A term denoting the claimed faculty of moving material objects
without contact, presumably by psychic force. The movement
of objects, without contact or with only limited contact
was frequently observed in the séance room. Phenomena included
rappings, table-turning, levitations, the conveyance of
apports, and other material phenomena. Spiritualists believed
these were caused by the intervention of discarnate spirits.
Magnetists believed in the existence of some kind of fluidic or
energetic emanation as the cause of such movements. Others,
discounting those phenomena that were the result of fraud,
Tea Leaves, Divination by Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology 5th Ed.
suggested some form of telekinetic theory, which held that all
these varied feats are accomplished by the thoughts of mediums
and sitters, independent of muscular energy, whether direct
The term has more recently been supplanted by psychokinesis