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HISTORIC GHOSTS AND GHOST HUNTERS

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Author Topic: HISTORIC GHOSTS AND GHOST HUNTERS  (Read 3062 times)
Porscha Campbell
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« Reply #165 on: November 15, 2009, 05:43:27 am »

As a matter of fact, however, Dee was making headway neither in his quest for the philosopher's stone nor in his efforts to prove the existence of a spiritual world. In vain[Pg 202] he pored over every work of occultism upon which he could lay his hands, and tried all known means of incantation. Year after year passed without result, until at last he hit on the expedient of crystal-gazing. As every student of things psychical is aware, if one takes a crystal, or glass of water, or other body with a reflecting surface, and gaze at it steadily, he may possibly perceive, after a greater or less length of time, shadowy images of persons or scenes in the substance that fixes his attention. It was so with Dr. Dee, and not having any understanding of the laws of subconscious mental action he soon came to the conclusion that the shadowy figures he saw in the crystal were veritable spirits. From this it was an easy step to imagine that they really talked to him and sought to convey to him a knowledge of the great secrets of this world and the next.

The only difficulty was that he could not understand what they said—or, rather, what he fancied they said. The obvious thing to do was to find a crystal-gazer with the gift of the spirit language, and induce him to interpret for Dr. Dee's benefit the revelations of the images in the glass. Such a crystal-gazer[Pg 203] was ready at hand in the person of a young man named Edward Kelley. Among the common people, as Dee well knew, Kelley had the reputation of being a bold and wicked wizard. He had been born in Worcester, and trained in the apothecary's business, but, tempted by the prospect of securing great wealth at a minimum of trouble, he had turned alchemist and magician. It was rumored that on at least one occasion he had disinterred a freshly buried corpse, and by his incantations had compelled the spirit of the dead man to speak to him. There was more truth in the report that the reason he always wore a close-fitting skull-cap was to conceal the loss of his ears, which had been forfeited to the Government of England on his conviction for forgery. Of this last unpleasant incident Dr. Dee seems to have known nothing. At any rate, with child-like confidence, he sent for Kelley, told him of the properties of his magic crystal—which the now thoroughly infatuated doctor represented as having been bestowed on him by the angel Uriel—and asked Kelley if he would interpret for him the wonderful words of the spirits.
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