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FROM THE

BENNO LOEWY LIBRARYCOLLECTED BY

BENNO LOEWY1854-1919

BEQUEATHED TO CORNELL UNIVERSITY

Cornell University Library

BF1251 .043People from the other world. Profusely

3olin

1924 028 954 174

Cornell University Library

The

original of this

book

is in

the Cornell University Library.

There are no known copyright

restrictions intext.

the United States on the use of the

http://www.archive.org/details/cu31924028954174

PEOPLEFROM THE

Other WorldHENRYPROFUSELY ILLUSTRATEDliY

S.

Q^LCOTT,T.

ALFRED KAPPES, AND

W. WILLIAMS.

"

We

have

set it

down as a lawupon

io

ourselves fb

examine things

to the

lotiom,

and not

to receive

credit^

or reject upon improbabilities^

until there hath passed a due examination^

LORD BACON.

TSSrED BY 8TTBSCEIPTTON ONLY, AND NOT FOR SALE IW THB B00K-ST0BI8. BBBIDENTS OF ANY 8TATKS DESIRING A COPY, BIIOULD ADDRESS THK PTJBUSHJtBS, AND AN AGENT WILL CALL VPOW THM.

HARTFORD, CONN.:

AMERICAN PUBLISHING COMPANY,1875.

Entered according to Act of Congress,

in the year 1874,

by

Henry

S.

Olcott.

In the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington, D. C.

:

The AuthorDEDICATES THIS WORKTO

ALFRED

R.

WALLACE,AND TO

F.

R. S.

AUTHOR OF "THE THEORY OF NATURAL

SELECTION," ETC.

WILLIAM CROOKES,To markhis admiration of the

F.

R.

S.

DISCOVERER OF THE METAL, THALLIUM,moral courage they have recently

displayed, in the investigation of thea sentiment which he holds in

phenomenawith

called spiritual

common

many thousands

of his

fellow-countrymen.

PREFACE.The volume which is now laid before the reader will be found divided into Two Parts of which the First is devoted to a detailed description of the strange things seen, heard, and felt by the author at the Eddy Homestead, in the township of Chittenden, Vermont; and the Second, to a report of a series of original investigations made by him in the city of Philadelphia, into the alleged materializations of John and Katie King, under test conditions to an account of the Compton " transfiguration ;" and to a copious Bibliography of the Occult Sciences. It has been no part of the author's plan to discuss modern Spiritualism in its moral aspect but, on the; ; ;

contrary,scientific

phenomena only as involving a question which presses upon us for instantto

treat

its

It is written neither as a defence of, or attack attention. upon Spiritualism, or Spiritualists. It is a truthful narrative of what befell in the Eddy Homestead, from the

August to the first week in December, 1874. was observed, by a leading New York journal, of the first, and by no means the most interesting letter written by the author from that place, that it was " as marvelous a story as any to be found in History." Its interest lay in the striking and highly sensational manifestations, of allegedlatter part ofIt

spiritual origin,"whichwill

it

described;

tlie

equal of wliich

be found in every chapter of this book. Twenty-seven years have elapsed since the Rochester

rappings attracted the notice of the world, and

we

are

PREFACE.

V

their cause

apparently not much nearer a scientific demonstration of than we were then. Such consideration asof scientific training have bestowed;

mennew

upon the ever-

varying forms of manifestation, has been mainly of a desultory character and, while numerous converts to the

have been made among this class, the great body of their colleagues have held themselves aloof from the subject, as if it were something to be avoided as subversive of the established, and hence respectable,faith,

order of things.

As early as 1857, the Faculty of Harvard University pronounced the opinion that " any connection with spiritualistic circles, so called, corrupts the morals, and degrades the intellect " and they even had the effrontery to say that they deemed it " their solemn duty to warn the community against this contaminating influence, which surely tends to lessen the truth of man, and the purity of woman." (!) In 1869. we find so little progress made that Mr. Huxley, one of the first scientific;

of England, writes to the London Dialectical Society that he neither has the time to devote to an investigation of the subject, nor does it even interest him. "The only case of Spiritualism,' " says Mr. Huxley, " I ever had the opportunity of examining into for myself, was as gross an imposture as ever came under my notice." The average reader will, of course, see the syllogism Mr. Huxley never saw but one case of 'Spiritualism'; that case proved a gross fraud, and no Spiritualism therefore, Spiritualism is a fraud This is given as a fair specimen of the self-complacent disdain with which our scientific men view the question of the The American Association devoted hours of its day. Hartford meeting, last summer, to a discussion upon the social habits of the tumble-bug, and to the important fact that the Saracenia variolaris (pitcher-plant) catches bugs but the members have no time to waste in investigating the astounding phenomenon of " materialization," the demonstration of whose verity would not only prove the immortality of the soul of man, but, as the Scientific Atnerican recently observed " If true, it will become the one grand event of the world's his' :;

men

!

;

:

torywill

;

it

Century.

be

will give an imperishable lustre of glory to the Nineteenth Its discoverer will have no rival in renown, and his name If the pretensions written high above any other.

...

of Spiritualism have a rational foundation, no more important has been offered to men of Science than their verification."

work

VI

PREFACE.

Mr. Crookes, after completing his first series of experiments with the medium Home, filed his papers with Professor Stokes and Professor Sharpey, the two secreThe taries of the Royal Society, June 15th, 1871. behavior of those gentlemen was what might have been expected. The first impulse was to rid themselves of it; These proving unavailing, the second, to smother it. they gave it the cold shoulder in a " Report on Mr. Crookes' Paper," of date August 7th, 1871, in which thewriter. Professor Stokes, says:

" I don't see much use discussing the thing in the sections, crowded as we already are but if a small number of persons in whom the public would feel confidence, choose to volunteer to act as members of a committee for investigating the subject, I don't see any objection to appointing such committee. I have heard too much of the tricks of Spiritualists to make me willing to give my time to such a committee myself.";

Now

work had

this is the in view

when

Committee that the author of this His aim has it was begun.

been to gather together into its pages, such a number of facts observed by him at Chittenden and Philadelphia, as may induce a few men in whom the public would feel confidence' to volunteer and form a commit'

tee

to

take

up

a

philosophical

inquiry

into

the

phenomena, and pursue it until the now occult force behind them shall be discovered and demonstrated. He is not without hope that his object will be attained, for he is in receipt of information going to show that the subject is now the burden of correspondence between professors in certain universities The attention of the scientific body is, for the first time in twenty years, seriously attracted, and we will not have long to wait before the debates of the American andBritish

Associations

will

be

problems than some that

now vex

devoted them.

to

worthier

How some of the "crowding in the sections" is caused, may be learned by any one who will look at the Association's volumes of Transactions. These, for instance, among many others of like commanding importance, will be found in the Report for 1871, the most recent volume at hand Paper " On the ciliated condition of the inner layer of the blastoderm in the ova of birds," by B T. Lonne; "The minute anatomy of the stem of the screw pine {Pandanus uiilis)," by Prof. Dyer " On the Essential oil of orange peel," by Dr. Wright and C. H. Piesse; "On a fat woman;

A

.

;

!

PREFACE.;

VU

exhibiting in London," by Sir D. Gibb " On Conser" On the vation of bowlders," by E. Milne-Home contents of a hyena's den, etc.," by Rev. W. S. Symonds. At the Hartford meeting of our American Association, besides the nonsensical debates upon the fly-catching flower, and the social habits of the tumble-dung beetle, the intellects of the members were taxed to consider how the lobster {Homarus vulgaris, to be entirely respectful), casts its shell; the nature of the generative organs of the shark; a new way of illustrating the vibration of organ-pipes; the wings of Pterodactyls; a notice of a pair of trap-door spiders; how the young birds peck out of the shell and the wonderful fact that a louse was used, in the Dismal Swamp, as a compass by a surveying-party that creature, or, at any rate, the one in the Swamp, having the habit of turning its head to the North, under all circumstances. Nice subjects, these, to be used as excuses for declining to observe and analyze the facts of modern Spiritualism How much more important to Science to know about lobsters and lice, orange-peel and fat women, blastoderms and hyenas' dens, than to explain how the law of gravity pan be temporarily neutralized by some other, and unknown, force; how "death does not kill a man " how the resurrected spirit can reclothe itself with an evanescent, material form, by the power of its will over the sublimated earth-essences, suspended, invisible, in the air; and what are the occult laws by which the pulse of this shadowy body can be made to beat, the lungs to respire, the lips to speak words thought by the mind within the frail tenement, which waits only the further exercise of its creator's will to redissolve into the impalpable atoms of which it was, a moment before, composed Much as the author desires to see this subject inquired into by men of scientific attainments, he could regard it as only a misfortune if they should set out with a disposition to prescribe impossible conditions. Before they reach the point where they would have the right to dictate their own terms, it would be necessary for them to make many observations, collect many data, and inform themselves about many things of which they are necessarily ignorant. They should realize the fact, succintly stated by Mr. Crookes, that Psychology is a branch of science as yet almost entirely unexplored,;

;

;

!

;

:

;

VIU

PREFACE.

to the neglect of which is to be attributed the strange fact that not only the spiritual phenomena, biitalso the nerve or psychic, force, as it has been termed by that gentleman, "has remained untested, unexamined and

almost unrecognized." Mr. Alfred R. Wallace, to whose eminent attainments as a scientific man the British Association has paid its hearty tribute, observes, in his pamphlet entitled " A defence of Modern Spiritualism," that " The discussion in the Pall Mall Gazette in 1868, and a considerable private correspondence, indicate that scientific men almostinvariably assume that, in this inquiry, they should be permitted, at the very outset, to impose conditions and if, under such conditions, nothing happens, they consider it a proof of imposture or delusion. But they well know that, in all other branches of research. Nature, not they, determines the essential conditions, without a compliance with which no experiment will succeed. These conditions have to be learnt by a patient questioning of Nature, and they are different How much more may they be expected for each branch of science. to differ in an inquiry which deals with subtle forces of the nature of To ask to be which the physicist is wholly and absolutely ignorant allowed to deal with these unknown phenomena as he has hitherto dealt with known phenomena, is practically to prejudge the question, since it assumes that both are governed by the same laws."; !

The researches of Professor Hare, Judge Edmonds, Mr. Crookes, Mr. Wallace, Sergeant Cox, Dr. Guppy, the astronomer Flammarion, and many others, prove thatperfect test conditions are attainable ; but, at the same time, they show that the occult forces which play a part in the production of these phenomena will not subject themselves to the same identical limitations as chemical experiments, or others with which the scientific world is Each has its own laws, and each already familiar. demands of the student a line of research peculiar toitself.

It has already been remarked that this work was not written from the spiritualistic standpoint. It is intended to show the progressive reflections of a mind (unbiased, of ordinary intelligence, anxious for the truth at any cost of preconceptions or prejudices), which is brought into relations with a series of unfamiliar and striking phenomena. It aims neither to display the trained shrewdness of the juggler, the profundity of the scientific investigator, nor the acuteness of the police detective but to reflect the careful and patient method of the average layman, whose sole object is to get at the facts, that he may have the means of forming an opinion for

PREFACE.

IX

himself upon matters for which he finds no explanation at the usual sources of knowledge. It was the author's intention to embody in Part II the full te.Kt of certain remarkable documents, which show the attitude of affairs with respect to the conflict between Religion and Science, as well as the tone of the public press, in this country and Europe, in its discussion of the l)henomena of spiritualism. But the limits of the volume were reached sooner than expected, in the arrangement of the original matter, and he was forced to confine himself within narrower bounds. Moreover, just as he was completing the last Chapter of Part I, he received, through the Hon. Robert Dale Owen, an invitation from the Holmes' of Philadelphia, to investigate their mediumship and the so called " Katie King materializations," under test conditions; and the importance of the subject, with the astounding developments which resulted, demanded that every remaining page of space should be

devoted toIt is safe affair is

it.

say that in whatever light the Holmes it must be regarded as one of the most sensational stories in history. Whether we consider the perfectness of the supposed materialization, the circumstances under which it occurred, the attendant phenomena, the scientific completeness of the tests given, or the pretended exposure of the alleged fraud, in the interest of Religion and good morals, it will be hard to find a parallel to the case. Nor will it escape the notice of the intelligent that the Philadelphia tests go far towards corroborating the Chittenden experiences; for, if " materialization " can occur in one place it may in many, and, hence, the supposition that real ghosts were seen at the Eddy house is made to appear only half as improbable. The cheerful alacrity shown by the Holmes' to submit themselves to crucial test conditions, makes the behavior of the Eddy boys appear in a correspondingly, unfavorable light. It was alleged, as an excuse at Chittenden, that the author's magnetism was so positive and repellant to the spirits, as whereas, the to prevent their bearing his near approach fact appears to be that they can allow him to handle tliem, to gaze into their faces from a distance of six inches, and otherwise to come to closest quarters, without causing them the sliglitest inconvenience. What ato

viewed,

;

X

PREFACE.

waste of golden opportunity the unfriendly behavior of the Eddy boys has caused And yet, if one may judge from a recent letter written by Horatio to a mutual friend, they entertain no personal dislike to the author, but were compelled to act as they did by the " spirit-band " controlling their circle. Horatio remarks that, in this matter, they were the slaves of the powers behind the phenomena, who, having gotten themselves into antagonism with the author, forced him and his brothers and sisters to share that feeling for the!

moment.

The

relation of

mediums towards

their controlling

spirits is perfectly defined in this letter most noted mediums they are slaves.

control,' their own will is set aside, their speech, and their very consciousness, are directed by that of another. They are as helpless to do, or say, or think, or see what they desire, as the subject of the

from one of the While 'under and their actions,

mesmerist, whose body is a mere machine governed by a will external to and dominant over itself. The 'materializing medium' must even, it appears, lend from the more ethereal portions of his frame, some of the matter that goes to form the evanescent materialized shapes of the departed. The observations of Mr. Crookes indicate that, in some cases at least, an enormous exhaustion of the medium's vital forces is caused by the exercise of his medianic function, and it is one of the problems before us to discover the extent and cause of this exhaustion, and whether any system of diet, exercise, repose and mental regulation will reduce it to a minimum without interfering with the

phenomena.seers of the Bible, the fakirs of India, the priests and the vestals of Rome fasted and prayed, for longer or shorter periods, before entering the ecstatic condition. Should our modern mediums do likewise.' And would fasting and prayer insure us against the

The

of

Isis,

pranks and deceptions of poltergeists, or the malice of returning murderers, suicides, and drunkards ? Since the spiritualistic movement has acquired such force and breadth that it cannot be stayed, how long must we wait for the wise men to tell us how we canenjoy the communion of the saints, and escape the assaults of the powers of darkness ? We ask them for

:

PREFACE.light,

XI

and they give us no response. Our homes are seemingly invaded by an invisible host of good andand we turn in vain to scientific men for instructions as to how the one class may be detained, and the other expelled. They bend in laboratory and study, over wriggling insects and squirming reptiles, insensible of the glorified beings who stand perhaps, behind them, and blind to the magnificent field of research that lies before them in the direction of the Inner World. They leave us to grope our own way toward the Truth, and if we fall into error, we have the right to hold them accountable, for they are the custodians of knowledge, our teachers, and guides. If they do cannot not help us, we must search for ourselves. remain ignorant, for we are all urged on byevil spirits,

We

"

The wish

to

know

;

th' insatiate thirstis

That e'en by quenching

awaked

;

AndAsNo.7

that becomes, or blest, or curst.is

the fount atStreet,

which

't is

slaked."

H.

S.

O.

Beekman

New York

City, January, 1875.

CONTENTS.CHAPTERChittenden.ItsI.

THE EDDY FAMILY.

people. First impressions. .Self-expose of the The Author's reception. History of the family. The mother. Hereditary witchcraft. Children hired out as mediums. Cruelties practised upon them. The Homestead.Eddys.

17

CHAPTER

II.

THE EDDYS AS PUBLIC MEDIUMS.

Horatio's diary. Rope-tying. RepCruelty of tests applied. Wonderful stories resentation of every phase of mediumship. of the Eddy family. Their present condition. Indoor view.

33

CHAPTERThe Author'sposition.

III.

PERSONAL MATTERS.

Evidence of wide-spread interest in SpiritualismCHAPTERIV.

Impertinent people. Letters

received.

53

A MOONLIGHT SEANCE.Surroundings of the Eddy Homestead. Its visitors. Honto's An out-door seance. Indian ghosts. Santum's grave. cave.

An Editor's ghost. No

footprints left

57

CHAPTER

V.

PORTENTS AND MARVELS.

Magnetism and mesmerism. Universal Trials of mediums. Ancient mediums. Animals as mediums. belief in spirits. Three wise men at sea. Hostility of the church. The Phantom Carriage. Death portents. Other marvels

68

CHAPTERWONDERSIN

VI.

THE EDDY FAMILY.

Living three lives. Shadow of the father. The lady on the white horse. Story of Miranda Eddy. Francis Lightfoot Eddy. A child's death averted. Records of warnings and The Spinning Ghost portents.

89

CHAPTERThe Author

VII.

A CHAPTER OF FEET AND INCHES.

Thorough examinations

takes an observation. Infallible investigators. Scientific skepticism. Character of the Eddy phenomena. The Circle-Room. Its inside and surroundings. Spirit-forms.

105

CONTENTS.

xiii

CHAPTERIts

VIII.

history.

MATERIALIZATION. .Salem witchcraft. Immediate cause of the Eddy

malerializations

'.

121

CHAPTEROpening

IX.

THE FIRST SEANCE.of the circle-room. The first seance. The Author's visit Music at seances. First ghost, an Indian squaw. The beating heart. Indians and whites. Children and grown

persons

T30

CHAPTERMANY PHANTOM

X.

VISITORS.

Bright Star, Daybreak, Santum and other Indian ghosts. Spirit of Col. Reynolds, of Utica. N. Y., brother and nephew. Wm. Brown, over 6 feet high. A Hartford family reunited. Baby ghosts. Spirit dissolves, Imperfect materialization. 140

CHAPTERA

XI.

ARE THEY PERSONATIONS?review of William and his cabinet. His education. Reexamination of the cabinet. Four hundred spirits. A bogusinvestigator.

A dealer inIS IT

thunderbolts

154

CHAPTERClosestinvestigation

XII.generation.

AN OCCULT FORCE ? demanded. Spontaneous

Many questions. Psychology and Mind-reading. circle. The baby-hand. Mystery of mysteries.

A light Whence169

comes the power?

CHAPTERResponsibility of Scientists.

XIII.

FULL OF STRANGE THINGS.

A

A social dance. Little Charlie. voices Independence of the once. Disappointedat visitors.

German spirit. Ten spirits measuring heights Table of The malicious barber. The smoking squaw. Two time.Eddys1S4

CHAPTERMayflower's story.test.

XIV.

THE DARK-CIKCLE.

The Sailorghost. A Hurly-burly. A strong A musical performance. A Clair Wonderful voyant's view. A multitude ofresult.

spirits

205

CHAPTER

XV.

PHILOSOPHICAL TESTS. Ringing a table gong. Ten spirits at a seance. A light-circle. Card writing. Picture drawing. Heights of the spirits. The scale test. Weighing Honto. A spirit's explanation.

Discoverers ridiculed

225

AXIV

CONTENTS.

CHAPTERA goodringtest.

XVI.spirits tested.

STARTLING PHENOMENA.test.

orator. Strength of A Spirits welding copper. Eccentricspirit

The

habits as tests. 247

CHAPTER XVn.Responsil^Illty of the Author.spirits.

Spirit of an Arab. Five Indian Weighing Diagram of platfornn. Seance in room. Thorough examanother room. Ground-plan of ination. Shawl manufacturing by Honto. Spirits of woman Mysteries and child. Variousspirits.

A CHAPTER OF MARVELS.

this

spirits.

269

CHAPTERThe Witcharrival.

XVIII. MORE WONDERS.

A

Mountain. What a lawyer saw. A new Lady. Russian ghosts. Georgian Russian and Canadian spirits. Georgian music. A merchant's letters. Mr. Peebles' certificate. Spirits dissolve. More Arabs.. .. 2S9

A

of the

spirits.

A Khourdish " Nouker." Spear and plumes. Nine talking More shawl making. Old Mr. BrownCHAPTER XX.THE DEADALIVE.

XIX. GERMANS, KHOURDS, AND HUNGARIANS. Letters from spirit-children. A wounded hand. dark-circle.

CHAPTER

314

Spirits.

A relative shocked. A bogus Lord Byron. An African juggler. Wonderful Tape-climbing. The horned jugglers of Egypt. The maiden and lover. Story of a bull.feats.

Wonderful Eastern magicopinions. magic and white.

326

CHAPTERForming

XXI.circles.

SPIRITUALISM VS. RATIONALISM.

Popular anxiety. Charmed Black Cowardly Editors. Spirit animalsCHAPTERXXII.SPIRITS AS CARRIERS.

339

Floral displays. Fruits furnished by spirits. Stones carried. Buckle from a Russian grave. Various spirits

350

CHAPTER

XXIII.

TESTS CONTINUED.Honto's hair examined. Bell and glass. No favors shown the Author. What a Hartford man saw. Honto plays the organ, 363

CHAPTER XXIV.PSEUDO-INVESTIGATORS.Mayflower.

How are these things done ? Spirit-wreaths. Dark-circle explained. Wiseacres. Ignorance and prejudice of writers. Effects of investigations. The Holmes phenomena, John Brougham's views The returned darling. Value of tests. The Eddys' standpoint 374

:

CONTENTS.

XV

CHAPTER XXV.THE SHAKERS ASSPIRITUALISTS.

What Mr. Evans

Manireslations among the Shakers and Mormons. Degrees of Spiritualism. Oneida Community's report. jNIediums everywheresays.

392

CHAPTER XXVI.SUMMINGUP.facts.

The

Narrative of Results. Uses of Spiritualism. " Murder out." Farethreat conflict.

Science

and Religion.

will

well to Chittenden

406

PART

II.

THE KATIE KING AFFAIR. THE COMPTON TRANSFIGURATION.MISCELLANEOUS.

ILLUSTRATIONS.Pagk.1

23

4 56

78 9 10 11 12

Old Homestead Eddy ISrotuers W other Kpdy Home (bids a2


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