Arthur Conan Doyle
The History of Spiritualism Vol II

by

Arthur Conan Doyle

Free Public Domain E-Books from the
Classic Literature Library

The History of Spiritualism Vol II Page 01

THE HISTORY OF SPIRITUALISM

BY

ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE, M.D., LL.D.

PRESIDENT D'HONNEUR DE LA FEDERATION SPIRITE INTERNATIONALE

PRESIDENT OF THE LONDON SPIRITUALIST ALLIANCE

PRESIDENT OF THE BRITISH COLLEGE OF PSYCHIC SCIENCE

VOLUME TWO

CONTENTS

CHAPTER

I. The Career of Eusapia Palladino
II. Great Mediums from 1870 to 1900: Charles H. Foster-Madame d'Esperance-Eglinton-Stainton Moses
III. The Society for Psychical Research
IV. Ectoplasm
V. Spirit Photography
VI. Voice Mediumship and Moulds
VII. French, German, and Italian Spiritualism
VIII. Some Great Modern Mediums
IX. Spiritualism and the War
X. The Religious Aspect of Spiritualism
XI. The After-Life as Seen by Spiritualists
Appendix
Index

ILLUSTRATIONS

(not included in this eBook)

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Sir Oliver Lodge
Rev. W. Stainton Moses
Madame Juliette Bisson
Dr. Gustave Geley
The Experiment at the Institut Metapsychique, Paris
Plaster Cast of Ectoplasmic Hand
Allan Kardec

CHAPTER I

THE CAREER OF EUSAPIA PALLADINO

The mediumship of Eusapia Palladino marks an important stage in the history of psychical research, because she was the first medium for physical phenomena to be examined by a large number of eminent men of science. The chief manifestations that occurred with her were the movement of objects without contact, the levitation of a table and other objects, the levitation of the medium, the appearance of materialized hands and faces, lights, and the playing of musical instruments without human contact. All these phenomena took place, as we have seen, at a much earlier date with the medium D. D. Home, but when Sir William Crookes invited his scientific brethren to come and examine them they declined. Now for the first time these strange facts were the subject of prolonged investigation by men of European reputation. Needless to say, these experimenters were at first sceptical in the highest degree, and so-called "tests" (those often silly precautions which may defeat the very object aimed at) were the order of the day. No medium in the whole world has been more rigidly tested than this one, and since she was able to convince the vast majority of her sitters, it is clear that her mediumship was of no ordinary type. It is little use pointing out that no psychic researcher should be admitted to the seance room without at least some elementary knowledge of the complexities of mediumship and the right conditions for its unfoldment, or without, for instance, an understanding of the basic truth that it is not the medium alone, but the sitters equally, who are factors in the success of the experiment. Not one scientific man in a thousand recognizes this, and the fact that Eusapia triumphed in spite of such a tremendous handicap is an eloquent tribute to her powers.

The mediumistic career of this humble, illiterate Neapolitan woman, of surpassing interest as well as of extreme importance in its results, supplies yet another instance of the lowly being used as the instrument to shatter the sophistries of the learned. Eusapia was born on January 21, 1854, and died in 1918. Her mediumship began to manifest itself when she was about fourteen years of age. Her mother died at her birth, and her father when she was twelve years old. At the house of friends with whom she went to stay she was persuaded to sit at a table with others. At the end of ten minutes the table was levitated, the chairs began to dance, the curtains in the room to swell, and glasses and bottles to move about. Each sitter was tested in turn to discover who was responsible for the movements, and in the end it was decided that Eusapia was the medium. She took no interest in the proceedings, and only consented to have further sittings to please her hosts and prevent herself from being sent to a convent. It was not until her twenty-second or twenty-third year that her Spiritualistic education began, and then, according to M. Flammarion, it was directed by an ardent Spiritualist, Signor Damiani.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Classic Literature Library
Classic Authors

All Pages of This Book
The History of Spiritualism Vol I
The History of Spiritualism Vol II
The Famous History of the Life of King Henry the Eight