' and a curious phenomenon followed. I must first
say that, being put on the qui-vive by this announcement, we
assured ourselves that the control was secure. Between
science and public opinion, Eusapia looked as though she were
guarded by two policemen, we had contact with her hands,
her knees, and her feet. She strongly contracted her fore-
arms, and Dr. Morselli felt himself touched in several places
by the moving curtain. He thought he observed behind the
curtain the presence of a complete human form whose body
leaned against his, the arms pressing against him ; we all
saw the arms wrapped round by the curtain.

"I got up suddenly, drawing the medium against me, and

So Eusapia Palladino

I put my head between the opening of the curtains to look
into the cabinet. The light which penetrated through the
openings made by the movement of the curtain was suf-
ficient to light up the interior of the cabinet. It was empty.
Professor Morselli felt behind the curtain at the spot where
it was bulged out, and was assured that it was empty. What,
from the outside, appeared to be a moving human body cov-
ered by the curtain, was, on the inside, a cavity in the stuff,
an empty mold.

"It reminded one of Wells' Invisible Man. I then wished
to touch the bulging part of the curtain, on the outside, with
my right hand, which was free, and I encountered the ef-
fectual resistance of a living head. I distinguished the fore-
head, I moved the palm of my hand downward on to the
cheeks and on the nose, and when I touched the lips the mouth
opened and seized me under the thumb ; I distinctly felt
the strain of a clean bite. At the same moment a hand
pressed against my chest and pushed me back, the curtains
swelled out and fell back inert. All this time the medium
remained in view. She was separated by at least half a yard
from the Invisible Man."

[We must point out that the medium's cabinet was formed
by curtains stretched diagonally in front of an angle of the
room, where there were neither doors nor windows. In-
side there was nothing but a chair and a few small objects:
a mandolin, fairy bells, a trumpet, a block of clay for ob-
taining casts of human hands. This phenomenon of semi-
materialization behind a curtain is said to be obtained fre-
quently in seances with this medium.]

"The fairy bells arrived on the table, as if they fell from
the skies, and there, completely isolated, while we watched
the toy curiously, it played for some seconds. It is in the form
of a little coffee mill ; both hands are required for playing
this instrument, one to hold it firmly, the other to turn a
small handle. Immediately afterwards we heard the mando-
lin sliding along the floor, M. Bozzano saw it come out of
the cabinet and stop behind Professor Morselli, where it
made two or three sounds. Afterwards it came on to the

Eusapia Palladino 8i

table, went all round and finished by laying itself in my arms
like a baby. In this position it began jingling again in my
honor, while I observed its complete isolation. From my
arms it returned to the table and continued to make con-
fused sounds. When we placed our hands on the cords we
felt them vibrating ; and in this way we had the proof of
touch as to the reality of this phenomenon."

In the course of the third seance a very typical case of
fraud was observed, which may throw some light on the
trickery and, apparently unconscious, fraud which this me-
dium resorts to so frequently. While the experimenters
were forming a chain around the table, at which the medium
was also seated, with her back turned to the cabinet, Pro-
fessor Morselli called out the three letters: "E. T. V. 1"
This signified, according to a preconcerted arrangement
among the investigators: "Eugene Torelli-Viollier," or more
precisely, "the medium has had recourse to the trick observed
by M. E. Torelli-Viollier, i.e., has withdrawn one of her
hands or feet from the control of her two neighbors." Eusa-
pia had in fact liberated her left hand from that of Professor
Morselli, and stretched out the freed hand toward a trumpet
which was on the table, in order to seize it. But she had
not time to do this, for the Professor, as he pronounced the
three warning letters, possessed himself again of the fugitive
hand, and the experimenters increased their vigilance. Eusa-
pia understood, and said, in a saddened tone: "Don't say

"At this moment," says the reporter, "while the control
was certainly more rigorous than ever, the trumpet was raised
from the table and disappeared into the cabinet, passing be-
tween the medium and Dr. Morselli. Evidently the medium
had attempted to do \\'ith her hand what she subsequently

82 Eusapia Palladino

did mediumistically: such a futile and foolish attempt at
fraud is inexplicable. There is no doubt about the matter:
this time the medium did not touch, and could not touch, the
trumpet; and even if she could have touched it she could
not have conveyed it into the cabinet, w^hich vi^as behind her

"I was placed behind Professor Morselli, quite close to
the curtain, and I was already watching the medium from
the side, when, suddenly, the trumpet came out again from
the cabinet, passing through the opening at the side of the
curtain, and came toward the Professor and me. I was the
only one who saw it, but the others heard it, because the ob-
ject gave two stout blows on Dr. Morselli's shoulders, with
some degree of violence, perhaps to punish him for his 'E.
T. V.,' and then it retired.

"I at once put my hand inside the cabinet and asked:
'Where has it gone?'

"The trumpet immediately came into my hand. I took
it and showed it to those present ; then I held it again inside
the cabinet, saying: 'Take it!' It was taken from me; then
it returned to the table, passing through the central opening
in the curtains — and so it went on. All this time the me-
dium's hands remained motionless, separated from each other,
between those of her two guardians."

The room was lighted feebly by the dim light of a night

The reporter then speaks of certain curious apparitions
which, from time to time, came out from the curtains. They
generally took the form of a human head, or rather of two
clasped hands enveloped in a black veil. Behind this head,
or these hands, stretched a sort of long neck or arm. Some-
times these formless and indistinct members touched one of
the experimenters. At this seance, as at all others, the bulg-
ing of the curtain was often observed, assuming, more or less
completely, the outlines of a human form ; this form offered

Eusapia Palladino 83

a certain amount of resistance to the touch. At one time
the medium invited M. Barzini to kneel on the table, and
this gentleman resigned himself to this uncomfortable and
somewhat ridiculous position. Stretching his hand up toward
the cabinet M, Barxini was able almost to touch the top of
the curtain ; that is to saj", he reached to a distance of nearly
four feet from the medium's head, and about seven feet six
inches from the floor. At this height his hand was touched
from behind the curtain, but very slightly, as if by a vapor-
ous body. As he lowered his hand the touch became firmer ;
when he held his arm out horizontally he was able to recog-
nize that the object which touched him was a hand, which
feebly grasped his own, through the material of the curtain.
When he lowered his arm still more, toward the head of
the medium, the pressure became firm and resolute — the mys-
terious hand acquired force and energy. He raised his arm,
and the pressure lost consistency, until, when he reached the
top of the curtain, the experimenter again only felt the uncer-
tain and vaporous touch which he had felt at first. Details and
observations of this nature throw more light on the manner
in which the psychic force exteriorizes itself than many trea-
tises on mediumship.

While M. Barzini was communicating his observations
to those present, the medium said to him: "Don't be fright-
ened : pay attention !" And the table rose twice, with M.
Barzini upon it; while at the same time the two persons
guarding Eusapia felt themselves simultaneously touched by
hands, the one on the shoulder and the other at the back of
the head. "Thus a weight of about 160 pounds was being
moved, while one hand was manifesting well above the me-
dium's head, and two other hands were touching the experi-
menters on either side of the medium."

84 Eusapia Palladino

The Fourth Seance. M. Barzini observes that on several
different occasions he was able to grasp the mysterious fugi-
tive hands which touched him. "The feeling to which this
gave rise was very curious," he says; "they did not escape
from my grasp, they dissolved, so to speak. They slipped
out of my hands as if they had collapsed — they seemed like
hands that had very rapidly melted and dissolved, after mani-
festing a high degree of energy, and an absolutely lifelike ap-
pearance while performing actions. It should be stated that
these observations have always been so rapid and so rare that
they did not leave any very clear impressions on my mind.
It is necessary to be careful with regard to rapid subjective
impressions and only accept the genuineness of facts repeated-
ly proved. Proved, that is to say, as far as it is possible to
prove them."

The writer in the Corriere della Sera also speaks of the
way in which he and Dr. Morselli simultaneously gave chase
to the mysterious hands which were scratching and rapping
on the table, while the medium's hands and those of the in-
vestigators were all visible on its surface. The failure of
these attempts seemed to amuse the table and it laughed —
if one may be allowed to speak of it as a person — by little
sharp movements which are familiar ; subsequently it showed
its satisfaction by two huge levitations of quite a new kind.
"I might almost call them chronometric levitations," adds
the reporter. "The table rose in the air to the height of our
shoulders, completely isolated, and while Dr. Venzano
counted the seconds aloud, so as to time the duration of the

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