The Methods Of A Doctor Of The Occult

Not so very long ago I met a friend--a man of wealth, who was a

firm believer in spiritualism, and who frequently conversed with

his dead wife and daughter. I asked him if he could inform me

whether or not there were any good mediums in the city, as I should

like to consult one.

He replied that at present there were none in Omaha of any well-

developed psychic powers; that he was entirely satisfied on th

subject and did not require any demonstrations to convince himself

of the truths of spiritual science. He informed me that the

question was settled beyond all dispute; but that if I were

skeptical, there was said to be a medium in Council Bluffs who

possessed most wonderful powers.

I accordingly made other inquiries from those who were in a

position to know; and I learned that this medium, a celebrated

"Doctor of the Occult, Astrologer, Palmist and Spirit Medium," was

at that time giving private sittings in Council Bluffs to earnest

inquirers only, for the small sum of two dollars.

I was informed that his performances were of the most wonderful

nature; that there was no possibility of trickery of any kind; that

he told you whatever you desired to know, without your even asking

him; that, in addition to this, he had powers over the elements of

nature; and, in fact, I was led to believe that he was a true

sorcerer of the olden days.

I determined at once to call on this renowned personage, and try to

secure a little information from the unseen world. Accordingly,

one Sunday afternoon I took the car that crossed the river, and in

due time arrived at the apartments of this wonderful doctor.

I was met at the door by an attendant, who accepted the fee and

directed me to enter the rooms of this mysterious person quietly;

and if I found him employed, by no means to disturb him, but merely

to await his pleasure; that he was frequently conversing with

unseen beings, or deep in some astrological computation, and at

such times it was not safe to disturb him.

With a beating heart I entered the room where he was to be found.

This room was a large one. I did not see him at first. What

attracted my attention was a large map or painting on a piece of

canvas which hung on a wall space in the room. This painting had a

representation of the sun in its center. This could be discovered

by the rays which radiated from it in all directions. Around this

sun were many stars, and an occasional planet, among which Saturn

and its rings were very prominently depicted. There were numerous

pictures of animals and men, and of queer monsters, scattered among

the stars.

Beneath this picture stood a large golden oak table at which sat

this delver into the occult, deeply engrossed in a study of this

painting; while with a little brush he figured and calculated, in a

queer sort of Chinese characters, which he drew on a sheet of

paper. He also seemed to be making a strange drawing on the same

paper. He was far too deeply engaged to notice my entrance, and

continued at his labors for some time, while I stood quietly and

watched him. Sitting on one end of this rather large table was a

glass globe or vessel, supported by three nickeled rods, something

like a tripod. Coming from the wall was a rather large nickeled

tube or pipe which curved over above the glass vessel, and

continually allowed drops of water to fall into the globe. From

the side of this glass vessel there led a small nickeled pipe which

evidently carried away the waste water.

Occasionally a little blue flame would appear on the surface of

this water, play about, and disappear. When this happened the body

of the medium was always convulsed slightly.

After a time he seemed to finish his calculation, and this seer

condescended to leave the realms of the stars wherein dwelt the

spirits that rule the universe and the destinies of men, and to

descend to earth and for a time direct his gaze toward this humble

mortal. He turned around and observed me for the first time. He

was a large, portly, fine-looking gentleman of middle age, with

very long black hair which gave him a strange appearance. He wore

a pair of glasses low down on his nose; and from over these he

condescended to direct his gaze at, and to study me for a moment as

a naturalist might study some specimen that happened temporarily to

attract his notice.

He soon informed me that the stars had told him something of my

coming and of the question that was worrying me; and he asked me if

I desired to consult the stars as to my destiny, to have him

decipher it from the lines of my palm, or whether I should prefer

to converse with the dead. The last was my choice.

Not far from a window at one side of the room there was a small

table on which were a few articles. He directed me to be seated at

this table, and handed me a slip of paper of a size of probably

four by five inches. He directed me to write the question I

desired answered on this paper, and when through to fold the paper

in halves three times with the writing inside. I did so while he

walked to his bowl of water apparently paying no attention to me,

and then returned.

When he had returned to a position opposite me at the table, he

reached to take my writing out of my hand; seeing which I quickly

bent down one corner of the paper and gave it to him. He directed

one sharp glance at me as I did this, at the same time picking up

an envelope from the table with his other hand. He held this

envelope open flap side toward me, and slowly inserted my paper

into it. As he did this, looking sharply at me, he remarked, "I am

no sleight-of-hand performer. You see your question is actually in

the envelope." This was the case; for it was close to me and I

could plainly see the top of it against the back of the envelope,

the lower portions being inserted; and I could see the little

corner folded down, as I had bent it, and I was certain he had not

exchanged it. In fact he took occasion to use his hands in such

manner that I could see there was nothing concealed about them,

that he "palmed" nothing, and that he made no exchange. I was

entirely satisfied that all was fair, and that no exchange had been


Next, he sealed the envelope, and holding it toward the window,

called my attention to the fact that as the envelope was partly

transparent I could see my paper within it and that it was actually

there. This was really the case. He now took a match, and

lighting it applied the flame to this identical envelope without

its leaving my sight; and proceeded to burn the last vestige of it

and the paper within it, allowing the ashes to drop into a small

vessel on the table.

There was no doubt that he did not exchange envelopes and that he

burned it before my very eyes. He now took the ashes and emptied

them into the bowl of water on the side table. A little blue flame

appeared on the surface of the water after that for a moment, and

then disappeared.

He now brought from a drawer a number of slates--about eight or ten

small slates with padded edges. They were the smallest size of

slates, I should judge; and with them he brought another slate, a

trifle larger, probably two inches both longer and wider. He

requested me to examine thoroughly or to clean them all to my own

satisfaction, and to stack the small ones on the table, one on top

of the other; and when all were thus placed, to place the large

slate on top of the stack.

While I was doing this he called to his attendant for a drink of

water, and incidentally stepped into the hall to receive it, so

that his menial would not profane this sanctuary with his presence.

Returning to the table he took a seat opposite me and placed one of

my hands and one of his on top of the slates. In due time he took

up the slates and we found nothing. He replaced them, and waited

for a few moments; then seeming dissatisfied with conditions, he

took up the top slate in his left hand and with his right hand

began writing a message for me. He did this like mediums do

automatic writing, with eyes half closed; and while writing his

person was convulsed a few times. He then opened his eyes and read

aloud what he had written, asking me if it answered my question. I

replied that it did not, as it was entirely foreign to the subject.

Then seeming dissatisfied, he moistened his fingers, erased the

writing, and replaced the top slate on the stack of slates.

He now placed his hands on this slate again, and after a time

examined it; but it was still free from writing. He lifted up some

of the other slates; but as there was no writing, he scattered the

slates around on the table and asked me to spread a large cloth

over them which he handed to me. This I did, and under his

direction placed my arms and hands over this. He walked to the

bowl of water on the side table, and gazed into it. I watched him;

and I saw a rather large flame appear on the surface of the water,

dance about, and disappear.

He immediately informed me that he was certain that I now had a

message. He remained at a distance while I examined the slates one

by one. Finally, on one of them I found a message, neatly written

and covering the entire slate. It read:

"Mrs. Piper is a genuine medium. She possesses powers of a very

unusual nature. Her tests given Hyslop and others are genuine. Do

not be a skeptic. You are making a mistake, dear friend. It is

all plain to me now, and spirit is all there is.--WILL."

Now, the question I had written was addressed to a very dear friend

who is now dead, and read as follows:

"WILL J----: In regard to the medium, Mrs. Piper, of whom we

conversed on your last visit, I would ask if she be genuine, and if

the tests she gave Professor Hyslop and others were genuine. Give

me a test."

This was all nicely done, and I am sure would have greatly

impressed nearly everyone. Being a performer myself, I could of

course follow the performance in minute detail, and I am thus

enabled to give to the readers of this paper a detailed account of

the method used by the doctor. I will state that since that time I

have very successfully operated this same test, minus the bowl of

water and flame of fire; and that I can assure all that it is very

practicable and that it is very deceptive.