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objects produced by mediums during Spiritualistic seances. These objects
can range from flowers, jewelry, and even live animals. The production of
the apports was and is still one of the most prominent and effective aspects
of the seances. Their behavior vary from flying through the air, to hitting
the sitters in their faces, to landing on the table or in people's laps.
A favorite is to scatter perfume over the audience.
However, during scientific testing in seances numerous frauds have been
discovered even when ordinary precautions were taken. Often the fraudulent
medium concealed the apports in the room or on his/her person. While the
seances may have been conducted by unscrupulous procedures, often it was
discovered that no fraudulent intent was intended.
Production of apports is one of the most puzzling and exciting aspects of
Spiritualism. The objects vary in size, are both inanimate and animate,
and seem to suffer no ill effects from their strange mode of travel. The
first recorded observation of them appeared in the Researches psychologique
ou correspondencesur le magnetisme vital entre un Solitaire et M. Deleuze
(Paris, 1839) It was witnessed by a Dr. G. P. Billot during a seance on
March 5, 1819. At the seance were three somnambules and a blind woman. One
of the seeresses said she saw a dove flying around the room. It was carrying
something in its beak which it finally deposited before a person. When Billot
examined the contents of the packet he found three peieces of paper with
a small bone glued to each and beneath was written, "St. Maxime, St.
Sabine and Many Martyrs." Later Billot with the blind woman told of
the experience to Dr. Deleuze who said he thought that animal magnetism
was probably a better explanation than the intervention of spirits. There
have, of course, been other explanations.
Apports have been recorded as arriving in various ways. During one of the
Millesimo seances a pair of modest earrings given by a guide spirit to Marchioness
Centurione Scotto came by means of a trumpet with a phosphorus band which
appeared. The trumpet turns its large end up to fit against the ceiling
and then there was heard a thumbing sound as the earrings dropped into the
In his work Man's Survival After Death the Reverend C. L. Tweedale
described an incident which involved his mother, wide and himself. His mother
had suffered a cut on her head. They were all in the dinning room. His wife
had just parted the older woman's hair to examine the wound. The minister
suddenly looked and saw coming through the air with force from an opposite
corner of the room above a window which his wife's back was to a jar of
ointment. The jar was one which his mother kept locked away in a chest.
To him, the obvious indication was to apply the ointment to his mother's
injury. Tweedale notes other similar incidents in his book.
Doctors Dusart and Brogart both observed a lump of sugar disappear and reappear
in a seance room.
There is the question from where do these apports come from. The question
is legitimate when there is no fraudulent manipulation of the objects involved.
Apports of flowers have been traced to a nearby gedarden. One incident involved
when attending a seance held by Helena
Blavatsky who was presented with a leaf of
a rare plant on which he had previously put a mark. A.G.H.