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Really scientific ghost hunting

Like Professor Sidgwick, he first became interested in the subject through religious doubt, and forthwith attacked its problems with the zeal of a man whose principal characteristics are intense enthusiasm, resourcefulness of wit, and intellectual fearlessness. As everybody knows, his experiences with Mrs. Piper led him to unite with Hodgson and Myers in regarding the spiritual hypothesis as the only one capable of explaining all the phenomena encountered.

But he is none the less able and eager to expose fraud wherever found, and if only from the police view-point his society will undoubtedly do good work. Associated with him are many of the American investigators formerly identified with the English society; some of whom, notably Prof William James of Harvard, the dean of metaphysical (paranormal) research in the United States, also keep up their connection with the parent organisation.

Summing up the results of the really scientific ghost hunting of the last twenty-five years, it may be safely said that if the hunters have not accomplished their main object of definitely proving the existence of a  world, their labours have nevertheless been of high value in several important directions.

They have exposed the fraudulent pretensions of innumerable charlatans, and have thus acted as a protection for the credulous. They have shown that, making all possible allowance for error of whatever kind, there still remains in the phenomena of apparitions, clairvoyance, etc., phenomena not explainable on the hypothesis of fraud or chance coincidence.

They have aided in giving validity to the idea of the influence of suggestion as a factor both in the cause and the cure of disease. They have given a needed stimulus to the study of abnormal mental conditions. And, finally, by the discovery of the impressive facts that led Myers to formulate his hypothesis of the subliminal self, they have opened the door to far-reaching reforms in the whole sociological domain, in education, in the treatment of vice and crime, in all else that makes for the uplifting of the human race.

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