From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia
To the Editor of the Occult Review.
Sir, — In your excellent magazine you have a note to the effect that mediums for psychic photography are dwindling away, having been exposed one after the other. It is a subject to which I have given close attention for many years and have probably had more experience in than all the "exposers" put together, so perhaps a word or two from me may have some weight in this matter.
There has been in psychic photography one real exposure and one suspicious case during the last five years. Each of these was discovered and discussed entirely by Spiritualists, and the results were published in the psychic papers. Neither of the two mediums concerned were prominent in the public eyes, the worst case having only been in the movement a very few years. Apart from these two, there have only been during that time three others, so far as I know, who have exercised these powers. They are Mr. Vearncombe, Mr. Hope and Mrs. Deane. The former I believe to have been perfectly genuine, but my own tests with him were not sufficient to be conclusive, and he now no longer exercises his power, being disgusted at tricks played upon him by "researchers." As to the other two I am as sure of the truth of their powers as I am that I am writing this letter. Only last week I took four marked plates to Mrs. Deane and received psychic impressions upon three of them. Hope has been before the public for seventeen years, and his work is above suspicion to those who have really tested it, as I have done again and again. It is a rare and most precious gift, of enormous importance in the proof of independent supernormal power, and it is a very shameful thing that the few people who possess it should be tricked and traduced as they have been. I may add that the very best psychic photographs which I have seen in England have been taken by an amateur, Mr. Staveley Bulford.
- Yours faithfully,
- ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE.