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Patrick Proctor Alexander - Spiritualism: A Narrative with a Discussion – 03 Rappings on the table get louder and faster



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience


By and by, however, as to the raps, there could be no manner of question : they became quite bold and pronounced, as if delivered by a smart knuckle ; and they were distinctly localized on the table, so that almost the precise point of each impact could be indicated.

Presently — as to the ear it seemed, exactly in the centre of the table — came a tap, tap, tapping, regular, continuous, and prolonged ; on hearing which, Mr. Home announced that he was now nearly sure we should have  manifestations of some sort; and, turning to me he suggested that, as naturally I might wish to test the thing a little curiously, I had better go under the table, and satisfy myself as to whether there was anything there to account for what would probably take place.

Accordingly — though a little loth, as suspecting a slight degradation in it — I performed what Mr. Darwin would call an act of ‘reversion’ ;  and, in the enthusiasm of scientific inquiry, was content, for the nonce, to relapse into the condition of an ‘ape-like progenitor,’ or member of the class Quadrumana. As such, I crept quietly under the table, and kept steady watch there for the space of ten minutes or so ; Dr. Findlater, as an observer of the genus Homo, keeping the like steady watch above.

I may remark that the light under the table, though necessarily dimmer than above, was yet amply sufficient for purposes of clear observation.

For a good while nothing took place but raps, which flew about all over the table ; and I could indicate, when desired by Mr. Home to do so, the precise locale upon the table of each rap as it occurred. Meantime, by anything beneath the table, the raps were entirely unaccounted for; and Mr. Home, in particular, had his feet steadily at rest beneath his chair : his hands, as observed by Dr. Findlater, were quietly before him on the table.

The source of the experience

Home, D. D.

Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items


Activities and commonsteps



Being left handed
Inherited genes