Letter | Published:


Nature volume 24, page 335 | Download Citation



BY the courtesy of Dr. G. M. Beard of New York I had the opportunity of witnessing some interesting experiments in artificial trance performed on one of his trained patients, thought-reading being one of the phases exhibited. After his discovering objects in the usual way, I used a fine copper wire about a yard in length. I wound one end round the right hand of the patient (after he was hypnotised) and then placed his wired hand against his forehead. The patient then wandered round the room in an aimless sort of manner, the wire all the time being quite slack, but the moment I attempted, however gently, to increase the tension just sufficient for him to feel it, he instantly moved off along the direction of the wire, like a horse with a rein. I subsequently tried a thicker wire. The patient stood with his face in a direction at right angles to my own; he moved straight towards the table on my left hand, and after oscillating his head sideways as if trying to find some particular spot, he finally brought his forehead slowly but with great accuracy down upon a metal disk about 1½ inches in diameter, and at a distance of about 18 inches from the edge of the table. This was exactly what I had “willed”.

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