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HISTORIC GHOSTS AND GHOST HUNTERS


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Author Topic: HISTORIC GHOSTS AND GHOST HUNTERS  (Read 1924 times)
Porscha Campbell
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« Reply #135 on: November 15, 2009, 05:32:57 am »

If for "undue influence" we read "hypnotism," we shall have a sufficient, and what seems to me the only satisfactory, explanation of the Lyon episode and of the most baffling of Home's feats, his levitations, elongations, and the like. For the rest, bearing in mind the fate of other dealers in turning tables and dancing chairs, he may fairly be regarded in the light Browning regarded him, that is to say as an exceptionally able conjurer who enjoyed the singular good fortune of never being found out.[N] It must be remembered that not once was there applied to him the test which is now recognized as absolutely indispensable in the investigation of mediums[Pg 164] who, like Home, are specialists in the production of "physical" phenomena. This test is the demand that the phenomena in question be produced under conditions doing away with the necessity for constant observation of the medium himself.

Even Sir William Crookes, who appreciated to the full the extreme fallibility of the human eye and the ease with which the most careful observer may be deceived by a clever prestidigitator, failed to apply this test to Home; and by so failing laid himself open on the one hand to deception and on the other to the flood of criticism let loose by his scientific colleagues. Thus, the apparatus used in the experiment on which he seems to have laid greatest stress, is described as follows:
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