February 13, 1885: Mr. Harry Kellar, Professional Conjuror
(Demonstrations Similar to Those of Dr. Slade)

BACK to Contents

February 13th, 1885.       

On February 13th, 1885, Mr. Furness, Professor Thompson and Mr. Fullerton, on the part of the Commission, met Mr. Harry Kellar, a professional conjurer, at Egyptian Hall.

The men seated themselves at a common pine table, 5 ft. x 3 ft., with leaves.

Mr. Kellar sat at one side of the table, Mr. Furness at one end to his left, Professor Thompson at one corner to Mr. Furness's left, and Mr. Fullerton opposite Mr. Kellar. The end of the table to Mr. Kellar's right was unoccupied.

Nine slates were found lying on a small stand about six feet from the table.

These slates were washed one by one on the stand, and laid in a pile on the table at Mr. Kellar's right.


A slate was taken from the pile, both sides washed, another slate placed upon it, and both held together under the edge of the table. A long communication appeared upon one of them (or what seemed to be one of them), purporting to come from the Spirits.

Two more slates were taken and apparently both sides washed. One was placed on the other and both laid upon the table in front of Professor Thompson, one end of the slates being held by him and the other by Mr. Kellar. When the upper slate was removed the under side of it was covered with writing.

Professor Thompson then changed his position to that which he held when with Dr. Slade -- to the end of the table opposite Mr. Furness, and to Mr. Kellar's right.

Writing was produced in similar manner on two other slates without the Committee detecting the manner in which it was produced.

One of these slates was covered on both sides with the following messages: On voyage tout eveille dans le royaume des reves et des illusions; lesprit se refuse a admettre les merveilles executees dans une salle eclaire devant un public incredule qui cherche a s'expliquer les trucs employes a deviner les --

Kellar huye del espiritismo porque ya paso la epoca de ella, y solo da el ejercicio caracter de prestidigitacion.

Het blyfft onbegrypelyk hoe de heer Kellar die door twee personen uit het publiek stevigwordt vast gebonden, zich in een oogwenk wist los te maken

[Here follow, in eight lines, sentences for which we have no types, in Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, and Gujerati. This remarkable feat closes with the following in German script:] Ich bin ein Geist und ich liebe mein Lagerbier -- Hans Schneider.

     Von Moltke.

One slate was broken in a similar way to that broken by Dr. Slade. Professor Thompson was asked to write a question, which he did while the side of the slate on which he wrote was turned away from Mr. Kellar. The slate was not turned over, the written question remaining on the under side, and it was held at the usual place under the table, Mr. Kellar's thumb remaining above the table in full view, while the fingers held the slate up under the table.

A moment after the placing of the slate under the table, it was withdrawn to admit of a small pencil being placed upon it, Mr. Furness having remarked the absence of the pencil.


The slate was not otherwise withdrawn from under the table above two inches until its final withdrawal, and the question was always, seemingly, on the under side.

When the slate was brought out a communication was found upon it in answer to Professor Thompson's question.

The answer was on the upper side of the slate. [April, 1887: Mr. Kellar afterwards revealed his methods to our colleague, Mr. Furness.]


BACK to Top