Ghosts. - Scientific Investigations. - Tentative Classification of Phenomena. - Power to create Phantasms demonstrated. - Investigations of the London Society for Psychical Research. - Spirit Photography. - Projection of the "Astral Body." - Witches. - Conditions necessary. - The same in all Cases. - Spirit "Materialization." - Magicians. - Ghosts the Creations of the Subjective Entity. - Eliphas Levi's Views. - Raising the Devil. - Crystal Visions. - Propositions established. - Embodied Thoughts. - Phantasms not Spirits. - Uniform Characteristics. - A New Classification. - Conditions of Objectivity and Persistency. - Haunted Houses. - No General Intelligence manifested. - D'As-sier's Statements. - A Remarkable Case. - Ghosts Intensified Telepathic Visions. - Difference in Degree, not in Kind. - Ghosts not controllable by Suggestion. - Other Salient Peculiarities. - Ghosts neither prove nor disprove Immortality. - Mental Atmosphere of Houses. - Remarkable Cases. - Classification of Telepathic Phenomena. - Conclusions.

THERE is another class of phenomena which demands a brief notice, although it does not pertain directly to the development of the hypothesis under consideration. It is that of phantasms of the dead, or ghosts. Scientific investigations of modern times have demonstrated the fact that many of the ghost-stories which have terrified the timid in all ages of the world have a real foundation in fact; that is, it has been demonstrated that certain impalpable shapes, resembling persons deceased, do from time to time appear to the living. The world is indebted more than it can ever repay to the London Society for Psychical Research for its patient, untiring, and strictly scientific investigations of this subject. Many facts have been accumulated, but they have not yet been classified with reference to any special theory or hypothesis. It is perhaps too early to formulate any hypothesis pertaining to the subject-matter. It is certainly too early to dogmatize. The most that can safely be done is to speculate tentatively, and to suggest a line of thought and investigation for those who are devoting their time to the work.

It is my purpose to do this, and this alone, in the hope that if the suggestions seem to be worthy of consideration, the subject may be pursued on the lines indicated until their fallacy is exposed or their correctness demonstrated.

It seems to me that sufficient facts have been accumulated to establish, provisionally at least, certain definite characteristics of all phantasms, whether of the living or the dead; and if a theory can be formulated, however startling it may be at first glance, that will harmonize with the well-established characteristics of the phenomena, it will be at least worthy of consideration. In attempting to do this, I shall not quote authorities to any extent to establish my premises, but shall state merely what seems to be well authenticated, and leave the verification of the premises, as well as the conclusions, to those who have more time, patience, and ability to devote to the work than I have.

First of all, then, it seems to be well authenticated that the subjective personality of man possesses the power to create phantasms, or visions, which in many instances are visible to the objective senses of others. The telepathic experiments recorded in "Phantasms of the Living" and in the Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research amply demonstrate the truth of this proposition. Every vision perceived by one in telepathic rapport with another must be presumed to have been created by one or the other. It is true that some of the visions may be merely perceived subjectively, but not all. Many cases are recorded where the phantasms have been perceived by more than one person at the same time, and others have been perceived under circumstances such as to leave no doubt that the percipient was in a completely normal condition, and saw the visions objectively. Moreover, the phenomena of so-called spirit photography amply demonstrate the fact that visions can be created of such tangible character that they can be caught and fixed upon the photographic plate. In saying this I am not insensible of the fact that many frauds have been committed in this species of phenomena, as well as in all others attributed to spirits of the dead.

But this does not militate against phenomena of that character which have been produced under test conditions so strict that all possibility of fraud was eliminated. In admitting this class of phenomena to be genuine, in the sense that it is sometimes produced without fraud or legerdemain, it is also admitted that, in many instances, pictures of the sitter's dead friends have been produced which were such perfect likenesses of the deceased as to be unmistakable. Of course it will be understood that whilst I admit the phenomenon, I do not admit the claim that it has its origin in the spirit-world. Like all other so-called spirit phenomena, it is, in my opinion, directly traceable to the power of the subjective mind of the medium, aided by telepathic communion with the sitter. The latter, consciously or unconsciously, thinks of one or more of his dead friends. The medium, perceiving telepathically the image created by the mind of the sitter, re-creates it in such tangible shape that it is caught by the camera. Or it may be in some instances that the image is created by the sitter himself in such palpable shape as to be caught by the camera. Indeed, in many recorded instances, where the sitter has been a powerful medium, it seems probable that he created the image himself.

In point of fact there is little doubt that the power resides, to a greater or less extent, in all human beings to create such images, their strength and clearness depending, of course, upon the power of the individual to recall vividly the remembrance of the person to be photographed, together with the power to concentrate his mind for a certain length of time upon the mental picture. Indeed, experiments have been made which demonstrate the power to produce the picture of any one, living or dead, in this manner.