Alfred Russel Wallace : Alfred Wallace : A. R. Wallace :
Russel Wallace : Alfred Russell Wallace (sic)

 
 
Notes of a Seance with Miss Nicholl at the
House of Mr. A. S___, 15th May (S132: 1867)

 
Editor Charles H. Smith's Note: A short communication printed in the 1 June 1867 issue of The Spiritual Magazine. Original pagination indicated within double brackets. To link directly to this page, connect with: http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/wallace/S132.htm


    [[p. 254]] "There were present at this séance the party that sit together weekly, with the addition of a friend who accompanied me. The room was made dark, and we joined hands round the table, when we had a number of interesting phenomena, such as a hand bell rung under the table and then brought up and carried in the air round the circle, touching several of the party and ringing loudly. Several notes were also struck loudly on the piano, and a book was twice brought from the piano and placed on the table with a blow. But by far the most remarkable phenomenon of the evening, and that which I wish in particular to place on record, was the following.

    "My friend, Mr. Smith, who was a perfect stranger to all the rest of the party, sat next the medium and held both her hands, when her chair was drawn away from under her and she was left standing. About a minute afterwards I heard a slight sound, about as much as would be caused by placing a wine glass on the table, accompanied by a movement of the glass chandelier overhead and an exclamation from Miss Nicholl. I saw something dark close in front of me, and putting out my hand felt a chair and a lady's dress, and on procuring a light Miss N. was found seated upon the top of the table with her head just touching the chandelier. The table at which we sat was an ordinary round [[p. 255]] one, with a centre pillar and tripod feet; Miss Nicholl is tall, stout and very heavy; there were ten persons sitting round the table as closely as possible. Mr. Smith, who held Miss N.'s hands, declared that she simply slid away from him, and the next instant was found seated on her chair in the middle of the table, near which there was no other unoccupied chair; she was seated under the glass chandelier, where there was just room for her head, and yet this had been effected instantaneously and noiselessly! If any sceptics read the Spiritual Magazine, I beg of them to offer some explanation of this phenomenon. I pledge my word for the reality of the facts, and I maintain, that it implies the manifestation of some strange and preterhuman power. Let those who believe it to be a trick, devote themselves to practise it, and when they are able to succeed in repeating the experiment, under exactly the same conditions, I will allow that some far more conclusive proof of the reality of these manifestations is required.

    "This remarkable phenomenon has now occurred to Miss Nicholl some half dozen times, in different houses in London, and there must be at least twenty persons, of the highest respectability, who can testify to the facts. I call upon them to come forward and confirm any statement with their names and any further particulars they may have noticed, since this is a test experiment perhaps even more conclusive than the flotation of Mr. Home."


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