Gazzera, Linda (ca. 1900-)

views updated

Gazzera, Linda (ca. 1900-)

Nonprofessional Italian medium discovered by psychical researcher Enrico Imoda, who published an important book, Fotographie di fantasma (1912), on his experiments with her at Turin in the house of the Marquise de Ruspoli. Gazzera produced impressive telekinesis and materialization phenomena. Her primary control was a deceased cavalry officer, "Vincenzo," and at times "Carlotta," a child of four.

Charles Richet describes her powers in Thirty Years of Psychical Research (1923):

"I hold Linda's two hands, her head and knees. A hand, seemingly from behind me, strikes me heavily. I think I can distinguish its fingers and this is repeated a second time. I hold the left hand firmly, Imoda holding the right, which I frequently verify by touch. The objects were taken from the cupboard behind, a thimble was put on the first finger of my left hand, a sheath [étui] was put on my nose, and I felt fingers touching my nose and face."

Richet compared her phenomena to that of Eusapia Palladino:

"Telekinetic experiments succeed well with Linda as she is more easily controlled than Eusapia, for she scarcely moves at all, while Eusapia is in continual jerky movement. In the first experiment the ectoplasmic hand that I felt was cold and stiff; in the fourth experiment it was warm, articulated and supple."

A notable feature of Gazzera's mediumship was the rapidity with which phenomena were manifest, often within a few moments of the light being extinguished during dark séances. Richet's colleague Guillaume de Fontenay took some excellent photographs of phenomena, and Richet enthusiastically endorsed her mediumship as genuine.


Imoda, Enrico. Fotographie di fantasma. Turin, 1912.