Darkey of Christchurch

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia

Darkey of Christchurch is a letter written by Arthur Conan Doyle first published in The Times (literary supplement) on 29 september 1921.

Darkey of Christchurch


Sir, — Without entering into the polemics of spiritualism — a subject upon which no conclusions can be reached save by personal experiment — I would wish to say a word about Darkey, the Christchurch Terrier, which barks out the answer to questions. Hundreds of people have tested this dog's powers and a considerable sum was raised for war charities by their exhibition. A committee of three, Mr. Poynton a well-known magistrate being one, investigated and reported, declaring that they could find no evidence of a trick and that 90 per cent. of the questions were correctly answered. I was unable to get equally good results myself, though what I did get was remarkable so far as it went. As to alleged clairvoyant powers I preferred to think, as stated in my book, that thought transference was a more normal explanation. Your critic quotes this as an example of my "strange credulity." I should say it was "strange incredulity," which in this, as in other cases, refused to face well-attested facts.

Yours faithfully,

Windlesham, Crowborough, Sussex.