A Curious Cheat
Italian medium Eusapia Palladino was born to a poor family in January 1854. She became famous when she performed the most extraordinary physical manifestations during the sťances held in Naples. She became to take tests conducted by scientists to prove that everything she did was real.
She was a different medium from most of the others. She did not insist on working in a dark place nor hide herself away in a small chamber with a curtain across the front. Many mediums did that, to hide the mechanics of their hoaxes. She always allowed those present to do anything they wish to prevent her from cheating, such as tying her hands and feet.
Dr Ercole Chiaia, and Italian scientist, reported that although she was bounded tightly to her seat and her hands tied, she still can attract furniture towards her, lift them up, and suspend them in the air. She will later make them come down again. She can control them really well. It was reported that she could even float in the air and play musical instruments although her hands are tied.
One of her most bizarre talent was to materialize human limbs around her. On occasion she would produce entire human form. Once, she was tied thoroughly to a camp bed before a sťance. She made no less than six materialized forms appear and disappeared. As each one vanished, Professor E. Morselli, who was one of the scientists investigating her, will checked the medium: she was still firmly tied to the bed.
She admitted that she is unable to control her actions when in trance. She preferred tight controls over her sťances, claiming that otherwise, if sceptics were present, she would be encouraged to cheat. She was caught cheating at least twice. The last occurrence, which happened in New York 1910, ended her career. But she is a curious kind of hoaxer who admits to her own propensity for fraud. She is caught when a researcher purposely let go of his guard to see what will happen.
Palladino levitates a musical instrument during a sťance in 1890s
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