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HISTORIC GHOSTS AND GHOST HUNTERS

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Author Topic: HISTORIC GHOSTS AND GHOST HUNTERS  (Read 3049 times)
Porscha Campbell
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« Reply #165 on: November 15, 2009, 05:40:51 am »

All of this Tout explained correctly as "the dramatic working out, by some half conscious stratum of his personality, of suggestions made at the time by other members of the circle, or received in prior experiences of the kind." In most instances, however, the original self is completely effaced, and no consciousness is[Pg 193] retained of the performances of the secondary self; but that an avenue of sense is still open is sufficiently demonstrated by the readiness with which, in hypnotic experiments, seemingly insensible subjects respond to the suggestions of the operator. Here, therefore, we find our clue to the solution of the mystery of Lurancy Vennum. A victim of a psychic catastrophe, the cause of which must be left to conjecture in the absence of knowledge of her previous history, she was placed in precisely the position of the adventurous Mr. Tout and of the inert subjects of the hypnotist's art. That is to say, having lost momentarily all knowledge and control of her own personality, the character her new personality would assume depended on the suggestions received from those about her.

Yet not altogether. Dr. Stevens's detailed record contains a reference which indicates strongly that the spiritistic tendency manifest from the onset of her trouble was to some extent predetermined. A few days before the first attack she informed the family that "there were persons in my room last night, and they called 'Rancy, Rancy!' and I felt their breath on my face"; and the next night, repeating[Pg 194] the same story, she sought refuge in her mother's bed. These fanciful notions, symptomatic of the coming trouble and possibly provocative of it, would act in the way of a powerful autosuggestion, and would of themselves explain why there resulted an inchoate, tentative, vague personality, instead of the robust, definite personality that assumes control in most cases.
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