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The Supernatural? by Lionel A. Weatherly & John Nevil Maskelyne

In this work, Lionel Weatherly inspects and investigates stories of mirages, prophetic dreams and the experiences of historical figures like Joan of Arc. Illusionist John Nevil Maskelyne, who exposed the fraud of a number of spiritualists including the Davenport Brothers, and who created several famous illusions which are still being performed today, examines the truth behind a number of famous Eastern magical illusions. Maskelyne also scrutinizes mediumistic fraud, questioning the credibility of figures like D. D. Home and Madame Blavatsky, in an entertaining and carefully argued investigation of phenomena which have mystified for centuries.

From the preface:

I have tried my best to make my statements as clear as possible, to invest my explanations with language that anyone could understand. Above all I have, I hope, steered clear of that dangerous shoal, upon which so many authorities on these subjects have wrecked their literary craft; viz., "Religious Arguments."

To Mr. J. N. Maskelyne I here tender my most grateful thanks. Without his help I could not have asked any publisher to launch this work upon the market.

Who is there, in this England of ours - who is there, I may say, at all known to men, who has the right, from practical experience, to speak with such authority on Magic, on Spiritualism, or on the so-called Miracles of Theosophy, as Mr. Maskelyne? Who was it exposed the Davenport Brothers? Who was it who threw many a bombshell into the Spiritualistic camp? Who is it who fearlessly cautions those at the bottom of these latter-day miracles, and bids them Beware? The man whose friendship I value, whose assistance to me has been absolutely indispensable, and who will, I know, as long as he lives, devote himself to the exposure of fraud, deception, and trickery, whenever carried out under the guise of supernatural religion.

  • CHAPTER I. Introduction.
    • Superstition
    • Witchcraft
    • Believers in the Supernatural
  • CHAPTER II. What is Mind?
    • The Unknowable
    • Divisions of the Mind
    • I. - Perception
    • II. - Intellect
    • a. Memory
    • b. Reason and Judgment
    • c. Imagination
    • III. - Emotion
    • IV. - Will
  • CHAPTER III. Description, Physiology, and Classification of Hallucinations and Illusions.
    • Sense Deceptions generally
    • Definitions of Hallucination and Illusion
    • Physiology of Hallucination
    • Explanation of Illusion
    • Classification
  • CHAPTER IV. Ordinary Sense Deceptions.
    • Simple Sense Deceptions
    • Atmospheric Illusions
    • The Mirage
    • The Fata Morgana
    • The Giant of the Brocken Mountain
    • Fog Spectres
    • Case of Dr. Lombard
    • A Murderer's Hallucination
    • A Lover's Apparition
    • Nicolai
    • Sir Walter Scott's Friend's Illusion
    • An American's Illusion
    • Beethoven
    • Luther
    • The Demon of Socrates
    • Hallucinations and Illusions by Suggestion
    • Epidemic Hallucinations and Illusions
    • Vampires
    • Mrs. A.'s Sense Deceptions
    • De Quincey's Day-dreams
  • CHAPTER V. Dreams.
    • Sleep
    • A Dreamless Sleep
    • Dreams generally
    • Are dreams divinely inspired?
    • Ancient Ideas of Dreams
    • Classification of Dreams
    • Dream Illusions
    • Dream Hallucinations
    • Nightmare
    • Persistent Dream Images
    • Differences between the Sleeping and Waking Mind
    • Prophetic Dreams and their Occasional Fulfilment
    • Somnambulism
    • Dream Crimes
  • CHAPTER VI. Ghosts. Haunted Houses.
    • Ghosts in all Countries
    • Causes of Belief in Ghosts
    • Reasons against Reality of Ghosts etc.
    • Ominous Night Noises
    • Explanation of Phantasms of the Dead
    • The Hallucinations of Thos. Perks
    • Lord Lyttleton's Apparition
    • The Hallucination of Mr. Cassio Burroughs
    • Miss Bailey's Ghost
    • Unexplained Ghost Stories
    • Telepathy
  • I. - Oriental Jugglery, (by J. N. Maskelyne).
    • Introductory
    • Fiction and Romance
    • Travellers' Tales
    • The Genesis of Oriental Miracles
    • Oriental Literature concerning Magic
    • The Basket Trick
    • The Mango Tree Trick
    • The Burial Trick
  • II - Modern Spiritualism. (J. N. Maskelyne )
    • Andrew Jackson Davis
    • The Fox Family
    • Mrs. Norman Culver's Statement
    • Daniel Douglass Home
    • The Davenport Brothers
    • Annie Eva Fay
    • Dr. Slade
    • Prosecution of Slade
    • Eglinton
    • So-called Materialisations
    • Artemus Ward on Mediums
    • What has Investigation Proved?
    • Tableturning
    • Thoughtreading
    • Spirit Photography
    • Report of the Seybert Commission
  • III. - Theosophy. (J. N. Maskelyne.)
    • Madame Blavatsky
    • The Starting of the Theosophical Society
    • Madame Blavatsky in India
    • Madame Blavatsky in London
    • The Coulombs' Confession
    • Mr. Hodgson's Report
    • What Theosophists Say
    • Mrs. Besant
    • Joan of Arc
    • Percy Bysshe Shelley
    • Swedenborg
  • CHAPTER IX. Insane Sense Deceptions.
    • Analogy between Dreams and Insanity
    • Hallucinations of Hearing
    • Illusions of Hearing
    • Hallucinations of Sight
    • Illusions of Sight
    • Hallucinations and Illusions of Touch, Taste, and Smell
    • Complicated Hallucinations and Illusions
    • Belladonna
    • Indian Hemp
    • Opium
  • CHAPTER XI. Conclusion.

1st edition 1891, 273 pages; PDF 158 pages.
word count: 71538 which is equivalent to 286 standard pages of text

This product is listed in the following categories:

Magic & Conjuring / Mentalism & Spiritism / Bizarre

Magic & Conjuring / Published 1800-1899