Phenomena Without Darkness

"Home always refused to sit in the dark. He said that, with firmness and

perseverance, the phenomena could be got just as well in the light, and

even if some of the things were not so strong, the evidence of one's

eyesight was worth making same sacrifices for. In almost all the seances

I had with Home there was plenty of light to see all that occurred, and

not only to enable me to write down notes of what was taking place, but

to read my notes without difficulty. Home was very anxious to let

everyone present be satisfied that he was not doing any of the things

himself--too anxious, I sometimes thought, for frequently he would

interfere with the progress and development of what was going on by

insisting that some sceptic or other should come around and take hold of

his hands and feet to be sure he was not doing anything himself. At

times, he would push his chair back and move right away from the table

when things were moving on it, and ask those furthest from him to come

round and satisfy themselves that he had nothing to do with the

movements. I used frequently to beg him to be quiet, knowing that, if he

would not move about in his eagerness to convince us of his genuineness,

the strength of the phenomena would probably increase to such a degree

that no further evidence would be needed that their production was

beyond the powers of the medium.

Test Conditions.

"During the whole of my knowledge of D. D. Home, extending for several

years, I never once saw the slightest occurrence that would make me

suspicious that he was attempting to play tricks. He was scrupulously

sensitive on this point, and never felt hurt at anyone taking

precautions against deception. He sometimes, in the early days of our

acquaintance, used to say to me before a seance, 'Now, William, I want

you to act as if I were a recognized conjurer, and was going to cheat

you and play all the tricks I could. Take every precaution you can

devise against me, and move about and look under the table or where else

you like. Don't consider my feelings. I shall not be offended. I know

that the more carefully I am tested the more convinced will everyone be

that these abnormal occurrences are not of my own doings.' Latterly, I

used jokingly to say to him, 'Let us sit round the fire and have a quiet

chat, and see if our friends are here and will do anything for us. We

won't have any tests or precautions.' On these occasions, when only my

family were present with him, some of the most convincing phenomena took


Persistent Watchful Waiting Physical Phenomena facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail