The Solid But Shapeless Stage

We are told that the entity wishing to show himself to us passes into

this shapeless mass of dough-like substance, which at once increases in

bulk, and commences to pulsate and move up and down, swaying from side

to side as it grows in height, the motive power being evidently


The entity then quickly sets to work to mould the mass into something

resembling a human body, commencing with the head
The rest of the upper

portion of the body soon follows, and the heart and pulse can now be

felt to be beating quite regularly and normally, differing in this

respect from those of the sensitive, who, if tested at this time, will

be found with both heart and pulse-beats considerably above the normal.

The legs and feet come last, and then the entity is able to leave the

near neighborhood of the sensitive and to walk amongst the sitters, the

third and last stage of its evolution being now complete.

Although occasionally the entity will appear clad in an exact copy of

the clothing which he states that he wore when on earth--especially if

it should happen to be something a little out of the common, such as a

military or naval uniform--they are draped as a rule in flowing white

garments of a wonderfully soft texture, and this, too, I have been

permitted to handle.

Our clairvoyants both affirm that at all times during the

materialization a thin band of, presumably, the dough-like substance can

be plainly seen issuing from the side of the sensitive, if a man, (or

from the pelvis, if a woman), and joined onto the center of the body

inhabited by the entity--just like the umbilical cord attached to a

human infant at birth--and we are instructed that this band cannot be

stretched beyond a certain radius, say ten to fifteen feet, without

doing harm to the sensitive and to the entity; although cases are on

record where materializations have been seen at a distance of nearly

sixty feet from the sensitive, on occasions when the conditions were

unusually favorable.

On handling different portions of the materialized body now, the flesh

is found to be both warm and firm. The bodies are well proportioned,

those of the females--for they take on sex conditions during the

process--having beautiful figures; the hands, arms, legs, and feet are

quite perfect in their modelling, but in my opinion the body, head, and

limbs of every materialization of either sex or any age which I have

scrutinized at close quarters carefully, or have been permitted to

handle, have appeared to be at least one-third smaller in size (except

as regards actual height) than those possessed by beings on earth of the

same sex and age.

Not only have we witnessed materializations of aged entities of both

sexes, showing all the characteristics of old age--for the purpose of

identification by the sitters, as they tell us--but we have seen

materialized infants also; and on one occasion two still-born children

appeared in our midst simultaneously, one of them showing distinct

traces on its little face of a hideous deformity which it possessed at

the time of its premature birth--a deformity known only to the mother,

who happened to be present that evening as one of the sitters.

We are told that, for the purpose of identification, the entity will

return to earth in an exact counterpart of the body which he alleges

that he occupied at the time of his death, in order that he may be

recognized by his relatives and friends who happen to be present. Thus,

the one who left the earth as an infant will appear in his materialized

body as an infant, although he may have been dead for twenty or thirty

years. The aged man or woman will appear with bent body, wrinkled face,

and snow-white hair, walking amongst us with difficulty, and just as

they allege they did before their death, although that may have occurred

twenty years before. The one who had lost a limb during his earth-life

will return minus that limb; the one who was disfigured by accident or

disease will return bearing distinct traces of that disfigurement, for

the purpose of identification only.

But as soon as the identification has been established successfully, all

this changes instantly; the disfigurement disappears; the four limbs

will be seen, and both the infant and the aged will from henceforth show

themselves to us in the very prime of life--the young growing upwards

and the aged downwards, as we say, and, as they one and all state

emphatically, just as they really look and feel in the sphere in which

they now exist.

While inhabiting these temporary bodies, they state that they take on,

not only sex conditions, but earth conditions temporarily too; for they

appear to feel pain if their bodies are injured in any way; complain of

the cold if the temperature of the room is allowed to fall much below

sixty degrees, or of the heat if the temperature is allowed to rise

above seventy degrees; seem to be depressed during a thunderstorm, when

our atmosphere is overcharged with electricity; and appear bright and

happy in a warm room when the world outside is in the grip of a hard

frost, and also on bright, starry nights.

And not only this, but they take on strongly marked characteristics of

the numerous races on earth temporarily too; the materialized entities

of the white races differing quite as markedly from those of the yellow

or brown races, as do these from the black races; and in speaking to us

each one will communicate in the particular language only which is

characteristic of his race on earth.

Five, six and even seven totally different languages have been

employed during a single experimental meeting through a sensitive who

had never in his life been out of England, and who was proved

conclusively to know no other language than English; the latter number,

we were told, being in honor of a ship's doctor who was present on one

occasion, and who--although the fact was quite unknown to any of us at

the time--proved to be an expert linguist, for he conversed that evening

with different entities in English, French, German, Russian, Chinese,

Japanese, and in the language of one of the hill-tribes of India.

On another occasion, when I was the only European present at an

afternoon experimental meeting held in London by eight Parsees of both

sexes from Bombay, during the whole of the time which the meeting

lasted--two and a quarter hours--the entities and the Parsee sitters

carried on their conversation in Hindustani; two entities and one of the

Parsee men simultaneously engaging in a heated controversy, which lasted

for nearly three minutes, over the disposal of the bodies of their dead,

the entities insisting on cremation only, as opposed to allowing the

bodies to be eaten by vultures--the noise which they made during this

discussion being almost deafening. The sensitive, it was proved

conclusively, knew no other language than English, and had only once

been out of the British Islands, when he paid a short visit to France.