Cardiff Blavatsky Archive

Theosophical Society, Cardiff Lodge, 206 Newport Road, Cardiff CF24 – 1DL


Articles from A Modern Panarion

A Collection of Fugitive Fragments

From the pen of

H P Blavatsky

First published 1895


H P Blavatsky


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The Eddy Manifestations


H P Blavatsky


 [ The following letter was addressed to a contemporary journal by Mme.

Blavatsky, and was handed to us for publication in The Daily Graphic, as we have been taking the lead in the discussion of the curious subject of

Spiritualism.—EDIT0R “DAILY GRAPHIC.”]



AWARE in the past of your love of justice and fair play, I most earnestly

solicit the use of your columns to reply to an article by Dr. G. M. Beard in

relation to the Eddy family in Vermont. He, in denouncing them and their

spiritual manifestations in a most sweeping declaration, would aim a blow at the

entire spiritual world of to-day. His letter appeared this morning (October 2

Dr. George M. Beard has for the last few weeks assumed the part of the “roaring lion” seeking for a medium “to devour.” It appears that to-day the learned gentleman is more hungry than ever. No wonder, after the failure he has

experienced with Mr. Brown, the “mind-reader,” at New Haven.


I do not know Dr. Beard personally, nor do I care to know how far he is

entitled to wear the laurels of his profession as an M.D., but what I do know is

that he may never hope to equal, much less to surpass, such men and savants as

Crookes, Wallace, or even Flammarion, the French astronomer, all of whom have devoted years to the investigation of Spiritualism. All of them came to the

conclusion that, supposing even the well-known phenomenon of the materialization of spirits did not prove the identity of the persons whom they purported to represent, it was not, at all events, the work of mortal hands; still less was it a fraud.


Now to the Eddys. Dozens of visitors have remained there for weeks and even for months; not a single séance has taken place with out some of them realizing the personal presence of a friend, a relative, a mother, father, or dear departed

child. But lo! here comes Dr. Beard, stops less than two days, applies his

powerful electrical battery, under which the spirit does not even wink or

flinch, closely examines thecabinet (in which he finds nothing), and then turns his back and declares most emphatically “that he wishes it to be perfectly under-stood that if his scientific name ever appears in connection with the Eddy family, it must be only to expose them as the greatest frauds who cannot do even good trickery.”


Consummatum est! Spiritualism is defunct. Requiescat in Pace! Dr. Beard has

killed it with one word. Scatter ashes over your venerable but silly heads, 0

Crookes, Wallace and Varley! Henceforth you must be considered as demented,

psychologized lunatics, and so must it be with the many thousands of

Spiritualists who have seen and talked with their friends and relatives

departed, recognizing them at Moravia, at the Eddys’, and elsewhere throughout

the length and breadth of this continent. But is there no escape from the horns

of this dilemma? Yea verily, Dr. Beard writes thus: “When your correspondent

returns to New York I will teach him on any convenient evening how to do all

that the Eddys' do.” Pray why should a Daily Graphic reporter be the only one

selected by G. M. Beard, M.D. for initiation into the knowledge of so clever a

“trick”? In such a case why not publicly denounce this universal trickery, and

so benefit the whole world? But Dr. Beard seems to be as partial in his

selections as he is clever in detecting the said tricks. Didn’t the learned

doctor say to Colonel Olcott while at the Eddys’ that three dollars’ worth of

second-hand drapery would be enough for him to show how to materialize all the spirits that visit the Eddy homestead?


To this I reply, backed as I am by the testimony of hundreds of reliable

witnesses, that all the wardrobe of Niblo’s Theatre would not suffice to attire

the numbers of “spirits” that emerge night after night from an empty little



Let Dr. Beard rise and explain the following fact if he can: I remained

fourteen days at the Eddys’. In that short period of time I saw and recognized

fully, out of 119 apparitions, seven “spirits.” I admit that I was the only one

to recognize them, the rest of the audience not having been with me in my

numerous travels throughout the East, but their various dresses and costumes

were plainly seen and closely examined by all.


The first was a Georgian boy, dressed in the historical Caucasian attire,

the picture of whom will shortly appear in The Daily Graphic. I recognized and

questioned him in Georgian upon circumstances known only to myself. I was

understood and answered. Requested by me inhis mother tongue (upon the whispered suggestion of Colonel Olcott) to play the Lezguinka, a Circassian dance, he did so immediately upon the guitar.


Second—A little old man appears. He is dressed as Persian merchants

generally are. His dress is perfect as a national costume. Everything is in its

right place, down to the “babouches” that are off his feet, he stepping out in

his stockings. He speaks his name in a loud whisper. It is “Hassan Aga,” an old

man whom I and my family have known for twenty years at Tiflis. He says, half in Georgian and half in Persian, that he has got a “big secret to tell me,” and

comes at three different times, vainly seeking to finish his sentence.


Third—A man of gigantic stature comes forth, dressed in the picturesque

attire of the warriors of Kurdistan. He does not speak, but bows in the oriental

fashion, and lifts up his spear ornamented with bright-coloured feathers,

shaking it in token of welcome. I recognize him immediately as Jaffar Ali Bek, a

young chief of a tribe of Kurds, who used to accompany me in my trips around

Ararat in Armenia on horseback, and who on one occasion saved my life. More, he bends to the ground as though picking up a handful of mould, and scattering it around, presses his hand to his bosom, a gesture familiar only to the tribes of

the Kurdistan.


Fourth—A Circassian comes out. I can imagine myself at Tiflis, so perfect is

his costume of “nouker” (a man who either runs before or behind one on

horseback). This one speaks more, he corrects his name, which I pronounced

wrongly on recognizing him, and when I repeat it he bows, smiling, and says in

the purest guttural Tartar, which sounds so familiar to my ear, “Tchoch

yachtchi” (all right), and goes away.


Fifth—Au old woman appears with Russian headgear. She comes out and

addresses me in Russian, calling me by an endearing term that she used in my

childhood. I recognize an old servant of my family, a nurse of my sister.


Sixth—A large powerful negro next appears on the platform. His head is

ornamented with a wonderful coiffure something like horns wound about with white and gold. His looks are familiar to me, but I do not at first recollect where I have seen him. Very soon he begins to make some vivacious gestures, and his

mimicry helps me to recognize him at a glance. It is a conjurer from Central

Africa. He grins and disappears.


Seventh and last—A large, grey-haired gentleman comes out attired in the

conventional suit of black. The Russian decoration of St. Ann hangs suspended by a large red moiré ribbon with two black stripes— a ribbon, as every Russian will know, belonging to the said decoration. This ribbon is worn around his neck. I feel faint, for I think I recognize my father. But the latter was a great deal

taller. In my excitement I address him in English, and ask him: “Are you my

father?” He shakes his head in the negative, and answers as plainly as any

mortal man can speak, and in Russian, “No; I am your uncle.” The word “diadia” was heard and remembered by all the audience. It means “uncle.” But what of that? Dr. Beard knows it to be but a pitiful trick, and we must submit in

silence. People that know me know that I am far from being credulous. Though an Occultist of many years’ standing, I am more sceptical in receiving evidence

from paid mediums than many unbelievers. But when I receive such evidences as I received at the Eddys’, I feel bound on my honour, and under the penalty of

confessing myself a moral coward, to defend the mediums, as well as the

thousands of my brother and sister Spiritualists against the conceit and slander

of one man who has nothing and no one to back him in his assertions. I now

hereby finally and publicly challenge Dr. Beard to the amount of $500  to

produce before a public audience and under the same conditions the

manifestations herein attested, or failing this, to bear the ignominious

consequences of his proposed exposé



I2 East Sixteenth Street, New York City,

October 27th, 1874



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