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Savage, Dr Minot Judson - Psychics : facts and theories – 02 A brief story of one of his own experiences of a New York lady with medium skills



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Psychics : facts and theories – M J Savage

II. I will now tell a brief story of one of my own experiences in this line.

Until within the past year or two there lived in New York city a lady who, when a girl, had been somewhat known as a " medium." But for twenty or thirty years she led a quiet homelife with her husband, a well-known businessman. But intimates in the house told stories of remarkable occurrences. For example, a friend of this family has told me how, when at breakfast, after having spent the night there, raps would come on the table; and by means of them, how long and pleasant conversations would be held with those who once had walked the earth, but now were in the unseen. This is his belief.

Having occasion to pass through New York, this friend, above referred to, gave me a letter of introduction, saying he knew I would be welcomed if I called at the house of this lady.

I had never seen her, nor she me, but one morning I presented myself with my letter. I was shown into the back parlor. Carpenters were at work on a conservatory opening out of this room where the lady had received me.

They made more or less noise, but not enough to interfere with our conversation. Soon I began to hear raps, apparently on the floor, and then in different parts of the room. On this, the lady remarked, simply,

" Evidently there is some one here who wishes to communicate with you. Let us go into the front parlor, where it will be quieter."

This we did, the raps following us, or rather beginning again as soon as we were seated. At her suggestion I then took pencil and paper (which I happened to have in my bag), and sat at one side of a marble-top table, while she sat at the other side in a rocker and some distance away. Then she said,

"As one way of getting at the matter, suppose you do this : You know what friends you have in the spirit world. Write now a list of names — any names you please, real or fictitious, only among them somewhere include the names of some friends in the spirit world who, you think, might like to communicate with you, if such a thing were possible."

I then began. I held a paper so that she could not possibly have seen what I wrote, even though she had not been so far away. I took special pains that no movement or facial expression should betray me. Meantime she sat quietly rocking and talking. As I wrote, perhaps at the eighth or tenth name, I began to write the name of a lady friend who had not been long dead. I had hardly written the first letter before there came three loud, distinct raps. Then my hostess said,

'This friend of yours, of course, knows where she died. Write now a list of places, including in it the place of her death, and see if she will recognize it." This I did, beginning with Vienna, and so on with any that occurred to me. Again, I had hardly begun to write the real name, when once more came the three raps. And so on, concerning other matters. I speak of these only as specimens.

Now, I cannot say that in this particular case the raps were not caused by the toe joints of the lady. The thing that puzzles me, in this theory, is as to how the toe joints happened to know the name of my friend, where she died, etc., which facts the lady herself did not know, and never had known.

Certain theories, as explanations of certain facts, are already regarded as demonstrated by those familiar with the results of psychic investigation. Among these are hypnotism, clairvoyance, telepathy, and the agency of the subconscious self as active about matters with which the conscious self is not familiar. Can the simplest, genuine rap be explained as coming under either of these? No one has the slightest idea how, and as yet there is nothing in this direction that, even by courtesy, can be called a theory ; but it may be possible that these raps are produced by psychic power. If so, …. the psychic herself does not know even that she does it, much less how.

Are they the work of the sub-conscious self ?

No sub-conscious self has ever claimed to do it.

And if so, from what source does this subconscious self, ... obtain a knowledge of facts the psychic never knew ? To explain these cases in accordance with any yet accepted theories, mind-reading must also be introduced.

This New York lady must have been able, not only to produce the raps, consciously or unconsciously, but also to read my mind and tell me things she never knew before.

But these things, if they do no more, reveal such an extension of mental power as to lead us into a world vastly unlike that which is recognized by ordinary scientific theories ; and it may be well for us to be on our guard lest we invent theories more decidedly supernormal than the facts we seek to explain.

The source of the experience

Savage, Dr Minot Judson

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