ADDITOR, ouija board modified by a little round, hollow box with a pointer protruding from it. The hollow box serves as a miniature cabinet and moves under the fingers over a polished board printed with the alphabet.
BIOMETER of BARADUC, an instrument to register vibrations and nervous force of human bodies. It consists of a needle suspended by a fine thread under a glass shade. If the hand is brought near the shade the needle is deflected. The angle of deflection, according to Baraduc, depends on various mental, physical and moral conditions of the experimenter. He believed that the biometer affords inferences as regards these conditions.
COMMUNIGRAPH, an instrument for mechanical communication with the spirits. Known as the "Ashkir-Jobson Communigraph" it consists of a small table with a free-swinging pendulum underneath. The pendulum may make contact with a number of small metal plates representing the alphabet. The contact closes a circuit and makes the corresponding letter appear illuminated upon the face of the table. According to the inventors' claim no medium is necessary for the instrument. If a circle sits around the table the pendulum will commence swinging by what would seem to be its own volition.
DYNAMISTOGRAPH, an instrument constructed under spirit guidance by the Dutch physicists, Dr. J. L. W. P. Matla and Dr. G. J. Zaalberg Van Zelst, of Hague, to obtain direct communication with the spirit world without the employment of a medium. The device is rather complicated. Its principal parts consist of a cylinder (into which the spirit is supposed to enter), a table isolated by a sheet of glass and charged with an electric current, a pair of extremely sensitive scales and a writing apparatus arranged on the Morse system. Shut in a room, the action of the instrument was observed through a small glass window cut in the wall. By means of a lettered dial at the top of the machine, it is alleged, long communications were spelt out by apparently spiritual intelligences. In a Dutch book, The Mystery of Death, 1911, the result of these investigations is told in detail by the inventors. A report of the Dutch Physical Society objects that no sufficient allowance has been made for possible earth tremors and other normal causes. Nevertheless, such objections do not give satisfactory explanation for the curious communications received from the deceased father of Zaalberg Van Zelst.
FLUID MOTOR, of Count de Tromelin; it is composed of a paper cylinder, about two inches in diameter, open at each end and crossed diametrically at its upper part by a piece of straw, through the middle of which a needle is stuck, with the point resting on the bottom of a small inverted porcelain or glass jar. The paper cylinder is thus suspended outside and concentric with the inverted jar, the point of the needle acting as a pivot and enabling it to turn easily under the slightest impulse. Count de Tromelin claimed that if the right hand is placed behind this apparatus it will turn in the reverse direction to the hands of a watch. If the left hand is placed behind it will turn in the other direction. Warcollier observed that this motion has nothing to do with the polarity of the two hands. The left hand produces the same effect as the right in the same position, moreover the heat of the hand is sufficient to create an air current which is capable of producing the rotation.
MANTIC DEVICE, an object or mechanism used to free the psyche of its inhibitions to psychic knowledge. Favorites include crystal balls, tea leaves, tarot decks, astrology charts, etc. If messages from a given medium through a ouija board are subconsciously based rather than spirit based, then that device can be seen as another flavor of mantic device. Sir Alfred Russell Wallace said, "I am quite satisfied that there are astrologers who do give readings of character and sometimes events.... My conclusion is that the care, labor, attention and study required to draw out accurate results offer conditions which enable spirits to impress on the astrological student the results he gets, or thinks he gets from the completion of the figures, the astrologer is in fact a medium."
OUIJA BOARD (from the French oui and the
German ja: yes), a wooden tripod on rollers which, under the hand of
the medium, moves over a polished board and spells -out messages by
pointing out letters with its apex. As an invention it is very old.
It was in use in the days of Pythagoras, about 540 B.C. According to
a French historical account of the philosopher's life, his sect held
frequent seances or circles at which "a mystic table, moving on
wheels, moved towards signs, which the philosopher and his pupil,
Philolaus, interpreted to the audience as being revelations
supposedly from the unseen world."
An improvement of the original ouija board is the finger-like pointer at the narrow end, and a simplification is the replacement of the wooden board by a piece of alphabetical cardboard. If the pointer and the roll at the apex is replaced by a pencil thrust through a bored hole so as to form the third leg the ouija board is transformed into a planchette.
As a rule the ouija board as a method of communication is slow and laborious. But it frequently works with those who fail to get automatic writing with a pencil. Modern boards have the letters of the alphabet, numerals and Yes/No.
NERVE MEASUREMENT, To prove that the motor nerves of the medium are at work a number of apparatus have been constructed. The best known are the Biometer of Baraduc and the Sthenometer of Dr. Paul Joire; the Dynamoscope of Dr. Collongues, the Magnetometer of Abbe Fortin, the Galvanometer of Puyfontain, the Spiritoscope of Dr. Hare, the Magnetoscope of Ruter, and the fluid motors of Count Tromelin belong to the same class.
PLANCHETTE, invented in 1853 by a French spiritist, it is an offspring of the tipping table: a triangular polished board on rollers, resting on a pencil in the socket at the apex. The medium places his hand on the board. If it moves the front leg, the pencil leaves markings on the paper placed beneath. These markings may assume the form of letters and spell out connected messages.
PSYCHIC TELEPHONE, an instrument invented by F. R. Melton of Nottingham, consisting of a box inside of which is a rubber bag connected with a pair of earphones from a wireless set. The idea is that if a medium inflates the bag with her breath and then seals it, the bag will take the place of the medium and direct voices will be heard through the earphones in his absence. Harry Price subjected the instrument to a thorough test in the National Laboratory for Psychical Research. It did not work.
PSYCHOGRAPH, a rotating disc carrying an index over the alphabet. It is the modified form of Prof. Hare's instrument to test physical phenomena. The medium has to place his fingertips on the disc.
PSYCHOMANTEUM, an arrangement of a comfortable chair facing an angled mirror in a backlit darkened quiet area to encourage after-death communications. Popularized by Moody and described more fully in his book Reunions: Visionary encounters with departed loved ones. link
REFLECTOGRAPH, an instrument for mechanical communication with spirits, invented by George Jobson and B. K. Kirkby. It consists of a huge typewriter the key-contacts of which are so sensitive that by mere blowing upon them they can be depressed, close an electric current and make an illuminated letter appear. The machine, however, is not quite independent of human action. In the person of Mrs. L. E. Singleton a medium is in co-operation. When she is entranced, a hand steals out of the cabinet, taps the keys and spells out messages which are then flashed in luminous letters on a six foot indicator.
SHADOW APPARATUS, a setup consisting of a battery and lamp in a metal box with a Zeiss telephoto lens as a projector and a Wratten ruby filter to shoot a pencil of light on a luminous screen, was employed to detect the shape of the invisible arms which moved the bell or the trumpet. When the light was switched on the shadow of the arm was thrown on the screen. To quote the result of this experiment in the words of Eric J. Dingwall: "When the red light was switched on under the table I lay down on the floor and looked through the passage towards the luminous screen. From near the medium's foot, which was invisible, I saw an egg-shaped body beginning to crawl towards the center of the floor under the table. It was white and where the light was reflected it appeared opal. To the end nearest the medium was attached a thin white neck, like a piece of macaroni. It advanced towards the center and then rapidly withdrew to the shadow."
SPIRICOM, a modified radio receiver used by a sensitive to commuicate with discarnate beings. See Electronic Voice Phenomena. link
STHENOMETER, the instrument which Dr. Paul Joire invented to demonstrate the existence of a nervous force, acting externally to the body. In the center of the horizontal dial, marked out in 360 degrees, is a light needle or pointer, mostly of straw, balanced by a pivot on a glass support. The whole is covered with a glass shade. When the extended fingers of one's hand are brought at right angles to the pointer, near the shade without touching it, after a few seconds, in the majority of cases, a decided movement of the pointer takes place, it being attracted towards the hand. This movement extends over fifteen, twenty, and sometimes up to forty and fifty degrees. Certain substances which have been previously held in the hand also produce this movement. Wood, water, linen, cardboard, appear to store up this nervous energy. Tin-foil, iron and cotton produce no effect. The S.P.R. and some French scientific groups attributed the movement of the needle to the action of radiating heat.
TELEKINETOSCOPE,, an electric telegraph key was placed into a brass cup and connected to a red light under a hermetically sealed glass shade. A soap bubble was blown over the cup and covered by a glass shade. It was only through the depression of the telegraph key that the red light could be flashed. The whole apparatus was placed on the shelf inside the double table. The telegraph key was repeatedly depressed. The soap bubble, at the end of the seance, was found unbroken.
VANDERMEULEN SPIRIT INIDICATOR consists of two glass prisms, one plain, the other resinous, fixed faceto-face on a board. Between them hangs a very light triangle or wire. The prisms are connected to the positive and negative pole of a dry bell battery. If the hanging triangle swings out and touches the positive wire the circuit is closed and the bell rings. The spirits are expected to generate electricity in the prisms. If this is done, the hanging triangle which is wired to the negative pole will be repelled by the negative prism and attracted to the positive wire. The bell rings, which is taken as an indication that a spirit desires to communicate, and the observers rush to the ouija board to obtain the message.
For an extensive historic treatment of famous mediums, research associations and researchers plus extended discussions of many of the topics listed here see the full free download of Fodors Encyclopaedia of Psychic Science