But the most striking of the many occasions on which Home was seen to float in the air was that to which Mr. Crookes so particularly alludes in the passage I have quoted from him. This event occurred in London, on December i6th 1868, in the presence of three unimpeachable witnesses, Lord Lindsay, Lord Adare, and Captain Charles Wynne, a cousin of the latter.
A séance was in progress; and Home, who had been in the trance state for some time, began to walk about uneasily, and finally went into the adjoining room. At that moment a startling communication was made to Lord Lindsay. "I heard," he related in his evidence before the Dialectical Society, "a voice whisper in my ear, 'He will go out of one window and in at another.' I was alarmed and shocked at the thought of so dangerous an experiment. I told the company what I had heard, and we then waited for Home's return." Mr. Home was at the moment in the room adjoining that where the three sitters waited. Besides his evidence given before the Dialectical Society, Lord Lindsay published a second and more minute description of the levitation, in which he thus narrated the events that immediately followed the spirit-intimation he had received, and had communicated to Lord Adare and Captain Wynne:— "We heard," writes Lord Lindsay, "the window in the next room lifted up, and almost immediately afterwards we saw Home floating in the air outside our window. "The moon was shining full into the room. My back was to the light; and I saw the shadow on the wall of the window-sill, and Home's feet about six inches above it. He remained in this position for a few seconds, then raised the window and glided into the room feet foremost, and sat down. "Lord Adare then went into the next room to look at the window from which he had been carried. It was raised about eighteen inches, and he expressed his wonder how Mr. Home had been taken through so narrow an aperture. "Home said (still in a trance), 'I will show you'; and then, with his back to the window, he leaned back and was shot out of the aperture head first, with the body rigid, and then returned quite quietly. "The window is about seventy feet from the ground. I very much doubt whether any skilful rope-dancer would like to attempt a feat of this description, where the only means of crossing would be a perilous leap. "The distance between the windows was about seven feet six inches, and there was not more than a twelve-inch projection to each window, which served as a ledge to put flowers on." One of the other two witnesses of the scene, Lord Adare, had the distances between the windows and other details measured, and included them in the record written by him of the occurrence. Lord Adare's testimony is as follows:— "Wynne and I went over to Ashley House after dinner. There we found Home and the Master of Lindsay. Home proposed a sitting. We accordingly sat round a table in the small room. There was no light in the room, but the light from the window was sufficient to enable us to distinguish each other, and to see the different articles of furniture. Home went into a trance... "Lindsay suddenly said: 'Oh, good heavens! I know what he is going to do; it is too fearful.' "Adare: 'What is it?' "Lindsay: 'I cannot tell you; it is too horrible. A spirit says that I must tell you. He is going out of the window in the other room, and coming in at this window.' "We heard Home go into the next room, heard the window thrown up, and presently Home appeared standing upright outside our window. He opened the window, and walked in quite coolly. 'Ah,' he said, 'you were good this time '; referring to our having sat still and not wished to prevent him... 'Adare, shut the window in the next room.' "I got up, shut the window, and in coming back remarked that the window was not raised a foot, and that I could not think how he had managed to squeeze through. He arose, and said, 'Come and see.' I went with him: he told me to open the window as it was before. I did so: he told me to stand a little distance off; he then went through the open space, head first, quite rapidly, his body being nearly horizontal and apparently rigid. He came in again, feet foremost; and we returned to the other room. It was so dark I could not see clearly how he was supported outside. He did not appear to grasp, or rest upon, the balustrade, but rather to be swung out and in. Outside each window is a small balcony or ledge, nineteen inches deep, bounded by stone balustrades, eighteen inches high. The balustrades of the two windows are seven feet four inches apart, measuring from the nearest point. A string-course, four inches wide, runs between the windows at the level of the bottom of the balustrade; another, three inches wide, at the level of the top. Between the window at which Home went out and that at which he came in the wall recedes six inches. The rooms are on the third floor. "I asked Lindsay how the spirit had spoken to him. He could scarcely explain; but said it did not sound like an audible human voice, but rather as if the tones were whispered or impressed inside his ear. When Home awoke, he was much agitated; he said he felt as if he had gone through some fearful peril, and that he had a most horrible desire to throw himself out of window. "He remained in a very nervous condition for a short time, then gradually became quiet. "We now had a series of very curious manifestations. Lindsay and Wynne saw tongues or jets or flames proceeding from Home's head. We then all distinctly heard, as it were, a bird flying round the room, whistling and chirping, but saw nothing; except Lindsay, who perceived an indistinct form resembling a bird. There then came a sound as of a great wind rushing through the room; we also felt the wind strongly: the moaning, rushing sound was the most weird thing I ever heard." It will be seen that the testimony of the two observers is in perfect agreement. Lord Adare's narrative was written quite independently of that of Lord Lindsay, but precisely the same facts are recorded in each. It is clearly established that Lord Lindsay, as Home left the room, received an intimation of what was about to happen, and communicated it to his two companions, that Mr. Home was carried out of one window and in at another, at a height of seventy feet from the ground; that, on Lord Adare expressing surprise at his having been carried through the aperture of a window only raised a foot, Home, before his eyes, was a second time floated through that opening into the space outside, and back again. As Lord Adare gives the measurements between the windows, etc., his figures are naturally more precise than those of Lord Lindsay, who judged by the eye. They establish that the ledges of the two windows were seven feet four inches apart, between the nearest points. Along the wall ran two string-courses, the lower of these four inches wide, the upper three. It was obviously impracticable that anyone could walk along the lower of these two very narrow shelves, as the space between it and the upper ledge was only eighteen inches. The sceptic as to the phenomenon of levitation is reduced therefore to two alternatives — either to accept the testimony of Lords Adare and Lindsay as an exact narrative of facts, or to suppose that Mr. Home chose to attempt, late at night, the impossible feat of walking along a ledge three inches wide, at a height of seventy feet from the ground, and successfully accomplished the impossible. Yet even this theory would not explain the second levitation of which Lord Adare was the witness, when Home, before his eyes, was floated out of the partly-opened window into the empty air beyond. Mme. Douglas Home: D.D. Home, his Life and Mission, edited by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, London, 1888, pp. 165-167 Also at: D.D. Home - His Life and Mission http://freeread.com.au/@RGLibrary/ArthurConanDoyle/Esotera/DDHome.html http://freeread.com.au/@RGLibrary/ArthurConanDoyle/Esotera/DDHome.html D.D. Home - His Life and Mission http://freeread.com.au/@RGLibrary/ArthurConanDoyle/Esotera/DDHome.html Roy Glashan's Library. Go to Home Page MME. DUNGLAS HOME D.D. HOME HIS LIFE A... http://freeread.com.au/@RGLibrary/ArthurConanDoyle/Esotera/DDHome.html Preview by Yahoo