Ghosts without Spirit
Supernaturalism, Amusement, Light, Instruments, Exhibitions, Spiritualism, Imposture
Reflects on the 'glut of ghosts' in theatres and other places of 'public amusement'. Wonders why 'the bona fide' ghosts of 'private "circles"' allow themselves to be 'insulted by mimicry'—the ghosts exhibited by the 'well understood denomination of optical illusions'. Noting John H Pepper's 'avowed design of demonstrating the unreality of those ghosts which spiritualists believe to be real', questions why the real ghosts do not 'give Pepper, and the other philosophers who produce the sham ghosts, a rap over the head'. The author adds that if he were a ghost he would 'astonish both the man of science outside the scenes and also the performer on the stage in a ghost piece'.
© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005 - 2020
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