The Arthur Conan Doyle EncyclopediaThe Arthur Conan Doyle EncyclopediaThe Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia
22 May 1859, Edinburgh M.D., Kt, KStJ, D.L., LL.D., Sportsman, Writer, Poet, Politician, Justicer, Spiritualist Crowborough, 7 July 1930

Credulity Hard to Understand

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia

Credulity Hard to Understand is an article published in The New-York Times on 9 october 1919.

In this editorial, the author mentioned Arthur Conan Doyle's confidence in spiritualistic phenomena.

Credulity Hard to Understand

The New-York Times (9 october 1919, p. 14)

Admirers of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle as a writer of detective stories — a company about as numerous as the readers of the English language — have reason for a peculiar grief because of the strange, the pathetic, thoroughness with which he has accepted as realities the "spiritualistic" interpretation of the phenomena of trance speaking and writing. There is little of the mysterious and nothing of the other world in these phenomena for modern psychologists, and yet this well-educated and intelligent man — with not a little of the scientific and philosophic, too, in his mental furnishings — talks much as did the followers of the Fox sisters fifty years ago.

He tells of tying a medium with six strings, and seems to think that somehow gives him certainty that his dead son speaks to him through her lips. The son said, "Father, forgive me," and Sir Arthur "knew" what he meant — he wanted to be forgiven for not believing in spiritualism while he was alive!

Comment on such confidence as that would be useless. It helps, however, to an understanding of the fact that recently all the London papers gave in seeming seriousness a lot of space to a "haunted house," where water of unknown origin often dripped from walls and ceilings. A little investigation, of course, revealed the inevitable young girl with a yearning for excitement, but this seems to have surprised and somewhat disappointed the investigators. Evidently they are not well read in the literature of the "poltergeist."