An impure force Reidsville and Stratford or the beginning of the mass fascination with spiritualism in the 19th century
In the mid-19th century in a small village Reidsville the state of new York, one man was awakened in the night by a knock at his door. Behind the door no one, however, was not. But as soon as he got back into bed, as once again there was a knock and, despite the repetition of this phenomenon he could not understand his reasons.
After a while his little daughter woke screaming at midnight and told that to her face touched that cold hand.
The matter ended, until eighteen months in this house moved a Methodist Fox with his wife and three daughters. In February 1848, one evening, when the children were put to bed, started again the peculiar knock. One of the girls jokingly began to snap his fingers and the knocking continued to the beat of the sound.
The House Of The Fox
The girl cried: «You now one, two, three, four», etc; before each number she clapped her hands. Unknown creature tapped the same number of strokes. Then Mrs Fox asked him to count to ten, and then heard ten shots. Then she asked about the age of the children, and each of them had received a corresponding number of strokes.
Then she asked, whether a human being produces a knock, but received no response. To her question, not the spirit does this on request, if Yes, knock twice, followed by two shots. She continued her questions further and learned that this spirit was on the earth, a shopkeeper, lived in this house was killed here and buried in the cellar.
Family Fox. The Fox sisters have become popular mediums
Subsequently, an examination of the cellar, and found there a skeleton. This fact attracted the attention of neighbors, who in large numbers converge here to hear a strange knocking, which has since never ceased to repeat; no one could understand why. The family of Fox was recognized as possessed by the devil and expelled from the Methodist Church; soon after, she went to Rochester.
However, here they have again started rattling. As it occurred only in the presence of children, it is assumed that they produce somehow similar sounds. Therefore, a Commission was appointed of the most respected persons in the city, with instructions to investigate the case. She carefully went about it, got the children barefoot on the pillows and made sure that they have no shell, which they could produce knock.
Despite these precautions, the sound continued to be heard on the floor and on the walls, the reason it remained hidden. In the evening, the Fox family began to fall a lot of people to hear that suspicious thud; commonly gathered around a rather large table, and the sounds were coming from him.
Thus was opened the sound of the tables, and soon then the movement of the table, the tolowercase. Many people realized then that these sounds and movements can occur adjacent to them, while other people that never noticed. Thus was established a special ability — mediumship.
Then first in Rochester and then in the neighboring cities began to read public lectures on these remarkable phenomena. Due to this fact became known in wider circles everywhere began to experiment with tables, and in a short time this movement has spread across America and then moved to Europe.
It took a little time to open that spirits can do something other than simply knocking the legs of the table. In séances began to experience all kinds of wonderful things, especially when people are gathered around a table in a dark room.
The items, which no one touched, came in motion; musical instruments themselves, playing entire tunes; the mediums began to speak and tell about things — which they absolutely could not know,— all this pointed that there are higher intelligent beings.
Since all these facts were completely incomprehensible, they encouraged scientists to research them thoroughly. A similar study was produced by the distinguished American lawyer with Edmonds and Professor of chemistry at Gerom. They both joined the Spiritist doctrine, as to the only possible explanation.
At the same time, however, had serious objections against their conclusions: the American hypnotist Daudet is seen in all the descriptions of Edmonds uncertainty and insecurity, which do not give any guarantee that the observed facts are not the result of fraud on the part of mediums in connection with known hypnotic phenomena. Thus, the American scholar failed to protect mediumistic phenomena from doubt.
Barely stopped rattling in Rochester, as in other American city, Stratford, began a similar story. This fact deserves special attention because he gave invited there «heard voices» by Andrew Davis a reason to develop the whole theory of spirits contact with people. Later, Davis called the first American medium.
The incident happened in the house of a preacher, Dr. of theology Phelps. It began, as in Reidsville, with the sound and movements. Moreover, various objects inexplicably fell in the room, and even when locked the doors, this did not prevent them to raise the kind of fuss. Saw one chair rose from the floor and five or six times went down on him with such force that the whole house shook and even the neighbors felt these attacks.
Large metal candelabra on the mantelpiece, was delivered by an unseen force on the floor and, until then, had hit him until I broke. In one of the rooms there were shapes formed from the clothing that was in the house; the clothes were located in such a way that it turned out a kind of people.
Most often, these phenomena were associated with the personality of a young eleven-year-old Harry Phelps. The evil power had tormented him: then burst his clothes, threw him in the well, and once he was even bound and hanging from a tree.
Then began all kinds of destruction: the house had broken Windows and glassware; pulled out the leaves from the notebooks of Dr. Phelps, which lay in a locked Desk; finally, it broke even the fire, that burned many letters and manuscripts.
Once it lasted two years, finally decided to join the hostile forces in the negotiations according to the method specified by the family of the Fox, and then these concerns gradually stopped.
From the book «the World of superstition and magic»