Gazzera, Linda (ca. 1900– )
Nonprofessional Italian medium discovered by psychical researcher
Enrico Imoda, who published an important book, Fotographie
di fantasma (1912), on his experiments with her at
Turin in the house of the Marquise de Ruspoli. Gazzera produced
impressive telekinesis and materialization phenomena.
Her primary control was a deceased cavalry officer, ‘‘Vincenzo,’’
and at times ‘‘Carlotta,’’ a child of four.
Charles Richet describes her powers in Thirty Years of Psychical
Research (1923)
‘‘I hold Linda’s two hands, her head and knees. A hand,
seemingly from behind me, strikes me heavily. I think I can distinguish
its fingers and this is repeated a second time. I hold
the left hand firmly, Imoda holding the right, which I frequently
verify by touch. The objects were taken from the cupboard
behind, a thimble was put on the first finger of my left hand,
a sheath [étui] was put on my nose, and I felt fingers touching
my nose and face.’’
Richet compared her phenomena to that of Eusapia Palladino
‘‘Telekinetic experiments succeed well with Linda as she is
more easily controlled than Eusapia, for she scarcely moves at
all, while Eusapia is in continual jerky movement. In the first
experiment the ectoplasmic hand that I felt was cold and stiff;
in the fourth experiment it was warm, articulated and supple.’’
A notable feature of Gazzera’s mediumship was the rapidity
with which phenomena were manifest, often within a few moments
of the light being extinguished during dark séances. Richet’s
colleague Guillaume de Fontenay took some excellent
photographs of phenomena, and Richet enthusiastically endorsed
her mediumship as genuine.
Imoda, Enrico. Fotographie di fantasma. Turin, 1912.