Doyle Admits he Met Spirits Via Medium Route

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia

Doyle Admits he Met Spirits Via Medium Route is an article written by Arthur Conan Doyle first published in the Oakland Tribune on 3 june 1923.

The article is included in a bigger headline: "Sherlock Holmes" Creator Tells of His Bridge to Land of Hereafter with another article by George C. Henderson: Doyle Makes Reply to Recent Critics.

Doyle Admits he Met Spirits Via Medium Route

Oakland Tribune (3 june 1923, p. B-4)

Questions About His First Spirit Land Knowledge Answered.


The writer of this article entirely misrepresents my mental position. I was a confirmed materialist and fought against their facts until they were too much for use and I could not help realising their truth. This process took many years of reading and experiment as detailed in my books. What nonsense it is therefore to say that I had a "great consuming desire to believe... etc." It was not so.

My books on the subject, "The New Revelation," and I think "The Vital Message" were written before the death of my son. How then could that death have influenced my opinions? I cannot understand how people can make such wild assertions.

The remaining series of assertions are all as accurate as the two with which the article begins. It would take me a day's work, and I am a very busy man at present, to wade through them all, but I will give a few notes in each case.

1. Home. The London Psychic Research Society (of which I am nearly the oldest member) did not exist in Home's life time. He was never convicted of fraud.

2. The Psychic College of London - I am chairman of its executive committee - fully endorsed the psychic origin of Miss Besinnet's phenomena. The Society for Psychic Research of England never tested her. She was tested and endorsed by Professor Hyslop of the American society. Is it worth while answering such a string of utter misstatements?

3. My view of Palladino, with whom I have never sat, is derived from the experience of Howard Thurston, Carrington, Fellding and Baggaly, all of whom have sat with her and presumably know more about it than your correspondent.

4. Hope. Your correspondent's account of how Hope takes his photographs is inaccurate. I did examine the camera - there is not much to examine for it is ramshackle machine, and I took all possible precautions. Hope has been before the public 17 years and has never been exposed. What is the value of the opinion of your correspondent, who has never seen the man? On the occasion of the charge against Hope last year it was proved that he was entirely innocent (see my "Case for Psychic Photography.")

5. Mrs. Deane has submitted to all sorts of tests, until she became disgusted with their continued repetition. I think she was wrong in this, but it is quite intelligible.

6. Your correspondent's explanation of Mrs. Pruden's mediumship is absurd to anyone who was present. The conditions, which he supposes, did not exist. What right has he, who was not present, to suppose that he knows better than the people who were present? This sort of mental arrogance is typical of our opponents.

7. The Scientific American. Your correspondent says nothing has been discovered. Is it nothing that the editor came to me in England, went to many seances with me, and recognized the phenomena, including a Hope photograph, to be honest? This he has put on record.

There are many minor mistakes and misrepresentations but if those which I have pointed out do not shake your confidence in the accuracy of the article then I do not think any further statement on my part would do so.

June 1.