Monday, July 14, 2008

Jane Lyzell knows

Ooops, I just noticed that Jane Lyzell, former sidekick of trumpet-swinging British fraud Colin Fry, claims that the facts are already there for you to find, if you just bother to check. But she is not willing to back up her claim with links, since this generation lives in "syberspayce" (I think it means "cyberspace"). The right thing to do, according to Lyzell, is to search for knowledge in our libraries and ask psychics. Then you will discover the real facts! Indeed, Helen Duncan was tested! (And was declared an obvious fraud, but I think Lyzell missed that shelf.) Anyway, in an act of benevolence, Lyzell suggests an old title from 1922 by Björke. I happen to have it and it's the standard anecdotal stories being repeated over and over again on the internet, with the exception of a few Scandinavian cases. But since she is devoted to books, there are some titles I would like to suggest for her to read:

"A Beginners Guide to the Swedish Language"

"Hair-care for Dummies"

"Sociopathy and hysteria combined? How to adapt to social contexts."

I'm sure Lyzell will find them if she just bothers to check...


  1. Oy! Do you know where I can find more information on the Helen Duncan test that you mention?

    Cheers and keep on bloggin'!

  2. The London Psychical Laboratory was first to conduct a serious investigation of Helen Duncan, beginning in 1931. The final reported stated that she was fraudelent. Even Duncan's husband admitted that he believed the ectoplasm to be the result of regurgitation.

    Soon after, Duncan gave five seances for the National Laboratory of Psychical Research, run by Harry Price. He confirmed the findings of the LPL. When his report was published, Duncan's maid made a signed statement confirming that she had helped Duncan to "prepare" for seances.

    And as you probably know, Duncan was arrested and convicted one time, and would have been a second time if she hadn't fallen ill and died.

    Read all about Duncan in "Spiritualism - a critical survey", by Simeon Edmunds.

    Best regards,

  3. Hi again,

    Your information was most helpful and much appreciated.

    And I have another question for you regarding "physical seances"..

    I cannot seem to find any information on how these type of shows have been set up "technically" in history. I have a vauge memory of reading somewhere that some of these seances took place in normal light, and not always in darkness with red light. I might be wrong here.

    And also. There are some photos from some of these seances, like the ones Harry Price took ( Do you know if these photos were taken using a normal flashlight or with some special "red light"-flash? Or were they perhaps taken with prolonged exposure?

    Perhaps you could enlighten me in this subject with some references/cases or other relevant information.


  4. As far as physical seances goes, they were (are) always held in complete darkness or with a dim or red light. Any accounts of seances taking place in normal light are fabrications.

    James Randi describes some table-dancing techniques on pages 239-251 in Flim-Flam - with photos, Harry Houdini various techniques and gadgets in Houdini - A Magician Among the Spirits. D. D. Home shares some miracle secrets in Lights and Shadows of Spiritualism, as do the anonymous psychic who wrote Confessions of a Medium. Richard Wiseman reviews the Feilding Report and describes some Eusapia Palladino seances in Deception & Self-Deception. Investigating Psychics. The first chapter, on early psychical research, in Hansel's The Search for Psychic Power might be of interest, as well as Christopher's chapters on Elisabeth Tomson and Margery in Mediums, Mystics & the Occult. Christopher has some great illustrations and photos in the The $100,000 Prediction chapter in the same book.

    The photos you linked to are all shot with hand-held or tripod flashlight - or whatever lightsource the photographer used. There is a distinct shadow on the wall behind Duncan on the top picture. On the "Plate XV" pictures, there is a distinct shadow from the curtain on Duncan on the right image. A long exposure would have caused a lot of motion blur on the image, even at a shutterspeed like 1/60. My guess is that lighting and camera were rigged before the "seances" commenced. And on a signal from the psychic or the investigator, the photographer exposed the image.

    The good thing about the current revival of physical seances is that since it is obviously fake, you know that the psychics are fraudelent, and very aware of it.

    Best regards,

  5. As you said that Colin Fry was the UK Fraud,Not disputing lol, what can you tell us about his mentor George Cranley - someone I find very hard to find info on, considering he is sprouting all his experience all over the net lol