Saturday, September 26, 2009

Now, WHAT Did You Say This Was?

Onward, Upward, and Around the Corner on Poltergeists et al: [as promised, more of Ernesto Bozzano's summary of his studies]. "In their visual form, the phenomena of haunting comprise luminous manifestations and phantom-apparitions. The luminous manisfestations are fairly frequent; usually there is a diffuse light, illuminating a site in such a way as to render the phantoms visible; or they are lights emanating from the apparition itself. In some cases they take the form of spheroid lights with vague outlines, which run rapidly along a short trajectory and then disappear; more rarely they take the shape of globular lights with sharp outlines, and remain for a long time while floating in the air. And there is finally the case of a light seeming to shine from a hallucinatory lamp or candle, carried by a phantom, or even the embers, no less hallucinatory, of a dead fire near which the apparition seems to crouch. The visualized phantoms, except for a few apparitions of animals, always clothe themselves in human form. Far from showing themselves swathed in the spectral white drapery of old legend, they seem to be dressed in the costume of the period in which they lived....Generally they appear so lifelike that they could be thought alive....Usually they seem to enter a door, pursue their way and enter another room, where they disappear; but often they appear suddenly and vanish from the spot like vapor, or they disappear by passing through a wall or a closed door....Manifestations are usually preceded by a vague feeling of "presence" which seizes the percipient and causes him to glance in the direction where the phantom appears. If the apparition draws near, the percipient feels a kind of cool breeze."----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bozzano had this conclusion: "Whoever, instead of losing himself in idle discussion [amen, brother] undertakes systematic and deep researches in metaphysical phenomena, and who perseveres in them for long years, ...must without fail, end up by convincing himself that metaphysical phenomena constitute an admirable assemblage of proofs, all converging as to a centre toward the rigorously scientific demonstration of the existence and of the survival of the Spirit". Well, Ernesto, I wouldn't phrase it in quite those "scientific" terms, but some of this stuff is very persuasive of that. Unfortunately there has been a great deal of bogus "proofs" as well. Up in the picture insert are two guys who had an interest in these matters. The big fellow is Arthur Conan Doyle. The small fellow is Harry Houdini. Houdini certainly wanted to believe but spent his life exposing fake "apport mediums" [persons claiming to produce physical phenomena] over and over. Doyle wanted to believe even more than that, accepting some things even in the face of very contrary evidence or suspicion. Nearing the end of his life, Doyle scanned a great number of "prophecies" that had been presented to him [often through his own wife's automatic writing] and saw that none of it had come true [something of no surprise to me since I believe on theological grounds that you can not "see" the future]. Doyle's response to this was to wonder if he had not been made the butt of a long term practical joke by a denizen of the Spirit world. My intuition is that Doyle himself may or may not have been "joked", but that the concept is not a silly one. What Bozzano's and other "serious" researchers tend not to include in their conclusions is "personality". A lot of this stuff expresses NOT goodness or evil or even random mechanicalness, but whimsey, emotion, and...individuality. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Among Herbert Thurston's encyclopedic gatherings of incidents, was one from 18th century Germany [yeh, I know, there wasn't any "germany" yet...picky, picky] from a chemical doctor named Gerstmann. There were poltergeist "throwing events" all over the laboratory [reminiscent of the famous "Miami poltergeist"]. Some of the violence occurred while objects were still in the hands of the witnesses. Many manifestations also occurred in the home. Gerstmann's pipe was stolen. His wig was tied in unravelable knots. A new wig was tossed into hot water. At this point it is still alarming but beginning to get funny. Finally, a voice was heard: "The end, The end today of mischief and stench." And it was over. Well, the Irish would say that this was pretty leprechaunish. My current feelings about these things is that they stem not from devils nor angels, but from consciousnesses in a strange way like our own. Consciousnesses that have the capacity to act well or ill, either way. Spirits that have the capacity to still choose between a good or a bad act, and who often differ by the day. Some of these characters, like ourselves, may have degenerated into being pretty consistently "bad" actors. Some, like ourselves, may be consistently pretty "good". All may be making judgements as to what's good or bad for themselves or for others of their association.-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I'm going to tell one last story that will probably be well beyond your ability to tolerate. When I was in Biochemistry Grad school, we had two post-doctoral fellows on the floor, one from Pakistan, one from India. Both were fine and friendly folks. One evening [and there are plenty of "evenings" as a grad student], Aslam, the Indian PhD, told us of a happening when he was a teenage boy in India. His family had moved to a new city, one of the big ones,I can't remember which. This city was like many others--lots of abandoned big houses for new occupants. It must have been common there to rent just one floor of a home, while the upper floor and its 6-10 rooms remained empty. This is what Aslam's family did. According to contract they were not supposed to go upstairs at all. Well, you guessed it. At night [usually] they would hear all manner of sounds from the upper story. Aslam's father naturally thought that there might be "squatters" and they could be dangerous to the family, which had small children younger than Aslam, the oldest. So he and Aslam explored the upper story several times, finding no signs of occupation. But there were other things: downstairs and external doors left unlocked and open day and night---most of this happened overnight and would be discovered in the morning. After a while the father was rummaging widely upstairs looking for the culprits. Then one evening, the family gathered for dinner but the youngest daughter was missing, a girl of about three. Once realized, Aslam had a sense of great alarm and urgency, and ran out of the dining room to the foot of the stairs. His family was quickly in pursuit, in time to see the little girl plummet over the second floor railing and into Aslam's arms--fortunately unhurt. As family gathered around, the girl said in a strange voice not at all like her own: STAY OUT OF OUR PLACE!. and then lapsed into a confused normalcy. Aslam and his family were from then on convinced that they were sharing a house with Djinn...and they never went back to the second floor. Maybe you can swallow that, maybe not. I tell it to you as it was told to a pretty good fellow, but, who knows? KNOCK KNOCK Who's REALLY There?


  1. "Doyle's response to this was to wonder if he had not been made the butt of a long term practical joke by a denizen of the Spirit world."

    didnt some of the spiritist / mediums in that era warn people that such entities are prone to lying and mischief ? also i remember A.Crowley mention these observations too about these entities (though imho A.C was also 'used' by high ranked entities to spread lies)

    1. Why anyone would trust anything Crowley said puzzles me.



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