home books e-books audio books recent titles with blogs
How a Spirit Explained Levitation to Allan Kardec

Posted on 30 August 2021, 9:08

As the last two posts here have been about levitations, I’m concluding the subject matter with an interview Allan Kardec, (below) the renowned French psychical researcher, had with the spirit of St. Louis, as set forth in Kardec’s 1874 book,The Book on Mediums.  The “universal fluid” referred to is apparently what later came to be called ectoplasm, teleplasm, or od, while the “perispirit” is now called the etheric or spirit body. Considering later research on od and ectoplasm, it makes much sense to me, but you can believe it or not!


Kardec:  Is the universal fluid an emanation from the Divinity?

St. Louis:  No.

Kardec:  Is the universal fluid at the same time the universal element?

St. Louis:  Yes, it is the elementary principal of all things.

Kardec:  Has it any relation to the electric fluid whose effects we know?

St. Louis:  It is its element.

Kardec:  What is the state in which the universal fluid is presented to us in its greatest purity?

St. Louis:  To find it in its absolute purity, you must mount to the pure spirits; in your world it is always more or less modified to form the compact matter that surrounds you; at the same time you may say that the state in which it approaches most nearly to purity, is that of the fluid you call animal magnetic fluid.

Kardec:  It has been said that the universal fluid is the source of life; is it at the same time the source of intelligence?

St. Louis:  No; this fluid animates only matter.

Kardec:  Since it is this fluid which composes the perispirit, it appears to be there in a kind of condensed state, which approximates it, up to a certain point, matter so called.

St. Louis:  Up to a certain point, as you say, for it has not all its properties; it is more or less condensed, according to the worlds.

Kardec:  What is the operation by which a spirit moves a solid body?

St. Louis:  He combines a portion of the universal fluid with the fluid exhaled from the medium suitable to this effect.

Kardec:  Do the spirits raise the table with the aid of their members in some degree solidified?

St. Louis: This answer will not yet lead to what you desire.  When a table is moved under your hands, the spirit evoked draws from the universal fluid what animates the table with a factitious life.  The table thus prepared, the spirit attracts it and moves it under the influence of his own fluid thrown off by his will.  When the mass he wishes to move is too heavy for him, he calls to his aid spirits who are in the same condition as himself.  By reason of his ethereal nature, the spirit proper cannot act on gross matter without intermediary, that is to say, without the link that unites it to matter:  this link, which you call perispirit, gives you the key to all material spirit phenomena.  I believe I have expressed myself clearly for you to understand.

Kardec: Are the spirits he calls to his aid inferior?  Are they under his orders?

St. Louis:  Equal, almost always; sometimes they come of themselves.

Kardec:  Are all spirits able to produce phenomena of this kind?

St. Louis: The spirits who produce these effects are always inferior spirits, who are not entirely disengaged from all material influence.

Kardec:  We understand that the superior spirits are not occupied by things that are beneath them; but we ask if, by reason, of their being more dematerialized, they would have the power if they had the will?

St. Louis:  They have the moral strength, as the others have the physical strength, when they require this strength, they make use of those who possess it.  Have they not told you that they make use of inferior spirits as you do of porters?

Kardec:  If we have thoroughly understood what you have said, the vital principal resides in the universal fluid; the spirit draws in this fluid the semi-material envelope which constitutes his perispirit, and it is by means of this fluid that he acts on inert matter. Is it so?

St. Louis:  Yes, that is to say, he animates matter with a kind of factitious life; the matter is animated with animal life.  The table that moves under your hands lives like the animal; it obeys the intelligent being.  It is not he who pushes it as a man does a burden; when the table is raised, it is not the spirit who raises it by strength of arm, it is the animated table that obeys the impulse given by the spirit.

Kardec:  What is the part of the medium in this matter?

St. Louis: I have said it; the fluid of the medium is combined with the universal fluid accumulated by the spirit: the union these two fluids is necessary; that is to say, the animalized fluid with the universal fluid, to give life to the table.  But remark that this life is only momentary;  it is extinguished with the action, and often before the end of the action, as soon as the quantity of fluid is sufficient to animate it.

Kardec:  Can the spirit act without the concurrence of a medium?

St. Louis:  It can act in spite of the medium; that is to say, that no doubt many persons serve as auxiliaries to the spirits for certain phenomena.  The spirit draws from them as from a source, the animalized fluid he needs; it is thus that the concurrence of the medium, as you understand it, is not always necessary; which is the case particularly in spontaneous phenomena.

Kardec: Does the animated table act with intelligence?

St. Louis:  It thinks no more than the stick with which you make an intelligent sign, but the vitality with which it is animated permits it to obey the impulse of an intelligence.  Understand that the table that moves does not become spirit, and that it has of itself neither thought nor will.

Kardec:  Which is the preponderating cause in the production of this phenomena, the spirit or the fluid?

St. Louis:  The spirit is the cause, the fluid is the instrument; both are necessary.

Kardec:  What part does the will of the medium play in this case?

St. Louis: To call the spirits, and to second them in the impulse given to the fluid. 

Kardec:  Is the action of the will always indispensable?

St. Louis: It adds power, but it is not always necessary.

Kardec: Why cannot everyone produce the same effect?  And why have not all mediums the same power?

St. Louis:  That depends on the organization, and the greater or less facility with which the combination of fluids can operate; then the spirit of the medium sympathizes more or less with the foreign spirits who find in him the necessary fluidic power.  This power, like that of magnetizers, is greater or less.  Under this relation there are persons who are altogether refractory; others with whom the combination operates only by an exertion of their will.  Others, finally, with whom it takes place so naturally and so easily that they are not aware of it, and serve as instruments against their will, as we have already said.

Kardec: Can persons called electric be considered as mediums?

St. Louis: These persons draw from themselves the fluid necessary to the production of the phenomena, and can act without the help of foreign spirits. Thus, they are not mediums in the sense attached to this word; but a spirit can assist them, and profit by their natural disposition.

Kardec: Is the spirit that acts on solid bodies in the substance of the bodies or outside of it?

St. Louis:  Both; we have said that matter is no obstacle to spirits; they penetrate everything; a portion of the perispirit is identified, so to say, with the object it penetrates.

Kardec:  How does the spirit manage to strike?  Does he make use of the material object?

St. Louis:  No more than of his arms to raise the table.  You well know that he has no hammer at his disposal.  His hammer is the combined fluid put in action to move or to strike.  When he moves, the light brings you the sight of the movements; when he strikes, the air brings you the sound.

Kardec: We can understand that when he strikes on a hard body, but how can he make us hear noises or articulate sounds in the air?

St. Louis:  Since he can act on matter, he can act on air as well as on the table.  As to articulate sounds, he can imitate them, as he can all other noises.

Kardec:  You say that spirits do not use their hands to remove the table; yet, in certain visual manifestations, hands have been seen to appear whose fingers have wandered over the keyboard of a piano, moved the keys, and caused sounds.  Would it not seem that in this case the movement of the keys is produced by the pressure of the fingers?  Is not this pressure as direct and real when it is felt on ourselves, when these hands leave imprints on the skin?

St. Louis:  You can understand the nature of spirits and their manner of acting only by comparisons, which give you an incomplete idea, and it is wrong to always wish to assimilate their processes to your own. Their processes must bear relation to their organization. Have I not told you that fluid of the perispirit penetrates matter, and is identified with it, that it animates it with a factitious life?  Well, when the spirit rests his fingers on the keys, he puts them there really, and even moves them; but it is not by muscular force that he presses the keys; he animates it as he animated the table, and the key, which obeys his will, moves and strikes the chord.  There is one thing you will have trouble in comprehending; it is this:  that some spirits are so little advanced, and so material in comparison to the elevated spirits, that they still have the illusions of the terrestrial life, and believe they act as when they had their body.  They can no more give a reason of the true cause of the effects they produce than a peasant can give a reason for the theory of the sounds he articulates; ask them how they play the piano, they will tell you they strike on it with their fingers, because they believe they do strike it; the effect is produced instinctively with them, without their knowing how yet by their will.  When they make you hear words, it is the same thing.

Kardec:  Among the phenomena cited in proof of the action of an occult power, there are some evidently contrary to all the known laws of nature.  Does not doubt then seem to be permitted?

St. Louis:  It is because man is far from knowing all the laws of nature.  If he knew them all he would be a superior spirit.  Every day, however, gives the lie to those who, thinking they know everything, presume to set bounds to nature, and they are none the less haughty.  In constantly unveiling new mysteries God warns men to down their own lights, for the day will come when the science of the most learned will be put to confusion. Have you not everyday examples of bodies animated by a movement capable of overcoming the force of gravity?  Does not the bullet, shot into the air, momentarily overcome this force?  Poor men, who think themselves so learned, and whose silly vanity is every instant disconcerted, that know you are still very small.

Next Blog Post: September 13

Michael Tymn is the author of The Afterlife Revealed: What Happens After We Die, Resurrecting Leonora Piper: How Science Discovered the Afterlife, and Dead Men Talking: Afterlife Communication from World War I.

Read comments or post one of your own
Physicist Recalls Intriguing Physical Mediumship

Posted on 16 August 2021, 8:58

When psychical researchers of the late 1920s and early ‘30s became frustrated at not being able to agree on the genuineness of various physical phenomena produced by several mediums, most notably, Mina Crandon, (aka “Margery”), George Valiantine, and Rudi Schneider, several of them formed a new field, called parapsychology.  Its focus was on extra-sensory perception and psychokinesis and away from anything even alluding to spirits of the dead or life after death. To even mention spirits or survival of the consciousness at death was to invite professional disdain and discourage any funding for research.  Nevertheless, physical mediumship continued here and there. We simply didn’t hear much about it and there was very little formal research in succeeding decades up to the present. 

All that didn’t stop Dr. Jan Vandersande, a physicist, from taking an interest in the matter. In his 2008 book, Life After Death: Some of the Best Evidence, Vandersande explores some of the most interesting cases of physical phenomena reported in the annals of psychical research while also reporting on his own observations of some genuine physical mediums. His interest began while teaching physics at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa, during the 1970s, when he and his wife were invited to attend a séance with mediums Mickey and Sara Wolf. “We experienced trance mediumship, direct voice and trumpets flying around the dark room,” Vandersande said when I interviewed him in 2008, adding that they then sat with the two mediums every two or three weeks for about eight years. “Every time we sat with them their main guide (control), Brian, would speak through either Sara, who was in trance, or through the direct voice. His characteristic voice was always the same and easily recognizable. Also, the trumpet, with luminous paint spots on it, flew around the totally dark room quite rapidly, up to the ceiling then to the walls and then it would slow down and gently touch each of the sitters (usually between four and eight) on the knee or on the head.  Special sittings were held before Christmas, and ectoplasmic spirit children played musical toys that had been placed in the center of the circle and also unwrapped presents (which were also in the center of the circle). Then the children would touch the sitters who could feel their small fingers and hands.”

Vandersande & Thompson

Maintaining an interest in the subject over the years, Vandersande arranged for Australian trance medium David Thompson and his partner, Christine Morgan, also a medium, to visit them in Southern California in 2012 and again during January 2014, giving three demonstrations each time.  Because darkness is required, precautions were taken to rule out fraud, including a thorough search of Thompson before binding him to chair with leather straps and zip-lock ties, as well as gagging him so that he could not talk. All of the sitters, including Morgan, were required to hold hands, and Morgan wore a luminous broach which Vandersande, sitting across from her, could see, just in case someone claimed she was the real trickster.

“David has a band of spirit entities many of whom regularly materialize at his séances,” Vandersande’s notes read. “His main spirit control is William Cadwell, who materializes first at all his séances and appears to control what happens during the séance. After materializing, William started talking to the sitters while walking around. He spoke loudly and in a distinctive British accent that I found difficult to understand at times. William stepped on the piece of plywood (two feet by two feet), that we had placed at the center of the circle, making a distinct sound indicating that he was wearing heavy-soled boots (meanwhile David was wearing sneakers). He then started to answer questions of a general nature about the spirit world and about life.  After answering each question he would most of the time walk over to the sitter who had asked the question and ask if he could touch them. After the sitter said that he could, he put his hand on their head. The sitters who had that experience (from four to seven per sitting) described a very large hand (meanwhile David has very small hands). After he had answered a number of questions in each of the three sittings he walked back to the cabinet.”

Vandersande noted that as Cadwell got back to the cabinet, a red flash light was turned on so that the sitters could see Thompson still securely tied in his chair in the cabinet.  “This unexpected event clearly shows that it was not David pretending to be William, walking around the room and answering questions as some skeptics have maintained,” Vandersande explains in his notes.  “There is no way David, if he had been walking around, could have rushed back to the cabinet and re-tied himself in such a brief period of time. Also, the only way he could have seen in the dark would have been with night vision goggles and they were definitely not in the room (I checked that myself, as did the independent checkers).”

Next, an entity known as Timmy (Timothy Booth, who died in 1902) materialized and spoke with a very young, Cockney voice. Timmy then gave a demonstration in which the trumpets (with luminous paint on them), flew around the sitters. He explained that he had manipulated the ectoplasm exuded by Thompson to move the trumpets.  “The trumpets (two in the first séance, three in the second séance and only their single trumpet in the third séance) flew at great speed and with considerable precision, performing aerobatic patterns such as large and small circles, flying to the ceiling (from 10 to 12 feet high in a hotel conference room), the corners, all around the room and tapping each other in mid-air while I had the CD player play an Irish jig,” Vandersande’s report continues. “…Never at any time did the trumpets bump into any sitter or anything else in the room. There is absolutely no way any human, assuming they could see in total darkness, could move a trumpet in those random patterns, that fast and at that those heights, as all the sitters observed in the three séances.”

As the three trumpets were flying around the conference room during the second séance, Vandersande heard a thud to his left and leaves were touching his head. That was followed by a thud in front of him and then one to his right. As he was to discover, Timmy had moved three artificial trees, each about five-feet tall and in pots weighing 6-8 pounds, from three different places in the room to in front of him. “One tree was originally behind a large table so the table had to be moved by him in order to bring the tree to me,” Vandersande explains. “The other two trees were originally in two different corners of the room. Some sitters in the circle actually heard something fly over their heads. My two trumpets ended up in one of the trees between the branches… This phenomenon of moving heavier objects using ectoplasm is extremely impressive and in no way could have been done by anyone in the room in the pitch dark…”

Louis Armstrong, the famous musician known for his trumpet playing who died in 1971,  materialized in all three séances. “His voice sounded exactly like the very characteristic voice so often heard when he was alive on earth (a deep distinctive gravelly voice),” Vandersande notes, adding that he then played a harmonica for several minutes.  “You could hear him take a deep breath occasionally while playing. After that he left. I always get skeptical and nervous when famous people materialize but I now have a better understanding why they do it. To prove survival after death it makes more sense that someone who is well-known, has a characteristic voice and/or mannerisms, that just about everyone can recognize, materializes rather than an anonymous person.”

Timmy was followed in the third sitting by a Native American named White Soaring Bird, said to be Thompson’s gate-keeper or protector, who materialized and gave a blessing to the sitters, first speaking in his native tongue and then in English. 

Much more was reported by Vandersande, but space does not permit it here.  As mentioned in the prior blog about levitations, near the end of the second sitting, Vandersande and the others present heard a loud thud.  Thompson had been lifted over the sitters in his chair and deposited outside the circle, a distance of 15- to 20-feet from where he had been sitting. “The red flashlight was turned on and the tape on the door was removed and the door opened,” Vandersande’s report continues. “We all saw David sitting in his chair, tied up exactly as he was at the beginning of the séance except for the fact that his cardigan had been reversed. The cardigan was still buttoned and the five zip-ties were still in place exactly as when we placed them there. There is no way that David could have reversed the cardigan. [This] shows that the spirit entities have tremendous strength (using ectoplasm from David and likely the sitters as well). While the reversal/removal of the cardigan shows a de-materialization/re-materialization capability (or whatever technology the spirits used) that is way beyond the current laws of physics as we know them. It was truly an amazing phenomenon to have observed.”

Vandersande stresses that he carefully examined how Thompson was tied to the chair and is absolutely certain there was no way to remove himself, carry out the various phenomena, then return to the chair and tie himself back to the chair.

Victor and Wendy Zammit, authors of A Lawyer Presents the Evidence for the Afterlife,  estimate that they sat with Thompson at least 300 times between 2005 and 2014, before Thompson moved from Australia to New Zealand.  “In relation to his being levitated, it happened with David still unconscious at the end of every public séance,” Wendy informed me in a recent email. “He’s not the only one though – I’ve seen it happen with several other physical mediums. It seems that the spirit teams like to use up any remaining energy that way.”

Wendy Zammit mentioned that, according to Ron Gilkes at Jenny’s Sanctuary in the UK, Thompson was turned upside down in the chair while being levitated. The “spirits” then moved the chair so that Thompson’s head was in Gilkes’s lap before turning him right side up and depositing him some distance away.  “We were also present on at least two occasions where they levitated David, conscious and strapped into his chair, so that his head was almost touching the ceiling,” Wendy further explained, adding that, although it was dark, Victor was able to confirm the levitation, at the request of David, by reaching up and feeling the four chair legs and David’s feet.

Vandersande recalled that one of the women in attendance at the 2012 sittings happened to be a clairvoyant medium and refused to believe it was real, apparently not understanding that whatever is required for her kind of mediumship is not the same as that required for physical mediumship. I recall talking with a clairvoyant at a conference some years ago and she reacted in much the same way.  As she saw it, all that physical mediumship of yesteryear was just so much bunk.  It brings to mind the reaction of Sir David Brewster, a renowned British physicist, who observed D. D. Home being levitated.  Although seemingly quite impressed at the time, he later concluded that the only explanation was a trick he did not understand, or a delusion. “Spirit is the last thing I will give in to,” he was quoted.  Such a mindset continues to exist. 

Michael Tymn is the author of The Afterlife Revealed: What Happens After We Die, Resurrecting Leonora Piper: How Science Discovered the Afterlife, and Dead Men Talking: Afterlife Communication from World War I.
His latest book, No One Really Dies: 25 Reasons to Believe in an Afterlife is published by White Crow books

Next blog post:  August 30


Read comments or post one of your own
To Levitate or To Be Levitated:  That is the Question

Posted on 02 August 2021, 9:04

Was D. D. Home, the renowned medium of the nineteenth century, levitating or was he levitated?  In articles I wrote for three different magazines in past years, I stated each time that Home was levitated, only to have the editor change it to Home levitating.  It doesn’t seem that there is that much difference between levitating and being levitated, but there is a world of a difference – a spirit world, that is. 

If Home was, in fact, defying the law of gravity by raising himself off the ground, the superpsi hypothesis must seemingly be invoked and the spirit hypothesis rejected.  In effect, it all emanated somehow in his subconscious.  If, however, Home was being levitated, both the implication and the inference are that he was being lifted by invisible spirits or entities,

“I have been lifted in the light of day upon only one occasion, and that was in America,” Home (below) wrote in his autobiography.  “I have been lifted in a room in Sloane Street, London, with four gas-lights brightly burning, with five gentlemen present, who are willing to testify to what they saw…”  Home explained that he could feel no hands supporting him, but that he felt what he could only describe as an “electrical fullness about his feet He further wrote:  “I am generally lifted up perpendicularly, my arms frequently become rigid and drawn above my head, as if I were grasping the unseen power which slowly raises me from the floor.”


Lord Adare, one of Home’s biographers, reported with his father, the Earl of Dunraven, an archeologist and member of the Royal Society, on a number of sittings they had with Home between November 1867 and July 1869. Before any phenomenon occurred, Home would go into trance and spirits would often speak through his vocal cords. In the 40th sitting, during December 1868, a spirit began speaking through Home, saying that he would “lift him” on to the table. “Accordingly, in about a minute, Home was lifted up on to the back of my chair,” Adare recorded. “The spirit then told Adare to “take hold of Dan’s feet.” Adare complied, “and away he went up into the air so high that I was obliged to let go of his feet; he was carried along the wall, brushing past the pictures, to the opposite side of the room.”  After Home was deposited on the floor, the spirit commented that the levitation was badly done and said that “We will lift Dan up again better presently….”  However, he was not raised again that night as some other spirit wanted to speak through Home and the spirit who had lifted him gave way to the more advanced spirit.

Sir William Crookes, a world-renowned British chemist and pioneer in x-ray technology, conducted 29 experiments with Home, observing three levitations. “The most striking cases of levitation which I have witnessed have been with Mr. Home,” Crookes wrote. “On three separate occasions have I seen him raised completely from the floor of the room…”  With Home present, Crookes also observed his brother’s wife being levitated several inches above the floor while sitting in a chair.  To rule out trickery on her part, he had her kneel on the chair so that all four legs of the chair were visible. “It then rose about three inches, remained suspended for about ten seconds, and then descended,” Crookes recorded, noting that he was kneeling on the floor and keeping close watch upon the feet of the chair.

Home referred to an “intelligence” governing all the manifestations.  “”The intelligence declares itself to be a human being, and gives information known to it alone,” he wrote. “It says that it is a spirit , and in the spiritual world. It is seen as a spirit, and recognized as that of one loved on earth.”  Crookes also referred to a “directing intelligence,” but stopped short of referring to it as a spirit. He said further study would be required to determine if that intelligence is the mind of the medium or external to it. 

If Home was playing Clark Kent and not admitting to superhuman powers of his own,  then Rev. William Stainton Moses, a Church of England priest and English master at London University, was also a “liar,” a word loosely applied these days. When Moses first heard of Home’s mediumistic phenomena, he called it the “dreariest twaddle.”  However, not long thereafter. Moses developed mediumistic powers of his own. “I felt myself going from [my chair], higher and higher, with a very slow and easy movement…I remember a slight difficulty in breathing, and a sensation of fullness in the chest, with a general feeling of being lighter than the atmosphere. I was lowered down quite gently, and placed in the chair, which had settled in its old position…..”  Moses goes on to say that he was three times “raised” on to the table, and twice “levitated” in the corner of the room.

Moses further explained that the first levitation, that being on September 2, 1872, was very sudden – “a sort of instantaneous jerk” – and that he was conscious of nothing until he found himself on the table, his chair still on the floor.  In the second levitation, he was placed on the table in a standing posture. “In this case I was conscious of the withdrawal of my chair and of being raised to the level of the table, and then of being impelled forward so as to stand upon it…In the third case I was thrown on to the table, and from that position on to an adjacent sofa. The movement was instantaneous, as in the first recorded case; and though I was thrown to a considerable distance and with considerable force, I was in no way hurt….”  He added that he had no power to evoke such a manifestation.

Crookes also observed furniture levitated, as did Sir William Barrett, professor of physics at Royal College in Dublin. During December 1915, Dr. William J. Crawford was conducting experiments with Irish medium Kathleen Goligher and invited Barrett to join him. Barrett recorded that at first they heard knocks, and messages were spelled out as one of the sitters recited the alphabet.  He then observed a floating trumpet, which he tried unsuccessfully to catch. “Then the table began to rise from the floor some 18 inches and remained suspended and quite level,” Barrett wrote.  “I was allowed to go up to the table and saw clearly no one was touching it, a clear space separating the sitters from the table.” Barrett put pressure on the table to try to force it back to the floor.  He exerted all his strength but was unable to budge it.  “Then I climbed on the table and sat on it, my feet off the floor, when I was swayed to and fro and finally tipped off,” Barrett continued the story.  “The table of its own accord now turned upside down, no one touching it, and I tried to lift it off the ground, but it could not be stirred; it appeared screwed down to the floor.”

When Barrett stopped trying to right the table, it righted itself on its own accord.  Apparently, the spirits were having a bit of fun with Barrett as he then heard “numerous sounds displaying an amused intelligence.”

Much more recently, in 2014, Dr. Jan W. Vandersande, a retired physics professor and author of Life after Death: Some of the Best Evidence, had the opportunity to observe Australian trance medium David Thompson on three occasions after arranging for Thompson to travel to the Los Angeles, California area.  For control purposes, Thompson was tied securely to a chair. Near the end of the second sitting, Vandersande and the others heard a loud thud. They turned on the red light and observed that Thompson had been lifted over the sitters in his chair and deposited a distance of some 15- to 20-feet away from where he been sitting, still securely tied to the chair.

“Definitely, he had been lifted over the sitters,” Vandersande told me in a recent telephone call, emphasizing the word “lifted” while adding that there was not enough space between the sitters for Thompson to somehow maneuver between them, especially while tied to the chair. He later discussed it with Thompson, who agreed that his spirit guides must have carried out the levitation; however, he could not say for sure what happened because he was in a trance state at the time. 

Jon Beecher, the owner of White Crow Books, recalls observing a similar phenomenon with Thompson. “There were 20 or 21 sitters holding hands in a semi-circle with the cabinet in front of them. Thompson was in the cabinet, strapped to a heavy chair and gagged, appearing to be in a trance state. “At the end of the sitting we heard a loud thud, as if someone had dropped a bag of cement onto a wooden floor. The lights were turned on and David had been dumped in another part of the room, still strapped in the chair.” Beecher says. “We were all holding hands so it couldn’t be any of the sitters, and even if we hadn’t been, it would have taken two or three strong people to lift him strapped into a chair and move him to another part of the room. Coupled with that, they would have had to have done it in pitch darkness and maneuvered past the sitters without any of us hearing a thing. That was unlikely. 20 sitters in darkness, listening. You could hear a pin drop.”

Beecher adds that he does not believe it possible that Thompson could have freed himself from the plastic ties, picked up the chair and dropped in another part of the room, then re-tied himself back into the chair and pretend to be out cold all in the space of about a minute.

In 1892, Cesare Lombroso, a world-renowned neuropathologist known for his study of criminal behavior, observed medium Eusapia Palladino being levitated to the top of a table. He reported that he was on one side of her and holding her hand, while Professor Charles Richet was holding her hand on the other side.  Before she was lifted, Palladino complained of hands grasping her under the arms.  Then John King, her spirit control, spoke through her and said, “Now I lift my medium up on the table.”  She was then lifted to the top of the table as the two scientists continued holding her hands.

As discussed in Chapter 4 of my book, No One Really Dies, a similar levitation was reported to have taken place on May 25, 1900 with Enrico Morselli, a neurologist and professor at the University of Genoa, controlling Palladino’s hand and foot on one side and Professor Francesco Porro, a world-famous astronomer, controlling on her other side. Morselli reported that Palladino was raised to the top of the table “in such a way that her feet and two front legs of the chair rested on the surface of the table,” after which she groaned, as if intensely frightened, and then asked (apparently John King) to be placed back on the floor. As she was descending, she “was carried up again,” before being lowered to the floor.  This all took place under dim but adequate lighting.

The evidence seems overwhelming that people are levitated and are not levitating themselves, but, as Vandersande says, it’s all too much for most people to take in. He mentioned that David Thompson was ready to give up his demonstrations when he saw him in 2014, as people continued to accuse of him being a trickster of some kind and he had done all he could do to prove otherwise. He was totally frustrated with it all. (More about Vandersande’s observations of Thompson in the next blog.)

Next blog post:  August 16
Michael Tymn is the author of The Afterlife Revealed: What Happens After We Die, Resurrecting Leonora Piper: How Science Discovered the Afterlife, and Dead Men Talking: Afterlife Communication from World War I.
His latest book, No One Really Dies: 25 Reasons to Believe in an Afterlife is published by White Crow book

Read comments or post one of your own
translate this page
Ukraine War: A Story of Survival, Sacrifice, and Service – If charitable service to those in need is the ultimate in spirituality here in the physical life, this book most certainly deals with spiritual matters. The author, Amber Poole, an American woman and her husband, Paul, from Scotland but with Polish roots, operated an educational center in Poland when the Russians attacked Ukraine in 2022. As many Ukrainians fled to Poland, they turned their center into a home for as many as 40 refugees. The author kept a very interesting “war diary” over the first 18 months of the war, discussing everything from the cultural adjustments required by both the Polish and the Ukrainians to her own reactions and adjustments, as well as philosophical concerns and conflicts that often surfaced. In spite of the adversity and distress, she embraced the adversity. Read here
© White Crow Books | About us | Contact us | Privacy policy | Author submissions | Trade orders