can be drawn from them.

All these precautions by the Holy Roman
Inquisition, on the other hand, indicate the growing interest which
was spreading throughout Italy through the use of magnetism and
the problems involved in it.
It was just at this period that various authors began to deal with
this matter under the influence of French and English publications.
In 1840 in Milan news was released of the former magnetic seances
attended by the celebrated French novelist Honore de Balzac, which
were referred to by Giovanni Rajberti ( 1805-61), the well known
author if Il Gatto (Milano, 1845), in his book Il voLgo e La medicina (10)
in which he criticizes the doctrine of homeopathy and defines
animal magnetism as" one of so many systematized deliriums which
distinguish the deviations of the human reason".
In a chapter in the same book (pp. 171 -1 73), entitled" L'uomo
grande e il nano", a report is referred to concerning a magnetic
experiment in which he himself was a spectator. Balzac, in the
summer of 1838, when he was the guest of a Milanese family,
wanted to exhibit his magnetic powers on a valet. Rajberti
writes: - " Scowling in a frightful way like one possessed, he pointed
at him, making waving passes with his hands, sweating and panting
on account of the intense concentration of mind and body in this
work ", but in vain. The attempt was then repeated on a subject
better adapted to the process, namely a certain Gattino, a dwarf and
hunchback, but with the same lack of success. After repeated
attempts, however, Gattino began to show a more stupid expression
than usual, to gape with rounded mouth and to droop his eyelids
more and more slowly in a gloomy silence.
Balzac, irritated by the lack of attention paid by Rajberti, who
at this time was reading a book, stamped on the floor; Rajberti then
hastened to ask the dwarf" more awake than ever" if he had slept,
but he replied that he was about to go to sleep. A few words were
sufficient to awaken him completely and the magnetizer had no
further success. Ba!zac was no longer heard to speak ofmagnetism.
1
In 1842 there was published in Corfu a book (11) on facts
relating to mesmerism by Angelo Cogevina, a physician and
surgeon and superintendent of the Civil Hospital at Corfu, and
Francesco Orioli, a professor at the university and director of the
Ionian College and a corresponding member of the Institute at
Florence and of many scientific academies in Europe. In this book
were reported several cases treated with magnetic therapy.
1 For Balzac' s interest in occultism scc A. Cabani:s, Balzac 'ignori (Paris, dJgg) ,
pp.65-80.
142
The phenomena of magnetism, indeed, were beginning to be
much heard of, and were exciting great interest and, attracted by the
novelty, there were many who actively or passively supported the
practice of mesmerism in its various forms and manifestations, with
a consequently increased production of publications on the matter.
In 1847 the Holy Office intervened again, with the decree of 28
July in which it expressed itself in the following terms : "'When free
from all errors, sorcery, explicit or implicit invocation of demons,
the use of magnetism, that is to say solely as a method of serving
physical ends that are otherwise lawful, is not morally forbidden,
provided that it is not directed to an unlawful purpose or in any
evil way whatever. .
"The application, then, of principles and methods that are
entirely physical to matters and effects that are truly supernatural
in order to explain these physically is a sin that is altogether illicit
and heretical" (8, p. 563).
On account of this decree the reading and distribution ofa certain
number of books on magnetism was forbidden. Animal magnetism
in Italy, however, was the subject of numerous studies by respectable
persons such as physicians, scholars and literary men, but at the same
time it was also practised by unscrupulous persons so that side by
side with objective works of a certain scientific value there flourished
other publications that were superficial, biased and oflittle worth or
were exclusively inspired by controversial aims.
Interest in magnetism was naturally greater among physicians
on account of the possible therapeutic attraction which this doctrine
seemed able to offer. Thus for example, Dr. C. A. Calderini, at
first sceptical of l\lesmer's theory, was converted to it after having
been present at the public performances given at Milan in 1850 by
the celebrated magnetizer Auguste Lassaigne, the husband of the
famous French somnambule Prudence Bernard. With the co­
operation of several physicians in that city he submitted to accurate
analysis a series of magnetic phenomena (12) . Following his
example, Dr. Pietro Beroaldi, Director of the Civil Hospital of
Viccnza, carried out various experiments and analysed a series of
mesmeric phenomena in the same hospital in 1851 (13).1
The sympathizers and followers increased and various magnetic
societies flourished in imitation of those already existing at that time
in France and abroad, with whieh they maintained contact;
magnetic sittings also increased and also theoretical and practical
courses in magnetism.
1 For a full er account see pp. j 53 If.
143
The first magnetic society in Italy was the Societa Bio-M agnetica,
founded in Genoa in 1853 by Giacomo Ricci. In 1855 there was
fouuded in Turin the Filomagnetica by Francesco Guidi
who in 1856 published in Turin the journal Luce l'vlagnetica of which
he was director and editor. In 1856 Pietro D'Amico founded at
Bologna the :rvIagnetica d'Italia of which D' Amico was
president and which had amongst its members Victor Hugo, Bargoni
the j"'Iinister of Public Education, Professor A. Palagi the Director of
the Observatory of the University of Bologna, etc.
A magnetizer of national fame often felt the need to have at his
disposition his own paper for the support and propaganda of his
claims. Thus there flourished numerous mesmeric reviews, which
generally had a short life. In Turin, for example, there were Il
iVlagnetofilo (1854-5) continued as Il j\/esmerista, the previously men­
tioned Luce iV/agnetica and IliHagnetologo of Guidi. At Genoa there
appeared La Salute (1865), directed by D'Amico, the organ of the
Societa I\tIagnetica of Bologna. There arose, moreover, for social
gatherings and study, magnetic circles, magnetic academies, athen­
aeums and magnetic hospitals. Examples of these are the Circolo
Magnetico and the Istituzione di Benefieenza M esmerica directed
by Borgna and Guidi at Turin.
Francesco Guidi was certainly one of the most active exponents
of Italian mesmerism. In 1851, with the enthusiasm of a neophyte,
he wrote his first book (9) issued in Turin in which he showed his
faith and his hope for the success of animal magnetism, expounding
the advantages to be derived from it and examining the therapeutic,
psychological, moral and social aspects. In 1852 he again published
at Turin a translation (14) together with personal notes, of a French
book by L. M. Hebert (IS)' To Guidi we owe the I talian works of
the type then prevalent regarding mesmerism. In his numerous
works the author had recourse not only to a small group of sympa­
thizers, but indicated his clear desire to obtain converts. In 1854
there appeared at Milan a treatise (16) on the theoretical and practi­
cal aspects of animal magnetism, in which he expressed in ten lessons
the course in mesmerism which he had held in various Italian
cities, followed by other works. l\1esmerism, which at first was the
privilege of the nobility and the moneyed middle class, was in this
"\'ay popularized and brought to the knowledge of the majority
and this was perhaps the reason why works on it were placed on the
Index. Guidi had to wage a hard struggle on two fronts: on the
one hand he was attacked by alleged magnetizers with few scruples,
such as Zanardelli, G. Demarchi, P. C. Demaris, Ruatti, G.
144
Pertusio, B. Fenoglio, L. Berrutti, Guastalla, etc., whom he tried
repeatedly to expose: on the other hand he was attacked by the
Medical Council of Turin which requested from the local government
repressive laws against the magnetizers. Guidi in consequence
began, in contrast to some of his colleagues, to avoid major dissen­
tions and resigned from the Society that he himself had founded and
which in a short time ceased to exist.
On the occasion of the anniversary of the birth of l\1esmer,
namely 23 May 1855, Guidi founded the Societa Mesmerica
d'lstruzione, Propaganda e Beneficenza, modelled on that of the
l\tIesmeric Infirmary in London.
1
After a few months of life this
institution seems to have brought satisfactory results to the poor
patients who came there and would perhaps have had a more pros­
perous future if it had been financially supported. Later Guidi left
Piedmont for Savoy, Switzerland, France and later Milan, where he
founded an Istituto Zoomagnetico di Propaganda ed Istruzione in
which magnetic and somnambulistic cures were practised.
THE RISE AND DECLINE OF INTEREST
In the second half of the nineteenth century there was a growing
interest in mesmeric practices. Contemporary with Guidi, Cogevina,
Orioli and Terzaghi may be noted other magnetizers, such as
Jacopo San Vitale, famed as the Nestor of Italian magnetizers,
Pietro Gatti, the first exponent of animal magnetism in Genoa,
C. Dugnani, the first Italian to have a medal of honour from the
l\1agnetic Jury of Encouragement and Reward
2
in Paris in 1850,
Pietro D'Amico, considered by many to have been the first true
magnetizer in Italy, 11. Poeti, Bonajuti, Butti , Consoni, Danzi,
Vandoni, A. Berti, besides many others who exhibited for the most
part in the theatres.
Notwithstanding the repeated declarations of the more serious
practitioners of mesmerism on the scientific, positive and natural
character of the new doctrine, not a few persons sought or hoped to
1 Thc London IVlcsmcric Infirmary was founded inJanuary 1846 at thc house of
Henry G. F. i\foreton, sccond Earl of Ducie (1802-1353), who was Lord·in-waiting
to the Quecn. Four years latcr the committee scnt out a noticc to all donors and
subscribcrs that thc house was open to reccive patients. Two male mesmerists and
One female were appointed and a number of striking cures wcre reported, and in
1351 the Archbishop of Dublin and the fifth Earl Stanhope became Vice­
Presidents. [Ed.]
• Jury Magl1<!tique d'Encollragement et Rccompens.e, founded in 18,+6.
145
find in magnetic sittings a satisfaction for their curiosity, together
with occult and mysterious phenomena passing beyond normal
limits into those of the supernatural.
It must be recorded that at this period, above all in America and
England, there was an increasing interest in Spiritualism which
specifically aimed at contact with the world of the Beyond. Some of
the participants in magnetic sittings hoped likewise and certainly
such hopes were further stimulated by the repeated declarations of
the magnetizers that they were ignorant of the exact causes that
influenced their magnetic phenomena.
This confusion between the scientific doctrine and the spiritistic
practice was the cause of a strong opposition by the Church towards
animal magnetism, both at the beginning and in the course of its
gradual and slow acceptance in the scientific field and in its thera­
peutic applications. It must also be remembered that magnetic
phenomena were sometimes misused for purposes of gain by magne­
tizers who in appropriate shows had the sole purpose of presenting
entertainments and marvels to the public.
Thus it happened that the true magnetizers, or, as Guidi
himself defined them, the" magnetizers of good faith", also came to
be accused of a lack of scientific seriousness and such criticism
threatened to compromise their positi ve achievements.
With the spread of mesmerism in Italy, there was an increase not
only in its supporters but also in its opponents, its difficulties,
deceptions and religious and moral problems.
InJuly 1856 an Encyclical of the Holy Office, signed by Cardinal
Vincenzo Macchi, was sent to all its Christian bishops and put them
on guard against the dangers of the abuse of magnetic phenomena,
making a distinction between what was in the domain of scientific
research and what was mere curiosity about supernatural pheno­
mena, both superstitious and often immoral (see 8, p. 568; 17,
pp. 382 ff.)
Conflicting ideas however, often arose between mesmerists
themselves who found themselves harmed by competition. Such
internal conflicts certainly did nothing to help the progress of the
science and offered an easy target to the adversaries of mesmerism.
L. Stefanoni in his book ( 18) published in 18go, wishing to draw up a
critical account of the material, gave a documented report of a series
of facts that had led the author to radically negative conclusions on
the existence of magnetism and magnetic phenomena. The
numerous incidents reported, including those by the major repre­
sentatives of magnetism, such as F. Guidi, P. D'Amico, Pilati and
146
A. Zanardelli. in fact left the reader somewhat perplexed about the
authenticity of many of the alleged cures effected by a number
of mesmerists, while tending to exclude completely the genuine
production of almost all the paranormal phenomena reported by the
authors quoted and condemned by Stefanoni as clever mystifications.
For example, in Chapter 8 of his book (18, p. 2 I 7 ff.) he gives a
long account of codes as described by Emilio Roncaglia (45) who at
that time was describing such experiments in much the same way
as Gandon was doing in France.
In 1868 it appears that in Ancona an acrimonious controversy
broke out between Antonio Zanardelli, who was known to be a
magnetizer of the old school, and the conjurer Francesco Castagnola.
The latter attempted to duplicate the magnetic phenomena
exhibited by Zanardelli's subject which was followed by further
newspaper publicity, the Corriere delle Nlarche publishing letters on
both sides. Castagnola endeavoured to bring the matter to a head
by offering a prize ofL.soo to any magnetizer who, eithcr in public
or private, was able to demonstrate at least two of the magnetic
phenomena in question, namely thought-transference and clairvoy­
ance ( 18, pp. 150-153).
Prizes continued to be offered ranging from L. 1000 to L.3000
but were not claimed.
'vVe shall confine ourselves here to examining in detail the prin­
cipal experiments carried out in Italy in which it would seem that
parapsychological phenomena may have been verified. At the
same time an attempt has been made to distinguish genuine
magnetic phenomena as compared with all those supposed to be such
and bascd primarily on the belief of others. I t is not surprising
that the latter were characterized by their more sensational tele­
pathic and clairvoyant aspects, etc. to which the attention and cur­
iosity of the spectators and the hope of the magnetizers were mainly
directed. A great part of the experiments in divination, vision at a
distance, retrovision, prevision, not to speak of the so-called" trans­
cendental magnetism" with its voices, dreams, apparitions and pro­
phecies, celestial visions and evocations of the spirits, the reading
and transmission of thoughts and clairvoyance, when submitted to
accurate control proved for the most part not to be supernormal.
Just as the Burdin prize of 3,000 francs set up in France in 18371
and offered to a person who could demonstrate eyeless-vision re­
mained without successful competitors, so did a similar fate befall the
1 This was the prize offered on 5 September 1837 by "'L C. Burdin to anyone
" qui aura la facultc de lire sans Ics seeours des yeux ct de la lumicre" (See 1<))
147
......... --­
other prizes. offered in Italy, such as that ofL.2,000 in 1869 arising
from a challenge between the magnetizer D'Amico and Guidi in
which it was a question of making a diagnosis oran unknown malady
and the very important offer by Stefanoni in 1879 ofL.3,000 to any­
one who was capable by means of magnetism of producing the
phenomena of clairvoyance, thought-transference and proofs of
the existence of the magnetic fluid.
Stefanoni also seemed to be successful in demonstrating the falsity
of the experiments conducted by magnetizers such as Pilati, the
married couple Sisti and Castagnola, Astorre Monsagrati ofLivorno,
Antonio Banello ofUdine, and B. Figari ofCamogli. None of these,
although continuing to give exhibitions on the theatrical stage and
before curious crowds, had the courage to submit themselves to a
serious scientific examination that might contribute to the progress of
science by accurate experiments conducted in the presence of
competent and cautious persons.
Thus, towards 1875, magnetism seemed to be starting its slow
but sure decline. The stage with the usual performances was already
beginning to attract less interest. The aspect of spiritism that from
1848 was confused with mesmerism still succeeded in keeping it
alive, but the main centre of interest in magnetism, now gradually
becoming better known as hypnotism, was slowly turning towards
the cure of diseases, above all of hysteria, a field in which it notably
influenced the concepts of both suggestion and auto-suggestion. At
first, however, it sought to determine the true influences of the
magnet on this type of illness.
Towards the end of 1866 Professor C. Maggiorani, director of
the Clinica Neuropatica of Rome, was obtaining publicit yon account
of the " nervous crises" which he asserted he could produce in
hystcrical patients by means of the magnet and he published numer­
ous works regarding this (20-22). His experiments, which may be
considered as intermediate between those carried out by Braid
and those by Charcot, were continued by his successor Ezio
Sciamanna in collaboration with O. Parisotti.
In contrast to those who still believed in the power of the magnet,
Dal Pozzo (23) in 1869 was speaking of radiations and wave move­
ments, maintaining that thought could be transferred to another
individual by means of vibrations, which activated the surrounding
field, especially if the persons were in contact. DalPo2zo considered
the somnambulist condition as a " physiological state" that might
be produced artificially especially in individuals of a nervous
temperament and in either healthy or pathological conditions.
148
During this conditi.on the " vital, organic and sensory functions
would be disturbed by external actions which in their turn would
produce inhibitory and dynamo-genetic effects in the organism ".
Various Italians had been present at the experiments at the
Salpetriere, among them being Dr. Domenico Miliotti, who made
known Charcot's methods both by collecting and translating some of
his lessons (24) and by articles in medical periodicals reporting
Charcot's methods for producing the various forms of hypnosis. As
a consequence, following the example set by Charcot and his pupils,
the study and applications of hypnotism were introduced into
Italian clinics (Cf. 25).
In Milan Edoardo Gonzales, the dircctor of the Provincial
1vlental Hospital in Mombello, carried out hypnotic experiments on
hysterical subjects in his institute. These he favoured, while he
opposed all public demonstrations in theatres. In Padua Dr.
Tebaldi, the psychiatrist and Professor of Neuro-pathology at the
University, was also engaged in hypnotism and scientific contribu­
tions on hypnotism were also published by G. Seppilli and A.
Tamburini (26).
Two of the most notable exponents of hypnotic phenomena in
general were Lombroso and Morselli, both of whom were actively
engaged in the Italian scientific world. Cesare Lombroso (1836­
1909) author of the famous study Genio e Fotlia (27), Professor in
ordinary of legal medicine, public hygiene, psychiatry and finally
criminal anthropology in Turin, published various works on
hypnotism of which he was a tenacious upholder (28-30). Lom­
broso also occupied himself extensively with mediumistic pheno­
mena: in the Turin journal Ga;:;;:;etta Le/leraria of 1890 and later on
variou$ occasions some of his articles appeared on telepathy and
other higher phenomena of mediumship and as an explanation he
postulated the existence of powerful and obscure psycho-physical
energies.
There remains his well-known experiences with the famous
medium Eusapia Palladino, who later was exposed in fraud and in
whom, on the other hand, he had had complete faith.
Although mainly remembered for his work in criminology, he
made contributions to a number of other subjects as, for example,
cretinism, peUagra and even the poisons arising [rom the use of
maize. It was probably on account of his psychiatric work that his
interest in crime arose and proceeding thence, he directed his
attention to theories of criminal anthropology which, mainly on
account of the enthusiasm of some of his pupils among whom
149
Enrico Ferri was the best known, made him appear to hold views
which can hardly be fairly attributed to him. What, unfortunately,
Lombroso lacked was his clear understanding of the nature of evi­
dence in scientific work and he was also weak in his power of pre­
senting his theories in logical sequence. The British iVIedical Journal
(23 Oct. 1909, II, p. 1262) in his obituary noted many of these
characteristics but on the other hand declared that he was "a
shrewd observer ", a quality hardly apparent in his work on para­
normal phenomena. As the review stated, " much of his work was
fantastic and inaccurate ", but it must be admitted that he stimulated
research in various fields and will long be remembered for his
industry and versatility.
Enrico Morselli (1852- I 929) the director of the Psychiatric
Clinic at the University of Genoa, was probably the most serious
student of hypnotic and mediumistic phenomena, which he observed
closely for a long time and on which he published numerous works
(e.g. 31-33).
The attitude of Morselli towards the higher phenomena of
mediumship was not one of incredulity but of cautious experimenta­
tion: he did not yet consider it " scientifically confirmed". For
the explanation of hypnotic phenomena :Nlorsclli returned to the
conception of experimental neurosis. According to this author,
hypnotism is "a more or less profound artificial sleep in which
certain regions of the brain remain paralysed while others are
abnormally exalted". From the contrast and the various combina­
tions between the paralytic state of some parts and functions of the
brain with the state of exaltation of other parts and nerve functions
there would spring all the immensely varied and surprising pheno­
menology of magnetism, hypnotism and somnambulism, Braidism,
fascination and other similar processes.
Like Lombroso, Vinccnzo Cervello, a Professor of the University
of Palermo, asserted that he had obtained phenomena of the trans­
position of the senses, divination of unknown objects and transmis­
sion of thought. Similarly, Professor Semmola of Naples confirmed
the existence of such phenomena.
At this time (1886) great enthusiasm was aroused by the hypnotic
shows of Zanardelli at Rome, of Rummo at Naples, of Giovanni
:Miroglio and various other hypnotizers of ksser fame. But the one
who aroused the greatest interest was the Belgian Donato (A. E.
d'Hont) who, after giving exhibitions in Belgium, Holland, France
and Russia, organized spectacular public performances in Turin and
l\rlilan. During these performances, however, as also stated by
150
Morselli who studied him directly and M. Giordano (34), besides
ordinary hypnotic phenomena he did not seem to arouse telepathic
phenomena.
l
These experiments let loose a veritable hypnotic" fever" whilst
controversies became more acute and criticisms intensified. Indeed
Dr. Gonzales of Milan described the enthusiasm aroused as a
" hysterical epidemic".
This did not fail to arouse serious alarms which led the Consiglio
Superiore di Sanita in Rome to issue a decree on 27 June 1886
forbidding magnetic shows to be held in public. Lombroso,
Gonzales, Tebaldi and Bossi all aligned themselves in favour of this
decision although they were definitely in tavour ofmagnetic practices
(See 25; also 35, p. 105 and 36).
At the same sitting of the Consiglio in Rome it was admitted that
hypnotic phenomena were scientifically proved, but the danger that
might arise from uncontrolled public exhibitions was denounced.
Thus public sittings were prohibited and Donato was forced to leave
Italy for Argentina. Nevertheless, public sittings continued,
although with some alterations in the programme, exciting an
unchanged interest that was concentrated above all, as had been the
case in earlier times, on those magnetic phenomena called" higher",
such as clairvoyance, telepathy, divination, etc.
Among those who claimed to succeed in producing such pheno­
mena was Pickman, who was for a short time in Italy and who is
discussed later (see pp. 172 fr.). After the appearance of Pickman
, thought-reading" magnetizers multiplied in Italy and it may be
said that all these were clearly tricksters. One of the most noted
was Robert
2
of:Milan. Stefanoni challenged him to prove his claims
under adequate control conditions, but his proposal was rejected.
On the other hand, others who had accepted, such as Bernabei and
Eltore, failed completely. t-.lany were the promises that were
broken and deceptions that were made in order that animal magne­
tism might still continue to win the great favour of an era. But
towards the end of the nineteenth century its definite decline began.
The numerous tricksters, often supported and favoured in good
faith by ingenuous physicians and scientists, merely caused great
confusion in the ideas and opinions already formed about animal
1 It ought perhaps to be stated here that Donato himself said that he did not
think he possessed any supernatural gift and did not believe in either thought­
transmission or mental suggestion. See J. R. L. Dclboeuf, Afagnetiseurs e/ NIidecille
(Paris, 18go, pp. 113; Ig).
2 For Robert cf. C. Richel (37, p. 590).
15 1
.............
magnetism. However, despite these confusions, there was the begin­
ning of a better clarification and a clearer distinction between mag­
netism, hypnotism and spiritism and of a natural explanation of all
the magnetic phenomena. The importance of suggestion and auto­
suggestion in the production of hypnotic phenomena became in­
creasingly more evident. As to the factors responsible for causing
these phenomena, more and more weight was given to those of
suggestion, such as imagination, psychological disposition, and the
sensitivity of the hypnotized subject, while there was a progressive
decrease in the importance formcrly assigned to the concept of the
hypnotizer's" magnetic fluid" which came to be attributed to his
power of exercising a psychological influence over the hypnotized
subject. Thus Morselli judged hypnotism as a measure of a neurosis,
as did Mosso. Francesco Vizioli at the Medical Congress in Perugia
in 1885 gave a lecture with the significant title: " On the hypnotic
disease and on suggestions" (38).
In its ethical aspect hypnotism was in general considered per­
missible only when employed in medical experiments directed to the
investigation of existing morbid (hysterical) states. From the relig­
ious aspect a decree of the Holy Office of26July 1899 was recorded
which in reply to questions on hypnotic experiments declared these
permissible provided the premise was admitted that it was not
desired to obtain the required effect if this had to depend on a
preternatural cause, or if it might be a cause of scandal, or if it
treated of matters which certainly surpassed the forces of nature.
(See 39, p. 33; 40, II, pp. 3
2
, 33, 35)·
With the gradual decline of popular interest, animal magnetism,
stripped of what was superfluous and in this way becoming identified
with hypnotism, was confined almost entirely to its use as a thera­
peutic means of treating various neurotic conditions.
RECORDS OF PARAPSYCHOLOGICAL PHENOMENA
A great number of parapsychological phcnomena, such as
thought-transmission, divination, transposition of the senses, retro­
cognition, vision both at a distance and through opaque bodies,
etc. are reported in Italian reviews and publications during the
nineteenth century.
Generally speaking, however, it is a question either of anecdotal
stories, of which the value and trustworthiness rest solely on the
seriousness and respectability of the reporter, or of public experi­
152
ments, carried out for the most part on the stage by various mag­
netizers and their somnambules.
An exception may be made of some experiments carried out in
Milan in 1850 by the famous magnetizer Lassaigne and Mme
Prudence Bernard, of which there exist detailed reports that show
that certain precautionary measures were taken which, at that
period, provide evidence of a more serious attitude to study and
research.
The first, reported by C. A. Calderini (12), refers to two experi­
ments that took place on 6 and 9 September 1850 in the hall
attached to the Scala Theatre in Milan, in the presence of numerous
persons and especially medical men, among whom werc Drs.
Gasparini, B. Biondclli and A. Bonati, as well as Calderini.
In experiments with Prudence Bcrnard, precautions to avoid her
seeing normally were of various kinds and an account of many of
these will be found in the French Section of this series. In the pre­
sent case the methods adopted were bandages applied over the eyes,
together with two large wads of cotton wool, which were kept in
place by winding a scarf many times round the head where it acted
as a bandage and was fastened behind.
As was quite common in Prudence's performances, a game of
ecarte \vas at first proposed. The Director of the Numismatic
Cabinet, Bernardino Biondclli, was presented to Prudence while
Lassaigne stood at her side but a short distance away and did not
look at the cards. It seemed to Calderini that she was not really
playing but simply turning over the cards and always guessing them.
She conversed with her partner as if she saw both the cards and the
way they were being played.
According to what has been reported, various telepathic pheno­
mena were noted as occurring in the sitting of 6 Scptcmbcr, but no
particular care was taken, since Lassaigne was always left in close
contact with Prudence and was practically free to act as hc wanted.
In the next sitting, however, things were differently arranged.
Calderini promoted the experiment and the following is an abbre­
viated account of his report:
" It was proposed to me to ask that Prudence's eyes should be
bandaged and that she should have cotton put in her ears; that Lassaigne
should in one experiment persuade the somnambule to have her mouth
stopped up by a handkerchief inside it or one wound round her head and
knotted behind; that he should neither move, nor speak, nor shuffle his
feet, nor touch the somnambule during the experiment; that he should
transmit his mental commands while standing at a considerable distance
L 153
from the somnamoult: and through a dosed door, a screen or some other
large opaque body; moreover, except in the experiments in which it
was strictly necessary, he was not to know what was wanted of the
somnambule nor who would be put into rapjJort with her. By usc of
these precautions it seemed to me that I should succeed in excluding any
communication between the two, except mental. I should at least have
succeeded in inferring that this communication had not occurred
through the ordinary channels of the senses.
These precautions, however, were not adopted. Lassaigne was
kind enough to permit and myself (the arch sceptics),
Pessani and Bonati to carry out the tests (of 9 September) without the
least intervention by himself, from the initial magnetizing to the last
test. This concession of his meant that every means of communication
between the two was excluded Cop. cit., p. 412].
We started the experiments by giving this instruction: Lassaigne is
to put himself at a distance from Prudence and to magnetize her to the
point of somnambulism and catalepsy; if necessary, we are to assure
ourselves of the reality of the state of somnambulism since this is easily
simulated under attempts at magnetizing by a new operator; to
experiment in the transmission of thought to the somnambule, fust by
speaking in a low voice in the ear of the magnetizer, then presenting to
the magnetizer in writing what is to be transmitted, and finally making
a personal proof, that is to say by transmitting ourselves without the
intervention of the magnetizer.
These are the experiments as they were made and which were
successful.
Lassaigne allowed Prudence to be put into the somnambulist state
by the one of us, Masserotti, who had produced the mesmeric sleep in
other subjects and who was asked by us to act as operator. \Ve were in
a large room in the presence of a few people: Prudence was seated at
a distance from the few persons assembled and encircled at a short
distance by us experimenters. Lassaigne at first seated himself on a sofa
some distance away; after a short time he left the room, then returned
during the experiments. He never took any part in our tests nor did he
ever know beforehand what we wanted Prudence to do. \ Ve excluded
him, however, from the time that magnetization began, during the
experiments and until the somnambule was awakened and restored to a
condition of normality. had induced in her the magnetic
sleep and thence somnambulism" (op. cit., p. 413).
After having been assured of Prudence's somnambulism by
means of pricking with pins on the hands and arms, bending back the
.ling finger and examination of the pupils, Calderini continues (op.
cit., p. 415) :
" vVe began the tests and the first experiment did not succeed; she
was blindfolded with large wads of cotton wool and a scarf was wound
154
round her head; then the whole of the head was covered with a shawl
which fell down as far as the llCck. Every possibility of her being able
to see was thus eliminated. A playing card was taken and, without even
looking at it, was held in front of thc nape of her neck. At first she said
she could not distinguish it clearly and then asked for the card to be held
a short distance away from her head, saying that she had confused sight
of it, in the same way as when a book is held too near to the eyes. But
she again saw nothing. The test did not even succeed with cards made
to pass behind the nape of her neck at the distance which she asked for
them to be. \ Ve then carried out experiments in transmission of thought
and of will. From his sofa Lassaigne himself advised us to attempt the
former. All the rest was invented by us without any of those present
knowing anything about it. Lassaigne advised to magnetize
an object and to place it on a table mixed up with others; after that to
order her to pick it out and mentally transmit to her what she was to do
with it. Nlasserotti mesmerized a card which happened to bc on a little
table together with other objects. Prudencc, who was behind thc table,
was invited to select the mesmerized object. \Vith both hands she turned
everything over, took somc objects, estimated their weight, smelt them,
but could not pick out the obj ect, saying that all the objects seemcd
mesmerized to her. Finally she succeeded in picking out the card, more
by a process of elimination than by any other method. This uncertainty
and confusion was attributed to the fact that Nlasserotti during the pro­
cess of mesmerizing the card had not isolated it from the other objects,
on which he had made the mesmeric fluid fall also, and thus this error
was explained Cop. ciL, p. 416].
V'ie proceeded with the examination; I myself, in a very low
voice and so that no one else could hcar, whispercd in the ear
to give the card to a gentleman present in the room and at some distance
from us. Masserotti mentally ordered her to do what I had decided. In
doing this he did what he had seen Lassaigne do; that is to say he stood
behind and at some distance from the somnambule, holding out his arms
as if guiding her and every now and then he actcd as if sprinkling some­
thing with his hands. Then the suspicion entered our minds that NIas­
serotti's glance, fixed on the gentleman towards whom he had strongly
directed the somnambule, might have served as a sign either for Prudence
or for some other pcrson (if there might have bcen a plot) and that it was
for this reason that the experiment succeeded. I thought then of somc­
thing that would free us from this suspicion. I advised iVfasserotti to try
to make Prudence operate on an object mixed up with many others in
such a way that she alone might be able to see it distinctly with the eye
of the mind, but that the others wcre not in a position to distinguish
what he had ftxcd on. No one, not evcn I myself, knew the object of the
experiment; it was left to the choice of 1hsserotti. Prudcnce, through
the influence of the mesmerizer's will, got up from her scat and went
towards a fireplace on the shelf of which \vere many objects arranged in
ISS
symmetrical order: pcxldulurn docks, vases, knick-knacks, but thc
cxpnimenl did nol succeed. Dr. Bonati took me and l'essani aside out­
side the room and ad\'ised us that in order to succeed we should by agree­
ment amongst ourselves, put ourselves in the positions ofsympathy and
antipathy towards Prudence. I accepted the experiment through which
I was able to experiment directly so that my will, cxpressed only mentally
and not in words, might act on the somnambule. Pezzani left me to play
the syrnpa thetic role. I returned into the hall and each of us took one of
Prudence's hands to put ourselves in rapport with her. I took the left hand
and Pessani the right and each of us mentally tried to ieel what had been
arranged as well as he could. After a few moments Prudence firmly
squeezed my hand, bringing it to her side and turning her whole person
towards me while obviously repelling Pessani . This experiment
succeeded in overcoming my incredulity" (op. cit., p. 422).
He then continued:
" The plain and clearly defined events that I had seen were not
sufficient for me: what was wanted was that Lassaigne and l'vlasserotti
should produce these same phenomena with another somnambule, not
Prudence, which would show that these phenomena did not depend on
any attl"ibute ofthe two on whom the tests were made but also on others,
perhaps on us all, allowing for differences in degree" (op. cit. , p. 423).
The next sitting took place on 13 September and, as before, in
Milan in the house of Mrs. M. Castiglioni and in the presence of the
medical Teaching Faculty of the Ospedale Maggiore in Milan (41).
Those present were: Professor Bartolomeo Panizza, Dr.
Giovanni Strambio, Dr. Luca Cozzi and Antonio Bonati invited by
the Teaching Faculty; Drs. Andrea Verga, Gaetano Strambio,
Vincenzo Carlo Ampelio Caldcrini, Antonio Trezzi,
Carlo Alfieri, Cesare Castiglioni, Ambrogio de Marchi Gherini,
Antonio Quaglino, Federico Castiglioni, Andrea Buffini and Drs.
Serafino Biffi and Emilio Valsuani, Mrs. Castiglioni, the lady of the
house, and Dr. Adolfo Bauer.
Dr. Paolo Pessani and Dr. A. Bonati accompanied Prudence. Dr.
Gaetano Strambio acted as secretary and compiler of the report.
On this occasion Lassaigne did not permit others to magnetize
Prudence, stating that putting his subject into rapport on successive
occasions with different fluids limitcd the possibility of success, as
had been shown by thc failurc of the preceding sitting.
Lassaignc hypnotized Prudence and after the verification of her
state of somnambulism they commcnced experiments in thought­
transmission.
156
At first orders to take certain objects were given in a low voice to
Lassaigne, (who stood a few feet away from Prudence) and then
Prudence was guided by the magnetizer, who made various gestures,
towards the object chosen. These experiments were succcssful but,
as many of those present observed, the various gestures, rustling
noises and sounds of breathing made by Lassaigne might be inter­
preted as an agrccd code; on the other hand, the experiments
carried out by giving a spoken order into the ear of Lassaignc
" showed rather in favour of Prudence' s hearing than of the alleged
thought-transmission".
For this reason one wonders why at least the order was not given
to Lassaigne in writing.
The report of the sitting states:
" Dr. Paolo Pessani, conforming to these experimental conditions,
wrote an order on a li ttle card' in sight of Lassaigne '. But Quaglino
declared that however sure one mightbe of Pessani's integrity one must
take account of the fact that he had cntel'ed the room accompanied by
Prudence and that a circumstance like this must be carefully considered
in scientific exper:iments of this sort."
The following experiments then followed and it is reported that:
" I. Dr. Andrea Buffini (while sitting at the secretary's table) wrote
down an order on a little card and communicated it to Drs. Strambio
and Calderini; he then handed the card to Dr. Cesare Castiglioni and
took up his position on the left side of Lassaigne, standing behind
Prudence's chair. Cesare Castiglioni took the card to Lassaigne and he
read it, pronouncing the words in a low voice and then, turning to
Castiglioni as if he did not understand, asked in a whisper, ' Casser ? '
, Cassel', briser' replied Castiglioni in the affirmative. Then Lassaigne
stretched out his right arm towards Prudence; she got up and walking
round to the right side of her chair passed close to Lassaigne and stopped
in front of Dr. lluffini. She felt his clothes, took the watch-chain from
his waistcoat and the wat ch from his pocket, holding it in turns to
her ears, her eyes and her forehead with signs of impatience and un­
certainty.
Lassaigne, who was only a few steps away from her, followed every
movement she made with lively gesticulations, assumed an air of com­
mand, perpetually breathed heavily through his mouth and nose,
advanced and abruptly withdrew his hands and arms and exhorted
Prudence in a loud voice to pay attention and obey. It was necessary
to make efforts, he said to her, violent efforts. Prudence replied that
she could not do it. Finally she unhooked the key from the watch and
those present declared that this was enough and that they could pass on
to the next experiment. The order written by Buffini was as follows :
157
, Elle doit venir ~ l moi et cassel" une chaine d'or' [i.e. ' She must come to
me and break a gold chain.']
2. Dr. Cesare Castiglioni handed to Prudence a little parcel,
entrusted to him before the sitting by Dr. Gaetano Sttambio. With her
hands she endeavoured to ascertain the contents, smelt it repeatedly,
placed it on her forehead and on the epigastric region and said that it
was a question of human hair. And as no one said anything she asked
if she was right or wrong and if this man was or was not gravely ill.
Unable to gain anything by such questions, Prudence lamented the
fact that nobody knew how to help her or direct her and she asked to
be allowed to hold between her two hands the hands of the person who
had given her the packet. Castiglioni agreed and Prudence, repeatedly
pressing his hands to her heart, said that she saw that the sick man to
whom the hairs belonged was weak in the chest and the upper part of the
left lung was swollen. Asked if she saw anything else and having
received a negative reply, Castiglioni showed the card given to him by
Strambio and read on it: ' Tuberculosis ofthe upper left lung, in a woman
seven months pregnant suffering from transitory and acute neuralgia '.
3. Another packet for Prudence was given to her by F. Castiglioni.
Prudence, holding it behind her back, took out of the little wrapper a tuft
of hair. Castiglioni took back the carton and gave it to Strambio, then put
his two hands between those of Prudence and, in answer to her question,
assured her that the person about whom he wished to consult her had
indeed been present in his memory. Prudence smelt the hairs several
times, put them on her forehead, her heart and the epigastric region
and said that they belonged to a thin, pale and very nervous lady,
afflicted with a very irritable lung disease, with a weak chest, inflam­
mation of the stomach, the intestines and the bladder. \Vhen the test
was over and it was known that she had nothing more to add, Strambio
rcad on the card given to him by Castiglioni the words: 'Hairs of a
healthy little boy '.1
4. Over each of Prudence's eyes was placed a wad of cotton over
which Lassaigne had placed a folded handkerchief which was knotted
at the nape of the neck. Lassaigne asked for a pack of playing cards and
while it was being looked for Dr. Verga gave him a book which he said
was in French and which he gave Prudence to read. Lassaigne repeated
the invitation, saying that it was necessary to proceed slowly, but finally
he consented. A table was brought near to Prudence on which a book
bound in red leather was placed. Prudence put both her hands on the
closed book and when asked said that it was written in French. She
turned the book round from one side to the other a ~ if to have a better look
at it. She then said that the illustrations were confused, hesitated a long
time before replying that they showed houses, plants, animals and human
beings: finally she said that they were men and that it was a question
ofsteel engravings: invited to read some phrases she said that she saw on
1 Cf. Lassaigne (42, p. 70), although this may refer to another incident.
158
one half of a page on the right hand side the words' ccpendant, je pense
que' and would not add anything more to this. She pointed out that
she saw these words on pages;) or 7. The book, which was entitled
Paris, illustrations, .vas opened and it was found that the first engraving
represented a landscape and that the words above mentioned were not
to be read on the pages indicated, nor on any page between the fourth
and the eleventh.
5· C. Castiglioni, with the consent of Lassaigne, handed to
Prudcnce a package asking her to read what was written within. She
put her hands on it and said that it was a single word written in small
characters and she was able to distinguish the letters' a ' and' I ' but
could not sec anything else. On opening the packet which contained
the writing there was found a small pink card on which was written in
large characters' L'Abeille ' I and on the lower edge of the card there
was written' c'est une gazette medicaIe '.
6. In his turn Verga wanted to repeat this test and presented a
folded piece of paper to Prudence which she kept putting on her head
and forehead and in this way she uncovered the edge which covered the
writing; then she put her hands over it and said she saw an ' e " an ' m '
and a 'c' and nothing else. On the paper was written the motto:
, L'art d'experimenter n'est pas l'art de tout Ie monde '.
7· It was then wished to attempt to see if by chanee it might not
be easier for Prudence to see larger objects. Gherini, seated in front of
her, began a game of cards. Prudence took her own cards without
arranging them, then in the usual way began to throw them down one by
one. Quaglino noticed that rays oflight were entering through the shift­
ing of a bandage. He put a scarf over the head and ncck of Prudence.
She continued to play but in such a way that she either did not take up
the cards when she won or else took them up when she had made a
mistake, just as if she had not seen them.
8. Lassaigne put ten cards face up on the table, inviting C.
Castiglioni to choose one mentally. Castiglioni replied that he had done
so and Prudence then took his hands and held them for a short lime
between her own, then she decisively picked up the cards, smelt them one
by one, weighed them on her hand, put them all together except for one,
the ace of diamonds, which she presented to Castiglioni as the one he had
thought of, but Castiglioni denied that this was the one he had thought
of and the test was repeated with the same result and the bandage and
wads were taken away from Prudence's eyes.
g. It was wished to establish the fact of the direct transmission of
thought without Lassaigne acting as intermediary and as a first step F.
Castiglioni was invited to try. Lassaigne gave him a pack of cards and
told him to magnetize it by rubbing it gently between the two palms of
his hands. Castiglioni obeyed and, without telling Lassaigne anything,
gave Prudence the card, putting himself in contact with her with his
I Possibly L'"Jbeille ;'v[Micale.
159
right hand while he thought of the person to whom he wanted Prudence
to hand the card. Prudence, holding Castiglioni by the hand, got up
from her chair, walked with uncertain steps five or six paces and after
having nearly given the card to lVIrs. Castiglioni she said that the person
wanted was lwt a lady and handed the card to Dr. Bauer pronouncing the
words, ' C'est it vous '. Castiglioni said that the person to whom he
wished the card to be given was Quaglino, who was sitting in front of
Prudence and for whom it was not necessary for her to lea\"C her seat.
10. C. Castiglioni now prepared himself for a new experiment and,
with a firm idea in his mind, he offered his hand to Prudence to put
himself in raj)porl. Prudence got up, asking Castiglioni to support her
with his hand, and went towards Gherini who was sitting in front of the
chair where she was seated, felt him over, took away his watch and his
tiepin, then left him and approached Calderini who was sitting near. She
took away Calderini's right hand glove and took it to Castiglioni, show­
ing her pleasure at having found it. Castiglioni denied that what he was
thinking of had been carried out. Then Lassaigne observed that an
experiment carried out in this way could not succeed since it was neces­
sary to give in advance at least an indication of the kind of action that it
was desired should be carried out. C. Castiglioni then said that it was a
question of taking an object and he began to carry out the test again with
the same idea as in the first place. Prudence, who had remained seated
in her chair, got up again and taking C. Castiglioni's hand started
towards F. Castiglioni who was standing near Gherini and Calderini ;
she fumbled in his clothes, took away and put back into the pocket of
his overcoat his pocket-book, finally untying the knot of his tie. Dr. C.
Calderini said that he wanted her to take off from the right hand of
Calderini, with whom she had first been in raj)port, the copper ring.
1 I. Straillbio whispered an order to l'-,;Iasserotti so that the latter
might get it carried out by Prudence, putting himself in rapport with her
as usual. Prudence got up and holding Nlasserotti's hand went across
the room to the left. She felt over one of the people there and presented
an object to who denied that it was the required object.
Prudence then fumbled about in the clothes of Giovanni Strambio who
was seated at the side of the table occupied in writing notes, and at last
she went to this table on which there was some paper where the accounts
of the experiments were wri tten and on the paper was the pen used. To
the right and left of the paper there were a little porcelain "ase holding
four or five pens, then a little dark coloured inkstand, then a larger one
in sih'er, a little silvel' one, a little lid also ofsilver, a block of white paper,
a pack of playing cards and finally a pocket knife with a white handle.
Prudence took up and then laid down one object after another, and then
handed to Masserotti the little silver lid and the pocket knife, repeating
that the object fixed on was white, but finally, tired of making these
useless attempts, she stated that she was unable to carry out what was
required of her. The order given by Gaetano Strambio to !vlasserotti
160
was as follows: 'Come to the table and thro\\ on the ground the pen
have been using '.
At half past four in the afternoon Lassaigne awakened Prudence,
after repeating several times that experiments carried out under the
influence of so many wills different from his own could not completely
succeed and saying, that he travelled the world in order to give
entertainments and not to attempt scientific experiments. After this
the session was terminated."
We now report the concluding statements concerning the sitting
and regarding the part that parapsychological phenomena played
in them:
"The undersigned, Drs. Giovanni Strambio, Luca Cozzi, Andrea
Verga, Vincenzo iVlasserotti, Antonio Trezzi, Carlo ,\ifieri, Cesare
Castiglioni, Ambrogio de Marchi Gherini, Antonio Quaglino, Fcderico
Castiglioni, Andrea Buffini, Serafino Biffi, Emilio Valsuani, Carlo
Ampelio Calderini, Antonio Bonati, Paolo Pessani and Gaetano Strambio
the Secretary.
After careful observation and consideration of the events produced
at the sitting of 13 September 1850, in the presence of the Medical
Tcaching Faculty of the Ospedale Maggiore and limiting ourse\yes to
the evidence of these alone ... we feci ourselves authorized to formulate
the following conclusions :
I. The somnambulist state of i\Ime Prudence is highly disputable.
2. The orders which are expressed vcrbally to i\'1. Lassaigne are carried
out by i\<Ime Prudence.
3. Orders communicated in writing to M. Lassaigne and read by him in
a low voice are executed very imperfectly by i\'Ime Prudence.
4. Transmission either of thc will or of thought was not verified at all
unless with Lassaigne as intermediary.
5. Transference of the senses did not occur.
6. Clairvoyance was not demonstrated nor vision through opaque
objects.
7. The power of divination was not verified.
8. The problems relating to the above mentioned thus remain as at first.
The action of one individual on another, so as to produce sleep,
anaesthesia, catalepsy and phenomena which could relate to the increased
or decreased acuity of the senses, is recognized as physiologically possible.
The transposition of the senses and vision through opaque objects cannot
be regarded as proved, when such phenomena may become confused
with the vicarious accentuation of other senses. Divination, the instant
transmission of will or thought, can be regarded as experimentally far
from proved."
161
On the evening of 25 Septemuer 1850, on the initiative of the
Society for the Encouragement of Science,ILetters and Arts of
and in the presence of 63 members, Lassaigne and Nfme Prudence
were illvited " to make experiments of a scientific character" (43).
A Commission appointed for the purpose was created, chosen
strictly from those within the Society and composed of Dr. Salvatore
Pagliaghi, President, and Mr. Francesco Brioschi, an engineer, Dr.
Antonio Taschini and Nfr. Carlo Tenca, Secretaries. The Com­
mission had the task of drawing up the report of the sitting and of
arranging in advance all the necessary precautionary measures in
order to give to the experiments every possible guarantee of their
serious nature.
The Commission decided that it would itself provide all the
objects that might be used during the sitting, that no person apart
from the the members of the Society could be present at the sitting,
that the members must communicate in writing and under their
own signature what they wished 1'1. Lassaigne to make Mmc
Prudence carry out.
The Commission had also requested that Prudence should keep
her ears plugged and her eyes bandaged, but Lassaigne did not
accept this condition and proposed instead that he should keep a
handkerchief over his mouth during some of the experiments. The
Commission in addition appointed Messrs Cesare Cantu, and
Francesco Pertusati and Drs. Angelo Dubini and Luigi Marchetti to
superintend closely the conduct of the experiments.
Nfme Prudence was carefully examined both before and after her
passing into the somnambulist state, which was tested by establishing
the fact that she was anaesthetic to extremely painful stimuli.
A first experiment in the deviation of a compass needle had no
success. Some experiments in finding objects, by a written request to
Lassaigne on the part of various members, were carried out correctly
by Prudence. There then followed other experiments which
have a certain interest and which are therefore given as reported:
" Experiment No.6. NI. Lassaigne offers to perform an experiment
at a distance. j'vIme Prudence has to choose from 5 chairs the one that
will be indicated by him while he is in another room. The 5 chairs are
then put in a straight line in front oL'vImc Prudence. But j\lr. Voltolina,
the engineer, wanted to add 3 more. ;\1. Lassaigne was opposed to this
stating that a greater number than 5 would prevent him from recording
clearly the position of the chair that he wished to indicate. He offers
instead of chairs to arrange five other objects. It was agreed to put on
the 5 chairs 5 hats, 3 black and 2 white, and 1\1. Lassaigne announces
162
that he would make 1\'Ime. Prudence choose one of them by making that
one seem heavier than the others. He went into the next room
accompanied by many members, among whom were iVlessrs. Cantu,
Pertusati, Dubini, Voltolina and Sedini. The last named returned
after some time, took Prudence's hand and led her near to where the
chairs were. Beginning from the left, she took up the first four hats and
after hesitating between the second and the third hats, finding them
both of equal weight, she finally took up the third white hat belicving
this to be the heaviest. As a matter of fact this was the hat chosen
beforehand, conforming with what had been said to Lassaigne in the
next room, where he remained until the completion of the experiment. ..
No.8. Lassaigne proposed that he, outside the room, should make
Prudence sing and cease singing according to indications received from
one of the members. Accompanied by various members, including
Cantu, Pertusati, Marchetti, Dubini, Erba and Triaca, he retired to an
adjacent room with the doors closed. After some time Lassaigne
presented himself at the door and announced that the delay was due to
the fact that the members had not yet decided upon the method of
giving the signal. After a little time Prudence began to sing, interrupt­
ing and resuming the song three times. After the members had returned
into the room with Lassaigne it became known that the beginning and
the interruptions of the song occurred immediately, or a few seconds
after the orders given to Lassaigne, which consisted of a pressure of the
hand on his shoulders.
NO.9. Lassaigne was asked if he would make further thought­
transmissions, while he remained in the neighbouring room. He
replied that it was necessary for him to see or hear Prudence during the
experiment, so that he could determine whether the orders transmitted
were or wcre not carried out and so that he could direct her. It was
then decided that he should place himself behind a screen, already in
position, in such a way that through a glazed aperture he was able to
follow her movements with his eyes. Behind the screen were some of
those present, including Triaca and Pertusati. After a moment Prudence
got up and put down her right leg with a trembling motion. Triaca,
who had ordered this movement to be carried out, also ordered her to
put her hand to her side, but this movement was not carried out since
Lassaigne said that the screen was placed in a position in which he
could see only Prudence's back and he asked for her to change her
position. After she had placed herself in profile Prudence brought her
hand to her forehead, which was exactly the new order given by
Triaca...."
A later experiment in telepathy carried out with the complete
exclusion of Lassaigne failed.
" No. II. Dr. S. Pagliaghi took the right hand of Prudence with his
own, with the idea of making her say what he was thinking of, which he
16
3
had not communicated to Lassaigne nor to the others. She began to
say that the matter referred to Pagliaghi and that it was he whom she
saw. He was not standing but was seated on something and it was
dark. Then Prudence complained that he did not help her by confirm­
ing what she said; 1\1. Lassaigne intervened, saying that it was necessary
to encourage her in this way. She then resumed and said that Pagliaghi
was not alone but that there was another person with him and this
person was a man. She went on to say that this man had a sinister
appearance and seemed as if he were following him. Lassaigne advised
her not to lose herself in details but to concentrate on the main fact. She
went on to say that this man wanted to do harm to Pagliaghi, who was
afraid, pale and with a haggard look, and that she heard much noise.
She said that the darkness prevented her from seeing clearly. Then
Lassaigne advised her again to go direct to the fact. And she repeated
that Pagliaghi was pale. Lassaigne asked her the reason for this and she
again said that she could not see dearly but had heard the noise of
something which had fallen. At this point Pagliaghi got up saying that
he had imagined himself to be in the company of another man in a little
boat on the lake and to be in danger of his life owing to a storm having
blown up, but in the end they were saved.
No. 12. Sedini then put himself in communication with Prudence
and with the same intention as Pagliaghi had had; he told no one the
story which Prudence had to repeat. She began by saying that she saw
nothing, not even Sedini himself. Then she added that he was on a
journey, pretending to be in a carriage with a horse in front. But
Lassaigne became impatient: and she said that with him near her his
influence did not allow her to carry out, step by step, the thought that
only gradually entered her mind; Lassaigne then withdrew behind the
screen. She went on by saying that they were passing through a little
town, where they would have liked to stop but continued on towards a
great house which was not a hotel and into which he had gone, climbed
the stairs and came into a room, adding that he was afraid but she did
not know what it was about; perhaps they wanted to rob him, to over­
come and master him, but he wanted to resist, and they tried to do him
harm, to assassinate him. Then she said that she heard something
moving, shouts, and a dog which terrified him.
At this point Sedini, who during Prudence's story had already
confirmed some of the details, exhibited much astonishment and told
how he himself had been thinking or an incident that had happened to
him when he was a young man. He had set out from 1\Tilan by carriage
and having arrived at Saronno had been taken to be put up at a great
house; having gone up to the bedroom allotted to him he heard cries
and noises as if of chains, which made him think that evildoers might
attack him and hence he was very much afraid. These noises continued
but at last he found out that in a room close to his own there was a dog
tied up by a chain. The dog, hearing the noises he made moving about
16
4
the room, tried to release itself as if to run away from him. Sedini added
that each time Prudence showed herself uncertain in her story he
concentrated intensely 011 the detail he wanted her to say, obtaining his
aim."
At this point the experiments ended. And it is to be noted,
added the compilers of the report, that these experiments were
carried out in a room which Lassaigne and Prudence had entered for
the first time, where there were neither mirrors nor floorboards and
the paved floor was covered with a carpet; that Lassaigne, during
the entire sitting, remained almost always behind Prudence and at
a distance of two, three or four paces, and that the persons whose
task it was to control him never saw him move his lips either when
he was reading the written orders or when he was having them
carried out; neither did he do anything or make any noise that
might be interpreted as a form ofcode between himselfand Prudence.
The Society had invited Lassaigne to another sitting which was
to be completely devoted to experiments in thought-transmission
without the collaboration of Lassaigne. But Lassaignc refused
owing to the fact that he was expected in Venice (42).
The clear discrepancy between the results of the reported sittings
is very perplexing: unlike the preceding sessions, indeed, the last
sitting showed a surprising percentage of successes. Complicity on
the part of some or those present cannot a priori be ruled out,
although it appears improbable. On the other hand, the precaution­
ary measures taken during the course of the experiments, although
far from perfect, can nevertheless be considered as limiting the
possibility of a conventional code between Lassaigne and Prudence.
Doubtless if the experimenters had been less ingenuous and had
exercised a greater rigour and control the telepathic phenomena
produced by Lassaigne and Prudence might have been confirmed
as worthy of attention.
Another series of mesmeric experiments of which we possess a
detailed description is that reported by P. Beroaldi ([3) . The
experiments took place, at varying intervals in ) 850- ) 85 [ at the
Ospedale Provinciale ofVicenza and were of the nature of researches
designed to study the eventual production of mesmeric phenomena,
the transmission of thought and clairvoyance.
Two men and t\\'o women, patients convalescing in the hospital,
were used as voluntary subjects. Acting as magnetizers were two of
the physicians in the hospital, Dr. Andrea Vaccari and Dr. Giuseppe
Toffoletto in collaboration with Mr. Luigi Dalla Vecchia, "a
gentleman cultivated in physical science ".
16
5
The experiments took place on the hospital premises in the
presence of the Director, two physicians, two surgeons from the
hospital and other professional persons and other local authorities.
In Beroaldi's account, however, only the experiments with the two
female patients are reported.
First the 22 year old Rosa Velo, who was convalescing after a
slight arthritic and bronchial complaint was magnetized by Toffo­
letto. Six sittings were held from I to 10 December 1850. Th,.:
patient rapidly fell into a deep hypnotic state, often reaching the
cataleptic state. Velo, according to the account, correctly followed
numerous orders mentally given to her by Toffoletto but thought of
from time to time by one of those present.
The magnetizer stood at a distance of three or four paces behind
the subject while attempting to transmit mental orders, the orders
being communicated to the magnetizer by one of those present
drawn by lot" in another place, with every precaution" and some­
times written down. The mental orders were not carried out when
the magnetizer was in another room. Velo succceded, moreover,
in executing successfully mcntal orders, even complicated ones,
which werc directly given by the Director of the hospital and other
physicians present. All the medical men, with the exception of the
magnetizer, knew what the orders were. She succeeded also, when
sight was excluded, in knowing precisely when the magnetizer was
tasting sugar.
In the following experiments Orsola Bajo, a 26 year old patient,
was employed. She was of nervous temperamcnt and was afflicted
with ankylosis of the articulation of the right knee. Six sittings
were held with her from 3 to I9 January I8S!. Toffoletto and
Vaccari actcd as magnetizers after the second sitting.
Bajo never reached the cataleptic condition nor was she cver
able to carry out required actions or mental orders. Neverthcless,
according to the report, it '.vas possible to establish the fact of vision
with eyes closed and perfectly bandaged ( 13, p. 3 I). The eyes
were covered over with cotton and with a thick and wide coloured
scarf, wrapped round eight times. All those present superintended
the bandaging, some testing it on themselves, and all agreed that it
was absolutely impossible for the patient to see. Besides, in the
course of the first sitting the cotton and the shawl were substituted
by a mask, consisting of two pieces of cardboard stuck together,
which hermetically sealed the eye sockets.
Bajo correctly read several words written in printed characters
on little picccs of cardboard which were given her to hold and which
I66
were unknown to the magnetizer, who stood at several paces distant
with his face turned away. In the course of the sitting Bajo suc­
ceeded several times in distinguishing various colours (handkerchiefs,
playing cards), in counting exactly the number of persons present
and in recognizing those persons who were presented to her and
the positions they assumed, in distinguishing the value of playing
cards and naming various other objects shown to her. Few errors
were noted.
However the test of deviations of the magnetic needle failed.
During the last sitting Irene Tromben, a 20 year old patient,
was also magnetized by l\h. Alvera ( 13, p. 52). Having reached
the magnetic state, the patient succeeded, amongst other things, in
beginning and ceasing to sing at command. The mental order was
given to her by the magnetizer who was in another room together
with numerous other people, amongst whom was the Director of
the hospital. The latter took it in turns, with an agreed sign, to
communicate the order to the magnetizer.
This series of experiments may be considered particularly
interesting on account of various factors present: firstly they were
all conducted within a hospital and there were always present
qualified persons representative of the medical faculty of the said
hospital. Particularly worthy of note is the fact that both the mes­
merizers and their subjects were not professionals and did not work
for money or to obtain publicity. It was in fact a question ofphysi­
cians of the hospital and of convalescing patients who had recovered
and who lent themselves voluntarily to these experiments.
All these factors obviously reduce the probability of the existence
of possible trickery.
During the course of the sittings, moreover, precautionary
measures were also taken which, even if not entirely satisfactory,
can be considered among the more scrupulous of those generally
adopted, as compared with similar experiments conducted in Italy
at the same period.
The results, especially with the subject Bajo, are very, perhaps
excessively, surprising: almost no mistake in the clairvoyant
experiments. Since, however, the measure of control adopted
cannot be considered adequate, above all those di,·ected towards
avoiding the occurrence of conventional signs, any more than those
intended to exclude the possibility of normal vision, the results must
be accepted with understandable reserve.
Once again the ingenuousness of these researches is surprising.
One wonders why they did not propose experimcnts that were
r67
simpler and more foolproof, such as stating the value of a playing
card shown covered to the subject.
The compiler of the report, Beroaldi (the Director of the hospital
in question), moreover, showed himself perhaps too enthusiastic
over the powers of animal magnetism, to the point of making us
doubt at times his objectivity and his critical faculty, and this is also
a point which should be borne in mind in the complex task of
appraising the validity of the experiments cited.
All the most noted Italian magnetizers, such as Pietro d'Amico,
(44), Antonio Zanardelli and Francesco Guidi, boasted of having
succeeded in the production of parapsychological phenomena with
their somnambules.
Francesco Guidi, probably the most famous Italian magnetizer
of the period, lists the following among the parapsychological pheno­
mena produced by his subjects Stefano U., Pietro D., Enrichetta A.,
Caterina L., and especially Amerigo P. and Erminia S.: "trans­
position of the senses, thought-transmission, eyeless vision, vision
through opaque objects, vision at a distance, diagnosis and therapy of
diseases at a distance, divination, retrocognition, speculations about
the other world, and other clairvoyant phenomena" (16, pp. 209 ff.)
Guidi was originally connected with the direction of various
theatres and claimed that he had such a passion for the" new
science" of mesmerism that he gave up his job entirely to devote all
his time to it. He travelled around giving exhibitions of the powers
of the somnambules accompanying him and in February 1851 he
was showing at Wauxhall pleasurc resort in Paris in the Rue de la
Douanc when his subject Amerigo was demonstrating what were
claimcd to be the higher phenomena.
At Turin Guidi was also present at Lassaigne's experiments and
while he says he was convinced of the great telepathic faculty of
Mme Prudence he explicitly accused Lassaigne of being fraudulent
and of " mixing the true with the false ".
Reporting, Guidi stated: (16, p. 229).
" I put myself in rapport with her (i.e. Prudence) without confiding
anything to her magnetizer, and she immediately and perfectly des­
cribed to me a trip from Turin to Rome, passing through Genoa where
we embarked, disembarking at Civitavecchia by the lonely road leading
to Rome, stopping halfway at a little village called Palo and seeing in
the distance the eternal city of the seven hills, entering into it and stop­
ping in a great square of which she gave an exact description which could
refer only to the Piazza del Popolo. The journey that passed through
my mind, as in the varying scenes of a moving panorama, was described
168
by the somnambule and, what is even more surprising, the somnambule
fdt she was really travelling and in particular she had the sensation of
being in a ship between sky and water."
This might be a testimony of some interest if the author were
worth attention, which is certainly not the case.
The following is an extract from a letter to Luigi Stefanoni
from Dr. Alessandro Cugini, Professor of hygiene and legal medicine
at the University of Parma (18, p. 129).
"In the month of July 1860 Mr. Guidi gave, in the Royal Theatre of
Parma, two magnetic sittings which, as always and from beginning to
end, were satisfying to initiates and novices but did not satisfy those for
whom the spectacular and the strange were not sufficient to convince
them of the authenticity of the experiments. For some of the latter,
among whom I was one, Mr. Guidi proposed to give an experiment in
a room of the national guard, where there was neither a stage nor
anything that could lend itself to trickery. In this third and let us say
private test NIr. Guidi's clairvoyante in fact saw nothing. Indeed,
from the hairs of a person (enclosed within a sheet of paper) presented
to her by Mr Guidi it was never possible for her to gather anything
true about the physical and moral state of that person, nor was there
even once any way by which she could guess where a person was with
whom the magnetizer had put her in rapport or could cross in the correct
direction the short distance which divided the experimental room from
the other one. It was then that someone thought of trying a kind of
experimentum crucis concerning her clairvoyance: for that purpose some
hairs of a little dog were enclosed within a small bit of paper and handed
over to the somnambule."
Cugini goes on to say that Guidi's somnambule stated that they
were the hairs of a man, latcr describing his characteri3tics ( 18,
p. 130 .)
Stefanoni then referred to numerous written statements accord­
ing to which Guidi, who was a self-nominated professor, was shown
to be an untrustworthy person.
Indeed, none of these magnetizers had accepted a large prize
publicly offered by Stcfanoni to anyone who carried out one of the
following experiments :
1. Clairvoyance: r eading a number of five figures through a
sheet of paper.
2. Thought-transmission: the number will be communicated
to the magnetizer, who will be able to transmit to thesomnambule by
thought, only, however, after one of them has been so separated
M 16
9
from the other that there can be no communication between them
by hearing or by sight.
Instead of accepting, the magnetizer B. Figari came forward and
offered some ridiculous conditions: his somnambule would divine
the diseases of the persons present only if they had declared the
symptoms of the disease and the seat of the malady! (18, p. 159).
Generally speaking, the Roman Catholic authors, such as
G. G. Franco (cf. 35, 39), G. M. Caroli (8), Savino (46) and Lapponi
(47) showed themselves the most credulous and they reported very
numerous examples of clairvoyant phenomena, etc. (often without
even naming those who produced them), the reality of which
they declared themselves convinced as evidence of diabolic
intervention.
Still, Caroli himself showed himself disappointed in Cahagnet's
famous somnambule Adele Maginot: having been personally
present at a few experiments, he stated that" the infallible AdeIe
fell into numerous errors in reply to questions put to her by myself"
(8, p. 164). Again, Carolijoined with Guidi in criticizing as devoid
ofany serious nature the experiments of1'1r. Mongruel and his Sibyl:
this couple travelled in Italy exhibiting little cards bearing the words
" La Sybille Moderne, passe, present, a venir " .1
Verati also reported various clairvoyant phenomena mostly veri­
fied in France and although he stated that he was convinced of the
reality of clairvoyance and of thought-transmission he wrote:
" I, however, have so far not been able to observe any phenomena
like visions, within or without, or seeing at a distance, and once the
following incident happened with my own somnambule. I was given
by a worthy physician a piece of money wrapped up in paper, so that I
might ask the somnambule to identify it; she made efforts to name it,
but in vain: she complained ofsevere pain in the forehead and abruptly
gave me back the coin, saying in a loud voice that she neither wished to
see nor do anything about it. Some persons insisted on obtaining from
her what was wanted and begged her again to comply. Then she came
and whispered to me in a \'oice that was hardly intelligible even to me
(the others were in a circle at a distance of five or six paces) and asked
me what the coin was. As might be imagined, I gave a categorical
refusal and she became angry, got up and wanted to go into the other
room where there were only a few persons who knew her" (48, iii,
pp. 361 -2 ).
1 For the Nlongruel case sec p. 197 in the French Section of this series where
bibliographical references are given.
17
0
As is now clear, we are confronted by a mass of anecdotal
material, examples of which could be multiplied, in which the
reported parapsychological phenomena are hardly worth attention
because of the total absence of the slightest control conditions.
Dr. A. Battandier, in a correspondence from Rome to the paper
Cosmos (Paris) of 7 June 1886 (49) refers to some experiments in
magnetism that Zanarddli carried out on his wife Emma at which
he was personally present as one of a number of doctors who were
among the audience. He stated that after thc subject had been put
into a somnambulist state Zanardelli obtained hypnotic phenomena
through orders given mentally. 1'loreover, members of the audience
were themselves able to obtain similar phenomena through orders
given in the same way, putting themselves into communication with
the subject by simple contact or communicating with the magnetizer
who was in his customary rapport with the somnambule. vVc have
already referred to the method he used to hypnotize her, which was
in every way similar to that practised by Donato, that is to say
pressure on the hands and a fixed stare.
The transmission of a mental order demands that the person
giving it has to think strongly about what he wishes done and this
concentration of the will must persist until the order is finally
executed. \Vhoever does not wish to communicate directly with
the somnambule and takes advantage of thc magnetizer as inter­
mediary takes him by the hand and with a fixed stare (so he says)
unites his own thought with that of thc magnetizer, and thus the
command may be transmitted mentally to the lady with whom he is
in constant magnetic rapport. Now as regards the experiments.
A spectator holds his handkerchief tightly in his hand, mentally
ordering the somnambulc to smell a particular kind of perfume
that might be on the handkerchief. The handkerchief itself is now
put into the hand of the somnambule who, having smelt it, names
the scent which she smclls there and which is the one wished for
(op. cit., p. 258).
Another spectator imagines some scene or other and immediately
the somnambule describes it, although with some inaccuracies.
But she leaves no doubt that she is really seeing the scene asked for.
Another wishes Emma to imagine herself walking in a meadow
and meeting there a big snake which threatens to twist its coils
around her. Instantly she seems to see this because she draws back,
presses her clothes around her and tries to jump up on the chairs;
her signs of terror eventually become so real that the spectator cuts
short the test by imagining that the serpent leaves her. Anel
17
1
immediately the appearance of the somnambulc becomes quiet and
the joy of liberation is depicted on her facc .
Others order her, always mentally, to change her bracelet from
the left to the right arm, to exchange chairs, to make three turns
round her own seat, to take a handkcrchief Ii·om the pocket of a
spectator, or to extinguish certain candles.
Everything is done precisely as commandcd. Someonc orders
her to remain completely motionless: to the great surprise of thc
audience she stops still and is beginning to exprcss doubt as to
whether she can carry out the command when the person who gave
the order declares that this is nothing other than the order that was
given to her.
She is very successful in describing minutely objects that the
spectators have on their persons or in their pockets. Also in the case
when you imagine you have something which you do not really
possess she will describe exactly the object of your imagination. On
the contrary she does not discover something that you have but
have forgotten. Similarly she will tell you thc time by your watch,
even if you have changed it from thc correct time. But to do this it
is necessary for you to know the time at which you have set it (op.
cit., p. 259).
From this account it seems obvious that all these alleged para­
normal phenomena were fraudulent and do not merit serious
attention.
About 1890 the famous performer Pickman was exhibiting in
Italy in the theatres of various cities, among them Turin, i\1ilan and
Genoa, and the crowds of spectators were sent into ecstacies by his
series of highly effective experiments.
We can get an idea of these exhibitions through a description of
them left by Cesare Lombroso who says:
" After he had been stimulated by fasting and large amounts of
strong coffee and by the applause which greeted his popular conjuring
tricks, he could put himself in communication with the first comer
(unless he held him in great antipathy and distrust ) and when the latter
ordered him, thinking hard (although, be it well understood, in the
French language and not otherwise), to perform a reslricted number of
actions, such as guessing numbers or words, tracing with closed eyes a
very complicated design and performing certain actions upon given
persons, such as hitting them with so many blows on the head, clipping
glasses on to the nose and, above all and always, guessing who might
have assassinated a certain spectator, and the knife, chosen from twelve
similar ones, that might have wounded him and the reason for the injury
172
and the place in which he had hidden the imaginary corpse and his
clothes ; all this while his eyes were bandaged, his ears plugged and
while persons other than the participants adopted the most rigorous
precautions against fraud" (50, p. 207).
Lombroso personally studied Pickman and the results of this
investigation are reported in the article published by him in 18go
and elsewhere (Cf. Ga::.;;:. Lett., 1890, xiv, pp. 12 ff; La Civ. Cattolica,
1890, 14 ser., vi, pp. 285-31 r ; Journal of the Society for Psychical
Research, Oct. r8go, iv, p. 303 and for a latcr account sec the
Annales d. sci. ps)'chiques, 1904, xiv, pp. 264-273). In the same report
there is r ecorded a complete psychiatric and anthropometric exam­
ination of Pickman, who was classed as neuropathic and hysterical,
with a ccntral nervous system in unstable equilibrium which much
resembled that of a somnambulist subject.
In the same article are then summarized some experiments
carried out by Pickman in the presence of the same scientist.
Lombroso reported :
" In my laboratory, without contact and with eyes and ears bandaged,
he guessed 9 times out of 10 a playing card; he guessed 7 times out of
10 without his eyes bandaged. vVhether the hypnotizer was in the same
room or in another had no influence. It is curious that numbers
distributed on 20 similar pieces of card were guessed by him with less
success (6 or 7 out of to), always without contact; and 8 out of 10 when
touching the agent. He was never successful with the numbers unless
he could touch them with a rod or with his hand; then he stopped on
the number, sometimes hesitating over the preceding or following
number; but unless he touched the card he did not succeed.
On the other hand when it was a question of carrying out certain
actions (such as shaving, kneeling, looking for a book or a jewel pur­
posely hidden in a distant place) he succeeded completely. Making his
wife sit down he stood ncar her, we chose a card and a number and his
wife guessed it immediately 9 times out of 10. He knew that his wife,
who must have been neurotic, had a certain faculty but he said he did
not want to take advantage of this because after these sittings she felt
herself becoming stupid and she had to put aside her own intelligence in
order to be directed by him" (op. cit., p. 207).
From this it may be concluded that in the majority of the experi­
ments Pickman obtained better results if he maintained physical
contact with the person who was to transmit the thought to him.
Lombrose himself observed:
"He who has watched Pickman closely will have been able to
observe how on a few occasions he had the lucidity of reading a thought at
I73
a short distance away; he more often needed to touch the hand of the
agent and even pressed it violently and repeatedly to his cheek and to the
nape of his neck as if to facilitate the passage of his physical vibrations
(op. cit., p. 213).
Morselli made a strong point of this necessity for physical contact
in his criticism of the telepathic faculty of Pickman, to whom he
dedicated a book (51).
Enrico Morselli relates how, when Pickman was in Genoa in
June 18go to give a public exhibition, he had invited him to a private
sitting for scientific purposes. Pickman only accepted with reserva­
tions: he refused to be examined and, on the other hand, carried
out experiments in " magnetic attraction" in the course of which,
according to Morselli, he was cleverly able to take out his watch, get
the two secretaries present to read the number inside it and then to
guess the number during his evening show. Morselli said:
" I t was just this trick that led to the great fiasco at Genoa and to his
hasty departure from the country. Thus, hardly had his experiments
begun when the public were convinced that there was no trace of
divination but only of a great ability to make usc of the' unconscious
movements' of his guides, as I have said. He was asked by all for a
greater seriousness in experiment and the removal from the stage of all
persons who were not well known. Affected by the initial suspicion of
the spectators, Pickman suddenly wanted to take his revenge; he
proceeded to guess ... the number on the inside case of my watch, which
was 2653 : a number which I declared I had never read, did not know,
and which I therefore could certainly not transmit by thought! But
Pickman, stung to the quick by the public uproar and perhaps fearing
that as a consequence I should refuse to take part in the experiment,
insisted, pretended to enter into a half-hypnotic cataleptic state while I
kept one hand on his head and in the other the closed watch, and natur­
ally he guessed 2653.
But it is easy to understand the consequences of this over­
ingenious fraud. Never in my life have I been present at such an uproar
of hissing, shouts, Homeric laughter, while the poor diviner, bathed in
sweat, pretended he wished to knock his head against the cloth wall of
the wings. And it is to be noted that not only for me but also for one of
my friends, also a student of hypnotic phenomena, did Pickman prepare
the same trick. He himself wrote to him, after hurriedly leaving Genoa,
boasting of being able to guess the number of a watch without even the
owner who wore it knowing of it, and indeed he did guess this other
number which was 47500" (51, p. 8).
It is not entirely clear what happened both before and during
this experiment and a contemporary account published in the
174
Genoa paper Caifaro (20 June, r8go) does not throw much light on
it. The reporter stated that at the meeting Pickman asked Morselli
for his watch and asked him to look at the number inscribed on the
inside of the case. In reply, Morselli said that he could not open
the watch with his fingers, to which Pickman replied by saying that
it did not matter as he was going to guess the number in the watch,
which Morselli stated that he himself did not know. It was there­
fore a test not of thought-transmission but of clairvoyance. Pickman
put one hand on 110rselli's head and then in what was said to be a
state of auto-hypnosis wrote down a number, after which lYforselli
opened his watch with his penknife and compared the numbers,
ascertaining that that written by Pickman was correct. Although
the report stated that the audience applauded he went on to say that
the objection was raised that this was not a cause of thought-trans­
mission since Morselli did not know the number and an indescrib­
able uproar followed. Some thought that it was a case of trickery,
others accused Morselli of acting as a confederate. To the suspicion
that he was a confederate Morselli merely shrugged his shoulders
and said that frankly he had doubts about this experiment. It was
known that he had relations with Pickman before the meeting and
so his doubts were more than justified. As to his own opinion, 110r­
selli himself admitted the probability that Pickman, clever conjurer
that he was, had been able to succeed in getting hold of the watch
and reading its number without being observed.
It would appear then that Morselli as well as others did not
believe in the paranormality on this occasion of Pickman's clairvoy­
ance, although a normal explanation of Pickman's Success seems to
have been pure speculation. What is obvious is that, if normal,
Pickman or his assistant got possession of Morselli's watch, opened
it to read the number, closed it and returned it to the Professor.
vVhatever we may think of Pickman's ingenuity, we can hardly fail
to be struck by the poor quality of Morselli's powers of observation
and what might lead some to distrust the accuracy of the many
observations he made with other mediums.
Morselli firmly denied that Pickman, during his experiments,
needed to be able to enter into a hypnotic condition. At the most
there was a strong concentration ofattention on the little indications
that were unconsciously provided for him by the persons who guided
him and by the public. On the other hand he had two qualities.
One was that of being a very clever conjurer (preparing the public,
influencing it to expect unusual events, distracting the attention of
the spectators at the decisive moment of the experiment, using
175
confederates, taking advantage of the good faj th or others and keep­
ing something in reserve in case of failure) . Also he possessed,
sharpened by practice, a singular perceptiveness through the tactile,
thermal, visual, auditory and olfactory senses. :Morselli also said
that he believed that Pickman's hysterical states, which occurred
particularly when the experiments showed signs of failing, were a
good means of claiming the indulgence of the public.
:Morselli then procceded to detailed criticism of the best of the
phenomena produced by Pickman in Italian theatres.
J. Guessing a person's though/so I\10rselli observes that Pickman
began this experiment after having held the hand of his guide for
some time: this gave him the first" impulse ", but a " muscular"
not a psychical impulse through the light pressure and quivering of
the muscles. Morselli stated, following Beard:
" Everyone knows that all representations or ideas have a motor
content which tends to be transformed into actions: thus it happens
that the person who has the idea that Pickman or the thought-reader
should go towards a given place or object, unconsciously transforms,
despite his own wishes, this idea into an actual movement of his muscles,
and the reader does nothing but follow the impulse received" (51,
p.6).
The author records also that Pickman never worked without some
con/act either at the beginning or in the course of the experiment:
when he was uncertain he always again sought the hand of the person
who was guiding him, thus receiving new indications in order to
arrive at the supposed divination.
2. Knocking on the head of a spectator a determined number of times.
During this experiment, according to l'vlorselli, Pickman always
held the hand of the person who was thinking of the number of
blows: the physical psychological mechanism is then based on the
perception of unconscious muscular movements and this in a way
that is even clearer and more simple than in the first experiment.
3. Following, with ryes bandaged, a line traced in chalk on the floor.
In order to explain this experiment, other than by the accustomed
help of the guide and the public, Morselli puts forward the hypo­
thesis that Pickman, with his exquisite tactile sensibility, succeeded
in perceiving under his foot the tracing of chalk, without, however,
excluding the possibility that Pickman could in fact see:
" The bandage was put on at the beginning of the evening by him­
self, and certainly in the more or less hysterical movements and con­
vulsions that he adopted in the wings or on the stage he could easily have
176
misplaced it so as to permit him a view of the floor. Pickman, indeed,
during both this experiment and the following ones, always walked
about with his head lifted and his face upwards, certainly in order to
look under the bandage" (op. cit. , p. 8) .
4 . Discovering an object hidden all a chosen !Jerson. Here again
:Morselli invokes the involuntary agreement of the subject, repeating
that we can neve,' think of a movement without also showing a
tendency to perform it. Then noting that Pickman during these
experiments required that he should be allowed music IVlorselli does
not exclude the possibility that through suitable variations in the
tempo and tone of the sounds Pickman might arrive at the necessary
information.
5. Guessing or writing down a number thought of Morselli notes
that during this experiment Pickman was always in immediate con­
tact with the hand of the agent, which was put on his head, and thus
he had nothing to do but mechanically follow the "impulses"
transmitted to him by the muscles that were more or less tense or
with more or less pressure. The figures transmitted by Pickman on
the slate examined by Morselli were 30 cm. high, drawn with many
uncertainties, that is to say in accordance with their possible origin
in the light pressures and so forth of the person giving the suggestion.
6. Discovering the actors of an imaginary assassination, indicating the
place where the victim was wounded, the homicidal knife and the object stolen.
The discovery of the assassin, of the victim and of the point at which
he was wounded would occur merely by availing himself of the
unconscious collaboration of the agent. !vlorselli adduces as a proof
of this the fact that in an exhibition at Genoa a person was chosen as
guide who was little disposed to betray by movements and postures
his mental representations of the acts to be accomplished, and Pick­
man, unable to guess anything, asked for him to give way to some­
one else. In these experiments Pickman was also accustomed to
indicate which knife, selected from a heap of twelve, had been used
in the mock assassination. :Nlorselli observes that in this case the
agent could not transmit any thought, having lost sight of the knife,
which he had just marked but which was at a distance at which the
agent was unable to distinguish it from the others. It could then
only be a case of clairvoyance, conlinued l'vlorsclli (but Pickman had
never claimed as much), or of some clever trick, such as taking
advantage of an increased warmth of the handle of the knife handled
by different persons as compared with other handles, or, better, of
a difference in weight, having recourse here to an accomplice who
cleverly substituted the eleven knives remaining on the table with
177
psychic communication with anyonc in the room, all this must be
defined as lucidity or reading at a distance rather than as thought­
transmission.
He was able more easily to carry out an act suggested to him and
written on paper enclosed in an envelope by a person unknown to him.
And this was also repeated in my laboratory. Regis indeed took in his
hand the envelope containing the piece of paper with the written order,
felt it and finally put it between the palms of his hands as in the act of
prayer (the only thing written on the scrap of paper was' Kneel down
and pray'). Regis was told: 'You have not done everything that
was ordered'. Then Regis got up in a tired way from his seat and knelt
down. On the other hand, when required to guess a playing card 01
which one of us was thinking, or a card with a number put among 5
other similar cards, he only guessed correctly twice out of sixteen tests
(12%), although he held the hand of the person who was thinking of it.
We presented an envelope (always in the laboratory) with inside
it a drawing of a pelican and asked him to reproduce it.
'With eyes covered with a double bandage he succeeded, although
somewhat roughly, being in the dark and not being a good draughtsman.
Another time we made a drawing of the head and leg of a horse
which we placed in an envelope; when asked to reproduce it he made
a sketch which suggested the head of a man. \"'hen he sensed some
disapproval he superimposed on this shapeless form another drawing
which showed three legs and part ofthe body ofa horse, saying that it was
a horse. This might be an imperfect thought-transmission which lacked
precision and not reading at a distance, since no line resembled the
figure drawn by us although the essence of it was apparent.
At the third test (the drawing of a clock) he failed completely;
that is to say he wrote some letters and then suddenly stopped saying
that he was tired.
In order to do all this it was necessary that first he should fast and
drink a great quantity of rum, up to a half litre; then it was always
necessary for his eyes and ears to be bandagcd; his pulse and breathing
became three times as fast and he was convulsed in a way that made
him seem epileptic.
Afterwards he remained exhausted, half blind, lacking in feeling
and almost completely insensible to pain, as if he were coming out of a
comatose state.
It is curious that his history was analogous to that of Pickman. His
father was a chef who drank much wine, but not spirits, and was a skilful
magnetizer; his mother was a hysteric and suffered from palpitations
and a cough; the paternal grandfather died from alcoholism, while the
maternal grandfather suffered from a violent temper" (54" pp. 73 ff.)
After describing snme anthropometric studies on this subject the
report describes some experiments carried out by Grimaldi and
180
Fronda with the 20 year old subject E.B., about whom were given
some data on the patient's case history and personality. The
report continues:
" The following researches concern some highly controversial pheno­
mena (transposition of the senses and vision at a distance) and therefore
I wished to take my time over them, testing and retesting and going over
all the precautions in order to eliminate every source of error and to
protect myself from any trickery.
I first took two pictures and showed them to B .... telling him what
they were; I put up the two pictures on a little table and made B....
sit down in such a way as to have the table behind him; then I took
first one and then the other picture, doing it always in such a way that
it was absolutely impossible for him to sec them and then asked him
which of the two I had taken. He never failed to state without hesita­
tion which picture was the one asked for. To the first two pictures I then
added a third, and later a fourth and a fifth and repeated the test,
changing at random the ones shown behind him. In twenty experi­
ments he failed only in three (15%).
I attempted the same test by putting behind the doO!' of the room
one or other of the five pictures that were used for the first experiment,
and invited the subject to guess them. In ten tests he failed only twice
(20% ); but only through his earnest desire to reply in too much of a
hurry, because after better consideration he corrected himself twice
f!'Om error. It is noteworthy that ifhe was made tosit down near another
person he became completely disorientated; as also if the light was
placed opposite him and compelled him to lower his eyes. He hardly
ever made a mistake when he was able to remain for some minutes with
his hand in front of his eyes and with his ears plugged, an attitude that
he attempted to adopt independent of my will (the monoideic state like
Regis and Pickman). Asked in what way he managed to guess the
names of the pictures, he replied : 'I feel myself urged to say a name and
I say it without knowing why'.
Here therefore it is not a case of transposition of vision nor of vision
at a distance: it is a case of truly precise thought-reading "1 (54, pp.
80 ff.).
According to the description at least a part of these experiments
was carried out with the subject in a state of trance. In the follow-
I The report as it stands scarcely carries conviction. It would appear not to
be impossible for the subject to have seen the pictures in one of the small reflectors
commonly used by gamblers, and the fact that he failed when a person sat ncar
him and when the light was in front of him rather supports this idea. In the case
of the picturc.'S exhibited behind the door comment is impossible, since none of the
facts which it is important to know is given. [Ed.]
181
ing experiments, on the other hand, it is clearly specified that B.
was in a hypnotic state :
" After having hypnotized him I said to E.B. : 'What number am I
thinking of?' And the subject immediately repeated cxactly the
number thought of. In the second trial the experiments succeeded
equally well. Then a chain was formed of three persons together with
the hypnotized and the hypnotist, who was one of the chain,
asked him: 'What number am I thinking of?' The reply was in­
correct several times. A new test of the following kind was then
attempted: each of those who formed part of the chain thought of a
number, a number agreed upon in another room far from the subject,
and one of them asked him what was the number of which he was
thinking. The subject almost always replied with a number representing
the sum of the numbers thought of by everyone or something very like it"
(54, p. 82).
There now follows a description of other sittings in which, how­
ever, it is not specified in what state E.B. was during the series: at
times it would appear that he in a waking state, but more
often it would seem that he was in a condition of trance:
" First sitting. The patient is cheerful because he thinks he will
succeed in the experiments in thought-reading. A bandage, accurately
tied over the eyes, makes it absolutely impossible for him to see; the
same bandage also passes over the cars, which are also plugged with
cotton wool.
The experiments are confined to the reproduction of geometrical
figures which one of US draws at a certain distance from the subject,
behind him; hc was so placed that hc could not see the drawing except
through an abnormal transposition of the sense of sight. The first
figure, a rhombus, he reproduced with a certain difficulty, although it
took only a very short time to draw the first line; after a few seconds
hc quickly drew the other three lincs. A cirele was reproduced immed­
iately, with a resolute impaticnt movement. He showed difficulty in the
reproduction of a triangle ; after taking a long time to think about it he
drew two sides; the third, that of the base, was drawn with obvious
uncertainty; instead of a straight line it was a zig-zag" (54, p. 83)·
After a pause of ten minutes the subject faithfully reproduced the
figure of a polygon, which might also have been the outline of a
house; in a subsequent experiment he reproduced, in two versions,
the figure of a cone upside down. At this point "there were
indications of exhaustion, reddening of the face and slowness in
movements. Two experiments, therefore, did not succeed. Before
the bandage was taken offB. . .. was in semi-cataleptic state."
182
III a second sitting B. hypnotized by Dr. Ventra, did not
produce any phenomena of importance.
In the third sitting B. reproduced the head of a man and of a
bird, adding respectively an ear and feathers which were lacking in
the originals. On the other hand, he failed in the reproduction of
a tree, as in three following experiments.
In the fourth sitting B. remained a long time in a state ofcatalepsy
without replying and the sitting was discontinued.
In the fifth sitting, conducted with the same great care as the
preceding ones, B. reproduced the name Margherita firstly as Maria
and a second time as .Margherita. The word Amore was not guessed
till the second time, being transmitted the first time as l'vlarier. The
name Andrea was reproduced without error with a writing that
resembled that of a child who was learning to write.
Three later tests proved negative. After a pause the experi­
menters present in turn gave some mental suggestions to B. But it
was not specified whether the mental suggestion imparted was
known to all the experimenters and what precautions were taken
to exclude knowledge of it completely from the subject.
Some mental commands were carried out with exactitude and
promptness, such as those to go and touch the keys of the piano and
to open a door. \-Vhen he was ordered to go and take an inkstand,
instead of obeying, B. took a pen and started to write.
The experiments again had to be discontinued since B. fell into
convulsions and into a cataleptic state, and for this reason, the
authors say, he v\'as in no state to continue, as had becn the case
in a preceding experiment.
Finally, a report is given of a piece of research conducted by Dr.
E. Ardu where it is said:
" On 6 December 1890 a certain Giuseppe Falqui offered himself for
examination at the school of psychiatry. He announced that he was a
hypnotic subject and a thought-reader and produced testimonials from
medical and scientific persons well known in our universities.
He went from country to country, offering himself to medical men
as a subject, in exchange for a pecuniary reward. He told of having met
in Bologna the famous Pickman who, having tried some experiments on
him, had called him an excellent comrade. It must be added that, like
Pickman, he linked his profession as a hypnotic subject with that of
conjurer.
He was accepted, paid and subjected to examination."
Here follows a case history and an account of the physical
examination of the subject with a description of the tests.
18
3
........
After he had been put into the hypnotic state, various tests were
carried out in order to determine his condition. Various experiments
in thought-transference followed: on a slate put behind him were
drawn diagrams which he had to reproduce on another slate. A
triangle: error. A clock face: error. The figure 8: he wrote 18.
Other figures; other numbers: errors. The author concludes:
"Falqui showed some neuropathic condition (an early form of
hypnosis) but is in no sense a thought-reader. A large part of his hyp­
notic phenomena are due to more or less unconscious deception. It is
possible that Falqui does not lend himself entirely willingly to this mysti­
fication and believes, to some extent, that he possesses the phenomena
that he simulates" (54, pp. 91 ff. ).
Lombroso's conclusions at the end of his inquiry were that the
experiments conducted with the two subjects B. and Regis prove
the reality of thought-transmission, just as the experiments with
Falqui show that scientific men are able easily to unmask frauds with
the means at their disposal.
These" demonstrations" are brought forward by Lombroso
in order to defend the veridical character of his experiments with
Pickman. lYloreover, according to Lombroso, Pickman, B. and
Regis all fall into the same category.
In oommenting on this inquiry on thought-transmission it must
be observed that the results obtained with the two subjects B. and
Regis must be treated with great reservation, given the well-known
credulity of Lombroso.
While accepting the good faith and the seriousness of purpose of
Lombroso and his collaborators in conducting various researches, one
cannot think other than that in these cases, as with that of Pickman,
he again let himself be deceived by clever tricksters'!
1 The literature on Pickman ( 1857-1925) is \"Cry extensive and the evidence is
almost conclusive that he was a highly skilful showman who originally had been
associated with Donato and who had learnt a great deal from him. His opinion of
Lombroso was hardly flattering. Never did he meet, he said, in the whole of his
career such a sucker. It was only necessary for some practical joker to tell him a
good story and out came his notebook and" Observation 4613" was entered !
Sometimes he used to come and see Pickman where he was staying, bringing with
him all kinds of complicated apparatus which he applied to Pickman's body for
purposes that he could not understand. One day Pickman thought he would try
a trick on him, saying that he was now going to tcst his force on Lombroso's own
body and make him feel the force of attraction on his shoulder blades. Getting
behind him Pickman seized between his thumb and index finger Lombroso' s
jacket and pulled it. Lombroso perceived nothing and was absolutely enchanted at
the phenomenon. ''''hen the master had departed Pickman' s secretary said he
18
4
In the second half of the nineteenth century the spmt1st1c
movement began to penetrate into Italy from England and France,
at first hesitantly and then afterwards ever more openly, according
to changes in the political conditions of the various Italian states.
This led to a new wave of reports of the higher phenomena of
mediumship which were usually poorly documented (cf. 55).
Controlled experiments and documented researches, however,
are lacking owing to the absence in Italy of any institute comparable
to that such as, for instance, the Society for Psychical Research in
London. It is true that such societies were founded, first in Florence
through the work of Dr. Olinto Del Torto, then in Milan, through
Angelo Brofferio and finally in Turin through the initiative of
C. Baudi di Vesme. But these societies were of short duration.
CONCLUSIONS
The introduction into Italy of the doctrine and practice of animal
magnetism encountered serious initial difficulties, above all by
reason of the attitude of the Catholic Church.
Although after some delay, the interest of the scientific world
and of public opinion was, however, very keenly shown. Proof may
be found of it in the great number of writings regarding mesmeric
theories which were published in Italy, cspecially during the first
half of the nineteenth century, together with the starting of various
reviews and magnetic societies. The contents of these publications
do not differ from those published abroad and, as elsewhere, the
currents of opinion which are shown there are essentially three:
there are firstly those of fanatical supporters, those of uncompromis­
ing opponents, and those, on the other hand, of persons who while
not denying a priori the of the phenomena under discus­
sion awaited some serious proof that would confirm them. Among
these last were above all medical men, especially psychiatrists.
In the second half of the century there took place a gradual
certainly had some cheek, to which Pickman replied that he wanted to know just
how far the stupidity of a great scientist could extend. Even the scientific value of
his work criticized by G. Nazari (56) in 1887 in which he emphasized the
superficiality of certain of his observations. In his book ( 18) Stefanoni in Chapters
11 and 12 devotes a considerable amount of space to Pickman which should be
consulted by those who find Pickman's work of interest.
Richet secms to have thought that although many of Pickman's experiments in
thought-transmission may have been due to muscle-reading, he had perhaps some
little developed faculty of cryptaesthesia (37, p. 113). [Ed.]
N I8S
substitution lor the tcrms " animal magnetism" or " mesmcrism "
of the term" hypnotism", which, however, remained distinct apart
from certain connections ii'om that of" spiritism".
Generally speaking, the Italian contributions present no original
elements except perhaps those theoretical points of view put forward
by Dal Pozzo and Morselli.
It is certain, however, that first magnetism and then hypnotism
had in Italy moments of great succcss, not only on thc stage but also
in hospitals and medical clinics.
During the demonstrations of or the experiments in animal mag­
netism and hypnotism it seemed that proof was given with a certain
frequency of parapsychological phenomena such as thought-trans­
mission, clairvoyance, divination transposition of the senses and
so on.
A precise evaluation of the events reported, however, is particu­
larly difficult. Adventurers and tricksters abounded, as did ingen­
uous if quite sincere persons, and in an appraisal based on works
that are often of a partisan character it is hard to distinguish, in the
multiplicity of facts and personages, the genuine from the false.
The majority of the cases, moreover, present one with a simple
anecdote of no scientific value whatever.
The reports of the organized experiments are, on the other hand,
often incomplete and poorly documented. It may be affirmed with
certainty that no experiment, of those which have come to our
notice, has been conducted under satisfactory conditions from the
methodological point of view. vVhen, moreover, in these experi­
ments a minimum standard of control conditions has been reached
the higher mediumistic phenomena have not been verified.
\Ve have sought to point out that one of the factors responsible in
Italy for the almost total lack of studies conducted with a certain
degree of methodological rigour is the absence of any institutions
comparable with the Societies for Psychical Research in England
and the United States.
For these reasons the literature on the controversies under
examination has shown an obviously disappointing appearance.
In the course of our research we have therefore deliberately
omitted many reports ofexperiments in which the higher phenomena
were produced but which could not in any way be appraised,
either because the subject or the observers are unworthy of atten­
tion or because of the ncarly total absence of any methodological
criterion.
"\Ie have nevertheless reported some typical cxamples while we
r86
have limited ourselves to reporting fully on two series of experiments
which, for various reasons, appearcd to us to offer, in spite of evident
omissions, a high degree of authenticity and for this reason of
interest.
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188
" PROCESSO vel'bale degli esperimenti di magnetisrno animale dato dal
4-3'
Sl'. Lassaigne e della Sl'a. Prudence nell'adunanza della Societa
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51.
Pickman. Fil'enze, 18go.
BETToLl, P., Rivelaziani cd insegnamenti del giuco col simulare i Jellame n
52.
magnetici ed ipnatici. Milano, 189!.
P:\GLIANI, G., " Trasmissione del pensiero in uno isterico." (A rchi uia
53·
di Psichiatria, Antropalagia. ... , 1890, XI, pp. 218-2 I 9·)
LOMBROSO, C., GRIMALDI, E. & ARDU, E.," Inchicsta sulla trasmissione
54·
del pensiero." (Archivio di Psichiatria, AnlrojJalagia. ..., 1891, XII,
pp. 58- 108.)
ERMAcoRA, G. B., Fenameni rimarcheiJali di medianita osseruati senza /lIedi di
55·
prrifessiane. Torino, 1892. Originally appeared in the Annali della
Spirilisma in ltalia, 1892, anna 29, pp. 85 ff.
56.
NAZARI, G., II prof. Cesare Lambroso e il valare scientifico delle sue ol;ere.
Oderzo, 1337·
18
9
Hypnotism in Spain, Portugal
and Latin America
by
ERIC J. DINGWALL
" Ciencia cs locura si buen seso no la cura."
INTRODUCTION
THE present section deals with hypnotism as seen in Spain, Portugal
and Latin America. In these countries the emphasis from the first
was mainly on the medical aspect of the question, since the attitude
of the Roman Catholic Church with its fear of anything paranormal
unconnected with religion, and even with it, prevented public
demonstrations in which such phenomena were exhibited and con­
fined such experiments to private circles where the results were not
described in newspapers and periodicals. Few experiments of any
value were reported in the Spanish and Portuguese literature,
although a few writers printed some of their observations in other
countries whereas other observers, with the exception perhaps of
distinguished physicians like Fajardo in the I880s, confined their
remarks almost solely to hypnotism in its therapeutic setting.
192
Hypnotism in Spain, Portugal and
La tin America
1800- 1900
IN considering the growth and practice of mesmeric or magnetic
experiments together with the use of mesmerism for medical treat­
ment in various countries it is important to remember that the
development of the subject was much influenced by prevailing
conditions at the time. The litcracy of the population, the condition
and depth of medical studies, the attitude of religious bodies and
many other factors, all exercised a marked influence; and where, as
in Spain and Portugal, ecclesiastical power was often dominant, so
its approval or censure did much to further or curb tht practice
of mesmerism in general. Moreover, factors such as those due to
previous theoretical expositions of similar subjects did much to
delineate the course which was ultimately to be pursued. A good
example of this can be seen in Sweden, where as early as 1787 the
phenomena exhibited by magnetized subjects were becoming known
but, owing to the enormous influence of Swedenborg and his
teaching, the results were soon interpreted as messages from the
spirit world. It was thus thatthe descriptions given by the entranced
somnambules assumed a spiritistic setting, just as in France it was
through the teaching of Cahagnet that the mesmeric trance soon
became the mediumistic trance and interest in spiritistic phenomena
swamped the manifestations as seen in the usual mesmeric state.
in Spain and Portugal, however, the disturbed political condi­
tions of the first quarter of the nineteenth century were hardly
conducive to any wide diffusion of the knowledge of mesmerism and
its phenomena. Doubtless small magnetic societies and circles
existed and a certain interest among medical men is suggested by
a decree of Ferdinand VII (1784- I 833) confining magnetic practice
to orthodox medicine, of which the exponents had begun to famil­
193
iarize themselves with mesmeric treatment through the French
journals which were beginning to circulate in both countries.
Among those who towards the middle of the century were
beginning to concern themselves with mesmerism and its effects was
Dr. Ram6n Come\las, a Spanish physician who had lived in Mexico
and who, as in so many other cases, combined an interest in mes­
merism with homeopathy. In his review of animal magnetism (1),
which was published in Madrid in 1846, he contributed what seems
to have been the first serious book on mesmerism to be issued in
Spain, and it is in this volume that the use of mesmerism in medicine
was recognized and its employment by lay persons discouraged.
The author was himself a member of a Spanish mesmeric and
" philanthropico-magnetic " society, as it was called, and thus his
influence and the expression of his views as to the proper use of
mesmerism had some considerable effect.
Since the methods used by mesmerists elsewhere in Europe were
little known in Spain and Portugal, the literature of the subject,
scanty as it is, was almost wholly confined to medical sources. For
example, a year after the appearance of the book by ComeIIas, Dr.
A. lVt Aceyedo contributed to a medical journal a series of articles
(2) on the essential nature and origin of the magnetic fluid in man­
kind wherein the medical faculty was given a broad general view of
the subject clearly gathered from French and similar sources. In
Portugal first hand knowledge was even scantier than in Spain. In
1848 it was reported (3) that at Coimbra, some 175 km. N.N.E. of
Lisbon and the seat of an ancient and famous university, a lecturer
on animal magnetism knew so little of the subj ect that hc was
unaware of the possibility of magnetizing a patient without contact.
By the middle of the century interest in mesmerism especially
relating to its use in medical treatment was shown by articles appear­
ing in Spanish medical journals such as El Siglo lV/Mica or Espana
Afidica (cf. 4, 5, 6) and in 1858 a French physician, Pien-e Jhotil,
described (7) how over two years previously he had left France to
practise mesmerism in Brazil, where the regulations, similar to those
already existing, permitted mesmeric treatment to be given to patients
by registered medical practitioners.
Although in the earlier part of the nineteenth century the study of
mesmerism was strictly limited to certain groups, interest in the
subject was not wholly absent. In 1832 at a session of the Sociedade
de Mcdicina do Rio de Janeiro it received a letter Irom Dr. Leopoldo
Gamard accompanied by a monograph on animal magnetism to
which he hoped the Society would pay serious attention. The paper
194
was accordingly passed to lVfr. Cuissard who was asked to make a
report and submit it to the Society, a task which he fulfilled,
handing his report in, in October of the same year.
After a short historical introduction in which he mentions the
appointment of the French Commission, he stated that in order to
arrive at the truth in science, a sceptical examination was necessary,
and that this was the way in which the marvellous phenomena of
animal magnetism should be investigated. It was, he stated, hardly
philosophic to deny what could not be explained, but in this case
scepticism was justified in view of the mystifications and errors with
which the subject abounded. It was for this reason, he continued,
that he found himself both friendly and hostile to animal magnetism
at the same time, since on the one hand he had to admit the reality of
certain of the results claimed, and on the other because he had to
reject all the tricks of the magnetizers, together with the various
errors which they had incorporated into their work and the indiscreet
experiments to which they so boldly had lent themselves.
These statements by Cuissard certainly suggest that at the time
that he was writing his report, mesmerism was being practised in
Brazil and that, as in other countries, trickery on the part of the
magnetizers and their subjects had been observed. On the other
hand, it would seem to be possible that what Cuissard was discussing
was magnetism in general, as it is clear from a later section of his
report that he was well acquainted with the French investigators
and their work, such as Bertrand, GeOl'get and Rostan. As to the
desirability of advising the Society to enquire into the matter, he
came to a negative conclusion and even regarding the therapeutic
aspects of mesmerism he thought that it was somewhat absurd to
investigate and use an unknown agent, which it was not possible to
control. The risks both to health and morals, he maintained, had
been stressed by certain of the French observers and he had there­
fore come to the conclusion that the paper by Gamard should be
rejected. "The science that we study every day, gentlemen," he
stated, "is not any kind of occult science and no one moving in
scientific circles wishes to become a performer in the market-place."
In 1857 Dr. J. M. N. Garcia published in the Annaes Brasiliensis de
lvledicilla a paper in which he discussed the alleged eyeless-sight
which had been attributed to somnambules and where he came to
the conclusion that this dermal-vision was connected with hyper­
aesthesia of touch and sight which were both already recognized by
medical science.
In r861 the Socicdade Propaganda de IVfagnclismo and Jury
195
Magnetico do Rio de J aneiro were founded in Brazil and approved
by the government, the purpose being to form an association to
study magnetism both from the experimental and therapeutic
aspects, while avoiding any discussion from the religious or political
point of view. Article 14 of the Charter enjoined the members to
look out for and expose cases of charlatanism, an exhortation which
clearly assumed that cases of trickery in mesmerism were not un­
known in Brazil at that time. Although it was proposed by the
Society to publish a journal, 0 AIagnetismo, I am not aware whether
this actually appeared and therefore am unable to say whether many
cases oJ paranormal phenomena were published in its pages and
came under the scrutiny of the Society.
Apart from the medical uses of magnetic and mesmeric treat­
ment, the mental state of the somnambules became soon confused
,vith the trance state of the mediums, for by 1861 Spiritualism had
begun to interest numbers of persons both in Spain and Portugal.
French and Italian literature became more widely known and table­
turning and table-rapping had become so popular that the ecclesias­
tical authorities in Barcelona decided to take drastic action on 9
October 1861 (see 8,9). Three hundred boob and pamphlets were
seized and publicly burnt by a priest in full canonicals carrying a
cross in one hand and a torch in the other. A huge crowd assembled,
some of which approved while others jeered and a few tried to do
their best to save a few copies from the flames.
If one considers the literature of the later period it seems clear
that the interest in mesmerism was dwindling in proportion as that
in the phenomena of the mediums increased. In 1872 Manso (10)
and Paillome (11) wrote books in which both subjects were dealt with
and the same combination was to be found in 1880 when L. Garcia­
Ramon wrote a similar treatise (12).
According to Dr. Francisco Fajardo (28) somnambulcs who
operated in Brazil about 1884 were inserting their advertisements
in journals such as the Gazeta de Noticias from which it appeared that
they combined consultations with exhibitions of fortune-telling by
cards.
\'\Then the experiments in France on the infiuenee of medicaments
at a distance were being conducted by observers like Bourru, Burot
and Luys interest was aroused in Brazil and attempts were made to
repeat the experiments. These tests were undertaken under the
general direction of Professor Erico Coelho, an eminent physician
and a friend of Dr. Fajardo. The experiments appear to have been
well designed and carried out, but unfortunately the results, it
I96
sccms, were wholly negative and nothing was observed which COI1­
firmed the astonishing findings of workers in France.
Interest in these experiments naturally led to an examination of
the claims for the reality of mental suggestion, for at that period
physicians in Brazil were becoming acquainted with the work of
Richet and his friends which were being publicized in the Rev1le
Philosophiq1le.
The experiments were again mainly under the direction of
Coelho who, according to Fajardo, was able to obtain examples of
mental suggestion with relative ease. Some of these experiments
were concerned with a hysterical female patient, who at the time
was being treated by Coelho and proved an excellent subject,
willingly agreeing to co-operate in the tests which took place about
1888.
In some of these experiments the subject was first hypnotized and
then told to pay particular attention to what was said to her. She
was then told that a suggestion was going to be given to her mentally
and that she had to carry it out. This order was to read part of a
newspaper of the previous day in the hearing of her husband. About
an hour later she bcgan to look over a pile of newspapers lying on a
table and after a short time she pulled out a pagc of a newspaper
published the previous day, went up to her husband and began
to read it aloud. Having finished reading she said that she had
already read the column, which was in yesterday's issue.
Later experiments seemed to indicate clearly that the mental
suggestion had been received and an attempt made to obey it, but
sufficient details are not given to permit of any useful discussion of
the results.
Similar phenomena, according to Fajardo, were obtained by
other observers such as Professor Francisco de Castro, Luiz Alves
and other medical friends of Professor Coelho (28, p. 263).
After discussing the various theories advanced to explain mental
suggestion, Fajardo, who admitted that he had never himself had
the opportunity to test it, had himself come to believe in it, mainly
owing to the standing of those who claimed to have performed
successful experiments. In these matters he appeared to agree with
the conclusions ofOchorowicz with whose work on mental suggestion
he was, apparently, well acquainted. But it was owing to the assurance
of his " illustrious master", Professor Coehlo, that Fajardo had come
to the conclusion that since nobody could doubt the integrity of so
famous a physician as Coelho, the reality of mental suggestion as
defined by Richet could not be denied.
197
"""""'­
At this period, then, Spanish and Portuguese contributions to the
literature of mesmerism were mainly medical and psychological, and
there will be found appended to this account (13-37) a selected list
of titles drawn from the literature of Spain, Portugal and Latin
Amcrica. In examining a number of these contributions nothing
has been found resembling the experimental material offered in the
literature of other countries and indced, were such records sub­
mitted, it is probable that their scientific value would have been
even less than that to be found in French, German and Italian
sources. The close relation that mesmerism seemed to have to
Spiritualism incurred the hostility and condemnation of the Roman
Catholic Church and medical men, even when they knew that
mesmeric treatment was sometimes efficacious, took good care to
confine their interest to such matters as hysteria, anaesthesia and
suggestion and did not attempt to inquire too closely into the
so-called higher phenomena even if these had been observed by
them during their practice.!
This condition of affairs is wcll exemplified in one important
case connected with Dr. Alfredo Barcellos, a physician living at
Botafogo not far from Rio de Janeiro, who used hypnotism for the
benefit of his patients and who was reported to have observed
paranormal phenomena on certain occasions although he generally
l'efrained from taking notes at the time which obviously takes away
a certain value from his accounts.
The observations of Dr. Barcellos which seem to have been made
from 1888 onwards were told by him to Professor A. Alexander of
Rio de Janeiro who ,vas a Corresponding Member of the Society
for Psychical Research in London (see 38).
Among the patients treated by Barcellos were two where examples
of clairvoyance or lucidity were observed. Both were female: one
(Miss E.) was a young lady of 17 who was supposed to be suffering
from hysteria of an acute type; and the other (Mrs. G. de M. ) was
a married woman who, after a severe operation, exhibited a
number of hysterical symptoms besides falling into a state oLnoso­
mania forwhieh a variety of remedies were prescribed, none of which
produced much beneficial effect.
1 This can be seen from the long section on mental suggestion which was included
in Dr. Sanchez Herrero's book (I 7b) where he discusses the experiments at Hanc
with Gibcrt,Janet and Ochorowicz and quotcs from a casc known to him. It seems
clear from his account that he accepted mental suggestion but did not attempt
to describe any systematic experiments to test his opinion even if he made any with
that end in vicw.
198
The records of the phenomena occurring with :Miss E. are not
full or detailed enough to ,van'ant too much credence being placed
upon them. It was said that on more than one occasion she was
successfully hypnotized at a distance; and after one ofthese incidents
the whole story was dictated to Professor Alexander by Dr.
Barcellos himself on the evening after it had occurred.
He told his interviewer that on 22 June 1896 towards ten o'clock
in the evening the father of 'Miss E., General Carlos de Aranjo,
called at his house which was at some considerable distance from
Botafogo and asked him to go to his daughter who was suffering
from" formidable hysterical attacks" (p. 9 I). Being very tired, Dr.
Barcellos said that he would go early on the following morning but
in the meantime he would compensate for his personal absence by
sending to her a mental order to go to sleep and during her sleep
to recover her calmness and tranquillity. In addition to this the
physician gave the General a letter which he was to hand to his
daughter if she were in a fit condition to read it. On the other
hand, if she were still in a severe hysterical state then he was to
apply the letter to her forehead and make passes with it, " all this
to provide against the possible failure of the attempt at hypnotiza­
tion at a distance" which he was about to make.
Having given the General the letter and verified the time Barcel­
los asked him on arrival home to make careful inquiry" whether the
time at which E. had there fallen into a calm and deep sleep coin­
cided, or not, with the hour then noted for the commencement of the
experiment".
On the departure of the General, Barcellos proceeded to concen­
trate on the suggestion that Miss E. should fall asleep and become
calm, relaxed and tranquil. On the following morning whcn he
arrived at the patient's house he found that, about ten minutes
later than the time at which the General had left his house, Miss E.
had fallen into the hypnotic sleep and was no longer agitated.
Wishing to obtain further evidence and confirmation about this
incident and others in which Miss E. apparently showed paranormal
abilities, Professor Alexander during the course of the following
year discussed the whole affair with the General who confirmed what
Barcellos has previously reported although he candidly admitted
that his memory of the whole of the material was not entirely
perfect. Nevertheless, he gave Professor Alexander a number of
other instances which had occurred during the course of his
daughter's illness which seemed to indicate that :Miss E. was often
aware of the presence of Dr. Barcellos at some distance and which
199
suggested some sort of telepathic rapport as between physician and
patient, an idea which received some support from Miss E.'s fiance
who was also interviewed by Professor Alexander and who readily
replied to questions put to him.
\Vith regard to the second case mentioned above, namely that
of Mrs G. de M., the observations, such as they were, extended over
the years 1895-6 and the testimony collected to substantiate the
evidence in this instance appears to be somewhat stronger than that
produced to support the claims of Miss E. The deposition of Dr.
Barcellos was dictated to Professor Alexander in November r896 and
is of considerable length (38, pp. 101 ff.)
After her failure to respond to orthodox treatment for the ail­
ments of which she complained after her operation, Mrs G. de M.
finally submitted to being hypnotized although at first attempts she
proved to be a somewhat intractable subject. Later, however, she
became a difIicult but at times an excellent subject when she passed
into the lighter state and it was in :March 1895 that she first showed an
example of lucidity of a rather curious kind. Dr. Barcellos had
visited her after a professional call on another patient (Mrs. X.) who
was suffering from anaemia and slight attacks of fever for which he
had prescribed various remedies, leaving his patient in fair health
and spirits and talking with her children. When his second patient,
however, was hypnotized, she immediately began to make certain
statements about 1\1rs. X . who" had just had a fit " but, not being
able to locate Dr. Barcellos, had had to summon another physician
who had arrived but was unable to save his patient's life. Had Dr.
Barcellos not eaFled at a druggist on his way home and had there been
informed that :Mrs X. was searching for him, he would not have
known till later that he was wanted. As it was, when he arrived at
the house Mrs. X. had already expired.
On visiting Mrs. G. de M. for further treatment Dr. Barcellos
narrated to her the facts relating to the case of 1\tfrs. X. and asked
her how she accounted for these, suggesting that it seemed to be a
case of telepathy between herself and him. 1\;frs. de IV!., however,
violently dissented from this idea declaring that she saw and heard
what was going on in IVlrs. X.'s house and that she was forced so to
see and hear by the guardian angel of Dr. Barcellos whom she
claimed to see standing behind the physician.
Apart fi'om the examples of clairvoyance presented by i\1rs. de
1\1. she also at times gave some evidence for prevision which, for
the most part, concerned persons in the immediate entourage of
Dr. Barcellos and his family. For instance, she gave information
200
about the illness both of his wife and his son (op. cit., pp. r05 ff.) the
details of which were at times surprisingly accurate.
A few of the cases concerned relations of Dr. Barcellos himself
and so we can, perhaps, feel a greater satisfaction regarding the
accuracy and reliability of his reports than we might be inclined to
do if the details had been supplied bycomparative strangers. Thus in
one case relating to his niece, thesomnambule not onlyshowed herself
aware of the illness but stated that, in spite of her remarkable
vitality, the patient was being harmed by the number and nature of
the medicaments prescribed. At first Mrs. de M. stated that the
girl would recover, but later she declared that she would not survive
the wrong treatment to which she was being subjected and that she
would succumb to it, a prognosis which unfortunately proved to be
correct.
These records from the memory and in some instances from the
case-notes of Dr. Barcellos as narrated to and collected by Professor
Alexander are the most detailed and interesting that I have noted
in Spanish and Portuguese literature relating to hypnotism and the
paranormal. Although some of the evidence is open to serious
criticism it must, I think, be admitted that the records suggest quite
strongly that the two subjects exhibited some remarkable pheno­
mena if we can accept the assurances of the witnesses that normal
knowledge of the facts was ruled out. It may, however, be suggested
that the sensitives concerned were in fact what are called" mediums"
and that the hypnotic conditions were actually mediumistic trances
and therefore do not come within this survey.
I t can therefore be said in conclusion that Spanish and Portu­
guese literature contributed nothing of importance towal'ds the
study of paranormal phenomena as reported during the course of
mesmeric treatment or experimentation. Had the work of the
Abbe Faria (1736-r819) been in Portuguese and not in French
(39,4
0
) he would have been mentioned in this Section, since he was
one of the earliest mesmeric operators to stress the importance of the
subjective element in the phenomena,
o
201
REFERENCES
The following list is in no sense a bibliography. It is simply a short-title list
of books and articles mentioned in the text. Although in many cascs the
titles are abbreviated, enough is given to enable any reader to follow up the
reference if he wishes to do so.
I. COMELLAS, R. Resella sobre el magnetismo animal. NIadrid, 1846.
2. ACEVEDO, A. NI. "Esencia y origen del fluido magnctico dentro del
hombre." (Bol. de med. cirug.yjarnz., Madrid, '1847,3 ser., ii, pp. 8g;
gg; 107.)
3. See Journal du }y/agnilisme, 1848, vi, p. 281.
4. QUINTANA, J., "Cuatro palabras sobre el magnetismo animal.' (El
Siglo Midico, 1856, iii, pp. 273-275.)
5. DE OLAVIDE, J. E., " Del hipnotismo." (Espaiia l'-'Udica, 1860, v, p. 42. )
6. A., M. [i.e. Castelo y Serra.], noticias sobre el hipnotismo."
(El Siglo Midico, 1860, vii, pp. 3 ; 54.)
7. JHOTlL, P., See Joumal du lWagnitisme, 1858, xvii, pp. 342-344 and 1860,
xix, pp. 352-359 quoting from the Jomal do Commercio, 7 junho,
1860, xxxv, nr. 157.
8. See The Times (London), Oct. 16, 1861, p. 8b.
9. SAINT DOMINIQUE," La Queuedu moyen-age." (RevueSpirite, 1861, iv,
pp. 321 -325; 387-390.)
10. MANSO, ]. El espiritismo. }v[as sobre el magnetismo )' el espiritismo.
Barcelona, 1872.
I I. PAILLOME. El magnelismo, el espiritisnlO y la posesion. Barcelona, 1872.
12. GARciA-RAMON, LEOPOLDO. El magnetismo, sonambulismo y espiritis7llo.
Esludios curiosos y filos6ficos. Paris, 1880.
13. MORAE-S, 1-1ELLO. lWemoria sobre 0 jluido universal ou etfler. Rio dc
Janeiro, 1876.
14. RENJIFO, 1-1. P., " El magnetismo como anestesico." (Cae . cient. de
Venezuela, Caracas, 1878, ii, pp. 213; 22 I.)
'5. LAZARO ADRADAS, C., "Dos palabrassobremas opinionesen el hipnotismo
con relacion alahisteria." (Rev. de mid.), cil1lg.pract., 1885, xvi, pp. 231;
5
6
9·)
16. 1-IOIRA, O. & BENAVENTE, D. HijJnotismo y sllgestioll. Santiago de
Chile, 1887.
17. SANCHEZ HERRERO, A., " La hipnotizaci6n generalizada..." (!Wid.
castellana, 1887, ii, pp. 9-14. )
17a. SANCHEZ HERRERO, A.," Del hipnotismo." (Corr. mid. castellano,
1887, iv, pp. 73; 79·)
17b. SANCHEZ H ERRERO, A. El hiplZOtismo y la sugesliol!. Valladolid,
l\Iadrid, 1889.
18. LABADIE, F., " Contribuci6n para el estudio del hipnotismo en 1-'1cxico."
(Cae. med. de Mexico, 1887, xxii, pp. 450-46 I. )
19. CALATRAVENO, F. El hilmolisnzo al aleance de lodas las intdigencias.
:vladrid, I1.l8H.
2 0 2
20. GONZALEZ, J. R. El hipnolismo Madrid, 1888.
2 I. VILLALONGA, L. Imporlallcia de la teraptulica hijmotico-sugesliva. Habana,
1895.
22. 1-10NT' ALVERNE DE SEQUEIRA, G. H)'Pnotismo e suggesliio. Lisboa, 1888.
23. PEIXOTO DE NIoURA, C. S. Physiologia e pathologia dos pherlOmenos
11)'pnoticos. Rio de Janeiro, 1888.
'24. VINEGAS, V. M. El hipnotismo. 1-1exico, 1888.
25. GARciA ALONSO, D., " Histerismo grave notablemcnte aliveado pOl' d
hipnotismo." (Corr. mid. caslellano, 1888, v, p. 241.)
26. "HIPNOTmL\NfA." (El Siglo mid., 1888, XXXV, p. 34.)
27. PULIDO, A. [& others.], "Una sesion de hipnotismo en la Sociedad
espanola de higiene." (El Siglo mid., 1888, XXXV, pp. 129; 161;
177; 225; 241. )
28. FAJARDO, FRANCISCO. Hypllolismo. Rio de Janeiro, 1889.
29. FAJARDO, FRANCISCO. Tratado de H)'PlZOtismo. Rio de .Janeiro, 1896.
An enlarged edition of No. 28.
go. GARciA ALONSO, D., "Histerismo rebelde eUl'ado par sugestion
alucinatoria." (Corr. mid. castellallO, 188g, vi, p. 20g.)
31. PULIDO, A., "EI hipnotismo y su empleo medico." (Cron. mM.,
Valencia, 1888-g, xii, pp. 41-48.)
32. ARAG6N OVEJERO. El Itipnolismo y la sugestion. Astorga, 1892.
33. VILL\LONGA, L. Apuntes de terapeutica hipn6tico-sugestiva. Habana, 18g2.
34. C..... STELLS, F., "EI suerro y el hipnotismo." (Rev. de hig. y pol. saIl .,
Barcelona, 1892, iii, pp. 168; 181. )
35. BERTRr\N y RUBIO, E., " Sobre hipnotismo y otras cosas." (Rev. de. cien.
mid. de Barcelona, 1893, xix, pp. 121 ; 16g; 221 ; 265; 316; 513,
52 9.)
36. PICADO, J. S., " Hipnotismo y fascinaci6n . .." (An . del circ. mid. argent.,
Buenos Aires, 1895, xviii, pp. 306-313.)
37. NIARIANl, J. M., " Sugesti6n in hipnotismo." (Rev. de mid.y cirug.jmict.,
Madrid, 1896, xxxix, pp. 64 I -75 I. )
38. BARCELLOS, ALFREDO., "Supernormal phenomena observed during
hypnotic treatment." (J oumal of the Society for Psychical Research,
1897, viii, pp. 88-95: 99- I 16.)
39. FARlA, ]. CUSTODIO, l'abbe de. De la cause du sommeil lucide ou elude de la
nalure de I'homme . ... Paris, 18 I g. Al though the work was announced
as in three volumes only one seems to have been issued, a reprint
of this being published in Paris in 1906.
40. MONlS, E. 0 Padre Faria na hisloria do hipnolismo. Lisboa, 1923. A
short history of the position held by the Abbe Faria in thc early days
of animal magnetism and mesmerism.
20
3
.........
INDEX OF NAMES
The number in brackets following the name is that in the List of References,
R referring to the Russian Section, P to the Polish Section, I to the Italian
Section and S to the Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Section.
A., E., 168
Aberle, D. F. , 103
Acevedo, A. M., (S 2), 194
Aksakov, A. N., (R [8), [7, [8,77, 78,
98, 104, 105
Aleksandrovna, S., 38, 49, 53
Alexander III, 32
Alexander, A., 198
Alfieri , C., 156, 161
Alvera, [67
Alves, L., 197
Andreev, 47, 49, 50, 52, 54
Andreyevski, 27
Arag6n Ovejero, (S 32), 203
Aranjo, C. dc, 199
Ardu, E., (I 54), 183
Ashburner, .1. , 22
Assier, A.d', 78
Averkev, 33
Azam, E., 97
B. , Dr., 52
B., AIr., 28
B., lv[iss, 29
B., E., 181 IT.
Babkevich, 64
Baerwald, R., (R [5, 16) , 74, 75, 105
Bajo, 0., [66
Balzac, H. dc, 142
Banello, A., 148
Barcellos, A., (S 38), 198 IT.
Bargoni, 144
Barrett, \Y., 76, I 14
Battandier, A., (I 49), I71, 172
Bauer, A., 156, 160
Bazhenov, N., (R 26), 96, 97, 105
Beard, G. 1',,1. ,82,87,88
Bcitraub, 14
Benavente, D., (S 16), 202
Bernabei,15 1
Bernard, P. , 143, [53 fr., 188
Bernheim, H., [16, 131
Beroaldi, P, (I 13), 143, 165 fr.
Berrutti, L., 145
Berti, A., 145
Bertran y Rubio, E., (S 35), 203
Bertrand, A., 195
Bervy, B., 76
Betling, P., 15, 16
Bettoli , P., (I 52), 173
Biernacki, E., 130
Biffi, S., 156, 161
Binet, :\., 55
Biondelli, B., 153
Bishop, W. 1.,22,23,27,87,88
Blackburn, D., 25
Blagova, A. K., 14
Bodisco, C. A., 32
Bonajuti, 145
Bonati, A., 153, IS,!. 156, 161
Borgna, C., 140, 144
Borodin,27
Bossi , 151
Botkin, S. P. , 92, 95
Bourru, H., 196
Braid,]., 3, 80, 96, 103,112, 129,148
Brioschi, F., 162
Brofrerio, A., 185
Brown, ] . R., 87, 88
Brown-Scquard, C. E., 129
Brugmanns, A., 12
Brunengo, G., (I 7), 140
Bubnov,81
Buchanan,]. R. , 50
Buffini, A., 156, 157, 161
Bukser, 19
Bekhterev, V. ~ · L , (R 27), 22, 96, 97, Burdin, C., (I 19), 147
98, 105
Burgemeister, 14
Belin, E., 93, 94 Burot, P., 196
20
5
Butlerov, A. l'vI., 3, 13, 23, 24, 78, 79, DanOli, 139, 145
84, 90, 98 Dclboeuf, j. R. L., 151
Butti, 145 Dclcuze, j. P. F., 8, II
Bystrov, 24 Del Torto, 0., 185
Demarchi, G., 144
Cabancs, A., 142 Demaris, P. C., [44
Cahagnet, L., 170, 193 Denton, E. M. F., 50
Calatra\'cno, F., (S (9),202 Denton, ",,r., 50
Calderini, C. A., (I (2),143, 153 fl'. De Olavide,.1. E., (S 5), 202
Calmeil, L. F., 98 Dingwall, E. j., 98
Cantu, C., 162, 163 Dobroliubov, N. A., 76
Caroli, G. ( I 8), 170 Dobroslavin, 27
Carpenter, '·V. n., 58, 78,88,96, 103, Donato, 77,109 fT., 122, [50,151, [7[,
13 1 18
4
Castagnola, F. , 147, 148 Drozdov, V. I., (R 23), 9·10 95
Castells, F., (S 34), 203 Dubini, A. , [62, [63
Castelo y Serra, (S 6), 202 Dubois, E. F., (I (9), 188
Castiglioni, C., 157 ff. Dubrov, R., 30, 3[
Castiglioni, F., 156, 158, , 61 Dugnani, C., 139, [45
Castiglioni, M., 156, 160 Dunia,2[
Castraeanc degli Antellminclli , C., 1..j.! Du Potet d.e Senne\'oy, J. D., 3, [4
Castro, F. dc, 197 Duval, 82
Cervello, V., 139, ISO
Chakhovskaya, 14
E., AIr., 2 [
Charcot, j. M., (I 24), 97, 103, 116,
E., l\liss, 198 ff.
131,135, 14.8, 149
E., A. C., (I 25), 188
Charykov, 64
E., Martha, 93
Chowrin, :\. N., Jee Kho\'rin, .\. N.
Edward, the Confessor, [0
Codd'::, L., 140
Egorov, 27
Coelho, E., 196, 197
Elpe,24
Cogevina, A., (I I [ ) , [42, 145
Eltorc, 151
Comellas, R., (S I ) , [94
Emelie, 39
Condillac, E., dc, 96
Encaussc, G., [32
Consoni, [.15
Erba, [63
Cozzi, L., 156, ,[61
Ermaeora, G. B., (I 55), 189
Crookes, W., 76
Eschcnmaycr, C. A. A. von, 13
Cugini, A., 169
Eugi,ne, 28, 29
Cuissaro, [95
Cumberland, S., 23, 27, 7B, 79, El7.
90 , 124
F., L., 99, 100
Cybulski, N., (P 14· , (5), [30 , ['ll, 135 Fajardo, F., (S 28, 29), 192, Ig6, [97
Czaplicka, tv!. A., 103 Falqui, G., [83, 184
CZyflSki, C. L., (1' 17, [B), 132, 133, Faria, J. C., de (S 39), 103,201,203
[35
Feldman, O.J., 19 fT., 31,32, 38,
Fenoglio, B., [-1-5
D., P., 163 Ferdinand VII, [93
DOli Pozza di Mombcllo, E. •\., ( I 23), Ferri, E., 150
14.D, d}6 Fi gari, B., [48, 170
D'All1ico, P., (I .1'\.), [44·, [45, 146, l ·f3, Fish.er, .13
[6B Fludd, R., 80
Danilevsky, V. 1. , (R 22), 94,103,105, Focht, 15
[30 Franco, G. G., (I 35, 39), 170
206
Frapart, N. N., 39 Hublier,39
Freud, S., 19 Hufeland, C. \V. von, II
Fronda, R., 179, [8[ Hufeland, F., 6
Hugo, V., 144
Galton, F., 88 Hussey, E. L., 10
Gamard, L., Ig4, 195
Gareia,.1. M. N., 195
.ranet, P., I g8
Garcia Alonso, D., (S 25, 30), 203
.Jendrassik, E., 55
Garcia-Ramon, L., (S 12), 196
jhotil, P., (S 7), 194
Garner, C., 22
.Tung, C. G., g8
Gasparini, 153
Gatti, P. , 140, 145
K., ,\Ir., 20
Gattino, 142
Katia, 30, 31
Gauss, K. F., 8[
Katkov, J\L N., 76
GeOl'get, E. .1., 195
Ka\ounnik,4
Gcssmann, G. 'V., (1' g) , 115,
Khovrin, A. N., (R 8, (0), 3, [3, 26,
Gherini, A. de 156, ' 59, 160, [6[
33 ff., g2, 94, 103, 104
Gibert,J. H. A., [98
Kiesewetter, C. , 18
Giordano, M., (I 3·4), [51
Kircher, A., 80
Giraud, S., (I 2), 1010
Kluge, C. A. F., .4, 6, 1[, [2
Gonzales, E., qg, 151
Knishin, M . A., 61
Gonzalez, j. R. , (S 20), 203
Kobylianski , L. R., (R 25), 95
Goste,", 64
Kobylin,24
Grashey, H., 132
Kolodkine, P., [8
Grassct, .1., (P (0), 115, [3-1
Korehagin, L. G., H,
Gravier, L., 33
Korsakov, 15
Gregory, ' ·V., 78
Kraszc\vski, J. I. , 12 I, [
Greshner,24
r)f)
Grigorev, N. I. , (R 24) , 93, 105
Grigorovich, '9
L., ,'vIrs., 20
Grigov, C. A. , 3[ L., C., 168
Grimaldi, E., (I 54), [Bo Labadie, F., (S 18) , 202
Guastalla, [45
Labry, R ., (R 28), 105
Guidi, F., (I g, [6, (7), 139, 140, [44, Lankester, E. R., 88
145,146,148,168 ff. Lapponi, G., (I 47), 170
Gurney, E., 25, 84, 91 Lassaigne, :\., (I 42,43), [43, 153 ff.
Gurovieh, 20 Lavrov, 46,47,48, 50, 52
Guseva, [7
Lazaro Andradas, C., (S 15) , 202
Lcbcdinski, M. S., (R 20) , 3, 105
Hall, T. H. , 25 Lehmann, A., 89
Hammersehlag, .H . E., [32 Leibnitz, G. W., 96
I-Iansen, C., 19, 22, So, 8'2 Leonie, 127
Hansen, F. C. C., 89 l.evental, [4
Hartmann, E. von, 32 Liehtenstaedt, j. R. , (R 3, 4, ) 4 fT. ,
Hauffe, F., 82 [04
Hebert, L. :\1., ( I q, (5), 1.1-4 Licbeault, A. :\., [03, 131
Heidenhain, R., gl, 85,103, TIl, 111 Llorente,j. A., 98
Heineken, .J., I I
Lobaehevski, N. r., 8 [
Heller, R., 23
Lombroso, C., (I 27-30, So. 54), 13U,
Hcrzen, .A. I. , 102, T05 '49, 150, [51 , 172 ff., IS!)
Home, D. D., 17, If) Lucille, 77, 109 ff.
d'Hont, A. E., 103, 150
Lu),s,j. B. , Ig6
20
7

---
Lyman, H. M., 87
Lysenko, N. A., 30, 31
1\1., Mr., 2 [
M., AIrs., [25, 126
M., A., (S 6), 202
M., G. de, [98 If.
M., S., 33 If.
i\J-v., 40
i\Iac, [79
Macchi, V., 137, [46
Maggiorani, C., (I 20-22), 148
i\.faginot, A., 170
Makovski, 23
Malfatti, G., 140
Manso,]. M., (S 10), 196
Marchetti, L., [62, 163
Marcuse, F. L., 103
Marghcrita, [83
I\'faria, 183
Mariani,J. M., (S 37), 203
Maslovski, 64
i\Jasserotti, V., [54 If., 160, [6[
Mathieu, P. F., 98
Maxwell, 'V., 80
Mendelciev, D. 1., 17, [8
'Mesmer, F. A., 3,78,80,95, 140, 143,
[45, [87
Mikeshin, 2[
Miliotti, D., (I 24), 149
Miroglio, G., 150
Moira, 0., (S 16), 202
i\'IolI,A., 55,121,132
Mongrucl, L. P., 170
Monis, E., (S 4°),203
i\Ionsagrati, A. , 148
Nlont'Alverne de Sequeira, G., (S 22),
20
3
Monticelli, A., (17), 187
Moraes, M., (S 13) , 202
N[oreton, H . G. F., 145
Morselli, E., (I 31-33, 51) , 138, 149,
150,151,152, 17'! fr., IU6
Moser, F., (R 17), 75, 105
Mosso, A., (I I ), 140, 152
i\,rura, 179
i\Iyers, F. 'V. H, 84, 90, 91
N., Dr., 92
N., E. , 30, 31
Nazari, G., (I 56), 18
5
Nikolski, 63
Ochorowicz,]., (P 1-8, 1[-13,) 3,83,
103, 108 If., 133, '34, 135, '97,
198
Ojetti, B., (140), 188
Orioli, F., (I II), 142, '45
Orlowski, 115, 130
Ottolenghi, S., (I 30), 179
P., A., ,68
P., Count dc, 128
Palagi, A., 144
Pagliaghi, S., 162, 163, 164
Pagliani, G., (I 53), 178
Paillome, (S II ), 196
Palladino, E., 149
Panizza, B., 156
Papus, 132, 133
Paracclsus, A, T., 80
Parisotti, 0., 148
Parrot, G. F., (R I), 3, 4, 5, 6, 64,
[04
Pashkov, A. I., 14, [5
Pavlov, A. P., 2, 104
Peano, C., 140
Peixoto de Moura, C. S., (S 23), 203
Perovsky-Petrovo-Solovovo, M., (R 9),
17, 69 If., '04
Pertusati, F., 162, 163
Pertusio, G. , 145
Pessani, P., 154, 156, 157, [6[
Pttetin, ]. H. D., 12
Petty, 17
Picado, J. S., (S 36), 203
Pickman, 151, 172 ff.
Pigeaire, L., 39
Pilati, 146, 148
Pimenova, E. , (R 29), 102, 103,. 105
Pintncr, R., 89
Piper, E., 103
Pius IX, [39
Plug, A., 1[8
Podmore, F., 17, 122
Pocti, i\1., [45
Pogorelski, M. n., (R 5), 9, [2, 98 If.,
[04
Poli, G. S., (I 5), 140
Preyer, W., 88, 90, 131
Prybytkov, V., 24
Pulido, A., (S 27, 31), 203
Pungileoni, G., (I 3, 4), 140
Pushkin, A. S., 102
208
Quaglino, A., 156, 157, 159, 161
Quintana, ]., (S 4), 202
R .,Mr., 112
Raciborski, 130
Rajbcrti, G., (I 10), 142
Rakov,64
Reed, H. B., 89
Regis, 17g, 180, 181
Reichenbach, C. von, 114, 122
Renjifo, i\f. P., (S 14),202
Ricard,]. J. A., 33
Ricci, G., 144
Richet, C., (R II: I 37), 74, 78, 90,
104,115,120,151,197
Riemann, B., 81
Robert, 151
Robert-Houdin, J. E., 23
Roberts, P., Ig, 22, 8[
Robertson, C., 88
Rochas D'Aiglun, E. A. A. dc, 101, 102
Romanes, G . .1.,88
Roncaglia, E., (145), 147
Roncoroni, L., '79
Rostan, L., 195
Ruatti, '44
Rubino, A., 139
Rummo, 150
Rzeczniowski, L., 115, 130
S., Colonel, 28
S., Countess, 82
S., Aliss, 118
S., E., 168
St. Artcmski, S., 17
Saint Dominique, (S 9) , 202
Sanchez Herrero, A., (S 17, 17a, 17b),
198,202
San Vitale,J., 139, 145
Savino, E., (I 46), 170
Schrcnck-Notzing, A. von, 73
Schroder, C., 60
Sciamanna, E., 148
Scchcnov, 1., 79, g6, 13 [
Sedini, 163, 164
Semmola, 150
Seppilli, G., (I 26), 149
Shchclochilin, N., 45, 46
Shiltov, A. 1"1., 90, 91
Sidgwick, H., 8g
Sikorski,]. A., 26, 27, 88,13 1
Sisti, 148
Slavinski, 27
Smith, G. A., 25, 89
Sosnowski, K., 130
Speranski, 52, 53
Spiro, P. A., 26
Stalin, J., 103
Stanhope, Earl, 145
Stasov, V. V., 27
Staso,-a, N. V., 27
Stcfanoni, L., (118),146,147,148, 16g,
178, 185
Stcfanowska, i\J., 130
Stieglitz, J., 9
Strambio, G., (I 41 ) , 156 If.
Stroganov, S. A., 44
Sushchinski, 27
Swedenborg, 1., 193
Szapiry, F., 77
Szokalski, 130
T., Mrs., 67
Tamburini, A., (I 26), 149
Tanagra, A., 60
Tani, G., 17
Tanzi, E., (I 33), 188
Tardy de i\lontravcl, A. A., 12
Tarkhanov, I. R., (R 7), 26,81,85 fr.,
104, 131
Taschini, A., 162
Tchalygin,16
Tchekhovskavo, 29
Tebaldi, 149, 151
Tenca, C. , 162
Tcrzaghi, G., 139, 145
Thompson, H. S., 22
Thomson, ,,,., 114
Tischncr, R., (R 12-14), 74, 105
Tolfoletto, G., 165, 166
Tolstoy, S., 76
Tooker, VI., 10
Trczzi, A., 156, 161
Triaca, [63
Troitski, A. A., 52, 53, 56
Trombcn, 1., 167
Turunov, Y. , 15
U., S., 168
Ulezko, K. P., 31
V. , JUr., 91
Vaccari, 165, 166
Valsuani, E., 156, 16,
20
9
--
SUBJECT INDEX
Vandoni, 139, 145
Vasiliev, L. L., (R 21 ), 3, 104, 105
Vecchia, L. D., 165
Velianski, D., (R 2), 3, 4, 9 ff., 102,
10
4
Velo, R., 166
Ventra, 183
Verati, L., (I {8) , [70
Verga, A., 156, 158, 159, [6[
Vesme, C. B. di, 185
Villalonga, L., (S 21, 33), 203
Vinegas, V. lvI., (S 24), 203
Vishkovata, E. A., 15
Vizioli, F., (I 36, 38), [52
Voltolina, 162, 163
P., (R [9), IS, 23, 26,
7<) ff., G4, 9}, 98, 105
Wienholt, A., II
\viesin,14
Winn, R., (R 30), 105
\Volfart, C., II
Wundt., W., 89
X., AIrs., 200
X., F., 97
Yakolev, M. P., 61
Yap, P. M., 103
Zagorski,N., <)2, 1[2
Zanardelli, [44, 147, [50, 1611, 171
Zedlitz auf Luga, H., [32
Zerboglio, 179
Ziefeld, [9,28
Zigmont, A. S., 31
:\ksakov, A. N., on somnambulism, 78
opinion on animal magnetism, 77
Alchemy, 12
Amnesia, somnambulism and, <)7
Anaesthesia, 35
Oehorowicz on, I 13
Angina pectoris, 37
Animal magnetism. See also Iv/mo/ism
and headings beginning J1agnelic
Aksakov's opinion, 77
Balzac's experiments, 142
causing sensation of heat, 8
Cogevina on, 142
communication to inorganic bodies, 7
confli ct with ciain'oyanee, 6
defin i tion, 3
early experiments in Italy, 1.1.0
factors affecting, <)
heal ing effects, I 2, 14, [5
in plants, 33
in Russia, early research, 3- [ 3
golden age, 13-22
Katkov's opinion, 76
legal regulation, 4
Liehtenstaedt's opinion, 5, 6
medical See lvIedical magnetism
mystical aspects, 7, 10
nature of, 6
Ochorowicz on, 109, 114
Pogorelski on, <)<)
relation to orthodox science, 76-9 I
Stieglitz's opinion, 9
Velianski's opinion, [0-1 I, 12
Wagner's opinion, 79
Animals, hypnosis of, 9h 130
Arctic hysteria, 103
Astral bodies, 32-33
Auditory hallucinations, prodl'ecd by
visual impressions, 63-64
Auto-hypnosis, 2<)
Auto-suggestive concentration , 7:"
Baerwald, Richard, on hyperaesthesia,
74
Balzac, I-Ionon; dc, experimenl.s in
magnetism, 142
2 I I
Baql1et, use of, 5
Barcellos, A. , on mental suggestion, [99
Battandier, A., on experiments with
Zanardelli, 'l 71
Bazhenov, N., on hypnotism, 96-97
on social aspects of hypnotism, 96
on suggestion, 97
Behaviour, effect of hypnosis, 21
Bekhterev, V. i\-1. , on hypnotism and
nervous refl ex, 97-98
Belin, E., on hypnotism in animals, 94
on stealing while in hypnotic trance,
93
Bernard, Prudence, cxperiments with,
[53- 165
Betling, Pavel, cures of, 15-17
Binet, Alfred, on /Joints de rep ere, 54
Bishop, \\'. 1. , exper iments on thought-
reading, 88
performances of 22,
Braid, James, names hypnotism, 3
Brain, in hypnotic state, [3
Brown, J. R. , on thought-transference,
88-89
Burgcmeister, Dr., cures by, 14
Butlcrov, A. )\-1., on thought-trans­
mission, 23, 78-7<), 90
Calderini, C. A., experiments with
Prudence Bernard, 153- [65
on medical uses of hypnotism,
Cancer, cures of, [7
Carpenter, \.\,. 13. , Oll motor ideas, BIl
on sense organs, 58
on unconscious cerebration, 78, 96
Catalepsy, Ochorowicz's experiments,
I I I, 112
Cerebration, unconsci olls, 78, 96
Chakhovskaya, Princess, cure of, LJ.
Circulation, effect on touch, 68-69
Clairvoyance, and muscular vibrations,
3
8
associated with somnambulism, 6
case of Princess Chakhovskaya, 14
definition, I I
2IO
Clairvoyance-continucd Drozdov, V.!., on self-induced
developmcnt of, during magnetic hypnosis, 94-95
sleep, 16
effect of menstruation, 65-66 Electrical phenomena, relation to
exhibitions of, 148, 151 animal magnetism, 9
experiments, C!0-2 I Emotions, effect of hypnosis, C!O
finding objects by, 162, 177 Energophore, [00
in magnetic state, 6, 27-28, 34 English Commission, on thought­
medical diagnosis by, 158, C!00-201 transfc.rcnce, 88
]'\'Iorselli on, 175 Epilepsy, 34, 35
Ochorowicz on, 117-118 hypnotic cure, [9
physiological importance, 8 sugges tion and, 36-37
Pogorelski on, 99 Eugene, expcrimcnts with, 28
prizes offered for, 147, 148, 169- '70 Exhibitions of clairvoyance, [48, [5[,
relation to hypnosis, 82-83 [72
rclation to thought-transferencc, 26 Eyeless-vision, Calderini's experiments
Tambov experiments, 33-75 with Prudence Bernard, [53-[60
Verati on, 170 Garcia on, [95
Wagner's opinion, 81 Lombroso's experiments, [79-[80,
Clairvoyants, deception among, 25n, [8[
39n, 89M, 151-152, 18In l\'forsclli on, [76
Coelho, E., on mental suggestion, 197 Ochorowicz on, 118-119, [2[-[22
Cogevina, A., on magnctism, 142 Toffoletto's experiments, [66-[ 67
Colour, recognition by touch, 49, 50, Eyesight, changes during hypnosis, 20
55-56, 58-60, 65-68, 70-72
Colour-blindness, 36 Fajardo, F., theories of, [97
Colour vision, during hypnosis, 20 Feldman, O. j., and telekineticpheno­
Compass deviation, 162 mena, 3[-2
Correspondences, theory of, 13 experiments in clairvoyance, C!0-2 [
Cuissard, on hypnotism, 195 on hypnotic modification of natural
Cumberland, Stuart (Charles Garncr), faculties, [9
performaees by, 22, 23 Finding objects by clairvoyance, [62,
Cumberlandism. See Jt;[uscies, uncon­ [77
scious activity oj Fingcrtips, recognition of colour by,
Cybulski, N., on hypnosis, 13! 58-59, 65, 66-68, 70-7[
Czyirski, C. L., on hypnotism, 132 sensitivity of, 57
Dal Pozzo, on thought-transferencc, Garcia,j. M. N., on eyeless-vision, [95
[48 Garner, Charles (Cumberland), public
Deaf-mutism, cure of, 14 performances, 22, 23
Deafness, cure of, 15 Gessman, G. "V., on hypnoscope, r [5
Deception, among elairvoyants, 25", Great Britain, interest in mesmerism, [3
39M, 89n, [51-152, 18In Grigorev, N. 1., on metallotherapy, 95
Morselli on, 178 Guidi, F., on his experiments, [68
Pickman's admissions, 18.¥! on hypnotism, [44
precautions against, 40, ,pn, 43, 44, Guseva, cure of, [7
46, 47-48, 50, 51, 55, 56, 62, 63,
6.4, [55, 167 Hallucinations, effect of suggestion, 54
Disease, ncrvous transmission of, [2,t. visual, 50, 5 [
[27 Hallucinatory images, 48
Donato (A. E. d'Hont), experiments of, in trance state, 48
Jogn, 110, tIl, 112, 122, 150 realism of, 54
212
Hauffe, Frau (Seeress of Prevorst), physical basis of, 102
82-83 physiological basis, 98
Healing, by touch, [0 Pimenova on, 102
Hearing, hyperaesthesia of, 63, [22 practical applications, [03
Heart, influenced by suggestion, 37 problem solving during, 20
Heat, caused by animal magnetism, 8 psychological, 25, C!6, 82, 97-93
d'Hont, A. E. (Donato), experiments relation between operator and subject,
of, Iogn, 110, Ill, 112, 122, 150 129, 13[
Hyperaesthesia, 93-94 relation to clairvoyance, 32-83
Baerwald's opinion, 74 rclation to orthodox science, 76-9 [
Oehorowicz on, 122 rise in interest in Italy, [45-[47
of senses, 34, 4[ n, 52, 53, 64,69, 73, Roman Catholic opposition to, [39,
74, 75 '40-[4[, [43, 146, [52, 193, [93
Tisehner's opinion, 74 self-induced, 94-95
visual, 56, 75 social aspects of, 96-97
Hypnoscopc, 115-116 stealing while in trance, 93
Hypnotism, and nervous reflexes, 97- Tarkhanov on, 84-87
9
8 techniques, [[
and thought -transference, 26 "Vagner's opinion, 25, 79,8[-84
at a distance, [99 Hysteria, 34, 35, [98, 199
auto-, 29
Butlerov's opinion, 23
Insanity, cure by hypnosis, [9
contact between subject and hypno-
Insomnia, hypnotic cure of, 92
tizer, 84
International Congress of Psychology
Cuissard on, [95
and Physiology, 3
cures by, [9
Italy, hypnotism in, [39-[87
Cybulski on, [3 [
Czynski on, [32
effect on behaviour, 2 [
Katkov, on animal magnetism, 76
effect on memory, 20
Khovrin, and the Tambov experiments,
double personality during, 30
33-75
gap in literature, v
Kluge, on degrees of magnetism, 6
Guidi on, [44
in animals, 94, [30
in Italy, [39-[87 Lassaigne, Calderini's experiments with,
in Poland, 108-[31 [53- [65
in Russia, 2-105 Leonie, Ochorowicz on, [27
in Spain, Portugal and SouthAmcrica, Levitation, and hypnosis, 32
[93-203
Liehtenstaedt,j. R., on medical aspects
insanity cured by, [9 of magnetism, 5, 6
in terest in, v on physiological aspects of clair­
Lombroso's contribution, [49-[ 50 voyance, 8
mechanism, 86 opinion on magnetic fluid, 7, 8
medical usc of. See ,Medical magtletism opinion on nature of magnetism, 6
mediumistic phenomena and, 3[-32 opinion on predictions of somnam­
modifying natural faeuities, [9 buies, 7
Morselli on, [50 Lombroso, C., experiments on thought­
nervous activity and, 85-86 transmission, [79-[ 85
Ochorowicz on states of, [[6-[ [7 on hypnotism, [49-[50
Ochorowiez's definition, 3 on Pickman's experiments, [72
Ochorowiez's experiments, [[0 Lucille, Ochorowicz's experiments with,
origin of tel-m, 3 [09-1 [2
21
3
Luminous phenomena, Pogorelski's
experiments, 100
Lysenko, N. A., on double personality
in hypnosis, 30
M., Miss (Tambov experiments), 33-75
r-,·Iagnet, action I 13, I 15
Oehorowiez on, 113
pain produced by, 93 95,
Magnetic fluid, Lichtenstaedt's opinion,
7,8
Velianski's opinion, IO
Magnetic half-sleep, I I
Magnetic readiness, 10
Magnetic sleep, I I, 36-37
Velianski's theory, 13
r-,'Iagnetic state, clairvoyance in, 27,
production of, I I
\"'agner's opinion, al
:Ylagnetized water, medical use of, 92
IvIedical diagnosis, by clairvoyance,
158,200-201
r-,fedical magnetism, 19, 79-80,91-102,
194, 200-201
Calderini on, 143
Lichtenstacdt's opinion, 6
l\.faggiorani's experiments, 148
Ochorowicz on, 11 4, 123-124,
127-128
i\lt:diumistic phenomena, a nd hypnosis,
3 1-32
r-,femory, 20, 34
!\.fcndeleiev, Professor D. 1. , attacks on
paranormal studies, 1771
:\·Ienstrual period, effect on clair­
voyance, 65-66
suggestion, Barcellos's experi­
ments, 199
Coelho's experiments, 197
Ochorowicz on, 124-126
r-,'Iesmer, inaugurating hypnotism, 3
theory of ether, 78
Metallotherapy, Grigorev on, 95
lVletals, effects of, 5, 24
Metal objects, usc in hypnotism, I I
},'Iorselli, E., on hypnotism, 150
on Pickman's exhibitions, 174-178
r-"Ioser, Fanny, on Tambov experiments,
75
Motor ideas, 88
Muscles, unconscious activity of, 22, 24,
25, 26, 38, 7gR, 87
214
Nervous activity and hypnotism, a5-8G,
97-98
Nervous crises, 148
Ncrvousdiseases, hypnotie eurc,1 2,14,15
Neuralgia, cure of, 16
Ochorowicz, 1., defining animal
magnetism, 3
expcriments on catalepsy, I II , 1 12
exper iments with Luci lle, IOg-11 2
invcnts hypnoseope, 115-1 IG
on differcnces between hypnotism
and magnetism, I 12
on cycless vision, 118-119, 121-122
on hypnotic states, I 16-117
on Leonie, 127
011 magnetism, 113, 114
on medical use of hypnotism, 123-124
on mental suggestion, 120- I 2 I, 124­
126
on nervous transmission of disease,
124, 127
on relation between operator and
subject, 129, 131
on skin sensitivity, I 10- I I I
on thought-transmission, 12 I, 124,
12
9
work of, 108- I 30
Pain, and hypnosis, 37, 119
produced by magnet, 93, 95
Paralysis, curc of, 14
Parrot, G. F., influencc of, 3, G
opinion on physicians as invcstigators,
5
Pashkov, A. 1. healing activities of,
14- 15
Pcrovsky-Pctrovo-Solovovo, Count, ex­
perimcnts, 69
Personality and clairvoyance, 34-35
Phosphenophorc, 100
Physicians as investigators, 4-5
Pickman, dceeption by, 18471
Lombroso on, 172-173
Morselli on, '174-178
Pimenova, E., on somnambulism and
hypnotism, 102
Plants, magnetism in, 33
Pogorelski, M. B., on animal magnet­
ism, 99
on extcriorization of sensibility. 101
on luminous phenomena, 100
on physiological basis of hypnotism,
9
8
Points de le}Je,-e, 5571
Binet's opinion, 5't
Poland, hypnotism in, 108-134
Pope, opposition to hypnotism, 139,
140-141, 143,146, 152, 193, 198
Portugal, hypnotism in, 193-194
Prediction, 37
Prizes for clair\"oyanec, 169-170
Prybytkov, V., on thought-transference,
24
Psychometry, origin of, 50
Pogorclski on, 99
"Psycho-physical transmission", I 29- I 30
Rajhcrti, G., on Balzac's experiments,
14
2
Reading, with finger tips, 57
Rheumatoid arthritis,. cure of, 15
Ricard, 1.1., on plant magnetism, 33
Richet, Charles, on cryptesthesia, 74
Robert, of lVIilan, 151
Roberts, P., cxperimcnts, 81
dc Rochas, A., on exteriorization of
sensibility, 101
Roman Catholic Church, opposition to
hypnotism, 139, 140-141, 143, 146,
152, 193, 198
\'on Schrenk-Notzing, f\., on the case of
Miss M., 73
Scaled letter experiments, Belin on, 9.4
Tambo\' experiments, 38-48
Secret illumination, I I
Seercss of Prevorst, 82-83
Self-deccption, and thought-reading', 87
Senses, hypersensitivity of. See HyjJer­
aesthesia
transfer of 58-65, 70-73
Sensibility, c.xteriorization of, Pogorclski
on, 101
Shiltov, A. r-"r., on thought-transfc·renee,
90 -9 1
Sight, hypcrsensitivity of, 56, 75
Skin, sensitivity of, I 10-1 I I
Social aspects of hypnotism, 96-97
Society for National Health, 27
Socit:ty for Psychical Rcsearch, 17, 25,
185, 186
.';ocil.'ly of Experimentall'sycilOiogy, +.

Somnambules, deccption by, 39
paranormal phenomena associated
with, 27-33
predictions of, 7
visual hallucinations, 50, 51
Somnambulism, Aksakov's opinion, 78
amncsia and, 97
associated with clairvoyance, 6
control of, at distance, 9
dcfinition, I I
cffect on practice of magnctism, 5
Pimenova on, 102
prescription dictating during, 14
Wagncr's thcories, 81
South Amcrica, hypnotism in, 195-201
Spain, hypnotism in, 193-1 94
Spelling, reversal of, I 18, I 19
Spiritualism, European spread of, 17
in Spain and Portugal, 196
rise of, 146
Spiro, P. A., on thought-transference,
26
Stasova, N. V., experiments with, 27-28
Stcaling, while in hypnotic trancc, 93
Stefanoni, L. , challcnges Robert of
Milan, 151
on magnctism, 146
Stieglitz, J., on animal magnetism, 9
Suggestion, and epi lepsy, 36-37
Bazhcnov on, 97
curing pain, 37
eITect on hallucinations, 54, 62
influencing heart, 37
mental, and thought-transference,
83-B·4
Ochorowicz on, 120-121
producing' marks on skin, 37
Tarkhanov's theory, fl5, 36
Tambov experiments, 33-75
Tarkhanov, 1. R ., on hypnosis, 84-87
on suggestion, 86
on thought-reading at a distancc, 90
on thought-transference, 87
Taste, hypersensitivity of, 63
transference of, 63, 71-72
Telekinetic phenomena, 32
Telepathy and thought-reading. See
Thollghl-lrall:fferc71ce
Thought-transferc nce :
Aksakov's views, 77
and hypnosis, "r,
:i
Thought- transfcrence--contillued
and mental suggestion, 83-84
and mesmerism, 22
and muscular 26
and self deception, 87
at a distance, 90
Butlerov's views, 23, 79, 90
by muscle vibrations, 22, 24, 25, 38
Calderini's e.xperiments with Pru­
denceBernard, 155-158, 163-164
controversy over, 22-27
Cumberland's experiments, 124
Dal Pozzo on, I
deception in, 2511
experiments on, conditions for, 24
Feldmans' 21
involuntary aids to, 89
Lombroso's experiments, 178- [85
Morsclli on, [76
Ochorowicz on, [2[, 124, 129
of colour, 72
of taste, 7[-72
Pogordski on, 99
prizes offered for, [48
Prybytkov's opinion, 24
relation to clairvoyance, 26
requirements, [71
Richet on, 64
Shiltov on, 90-9 [
Tarkhanov on, 87
Toffolctto's experiments, 165, 166,
16
7
\.vagner's opinion, 25
Tischner, R., on !vliss M., 64
Toffoletto, G., experiments of, [65, [66,
[67
Touch, colour perceived by, 59, 60, 65,
66-68, 70-7 [
distinguishing flavours by, 63
eITeet of circulation, 68-6g
healing power of, [0
hypersensitivi ty of, 52, 53n, 57, 63
Trance, hallucinatory images, in, 48
psychological basis, 8[
Travelling clairvoyance, 80
experiments with Eugene, 28
Feldman's experiments, 21
Guidi's account, 168
Ochorowicz on, 1 [6-1 [7
Velianski, D., definitions of aspects of
magnetism, 10-11
influence of, 3
on physical basis of hypnotism, 102
on producing magnetic state, I 1
on unity of Nature, 12
opinion on hypnotism, 9
opinion on magnetic fluid, [0
theory of correspondences, 13
Verati, on clairvoyance, 170
Vishkovata, Ekaterina A., cure of, 15
Vision, substitution of touch for, 57
et seq.
Visual hallucinations, 50, 51, 62
Visual impressions producing auditory
hallucinations, 63-64
\.vagner, N. P., on animal magnetism, 79
on medical use of hypnotism, 97-80,
81
on thought-transference, 25
theory of hypnotism, 25, 81-8.+
Ziefeld, e.'Cperiments of, 23
Edinburgh: Pl'inte<i hy 1'. AND A. CONSTABLE T.TD.
Other volumes in this series are:
Volume I Hypnotism in France.
Volume III Hypnotism in Russi a and Poland, Ital y, Spain, Portugal
and Latin America.
Volume IV Hypnotism in the U.S.A. and Great Britain.
ABNORMAL HYPNOTIC
PHENOMENA
A Survey of Nineteenth-Century Cases
Edited by
ERIC J. DINGWALL, D.Se.
VOLUME 11
Belgium and the Netherlands
GEORGE ZORAB
Germany
LISELOTTE MOSER
Dr.Phil., Diplom-Psychologin
Sean dina via
ERIK BJELFVENSTAM
...........
11,111
B . ~ N I
BARNES & NOBLE, Inc.
NEvV YORK
PUBLISHERS & BOOKSELLERS SINCE 1873
This series of lour volumes under
the general title Abnormal Hyp­
notic Phenomena is sponsored by
The Parapsychology Foundation
Inc. of New York and is issued
under their auspices.
First Edition 1967
J. & A. Churchill Ltd., London
Standard Book Number
Vol. II 7000 1309 1
First published in the United States, J'
by Barnes & Noble, I nc.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVl'.D
This hook may not he reproduced by
any meal1S, in whole or in part, without
the jJermission of the Publishers.
Printed in Great Britait:
GENERAL INTRODUCTION
THE object of the present series of volumes is to fill a gap in the litera­
ture of hypnotism as far as a number of countries is concerned both
in the Old and New Worlds. Generally speaking, 2.ccounts ofalleged
paranormal phenomena occurring in the mesmeric and hypnotic
states have been omitted by writers on hypnotism and no detailed
treatment of this aspect of the question has so far been published.
The main reason \Vhy this gap in the literature of hypnotism
exists is that in the nineteenth century interest in mesmerism was
aroused and maintained not only bv' accounts of the therapeutic
value of mesmeric treatment and' its ~ s e as an anaesthetic agent in
surgery, but also because paranormal phenomena were said to occur
with very many of the somnambules. Thought-transmission, eye­
less-sight, travelling clairvoyance and mental suggestion at a
distance were all said to occur constantly; and the fear of being
thought unorthodox and tainted by the" occult" eHcetively pre­
vented many serious men of learning from becoming too closely
associated with the mesmerists, both medical and lay.
The aim here, therefore, is to raise the curtain on the almost
unkno'wn and forgotten activities of the mesmerists of the nine­
teenth century, while concentrating on the paranormal aspects of
their work. Since reports of such phenomena occurring in the
hypnotic state begin to disappear before the end of the nineteenth
century and are rarely reported in the first part of the twentieth,
the account of mesmerism here presented ceases at the end of the
nineteenth century. Although in some countries of Europe reports
of paranormal phenomena in mesmerism are far slighter than others,
attempts have been made to give a general picture or the scene
while paying greater attention to countries like France, Germany
and England, where a mass of material exists from which it is hoped
a representative collection of cases has been examined.
In each section the opinions and conclusions of the contributor
are his or her own. Great care has been taken to avoid mistakes,
although it cannot be hoped that a work of this magnitude will be
free from errors, and both the editor and the contributors will be
grateful to any readers for their corrections and criticisms.
CONTENTS
General Introduction Page v
BELGIUM
I ntroduction
3
Lafontaine in Belgium 6
Electrical and Galvanic Theories 21
Delboeuf and his Followers
35
Short-title List of References
49
THE NETHERLANDS
Introduction 51
The Dutch Golden Age of Animal Mesmerism, 1814-1818 55
l\finor Cases in the Intermediate Period 77
The Work of H. G. Becht 84
Revius, Riko and the Later Hypnotists 90
Final Remarks and Observations 97
Short-title List of References 99
GERMANY
The Development of Mesmerism
i. The theories of Mesmer and other magnetizers 103
Ii. The investigation of paranormal phenomena 1 13
vii
Some Early Nineteenth-century :rvIagnetizers
12
3
i. The Case of IVlaria Rubel 13
6
ii. The Cases of Marie Koch, M. Schurr and Others 14
8
Dr. Justinus Kerner and the Seeress of Prevorst 161
The Development from M esmerism to Hypnotism 174
Later Experiments in Hypnotism
180
Concluding Observations 194
Short-title List of References 195
SCANDINAVIA
Experiments in Sweden
20
3
Experiments in Norway in the Nineteenth Century 236
Experiments in Denmark in the Nineteenth Century 240
Short-title List of References 245
INDEX OF NAMES 247
SUBJECT INDEX 252
Hypnotism in Belgium and
the Netherlands
by
GEORGE ZORAB
"VallS voyez qu'en ce fait la plus forte apparence
Peut jeter dans l'esprit une fausse creance.
De cet exemple-ci ressouvenez-vous bien;
Et quand vous verriez tout, ne croyez jamais rien."
MOLIERE. Sganarelle, Sc. XXIV.
INTRODUCTION
IN Belgium the influencc of 1!Iesmer was first felt when he left France
and settled at Spa in 1781. After his return to Paris some interest
was sustained, but it was ouly much later after Belgium had gained
its indepcndence in 1830 that keen interest in mcsmcrism was
aroused. During the next ten ycars the subjcct was much discussed,
and under the influence of }"LvL Lafontaine and Idjiez the pheno­
mena of mesmerism became known through accounts published in
various newspapers and magazincs, but by 13Go intcrest in scientific
circles was waning and mesmeric manipulations were mainly con­
fined to medical treatment. Various public performers like Donato
travelled about the country demonstrating hypnotic phenomena;
but la tel' investiga tors like Delbocuf and Crocq fouuel Ii ttle evidence
of any paranormal phenomena bcing observed during the mesmeric
trance, although these had been reported in earlier items by a
number of other less critical observers in Belgium.
In the Netherlands the situation was not wholly unlike that in
Belgium, although in the late eighteenth ccntury the opposition of
academicians like Voltelen postponed open intcrest in the suLjcet
on the part of mcdical men and others. German influences later
spread from the East causing consideraLle discussion in various
circles. Even medical men, having read accounts by their German
colleagues of the marvellous phenomena associated with mesmerism,
became themselves practitioners, and Holland' s golden age may be
said to have lasted from 181 4 to 1818. Numbers of publications
detail the findings of the various investigators; and many of these
describing their experiments stress the paranormal phenomena
which they had themselves obscrved. As the ycars went by and as
spiritistic influences madc themselves felt during the second half of
the nineteenth century, so did the old mcsmerism become one with
the newer Spiritualism, only later to break off again and becomc
the hypnotism that we know to-day.
The author wishes to cxtend his thanks to various pcrsons and
institutions for much help and assistance givcn to him during the
,york, among them being the authorities at the Koninklijke Biblio­
theek in The Haguc, the Bibliothcque Royale at Brussels, and
M. M. Dutilleux of the Bibliotheque Centrale de la Ville de Liege.
He is especially indebted to the Archives Department of the Munici­
pality of Amsterdam for kindly permitting the reproduction of the
portrait of P. G. van Ghert from their Topographical Atlas.
2
Hypnotism in Belgium
1800-1900
INTRODUCTION
THE first time that the influence of Mesmer affected Belgian
enquirers was when he found antagonism against his person and
system was growing so powerful in Paris that he decided to leavc
France and for a time settled at Spa, the famous Belgian watering­
place, in 1781. It was said that iYfesmer's health had become so
impaired by what he had experienced in Paris that in an attempt
to improve his health and spirits he stayed on in Spa for some
time before returning to France or Germany. Even at Spa, how­
ever, several rich and influential patients from both France and
Belgium, who did not wish to interrupt the mesmeric treatment
that they had found so beneficial, approached Mesmer and begged
him to continue his treatment ( I ) .
During his stay at Spa, several of his friends and supporters in
France urged :Mesmer to return to that country and to start organ­
izing there a group of disciples whom he could train and instruct
in the art of healing according to the methods of animal magnetism
discovered by him. After some hesitation Mesmer finally yielded
to his friends' proposals and once back in France he started to
encourage the formation of several societies which were called
Harmonial Societies where the secrets of animal magnetism and
its succcssful application in healing all kinds of complaints were
made known. In order to become a member of one of these
societies it was said that an entrance fee of a hundred Louis d'or
had to be paid, and in this way Mesmer at the time that he retired
to Switzerland at the outbreak of the French Revolution had
acquired a considerable fortune.
After iYfesmer's return to Paris, three separate schools Of
3
mesmerism could be distinguished in France and Belgium. There
was, to begin with, that group practising the methods used by
Mesmer himself, which were considered to be of a purely physical
nature. Currents of the all-healing and vi lal animal magnetism
were directed on to the patient by bringing the latter into contact
with magnetized iron r o d ~ sticking out of tubs full of wa ter and
pieces of broken glass. This apparatus was called in France the
baquet, although the vital magnetism could also be reflected from
mirrors and transported by harmonious musical tunes. Another
method used by the mesmerist was to transfer the magnetic fluid
by pressing parts of his body against those of the patient.
Another school of thought was that favoured by the Marquis
de Puysegur, who discovered that the condition of somnambulism
could be induced by making "passes" over the patient; this theory
influenced the whole later evolution of mesmerism and became
the system generally adopted by most of the nineteenth-century
supporters of the theory of the magnetic fluid and of those who
later joined the Spiritualist movement.
The inducement of the somnambulist state was considered
especially fm'ourable to the emergence of remarkable phenomena,
several of which might be regarded prima Jacie as of a paranormal
nature. These phenomena, including many we now term "nor­
mal", were advanced by the mesmeris t5 as sound proof of the
reality and spirituality of the magnetic fluid. They also claimed
that the remarl,able phenomena manifesting themselves during the
somnambulist condition (telepathy, clairvoyance, curative powers,
etc. ) also proved that man is in possession of an immortal soul,
displaying its faculties already in the mortal body when stimulated
by the magnetic fluid to do so.
A third school under the leadership of the Chevalier Barbarin
\vas also formed and devel oped a therapeutic sys tem based on the
presumed transference of the vital magnetic fluid simply by the
mesmerist's firm belief and strong volition that the patient be
cured. Prayer, also, was considered conducive to concentrating
the magnetic fluid for curative purposes.
As the disciples of Barbarin did not make use of any physical
means to bring about their cures they became known as spiritualists.
Their slogan was: Veuillez le bien, aUez et guirissez! Barbarin's
followers were convinced that by the simple effort of their will­
power they could cure sick persons, even from a considerable
distance. In 1786 groups of Barbarin spiritualists could be found
at Lyon (France) and Ostend (Belgium) (2, 3).
4
During the golden period of animal magnetism in France,
Belgium, then under Austrian domination, seems to have stood
practically aside, hardly taking any part in the raging controversy
centring around 'Mesmer's therapeutic system. Although we have
found only two papers published in Brussels in 1784 treating the
subject (4, 5), there must have been some interest in the matter
in certain circles, otherwise it is difficult to explain why a large
group of Barbarin disciples had gathered at the Belgian port of
Ostend. This branch of mesmeric spiritualists flourished there for
a few years until the beginning of the French Revolution, which
great social upheaval killed all interest in Mesmer and his thera­
peutic methods, involving the Ostend group also. Napoleon, too,
discouraged mesmerism, and so for several decades mesmeric
therapeutics in Belgium remained in abeyance. In view of the
fact that Barbarin' s disciples were not interested in somnambulism
and its phenomena, no mention is made by the followers of this
school of phenomena of a possibly paranormal nature.
Not only in Belgium but also in several European countries
interest in mesmerism diminished. Germany, however, was tr.e
exception and in this country, just about the time that the French
Revolution started, mesmerism according to Puysegur's system
developed rapidly after Lavater had made it known to some wel1­
known physicians of the town of Bremen in the year 1787. From
there it spread in a great wave all over the country, convincing a
great number of Germany's most prominent scholars and medical
doctors that somnambulistic mesmerism should be considered a
great asset to medical science. Between 1795 and 1810 mesmerism
was an accepted and extensively employed therapeutic method;
and the remarkable condition of somnambulism, \\'ith its con­
comitant phenomena of apparent extrasensory perception, greatly
influenced the view of life ( Weltanschallullg) of the German philoso­
phers, poets and novelists.
In the course of the first decade of the nineteenth century
German enthusiasm for mesmeric procedures in healing and curing
the sick spread to Holland, where it started what may be termed
the Dutch golden age of mesmerism (1814- 1818). But here it
stopped, for we find no mention made of mesmeric activities in
neighbouring Belgium about that time. Even after the two
countries had been united after the fall of Napoleon, Belgium
seems to have remained passive and uninterested in the fascination
of mesmerism that s till held the learned classes of Holland in its spell.
During the period that Belgium was united with Holland
5
(1815-1830) practically complete silence reigned in the former
country regarding the subject of mesmerism. Though in the
above-mentioned period a great number of treatises and papers
in Dutch were published on the subject in the northern parts of
the Netherlands, I know of only one doctor's thesis referring to
somnambulism and the curative prospects of mesmerism; this was
written in Latin and printed at Ghent in 1829 (6).
'When Belgium had gained its independence in 1830, mesmerism
suddenly started to attract the interest of philosophers, medical
men and intellectual laymen. This sudden interest was probably
due to the attention mesmerism had received in France about that
same time, for in the latter country several medical Commissions
had been set up to investigate the claims put forward for the healing
powers of the magnetic fluid and the remarkable and wonderful
phenomena it allegedly produced in the induced somnambulistic
state.
LAFONTAINE IN BELGIlJM
Between 1830 and 1840 mesmerism in its somnambulistic
expression was a much discussed topic at Brussels and a few other
large Belgian towns. It seems that mesmeric therapeutics were
also actively applied throughout the country. According to Dr. D.
Cremmens (7) he had been busy magnetizing his patients from
18
33 omvards, achieving a large number of cures with this kind
of treatment. Reading through the several descriptions he gives
us about the cases treated by him, it becomes clear that most, if
not all, of his patients showed typical hysterical symptoms or other
nervous complaints that, as we now know full wcll, react very
favourably to treatment by suggestion. Though Cremmens
mentions various somnambulistic cases induced by his magnetic
manipulations, in which there apparently existed a complete
rapport between mesmerist and magnetized subject, he does not
tell us about a single instance of what we today would term a
paranormal phenomenon (e.g. extrasensory perception). Crem­
mens' medical treatment consisted of presenting patients to one
of his somnambulists (he himself acting as mesmerist) and ordering
the latter to diagnose the patient's illness and prescribe medicine
in order to effect a definite cure. All this points to the typical
mesmeric procedure in accordance with Puysegur's system that
had become generally accepted in most countries where mesmerism
was being practised. It is further apparent from Cremmens'
writings that such somnambulistic diagnosis followed by curative
6
prescriptions (regarded as generally effective) were considered
examples of what Cremmens himself termed clairvision (clairvoy­
ance) (7, p. I I) . \Vhether the clairvision Cremmens described is
to be placed on the same level as the paranormal phenomenon of
telepathy or clairvoyance, is greatly to be doubted, especially so
as we cannot 1I0W ascertain whether the diagnoses of the patients
were really apposite, and, if so, whether all measures had been
taken to prevent the somnambulist from obtaining sensory cues
helpful in giving the correct answers. Cremmens also organized
public demonstrations, somewhat in the same fashion as modern
mediums giving public psychometric sittings, etc. These seances,
however, had nothing to do with spirit communications but wcre
all directed towards therapeutic purposes, his somnambulist
diagnosing illnesses and giving curative indications. There is little
doubt that such gatherings had great propaganda value, giving the
lay public the impression that somnambulists were far better
acquainted with questions of health and disease than the most
learned medical doctors.
It was about this time, i.e. during the decade 1830-1840, that
one of the foremost mesmerists or magnetizers of the last century,
IV1. Charles Lafontaine, came in contact with the procedures of
animal magnetism at Brussels, and was soon to become himself
one of those persons who put their mark on European somnambu­
lism and the various types of paranormal phenomena believed to
accompany it. \Vhen Lafontaine became known as a mesmerist
of uncommon powers, he travelled extensively throughout Europe,
accompanied by a lady somnambulist said to possess extraordinary
faculties, some of which appeared to be of a paranormal nature.
Here, however, we shall have to keep to Lafontaine's experiences
in Belgium, leaving it to other writers to follow him in the countries
with which they deal.
In his book (8, i, p. 47) Lafontaine relates how, after having
received an excellent education in France, he accompanied a
highly placed aristocrat to Brussels in 1835 in order to transact
some business in the Belgian capital. It was here that Lafontaine
became acquainted with M. J. B. A. M. Jobard (1792- 1861).
Jobard had received an excellent education and was noted for his
services to Belgian industry, being appointed the director of the
l'vlusee de l'lndustrie. His activities included the founding of the
Belgian newspaper Le Courrier Beige, and his interests in animal
magnetism and Spiritualism were widely known and commented
on.
7
\Vhen Lafontaine arrived at a certain club of magnetizers he
met there about 30 persons standing around a young girl who was
being put into the somnambulistic condition by a Dutch physician.
The mesmerist doctor, observing Lafontaine's apparent scepticism,
turned to the newcomer and requested him to ask the somnam­
bulist, lying on a couch with her eyes closed, to name the objects
he had in one of his pockets. The mesmerist assured him that the
girl, who was in a condition of trance at that moment, would
certainly know what he was carrying in any of hi s pockets. Not
believing for one single moment what he was being told but purely
out of politeness, Lafontaine consented to try out the proposed
experiment and indicated his coat pocket as the one to which the
somnambulist should direct her clairvoyant faculti es. Thereupon '
the somnambulist took hold of his ha:ld, and without hesitating
even for a fraction of a second she announced: "You will fiud in
that pocket a five francs piece, one of two francs and a ten centime
coin". She was absolutely correct (8, i, p. 47).
Lafontaine now started to accuse M. Jobard, the gentleman
who had introduced him to the mesmeric circle, of making a fool
of him and of informing the mesmerist beforehand what he was
carrying in his pocket.
The mesmerist, however, at once intervened and suggested that
Lafontaine should try another experiment. The suggestion was
that he should stand aside from the company present in the room,
write a few words on a piece of paper which he then was to fold in
such a way that the writing would remain invisible to anyl:::ody
looking at it. He should then hand the folded strip of paper to the
somnambulist, who would at once read what had been written
without the use of her eyes. To tell the truth, he was not in the
least interested in the proposed experiment, especially as he still
believed that he was going to be the victim of some adroitly applied
illusionist trick. Still, as he was not prepared to act in another
man's house in a boorish way, he consented to play his part in the
new experiment. So he wrote some words on a piece of paper that
he rolled into a little tube. 'With this paper he approached the
somnambulist and placed one end of the rolled up paper in her
hand, holding on firmly to the other end. H e then begged her to
inform him what was written on the scrap of paper. Directly after
he had uttered his question she answered: "You pay me cor.lpli­
ments; you say I am pretty".
He told her that he was in no way satisfied with her answer
which had not been accurate. He once again repeated the question
8
and urged her to say exactly what words he had put down on
the paper. "\Vell then," she said, "the words arc: you ... you
are pretty." Her answer gave the exact wording. He was dumb
with amazement, for he had left the company to write the words
all by himself, and certainly nobody could have guessed what he
had written (8, i, pp. 48-49).
The above mentioned experiences greatly stimulated Laloll­
taine's interest in animal magnetism, so that he started to study
mesmerism under the guardianship of the Dutch physician. One
day he requested the doctor to magnetize him. Lafontaine ap­
peared to be such a good subject that after only a few "passes"
he fell into the somnambulistic state. \Vhen he awoke and found
that he had been in a trance, he became strongly convinced of the
truth of the vital magnetic fluid, believing that only by the cause
of some physical agency (animal magnetism) could the doctor have
induced the somnambulistic condition in him (8, i, pp. 50-5 I).
Thus he now resolved to devote his life to the study and practice
of mesmerism, convinced as he was that the vital fluid was an
enormous boon to mankind and that only mesmerism was able to
cure and heal all those complaints and illnesses against which the
medical science of his days stood powerless.
Lafontaine's confidence in his own magnetic powers was greatly
strengthened a short time afterwards when he succeeded in reli eving
a middle-aged man from the severe rheumatic pains he was suffer­
ing. The man's pains vanished, it is said, in the course of only
one treatment in one sitting.
From the above it may probably be concluded that at that time
mesmerism and the so-called manipulation of the vital magnetic
fluid was mainly directed towards curing the sick. The importance
of mesmerism had principally to be sought in its therapeutic useful­
ness. The unusual phenomena believed to emerge during the
somnambulistic condition, such as extrasensory perception, were
not the first thing people werc looking for. NIesmerists regarded
such somnambulistic phenomena as of secondary importance, and
only useful for propaganda purposes to convince the sceptic of the
existence of the remarkable vital magnetic fluid and its healing
properties. The mesmerists believed that their theories of the all­
penetrating and all-present animal magnetism solved practically
all medical, philosophical and even theological problems.
There seemed to be various kinds of magnetic treatment. The
two principal ones were the following. First, the mesmerist in
some way, for instance by making "passes", by concentrating the
B
9
~ .
fluid in water the patient had to drink, etc., conducted the vital
fluid to the patient's body. Second, the mesmerist put a trained
subject to sleep, leaving it to the cntranccd somnambulist to
diagnose the complaints [rom which the patient was suffering and
to prescribe medicine and therapeutic meamres. It also often
happened, if he could easily succeed in doing so, that the mesmerist
directly mesmerized the patient and put him in the somnambulistic
state, ordering him to diagnose his own illness and prescribe the
necessary medicines.
Lafontaine started his mesmeric career by applying the vital
magnetic fluid, of the existence of which he had become thoroughly
convinced, for therapeutic purposes. However, by a mere coin­
cidence he came in contact with his first good somnambulistic
subject who was the impetus that put Lafontaine on the road
towards carefully developing those remarkable somnambulistic
phenomena in order to convince the sceptical public of the reality
of the vital fluid as a natural fact in nature and of the greatest
importance to human health and spiritual development. In his
book (8, i, pp. 57-60) Lafontaine tells us how he encountered his
first somnambulistic subject.
One night, while he was sauntering through Brussels after
darkness had fallen, he suddenly heard a woman screaming for
help. Running in the direction of the shouting, he found a woman
being attacked by two men. He at once went to her assistance and
fought the men away from the young woman; after a few moments
the men took to their heels, and he then accompanied the girl to
her home. As she appeared to be very much upsct, he tried to
calm her by making magnetic "passes" over her head and shoulders,
and after he had been successful in calming her to some extent,
he went home.
The next morning he returned to the house of this woman,
whose name was lVlarie, and magnetized her again. She very
quickly fell into a somnambulistic state, and while in that condition
suddenly exclaimed: "Hallo, that's funny, here are my two cousins
coming to visit me; they are just now coming up to the frcnt­
door". And indeed, Marie had hardly finished speaking when
Lafontaine heard the front-door bell ringing. This fact of spon­
taneous clairvoyance (luciditi d distance is the term used by Lafon­
taine) had greatly perplexed him and in fact he was completely
dumbfounded.
After a while Marie requested him to awaken her. vVhen she
awoke from her somnambulistic condition she was greatly astOtl­
10
ished to find her two cousins, who had come all the way from
Nivelles (a little Belgian town 18 miles from Brussels) on a surprise
VISIt. The latter, too, were very much surprised to find rvlarie
just awaking from her sleepy condition.
Happy at having found such a good subject, Lafontaine con­
tinued treating Marie with animal magnetism, in order to cure her
of severe nervous attacks to whieh she was liable. Gradually these
began to subside under the influence of Lafontaine's mesmeric
therapeutics. In the meanwhile he noted several instances of what
appeared to be telepathic, clairvoyant and precognitive occurrences
(8, i, p. 65).
This case might have been a case of paranormal cognition or
extrasensory perception. On the other hand one should not lose
sight of the possibility that Marie in her hypersensitive condition
in the somnambulistic state could have heard her cousins' footsteps
outside on the pavement and recognized them as belonging to her
cousins. \Ve can remark the same circumstances when a dog shut
up in a room may perceive the arrival of its master a good time
before the inmates of the house are aware of it. It is well known
in hypnotic investigations that in the trance or somnambulistic
state a hyperacuity of the senses is induced that may suggest that
paranormal faculties are at work, although in fact the phenomena
witnessed remain within the domain of the "normal".
Another incident with the same subject is of some interest.
Sometimes when on his way to lVlarie, Lafontaine bought a book
at some bookseller's shop, a book of which he knew only the title
at the moment of buying. Hardly had Marie been put into the
somnambulistic condition than she named the title of the book just
purchased, its author, and what was still more remarkable, she
said whether it was a good or a bad book and whether it would
interest Lafontaine or bore him. Then, upon his request and with­
out her having touched the book or before the book had been
opened in her presence, she read a sentence on a certain page
indicated and of which he did not have the slightest knowledge,
having himself not read the book or even having opened it (8, i,
p.65)·
Lafontaine stated that he obtained from Marie all kinds of
information about what his friends were doing, what they experi­
enced and what was happening in their entourage. He had often
the greatest pleasure in seeing his friends become completely dumb­
founded when he related to them what they had done or said or
even thought in the greatest secrecy a short time before.
I I
The same thing happened onc day when he said to M. d'Ambru­
I1lCo: nil, a former court ofIicial to Charlcs X of Francc: "You passed
the night in a house where you should never have gonc. You will
be forced to leave Brussels within two days from now. " In fact,
Ambrumenil had to leave Brusscls for the Nctherlands in a hurry
owing to an ill-fated duel at whi ch Lafontaine was present in the
capacity of a witness and second. All this Maric had announced
some days in advance (8, i, pp. 66- 70) .
Lafontaine goes on to remark that Nlaric's somnambulism \vas
in a high degree of a clairvoyant (lucide) nature. She could with
the greatest ease perceivc what happcned in rooms other than the
one in which she found hcrself. This also was the casc with events
happening outside her home. One day, for example, she correctly
announced to Lalontaine that a client was approaching her house
and was going to order a suit of clothcs to be made by her father
who was a tailor (8, i, p. 72). Lafontaine also rclates how he was
able to keep :Marie in a somnambulistic condition during eight
days at a stretch without this abnormal state doing her any harm
(8, i, pp. 72-73). This is the last we hear about Marie. Aftcr
these Bruss els adyentures Lafontaine soon returned to Paris, where
he seems to have continued his mesmeric practices, working as a
propagandist for the wonderful all-healing magnctic fluid, producer
of paranormal phenomena.
If we can accept Lafontaine's descriptions of Marie's apparent
paranormal faculties at thcir face value, there can be little doubt
that Marie was a highly gifted psychic who could compete with the
best of our clairvoyant and psychometric mediums. So far as we
know, her paranormal perceptions remained in the domain of the
mental and comprised telepathic, clairvoyant and precognitive
impressions only. 'Ve never read about occurrcnccs of a physical
nature (psychokinesis, apports, materialization, etc. ) , so out­
standing in the reports of the later Spiritualistic mcdiums. There
is another fact to be noted about these mesmerized somnambulists
of the first half of the nineteenth century. Contrary to what
happened to the trance and other so-called mediums of the Spiritu­
alist movement starting and expanding during thc latter half of
the last century, the somnambulists hardly ever gave instances of
communications alleged to be coming hom deceased persons.
Paranormal phenomena produced by these somnambulists generally
manifested themselves as the result of the inherent faculties of those
in the somnambulistic condition, while the later trance-mediums
(somnambulism and trance may be regarded as physiologically the
12
same thing) were believed to be only the intcrmediariessupplying
the spirits of the deceased with the energy they needed to produce
paranormal phenomena. As a great many somnambulis ts devel­
oped into trance-mediums, acting as mouthpieces to the surviving
spirits of the dead directly after the tidal wave of modern Spiritual­
ism had swept over their various countries, it may be confidently
assumed that the spiritistic tendencies of the somnambulistic
utterances and manifestations were induced by suggestion, gener ated
by the spiritistic conceptions which had become widespread.
Lafontaine' s several somnambulists, "vith \vhom he toured
Europe demonstrating their paranormal faculti es and making
propaganda for the vital magnetic fluid, did not seem to have been
contaminated by the Spiritualistic infection, for we do not hear
that their manifestations ever took on the form ot' spiritistic com­
munications. It is possible that Lafontaine himself remained
immune to Spiritualistic ideas and clung to his magnetic theories
to explain the paranormal manifestations which some at least of
his somnambulists were believed to produce.
After having passed one or two years in Paris, Lafontaine
returned to his beloved Brussels in 1839, where he renewed his
friendship withJobard, who introduced him to a group of influential
mesmerists. It seems that several of these mesmerists gave public
demonstrations to make known the remarkable powers and salutary
value of the magnetic fluid. Hardly anything about these public
performances and the outstanding results obtained there is men­
tioncd in the papers and the periodicals of the time at our disposal.
Lafontaine gives high praise to a member of the above-mentioned
group, the landscape painter wI. E. who, though o[ poor
constitution, possessed enormous magnetic powers which very
much surprised Lafontaine (8, i, p. 84).
It was also in the course of this same visit to Brussels that
Lafontaine made the acquaintance of 1\rL Victor Idjiez, the founder
and editor of the mesmerist journal Le lvIagnetophile (9) to which
Lafontaine contributed some articles. It was this 1'.1. Idjicz, who
in Lafontaine's opinion was a very intelligent man, who persuaded
him to accompany him to l'.ifons and there conduct a number of
public seances. The box-office receipts of thesc publi c demon­
strations would be for the benefit of the victims of the fires that had
raged at the neighbouring villages of Horloz, Stockein, etc. Some
of the results of these Nlons sittings were described by Lafontaine
as follows, and indicated that M. Idjiez, also, was a powerful and
successful mesmerist.
13
At one seance that took pl ace ill the large hall of the town hall
of l\1ons, which the municipality had most kindly put at their
disposal, lVi . Idjiez presented an excellent somnambule to the
numerous public present. The subject was a young girl, the daugh­
ter of the military hospital 's hall-porter in the town of ~ d o n s . It
appeared that M. Idjiez had developed in this girl the faculty of
clairvoyance to such a high degree that during the sitting she was
able to perceive correctly the time marked on the watches of
various persons present. Even when the hands had been changed
at random she was able to indicate with exactness the time a certain
watch showcd. She also could read correctly the contents of two
billets, written on the spot in the course of the seance. The pieces
of paper had been doubly and triply folded so that not the least
sign of lettering could be seen, and all precautions were said to
have been taken to avoid the somnambulist from knowing in the
ordinary way what had been written (8, i, pp. 84- 85).
How far the case described above can be accepted as a clear
example of extrasensory perception cannot now be decided with
any degree oC certainty. Significant details are so scantily given
that a correct judgment in this matter is impossible. If it had been
during the performance that M. Idjiez had for the first time dis­
covered clairvoyant faculties in the girl, then he would have had
no time to train her to react to a code taught her to distinguish
between the various positions of the watches' hands. However,
any explanation on the hypothesis of a code would become un­
tenable if the mesmerist did not have any knowledge of the time
a certain watch indicatcd. The same difllculties arise in the case
of the billet-reading. Was the scrap of papcr first handed to the
mesmerist and did the latter put it in the hands of the somnambulist
or hold it against the subject's forehead? Or did the billet-writer
take the same precautions as did Lafontaine in the case above
quoted whcn he took care to keep con trol over the folded billet
while the clairvoyant read it? All such qucstions are not answered
in the descriptions we possess, so that no certainty can be reached
as to the authenticity of the extrasensory perception the subject
is alleged to have demonstrated.
One gets the impression, ho\vever, that the subject in this sitting
at .Mons met M. Idjiez for the first time at the seance, and that her
clairvoyant performances greatly impressed the audience who may
well have known the background of the girl in a small town like
l'vlons, just over a ccntury ago.
There seems to have been a lively interest among the educated
14
classes at 1/Ion5 in the phcnomcna of animal magnetism. In the
next casc the subject appeared to havc belonged to thc higher
classes of lVIons society.
Lafontaine wrote that after having been prescnt at a mesmerist's
sitting at 1
1
10ns on I July, J 839, and on her ,vay home, 1,fme
Magauden,l a young married woman of 19, fell into a somnam­
bulistic condition. In that state she could divinc all kinds of hidden
and wrapped objects put in her hands or applied to her forehead.
She could perceive the words "Idjiez" and "theIesie" penned on
a piece of paper and presented to her in the middle of two opaque
pieces of blank paper. If one held a piece of gold in one's closed
fist and approached her with the closed fist she experienced a
strong feeling of repugnance. If instead of gold it was a piece of
copper or an object made of that metal, the somnambulist's repul­
sive action was not so intense as with gold. Of all the metals, only
silver gave her an agreeable impression.
When a closed box was placed in her hands she was able to
say in a few moments that a ring of enamel with a dog's head
imprinted upon it could be found in that box. The statement was
correct. For the second time the same box was presented to the
young woman. But now she remarked that the box contained a
small ring belonging to her sister; this, too, was the correct answer.
It seemed as if she was able to see with her fingertips, for all
the time her fingers were moving about during the experiments.
Now and then she irritated hcr fingertips by scratching them with
her thumbnail. \Vhen asked why she did this, she replied that it
was done to wear out the skin of her fingers.
In the somnambulistic state she was able to perceive a word or
figures written on a piece of paper far away from her; she also
correctly indicated two portraits and a miniature locked in a box.
She could also say exactly what movements a person made who
was completely outside her normal sight. All this and several
other remarkable experiments Mme Magauden performed in the
somnambulistic condition, and every time with excellent results.
Lafontaine stated that a report of all the remarkable perform­
ances and mesmeric demonstrations given by the somnambulist
was drawn up by Mme Felix de la Motte, who was lVIme 1
l
Iagau­
den's mother and herself a distinguished writer and literary critic.
This report was entitled: "Perceiving without the use of the eyes
or of touch; perception through thick walls separating one floor
from the other. Mind reading [connaissance des pensees] ; Automatism
1 Sometimes spelt j\'lahaudcll.
IS
or 'rapport' of a physiological llatme between mesmerist and his
subject".
Being associated with the Academy of Hainaut, Mme de la
l'.'lotte read this report to the members of the Academy. After
having listened in silence to what the lecturer had to say, the
members' astonishment was extreme (10, p. 467).
Mme Felix de la Motte and her daughter, Mme 1hgauden,
were well-known and respected persons belonging to the higher
Belgian society circles. Tbe former had built up for herself an
excellent literary reputation as a poetess and plaY"\Tight, and there
can be no reasonable doubt that the phenomena occurring in l'.'lme
Magauden's somnambulistic state happened as described, and that
Mme Magauden had suddenly developed into an excellent subject
for the production of paranormal phenomena. This is, however,
the only time we hear about i\Ime lv1agauden m a highly gifted
paranormal subject. Further were not conducted
with her, probably because as a lady of the le:;ser aristocracy and
of independent means there: was no chance for the mesmerist to
associate himself with her and give public demonstrations of her
paranormal
It appears that during the period here described (1830- 1840)
M. Lafontaine and ?\-1. Idjiez were strong and successful mesmerists.
M. Idjiez (9, II, r2) was an intelligent and well-educated man,
very much interested in the phenomena of animal magneti'>m,
"spiritual" phrenology, Egyptian occultism and the like, all of
which trends of thought he tried to blend together. Although he
worked and flourished in this period, justly to be called the Belgian
golden age of mesmerism, and must have me'>merized hundreds
of people, apparently only one or two were said to become highly
gifted paranormal subjects. This fact seems to suggest that pro­
ducing the somnambulistic state by mesmeric "passes" and such
procedures common to the magnetic practices of the first half of
the nineteenth century docs not necessarily mean at the same time
that the thus mesmerized subject was more apt to produce para­
normal phenomena than persons not so treated. It seems that
during the most popular period of animal magnetism in Belgium
(and the same applied in what happened in the neighbouring
country of Holland) paranormally highly gifted subjects remained
relatively rare. Just as in the Netherlands, enormous numbers of
persons mmt have been publicIy or privately mesmerized in
Belgium during the decade following the latter country's independ­
ence. Still, though there thus existed every opportunity to show
r6
the effecti veness of the magnetic procedures and to incite the treated
subjects to produce paranormal phenomena, the paranormall y
gifted remained extremely rare. If such a subject was discovered,
this generally happened in a kind of outburst, an eruption of the
paranormal at the very first time the somnambulistic condition was
induced. There was no gradual development of the paranormal
gifts in the course of a shorter or longer series of magnetic sittings.
Such sudden surfacing of the paranormal faculties seemed to
indicate that these faculties were there all the time latently present
in that special subject, and that the passing into the trance or
somnambulistic state (brought about by \vhatever procedure) only
lifted, so to speak, the lid off Pandora's box of paranormal gifts.
Tbe mesmerists of the time were rather quickly satisfied regard­
ing the unusual, " supernatural" or paranormal character of the
phenomena their subjects were able to manifest under their mes­
meric influence. A great numLer of remarkable phenomena,
hOWe\·el', considered by them as watertight proof for the "miracu­
lous" nature of the magnetic fluid would today be classified outside
the paranormal and relegated to the field of" normal" psychology.
One of these so-called wonderful effects of the magnetic fluid
was the anaesthetizing of healthy and sane persons, simply by
making some "passes" or similar procedures. The reverse, i.e.
transferring pain from one person to another in an instant, was also
one of those remarkable feats of which the magnetic fluid was
considered capable. In those days very little was known about
the effects of suggestion, so that it is not to be wondered at that when
the painlCl--magnetizer M. E. Montius (13) succeeded in transfer­
ring a severe pain in the shoulder in one of tho:;e present in his
rooms to five other men also visiting him at the same time, this fact
made such a deep impression that ?\-1. F. Lebrun, one of the gentle­
men present at the seance, wrote an article
l
(L'}!;mancipatiol1,
4 August r 838) praising in glowing terms the wonderful effects of
the vital magnetic fluid. Of course, such a transference of pain and
other sensations from one to another, plainly by suggestion exer­
cized by a mesmerist of repute, has nothing to do with the para­
normal as now conceived. But for the investigators of mesmerism
living more than a hundred years ago such transferences of pain,
the anaesthetizing of limbs, producing the cataleptic state, etc.,
were as miraculous as purely paranormal phenomena.
As we have said, one of the first prominent men to be interested
1 "Unc Expf:riencc de Transmission de douleurs d'une personne tl
une autre."
r7
in animal magnetism in Belgium \\'a5 lVI. .Tabard, the mall who
introduced Lafontaine to the circle or under the leader­
ship of the Dutch who astonished Lafontaine wilh the
clairvoyant phenomcna of his somnambulist. _M. Jobard, too,
seems to have experienced the rare occurrence of observing the
sudden outburst of paranormal phenomena during the somnam­
bulistic state. The case J obard describes concerns a boy or 15
years whom he magnetized and who allegedly was able to produce
clairvoyant phenomena. In one of his books (10, p. 463) Du Potet
states that towards the end of 1836 Jobard was on a short visit
to Verviers (an industrial town in the east of Belgium) where he
met two engineers, lVI. Houget and NI. Teston. One evening he
magnetized 1'1. Houget's son in the presence of his parents and his
teacher. The boy very soon fell into a somnambulistic condition
and quickly started to show that he was in the possession of what
seemed to be astonishing clairvoyant gifts. Having been blind­
folded, he could read print with great rapidity and accuracy.
M. Teston, who was also present, remained incredulous, so that
he went up to the boy and pressed his fingertips to the dinner­
napkin which, folded in eight, was tied round the boy's eyes without,
however, interfering with the correct descriptions of the percipient.
A piece of wood was even held between the boy's blindfolded eyes
and the objects presented to him for description, but his perception
remained undiminished. 'Vithout any faltering he went on
correctly stating what objects were presented to him : "a woollen
sock with two needles stuck in it; a German book, from the pages
of which he read two passages; my Berquin [one of the boy' s school­
books] ". M. Teston then took out his watch and held it behind
the boy's head, and asked him: "'Vhat time is it?" "Eight 0' clock
and eight minutes", replied the boy, which was correct. Du Potet
adds that he had obtained the details of this incident from MM.
J obard and Teston themselves.!
The above case gives us one of those typical, though rare in­
stances of a supposed sudden uprush of paranormal phcnomena
when the subject is put into the somnambulistic state. Of course,
we are now not in a posi tion to be absolutely certain that the boy
did not cheat and simulate clairvoyant or telepathic phenomena.
That those at the sitting were aware of the possibilities of
fraudulent "peeping" can be noted by the behaviour of ?d. Teston,
who by pressing his fingertips to the bandage covering the boy's
eyes, or by holding a board between the object to be perceived and
1 A report was also published in the Le Courrier Beige for 8 June 1833.
18
the blindfolded eyes, tried to cut out this conscious or unconscious
peeping. He also tried to avoid the normal use of the boy's eyes
by holding his watch to be read against the boy's .occiput. Even
viewcd critically, I feel that the probability that young Houget did
manifest paranormal gifts during the experiment is pretty high,
though of course we can never be sure. This is thc more true
because the published report related events of about two years
previously and notes were not made directly after the experiments.
On the other hand, we have the t.estimony of the critically minded
Ilvi. Teston, assuring Baron du Potet that he was very much im­
pressed by what he himself had experienced during the boy's
somnambulistic state.
NI. Jobard himself seems to have been a very firm believer in
the clairvoyant powers .of mesmerized subjects. He had written
to the Brussels daily papers suggesting, in reference to the con­
troversy raging at the time in France regarding the reality of extra­
sensory perception and the possibility of inducing this by mesmeric
manipulations, that the Paris Royal Academy of l\-fedicine should
forward to the Belgian Royal Academy of Sciences at Brussels a
porcelain or metal tube, made in one solid piece, and that a certain
object be inserted in this tube, the name of whieh was known only
to the experimenters in Paris. The tube, furthermore, was to be
well packed in paper or cardboard covers and then should be put
into the hands of M. Jobard, who would return it completely
intact after having designated (presumably with the help of one
of his mesmeric subjects) what object the tube contained ( ro,
P·4
6
5)·
As far as I am aware, NI. Jobard's proposal was never adopted
and the experiment did not take place.
It \-,-as about this time (1839) that Lafontaine experienced a
case of what some parapsychologists have termcd "travelling
clairvoyance'. If the facts bc truly given, \ve have here a good
case of paranormal cognition. During his sojourn at Brussels in
18
39, Lafontaine stated, he mesmerized the sister of Mile Jawureck,
the well-known opera singer. '''hen put in the somnambulistic
condition she requested him to allow her to be scnt to l\-1ons.
'Vhen she was thus transported (in spirit) she suddenly cried out:
" 0, blood! blood!" and then went into frighful convulsions, so
that he was forced to calm her. 'Vhen she recovered somewhat,
she transferred herself again to the city of Mons, and he then under­
stood, piecing togcther words and pieces of sentences she uttered
sobbing and crying, that an officer with whom she was well
19
acquai nted had been forced into having a duel and had been severely
wounded by one of intimate friends, a brother officer in the
same rcgi ment.
The next morning thc lady ill question received a letter dis­
patched [rom Mons, informing her about the duel and begging
her to set out [or M ons as quickly as possible ( 14, pp. 149- 150;
also 15, p. 235).
It is not clear from the description whether the somnambulist
claimed to be present at the duel itself and perceived what happened
to her intimate friend at that very moment. It looks as i[ she ob­
tained a general impression of the event and the unhappy results
to her friend. However this may be, some doubt also remains as
to the clearly defincd nature of the paranormal experience. For
example, did she have some notion [rom information received in
a normal manner of what was going to happen in 1\110ns? If not,
why then did she request Lafontaine to transfcr her to 1\110ns
during the somnambulistic state? V'las this to allov" her to get
an impression of what was happening to her friend or lover? She
must have been uneasy about something going on in J\fons, other­
wise there cannot have been any sense in asking to be projected
clairvoyantly to J\Ions. \Ve cannot answer the question about the
casc's paranormal character if we do not know exactly what J\tflle
Jawureck's sister was aware of regarding this duel and the parties
involved. If she had been informed by her friend or somebody else
that there had been a quarrel and a duel had been agreed to, on
such and such a date, her anxiety [or hcr friend's welfare may well
have givcn her the impression during the somnambulistic condition
that he had been wounded, etc. \Ve cannot be sure. Perhaps
some might give hcr the benefi t of the doubt and assume that vlie
have here a case of travelling clairvoyance, the only single case of
tile kind I could find in Belgium.
As. has been said, the dccade 183°- 13/.].0 can be justly styled the
Belgian golden age of animal magnetism. During the lattcr half
of this period several daily papers (L' !ndipelldalll ; Le CouITier Belge;
L' f'mallcipatioll) published articles on the subject. Some medical
men started to treat their patients with me)1TIcrisl11, claiming that
the vital fluid had worked wonderful cures in cases believed to be
hopeless. The general public began to be seriously intcrested and
started to attcnd the public sittings 01' professional mcsmerists who
demonstrated thcir subjects in the somnambulistic statcs and
showed them capable of all kinds of uncommon performances. On
rare occasions t here would, perhaps, occur some phenomena of a
20
truly paranorm.al nature, comparable to thosc we now tcrm extra­
scnsory perception. No melltion, however, is ever 11lade of what
during lhe modern Spiritualist movement would be termed physical
phenomena . There may have been some spontaneollS cases of
physical phenomena (poltergeist phenomena, rappings, etc.) in
Belgium at the time, but no such cases wcre reported in connection
with mcsmerically induced somnambulism. As is shown in the
cases quoted above, paranormal manilCstations were of a mental
character and included all the known varieties of paranormal
cognition.
In 1836-1838 Professor H . Ahrens, who lectured on
at the Brussels University, published a book ( 16) in which a whole
chapter was devoted to animal magnetism and mental alienation.
Ahrens' point of view is that the somnambulistic state is indeed
an abnormal condition, without however being pathological.
SpontallcollS and artificially induced somnambulism may be re­
garded as a special variety of the waking statc, with only this
difference that in the somnambulistic condition the spirit (soul)
and the body are more independent one from the other, each of
the t\\·o entities returning to their own specific characteristics.
This means that the spi rit can now more easily manifest its natural
faculties, such as extrasensory perception in all its different varieties,
diagnostic knowledge and insight to cure diseases, etc. Ahrens
also accepts the existence of the astral body as a kind of intermediary
betvveen the spirit and the material body. He also points out that
tlte intuitive knowledge which the spirit manifests during the
somnambulistic ,tatc brings us directly into contact \\'ith the
reality of things. For that reason the somnambulist can supply us
only with facts and not with theories concerning the essence or
things.
ELECTRICAL AND GALVANIC THEORIES
At the bcginning of" the following dccade (1840- 1850) public
intcrest in the subject was still strong but the practical application
of the "vital fluid" [or medical purposes was on the wane. This
rej ection of mesmerism by medical men was probably due to the
disappointment felt at the inconstancy of thc mesmeric results. In
some cases it was a success and in many others it appeared to fail
completely though the malady being treated was the same. T wenty
years earlier this same process could have bcen observed in Holland.
After thc mesmeric boom in the years 1811- 1813 in the latter
country, with many prominent medical men proclaiming animal
21
magnetism as the most important discovery of all times and indeed
a panacea for all existing complaints and illnesses, a reaction set
in towards 1820 as it was found that mesmerism as a therapeutic
agency fell far short of the high expectations this kind of treatment
had evoked. This has caused thc greater part of the medical
profession in the Netherlands to regard mesmerism with suspicion
ever sincc. This same coursc of events could be noted in Belgium,
when about 1845 the popularity of mcsmerism was beginning to
fade.
Though the therapeutic use of animal magnetism was on the
wane, theoretical interest in explaining the uncommon phenomena
emerging dming the somnambulistic state was growing in philo­
sophical circles. Such an intcrest was shown by M. N. E. Tandel
(17), wbo read a paper on the subjcct which was publishcd by the
Belgian Royal Academy. His thesis was a refutation of :Maine de
Biran's thcory of two indcpendent egos in one and the same human
individual, a conception believed to be based on evidence derived
from conditions obscrved during sleep, drcams and somnambulism.
It was thought that there existed no connection bctween the ego
of the waking state and that ego emerging and manifesting itself
during sleep or the somnambulistic condition. Thc often-observed
phenomenon that the somnambulist did not remcmber anything
of what had happened during the trance or somnambulistic state
greatly strengthened and supported this dual conception. Tandel,
however, contended that there did exist an interdependency or
connection between the \yaking state and that of somnambulism.
He pointed out that the laws of association were absolutely the
same during somnambulism and waking life. In support of his
contention, Tandel mentioncd the fact that in 1828 he was present
at a sitting in the course of which the well-known Dutch mesmcrist,
P. C. van Chcrt, put the subject in a somnambulistic condition.
He ordcred the subject, a lady, once in this state, to remember
when she awoke every single thing that had happcned during her
trance as soon as he, van Chert, named the number seven. \ 'Yhcn
the subject awoke and van Chert said "seven" she at once remem­
bcrcd eyer)' event and all the conversation occurring during the
state of somnambulism. According to Tandel this proved that
there rcally exists only one ego and that the memories of the
somnambulistic ego and the waking stage ego are to be considered
fundamentally one.
In his paper Tandel did not once mention any paranormal
phenomena manifesting during the somnambulistic state. He
22
seems to be concerned only with normal psychological factors
coming to light during the mesmeric condition. " Thether he him­
self ever experienccd truly paranormal phenomena in the course
of his mesmeric studies, we cannot say.
The decade under discussion in some respects brought about
a shift towards favouring more natural explanations of the obscrved
mesmeric phenomcna. The most prominent Belgian writcr on the
subject was the pricst (later he retired from Holy Orders) the
Comte de Robiano, a man of great erudition and a polyglot of
distinction. In his book on the subject (18), running into several
editions, he tricd to defend animal magnetism against the antagon­
ism of a great many high functionaries of the Roman Catholic
Church who considered the mesmeric practices and the alleged
supernatural phenomena of somnambulism (telepathy, clairvoy­
ance, etc. ) of direct satanic origin, and therefore to be forbidden.
Robiano, however, contended that all phenomena observed in
mesmeric states were to be regarded as natural effects and that
these were simply the result of galvanic (electrical) currents active
during mesmeric manipulations. There was nothing supernatural,
divine or satanic about the much talked of magnetic fluid; it was
but another word for galvanism, and all mesmeric phenomena,
common or uncommon, were based on and could be explained in
terms of galvanism (toti et soli deJillito ) by a galvanic action (18,
p.6).
Robiano declarcd himself a staunch disciple of the French
physician Pctetin who, during the last two decades of the eighteenth
century, attempted to explain the somnambulistic and other
mcsmeric phenomena by assuming that everything was based on
electrical action influencing the nervous system (19). Robiano
also believed this to be the case and therefore he suggested that
mesmerism or animal magnetism should in futurc be named
La Ndvr1l1gie, for thc latter term drew attention to the fact that the
nerves were principally concerned in producing all the mesmeric
phenomena, which were, therefore, derived from natural (electrical)
causes and hence also purely natural. As long as these faculties
and powers '.vere applicd for the good of humanity there should be
no reason whatever to forbid people to be present at mesmeric
sittings or to seck the assistance of mesmerists and their somnam­
buIes to cure illnesses.
One of the reasons why Robiano adhcred firmly to the belief
that the vital fluid was nothing other than electrical in nature was
that the application of the so-called galvanic rings acted as well as,
23
..-.......
or even better than living mesmerists in inducing the somnam­
bll.listic condition. Robiano wrote (18, p. 23) that these galvanic
rings were imported into Belgium from Great Britain in great
quantities (presumably about 1842), and advertised as an un­
doubted panacea for every possible complaint and illness. If such
a ring was "charged" by making a few passes over it, and applied
to a subject already used to being put into a somnambulistic sleep,
it would take effect immediately. If, on the other hand, the ring
was used in the case of a person who had never been magnetized,
it would at once have the desired effect by bringing about the
somnambulistic state. According to Robiano, who experimented
with the rings, these worked more quickly and were more effecti\' e
in producing somnambulism than were well-trained mesmerists.
Other metals in certain combinations, but without needing to
be "charged" beforehand by making a few passes over them,
Robiano found to be a8 effective as the imported galvanic rings.
If the subject held in olle hand a piece of zinc, and in the other a
piece of gold, the result would be the same, for the subject would
then quickly fall into a somnambulistic trance. It was not necessary
in such cascs to have a person present who could act as a kind of
magnetic or galvanic agent since the subject, holding a certain
efficient combination of metals in his hands, would automatically
drop into the somnambulistic state. The same result could be
obtained if the subject put his feet on metal plates or sheets.
Even from a distance the metals were effective in producing
somnambulism if the metals were connected vvith the subject's
body by chains, rope, etc. The influence of the metals on the
human body was always, in Robiano's experience, instantaneous
and infallibly the same, never even for a single moment changing
in its effect or results. Robiano, who seems to have experimented
extensively with certain subjects, was absolutely convinced that his
observations in connection with the influence of metals as a causa­
tive factor in producing the mesmeric phenomena were so exact
that, in his opinion, scientific deductions could be based on them
without any serious objections. Not only could Robiano induce
somnambulism in his subjects by applying certain metal combina­
tions to their hands or feet ( 18, p. 26) but he could also promptly
awake them from the deepest somnambulistic state by holding a
piece of coal under their noses. He remarks (p. 27) that when a
piece of coal is placed on a paralyzed arm or leg, or on limbs
stiffened to a degree to make them resemble logs of wood, or 011 a
body in a complete and serious condition of catalepsy (all these
24
conditiom presumably the result of mesmeric or hypnotic manipu­
lations) thc abnormal condition will at once be eliminated and the
limbs and body of the subject will instantaneously return to normal.
Robiano further says that a piece of coal simply applied to the
subject's nostrils will promptly awaken him when in a state of
clear-cut somnambulism.
Robiano mentioned, in the coursc of his discussion, that he was
able to make himself understood by the somnambulist who was
completely isolated (not even listening to the orders of his mesmCl'­
ist) by speaking to him directly in front of the subject's solar plexus
or to his hand with the fingers held togetheL
Robiano was convinced that the wearing of copper and zinc
belts around the body could cure all kinds of complaints and ill­
nesses, such as chronic headaches or neuralgic pains. The thera­
peutic value of such metal belts was even greatcr than that of the
mesmerists who claimed to cure the various diseases by virtue of
the vital fluid.
It is clear that this metal therapy and the various and constant
reactions of Robiano's subjects encouraged and reinforced Robiano's
own preconceived belief in the validity of his galvanic or electrical
hypothesis, namely, that all mesmeric phenomena originated in
galvanic CUrl-ents influencing the nervous system. It is also clear
that suggestion of these preconceived ideas of what was to happen
during the somnambulistic state led Robiano's subjects to react
only in the way they believed would please their mesmerist. Thus
the subjects' reaction and behaviour conforming in every way with
Robiano's ideas on the matter again gave extra support to his
theories which he found confirmed in this manner.
This whole process of suggestion and counter-suggestion on
which Robiano's firm conviction regarding the galvanic origin of
the somnambulistic and mesmeric phenomena was based may be
looked upon as a beautiful example of what Ehrenwald (20) has
termed doctrinal comjJliance, that is to say mutual interplay between
experimentalist and subject, generally of an unconscious nature,
that is often encountered in the research connected with animal
magnetism, modern Spiritualism, psychical research, etc.
1
As we have already seen, Robiano had a natural explanation
for what many highly placed dignitaries of the Roman Catholic
Church in those days considered proof of a satanic influence to
1 Some of de Rochas's experiments and conclusions referring to the so-called
exteriorization of sensibility have certainly been contaminated by the above­
mentioned process.
c 25
.-.......
which the somnambulistic subjects were believed lO be subject and
which showed itself by the manifestation of alleged supernatural
phenomena such as telepathy, clairvoyance or precognition (18,
p. 93). For instance, he regarded clairvoyance as " a concentration
of the radiation existing in our vital sphere that is brought about
by the continuous intention and will-power we exert". Robiano
thus favoured what we would now term a physical explanation of
extrasensory perception.
Robiano may well be regarded as one of the pioneers of the
electro-biological conception of mesmerism, believing that most if
not all mesmeric phenomena allegedly caused by the influence of
the mysterious vital fluid could just as well be brought about by a
kind of electrical treatment. In the United States NIr.]. S. Grimes
coined the term electro-biology in 1848 to denote somnambulism
and its concomitant phenomena produced when the subject was
brought into contact with some sort of electrical apparatus.
This electro-biological system attracted much attention and
became quite the fashion in the 'sixties, when for instance in Holland
public seances were held to induce somnambulism and all the
various phenomena of animal magnetism by simply touching the
subjects with some kind of apparatus purporting to generate an
electrical current. Several of these electrical contrivances were so
poorly constructed that there was no possibility of an electrical
current being generated. Nevertheless, the effect of this apparatus
on the subjects was as great as when electrical energy was being
produced or when powerful living mesmerists were manipulating
the subjects, thus shmving the powerful effect of suggestion, a
psychological factor that was hardly recognized at the time. We
know, for instance, that about 1860 the apparatus used by the
Dutchman de Koningh (who achieved much success in evoking
somnambulism and all kinds of mesmeric phcnomena with the use
of his machine) was supposed to be of an electrical nature but was
not even able to generate a milli-ampere of electricity. His electro­
biological experiments attempting to show that animal magnetism
was nothing other than electricity so gl'eatly impressed his COIl­
temporaries that from that time the Dutch words for" to biologize"
meant the same as "to mesmerize".
The following decade ( 1850- I 860) shows but Ii ttle progress in
animal magnetic research and conceptions. Interest in scientific
circles was waning and philosophy ,vas turning away somewhat im­
patiently from the still very elusive and mysterious vital fluid which
purported to be able to produce the most wonderful phenomena.
26
In one of hi s books ('21) the Belgian philosophcr, F. Coyteux,
devotes chapter XIV to the question of animal magnetism. Coy­
teux's philosophy seems to have been very similar to Bishop George
Berkeley's, that is to say that the universe is really not conceivable
apart f!'Om mind. J\!latter and external thing" are therefore
impossible and inconceivable if they are considered to have an
existence beyond the circle of consciousness. Thus, in a sense,
Coyteux denies that the facts of mesmerism can really be proved
in a philosophkal sense and that the existence of the vital fluid
must be denied also. As he puts it (p. 421) "la matiere n'est pas".
Notwithstanding Coyteux's philosophy, it appears that he was
interested in the phenomena of animal magnetism and attended
various seances at which such phenomena as cyelcss-sight '",ere
demonstrated. Since he was well-cdueated and a highly intelligent
observer, his opinions of what he observed are well worth con­
sideration. In those cases where the somnambulist gave answers
to various questions, Coyteux came to the conclusion that the
replies were generally of too vague a character to be of any "alue;
he dismissed the theory that the incredulity of the questioner
paralyzed the magnetic power, since he preferred the more normal
explanation that this claim was simply to avoid having to answer
questions which the somnambule found embarrassing. J\loreover,
he stated (p. 427) that he had been present at somc seances in
which he suspected that the somnambule was not in the magnetic
state at all and was really wide awake, interpreting various signs
and so on which gave him a lead in replying to some of the questions
that were asked. For example, one question that Coyteux himself
asked was about his own age, to which the answer was given
"about 50", but when he persisted and asked for the day of his
birth the somnambule could not reply and Coyteux was told that
this question was too precise and beyond the powers of the subject.
It would appear f!'Om Coyteux's account that at one or more
seances eyeless-vision was demonstrated. Thus the somnambulc
played ecarte with the eyes "parfaitement bandes". This test
Coyteux thought was a failure, since there were too many mistakes
and in addition he noticed that, before playing, the subject handled
the cards in such a way that Coyteux thought that the possibility
existed that there was the faculty of discerning the cards by touch.
Not only did Coyteux think that normal processes were at work,
but even that the subject had confederates who used signs which
the subject was able to interpret, signs which had been arranged
in advance and which, when no bandages were employed and the
27
eyes apparently closed, the subject was a ble to catch now and then
at the appropriate moments. Sometimes from the way the question
was put the: subject might be able to guess what the correct answer
should be. Generally speaking, Coyleu.x came to the conclusion
that, from his own observations and what he knew about thc
subject, these professional performers werc unlikely to be genuine
and \\Oere simply trading on the simplicity of the public. It was
true, he continued, that men of good faith existed who were entirely
convinced of the reality of magnetic phenomena, but he thought
that the probability was that they had become thc dupes of the
somnambules with whom they had experimented. Summing up
his conclusions, Coyteux ended by asking, "Que de faux somnam­
buies qui sont parvenus a eapter et tramper la eonfianee de savants
tres-reeommandabIes? Que de pieges, sur ce terrain, ont ete
tendus a la bonne foi."
In the latter half of the decade being discussed, modcrn Spiritual­
ism started to draw the attention or the Belgian public to so-called
spiritistie phenomena, such as discarnate entities believed to
manifest themselves by table-tilting and certain kinds of physical
phenomena, including telekinesis. It was thought that the spirits
of the deceased made use of certain persons, called mediums, from
whom they drew a kind of magnetic power necessary for their
manifestations. There soon existed a gradual merging of mesmer­
ism and spiriti sm, somnambulists turning into spiritistie tranee­
mediullIs. Soon the impressive somnambulistic phenomena, which
up to that time had been considered the main proof of the existence
of the mysterious vital fluid, \\Oere advanced as proof of the rcality
of the discarnatc entitics and the possibility of communication
between the living and the dead. It was in those days that thc
famous medium, D. D. Home, toured the countries or Europe
demonstrating his exceptional paranorl1lal gifts and providing
propaganda for the spiritisti c hypothesis to explain his remarkable
mediumistic phenomena. Home stayed a few days at Brussels in
the spring of 1858, after having visitcd the :'\etherlands with great
success, but hi s visit to the Belgian capital \\Oas a failure as he was
rather ill at the time and not able to produce phenomena of any
importance.
During the next decade ( 1860-1870) we find the learned and
well-known medical doctor, H. van Hobbed;:, defcnding the value
of mesmerism as a therapeutic agency for several specified com­
plaints, principally those of a nervous origin. In his book (22 ) he
points out that mesmerism in Belgium was knowll by various
28
names, such a3 zoiJ-elcclricity, electro-biology, ekctrieity of thc
human body, etc. In his opinion, however, the agency active in
mcsmerism had nothing to do with physical energies, natwoal
electricity, magnetism, etc. It was solely an energetic process
formed by the concentration of will-power. The so-called magncLic
or vital fluid was concentrated and projected by intention, will
and intense desire (22, PP' 7- 8). All other applied accessory
measures and manipulations were unnecessary and of littlc or no
value. He declared hc not against the usc of mesmerism for a
treatment of choice, and affirmed that he had come across very
remarkable successcs in the case of nervous disorders in womcn.
However, hc felt that in order to make treatment a success the
patient should submit to the mesmeric therapy with his own free
will.
According to van Holsbeek, some of the rare phenomena said
to manifest in the course of mesmeric treatment are : /!.l'eless-vision;
traniference of the senses, so that the subject is able to perecive with
his solar plexus, tips of the fingers, forehead or occiput; j'rophelical
divination (prccognition); diagnosing and ploeseribing the
cure; thought-traniference between subject and mesmerist or with
anybody else 'with whom the subject finds himself en rapporl. The
somnambulisti c subject is also able to describe the charaetcr of
those presented to him. Though one gets the impression on reading
the book that van Holsbeek may have had personal experiences in
the matter of paranormal phenomena, he declares that he never
encountered such a fact in his life, though he must have had a vcry
extensive knowledge and experience of somnambulism and other
mesmeric phenomena. But on the other hand we should keep the
fact in "iew that his conceptions regarding the frontiers betwecn
the "normal" and the "paranormal" \verc somewhat different
from our modern ideas and definitions. For instance, he says (22,
p. 14) : "\Ve believe that what is termed distant vision (les vues ell
distance) is simply a case of thought-transference. That is to say
that the person who takes the somnambulist's hand ancl sends him
travelling to the consultant's home, does so himself by his own
thoughts. The somnambulist, without going to the consultant's
home, perceives that home in the thoughts and pcrceptions of thc
consultant with whom the somnambulist is in contact by touch of
hand. \Ve are of the opinion that the same thing happens in the
case of precognitions (jJropMtisations)."
Van Holsbeek here expresses, morc than twenty years before
the foundation of the London Society for Psychical Research, the
29
supremacy of the telepathic as an explanation' of the
alleged phenomena ()f' clair\"oyance and precognition, But it is
clear from the way van Holsbeck cxpresses himself on the matter
that he does not wnsider thought-transference (telepathy) a, a
specific paranormal phenomenon. One has the impression that
what he terms thought-reading is regarded by him as a rare but
natural and" normal" fact and nothing to marvel about. In the
course of his book van I-Iolsbeek makes some interesting remarks
on the behaviour of somnambulists. He writes that the somnam­
bulists, of whom many are women, are very much attached to their
mcsmerists whosc orders they execute with the greatcst docility
and precision. The somnambulists are, says van Holsbeek, very
jealous of Due another. \Vhen one somnambulist hears about the
achievemcnts of' another he is always convinced that he himself
i., bettcr as r egards hi s own pcrformances and is boastful all
the time about his own wonderful achievements (p. 15).
It is a rather curious fact that (22, p. 18) in surgical operations
he has more trust in mesmeric anaesthesia than in that induced by
the newly discovered, but in those days still dangcrous, chloroform.
There is little doubt that he saw many operations being performed
under what is now knovvn as hypnosis, which suggests that opera­
tions under hypnosis were far more frequent in those days (1840­
1860) than we now realize.
In the next decade (1870- 1880) scientific and medical interest
in animal magnetism and its concomitant theories was generally
at a low ebb. The mesmeric demonstrations were no longer
attended by the highly educated classes but were no\1' given in
market squares, fairs and dubious shows where they catered for
the attention of the lower and uneducated classes who were still
impressed by mesmeric and somnambulistic phenomena. Mes­
merists and magnetizers were still trying to win the favour of all
those possible clients whose complaints and illncsses appeared to
be incurable by the medical profession. By writing pamphlets and
booklets and advertising their therapy by means of the vital fluid,
these men attempted to draw the interest of the public (23, 24).
In 1875 a book was published in fortnightly instalments by a
writer under the name of Dr. Conrad (36) . This volume can be
regarded as a kind of popular manual on mesmerism, the author
himself being all enthusiastic supporter of the vital fluid hypothesis.
He regarded the magnetic fluid as the pivot upon which all creation
turned and the only single remedy for the complaints and maladies
of mankind (36, pp. 1- 2), In his book he gave a general review
3
0
of the history of mesmerisnl, together with an cxtensive record oj"
all the important mesmeric phenomena, gathering and qlloting
most of his material from French sources. Although he expresses
his own belief in all the bigher phenomena, he does not mention
a single example of a personal experiencc of such phenomena. He
stated (36, p. 40) that there was no doubt that genuine clairvoyant
somnambulists existed, but at the same time expressed his belief
that excellent subjects of this sort were extremely rare, even going
so far as to add that out of every 10,000 subjects there was, perhaps,
only one thus highly gifted. He then went on to say that at the
time of writing the people of Brussels were acquainted with one
whose clairvoyant powers (luciditi) caused greater astonishment
every day, but unfortunately he never describcd what the pheno­
mena wcre nor in what circumstances the clairvoyant faculties
were observed and tested.
Conrad was one of those who appears to have been impressed
by a possible relation between ecstacy and magnetic somnambu­
lism. It is in this connection that he regarded the famous stigmatic,
Louise Lateau, as a religious somnambulist and he believed that
her stigmata and ecstacies were to be easily explained by the
influence of animal magnetism (36, p. 50).
Dea!ing with thought-transmission (penetratioll de fa jJeI!see)
Conrad maintained that a number of religious ecstatics and som­
nambulists had been able to read the thoughts of those present by
means apart altogether from the ordinary channels ofsense. Indeed,
he stated (3
6
, p. 63) that he had personally met one or two som­
nambules who were gifted with this faculty and which he had
himself actually seen at work. But unfortunately he does not
describe what exactly it was that he saw and what precisely were
the phenomena which were being exhibited and the reasons why
at the time he believed the thought-transmission to be paranormal.
The greater part of Conrad's book is devoted to a description
of the curative powers of animal magnetism and therefore doc, not
concern us here. There seems, however, no reasonable doubt that
the author connected animal magnctism with alleged electric
properties in the human body which he describes in one place as
"the incomparable human electric machine". Apart, however,
from these considerations, it seems to be clear that Conrad regarded
the higher phenomena as not solely dependent on mesmeric
but as able to manifest themselves in all kinds of different
circumstances dependent on various statcs and conditions prevailing
at the time.
3
1
Hypnotism, the mature and far more scientifically orientated
development of animal magnetism, had not yet attracted the full
attention of medical scicnce and psychiatry and thc theory of the
vital fluid was still held by successful mesmcrists who with their
female somnambulists travelled through Europc, demonstrating
the power of the human will, as it was believed, in manifesting
extraordinary powers. One of thesc mesmerists with an inter­
national reputation, demonstrating his somnambulist's remarkable
faculties in many countrics, was the Belgian-born performer calling
himself DOllato ,,·ho in the decade here under discussion lived in
Paris .
Donato' s somnambulist, :Mlle Lucille, was ablc to demonstrate
all the usual somnambulistic phenomena that in those days wel-e
still regarded as practically impossible in the waking state and
outside magnetic inlluence. As examples of the marvellous and
unique working of the magnetic fluid, Donato, by making a few
passes over his subject, induced cataleptic conditions, or insensi­
bility of the various limbs. He showed that his hand attracted the
somnambuli st as if it were a magnet, while the hands of other people
repulsed her. It was claimed that during the induced cataleptic
state she did not react to an electric current passing through her
body for ten minutes. However, the strength of the current is
nowhere mentioned. On I I November 1877, Lucill e had the
misfortune while in the somnambulistic statc to fall off thc high
bridge connecting the stage with the auditorium, hurting herself
badly by falling on the zinc screen behind the conductor's stand.
Though she had lacerated her arm she did not give the least sign
of feeling pain till Donato awoke her from her magnetic sleep.
\Yhen the doctor had to sew up the gaping wound he requested
Donato to put Lucille again into the somnambulistic slcep, so
that the arm could be trcated in the completc insensibility of the
patient.
l
A. 1\. Aksakov, the Russian savant and Editor of PS)'chische
Studien believed that tel epathic communication between Donato
and Lucille could be established. In order to tes t such possible
thought-transference between them he conducted a series of experi­
ments on 17 November 1878 in Germany. Aksakov had taken
with him six cards on each of which he had indicated in writing
what he wished to have performed by the subject. After the subject
had been put into a magnetic sleep, Aksakov gave Donato a card,
asking him to order Lucille, only by looking at her, without saying
1 PS)'chische Studien, 18i9, pp. 102-106.
3
2
a \\'ord or making a single movement, La execute the various move­
ments and exercises Aksakov had \\Titten on each card. These
si.'( movements were the foll owing: ( I ) strctching forward the left
arm; (2) raising the right arm to a perpcndicular position above
the head; (3) pl acing both hands on top of the head; (4) folding
thc hands in praycr ; (5) making a knot in a handkcrchief, and
(6) touching the left ear with her l-ight hand.
Aksakov stood next to Donato, while Lucille in a profound
somnambulistic sleep sat in an armchair near the window in the
front part of the room. Donato read what was written on the first
card, stared at Lucille, and in a very short time Lucille's left hand
started to move away from her body and finall y was strctehed
straight in front of her. The arm remained rigidl y st retchcd out
until Donato gave the order to rel ax, when the ann retur ned to its
natural and comfortable position. After the first experiment
Aksakov had the subject' s head covered over by a handkerchief.
In the coursc of the third experiment Donato stood behind Lucille
but this experiment failed. Aksakov now took up a position next
to Donato who \\'as still standing behind the somnambulist . He
requested Donato to concentrate his will-power on a certain part
of Lucille's occiput that he indicated with one of his fingers. As
hi s finger approached the subject 's occiput her head started to
incline more and more forward (presumabl y showing a kind of
repulsion effect in conncction with a hand being not that of her
mesmerist ). During the fifth experiment Donato again stood behind
Lucille and stretched out his hand above her hcad but not touching
her. Hereupon the subject got up from hcr chair and following
Donato's hand walked over to the table on which Aksakov's hand­
kerchief was lying. Slowly she reached out her hand and pulled
a corner of the handkerchief towards her and tied it into a knot.
At the bcginning of the sixth experiment Donato stood in front
of the somnambulist about two or three paccs away from her and
stared at her steadily and in completc silence. \Vithin a short
time Lucille' s hand went upwards until it reachcd her chest and
then up it went still higher until finally it came up to t he same
height as her car which she thcn touched with her fingers.
Aksakov mentions the fact that during the experiments complete
silence reigned and that Donato did not try to give the slightest
sign. Donato is said to have remained absolutely immobile.
According to Aksakov these experiments gave him the personal
conviction, leaving not the slightest doubt, that extrasensory
perception was the only explanation for what he had seen happening
33
.-........
during these Donato experiments. Lucille's eyes had remained
closed all the time, \dlile during some or' the experiments the
mesmerist had stood behind his subject.
I am not at all sure whether Aksakov' s experiments (there were
only SLX of them) with Donato acting a$ an agent may be con­
sidered as any evidence for the existence of paranormal cognition.
The fact that Donato was always only onc or t\\'o paces away from
the subject and together with her in the same room in many ways
invalidates the results claimed to have been obtained. Such an
experimental set-up as conducted by Aksakov would certainly not
be accepted as valid in an evidential sense in modern times. It is
also hardly possible for a single observer to keep a watchful eye
on the subject as well as on tile agent during every single moment
of the experiment. The hyperacuity of the somnambulist' s senses
may have made it possible for thc agent to have whi spered in a
very low voice some indications as to what the subject was expected
to do, unheard by Aksakov.
I t seems that during mesmeri c demonstrations in theatres,
etc., Donato generally limited himself to the impressive though
uncommon phenomena of a "nol'mal" nature whi ch somnambu­
lists are able to show in this condition, such as rigidity of the limbs,
cataleptic conditions and hallucinatory impressions. PertI' (25,
p. 102) writes that he was prcsent at one of Donato's public demon­
strations, with Lucille as the subject, at Bern (Switzerland) on
4 l\O\'ember 1880. There were no telepathic or similar mani­
festations, but one of the things that impressed Perty was the great
muscular strength Lucille developcd during her somnambulistic
trance. This gave him the conviction that Donato's methods were
based on hypnotic rather than on m2..gnetic influence. The som­
nambulist was 110t put to sleep by letting her stare into a crystal
ball but simply by Donato staring at her, the same mesmeric
method being used by that other internationally knowi1 mesmerist,
Regazzoni. Perty also believcd that the grcat muscular strength
shown by Lucille during her mcsmeric trance could hardly have
been produced by animal magnetism but should be regarded as
of a typical hypnotic nature. The same applied, he thought, to
the blind obedience Lucille sho\\'ed to Donato.
According to Leon Tetard, quoted by Del boeuf (26, p. 19),
Donato himself stated that he did 110t believe in thought-trans­
mission or mental suggestion and stressed the role of suggesti on
in the magnetic state. Indeed, in 1880 he \\Tote of himself that
"je n'ai cru posscder un don surnaturel, mais seulement un dOll
34
nail/ret, qui me snfTit amplement" (26, p. II ?,). There seems no
reason to doubt that Donato was simply an adroit slLDwman whose
feals naturally baffled many credulous persons such as Aksakov.
DEL130EUF ;\:-ID HIS FOLLO\VERS
From 1880 till the end of the century there \va, little interest
m Belgium in animal magnetism and theories of the vital fluid.
I t seems tha t Ii'om now on Belgian scientists and phil030phers
enthusiastically joined the French medical doctors and psychiatrists
in the exploration of the quickly expanding field of research in
hypnosis and its phenomena. It was soon found, as Braid had
demonstrated some thirty years before, that the phenomena of
hypnoti:an and of magnetism were practicu.lly identical , and,
having bccome convinced of the important role that suggestion (in
all its various kinds) plays in thc production of hypnotic phenomena,
researchers quickly came to the conclusion that the conception
of a mysterious magnetic fluid as a causative factor was unnecessary.
Just as in physics the hypothetical workl became unnecessary to
explain certain facts in nature, so the scientific development cf
hypnosis research had no longel' any usc for the animal magnetic
fluid.
Compal-ed 'with what happened in France (Charcot and his
disciples) only very few Belgians made a memorable contribution
to hypnotic research. Hypnotic investigations scemed to have been
a speciality of French enquirers, at least during the 1880- 18go
decade. One of the best known Belgian investigators was Professor
J. R. L. Delboeuf (1831- 1896), a man of great erudition, as well
versed in mathematics as in classical and modern letters. In
contrast to the majority of his French and Belgian colleagues
studying hypnotic phenomena, Delboeuf held no medical qualifica­
tions. His interest in mesmerism seemed to have been mainly in
its presumcd therapeutic value in curing a variety of ailments and
eliminating pain, and also in the far-reaching psychological im­
plications 0[' the demonstration of the influence of the mind on
bodily processes. Probably because he was not a qualified medical
man himself, he was also very active in defending the rights of
mesmerists to give public demonstrations of the faculti es and
powers of their somnambulists, thereby showing the lay public the
power of the vital fluid (or rather suggestion as Delbocuf himself
would have termed it ) to strengthen or alter personality traits and
moral and intellectual faculties. His rather emotional defence of
35
~
lllesmerisLS and laymen practising h)fpnosis [or therapeutic purposes
occurred at a tim\! when the Belgian Governmcnt engaged in
getting a law accepted by parliament to prohibit hypnotizing by
the lay public, privately or publicly, and to permit it to bc used
only by those persons who had passed the nccessary examinations
in medicine. T his situation exposed Dclboellf to a number of
rather violent attacks by the medical profession. His attitude in
this matteI' largely dctermined by hi s concerning the
rcaction of the mesmerized pel'son to the suggestions imposed on
him. Many experiments with his subjects had convinced Delboeuf
that one could not induce a hypnotized person, even by repeated
suggestions or orders, to do things against his moral convictions.
This was in contrast to the opinion of most imTstigators of hypnosis
in those days who declared that a mesmcrized person should be
rcgardeu as an automaton, absolutely at the mercy ofthc hypnotizer,
as passive as a walking-stick in the hand; of it, owner. The lVfin­
ister of Justice, M. J. Le Jeune, dcclared himself an adherent of
this "walking stick" hypothesis when he defended the passing of
a law prohibiting laymen from practising hypnosi.s. He stated that
"it was absolutcly true th'). t a mesmerht could induce his magnet­
ized subject to pcrpetrate the mmt awful criminal acts" (28,
p. 550). 1
Delboeuf seems to have possessed considerable mesmeric
powers and claims to ba\"c cured all kinds of ailments and illnesses,
especially those that v. e now know to be or a nervous nature. He
also had the luck to come across a Iew excellent subjects, among
them two girls, with whom lie (ovid experiment as much
as he iiked and who lent themselves even to be burned or wounded
with pins, without complaining. Delboeuf's cxperiments with
symmetrical burns which he COli Icl , purely by suggestion, either
bring into a state of inflammation or heal quickly and smoothly,
are well known.
Although Delboeuf had every opportunity to work with a great
number of sensitivcs and somnam b uli:;ts of both sexes in the course
of many year.; and \I'as abic to observe many kinds of remarkable
hypnotic phenomena, it is important to note that he never seems
to havc become satisfied that the higher phenomcna o[ mesmerism,
often reported in literatt:.re, \\'ere facts in natur(:.
On a number of occasions he stated that in regard to certain
tests, such as those dealing with lost objects and the cffect of sub­
1 This was the law of j\-1arch l()g2 (J\Jon/l. du 4 juin 1892) . Sec Pasillomi2
1892, 256, Pl'. 23 [ IT.
3
6
,tanee-; in closed phiah, lIe was never able to satisfy himself that
there was anything paranormal in the results observed (cL R elIne
de Beigique, November 1886) . In a paper (27), be mentions a
case which seems almost certainly to have been that oC the french
somnambulist Leonie who, it will bc r emembcrcd, was investigated
by Janet, R.icbet and an English delcgation led by F. W . H. Myers
in the spring of 1886. He stated that he found great dilTiculty in
accepting the theory of mental suggestion at a distance and had to
admit that he suspected that coincidences, auto-suggestions and
"des complaisances dans l'observation" played their part in the
rcsults. Nevertheless, from what he himself stated, it is clcar that
he did not wish to go on record as denying that such phenomena
evcr took place; rather, he preferred to adopt an attitude of sus­
pended judgment, since he himself had never been able to obscrve
such phenomena under control eonditiom which were dictated by
himself in his own milieu. This is especially intercsting, since it is
clear that in spite of his friendship and association with F. 'N, H.
he was unable to bring himself to believe in the results of
the experiments in thought-transmission carried 011 by the leaders
of thc Society for Psychical Research.
Delboeuf seemcd to have bcen very unlucky with his experi­
ments \\'ith subjects said to have been paranormally gifted. \Vhen
visiting Nancy and the representatives of thc Nancy school (Lic­
beault, Licgeois, Bernheim, etc. ), in 1889, Delboeufwas introduced
to a young girl of 17 'sho according to Liebeault and his coll eagues
possessed great paranormal gifts when in the somnambulistic sta te.
D elbocuf then goes on to say that he was suffering from a
cataract of the right eye. the subject had been put to slcep
Dclboeuf consulted her on the lollowing matter: "I am sllffering
li'om an ailment that is not painful. Though it i, of a rather serious
natur(;, I am not worrying myself about it. Can you tell me what
it is?" );"0 answer. "I already lCarcd that you would not be able
to give me a correct answer. It is too difficult. But I will now
help you by giving you some indications. It is my eye that Ius
been troubling me. 'Vhich eye is it ?" "The left eye." To
those prescnt he made a sign of denial. At that moment M .
Liebeault intervcned and said to the somnambulist: 'The left
eye? '\'hat do you mean? The gentleman's left eyc, or the eye
on your left?" "The one that is on my left." "You mean to
say, tbe gentleman's right eye?" " Yes, naturally." "'Veil,
then," Delboeuf continued, "what is the matter with my right
eye?" "You are far-sighted and cannot sce from near-by. You
37
are quickly tired when working. KolI' and then yow' eyelids stick
together ... occasioning greal discomfort to you. "
After having heard that Delboeuf's eye did not pain llirn in
any way, Liebeault rcmarkcd that this painlcss condition was
probably the reason that thc somnambulist could not get correct
impressions (29, pp. 45- 46).
Delboeuf's opinion concerning the reality of cxtrasensory pel'­
ception was shared by another Belgian prominent in hypnotic
research. This was Dr. ]. Crocq (fils ) who was the first to give
clinical lessons in hypnosis and its phenomcna in a Brussels hospital
and who also contributed towards introducing hypnosis in the
curriculum of medical sciences at the Belgian universities. On
several points he differed in opinion from Dclboeuf, but he had
never come across a case of mental suggcstion or cxtragensory
perception so well authcnticated that it could convince him of the
reality of paranormal cognition.
In his book on hypnotism and crime, published in 1894, he
writes: ") conducted a grcat number of experiments with subjects
who were either in the waking state or put into a somnambulistic
sleep. I made them divine the symbols of playing cards or some
object I held in my cl osed hand. I have tried to transfer to the
subject by mental suggestion, instructions, certain names, hallu­
cinations, etc., but I never had better resul ts than IvL Gilles de La
Tourette who repeated thc clairvoyance playing cards cxperimcnts
conducted by C. Richct and who never obtaincd any other results
than those of the level of mean chance expectation. I am there/ore
fmced to deny the existcnce of mental suggc:;tion" (30, p. 126).
Crocq also seems to have visited several clairvoyant, claiming
to divine all sorts of things about a person unknown to them. In
the above-mentioned book (30, pp. 128-1 30) he gives us a very
amusing story about one of his visits to a Bnmcb clairvoyant when
he was pumped by the clairvoyant's accomplices in order to supply
this "divining" lady with personal data about h.imself. \,yhcn hc
accused them of fraudulent practice.> trouble ensued and Crocq
was thrown out of the house.
In his textbook on hypnotism, in which hc revicwed the whole
field of hypnotic researches and theories as it was known at the end
of the last century, he kept to his opinioil. that there was no such
thing as extrasensory pcrception. Though he kept an open mi11d
regarding the whole field of parapsychology as it was thcn devclop­
ing (ESP investigation in France and England, the remarkable
mediumistic phenomena of a physical naturc of Eusapia Palladino,
3
8
ctc. ) there was nothing, hc wrote, that could convince him of the
existence of paranormal cognition. "I have been present," he
writes, "at a gr eat number of public performances where it was
claimcu that mental suggestion would be demonstrated. I havc,
however, in cvcry instance discovered the trick, often only per­
ceivable with the greatest difficulty, that guided the somnambulist.
These somnaml.mlists were by employing a kind of agreed
upon alphabet" (30 , p. 439).
A little further on he goes on to say: "Hence, I have come to
the conclusion that I ,,-ill not categorically deny the existence of
mental suggestion but that I do grcatly doubt that it really exists
for nothing of an exact nature proves its reality" (30, p. 440).
Crocq shows the same scepticism towards the c1aims of Col. de
Roehas to have proved the existence of what the latter terms
"extcriorization of sensibility" and consequently thc reality of the
vital magnctic fluid so dear to the mesmerists of the first half of
the ninetecnth century. From the start Crocq doubted that the
explanation submitted by Rochas of what he had observed during
his experiments with some of his \vas the correct
one; in criticizing Rochas's claims he coined the term pseHdo­
exteriorization to denote that there was no question of a real exterior­
ization of the sensibility but that such phenomena could easily be
attributed to suggestion and unconscious training of the somnam­
bulists with whom Rochas ....I'orked for years (31, pp. 312- 313).
Therefore what Rochas regarded as indications of thc existence and
manikstation of the fluidic and supernatural efRuence (considered
by the mesmerists to be the causc of all kinds of remarkable mag­
netic phenomena) wcre quite without foundation.
It is Crocq's merit to have bcen the first to direct a questionnaire
to a grcat many prominent investigators of hypnotic phcnomena
not only in Europe but also in the United States. No seientiJic
value can be attached to such a collection of opinions, howcver
prominent the men may have been who expressed them, but it does
show that on many interesting points in connection with hypnotic
research and theories therc existed a wide divergence of opinion
about the true significance of certain observed phenomena occurring
during hypnosis and somnambulism. There is little point, after
more than half a century, in trying to unravel this complicated
tangled skcin of fal se and correct observations, wishful thinking
and unsatisfactory experimental conditions which formed the basis
of certain claims. In retrospect, however, it can be said that of
all the various phenomena in discussion during the 'nineties, such
39
as the transfert by applying magnets, the influence of va rious metals
on the behaviour of the hypnotizcc.l subjects, the influence of drugs
from a distance, Baraduc's polarization theory of the vital fluid,
etc., only one survives up to modern timcs. That phenomenon,
alrcady di'icusscd in Crocq's ccnsus of hypnoti sm, is extra'iensory
perception. Certainly, even today its exi,tence i" denied by some
and affirmed by others, and its reality is still an open question,
but it is constantly debatcd with acrimony and it shows no signs
of being banished to the limbo of discarded theories, hypotheses
and phenomena.
In connection with the theme of this present work, mesmeric
and hypnotic procedures and paranormal phenomena, it seems to
me to be a quite significant fact that Delboeuf's and Crocq's
experience points to the conclusion that paranormal phenomena
are very rarely produced by mesmeric manipulations alone. Here
we have two men, each outstanding in his own department, medical
and non-medical, who in the course of many years must have
observed hundreds of cases of hypnotically induced somnambulism
and similar conditions, declaring that they had never come across
a case of paranormal cognition or one indicating a paranormal
physical influence. Delboeuf mentions having been present at
several public demonstrations of mesmerism at Li ege where such
famous mesmerists as Donato, Hansen and Leon showed their
remarkable influence on their somnambulists and subjects recruited
from the public. But these demonstratiom did not impress Delboeuf
in any way as showing traces of paranormally induced behaviour
or extrasensory perception.
If we raise the question why Delboeuf and Crocq during their
long series of experiments with hypnotized subjects (Delbocuf
adopted the procedure of the old mesmerists, making passes and
such manipulations to induce magnetic sleep or somnolence in his
subjects, while Crocq made use of the more modern mcthods of
hypnotism) never came in contact with an authentic case of para­
normal phenomena, we can only advance our personal opinion
and suggest that they were either very unlucky in not finding a gifted
subject among the hundreds with whom they worked or that they
were mentally so averse from the idea of the existence of extra­
sensory perception (clairvoyance, telepathy, etc.) that thcy un­
consciously inhibited paranormal phenomena in their subjects.
There is a good deal of resemblance bet'vveen establishing the
existence of the phenomenon of causing blisters and other organic
changes by simple suggestion and establishing paranormal phcno­
4
0
mena. Both types of phenomena seem to have been rare and
dependent on the constitution of the subject and perhaps also on
the mental aptitude of the experiment er. Dclboeuf could not
produce such physical changes among his own subjects, though
some with whom he worked during several years wcre highly
suggestible. The only time he saw the production of blisters by
suggestion was during his visit to the Salpetriere when under quite
good conditions he could follow the development of the blister after
Charcot had suggested to the subject that a piece of burning \vax
had dropped on to a certain spot on her wrist. Though the wrist
had been bandaged and glycerine applied to the spot indicated
after a short interval blisters began to show themselves. By the
next day the blister had become so enlarged that it was 1 inch long
and l inch broad (2 7, pp. 136- 137). Incidentally it was Delboeuf
who, then just starting his studies of animal magnetism, 'was the
first to suggest that the stigmatization of the famous Belgian Louise
Lateau was due to the action of the imagination on the body and
that the stigmata were the product of auto-suggestion. Although
the great Virchow, in discussing the case of Louise Lateau in 1876
had cried out: "it is ei ther a fraud or a miracle", the young pro­
fessor Delboeuf, known to but a few of his colleagues, had given it
as his opinion in 1869 (Journal de Liege, 22 December 1869) that
such stigmata should not be considered as a miraculous event but
as natural processes of mind influencing the body.
Crocq, on the other hand, never had the opportunity of ob­
serving a single case of vesiculation by suggestion. Although he
was aware that some of his colleagues were lucky enough to produce
such blistering effects by suggesting to the subject that he \vas
being burned on a certain spot on his body or that a vesicatory
had been applied to a certain place, Crocq, without denying the
possibility of such bodil y effects by pure suggestion, Lelieved this a
very rare phenomenon, the production of which only succeeded
with hysterical persons. In this connection he also remarked that
Louise Lateau's stigmata, certainly to be regarded as authentic
and not the result of fraudulent practices, should be explained as
the result of auto-suggestion and that their production was only
made possible by Louise's pathological, hysterical constitution (31,
pp. 436-437) .
It is rather remarkable that the two Belgian leaders in hypnotic
research during the last two decades of the nineteenth century both
declared that they did not come across one single paranormal
phenomenon, notwithstanding the fact that they experimented on
D 41
a large scale with hundreds or subjects. De1boeuf lived with an
excellent subject in his house for several years and had cvery oppor­
tunity to observe her girts, if any, of a paranormal nature. He
could induce any kind of insensibility in this subject (her first
parturition happened undcr hypnosis without her feeling the least
pain) and she obeyed any post-hypnotic suggestion, but she never
gave him one instance of having had a paranormal impression.
On the other hand we have the case of the female subject of
11. A. Denis, a businessman living at Verviers, who is said to have
had frequent paranormal impressions in relation to events occurring
to himself, to whom she seems to have been much attached. These
paranormal impressions did not occur during experiments especially
conducted to find out whether extrasensory perception existed, but
were more or less of a spontaneous nature. 1-1. Denis published
his experiences with this subject in an article (32) pointing out that
a good deal had to be taken for granted in this matter and depended
on his own trustworthiness. Still, he described some interesting
cases which seem to be well supported. 1-1. Denis apparently
treated his subject in accordance with the old mesmeric precepts,
basing himself on the concept of the vital fluid.
In the first case mentioned he remarks that on 13 May
18
93
he visited Col. de Rochas in Paris and was present at some experi­
ments conducted with Rochas's subject, NIlle Lux, with a view to
demonstrating the reality of the exteriorization of sensibility and
that of the astral, the fluidic body. After his return to Verviers, he
decided to start experiments with his own subject, Mlle Aloud, in
order to see if he could obtain with her the same results as Rochas
had had. On 29 May he entered his subject's house (she lived
about a quarter of a mile away from his own residence) and found
her in bed and asleep. He was told that she had been indisposed
for some time. :M. Denis put himself at once in magnetic contact
with her and ordered her to describe her ailment and prescribe
medicines and a regime to cure herself. This she did.
"Suddenly she told me," 1r1. Denis writes, "as if in a dream:
'\rVhen you were in Paris, you stared with gr.eat curiosity at a
woman'. Very much surprised, I asked her to explain herself
more fully. 'You looked at a woman who was singing trills.'
'\rVhere did this happen?' 'In a large hall where there were quite a
lot of people. You used all kinds of glasses in examining this person.' "
"This is what happened. In the evening of 13 NIay, one of my
relations and myself decided to visit Eldorado'! At a certain
[1 A music hall.]
42
moment a lady appeared on the stage, named MUe Polaire, a
singer in whom I believed to recognize the subject of Col. de Rochas,
despite the fact that the thiel. layer of powder and rouge had
changed the expression on her face. I examined her from a distance
with great care but could not satisfy myself that she really was
identical with the subject of Rochas.... The detail about" using
all kinds of glasses in examining this person" is very typical, for
not trusting to my own spectacles which I deemed insufficient for
my purpose, I made use of those belonging to my relation who
accompanied me, hoping in this way to see more clearly if Mlle
Polaire ,vas or was not Rochas's subject.
'" Did the singer sec me among the spectators?' I asked her.
'No.' '\rVhat more did you observe?' 'That you were accom­
panied by a person you esteem highly.'
"Continuing the conversation I asked her: 'Did you s.ee me
somewhere else in Paris?' 'Yes, in a long street; you were walking
very fast, nearly running.' 'Can't you remember some details of
that street, so that I could recognize it?' 'No, that strcet wasn't
fine looking, but neither was it ugly.'
"I presume that the street she was talking about must have
been the Rue de l'Universite. I walked right down it from the
Boulevard St. Germain to the Rue Jacob. The street seemed
endless to me, as I was very much in a hurry at the time. By now
very much interested, I went on questioning my subject. 'Did you
see me somewhere else? ' 'Yes, you were together wi th a gentleman
who was making a great many movements in front of a woman.
He held an object in his hands, the influence of which upon the
woman was visible.'
" I t was certainly Col. de Rochas and the piece of wax in which
he had dissolved the effluences of his projected subject [sujet exter­
ioriseJ. 'On which story did we find ourselves?' 'You weren't
on a story.' This is quite true, since the experiments were con­
ducted on the ground floor" (32, pp. 1- 3).
M. Denis now recalled his subject to the waking state and
ordered her during the somnambulistic condition to note down in
writing all the impressions she was going to receive in future.
Another case related by M. Denis is the following (32, pp. 8 ff.).
"On 27 or 28 September I was sojourning in Paris, and there
I cut my finger while lifting up a chest. \rVhen I returned to Ver­
viers a week later, my subject in the somnambulistic state told me
that she had seen me on that occasion. I reprimanded her for not
noting down her impressions, and I then and there handed her a
43
pen to rectify immediately \dmt she had forgotten. The (allowing
dialogue ensued: 'Sir, I saw you in Paris; you had hurt yourself
and were bleeding prolllsely. You \\ CIT ill a uael state. ' 'Did I
hurt myself so badly?' '0, certainly!' ' \ \l hich finger \\ as hurt?'
'It was bet\-,'een the first and sccond phalange of the left hand.'
'What is the name of this finger ?' 'The index.' (All these details
are correct.) 'Continue,' I said. 'You were busy taking meaSUl'e­
ments in a small room.' 'Did I hurt myself while taking measure­
ments? ' '1\0, it was after you had taken the measurements, but
you also took measurements after the accident.' 'Do you rcmember
the date?' 'No, no!' 'During which part of the day did I take
the first measurements?' 'In the morning.' 'And when did I
hurt my finger?' 'During the afternoon.' 'Did you see who was
with me?' Here I was thinking of my daughter who twice ban­
daged my finger, as the blood was running profusely. 'No, but
I did see a man who put something on your finger.'
"Somewhat surprised that my subject did not mention my
daughter who had twice bandaged my finger and not remembering
that somebody else had attended to my finger, I again put the
question: 'Are you sure that it was a man?' 'Yes,' she answered.
"I then remembered that one or two hours after I wounded
my finger (I dined during that interval) I went to a chemist's
shop where the man had covered the finger with collodion in
order to prevent the wound getting infected,
"Although my subject had not noted down her impressions at
the time, I am convinced that she did have them at the time I cut
my finger, so proving their paranormal nature. The reason for
my conviction is that at the very moment the subject had perceived
my blood running profusely she started packing her portmanteaux.
vVhen she awoke from her somnambulistic sleep she found- without
knowing what had happened and what had made her pack her
bags-her valises fully packed and the cupboards in great disorder.
Astonished at what had happened, she told her neighbour, Mme
C. G. about it, that is to say before I returned to Verviers. It is
possible that when in the somnambulistic state she had perceived
me wounded, the idea forced itself upon her to depart directly for
Paris to help and nurse me."
:M. Denis obtained a written statement from Mme C. G.
attesting that before his return to Verviers, !v1lle Aloud, the subject,
had told her that to the subject's great astonishment the latter had
found her bags fully packed and her apartment turned into utter
confusion (32, p. 10).
44
In his article 1\1. Denis quotes several othcr cases of alleged
telepathic contact betweell his and himself, all oC
which he him'i.df considered or a paranormal nature.
During the last decade of the nineteenth century, two Belgian
writers published books in which they reviewed the various prob­
lems connected with hypnosis and mental suggestion. T he first
of these was Albert Bonjean, a man of legal training, who experi­
mented with a number of excellent hypnotic subjects and able
to induce in them all the ordinary phenomena of mesmerism such
as positive and negative hallucinations and even cases of elementary
stigmata coupled with bleeding on certain patches of the skin (33,
pp. 100 ff. ). from his account it would appear that he endeavoured
to obtain mental suggestion vvith many oj' the subjects witlI \\Ihom
he worked, but was never able to obtain results which leel him to
believe in its reality (33, p. 274)·
Although Bonjean was clearly impressed by Ochorowicz's
book
l
on mental suggestion, he remained highly sceptical and stated
that at the moment of writing he had very little belief in the reality
of mental suggestion and felt inclined to admit that many experi­
ments which had been conducted to prove its existence were not
completely water-tight. H e went on to say that in addition his
own scepticism was based on the many experiments he had con­
ducted with his own subjects during several months, all of which
tests were either completely negative or had given results of a very
doubtful nature (33, p. 274). Unfortunately hc docs not describe
the kind of experiments he conducted, but stated that he never
lost heart and continued the work with the same enthusiasm as
when he started.
It is possible that his disbelief in mental suggestion was stimu­
lated by his experiences with the female somnambulist, Lully, and
her mesmerist, who claimed apparently that his subject was a
highly gifted clairvoyant and was able to demonstrate thought­
transmission (pp. 261 ff. ). Bonjean believed that he had dis­
covered the trick by which the somnambulist and her manager
communicated with each other. Contrary to the performances
by Pickman and Zamora, Lully's mesmerist had to know first what
his subject had to divine and such a procedure is, of course, very
suspicious and suggests that somehow there must be a sensory
contact between the two. On the other hand, Lully's performances
had made a great impression and certain French investigators like
1 De La suggestion Paris, 1887. The second edition or this work was
published in 1889.
45
Grasset and Sa.baticr of the University of l\10ntpellier were inclined
to believe that Lull), had genuine paranormal faculties, although
it seemed that Grasset was not altogether satisfied that every
possible precaution had been taken to exclude normal communica­
tion between Lully and her mesmerist.
1
From Bonjean's account, it seems that he first met Lully when
she was giving her performances at a fair in Verviers in Belgium.
Careful observation convinced him that Lully and her mesmerist
communicated with each other by lip-reading. The mesmerist
always placed himself at some distance from the somnambulist and
facing her, while the latter was seated on a chair with eyes closed
and seemingly in a hypnotic trance. Her eyes were neither covered
nor blindfolded and success was obtained every time as long as no
screen was placed between the two and the one could freely see
the face of the other. But as soon as Bonjean got a chance to place
himself between the two so that Lully could no longer see the lips
or her mesmerist, then her powers immediately disappeared.
Another suspicious fact that Bonjean noted was that the mesmerist
refused to follow his suggestion and turn his face to the wall during
the experiment. These facts strongly suggested to Bonjean that
silent moving of the lips on the part of the mesmerist gave the subject
all the indications that she needed.
Bonjean, as we have said, appeared to have gained much
success in producing stigmata and bleeding on the subject's skin
by simple suggestion. In conformity with the views concerning
this subject which were generally held in his own time, he con­
sidered such phenomena within the realm of normal psychology,
although, owing to their rare occurrence, some late nineteenth­
century investigators of hypnotic phenomena questioned the
possibility of producing such organic changes by suggestion alone.
Indeed, such phenomena induced solely by suggestion seem today
to have become so rare that some modern parapsychologists, not
knowing how to explain such changes through knowledge obtained
1 Professor J. Grasset of the medical faculty of the University of Montpellier
was one of the many French medical men of the period who was keenly interested
in the problems of occultism generally. He had little critical faculty and is
well known for his connection with the case of Anna Briou, whose claims to demon­
strate eyeless-vision were exciting considerable interest in French circles between
1896 and 18g8. Armand Sabatier was another writer of a rather similar sort
who asked such questions as to whether the material universe was eternal and
how souls were made. Both of them had had, as far as is known, no training in
the detection of simple tricks such as wcre common amongst the performers of
the period. [Ed.j
4
6
in the further understanding of psycho-somatic manifestations
admit that they feel inclined to regard such phenomena as res ulting
from ccrt(lin paranormal factors, for example jJS)dlOkinesis (3 -I,
p. 1'2] ) .
The second of these two authors, H. Nizet, discussed the case
for the reality or otherwise of mental suggestion at great length
without, however, coming to a definite conclusion. In his book
(35) he preserves an open mind on the whole question and states
as his personal opinion that the existence of mental suggestion
cannot be considered so far as proved. Quoting a number of
persons with an excellent reputation both in the field of psychology
and psychiatry who regarded mental suggestion as a fact he appears
not to mention any positive or negative experiments which he had
made himself in this special field.
Summing up his own conclusions on the subject (35, p. loB)
he states that although experimenters like Ochorowicz, Richet and
others have convinced themselves that mental suggestion is a fact,
he himself is of the opinion that one should still reserve one's
judgment and postpone affirming its occurrence in view of the fact
that the experimental findings so far cannot be considered con­
clusive. Indeed, in this matter the Hippocratic aphorism, Experi­
mentum fallax, judicium difJicile, should always be kept in mind.
In the course of his discussion, Nizet devoted some pages (35,
pp.
12
7 ff.) to the performances of stage performers like Pickman
and Zamora, at whose stage demonstrations he himself was present
when they were given in Brussels. Noting that Lombroso appears
to have been convinced of Pickman's telepathic facuities, Nizet
declares that he himself was rather impressed, although, as he
points out, care should be exercized in view of the fact that Pickman
was an excellent professional illusionist. In this connection Nizet's
rather simple state of mind is illustrated (35, p. 128) by his statement
that Pickman appeared to be quite sincere during some of the
experiments. For demonstrating mental suggestion Nizet states
that the subject was isolated and those taking part in the experiment
then agreed upon a kind of simulated theft or murder as this kind
of game appeared to be the most conducive to favour the emergence
of mental suggestion. Thus, for example, it was agreed that one
of the company should act the part of the person to be murdered,
and the knife with which the murder was supposed to be committed
was placed among other similar knives. No guidance or contact
was made with the person who knew what the subject had to
indicate and it is said that the experiments were successfully repeated
47
time after time, while those with contact did not succeed more
often than those without. According to Nizet (35, p. 128), Pick­
man, dUl"ing these experiments, appeared to be in a kind of light
trance (condition seconde ) which could not be considered, according
to him, either as a state of hypnosis or one of full awareness. He
does not seem to have discussed the theory that this alleged con­
dition \vas just part of Pickman's performance in order to deceive
the investigators.
Although Nizet seems to have been impressed by these Brussels
experiments he was certainlynot convinced thatthought-transmission
was the only explanation. He believed that the experiments were
not conducted ill a manner which could be considered entirely
satisfactory and that they should be repeated with still greater care.
He declared, therefore (p. 131), that definite conclusions should
not be drawn from these tests, but at the same time he appeared to
agree with the opinion of those present at the experiments that the
manner in which the demonstrations were conducted were of such
a nature that doubt was inclined to shift and give an affirmative
answer as regards the existence of mental suggestion.
Nizet held the same opinion with regard to the performances
of Zamora and stated that he was as good as Pickman, quoting a
French case in which Zamora was able to discover the buried spoils
of a theft which the police had been unable to trace. Nizet was
naturally also interested in the question of the influence of medica­
ments at a distance, which had intrigued so many of the French
investigators. Like other critical enquirers he had to admit that
the experiments personally conducted in this field only gave con­
fused and doubtful results (35, p. 123).
If we review the development of mesmerism and hypnotism in
Iklgium during the whole of the nineteenth century and the existing
evidence of thc reality of paranormal phenomena appearing with
the help of mesmeric or hypnotic procedures, the conclusion can
hardly be avoided that the paranormal was but rarely encountered,
especially when hypnotic and mesmeric researches came to be
conducted by eminent men of the medical and scientific pro­
fessions. We find that in Belgium, as in the Netherlands in the
same period, hardly any of these men encountered really para­
normally gifted subjects. It cannot be said that they were not on
the alert for such phenomena. They recognized the possibility of
such phenomena but they simply did not meet with cases of, say,
extrasensory perception under conditions adequate to convince
them of its existence. Apparently it did not matter whether the
4
8
mesmeric or hypnotic trance or somnambulistic sleep had been
induced by "magnetic passes" or by methods proposcd by Braid
and his followers. One has the impression that paranormal gifts
are engrained in the constitution of some people and that, if con­
ditions are favourable, they may emerge, whatever the methods
used to bring them out. A more or less erotic bond between mes­
merist or hypnotizer and the subject may, it seems, greatly favour
the appearance of paranormal phenomena if there exists a con­
stitutiQnal aptitude to produce such phenomena. It is possible that
the special relationship existing between medical men and patients
treated with hypnotism at the Salpetriere and Nancy were not
conducive to such phenomena. These conditions were probably
better in spiritistic circles where it was a common practice that
the "mediums" were magnetized and thus entranced.
REFERENCES
The following list is in no Sense a bibliography. It is simply a short-title
list of books and articles mentioned in the text. Althol(gh in many cases
the titles are abbreviated, enough is given to enable any reader to follow
up the reference if he wishes to do so.
I. KLUGE, C. A. F., Versueh einer Darstellung des animalisehen JHagTlCtismus
als Heilmitlel. Berlin, 1811.
2. S Y S T E ~ I E raisonne du magnetisme universel, d'apres les prine/pes de Af.
Afesmer . .. Paris, 1786.
3. 1\1., M . T. D. [i.e. A. A. Tardy de j\Jontravcl]. Lettres pour scrvir de
suite a l'Essai sur la tMorie du somnambulisme magn';tique. Londres,
1787.
4. P * * *, l' abbe [i.e. I 'abbe Petiot?]. Autres reL'eries sur Ie magnetisme
animal, a un aeademicien de province. Br:uxelles, 1784.
5. LETTRE de Afr. A. d AIr. B. sllr Ie livre intitute: Recherches et doutes
sur Ie magnetisme ani mal [By M. A. Thourct]. 13ruxelles, 1784.
6. j\LUINE, E. H., De magnetismo animali. Gandavi, 1829.
7· CREMMENS, D. & TARTE, .1., Le propagateur de magnetisme animal.
Bruxdles, 1841.
8. LAFONTAINE, C., Afemoi1'es d'un magnitiseur. 2 vols. Paris, 1866.
9· MAG:'<ETOPllILE (LE ), 2 vol5. Bruxclles, 1839- 184.1.
10. Du POTET DE SENNEVOY, .1. D., Baron. Traiti eomlJlet de magnetisme
animal. 7 cd. Paris, 1904.
II. IDJIEZ, V., JJ. Eugel/e de Pradel d Bruxelles, en 1839. Soirees plm!nologieo­
magl/eliques et littiraires. Bruxelles, 1840.
12. IDJIEZ, V., Dissertation hislorique et seientifique sur la Trinite Eg)ptienne ...
et d' 1111 essai de bibliographie magnitique. Bruxelles, 1844.
49
J 3. IVloNTrus, E., Fails curiellY el illltfressanlJ prodllils jlaT la puissancc dll
magnilisll1{ animal et cOff//I/es rcndlls des expb"ienccJ remark"hlt:s o/lln'e.>en
Belgiqne. llnu{ciles,
14. L\FO:-/TAINE, C., L'Art de maglllJliser. 3 cd. l'aris & Gcneve, 1860.
15. l'vloUTIN, L, Le maglli lisme IWlIlain. 4 ed. Paris, 1920.
16. AHRENS, H., COUTS de j)s)'c/lOlogie . .. 2 vols. Paris, 1836- 8.
17. TANDEL, N. E. (AUnts . .. jmb. j)aT l'Acad. roy'. des sciences el belles-lellres
de Brlltelles, Tomc XV, 2C partic, 1841- 1842). llruxelles, 1843.
18. ROBIANO, L. ;'vI. G. [called AloIS] Comle de. AhHller, Galvani el les
lheologiellS. Bruxelles, 1845.
Ig. PETETIN,]. H. D. , Eleclricite animale .. , Paris, 1808.
20. EHRENWALD, ]., "The telepathic hypothesis and doctrinal compliance
in psychotherapy." (Amer. J OUT!!. of PS)'cllOlhera/J}', 1957, XI, pp.
359- 379·)
21. COYTEUX, F., Exj)oj'e d'lIn syslerne suivi d'une Ilufo rie des
senliments au perceptions . .. 3 ed. Bruxelles, 1855.
22, HOLSBEEK, H. van., LeUres sur le magntlisme animal. Bruxelles, 1863.
23. DUR;\NT, V., La pile lIlagnclique vitale el 5011 applicalion au Imih'menl des
malades. Bruxelles, 1874.
24, DURANT, V., AppeTru de La doclrine medicale du magnetis me vital. Schaer­
beek, 1875.
25. PERTY, l'v1., Die sichtbare und die uT/sichlvare Well, Diesseils wid Jell seits.
Leipzig und Heidelberg, 1881.
26. DELBoEuF,]. R. L., !HagnelisellTS el JHedicills. Paris, 1890.
27. DELBoEuF,]. R. L., "Une visite a la Salpetrii:re." (Revue de Belgique,
1886, Ann. 18, tome LIV, pp. 121-147: 258- 275. )
28. DELBoEu!',]. R. L.,;"L'hypnose et les suggestions criminellcs." (Bullelin
de l'Academie ro),ale de Belgique, 1894, 3 ser., XXVIII, pp.
2g. DELBoEuF, .1. R. L., Le magnetisme animal. A propos d'une visile d ['icole
de Nallc}'. Paris, 188g,
30. CROCQ., .1. (fils), L'H),pnolisme el le crime. Bruxelles, 1894.
31. CROCQ.,.1. (fils), L'Hypnolisme scienlijiqlle. Paris, 1896.
32. DENIS, A., "Quelques phenomenes de telepathie," (Annales des
Sciences PSJ,chiques, V, pp. 1- 32.)
33. BON]EAN, A., L' H}jJ1lolisme, ses mppoTls avec le droit el la lhirajJcutique.
La suggestion mentale. Paris, 1890.
34, WEST, D. ]., Psychical Research loda)'. London, 1954·
35. NIZET, H., L' H),pnotisme. Etude critique. Bruxelles, 1892.
36. CONRAD, Dr., Le mesmtrisme, ou les merveilles du magnelisme. Bruxelles,
1875.
50
Hypnotism in the Netherlands
1800-1900
I NTRODUCTION
DURI:-.IG the second half of the eighteenth century educated classes in
the Netherlands were already well acquainted with the possibility
of the existence of paranormal phenomena, and interesting and
sometimes even heated di scussions can be noted in thc literature
of the time pro and con the rcality of thcse phenomena and their
bearing on the generally accepted philosophical and religious
view of life, particularly in relation to the phenomenon of pre­
cognition.
\Vhen finally, several decades later, mesmerism with its remark­
able phenomena of somnambulism made its appearance in the
Netherlands, these phenomena, a certain number of which certainly
appeared to have a typical paranormal character as defined today,
failed to impress the scholars in the same way as extrasensory per­
ception (ESP) did in the twentieth century. ESP at the beginning
of the last century was only one more proof of the reality of that
mysterious agency, animal magnetism.
Mesmerism and the doctrines of animal magnetism did not
spread to the Netherlands from the south, from France and Belgium,
but from the east, from Germany, and at a time when the pro­
pounder of the theory of the" universal fluid", Dr. F. A. Mesmer,
was passing his last days in a small Swiss town.
Although one of the schools of animal magnetism, that of Bar­
barin, had already successfully penetrated as far as Ostend, the final
invasion of thc Dutch frontiers by the curative doctrines of 1-fesmer
and Puysegur was definitely hindered for the time being by a strong
opposition from the Dutch medical authority of Leiden University,
Professor F.]. Voltelen, who fiercely attacked the theory of animal
51
magnctism. Mentioning these theories Voltclen went so far a . ~ to
use such ter ms as "fiur y-tal cs" and "fraudulent inventioll", in­
cluding both Gassner and Mesmer in his denunciation and speaking
of the latter's shameful frauds (schalldelijke bedriegerijen) in Vienna
(1, p. 54; 65 (in Dutch translation) ).
Earl y in the ninet eenth cent ury animal magnetism and its con­
comitant somnambulism (Puysegur's method) had a great vogue in
Germany, and several famous and authoritative medical doctors of
that country, such as C. A. F . Kluge, D. G. Kieser, etc., wrote long
volumes about the wonderful results obtained while treating their
patients with animal magnetic manipulations, at the same time
describing various cases of typical paranormal phenomena, collec­
tively ascribed to "clairvoyance". Dutch medical men became
greatly impressed by the enthusiasm of their German collcagues and
now started experimenting seriously with the hypothetical magnetic
fluid. Owing to the results apparently obtained, the majority of
Dutch physicians and philosophers also bccame highly enthusiastic.
Holland now entered into its golden age of mesmerism (1814- 1818) .
Animal magnetism then became a subject for general discussion and,
just as happened during the beginning of the Spiritualistic period in
many countries, all kinds of private circles started experimenting
'with" the fluid". At tea-parties, clubs and social gatherings it was
the subject brought up for discussion, while it seems that the numbers
of young women who consented to be brought into a somnambulistic
state were very large..
The medical treatment by animal magnetic methods applied
by the German and Dutch doctors was similar to that which de­
veloped out of Puysegur's discovery of somnambulism. This
method generally consisted in making various "passes" over the
patient's body, laying on of hands, or staring fixedly into the eyes,
\\'ith the purpose of getting the ailing person into a sleepy condition
and aiming at the development of somnambulism which would make
it possible for the patient to talk, answer questions and write. Just
as nearly a century later Charcot distinguished various hypnotic
stages, each with its typical phenomena and symptoms, so the early
mesmerists distinguished at least seven or cight somnambulistic
conditions. In the fourth or fifth stage of the latter classification it
was bclic\"ed that the patient bccame lucid or clairvoyant and that
he then would be able to demonstrate all kinds of supernatural or
superhuman faculties. Some of these, as described by the old mes­
merists, would undoubtedly fall within the modern category of the
paranormal. During magnetic treatment all endeavours were
52
directed towards evoking the somnambulist statc, as it w a ~ believed
that in this condition thc instinctive and spiritual faculties of the
ind.ividual would be so heightened that the patient would be able to
diagnose correctly his illness and prescribe the fitting medicines and
cures, even if that patient did not have the slightest knowledge of
anatomy, physiolog)" pharmacology, etc. These ideas were based
011 the assumption that animal magnetism would in a sense loosen a
man's soul from the fleshly, earthly bonds, so that its natural capacity
to know and understand pl'actically everything in this universe would
come into full play. In this condition of being more or less free from
the body, the soul could then give all necessary indications to cure
completely its body's ailments.
It should here be emphazised that it was not the mesmerist who
must be considered as the therapeutic agent but the patient himself.
By manipulating him according to some magnetic method the
patient was brought into a state by the magnetizer which, so it was
believed, allowed contact in a more direct way with his soul or spirit,
and this higher and immortal part of man could then be consulted
as to the best way to rid the patient of his illnesses. Such a som­
nambulist could successfully treat not only himself but also those
sick persons who were brought into contact with him. It is indeed
interesting to remark how many cures were reported in those days,
especially of nervous complaints, by what we now would call auto­
posthypnotic commands; for instance, the patient in a somnambu­
lant state would say: "If I drink a pint of magnetized water this
evening, tomorrow morning at 8 o'clock my bowels will be well
opened" (if the patient was suffering from serious constipation) and,
similarly, menstruation could often be induced.
Such phenomena and many others reported in the literature of
the time as having been observed during the somnambulant ,tate, or
one resembling it, were considered to be supernormal, proving at
the same time the reality of that semi-spiritual agency, animal
magnetism. A number of these phenomena, however, the modern
parapsychologist would not classify as paranormal.
The phenomena that were considered in the beginning of the last
century as part of the somnambulant stateand a tokenofthewonder­
ful effect of animal magnetism (but which I do not wish to regard as
strictly paranormal, and therefore will not be discussed in this
section), are:
1. The patient could predict correctly whcn attacks \vould
come on, or when the cure would be complete. Predictions con­
cerned with the effect of medicines fall in this same class.
53
2. The so-called phenomenon of ald.osco/Jia, rather common in
t.he early period of In the somnambulant condition thc
patient would oftcn describc anatomical details which he claimed
to see in his o\vn or other people's bodies. Hc was heard to say that
he perceivcd his brains, nerves, blood vessels, intestines, and what
was wrong with them. He would give descriptions about the thick­
ness of his blood, of its colour, the condition of his lungs, etc. Such
autoscopic impressions, however, ncver exceeded the patient's ana­
tomical knowledge or fancies, or what was known to the medicine
of the period. Judged by our modern standards and scientific
findings, practically all such autoscopicimpressions and claims,
regarded in those days as sound evidencc for clairvoyance, arc quite
unevidential.
3. The older magnetic literature often mentions a transference
of the sensory channcls of perception, such as seeing or hearing by
the pit of the stomach, the finger-tips or shouldcrs. Such a trans­
fercnce was for the older mesmerists a sure sign that the subjcct had
developed a high degree of clairvoyance. I shall only cite such
cases of sensorial transference when sufficient cvidence is forthcoming
that all normal sensory cues were excluded. This is very often not
the case, for the mcsmerists were generally too easily satisfied that
the somnambulist was not able to perceive by normal mcans. They
had little idea of the possible of subjects in the hyp­
notic trance and similar states.
4- Another phenomenon that was considered a typical outcome
of the wonderful effects of animal magnetism was that generally the
subject was en rap/Jort with the mesmcrist and only heard and reacted
to the latter's voice. \Vhen other people prescnt in the room
screamed at the subject at the top of their voices he would then
remain absolutely deaf and show no signs of having heard the slight­
est noise. \Vhen the phenomena from this kind of ra/J/Jort are
obtained within the possible reach of the subject's sensorium (for
instance, if the mesmerist magnetizes a piece of string, and any
person getting hold of this string automatically establishes ra/Jport
with the subject) then, of course, such phenomena are still well
within the domain of normal psychology. If, hmvever, such a
rajJPort is brought about, without the subject having the slightcst
chance ofknmving about it by normal means (e.g. the string is held
or taken to another house, a different part of the town, ctc. ), then
there is some reason to regard the positive results ofsuch experiments
as some evidence of ESP.
54
THE DUTCH GOLDE N AGE OF ANIMA L jvlAGNET l SM
( 13q- r8r8)
One of the first to become intercsted in animal magnetism and its
application as a therapeutic agency was the lawyer P. G. van Ghert,
who probably camc into contact with the theory in Germany during
the first years of the nineteenth century. \Vhen he returned to
Holland he started to experiment with the" fluid" and to treat the
siek at Amsterdam by means of the magnetizing methods then very
much in vogue. In r8r4 van Ghert published a report (2) of a
successful treatment of a lady, lasting a full year ( r80g- r8ro),
during which she \vas regularly magnetized twice or three times a
week. This lady, who quickly developed into an excellent somnam­
bulist, directing her cure and prescribing for her various ailments in
the somnambulant stage, also may have some paranormal
faculties. Some cases showing jJrimafacie paranormal characteristics
are given below in translation.
For example, in a case of what seems like travelling clairvoyance,
van Ghert reports that, at a sitting, a gentleman who was present
had an aunt living at Doetinchem (a town roo miles east of Amster­
dam). Van Ghert requested the patient to go to that town and have
a look around.
"'Very well,' she answered, 'but first you will have to tell me
where Doetinehem is situated.' 'In the county of Gelderland.'
Looking round about her for a few moments, she pointed with her
hand in a certain direction and asked, 'Is Doetinchem to be found
in that direction?' 'Indeed.' 'Is it a village?' 'No, a little town.'
'Through the town there runs a broad street, doesn't it, and the
town looks rather neat and clean.' Thereupon she gave a description
of t\\·o streets, asking us, 'Doesn't the gentleman's aunt live in that
street, on the left hand side?' 'Yes.' 'Isn't there a high stoop in
front of the house?' 'No.' 'Then I must be mistaken, and the aunt
must live in the house next door to the one I have just mentioned.
Hasn't the house a step-roof?' 'Correct.' 'This house's stoop is
flush with the ground, and it seems to me that there is a little bcnch
on it.' 'Correct.' 'Flanking the house is a passage that runs quite
straight.' 'Indeed.' 'On the right hand side of the house there are
two windows, they seem to be sliding-windows, and on the top story
three windows.' 'Quite correct.' 'How many windows do you see
on the left hand side?' the patient was asked. 'I can only see one,'
she answered. 'There are three.' 'There is a room on the left
side.' "Right, enter that room.'
55
"The somnambulist now gave a description of the room, the
chimney-corner, a writing desk with a clock placed upon it, etc.
There was nothing in the subj ect's description of the room and its
furniture that did not correspond \\'ith what the gentleman present
remembered about that room. But it should be mentioned that he
did not remember all details summed up by the subj ect.
"\Ve asked her how many windows she saw in this room.
'Three,' she answered. \Vhen seemingly standing in front of the
house, she had stated that this particular room had only one window.
'There is in this room a portc-brisee [folding-doors].' 'Correct.'
'The door seems to have a whitish tint but I can't see the exact
colour. Next door to this room it seems the living-room is situated.'
'Right.' 'Two mirrors hang in the living-room, the larger one
against the wall, the smaller one against the side-panel.' 'Correct.'
'There is a gentleman in the house who appears to live there.' 'No.'
'Still, this gentleman very often frequents the house. Nearby the
lady of the house sits a servant girl.' 'Yes, that is possible.' 'Doesn't
the lady wear spectacles?' 'Indeed.' 'She can also knit very well,
doesn't she?' 'Yes, a great deal of her time is taken up by knitting.'
'There is a little dog in the house.' 'What is the dog like?' 'White,
I believe with brown markings. It has a collar on with little bells.'
'Correct.' 'There is also another dog with longish hair.' 'That may
be.' 'The lady is very fond of reading.' 'Yes, that is true.' 'There
is a staircase in the passage.' ' j'vlaybe.' 'The kitchen is small but
nice and clean. To the right is a small back-yard.' 'Quite so.'
'In that back-yard is a kind of stockade on which dish-cloths, etc.
are hung to dry.' 'Correct.' 'Attached to the house, outside, is a
little gate.' 'That may be so.' 'It is a little gate where the men go
to urinate.' ':Maybe.''' (2, pp. 89- 90)
\ 'Ve should keep in mind that van Chert's treatment of this and
other patients often took the form of public seances to which he
invited medical men, professors and others in order to demonstrate
to them the wonderful effects of animal magnetism. Some of these
effects, rare no doubt, may, if true, be considered of a paranormal
nature, although in those days they were regarded as quite normal.
The following case seems again one of travelling clairvoyance, or
some other facult y, the subject being the same patient mentioned
above. The seance took place on 1June 1809, and is here described
(2, p. 119).
"One of the gentlemen present, a lieutenant, asked the patient if
she could have a look at his family and see how they fared. 'I shall
have to know first of what kind of persons the family consists, and
56
where they al l h"e,' she remarked. ' In the county or Gelderland,
where my uncle and my brothers and sisters live.' 'You have got a
sisler who looks very pale ... a girl moping all the lime, without the
slightes t for such a state of mind.' ' Correct.' •Your other
sister is not a pretty girl.' 'You are right, she is indeed not hand­
some.' ' She is disfigw'ed by having had smallpox.' ' Correct.'
'Your uncle is a Lall and thin man.' 'Indeed.' 'lIe is a grumpy
kind or man.' 'COITect. · 'His health is at a very low ebb.' 'Yes,
sn 1 guess.' 'He is all iht! time throwing up phlegm. ' 'Yes, he
docs. I have a brother, have a look a t him. ' 'Isn' t he miserl y ?'
' Yes, as avaricious as I never eX'-perienced before.' 'You have more
than once kicked up a row with him.' 'Oh, yes.' ' YOll are at
vari ance with rum, are you not?' 'Yes.'" During one of these
seances, on f7 June, one of the visitors present asked the patient to
go and see his brother.; and sisters. What she said she saw, however,
was completel y 'vTong. \Vhen she requested by the same
gentleman to Imvc: a look at his married sist er, living a t '5 Hertogen­
bosch (70 frolll Amsterdam) the somnambulist was more
successful. She dcscribed lhc sister as having a little baby, still
being suckled, and appearing to be a girl. The sister also seemed to
suffer [rom an ulcerating breast . After an enquiry had been made,
it was found lhat what was said about the sister was correct (2, pp.
138- 139).
A great impression was made on the educated in the
Netherl ands by the publication of a book devoted to animal mag­
netism, written by three fully qualified medical men, one of whom
was a professor of the 'University o[ Groni ngen (3) . The book ap­
peared in two vol umes, the first in 1814 and t.he second in 1818. I t
was really this first volume which paved the way for the applicati on
of arumal magnetism for I..herapeuuc purposes in Holland. T he
approval given by Profcssor C . Bakker to mesmerism encouraged the
whole medical profession to start experimenting with it and to
publish the results they obtained. T hough, indeed, mention is
made in the fi rst vol ume (p. 82) of paranormal phenomena occur­
ring in the magnetic sleep (telepathy, precognition, etc.) , as des­
cri bed in many publications on the subject, the a uthors themselves
did not give any ins tances of paranormal occurrences experienced
by themsel ves. In the second volume, however, some exampl es of
such paranormal events are quoted.
Though some may think tllat the pr ediction of the occurrence of
certain symptoms 0 1' attacks of ailments the somnambulist is going
to suffer in the neal' Or distant fu ture should not be regarded as
E
57
-........
paranormal (precognition), still, as a matter of interest, I am going
to cite here one such case, leaving it to the reader to judge for him­
self whether such predictions in the somnambulant state should be
considered" normal" or "paranormal".
Bakker reported that A. G., 25 years old and suffering from
complaints of the oesophagus, had become a good somnambulist
during her treatment with magnetism. Being in the somnambulant
state on 16 November 1816, the patient became uneasy and then
remarked that she would have colicky cramps on Christmas Day in
the evening at 7 o'clock. These cramps would not have any
connection with her present illness, but would be the result of catch­
ing a cold. Nevertheless the colicky cramps would have to be treated
with magnetism. On 24 December the medical practitioner, Dr.
'Volthers, had some reason to believe that he would be called to his
patient the next evening at 7 o'clock, for the patient ""ould then be
attacked by colicky cramps. Everything happened as predicted.
Though the attack was rather a severe one, it soon abated after
magnetizing manipulations (3, ii, p. (76).
In another case which suggests clairvoyance or telepathy, the
patient, A. G., was asked why her sister who was expected to arrive
that day from one of the islands to the north of Holland had not yet
come. The somnambulist answered that she had been detained at
Zoutcamp (a place about 25 miles from the somnambulist's house)
by a skipper with \vhom she was bargaining about the purchase of
golden pippins. The truth of this vision was completely verified some
time later (3, ii, p. 177)·
Another case (3, ii, p. 181) with the same sensitive might perhaps
be interpreted as one of precognition. On 3.January she stated that
she had to be bled on 5 January at 10 o'clock in the morning. The
blood-letting should be slight but it would be necessary to do it, for
she was going to have a bad fright. The cause of the fright she
would only tell to her mesmerist when the two of them would be
alone together. She then told him that she was going to be greatly
frightened by a burglary to be committed in the house she was living
in. She proceeded to name various home remedies that should be
administered to her in order to calm her after her fright.
The next day, 4 January, the somnambulist gave the following
explanation of what was going to happen that evening. The man
who was going to burgle the house would try to get hold of foodstuffs .
But when the somnambulist discovered him he would hit at her with
a piece of cloth or a sack that he had in his possession, and by so
doing the lamp she would be carrying would be struck out of her
58
hand. The light would then be extinguished; the thief would drod
what he had stolen and make his escape. She could not see him
clearly but only as in a flash. But never would the thief return and
try again to burgle the house. A moment before and directly after
the light was extinguished she 'Nould scream; this would happen
between 8 and 9 p.m. and there was nothing that could be done to
avoid what was going to happen as predicted. No attempt should
be made to prevent the burglary and her discovery of it. The next
day she would have much to say against having herself bled but the
blood-letting must take place in any case.
Being convinced that the prediction would be realized, both
Bakker and vVolthers desired to be witnesses of what was going to
happen. After the master of the house had been informed that
about the t-ime mentioned above something was going to happen in
his house without his suffering any harm, the two proposed that they
should be allowed to enter a room behind his shop surreptitiously,
in order to look through the glass windows, while keeping themselves
in the dark, and then see what would happen. As the master of the
house was completely convinced of the honesty of A. G ., his servant,
and of the truth of what she had pronounced in the magnetic sleep (of
which he had had quite a lot of experience), he willingly consented.
But when a few minutes before 8 o'clock they ",'ere preparing to
enter the room before the appointed time, a servant of the shop­
owner suddenly knocked at their door to inform them that the
maidservant (t he somnambulist) had met with an accident. Direct­
ly they arrived at the house they heard what had happened from
the maidservant. She had gone to the back of the store-room to pack
away some utensils and had heard somebody walking about, when
suddenly a man had approached her, had struck at her with an
empty sack or a piece of cloth, thereby extinguishing the lamp she
was carrying which fell to the floor: when she had let out a scream
the man had dropped a sack, half filled with salt which he was carry­
ing and ran away as quickly as he could. After investigating the
store-room the two doctors found the sack of salt and the lamp lying
on the floor as indicated by the maidservant. They also heard from
the shop-owner why the garden back door had remained open.
The authors of the treatise reviewed here never seem to have
thought that their somnambulist might have hoaxed them and have
staged this whole robbery scene in order to impress them with her
paranormal faculties. vVe know that hysterical persons may easily
tell stories and act fraudulently only to make an impression on those
with whom the hysterical individual is concerned. On the other
59
hand, no indications can be brought forward in this case supporting
sllch a fraudulent act, and although this cannot be consi dered a
well-evidenced case or precognition, it ought to be considered in
relati on to other cases.
For instance a s.imilur casc t3, ii, p. (78) is quoted by the same
authors, agai n concerned with a precognitive impression that the
somnambulist was going to hurt hl.rsclf;lt a certain hOllr of the day.
It appears that at 9 a.m. on the morning of In November 1816 the
patien t predicted that on the same afternoon between 4 p .m. and
5 p.m. she would knock her head against a door and inj ure it rather
severely, causing attacks 0(' dizziness. Owin1; t.o Ulis inj ury her
clairvoyant faculties would remain in aheyance Lhc next morning,
Ig Kovember. On that day their patient had bouts of dizziness and
her bead showed a rather nasty wound, caused by the accident the
day before. The members of the bousehold wbo knew about her
prediction had advised bel', making use of some pretext or other, to
remain scated quietly in her chair during the time the predi cted
accident was going to happen. This had also been her intention,
but at a quarter to five in the afternoon a sudden bustle and move­
ment in the household business had made her forget her intention to
remain seated. She ran swiftly to a room at the back of the house,
and knocked her head agains t one of the doors of a closet-bed which
had been left open.
In the early days of animal magnetism it wru; usual to prescribe
magnetized water for the patient to drink as il was believed to be an
excell ent medicine fo!' all kinds of ailments. The mesmcrist made
passes over bot tles of ordinary water , 0 1' various other manipulations
which were thought to charge the water with magnetism. If a
patient wanted to {al l into a somnambulant staLe or de('p sleep it
was often enough lor him to touch a bottle of water magnetized by
his or her mesmerist. One of the phenomena that continued to be a
subject of grea t wonder was the fact that many somnamb ulists were
able to distinguish between magnetized and non-magnetized water,
in wha tever way the experiment to test this power was made. I t is
possible that, at least in some instances, a kind of ESP may have
functioned in distinguishing between manipulated and non-manipu­
lated water. T his faculty was considered greally ( 0 support the
hypothesis that animal magnetism a real source of energy. The
authors of the book we are here quoting mention some cases within
their own experience wbereby a somnambulist was able under all
circulllstances to perceive the difference between water magnetized
or not.
60
In this ca;e they stated (3, ii, pp. 20 ff.) Ulat the somnambulist C.
alway!; knew, in whatever \\uy or manner thcy tested her, how to
dis tingt ish between the two kinds ofwatc:l'. She claimed to perceive
the difference not by taste but uy a certain feeling in her stomach.
In dirrcrentiating bel\\ecn the t wo kinds, it did not make any dif­
whcUlershe <IranJ, the waler herself or whether one of her
mesmerists (WolLhcrs or Bakker·) drank it. Every day the patient
had to drink two botue,> or magnctized water with which they s
plied hel' daily. In order to test her sensitivity to magnetism they
several times sent her onc or both boltles Wlmagnetized ; but in­
variably the patient then claimed that the water did not have the
effect on bel' and there had not been any relief.
In her s,omnambulant stalc and \\ith her clairvoyant facul ties in
operation .JlC would always know which of thcm had magnetized
the botLle or glass of\\,ater, and also how often they had made passes
i n doing so. \Vhencver she was given water thal had been magnetized
by somebody other than her own mesmerists, she invaria.bly got
severe ga!ltric spasms. She U1en declared that the water had been
treated by a stranger, and was even able to say who that stranger
was.
On a certain day she informed them that a shrub growing in a
tub in the room had been \\'atercd with magnetized water. After
making enquirie;; they found Ihat the information was correct and
that by mistake the plant had been moistened with magnetized
water at a time between her last somnambulant l>tate and the one
before.
The ability to distinguish magnet!zed water, at least in the case
mentioned above, appears to point t.owards ESP if the facts are as
slated. The gastric cramps, indicating tha t the water drunk had
been magnetized by somel.>ody other tban Bakker and 'Voltbers,
might possibly be regarded as symboLlzing the indigestibility of the
water, because it was charged by somebody magnetism. In
this case, therefore, we fi nd ESP impressions manifesting themselvcs
by means of motor automatism, as may be the case in dowsing,
table-tilting, planchcttc-writing, elc.
An inter<... e.xample or an alleged cure through the use of
magnetized water is that mentioned by van Ghel·t, the mesmerist
already mentioned. lie stated (4, pp. 12- 13) that a patient could
at any time distinguish between ordinary water and wa ter he had
magnetized, remarking that magnetized water had a saltish taste,
very agreeable like mineral watcr, and that it smel t of all kinds or
fragrant flowers, lil,c roses .... He had tr eated several patients \\'ho
61
assured him ofthe same thing. One of these was quite an uneducated
peasant girl who had been born with a "peppercorn", a pimple on
her chin as large as a small pea. Together with four other patients
she was bcing treated for nervous attacks and fits, with successful
results. \Vhen she ,vas in the somnambulant state he once asked her
whether he should concentrate his magnetic treatment on the pimple
on her chin. After obtaining her consent he concentrated his , .... ill­
power and thoughts upon the pimple, and at once it began to move
up and down in a way comparable to the movement of a grain of
gold which one tries to liquefy by placing it on a fanned piece of
red-hot charcoal. The chin itself then began to move. The patient's
teeth started to chatter {i'om the pain she was feeling but she endured
the pain for so long a time that the pimple became completely
inflamed. She then requested him to moisten the pimple with
magnetized water. This he did but now the pain became so violent
that she fainted away. 'When she awoke from her swoon, she com­
plained of feeling a kind of burning pain where the pimple was. The
latter had become red like a drop of blood. He gave her a little
bottle filled with magnetized water to take home with her, and
advised her to wet some bandages with the water and apply them
as a compress to her chin during the night. But when, before going
to bed, she wanted to place the compress on her chin she felt such a
terrible pain that she thought he had deceived her and had given her
nitric acid instead of magnetized water. But as the pimple dis­
figured her and she observed that it had become very much in­
flamed and she hoped that it would disappear completely, she
endured the pain and applied the remedy for such a time until the
pimple, festering all the time, had completely disappeared. This case
was, of course, quoted by the author to draw attention to the great
therapeutic powers of animal magnetism, however applied, and at
the same time giving proof of its reality as a vital energy, existing in
nature.
In their account of some of their cases Bakker and vVolthers
appear to have differentiated between clairvoyance and telepathy.
Thus in dealing with the phenomena exhibited by the maid-servant,
A. G., they state (3, ii, p. 187) that she suddenly remarked, after hav­
ing slept for a few minutes, that something had happened to :Mr. \V.,
referring to a death that occurred that very morning, and of which
perhaps she could have known. This seemed to be a sort of intro­
duction to another statement which concerned something which had
happened to one of her Ji:iends. At the moment she was not yet able
to see clearly, but a few minutes later she went on to say that she
62
knew that it happened at lot a great distance, naming the part of
the town. She remained sitting with her hand pressed against her
forehead for a few mere minutes, as if in dcep concentration. She
then went on, "Oh, now I know what it is. It happencd in the
house of . . ., in ... strcet; somebody had a fall and this girl injured
her hand, but of the latter I am not quite sure." Finally she said,
speaking rapidly, "She cut herself with glass, she is one of the servant
girls. "
There is no doubt at all, according to the authors, that what belell
her girl iriend, just mentioned, was unknown to the somnambulist.
But as they had been informed of the accident some hours previously,
the question could be raised whether she had perceived directly
what had happened to her girl friend, or whether she, indirectly,
had derived her knowledge from tapping their thoughts. But apart
from the fact that there was no reason to suppose that the somnam­
bulist could not easily have arrived at the knowledge by means of
her own faculties, the following indications did not support the idea
of thought-transmission, viz. ( I) the thoughtful attitude and the
gradual, step by step development of obtaining her knowledge;
(2) and this is the decisive point, none of them knew of the case in
such a wealth of detail as told them by the somnambulist. It might
be assumed therefore that the somnambulist not only knew about
ailments etc. by direct knowledge and without tapping the mind of
the mesmerist but also knew about them in all their smallest details
of time, location and development.
The first volume of the book published by Bakker and his two
medical colleagues in 1814, supporting in many ways the theory of
animal magnetism, soon gave rise to an avalanche of books, pam­
phlets and articles for and against the subject. Dozens of papers
were published, several by competent and qualified medical men,
relating their experiences with magnetism in therapeutics. Van
Ghert (see p. 55) in 1815 published his jl;[nemosyne (4), where he
published several cures and experiences he had met with as a
mesmerist practitioner. Van Ghert seems to have been a powerful
and successful mesmerist but he did not entirely conform to the
magnetizing method"" in vogue in those days. In some ways he
returned to the methods of Mesmer himself which most of the mag­
netizing practitioners had already discarded some time before.
Van Ghert's therapeutics aimed at having his patient go through a
state of crisis, i.e. attacks of spasms and convulsive motions of the
muscles, very similar to those to be observed during an epileptic fit.
Such convulsive attacks may be compared with those :Mesmer
63
provoked at his famous baqllet seances. There is little doubt that these
attacks of crisi, which seem to have greaUy benefi ted the patient
were induced by on the part of the
In the course of his book van Gherl described several instances
of alleged travelling clairvoyance (ESP projection) . H e ''/ri tes :
"After having sat quit.:tly for a leW' moments, the somnambuli st,
l'vliss K ., :;aid to me, 'I :ice youI' father ... (he is alive, and at that
time was staying at 's Hel·togenbosch) . He is sitting \\-ith his hand
on his side.' 'Indeed, tllal one: of his habits.' 'lIe Sl.lrrers from
rheumatism.' 'Ye" corret:l.' 'He is a vcry kind man, and would
like to hel p anybody, bu t often he h:lS only met wi [h ingratitude fOT his
kindness. He is mdallcl10ly and too m uch.' that is so.'
"She then continued to give further details and describe several
more charact eristic.:; or my father very typical of the man that
anybody who knew him would recognize him from the d(!';crip tiol1
given. She then remarkt:d : 'It seems that you are thuJking of
somebody who is expected to arrive in town soon.' 'Yes, it is a
friend of mine whom I have not seen for eight years.' ' Where is he
at the moment ?' 'J n Brussels.' 'But where has he been for such a
long time ?' 'In Germany, where he studied medicine.' 'What is his
name ?' ' Doctor Snieders.' 'Isn' t he a tall and stout man ?' ' He
is indeed tall, but as far I am aware rather thi n.' ' He has fair
hai r, and looks healthy and well.' ' Yes, correct.' ' He wears a
handsome ring on one of his fi ngers.'
" My fri end had indeed grOWl! very stout and wore a fine ring,
as remarked by the somnambulist.
" A fcw days after my patient had given the above impressions of
my father, the latter arrived in town by chance. He came along
wi th me to my patient, l'vfiss K. , who a t onee greeted hi m as my
father, saying that she had met him somewhere else, without know­
ing where. She was very m uch that she could nol rc­
member where she had met m) father (the latter had never seen Miss
K. in his life) . My rather, also, was very much in trigued by all this
as hc also had not the slightest idea where he could have met 1\Iiss K .
" Some days later the same thing happened with Dr. Snieders
whom tviiss K. thought she had seen before. In the presence of
both these gentlemen she CQuld not keep herseJ.(' awake and quickly
fell into a somnambulant state. She Lhen rememhered a t once tha t
she had seen the two 1ll\:!Jl only during her state of crisis but assured
us with all the force at her command tha t she had seen them as
clearly and e..'( actly as she had seen them when she was in her normal
state."
64
Pietc)' Gabriel van Ghert
Reproduced b" kind penllissi"" or (;"111 ..\I'.. hiddicllS[
.\llas) . . \mstudal1l
I Toface I)· 64
I n anot her case of "hal could be described as travelling clair­
voyance van Gbert stated (4, pp. 131'-132) that one day when busy
magnetizing a dilferent paLicnt from the one previously mentioned
she said in the somnambulant slale: " •Shall 1 have a look at yOUl"
friend, Dr. Verhagen, living at J\Iegen?' 'Certainly, do so.' ' A
passage runs all through the house, finally coming out in the gal"den.'
, Right.' 'I can see the doctor but I do not know what he is doing;
I believe he will soon come here and visit you. Dr. Verhagen's
mother is in a gO\\ 11 of a colour between red and green, with
litt1t: round flo\\cfs. It seems that Dr. Verhagen has a sister who is
an imbecile.' 'Quite right: 'I also see another sister of his with
brown eyes. She is quite a bright girl. She is a beautiful girl.'
'Yes, very beautiful .' 'But isn't there, j ust opposite the doctor' s
house, a larger and hi gher Ulan his?' 'Yes, the french
school.' 'That house seem5 Lo have five windows in a row across .
The windows arc painted green. ' "
AILhough the subject had, van Ghcrt stated, never been to Me­
gen, had never met the family ofDr. Ver hagen personally or heard
talk aboL;.t them, she gave a correct description of the house in
which he lived and its envi ronment. She also e..'Cactly descri bed his
sis ters and the his mother wore that day, which was confirmed
by Dr. Verhagen when he answered van Ghert' s letter, informing
him of what had happened during the sitting and what the som­
na mbulist believed she had seen in connection with his house and
fami ly. Slle had made only one mistake, for instead of being green
the windows had been painted bro"l.vn.
Tn a further when magnetizing a clairvoyant lady, van
Ghert (4, p. 130) stated that she asked him if he was going out that
evening to which be answered in the affinnative.
'''Are you going to Pastor Bcu.kman?' she asked. ' Yes .'
Then, after thinking lor a few moments, she said, 'Do you know
whom you are going to meet there?' I answered, ' Probably
nobody.' . Yes,' she l'en1al"ked, 'it is indeed tr ue that I have never
been in Pastor Beukman's house, Gut that does not mean that I
cannot see what is going on there. Pastor Beukman is busy polling
in the fireplace. Now he is sitting a t the table with another
gentleman, who is chatting excitedly. Mr . Schrant is also talking
wi th a gentl eman; these n'/o last named gentlemen are standing.'''
·When van Ghert arrived at Pastor Beukman's house he met only
three gentlemen lhcrc, Professor Lexius, Mr. ]. D. Janssen and
Pastor Beukman . He then related to them what the clairvoyant in
her magnetic sleep purported to have seen in connection with
65
themselves and their respective positions in the room, adding that
in view of the fact that only threc persons were present, in different
places from where she had seen them, he II"aS now convinced that the
somnambulist had had a wrong impression. His surprise can be
imagined when the gentlemen told him that a 1CW moments before
his arrival they had occupied the front room, \vherc thcre was a
fire-place, and that :Mr. Janssen and Pastor Beukrnan werc seated at
the table, talking together" At the same time r-.Jr. Sehrant, ,,"ho had
just left before van Ghe!'t entered the house but had been present in
the room at the time mentioned by the clairvoyant, had been tall,ing
to Professor Lexius, both these gentkmcn remaining on their feet.
The following case by van Ghert (4, p. 16) should perhaps
better be regarded as one of pseudo-precognition and as a kind of
posthypnotic fulfilment of statements given in the somnambulant
(trance) condition than as an example of true precognition. In the
somnambulant state a patient once said to him: '" I shall be very
unlucky today, for I shall knock my arm several times, and if I am
not careful and watchful, it is possible that I shall break my arm
above the elbow. If I take care and do not climb on chairs, stoves
or other heights then I shall only knock my arm above the elbow.
People therefore have to take good care of me, and as soon as I
have knocked my elbow, a brandy compress will have to be put on
the injured spot....'
"Owing to chance-coincidence,l the patient did indeed have
many mishaps that day, and did knock her arm and injure it rather
severely above the elbow, as appeared from her own story about the
course of events, the facts of which could be verified by what her
husband and several other reliable people told me about what
happened."
The next day in her magnetic sleep she stated that, just as she
had predicted and foretold in her sleep, she had been very unlucky.
Going out with her husband and hardly having reached the street,
she knocked her right foot \vith such force that she lost her balance;
she would have fallen down, if her husband had not caught hold of
her and kept her on her feet. This had happened three times that
day, without her falling down. At night, when stepping into bed,
she slipped down from the bed and falling down with her arm on the
bed-plank, she had injured her arm very severely abovc the elbow,
just as she had predicted during ber magnetic sleep. Bandages
impregnated with brandy had been wound round the injured spot.
The following examples taken from van Ghert are possible
1 Van Ghcrt, a follower of Kant, apparently did not believe in precognition.
66
instances of ESP, although in some cases the description does not
state with certainty that every possible measure was taken to exclude
sensory cues. This applies especially to the experiments whereby it
is presumed that the subject perceives by means of the pit of his
stomach, finger tips, shoulder, etc. As the subject during the som­
nambulant state generally had his eyes closed the experimenters often
took it for granted that the somnambulist's sight had been effectually
excluded.
One morning he stated (4, pp. 23- 24) that his patient (Mrs.
Millet, aged 19) had greatly heightened clairvoyant faculties. She
could perccive clearly anything held before the pit of her stomach,
e.g. a portrait which she could identify so clearly that she could even
give the name of the person who was pictured thereupon. She could
also tell the time on a watch that was held before her; and she could
always name the exact minute to vvhich the hands of the watches
pointed. The various watches held before the pit of her stomach all
differed in the time indicated.
In a further instance (4, pp. 25 ff.) van Ghert stated that she not
only could see very well by means of the pit of her stomach but she
even assured them that she saw her sister walking in the Plantage
(i.e. the plantation in Amsterdam). The sister was dressed in a new
gown of a yellow colour that the somnambulist had never seen, and
she said that the sister intended to visit her doctor at 1 o'clock. After
investigating the matter it was found that the course of events had
been precisely as the clairvoyant had indicated. The sister did take
a walk in the Plantage, being dressed in a yellow gown. Next day
the sister, with the same yellow dress on, came in order to be present
at the magnetizing seance of the subject. vVhen the subject awoke
from the magnetic sleep, she declared that she saw her sister's yellow
dress for the first time.
Some more cases of alleged transposition of the senses are re­
corded by van Ghert. In one (4, p. 37) he wrote that during a
seance some of the persons present requested him to show them some
interesting experiments. Complying, be held several objects in
front of his clairvoyant's fingers and pit of the stomach. When he
asked the clairvoyant to be permitted to blindfold her with a piece
of thick cloth, she readily consented. Directly he had done so she
was able to perceive (by means of the pit of her stomach and of the
tips of her fingers ) as well and clearly as a person whose eyesight
had not been excluded. In order to stop every possibility of fraud
and normal perception, and also to conduct these experiments in the
best possible manner, he held the objects at a distance from the pit
67
of the stomach and had her stretch out her arm as fa r as it would go
so that everybody present cOllld convince himself that the somnam­
bulist did not peep out under the eye-bandages and perceived the
things in a nannal way. Therefore she truly perceived by means of
her stomach and finger tips.
On another occasion (4, p. 67) it \Val; said lhat the patient so
highly d au"Voyant that she !lot onl y could perceive all objects by
means ()f the pit of the stomach, shoulders or fingt:rltpS and distin­
guish them at once, hut \Va<; even abJe to sec blindfolded the
things held at a distance of nearly two fcet so that i t became im­
possible for hcl' to see the objects by peeping under the eye-bandages.
In this conditi on she could read tht:. bigger letters of a
when he held the newspaper agains t the finger tIps of her outstretched
arm and kep t the letter; covered with his other hand. lIe considered
that it was absolutely impossible for her to sec either with her eyes or
with the pi t of her stomach.
In another case (4, pp. 127-128), van GheJ't treated a scrofulous
young boy who had become highly clairvo)'au t in the so\n uam bulis tic
state. Not only could he then perceive by meam of the pi t of t he
stomach or his finger tips, but he could even read the lettering on
pieces of printed paper shu t in a tobacco box and held in front of his
stomach. He was also very successful in seeing and counting playing
car ds when placed in the box. The boy, ho\,\:evel', was very obst inate
and often refused to bring his clairvoyant faculties into play.
One day, apart from van Ohert and the pa tient, the only other
persons present were the boy's lather and !vIr. Kilian, one of van
Ghert's acquainta nces, who had j ust come over from a distant part
of the country. 11r. Kil ian was unknown to the subject or hls father,
the latter not even knowing his Sill'name, as in thei r presence only
his Christian name, TOaD was used.
The fat her a'iked hi" clairvoyan t son, whether he was willi ng to
try to read through a metal tobacco box. After the boy had given
his consent, the father retired to another room and there put a
printed card into the tobacco box and held the cl osed box in fr ont
of the pit of the boy's stomach. Aft er a few moments he said, that it
was a printed card, which was correct. Ne;'<l he spelled the letters
one after the other and read all that wru; printed on the card.
Thereupon the father asked MI'. K ilia n his surname, b Ul in such a
manner that neither the boy nor van Ghert could hear it. He then
wrote Mr. K il ian's name in large letters on the blank side or the
card mentioned above, put the card into the tobacco box and held
the latter closed in front of the sleeping boy's stomach.
68
'" I t is written sO'ip t,' the boy remarked. ' I ndeed.' 'I will
spell it...k . . i . . I. . i . . o .. n; it is kili on.' ' Ko,' I said, 'it is
lillian.' But wh en we had a better look at tlte card, \\ e observed
that the written A looked very similar to an 0."
The above at first sight may give us the impression or being
one ofparanonllal cognition. it would be 11ccessary to be sure that
the father was not in connivance wi th his sou, or that the former did
not whisper what he had to say to the boy, during the moments th e
tobacco box was held in [rant o[ the clairvoyant' s stomach.
In the course of his book van Ghert gives some examples of the
transference of sensation which are of some interest (4, pp. 27-30),
as \-"hen wi thout Mrs. l\1illct knowing anything about it he was given
a little glass of gin and bitters. Directly he had tasted a little of the
drink, the sonmambulist' s face showed clearly all the signs of loath­
ing. She started to cough and remarked, " I say, this is very un­
pleasant, I have got gin and bitters in my throat."
In another ins tance he says that without g'iving her the chance
of knowing about i t, he placed a li ttle piece of ginger-bread with
peel in his mouth. At once the subj ect tasted it but was mistaken
the first time, and imagined it to be peppermint. But, clitcctly after,
she rectified her mistake by crying, " Xo, no, 1 made a mistake ; I
taste ginger-bread, which was ver y pungent and thr ew me into
confusion. "
The next case is really one o[ object-readi ng (psychometry)
which was often practised in those days, in order to get impressions
regarding persons, sick or healthy, not present at the seance. The
usual object to be used in such psychometric seances was a piece of
cloth or handkerchief the person concerned had wor n [or some days
on his naked body, to have it charged wit h animal magneti sm, and
sent over folded in a silk cloth as silk was considered to have insulat­
ing properties.
For example he recorded ({, p. 32) tha t one of his patients, a
young man, was VCl' y successful in getting while manipu­
lating p ieces of cloth during the somnambulistic state. During a
therapeutic seance, and in the presence of a clergyman, 11r. Statius,
and others, this clai rvoyant was handed such a little piece of doth.
The sick person, who had worn piece of cloth for some time on
his naked body, and the disease from which he was suffer ing were
absolutely unknown to va n Gher t and the clairvoyant.
"After having fi ngered the cloth for a few minutes the clair­
voyant said, ' It is from a woman.' ' Exact .' ' She is about 48
years old.' , Correct.' ' T here is somethi ng the matter with her
G9
stomach, her illness is centred there.' 'Correct.' 'She cannot digest
any food, for as soon as food entel'S her stomach a feeling of nausea
comes over her and she vomits.' 'Absolutely correct.' 'She is weak­
sighted and a little time ago started to wear spectacles.' 'Yes, four
months ago .. .' 'At this very moment the woman suffers from a
pain in the head, just above her eyes; but in no other part of her
body.' (vVe at once sent somebody to enquire into this matter, and
were informed that it was exactly as told by the clairvoyant.) 'I
am not sure,' he remarked, 'but it seems to me that one of the
fingers of this woman's right hand is stiff.' 'Indeed, her right thumb
got frozen and has become quite stiff.'"
Another example of this kind of seance was recorded (4, pp. 95­
97) by van Chert of two of his subjects who were handling a piece of
cloth, worn by somebody unknown to them, in order to get impres­
sions about their health, ailments, etc. :Miss K. said that it was an
unmarried woman, which was correct, and then said that the woman
was generally of a melancholy mind. Van Chert replied that this
was not always the case as at times she was quite cheerful. The
somnambulist then said she was not a young woman, saying she was
about 30 years old, which was correct. She followed this up by say­
ing that the patient was not a tall woman, that she was liable to
attacks of intense dizziness and that her illness was caused by a
terrible fright she experienced, owing either to having fallen in a
pond or stream, or from a ladder. All these facts were correct, and
the patient had, as a girl, fallen into a ditch full of water. Miss K.
said that that was not the fright she meant, but one experienced at a
later date. Van Chert said that that was quite correct, as some time
before the patient had fainted outright after she had had a very close
escape from falling down from a ladder on which she was standing.
The somnambule then said that that incident happened in the after­
noon and that the patient now felt a pain in her back and had a kind
of obstruction in the lower part of her abdomen, all of which was
correct.
In the course of his work van Chert mentions cases of rapport
between operator and subject which suggested some form of tele­
pathic communication. For example he described (4, pp. 68-69)
how during a certain period he used to magnetize two patients living
in the same district. Their houses stood diagonally vis-a-vis. It
was really incredible how quickly the one in the normal state was
able to become aware that he was busy treating the other one. Both
assured him that it gave them a very unpleasant feeling to know that
the neighbour was being magnetized. If often happened that the
7
0
one not being treated could no longer resist this overpowering feel­
ing, and was forced to enter the house of thc neigh bour and get him­
self magnetized too. It might be suggested that in this case one
patient saw van Chert entering the house and that therefore no
telepathic rajJPorl was evidenced.
In another case a young man \vhom van Chert was treating
with magnetism was so very sensitive in regard to this kind of sym­
pathetic rapjJort that at a mile's distance he could feel at what time
the mesmerist had started treating one of his female patients, how
long she remained in the magnetic sleep and in what part of her body
she was having the most pain. Several times it happened that when
the young man was brought into the somnambulistic state at this
distance from the second patient, and she \vas feeling much pain at
that very moment, the somnambulist would remark, that l\'liss
M..., the poor girl, was having a terrific pain in her side, in her
head, or any other part of her body that actually was hurting her at
that same moment. \Vhen van Chert \vent to l\1iss M ... he \vas
always able to verify that what the young man had said concerning
her condition was correct.
A faculty often claimed by somnambules of the period was that
of being able to solve cases such as theft. Van Chert describes
(4, pp. 75- 77) such a case in his own experience by relating the story
of how his subject in the somnambulistic state said that the servant
girl had been stealing. This girl, so he was told, had hidden the
stolen things in a dark corner and covered them up with dust and
dirt, in order to leave them there till the loss of the objects would
have been forgotten.
Asked if she would be able to find the stolen things she said that
she could do so if ]'vII's. H., the mistress of the house, ,"ould accom­
pany her. Thereupon she took ]'vII's. H's hand, and still in a somnam­
bulant state and with her eyes closed, got up from the sofa on which
she was sitting. In this same somnambulistic condition she descen­
ded the stairs, walked along the passage and requested that the door
of the entrance to the cellar be opened. She went down the cellar's
stairs and walked straight on to a dark corner, where a little barrel
was placed on which some matting and cloth \vere lying. After
taking the stuff away, she thrust her hand into the barrel and took
out the lady's handbag and a handkerchief, handing both objects
over. She then returned upstairs and seated herself on the sofa.
After having thought for a few moments, she said, " It seems to me
that something also has been stolen from Mr. H."
Van Chert enquired of Mrs. H. about this matter but she told
7
1
him that she did not know anything about it. His patient, however,
persisted in saying, "SLitI, it l<; true, in the room farthes t back :r-. rr.
H . must have had something lyi ng in a small drawer." :Mrs. H.
answered, "Only his shoc-buckh:s." " Well, tbese, too, have dis­
appeared."
A t once Mrs. H . went to the room i ndicated, looked into the
drawer menti oned by t he and noted tha t again t he
somnambulis t had made a correct statement. The patient in the
magnetic t hen "vent on La say, "These buckles are made of
coppcr, gilued copper, aren't they?" .. Ye;, in deed !" "The scrvant
girl has also taken away these buckles and sold them to a Jew. If
that man had been her e, I would recognize him immecliately. He
must have worn a while cap and a grey coaL The servant girl
didn' t get much [or the buckles." "How much ?" " Only four
pence, for he said tha t t he buckles contained only copper and so
weren' t worth more. VVi lh this money and that taken from the
lady's handbag she bought hersel[ sweets."
Having said this she turned to Mrs. H . and told her to put the
servant to the tes t in a roundabout way and then she would soon be
detected, lor if not she would contin ue her thefts.
In discussing this case van Chert sta ted that he did not know what
to believe and therefore he thought it best to investigate the whole
malter as carefull)T as possible before the somnambulist's statements
could be accepted. He therefore asked 1\'[r8. H. to watch the servant
carefully and to tes t her honesty a t every convenient occasion. She
promised van Chert that she would do so and after about six days
the servant had been caught stealing several times and having been
forced partly to confess her lhefts she was dismissed .
Although the statements at his subj ect had been justiii.ed regard­
ing the thefts, van C her t questioned both Mrs. H. and Miss K . about
the case and they both agreed that the subject had not consciously
known who the thief was or where the stolen obj ects had been
concealed.
It was bel ieved at one time in the past (and the same idea has
been revived today) that there exists a mys terious sympathetic bond
between human beings and their secretions and various bodily
parts. A sympathetic bond of this kind was, it seems, supposed to
cause certain effects which were described by Dr. Alexander Numan
(1780- 1852) an agricnltW"al and veteri nary specialist of Croningen
and a member of the committee surveyin!! the activities or medical
practitioners or that county.
7
2
The author stated (5, pp. 21 - 22) that previously he treated a girl
of about 20 years of age with animal magnetism. For the last three
years the girl had been suffering from an intermittent fever (tertian
fever) which was accompanied by serious disorders of the circulation
of the blood, especially in the vessels of the abdomen.
One day, after this patient had been brought to a state of som­
nambulism and a high degree of clairvoyance, he followed her own
instruction and bled her. The idea came then to him to ask her
whether if the blood thus drained were magnetized while she was
not present, such a manipulation would cause her to drop asleep.
She confirmed that this would be the case if the blood were magneti­
zed within twclve hours of having been drained off.
After the blood had cooled, it became covered by a rather round,
thick though somewhat curled, clotted layer (crusta phlogistica).
Eleven hours after having bled her, he broke off a piece from the
clotted cake of blood and placed the clot on a smooth, fiat piece of
glass that just previously he had magnetized for the purpose indi­
cated above. Vyhen the next morning the patient arrived at Nu­
man's residence to be magnetized by him, she told him, without the
least prompting by him or in reply to any suggestions on his part,
that something very unusual had happened to her the evening be­
fore. Between 7 and 8 p.m. she had paid a visit to her sister who
lived not far distant from the patient's own home. There she sud­
denly, in the presence of several other persons in the room, had fallen
asleep. All those present were quite shocked when they saw her
faint suddenly, and there was some consternation felt about her
condition. They tried by all means to awaken her but without
success. She had slept for about an hour, this being the usuallcngth
of time for her to remain in her crisis, after which time she awoke in
a cheerful mood and felt quite restored and well. The sister's house,
where she fell asleep, was about a mile distant from Numan's own
house.
In her magnetic sleep, directly following the conversation, she
was able to state with more exactness the time of her falling asleep
the evening before, and this moment corresponded completely with
the time he had magnetized the blood. Numan writes that these
phenomena cannot be explained by the imagination of the patient,
as she was the first he ever treated in this manner and that she
therefore could have no idea regarding the typical of animal
magnetism. As he had only talked about magnetizing the blood
with her when she was in the somnambulistic state, she could have
no knowledge about the procedure during her waking state, a view
F
73
prevalent at the time and which Numan shared although its validity
has since been shown to be faulty.
When the health of this patient improved, the mesmerist having
followed the various indications given by the somnambulist as to
medicines, diet, etc., she again instructed her mesmerist to bleed her.
This happened twice, and on both occasions Numan tried the same
experiment as cited above but without success. According to the
somnambulist this failure was due to the fact that the blood had
become much more healthy and so magnetism had no longer any
effect upon it.
Numan obtained exactly the same results with another female
patient who showed similar symptoms. Twice he magnetized the
blood of this patient while she was away from him at a distance of two
miles. Both times she fell asleep immediately he started treating her
blood. But when she was getting better, and her somnambulistic
crises had reached their peak, results were no longer obtained when
he magnetized her blood without her knowing anything about it.
The above case is instructive as it concerns the whole complex of
beliefs which had formed around animal magnetic treatment. One
of these doctrines was that when the patient recovered the magnetism
had no longer any effect on him. I t was sometimes considered by
early mesmerists a sound indication of health improvement when the
somnambulistic state became shorter and shorter every time in the
course of treatment, and when it became more and more difficult for
the mesmerist to induce it in his patient. These conceptions, of
course, soon became known to the patients and they rcacted accord­
ingly. That the mental suggestion (considered the result of an
existing sympathetic bond between the individual and his severed
parts) no longer took effect, once the patient was recovering his
health, has to be looked upon from the same point of view. That the
patient fell asleep the first time that the mesmerist magnetized the
clot of blood belonging to the patient might be explained by some
by suggesting that there existed a continuous telepathic rapport
between the mesmerist and patient. According to this view the
pars pro 1010 idea is prevalent here, and as soon as the patient tele­
pathically got the impression that the mesmerist was manipulating
a piece of her blood (being herself) she fell asleep. She herself,
when asked about it, had affirmed that she would do so, and so her
subliminal self was paranormally alert for the sign that the mesmerist
was attempting the experiment. That she no longer reacted when
she considered herself getting better might be regarded as a kind of
"psi-missing". The telepathic impulse was actually present but the
74
subliminal self no longer passed it on, for such a situation no longer
conformed to certain accepted doctrines.
In the course of his discussion Numan noted what he considered
to be a paranormal rapport between mesmerist and patient. Thus he
reported (5, p. 41) that when on a certain day he was suffering from
a disorder of the bowels and felt sick, one of his somnambulists
advised him to take some purgative but not an emetic. As he believed
this to be sound advice, he took at home a purgative (senna leaflets,
tamarind and magnesium salt). Not only did she experience at the
same time as himself a loosening of the bowels (though she lived two
miles away from him), but she also felt the same symptoms of sick­
ness and pain that he was having at that time. Although Numan
may have believed this case to be an example of paranormal rapport,
his account of it will hardly inspire confidence in the modern reader.
A year after the publication of Numan's book appeared a work
by VV. van der Held on his experiences. One of his cases of travelling
clairvoyance (6, p. 13) may be worth quoting. A patient, Mr. W.
R., was brought into rapport with the clairvoyant somnambulist, in
order to obtain a good diagnosis of his ailments. One day, owing to
an illness, he was unable to keep his appointment with the somnam­
bulist. About half an hour before the sitting in which Held was to
mesmerize the clairvoyant and induce in her the somnambulistic
state, he went to Mr. \V. R.'s house, and arranged that he was to
stay in bed as he had taken a sudorific, and that Held was not going
to bring him in contact with the clairvoyant that afternoon. Held
then returned to his house and fifteen minutes later started to mag­
netize the clairvoyant and brought her into the usual somnambulistic
state. She showed her great annoyance that Mr. \V. R. was not at
the seance and that no rapport could be established between her and
him. She was then told that Mr. W. R. was not feeling well and
that he had gone to bed.
" She then said, 'No, he is not in bed, but is sitting on a chair in
the room at the back of the house'. Though I had extreme con­
fidence in the powers of this clairvoyant, I now felt that she had made
a mistake. This feeling was strongly supported by the fact that when
I arrived at the house ofMr. 'vV. R. about an hour later, I found him
in the very same position as ".:hen I left him, that is to say in bed in
the middle room of his house.
"I was greatly surprised, however, to be informed that he had
formed the mistaken belief that I had agreed to come to his house,
bringing the clairvoyant with me, and that I was going to mesmerize
her in his house. He had therefore got up from his bed, and
75
exactl}' at the moment when the clairvoyant h.,d informed me of
his whereabouts he had gone to the baek room to fetch something,
but feeling exhausted, had rested on a chair in that room for five
minutes."
In 1817 a very interesting debate was published ( 14) between J.
A. U ilkens and J. Buys. Jacobus A. Uilkens (1782- 1825), a school
inspector, was a writer of some versatili ty and contributed a number
of education books on natural science. Buys, (1764-1838) on the
other hand, was also noted for his contributions to the physical
sciences and in their discussion a number of points of interest emerge
regarding alleged paranormal phenomena in which Uilkens was
apparentl y a believer. For example (p. 547) he mentions people
who were born blind, but nevertheless were able to distinguish
colours with their fingers, a faculty which it is uncertain whether the
writer considered to be paranormal. On the other hand, he had
himself made some experiments with his own somnambulist, a
woman some 45 years old who after three weeks' training became an
excellcnt magnetic subject. In one of the tests (p. 552) Uilkens
describes an incident which illustrates how experiments of that kind
were largely conditioned by the beliefs of the operators. In a cup­
board stood an uncorked bottle of currant wine and Uilkens,
apparently thinking it was something else, poured himself out a
glass of it and drank the contents. His sornnambule, who was in
the magnetic state, shook herself and screwed up her mouth, reply­
ing when he asked her what was the matter with her by saying that
the stuff might be called wine, but it was as sour as vi negar. From
the account it is clear tha t U ilkens believed that the use of the normal
senses was excluded during the magnetic sleep and there is no evi­
dence which would lead us to suppose that the lady did not know
what the bottle contained.
Another experiment was, perhaps, rather better designed, but
can hardly be considered conclusive. O ne day U ilkells took a little
box and put in it a small key. He docs not say when he put the key
in the box, which is of importance in view of what followed. Hold­
ing the box in front of the subject's stomach, he asked her what it
was, to which she replied that it was a little box and when asked
what ,vas in it said that there was a little key. Some thirty persons
were present at this test and many of them considered that the per­
formance was fraudulent , since it seemed to be too wonderful to be
true.
There is, however, no need to consider that the phenomena were
fraudulent, since Uilkens appears not to have givc:n any evidence
7
6
that a simple normal proccdw·e was not a l work. I-le does not even
say whether the key was wrapped up, and si nce he also omils to teU
us whether the subject was abl e to see normally or nOl , it is impos­
sible to be s ure whether the subject did not simply see the box in
front of her and heard the key rattling inside. It is through accounts
li ke these that the incompetence of these early investigators in
magnetism can be measured. In another similar test, which
apparently was in the nature of a p ublic demonstration, Uilkens took
his handkerchief and asked a member of the audience to put some­
thing inside it and not to tell him what i t was. This was done and
the handkerchief was held before the subject in the same way as was
the little box. When asked what it was she replied that it was a
cloth and when asked what was inside it, she said that it was a pipe­
cleaner. Uilkcns then unfolded the handkerchief and showed that
the subject had correctly seen and described the object.
In the course of the d.iscussion, Buys suggested that Uilkens'
subject might like to try to divine the contents of a sealed box to be
supplied by him and by his associates. To this simple request
Uilkens replied (p. 558) that he could no longer try this experiment
since he had given up his mesmeric work and no longer had his
somnambule at his disposal.
In these tests it is interesting to observe that it seems to have been
generally believed at the time that the subjects, once in the mesmeric
state, did not know what was going on around them. T he fact that
the subject closed hi s eyes was, i t was thought, sufficient proof that
he saw nothing.
M INOR C ASES IN THE INTERMEDIATE P ERIOD
Towards 1820 the popularity of animal magnetism in the Nether­
lands hac! already begun to fade. In the second volume of his book
(3) Pr01essor Bakker was already complaining that he and his
colleagues were no longer getting the excellent results with magnetic
methods which they had obtained five to six years earlier. The
somnambulistic state was getting more and more difficult to induce,
and there was also a great scarcity of good mesmerists. Another
factor, also, was that the treatment usually took so long. Patients
had to be treated with magnetism for many months, and if success
was achieved within a year, one could be very pleased. All these
drawbacks induced medical men to abandon animal magnetism and
try other more satisfactory methods. Animal magnetism bceame in
this way discredited among orthodox physicians and thus the method
77
became limited to unorthodox practitioners, some of whom enjoyed
renown in Holland.
1-.1r. van der Lee was one of these and in the 1820S the daily
newspapers and many pamphlets gave him extravagant praise in
view of the great many wonderful cures he was said to have achieved.
The methods were the same as applied by Bakker, van Ghert,
Numan and others, that is to say, a subject magnetized by the mes­
merist was brought into a somnambulistic state and then was able to
diagnose the ailments and prescribe medicines. Patients either were
present in person or sent a piece of their clothing, a night-cap or
something similar. The somnambulist of:Mr. van der Lee, who was
a grocer, was his own daughter.
Few detailed accounts were printed concerning the exploits of
these operators and their somnambulists. There may have been
manifestations of paranormal phenomena as often described by the
older mesmerists but we know little about them. One or two
accounts, hO\'Ilever, have been preserved.
In 1837 appeared a book by a well-known pharmacist of the
period, Bernard Meylink, who was interested in animal magnetism
and its psychological implications. He maintained that (7, p. 19)
in a higher state of development the somnambulist could perceive
objects enclosed in opaque boxes, cnvelopes, etc. He himself was
once present at a sitting when the somnambulist was able to read a
letter in a sealed envelope. Several times he had held a watch
against the pit of the stomach of the same patient and she always
correctly stated the time indicated by that watch, however much the
watch's time differed from the actual time at that moment.
Another case cited (7, pp. 80- 81) by IVIeylink is that of a som­
nambulist who correctly diagnosed illnesses through the handling of
a sleeping-cap worn by the patient. This record was given to the
author by one of his friends and stated that in the autumn of 1835
it was decided to consult the somnambulist of NIr. B. Jodocus Meyer,
a well-known mesmerist, on behalf of the 1 I-year old daughter of a
Deventer merchant (cf. 8 and 9). During the whole year this girl
had been suffering from convulsive attacks, in many ways similar
to those occurring in cases of epilepsy. She had these attacks as
often as from one to four times a week and the patient suffered a
great deal from them. How much she suffered could easily be seen
by the oppressed feeling in her breasts, her violent movements, the
intense flushing of her face and so on. The attacks lasted from thirty
minutes to a full hour and the only thing that she could do to make
them more bearable was to stretch herself full length on the floor of
7
8
the room. \Vhen she recovered from the attack there was complete
amnesia in regard to what had happened during the time the attack
lasted.
\Vhen treatment by orthodox medical men had been of no avail,
it was decided to consult the Rotterdam somnambulist, Miss Stef­
fens, and so a night-cap the child used to wear, and \vhich was duly
wrapped in silk, was forwarded to l\1r. N1eyer, together with the
following letter: "Sir, together with this letter you will find a night­
cap, in which the patient has slept for a week. The patient who
wore the cap is an II-year-old girl. \Vill you, please, request your
somnambulist to look into the matter, for we would like to know what
ails the child and what medicine could be given her with success.
I am, dear sir, etc."
These were the only words written to l\/1r. ~ . I I e y e r and the answer
received was amazingly correct. The child's mother affirmed that
every word written by the somnambulist as regards her daughter's
symptoms were absolutely true and to the point and that the pre­
scribed medicines were administel'ed in full confidence. Fairly
soon after the prescribed medicincs had been taken regularly, the
child got rid of a large quantity of .vorms. Afterwards there was a
slow recovery, the patient became stronger and the attacks were less
frequent.
After having taken the medicines for a month, a night-cap was
sent off for the second time. New medicines were prescribed and
having taken these for a fortnight the child became quite healthy
and suffered no longer from convulsive attacks.
It appears that -:Meylink observed other mesmeric phenomena
which, if described correctly, can be considered by some as para­
normal. Thus the ral)port between operator and subject was occa­
sionally such that he records (7, p. 22) that cases \vere known where
the subject was able to tell when the mesmerist put a piece of sugar
in his mouth and say that she had a sweet taste and that when the
operator fclt pain she felt likewise.
Again, cases of travelling clairvoyance were noted by Meylink.
On one occasion (7, p. 26) the somnambulist in her magnetic sleep
was able to describe a town, a house, and a person who \vas staying
there at the time, with such great accuracy that it was recognized at
once as correct, though the person described was staying 130 miles
away from the subject, and the latter had never been in that house 01'
town, or had ever met the person she clairvoyantly perceived.
A year before Meylink's little booklet saw the light of day, there
had been published, also at Deventer, a book ( I I) attributed to P. C.
79
patients with whom he had been working for many yeal"S. He soon
found that he was able to obtain almost all the mesmeric phcnomena
through the use of this method (13, p. 16) and although Electro­
Biology undoubtedly produced many of the phenomena associated
with animal magnetism, it was Hoek's opinion that there was a
pronounced difference between the two systems. Following the
statements of his own somnambulist, Hoek maintained that, from
his point of view, Electro-Biology only actcd on the bodily functions,
while animal magnetism (levens-magnetismus) brought about a direct
manifestation of the faculties of the soul or spirit (13, p. 23) .
About the middle of the last century, before the great invasion of
American Spiritualism into Europe had taken place which caused,
as one might say, the transference of the phenomena of animal mag­
netism to the domain of spirit intervention, the spirits were not
generally believed to make use of animal magnetism to produce the
phenomena called spiritualistic. The mesmerists already had full
knowledge of the various forms of extrasensory perception, such as
telepathy, clairvoyance and precognition. These phenomena, from
the beginning of the nineteenth century, puzzled the scientists, and
innumerable discussions took place about the probabilities and
improbabilities of paranormal cognition. Prizes were offered to
those somnambulists who could perceive script locked in metal boxes,
etc., but so far as I am aware such a challenge was never met in the
Netherlands.! The explanatory hypotheses put forward sounded
quite modern. There was, for instance, the hypothesis of the sixth
sense to explain ESP, and this sense was thought to be found in the
solar plexus. If one reads through this old mesmerist literature one
cannot help thinking that there is indeed nothing new under the
sun, and I am sure that the paranormal has not become any clearer
to us moderns than to the investigators of the I840s.
Typical paranormal phenomena in connection with animal
magnetism are rarely reported at this time. A number of somnam­
bulists, hO\-vever, expressed their opinion on quite a number of sub­
jects, presuming that in their condition their own knowledge and
means of perception greatly exceeded those of the common mortal
in the waking state. Some of the subjects discussed were conditions
existing in other planets, the nature of cholera, the events in con­
nection with Christ's Passion, etc.
It is curious to note that physical phenomena have been hardly
ever reportcd as produced by the somnambulists. In Holland, at
1 For an interesting example of one of these challengcs see the highly in­
structive correspondence bctween ]. A. Uilkens and ]. Buys (14).
82
least, not a word is said regarding the possibilities of telekinesis,
apports or materialization. So far as I know, not a single case is
known from this country occurring before 1850. The production of
physical phenomena was probably never suggested by the mesmerists
to their subjects, and so no motive existed to produce this kind of
manifestation, in contrast to the mental phenomena which were
much sought after and generally believed to accompany the treat­
ment by means of animal magnetism. It is only after Spiritualistic
phenomena of the physical type became known in the Netherlands
that we hear about such manifestations. The only case of physical
phenomena in connection with somnambulism and animal mag­
netism is the one reported by Siemelink (15), whose real name was
H. ]. van Kesteren and who, before the Spiritualistic period, was a
well-known mesmerist, treating all kinds of illnesses with magnetism.
From the description he gives us, it is clear that the physical mani­
festations were the result of the spreading of Spiritualistic reports
coming from the United States, England and France. The same prob­
ably applies to the automatic writing ofSiemelink's somnambulist.
On 27 December 1857 he wrote (IS, p. 183) that between 8.45
and 9 p.m. his somnambulist, Miss]. P. van der Goorberg, living at
Delft, started to write automatically for the first time (haar eerste
spiritualistische schrift ). This event, happening in his own house, was
preceded by various Spiritualistic manifestations in his room, in the
presence ofseveral persons gathered there to witness the seance. The
furniture in the room moved about without any visible contact;
raps were produced alternatively in the tables, the doors and in the
walls. After these manifestations the somnambulist asked them to
hand her a pencil an" paper, on receiving which she wrote in an
unconscious state a poem, the somnambulist herself attributing it
to her sister who died four years before.
As may be noted, it was the medium or somnambulist who made
the remark that a deceased person, her sister, was writing by means
of the somnambulist's hand. The latter also said that the hand­
writing was that of her sister. The poem was a religious one and
sounded very much like some hymn, of a type sung in the Protestant
churches. This case, too, gives a clear idea how about 1857 the
somnambulists, who before had nothing to do with spirits of the
deceased, suddenly turned into Spiritualistic mediums, under the
influence of the Spiritualist movement.
One of the Dutch physicians who continued treating patients
by means of magnetism so that they were brought into a somnam­
bulistic state, was Dr. A. Hock, mentioned earlier, who also
83
..-......
published a considerable amount on the subject. Hoek was very weU
known in The Hague about the middle of the last centmy and later
on especially as the obstetrician of Q ueen Juliana's grandmother .
He assisted at the birth of Q ueen ·Wilhelmina. H cre is a case of a
correct diagnosis by one of his somnambulists (16, pp. 14-r 5).
One day Hoek received a piece of cloth with thc request to ask
his somnambulist to look into the case. He had not the slightest
knowledge about the person or persons who sought information from
his somnambulist. H e gave the somnambulist the piece of cloth,
asking her to diagnose the case, but she could not come to any
conclusion. Several times he heard her mutter under her breath,
" How curious these things are". At last she said that it seemed to
her that two persons were concerned with the pi ece of cloth; at one
moment she believed that it was an ailment of the spi ne, in com­
bination with something the matter with the chest, but then again
it appeared to her to be an illness of the liver of a cl ropsical person
who suffered from severe pains in the right side. She returned the
piece of cloth to him, saying, "I cannot make it out, I have the
greatest difficulty in distinguishing bet\'/een the two persons. I
cannot prescribe any medicine either, as what \""ould be beneficial
for the one would be bad for the other. "
Hoek became very annoyed with his somnambulist, as he be­
lieved her impressions to be erroneous and becausc such a thing had
not happened before. However, he had badl y misjudged her.
vVhen he had informed thc sender of the piece of cloth of the som­
nambulist's imprcssions, in reply it was said that every confidence
should be given to the somnambulist, for the patient who had \\'orn
the piece of cloth had indecd chest complaint:>'and an ailment of the
spine. This patient, however, had given the piece of cloth to anothcr
person who wrapped up the cloth and posted it. This person had
been anaemic for a long time, suffering at the same ti me with severe
pains in the right side, owing to an ailment of the li ver.
THE \VORK OF H. G. BECHT
Together \vith Dr. Hoek, Dr. H. G. I3echt, for many years town
physician (stadsgeneesheer) of The Hague, was a great believer in the
effectiveness of animal magnetism to cure or improve the health of
the sick. The first time hc was induced to appl y mesmeric measures
to a patient signified a turning-point in his life, espccially a ~ the
patient gave him an excellent instance of precognition whi ch so
baffled him when he found it to be true that he completely changed
84
bis more or less materialistic view of life and became a great ad­
herent of mesmeric phenomena, and later of Spiritualism. He
de3cribcs in detail this moving experience in one of his books ( r 7,
pp. 2- 46). As the prediction was made during a course of' animal
magnetic treatment (it did not cure the patient of her far-advanced
tuberculosis but acted as an excellent palliativc, and kept death from
the patient's door for many months) and before the Spiritualistic
invasion of the continent of Europe, I have included the case in this
section.
One afternoon in the late summer of r849, Dr. VV. H. M. ,
[Dr. W. H. Meyer?] residing in the Nobclstraat, The Hague, and
I3echt, who had lodgings in the Oude Moistraat in the same town,
were summoned, probably because they were the two nearest doc­
tors, to the bed-side of Miss L. G. L. in the Molenstraat as she had
just had a very severe attack of haemoptysis. T he paticnt, a young
girl of 23, was lady-in-waiting to Princess Marianne, one of the
daughters of King \Villiam I. The doctors regarded her case as
extremely serious and had not the slightest hope that she would
recover.
Becht was then a young man, while his colleague, Dr . M. , be­
longed to a former generation and had alrcady reached the sixties.
One day, when Becht visited thc patient, the latter became very
distresscd and could hardly breathe, so that she was believed to be
moribund. Becht gripped her hand and cried with great emotion,
"Louise, I will it, you must not die". Directly after this she seemed
to drop into a peaceful sleep and her pulse beat became strong and
regular. In this mesmeric condition she began to talk and said that
she had to be magnetized regularly, drink magnctized water, etc.
vVhen she came to her senses, she could not remember anything of
what had happened. She appeared to be an excellent mesmeric
subject and soon one word uttered by Becht w"s sufficient to put her
in a somnambulistic state. The drinking of magnctized water was
continued and seemed to do the patient a great deal of good.
Several months passed. The patient moved to another house
and now resided with a lady-friend, much older than herself, in a
house at the Amsterdamsche Veerkade in the central part of T he
Hague. One spring day in 1850, the patient being in the somnam­
bulistic condition which always gavc her great relief, she started to
talk in a rather melancholy ·way.
"Next spring I shall not see; I shall no longer be alive when
spring comes next year. I perceive a room, looking out on to a
garden. What is that? A garden, a large garden, but no fiowers,
85
could not give her any relief; the only thing that did have some
effect \\'as the drinking of magnetized water, the only beverage that
was not immediately vomited.
It was Becht's custom (17, p. 39) to visit the patient during the
forenoon and stay with her for a short time. He then returned at
7 p.m. to magnetize her. Onc day, hO'wever, hc had planned to go
to the opera with some friends, and had booked his seats a few days
in advance. Because of this engagement he went to NIiss Louise an
hour earlier. He found her sick-bed surrounded by some of the
inmates of the house, owing to her condition having become a great
deal worse, or at least so it seemed. She hel"Self was very calm and
she asked him whether he had been requested by her friends to come
earlier than usual. \Vhen he said no, she answcl'ed that it would not
be necessary to magnetize her that evening, as she felt strangely
changed. Something extraordinary had happcned or was going to
happen soon, she believed. She felt rathcr well, only her hands and
feet were as cold as ice, a cold which was extending upwards to her
arms and legs. Becht offcred to takc hold o1'her hands and said that
hot water bottles would bc put at her feet. The patient insisted
after a while that Becht should lcave her and when he departed put
something into his hand as a memento.
All through the opera performance Becht fclt a great uneasiness
creeping over him, and he therefore did not enjoy this rare outing
as he had imagined he would. Returning home, he asked his servant
whether there had been any calls or messages while he was away.
The servant answered that there was a message that :Miss L. died at
7 o'clock that evening. Becht ,,,as astonished as he had left her bed­
side only a few minutes befOl"e seven.
The thought then suddenly struck Becht that the deceased had
just so predicted that it would happen at 7 o'clock in the evening,
when hc and other persons would stand round her bed, and he would
grasp her dying hands. And he suddenly remembered that there
would be the room looking out on to the garden, winter-time, lighted
lamps, the illness of Dr. :M., all those things of which she spoke at
the time. Everything seemed to be as predicted by her but the only
thing he could not remember was the predicted day of her death.
He was very glad that at least one detail of the foresight had perhaps
not come true. If only he had given attention to those details and
kept them in mind, he could perhaps have influenced the course of
events and prevented the predicted details from bccoming realities.
In his great dismay he left his house and went to the residence of
his future in-laws, and found them still awake. They, too, were
88
astonished to hear how completely the prediction had been realized.
Becht said what a pity it was that he did not make a note or the
predicted day of her death, but his fiancee's mother replied that she
had done so, but could not remember where she put the note away.
However, she was pretty sure that it was the 17th January that she
had been told.
Becht asked her to search for the note, although deep in him was
a hope that it ""ould never be found. But that wa') not so: after
searching in all kinds of cupboards and drawers, they finally found
the note in her sewing-basket. It was a small piece of paper, folded
twice, on which was written in pencil: "Nliss L. 17 January 1851,
at 7 o'clock in the evening. Dr. to-day year. The Hague, 10
April, 1850."
Confronted with such overwhelming evidence he capitulated and
had to acknowledge that his whole philosophic view of life was
crumbling to the ground. His last hope, though a forlorn one, was
that maybe Dr. M.'s date of death would not come true. He was
wrong. In the town's registers of births and deaths the reader will
find that not only J\-liss Louise Geertruida L. died on 17 January,
at 7 p.m., but also that Dr. Willem Hendrik M.'s death was on
10 April of the same year, exactly as the clairvoyant had foretold.
One of the Dutch physicians who remaincd a believer in animal
magnetism all his life and worked with many somnambulists wa') A.
Hoek. He was, however, a man who was quite convinced that there
was a good deal of humbug in clairvoyant manifestations, and he
gave it as his opinion that clairvoyance was a rare occurrence (16).
As regards precognition he only mentions one instance which he was
able himself to verify. It is in his little book (18), in which he de­
scribes the cure of a young woman showing all the symptoms of
insanity.
The patient, J\-liss B., born at Delft, and 22 years old, had been
completely insane for five months. As a last resort Hoek had been
asked to magnetize her, which he did for the first time on 12 Dec­
ember, 1850,1 and the patient immediately fell into a somnam­
bulistic state. Hoek seemed to have had a great sympathy for the
girl for he took her into his house for treatment, which rather an­
noyed Mrs. Hoek as he seemed to have had more than professional
interest in her. The case of B. is an interesting one,
as in the somnambulistic state she started a kind of psychoanalytic
treatment upon herself, relating why she had got these fits of
insanity. The girl had had a very unhappy youth and several
1 Note that this incident occurred 18 years before date of publication.
G 89
......
frightening episodes had unbalanced her emotionally. Most of
these episodes had happened in her ninth year. By speaking of these
episodes in all their details she underwent a kind of mental catharsis
and her condition slowly got better. It was also found that her
fiances suicide, after she had broken off the engagement, had caused
a severe mental trauma. In the course of the treatment a secondary
personality made its appearance who directed the cure and indi­
cated what had to be done to restore the patient's health and mental
sanity. In the somnambulistic condition it was predicted, several
months beforehand, that her last attackwould occur on 10 ?vIay 1851,
a prediction which was realized. In the course of one of these
somnambulistic states she predicted that she would go to Java some
years later, contract a happy marriage there and have several
children. In 1868 Hoek received a letter from her, stating she had
married a headmaster in Java, was very happy and that several
children had already been born to her.
REVIUS, RIKO AND THE LATER HYPKOTlSTS
We may regardJ. Revius (19) as one of the principal representa­
tives of tlie transitional period between mesmeric times and those of
modern Spiritualism in the Netherlands. He could be considered as
a man who had nominally given up his somnambulistic and animal
magnetic notions and had gone over to Spiritualism, but had taken
all his ideas and concepts with him. In his publications one can
clearly observe how somnambulism and Spiritualism mingle and
hO\\1 the latter dre\v heavily upon the former in all its manifestations
and conceptions. The next case shows that somnambulism as such
is not an infallible method of inducing paranormal phenomena at
will in subjects but that it can only bring out what is already latent
and potentially present in the subject.
Revius wrote (19, pp. 93- 99) that in the autumn of 1860 he met a
healthy young lady, 22 years old, whom he did not know. Those
present in the room, where he paid his visit, soon started to talk
about table-tilting and then some of the young people began to
experiment with the table. Very soon after they had gathered
round the table he observed that the hand of the young lady that
was lying upon the table began to move in a spasmodic manner.
He put a pencil in her hand and at once she started to write.
Directly after having written the first word she fell into a mag­
netic sleep.
Some days later Revius again met the lady at his friend's house.
9
0
He requested her to shake hands with him, and directly upon touch­
ing him she fell into the mesmeric sleep.
It appeared that she was suffering from swollen glands in one of
her breasts, caused by a fall against a cupboard. According to the
instructions received in the somnambulistic state the breast was
treated with compresses of magnetized water. In six weeks' time
she was cured. In the meanwhile a very close rapport had developed
between the young lady and Revius and there were constant indica­
tions of telepathic contact between the two.
One day wishing to try the experiment whether she would be
able to guess his thoughts, or rather know them, at a distance of 120
miles, the lady living in the east of Holland while Revius had his
home in the west at The Hague, he wrote on a piece of paper:
"embrace my photograph". After writing these words, he breathed
upon the piece of paper, folded it in two and glued down the edges.
This piece of paper was enclosed in his letter to her. In the letter he
wrote that he wanted her to read what was said upon the glued down
piece of paper, without opening it. After having read the contents
clairvoyantly, she should note down her impression, and only after
having done all this was she to open it in the presence of witnesses,
and compare her impre')sion with what was actually noted dO\vn
upon the little piece of paper.
While reading his letter her hand got hold of his photograph,
which she embraced, and wrote down the exact words he had jotted
down on the glued down paper. Her mother and sister were present
and witnessed the opening of the sealed paper (p. 95).
Again, on Friday, 8 November 1861, Revius wrote her a letter,
saying that she should try to know what he had written on a separate
piece of paper, while he was busy writing to her. This time, how­
ever, he did not enclose that piece of paper in the letter but kept it
on his writing-desk. He also wrote her that he wanted her to fall
into a somnambulistic sleep at 5 p.m. To do this she had to seat
herself before a table on which she had to place writing-material
and some paper beforehand.
She received his letter on Sunday, 10 November at 8.30 a.m. and
answered him that same evening that she had read half of his letter
and then suddenly put it down unwillingly. Her hand started to
tremble violently, and was, so to speak, drawn towards her dressing­
case. It took from the dressing-case pencil and paper and wrote only
the words: "Go forth, embrace your mother". These were almost
the words Revius had written on a piece of paper while composing his
letter to her o.n 8 November. He had not in fact thought of the
9
1
i...
words: <; Go forth ", for he had presumed that she would read his
letter in the presence of her mother, while actually she did this in her
own room. She further wrote in her letter that in the aftcrnoon she
fell asleep vcry soon and slept excellently. Even before 5 p.m. she
felt an inclination to fall askep. Greatly interested, her mother re­
mained in her room and took care that she should not be disturbed.
I twas quiet and dark in the room. She remained asleep until 6 p.m.
and then wrote what was enclosed in her letter to him. The last
sentence of the letter said that Revius was thinking of her with
great intensity at that very moment. Knowing that she would be in
a magnetic sleep at that hour, he had centred with great interest all
his thoughts on her. To be quite sure that what he had written down
for this experiment would not be communicated to her before she
had received his letter of 8 November, he informed some of his
friends about this experiment only on 11 November, that is to say
after her answering letter had been posted on 10 November, which
he expected to receive on 12 November, and actually did come on
that day.
Revius further wrote ( 19, p. 97) that in his letter of 17 November
to the same young lady he said that she should try to know the two
thoughts he had written down in his notebook while composing the
letter. These thoughts were: (1) I wish to know what we have to under­
stand by " the unconscious life", and (2) If there exists a manner or method,
by waJ' if which I and other persolls could know your thoughts bJ' a kind if
transference, I desire to become acquainted with that manner or method.
In reply she answered on 19 November that while reading his
letter she imagined that she kne\l· his thoughts. \Vas it really his
desire that she should give him a description of the power that made
her write in the magnetic sleep about the so-called "unconscious
life"? Also, he desired to know what that power could do for other
people and what relation existed between his magnetic power and
her newly formed impressions. Revius's comment regarding the
answer to the second question was that the conformity between
question and reply was none too clear.
One of Revius's contemporaries and just as deeply influenced as
Revius by both animal magnetism and Spiritualism was A. ].
Riko (20, 21). He tells us in his book (20) that he once had an
excellent magnetic subject whom he could bring into a somnam­
bulistic sleep at any moment he chose to do so, and without her
knowing anything about it. He succeeded in putting her to sleep,
regardless of distance and intervening walls or obstacles. He claims
to have proved his power over his subject several times to the in­
9
2
mates of the suLjeCl's house and memLers of her family. As Riko
does not mention any special instances with a detailed description of
what happened during such a case of mental suggestion, I need not
go any further into what Riko calls" spiritual correspondencc".
In this same book, he also records the fact that in the year 1 861
he made the acquaintance of the young lady, that excellent subjcct
of NIr. Revius whom we have mentioned above. Riko says that
though the young lady was not very keen herself about the experi­
ments Revius conducted with her, she dutifully put herself at his
disposal as she felt very thankful to him as he had cured her in the
course of a magnetic treatment. Riko writes that there existed such
a telepathic rapport between the two that every time Revius sent her a
present, such as a book or some music, she used to thank him for his
gifts before the articles had come into her possession.
Riko writes (20, pp. 249 - 252) that "one day :Mr. Revius re­
ceived a letter from this lady saying: 'Yesterday, at about 3 o' clock
in the afternoon, I found myself in your office, and I seated myself at
your right-hand side. You were busy writing a letter to me but I
was unable to read what you wrote. You folded the letter, and added
one of your photographs to the letter, after having chosen one from
a number of photographs. Letter and photo you thcn put into an
envelopc. I expect that letter tomorrow. For more than an hour I
stood in your neighbourhood but you did not perccive me, which
greatly surprised me. I was also astonished to see that I could not
warn you that I was standing in the room.'
"All these impressions seemed to have been quite correct, as
appeared from 1'1r. Revius' s letter which had crosscd the one the
young lady had sent off. In NIl'. Revius's opinion this case is proof
of thc possibility that a person's spirit or mind can travel out of the
body."
Riko further wrote (20, pp. 250 ff. ) that if the young lady lent
herself for Spiritualistic experiments, extraordinary
took place. Heavy objects moved about, simply because she willed
them to do so, and all this in full light and without any contact.
Sometimes it happened that some piece of furniture was set in
motion with such strength and power, while putting only her two
fingers upon the object, that even the combined strenuous resistance
of two men could not stop it in its course. It also occurred more than
once that she, sitting on her chair, was transported from one side of
the room to the other, chair and all.
She was a highly gifted clairvoyant. Several times i\tfr. Revius
asked her, while they were having a seance, to leave the sitting-room
93
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and stay lor a moment in his office, farther away in the house.
\Vhen she had entered the office, he would write a sentence or a
question on a piece of paper. Every time she was able to perceive
what was written on thc piece of paper during her absence from the
sitting-room. She was also able to read printed or written matter
folded in a cloth or put in a closed box.
On a certain occasion, while the young lady was busy in the liv­
ing room of l\1r. Revius's house and he was sitting before his desk in
his office, the latter requested one of his employees to write some­
thing, it did not matter what, on a piece of paper. \ '''hen he had
done so, he w a ~ asked to put that piece of paper in an envelope and
close it, without acquainting Mr. Revius of what he had written.
\Vhcn all this had been done, the young lady was requested to come
to the office, where she was presented with the sealed envelope. After
standing quietly for a few moments, she pressed the finger-tips of
both her hands against her forehead, and then remarked: "You did
not wri te this".
"That doesn't matter," said NIr. Revius, "please write the same
words on the outside of the envelope." She took NIr. Revius's hand
and placed it for a moment against her forehead; directly afterwards
she took a pencil and without a moment's hesitation she wrote
down a sentence. The envelope was opened. It was found to
contain a folded piece of paper on which the same words were
written as those jotted down by the subject on the outside of the
same envelope.
An example of what looks like pure clairvoyance is described by
Riko (20, p. 253). He stated that a medium in The Hague on more
than one occasion \ v a ~ able to give a demonstration of the faculty.
A book was taken out of a bookcase at random, no one knowing the
title of the book or what it was. A paper-knife or some other flat
object was then slipped between the pages of the book and the
medium was asked to reproduce the first word appearing on the top
or bottom of the page. The medium then took a pencil and wrote
down the word which, after verification, was always found to be
correct. Riko added that none of those present believed that the
phenomena were produced through the action of the spirits.
In considering this account, it is interesting to observe how Riko
stated that the company did not know the title of the book and the
medium had no knowledge of it. No details whatever are given to
show that this was possible or even likely. Although the paper­
knife was slipped between the pages of the book, Riko states that
what the medium was asked to produce was the first word appearing
94
on the top or the bOltom of the page, whereas of course there were two
pagcs to choose from.
In the course of his work Riko came across a number of subjects
who were able to produce, according to himself; remarkable pheno­
mena. In a paper (22) published in 1893, he described the work of
three of his subjects and he mentioned the fact that in every case he
was able to produce mental suggestion at a distance.
In one of these cases the subject \vas a man who consented to
demonstrate his powers in a large haH where Riko had collectecl
about ISO persons from the educated classes. The subject stood at
one end of the hall, while Riko \vent to the other end and invited a'i
many people who felt so disposed to come and form a large circle
around him, while the rest of the audience remained seated. Riko
then asked one of those standing near him to give a tug at his coat as
a sign that the subject at the other end of the hall should fall into the
magnetic sleep. After the sign had been given he concentrated his
will on the subject falling asleep and at that very moment the som­
nambule sat down and fcll into the magnetic condition. After
another kind of signal had been agreed, Riko stated that he was
able in the same way to make the subject play the piano, or to stop
playing it, to make him sit down upon a chair, or stand upon it, to
take off his coat or to put it on again. These phenomena were, to
Riko, clear proofs that will-power alone "can have a magical
influence when exercised at a distance" (p. 174).
Another of his subjects, a young lady sensitive, was also able to
demonstrate telepathic influence exercised by ?vIr. Riko, who acted
as mesmerist. In order to satisfy a sceptical friend who was acquain­
ted with the subject, Riko made an agreement with this person that,
when they were together visiting the somnambule, Riko would, at
an agreed sign, will the subject, without giving any indication, to go
to the fire and see that it was burning correctly. His friend arrived
at the somnambule's house before Riko had come, the latter arriving
about half an hour later.
\ '''hile the two men were talking with the subject, Riko's iriend
gave him the agreed signal. Immediately the lady got up Irom her
seat, walked to the fire to see that everything was all right and re­
turned to the table. Somewhat later the three played a game of cards
and again the signal was given with the same result. The pheno­
menon was repeated so many times that evening that the lady at last
exclaimed: "I do not know what is the matter with mc, but I do not
scem able to leave that fire alone!" (pp. 177- 178).
In this case it appears that the subject in question \Va, not put
95
into the magnetic sleep and therefore seems to be an instancc of
mental suggestion at a distance cxcrcised upon the subject in normal
state.
In another case Riko stated that one of his other patients, a rather
dull girl, fell asleep whenever he gave the order, even when he was at
a distance of several miles from the patient's house. He claimed
that the moments at which he gave the order to sleep coincided every
time with the falling asleep of the subject according to what had
been noted by the girl's parents.
It is extremely difficult to evaluate the paranormal character of
the cases mentioned by Riko. He was himself completely convinced
that he 'witnessed mental suggestion in the cases he discussed. But
he gives so few details and indications about the exact conditions
prevailing during the experiments that we cannot be in any way
certain that the subjects were unable to get impressions by sensory
cues of what they were expected to do. In view of Riko's position
and good standing we may perhaps eliminate blatantly fraudulent
practices in these cases. It must be l-emembered that Riko was not a
professional mesmerist who made money out of public performances.
Thus it seem5 possible that mental suggestion may have been present
in the cases he describes and another fact which perhaps may be of
some significance is that of all the very many people Riko mes­
merized and with whom he experimented he only mentions a very
few cases in which the subjects were able to demonstrate paranormal
phenomena.
When investigating the subliminal self in 1895, Mr. F. W. H.
Myers contributed a paper (24) on the subject to the Proceedings of the
Society for Psychical Research and included in it an account by Dr.
F. van Eeden, a physician in Amsterdam and a corresponding
member of the S.P.R.
"OnJanuary 1Ith, 1892, I treated 1\1iss 1\1. for hysteric aphonia.
I sent her to sleep in my own study. As she showed signs of simula­
tion, and seemed to need an energetic treatment, I threatened to
throw a glass of cold watcr in her face, if she did not speak im­
mediately in a clear voice. I was obliged to fulfil the threat with the
expected result. She awoke and spoke in a clear loud voice. This
was the first time in five years' practice that I took this measure, and
I told nobody of it."
Two days later another patient, Nliss F., was again treated in the
same chair in his consulting-room. She had been treated several
times before, always in the same place and easily passed into a quiet
sleep. This time, however, she told him after the treatment had been
9
6
concluded that her sleep had been much disturbed, for she had heard
him saying in a threatening voice that he was going to awake her by
throwing a glass of cold water in her face. As she was very afraid of
cold water she was, therefore, in a state of constant fear and un­
easiness. The fact was that van Eeden had said nothing of the kind,
had not left her alone in the consulting-room and had not spoken to
anybody of the previous incident \vith Miss M.
In corroboration of the physician's statement, Miss A. F. con­
sented to supply her own version, which is dated August 13th, 1895.
Saying that often during her sleep she seemed to hear voices speaking
at a distance, though not to herself, she went 011 to say that on this
special occasion she had distinctly heard the physician's voice saying:
"And so I threw a cup of water into her face". She went on to mcn­
tion, that having a particular dislike of being frightened, she thought
how very angry she would be if van Eeden had behaved so badly.
Dr. van Eeden considered this a very strange case or telepathic
influence and if he is correct in stating that he told no one of what
had occurred two days before at the session with Miss M. and it is
certain that Miss M. was not acquainted with Miss F., or anybody
who could have told Miss F. the facts, then the theory of telepathic
impression would appear to have some support.
FINAL RE:I-!ARKS AND OBSERVATIONS
One of the facts that emerges from a study of the literature of
animal magnetism in the Netherlands is that the accounts of alleged
paranormal phenomena in the mesmeric trance are so rare. And if
they do occur they appear in connection with only a few subjects
who were described as being gifted in this respect. I t cannot be
denied that during the decade I8IO-1820 a great number of persons
were magnetized, generally for therapeutic purposes, and thereby
often brought into a more or less profound state of somnambulism.
But relatively very fcw were credited with being able to produce
phenomena which, according to our modern views, may be regarded
as of a paranormal nature. Several competent authors on the subject
complained of this rarity and if they do mention it from their O\yn
experience the phenomena concerned generally occurred in connec­
tion with a single subject. It is, of course, true that a great mass of
observations have never been published but, nevertheless, the
evidence we possess seems strongly to support the presumption that
the manifestation of paranormal phenomena is exclusively bound up
with the constitution of each individual and that it does not seem to
97
be the result of a faculty inherent in every human being. Once a
pel'son possessed that faculty it would secm that it was easily stimu­
lated to manifest itself under the conditions and suggestions present
in the mesmeric situation, together with the rapport which was quickly
established between mesmerist and subject. The situation, indeed,
did not differ essentially from that seen during mouern hypnotic ses­
sions. Any difference should, perhaps, be sought in the suggcstions
brought to bear on the subject, either by the mesmerist himself or
by the cultural patterns and climate to which the somnambulist was
subject. Another factor tpat may have been of great importance in
influencing the successful emergence of paranormal phenomena wa'>,
perhaps, the close ties that in early days were invariably allowed to
develop between mesmerist and subject and which easily induced
the latter, if female, to offer, so to speak, her paranormal gifts as a
love-token to the mesmerist. The fact that in most cases mesmerist
and subject were of different sexes strengthens the theory that erotic
interests may have furthered the manifestations of the paranormal
and those phenomena believed by the subject to be pleasing to the
mesmerist. It would seem, also, that the mesmeric situation whereby
a lengthy contact is established and maintained between mesmerist
and subject, as described by writers like van Chert, Hoek, Revius
and others, is in many ways beneficial to the arousal of paranormal
faculties if these are assumed to be dormant in the subject with whom
experiments are made. It is, indeed, almost certain that the mag­
netic manipulations and the rather intimate personal relations
between magnetizer and subject had an advantageous influence in
this matter, since it must not be forgotten that in many cases the
somnambules were hysterics and suffering from various nervous
disorders. The success of A. de Rochas and several other French
investigators who applied the same methods eighty years later is
probably to be attributed to the same situation and the relation­
ships they were able to create and it must be remembered that they
were constantly 011 the look-out for phenomena of this nature.
The reader of this section will have observed that practically all
parapsychical phenomena (ESP, precognition, etc.) were already
known 150 years ago and that even object-reading (psychometry)
had already been developed and extensively used as a means of
diagnosis. On the other hand, there would appear to be very little
mention of the occurrence of any physical phenomena. It was only
forty years later \vhen, through the influence of Spiritualism,
physical phenomena began to be familiar to European investigators
that a few somnambulists were reported as being the centre of such
9
8
manifestations as raps and the movements of objects without contact.
For example, if the accounts are to be believed, one of the subjects
associated with Revius seems to have been a versatile medium not
only in the region of mental phenomena but also giving demonstra­
tions of physical phenomena in excellent light. There seems little
doubt that these exhibitions of physical mediumship were given a
starting-point through the growing influence of Spiritualism in
Europe, an interest which was much stimulated in the Netherlands
by the visit of D. D. Home to Holland in 1858. (See 23).
In concluding this survey of paranormal phenomena in the
Netherlands as seen in the mesmeric situation from 1800 to 1900, it
will be observed that there are practically no detailed experiments
recorded which would be likely to carry conviction to the minds of
any critical students of the subject. In this connection, however, it
cannot therefore be concluded that no paranormal phenomena ever
occurred with Dutch magnetic subjects. All we can say is that the
evidence presented for such occurrences is no more sufficient to
compel belief that it is in the case of so many of the other somnam­
buIes working at the time in different European countries. 'Vere
modern experiments to show that conclusive evidence is to be ob­
tained as to the real existence of such faculties as mental suggestion,
eyeless-sight or travelling clairvoyance then, perhaps, we might take
a more favourable view of accounts of such phenomena recorded in
earlier times. The situation being what it is, an attitude of sus­
pended judgment might perhaps be considered by some the best
one to be adopted at the moment of writing.
REFE.RENCES
The following list is in no sense a bibliography. It is simply a short-title
list of books and articles mentioned in the text. Although in many eases
the titles are abbreviated, enough is given to enable any reader to follow
up the reference if he wishes to do so.
I. VOLTELEN, F . .I., Oratio de magnetismo animale, jJublice kabita die VllI
Feb,.. 1791. Lugduni Batavorum, 1791. The Dutch translation
of this work was published the same year and was reviewed at length
in the Alg. Vaderl. Lettel'-Oefningen, 1792, p. 329.
2. GIIERT, P. G. VAN., Dagboek eener magnetiscke bekandelillg. Amsterdam,
181 4.
3, BAKKER, G., \'VOLTHERS, H., & HENDRIKSZ, P., Bijdragen tot den tegen­
woordigen staat vall ket animalisck magnetismus ill ons vaderland. Gron­
ingen, 2 vols., 1814- 1818,
99
4-. GHERT, P. G. VAN., of all.lltcekeningcll vall lIIerkwaardige
vencltijllsels van Itel allimalisch l/lagnctislIllls. AmSlen.l am, 18 I 5.
5. A., Verltalldeling oua het dierlijk magnetismll.'! al,r dCI! grondsiag
ter verklaring der p"y.rische levensbetrekkingcn of SJlmpatlzic tllsschefl de dierlijke
iigchalllen. Groning·en, 1815.
6. HELD, \'Y. VAN DEn., Beiangrijke bijdragell tot het animalisch magmtislltlls . .•
in brieven. Dordrecht, 1816.
7. B., l ets over !tel dierlijk lIlagnetismus, ook ill ue1·balld mel het
zieleltven. Deventer, 1837.
8. MEYER, B. j., Em woord ter verdediging l'an het dieTiijk lIlagnetis1l1us ell
somnamblllismlls. Rotterdam, 1829.
9. B. j., }(ieul<-'e bijdragm tot de mcrkwaardige luaamemingen van hel
dierlijk maglletismus. Amstcrdam, 1837.
10. GURNEY, E., F. \-Y. H., & POm-IORE, F., Phantasms of the
Living. 2 vols. London, 1886.
[I. BELANGRIJKE versch ijllselm van het zieleleven, medegedeeld C/l beoordeeld.
Dcycntcr, 13:,6. This book has been attributed to P. C. Molhuyscn.
12. ELECTRISCIIE (DE) biologie, Twar de ieen() ijze vaf' den heer de Konillgh.
Amsterdam, 1852.
13· HOEK, A., Electro-biologie en levms-maglZttisl1llls. 's Gravcnhagc, [8Y2.
14··
UILKENS, j. A. & Buys, j. In : Vadnialldsclze Letteruefeningen, 1817,
pp. 397-411 : 54 1- 55g: 700- 708.
15· SIEMELINK [pscud., i.c. H. j. van Kestcrcn], De eell11: igfteid ontlilild of
het leven na den dood. Amsterdam, [858.
16. HOEK, A., De heiderziendheid, een verschijnsel, dat nu en dall ill het levells­
magnetismus wordt aangetroJlm. 's-Graycnhage, 1854.
17· BECHT, H. G., De mesmerisclte loo.·eriantaam. Eel/c hladzijde uit mijlle
praktijk . .. Ensehede, 1876.
18. HOEK, A., Eenvolldige mededeelillgen aangaande de genezing vall eene krallk­
zimzige door het levens-maglletismus. 's Gravcnhage, 1868.
Ig. REVI1,;s, .1., Het iv/aglletisme. Proeve hoe ieder Itet magnctisme als genees­
middel op Zijll Ituisgenooten ell anderCll weldadig kan toepassell . 's G ravcn­
hage, [862.
20. RIKO, A . .1., Humbug ell Ernst. Enschcdc, 1886.
21. RIKO, A . .1., Handboek ler beoefelling van het magl1etisme . .. 's-Gravenhagc,
2
e
uitgavc, 1896.
22. RIKO, A. j ., "Dl'ie merkwaardigc magnctischc suj cttcn". (SJlli im:.
Bijdragen tol de studie het mensc/zenraadsei en de jij)·chische wetenscltajJjJen,
1893, i, pp. 170- 184- )
23·
ZORAH, G., Home gaf seanccs in paleis Noordeindc". (Het
Vaderlal1d, I juli, Ig6 I. )
24· l\oIYE.RS, F. W. H., "The Subliminal Self". (Proceedings of the Society
fo r PSJ'cltical Ruearch, 1895, xi, pp. 362-363.)
Hypnotism in Germany
by
LISELOTTE :MOSER
Dr.phil., Diplom-PS)'c/lOlogin
Translated from the German by
ERIC J. DINGWALL
" Dcr hat die NIacht, an den die l\fcngc glaubt."
FREDERICK THE CREAT
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101
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