Braid, James – Inducing catalepsy as a consequence of suggestion only
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Magic, Witchcraft, Animal Magnetism, Hypnotism, and ElectroBiology - James Braid. 1852
I had heard much of an interesting case of a highly susceptible lady, so susceptible to ordinary mesmeric passes that she might be sent off into the sleep by the most simple attempt to produce it, and so sensitive of the influence of magnets that she was quite uncomfortable if a magnet were near her in any room, and in the dark she could point out any part of the room where a magnet of very moderate power was placed, from her seeing the light it produced streaming all around it.
I was kindly invited to spend an evening at this lady's house to afford me an opportunity of seeing and having more particulars of these wonders. I had the pleasure of sitting very near the lady, and of enjoying a long and interesting conversation with her and her husband, and no manifestation whatever took place during the whole time [Mr. Braid, it must be added, had a fourteen pound lifting magnet, with the armature unattached, in his side pocket next to the lady.]
…..Until I had explained my views regarding the power of an act of fixed attention, directed to any part, in modifying the natural condition of the part so regarded.
She was requested to direct her fixed attention to her hand, and watch the result, without anything being done either by her husband or anyone else. She did so, and very quickly fell asleep, and the arm to which she had directed her attention became rigidly cataleptic