The Impression Moderne


Sealed letter tests have come and gone, but in this case we have one which differs enough in effect to make it appear new in the eyes of the sitter.

Effect: Only one envelope and sheet of note paper is in use at any time, and the effect is presented as a combination of psychometry and automatic writing. The sitter (who doesn't sit in this test) is handed a sheet of note paper and a letter envelope. He writes a question about something concerning himself personally, folds the paper several times, and seals it securely in the envelope. Taking the envelope and pencil in his otherwise empty hands, the medium feels it, stares into space, grunts, foams at the mouth, and otherwise becomes very psychic. He asks the sitter to take it back, hold it to his forehead and mentally think the question over. The medium grabs the envelope almost immediately, and scribbles across it an impression that turns out to be an answer to the question which still remains sealed and untampered with in the envelope.

Preparation and Routine: Nothing is needed except the envelope, paper and pencil. Use the cheap type of envelope obtained at Woolworth's stores. Coat the entire face of the envelope with parafin wax that is cold and hard, by laying the envelope on a hard surface and rubbing the cake over it. Now burnish the surface with the Mount of Venus (the heel of the thumb) on your right or left hand, being careful that said Mount is clean as the parafin picks up all dirt. This gives you a smooth, shiny surface very susceptible to all impressions. Have a sheet of paper that can be folded several times. Contrive to keep the sitter in a standing position for the test. Hand him the paper after you have asked him to think of a question. Now give him a pencil and, at the same time, back up the paper he is holding with the face side of the envelope. He now writes his question and seals it in the envelope.

Now you take the sealed envelope. Pretending to feel it, and turning it over and over in your hands, you read the impression in dulled writing on the face of the envelope! In short, an impression has been made on wax rather than by wax on paper. And most important, in handling, the dulled lines are obliterated by merely rubbing the envelope between the hands!

From here to the climax it is only "the business" as far as working goes. Reading the impression is a matter of tipping the envelope surface slightly so that the light strikes it right. I pretend to start writing on this side which gives you all the opportunity needed for reading. Before writing, however, ask if such-and-such means anything to them, describing something at random. Hand the envelope to them for the forehead action, and taking it back you scribble the answer on the back because writing won't "take" on the waxed surface and this maneuver makes turning the envelope over after reading go unnoticed. This is a nice effect for publicity purposes as one can always go about with a couple of prepared envelopes and paper.

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