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Emma

Emma

The servant girl of Joseph Haddock, a well-known English exponent of animal magnetism before the advent of Spiritualism. Emma was the first English somnambule or trance subject whose powers of clairvoyance and trance visions were carefully recorded. These were published in Haddock's book Somnolism and Psychism (1851) and in such journals of the time as The Zoist and the Boston Chronicle.

Haddock narrated that one day, trying to put a patient into magnetic (mesomeric) sleep, he thought of suspending a magnet from the ceiling and directing the patient to look steadfastly at it. Emma was in the kitchen under the room where he was practicing and knew nothing of his movements. In a few minutes Haddock smelled burning and called out to his daughter to look for the cause. She found Emma on fire. Haddock quickly ran down and found her mesmerized, on her knees before the kitchen fire, engaged in sweeping the hearth and with her apron burning from contact with a glowing coal. She was un-conscious of the fire and her attention was wholly directed to a point in the kitchen ceiling. When asked what she was doing, she replied, "I want that magnet." When Haddock pretended not to understand, she replied, "that magnet hanging up there" and accurately described its position.

Subsequent experiments disclosed that Emma had remarkable powers both in medical and in traveling clairvoyance. Haddock freely employed her for making diagnoses. She could describe the diseased structures in the patient's body without medical terms. Looking at the heart she called the auricles the "ears" and the ventricles the "meaty part." She distinguished between arterial and venous blood in the heart by calling one the "light side" and the other the "dark side." She could see events at a distance and described the whereabouts of lost or stolen property.

One case attracted considerable attention at the time. A Mr. Arrowsmith of Bolton, England, was considerably worried over a sum of £650 that one Mr. Lomax the cashier remembered to have paid into the bank but which the bank denied receiving. Emma was consulted. On being given the envelope that had contained the money, she correctly described the contents and how they were handed in at the bank counter and finally described the missing banknotes and the bill of exchange in an envelope with other papers in an inner room of the bank. Arrowsmith went to the bank and demanded another search, and on the directions given by Emma, the money was found among some old circulars in the manager's private room.

Like her contemporary Adèle Maginot, Emma had visions of the future life and spiritual matters, which Haddock also recorded in his book.

Sources:

Haddock, Joseph. Somnolism and Psychism. 1851. Reprint, New York: Arno Press, 1975.

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