Volltext: Planchette: Or, The Despair of Science

times.” Three raps were promptly given, and David proceeded 
to call the alphabet, writing down the letters as they were indi¬ 
cated ; and the result was the name, “ Charles B. Rosma,” a 
name quite unknown to the family, and which they were after¬ 
ward unable to trace. The statement was in like manner 
obtained from the invisible intelligence, that he was the spirit of 
a peddler, who had been murdered in that house some years pre¬ 
vious. According to Mr. David Fox, the floor was subsequently 
dug up, to the depth of more than five feet, when the remains 
of a human body were found. 
Soon after these occurrences, the family removed to Roches- 
ter, at which Çlace the manifestations still accompanied them ; 
and here it was discovered, by the rapping of the letters of the 
alphabet in the manner before described, that different spirits 
were apparently using this channel of communication; and 
that, in short, almost any one, in coming into the presence of 
the two girls, could get a communication from what purported 
to be the spirits of his departed friends, the same often being 
accompanied by tests which satisfied the interrogator as to the 
spirits’ identity. 
A new phenomenon was also observed in the frequent moving 
of tables and other ponderable bodies, without appreciable 
agency, in the presence of these two girls. These manifesta¬ 
tions, growing more and more remarkable, attracted numerous 
visitors, some from long distances; and the phenomenon began, 
as it were, to propagate itself, and to be witnessed in other fami¬ 
lies in Rochester and vicinity; while, as coincident therewith, 
susceptible persons would sometimes fall into apparent trances, 
and become clairvoyant, and re-affirm these raps and physical 
movements to be the production of spirits. 
In November, a public meeting was called ; and a committee 
appointed to examine into the phenomena. They reported that 
they were unable to trace the phenomena to any known mun¬ 
dane agency. Of course, the large majority of persons pro¬ 
nounced the whole thing an imposture ; and the public press 
was against it, almost without an exception. There were stories 


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