THE EXPERIMENTS at the General Institute of Psychology with
constitute some of the most valuable data for metapsychic studies. Their long
duration (three years - 1905, 1906, and 1907), the minuteness and perfection of the
human and mechanical control, the high standing of the scientists who took part
in them - Messrs. d'Arsonval, Gilbert Ballet,
Bergson, de Gramont, M. and Mme.
Curie, and Professor Richet - make these experiments truly decisive.
The results obtained agree in a most striking manner with those of the
Metapsychic Institute. Differences there are, no doubt, and even important
differences, but these are in details and not in essentials.
We will put before our readers some few of the principal stenographic reports,
as they appear in the official resume, comparing them, as occasion serves,
with our own data.
 Edited by M. Jules Courtier, and
published under the title "Documents sur Eusapia Paladino".
No commentary on these is necessary, the conclusions being self-evident.
These were very frequent at the experiments of the General Psychologic
Institute. In the following precis the Roman letters following the date indicate
the number of the séance; the numerals following refer to the page of the
It is noticeable that the raps usually followed an imitative movement made by
(1905, IV., 6) Mr. d'Arsonval controls Eusapia's left hand and knees. Mr. Ballet
controls the right. Eusapia strikes blows in the air, and similar raps are heard
on the table. Mr. Ballet strikes three blows on the table; three raps are
repeated. Mr. d'Arsonval scratches the table twice; this is repeated. Mr. Ballet
claws the table; a little later the same sound is heard.
(1905, X., 4) Eusapia strikes the shoulder of Mr. Curie with her left hand, and
immediately after corresponding raps occur on the table. (Controllers: Left, Mr.
Yourievitch; right, Mr. Curie.)
(1905, X., 8) Eusapia scratches the hand of Mr. Curie, and the scratching is
heard on the table. (Same controllers.)
(1907, II., 8) Eusapia says that she wishes to strike the table with her head;
she bends her head thrice over the table, in (not on) which three loud blows are
heard. (Controllers: Left, Mme. Curie; right, Mr. Debierne.)
(1906, V., 5) At other times raps are heard in the table according with the
number requested. (Controllers: Left, Mr. Curie; right, Mr. Charles Richet.)
(1907, V., 3) At a distance from the table Eusapia makes the gesture of striking
it, and the raps are heard on the table in the cabinet. She makes the gesture of
two blows, and these are heard behind the curtain. (Controllers. Left, Mme.
Curie; right, Mr. Perrin.)
(1905, V., 4) Eusapia strikes the table-top with her fist and asks Mr.
Charpentier to put his hand on the wood. He then feels as if the table-top were
struck under his hand. (Controllers: Left, Mr. Charpentier; right, Mr. Bergson.)
(1905, IV., 2) Eusapia strikes light blows on Mr. Ballet's back, and the same
number of blows is repeated under the hand of Mr. d'Arsonval, placed on a small
table a yard distant from Eusapia, on her left. (Controllers: Left. Mr.
d'Arsonval; right, Mr. Gilbert Ballet.)
If the reader will refer to the records of experiments at the Metapsychic
Institute, he will observe that along with many similarities there is one
notable difference - Eusapia seems to be able to control the raps, which are
produced at her will or command.
With Kluski, on the other hand, the raps were only produced when he was in deep
trance, perfectly still, and unconscious. With Eusapia the raps were usually
near her; with Kluski they were sometimes several yards distant from him. With
Eusapia the raps were a mechanical phenomenon; with Kluski they were
manifestations of an intelligent kind, being the chief means of communication
with the "entities" producing the phenomena.
Movements on objects without contact were much the most frequent phenomena
produced by Eusapia. The following are a few, taken from the official reports:
(1906, III., 3) April 3, 5 hours 34 minutes. The shutters of the two windows of
Room No. 3, in which the experiments were made, were open. (Controllers: Left,
Mr. Yourievitch; right, Mr. d'Arsonval.)
Eusapia asks whether Mr. Bergson, who was outside the chain, sees her two knees.
MR. BERGSON: "Quite well."
The table was sharply raised off its four feet.
MR. YOURIEVITCH: "I am certain that I did not let go her hand."
MR. D'ARSONVAL: "I also."
(1905, IX., 4) Eusapia holds up one of her hands in the air, the other resting
on the hand of Mr. d'Arsonval on the table. Mr. Yourievitch controlled her
knees. The table rose off legs 1 and 2, then off all four. (Controllers: Mr.
d'Arsonval, right; Mr. Yourievitch, left.)
(1905, IV., 3) Eusapia closes her fists and stretches them towards the table,
then places them on the table and raises them off it. The table rises off all
four feet. The registration apparatus recorded this. Messrs. d'Arsonval and
Yourievitch, who were controlling her right and left, declare that her feet and
knees did not move.
(1905, IX., 13) The table was raised off its four legs five times and struck
five blows. 10 hours 30 minutes: The table was raised off its four feet, one of
Eusapia's hands being on that of Mr. d'Arsonval, and the other on the head of
(1905, X., 4-5) 9 hours 58 minutes: The table was raised off all four feet about
12 inches off the floor, and remained in the air seven seconds. Eusapia had one
hand on the table. The candle under the table enabled her knees to be seen; they
did not move.
10 p.m.: The table was raised off all four feet about 10 inches, and remained in
the air four seconds, Mr. Curie alone touching the table, the hand of Eusapia
being upon his. Eusapia moaned and seemed to be making a great effort. The
control was excellent by reason of a candle placed under the table.
10.01 p.m.: The table rose off all four legs and remained two seconds in the
air. The candle below the table was extinguished by the experimenters.
10.02 p.m.: Eusapia held her hands about 12 inches above the table, and it rose
off all four feet without any visible contact. Mr. Curie had his hand on
(1906, IV., 3) The table rose off two feet, then off all four. One of Eusapia's
hands was above the table, and the other on that of Mr. Curie. Her feet were
tied to the chair on which she was sitting. (Controllers: Left, Mr. Curie;
right, Mr. Feilding.)
(1905, IV., 9) Eusapia asked that a heavier weight should be put on the table,
and a weight of 10 kilograms was placed on it. Loaded with this weight, it rose
off all four feet. Mr. Ballet and Mr. d'Arsonval perfectly controlled the hands,
feet, and knees of Eusapia. There was no contact with the table-legs. Eusapia
said she was calm and not exhausted.
The table rose a second time off all four feet, with the hand of Mr. Ballet upon
it, and remained in the air a number of seconds. Mr. d'Arsonval was controlling
Eusapia's left hand, her knees, and her feet.
(1906, II., 8) Eusapia asked that no one should touch the table. Mr. Curie held
her left hand and Mr. Courtier her right. Mr. Yourievitch held her two feet
under the table. The table rose off all four feet under these conditions.
(1905, VII., 22) Eusapia asked that all should stand up and that Count de
Gramont should hold her two legs. Eusapia was standing on a Marey's
weighing-machine. M. de Gramont held her two legs. All the experimenters -
Messrs. d'Arsonval, L. Favre, Vaugeois, and Yourievitch - stood up and linked
hands, Mr. d'Arsonval holding her left hand and Mr. Yourievitch her right.
The table rose so high that its legs 1 and 2 were almost outside the sheaths
round them (see photograph VII [in Documents sur Eusapia Paladino edited
by M. Jules Courtier].)
10 hours 53 minutes: Same control of hands and feet. Someone said: "Higher,
outside the sheaths." The table rose very high and fell back outside the sheaths
(see graph No. 20 [in Documents sur Eusapia Paladino edited by M. Jules
Light objects - porcelain saucers, small boxes covered with lamp - black, a
zither, a violin, etc. - were previously placed in the cabinet. These were
touched and carried on to the table or thrown to the floor (1905, IV., 18, and
1906, IV., 12).
(1905, VI., 18) Eusapia made gestures with her hands, and the zither sounded
inside the cabinet. Eusapia plucked on Mr. d'Arsonval's hand, and the zither
sounded as if twanged by a hand. (Controllers: Left, Mr. d'Arsonval; right, Mme.
(1905, VII., 17-18) Worsted threads had been stretched behind the curtain of the
cabinet, close enough to prevent an arm being put in. Towards the middle of the
experiment we heard these broken, and a few moments later a bundle of these
threads was thrown into the circle. (Controllers: Left, Mr. d'Arsonval; right,
(1905, X., 24) Another time a console-shelf, fixed in a recess of the cabinet,
was detached from its supports. (Controllers: Left, the Marquise de Ganay;
right, Mr. Langevin.) Some much heavier objects have been moved and transported;
for instance, a stool a yard high, loaded with a basin of clay (1905, X., 24),
was placed in the cabinet. It was seen to emerge and re-enter several times by
the opening between the curtains.
It was asked that the basin of clay should be brought on to the table. Eusapia
asked that will should be concentrated to that effect. The stool was then
hoisted on Mr. Curie's shoulder. The basin of clay weighed 7 kilograms, and a
notable effort was needed to raise and hold it with one hand; it measured 12
inches in length by 9 1/2 broad. (Controllers: Left, Mr. Komyakoff; right, Mr.
A small white-wood table has been already mentioned. It was usually placed a
metre distant from Eusapia, on her left. This was often displaced and completely
levitated under diverse circumstances.
To register the horizontal displacements of this object, Mr. Yourievitch had
recourse to the method he had employed at Naples. To the point where its three
legs joined he fastened a cord passing over a pulley. The cord was kept tense by
a weight of 100 grams. This weight rose when the table was pulled away, and fell
when it approached the pulley. An arrangement was made with a stylus touching
blackened paper on a Marey recorder so that all horizontal movements could be
automatically recorded (photograph XVI [in Documents sur Eusapia Paladino
edited by M. Jules Courtier]). We have numerous graphs of these
displacements, showing that the movements really took place and were not
illusory. They also allow of the displacements being accurately measured.
Returning to the stenographic records:
(1905, IV., 5) Eusapia closed her fists, holding her hands in the air, not held
by us, and made gestures of summons and repulsion. The small table moved
correspondingly. (Controllers: Left Mr d'Arsonal; right, Mr. Yourievitch.)
(1905, IV., 14) Eusapia, holding Mr. Ballet's left hand in her right, raised it
above the experimental table towards the smaller table, which rose up. Mr.
Ballet drew his hand back, and the small table approached. Mr. d'Arsonval was
holding Eusapia's left hand. Eusapia said, "Go away," and the small table moved
MR. D'ARSONVAL: "That took place without any apparent contact."
Eusapia held Mr. Ballet's hand and caused him to make a gesture of repelling the
small table, which moved away and was thrown against the wall.
(1906, IV., 10) The small table placed on Eusapia's left, about 1/2 yard from
her chair, was completely levitated, while her feet were tied to the legs of her
chair and her hands attached to the wrists of the controllers. At its full
height on a level with Mr. Curie's shoulders, it was reversed and placed top
downwards and legs up, and so deposited on the table before the experimenters.
The movement was slow, as if carefully guided. (Controllers: Left, Mr. Curie;
right, Mr. Yourievitch.)
"What is most astonishing," said Mr. Curie, "is the precision with which the
small table was guided so as to touch nobody. It made a circuit in coming on to
the table, but did not touch me at all."
(1905, IV., 12) The small table was raised under Mr. d'Arsonval's hand, which
was exerting a contrary pressure, stated by him as 2 to 3 kilograms. It was
carried on to the larger table. We tried to push it back, but without effect. It
was suddenly raised ½ yard and put on Mr. d'Arsonval's shoulder, then replaced
on the table. Messrs. Ballet and d'Arsonval tried to push against it, and felt a
MR. D'ARSONVAL: "It is just like the resistance of a magnetic field."
It is obvious from the reports how clear and undeniable were the phenomena. In
his official report Mr. Courtier says that two of the phenomena should be held
1. The complete levitation of the table while its legs were enclosed in
immovable sheaths fixed to the floor, when the control of the hands and knees of
the medium was perfect; and
2. The movement of the small table away from the medium and to a great distance
"Let us now analyse the conditions of displacement when the small table was a
yard distant on Eusapia's left. It advanced and retreated on her gesture. When
moving towards her it may be imagined that, despite the most careful precautions
against fraud, she might use a wire so fine as to be invisible. The effort
required to displace so light an object was tested by Messrs. Courtier and
Yourievitch as 1 kilogram only. But how can its retreat be explained?"
(Mr. Courtier explains at some length that no possible mechanism could have been
installed to produce this, and that the movement did not take place in a
straight line, but was curvilinear, to avoid obstacles.)
In the last experiment described above it is stated:
"Neither Mr. Curie, nor Mr. Feilding, nor Mr. Yourievitch, nor Mr. Courtier, who
all saw the fact in a light sufficient to observe all its phases, could see any
suspicious movement of the medium, who remained tied hand and foot the whole
time. The small table thus transported had a circular top 40 centimetres (16
inches) in diameter, was 55 centimetres (20 inches) high, and weighed 1¼
kilograms (nearly 2½ Ibs.)."
In our experiments with Kluski we avoided phenomena of telekinesis as far as
possible, aiming at complete materialisations. We had therefore but few. Such as
did occur were similar to those with Eusapia, except that they were independent
of the will of the medium, who was entranced and inert.
The same similarity is to be remarked in the case of contacts. Some records of
the General Institute of Psychology are as follows:
The persons near the cabinet often felt touches on their arms, shoulders, and
heads, as if by invisible hands, which they judged to be sometimes large and
(1905, IV., 11) MR. D'ARSONVAL: "I felt a pressure on my temple. It was a
cotton-like contact, but very distinct." (Controls: Mr. d'Arsonval, left; Mr.
(1905, VI., 11) MR. KREBS: "I felt a pressure on my left arm, like a ball of
cotton." (Controls: Mr. d'Arsonval, left; Mr. Krebs, right.)
(1907, IX., 9) MME. CURIE: "I am touched, quite clearly; a finger touched my
back. I am sure of the control on my side; the hand controlled by Mr.
Yourievitch could not reach my back." Mr. Yourievitch declares his control
perfect. MME. CURIE: "Her hand did not even try to leave mine; she pressed
strongly on mine."
MME. CURIE: "Now I am strongly grasped by the shoulder and pulled for a
considerable time. At that moment the control was better than ever, for Eusapia
grasped my, hand very hard. I felt a strong and increasing pressure."
MR. YOURIEVITCH: "At that moment she squeezed my hand with her fingers."
The contacts were energetic, even sometimes to the extent of being painful.
(1905, IX., 12) Mr. Yourievitch placed his hand on Eusapia's head. He said: "I
am grasped and pinched as with finger-nails, and it even hurt." (Control: Mr.
d'Arsonval, left; Mr. Yourievitch, right.)
The hands constantly evaded being touched.
(1907, VII., 12) MR. BRANLY: "I tried to seize it, but could not. It came and
went. There was something rounded under the curtain."
The curtain went forward twice towards Mr. Branly. He said: "There is the hand!
It has come! ... There it is again!" At other times the hands pulled the hair
and ears of the controllers, undid the knots of their neckties (1906, L, 15),
and pulled their chairs from under them.
(1905, L, 13) MR. YOURIEVITCH: "My chair was pulled two or three times as if by
a hand. I remained sitting on it. Then it was very strongly pulled away from
under me, and I fell and hurt myself." (Control: Mr. Yourievitch, left; Mr.
The hands act sometimes as high as the top of the junction of the curtains.
(1907, VII., 11) Eusapia asks that someone should get up on the table.
Mr. Yourievitch kneels on the table facing the curtain.
MR. YOURIEVITCH: "I put my hand near the curtain." (Eusapia raises her arm to
show that she cannot reach Mr. Yourievitch's hand.)
MR. YOURIEVITCH: "Something has taken hold of the curtain by the side of my hand
quite high up."
One controller sometimes feels two touches at once, or both are touched at the
(1905, XII., 10) Mr. Curie and Mr. Langevin are touched simultaneously. Eusapia
says that two phenomena will come.
MR. LANGEVIN: "I am grasped on the arms and leg at the same time."
10 hours 18 minutes: Mr. Langevin has his hand and arm grasped at the same time.
(Control: Mr. Curie, left; Mr. Langevin, right.)
These were of the same kind with Eusapia as with Kluski, but much more powerful
with the latter. At the General Institute of Psychology there were neither
"human nebulas" nor "luminous phantoms," but this difference is quantitative,
not in essence. Kluski is trained towards the complex ectoplasmic phenomena,
Eusapia more especially to telekinesis.
(1905, VI., 18-19) MR. D'ARSONVAL: "There are constantly lights on Eusapia's
forehead, especially on the left side. They form, go out, and reappear."
MME. DE GRAMONT: "There are bluish lights in the air."
MR. D'ARSONVAL: "The phenomena of phosphorescence are very distinct; it shows up
against the dark background of the curtain. I see it very well."
MME. DE GRAMONT: "I see blue lights come from Eusapia on to the table."
Eusapia was lying on a long chair in the cabinet. With her consent she was tied
from shoulders to feet with canvas bands fastened to rings fixed under the
chair, and her sleeves were pinned with safety-pins to the upholstery of the
chair itself (see photograph XVII [in Documents sur Eusapia Paladino
edited by M. Jules Courtier]).
(1906, VIII., 12) At Eusapia's request, Mr. Courtier sat inside the cabinet at
the foot of the long chair. He said: "I see vague lights mount up, apparently
from the middle of Eusapia's body, and move towards the join between the
curtains." At the same moment the sitters say that they perceive a light, like a
kind of hand, in the opening of the curtains.
(1906, IX., 17) Mr. Courtier, sitting as before near the long chair on which
Eusapia is tied down, says: She, speaking of herself in the third person, tells
him to look at the fluids which emanate from her - luminous vapours - and to
announce when he sees them. He said: "I perceive lights, very faint at first,
like white or phosphorescent clouds, moving in the cabinet above Eusapia's body.
When they become brighter they go towards the opening in the curtains and seem,
as they condense, to rise vertically." The sitters outside the cabinet saw them,
in their turn, at the opening.
(1907, XIII., 14-16) Luminous points appear over Eusapia's head. She then rubs
Mr. Debierne's hands, and a spark seems to come from them. She tells Mme. Curie
to rub her hands together, and four bright points are seen successively before
her hands. Eusapia carries Mme. Curie's hand to her (Eusapia's) head, and a
spark comes from it. Eusapia then touched Mme. Curie's head, and a luminous
point seems to come from it.
(1906, XL) Mr. Jarry Desloges, who observed the luminous points very closely,
describes them thus: "The bright point lights up what look like nebulous rings
to its left, but these nebulas seem to stop at one level as if the bright point
were on an opaque support."
The principal difference in this part of the phenomena as between Eusapia and
Kluski is the mediocrity of the former; but her manifestations are like a first
attempt at the more perfect kind.
The luminous appearances produced near Eusapia often take on more or less
(1905, VI., 11) A hand is seen above the head of Eusapia at the parting of the
curtains. Mr. Courtier says: "The fingers appeared first, were then raised, and
I could see the palm." Mr. d'Arsonval says: "I saw a closed hand, which then
opened." (Controllers: Mr. d'Arsonval, left; Mr. Krebs, right.)
(1905, XL, 24) Mr. Yourievitch sees a hand rest four fingers on Eusapia's head.
M. de Gramont saw it, too. Mme. de Gramont saw something like a white hand place
itself on Eusapia's head. Mr. Yourievitch feels a hand grasp his head. M. de
Gramont saw the hand come from the curtain and rest on Mr. Yourievitch's head.
(Controllers: Left, Mr. Curie; right, Mr. Yourievitch.)
(1907, VI., 14) Eusapia says that she wants to make two hands at the same time -
one that touches and one that can be seen.
Mme. Curie, Mr. Courtier, and Mr. Debierne see the form of a hand, not very
distinct, but luminous. Mr. Yourievitch is twice touched. MR. PERRIN: "I could
not say it was a hand." MR. DEBIERNE: "Not a real hand, but an attempt at a
hand." (Controllers: Mr. Yourievitch, left; Mr. Debierne, right.)
At other times what looked like dark members, dark shadow outlines, were seen.
(1905, X., 12) What looked like a dark arm was seen clearly by Mr. Curie and Mr.
Yourievitch close to Mr. Komyakoff's elbow.
Again, Mr. Curie, Mr. Bergson, Count de Gramont, Mr. Komyakoff, and Mr.
Yourievitch see a black arm come from the left side of the curtain, advance
several times and touch Mr. Komyakoff's shoulder strongly. (Controllers: Mr.
Komyakoff, left; Mr. Curie, right.)
(1906, VIII., 13) Eusapia, tied on the long chair as before, was alone in the
cabinet. Hands were linked outside the cabinet round the table. The sitters saw
something like a dark head and bust of a man, covered with white drapery, appear
for a moment at the opening of the curtains.
Control of the Medium
The method of control at the experiments by the General Institute of Psychology
and those at the Metapsychic Institute was essentially the same. It consisted
mainly in holding both her hands; but this method of control was much more sure
with Kluski than with Eusapia. For while Eusapia was in continual agitation,
Kluski was in a lethargic state and made no movements at all. Under these
conditions the control of his hands and whole body was very easy and gave
perfect satisfaction. Kluski could never have made the slightest movement
At the Psychological Institute mechanical control was largely used and
constituted a great reinforcement of the human means.
At the Metapsychic Institute we used a new method of control for the mouldings -
admixture of colouring matter and chemical reagents secretly put into the
Our purpose was to get phenomena that would be impossible to make by trickery
under the conditions of the experiment. In this we fully succeeded.
Comparison of the experiments at the General Institute of Psychology with those
at the Metapsychic Institute is most instructive, and we call the attention of
all honest opponents to this similarity.
The above article was taken from Gustave Geley's "Clairvoyance and
Materialisation: A Record of Experiments" (London: T. Fisher Unwin Limited,