Pap, Lajos (1883– )
Hungarian carpenter and nonprofessional medium for apports
and telekinesis. A resident of Budapest, his powers first
manifested in 1922 in a casual sitting for table movement and
were developed by Major Cornelius Seefehlner, Dr. John
Toronyi, and later by Dr. Elmer Chengery Pap (not a relative),
a retired chief chemist to the government and president of the
Budapest Metapsychical Society. For some years Lajos Pap
gave joint sittings with Tibor Molnar, another Hungarian medium.
‘‘Rabbi Isaac,’’ his control, first communicated through
table rapping, then through trance speaking.
Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology • 5th Ed. Pap, Lajos
Chengery Pap gradually developed scientific control, not
only searching the medium and dressing him in a special séance
robe but also providing special garments for his immediate
controls and searching every sitter. The medium wore luminous
stripes; the sitters tied luminous straps on their ankles and
wrists. Instead of red light, a 100 watt green lamp was used; Pap
permitted it to be switched on during the proceedings for repeated
Under such conditions telekinetic movements of luminous
baskets, strange white and colored lights, and the arrival of
hundreds of living and inanimate objects were observed. The
majority of the apports were small animals and insects, including
living beetles, butterflies, caterpillars, frogs, lizards, birds,
mice, fish, and squirrels, as well as liquids, perfumes, flowers,
and other objects.
In an article in the Proceedings of the Society for Psychical
Research (vol. 38), Theodore Besterman described a sitting
with Lajos Pap at John Toronyi’s flat on November 18, 1928.
He witnessed telekinetic phenomena and the apport of three
stones. However, Besterman’s verdict was fraud, and his general
attitude was the subject of a strongly worded protest addressed
by Pap’s advocates to the Society for Psychical Research.
For an amusing account of the phenomena of Lajos Pap and
probable explanation of the rationale of fraud, see the chapter
‘‘Apports of a Carpenter’’ in Nandor Fodor’s The Haunted Mind
(1959). Fodor also indulged some shrewd speculations about
the psychology of fraud.
Fodor, Nandor. The Haunted Mind. New York Helix Press,