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Observations placeholder

Gambier Bolton, Robert – Ghosts in Solid Form – Experiment 10 Test with a trance Sensitive, resulting in the materialisation of a French dancing-girl , fully materialised from head to foot



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience


Place — my Jumae in London. Sensitive JS, female aged about 49.

The results of this experiment were, so far as I am personally concerned, the most wonderful, and at the same time the most convincing of all the tests which I have obtained.

Experimenting with a picked set of Sitters in my own room (with Sir William Crookes' Sensitive), the French dancing-girl was standing fully materialised from head to foot, barely six feet away from me, three or four feet away from the Sensitive, and directly opposite the gas-bracket; the flame being turned up to its full height, the light being only slightly shaded with a piece of yellow paper, in order that the direct rays from the gas might be somewhat softened before falling upon her, as otherwise her features would soon begin to melt and to run, exactly in the way that soft wax will melt in the presence of heat -an extremely painful and unpleasant sight to witness, as I know by experience.

She had been talking to us for five minutes, and showing us as usual her hands and arms, feet and legs, as she was evidently extremely proud of their beautiful modelling— when she turned to me and asked me to leave my seat and come and stand beside her. I did this, and she at once moved up quite close to me and rested her little head upon my right shoulder.

I noticed that, although her features appeared to be smaller than those of a normal young woman of her age on earth, she was considerably taller than the Sensitive, then a rather short and stout woman of nearly fifty, and the mother of two grown-up daughters. Her complexion was beautifully fair, whilst that of the Sensitive was very dark, the hair in each case following the general colouring.

Her ears were unpierced, while the Sensitive always wore ear-rings. These things satisfied me that the entity and the Sensitive were two absolutely separate beings. But not content with this, I, for the first and only time during the seven years which I devoted to this investigation, broke conditions : but the desire to settle the great problem once and for all so overmastered me that I very gently passed my right arm completely round the entity, and found that I was clasping the thin waist of a young girl, which felt bath warm and firm to the touch through the white drapery with which it was covered ; the measurement certainly not exceeding fifteen to sixteen inches, whereas the waist measurement of the Sensitive that night was twenty-four inches.

In this way, then, I received my final test, a test so absolutely convincing that I never asked for another one; and although I continued my investigations for several years longer, and with five other Sensitives, no entity ever gave me such a test as this, nor did I consider it necessary to ask them for another one.

But our red-letter evening was not yet over by any means, for, instead of displaying anger at my breaking conditions so deliberately, the entity merely smiled at the Sitters as I held her firmly in my grasp for half a minute or more, and did not attempt to take her head from my shoulder until I had released her from my grasp. I then apologised to her for what I had done, and, thanking her for giving me so wonderful a test, I returned to my seat.

She then invited a lady to take her stand beside her, singling out one who up to that moment had always candidly admitted that she regarded this social Sensitive to be a fraud.

The lady left her seat, and stood close to the entity, who at once rested her head upon the lady's shoulder, permitting her to place her arm round the girl's waist ; and a very charming picture they made, the lady being dressed in a modem evening costume, the girlish form of the entity being clad in flowing robes of dazzling whiteness. They stood like this for nearly a minute, when we heard the entity ask the lady to turn her head round, and to look at the spot where the Sensitive was sitting in deep trance, only about four feet away.

She did this, and stated that she could see the Sensitive distinctly, her head drooping upon her chest, her arms and hands hanging loosely at her sides, and her body clothed in black velvet ; for she always insisted on wearing not only a black dress during our experiments with her, but black underclothing throughout, even giving to us her pocket-handkerchief just before she passed into trance, so that no one could ever accuse her of masquerading as a materialised entity clad in white robes.

The source of the experience

Gambier Bolton, Robert

Concepts, symbols and science items




Science Items

Activities and commonsteps