SPIRITUAUSM AND FRAUD
Bailey, the Bird-bringer, Bumped Twns's Tranquillity Disturbed". Grabs at a Ghost. , In these days of rapid communication, both .by steamer and electrical agency, it is strange to learn that a man of the Charles Bailey stamp, so thoroughly exposed m Wellington some years ago as "" a spiritualistic cum raedlumistic fraud, fs able to continue deceiving his dupes, at the rate of live "roberto" a time, by the VERY SAME TRICKS as he attempted to ring on , to tho Wellington public, but which tricks were such palpable fakes as to cstase Bailey's ignominous retreat from the field of spook demonstrators — even Christchurch would not swallow hjm, and that is saying a lot. .*• Though "lost to sight," but "to memory dear" — : at the price — it appears that the said Charles has - been at his old games again m Melbourne, and Sydney. His followers there are either ignorant of his Wellington copers, or, with characteristic spiritualistic density, refuse to believe tho thoroughness of the exposure to which he was made to submit here, . and which led him to ignotnlnously "fieo from .tho wrath to come." "Truth" loams that, for some time post. Bailey has enjoyed a great reputation among spiritualists, .especially m Melbourne and Sydney, as a "medium," and has boen under salaried engagement to ono R. Towns, m tho latter city, to givo Sunday night lectures and two seances per week at Leigh House, m Costlercogh -street. Ono of these seances is termod an "apport seance," during which Bniicy claims' to have '' • ' ] PRODIJCneD^LIVE BIRDS FROM INDIA, ' I a bird's nest from tho same' country, i and archaeological tablets from Babylon — identically the same "stunts" ho staged m Wellington. On tho other night In tho week he gave a j "materialised seance," ' ' when he j brought before his audlonco tho "doparted spirits of the mighty dead" m i visible form. These materialised i spirits appeared m the dark us luinltuitions, and tho audionco had no dif- j flculty m seeing them. Tho rest of ] the story is beat told m Towns's own words. . j "Balloy was under entitlement to j me, by reason of his' assurances, com- , blncd with those of other people, I believed that his 'apports' and 'materialised spirits' were genuine Lately, I» began to- suspect. fraud, so I determined to Investigate tho seajico UUs evening by grabbing the form ot the departed spirit. If I could pass my hand through tho spirit, my doubts would bo lulled to rest If my hand could clutch the spirit— well, 1 would know that there was fraud somewhere. / "On this occasion there were fortyfive people present, who had paid an ADMISSION FEE OP 5s EACH. When wo nrat entered tho room thero wan plenty of light. Bailoy took his position m ono of tho corners of tho room screened oft by two red curtains, which could be drawn to hido tho medium. When wo first saw Bailoy ho was sitting on a chair In the socalled 'cabinet'; and ho addressed tho peoplo, explaining what was about to toko place. Ho said to us, 'I would Uko you people to understand that it would be dangerous to tho health of tho medium to produco a light or mako trny nolao while bo waa m tho trance. Any sudden shock would bring death to tho medium.' Uo ax> plained that tho spirits of tho departed people would appear before thorn, clothed and visible to tho naked eye. He toid uh to put out iho Hghtn and then uaid, 'Sing something.* I led oft with 'Shall wo Gainer at tho River?' At hi* suggestion we Joined hands so an to complete, what ho called, 'a magnetic circle. 1 After wo had suns tyvo versos, th<s curlaina of tho cabinet wcro drawn aside by Bailey, nnd, ftt tho wiruo moment, a SPIRIT APPEARED IS LUMIJNOIi'g FORM. Wo emi)d sec that it woh shaped like a woman, though Its faclnl feature* wero not diHtlnguinhablo. A member of tbu audience waked. "Who In tho Uidyr Ltallcy. m deep tones, replied, 'Thin i 8 tho departed aplrit of a lady who waa onos m a convent at Geulong." A Judy a«k«), 'Can tho wptrit utlkV* Bailey said. 'No. Some medium* produco uplrit* who speak; but that J« very rare. I urn only a physical medium.' Ho produced the luminous forma of four oiber »plrit». Ono of lh<#« *""* a child, but wo could hardly distinguish it. Another bright and nhinlnir personage *"** described n* a danc*r who died ji fow yean* ago m Sydney. It did a. kind of funumde wrl««le a«d DANCED A JIG !*OR US. The final »cen« wo* exciting m Urn extr*m«>. Wbcn Bailey announce tb« loi«t "rpirH." 1 «'«* Kilting n«» r ♦*'<? cabinet, nm) 1 umde a jsrflb ttt the ghemtfy apparition. My hand ***** «n ! contact with m>m*: (limey material Uko (moiuiuiio u^ltinK. At the swn« m«»---tmvnt 1 will«l for a Iherhl. »»«» jt'b«Try struck » maioh. which. »»«»*■- U«\vr. remains! t\UttU\ only » t* w '"**- onil«. U «*» show that I ha«l hrtld of on* end «>f «!»•- r»Jf>(*»i»Ho n««lUnK »ml that l-iailify wtu* pulling >v»r«l ai Uw othrr ond wjth «n« huftd, whil«». with «h^ rtU>^r. h" w«fl tr> intr <o l»» l »" hifi i.|«M«tjr-ji.hM !»•«>«. which. apiKW^nt)y. hf- hatl «»k«jO "ft nml«T ruv^r »f »hf tkirkn<JM*. AmMhnr mnirh wa* mrutk nml «h«? an^* wa* htthtod. Th**r<? wiw, ax oact, mtcA«o cxcitcincni, m «h-j»
midst of which T ttxclaimed, TBafley, J v > have you this time** He throat th» '">. netting- under bis coartTand bwttomad It I up, pkuctne his arms across it. leaned, out to the people. 'SEABCH THIS MAN 4 J - If he has any materlai hidden wader- ; tiis coot, he is a fraud. IT not, I TarfU proclaim his genoiuences!' Soma b£y: the audience cxiod out, "Don't insott> htm! Don*t handle htm rooghly**; Meanwhile he was poshing hard to. , reach the door, and the . crowdV thronged tightty round htm. He called out *Dont tooch mesnr I will ba»a's. you np for assoultf Some of the " people said, HSfere the njan a chance: to explain!' I offered to let Bailey sq; Into the corner and make any expfe-.; nation 2ie> desired; hat he refused. H« threw open tho door, AND RAN DOWN THE BTATRfI, j> wfthout his hat He fled * into theK street, chased by some of the 'men£v and some of the women, aad tootc-tre*' f uge fax a cestdehco tn the city." < " "• . Attempts were afterwards mate toy several newspaper men to interdfcw the spook raiser, but without avail* ; Badger-Uke, he refused to be dnasm, Admission to tho house m which ha took refuge -was firmly refused. " *S The strange port of tho affair is the gullibility of the pubitc. Here is their man, Bailey, ringing m the sameltricks the fraudnltint nature of which; was thoroughly exposed m Wellington. Quite a large excitement reigned here at the time, and the matter found ventilation In column upon, column of nowopapor comment. The time of tho exposure Is not so far distant as to have altogether faded from the minds of those interested m spiritualistic phenomena — if there are such thnigs; yet no one out of -the 4S present on the particular night seems to have been aware of what had pre»'' ( \iously occurred. >■ I" Towns seems to have boen on *%[ pretty good wicket." Porty-ftvo per-; sons at five bob a head, with Bailey, as. salaried showman, meant, at least^ a 'fiver, a night clear profit- 1 — not a'bad game when' tho risk -was "nil."'
See our copyright guide for information on how you may use this title.
Papers Past now contains more than just newspapers. Use these links to navigate to other kinds of materials.
These links will always show you how deep you are in the collection. Click them to get a broader view of the items you're currently viewing.
Enter names, places, or other keywords that you're curious about here. We'll look for them in the fulltext of millions of articles.
Browsed to an interesting page? Click here to search within the item you're currently viewing, or start a new search.
Use these buttons to limit your searches to particular dates, titles, and more.
Switch between images of the original document and text transcriptions and outlines you can cut and paste.
Print, save, zoom in and more.
If you'd rather just browse through documents, click here to find titles and issues from particular dates and geographic regions.
The "Help" link will show you different tips for each page on the site, so click here often as you explore the site.