Skip to main content

Martian Language

Martian Language

A language purporting to be that of the inhabitants of the planet Mars, written and spoken by the medium known as Hélène Smith (pseudonym of Catherine Elise Muller). Smith was studied by the celebrated investigator Theodore Flournoy, professor of psychology at Geneva. In 1892 Smith joined a Spiritualist circle, where she developed marvelous mediumistic powers.

In 1896, after Flournoy had begun his investigations, Smith claimed to have been spirited during a trance to the planet Mars, and thereafter described to the circle the manners, customs, and appearance of the Martians. She learned their language, which she wrote and spoke with ease and consistency. Unlike most of the "unknown tongues" automatically produced, the Martian language was intelligible, its words were used consistently, and on the whole it had every appearance of a genuine language.

That it was in any way connected with Mars was, of course, out of the question. The descriptions of that planet and its inhabitants were quite impossible. And the language itself bore remarkable resemblance to French, the native tongue of the medium. The grammar and construction of both languages were the same, and even the vowel sounds were identical, so that the source of the Martian language was clearly an extraordinary construction from the medium's unconscious. As such it greatly resembled the form of religious speech known as glossolalia, or speaking in tongues, which is a new language that is a cutdown version of the language the speaker uses normally everyday.


Flournoy, Theodore. From India to the Planet Mars. Reprint, New Hyde Park, N.Y.: University Books, 1963.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Martian Language." Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. . 17 Sep. 2019 <>.

"Martian Language." Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. . (September 17, 2019).

"Martian Language." Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. . Retrieved September 17, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.