Ossowiecki, Stephan (1877–1944)
Polish engineer and clairvoyant. Reportedly, he read
thoughts from early childhood. At the Engineering Institute at
Petrograd, where Ossowiecki studied, he reportedly answered
questions enclosed in sealed envelopes. Supposedly he described
the colored auras of people in his presence, heard raps,
and could move objects telekinetically (without physical
means). Reportedly when Ossowiecki practiced telekinesis, his
clairvoyant powers diminished. At the age of thirty-five he
‘‘lost’’ his telekinetic powers and his ‘‘gift’’ of reading sealed papers
With human subjects Ossowiecki claimed to know their most
intimate thoughts and read their past, present, and future. Reportedly
on several occasions, mostly involuntarily, but once by
an effort of will, he projected his likeness over a distance. His
friends claimed to have received the impression that he was
near in flesh and blood.
Ossowiecki’s ‘‘powers’’ were possibly psychometry rather
than clairvoyance. It was claimed he never read the sealed letters
word for word but perceived the ideas. He was unable to
perceive ideas from typewritten or printed texts. Letters had to
be written by a living person. If the writing was in a language
he did not know, he could not disclose the contents but supposedly
could describe the circumstances connected with the writer
and the writing.
He impressed Charles Richet, Gustave Geley, and other
scientists in reading sealed letters, the contents of which in
many cases were unknown to the investigator. To Geley, he
read the contents of a letter as follows ‘‘I am in a zoological
garden; a fight is going on, a large animal, an elephant. Is he
not in the water I see his trunk as he swims. I see blood.’’
Geley said ‘‘Good, but that is not all.’’
Ossowiecki ‘‘Wait, is he not wounded in his trunk’’
Geley ‘‘Very good. There was a fight.’’
Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology • 5th Ed. Ossowiecki, Stephan
Ossowiecki ‘‘Yes, with a crocodile.’’
The sentence Geley wrote was ‘‘An elephant bathing in the
Ganges was attacked by a crocodile who bit off his trunk.’’
In 1923, at the International Psychical Research Congress
in Warsaw, Poland, Ossowiecki ‘‘read’’ the contents of a note
sent by the Society for Psychical Research and sealed by Dr.
Edwin J. Dingwall in an envelope. The note had been wrapped
in several pieces of colored paper. The note contained the
sketch of a flag, a bottle, and the date August 22, 1923. Reportedly
Ossowiecki reproduced correctly the flag and the bottle
and wrote the numerals of the date, although not in correct
order. After the seal was broken, Ossowiecki was accepted by
the Congress. The psychical researcher, Baron SchrenckNotzing
said ‘‘Thank you, thank you, in the name of science.’’
Ossowiecki remained in Warsaw during World War II. He
was killed in August 1944 during an uprising in which the Nazi
occupation forces killed 9500 civilians.
Berger, Arthur S., and Joyce Berger. The Encyclopedia of
Parapsychology and Psychical Research. New York Paragon
House, 1991.
Besterman, Theodore. Collected Papers on the Paranormal.
New York, Garrett Publications, 1968.
Dingwall, E. J. ‘‘An Experiment with Polish Medium Stefan
Ossowiecki.’’ Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 21
Geley, Gustav. Materialisation and Clairvoyance. London,
———. ‘‘Une sensationelle expérience de M. Stephan Ossowiecki
au Congrès de Varsovie.’’ Revue Métapsychique (September-October

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