The Humble Apport

The Humble Apport

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3 Responses

  1. Mauro says:

    Humble Apport
    In the ’50s, during a seance held in Rome a flowery bouquet was supposedly brought by the materialized spirit to the medium as a gift. The case was particulary remarkable because the spirit was none other than the famous Katie King!
    A masquerade by the medium was immediately ruled out because 1)the medium was a male 2) pictures of the seance were taken and they show Katie hugging the medium like a mother would do with her child. Also during the seance Katie held hands and kissed on the forehead many of the presents.
    Also let’s not forget Borley Rectory: Harry Price allegedly snatched a wedding ring which kept appearing and disappearing and took him with him when he finally left the place at the end of his tenancy. I am unaware of further developments.
    Sinistrari (and Guaccio, which plagiarized almost verbatim Sinistrari’s work by now is the better know of the two) wrote about a pious lady which recieved many gifts by a “demon lover” which tried to seduce her, including cakes, sweets and fine household items. The story seems a little farfetched to say the least but it’s curious to note that while normal “demons” were usually banished by a powerful exorcist or driven away by faith this one proved impervious to the power of prayers, relics etc and finally let the the lady go just because he understood he could not obtain his prize.
    Finally let’s not forget the many fairy gifts of tradition: oatmeal, gold coins and precious stones have all been given to mortals by the Good People as payment for some service (the usual story involves a midwife delivering a fairy child) or as compensation for some damage wrought on the mortals (again the typical story involves a fairy cow ruining a field). The gift usually seem of little or no value until the mortal returns to his/her house: coals will turn into gems, garbage into gold coins a seemingly insignificant keg of beer will never run empty and so on.

  2. Ian Topham says:

    Harry Price
    Charles Sutton of the Daily Mail claimed to have caught Harry Price red handed with a pocket full of stones but couldn’t print the exposure due the libel laws at the time and the incident was buried. I think this came out about 20 years after his death. With the paranormal being a controversial field of study I think investigators have to be very careful with their conduct and try their best to protect their reputations. It might only take a minor incident to bring your whole work in the field under the eye of suspicion.

  3. Mauro says:

    Humble Apport
    Price became a controversial figure after his death: nobody ever openly accused him of cheating during his carrer but there was an ample supply of suspicious material.
    Some episodies (like Jef the Mongoose) border on the absolutely unbelievable while others (like Borley Rectory) were probably enbellished a little. He was obsessed with publicity; apparently he was influenced in his methods by that flamboyant German investigator, Albert von Schreck-Notzing, who worked closely with Price on the Willi and Rudi Schneider case.
    After being a staunch supporter of the Schneider brothers (particulary Rudi) he declared them a fraud after Rudi set off a camera during a controlled experiment. Price critics have always been hard pressed to explain why he didn’t hide this episode if he was a fraud: all he had to do was destroying the camera film.
    All in all I think Price was generally honest but was also obsessed with publicity. He was probably not above embellishing the truth a little to make his cases more appealing to the public: a lamp tipped over by a poltergeist was “thrown to the ground”, a person touched on the shoulder by an apparition “felt an iron grip” and so on.
    Even in modern science researchers are not above touching up the truth a little to obtain a little more pubblicity or impress the financers: where fraud begins is another matter completely.