Jacob, Auguste Henri (‘‘Jacob the Zouave’’)
Famous French spiritual healer whose curative and clairvoyant
powers became known in 1867 while he was still attached
to his French regiment. He was born on March 6, 1828. As a
young man Jacob volunteered to serve in the Seventh Hussars
(the Zouaves). He became interested in Spiritualism as it
began to spread throughout Europe in the mid-nineteenth
century. His healing powers probably began while he was serving
in the Crimea and Algeria, but his fame spread when he was
stationed in central France. He was soon discharged from the
army, since the crowds that assembled daily around his tent
made army discipline impossible. After moving to Versailles,
Jacob visited Paris to effect his cures, and at a house in the Rue
de la Roquette he was besieged by crowds of the crippled and
He began a career of healing mediumship, claiming that he
saw spirits ministering to the patients who called upon him and
that they prescribed healing. He not only refused to charge for
his healing, but also declined freewill offerings, even when it
was requested that they be devoted to healing the poor. His father,
however, became a self-appointed manager, standing at
the door selling Jacob’s photograph for one franc to all who
would buy.
Jacob’s method of healing often resembled that of modern
evangelists—a forceful command to be well. In other cases he
simply stared at the patient. Many spectacular cures were reported.
He was not always successful, and in some cases he simply
dismissed the sufferer with the remark, ‘‘I can do nothing
Jack the Ripper Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology • 5th Ed.
for your disease.’’ In his later years he recommended natural
health treatment and condemned the use of alcohol. He ascribed
his own healing powers to ‘‘the spirits of white magnetism.’’
(See also Animal Magnetism)
Britten, Emma Hardinge. Nineteenth Century Miracles. New
York W. Britten, 1884.
Jacob, August Henri. L’Hygiène naturelle, ou l’art de consevèr
sa santé et de se guérir soi-même. Paris, 1868.
———. Les Pensées du Zouave Jacob. Paris, 1868.
———. Poisons et contre-Poisons dévoilés. Paris, 1874.