In parapsychology and spiritualism, an apport is the alleged paranormal transference of an article from one place to another, or an appearance of an article from an unknown source that is often associated with poltergeist activity or séances.[1][2] Apports reported during séances have been found to be the result of deliberate fraud.[3] No medium or psychic has demonstrated the manifestation of an apport under scientifically controlled conditions.[2]

Lajos Pap (middle), fraudulent apport medium.

History Edit

A famous apport fraud is attributed to Charles Bailey (1870–1947). During a séance, Bailey produced two live birds out of thin air but was undone when the dealer who sold him the birds appeared in the crowd. Common objects that are produced are stones, flowers, perfumes, and animals. These objects are said to be "gifts" from the spirit(s).[2]

In March 1902 in Berlin, police officers interrupted a séance of the apport medium Frau Anna Rothe. Her hands were grabbed and she was wrestled to the ground. A female police assistant physically examined Rothe and discovered 157 flowers as well as oranges and lemons hidden in her petticoat. She was arrested and charged with fraud.[4] After a trial lasting six days she was sentenced to eighteen months imprisonment.[5]

In 1926, Heinrich Melzer was exposed as a fraud as he was caught in the séance room with small stones attached to the back of his ears by flesh coloured tape.[6] According to neurologist Terence Hines "Some female mediums went so far as to conceal in their vagina or anus objects to be 'apported' during the seance and gauzy fabric that would become 'ectoplasm' during the seance. These were places that Victorian gentlemen, no matter how skeptical, were highly unlikely to ask to search."[7]

There are many cases where apports have been smuggled into the séance room.[8] Other apport mediums that were exposed as frauds were Lajos Pap and Maria Silbert.[9][10]

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. ^ "Historical Terms Glossary". Archived from the original on 2016-03-14. Retrieved 2016-12-29.
  2. ^ a b c Melton, J. Gordon (2008). The Encyclopedia of Religious Phenomena. Detroit: Visible Ink Press. pp. 12–13. ISBN 9781578592098.
  3. ^ "apport". The Skeptic's Dictionary. 2015-10-27. Retrieved 2016-12-21.
  4. ^ Treitel, Corinna (2004). A Science for the Soul: Occultism and the Genesis of the German Modern. Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 165. ISBN 9780801878121.
  5. ^ Foreign Correspondence New York Times E.T.H. (1903-04-11). "Trial of German Medium - Frau Rothe Sentenced to Eighteen Months' Imprisonment. Produced Beautiful Flowers at Her Seances - Remarkable Evidence - How the Police Exposed the Woman". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-12-21.(subscription required)
  6. ^ Pslmer, E. Clephan (2003). The Riddle of Spiritualism. Kessinger Publishing. pp. 35–39. ISBN 9780766179318.
  7. ^ Hines, Terence (2002). Pseudoscience and the Paranormal (2nd ed.). Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books. p. 51. ISBN 9781573929790.
  8. ^ Shepard, Leslie; Spence, Lewis; Fodor, Nandor (1984). Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology (2nd ed.). Detroit: Gale Research Company. p. 504. ISBN 9780810301962.
  9. ^ Polidoro, Massimo (2001). Final Seance: The Strange Friendship Between Houdini and Conan Doyle. Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books. p. 103. ISBN 9781573928960.
  10. ^ Gyimesi, Júlia (2014). "Between Religion and Science: Spiritualism, Science and Early Psychology in Hungary". International Psychology, Practice and Research: 1–20. Retrieved 20 April 2017. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)

External links Edit