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A FRENCH HAUNTED HOUSE.
Paris, during the last week of June, was greatly excited over the discovery of a 'haunted'' house at Valence-en-Brie, tenanted by M. Labegue. Visitors in broad daylight heard raps and were addressed by a mysterious voice. Among other investigators was M. Desormeaux, of the Gaulois, who returned to Paris "convinced that we are in presence of real and impressive manifestations of those unknown forces of man. the existence
of which was recently brought to light by the works of M. de Rochas and Doctor Baraduc." The writer in the Gaulois sets aside as im- possible the hypothesis of a practical joke, as the mysterious manifestations he investigated had already lasted during 17 consecutive days in broad daylight, and often in the presence of several persons. Summing up the most cha racteristic of those manifestations, M. Desor- meaux says: — 'On Wednesday, June 10, Isabelle, the young servant, goes down into the cellar to fetch some chips to light a fire. Her candle goes out and while she continues filling her apron with tho chips she hears a violent blow struck close beside her. At the same time she perceives in the dim light a red rag flutter ing in the air, as if carried by a mysterious invisible hand. She is frightened, and wants to run away, but she is, so to say, petrified with terror by an awful roar. On the follow- ing days a voice is heard, at first very weak, but gaining strength little by little till it resembles the hoarse voice of the giant of the .:. fair. Every day the voice ascends. It is heard at the cellar door, then in the kitchen, .. and soon in the hall and iu the rooms of the house. It posts itself at the bed-side of the invalid, Madame Lebegue, insults Dr. Pate, and jeers at the gendarmes who come to in- ° spect the premises. That voice is heard every where. It issues from the ground, from the chimney, from under the dishes on the dining table ; it accompanies M. Lebegue's son ? into his bedroom, and M. Lebegue's little daughter follows it from the first story down _ to the bottom of the cellar, where it seems to ' be stifled in a heap of wood. On Monday, June 22, at 7 p.m., all the panes of the hall - window are broken one after the otherr not with missies from without, but from within, as . shown by the shattered glass being outside. On Thursday, June 25, during a thunderstorm, all the furniture in the drawing-room on the ground floor is upset. On the first floor, ia young Lebegue's bedroom, a looking-glass is - :? pierced as by a bullet. It is at that moment the voice says, in the presence of M. Daniel d'Aigre, of the Journal, 'Well! I have done a good job. I am pleased with myself. ' The next morning I am in the hall with two visitors ; ' the servant is in the garden speaking to another person when I hear at the cellar door the mysterious roar like the monstrous amplifica- ~-\ tion of a sigh of regret.' M. Henry Desormeaux appears to think (says the London Standard correspondent) that the intentional or unintentional cause of all these ' mysterious manifestations is the yqflng ser vant, Isabelle Pelletier. In other houses in which she previously served, at Sens and at Valence, things were upset without any apparent cause, while she was present or not -s far off. To explain his hypothesis M. Desor- '*? meaux invokes the researches of M. de Rochas ,1 and of Dr. Baraduc, who think they have dis covered the existence in man of a fluid envelop- -*'? ing him, which fluid in its normal condition is impalpable and invisible, but which under ^ certain conditions is exteriorised and mate* ^ : rialised, and rendered capable of impregnating inert objects to the extent of imparting to ?' them a sort of life. In that case the objects. '-^ become, so to say, -a prolongation of the . person's body, and when he moves they follow . ' lim. Taking this theory tor granted, M. Desormeaux argues that it is possible that the ; contact with an objeot pregnant with contrary '? electricity may determine a return current- , occasioning the displacement of objects. % It is thus he accounts for. the shattering of windows, &c. With -regard to the voice, which cannot be explained in that manner, - , M. Desormeaux enquires whether it is not pos sible that the exteriorised vital power is % not seized upon by some spirit, with whioh, j according to the Kabbaliets and modem - * ?; '? \ -. :.-.-..?:. : .'? -. \
Occultists, the air 1b peopled. Thonghmost inen endowed with practical common sense . frill be inclined to reject M. Desormeaux's ex jWanationof the mysterious manifestations at yalenoe-en-Brie, it must be admitted they are ingenious. la a letter addressed to the editor «f the : . Journal, Abbe Schnebelin declares he has put ho end to tbe mysterious manifestations whioh had for so very many days disturbed the peace tAM. Lebegue's house. The abbe'p. explana tion of how he succeeded in freeing the haunted house from the mysterious voice, fro., is extremely vague, and almost as mysterious as the manifestations themselves. It ib, however, clear that he did not proceed to drive out the evil spirit in conformity with the rites of the Roman Catholic Church because he discovered- the author of the mani festations was a human being who bore ill-will to the Lebegue family. Who he is the abb£ poes not say, but be declares that on the urgent request of M. Lebegue he commenced on Monday to break the occult forces operat ing at Valence-en-Brie from a distance. He Bays that at 10 o'clock in the evening he had so far succeeded that the voice said, 'Good night; I am going away for ever.' At 1 o'clock M. Lebegue brought to Abbe' Schnebelin a stone which had just been thrown by the unseen agency. The abbe at once measured its fluidic energy by the barometer, and found it at least one hundred degrees less than his own. He adds, ' From that moment the occult and sinister mystifier was my prisoner, I had but to crush him, which I did immediately.' This feat was not accom plished by the abbe while he was at Valence en-Brie, but while he was at Paris. His letter proceeds : — ' I declare in all sincerity there is absolutely nothing supernatural in these Btraiigo phenomena. In these manifes tations there is nothing but the operation of spiritist fluids, which seem to be allied to the electric fluids. These spiritist fluids are, so to say, the vehicle by which the human will exteriorises itself — that is to Bay, sends to a distance its motive power, as the Russian savant Aksakoff says, its sensi bility, its speech, its hearing, and even its phantom. I will add that these actions of exteriorisation are extremely dangerous for their author. There is danger of death for him if his exteriorised fluid meets on the way a contrary fluid.' The abbe then concludes by reproaching the scientific men of the insti tute with refusing to enquire into these matters lest they should meet with the super natural. They, however, he Bays, possess the elements of discoveries much more astounding than those of the telephone and phonograph.