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A Science in the Séance Room

This book contains detailed descriptions of the experiments of ten eminent scientists who investigated psychic phenomena and mediums in the early days of Spiritualism...

Science in the Séance Room

Science in the Séance Room

By Paul Miller

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A long overdue reprint of the rare classic book from 1945 by Paul Miller. The author scoured many books and papers of eminent scientists who investigated psychic phenomena and mediums in the early days of Spiritualism (from Russel Wallace to Sir Wm Crookes and Dr Crawford with the Goligher Circle). The book contains not only detailed descriptions of the experiments of 10 of those men, but also their own words justifying their conclusions of the phenomena they had witnessed with various mediums under tight experimental control.

Miller's aim in collecting this evidence is to stimulate curiosity, and to advance interest until people find for themselves whether this thing be true or false for them, just as it has been proved to myriads of others on this planet. Often vilified for their work in this area it is important that their work is remembered and gives us stepping stones in the future.

Product Details
  • Paperback: 196 pages
  • Publisher: Saturday Night Press Publications. New edition (8 Dec. 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-13: 978-1908421326
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 1.1 x 20.3 cm

SPIRITUALISM is the only religion the fundamentals of which can be scientifically proved. All other religions, whatever their antiquity, no matter how novel they may be, lack the support of proved and tested facts from which can be inferred the operation of natural laws, which in their scope and magnitude offer to mankind a conception of the universe perfectly ruled and ideally balanced.

In other times men worshipped the unexplained phenomena of nature and cowered before the operation of forces which they could neither understand nor admit to examination since they themselves were ignorant. In later times tribal deities and gods hold the world in a prison-house state of fear. Not even the most powerful religions today can produce testifiable facts in support of the dogmas and creeds with which they hold sway over millions of people, …

But this Spiritualism, in less than a century, has been tested more than almost any other proposition affecting mankind.  With each new inquiry a new controversy has been begun; as each prominent convert stood forth boldly to declare the truth of what he himself had discovered by personal investigation of facts, a new wave of scorn, prejudice, bitterness and opposition has dashed against him. These eminent men and women who courageously testified to the fundamental truths of Spiritualism have passed on, and it is largely from their record that I draw the material for this book. ….

Paul Miller

Chapter Five - The Immortality of Matter

AN American scientist, Professor Mapes, investigated Spiritualism almost at its birth. His work lay in agricultural chemistry. All his interests were scientific, and he was a materialist. To him, as he watched matter in its processes, there was no place for a deity. He regarded the mind as arising wholly from a human organism and as being actuated by the forces of nature. So, when he came to consider Spiritualism, he speculated, before ascertaining the facts, that it could either be something to do with electricity in an unknown form….

Step by step, as his investigation of Spiritualism proceeded, over a period of 25years, his views were enlarged until he concluded that from the materialistic viewpoint nature was organised on a one-sided basis – if matter could be proved indestructible and man, apparently the master of matter, did not survive. …..  "Little by little I was led to investigate these manifestations, and there came to me a positive revelation in my scientific pursuits. I was then interested in investigating various kinds of soil and their peculiar qualities as adapted to fruit growing. I said, 'If this is true, I may get some idea with reference to the nature of the subject I am investigating.'"

In that he was disappointed, for the guides of the mediums with whom he sat said, “We do not come to aid you in your individual sciences, because we wish to sharpen your own mind to work; but if you will take the first step, we will aid you to take the second.”  … (and they did).

D.D.Home sitting at  a table with the accordion within the cage.
D.D.Home sitting at a table with the
accordion within the cage.

Chapter Six - Proving the Fourth Dimension (Prof Zöllner)

To repeat the experiments carried out by Sir William Crookes and Dr Huggins with D.D.Home, an accordion was placed under the table along with a bell. While Slade clasped the keyless end of the accordion—the keyed end hanging down free away from him—he raised the accordion until his hand, grasping the upper and keyless part, showed above the table. The accordion was held with his right hand. His left hand was placed on the table. Suddenly the accordion began to play and at the same time a bell on a cord rang violently. To make the ringing noise, the bottom of the bell had to be raised from the floor. Then Slade gave the accordion to Professor Schiebner and asked him to hold it as he had done. Hardly had the professor grasped the keyless end of the accordion—as Slade had done a few moments before—when the musical instrument began to play and the bell to dance and ring. All the time Slade’s hands were on the table, and his feet, turned sideways, were constantly watched by the other two professors.



Chapter Ten - “Medium Triumphs in Crucial Tests” (Sir Wm Crookes and Florence Cook with Katie King materialised)

Katie King & Dr GullyAt one séance the materialised form of Katie walked among the experimenters for some time, retreated behind the curtain which had been drawn across the laboratory to form a cabinet, emerged in a minute, called Crookes over and said to him: "Come into the room and lift my medium’s head up. She has slipped down." Katie was standing before him in her white ectoplasmic robe and turban headdress. Crookes went into the library behind the laboratory, Katie stepping aside for him to pass, and he found Miss Cook had slipped from the sofa and her head was in an awkward position. He lifted her back to the sofa and in doing so had satisfactory evidence, in spite of the darkness, that the medium was not attired in the same costume as Katie, but was still wearing her ordinary black velvet dress, while the materialised spirit was clad in white robes of ectoplasm.

There could not have been any quick change, because it took him only three seconds to lift the medium up to the sofa.

He went back to join the others. Katie reappeared and said she would like to be able to show herself and the medium at the same time. Katie asked for the phosphorus lamp, as the gas had been turned out, and after showing herself in the glow of Crookes's ingenious device, she handed the lamp back to him and said, "Now come in and see my medium." He followed her into the library and by the light of his lamp saw the medium on the sofa just as he had left her. He looked for Katie, but she had gone. He called her, and there was no answer. Crookes went back to his place, and Katie reappeared and told him she had been standing close to the medium all the time.

Chapter Fourteen - "Impossible to find a Flaw"

Dr Robin Tillyard…. Dr Tillyard took charge of Margery’s séance garments, which he thoroughly searched, as he did all the apparatus necessary for the production of thumbprints. He prepared the dental wax, which he marked. Margery was fixed in a chair with adhesive tape bandages which were tightly placed round her bare wrists, binding them to two arms of the chair, and around her stockinged ankles and then tied to the legs of the chair. All these bandages were marked by Tillyard with blue pencil, so that it would have been impossible for her to have moved either hands or feet without showing the change in position by the change in the blue pencil marks.

Three supernormal thumbprints were obtained. In his letter to Lodge, written a few hours after the sitting, Tillyard says: “It was by far the most wonderful séance I have ever attended. I think the arrangements which we made were scientifically severe, and at the same time put on record the most marvellous results in the whole history of psychic research. It seems to me quite impossible to find a single flaw in this wonderful result. This séance is, for me, the culminating point of all my psychical research. ….

To him these séances proved conclusively that Walter, Margery’s guide, was a real personality, independent of the medium, and of him he wrote: “Walter can handle delicate objects and place them accurately in the dark without doing any damage. He can select and cognise objects not known to any living person in the world, thus proving that he does not depend on telepathy or knowledge stored up in any person’s subconscious mind. Finally, he can produce his thumbprints in dental wax in the dark more quickly than an ordinary man can do them in the light.  ….”

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