The New Sherlock Holmes

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia

The New Sherlock Holmes is an article published in The Glasgow Herald on 1st october 1928.

The article includes several interview parts of Arthur Conan Doyle.

The New Sherlock Holmes

The Glasgow Herald (1 october 1928, p. 14)



The detective with his magnifying glass, picturesque dressing-gown, and scintillating deductions may before long be a thing of the past.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of the greatest detective ever known, now visualises the coming of the "clairvoyant" Sherlock Holmes and a practically world.


In October Sir Arthur is to visit South Africa to help the spiritualistic movement there, after which he will speak in several European capitals, and then abandon much of his platform activity for literary work. In a talk to a Press Association reporter on Saturday Sir Arthur discussed the subject of spiritualism in the future.

"What of spiritualism in the future?" asked Sir Arthur. "Well, we shall have a clairvoyant in attendance at every police station, and every offence will be hunted down, so that crime will become very difficult, if not impossible. Clairvoyants will often be able to tell who actually committed a crime. If you give them a portion of the dress of a murdered person they are frequently able to throw themselves back to the time of a murder and get a kind of intimation of the circumstances of the murder and how it was done. Even now the police use clairvoyants — surreptitiously in many places — in the intervals of persecuting them.


"Spiritualism is going to revolutionise the world in every possible way. It will revolutionise religion by getting back to actual contact, which I have no doubt once existed, but has been completely lost. Then it will revolutionise science and medicine and criminology in many ways. The whole question of lunacy and mania and obsession comes up.

"We have at least two doctors in America engaged entirely in casting out devils. Ordinary doctors could do nothing with an invasion by an outside spirit, but these men persuade it to leave. One or two are just attempting it in this country."

Speaking of the growth of spiritualism Sir Arthur said that they had now 550 churches, and they would be at least 200,000 strong if they allied themselves to one of the political parties at the coming General Election. "We want an assurance from a party leader that we shall be free from police persecution. The laws by which mediums are prosecuted existed long before spiritualism, and were applied to lawless characters. To apply them to respectable women and householders is preposterous. I think I should be putting it high if I said that 5 per cent. of mediums were frauds.


The principal strength of spiritualism came from the north, and he thought there were 50,000 or 60,000 in Manchester alone. Sir Arthur said that although he would devote himself more to literary work, Sherlock Holmes would not appear again. "He is definitely dead." he said. "There are plenty more things to write about."