Monkeys in the Sun: a Spiritualist Drama in Two Acts

Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research

volume 28 1915

Hysterical record of two automatic writing sessions with Mrs. Piper (channeling Sir Walter Scott) and Professor Newbold. Mrs. Piper was a very famous English medium, similar to Helene Smith in France. Newbold was professor of philosophy at Princeton, a determined investigator of the supernatural.

Newbold’s questions and Piper’s written responses are arraigned like some bizarre play, the combination of Sir Walter’s descriptions of life on the various planets and Newbold’s dead pan questioning is priceless.

From the sublime (describing Venus)…

The atmosphere warm, balmy, beautiful, too much so to put in words and express. Now we feel a slight breeze and we are wafted through the outer rim as it were into a perfect little heaven by itself. Nothing ever realized on earth could compare with this. Now we see no one, i. e. no living being so to speak, only these beautiful creatures the trees like wax, the flowers like the true soul as it were, they are so really beautiful, the fields are one mass of green, the flowers of various hues, yet we see not a man anywhere.

…to the absurd (describing the sun)

we find it very warm and deserted like a deserted island. We wish to find its inhabitants if there are any i.e. if it has any. Now we see what we term monkeys, dreadful looking creatures, black extremely black, very wild. We find they live in caves which are made in the sand or mud, clay etc.

Read on until at least page 444 for the ensuing monkey controversy and Newbold’s admiting to losing it.

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