Haxby, W. (ca. 1878)
Nineteenth-century English physical medium who was a
postal employee. Alfred Russel Wallace writes of Haxby’s psychic
side in My Life (1902)
‘‘He was a small man, and sat in a small drawing-room on
the first floor separated by curtains from a larger one, where
Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology • 5th Ed. Haxby, W.
the visitors sat in a subdued light. After a few minutes, from between
the curtains would appear a tall and stately East Indian
figure in white robes, a rich waistband, sandals, and large turban,
snowy white, and disposed with elegance. Sometimes this
figure would walk round the room outside the circle, would lift
up a large and very heavy musical box which he would wind up
and then swing around his head with one hand.
‘‘He would often come to each of us in succession, bow and
allow us to feel his hands and examine his robes. We asked him
to stand against the door-post and marked his height, and on
one occasion Mr. Hensleigh Wedgwood brought with him a
shoe-maker’s measuring rule and at our request, Abdullah, as
he gave his name, took off a sandal, placed his foot on a chair
and allowed it to be accurately measured with the sliding rule.
After the séance Mr. Haxby removed his boot and had his foot
measured by the same rule, when that of the figure was found
to be full one inch and a quarter the longer, while in height it
was about half a foot taller. A minute or two after Abdullah had
retired into the small room, Haxby was found in a trance in his
chair, while no trace of the white-robed stranger was to be seen.
The door and window of the back room were securely fastened
and often secured with gummed paper which was found intact.’’
It was recorded in the contemporary Spiritualist press that
Haxby materialized dogs that ran about the room. However,
Charles Richet in Thirty Years of Psychical Research (1923) states
‘‘Haxby cheated impudently.’’
‘‘Alleged Mediumship of W. Haxby.’’ Proceedings of the Society
for Psychical Research 4.
Wallace, Alfred Russel. My Life. London Chapman & Hall,

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