It’s James Hyslop again. Can you imagine if the Sunday Magazine today gave space so frequently to an expert in “psychical research”?
In this article, Dr. Hyslop describes a young medium he’s found who is even more talented than more famous mediums, and yet she wants to remain anonymous (she is referred to pseudonymously as “Miss Burton” in the article).
The article reveals that experts have determined Miss Burton a fraud. She has been found to manipulate objects herself that she claimed were being manipulated by the spirit world. For example, a phonograph that started and stopped without being touched was discovered to have been controlled by a rope from afar. And yet Dr. Hyslop still really wants to believe that the other non-physical “phenomena” such as singing or whistling, which she could only do when under a trance, were totally real.
His weak case rests on the fact that Miss Burton seems to really believe she has psychic powers, and when she was called out on her physical deception, she acted surprised to learn that she was actually doing things herself while in a trance. Plus, she wants to remain anonymous, so her motives can’t be fame. Her honest nature suggests that she’s not trying to deceive anyone.
At worst, she’s a fraud. At best, she’s self-delusional.
PALLADINO OUTDONE BY A NON-PROFESSIONAL MEDIUM: Dr. Hyslop Discovers a Girl Who Produces the Most Astounding “Siritualistic” Phenomena Yet Seen — She Does Not Accept money, Gives Tests Only in Private, and Her Identity Is a Secret. (PDF)
From April 16, 1911