Physical Mediumship: Trying to Move On

How to Cite

Weaver, Z. (2016). Physical Mediumship: Trying to Move On. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 30(1). Retrieved from


In his review of my book on the mediumship of Franek Kluski (Weaver 2015) in this Journal (Morck 2015), Nemo Mörck raises a number of issues which I would like to clarify.

When faced with incredible reports, the natural reaction is to assume that they must be false. I can understand this position, having shared it for a long while, but it is not always tenable.

            I would probably not have written about Kluski if I had not come across Filippo Bottazzi’s account of his laboratory research on Eusapia Palladino (Bottazzi 1909/2011). This sent me in search of other accounts of laboratory research into physical mediumship, and they made me realise that my natural reaction was wrong. Phenomena such as those produced by Kluski sound incredible, but well-documented reports show that they are not unique, even though limited to a small number of mediums.

            This does not mean accepting such reports without question. I have looked for inconsistencies, for ways of producing the phenomena fraudulently (including hidden entrances at the location of the sittings), for confirmation of claims, and for information about the backgrounds of the sitters. Naturally, I have also learned as much as I could about fraudulent tricks. This led me to believe that comparing the Kluski sittings to those given by fraudulent mediums, as suggested by Mörck (Mörck:510), would be a pointless exercise. A great deal of what happens in a séance room can be faked in a variety of ways, but the two aspects which make the difference between what is explicable in principle, and what is just inexplicable, are the scale of the phenomena, and the conditions under which they arise. Hereward Carrington decided that the fraudulent methods which he described in great detail in his book (Carrington 1907) could not explain the phenomena of  D.D. Home, and ended up with collective hallucinations or collaboration by accomplices as the only other explanations. He found neither of them viable in view of the nature of the phenomena and the variety of sitters and locations. I have found myself in exactly the same situation with regard to Kluski.


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