Carlos S. Alvarado, PhD, Visiting Scholar, Rhine Research Center

Yesterday, like today, there was much interest in mediumship. The speakers of the lectures commented here focus on two famous cases from the old days of psychical research: Leonora E. Piper and Eusapia Palladino.

Leonora E. Piper

Leonora E. Piper

Eusapia Palladino

Eusapia Palladino

The two lectures, presented as part of the Rhine Research Center  lecture series, are entitled “Communicating with the Dead: Compelling Evidence from Two of the World’s Most Famous Mediums.” They will be presented by Drs. Phil Morse and by myself. Mrs. Piper is discussed by Dr. Morse, Professor Emeritus at the State University of New York at Fredonia, who teaches an online course about psychic phenomena through the Lifelong Learning Program at East Carolina University. I will discuss Palladino, a medium that has interested me for years.

Dr. Phil Morse

Dr. Phil Morse

Here is the summary of the presentations:

“There are a handful of historic mediums who have had an indelible and profound impact on the field of parapsychology. Leonora Piper and Eusapia Palladino are two of the most famous.

For 25 years around the beginning of the 20th century, Leonora Piper was exhaustively examined by the most esteemed scientists and authorities in England and the United States to see whether she was the “real deal.” Never was a medium before or since so closely scrutinized. Many of the examiners were experts in determining whether a medium was fraudulent or not.  No one ever found even a shred of evidence of any deception.  Almost all of them came to the conclusion that Mrs. Piper was, in fact, in communication with discarnate entities.

Robbins Past and Present with Mrs. Piper

We shall look at the life of this remarkable woman and the evidence which convinced so many esteemed figures of her authenticity and ability to communicate with the dead. Some stunning transcripts will be presented as well as pictures of Mrs. Piper in a trance and what automatic writing looks like.

Eusapia Palladino was a very different kind of medium. She was born in 1854 which was at the beginning of an intense interest in mediumship. Her exploits were equally compelling in that something extraordinary was taking place. She was also examined in great detail by some of Europe’s most esteemed authorities to see whether there was any deceit involved, which was sometimes the case.

Barzini Nel Mondo Eusapia Paladino

Photographs of the feats and phenomena which she produced will be shown which includes levitation of objects, materializations, and other mysterious happenings. Palladino’s early and later life will be discussed as well as some of the controversies which swirled around her. Evidence for telekinesis and materialization will be presented as well as the historical significance of these fascinating individuals.”

The lectures will take place on July 26th, 2013, 7:00 PM through 9:00 PM. They will be given at the Stedman Auditorium on the Duke Center for Living Campus (3475 Erwin Road, Durham, NC, 27705). The admission fee is $20.00 (Rhine Research Center Members: $16.00; Students: $10.00). For more information you may call the Rhine Research Center (919-309-4600). Here is the link to register and to watch the event online.

Those of you interested in learning more about these mediums may want to consult the following bibliography, which was compiled from materials at the Alex Tanous Research Library of the Rhine Research Center.

Selected Bibliography

(*Indicates the book or journal is at the Alex Tanous Research Library of the Rhine Research Center)

Leonora E. Piper

Overviews

*Gauld, A. (1982). Mediumship and Survival. London: Heinemann. (Chapter 3) (500 Gau 1982)

Tymn, M. (2013). Resurrecting Leonora Piper: How Science Discovered the Afterlife. White Crow Books.

Tymn Resurrecting Piper

Studies

*Hodgson, R. (1892). A record of observations of certain phenomena of trance. Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, 8, 1-167.

Richard Hodgson

Richard Hodgson

*Hodgson, R. (1898). A further record of observations of certain phenomena of trance.  Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, 13, 284-582.

*Hyslop, J.H. (1901). A further record of observations of certain phenomena of trance. Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, 16, 1-649.

*James, W. (1909). Report on Mrs. Piper’s Hodgson control. Proceedings of the American Society for Psychical Research, 3, 470-589.

William James

William James

*Leaf, W. (1890). A record of observations of certain phenomena of trance (3). Part II.  Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, 6, 558-646.

*Lodge, O. (1890). A record of observations of certain phenomena of trance (2). Part I.  Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, 6, 443‑557.

Oliver J. Lodge

Oliver J. Lodge

Eusapia Palladino

Overviews

*Alvarado, C.S. (1993). Gifted subjects’ contributions to psychical research: The case of Eusapia Palladino. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 59, 269-292.

*Carrington, H. (1909a). Eusapia Palladino and Her Phenomena. New York: B.W. Dodge. (500 Car 1909)

Eusapia Palladino title page

Studies

*Bottazzi, P. (1907). The unexplored regions of human biology: Observations and experiments with Eusapia Paladino. Annals of Psychical Science 6, 149-156, 260-290, 377-422. (500 Fin 1907 V. 6)

Filippo Bottazzi

Filippo Bottazzi

*Carrington, H. (1954). The American Seances with Eusapia Palladino. New York: Garrett Publications. (500 Car 1954)

*Feilding, E. (1963). Sittings with Eusapia Palladino and Other Studies. New Hyde Park, NY: University Books. (500 Fei 1963).

*Flammarion, C. (1909). Mysterious Psychic Forces. Boston: Small, Maynard. (Chapters 3-4). (500 Fla 1909)

Flammarion Mysterious Psychic Forces 2

*Imoda, Dr. [E.]. (1908). The action of Eusapia Paladino on the electroscope. Annals of Psychical Science, 7, 410-412. (500 Fin 1908 V. 7)

*Lombroso, C. (1988). After Death—What?  Wellingborough, Northhamptonshire: Aquarian Press. (Chapters 2-4, First published in 1909). (500 Lom 1988)

Cesare Lombroso

Cesare Lombroso

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