Sambor, S. F. (d. 1902)
A Russian telegraph operator who was discovered and promoted
as a powerful materialization and telekinesis medium.
A series of his sittings between 1896 and 1902 was recorded in
the Russian Spiritualist journal Rebus. Phantoms materialized
from luminous vapor before the sitters and were seen together
with the medium. Telekinetic phenomena were produced in
abundance. Many of the experiments were conducted by Count
Perovsky-Petrovo-Solovovo. However, the count’s belief in
Sambor’s phenomena was considerably shaken when he discovered
that one of the sitters, an accomplice, intentionally released
Sambor’s hand when he was supposed to be holding it.
This discovery of fraud offered a convenient general explanation
for the movement of objects although not for the action
of a white mandolin (as reported by Mme. Youdenitch in the
Annales des Sciences Psychiques, vol. 14, 1904, p. 193), which
began to play in the adjoining room and, visible in the faint
light, was seen to come in and settle on the table in the séance
Neither Perovsky-Petrovo-Solovovo nor Youdenitch (who
were far from trained observers) could explain the phenomena
of a white column rising from the floor and turning into a
human form in good light. Some other phenomena, for instance,
the threading of a chair on the medium’s or on a sitter’s
arm while all hands were held in a chain, were also difficult to
explain. Such events were observed on several occasions, in
conditions which caused Perovsky-Petrovo-Solovovo to observe
in the Annales des Sciences Psychique ‘‘. . . if they do not absolutely
eliminate all possibility of error, render it improbable to a degree
which almost amounts to absolute certainty.’’ PerovskyPetrovo-Solovovo
also heard sounds from a piano after the lid
had been locked with a key that remained on the table in the
midst of the experimenters. Sambor died a few months after
the séances in 1902.

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