Punch,  57 (1869), 238.

Wanted a Ghost!



Poetry, Drollery


Spiritualism, Societies, Experiment, Charlatanry, Supernaturalism, Force, Electricity

    Begins with an extract telling 'Proprietors of Haunted Houses' that a few gentlemen wish to visit such houses near London 'for the purpose of scientific investigation'. This extract and the following poem refer to the decision by the London Dialectical Society to launch a committee to investigate spiritualism. The poem describes various ghostly phenomena for the committee to pursue. These include ghosts 'of whatever variety' that can 'mingle in learned society' and 'work on the feelings electric / Of savans devoted to themes dialectic'; haunted houses full of 'Bells autophonic and creakiest boards', goblins 'from 't'other side Jordan to roam', demons who will explain the power that 'keeps airy Daniel' and 'elongates his braces', the 'merits / That make Mrs. Marshall affected by "sperrits"'. Suggests that 'in this age of inquiry', these 'pseudo-philosophers' want to 'daunt' 'old ladies and children', as well as galvanising 'once and again / All the exploded old tricks of Cock Lane' and calling 'a white sheet and post [...] a genuine ghost'.

© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005 - 2020

Printed from Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical: An Electronic Index, v. 4.0, The Digital Humanities Institute <http://www.sciper.org> [accessed ]