From the book The Wisdom of the Godsl H. Dennis Bradley
Bradley and wife both develop the direct voice
In the course of my investigations, the two most gifted mediums I came in contact with were Mrs. Osborne Leonard and George Valiantine, and the process by which they developed their power was much the same.
And here let me attempt to remove any misconception as to the properties of mediumship. A medium is simply and solely what the word implies : a medium of communication with the unseen. The possibilities for the charlatan and the impostor are obviously great, but the ingenuity necessary to deceive the experienced and scientific observer, whose sole aim is to sift the true from the false, unhampered by sentiment or prejudice, would command huge sums of money in other spheres of activity. From a material point of view, mediumship is one of the poorest paid careers open for the intelligent rogue, whose aim is easy money.
About the age of ten Mrs. Leonard was clairvoyant; at fifteen she attended her first séance, but was forbidden by her parents to attend another. At nineteen she determined to investigate the subject, and in 1909, with three other ladies, she experimented at table sittings. Twenty-seven sittings took place before anything happened, and at the twenty-eighth rappings occurred. In the case of George Valiantine, the earliest intimations that he possessed mediumistic powers came in the form of rappings when he was over forty years of age.
One result of my investigation was to convince me that mediumship is essentially a question of development; anyone, I am certain, can become mediumistic in varying degrees, that is, given the application and the study. I do not assert that it is possible for everyone to attain the high level of Mrs. Leonard or Mr. Valiantine, but I am sure that there are mediumistic powers in each of us....
As I pondered the results of my first experiments, I asked myself why,—if Mrs. Leonard and Valiantine—both perfectly normal persons—could develop this high form of mediumship starting from the simplest and crudest of beginnings,—it should not be within my power to achieve the same result, and if I could do so, why it should not be possible for my wife to do so, and why, indeed, should not everyone be capable of mediumship.
And if such a development were made, it would mean a gigantic step in the difficult task of convincing the sceptic by producing evidence not obtained through the agency of the paid medium. The paid medium is the bugbear of the fool inquirer—the inquirer who has ignorantly made up his mind that there is nothing in it.
Frankly, I have no sympathy with the paid medium cry, which to some mentalities seems to faint the most wonderful results. A doctor, a barrister, or a stockbroker is not denounced as a fraud because he receives re-numeration for his work, and the fees of the most famous mediums in the world compare unfavourably with those of Barley Street, the Temple, or Throgmorton Street. But the mere fact that a medium is paid vitiates the work of that medium, and I feel that, once one could abolish the intervention of the medium and obtain direct evidence oneself, a stupendous leap forward can be made.
The forms and degrees of mediumship are endless.
With regard, for example, to the extraordinary phenomenon of direct spirit voices, we know nothing as to how the spirits are enabled to materialize and produce their voices. That it is a scientific process is certain. In some unknown way it is the usage of the physical and psychical forces of the medium by the more highly developed senses of the spirit operators.
Much nonsense has been written by inexperienced people on the subject. I can now write as a medium—the proof of which will be shown later—and though the medium is but an instrument for communication, since I possess a keen intelligence, my impressions are of infinitely greater value than those of any scientist or theorist.
So far this great study has been held down by silly rules and formula : negative and unprogessive. It is the fool who tarries upon the first rung of the ladder.
The rubbish written by most of the so-termed experts of psychic phenomena is ludicrous. Their experiences are limited; most of them have concentrated their attention on some tame medium, and after observing a few of that medium's methods and conditions, they foolishly imagine that the secret powers of all mediumship are thus revealed.
Such an assumption is absurd. There are hundreds of forms of mediumship, and tens of thousands of degrees. What may apply to one is opposed to another.
It is of no use to try to determine, fix or limit the process of mediumship. It is stupid to base one's conclusions on tradition or history. It is the progress of tomorrow we look to. Mediumship, even in the most advanced and powerful stage extant, is relatively a mere incoherent fluttering towards the knowledge we may gain in the future.
In fifty years from now, the few great mediums of today will be relegated to the position of the man who first risked the drop from the first parachute.
Educated people have a natural contempt for table rapping, a contempt which I shared. To begin with, the process is so open to ridicule that it could never appeal to me, nor do I feel, even after many successful experiments, that this form of phenomenon could be accepted alone as evidence of survival. It was only because Mrs. Leonard and George Valiantine started their experiences in this way that I was induced to make similar experiments, with the determination to use those experiments as a child masters pot-hooks before he can write—as steps towards a higher development.
It was in May, 1924, that I made my first experiment on my own, and except for one occasion at some ribald party in the West End, when there appeared to be much fooling, I had never before even attended a table sitting.
Circumstance played a part in deciding action, for although I had determined to pursue my investigations to the utmost, I was tired out with a year's study of psychics and with the production of Towards the Stars, which work was then in the press.
Although I had determined to make the endeavour to cultivate personal mediumship, I had intended first to take a thorough rest and to defer any such experiments until the autumn. To enjoy the rest and the beauties of an English spring, I took a charming little cottage on the river at Maidenhead, but for the whole of the month of May the river was a raging torrent the rain never ceased, except on the few odd occasions when in desperation I dashed to lunch or dine in London. On two or three days only could I attempt to punt a mile or so up stream, and paddle back in record time, or take the electric canoe through a few locks, and arrive home drenched.
The atmosphere of the cottage was peaceful, but rest is an illusion which my temperament can seldom create. Eternity will never appeal to me if all that it can offer is rest in peace. To that negation of effort I would even prefer a perpetuity of existence on a plane of strife and turmoil.
One evening, tired of the dampening peace, my wife and I made our first experiment at a table sitting. It was with an ordinary small gate-leg table. We sat in the dark, waiting for anything that might happen. Quite soon a faint tapping came. Then the taps got louder. We asked who it was—mentioning names and giving a code for yes and no, and we found out who it was who purported to produce the raps. The raps were said to come from the spirit of Annie and from my brother-in-law, Warren Clarke. (Warren Clarke appears in Towards the Stars as W.A. He has now become a famous character in literature, and it is proper that the anonymity should be shed.) Both Annie and Warren have played leading parts in my psychic studies.
There was nothing at all evidential in this experiment, but the raps were loud and distinct, and the affirmative and negative replies were intelligent. For a first experiment—compared with Mrs. Osborne Leonard's early stages of development—the distinct though insignificant results I considered to be quite good.
The next time the results were better, and by using the alphabet, simple, intelligent messages were spelt out to us. On that occasion, the table moved about the room, and in a mood of gaiety, lifted itself in the air and stood on two legs, and pushed up against us in quite an affectionate manner.
I am willing to laugh with the sceptic at the record of these feeble movements, just as I laugh at an unbalanced baby making its first few endeavors to toddle. But when I have related the progress that I have made within a few months of these attempts at mediumship, I will prove sufficient to provide the greatest scientists in the world with food for thought.
After one or two table sittings held by my wife and myself the circle was added to by my son, Dennis Anthony Bradley—down for vacation from Trinity College, Cambridge1. Then the raps became stronger and several simple messages were spelled out to us.
1 My son writes under the name of Anthony Bradley. In this book he is variously referred to as Dennis and Anthony.
Then one night, at Maidenhead, when my wife and son were dining out, I experimented at the table alone. I sat with my fingers lightly resting on the top of the table. I did not get any rap, but the table was taken right out of my reach. It was moved quite nine inches way from me, and was then pushed back again to me. This happened twice or three times.
We returned to my home at Dorincourt, Kingston Vale, in June, and there held a few more table sittings. On one occasion we sat in my study in the dark and used a gramophone. The music apparently increased the power very considerably. Questions we asked were readily answered by loud and distinct raps, and during the time the gramophone was playing the table vibrated enormously and was lifted into the air and pushed up against us.
Early in July Mr. Caradoc Evans, the famous Welsh novelist, and playwright, and his wife, were dining with me, and at their desire we held a sitting during the evening. The table did all manner of extraordinary ! It lifted itself completely from the floor. It pushed itself against Mr. Evans' chest, and raising itself supernormally, eventually rested on his head.
Several messages were spelled out to me and to my wife from Annie and from Warren Clarke. The name of his friend, Edward Wright, was spelled out to Mr. Evans and messages were given from him to Mr. Evans and his wife.
Later on, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Sykes were at a table sitting and several messages were spelled out, and the same extraordinary vibrations of the table took place.
At another sitting my brother-in-law, Edward Fry, and my sister, Gertrude Fry, sat with us. The physical phenomena on this occasion were amazing. It seems particularly curious that though Mr. and Mrs. Fry had read of my experiments, they appeared to be more impressed by this primitive method of communication than they had been by the published record of other infinitely more surprising experiences. This again demonstrates that it is the personal experience—simple as it may be—that convinces people of the truth of survival.
During July we held a sitting at Dorincourt after dinner, with Mrs. Cory, Miss Winifred Graham, (the novelist), her husband, and Mrs. Graham (her mother). Personal messages were given to each of the sitters by the means of raps. This was, I may mention, the first experience of the three guests of a table sitting, and as is usual with initiates, they all appeared to be astonished at the results.
Another sitting was held one night after dinner at Mrs. Cory's house at Hampton. On this occasion the table used was very heavy, and one which it was almost impossible for any one present to lift. Several messages came through by raps, and then this heavy table was lifted up and turned completely over, so that its legs stood in the air. Such a demonstration makes no appeal to me and would never convince me of survival, but at the same time, I shall be glad if any scientist will be kind enough to explain how and why these things happen. It may be said that if it were spirits who performed this physical act—and I am perfectly convinced it was—then this is not a very dignified manner of displaying their powers. Such demonstrations are made to convince those who are sitting that there is power beyond the human power. Physical demonstrations are given simply as first signs of that hidden power.
All this time I knew exactly what I was doing in conducting these experiments. I had used this primitive form merely to develop the psychic power in me as far as possible. My aim and my determination were to experiment in order to obtain the direct and independent voices, which I regard as the highest form of all mediumship.
How this was achieved I will show in the next chapter.
July to September, 1924
AMONG the many forms of mediumship, perhaps the most generally used is the so-called automatic writing. Interesting as this form may be, I, from personal experience and tests, should estimate that by this means any fact which can be accepted as indisputable evidence of survival emerges in barely one case in a thousand.
The objections to automatic writing are obvious, and it is perfectly possible to imagine an absolutely honest experimenter in this form of mediumship in all unconsciousness imprinting his own personality and ideas upon his messages.
By far the most wonderful and dramatic form of mediumship is the independent voice which speaks from space. It does not issue from the mouth of the medium—who may, and often does—speak simultaneously with it—a fact which enables any suggestion of ventriloquism to be dismissed as absurd. And it is with the investigation and development of this extraordinary and valuable form of mediumship that the student of psychical research must concern himself.
In the history of the subject there have been—and there still are—few direct, or independent, voice mediums. Home has been credited—somewhat loosely, I think—with being one of the greatest of all mediums, but in every record of phenomena produced by Home I fancy I am right in stating that in only one or two cases did his sitters hear even the faint whisper of a single word. At the same time, it must be borne in mind that Home did not try to get the direct voice.
The modern voice mediums, as they are called, represent the newest and highest form of mediumship.
Apart from Valiantine, who stands alone as the most remarkable medium, among those with whom I have sat include Evan Powell, the sisters Moore and F. F. Craddock.
Mr. Powell is a genuine and powerful medium, but on some occasions no voices have come through, and on other occasions the conversations have been mixed and confused and have been carried on only in a few short, ambiguous sentences. Under good conditions, conversations have been carried on for several minutes, and many evidential communications have been made.
The great difficulty in the way of the establishment of the fact of spirit communication is that in almost every instance, despite the inexplicable phenomena produced, and despite even the strongest evidence, allegations are invariably made against the personal character of the genuine medium.
Three times, for instance, have allegations of fraud been made against Valiantine, and on each occasion I have proved them to be scandalously untrue. Nevertheless, evil rumors will always spread like wildfire, and the great mass of loosely minded critics prefer to accept an ill-constructed lie to a solidly founded truth. It is so much easier, and such an attitude confers a sense of comic superiority.
I reasoned that if Valiantine had power to get into communication with the spirits, and if he possessed the qualities of mediumship by which the spirits were able to talk with us, there was no reason why it should not be possible for them to speak to my wife and myself without the presence of Valiantine. It was indeed Valiantine who told me on leaving England that he was sure I should be able to get the voices.
It was towards the end of July, 1924, that I made my first effort to obtain direct and independent spirit voices.
When I suggested the experiment to my wife, she was amused, and declared that it would be absolutely impossible. So I refused to make any attempt on that evening.
Two evenings later, however, the experiment was made. There were only three sitters : my wife, her mother, and myself.
We sat in my study at Dorincourt ; a trumpet—a collapsible aluminium trumpet for amplifying sounds, which Valiantine had left with me on his return to America in March last—was placed on a table in the centre of the room. We got the raps on the table as before, and after twenty minutes or so the trumpet was lifted and each of us was lightly touched.
Then a hissing sound was heard, as if someone was endeavouring, under great difficulties, to articulate something.
After a while faint voices called us by name, and two spirits communicated with us, one announcing herself as Annie, and the other as Warren.
We got only a few odd phrases, which we could not decipher. But, slight as the phenomena were, I regarded the attempt as remarkably successful.
During the next experiment made with the same sitters, the voices were stronger. At a sitting held under precisely the same conditions, in addition to my wife and myself, there were present Mrs. Cory (Miss Winifred Graham), her husband, and Mrs. Graham. Again the trumpet was lifted and each of the sitters was touched on the head. Again we got the faint replies to our questions in the affirmative or the negative as the case may be, but we could not get through phrases of more than three words.
At a later sitting, when there were present only my wife, her mother, and myself, we sat at the table, placing the trumpet in the centre of the table as before. The table swiftly spelt out, by raps, the sentence : On Saturday put the trumpet in the middle of the room. I asked : Do you mean that we should not use the table at all? The answer came : No.
I said : Shall we try without the table now?
I removed the table and placed the trumpet in the middle of the room. After a while it was lifted, and floated in the air, and we got a few short phrases through.
On the following Saturday my wife and I were invited to a certain house to dinner, and included in the party were Mr. and Mrs. Osborne Leonard. I had been asked to bring the trumpet with me, and after dinner we held a sitting. In addition to Mr. and Mrs. Osborne Leonard, and my wife and myself, there were in the circle five other people : my host and hostess, a sister of the hostess, and another lady and a gentleman. I refrain from giving their names because the incident I am about to relate is of a somewhat delicate nature.
Prior to this, my mind had been working on how to overcome the handicap of the complete darkness in which direct voice séances are almost invariably held. I evolved the simple idea of having a luminous band placed on the broad end of the trumpet, so that every movement could be seen, and the exact locality of the sound of the voice determined.
For this occasion, therefore, the trumpet was luminous, and any movement could be seen by the sitters. First of all we sat at a table with the trumpet placed in the centre. There were several raps of varying character, and answers to questions. The table was lifted, and although it could easily, and would naturally, slide off, the trumpet was held in position by unseen hands. Later on we took the table away, and put the trumpet in the centre of the circle. It was lifted up, and floated in the air; everybody was touched by it, and on some occasions it actually went outside the circle. It floated over and rested itself on the hands of one of the lady guests present. We got faint answers of yes and No, and at the end a voice delivered one affectionate message.
About two days afterwards to my astonishment I received a letter from my hostess, saving that we were being deceived: that during the sitting, when the trumpet had rested on her sister's hand, her sister had reached out quickly, to find a hand holding the other end of the trumpet, which, she suggested, was the hand of Mr. Osborne Leonard. It will be noticed that no charge was made at the time of the sitting. My hostess also said that she had received, through automatic writing, a message saying that Mr. Leonard was responsible for holding the trumpet and for the rest of the happenings. My correspondent's deductions were ridiculous, since the same form of phenomena had happened previously at Dorincourt, when Mr. Leonard had not been present. The lady who made the accusation had never sat before, and was extremely sceptical of séances, and it is possible that she may have felt a hand on the trumpet. If she did, it was unquestionably a materialized hand, and not that of Mr. Osborne Leonard. Anyone who knows Mr. Leonard as well as I do would laugh to scorn such an infantile allegation. This incident, however, shows how accusations of fraud are loosely thrown out by inexperienced people, and it also serves to show that a great bulk of automatic writing which comes through is coloured by the mind of the writer. Confirmation of this message could not, for various intimate reasons, possibly have cone through from the spirit from whom the writer assumed she received it. In fact, at another sitting, the spirit in question absolutely denied that the message had been given by him.
From this time onward we conducted fairly regular private sittings at home.
Many times have I been asked the reason for the practice of playing the gramophone as a preliminary to a séance, and the reason, in my case, is simple.
It has been found by experience that music of some sort, whether that of the human voice or of some instrument, is helpful in getting the minds of the sitters into harmony and also in some way, which has yet to be explained, the vibrations set up by the music are of assistance in enabling the spirit forces to manifest themselves. Moreover, I am a rotten singer, and therefore I prefer the mechanical production of music by the gramophone to my own voice.
But it must be borne in mind that music, while helpful, is by no means essential. Where there is perfect harmony between the sitters it is unnecessary; on many occasions when my wife and I have sat with Valiantine alone we have used no music whatever, and voices have come through almost immediately. On other occasions, while sitting alone with my wife, similar phenomena have taken place without music.
After the preliminary experiments, my wife and I took a rest for a few weeks, during which time we were traveling.
Towards the end of September, the sittings were resumed, and at the first there were present my wife, her mother, my son Anthony, and myself.
During the séance the voices of Annie and of Warren Clarke came through and spoke to us, and in the middle of the sitting Anthony made the suggestion that, as the spirits had the power to lift the trumpet, it should be possible for them to lift other things. He asked me whether I would mind him leaving the room and bringing in a drum and drum-sticks from the dance room. I agreed to this, whereupon a drum and drumsticks were placed in the centre of the room. Whilst a jazz tune was put on the gramophone, the drum-sticks were lifted and the drum was played in perfect time with the record.
The next day I went to Hamley's, and purchased a complete jazz set, and in addition to the drum, I also bought a tambourine, cymbals, triangle, siren and a set of heavy sleigh bells.
For that evening I had invited Mr. and Mrs. Caradoc Evans, Mr. Noel Jaquin—who had never sat at a séance before—and also there were present my wife, Anthony, and myself.
Mr. Noel Jaquin is one of the greatest experts in Great Britain in the study of hands and finger-prints, and he was desirous of seeing if it was possible to obtain the imprint of a spirit hand.
On this occasion all the instruments of the jazz band were played in time with the music played on the gramophone. The siren was taken up to the ceiling and blown, and during one of the melodies, the sleigh bells were played in time and harmony with the music. Before the sitting began I placed on the trumpet a vivid luminous band made by Messrs. Barratts, of Piccadilly, so that all its movements could be seen.
Here I would once more insist that physical phenomena of this kind, however extraordinary they may appear, would never appeal to me or convince me, unless I felt that there was an intelligence behind them, and unless I could also get into actual communication with those intelligences and learn from them things of value.
During that evening we had six individual spirit voices speaking to us through the trumpet, each giving his name. The spirit of Edward Wright spoke at some length to Mr. and Mrs. Evans. Mr. Jaquin was also spoken to by a spirit voice announcing itself as George Gregory. The spirit of Feda1came through, and laughed and talked, and seemingly walked about the room.
I should mention that Feda comes through in the independent voice. She usually interjects her remarks with a rather peculiar but happy little laugh. Feda has visited us at Dorincourt, with the peculiar characteristics she displayed during the Valiantine sittings in England last February. She has a personality which is recognizable immediately by any who have once heard her speak in the independent voice.
Annie and Warren Clarke also spoke to us, and towards the end of our conversation with Warren I asked him whether it had been possible to obtain a materialized finger-print. He said it was very difficult, but in time they might be able to succeed in giving us one.
1 Feda is Mrs. Osborne Leonard's control-a winsome, frolicsome spirit child
When I put on the Galli-Curci and Battistini records in operatic selections, the luminous trumpet was taken up and used as a baton, and the opera was conducted in the most professional manner. At the end of this manifestation we asked the conductor if he could give his name. We could not distinguish it at first, and Mr. Evans asked : Are you English?
The voice replied: No, no.
Mr. Jaquin asked : Are you French? And again the voice said : No
My son said: Are you Italian?
And the voice answered : Yes, yes, Italian.
We asked for the name, but the voice was so indistinct that we could not distinguish it.
This sitting lasted for nearly two hours, and at the finish Mr. and Mrs. Caradoc Evans and Mr. Noel Jaquin declared that they were astounded by the phenomenal results which had been obtained.
Strangely enough, after several manifestations of the trumpet acting as a music conductor, my wife one morning told me that she had had a dream in which someone told her that the name of the spirit who conducted the operatic music at our sittings was Palastrina, the great Italian composer of the sixteenth century.
At a later sitting this was confirmed by the spirit voice. It is by no means illogical that the spirit of Palastrina should manifest in this manner, for such a miraculous spiritual demonstration as this might have far-reaching effects.
I asked Mr. Caradoc Evans to write me a short record of his experience. Here it is:
The various instruments of the small jazz band which Mr. Bradley had bought earlier in the day and which I had helped to unpack—began to move before the first gramophone record was half-way through. I had not heard jazz music previously, having no delight in that form of entertainment, but I am assured that the unseen players moved their pieces in unison with that which was played by the record. A few minutes later while a record was reproducing Madame GalliCurei's voice in an operatic song, the trumpet rose deliberately from the floor; usually it trembles a little before rising, but on this occasion it rose as deliberately as rises a man who has made up his mind for action. In a moment it was in the air, conducting with majesty and dignity the song that came from the gramophone.
We had been sitting about half an hour, when I felt a sharp dig at the side of my left knee. I asked my neighbor, who was sitting several feet away: 'Did you stick your finger in my knee? ' My neighbor answered 'No' I said : 'Somebody did.' Then I heard a laugh. It sounded in the middle of the floor. 'Is that you, Feda? ' I asked, remembering Feda's tricks. Another laugh, and a voice said 'yes.'
CE 'Look here, young woman, you mustn't play tricks. Besides, nice girls do not stick their fingers into gentlemen's knees. And I bet you don't know who I am.'
Feda : 'I do.'
CE : 'Well?'
Feda : 'Carodoc Evans'
CE: 'Come close to me. Maybe I'll be able to see you.'
Feda came up to me, and though I could not see her, I felt her hands pressing my ankles together.
CE: 'Sit on my lap, Feda.'
Feda's spirit sat on my lap so substantially that the spirit might have been a child of flesh and blood.
CE: 'What about a kiss?'
Two lips kissed my cheek several times; lips that were warm with the warmth of life and from between which came the breath that we know to be the breath of life.
When I think of Feda now I think of her not as a spirit, but as an engaging child who was a bit spoilt in life.
My dead friend Edward Wright made a journey to us. He spoke to my wife and to me. He did not say anything evidential,—but that which he did say he only could have said.
Here are Mr. Noel Jaquin's impressions:
It was my privilege on the 30th September to experience for the first time a spiritualistic experiment.
I had suggested to Mr. Bradley that if it were possible to obtain the imprint of a spirit hand, the materialized hand of some person whose imprint I had taken during life, then this would be concrete and incontestable proof of survival. I did not for one moment hope to be able to get these imprints at the first sitting, but I took the precaution of preparing some smoked paper which I took with me to Dorincourt.
Mr. and Mrs. Caradoc Evans, Mr. and Mrs. Bradley, Dennis Anthony Bradley, and myself entered the library just before nine o'clock. I assisted Anthony in erecting a jazz band set brought up from town that evening; this set comprised a drum, cymbal, triangle, swanee whistle and a hoop of small bells. These instruments were placed in the middle of the room; my case of blackened paper I placed very carefully at the side of the trumpet, and, in a semi-circle, I placed some sheets of ordinary white paper, which I had ensured being free from any marks made by contact with the human hand. All these papers I placed with forceps.
Preparations complete, the lights were switched off, leaving us in inky darkness, the only thing visible was the end of the trumpet, which had a luminous band at one end. Unless one possessed the eyes of a cat it would have been impossible to reach the trumpet without falling over the band set or treading on some of the paper. Mr. Bradley sat opposite to me working the gramophone. During the first record nothing happened; about half-way through the second, the trumpet was suddenly lifted about eight feet into the air, and commenced to 'conduct ' the operatic selection then being played.
As the record finished Mr. Bradley asked our unknown conductor if he would endeavour to give his name. Only a hoarse, wheezing sort of whisper cane through the trumpet which we were unable to understand. Someone then asked if he were French; the reply was a faint 'No.' Everyone present heard this. Several other countries were suggested, the reply to each being 'No,' until Anthony Bradley said, 'Are you Italian?' At once the trumpet swung round and replied 'Yes.' A jazz tune was tried next, then a fox-trot; these were not conducted, but about a quarter way through the latter the drum-sticks at my feet were moved. I heard the sound of one stick against the other, and in a second or two the drum was tapped, in time with the music. It was suggested that if there were other spirits present they might be good enough to assist in playing the band. Immediately the swanee whistle was played away on my right, and the hoop of bells towards the middle of the room, both high in the air.
The unknown conductor was performing again later, when Mr. Evans asked in rather a sharp, startled voice, 'Who is touching me?' We all assured him that it was not any of us. I personally could not have reached Mr. Evans without falling over some of the apparatus on the floor. It was found to be Feda, who, with a materialized hand, was touching Mr. Evans's knee. This being my first experience, I was naturally in a critical, but not hostile, frame of mind. I asked that Feda should come over and touch me. At once my right hand was touched by a soft warm finger. I then asked if she would touch my left hand. This I at once moved down to my side, it was touched in the same way.
A little later—half-way through a record—the trumpet was seen to rise. Mr. Bradley stopped the gramophone, and asked if the spirit would touch the person it wanted to speak to. The trumpet came gently over to me, as though the person holding it was afraid of dropping it, and very gently tapped the side of my head; this was not so much a tap as a caress. It was then held in front of my face, the luminous end being about two inches from me. Very faintly through it came
'Who are you, friend? Tell me who you are.'
'George.' This was much stronger and louder.
'George who?' (I had guessed who it might be, but did not intend to be hasty.)
I then became convinced that this was my old school friend and brother-in-law actually talking to me. I told him of the experiment we were trying, and of the idea in getting the imprint of a spirit hand, and whose hands I wished to get. He promised to help me all he could. The trumpet was quivering by this time, as though the person holding it was becoming tired, so I said good night. It then came towards me again and caressed the side of my head. At the same moment I felt a hand gently patting m my shoulder. The trumpet was then replaced exactly in the position that it first occupied. My brother-in-law was precise to a fault, and it always was a habit of his, as we parted, for him to pat my shoulder gently. No person in the room knew that I had a brother-in-law; they certainly could not have imitated those personal traits of precision and gentle sympathy. Later during the evening I felt a hand gently patting my head in an encouraging sympathetic manner. This hand was warm and soft, like warm putty, but certainly a hand. Other spirits spoke, people whom I did not know—a relative of Mr. Evans, Mr. Bradley's sister, and Warren Clarke.
Warren Clarke was the last one to speak. He spoke to Mr. Bradley, and then came over and spoke to Anthony Bradley. Just as he was moving away from Anthony, I said, 'Good evening, Mr. Warren, I am very pleased to meet you, and I should like to ask what you think of the imprint idea? Do you think it's any good ? '
'Jolly good idea, I will help all I can.'
'Has the paper been touched at all this evening? '
Mr. Bradley then asked if Warren would take the trumpet up to the ceiling and tap it twice. At once the trumpet was carried quickly round the room, and spiraled up to the ceiling, which was tapped twice quite clearly. We then said good night, and the lights were switched on. The papers were untouched, except for a faint smudge that had been caused by the end of the trumpet falling on it.
The height of the room would prevent anyone being able to lift the trumpet up and tap the ceiling, even had they stood on the bookcase, or the desk—which was impossible; the bookcase top having a lot of books, etc., standing on it, and the desk was behind my chair. This was a point that I particularly noticed.
Before the sitting began, Mr. Evans and myself, at the invitation of Mr. Bradley, examined the trumpet and found that the inside was quite dry. At the end of the sitting we again examined it and found that there was a slight condensation of moisture on the inside, but the outer edges were quite dry. If materialized breath is used, it must cause precisely the same condensation of moisture as ordinary breath, but it would not moisten the outer edge of the trumpet with saliva, as in the case of a human agency.
When I 'read' the hand of Mr. Bradley I warned him against placing too great a strain upon the nervous system, as it would affect the heart, which was 'nervy'. He frankly told me that I was wrong in one thing, and that was the point about the heart.
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