I. SOMEWHAT PERSONAL "I believe that you have done an enormous amount of valuable work, especially in the open stand that you have taken for investigation and for arousing the interest of a wider public."- Dr. Richard Hodgson.1 THE psychic facts which I venture to give in this volume are typical of a large number that have come, from time to time, into my experience. Certain psychologists have long regarded experiences of this class - when they have not denied them outright - as undigested facts. Undigested, yes; but are they indigestible? Some men, leaping over wide chasms - many of these wholly unexplored, and nearly all of the remainder only very partially explored - regard such facts as altogether certain proof that Spiritualism is true. I do not so regard them, but do regard them as well worthy of careful record and of exhaustive investigation by trained scientists. Other men, without proof, deny such facts in toto, forgetful of the wise admonition of Sir Oliver Lodge, that what the humblest of men affirm from their own experience is always worth listening to, but the denials of the cleverest of men when made in their ignorance are never worth a moment's attention. 1 In letter, April 1, 1905, referring to " The Widow's Mite and other Psychic Phenomena." As this class of phenomena lies outside of common experience it is altogether reasonable to require that they be strongly verified
far more strongly than we require of those experiences that are common to mankind. If I am told that a ghost has been seen, and I care to make an investigation of the statement, I quite naturally ask
as the A B C of my inquiry
the name of the man who saw it and his residence, and a verdict of the jury of his vicinage as to his saneness and veracity and his mental and other habits. How unfortunate if he be dead, or is otherwise inaccessible so that we cannot cross-examine him! In that event we are likely to sigh, shrug our shoulders, and pass on, for credulity in matters of this kind varies inversely as the square of the distance from the original source, or possibly in keeping with the ratio in some other of nature's curious formulas.