The sensitive in this experiment is designated as Mr. C, and the operator as Mr. S. There was no contact or any communication whatsoever of the ordinary kind between them. C. was hypnotized, but was not informed of the nature of the experiment which was to be tried. The operator stood behind the hypnotized subject, and Mr. Gurney, standing behind the operator, handed him the different substances to be used in the experiment, and he, in turn, placed them in his own mouth.
Salt was first so tasted by the operator, whereupon the subject, C, instantly and loudly cried out: "What's that salt stuff? 'Sugar was given. C. replied, "Sweeter; not so bad as before." Powdered ginger; reply, "Hot, dries up your mouth; reminds me of mustard." Sugar given again; reply, "A little better - a sweetish taste." Other substances were tried, with similar results, the last one tasted being vinegar, when it was found that C. had fallen into the deeper lethargic condition and made no reply.
Another experiment is reported by Dr. William A. Hammond of Washington. The doctor said :
" most remarkable fact is, that some few subjects of hypnotism experience sensations from impressions made upon the hypnotizer. Thus, there is a subject upon whom I sometimes operate whom I can shut up in a room with an observer, while I go into another closed room at a distance of one hundred feet or more with another observer. This one, for instance, scratches my hand with a pin, and instantly the hypnotized subject rubs his corresponding hand, and says, 'Don't scratch my hand so;' or my hair is pulled, and immediately he puts his hand to his head and says, g Don't pull my hair;' and so on, feeling every sensation that I experience."
This experiment, it must be borne in mind, is conducted in closed rooms a hundred feet apart, and through at least two partitions or closed doors, and over that distance and through these intervening obstacles peculiar and definite sensations experienced by one person are perceived and definitely described by another person, no ordinary means of communication existing between them. This is an example of the rapport existing between the operator and hypnotized subject carried to an unusual degree.
The following experiments are examples of hypnotizing at a distance, or telepathic hypnotism, and while illustrating still further the rapport, or curious relationship, existing between hypnotizer and subject, are also illustrations of the rarer psychic phenomena of hypnotism.
The first series of experiments is given by Prof. Pierre Janet of Havre and Dr. Gibert, a prominent physician of the same city. The subject was Mme. B., a heavy, rather stolid, middle-aged peasant woman, without any ambition for notoriety, or to be known as a sensitive; on the contrary, she disliked it, and the experiments were disagreeable to her. She was, however an excellent example of close rapport with her hypnotizer.
While in the deep sleep, and perfectly insensible to ordinary stimuli, however violent, contact, or even the proximity of her hypnotizer's hand, caused contractures, which a light touch from him would also remove. No one else could produce the slightest effect. After about ten minutes in this deep trance she usually passed into the alert, or somnambulic stage, from which also no one but the operator could arouse her. Hypnotization was difficult or impossible unless the operator concentrated his thoughts upon the desired result, but by simply willing, without passes or any physical means whatsoever, the hypnotic condition could be quickly induced.
Various experiments in simply willing post-hypnotic acts, without suggestion through any of the ordinary channels of communication, were also perfectly successful. Dr. Gibert then made three experiments in putting this subject to sleep when she was in another part of the town, a third of a mile away from the operator, and at a time fixed by a third person, the experiment also being wholly unexpected by the subject.
On two of these occasions Prof. Janet found the subject in a deep trance ten minutes after the willing to sleep, and no one but Dr. Gibert, who had put her to sleep, could rouse her. In the third experiment the subject experienced the hypnotic influence and desire to sleep, but resisted it and kept herself awake by washing her hands in cold water.
During a second series of experiments made with the same subject, several members of the Society for Psychical Research were present and took an active part in them. Apart from trials made in the same or an adjoining room, twenty-one experiments were made when the subject was at distances varying from one-half to three-fourths of a mile away from her hypnotizer. Of these, six were reckoned as failures, or only partial successes; there remained, then, fifteen perfect suecesses in which the subject, Mme. B., was found entranced fifteen minutes after the willing or mental suggestion. During one of these experiments, the subject was willed by Dr. Gibert to come through several intervening streets to him at his own house, which she accomplished in the somnambulic condition, and under the observation of Prof. Janet and several other physicians.
Another series of experiments was made with another subject by Dr. Hericourt, one of Prof. Richet's coadjutors. The experiments included the gradual extension of the distance through which the willing power was successful, first to another room, then to another street, and a distant part of the city.
One day, while attempting to hypnotize her in another street, three hundred yards distant, at 3 o'clock P. M., he was suddenly called away to attend a patient, and forgot all about his hypnotic subject. Afterward he remembered that he was to meet her at 4: 30, and went to keep his appointment. But not finding her, he thought possibly the experiment, which had been interrupted might, after all, have proved successful. Upon this supposition, at 5 o'clock he willed her to awake.