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The following letters appear in the London “Times,” :—“Sir, —Some time ago, being desirous of investigating the truths of so-called Spiritualism, we were advised by an eminent Spiritualist to attend the seances held in 83, Great Russell street (British National Association of Spiritualists). We were assured that the seances conducted at the association were the most genuine in England, and under strict test conditions. On our first visit, the medium being by us with great care, no manifestations followed. At the second visit, January 2, one of us again tied the medium, but under the direction of the chairman, who is officially connected with the institution. A ‘spirit’ soon appeared which we were told was ‘ Marie,’ and was. represented to be that of a dead child twelve years of age. She was dressed in white, her face covered with a veil, and her arms and feet bare. We were surprised to distinguish the appearance of a corset under the white robes, and her voice and general appearance gave us the idea that it was the medium herself Mrs. Comer (nee. Florrie Cook). On the third visit January 9, we were accompanied by a friend, Mr. John C. Fell, engineer and editor of a scientific journal of 23, Rood Lane, E.C. wifh his wife. The ‘ spirit Marie’ again appeared and rendered our former suspicions almost certain by the audible sound of undressing within the curtain, and by the ‘ unspiritual ’ levity of her behaviour and conversation. One of us by a sudden rush intercepted, and gently held the ‘ spirit,’ while another dashed into the curtains, and, drawing them aside, displayed the medium’s empty chair with the knot slipped, her dress, stockings, and boots, and other discarded garments. There was sufficient light from a half obscured candle for the captured ‘ spirit,’ and all the above objects to be plainly seen, which latter were handed round for inspection and examined by those present. After a few minutes —to cover the confusion, we presume—-the candle was extinguished by the official present, and we adjourned to the lower room. All present, except the officials, one of whom took refuge in abuse entirely agreed with us, and thanked us for exposing the deception. Now, sir, we leave on spiritualism to JHKKKLm, wiy*t .we do claim to is that, *1 the first society of in England, one of its best mediums has been detected in personating the spirit herself. Not wishing to further occupy your valuable space, we shall be happy to give fuller information to anyone interested in the cause of truth. George R. Stitwell, Carl von Buch. Witness to the signatures of Sir George R. Stitwell and Carl von Buch, F.O.S. : John 0. Fell, M.1.M.E., Professor of Mechanics. 23, Rood Lane, E. C., 10th January.

A CLEVER TRICK. In a western city of America there lived two young fellows who painted signs for a livelihood. On a certain occasion one of the painters had some outdoor business to attend to, and left the studio in charge of his partner and a boy who was employed to grind paints. During his absence, the partner, to gratify a whim, painted the boy so as to represent a large gash upon his forehead and a cut over his eye. He bespattered the floor with red paint, clotted tne boy’s hair, and made him lie down in a corner; he then painted a great gash on his own cheek, bared his bosom, disordered his dress, dipped a long bladed knife in the red paint pot, and patiently awaited the coming of his partner. Directly afterwards he heard him knock at the door, and then the performance commenced. The partner looked in at the door, and saw the boy prostrate on the floor groaning and crying “Murder!” chairs, tables, benches, jugs, and paint-pots, being strewed about the room in dire confusion while the murderous looking partner with the red knife in his uplifted hand, was running about the room uttering incoherent expressions. It was evident to the artist at the door that his partner had killed the boy. Swift as lightning he fled to obtain assistance, and a number of friends were speedily mustered, and repaired to the scene of the supposed terrible tragedy. The crowd augmented as it neared the shop, and in walked the whole “posse ; ” but in the meantime everything had been set to rights—the boy was without a mark of any kind, the room was in perfect order, no marks of blood were perceptible, and the artist who had been left at home was engaged in painting a sign. On hearing what he was charged with, the latter declared his ignorance of the whole matter but took the opportunity of distributing business cards amongst the crowd, and the result was a great influx of fine art orders.

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Bibliographic details

CAPTURE OF A SPIRIT., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 86, 13 April 1880

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CAPTURE OF A SPIRIT. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 86, 13 April 1880