The Shadow World

The Shadow World

by Hamlin Garland


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301 Pages. Complete and Unabridged!

Hamlin Garland informs us in his foreword of psychical phenomena which came under his observation. It is the story of the experiences of a group of people brought together by the author to listen to the revelations of one of their number who turns out to be a real "medium."

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From the Foreword.

THIS book is a faithful record, so far as I can make it, of the most marvelous phenomena which have come under my observation during the last sixteen or seventeen years. I have used my notes (made immediately after the sittings) and also my reports to the American Psychical Society (of which I was at one time a director) as the basis of my story. For literary purposes I have substituted fictitious names for real names, and imaginary characters for the actual individuals concerned; but I have not allowed these necessary expedients to interfere with the precise truth of the account.

For example, "Miller," an imaginary chemist, has been put in the place of a scientist much older than thirty-five, in whose library the inexplicable "third sitting" took place. "Fowler," also, is not intended to depict an individual. The man in whose shoes he stands is one of the most widely read and deeply experienced spiritists I have ever known, and I have sincerely tried to present through Fowler the argument which his prototype might have used. "Mrs. Quigg", "Miss Brush", "Howard", the "Camerons", and most of the others, are purely imaginary. The places in which the sittings took place are not indicated, for the reason that I do not wish to involve any unwilling witnesses.

In the case of the psychics, they are, of course, delineated exactly as they appeared to me, although I have concealed their real names and places of residence. Mrs. Smiley, whose admirable patience under investigation makes her an almost ideal subject, is the chief figure among my "mediums," and I have tried to give her attitude toward us and toward her faith as she expressed it in our sittings, although the conversation is necessarily a mixture of imagination and memory. Mrs. Hartley is a very real and vigorous character—a professional psychic, it is true, but a woman of intelligence and power. Those in private life I have guarded with scrupulous care, and I am sure that none of them, either private or professional, will feel that I have willfully misrepresented what took place. My aim throughout has been to deal directly and simply with the facts involved.

I have not attempted to be profound or mystical or even scientific, but I have tried to present clearly, simply, and as nearly without bias as possible, an account of what I have seen and heard. The weight of evidence seems, at the moment, to be on the side of the biologists; but I am willing to re open the case at any time, although I am, above all, a man of the open air, of the plains and the mountains, and do not intend to identify myself with any branch of meta-psychical research. It is probable, therefore, that this is my one and final contribution to the study of the shadow world.

—Hamlin Garland. Chicago, July, 1908.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781663524898
Publisher: Barnes & Noble Press
Publication date: 07/01/2020
Pages: 302
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.68(d)

About the Author

Hannibal Hamlin Garland (September 14, 1860 – March 4, 1940) was an American novelist, poet, essayist, short story writer, Georgist, and psychical researcher. He is best known for his fiction involving hard-working Midwestern farmers. After moving to Hollywood, California, in 1929, he devoted his remaining years to investigating psychic phenomena, an enthusiasm he first undertook in 1891. In his final book, "The Mystery of the Buried Crosses" (1939), he tried to defend such phenomena and prove the legitimacy of psychic mediums.

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