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THE NEW YORK TIMES May 25, 1923 Page 15, Column 3


Psychic Tests Fail to Produce Any Exciting Developments—Medium Goes Back to Scranton.

A Magician Among the SpiritsHoudini and Dr. Walter C. Prince of the Psychical Research Society were present last night at another of the séances being conducted by The Scientific American. There were also certain electrical controls devised by Austin C. Lescarboura, managing editor of the magazine, in operation, which when their records are examined will show absolutely what went on in the séance room.

The medium, George Valentine, of Wilkes-Barre, Pa., did not seem at all perturbed by the arrangements about the chairs, which could be seen when he entered the room, but the most important instruments were out of sight. One of the visible controls was a strip of paper which fastened the medium’s chair to the floor, so that if it moved the paper would be broken, and apparently he overlooked this entirely.

Almost nothing happened for an hour after the lights were turned off. There were luminous disks fastened to the hands of the medium and others in the room, and it was agreed that they should be concealed until the phenomena got a good start. Hymns were sung, and after a time somebody was touched on the knee by a trumpet that moved about the room. The trumpet was active for a few minutes, and came to rest between the legs of Dr. Prince. He said it would be interesting if the spirits came over and picked it up, but it stayed there until he moved his legs, when it fell on the floor. The other trumpet moved about also until it fell near Houdini.

Finally a voice spoke, that of Kokum the Indian guide, and at the same time Houdini was thumped on the head by a hand. Another small voice whispered to J. Malcolm Bird, associate editor of the magazine, and he made out that it was “Harry Meyers” speaking. But Harry soon went away and didn’t come back.

Finally Valeintine [sic] said that he thought the séance would not develop any more phenomena that night, and it might as well be broken up. There was to have been a séance tonight, but the medium announced at the end of last night’s affair that he would have to go back to Wilkes-Barre, and it might be some time before he could get back.

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