Experimental Demonstrations by Dr. von Schrenck Notzing
from Gustave Geley's "Clairvoyance and Materialisation:
A Record of Experiments" (London: T. Fisher Unwin Limited,
DR. VON Schrenck Notzing devoted several months in 1922
to demonstrations of the reality of ectoplasm to members
of the liberal professions.
These demonstrations were entirely successful. A round
hundred of scientists, all profoundly sceptical, and some
openly hostile, declared themselves, without exception,
completely convinced after having worked under the direction
of Dr. Schrenck-Notzing with his medium Willy [Schneider].
Herewith the list of those best known among the witnesses
(the numerals signify the number of sittings attended):
Dr. Zimmer, Professor of Zoology in the University of Munich
Dr. G?ber, Professor of Zoology at the Polytechnichum (18).
Dr. Hans Driesch, Professor of Philosophy in the University
of Leipsic (1).
Dr. Becher, Professor of Psychology in the University of
Dr. ?sterreich, Professor of Philosophy in the University
of Tubingen (3).
Dr. von Kalker, Professor of Jurisprudence in the University
of Munich (2).
Dr. Gustav Freytag, Professor of Medicine in the University
of Munich (3).
Dr. Salzer, Professor of Medicine in the University of Munich
Dr. Gustav Wolff, Professor of Psychiatry in the University
of Basle, and Director of the Asylum at Friedmatt (1).
Dr. von Aster, Professor of Philosophy in the University
of Giessen (1).
Dr. Graetz, Professor of Physics in the University of Munich
Dr. Pauli, Professor of Psychology in the University of
Dr. Alrutz, Professor of Psychology in the University of
Dr. Vanino, Professor of Chemistry in the University of
Dr. Wiedersheim, Privy Councillor, former Professor of Anatomy
in the University of Fribourg (1).
Dr. Huber, Privatdocent of Psychology in the University
of Munich (1).
Dr. Schmidt-Noehr, ex-Professor of Philosophy, University
of Heidelberg (1).
Dr. Hartogs, Professor of Mathematics, University of Munich
Dr. Heilner, Professor of Medicine, University of Munich
Dr. Pauli, Professor of Physics in the University of Jena
Dr. Geiger, Professor of Philosophy in the University of
Dr. Wildstaetter, Professor of Chemistry in the University
of Munich (1).
Dr. Lindemann, Professor of Mathematics in the University
of Munich (1).
Other Medical Men who took part in the Seances:
Dr. Osborne, neurologist, Munich (12).
Dr. Marcinowski, Director of the Sanatorium of Heilbrunn
Dr. Troemmer, Physician-in-Chief, Hospital St. George, Hamburg
Dr. Tischner, oculist, Munich (3).
Dr. M?ller, Councillor of Hygiene, specialist in radioscopy,
Baron Dr. von Gersattel, neurologist, Munich (4).
Dr. Kindborg, neurologist, Breslau (1).
Dr. Krapf, Director of the Asylum at Gabersee (1).
Mme. Dr. Lebrecht, neurologist (25).
Kuttner, medical student, Munich (1).
Dr. Wittenberg, neurologist, Munich (3).
Dr. Recknagel, physician at Munich (2).
Dr. Durig, physician of Munich (1).
Dr. von Hattingberg, neurologist, Munich (1).
Dr. Nobbe, occulist, formerly of Munich (1).
Dr. Patin, gynecologist, Munich (1).
Dr. Bohm, veterinary surgeon, Nuremberg (1).
Other Witnesses of Scientific Standing:
Dr. von Scanzoni, advocate at Munich (2).
Dr. Oertel, Oberlandesgerichtrat at Munich (2).
Dr. Erich Bohn, advocate at Breslau (3).
Dr. Willi Seidel, author, Munich (1).
Mr. Gustave Meyrinck, author, Starnberg (1).
Mr. R. Lambert, Director of Studies, Stuttgart (3).
Mr. Karl Krall, animal psychologist, Elberfeld (2).
Mr. Rudolph Schott, scientist, Munich (2).
Mr. Sicler, librarian, National Library of Berne (2).
Prof. Dr. Bastian Schmid, animal psychologist, Munich (1).
Alfred Schuler, scientist, Munich (25).
Dr. Ludwig Klages, ex-Professor of Philosophy, Munich (1).
General Peter, author on para-psychology, Munich (25)
Dr. Offner, Director of Gymnasium at Gunzburg (Danube) (1).
Mr. Hutchinson, author, formerly of Munich (1).
Mr. Pearse, English writer and occultist.
Messrs. Dingwall and [Harry] Price, of the British SPR (3).
Professor Karl Gruber, collaborating with Dr. von Schrenck-Notzing,
had kindly sent me his synthetic abstract of these decisive
experiments. The objectivity and even the nature of telekinesis
and materialisation are warmly discussed in Germany, on
the basis of the experiments made for a whole year by Dr.
Schrenck-Notzing and his collaborators with the medium Willy
There are two features that distinguish these experiments
from those that preceded them:
1. The control has been so perfect, and the training of
the medium by Dr. Schrenck-Notzing was conducted with such
wise comprehension of the necessities of the case, that
it was possible to make the experiments decisive and unassailable.
2. A large number of German and foreign scientists have
collaborated with Dr. Schrenck-Notzing, and bear their witness.
As he says in the recently published second edition of his
work on Materialisation Phenomena, 94 persons took part
in these seances between December 3, 1921, and July 1, 1922,
among whom were 23 University professors, 18 medical men,
and 19 distinguished persons, all students of parapsychology,
whose names appear in the foregoing list.
I myself took part in twenty-five of these experiments,
and have convinced myself that telekinesis and materialisation
are facts. This conviction was shared by all the other scientific
witnesses. They are all in accord that the hypothesis of
fraud is quite untenable, and they arrived at this conclusion
Although nothing could be established as to the nature
of the manifestations, the complete exclusion of fraud is
of the first importance, for this hypothesis of fraud has
always held the first place in criticism of the phenomena.
It should be added that the medium submitted to the most
rigorous examination in the Munich Institute of Psychology
by Professor Becher in fifteen seances, most of which were
successful. The conclusions reached have not been published
as yet, further experimentation being in progress. The statements
of the participants are all in the hands of Dr. Schrenck-Notzing,
and have been published in the work above referred to.
That so many scientific observers should have testified
that fraud could have no place is due to conditions of control
so perfect that they cannot be surpassed. It is now admitted
that regular telekinetic manifestations were observed under
the conditions here following:
The room in which the experiments took place was most carefully
searched before each sitting; the medium was examined by
specialists at the moment of putting on his tight garment;
luminous bracelets and bands were sewn on, and luminous-headed
pins were affixed so that his slightest movements could
be seen by the witnesses, even in the dark.
Willy was seated outside the cabinet, and two witnesses
held his wrists. A third controlling witness sat in front
of him, holding his hands and keeping his legs between the
knees of the controller. Each of these and their colleagues
could observe Willy freely. Both medium and experimenters
were shut off from the objects to be telekinetically moved
by a gauze screen in the form of a cage. Even if the medium
could have freed a leg or an arm (impossible under the conditions
of control), the gauze screen would have prevented factitious
phenomena. The increasing severity of control exercised
from one experiment to another has never as yet prevented
the phenomena. In most cases there was no inhibiting influence;
when such existed it was overcome. Darkness was rarely total;
the light was usually given by several red lamps, sufficient
to enable the outlines of the experimenters to be seen.
Later observations have distinguished a rigid body that
seemed to emanate from the right hip of the medium. At about
? (three-quarters) yard from the floor it traversed the
gauze partition, enlarging some of its interstices, and
moved objects 80 to 100 centimetres distant from the medium.
It seems that the medium has to make a certain effort to
cause this fluidic member to traverse the screen. But here
also training has enabled this obstacle to be overcome.
Up to the present we have not succeeded in getting materialisations
by circumscribing the medium's radius of action by a gauze
partition, but the materialisations (which were observed
with extraordinary frequency) were produced at 1 to 1.20
metres from him under conditions which exclude any error.
During most of the seances in which I participated I was
one of the controllers, and by the aid of a small red lamp
I have often observed the apparition of a small hand, more
or less completely formed. I have seen, and many others
have also seen, the shadow from the ends of the fingers
of an entire hand on a luminous disc. I have even been able
to see a small opaque hand take hold delicately of a handkerchief
placed on the foot of the lamp, wave it from side to side,
and replace it; and this while my two hands and those of
my colleague grasped the medium's forearms, which were encircled
by luminous bands, his legs being held firmly between mine.
The abundance of the phenomena produced under these same
conditions allows of a statement of palmary interest: Telekinetic
manifestations often, perhaps invariably, precede materialisation.
By using luminous bracelets we have verified that during
the levitation of a small table a dark stump like that of
a member could be distinguished, that it rose up under the
table, raised it, and replaced it on the floor, and showed
itself afresh underneath it. Objects telekinetically moved
- a bell, luminous screens, etc. - have been seen by all
the witnesses many times to have been grasped by an opaque
Besides these important aids to the solution of the problems
involved, the series of experiments made by Schrenck-Notzing
has the great merit of having enabled a large number of
men of science to observe personally both telekinesis and
materialisations under conditions that defy criticism. Although
some of these men, in view of the small extent of their
investigations, have not been able to adopt from the outset
the declaration of a physician of Munich - "Telekinesis
is demonstrated" - their unanimous testimony that "fraud
is excluded" is of the highest importance. Scientists
who were previously among the most hardened sceptics have
had to bow before the evidence. Those collaborators whose
observations have extended to a series of experiments have
been able to convince themselves without reserve of the
objectivity of telekinesis and materialisation.
Graduate doctor of the Faculty of Medicine of Lyon, distinguished
psychical researcher and Director of the Institut Metapsychique
International from 1919 to 1924. He wrote "l'Etre Subconscient"
(Paris, 1899), "From the Unconscious to the Conscious"
and "Clairvoyance and Materialisation" (London,
1927). It was to have been followed by a second volume,
"The Genesis and Meaning of Metapsychic Phenomena",
of which, however, the world was deprived by his sudden
death in an aeroplane accident on July 15, 1924, a few days
after a last experiment with Kluski in Warsaw.