A series of mediumistic séances known as the Scole Experiment took place between 1993 and 1998 in the presence of the researchers David Fontana, Arthur Ellison and Montague Keen. This has produced photographs, audio recordings and physical objects which appeared in the dark séance room (known as apports). A criticism of the experiment was that it was flawed because it did not rule out the possibility of fraud. The skeptical investigator Brian Dunning wrote the Scole experiments fail in many ways. The séances were held in the basement of two of the mediums, only total darkness was allowed with no night vision apparatus as it might "frighten the spirits away". The box containing the film was not examined and could easily have been accessible to fraud. And finally, even though many years have passed, there has been no follow-up, no further research by any credible agency or published accounts.
Psychic Three's studio was nestled in a suburban strip mall and plastered with the classic psychic decor that makes graphic designers consider seppuku—deep purple signs with all-caps yellow text and neon crystal balls. I scampered up a bright red stairwell and into a purple room (same purple as the signs) where a smiling woman wearing a tank top and sweat pants was sitting at a small table. I sat down opposite her and took in the weird mix of art—a small tapestry of what I'm quite sure was Jesus and his disciples on the table, but also a fair share of Buddha statues, too.
I have been fortunate enough to work with trance mediums, one especially gifted one, in a therapeutic context for several years now. I personally feel we truly know next to nothing about the mechanisms behind trance channeling and mediumship. Like Edison said, "We don't know one millionth of one percent about anything." I do think it's far more likely to be an integrative both/and rather than either/or pheonomenon with respect to subconscious production vs spirit speakers (to say nothing of tapping the collective unconscious) and that's about all I feel reasonably sure of. Quantum (Unified Field)theories/New Paradigm Science and the like holds promise as far as cracking the code on the the entire spectrum of super-normal phenomena. The study here sounds rudimentary. I would suggest interested readers see the research being done at Windbridge Institue, the Rhine Research Center, and IONS.
In the 1930s Harry Price (director of the National Laboratory of Psychical Research) had investigated the medium Helen Duncan and had her perform a number of test séances. She was suspected of swallowing cheesecloth which was then regurgitated as "ectoplasm". Price had proven through analysis of a sample of ectoplasm produced by Duncan, that it was made of cheesecloth. Helen Duncan would also use a doll made of a painted papier-mâché mask draped in an old sheet which she pretended to her sitters was a spirit. The photographs taken by Thomas Glendenning Hamilton in the 1930s of ectoplasm reveal the substance to be made of tissue paper and magazine cut-outs of people. The famous photograph taken by Hamilton of the medium Mary Ann Marshall depicts tissue paper with a cut out of Arthur Conan Doyle's head from a newspaper. Skeptics have suspected that Hamilton may have been behind the hoax.