Audience Ponders Deeply on
Hearing Conan Doyle Talk

Noted British Author Produces the Much Talked-of and Criticized Photograph Before Large Crowd – Describes Ectoplasm – Deep Hush Falls Over Crowd as He Tells of First Meeting with His Departed Son

“If the devil does work like that he does not know his own job,” was the concluding remark of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in referring to certain criticisms levelled at the now world-famous photograph thrown on the screen at his lecture at the Al Azhar Temple on Wednesday night. This showed distinctly the forms of dead soldiers hovering around the great crowd gathered in front of the cenotaph in Whitehall, London, England during the public ceremonies on Armistice Day.

As was anticipated, the Al Azhar was filled to its utmost capacity, and had come to hear the famous British author out of curiosity, if not in open defiance to his psychic teaching, they at least left the building pondering deeply on what he had to say.

Hereafter Described

He described heavenas a region of concentric circles around the earth. The colouring there was beautiful. Music, children, loving and agreeable tasks occupying the time of the spirits. Hell was a place where the immoral expiate their sins, he said.

All these things Sir Arthur declared he had learned through mediums who had brought his son Kingsley back to him, who materialized the face of his mother, made spirit photographs of the dead and produced ectoplasm so well that he had, he said, actually handled it in daylight.

Forced to Believe

After studying the subject for thirty-six years, and after considering the verdict of more than 70 professors of great learning, he said that “the evidence wore me down. I had to admit that all these men could not be wrong and that my senses could not have deceived me.”

Sir Arthur not only described heaven, hell and the spirits, but he went into detail in discussing ectoplasm, which he declared was the basis of all physical phenomena. He told how this remarkable substance, which baffled scientists, was soluble in light. That was why a successful séance could not be conducted in broad daylight.

Meeting with Son

There was a deep hush among the audience when Sir Arthur related the first meeting with his son who had been killed in the war. He said the medium was a Welsh collier, of Merthyr Tydvil. “While he was in a deep trance, and we could hear his loud breathing, my son’s voice broke out near at hand. I felt a strong hand on my head and his lips were pressed to my brow. He spoke reassuring words to me that could have come from no other than my boy. Then he drifted away."

Sir Arthur admitted that his previous desire to communicate with spirits was intensified by the fact that ten near relatives had been killed in the world war. Seances were held in his own home, hymns were sung and the deep baritone of a dead soldier, hovering over their heads, joined in the singing. Other voices came, uttering prophetic things that later turned out to be true, he said.

Advised Consultation

“General Doyle, my brother, came back and advised his widow to consult a doctor in Copenhagen, of whom none of us have ever heard,” he continued, “and when I investigated, I found there was such a physician there.”

“While I was in Australia, my mother died. Ada Beanet, a medium, brought back her face to me so clearly that I could not mistake it. My wife saw it. Others saw it. It was no mirage. Death, the great black curtain, had opened wide through this greatest of miracles, spirit materialization,“ said the British author.

Sir Arthur gave a vivid description of answers that had been received from the “dead”. Gently they were led by loving hands into the new life. What “newcomers” found it difficult to realize was that they were really “dead”. The place beyond was one of supreme happiness.

One Bit of Humour

A man and wife for instance, who had been happy on this plane would “carry on” astrally, but a bullying husband and a nagging wife would be “forever parted”, he said.

Children who had been laid in the grave, in the ordinary acceptance of the term, would still continue to grow in stature, while the old and feeble, would again be rejuvenated. So far as bigots were concerned, they would be consigned to the “grey circles”. Eventually they, too, would attain a higher plane.

Ectoplasm Theory

The photographs shown by Sir Arthur demonstrated that ectoplasm issued from the medium’s body, generally the mouth, in the form of vapor. If conditions were right, and no light was turned on to dissolve it, it sometimes grew into a mass. In such cases the medium would be found to have lost weight proportionately. This, however, was promptly regained when the ectoplasm was returned to  the body.

After ectoplasm was formed, it was taken possession of by a spirit and might sometimes lead an independent existence for from two to three hours, after which the power waned and it vanished.

In the course of his lecture, Sir Arthur bitterly scored fakers and fraud mediums.