Stanislawa P. (ca. 1930)
Polish medium, wife of a Polish officer, and subject of psychical
experiments by Baron Schrenck-Notzing for research
materialization. At the age of eighteen, Stanislaw believed she
saw the phantom of a friend, Sophie M., at the exact time she
died. Soon afterward spontaneous telekinesis phenomena developed.
After Stanislawa joined a Spiritualist circle, ‘‘Sophie
M.’’ began to materialize through her and ‘‘Sophie’’ became
the medium’s permanent attendant, occasionally sharing control
with ‘‘Adalbert’’ and a young Polish boy.
In 1911, P. Lebiedzinski, a Polish engineer, began a series
of experimental séances that lasted intermittently until 1916.
His report, published in the Revue Métapsychique (1921, no. 4)
was favorable. Schrenck-Notzing’s experiments began in 1913.
After a few months, Stanislawa’s mediumship lapsed and did
not return until 1915. In 1906, when Schrenck-Notzing recommenced
his séance observations, he became assured that Stanislawa
produced flows of ectoplasm. Schreneck-Notzing took
many photographs.
In 1930, her reputation, based on the early favorable reports,
suffered a blow. Stanislawa appeared at the Institut
Métapsychique shortly after a special automatic registering apparatus
for phenomena produced in the dark was installed. She
produced nearly blank séances until assured that no registering
apparatus would remain in the room.
Eugene Osty suspected that the abortive phenomena noticed
in séance was brought about by Stanislawa’s secretly freed
hand. He decided to attempt to catch her in the act. During a
later séance, when Osty heard the objects on the table move, he
exploded a secret flashlight and took three stereoscopic photographs.
Both the sudden light and the developed photographs
showed that Stanislawa’s hand was free and manipulating the
Osty concluded in the Revue Métapsychique (Nov.–Dec.
1930) 1) Stanislawa played a joke on the Institute; 2) her fraud
was persevering and organized; 3) her procedure consisted of
giving the illusion of being restrained while she temporarily
disengaged one of her hands from the restraints; and 4) used
this procedure to displace objects and show luminous movements.
Osty, however, hastened to add that his findings made
no attempt to judge the phenomena of Stanislawa that were
produced elsewhere