Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: The Case for Spirit Photography - With corroborative evidence by experienced researchers and photographers
Author: Doyle, Arthur Conan
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Case for Spirit Photography - With corroborative evidence by experienced researchers and photographers" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



produced from images generously made available by The
Internet Archive/American Libraries.)



THE CASE FOR SPIRIT PHOTOGRAPHY

ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE



By SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE


_On the Life Hereafter_

    THE NEW REVELATION
    THE VITAL MESSAGE
    THE COMING OF THE FAIRIES
    THE CASE FOR SPIRIT PHOTOGRAPHY
    THE WANDERINGS OF A SPIRITUALIST
    OUR AMERICAN ADVENTURE

_A History of the Great War_

    THE BRITISH CAMPAIGN IN FRANCE AND FLANDERS—5 Vols.

_Poems_

    THE GUARDS CAME THROUGH

_Novels and Stories_

    DANGER! And Other Stories
    THE DOINGS OF RAFFLES HAW
    HIS LAST BOW
      Some Latin Reminiscences of Sherlock Holmes

NEW YORK

GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY



                              THE CASE FOR
                           SPIRIT PHOTOGRAPHY

                                   BY
                           ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE

                     WITH CORROBORATIVE EVIDENCE BY
                         EXPERIENCED RESEARCHERS
                            AND PHOTOGRAPHERS

                               ILLUSTRATED

                             [Illustration]

                                NEW YORK
                         GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY

                            COPYRIGHT, 1923,
                       BY GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY

                             [Illustration]

                   THE CASE FOR SPIRIT PHOTOGRAPHY. I

                 PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA



PREFACE


The publicity given to the recent attacks on Psychic Photography has
been out of all proportion to their scientific value as evidence. When
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle returned to Great Britain, after his successful
tour in America, the controversy was in full swing. With characteristic
promptitude he immediately decided to meet these negative attacks by a
positive counter-attack, and this volume is the outcome of that decision.

We have used the term “Spirit Photography” on the title-page as being
the popular name by which these phenomena are known. This does not imply
that either Sir Arthur or I imagine that everything supernormal must
be of spirit origin. There is, undoubtedly, a broad borderland where
these photographic effects may be produced from forces contained within
ourselves. This merges into those higher phenomena of which many cases
are here described. Those desiring fuller information on this subject are
referred to “Photographing the Invisible,” by James Coates.

It was only when editing the matter for these pages that I fully realised
what an overwhelming mass of reliable material we had to work upon. In
restricting this book to the necessary limits it has only been possible
to make use of a small portion of this evidence. Many more cases have
been placed on record and may be published on some future occasion.
Most of the letters accompanying these descriptions display a deep
and genuine affection for the maligned mediums of the Crewe Circle.
Our hearty thanks are due to all those friends who have so readily
co-operated in this work and who are so willing to brave the discomforts
of publicity for what they know to be the truth.

                                                             FRED BARLOW.



CONTENTS


                                                                  PAGE

         PREFACE BY FRED BARLOW                                      v

    CHAPTER

       I THE CREWE CIRCLE                                           13

      II SOME PERSONAL EXPERIENCES                                  21

     III EVIDENTIAL TESTS AND THEIR RESULTS                         28

      IV AN EXAMINATION OF MR. HOPE AND HIS CRITICS                 38

       V FURTHER DIFFICULTIES CONSIDERED                            55

      VI THE ATTACK ON MRS. DEANE AND MR. VEARNCOMBE                60

     VII THE GENESIS AND HISTORY OF THE CREWE CIRCLE BY MISS
           F. R. SCATCHERD                                          70

    VIII EVIDENTIAL AND SCIENTIFIC ASPECTS OF PSYCHIC
           PHOTOGRAPHY BY FRED BARLOW                               79

      IX CONCLUSIVE PROOF FROM MANY SOURCES                         96



ILLUSTRATIONS


                                                                  PAGE

    Barlow, Mr. H. D., Psychic and Normal Photographs of           127

    Burgess, Mrs., with Psychic Picture of Her Uncle               127

    Buxton, Mrs., and Daughter, with Psychic Picture of
      Her Father                                                    47

    Colley, Archdeacon, Psychic Message in the Handwriting of       14

    Colley, Archdeacon, Normal Handwriting of                       14

    Colley, Archdeacon, Photomicrograph of Portion of Normal
      Signature                                                     78

    Colley, Archdeacon, Photomicrograph of Portion of Signature
      in Psychic Message                                            78

    Crawford, Dr. W. J., Psychic Message in the Handwriting of      15

    Crawford, Dr. W. J., Normal Handwriting of                      15

    Crookes, Sir William, with Psychic Face                         31

    Cushman, Agnes, Psychic Picture of                              63

    Cushman, Agnes, Normal Photograph of                            63

    Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan, and Group, with Psychic Message
      from Archdeacon Colley                                        14

    East, Mr. and Mrs. H., with Psychic and Normal Pictures
      of Son                                                        47

    Foulds, Mrs. R., with Psychic Photograph of Her Mother         110

    Foulds, Mrs. R., Normal Photograph of the Mother of            110

    Griere, Mrs. A. E., with Psychic Likeness of Husband
      and Father                                                   111

    Griere, Mrs. A. E., Photograph of the Husband of               111

    Jeffrey, Mr. Wm., and Daughter, Showing Ectoplasmic Bag         62

    Jeffrey, Mr. Wm., and Daughter, with Psychic Likeness
      of Mrs. Jeffrey                                               62

    Maddocks, Mr. S., with Psychic Likeness of First Wife           95

    Maddocks, Mr. S., Normal Photograph of the First Wife of        95

    Pickup, Mrs., with Psychic Likeness of Husband                 126

    Pickup, Mrs., Photograph of the Husband of                     126

    S.S.S.P., Group Photograph with Psychic Face                    30

    Spencer, Major R. E. E., with Psychic Face                      31

    Tweedale, the Rev. C. L., and Wife, with Psychic Likeness
      of Mrs. Tweedale’s Father                                     46

    Tweedale, the Rev. C. L., Photograph of the Father-in-law of    46

    Walker, Mr. and Mrs. Harry, and Friends, with Psychic
      Likeness of Mr. Wm. Walker                                    79

    Walker, Mr. Wm., with Psychic Message in Handwriting
      of Mr. W. T. Stead                                            79

    Walker, Mr. Wm., Psychic Message in Handwriting of              94

    Walker, Mr. Wm., Specimen of Handwriting of                     94



THE CASE FOR SPIRIT PHOTOGRAPHY



CHAPTER I

THE CREWE CIRCLE


An accusation of a damaging, and, as I believe, of an entirely unfounded
character, has been brought forward by Mr. Harry Price against Mr. Hope,
whose name has for more than seventeen years been associated with the
strange phenomenon which has been called spirit photography. I will deal
later with this accusation with which the Society for Psychic Research
has unfortunately associated itself by publishing the report of it in
their official journal. Before touching upon it I should wish to take
a broader sweep and to show the overpowering weight of evidence which
exists as to the reality of Mr. Hope’s most remarkable gift.

If a man were accused of cowardice it would be natural that his defender
should not confine himself to the particular case, but should examine the
man’s whole career and put forward instances of valour as an argument
against the charge. So also if a man is accused of dishonesty a long
record of honesty would be his most complete defence. Therefore in
considering the case of Mr. Hope, and the value of his mediumship, one
must not limit one’s investigation to a single case, where errors of
observation and of deduction may creep in, but must take a broader view
which will embrace an account of a long series of cases, vouched for by
men and women of the highest character, and incompatible with any form
of fraud. If the reader will have the patience to follow my facts and my
argument, I hope to make it clear to any unprejudiced mind that there is
overwhelming evidence that we have in Mr. Hope a man endowed with most
singular powers, and that, instead of persecuting and misrepresenting
him, it would be wiser if we took a sympathetic view of his remarkable
work, which has brought consolation to the afflicted, and conviction to
many who had lost all belief in the independent life of the spirit.

Many speak of Mr. Hope and of the Crewe Circle without any definite idea
of what the words mean. Let me explain, then, that Mr. William Hope, who
is a working-man, discovered, some seventeen years ago, quite by chance,
that this remarkable power of producing extra faces, figures or objects
upon photographic plates had been given to him. In the first instance he
was taking a fellow-workman, and the plate, when developed, was found to
contain an extra figure which was recognised as being a likeness of his
comrade’s sister, who had recently passed away.

This form of mediumship is rare, but from the days of Mumler, who
first showed it in 1861, there has never been a time when one or more
sensitives have not been able to demonstrate it.

[Illustration: FIG. 1.—Impression received upon a marked plate which
never left the author’s hands, save when in carrier. (_See_ p. 21.)]

[Illustration: FIG. 2.—Specimen of Archdeacon Colley’s writing during his
lifetime. (_See_ p. 22.)]

[Illustration: FIG. 3.—Psychograph in the handwriting of Dr. W. J.
Crawford. (_See_ p. 25.)]

[Illustration: FIG. 4.—Specimen of Dr. W. J. Crawford’s writing during
his lifetime.]

Hope was greatly surprised at his own results, but he had the good
fortune in early days to meet the late Archdeacon Colley, an enlightened
member of the Anglican Church, who tested his powers, endorsed them and
appreciated their value. It was he who gave Hope his first stand camera,
the old-fashioned instrument to which he still clings, and which, with
its battered box and broken leg, is familiar to many of us.

No one knows the story of these beginnings so well as Miss Scatcherd, who
was the intimate friend of the Archdeacon and shared the evidence which
had so impressed him. Miss Scatcherd has kindly consented to jot down her
reminiscences of these early days, that I may include them in the later
pages of this volume.

Suffice it if I say, at present, that Hope has been before the public
for seventeen years, that during that time many special tests have been
demanded of him and have been successfully met, that he has been closely
observed by experts of all sorts—scientific men (including Sir William
Crookes), journalists, professional photographers and others—that he
has patiently submitted himself to all sorts of experiment, and that
he has emerged from this most drastic ordeal with the complete support
and approval of far the greater part of his clients. That he has been
fiercely attacked goes without saying, for every medium has that
experience, but each fresh allegation against him has ended in smoke,
while his gifts have grown stronger with time, so that the percentage
of blanks in his results is, I should say, lower than it used to be. No
medium can ever honestly guarantee success, but it would probably be
within the mark if one claimed that Hope attained it three times out
of five, though the results vary much in visibility and value, being
mere vague outlines in some cases, and in others so detailed in their
perfection that the extra is clearer and more life-like than the sitter.
These variations seem to depend upon the state of health of the medium,
the qualities of the investigator, the atmospheric conditions and other
obscure causes.

In person, Hope is a man who gives the impression of being between fifty
and sixty years of age, with the manner and appearance of an intelligent
working-man. His forehead is high and indicates a good, if untrained,
brain beneath it. The general effect of his face is aquiline with large,
well-opened, honest blue eyes, and a moustache which is shading from
yellow to grey. His voice is pleasant, with a North Country accent which
becomes very pronounced when he is excited. His hands with their worn
nails and square-ended fingers are those of the worker, and the least
adapted to sleight-of-hand tricks of any that I have seen.

Mrs. Buxton, who aids him, is a kindly, pleasant-faced woman on the sunny
side of middle-age. Her mediumistic powers seem to be akin to those of
Hope, and though the latter had all his earlier results independently, he
is stronger when he combines his forces with Mrs. Buxton’s.

They both give an impression of honesty and frankness, which increases
as one comes to know them more closely. I have never met two people who
seemed to me from manner and appearance to be less likely to be in a
conspiracy to deceive the public.

They and all their circle are spiritualists of a Salvation Army type,
much addicted to the hearty singing of hymns and the putting up of
impromptu prayers. Hope, the most unconventional of beings, has been
known in the midst of one of his photographic lectures (which he delivers
occasionally in his shirt-sleeves) to say, “And now, my friends, we will
warm up with a hymn,” in which the audience, unable to escape, has to
acquiesce. It is a type of character which associates itself sometimes,
I admit, with a loathsome form of hypocrisy, but which has in it
something peculiarly childlike and sweet when it is perfectly honest and
spontaneous as it is, to the best of my belief, in the case of the two
mediums in question.

Some prejudice can be excited against Hope by the mere assertion that
he is a professional medium. The public is aware that fraud—sometimes
unhappily real, sometimes only alleged—is too often associated with this
profession. Sufficient allowance is not made for the fact that the papers
only take note of psychic things when they go wrong, and never when they
go right. The dishonest medium is so easily found out that one could
hardly make a living at so precarious a trade.

In a very extended experience, which covers many hundreds of séances,
I have only encountered fraud three or four times. Had I registered
those cases and omitted the others, I would have given the impression
of continued fraud, which is exactly how the matter is presented to the
public who are continually hoodwinked, not by the spiritualists but by
the critics and so-called “exposers” who represent what is exceptional as
being constant.

It is exactly this prejudice which prevents a medium or his friends from
bringing an action for libel, so that the unhappy man or woman becomes a
butt for any charge or any ridicule, the assailants knowing well that
the ordinary legal rights of a Briton are hardly applicable to one who
can be represented as living from a profession which is not recognised by
our laws. This cowardly medium-baiting will cease only when the public
show, by abstaining from the purchase of the journals which pursue it,
that they have no sympathy with such persecutions.

I would wish to point out, however, that Hope is not in a strict sense a
professional medium. I have never met anyone who seemed to me less venal
than he. I am aware of a case where an exploiter approached him with a
proposal to turn his gift into money, but was received in the coldest
possible manner. Twice when I have sat with him at Crewe he has refused
to take a fee, though he could never have known that the fact would be
made public. It is true that on each occasion I disregarded him to the
extent of leaving some remembrance upon the mantelpiece when his back was
turned, but I have been assured by others that he has again and again
refused all remuneration for his sitting, and has charged the ridiculous
sum of 4s. 6d. per dozen for prints from the negatives obtained. This
sum is calculated upon the average time expended at the rate of his own
trade earnings. I do not wish to overstate this side of the question or
to pretend that he would not be open to a present from a grateful client.
Of how many of us could that be honestly said? But my point is that his
gifts have been as open to the poor as to the rich—which all spiritual
gifts should be.

It is, of course, another matter when he comes to London and gives
sittings by appointment at the British College of Psychic Science. That
college is an expensive and most useful establishment, which is run, with
a yearly deficit, through the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Hewat McKenzie,
and it is only right that those who use it should contribute an adequate
sum to its maintenance.

To illustrate my remarks upon Hope’s character and the general lines upon
which the Crewe Circle is conducted, I would like to give this extract
from the letter of a miner, Mr. East, of 36, New Street, Port Talbot, who
describes an experience which he had in 1920. After giving an account of
the precautions taken, and of the appearance upon the plate of his son’s
face: [_See_ Figure 11.]

    “Hundreds of persons who knew him have seen the photo and
    recognised him.” He adds: “When I asked what their charges
    were, Mr. Hope replied: ‘Four and sixpence a dozen. For the
    sitting, nothing. This is a gift from God and we dare not
    charge for what is freely given us. Our pay is often the wonder
    and joy depicted on the faces of those, like yourselves, who
    have found that their loved ones are not entirely lost to them.
    We get all kinds and classes of people here. Some even are
    threadbare and too poor to pay train-fare, but we treat them
    all alike as we recognise in each a brother or sister.’

    “I could not but be impressed by the Christ-spirit of the two
    friends, whom we had never seen before that short half-hour,
    and not since. And when I read of men who try to make those two
    persons appear something detestable I go back in memory to that
    day when it was our good fortune to meet them and recall their
    more than kind attitude to two bruised hearts. God bless them,
    say I.”

With these preliminary remarks I will now lay before the reader a
selection of cases which I have taken from Mr. Hope’s record, and I will
ask him to read them carefully and see if they can be reconciled with
any possible system of fraud. We are, of course, always open to the
objection that a man may be perfectly honest fifty times and fraudulent
the fifty-first. That is undeniable and constitutes the great difficulty
in dealing with isolated cases where no impartial witness was present,
and where both the accusation and the defence are equally _ex-parte_
statements. We can only say in rebuttal that previous honesty must
predispose us to assume that there is no fraud, and remind our readers
that if we can only show one single case, which is absolutely beyond
criticism, then we have for ever settled the larger contention, that
it is possible in the presence of certain individuals, whom we call
mediums, to produce effects which are supernormal and which would appear
to indicate separate intelligences acting visibly quite independently of
ourselves.



CHAPTER II

SOME PERSONAL EXPERIENCES


I will first give an account of my own visit to Crewe which was in the
summer of 1919. I bought my plates in Manchester and then travelled over
to keep the appointment which had been made a week before. Arriving at
Crewe, I went down to the little house in Market Street, which is so
modest and humble that it furnishes an argument in itself against any
undue cupidity on the part of its tenant. Two spiritualistic friends, Mr.
Oaten, editor of the _Two Worlds_, and Mr. Walker, were my companions.

Mr. Hope and Mrs. Buxton were waiting for us, and, after a short
religious service, Mr. Hope and I went into the dark room. There I opened
the packet of plates, put two into the carrier and marked them then and
there. The carrier was then taken into the room and Mr. Hope inserted
it into the camera. We three spiritualists sat in front with a rug, or
blanket, as a background. The exposure having been made, the carrier was
taken back into the dark room where, with my own hands, I took out the
plates, developed them and fixed them. So far as I could judge, there was
at no stage any possibility of changing the plates.

But this question does not really arise. No changing of plates would
account for the effect actually produced. This effect I have shown in
Figure 1. There is a hazy cloud covering us of what I will describe as
ectoplasm, though my critics are very welcome to call it cotton-wool
if it eases their feelings to do so. In one corner appears a partial
materialisation of what seems to be the hair and forehead of a young man.
Across the plate is scrawled, “Well done, Friend Doyle, I welcome you to
Crewe. Greetings to all. T. COLLEY.”

I have already explained that Archdeacon Colley was the founder of the
Crewe Circle, and if, as we believe, we continue our interest after
death it would seem not unnatural that he should send a kindly word to
a visitor who was working for the cause. How can we determine that the
message was really from Archdeacon Colley? The obvious way would be to
get a sample of his writing in life and to compare it with that upon the
plate. This I have done, as shown in Figure 2. Can anyone deny that the
handwriting is the same in both instances, or can anyone suppose that
the rough script of Hope could possibly be modified into the scholarly
handwriting of the Archdeacon? Whence, then, did this message come?
Does anyone imagine that a private forger is retained by Hope and lurks
somewhere in that humble abode? It is a problem which calls for an
answer, and no talk about conjuring tricks or transposition of plates has
the least bearing upon it. It may be remarked incidentally that my own
strong desire was to obtain some sign from my son who had passed away the
year before. The result seemed to show that our personal wishes do not
effect the outcome.

Having failed to get what I desired, I remained at Crewe for the night,
and next morning went down to Market Street again. On this occasion I
used Hope’s own plates, having left mine at the hotel. He gave me the
choice of several packets. The result obtained under all the precautions
which I could adopt (it would only weary the reader if I gave every
point of detail) was a photograph of the face of a young man beside my
own. It was not a good likeness of my son, though it resembled him as
he was some eight years before his death. Of the three results which I
obtained at Crewe it was the one which impressed me least. On examination
with a lens it was noticeable that the countenance was pitted with fine
dots, as in the case of process printing. This is to be noticed in a
certain proportion, possibly one in ten, of Hope’s results, and occurs
in the case of persons whose faces could by no possibility have appeared
in newspapers. One can only suppose that it is in some way connected
with the psychic process, and some have imagined a reticulated screen
upon which the image is built up. I am content to note the fact without
attempting to explain it. I have observed the same effect in other
psychic photographs.

The third result was the most remarkable of any. I had read that Hope
can get images without the use of the camera, but the statement sounded
incredible. He now asked me to mark a plate and put it in a carrier,
which I did. We then placed our hands on either side of the carrier,
Mrs. Buxton and her sister joining in. At the end of about a minute Hope
gave a sort of shudder, and intimated that he thought a result had been
obtained. On putting the plate into the solution a disc the size of a
shilling, perfectly black, sprang up in the centre of it. On development
this resolved itself into a luminous circle with the face of a female
delicately outlined within it. Under the chin is a disc of white, and
two fingers which are pointing to it. The disc is evidently a brooch,
and the pointing seemed to indicate that it was meant to be evidential.
The face bore a strong resemblance to that of my elder sister, who died
some thirty years ago. Upon sending the print to my other sisters they
not only confirmed this, but they reminded me that my sister had a very
remarkable ivory brooch in her lifetime and that it was just the one
object which might best have been chosen as a test. I regret that this
picture is so delicate that it will not bear reproduction.

Such were my three results at Crewe, and I should, I hold, have been
devoid of reason had I not been deeply impressed by them. Here was a
message in Archdeacon Colley’s own handwriting. Here was a test from my
own dead sister which seemed to be beyond all possible coincidence, apart
from the extraordinary way in which the picture was obtained. Neither
sleight-of-hand nor transference of plates could have any bearing upon
such results as those. Their full significance was not realised until I
had made enquiries, but after that time I felt it impossible to doubt the
supernormal nature of the powers which had produced such effects.

It might perhaps be argued that as Archdeacon Colley’s writing was
familiar to Hope, he had, in spite of his disabilities, made some
special effort to master and reproduce it. As a matter of fact, however,
this case does not stand alone, and many evidential writings have been
obtained at Crewe, notably those of W. T. Stead and of the late Dr.
Crawford. The latter is a recent incident, and I would take it as my next
example, since it illustrates this phenomenon of writing, and is again
free from the bogey of transposition.

Upon June 30 of this year (1922) three delegates from Belfast, Mr.
Skelton, Mr. Gillmour and Mr. Donaldson, were coming over to the London
Spiritualists’ Conference. They broke their journey at Crewe in order
to have a sitting with Mr. Hope, who was in deep distress at the time
on account of the attack made upon him in Mr. Price’s report. It is
worth noting that Mrs. Crawford, the widow of Dr. Crawford, had come
over with them on the boat, and that Dr. Crawford’s affairs had been
under discussion, though Hope had no means of knowing it. Under good
fraud-proof conditions, on their own specially-marked plate, the visitors
obtained a message in Dr. Crawford’s handwriting, which runs thus, I
supplying the punctuation:

    “DEAR MR. HOPE,

    “Needless to say I am with you where psychic work is concerned,
    and you can be sure of my sympathy and help. I know all the
    difficulties and uncertainties connected with the subject. I am
    keenly interested in your circle and will co-operate with you.
    Regarding your enemies who would by hook or by crook dispose of
    the phenomena, leave them alone. I, W. J. Crawford, of Belfast,
    am here in Crewe on Friday, June 30th.

                                                    “W. J. CRAWFORD.”

Each word is on its own little patch of ectoplasm, or upon its own pad
of cotton-wool, if the critics prefer it, though it would puzzle them,
I think, to reproduce the effect which is given in Figure 3. The plate
alongside (Figure 4) shows a reproduction of an actual note of Crawford’s
which will enable the reader to judge the extreme similarity of the
script. Once more we confront the critic with this fact and ask him to
face the difficulty and to tell us whence this writing came; whether it
is a production of Mr. Hope’s, or whether the theory of a private forger
upon the premises can be sustained.

Apart from these cases of the reproduction of handwriting, copies of
documents have appeared upon the plates at Crewe which could by no means
have got there in a normal fashion. A case in point is given in detail
by the Reverend and venerable Professor Henslow on p. 217 of his _Proofs
of Spiritualism_. In this case, the truth of which is vouched for by the
Professor, although it did not actually occur to him, the plates were
held between the hands of the sitters in the manner already described,
but the packet had not been opened and was as it had come from the
chemist. When the packet was opened and the plates developed there was
found impressed upon the fifth plate a number of Greek characters, which
proved to be a copy of four lines of the _Codex Alexandrinus_, a rare
Greek text kept in a glass case in the British Museum. The interesting
point appears that the two documents are not facsimiles, and that there
is some slight difference in the formation of the letters, thus meeting
the objection that the text photographed might have been got from some
facsimile of the original _Codex_. The photographs of the original Greek
and of the Crewe reproduction are given in Professor Henslow’s work.
Here, again, we may well ask the critic to face the facts and give us
some feasible explanation as to how this Greek text was precipitated
on to a plate in a sealed packet under the mediumship of an unlearned
carpenter at Crewe.



CHAPTER III

EVIDENTIAL TESTS AND THEIR RESULTS


We will now turn to the reproduction of faces, and I will give an
instance where all the stock theories about changing or superposition
of plates become untenable. At the annual meeting of the Society for
the Study of Supernormal Pictures, I being present, a photograph of the
members was taken in the normal way as a souvenir. As Hope was present,
it was suggested that a second photograph be taken by him in the hope
that we might get some psychic effect. The plate was taken from an
unopened packet in the pocket of the secretary, and some fifteen of us
were witnesses of the whole transaction. Hope had no warning at all,
and could have made no preparation. The plate was at once developed
by one of our own members, and a well-marked extra, amid a cloud of
ectoplasm, appeared upon the picture. This extra was claimed by one of
our members as a good likeness of his dead father. This result, which is
illustrated by Figure 5, was obtained before an audience of experts, if
any men in this world have a right to call themselves experts upon this
subject. How can it be explained by fraud and how can such a case be
lightly set aside? Granting for argument’s sake that the sitter may have
been mistaken in the recognition, how can the actual psychic effect be
accounted for?

It happens, occasionally, that these ghost-faces which appear upon the
plates retain some remarkable physical peculiarity which prove beyond all
question who they represent. One such case has been handed to me by the
Countess of Malmesbury, whose own account is so clear and condensed that
it could not be bettered:

    “I sat with Mr. Hope and Mrs. Buxton on Friday, December
    9th, 1921, and was accompanied by ‘Val L’Estrange,’ a lady
    professional photographer, who watched the proceedings on my
    behalf, as I do not understand photography. She states that
    from first to last she could not detect any fraud. As I sat
    for the photograph the wish just crossed my mind that I might
    obtain a photograph of J. H., who died in 1880, and that I
    could receive a definite sign that it was genuine.

    “J. H. died as the result of an operation for the removal of
    the lower jaw, which had been seriously injured. No one saw him
    after this terrible misfortune except five persons, of whom I
    am the only survivor, and I need not say that no photograph was
    then taken of him.

    “I showed the photograph to Dr. Fielding Ould, who at once
    recognised it as that of a man who had had his lower jaw
    removed. This opinion was confirmed by several of his medical
    friends, to whom he showed the picture.

    “I should add that the plates were bought by ‘Val L’Estrange’
    direct from the manufacturer, and that we brought them with
    us. The exposure was forty seconds. The plate which produced
    the portrait was manipulated by Mr. Hope under the supervision
    of ‘Val L’Estrange.’ We both superintended the development and
    fixing of the negative.

    “As an impartial investigator of psychic matters I have stated
    exactly what took place, without comment.

                          (_signed_) “SUSAN, COUNTESS OF MALMESBURY.”

It must be admitted that this case, so exactly recorded, would be a
difficult one to explain away.

I would now quote the case furnished by Major Spencer, who is an
experienced and careful observer, and has given much attention to psychic
photography. In this experiment he used his own camera, his own carriers
and his own plates. What could be more drastic than that! He says, if I
may abbreviate his account:

    “The box of plates was never out of my sight and was cut open
    in the dark room by myself; Hope or Mrs. Buxton in no instance
    touching them.”

The red light, he explains, was a good one and he could see all that
occurred.

    “Hope stood on my left hand for the whole time in the dark
    room and I kept the box of plates under my right elbow during
    the operations of initialling and inserting the plates in the
    slides.... My own camera remained closed in my despatch-case
    (also closed) till I returned from the dark room, when I set it
    up on its tripod, extending it, and focussing it upon the chair
    afterwards used. When the exposures were made by Hope I had to
    explain to him how to actuate the shutter, as the lever on the
    camera front was new to him. The only contact with the camera
    was when he touched this lever. Exposure thirty-five seconds.
    Neither Mrs. Buxton nor Hope knew that I had intended using my
    own camera and dark slides till we met in the studio. These
    slides are metallic and each contains one plate.”

[Illustration: FIG. 5.—Group of Members of the S.S.S.P. The psychic face
will be seen in the centre of the plate and situated horizontally to the
sitters. (_See_ p. 28.)]

[Illustration: FIG. 6.—Major R. E. E. Spencer and psychic face obtained
in special test. (_See_ p. 31.)]

[Illustration: FIG. 7.—Sir William Crookes with psychic face obtained in
his own laboratory through the mediumship of the Crewe Circle. (_See_ p.
33.)]

(For the benefit of the uninitiated, let me explain that the carrier and
the dark slide are different names for the same thing, the receptacle
into which the plates are put in the dark room, which is then inserted
into the back of the camera.)

Now this is a case which any reasonable man would say eliminated every
possible source of error. The actual result was that out of six plates,
two showed unrecognised extra faces. One of the results is reproduced
in Figure 6. How came those faces upon the plates? How can our critics
explain it? They cannot explain it, and yet they have not the honesty
to admit their inability. Among our chief enemies is that inner circle
which for the moment controls the destinies of the Society for Psychical
Research. What flaw do they find? I am sure the honest common-sense
reader would never guess. The flaw adduced is that Major Spencer left his
camera inside his despatch-box in the studio while he was in the dark
room. Mrs. Buxton was in the studio. She might have dashed at the box,
pulled it open, dragged out the camera, and then ... well, what then? No
one can imagine what the next stage would be. Dr. Abraham Wallace has
publicly asked the critic to state what could then be done which would
have put two human faces upon different plates and none on the others.
If Major Spencer had locked his box it would then have been claimed that
Mrs. Buxton had a skeleton key in her pocket. It is puerile criticism
of this sort which has lowered that intellectual respect which we older
members had once for the S.P.R. It is intellectually dishonest and
the sign of a frame of mind which is not there to follow facts or to
ascertain the truth, but only to argue a preconceived case as a lawyer
speaks from his brief. The S.P.R. (or their present spokesmen) are
against psychic photography, and therefore it is better to put up the
most childish and preposterous objections rather than to say that a case
is clearly proved. I would appeal to any impartial mind whether this case
of Major Spencer’s does not absolutely cover every objection.

I would now give the case of the dream-hand of Lady Grey of Falloden.
When I was going to Australia this lady most kindly wrote out the facts
for me and gave me a copy of the photograph, which I used upon my screen.
Lady Glenconner, as she then was, dreamed that if she was photographed
at Crewe she would see her son’s hand resting upon her left shoulder.
She said nothing to Hope, but she put the fact of her dream upon record.
Sure enough, in the photograph there is a small cloud of ectoplasm,
and emerging from it a hand, which is resting even as it rested in the
dream. Where does fraud come in, in such a case as that? Surely those
who circulated a libellous pamphlet against Hope upon the strength of a
single case must feel ashamed when they consider such a result as that,
where no possible manipulation could have affected the picture. Psychic
caution is an admirable quality, but extreme incredulity is even more
disastrous than extreme credulity. The psychic investigator should be a
filter, not a block.

I would now quote the case of Mr. Pearse, a well-known business man of
Manchester. This is no psychic fanatic, but a hard-headed Northern man of
business. He visited Hope at Crewe, taking with him his own new camera
and his own carrier, which was loaded by his daughter. No chance of
transposition here, unless Hope had a duplicate carrier.

    “The result,” he says, “was an undisputed likeness to
    my father. _No photograph of him in that position is in
    existence._ Everyone who has known him has recognised him, and
    my mother treasures the photograph very much.”

In this account the sting lies in the statement that no such photograph
is in existence. Again and again—it would not be too much to say that
fifty instances could be produced—this statement can be made. Is it not
incredible that people should be found who cannot see that such a fact is
evidential of supernormal action?

I have alluded to the fact that Sir William Crookes received such a
photograph at Crewe, and that it bore a close resemblance to his deceased
wife. I have not been able to get any copy of this photograph, but it
is devoutly to be hoped that it, and Sir William’s invaluable psychic
papers, are being duly cared for by his executors and biographer, for
they have there a precious trust, and any tampering with it on account
of their individual opinions would entail upon them the censure of
generations yet unborn. In an interview in the _Christian Commonwealth_
(December 4th, 1918) the interviewer, Miss Scatcherd, asked, “And may I
say how you went north with another friend and myself and procured on
your own marked plate, under your own conditions, a likeness of your
beloved wife, the late Lady Crookes?” To which Sir William answered:
“You may say that, since it is the truth.... You may add that the picture
obtained after her passing on is unlike any of the many which I possess,
but certainly resembles my dear one in her last days of failing health.”
In a private letter, which I have seen, Sir William, writing on December
14, 1916, shortly after the incident, says: “The photograph is easily
recognised by all to whom I have shown it. I find that it is very similar
in likeness to one I took about ten years ago, although by no means a
facsimile reproduction. This makes it all the more satisfactory to me.”

Though I am unable to reproduce this photograph, I have been able, by
the kindness of Miss Scatcherd, to reproduce (Figure 7) the preliminary
experimental photograph got in Sir William’s laboratory, which induced
him to take the Crewe Circle seriously. Only Mr. Hope and Miss Scatcherd
were present on this occasion. It was taken, says the latter, “under the
strictest conditions that the genius of Sir William Crookes, backed by
his unusual common sense, could suggest.” The face here is not that of
Lady Crookes, and was not recognised. But surely such a result must show
the public how superficial is the view which on the strength of a single
experiment endeavours to discredit the whole life’s work of Mr. Hope.

Several examples of Crewe photographs are reproduced (Figures 8, 9, 10)
which show the similarity to the living man, and yet are declared by
the relatives to be unlike any existing picture. That which is shown on
Figure 8 is the result obtained by that brave psychic pioneer, the Rev.
Charles Tweedale, who from his little Yorkshire vicarage beckons the
Church on the road that it should go. In this case Mr. Tweedale called
upon Hope without any appointment and obtained, as has several times
been obtained on surprise visits, an excellent result. The psychic face
is that of his wife’s father, whose features in life, for purposes of
comparison, are shown by Figure 9. The picture is unlike any in existence.

I have said that the psychic faces are sometimes more animated and
life-like than the original photographs taken in life. In support of this
assertion I would point to Figure 10. The old man who smiles so happily
is Mrs. Buxton’s own father, then very recently dead. I do not think that
the most cynical of my readers will contend that a daughter is likely to
make a blasphemous faked picture of her own father, even if it had been
possible to produce so vital an effect.

Anyone who is familiar with Hope’s results is aware that over many of the
psychic faces there appears a roll or arch of some peculiar substance
which has never been explained upon any supposition of fraud, but is so
constant that it would appear to be part of the psychic process. Some of
us have always contended that probably this arch represents a formation
corresponding to the Cabinet upon this side—an envelope or enclosed space
within which psychic forces are generated and condensed. The arch is by
no means peculiar to Hope, though the exact form and texture of it is
such that one could pick out a Hope photograph among a hundred others.
This psychic arch, as it has been named, appears in many forms and many
places, some of them very unexpected. I have, as an example, a photograph
before me as I write which was taken by Mr. Boyd, the respected provost
of a Scotch borough, upon a recent journey which he made upon the West
Coast of Africa. On taking a small group of natives he found an extra
of a woman and child (negroes) upon his plate. This extra figure is
surrounded and surmounted by the psychic arch in an exaggerated form.
Mr. Boyd has no axe to grind, and, so far as I know, he is not even a
spiritualist. How comes it, then, that his result fits so definitely
into the arch system, if it be not that there is some general law which
regulates results whether they be obtained in Crewe or on the Gold Coast?

Again, I have a friend, an amateur, who has himself developed psychic
photography from the time that it was a mere luminous blur upon his
plates, until now he receives very graceful and perfect pictures which
are in some cases recognised faces of the dead. In his case the arch
adjusts itself into the form of an artistic hood or mantilla. But the
arch principle carries on. It is only by a comprehensive view of this
sort, and by the comparison of different independent results, that we
are likely to get at some of the laws which underlie this matter. At
present the system adopted in quarters which should be responsible ones
is to concentrate attention upon whatever may seem to be failure or
deception, and to take no notice at all of the broader aspects of the
question. In every science the methods of advance are to pay strict
attention to the positive results and to regard the negative ones as mere
warnings of what to avoid. This process has been reversed in considering
psychic photography, and the world has been deceived by those who should
have been its guides. Truth will, of course, prevail, but its progress
has been grievously retarded by this unhappy and unscientific mental
attitude.

On one occasion remarkable evidence was afforded that we were right
in our surmise that a cabinet of ectoplasm for concentration is first
constructed, and that the psychic effect is developed inside it. The
result, which is depicted in Figure 12, was got by Mr. Jeffrey, of
Glasgow, who was, I may add, the President of the Scottish Society of
Magicians, and is therefore the last person to be deceived by any sort of
trick. In this case the exposure seems to have been too early so that the
ectoplasmic bag is exposed in its complete form, without any contents. In
the second picture, Figure 13, taken immediately afterwards, the face of
Mr. Jeffrey’s deceased wife has appeared, and the bag has split to show
it, forming the familiar fold over both sides of the face. This picture
seems to me to be quite final in showing us exactly how the matter is
worked by the forces which direct things upon the other side.

Each of these cases which I have given is impressive, I hope, in
itself, but their cumulative effect should be overpowering. They are
but selections out of a very long list which I could provide, but
repetition would be unprofitable, for if those which are here quoted fail
to convince the reader then he is surely beyond conviction. One or two
might conceivably be the result of imperfect observation or incorrect
statement, but it is an insult to common sense to say that so long an
array of honourable witnesses, with their precise detail, with their
actual photographic results, and with the complete exclusion of any
possible trickery, should all be explained in any normal fashion.



CHAPTER IV

AN EXAMINATION OF MR. HOPE AND HIS CRITICS


Having said so much in support of Mr. Hope’s mediumship, let me say what
I can in the way of personal criticism, for I hold no particular brief
for him, and am only anxious to follow truth wherever it may lead. I have
written this pamphlet because I think that truth has been grievously
obscured, and that the fruit of seventeen years of remarkable psychic
demonstration is, for the moment, imperilled by the attention of the
public being directed entirely to a single case which is, admittedly upon
the face of it, of a damaging character. We spiritualists should be, in
Stevenson’s fine phrase, “steel-true and blade-straight,” and we should
never avoid an issue, or fall into the error of our opponents who have
no sense of balance and can only focus their gaze upon one side of a
question.

It has been said that Hope is suspiciously restless and fussy in the
dark room. This, so far as my own observation goes, is correct. It may
be that he is nervously anxious for success, or it may be that he is not
in a normal condition—for he usually holds a service and occasionally
goes into apparent trance immediately before the experiment. Whatever
the cause, I am not prepared to deny the fact, or that not unreasonable
suspicions might be awakened by his attitude in the minds of those who
are brought for the first time in contact with his personality. I can
only point to the cases already given, and say once more that _no_ action
upon his part could have produced them.

Again, it is said of Hope that he is impatient of tests and restrictions.
Some of his best friends have been alienated by this fact. Mediums are
touchy people—more delicately organised in many cases than any other
human type. They may occasionally show an irrational annoyance and
resentment against any action which implies personal suspicion. And yet,
though he certainly prefers to be left to his own methods unrestrained
save by ordinary observation, it is a fact that he has in the past
consented to a great number of tests and has come out of them remarkably
well. I have heard him say, “What have I to gain from tests? I am put to
a deal of trouble, I do what I am asked to do, I get result, and then I
hear no more about it except that perhaps I have convinced the person. Or
perhaps, even if I have done all he asks in his own way, he still says
he is unconvinced.” I can bear him out in this latter statement, for I
have knowledge of three separate sittings which he had with a well-known
London editor, where, under the latter’s ever more stringent conditions,
Hope got results certainly twice, and, I think, thrice, and yet when I
asked this editor to vouch for these results that I might quote them in
this pamphlet, in the interests of truth and justice, I could get no
reply to my letter. This seems to indicate either that he was not yet
satisfied, though his own conditions had been carried out, or else that
he had not the moral courage to help the medium at the time when he
needed testimony.

The incident shows that there is some truth in Hope’s contention that
tests are often a waste of energy. At the same time, it should be known
that when the S.P.R. made their recent attack, founded upon a single
case, Hope at once offered to give fresh sittings and to submit to the
most drastic tests so long as those who were in sympathy were also
associated in the experiment. For some reason the S.P.R. refused this,
and it is a serious flaw in their position. None the less, we must make
the admission that, in general, Hope is not fond of tests.

But there is another and more serious admission which I would make,
although in doing so I may possibly be doing Hope an injustice. He
is, in my opinion, not only a spiritualist, but a fanatic, which is a
dangerous thing in any line of thought. We are aware that one must “test
the spirits,” but I believe that Hope has such childlike and blind faith
in his guides that he would obey their directions whatever they might
be. I recollect one case where a distinguished man of science sent Hope
a sealed packet, upon which the latter placed it in a bucket of water,
under the alleged prompting of some spirit message. The natural result
was to alienate the scientific man from psychic photography for many
years. It is easy to say that this was simply a case of vulgar fraud,
but fraud would be done in some manner which could be concealed and not
in so drastic a manner as that, and, as I have shown, fraud does not at
all fit in with Hope’s usual results. I make the critic a present of the
case, merely adding that I believe Hope’s account of his motives to be
absolutely true, however incomprehensible it might seem.

I have now, I hope, convinced any reasonable reader of the genuine nature
of Hope’s powers, which, after all, wonderful as they may seem, are by
no means unique, but are to be matched by those of several contemporaries
both in England and in America—not all of them professionals.

We will next turn to the particular case treated in the report of the
S.P.R. drawn up by Mr. Price, and afterwards published in a sixpenny
form and widely distributed gratis with the evident intention of ruining
Hope. Apart from its truth or falseness, the pamphlet is in deplorable
taste, with puns upon Hope’s name, and tags of Johnson and Dryden dotted
over it. So grave a subject should be treated with dignity even when
severity is necessary. I will now state the case as clearly as I can,
together with some remarkable side-lights which have appeared since the
publication.

Having determined to catch Hope out, Mr. Price, who has considerable
knowledge both of conjuring and of photography, procured from the
Imperial Dry Plate Company eight plates, all of which had been cut
from the same sheet of glass. Six of these plates were made up into a
single packet, and all were treated by X-rays, so that while there was
no outward sign that they had been marked there would, according to the
testimony of the Company, appear upon them when they were developed a
design of the Company’s trademark.

Carrying with him this doctored packet, and accompanied by a friend,
Mr. Seymour, also a conjurer, Mr. Price kept an appointment which Mr.
Hope had given him at the British College of Psychic Science, London, on
February 24th, 1922. The mediums were quite unsuspicious of any trap, nor
did they hear anything of the matter till four months later.

Mr. Price says: “I made myself very pleasant, said how sorry I was that
they had been ill with influenza, and asked after the Crewe Circle,
saying that my people were natives of Shropshire.” A private detective
must, of course, use deception, but when Mr. Price at a later stage
proceeded to ask that “Onward, Christian soldiers!” be the hymn sung, and
suggesting that the extra finally shown was that of his own mother, he
really does seem to be wallowing in it to an unnecessary degree. After
all, the matter was one of business; he had paid for his sitting, he
would surely get it, and no elaborate deception was needed.

After the usual ceremonies Mr. Price and Mr. Hope went into the dark
room, where the package was opened and the two top plates put into the
carrier. Hope then took up the carrier, asking Price to wrap up the
remaining plates, and it was at this moment that Price “saw him ...
put the dark slide to his left breast-pocket, and take it out again
(another one?) without any ‘talking’ or knocking.” I copy this sentence
as printed, and it is curious to find the S.P.R., which is continually
claiming from others the utmost exactness of statement, passing one which
is so involved and unintelligible. However, it is certain that Mr. Price
means that Hope at that moment changed the carriers, though he does not
even tell us where the second carrier went to. Mr. Price had endeavoured
to mark with some pricking instrument of his thumb the original carrier,
but carriers are often of very hard wood, and he could not, one would
think, have verified such a result, therefore the fact that no marks of
pricks were found upon the carrier cannot be regarded very seriously. It
is an instructive fact that the S.P.R. receives all these very loose
tests without question or comment, while when the evidence is the other
way, as in the case of Major Spencer, they are ready with the most
extraordinary explanations rather than admit a positive result.

The couple then emerged from the dark room—I am omitting unessential
and wearying details—and the photographs were duly taken with no exact
record of the time of exposure, though Mr. Price roughly placed it at
from eighteen to nineteen seconds. The point was really of great, and
might have been, of vital importance. When the plates were developed
one was normal of Price alone, and the other had a female extra looking
over Price’s shoulder. This female face has the psychic arch and bears
every sign to my eye, and to that of every spiritualist whom I have heard
discuss it, of being true to type and a real Hope extra.

Mr. Price complimented the medium upon his success, carried off the
plates, and then set himself to dictate an article which was duly printed
in the “Proceedings” of the S.P.R. to show that the whole business was a
swindle, that the plates had been changed, and that the extra had been on
a plate which Hope had foisted upon Price by the device of changing the
carriers in the dark room.

The points upon which Price relied in his charge may be taken in their
order. They were:

    1. That on the plate with the extra the X-ray marks of the
    Imperial Company were not present.

Experiments were at once undertaken by several investigators, including
Dr. Cushman, of Washington, and Mr. Hewat McKenzie. They showed that
with long exposures, such as Hope gave, the X-ray marks vanish, so that
this test, as was admitted by the Imperial Company, ceases to be valid.

    2. That he made marks upon the carrier, which were not found
    upon the carrier actually used.

These marks seem to have been mere pricks, and there is no independent
evidence as to their existence.

    3. That he saw Hope make a suspicious gesture in the dark room.

This would be more convincing if any indication could be given as to what
became of the discarded carrier. In cross-examination Mr. Price weakened
on the point.

    4. That the glass of which the plates were made and on which
    the photos appeared, was different in colour and thickness from
    the glass of the Imperial plates brought by Mr. Price for the
    experiment.

This statement holds good. The plates have been examined and compared,
and those who desired to guard the interests of Mr. Hope (or rather of
truth) agreed that this contention was right, and that there had actually
been a substitution of plates at some time by somebody. There we are all
on common ground. How then, and why, were the plates changed?

Many who were convinced by experience of Hope’s powers and of his
essential honesty, and who were aware of the bitter antagonism which
exists against him, as against all psychic phenomena, in certain circles
of conjurers and of sceptical researchers, and of indiscreet expressions
before the experiment, were of opinion that the whole transaction was an
organised conspiracy to discredit the medium. The packet of plates had
been for several weeks before the experiment in the possession of the
officials of the S.P.R., and was accessible to clever-fingered people who
were hostile to Hope’s claims, and who had frequently averred that the
opening of sealed packets was an easy process. There were other arguments
which I will not state lest I should seem to be endorsing them. Let me
say, at once, that I believe Messrs. Dingwall, Price and Seymour to be
honourable gentlemen, however much I differ from their point of view, and
that I will not advance any hypothesis which is not consistent with that
position.[1]

At the same time, I would point out that all their difficulties, which
have increased with fuller knowledge, are due to their own tortuous
and indirect way of approaching the question. Suppose that instead
of all this juggling of X-ray marks Mr. Price had simply initialled
his plate the moment he took it from the packet as I and many other
experimenters have done, surely if he had afterwards received an extra
upon that initialled plate the test would have been complete, so far
as substitution is concerned. If he had not done so, I am sure that
Hope would have given him a second appointment, and he could have gone
on until he had either succeeded or until he had proved that with an
initialled plate Hope was helpless. Had this been done much trouble would
have been saved, and the result been equally clear.

Or, again, when he was, as he says, morally sure that Hope had changed
the carrier, suppose that instead of complimenting Hope upon results and
suggesting that the image was that of his mother, he had said, “You will
excuse me, Mr. Hope, but I must really examine you and your dark room,
for I think I can find a marked carrier which you have concealed while
you substituted your own.” A refusal from Hope would have really been a
confession. But, all through, a tortuous course was preferred.

I have nothing against Mr. Price’s honour, but a very great deal against
his methods, winding up with his sixpenny attack upon Hope, when the
matter, as events have proved, was very far from being settled.

This pamphlet would certainly convey to the public the idea that Mr.
Price looked upon psychic photography in general as the greatest humbug
in the world, whereas since then he has signed a document which ends with
the words:

    “We are convinced that the test with Hope on February 24th does
    not rule out the possibility that Hope has produced supernormal
    pictures, or that he is able to produce ‘extras’ by other than
    normal means.”

Had he been wise enough to adopt this humbler tone in the first instance
we could all discuss the question now in a more placid frame of mind.

[Illustration: FIG. 8.—The Rev. C. L. Tweedale and his wife with psychic
likeness of Mrs. Tweedale’s father. (_See_ p. 34.)]

[Illustration: FIG. 9.—Photograph of Mr. Frank Burnett—Mrs. Tweedale’s
father—who died in 1913. Compare with Fig. 8, showing psychic likeness
obtained six years later.]

[Illustration: FIG. 10.—Photograph of Mrs. Buxton of the Crewe Circle
with her daughter. Psychic likeness of Mrs. Buxton’s father unlike any
other picture in existence. In the bottom left-hand corner is reproduced
a normal photograph of Mrs. Buxton’s father for comparison. (_See_ p.
35.)]

[Illustration: FIG. 11.—Photograph of Mr. and Mrs. H. East, with psychic
likeness of their son obtained on a surprise visit to Crewe. Normal
photograph reproduced alongside psychic effect for comparison. (_See_ p.
19.)]

But irritability must not make us unjust, and we have to face the
question how came the plates to be changed? The only honest answer is
that we do not know, but that the evidence taken on its face value at
this stage was against Hope, in spite of his long record of honesty.
Mr. Barlow has put forward the plea that Hope was in an abnormal mental
condition at such times, and was to that extent irresponsible. I fear I
cannot accept this, for such substitution must be thought out beforehand,
an image must be prepared, and the whole transaction is not an act of
impulse but a deliberate plan.

There has, however, been a most singular sequel to the case which causes
an extraordinary complication, and when closely examined seems to me to
turn Hope from the defendant into the accuser. The S.P.R. claims that
after this experiment one of the two marked plates had been returned
to them, but in so secret a fashion that it could not be explained who
had brought it or how it had been obtained. This was apparently a point
against Hope, the charge inferred, though not stated, being that he had
left this plate about, after abstracting it from the carrier, and that
some enemy had recognised it and brought it to clinch the case against
him. So secret were the proceedings of the Society that though I am
one of the oldest members of that body I was refused leave to see this
mysterious plate. Eventually, however, some of our people did see it, and
then an extraordinary state of things revealed itself. First of all the
plate was undoubtedly one of the original set supplied by the Imperial
Dry Plate Company. Secondly, it was a virgin unexposed plate, so that it
is impossible that anyone at Hope’s end could have picked it out from any
other plates, since the marks were invisible. Third, and most wonderful,
it actually, on being developed, had an image upon it, which may or may
not have been a psychic extra. This plate was sent on March 3rd, a week
after the experiment and three days after Hope and Mrs. Buxton, who
knew nothing yet of Price’s trap, had returned home to Crewe. It was
in a double wrapper, with a request upon the inside cover that it be
developed. The wrapper was formed of Psychic College literature, and it
bore the Notting Hill postmark.

Now consider the situation thus created. Since the plate had not been
developed it is clear that neither Hope nor anyone at the College
could possibly have known that it was a marked plate, for there was no
publication of the alleged exposure until more than four months after.
Who was there in the whole world who did know that this was a marked
plate and one in which the S.P.R. might be expected to take a special
interest? Clearly the experimenters of the S.P.R. and their confidants—no
one else. But if the marked plate had been abstracted by Hope in the
dark room and mixed up there with other plates how could any friend or
emissary of the S.P.R. have picked it out as being the plate that was
marked? It could not have been done. Therefore the conclusion seems to be
irresistible that this plate was abstracted from the packet _before_ the
experiment by someone who knew exactly what it was. If this be so, Hope
is the victim of a conspiracy and he is a much ill-used man. I see no
possible alternative to this conclusion.

Let us see if we can build up any sort of theory which would cover all
the known facts. Any such theory is bound to be improbable, but the
improbable is better than the impossible, and it is quite impossible
that Hope could have known that a plate was secretly marked when it had
not been exposed or developed. We have to remember that the knot of
conspirators (some consciously so, and some not) are in close touch with
a group of conjurers. These gentlemen have announced that there is no
packet which cannot be opened and no seal which cannot be tampered with
undetected. For twenty-four days after Mr. Price takes his packet of
marked plates to the headquarters of the S.P.R. it was locked up not in
a safe but in an ordinary drawer, which may or may not have been locked,
but could presumably be easily opened. My belief is that during that long
period the packet was actually opened and the top plates taken out. Upon
one of these top plates a faked photograph was thrown from one of those
small projectors which produce just such an effect as is shown on the
returned plate. The idea may have been that Hope would claim this effect
as his own and that he would then be confounded by the announcement that
it was there all the time. That was the first stage. The second stage was
that either the original conspirator relented or someone else who was in
his confidence thought it was too bad, so the packet was again tampered
with, the marked and faked plate taken out and a plain one substituted.
The packet was then taken to Hope as described. Mr. Hope then got a
perfectly honest psychic effect upon the unmarked plate. Meanwhile the
abstracter, whoever he may have been, had the original faked plate in his
possession, and out of a spirit of pure mischief—for I can imagine no
other reason—he wrapped it in a sheet of the College syllabus, which can
easily be obtained, and returned it to the S.P.R., to whom it originally
belonged. Wherever it came from it is clear that it did not come from
the College, for when a man does a thing secretly and anonymously he
does not enclose literature which will lead to his detection.

It is possible that this thing may originally have been conceived as a
sort of practical joke upon Hope and upon spiritualists generally, but
that some who were not in the joke have pushed the matter further than
was originally intended. Whom can we blame? I am in the position of never
having personally met any of the three protagonists, Price, Dingwall
or Seymour, so that my view of them is impartial. Mr. Price is popular
among the spiritualists who know him, and all agree that he would be
unlikely to lend himself to any deception. Mr. Dingwall was possessed
by an extreme prejudice against Mr. Hope, and yet I cannot conceive him
as gratifying that prejudice by such a trick. He cannot, however, be
acquitted of having aided and abetted in issuing the libellous pamphlet
against Hope before all the facts were known, and before Hope’s friends
could examine any of them. It was an unworthy thing to do, and Messrs.
Price and Dingwall must share the responsibility. It is a curious fact
which should be recorded that, although the experiment was on February
24th, and though the report of the alleged exposure was not issued till
the end of May, we find Mr. Dingwall applying for a sitting with Hope
early in May, and writing, when Hope refused to give him one: “As I
understand from your letters that you still refuse to have sittings with
the only scientific body in Great Britain investigating this subject, I
shall be obliged in my coming report on psychic photography to publish
certain facts which may not be of advantage to yourself.” That letter
was on May 2nd. Apparently, therefore, the publication of the “exposure”
depended upon whether Mr. Dingwall was piqued or was humoured. If he were
sure that the exposure was a genuine one this is a very singular attitude
to assume.

There remains Mr. James Seymour, the amateur conjurer, who has been
concerned in several so-called exposures. It would be unjust to assert
that it was he who carried out this deception, for when a packet is left
for twenty-four days in a drawer many people may have had access to it,
and none of the three experimenters may have known the facts. This, I
think, is very probable. At the same time, as Mr. Seymour has been very
searching in his inquiries about mediums, he will not take it amiss if
I ask him what he meant when in his evidence (“Cold Light,” etc., p. 7)
he says: “They” (_i.e._, Hope and Mrs. Buxton) “were thoroughly taken in
by the packet and were not suspicious of it.” How could they possibly be
suspicious of a packet which had never been opened? On the other hand, if
the speaker knew that the packet had been tampered with, it would be a
most natural remark to make. The words may be innocent, but they demand
a clear explanation, and so does the fact that an extra was found upon a
marked plate which obviously had never been in Hope’s dark room at all.

So secretive and tortuous have been the methods of the agents of the
S.P.R. that each fresh piece of evidence has to be wrung from them, and
they seem to have no conception of the fact that a man who is accused
has a right to know all the facts concerning the accusation. Even now,
nine months after the event, constant pressure has to be put upon them
in order to get at the truth. Only at this last moment has a new and
strange fact been admitted. It is that when the mysterious marked plate
was returned it was not alone, but that three other plates, not belonging
to the marked series, were with it, _each_ of them adorned with psychic
photographs. These photographs in no way resembled the results of Hope or
of Mrs. Deane, nor were they like the one upon the marked plate. I should
be interested to know whether Mr. Marriott was ever in the counsels of
the conspirators, for there is something in this incident which rather
recalls that gentleman’s powers and also his somewhat impish sense of
humour.

Even now—I write nearly nine months after the original investigation—we
have no assurance that this secret of the S.P.R. has been fully divulged
or that they have been frank with the public. It is possible that they
have received other anonymous communications which bear upon the case.
The first one was within a week of the investigation, and if divulged
at the time it might have been possible to find the source. After such
a lapse of time it is far more difficult. As I have shown, these new
facts place the Society in a very invidious position and that may be the
cause of their hesitations and concealments, but they have to remember
that they have made a wanton attack upon a man’s honour, and that their
own _amour propre_ is a small thing compared to the admission of the
injustice they have done. They should now come forward honestly, admit
the blunders they have committed, apologise to Hope, and remove any
slur which they have cast upon one of the most important and consistent
psychic manifestations ever known in the history of the movement. In all
attempted explanations let them bear in mind the central fact that no one
but themselves and their associates knew that there was a marked plate
in existence until several months after the experiment and after one had
been returned to them.

Among those who examined the evidence at that time available was Dr.
Allerton Cushman, for whose independence of mind and strong common sense
I have a great respect. Having signed the document in which he admitted
that there had been substitution of plates, he added the following
impressive note:

    “My signature appended to the above statement sets forth that
    investigation of all the facts available up to date shows
    that the plate containing the psychic extra in the Price test
    sitting with Hope did not match up with the other plates
    marked by the Imperial Dry Plate Company. The only possible
    inference is that the plate in question was substituted by
    someone at some time either deliberately or accidentally. I do
    not commit myself as to the authorship of the substitution.
    After careful experimentation I do not consider the system of
    X-ray marking adopted by Mr. Price to be infallible, but quite
    the reverse, as the markings quite disappear on long exposures
    and over-development. I am also unimpressed and unconvinced
    by Mr. Price’s method of marking the plate-holder. I have had
    in all five sittings with Hope and four with Mrs. Deane. Of
    these nine sittings, seven were conducted under test conditions
    in which Dr. H. Carrington and other witnesses participated.
    I have obtained psychic extras from both mediums on plates
    marked by X-ray by the Imperial Dry Plate Company, and boxed
    and sealed by them, and also on plates purchased by Dr.
    Carrington just previous to one of the Hope sittings, all of
    which were marked by us with every precaution. I am convinced
    that there was no substitution possible in at least five of
    the seven test sittings. I consider that the mediums possess
    genuine psychic power, and are capable of obtaining marvellous,
    genuine results.... The more I investigate the subject the more
    convinced I am that the marvellous evidential case of spirit
    photography obtained by me through Mrs. Deane in July, 1921,
    was genuine and true.

                        “Yours faithfully,

                                           “ALLERTON F. CUSHMAN.”

[1] I let these words stand as written, but further information,
which only came later to my knowledge, has, as the text will show,
caused me to take a less entirely charitable view.—A.C.D.



CHAPTER V

FURTHER DIFFICULTIES CONSIDERED


It might well be urged, “Why should Hope go into the dark room at all?
Why should he not allow the sitter to charge his carrier by himself and
so remove all possibility of transposition?” It is natural that Hope
should show the stranger where the various conveniences of the dark room
are, but apart from this there is the reason that Hope in the course
of his career has had all sorts of tricks played upon him by dishonest
investigators, and that he has to protect himself, so far as he can,
against doctored plates or plates with extras already prepared which will
be ascribed to him and made the ground for charges. I have heard him tell
such instances. When he knows his sitter he has no objection at all to
leaving him alone in the dark room.

In 1919 the Society which I have already referred to as the S.S.S.P.
presented Hope with a new camera. Mr. Barlow, Mr. Pearse and Mr.
Walker—all experienced photographers—were the three delegates who
conveyed it to Crewe. On this occasion photographs were taken with the
new carriers and camera, _Mr. Barlow loading the carrier with his own
plate alone in the dark room_. In developing, all three delegates went
into the dark room, but Hope did not accompany them. Three out of four
slides showed no supernormal result, but the fourth showed three faces,
one clearly recognised. “We were carefully watching Mr. Hope all the
time and are absolutely sure that there was no trickery.” The document,
which contains a detailed account of these facts, is signed by all three
observers. Could any case be more satisfactory and more final?

I have said that professional photographers were among the sitters. I
would instance as a good example Mr. A. R. Gibson, of Nottingham, who
testifies that he took every possible precaution against deceit, and that
none the less he received an excellent likeness of his dead son which
does not correspond to any existing photograph and is recognised by all
who knew the lad.

There is one final case to which I would particularly desire to draw
attention because it is exactly parallel to that of Mr. Price, but had a
diametrically opposite result. The inquirer, too, has the advantage of
being absolutely impartial, which cannot be said of the two conjurers nor
of Mr. Dingwall, who was behind them—and even with every intention to be
honest, a strong bias can distort the results. The case to which I refer
is that of Mrs. St. Clair Stobart, of 7, Turners Wood, Hampstead Garden
Suburb, who sat to Mr. Hope in March, 1921. Before the sitting Mrs.
Stobart’s plates were marked with a secret mark, which she herself did
not know, by the Kodak Company. The result is told in full in _Psychic
Science_ for October of this year. Briefly, after every conceivable
precaution by Mrs. Stobart and her husband, two extras were got in four
attempts, one a head only and the other a full-length figure of a woman,
clothed in the usual filmy drapery. “Mr. Hope never handled the plates
at all.” Mrs. Stobart concludes: “I took the negatives to the Kodak
Company—to the manager and chief assistant. ‘Are these the plates you
marked? Can you see the marks?’ I asked. ‘Oh yes,’ they replied. ‘Look,
here they are—a tiny circle enclosing a cross.’ And for the first time I
saw the marks which they had put. The Kodak Company allow me to say that
their affirmation as to this can be used freely.”

Now surely this is very important. There seems no loophole for error,
and it entirely reverses the results of the S.P.R. Why should more
credit be given to one than the other? Of the two, Mrs. Stobart’s is
undoubtedly the more scientific, for we have no story of plates being
left about for twenty-four days before an experiment, and, as I have
pointed out, there is no possible bias. Taken with all the other examples
which I have given, and with those given later by Mr. Barlow, I claim
that no reasonable man can doubt that Hope’s hands are clean. It is the
S.P.R. clique with their tortuous methods, and with their mystery plate
unexplained, who can most reasonably be accused of a want of frank,
straightforward dealing. It is sad to think that a society which has done
good work in the past, and which has been made famous by the labours of
great spiritualists like Myers and Hodgson, Barrett and Crookes, should
be mixed up at all with so ugly a business handled in so questionable a
way.

Before bringing to an end this short sketch of the work of the Crewe
Circle, I would beg the reader to consider the positive cases which I
have laid before him and to remember that in order to establish the
intervention of external, intelligent forces—which is our sole and only
aim—we have only to make _one_ case good. One positive case outweighs
all the negative ones which the industry of the most energetic “exposer”
could collect. Our enemies take the perverse course of dwelling entirely
upon negative results, a line of reasoning which would have killed any
science in the world. They know, as a matter of fact, very little about
the subject, for starting, as they do, with the presumption that it is
a palpable fraud, they do not devote to it the time and the close study
which it calls for.

There is only one body in this country which can claim any authority, and
that is the S.S.S.P., or Society for the Study of Supernormal Pictures,
of which Dr. Abraham Wallace is President, while I share with Mr.
Mitchell and Mr. Blackwell the honour of being vice-president. We number
among our members Miss Scatcherd, whose experience is probably unique,
Mr. Coates, who has written two excellent books upon the subject, Colonel
Baddeley, Major Spencer, whose experiments have extended over many
years, Colonel Johnson, a pioneer investigator, professional and expert
photographers, and others of all shades of opinions, save that all, so
far as I know, are convinced by actual experience of the reality of the
phenomenon. Of its methods and curious, almost inconceivable and most
freakish manifestations we have collected a mass of material and have
even cleared a few permanent pathways among the jungle.

It is to this society, and not to the S.P.R. as at present conducted,
that the world may look for accurate information upon this subject. It
would not be reasonable for me to go at any length here into the results
obtained. I would only say that so far as my own conclusions go, basing
my studies upon the photographers of the past as well as the present,
I think that the evidence is strong that there is on the other side
an intelligent control for each photographic medium, whose powers are
great but by no means unlimited and who endeavours to give us convincing
results each in his own characteristic way. These results are sometimes
obtained by actual materialisations, sometimes by precipitations
of pictures apart from exposure, sometimes, as I believe, by the
superposition of screens which have the psychic face already upon them,
and which give marks as of a double exposure. Among the powers of the
control is to build up a simulacrum which may be the image of someone who
is still alive, or he may produce upon the plate facsimiles of pictures
and portraits which do at present exist, but which are entirely beyond
the normal reach of the medium. All these and other equally strange
points I could illustrate by many examples, but their mere recital will
show how many snares lie before the explorer, and how many things might
seem to be fraudulent when they are really the doing not of the medium
but of the control.

Any further expansion of this fascinating subject would be out of place
on my part, since I am by no means one of the authorities, and can only
claim that I study and assimilate the results of others, to which, of
course, I add my own personal experience. I have, however, asked Mr.
Barlow, the Honorary Secretary of this Society, whose experience is so
extensive as to be almost unrivalled, to add a short essay upon the
subject, with an account of some of the cases which bear upon the matter.



CHAPTER VI

THE ATTACK ON MRS. DEANE AND MR. VEARNCOMBE


I took up my pen for the purpose of considering the case of the Crewe
Circle and urging the folly of discarding the work of seventeen years
on the score of a single case. I cannot, however, end my task without
saying a few words as to the attack upon Mrs. Deane and Mr. Vearncombe,
two other photographic mediums. This attack hardly deserves attention as
it was anonymous, but it was brought out under the auspices of the Magic
Circle, a society of conjurers who have been interesting themselves in
matters psychic. As the two attacks were issued almost simultaneously
they seem to have had some common inspiration, and to have formed a
general assault upon the whole position of psychic photography. The same
individual, Mr. Seymour, the amateur conjurer, actually took part, I
understand, in both transactions.

Mrs. Deane, the person attacked, is a somewhat pathetic and forlorn
figure among all these clever tricksters. She is a little, elderly
charwoman, a humble white mouse of a person, with her sad face, her
frayed gloves, and her little handbag which excites the worst suspicions
in the minds of her critics. Her powers were discovered in the first
instance quite by chance. When she first pursued the subject her
circumstances were such that her only dark room was under the kitchen
table with clothes pinned round it. None the less, she produced some
remarkable pictures under these conditions, one of which fell into my
hands, and I at once concluded that she had real powers. The portrait
was of a young man in life, with a female spirit face behind him. This
might well have been faked. Something seemed to be emerging from the
young man’s head, however, and on observing this object with a lens I
distinguished that it was a small but correct representation of the
Assyrian fish-god, Dagon, wearing the peculiar hat with which that deity
is always associated. This was so entirely the kind of freakish result
which I expect from spirit photography, and was so removed from the
normal powers of a charwoman, that I provisionally accepted her in my
mind as a true medium, a position from which I have never been compelled
to budge. I still retain this photograph, but the little head is too
small for satisfactory reproduction.

Mrs. Deane (or Mrs. Deane’s control) has one embarrassing habit which I
believe to be unnecessary, and which makes it very difficult to convince
the sceptic, or, indeed, to prevent him from writing her down as an
obvious fraud. Far from insisting that you bring your own plates, as Hope
does, she likes them to be sent to her in advance, and she does what she
calls “magnetising” them, by keeping them near her for some days. This
is so suspicious that it can hardly be defended, but here, again, there
is an element of fanatical obedience. My own personal belief is that
her results are perfectly honest, that they are actually formed in the
shape of psychographs during the days before the sitting, and that if her
plates were examined before they were exposed to light, the pictures
would be found already on them. This, of course, would very naturally be
taken as clear proof of fraud by the superficial investigator, ignorant
of the strange possibilities of psychic photography, but I believe myself
that the psychic effect is a perfectly genuine one, but that the extra
will very probably bear no relevancy to the sitter. I am speaking now of
her general routine, for how can I guarantee every particular case or
judge what a medium may do when dealing with so evanescent and elusive a
thing as psychic power? When they have it they use it—when it fails them
the human element may come in.

I have had one sitting with Mrs. Deane in which six plates were exposed.
In four of them there were abnormal results. One of these was a female
face smiling from an ectoplasmic cloud. What does Mrs. Deane know of
ectoplasmic clouds? One such is visible in the specimen of her work which
is shown in Figure 30. Exactly similar are some of the clouds which
appear in Hope’s work. Such appearances do not aid deception. Why, then,
should they appear if it is not that it is part of a psychic process?

Mrs. Deane gave me the choice of two packets of plates upon this
occasion, and I admit that the effects may very well have been on the
plates before the exposure. None the less, they were probably quite
genuine as supernormal pictures. Such a statement may raise a smile from
Mr. MacCabe or from Mr. Paternoster in _Truth_, but I have the advantage
over them in the fact that I have had practical experience of the matter
at issue.

[Illustration: FIG. 12.—Photograph of Mr. Wm. Jeffrey and his daughter,
showing ectoplasmic bag. (_See_ p. 37.)]

[Illustration: FIG. 13.—Photograph taken immediately after that shown by
Fig. 12. Position of sitters is unchanged, but the ectoplasmic veiling
now contains an excellent likeness (slightly distorted) of Mr. Jeffrey’s
deceased wife.]

[Illustration: FIG. 14.—Psychic likeness of Agnes, daughter of Dr.
Allerton Cushman. A life-like picture obtained by Dr. Cushman through a
surprise visit paid to Mrs. Dean. (_See_ p. 63.)]

[Illustration: FIG. 15.—A normal photograph of Agnes Cushman for
comparison with Fig. 14.]

But I am bound to give my reasons for such a statement, or I might well
be branded as credulous. My reasons are that I am convinced that this
magnetising process is perfectly unnecessary and Mrs. Deane, within my
knowledge, obtains her best results when there has been no possibility of
knowing who her sitter will be. The very finest result which I know of in
psychic photography was that obtained by Dr. Cushman with Mrs. Deane. Dr.
Cushman, a distinguished scientific man of America, had suffered the loss
of his daughter Agnes some months before. He went to the Psychic College
without an appointment or an introduction. When he arrived he found Mrs.
Deane in the act of leaving. He persuaded her to give a sitting, and then
and there he obtained a photograph of his “dead” daughter which is, he
declares, unlike any existing one, and is more vital and characteristic
than any taken in life. When I was in the States I showed this picture on
the screen as in Figure 14, and there was abundant testimony from those
who knew Agnes that it was a life-like picture.

I would refer this case to the anonymous writers of the Magic Circle,
who has done all they could to worry this poor woman and to destroy her
powers, and I would ask them how that little bag of tricks which exists
only in their own imagination could have affected such a result as that.
It will be noted in the already quoted opinion of Dr. Cushman that since
this scandal Mrs. Deane has been severely tested by him and others, and
that they have been able under the Doctor’s own conditions to get psychic
results.

Another excellent case of Mrs. Deane’s power is that which forms the
subject of Figure 30. The extra in the ectoplasmic cloud is Mr. Barlow,
senior, the father of the Secretary of the S.S.S.P. Beside him is a
picture of how he looked twelve years before his death. No one can deny
that it is the same man with the years added on. Mrs. Deane never knew
Mr. Barlow’s father in life. How, then, was this result obtained? These
are the cases which the Magic Circle report avoids, while it talks much
of any negative results which it can collect or imagine. I hope that this
short account may do something towards helping a woman whom I believe to
be a true psychic, and who has suffered severely for the faith that is in
her, having actually, I understand, endured the excommunication of her
church because she has used the powers which God has given her. I have a
recollection that Joan of Arc endured the same fate for the reason “_le
plus il change, le plus il reste le même_.”

It only remains for me now, before giving place to others, to say a
word about Mr. Vearncombe, the psychic photographer of Bridgwater. Mr.
Vearncombe was a normal, professional photographer, but he found, as
Mumler did, that inexplicable extras intruded upon and spoilt both his
plates and his business. He then began to study this new power, which he
seemed to possess, and to develop it for commercial use. Mrs. Humphreys,
a member of the S.S.S.P. and a student of psychic affairs, lived in the
same town and submitted him to certain tests which convinced her and
others of his _bona fides_, though I cannot repeat too often that no
blank cheque of honesty can ever be given to any man.

My own experience of Mr. Vearncombe and my knowledge of his work are far
less than in the cases of Mr. Hope and Mrs. Deane, so that I can only say
that I believe he produces genuine results, whereas in the other two
cases I can say that I _know_ they produce genuine results.

I have had two experiments with Vearncombe, but did not impose any test
conditions in either case. I simply sent a closed envelope containing a
letter and asked him to photograph it in the hope that some extra might
appear which I could associate with the sender of the letter. In both
cases a large number, six or seven, well-marked faces developed round
the letter, but none which bore any message to me. Others, however, have
been more fortunate in their experience and have assured me that they
have received true pictures of the dead in that fashion. There is no
ectoplasmic cloud or psychic arch, but the faces are as clear-cut as if
they were stamped with a die.

I am in some degree responsible for Vearncombe’s troubles, as I mentioned
his name as being one who might repay investigation upon the occasion
when I gave evidence before a committee of these conjuring gentlemen.
They seem to have made up a sealed packet to Mr. Vearncombe with
instructions to get what he could. Upon its return they declared that the
packet, which had furnished a psychic result, had been tampered with. No
independent proof whatever was offered in support of this assertion, and
Mr. Fred Barlow, who had obtained results from Mr. Vearncombe, where he
was sure that the packets had _not_ been tampered with, was sufficiently
interested to hunt up the name of the sender and some details of the
case from the Vearncombe end, rather than from that of the “exposers.”
Fortunately Vearncombe had preserved the letters, and it was then
found that the sender, when the packet and the psychic result had been
returned, had at once written to Vearncombe to acknowledge receipt,
adding the two statements:

    (1) That one of the faces strongly recalled “an old true friend
    who had not been heard of for many years,” and

    (2) That the packet had been returned intact.

Thus the Magic Circle had clearly fallen into the pit that it had digged,
and its agent is convicted either of being a senseless liar without
any cause, or else of having completely endorsed the result which the
Circle afterwards pretended was a failure. It was one of those numerous
instances when it is not the medium but the investigators who should
really be exposed. My experience is that this is the case far more
frequently than the public can realise, and that it is amazing how men of
honour can turn and twist the facts when they deal with this subject. A
well-known “exposer” assured a friend of mine that he would think nothing
of putting muslin in a medium’s pocket at a séance, if he was sure that
he could thereby secure a conviction.

I have seen a letter from Mr. Marriott, who is also busy in showing up
“frauds,” in which, writing to Mr. Hope, he offered to teach him to make
more artistic spirit-photographs, charging thirty guineas if the lessons
were in London and forty if at Crewe. I am quite prepared to anticipate
Mr. Marriott’s explanation that this was a trap, but it is an example
of the tortuous, deceptive methods against which our mediums have to
contend.

I understand that Mr. Vearncombe is so disgusted with the whole episode
that he declares he will demonstrate his powers no longer, save to
private friends. We can but hope that he will not allow ignorant or
dishonest anonymous criticism to influence him to this extent. If all of
us who endure annoyance, and even insult, were to desert the spiritualist
cause in order to save our private feelings, we could hardly expect the
truth to prevail.

Let me conclude by saying that I speak from a far larger experience than
the representatives of the S.P.R. or of the Magic Circle, and that,
leaving out Mr. Vearncombe, who needs no defence in the face of the
admission quoted above, I have no doubt whatever of the true psychic
powers of Mrs. Deane and of Mr. Hope, though I cannot pronounce upon
every single case at which I was not present and when I have had no
opportunity of examining the complete evidence. I fear that the most
permanent result of this episode will be that the spiritualists will
very reasonably refuse the present régime of the Research Society all
access to their mediums, since experience has shown that they may,
without a chance of self-defence, be attacked in consequence in a cheap,
popular pamphlet before even the case has been examined by any impartial
authority.


POSTSCRIPT

At the last moment before this booklet goes to press, I am able to
insert the fact that Hope’s complete innocence has now been clearly
established, and he stands before the world as a man who has been
very cruelly maligned, and the victim of a plot which has been quite
extraordinary in its ramifications. It was at last found possible to get
the cover in which the original packet of plates was wrapped, and on it
were found unmistakable signs that it had been tampered with and opened.
Thus the deductions made in the text from the evidence already to hand
have been absolutely justified, and it is clear that the marked plates
were abstracted before the packet reached the Psychic College and two
ordinary plates substituted, upon one of which Hope produced an “extra.”
The conclusion was reached by the acumen and patience of Mr. Hewat
McKenzie, but his results were examined and endorsed unanimously by a
strong committee, which included, besides myself, Mr. and Mrs. McKenzie,
General Carter, Colonel Baddeley, Mr. Stanley de Brath, Mrs. Stobart,
Miss V. R. Scatcherd, Mrs. de Crespigny, Mr. H. C. Scofield and Mr. F.
Bligh Bond. It now only remains to find out who is the culprit who has
played this cunning trick, and it is not difficult to say that the hand
which returned the marked plate through the post is the same hand as
that which took it out of the packet. A reward has already been offered
for the identification of the person concerned. In the meantime it would
be unfair to blame the agents of the S.P.R., who may, while trying to
trick Hope, have been themselves tricked. Nothing, however, can excuse
them from the charge of culpable negligence in failing to examine the
wrappers which so clearly tell the story, and which have been kept so
long in their possession. As the matter stands, five persons stand as
defendants: Mr. Harry Price, Mr. Moger, Mr. James Seymour, Miss Newton,
Secretary of the S.P.R., and Mr. Dingwall, Research Officer of that body.
If there is someone else in the background who has tricked them, then it
is for them to find out who it is. Their negligence has been such that
it is difficult to say what atonement can meet it, and it throws a very
lurid light upon some of the so-called “exposures” of the past. As one
of the oldest members of the S.P.R., I feel that the honour of that body
will not be cleared until they have appointed an impartial committee to
consider these facts and to determine what steps should be taken.

                                                      ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE.

_November 14th, 1922._



CHAPTER VII

THE GENESIS AND HISTORY OF THE CREWE CIRCLE

BY F. R. SCATCHERD

Member of the Society for Psychical Research, Co-Editor of the _Asiatic
Review_

    (Miss Felicia Scatcherd, who has been one of the true psychic
    researchers and pioneers of knowledge in this country, has
    contributed the following information which she gained during
    her close association with the Crewe Circle at and after the
    time of its formation.)


Questioned about himself, Mr. Hope said that he was christened “Billy
Hope,” and was born at or near Manchester. His first memory is of having
scarlet fever when he was four years old. During the fever he used to
see all sorts of faces peering at him through the doorway, and became
so frightened that he screamed for his father to come and send them
away. Now that he knows about clairvoyance, he thinks otherwise of those
visions. He lost his mother when he was nine, and remembers little about
her. It is a curious fact, as he observed: “I have wished for her picture
hundreds of times, and sat for it many a while, and have never yet got
it. These things beat me.”

When asked did he grieve much for his mother’s death, he replied that he
was brought up in a religious family, his father being a local preacher.
Later on Mr. Hope, Senior, lost all his worldly possessions.

“My father was wealthy according to my ideas,” said Mr. Hope. “He had
two farms, but late in life lost his money.”

Mr. Hope was well cared for by his mother as long as he had her, and
afterwards by his step-mother.

“She was a good woman: and I had an aunt of a religious frame of mind who
also kept an eye on me.”

“You must have been a very good little boy,” I said.

“Oh dear, no! I was much the same as the other lads. I played plenty
of truant, and once joined a party of seven and ran the schoolmaster
round the room. We had agreed beforehand what we would do if he began
a-thrashing of us. But don’t put that in, Miss Scatcherd!”

Spirit photography first interested him when he was working at a bleach
and dye-works near Pendleton. Being an amateur photographer, he and a
comrade agreed to photograph each other one Saturday afternoon. Mr. Hope
exposed a plate on his friend and developed it, when they saw a woman
standing beside him. The brick wall showed through the figure, there
being no background. The sitter, a Roman Catholic, was frightened, and
asked how the woman had got on the plate, and did Mr. Hope know her. When
Mr. Hope replied that he did not know the lady nor how she got there,
_the man said it was his sister who had been dead for many years_.

Neither knew anything of spiritualism, so they took it to the works on
Monday and showed it to their foreman, who happened also to be an amateur
photographer, and was “lost in wonder” over it. But there was a fellow
worker, a spiritualist, who said it was a spirit photo. The foreman
arranged that the experiment should be repeated with the same camera the
following Saturday, when not only the identical woman appeared again but
with her, her little dead baby.

“I thought this very strange,” said Mr. Hope; “it made me more interested
in spirit photography, and I have been dabbling at it ever since. I felt
sorry for my mate, he was so scared. When he saw the second result, I
thought he would have pegged out” (died of fright).

The Circle used to destroy all negatives. The members did not want anyone
to know about their spirit photography, as many people did not want to do
business with them, saying it was all the devil’s work. Till the advent
of Archdeacon Colley on the scene not a single negative was kept. After a
print was taken the negative was destroyed.

Mr. and Mrs. Buxton met Mr. Hope some seventeen years ago at the
Spiritualist Hall at Crewe, where Mr. Buxton was organist. After the
service Mr. Hope asked Mr. Buxton if he could find one or two friends to
form a circle to sit for spirit photography. This was done, and it was
arranged to use the next Wednesday evening from eight to nine.

One of the circle of six was a non-spiritualist, but was converted when
a picture of his father and mother was obtained. A strange thing is
that when all were anxiously desiring a picture, a message appeared on
the first plate exposed. This message promised a picture next time, and
stated that it would be for the master of the house. The promise was kept
several sittings later, when the picture of Mr. Buxton’s mother and of
Mrs. Buxton’s sister came on the plate. Mr. Buxton was of the opinion
that this was given to do away with the idea of thought photography. They
were all thinking of a picture and never dreamed that such a thing as a
written message would be given. They have been very persevering, having
sat regularly ever since, each Wednesday from eight to nine, securing a
picture on an average of one a month at the outset.

There have been many storms before which have broken over the Crewe
Circle, but the cause of them has usually been the limited knowledge
of the strange possibilities of psychic photography on the part of the
sitters and of the public. One of the most notorious of these so-called
“exposures” (which really were exposures of the critics’ ignorance) was
in 1908, and arose out of Archdeacon Colley’s first sitting. He had
heard that the Crewe Circle were simple-looking folk, and this attracted
him, so he broke his journey at Crewe and called upon Mr. and Mrs. Hope,
who had just lost their eldest daughter. The Archdeacon apologised for
having come at such a time, but Mr. Hope sent him on to Mr. and Mrs.
Buxton, where he was shown the photos and asked to see the negatives.
He was shocked when he heard that they had all been destroyed, and from
that time kept all negatives he was able to get hold of. The Archdeacon
brought his own camera, loaded at Stockton with his own diamond-marked
plates. He kept the plates in his own possession and focussed the camera,
_which he put up outside the house_, although it was raining. Mr. Hope
merely pressed the bulb and Archdeacon Colley developed the plates with
his own developer. When he held the picture to the light he exclaimed:
“My father and my sainted mother!”

Mr. Hope was the first to notice the likeness between “Mrs. Colley” and
a picture he had copied about two years ago, and cycled with it to Mr.
Spencer, of Nantwich. Mrs. Spencer declared it to be her grandmother, and
cried out, “Oh, if this had only come with us how pleased we should have
been!”

Mr. Hope then wrote to Archdeacon Colley telling him it could not be his
mother, as it had been recognised at Nantwich. The Archdeacon said it was
madness to think a man did not know his own mother, and advertised in the
Leamington paper, asking all who remembered his mother to meet him at
the Rectory, when eighteen persons selected the photograph from several
others and testified in writing that the picture was a portrait of the
late Mrs. Colley, who had never been photographed.

The Crewe friends heard no more about the matter until the controversy in
_Light_ (February 14th, 1914, and subsequent numbers). The extraordinary
ignorance, even of the spiritualistic public, on these matters, was
revealed by the storm of indignation that burst upon the devoted heads
of the Crewe Circle and their supporters. The testimony of such students
and scholars as the late Mr. James W. Sharpe, M.A., of Bournemouth, an
eminent mathematician and expert authority on all questions of psychical
research, did little to allay the outburst. In vain it was pointed out
that no fact was better vouched for than the reproduction by “spirit”
photographers of well-known pictures and photographs, often true in every
detail to the originals. The theory and fact of ideoplasticity were
ridiculed just as they are ridiculed to-day by those who should keep
themselves up-to-date in physical science, if they wish to judge justly
the yet more complex problems of psychical science.

The Society for Psychical Research was as unhelpful as the “man in the
street,” so far as its leading authorities were concerned.

To return to the beginning of things: it was on July 16th, 1909, when,
in response to a telegram from Archdeacon Colley, I went to Leamington,
where I first met the Rev. Prof. Henslow and two members of the Crewe
Circle who were on a visit to the Archdeacon. A séance for spirit
photography was held. It was disappointing in one sense. Prof. Henslow
was told that he would find impressions on certain plates in a sealed
packet on the table _which was not to be opened for a fortnight_.

I prepared to say good-bye, when Mr. Hope said he would like to do
something for the visitor from London. “The friends say that if the lady
can remain the night they will give her a test.” I replied that the only
test of interest to me was one that would convince my fellow-members of
the Society for Psychical Research. The mediums insisted, but I refused
to stay unless Prof. Henslow also remained and took charge of the
proceedings.

“Sir, do stay!” pleaded Mr. Hope. “There are five of us—you, the
Archdeacon, Mrs. Buxton, Miss Scatcherd and myself. You must buy five
plates from your own photographer. Each plate must be put into a
light-tight envelope and worn by the sitter, with the sensitised surface
next to the person, until the séance. It will not take long to fetch the
plates and bring them back to us. Thus we shall have an hour to wear
them before the séance this evening. It is the only way to get them
magnetised so as to have immediate results. You can each develop your own
plate to-night and then Miss Scatcherd will know whether the friends have
kept their word.”

Prof. Henslow good-naturedly agreed and drove off with the Archdeacon to
purchase the plates. I remained with Mrs. Buxton and Mr. Hope. Within
an hour the Archdeacon returned with four plates put up as directed.
Professor Henslow had gone home to dinner wearing his plate in a wood
slide contrived by Archdeacon Colley. Mrs. Buxton and I tucked ours
inside our blouses and Mr. Hope placed his in that trouser-pocket which
has aroused such evil suspicions in the minds of investigators. We
remained together until Prof. Henslow joined us. It was full daylight. We
sat round the table when Mr. Hope asked:

“What do you want, Miss Scatcherd? A face? A message? What shall it be?”

“You forget my conditions; Prof. Henslow must decide. Let him choose,” I
replied.

Prof. Henslow said he did not care what came so long as _the same thing
appeared on all the plates_. It was a remark worthy of the speaker,
conveying, as it did, a most crucial test, in view of the fact that he
had never let his plate out of his own keeping. The usual séance was held.

Prof. Henslow developed his plate first. I developed mine under
Archdeacon Colley’s supervision, then Mrs. Buxton and Mr. Hope developed
theirs.

The results are of interest. The Archdeacon did not wear a plate so as
to leave “more power for the others.” Mr. Hope’s plate was blurred. The
tablet on Prof. Henslow’s was identical in outline with Mrs. Buxton’s and
mine, both of which were sharp and clear, but Mrs. Buxton’s was the best.
Mrs. Buxton had been with me the whole time, and her six-months-old baby
had never left her arms.

The message addressed to Prof. Henslow was appropriate, but the writing
was so microscopically fine that we could not read it that night. Mr.
Hope was very disappointed. “Never mind,” he said, “when we get home we
will ask the guides to give it us again!” He and Mrs. Buxton were leaving
by the early morning train. The Archdeacon had charge of the negatives
and had promised to let us know as soon as he had deciphered the message.

The mediums did not like their lodgings, so slept at my hotel. I saw
them off in the morning, _before any of us knew what the message was_. A
day or two later I received from the mediums a duplicate of the message
not yet known to them or to myself. But this time the writing was large
enough to be read by the naked eye. As Prof. Henslow had requested,
the same thing had come on all the plates in differing degrees of
distinctness.

This was my first experience of a Crewe skotograph, and it was decisive.
As I wrote in the _Psychic Gazette_ from notes submitted to Archdeacon
Colley at the time, and afterwards read by Prof. Henslow when published,
no suspicions could fall either on the mediums, Archdeacon Colley or
myself, as not one of us had had the chance of tampering with Prof.
Henslow’s plate, nor could Prof. Henslow and his photographer have
prepared a series of plates for an occasion on which they had no reason
to have reckoned.

I wrote a minute account of these early experiments, according to the
strictest psychical research methods, and left it with Mr. Wallis, the
then editor of _Light_. He did not publish it, and when I returned to
England it could not be found. This incident is briefly recorded by Prof.
Henslow in _Proofs of the Truths of Spiritualism_, pp. 224-7.

[Illustration: FIG. 16.—Photomicrograph by Major R. E. E. Spencer of
portion of Archdeacon Colley’s signature taken from letter written during
his lifetime. (_See_ p. 84.)]

[Illustration: FIG. 17.—Photomicrograph by Major R. E. E. Spencer of
portion of Archdeacon Colley’s signature on psychograph appearing after
his death. Compare with Figs. 2. and 16.]

[Illustration: FIG. 18.—Photograph of Mr. Wm. Walker with message in the
handwriting of Mr. W. T. Stead. (_See_ p. 87.)]

[Illustration: FIG. 19.—Mr. and Mrs. Harry Walker and two friends with
psychic likeness of Mr. Walker’s father. Compare with Fig. 18.]



CHAPTER VIII

EVIDENTIAL AND SCIENTIFIC ASPECTS OF PSYCHIC PHOTOGRAPHY

BY FRED BARLOW

Hon. Sec. S.S.S.P., Hon. Sec. Birmingham and Midland S.P.R.


No phase of psychical research has been more adversely criticised in the
past than psychic photography. This is undoubtedly due to the prevalence
of many erroneous ideas on the whole subject.

It is a popular fallacy that it is the easiest thing in the world to
fake a “spirit” photograph. Those few photographers who have tried to
imitate a genuine psychic effect have usually made the discovery that it
is by no means so easy a matter as it appears, even when no restriction
is placed on the conditions under which the fake should be produced.
When conditions are imposed, similar to those usually obtaining with,
say, the Crewe Circle, the difficulty of producing a fraudulent result
is enormously increased. Under certain conditions, where suitable
precautions are employed and where the sitter has a thorough knowledge
of photography, plus an acquaintance with trick methods, even the
_possibility_ of deception without detection can, for all practical
purposes, be ruled out of court. _Under these special conditions,
investigators of repute have on many occasions secured successful psychic
results._

Apart altogether from any question of test conditions, however, there are
certain results which, _in themselves_, afford definite proof of their
genuine nature. I refer to those recognised psychic likenesses obtained
by sitters who are quite unknown to the sensitives and who have secured
results which could not possibly have been prepared in advance. One such
case would be sufficient to establish the reality of psychic photography.
It is no exaggeration to say that this has actually occurred on scores of
occasions, and, in consequence, _the evidence for the truth of psychic
photography is overwhelming_.

It has been said that recognised psychic likenesses exists only in the
imagination of the individuals claiming them as such. It is, alas, too
true that some well-meaning individuals will see a likeness where none
exists. It is, however, equally true that many bigoted sceptics will
refuse to acknowledge a likeness that is obvious to the unprejudiced on
comparing normal and supernormal photographs. There are two sides to the
question of credulity, and I have known sceptics deny the reality of a
likeness where the supernormal effect has been an exact (but draped)
duplicate of a normal photograph!

We must remember that it may be difficult to recognise a likeness between
a normal and supernormal photograph where the subject to us is unknown.
Two photographs of the same individual, taken at different periods, will
often vary considerably, but those acquainted with that individual can
recognise the likeness of each photograph to the original without the
slightest difficulty. So in a supernormal photograph: those claiming
a likeness between the supernormal effect and some near relative, or
friend, who has crossed the border, are in a better position, from
their knowledge of that person, to speak with authority on the question
of recognition than those who never saw the original. This question of
recognised likenesses is a point the critic tries to evade. The reader
can judge of the value of this evidence from the few illustrations in
this booklet which are typical of _hundreds_ of similar results.

The mental attitude of some intelligent people to psychic photography
is distinctly curious. They have got the idea fixed into their heads
that these photographs _must_ be one of two things—“fakes” or “spirits.”
Naturally enough, in some of the cases that have been reported they
find it difficult to believe that such a result could have been
produced entirely by a discarnate entity. Therefore they jump to the
false conclusion that the result must of necessity have been faked. In
a scientific investigation we should first of all concern ourselves
with _facts_, without troubling over-much with theories. A very little
first-hand investigation will satisfy any unprejudiced individual as
to the reality of psychic photography. Having reached that stage such
a person will be in a better position to theorise on the cause of the
phenomena.

After many years of close concentration on this subject I have arrived at
the conclusion that psychic photography differs only in kind and not in
degree from other phases of psychic phenomena. _I do not see how we can
possibly get away from the fact that many of these photographic effects
are produced by discarnate intelligences._ Whilst firmly believing this,
I should never be so dogmatic as to claim that _all_ supernormal pictures
have been produced by discarnate spirits.

Spirit, whether discarnate or incarnate, to manifest to our material
senses must make use of matter—there must be a medium. A medium, or
sensitive, is just as essential for psychic photography as for, say,
automatic writing. As investigators are aware, in automatic script it
frequently happens that along with communications from the “other side”
come writings derived from the subconsciousness of the automatist, and
such, I am convinced, is often the case in psychic photography.

The subconscious is used to cover a multitude of theories. Certainly it
is not an unfeasible explanation in some instances. Let me cite one case,
which is typical of many. One of the members of the S.S.S.P.—Mr. Hobbs,
of Purley, a keen business man—travelled to Crewe with his wife. They
and the Crewe Circle were perfect strangers to each other. Mrs. Hobbs
at the time was wearing a locket containing a photograph of their son,
who had been killed in the war. This was tucked away out of sight in her
blouse. The usual séance was held and to their great delight the visitors
secured a picture of their boy. Trickery was impossible. Even supposing
Mr. Hope had seen the photograph in the locket there was no time to
produce a fraudulent result and foist this upon the alert sitters. A
careful examination of the print, however, reveals the fact that the
psychic picture is an exact but reversed duplicate of the photograph in
the locket. Even the rim of the locket can be clearly seen. This sort of
thing has occurred time and again.

The image of the locket would be indelibly impressed on the memory of
the mother, and it may well be that in some peculiar way the sensitive
proved a medium for the projection of that conscious or subconscious
image on to the photographic plate. Such an argument is not to be lightly
dismissed, and the fact that the image obtained on the plate may not have
been in the conscious mind of the sitter at the time does not necessarily
affect the issue. I candidly admit that some such explanation may account
for many of these curious effects.

Sometimes the psychic pictures are facsimile copies of magazine covers
and pictures no fraudulent medium would ever think of producing, and,
like the faces in our dreams, they may come from the subconscious. At
the same time, attempts to produce definite conscious thought-pictures,
with the co-operation of a photographic medium, have almost always proved
abortive in our experiments in this country. Some of the Continental
members of the S.S.S.P., however, have concentrated on this line of
research and have succeeded in obtaining thoughtgraphs which, more or
less, resemble the object on which the thoughts of the subject have been
intensely concentrated. These experiments, and, in particular, recent
photographic experiments in connection with subjects under hypnosis, are
yielding encouraging results.

We must be careful not to overdo the subconscious. It is no
self-contained unit, but rather an instrument used in the production
of these phenomena. In consequence, it frequently happens that along
with communications from the “other side” comes matter derived from the
subconsciousness of the sensitive and even from that of the sitter. An
investigator obsessed with the idea of fraud will often effectively
negative all phenomena by his unconscious action on the mentality of the
medium. In these investigations we must use that uncommon faculty of
common sense. Common sense tells us that we cannot accept the explanation
that _all_ psychic photographs are produced by the thoughts of incarnate
beings. Whether it agrees with his pet theories or not, the serious
student is bound to realise that, sooner or later, other minds are at
work distinct from, and often superior in intelligence to, that of either
medium or sitter. These intelligences claim to be the spirits of the
so-called dead. They substantiate their claims by giving practical proof
that they are whom they purport to be.

For example, what better proof of survival could be given by a deceased
person than that of a message in his own handwriting, referring to
events that happened after his death? Such messages are by no means an
unfrequent occurrence. There can be no doubt about the genuineness of
the handwriting. Major R. E. E. Spencer has gone to an immense amount of
time and trouble in making photomicrographs of normal and supernormal
writings for the purpose of comparison. Illustrations are given of two
of these photomicrographs. Figure 16 shows a portion of the signature of
Archdeacon Colley taken from a letter written by him before death, whilst
Figure 17 shows a corresponding portion reproduced from a photographic
message received after his death. This message referred to events
subsequent to his decease.

Occasionally, in these psychographs, as these written photographic
messages are termed, the mentality of the medium or sitters will get
in the way, with very curious results. Throughout all these phenomena,
however, there is every indication that other influences are at work.
Whoever or whatever these intelligences behind the scenes may be, in no
uncertain voice they claim to be discarnate souls. Surely _they_ are
in a better position to form a correct opinion hereon than we material
outsiders?

How do the psychic images get on to the plate? Far too much time, in the
past, has been lost in attempting to convince those who do not believe
(and those who do not _want_ to believe), of the genuine nature of
psychic photography, and our ignorance of this phenomenon is appalling.
The difficulties attending scientific research in this domain are
considerable. So far, we can only definitely say that in many instances
the psychic figures on the plate are not objective in the same sense
as the sitters. The supernormal images have every appearance of having
been projected on to the sensitive plate, independently of the lens and
camera. In employing several cameras simultaneously, together with a
stereo camera, I have only succeeded so far in securing a psychic image
on one of the plates exposed.

There are indications that in some cases the psychic effects are
printed on to the plate through a psychic equivalent to our normal
transparency—in fact, it has come to be known as a psychic transparency.
Identical transparency markings are to be found on the plates of
photographic sensitives from all parts of the world. These particular
markings can clearly be seen over the negative obtained by Mr. Harry
Price in his experiment with Mr. Hope. I am convinced that the effect
obtained on this occasion was a genuine psychic result. The possibility
of this is freely admitted by Mr. Price. The fact that in nine cases out
of ten the psychic images are the same way up as the sitter suggests that
the “something” that occurs actually takes place after the plate has been
inserted in the dark slide. Such small points as these may eventually
play an important part in the final solution of the _modus operandi_.

Now let us return to the object of this book—the question of evidence.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has dealt so thoroughly, earlier in these pages,
with the recent attacks by the S.P.R. and the Magic Circle that I do
not propose to refer to them again here at length. As illustrating the
impartial attitude of the Society of which I have the honour to be
Secretary, however, I would like to say that almost immediately on the
publication of these critical reports the matter was discussed by the
members of this Society, and it was arranged to subject the whole of the
evidence to a thorough investigation. In this connection the S.S.S.P., in
conjunction with the B.C.P.S., sought the co-operation of the Society for
Psychical Research and the Occult Committee of the Magic Circle.

A proposal was sent to the bodies mentioned expressing the desire of the
S.S.S.P. to subject the charges to thorough and impartial investigation,
and suggesting that three members from each of these four bodies should
form a committee of investigation. The members elected by the S.S.S.P.
were Dr. Abraham Wallace, President, Col. C. E. Baddeley, C.M.G., O.G.,
and Major R. E. E. Spencer, three careful and experienced investigators.
For reasons best known to themselves, both the S.P.R. and the Occult
Committee of the Magic Circle refused to entertain this suggestion. The
reader can draw whatever inference he likes from this uncompromising
attitude. To my mind such a refusal is directly opposed to the objects
for which the Society for Psychical Research was formed.

A striking example of the persistence of personality is to be found
in the case of the late Mr. Wm. Walker, of Buxton. Mr. Walker was the
President of the Buxton Camera Club. Being a keen photographer, he took
an intense interest in the work of the Crewe Circle and co-operated with
them in numerous experiments. He was the first photographer to obtain
psychic photographic results in colours (by the Paget process) through
the mediumship of his friends.

Shortly before the late Mr. W. T. Stead left this country for his last
voyage to America, Mr. Walker saw him in London. Mr. Stead was very
interested in the results obtained at Crewe and strongly urged his friend
to keep him posted as to future developments. A little while later Mr.
Stead was drowned on the ill-fated _Titanic_. On May 6th, 1912, Mr.
Walker, in experimenting at Crewe, was surprised and pleased to receive
on his plates a message from his friend, which read:

    “DEAR MR. WALKER,

    “I will try to keep you posted.

                                  “W. T. STEAD.”

Two plates had been exposed; both contained the same message, but in one
case the writing was reversed and appeared as “mirror writing,” as it is
called. This result is shown by Figure 18. The writing does not reproduce
very clearly, but experts have declared that, beyond all doubt, it is
identical with the handwriting of the late W. T. Stead.

Mr. Wm. Walker followed Mr. Stead into the Great Beyond a few years
later. Since his death his relatives and friends have received
innumerable tokens of his activities on the “other side,” in connection
with the subject in which he was so interested whilst in the body. The
illustration shown by Figure 19 represents a normal photograph of Mr. H.
Walker and his wife (son and daughter-in-law) and two friends, with a
clearly-defined supernormal likeness of the late Mr. Wm. Walker. This was
taken under satisfactory test conditions on February 19th, 1916.

As illustrating the interest Mr. Walker still takes in the Crewe Circle,
attention is directed to the psychograph shown by Figure 20. This was
secured late on Friday evening, July 28th, 1922, and reads (my own
punctuation):

    “Dear Friends of the Circle,

    “I would not spend a moment with the Psychical Research Scty,
    because they are nothing more nor less than fraud hunters and I
    want you to come to Buxton for a sitting with Mrs. Walker, 3,
    Palace Rd., about the 8th-9th of Aug. Then the spirit friends
    can further demonstrate the wondrous powers which to-day are
    needed more than ever. Peace be with you.

                         “Yours faithfully,

                                                         “W. WALKER.”

    “Please inform Henry.”

The postscript refers to Mr. Walker’s son, who resides in Crewe. I have
examined a number of letters in the handwriting of Mr. Walker, senior,
and find that the slip in spelling is such that he might make. A portion
of one of these letters is reproduced on Figure 21, and when compared
with the psychograph alongside it should leave no doubts in the mind of
the reader as to authorship.

It is perhaps unnecessary to state that the instructions given by Mr. Wm.
Walker were carried out to the letter. The results of the short visit of
the Crewe Circle to Buxton are best described by quoting an extract from
a letter I received from Mr. Henry Walker:

    “We (Mrs. Buxton, Mr. Hope and myself) went to Buxton on
    Wednesday, 9th inst. (August, 1922.—Ed.). Two sittings were
    held and four exposures made.

    “The first exposure was made on mother, and gives a message
    from father to Mrs. Buxton and Mr. Hope, dealing again with the
    S.P.R. test and promising a puzzle.

    “The second exposure was made on mother, Mrs. Marriott (an old
    friend of ours) and myself, and shows a very large face of
    father nearly covering the three of us.

    “I developed each plate carefully and noticed the psychic light
    was much more keen than the daylight.

    “After a rest of a couple of hours, we held the second sitting.

    “The first plate exposed on mother shows a medley: a good photo
    of father and a lot of flowers or foliage and the feathers of a
    Red Indian friend.

    “The second plate only shows a few lights.

    “I fancy father’s record alone should be sufficient to satisfy
    any sensible being. I daresay I can find well over twenty
    psychic results received from him on different occasions, most
    of them under reasonable test conditions.

                                              (_Signed_) “H. WALKER.”

The Crewe Circle invariably place implicit faith in the messages they
receive from the other side. These worthy and simple people are very
closely in touch with their invisible helpers, who advise them, by means
of photographic messages, in their troubles and ailments. Occasionally
the advice given has been directly opposed to the wishes of the mediums,
but they never hesitate to carry out these instructions, which usually
prove that the directing intelligences possess knowledge and foresight
far exceeding that of their human instruments.

I can appreciate that some of my readers will experience difficulty
in accepting these remarkable statements. When first I heard of these
marvellous things I put them down to credulity, exaggeration, and so
forth. However, I determined to get at the truth for myself. Nothing
less than personal experience would satisfy me. The first psychic
photographs I saw did not very greatly impress me. As a photographer, I
recognised that I could produce similar results, and with the conceit
that comes from ignorance I suggested they were fakes. Even as fakes they
were interesting, however, and on inquiring further into the matter I
discovered that the conditions under which they had been secured would
necessitate smart work on the part of a trickster. Also I was puzzled to
understand how photographers of the calibre of Mr. J. Traill Taylor could
be easily gulled. Eventually I travelled to Crewe in a rather critical
frame of mind, but fully prepared to be fair to the mediums. I received
a surprise. The result obtained bore a strong resemblance to myself. It
could easily be taken as a twin brother. I had a brother who, when he
died, was a little older than myself. I was given practically a free
hand in the photographic operations, and was impressed by the faith and
honesty of the mediums. To detail all the precautions I took from time
to time to eliminate the possibility of conscious and even unconscious
deception, in my further experiments, would prove a wearisome business.
Suffice it to say that the use of my own apparatus and specially-prepared
plates, the dismissal of the medium from the dark room for all the
photographic operations, the sharp look-out that was kept for certain
known methods of faking, and the conducting of experiments with the
mediums in my own home, eventually convinced me, beyond all doubt, of the
reality of psychic photography.

I discovered early that the mental attitude of the sitter played an
important part in the success or otherwise of the experiment. We know so
little of the difficulties that have to be overcome—so little of the laws
and conditions governing the production of these wonderful results, that
it is essential we should approach the subject with an open mind. We must
be sympathetic in our methods of investigation. A medium is sensitive in
more senses than one, and a little tact and persuasion will succeed where
bullying and blustering will fail.

With the three photographic sensitives most known in this country I have
secured remarkable results. Whatever may have happened, or may happen,
on other occasions, nothing can in the slightest degree shake my firm
conviction that, with these three sensitives, I have secured genuine
psychic photographic effects. With Mrs. Deane, in my own home, we secured
an excellent picture of my father (see Figure 30). True, Mrs. Deane had
the plates beforehand for “magnetising,” but that would not enable her to
produce an unmistakable likeness of someone she had never seen—a likeness
which could not have been produced from any existing photograph, in the
very unlikely event of her obtaining such. Moreover it is not essential,
in every case, that Mrs. Deane should have the plates beforehand for
magnetising. On several occasions, members of the S.S.S.P. have, without
Mrs. Deane’s knowledge, substituted a fresh unopened packet of plates for
the unopened packet she has had with her, without interfering with the
success of the experiment.

Mr. Vearncombe has been most successful as a medium for obtaining
results on plates in sealed packets. Effectively to test Mr. Vearncombe,
I devoted a great deal of time to wrapping and sealing packets which
could not possibly be tampered with without leaving some trace of
such tampering. Others have done likewise, and on the plates in such
packets, which after the most careful scrutiny have revealed no evidence
of tampering, we have secured successful results. On one occasion I
persuaded a local professional photographer to seal a packet of plates
before I handled them. This he did very thoroughly, and then I added my
own wrappings and seals and sent the package on to Vearncombe. Within a
week the packet was returned intact.

Mr. Frederic Lewis of Birmingham, who co-operated with me in this
test, is a technical photographer of more than average ability and his
certificate is of value. In this he states:

    “I certify that on May 14th, 1920, I wrapped and sealed an
    unopened packet of Imperial Special Sensitive ¼-plates and
    handed the packet to Mr. Fred Barlow, who then fixed his
    own wrappings and seals. Mr. Barlow brought back the packet
    of plates to me on the morning of May 20th, 1920, and in
    my presence broke his own wrappings and seals. I then very
    carefully verified that my own seals and wrappings were intact
    and am quite convinced that these had not been interfered
    with. I personally developed the plates in the presence of Mr.
    Barlow. On two out of the twelve plates in the package distinct
    negative images of faces developed—one face on one plate and
    three small faces on another. I can offer no explanation of
    this result apart from being perfectly satisfied that no
    trickery or deception was practised.

                                         (_Signed_) “FREDERIC LEWIS.”

Could anything be more definite and conclusive than that?

With the Crewe Circle I have had so many tests that it is difficult to
select the most stringent. As the well-known Price case of alleged fraud
bears on the question of the substitution of dark slides, the following
case may be of interest. On this occasion the substitution of dark slides
was impossible, for the simple reason that no dark slides were used.

Saying nothing to the members of the Circle beforehand, I took with me
to Crewe on November 12th, 1921, a loaded box camera containing six
specially-marked plates of a size smaller than those usually employed
in experiments of this nature. All that Hope and Mrs. Buxton did was to
arch their hands over this magazine camera whilst one of them flicked the
shutter-catch. Photographic readers will realise that it is impossible to
tamper with the plates in a box camera, in daylight, without spoiling the
lot. To enable the “power” to flow from Mr. Hope on to the plates, the
controlling intelligence stipulated that Mr. Hope should be allowed to
take hold of my right wrist as I dropped each plate into the developer.
Psychic effects were secured on two out of the six plates under
conditions which, I am convinced, rendered deception impossible. I have
been told that Mr. Hope must have printed the effects on to the plates
by flashlight whilst he had hold of my wrist. If the critic derives any
comfort from believing that this actually occurred he is welcome to his
belief!

In another evidential case is that already mentioned by Sir Arthur
Conan Doyle of an experiment conducted by two photographic members of
the S.S.S.P. and myself at Crewe. In this case the camera and slides
employed were brand new and were not examined by the sensitives until
after the sitting. The dark slides differed from those usually employed
by the sensitives. Neither Mr. Hope nor Mrs. Buxton was in the dark room
for loading the slides or for developing the plates. The central face
of three supernormal faces secured on this occasion is an undoubted
likeness of the father of one of the sitters. The result was absolutely
conclusive to my friends and myself. We emphatically declare that under
the circumstances trickery was impossible.

[Illustration: FIG. 20.—Psychograph in the handwriting of Mr. Wm. Walker
obtained at Crewe on July 28th, 1922. Compare with normal handwriting
shown in Fig. 21. (_See_ p. 88.)]

[Illustration: FIG. 21.—Portion of letter written by Mr. Wm. Walker
during his lifetime for comparison with psychograph Fig. 20.]

[Illustration: FIG. 22.—Mr. S. Maddocks, Hon. Sec. of the Sheffield and
District S.P.R., with psychic photograph of his first wife. Compare with
Fig. 23. (_See_ p. 113.)]

[Illustration: FIG. 23.—Photograph of Mr. Maddocks’ first wife for
comparison with Fig. 22.]

Since the above was written I have been favoured with further excellent
personal proof. On October 7th, 1922, I secured at Crewe several fine
photographs of my father. The best were secured on plates exposed in
a camera brought by one of three friends who accompanied me. He is an
experienced and critical photographer, and was responsible for the whole
of the photographic operations. Reference to Figure 31 will show that the
psychic face has moved and appears in no less than six different places.
This face is very similar to the Deane photo (Figure 30), but by no means
absolutely identical.

The next chapter contains a series of abbreviated accounts and reports
by investigators in every station of life. For the purpose of this book
they are confined to accounts connected with the Crewe Circle. In my
capacity of Hon. Secretary to the S.S.S.P. it is my privilege to receive
these documents in ever-increasing numbers. I imagine that the most
hardened sceptic, occupying a similar position for a few months, would be
convinced of the reality of psychic photography by this evidence alone.
Knowing it to be true, I look forward with confidence to that day, not
far distant, when all this talk of fake and fraud shall be no more and
when the psychologist and scientist shall combine the investigation of
this vital problem.



CHAPTER IX

CONCLUSIVE PROOF FROM MANY SOURCES


This concluding chapter contains a number of plain, straight statements
from those possessing first-hand knowledge of the Crewe Circle. Such
positive and definite evidence is of far more value from an evidential
and scientific standpoint than the mere opinions of those who have never
investigated. Owing to the exigencies of space it has been necessary to
abbreviate most of these accounts and also to omit many others, equally
convincing. For evidential reasons each report or contribution contains
the full name and address of the communicator.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Evidence of GEORGE H. LETHEM, ESQ., JUSTICE OF THE PEACE FOR THE
COUNTY OF THE CITY OF GLASGOW

I first heard of the Crewe Circle in the autumn of 1918. At that time I
was editor of the _Daily Record_, Glasgow, and had made the acquaintance
of Mr. Peter Galloway, President of the Glasgow Association of
Spiritualists, through an article on spiritualism which he contributed to
that paper.

Mr. Galloway told me that the Crewe Circle were coming to Glasgow, and he
invited me to attend their first sitting. This I agreed to do; I bought
a packet of quarter-plates at a City shop, took note of the wrapper
markings and kept the packet safe, with the cover unbroken.

My wife accompanied me to the sitting, which was held in a large,
well-lighted attic room some distance from the house where the members
of the Circle were lodging. I saw them arrive, saw them unpack their
photographic outfit, and saw them borrow a dark cloth (which I examined)
for use as a background. Obtaining permission, I examined the camera, the
slide, the lens, the bellows (for pin-holes) and all the accessories,
without finding anything suspicious. I treated the sitting as a test
and took every step, so far as I knew, to provide against conscious or
unconscious deception.

Including Mr. Hope and Mrs. Buxton, there were nine or ten people
present. To all of these, except Mr. Galloway, I was quite unknown, and I
was introduced simply as a “friend.”

I had time to complete my examination—in which I included the little
adjoining dark room—before the proceedings began. All present then sat
round a table, on which my packet of plates was laid within my reach and
in my sight. There were hymns and a prayer, then the packet was lifted
and held for a few seconds between Mr. Hope’s hands, with the hands of
all the others—my own included—above and below. The packet, which was
never out of my sight, was then returned to me and I satisfied myself by
the markings that it was mine, that the wrapper was intact, and that,
therefore, there could have been no tampering with the plates.

Putting the unopened packet in my pocket, I followed Mr. Hope into
the dark room, taking with me the slide from the camera. In the dark
room Mr. Hope stood in the far corner and I stood close by the door,
leaving a clear space between us. Mr. Hope said, in explanation of this
arrangement, that he did not want to touch the plates but only to see
that I handled them properly.

Taking the packet from my pocket, I broke the cover, extracted two
plates and put the packet back in my pocket. Keeping the plates within
Mr. Hope’s view but quite out of his reach, I wrote my name on each of
them and put them into the slide, which I carried out of the room before
handing it to Mr. Hope. Up to this point, Mr. Hope had quite certainly
not touched the plates. Having seen the slide placed in the camera, I sat
down beside my wife, facing the lens.

The camera had been previously focussed and an exposure was made—Mr. Hope
standing on the right and Mrs. Buxton on the left and joining hands (Mr.
Hope’s left, Mrs. Buxton’s right) above the camera. In this attitude
Mr. Hope pressed the pneumatic bulb with his right hand and so made the
exposure, which was longer than for an ordinary photograph. Then the
slide was turned and a second exposure was made on other two members of
the party.

When the second exposure was completed, Mr. Hope took the slide out of
the camera, carried it into the dark room, and emptied the plates into
my hands in front of the red glass window. Making sure that my signature
was on each of the plates, I placed them in a shaded receptacle, signed
other two plates and put them into the slide with the same precautions as
before. Then, seeing Mr. Hope out of the room, I shut the door and stood
before it whilst two other exposures were made. Re-entering the dark
room, I received the plates from the slide as before and proceeded to
develop the four plates with material supplied by Mr. Hope, who remained
in the room but stood as far from the developing dish as possible and
left the whole of the handling to me.

Standing before the red window, I saw the images come up on the plates
and noticed that on three of them there were figures other than the
ordinary representations of the sitters. When development was finished, I
carried the plates from the dark room and, before anyone else was allowed
to touch them, I examined them individually and satisfied myself beyond
doubt that they were the four identical plates on which I had written my
name and that the normal figures on these plates corresponded with the
four exposures I had seen made.

That each of the four plates bore my signature, clear and characteristic,
I accepted as proof that these were the plates I had placed in the slide
and no others, for it was impossible that my signature could have been
forged: therefore, I reasoned, there had been no substitution of prepared
plates.

Looking through the negatives, I could see that, in addition to the
normal figures of the sitters, there were distinct “extras” on three of
the plates, each “extra” being distinct in form from the others.

On No. 1 plate—that for which my wife and I had been the sitters—there
was the clear representation of a face looking out from an arched veil.
This “extra” was superimposed on the image of the sitters and partially
obscured them, as if the “something” it represented had come between them
and the lens.

As soon as the plate was dry, a rough print was obtained by placing
a sheet of printing paper over the negative and holding it up to the
window, through which the sun was shining. That rough print showed the
normal figures and the “extra” as they were afterwards printed by Mr.
Hope.

Five possibilities are, therefore, ruled out in seeking to account for
this particular “extra”:

    1. The plates were not faked before exposure.
    2. There was no substitution of plates.
    3. There was no double exposure.
    4. There was no double printing.
    5. The plate was not faked after development.

As soon as the rough proof of plate No. 1 was obtained, the face of the
“extra” was recognised by my wife and myself as an unmistakable likeness
of our elder son, who had been killed in the war, and this recognition
was corroborated fully and completely later on by other members of the
family, and is therefore beyond dispute.

In considering this likeness and its recognition, I take note of certain
facts, namely: (1) That Mr. Hope did not know me and did not know my
son, or even that I had a son; (2) that neither Mr. Hope nor anyone in
the room, save my wife and myself, had ever seen my son, and that it is
unlikely that any one of them had seen his photographs; and (3) that
although the likeness is unmistakable, the image of the face is not a
reproduction of any normal photograph.

In view of these facts, it seemed to me then, and seems to me still, that
it was quite impossible that Mr. Hope could have consciously produced
that likeness either by skill or trick or both.

I was afterwards present at several of Mr. Hope’s sittings and was
allowed on at least two other occasions to accompany him into the dark
room and to watch the whole of his procedure. I kept a keen look-out for
tricks—with many of which I was acquainted, but I saw none.

Also I have discussed the details many times with photographic experts
and I have read the accusations brought against Mr. Hope, and I am quite
satisfied that—whatever may have happened on other occasions—none of
the suggestions of trickery put forward can account for the “extras” I
have described, and particularly for that in which I am most directly
interested.

                                         (_Signed_) GEORGE H. LETHEM.

_Hazeldene, Harehills Lane, Leeds._

       *       *       *       *       *

The Evidence of W. G. MITCHELL, ESQ., OF DARLINGTON

    (_Mr. Mitchell is a Vice-President of the S.S.S.P., and
    President of the Darlington Photographic Society. He is a
    photographer and investigator of considerable experience._)

I first came in touch with Mr. Hope and Mrs. Buxton at Crewe. My second
meeting with these good people was at Middlesbrough, where they were
spending a holiday. I have thus had an opportunity of experimenting in
the atmosphere of their own séance-room and studio, and also under the
improvised conditions of a friend’s residence.

The subject of supernormal photography was not entirely new to me. I had
met Mr. Edward Wyllie, the “spirit” photographer, when in Ireland, and
watched his operations almost daily during his fortnight’s sojourn in
that country. I subjected him to the most stringent and ingenious tests
that I could devise. As founder and president of a photographic society,
I was fully alive to all the possibilities of faking, but was quite
satisfied that I had removed from Mr. Wyllie any opportunity to indulge
in photographic legerdemain. With all my caution, results persisted. All
the ordinary laws of photography, as far as I understood them, were upset
and violated.

But to get back to the Crewe Circle. I had arranged with a friend who was
at that time editor-manager of an important Northern newspaper to visit
Crewe for the purpose of meeting the Crewe Circle. As brother members
of a psychical research society, we desired to add to our experiences.
Having taken the precaution of purchasing plates locally and following
the usual recommendation of carrying them in close proximity to the
body, we looked forward to our journey. The appointed day arrived,
but no day in modern history could have been more unsuitable or less
conducive to good results. It was December 16th, 1914, and the news
tapped out over the “private wire” was most disquieting; the Huns were
shelling Scarborough and West Hartlepool. My friend realised that it was
impossible for him to desert his editorial chair, and he hurriedly gave
me his box of plates. I met Mr. William Walker, of Buxton, _en route_,
and together we journeyed to Crewe. A short devotional service was
held in the kitchen of Mrs. Buxton’s home, during which I was informed
that only one box of plates could be dealt with. I selected the box
purchased by my absent friend and expressed a desire that some result
should be given that would give him satisfaction and conviction. I was
instructed that four plates would be dealt with and that I could select
any particular four I desired from the box; I named the third and fourth,
ninth and tenth. This selection secured two pairs of plates that would be
packed film to film, and would probably be hinged together with emulsion.

The unsealed box was then placed on the centre of the table, and as it
bore a rubber stamp impression of the firm from which it was purchased I
am quite satisfied that there was no substitution of boxes. Mr. Hope then
insisted that I should dismantle his camera. This I did most thoroughly,
giving special attention to the dark slides, lens and shutter.

Having placed the dark slides in my pocket, we entered the dark room,
where I unpacked the box, selecting the particular plates decided upon,
wrote my initials across the corner of each, placed them in the two
double back dark slides and placed the remainder of the plates together
with the dark slides in my pocket. We adjourned to the studio, where
Hope allowed me to choose my position in relation to the background. Mr.
Walker sat in the chair, I focussed the portrait on the focussing screen
of the camera, placed the dark slide in position and left all ready for
making the exposure. I then went and took a seat beside Mr. Walker. Mr.
Hope manipulated the lens cap with one hand and with his other clasped
Mrs. Buxton’s, thus forming an arc over the bellows of the camera. After
the first plate was exposed I went to the camera, closed the dark slide
and reversed it, then sat for the second exposure.

The third plate was next used. Mrs. Buxton asked me to place the dark
slide containing the only unexposed plate on her forehead, this I did for
about ten seconds.

I then retired with Mr. Hope to the dark room, where I personally
developed the four plates. On three out of the four supernormal effects
flashed up, and after fixing in the hypo-bath we brought them out to the
light for examination.

Plate No. 1, in addition to the normal image, showed a lengthy message
of exceedingly minute copperplate writing, too small to read without the
aid of the magnifying glass. I could just discern that there were Greek
characters intermingled with other languages, including English.

No. 2 plate bore only the normal image.

No. 3 plate showed the supernormal figure of a lady draped in some
material of fine texture, standing by my side.

No. 4 plate, the one held on Mrs. B.’s forehead, showed a well-defined
face of a lady.

The long message on No. 1 contained 145 words, and was written in a
jumble of languages, English, Greek, French, and Latin, and concluded
thus: “And now, friends, we have given you this advice in mixed
languages, so that it will help to support the claim that the unlearned
of to-day possess the same powers as the humble fishermen of biblical
history. We thank you for the common-sense way in which you have met
us....” etc. It was quite two years before I was able to get the Greek
portion translated. I eventually met a young Greek, a student of
Armstrong College, Newcastle, who told me that it was a very ancient
style of Greek. The message, when translated, was quite intelligible to
me.

No. 3 plate, with supernormal portrait, proved to be undeniably the
portrait of the deceased mother of the wife of my friend. On comparing
it with a life portrait it left no doubt in the mind of any reasonable
person.

The portrait on No. 4 plate I cannot recognise.

I have a profound conviction that Mr. Hope is a genuine medium, honest
and straightforward, and it would take a great deal to shake my
confidence in his integrity. I have followed his operations for years,
and find them a fruitful source of instruction. It is only those who
have experimented in “fake” effects who can realise the difficulties,
and with a knowledge of photography I challenge any professional or
amateur photographer to produce anything approaching the same effects
under any conditions. They find it absolutely impossible under the _same_
conditions.

It is unthinkable that Mr. and Mrs. Buxton would co-operate, aid and abet
in a continuous fraud on the widowed wife, the sorrowing parent.

                                           (_Signed_) W. G. MITCHELL.

_3, Harewood Terrace, Darlington._

       *       *       *       *       *

An Account by J. WILLIAMS, ESQ., PHOTOGRAPHIC SPECIALIST, OF THE PORTLAND
STUDIO, RHYL

It is with the greatest pleasure that I add my testimony to the
truthfulness and absolute sincerity of Mr. Hope and Mrs. Buxton.

They have been known to me for several years; altogether no less than six
times I have had sittings with them. In every case they have allowed me
every facility to eliminate any possible fraud, which as a photographer
of nearly fifty years’ experience, I was eager to discover.

One experience with the Crewe Circle was this: at one sitting I was asked
what plate I would choose from a packet of twelve plates; it was decided
on the fourth from the top of the packet. The camera was _not_ used;
Mr. Hope and I entered the dark room and only myself touched the plates
during development. On the fourth plate was a message from the late
Archdeacon Colley. This negative I have by me and anyone wishing to see
same can do so with pleasure.

No one could wish for a better test than this; no one but myself touched
the plates at any time during the sitting. The plates I brought with
me, tied with special knots to prevent any opening of the packet or
substituting of another packet.

                                            (_Signed_) JNO. WILLIAMS.

_Portland Studio, Rhyl._

       *       *       *       *       *

The Testimony of JOSEPH HIGGINBOTTOM, ESQ., VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE
SHEFFIELD AND DISTRICT SOCIETY FOR PSYCHICAL RESEARCH

    (_An account of a surprise visit in which the sitter secured
    a likeness of his mother, of whom no normal photograph is in
    existence._)

I am pleased to have this opportunity of adding my testimony to the
honesty of Mr. Wm. Hope of the Crewe Circle.

Herewith I enclose a psychic photograph of my mother. [Not
reproduced.—ED.] It has been freely recognised by those who knew her.
Such is my confidence in Mr. Hope that I cannot allow myself to imagine
for a moment that with his extraordinary gift, in conjunction with Mrs.
Buxton he would allow himself to be led astray or deviate from the path
of rectitude under any circumstances.

                                          (_Signed_) J. HIGGINBOTTOM.

_Lees House, Norton Lees, Sheffield._

       *       *       *       *       *

Proof from MRS. E. PICKUP, OF 40, WATERLOO ROAD, BURNLEY, LANCS.

    (_A strongly evidential case which describes how the sitter
    visited the Crewe Circle as an absolute stranger and without
    even an appointment, and secured a striking likeness of her
    deceased husband. (See Figs. 28 and 29.) Extract from an
    original letter to Mr. Hope._)

No words of mine can express my gratitude to you since receiving the
photos this morning. The extra one is my dear husband, and just as I
prayed he might come—an exact copy of the one I had at home and the one I
liked best. Every detail is so clear and correct, even to the dimple in
the chin. What could be more convincing, when I came to you an absolute
stranger and without even an appointment?

That visit will remain imprinted on my memory as one of the brightest
days in my life. I am sure after such evidence as this and the way
in which you carried out your work, I need never suffer the pangs of
loneliness again, because I believe that God has taken him to a higher
sphere. He will still guide me and watch over me so long as I do my part
by keeping in touch with God and His divine laws.

I don’t know that I could ask for anything more. My cup is full and
overflowing. I trust that others who come to you may get as good results,
that they, too, may know the joy and happiness it brings.

                                                (_Signed_) E. PICKUP.

       *       *       *       *       *

From MRS. RISKER, LATE OF DARLASTON

    (_An excellent case, in which the sitter secured an undoubted
    likeness of her husband. A number of questions were submitted
    to Mrs. Risker, and her replies are given hereunder._)

I have great pleasure in answering the questions you ask.

Question No. 1.—If there is the slightest doubt concerning “extra”?

None whatever.

Question No. 2.—Whether Mr. Hope or any one connected with the Crewe
Circle knew Mr. Risker before his death, or had seen any photograph of
him prior to visiting Crewe for this sitting?

No. The first time I ever knew of Mr. Hope or the Crewe Circle was
through an article written by Miss Stead in _Nash’s Magazine_ during the
latter part of 1916 (after my husband’s death, which occurred August
15th, 1916).

Question No. 3.—In what manner did I get into touch with Crewe Circle?

The article which Miss Stead wrote appealed to me, and knowing Miss
Stead (by repute) to be a straightforward woman, the thought came, “Here
apparently is a tangible proof of the after-life.” Thereupon I did not
rest until I found out the address. Some weeks later, a lady from Runcorn
who knew nothing of me gave me the address of Mr. Hope.

Since above I have paid six visits and have had nine results—seven
“extras” and two “skotographs”; upon five visits I have taken my own
plates from Darlaston.

                                             (_Signed_) M. C. RISKER.

_Late of Bilston Street, Darlaston._

       *       *       *       *       *

An Expression of Opinion from LADY GREY OF FALLODEN

I am perfectly ready to adhere to my conviction that I have obtained
evidence of supernormal activities through the mediumship of the Crewe
Circle, and this I would maintain however conclusively they may have been
convicted of fraud on other occasions.

                                              (_Signed_) PAMELA GREY.

_Wilsford Manor, Salisbury._

       *       *       *       *       *

The Evidence of H. BLACKWELL, ESQ., A VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE S.S.S.P.

    (_Mr. Blackwell is one of the pioneers in the history
    of psychic photography. His experiences have been quite
    exceptional. This description tells how he secured a photograph
    of a recently deceased sister._)

With great pleasure I give my experience of the good work done through
the Crewe mediums. In April, 1920, having fixed an appointment with
Mr. Hope for a certain hour at the B.C.P.S., I was there to time with
an unopened box of plates. Of the four plates exposed I found upon
development that only two had any psychic results.

These appeared to consist of several faint faces merging one into the
other. From the wet negatives I could not recognise any of the features,
so asked for prints to be sent on in due course.

When the prints came to hand I was delighted to recognise the face of my
sister, but repeated five times, as if in her agitation she could not
concentrate sufficiently and had moved during the exposure.

She appeared as in her final illness two years previously, when I had
gone down into the country to bid “good-bye.”

As a testimony to the value of psychic photography I may mention that
through the mediumship of Mr. R. Boursnell, in London, and of Mr. W.
M. Keeler, in Washington, I have received portraits of my grandfather,
mother, two sisters and several of my nieces. A number of friends have
also been taken in London after promises given in Canada and elsewhere.

About twelve years ago, thanks to a personal friend who then possessed
wonderful materialising power, I was enabled to obtain, using four
cameras simultaneously, excellent photographs of my father, mother, niece
and several friends. They manifested for the express purpose of being
taken, and in each instance the medium shows by the side of the spirit
visitor. The experiments were conducted in my house and in presence of
witnesses.

                                             (_Signed_) H. BLACKWELL.

_43, Brownswood Road, Finsbury Park, N. 4._

       *       *       *       *       *

The Testimony of W. C. PUGH, ESQ., OF MIDDLESBROUGH

    (_A straight statement by an investigator who has secured many
    recognised psychic photographic results, through the Crewe
    Circle, in his own home._)

It is a number of years since I first sat with the Crewe Circle, and I
have sat with them quite a dozen times since, and on each occasion I have
received convincing proof of the genuineness of their phenomena. I have
beside me quite a collection of photographs taken by them, and each
photo has a message of its own; some contain extras of friends who have
passed on, and others contain messages from interested friends beyond the
grave. The extras on practically all my photos have been recognised by
relatives and friends.

I enclose copy of one of these with two extras which have been readily
recognised by all my friends as my father and mother, both of whom
had passed on before I met the Crewe Circle. I also enclose copies of
original photos for comparison. [Not reproduced.—ED.]

My opportunities for testing the genuineness of the Crewe Circle’s work
have been unique because they have taken over a hundred photos in my
house in Middlesbrough. When they have spent a few days here they have
lived with us. My wife and I made all the arrangements for their visit,
and entertained them during their stay. Applications for sittings were
made to us and we fixed them up. In the vast majority of cases the Crew
Circle had never seen the sitters till they arrived at their appointed
times. In many cases they never saw them again. Yet their success has
been phenomenal. Many have received photos with extras which they
recognised at sight. Others have taken them home and had them recognised
by friends or other members of their families.

The Circle brought no plates with them. Each sitter provided his or her
own. My sitting-room was the studio. My bath-room was the developing
room. Unused plates were left behind when the Circle went away, and my
lad, who has a camera, has been supplied with a stock of plates for use
amongst his friends.

To those of us who know the members of the circle so well, some of the
statements appearing in the Press have been very amusing. The idea of Mr.
Hope beating the conjurers at their own game is too ridiculous for words.
Expert photographers who have had experience of Mr. Hope’s methods must
also have been greatly amused.

[Illustration: FIG. 24.—Photograph of Mrs. R. Foulds, of Sheffield, with
psychic photograph of her mother, obtained under good test conditions.
Compare with Fig. 25. (_See_ p. 125.)]

[Illustration: FIG. 25.—Photograph of Mrs. Foulds’ mother for comparison
with psychic effect on Fig. 24.]

[Illustration: FIG. 26.—Photograph of Mrs. A. E. Griere with psychic
likeness of husband and father. The sitter was a total stranger to the
Crewe Circle. Compare the lower face with Fig. 27. (_See_ p. 127.)]

[Illustration: FIG. 27.—Photograph of Mrs. Griere’s husband for
comparison with his psychic likeness on Fig. 26.]

Then there is the question of motive. Let me state that _the Crewe
Circle have never had one penny piece out of their various visits to
Middlesboro’_. We charged sufficient from each sitter to pay railway
expenses only, nothing more. We paid for the railway tickets, that was
all. Where on earth was the incentive for these people to leave their
homes to come here to deceive us? One’s sense of humour must have been
neglected if they cannot see that the whole of the charges are too funny
for words.

THAT THE PHENOMENA ARE GENUINE I AM CONVINCED. What is behind the
phenomena is another matter, and does not enter into the present question.

If the scientists care to continue to drag on behind plain common-sense
people let them do so. I have scores of good friends who have had that
experience which no scientist can take from them, and I prefer to accept
their opinions, along with my own experience, rather than listen to those
people whose one desire seems to be to bolster up preconceived ideas.

The world would be better for some more people as honest as are the
members of the Crewe Circle.

                                      (_Signed_) WILLIAM COWELL PUGH.

_61, St. Paul’s Road, Middlesbrough._

       *       *       *       *       *

An Account by MRS. MARGARET ELLINOR

    (_A description of three remarkable recognised likenesses
    obtained by a lady photographer._)

I am anxious to help to prove the truth of psychic photography, and with
this end in view I am sending herewith three photographs taken by Mr.
Hope, of Crewe, under test conditions, which contain recognised “extras.”
[Not reproduced.—ED.]

Might I say that in the first place I was extremely sceptical,
having some knowledge of photography. Even after myself obtaining a
“psychograph” I was still in a doubtful frame of mind, and attended the
British College of Psychic Science to gather further evidence.

In this way I came into contact with Mr. Hope and Mrs. Buxton, and by and
by arranged through the agency of Mrs. McKenzie, of the College, to have
a test sitting with Mr. Hope. The results of this sitting, quite apart
from any subsequent sittings, provided what to my mind were conclusive
proofs of Mr. Hope’s gifts and absolute integrity.

Enclosed are four photographs marked. All these were taken under the
most stringent test conditions. I took with me some plates which had
previously been marked secretly by a second party (a sceptic). These
plates were then put into the slide by Mr. Hope in my presence; the slide
was never for a moment out of my observation and I subsequently followed
every manipulation.

In the case of the photographs (1) and (2) the extra is of my father. An
old original photograph of my father is enclosed. It will be observed
that the extras give a view from a different angle to the original in
each case. My father was unknown to Mr. Hope—there were no photographs
of my father available to Mr. Hope—my father passed over when I was nine
years of age.

In photograph (3) the extra is of my father-in-law, an original of whom
is enclosed. My husband’s father has been passed over seven years, and no
photograph of him could be available to Mr. Hope.

Photograph (4) was taken at another sitting at my home. It is especially
interesting inasmuch as the extra thereon was unrecognised at the time.
After a lapse of time, through incidents I need not explain, I obtained
a clue to the identity of the “extra.” Finally I was able to ascertain
that the “extra” was one of my girlhood’s friends who has now been passed
on many years. I was able to secure an old original photograph, which is
enclosed.

Having been a sceptic myself, I can sympathise with those who find it
difficult to credit these puzzling phenomena. At the same time, I suggest
that Mr. Hope is entitled to the sympathetic treatment and fair dealing
that should be accorded to anyone who brings forward evidence in support
of the super-physical.

                                         (_Signed_) MARGARET ELLINOR.

_77, Atlantic Road, Brixton, S.W. 9._

       *       *       *       *       *

From SAMUEL MADDOCKS, ESQ., HON. SECRETARY OF THE SHEFFIELD AND DISTRICT
SOCIETY FOR PSYCHICAL RESEARCH

    (_The psychic effect secured by Mr. Maddocks on the occasion
    of the third sitting described hereunder is shown by fig. 22.
    A normal photograph of the late Mrs. Maddocks is given for
    comparison [fig. 23]._)

I am absolutely convinced that Mr. Hope and Mrs. Buxton are transparently
honest and honourable, most reverent in their Circle meetings, and their
only desire is to give comfort and consolation to those who have lost a
loved one. To impute fraud or trickery to them wounded me to the quick.

After several months’ waiting I obtained three sittings (with three
extras) as follows:

_1st Sitting._—To my great surprise the “extra” was not my first wife,
but the following message:

    ‘Kind friends, we are glad to meet you and for the benefit
    of your friend of the Psychic Research Society we are giving
    this message, so that he may understand that, given the right
    conditions, these works can be done, and we ask you for our
    dear medium’s sake, to speak of it as you find it. God bless
    you.’

_2nd Sitting._—This “extra” was quite unknown to me, but on reaching home
(Sheffield) my second wife (clairvoyant) exclaimed, “Why, that’s the same
face I’ve seen in our bedroom nearly every night.”

_3rd Sitting._—The “extra” was my first wife at last! I recognised it
instantly, also relatives and friends, as a very good picture of what she
looked like at the end of twenty months’ agony from cancer. All her teeth
were extracted during her illness on the advice of a London physician,
and that accounts for the sunken appearance of the mouth. (See Figure 22.)

The normal photo was taken several years previously. (See Figure 23.)

                                          (_Signed_) SAMUEL MADDOCKS.

_Supt. Royal Blind School, Broomhill, Sheffield._

       *       *       *       *       *

The Testimony of JAS. P. SKELTON, ESQ., OF BELFAST

    (_The account tells how Mr. Skelton obtained a photograph of
    his mother, and how later, with two friends, he was present
    when the famous message from the late Dr. W. J. Crawford was
    obtained on a photographic plate of their own, under strict
    test conditions. See figs. 3 and 4._)

I have known Mr. Hope for four or five years now, and have sat with him
about a dozen times as well as being closely associated during his and
Mrs. Buxton’s two visits to Belfast.

On January 4th, 1922, my mother passed to the higher life. I was summoned
to Blackburn on Saturday, January 28th, 1922, and as I could not return
to Belfast sooner than the Monday night, I decided to make a visit to
Crewe with the hope that I might get her photograph. I wrote to Mr. Hope
and made an appointment for the Monday morning, January 30th, 1922, and
received his reply agreeing. On the night before I crossed to England,
we held a brief circle at home, and by means of a small table, my mother
manifested. I told her of my intention of going to Crewe and the time
that I would be sitting, and she signified that she would do her best to
get through. I arrived in Crewe on the day arranged (about 10 a.m.), and
found that Mrs. Buxton was ill in bed and could not sit. Naturally I was
much disappointed. Mr. Hope noticing it, said, “Never mind, we will sit
without her and do the best we can.” Mrs. Buxton’s daughter sat in her
place, Mr. Hope and myself completed the circle. The usual methods were
adopted. The packet of plates which I bought in Crewe about five minutes
before I reached 144, Market Street were lying on the table during the
course of the sitting in full view of all. Mr. Hope and I then proceeded
to the dark room, where I initialled the second two plates in the packet,
and loaded the slide with them. Never once did Mr. Hope touch them. Miss
Buxton and Mr. Hope arranged the camera, etc., after which I handed Mr.
Hope the slide. He exposed the two plates and I afterwards developed them
myself. On the first was the face of my mother, just as she appeared a
few days prior to her death. The plate was hurriedly dried and a print
was made for me to take with me, both Mr. Hope and Mrs. Buxton, who knew
her recognised it at once. Everyone at home who knew her recognised
it immediately, one gentleman saying, “I don’t know anything about
spiritualism, but if you want an independent testimony, I am prepared to
go on any platform and testify to this being your mother’s photograph.”
To me the remarkable thing was, that it was secured exactly twenty-six
days after her death. To say Mr. Hope tricked, substituted plates, or in
any way defrauded, is puerile.

On a previous occasion I secured a photograph of an old friend of our
family who died when I was a boy. It was not recognised for a week after
getting it, and then only by chance. I compared an original photograph of
her and it proved the identity up to the hilt.

My most recent experience was the securing of the now famous “Crawford”
message signed by himself. Mr. J. W. Gillmour, Mr. S. G. Donaldson
and myself, all of Belfast, were travelling to the Conferences of the
S.N.U., Ltd., in London, and we decided to break our journey at Crewe.
Mr. Gillmour bought a packet of ordinary Imperial quarter-plates from
Mr. John Bell, of Garfield Street, Belfast, on Thursday, June 29th,
1922, telling Mr. Bell the purpose for which they were required. Mr.
Bell parcelled it up and sealed with wax. We crossed to Liverpool
same night. Mrs. Crawford also crossed over with us and we travelled
together to Crewe, Mrs. Crawford went on to London and we went to see Mr.
Hope, arriving there about 10.30 a.m. The usual sitting was arranged,
Mr. Gillmour produced the sealed packet, and we all saw the seal was
unbroken. It was then broken and the packet was seen to be intact as it
came from Mr. Bell’s shop. The unopened packet was held between the hands
of all present. Mr. Donaldson then took the packet and proceeded with Mr.
Hope to load the slides in the dark room, Mr. Donaldson alone handled
the plates from beginning to end. We were all photographed together at
first, and then separately. The first plate exposed shews a message from
Dr. Crawford. With Mr. Gillmour as a sitter there appears an (as yet)
unknown face. With Mr. Donaldson there was no psychic effect. With myself
a bright light appeared. We were all present at the development and at no
time did Mr. Hope touch the plates. Mr. Donaldson did all the work under
our careful scrutiny. The result was a surprise to us all. (See Figures 2
and 4.)

We are, however, mutually agreed that it is a _bona fide_ message from
Dr. Crawford in his own handwriting, with which I am well acquainted.

                                          (_Signed_) JAS. P. SKELTON.

_651, Lisborn Road, Balmoral, Belfast._

       *       *       *       *       *

From MISS ESTELLE STEAD

During the last seven or eight years I have had several sittings with
the Crewe Circle, and can state truly that I have always found both Mr.
Hope and Mrs. Buxton most anxious to have me examine the dark room, the
camera, the slides, the room in which the photographs were taken, and had
I wished to examine anything else I am sure they would have agreed to my
doing so.

At some sittings I have had no results, whilst at others the results have
been excellent.

The very first time I visited Crewe I bought a box of plates in London
and took it with me. Mr. Hope never handled the box at all excepting in
my presence, and we obtained two excellent pictures of my father. During
that same visit I bought a box of plates in Crewe, neither Mr. Hope nor
Mrs. Buxton had any idea at which shop I bought it. I sealed the box and
took it with me to 144, Market Street. I held it in my hands until we,
Mr. Hope, Mrs. Buxton, Mr. Harry Walker, at whose house I was staying,
and myself—were seated round the table. I then placed the box on the
table, where it remained visible to all, as the room was well lighted by
gas, whilst we held the little service usually held by the Crewe Circle.
We all then placed our hands under and over the box and held it in this
way for a little while. I then placed the bottom of the box against Mrs.
Buxton’s forehead and then held it between my hands whilst instructions
were given, through Mr. Hope, to the effect that I should go into the
dark room with him, unseal the box myself, take out the bottom plate and
the plate next to it. I was told to take particular note as to which
was the bottom plate. I was instructed to develop the two plates in Mr.
Hope’s presence, but not to allow him to touch them until I had developed
them. Note, the box was not unsealed until we went into the dark room,
and the plates were never exposed to the light at all.

Nothing appeared on the bottom plate, nor was there any sign of fogging.
On the other plate were two messages, one in Archdeacon Colley’s
handwriting and one in Mr. William Walker’s handwriting, together with a
faint outline of my father’s face.

About one year after receiving the above I went up to Crewe with Miss
Scatcherd. I had previously, without saying a word to Miss Scatcherd
or anyone, made an engagement with my brother Will, who passed over in
1907, to meet me there and give his picture if he could manage to do so.
Miss Scatcherd thought I wanted a picture of my father or a message from
him. I do not think either Mr. Hope or Mrs. Buxton knew of my brother’s
existence, and even if they did they certainly had no means of getting
hold of his photograph. I took my own plates from town. On the very first
plate exposed my brother’s face appears between Miss Scatcherd and myself.

During a visit the Crewe Circle paid to the “W. T. Stead” Bureau in
Baker Street in 1919, at my father’s request I took my mother to have a
sitting with them without advising them beforehand as to who it was I was
bringing. I took my own plates, put them in the slides myself and stood
over Mr. Hope whilst he developed the plates after the sitting. On the
plate exposed on my mother alone there appears a very good picture of my
father.

                                              (_Signed_) E. W. STEAD.

_5, Smith Square, S.W. 1._

       *       *       *       *       *

The Evidence of MRS. ELLEN JONES, OF KEMPSTON

    (_Mrs. Jones relates how on two occasions she obtained an
    excellent likeness of her deceased husband. The second
    photograph referred to shows a remarkable likeness on
    comparison with a normal photograph._)

I had a sitting at Crewe, about four years ago, and again this last
March. Success attended both sittings. The March sitting took place in
my own house; Mr. Hope and Mrs. Buxton stayed with us a couple of days
and we got a photo with three “extras” on one plate. We consider the
last one a perfect likeness of my husband just as he was before his last
illness. The first was very good, only rather too much like what he was
at the time of passing over, so, you see, it was rather painful, but a
truthful likeness. My son was with Mr. Hope the whole time he developed
the plates. He knows quite a lot about photography, and we used our own
plates.

                                              (_Signed_) ELLEN JONES.

_Rees Cottage, Kempston, Beds._

       *       *       *       *       *

From THE REV. G. VALE OWEN

I have had several sittings with Mr. Wm. Hope and Mrs. Buxton at Crewe. I
will briefly relate one experience.

In 1910 I was just dropping off to sleep when I saw, in the far corner of
the room, a beautiful girl’s face smiling at me. It slowly disappeared
sideways behind a screen. I wondered who the owner was. It was slightly
oval, radiant with joy, and the eyes were laughing at me with just
a touch of roguish enjoyment at my perplexity. There was a certain
efflorescence permeating it, a light which did not proceed from an
exterior object, but which seemed to be one with the substance of which
the face was composed. But it was not a mask. It was a living face.

About eight years later I saw the same face again, this time about six
inches from my own. On this second occasion there came into my mind, as
if intentionally projected there, the name “Ruby.” Ruby is my daughter
who passed away at the age of fifteen months in 1896.

In August, 1917, my wife and I paid a visit to the Crewe Circle. On one
of the negatives appeared the face I had already seen clairvoyantly.
It was not full-face, as I had seen it on the two previous occasions,
but in profile. This disposes of the theory that it might have been a
thought-form of my own.

Later on, we were having a talk with this spirit-child of ours in our own
home at Orford, and I took the opportunity to ask her if it was she who
had managed to get her picture on the plate at Crewe. Her reply was: “I
don’t know, daddy. I was there and tried to. I should love to have done
it. Did I?” My answer was that I was satisfied that she had done so.

I also asked her why it was in profile and she said it was in order that
she might shew her hair. Even when she passed away as a baby her abundant
light-brown hair was an exceptional feature. On the photograph it was
also conspicuous.

I am satisfied that the picture is the likeness of my daughter Ruby. We
have received more than one description of her as she appears in the
spirit life and this portrait tallies with these descriptions.

I am at one with several of my friends who have sat with them in their
conviction that there is no trickery used by these mediums in the
production of results obtained.

On all my visits to Crewe I have been struck with the transparent honesty
and earnestness of both Mr. Hope and Mrs. Buxton. The only conclusion to
which I can come is that they are out for the sole purpose of helping
others with their rare gift, at great cost to their own comfort and
convenience. Personally I am grateful to them for their self-sacrificing
service.

                                             (_Signed_) G. VALE OWEN.

_Orford Vicarage, Warrington._

       *       *       *       *       *

The Testimony of F. J. TWELVES, ESQ., OF MANCHESTER

Having had well over twenty sittings with Mr. Hope and Mrs. Buxton of
the Crewe Circle, as well as intimate acquaintance of sittings of close
friends, I have no hesitation in expressing absolute conviction of the
genuineness of the results obtained.

With the exception of photographs of our own son, I cannot say that many
were undoubtedly recognised. We have, however, had many photographs of
our boy about which there could be no doubt on the part of anybody who
knew him at all well. Of course, ordinary photographs of an individual
taken from different angles or in different positions shew considerable
divergence; perhaps the one approximating nearest to the last photo
before transition is the one taken on October 16th, 1921, copy of which
I enclose together with print of the pretransitional photograph for
comparison. [Not reproduced.—ED.]

The clearest photo we have had taken of him was on December 11th, 1920.

                                          (_Signed_) FRED J. TWELVES.

_55, Victoria Road, Whalley Range, Manchester._

       *       *       *       *       *

The Testimony of ALDERMAN W. WHITEFIELD, J.P., OF BRISTOL

On August 19th, 1921, I called at Crewe on my way home from Llandudno and
made my way to the house of Mrs. Buxton. I took with me a sealed packet
of plates. I have done a considerable amount of photographic work in days
gone by. I examined the camera, placed the plates into the slides myself
in the dark room and developed and fixed them myself. As regards the
psychic results secured, my good wife and myself have not the slightest
doubt that it is a photograph of one of our daughters. I do pray that
this knowledge may bring joy and comfort to some sorrowing heart.

                                            (_Signed_) W. WHITEFIELD.

_St. George, Bristol._

       *       *       *       *       *

An Account of MRS. D. HARTWELL, OF NORTHAMPTON

    (_The photograph referred to by Mrs. Hartwell, when compared
    with a normal photograph of her late husband, leaves no doubts
    whatever as to the question of recognition._)

I went to Mr. Hope as a complete stranger and when I received the
photograph, I recognised the “extra” to be the likeness of my husband,
whom I had lost during the war. It was also recognised by all of his most
intimate friends to whom it was shown.

You have my full permission to make whatever use of it you wish, and
am only too pleased to do anything in my power to help forward this
beautiful cause.

                                              (_Signed_) D. HARTWELL.

_2, St. Giles Terrace, Northampton._

       *       *       *       *       *

An Account by MRS. R. FOULDS, OF SHEFFIELD

    (_Mrs. Foulds, an experienced photographer, describes how she
    obtained a psychic photograph of her mother and a psychograph
    of more than seventy words, under good test conditions. The
    psychic photograph showing Mrs. Foulds’s mother is reproduced
    in fig. 24, with normal photograph of the same lady, fig. 25,
    for comparison._)

The “extra” of my mother (Figure 24) was obtained at 144, Market Street,
Crewe, in February, 1920, under the following conditions: I took a sealed
packet of plates, also my own slide, which, though slightly different
from Mr. Hope’s, fitted his camera; after the usual sitting I went into
the dark room, broke the seal, opened the packet of plates, placed one
in each division of the slide, initialled them, put slide in my dress,
also rest of plates, after being focussed I placed slide in camera
after a thorough examination of same, resumed my seat, when the usual
exposure was made. I then took slide from camera, went into dark room and
developed plates, with result that one was normal and the other bore a
good likeness of my mother (recognised by all of the family who have seen
it). Then Mr. Hope said, “I would like you to choose another plate, any
one you like, from your packet, and develop that, too.” I chose the one
next but one to the bottom of packet, and on developing that, obtained
a message of upward of seventy words dealing with matters of a strictly
private nature.

I wish to state most emphatically that from beginning to end of the
experiment, the packet of plates never left my person, and those
developed were not touched in any way whatever by Mr. Hope or Mrs.
Buxton until they left the fixing bath, neither did the slide leave my
possession except when I placed it in the camera.

                                                (_Signed_) R. FOULDS.

_84a, Eastbank Road, Sheffield._

       *       *       *       *       *

From C. DOVE, ESQ., OF SUTTON-IN-ASHFIELD

    (_In forwarding four psychic photographs with normal
    photographs for comparison, Mr. Dove gives the attestation
    hereunder._)

I can absolutely assure you that these photographs were taken under
strictest test conditions in my home and in the presence of seven
reliable witnesses who are willing to attest to their genuineness.

I myself bought the plates, etc., and was the only one who handled them
until they were developed, which was keenly watched by all. Mr. Hope
never actually touched the plates. They are fine photographs of Mr. W.
J. Cary, Mr. Geo. Dove, of whom there is no normal photo in existence,
and Mrs. Catton. I can quite well assure you that they caused quite a
sensation in Sutton-in-Ashfield where all of them were well known.

                                             (_Signed_) CHARLES DOVE.

_Homelea, Oak Tree Road, Sutton-in-Ashfield._

       *       *       *       *       *

The Evidence of MRS. A. ELIZABETH GRIERE, OF DUNFERMLINE

    (_The likenesses of father and husband were obtained on one
    photograph, the features of the latter being clearer than those
    of the sitter. This photograph is shewn by fig. 26. Fig. 27
    reproduced alongside gives a normal photograph of Mr. Griere
    for comparison._)

I have great pleasure in forwarding the enclosed pictures. My sitting
with Mr. Hope took place in December of 1921. I brought my own plates
as directed, and I wish to state that throughout the whole proceedings
Mr. Hope did not handle these plates unless to load the camera out in
the studio. I took them out of the wrapper, placed them in the slide,
unloaded and developed them. The result of the sitting you have before
you.

I am perfectly satisfied that the “extra” on No. 1 picture is the face
of my husband, and on No. 2 the “extras” are those of my husband and my
father. You will see the undoubted resemblance to the original photograph
herewith enclosed. _I was a total stranger to Mr. Hope and his good
friend, Mrs. Buxton_, and I shall always remain indebted to them both for
their courtesy during my visit to Crewe. I trust this picture may be of
some use to you.

                                      (_Signed_) A. ELIZABETH GRIERE.

_20, Woodmill Road, Dunfermline._

       *       *       *       *       *

The Evidence of E. W. LEE, ESQ., OF SHANKLIN, ISLE OF WIGHT

I am enclosing four photographs, one normal and three psychographs. [Not
reproduced.—ED.] All the psychographs were taken in Crewe. Our first
meeting was arranged through the post. We were quite strangers and had no
mutual acquaintances likely to be in touch with each other. I live in the
Isle of Wight; Mr. Hope in Crewe.

The photograph obtained on the first occasion bears the strongest
likeness to my dear wife.

The whole operations, less the fixing of the slide in the camera and
making the exposure, were undertaken by myself. Although I had not the
slightest reason to suspect Mr. Hope, I treated him by my actions as a
man open to swindle his patrons.

I am satisfied, bearing in mind that Mr. Hope had not access to any
photograph of my wife and following upon the very short time we were
together for the first time in our lives, that the result of that sitting
could not be produced or attained solely by any _material_ means known to
mankind, science and legerdemain included.

In June of this year as we were motoring through the country a friend and
myself called in Crewe. No appointment had been made with Mr. Hope, but
we found him at home. Our dear discarnate friends just before leaving the
island on June 4th and June 11th of this year stated they would go with
us, and my friend’s wife, who had passed over in November, 1921, stated
to her husband that he should see her again. To fulfil this promise we
called at Crewe. The small figure at the back is my friend’s wife. The
other one, if you will compare it with the normal photograph, will not be
difficult to identify as my dear wife. On this occasion the features are
most sharply defined.

I cannot express my thanks too warmly to the Crewe Circle and my own dear
discarnate friends for the trouble taken on our behalf.

                                           (_Signed_) E. W. LEE, ESQ.

_Fearnside, Clarence Road, Isle of Wight._

       *       *       *       *       *

The Evidence of R. S. HIPWOOD, ESQ., OF SUNDERLAND

We lost our only son in France, August 27th, 1918. Being a good amateur
photographer, I was curious about the photos that had been taken by the
Crewe Circle. We took our own plate with us and I put the plate in the
dark slide myself and put my name on it. We exposed two plates in the
camera and got a well-recognised photo. Even my nine-year-old grandson
could tell who the extra was without anyone saying anything to him.
Having a thorough knowledge of photography, I can vouch for the veracity
of the photograph in every particular. I claim the print which I send
you to be an ordinary photograph of myself and Mrs. Hipwood with the
extra of my son, R. W. Hipwood, 13th Welsh Regiment, killed in France in
the great advance in August, 1918. I tender to our friends at Crewe our
unbounded confidence in their work.

                                            (_Signed_) R. S. HIPWOOD.

_174, Cleveland Road, Sunderland._

       *       *       *       *       *

From LEWIS CHILDS, ESQ., OF SHEFFIELD

    (_This description tells of a compact made between two friends
    that the one to pass over first should endeavour to manifest
    to the other. The one friend died, and a few months later Mr.
    Childs went to Crewe and obtained a fine photograph of his
    friend, independently recognised by between two hundred and
    three hundred people who knew him. Mr. Childs’ account is
    accompanied by certificate of recognition from the members of
    the deceased man’s family, who were not spiritualists._)

For five years I worked side by side with Mr. R. H. Turton, and on
several occasions tried to interest him in psychic matters by showing
him various spirit photographs which I and various friends had secured.
He generally greeted the matter contemptuously, and often used the words
“bunkum” and “rubbish.” On one notable occasion, however, after a long
argument, he and I made a compact that which ever of us passed away first
should endeavour to give the other some evidence of continued existence
beyond death.

Mr. Turton passed away on March 17th of this year. Seven weeks later I
visited the Crewe Circle. I made no appointment, and Mr. Hope and Mrs.
Buxton could have no idea that I was coming. I took a packet of plates
with me and conducted the usual examination of the apparatus used. I
opened the box of plates and loaded the carrier. After the exposure had
been made I developed and fixed the plate. Everything was in my own
hands. As the image came up in the developing dish I noted the face of a
man above my right shoulder. The print shows a remarkable likeness to my
friend, R. H. Turton, and I am convinced that he has thus fulfilled the
compact made betwixt us.

I have shown it to his relatives and friends, and his shopmates, and they
have no hesitation in recognising the photograph. Though none of the
relatives are spiritualists, they assert that it resembles him as he lay
in his coffin. No photograph of Mr. Turton had been taken recently, and I
cannot discover one which bears any resemblance to this.

Thus did my friend keep his compact, to convince me that memory lives
beyond death.

                                                (_Signed_) L. CHILDS.

_42, Glover Road, Lowfield, Sheffield._

       *       *       *       *       *

An Account by MRS. A. A. PEARS, OF COVENTRY

On returning from our holidays on August 20th, 1918, my husband and
myself paid a surprise call at 144, Market Street, Crewe. About three
years previously we had lost our little boy of fourteen. None of the
members of the Crewe Circle had ever seen him, or even a photograph
of him. On this occasion we were successful in obtaining a wonderful
photograph of our dear boy. I have not the least doubt about the reality
and genuineness of this photograph. Later on, when in Coventry, Mr. Hope
kindly photographed my little boy’s grave, and we again obtained a fine
photograph of him as he was just before he entered the higher life.
With the Crewe Circle I have obtained some remarkable results. No one
acquainted with the members of that Circle would for a moment doubt their
honesty, and I pray that God may bless and prosper them in their good
work and the sacrifices they make for the benefit of their fellows.

                                              (_Signed_) A. A. PEARS.

_30, Dorset Road, Coventry._

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: FIG. 28.—Photograph of Mrs. E. Pickup with psychic
likeness of her husband. The sitter was an absolute stranger to the Crewe
Circle. (_See_ p. 106.)]

[Illustration: FIG. 29.—Photograph of Mrs. Pickup’s husband for
comparison with his psychic likeness on Fig. 28.]

[Illustration: FIG. 30.—Mrs. Burgess with psychic likeness of her uncle,
Mr. H. D. Barlow. Obtained through the mediumship of Mrs. Deane in the
home of Mr. Fred Barlow, who developed the plate alone in his dark room.
An excellent likeness. A normal photograph of Mr. Barlow is shown in the
inset. (_See_ p. 63.)]

[Illustration: FIG. 31.—Since this book was written, the above important
photograph shows that Mr. F. Barlow, in the presence of three witnesses
(Messrs. Browne, Newton and Gilby), under good test conditions, obtained
through the Crewe Circle a picture of his father. Note how the psychic
face has moved and compare with the Deane result (Fig. 30.) and normal
photograph. (_See_ inset in Fig. 30.)]

What reply can be given to such definite statements as these here
enumerated by reputable witnesses in every grade of life? Every reader
with an open mind will agree that the evidence for the reality of psychic
photography is overwhelming. It is only necessary to repeat that these
reports form but part of a tremendous mass of accumulated evidence, which
is available for any serious student to investigate. Unfortunately, in
a popular volume of this description it is possible only to reproduce
just a few of the photographic results referred to. As far as possible,
however, these photographic effects are being accumulated and preserved
so as to form a permanent record of the truth of psychic photography.


THE END





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Case for Spirit Photography - With corroborative evidence by experienced researchers and photographers" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



Home