The Naturalisation of the Supernatural

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This work was published before January 1, 1924, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.

 

The Naturalisation of the

Supernatural


By

Frank Podmore

Author of
Modern Spiritualism—A History and a Criticism / Studies in Psychical
Research / Apparitions and Thought Transference, etc.




G. P. Putnam's Sons
New York and London
The Knickerbocker Press
1908



Copyright, 1908
BY
G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS

Published, July, 1908
Reprinted, November, 1908


The Knickerbocker Press, New York



PREFATORY NOTE

T HE illustrative narratives quoted in the following pages are selected partly from the Proceedings, but mainly from the unpublished Journal of the Society for Psychical Research. I desire to acknowledge the courtesy which has placed these materials at my disposal.

F. P.

October, 1907.



CONTENTS.

  1. CHAPTER I
    Introductory
  2. PAGE
  3. Founding of the Society for Psychical Research: its aims and methods: the subjects to be investigated—Telepathy or thought-transference: its history; its relation to the physical world
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    1
  4. CHAPTER II
    Experimental Thought Transference
  5. The Brighton experiments by Professor and Mrs. Sidgwick: transference of numbers; of mental pictures—Difficulties of experiments at distance—Experiments by Mrs. Verrall. Experiments at a distance. by Dr. Wiltse—by the Rev. A. Giardon—by Miss Campbell and. Miss Despard—by Miss Miles end Miss Ramsden
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    16
  6. CHAPTER III
    Spontaneous Thought-Transference—Minds's Eye Visions
  7. Evidence to spontaneous occurrences inferior to the experimental evidence: various sources of error discussed—Transference of indefinite impressions, Professor ———, Mr. Garrison. Mr. Young—of visual impressions, Miss C. P. M. C., Mrs. D.. Miss Angus, Mr. Polley—of auditory impressions. Frau U.—of pain. Mrs. Castle—of motor impulse. Archdeacon Bruce
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    47
  8. CHAPTER IV
    Spontaneous Thought-Transference—Coincident Dreams
  9. Weakness of evidence derived from dreams: the greater scope for chance coincidence; the difficulty in accurately recollecting the impression—Examples of dreams which may reasonably be regarded as telepathic: from Dr. Adele Gleason, Mrs. Krekel. Mr. H. B., Miss Clarkson. Mrs. Mann. Mr. Brierley. Mrs. Knight
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    76
  10. CHAPTER V
    On Hallucinations in General
  11. Common misconception of the nature of apparitions. They are in fact hallucinations. The Census of Hallucinations—its results—distribution of hallucinations amongst the sane. Hallucinations occurring at the time of a death; calculation as to chance coincidence—Diffiulties in connecting experimental cases of thought-transference with spontaneous hallucination. Transition formed by case of apparitions experimentally produced—Examples from Mr. Godfrey, Mrs. E———, Miss Dauvers. On reciprocal telepathy:—Example from Captain Ward and Mrs. Green
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    99
  12. CHAPTER VI
    Telepathic Hallucinations
  13. The importance of attestation by contemporary documents. Examples—Auditory. Miss C. Clark—Visual, Prince Dnleep Singh, Mme. Broussiloff, Mrs. Michell, Mr. Kearne. Miss Hervey—With grotesque accompaniments, Mr. Dove—Comparison of hallucinations with dreams—Cases where the "agency" is doubtful, Miss R. and Mrs. Bagot—Collective percipience, Mr. Tweedale
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    124
  14. CHAPTER VII
    Poltergeists
  15. Antiquity and wide range of the phenomena—Rise of Modern Spiritualism from Poltergeists—A typical case, the trial at Cideville, given at length from the court records—The connection with Witchcraft. Fallacies of observation and memory—both sources of error illustrated by case from Sumatra, reported by Mr. Grottendieck
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    149
  16. CHAPTER VIII
    Spritualism
  17. Importance of the subject: an extensive religious movement. Difficulties in the way of investigation and gradual diminution of the manifestations. No positive results obtained by the Society—The investigation of slate-writing: discrepancies and evidential weakness demonstrated by Dr. Hodgson: Mr. Davey’s pseudo-Seánces: their triumphant success: explanation of the methods employed—Inherent weakness of all evidence depending upon continuous observation. The case of Eusapia Palladin still under consideration
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    171
  18. CHAPTER IX
    On Communication with the Dead
  19. Some disapprove the enquiry: most are simply indifferent—Causes of this indifference. Difficulties of the enquiry—its vindication
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    203
  20. CHAPTER X
    Phantasms of the Dead
  21. Announcement of death by dream or waking vision: examples from Mr. Peebles, Miss Kitching, Mrs. Haly, Mr. King, Mr. Tandy, Mr. Cameron Grant: indications in each case that the vision may have originated in the thoughts of the survivors—Case of Mrs. Y.—Information furnished in dreams, etc. : examples from Prof. Dolbear, Miss Whiting, Dona Nery, Miss Conley. The question of latent memory—Collective hallucinations, discussion of their origin and significance: examples from Rev. A. Holborn, Mrs. A. and others, the Misses Russell
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    212
  22. CHAPTER XI
    Haunted Houses
  23. The influence of locality in facilitating telepathy: examples from Mrs. Benecke, Mrs. O’Donnell—Apparitions associated with skeletons; examples from W. Moir, Mrs. Montague-Crackanthorpe—Apparition haunting country road: Miss Scott and others—Records of a haunted house: Miss Morton—Character of evidence for haunted houses in general
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    245
  24. CHAPTER XII
    Messages Received Through Trance and Automatisim
  25. The study of hypnotism, etc., has revolutionised psychology. Consciousness composite. Consciousness in normal life—in sleep—in hypnotism—in morbid dissociation: of personality—in automatism. On pseudo-personalities. Messages received—in reverie, Mr. C.—through motor automatism. Judge Harden—through automatic writing, Prof. Aksakof—in spontaneous trance, Mr. Wilkie—in hypnotic trance, Dr. Vidigsl
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    275
  26. CHAPTER XIII
    The Case or Mrs. Piper
  27. Record of automatic writings by Mrs. Verrall—Apparent fulfilment of a test in her writing—A message from the dead. Earlier mediums— Adele Maginot and Stainton Moses. The caseof Mrs. Piper—Early history—Control by Phinuit—Mr. J. T. Clarke's interview—Record by Sir O. Lodge—The George Pelham control—Striking impersonation—Later communications
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    299
  28. CHAPTER XIV
    On Clairvoyance and Pervision
  29. Myers's View of these transcendental faculties, and their relation to the subliminal self—Evidence for Clairvoyance at close quarters: Dick, the pit lad: Alexis Didier: Major Buckley's experiments—Travelling Clairvoyance: examples from Dr. Barcellos. Miss Busk—On Provision: weakness of dream evidence. dreams of numbers drawn for conscription—Symbolic hallucinations: Mrs. Verrall's instance of the "death-watch"—Pseudo-prophetic dreams: Mrs. McAlpine. Mr. F. Lane—Apparent prediction through automatic writing: Mrs. Verrall—in dream, Colonel Coghill. Prof. Newbold. Conclusion
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    331
  30. ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    367