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Telepathy And Clairvoyance

Peculiar Power in Hypnotic

State.--Experiments.--Phantasms of the Living Explained by Telepathy

It has already been noticed that persons in the hypnotic state seem to

have certain of their senses greatly heightened in power. They can

remember, see and hear things that ordinary persons would be entirely

ignorant of. There is abundant evidence that a supersensory perception

is also developed, entirely beyon
the most highly developed condition

of the ordinary senses, such as being able to tell clearly what some

other person is doing at a great distance. In view of the discovery of

the X or Roentgen ray, the ability to see through a stone wall does not

seem so strange as it did before that discovery.

It is on power of supersensory, or extra-sensory perception that what is

known as telepathy and clairvoyance are based. That such things really

exist, and are not wholly a matter of superstition has been thoroughly

demonstrated in a scientific way by the British Society for Psychical

Research, and kindred societies in various parts of the world. Strictly

speaking, such phenomena as these are not a part of hypnotism, but our

study of hypnotism will enable us to understand them to some extent, and

the investigation of them is a natural corollary to the study of

hypnotism, for the reason that it has been found that these

extraordinary powers are often possessed by persons under hypnotic

influence. Until the discovery of hypnotism there was little to go on in

conducting a scientific investigation, because clairvoyance could not be

produced by any artificial means, and so could not be studied under

proper restrictive conditions.

We will first quote two experiments performed by Dr. Cocke which the

writer heard him describe with his own lips.

The first case was that of a girl suffering from hysterical tremor. The

doctor had hypnotized her for the cure of it, and accidentally stumbled

on an example of thought transference. She complained on one occasion of

a taste of spice in her mouth. As the doctor had been chewing some

spice, he at once guessed that this might be telepathy. Nothing was said

at the time, but the next time the girl was hypnotized, the doctor put a

quinine tablet in his mouth. The girl at once asked for water, and said

she had a very bitter taste in her mouth. The water was given her, and

the doctor went behind a screen, where he put cayenne pepper in his

mouth, severely burning himself. No one but the doctor knew of the

experiment at the time. The girl immediately cried and became so

hysterical that she had to be awakened. The burning in her mouth

disappeared as soon as she came out of the hypnotic state, but the

doctor continued to suffer. Nearly three hundred similar experiments

with thirty-six different subjects were tried by Dr. Cocke, and of these

sixty-nine were entirely successful. The others were doubtful or

complete failures.

The most remarkable of the experiments may be given in the doctor's own

words: I told the subject to remain perfectly still for five minutes

and to relate to me at the end of this time any sensation he might

experience. I passed into another room and closed the door and locked

it; went into a closet in the room and closed the door after me; took

down from the shelf, first a linen sheet, then a pasteboard box, then a

toy engine, owned by a child in the house. I went back to my subject and

asked him what experience he had had.

He said I seemed to go into another room, and from thence into a dark

closet. I wanted something off the shelf, but did not know what. I took

down from the shelf a piece of smooth cloth, a long, square pasteboard

box and a tin engine. These were all the sensations he had experienced.

I asked him if he saw the articles with his eyes which I had removed

from the shelf. He answered that the closet was dark and that he only

felt them with his hands. I asked him how he knew that the engine was

tin. He said: 'By the sound of it.' As my hands touched it I heard the

wheels rattle. Now the only sound made by me while in the closet was

simply the rattling of the wheels of the toy as I took it off the shelf.

This could not possibly have been heard, as the subject was distant from

me two large rooms, and there were two closed doors between us, and the

noise was very slight. Neither could the subject have judged where I

went, as I had on light slippers which made no noise. The subject had

never visited the house before, and naturally did not know the contents

of the closet as he was carefully observed from the moment he entered

the house.

Many similar experiments are on record. Persons in the hypnotic

condition have been able to tell what other persons were doing in

distant parts of a city; could tell the pages of the books they might be

reading and the numbers of all sorts of articles. While in London the

writer had an opportunity of witnessing a performance of this kind.

There was a young boy who seemed to have this peculiar power. A queer

old desk had come into the house from Italy, and as it was a valuable

piece of furniture, the owner was anxious to learn its pedigree. Without

having examined the desk beforehand in any way the boy, during one of

his trances, said that in a certain place a secret spring would be found

which would open an unknown drawer, and behind that drawer would be

found the name of the maker of the desk and the date 1639. The desk was

at once examined, and the name and date found exactly as described. It

is clear in this case that this information could not have been in the

mind of any one, unless it were some person in Italy, whence the desk

had come. It is more likely that the remarkable supersensory power given

enabled reading through the wood.

We may now turn our attention to another class of phenomena of great

interest, and that is the visions persons in the ordinary state have of

friends who are on the point of death. It would seem that by an

extraordinary effort the mind of a person in the waking state might be

impressed through a great distance. At the moment of death an almost

superhuman mental effort is more likely and possible than at any other

time, and it is peculiar that these visions or phantasms are largely

confined to that moment. The natural explanation that rises to the

ordinary mind is, of course, Spirits. This supposition is strengthened

by the fact that the visions sometimes appear immediately after death,

as well as at the time and just before. This may be explained, however,

on the theory that the ordinary mind is not easily impressed, and when

unconsciously impressed some time may elapse before the impression

becomes perceptible to the conscious mind, just as in passing by on a

swift train, we may see something, but not realize that we have seen it

till some time afterward, when we remember what we have unconsciously


The British Society for Psychical Research has compiled two large

volumes of carefully authenticated cases, which are published under the

title, Phantasms of the Living. We quote one or two interesting cases.

A Miss L. sends the following report:

January 4, 1886.

On one of the last days of July, about the year 1860, at 3 o'clock

p.m., I was sitting in the drawing room at the Rectory, reading, and my

thoughts entirely occupied. I suddenly looked up and saw most distinctly

a tall, thin old gentleman enter the room and walk to the table. He wore

a peculiar, old-fashioned cloak which I recognized as belonging to my

great-uncle. I then looked at him closely and remembered his features

and appearance perfectly, although I had not seen him since I was quite

a child. In his hand was a roll of paper, and he appeared to be very

agitated. I was not in the least alarmed, as I firmly believed he was my

uncle, not knowing then of his illness. I asked him if he wanted my

father, who, as I said, was not at home. He then appeared still more

agitated and distressed, but made no remark. He then left the room,

passing through the open door. I noticed that, although it was a very

wet day, there was no appearance of his having walked either in mud or

rain. He had no umbrella, but a thick walking stick, which I recognized

at once when my father brought it home after the funeral. On questioning

the servants, they declared that no one had rung the bell; neither did

they see any one enter. My father had a letter by the next post, asking

him to go at once to my uncle, who was very ill in Leicestershire. He

started at once, but on his arrival was told that his uncle had died at

exactly 3 o'clock that afternoon, and had asked for him by name several

times in an anxious and troubled manner, and a roll of paper was found

under his pillow.

I may mention that my father was his only nephew, and, having no son,

he always led him to think that he would have a considerable legacy.

Such, however, was not the case, and it is supposed that, as they were

always good friends, he was influenced in his last illness, and

probably, when too late, he wished to alter his will.

In answer to inquiries, Miss L. adds:

I told my mother and an uncle at once about the strange appearance

before the news arrived, and also my father directly he returned, all of

whom are now dead. They advised me to dismiss it from my memory, but

agreed that it could not be imagination, as I described my uncle so

exactly, and they did not consider me to be either of a nervous or

superstitious temperament.

I am quite sure that I have stated the facts truthfully and correctly.

The facts are as fresh in my memory as if they happened only yesterday,

although so many years have passed away.

I can assure you that nothing of the sort ever occurred before or

since. Neither have I been subject to nervous or imaginative fancies.

This strange apparition was in broad daylight, and as I was only reading

the 'Illustrated Newspaper,' there was nothing to excite my


Hundreds of cases of this kind have been reported by persons whose

truthfulness cannot be doubted, and every effort has been made to

eliminate possibility of hallucination or accidental fancy. That things

of this kind do occur may be said to be scientifically proven.

Such facts as these have stimulated experiment in the direction of

testing thought transference. These experiments have usually been in the

reading of numbers and names, and a certain measure of success has

resulted. It may be added, however, that no claimants ever appeared for

various banknotes deposited in strong-boxes, to be turned over to any

one who would read the numbers. Just why success was never attained

under these conditions it would be hard to say. The writer once made a

slight observation in this direction. When matching pennies with his

brother he found that if the other looked at the penny he could match it

nearly every time. There may have been some unconscious expression of

face that gave the clue. Persons in hypnotic trance are expert muscle

readers. For instance, let such a person take your hand and then go

through the alphabet, naming the letters. If you have any word in your

mind, as the muscle reader comes to each letter the muscles will

unconsciously contract. By giving attention h the muscles you can make

them contract on the wrong letters and entirely mislead such a person.