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Details of Boston seance

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                                       Sunday - Boston [Dec 1886?]
 
My dear Violet
                          Last night I went to a  séance and saw a whole lot of ghosts.   I examined the room well, fastened one of the doors with sticky privately marked, & had my chair against the other so that nobody could possibly get into the room after we sat down, & I went down stairs & made sure there were no trap-doors in the floor. The cabinet was merely a curtain across one corner of the room with solid walls, perfectly clear & simple. The medium sat in chair inside and I was opposite about 10 feet off. Light sufficient to see every body. The medium came out of the cabinet with a woman in white, and also a young man figure. Afterwards 3 females figures in white came out together also a tall Indian either alone or  with them. He danced and shook my hand, a large, hard, rough hand like that of a labourer. Afterwards a woman with a baby came out, & I was told I might go & examine the baby. I felt its face, nose, & hair & kissed it, and it was a  nice soft live baby & no mistake. A lady next me said the same, yet as soon as the séance was over the gas was turned up, the medium came out of the cabinet & we found nothing but bare walls, & the door fastened as I had fastened it & no possibility of any body getting in or out. This is going on every day with 3-4 mediums in Boston. People recognise their friends who talk to them about private  matters, tell then their names & give other tests, yet all the learned & scientific & fashionable people treat it all as imposture. A gentleman then recognised his son whom he had often seen there and at other mediums & who had given him many tests by referring to persons & things only of interest to themselves.     When I came from Baltimore last week I had my first journey in a sleeping car. The beds very comfortable, twice as big as on board ship and beautifully clean& comfortable. If it was not for the rattling & shaking, and the awkwardness of undressing & dressing it would be as good as being in a house. At the hotel at Baltimore it was not near so nice as here; though the white people were rather better looking than those of Boston, but half the populations are negroes or coloured people, most of them ugly. I enclose some stamps for Willie which please give to him with my love. I hope you  persevere with your reading history & biography & travels & other useful & instructive books. Tell Ma that Mr. Sharpe's opinion is quite correct. My lectures do want flummery, but the "slides" serve the purpose in some of them                           Your affectionate Papa
[signed]                                Alfred R. Wallace


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