Society, June 29th, 1860
Le Droit reports the following, under the title Scenes of witchcraft in the LXIX century:
“One of the strangest things is taking place at Rue des Noyers. Mr.
Lesage, an economist working at the Palace of Justice, lives in an apartment
on that street. Lately there has been debris coming from unknown
places, breaking windows and hitting people in their homes, hurting
them more or less seriously. These are large fragments of logs of charred
pieces of coal, very heavy, and the same coal used in most of Paris. Mr.
Lesage’s maid was hit with several of them in her chest, resulting with
“The victim of this sorcery ended up calling the police. Some agents
were placed to supervise but they too were hit by the invisible artillery and
could not identify the origin of these blows.”
“Since it was impossible to stay in a home where one never knows
what is going to happen, Mr. Lesage asked the landlord to cancel his lease.
The request was granted and a bailiff by the name of Mr. Vaillant (meaning
brave, which was perfect considering the circumstances of the process which could not be done without danger), was sent to officiate the terms
“In fact, when the ministerial official started to edit the terms, a huge
piece of coal was thrown with extreme force, coming through the window,
hitting the wall and turned into dust. Mr. Vaillant, unaffected, utilized
the dust to cast over the terms on the page that he was writing, like
Junot in former times utilized the earth raised by the bomb.”
“We then realized, in 1847, at Rue de Grès, a similar incident took
place. A Mr. L…, coal trader, was also used as a target of tremendous
arrowheads and an incomprehensible emissions of stones throughout
the neighborhood put fear in everyone. By the coal merchant’s house
there was an empty lot, where the old church of Rue des Grès used to
be and now is the School of The Brothers of the Christian Doctrine. In
the beginning it was thought that the thrown objects were coming from
there but it was soon proved wrong. When one side was watched, they
would come from another. However, they ended up catching the sorcerer
red-handed, and that was nobody else than Mr. L… He had resorted to
this fantasy because he did not like his home and wanted to terminate his
lease.” “However, it was not like that with Mr. Lesage, whose honorability
excluded any idea of foul play and who, as a matter of fact, was happy
with the apartment.”
“It is expected that the enquiry conducted by Mr. Hubaut, police
commissioner of Sorbonne, may clarify the mystery, which is still a tasteless
joke and lasting too long.”
1. (to St. Louis) – Could you kindly tell us if those events are true
and whose possibility we don’t doubt? – A. Yes. The events are
true. It was only man’s imagination that exaggerated them by fear
or irony. However, I repeat, they are true. Such manifestations are
provoked by a spirit that makes fun of the local residents.
OBSERVATION: Since then we had the opportunity of seeing
Mr. Lesage who honored us with his presence, not only confirming the facts but rectifying and correcting them in several
points. St. Louis was right by saying that they were exaggerated
by fear or irony. In fact the story of the dust stoically collected by
the courageous official, like in the Junot case, was an invention of
the jester reporter. In the next issue we will report accurately the
events, with new observations that were produced.
2. Is there anyone in the house that is the cause of those manifestations?
– A. They are always caused by the presence of the person
that is attacked. The disturbing spirit gets attached to the place
where the person is and wants to do some harm to that person or
make them move away.
3. We ask if there is someone among the inhabitants of the house as
the cause of the phenomena by an involuntary and spontaneous
mediumistic influence. – A. That is really necessary otherwise the
event would not take place. The spirit inhabits his favorite place;
stays there, inactive, until someone shows up with the skills that
they need. When such a person is around they then take the opportunity
and make as much fun as they can.
4. Those spirits are always of an inferior order. The aptitude to serve
them as an instrument is a trait unfavorable to the person? Does it
indicate certain sympathy with spirits of such a nature? – A. It is
not exactly like that since that attribute depends on a physical disposition.
However, it sometimes denounces a material tendency
which would be preferable not to have because the more morally
elevated the person is the more they attract the good spirits to
them and this necessarily keeps the bad ones away.
5. Where does the spirit find the projectiles that are used? – A. In
most cases those objects are gathered near the places where they
are thrown. A force originated in the spirit throws them in space
and they reach the places designated by the spirit. When there is
no stones, coal, etc. in those places they can very well be manufactured
OBSERVATION: In the April 1859 issue of The Review we gave
the complete theory of this kind of phenomenon, in the following
articles: Furniture from beyond the grave and Pneumatography or
6. Do you think that it might be useful to evoke that spirit to ask for
clarifications? – A. Do that if you wish. However, it is an inferior
spirit who shall give only insignificant answers.
Society, June 29th, 1860
1. Evocation of the disturbing spirit of Rue des Noyers. –
A. Why have you called me? Do you want me to throw
stones at you? That would make a nice stampede perhaps,
despite your air of courage?
2. If you threw stones at us here we would not be afraid. My
question is if you can positively do that. – A. Perhaps not
here. You have a guard that watches you.
3. Was there anybody at Rue des Noyers who served you,
facilitating the bad tricks you played with the inhabitants
of the home? – A. Certainly. I found a good instrument
and no smart, wise and important spirit to block me. I
am joyful and I like to have fun.
4. Who was your instrument? – A. A maid.
5. Did she do that unconsciously? – A. Oh! Yes, poor thing!
She was the one who feared the most.
6. Among the persons present here, is there anyone capable
of helping you to produce such phenomenon? – A.
I could well find one if that person was available but I
cannot maneuver here.
7. Can you indicate the person? – A. Yes! He sits on the
right hand side of the one who speaks. He wears glasses.
OBSERVATION: In fact the spirit points to a member of
the Society who has some ability as a writing medium but
had never had any physical manifestations. It is likely another
joke of the spirit.
8. Did you intend to harm anyone? – A. Me? I never had
any hostile intent but people will take advantage of that
for they want everything.
9. What do you mean by that? We don’t understand you. – A.
I was having fun and you study these incidents and have one
more fact to demonstrate that we exist.
10. Where did you take the objects that you used from? – A.
Those are very common. I found them in the backyard
and nearby gardens.
11. Have you found them all or you made some? – A. I made
12. In case you did not find them could you have fabricated
them? – A. It would have been more difficult but in the
end we mix matter and that creates something.
13. Now tell us how did you throw them? – A. Ah! That is more
difficult to explain. I used the electrical nature of that woman,
added to mine, less material. We were then able to carry
those several materials together (see note after the evocation).
14. I believe you could give us some information about yourself.
To begin with tell us if you died long ago. – A. It was
a long time ago. Something like fifty years.
15. What did you do when alive? – A. Not much. I used to
collect rags around the neighborhood and people used
to tease me because I liked red wine too much; also, I
wanted everyone to stay away from me.
16. Did you willingly respond to our questions or someone
else? – A. I had a guide.
17. Who is this guide? – A. Your good king Louis.
OBSERVATION: This question was raised due to
the nature of certain answers that seem to go beyond
the reach of the spirit given the depth of the ideas
and the language employed. It is no surprise that he
had been helped by a more enlightened spirit, who
wanted to use this occasion to give us more instruction.
This is a very common fact. However, there is a
remarkable particularity in this case which is the fact
that the influence of the other spirit was felt in the
writing itself: the answers in which his presence was
noticed are more regular and coherent; the others are
broad, rude, irregular, sometimes illegible, showing a
18. What do you do now? Are you concerned with your future?
– A. Not yet. I wander around. I get so little thought
from Earth, nobody prays for me. Thus, I get no help and
I don’t work.
19. What was your name when alive? – A. Jeannet.
20. Well then, we shall pray for you! Tell us now if the evocation
has given you pleasure or has it bothered you? – A.
It gave me pleasure before anything else because you are
good, joyful people, although a bit austere. That is fine,
you heard me and I am glad for that.
OBSERVATION: The explanation given by the spirit to
question 13 is in perfect agreement with what we have heard from
other spirits for some time, regarding the way they operate in
order to make movements and rotations of tables and other inert
objects. The phenomenon seems very simple when we are aware of that theory. We learn that it derives from a natural law and it is
not more magical than any other effect whose cause is unknown.
This theory is thoroughly developed in the May and June 1858
issues of The Review.
Experience daily confirms the utility of the theories that we
have given about the spiritist phenomena. A rational explanation
of those phenomena should result in a greater understanding of
their possibility, added to conviction. That is why many people
who were not convinced by the most extraordinary facts were
then convinced since they could understand why and how. In addition,
to many people those explanations eliminate the extraordinary,
placing the facts in the natural order of things, however
uncommon they may be. It means that it is not about a breach
of the natural laws and that the devil has nothing to do with
it. When these phenomena occur spontaneously, as at Rue des
Noyers, they almost always offer an occasion to do some good
and alleviate a soul.
It is well known that similar events took place at the Rue des
Grès in 1849, near the Sorbonne. Mr. Lerible, the victim, has just
denied the fact in the papers that accused him of fraud, taking
them to the courts. Below his considerations, which deserve our
“On July 9th, 1860 by request of Mr. Lerible, business
owner and former coal and wood merchant residing at Rue de
Grenelle-Saint-Germain, 64 in Paris, living in the address of his
property; I, Aubin Jules Demonchy, official from the Seine civil
court, in Paris, residing at Rue des Fosses Saint-Victor 43, signed
below, I notify Mr. Garat, manager of the la Patrie newspaper, in
the office of that periodical, located in Paris, Rue du Croissant,
where I declared to a trustful lady:
• Having to insert in response to the article published on
June 27th, in the Facts of the la Patrie newspaper, the following citation, made by the petitioner to the le Droit
newspaper, offering to pay for the costs of publication, in
case his answer exceeds the maximum number of lines
authorized to be published by law:
“On July 9th, 1860 by request of Mr. Lerible, business owner and
former coal and wood merchant residing at Rue de Grenelle-SaintGermain,
64 in Paris, living in the address of his property; I, Aubin Jules
Demonchy, official from the Seine civil court, in Paris, residing at Rue des
Fosses Saint-Victor 43; I cited Mr. François, in person and as a manager
of the le Droit newspaper, in the office of that periodical, located in Paris,
Dauphine Place, where I was speaking to him…”
“To appear in the audience on August 8th, 1860 before the President
and competent Judges of the Sixth Chamber of the Court of First Instance
of the Seine, ruling in matters of correctional police, in the Palace of
Justice of Paris, at 10 am, to:”
“Considering that in the issue of June 26th last and given the facts
that would have happened in a house at Rue des Noyers, the le Droit
newspaper says that similar facts had occurred in 1847, in a house at Rue
“That the editor adds explanations to his observations leading to believe
that the attacks at Rue des Gres in 1847 were generated by the tenant
himself in ill-faith, in order to obtain cancellation of the lease, through a
“Since the facts reported by the le Droit did take place not in 1847
but in 1849, in the house occupied by the petitioner over that time, at Rue
“That although the name of the petitioner was not mentioned in the
article of the le Droit except by the initials, the exact designation of his
business, the places of his residence, and finally the indication that the
referred facts were collected by that paper, sufficiently indicating the petitioner
as the author of those maneuvers attributed to the person who lived
in the house at Rue des Grès;”
“Considering that such accusations attack the honor and decency of
“That are very reprehensible, considering that there has been no verification
of the events that were indicated and that, similarly to those
which seem to have occurred at Rue des Noyers, those events still remain
“That, on another hand, the petitioner has been the owner of the
house and the lot where he lived at Rue des Grès, since 1847;”
“That the supposition reached by the le Droit’s director is nonsense
and has never been formulated;”
“Since the terms employed by the le Droit constitute defamation of
character and hence subjected to the penalties of the law; that every newspaper
in Paris took advantage of the le Droit’s article and that the petitioner’s
honor was offended by that publicity, hence compensation being
owned to him;”
“For those reasons:”
“Mr. Francois is submitted to the application of the penalties of law,
being personally condemned to pay for losses and damages claimed in audience
by the petitioner, who at this point declares that such compensation
will be given in favor of the poor, still demanding that the ruling be inserted
in every Parisian newspaper, given the citation, in the terms mentioned
above, considered condemned to pay for the costs of the process, in all its
application; and to avoid claim of ignorance by the condemned, a copy of
the current citation was delivered to his residence, in the above terms;
Cost: 3.55 francs.
“Registered in Paris, on July 6th, 1860. Received: 2.2 francs.
“Declaring to the cited above that if the present request is not satisfied in
full, the petitioner shall apply the legal recourses;”
“And the terms above were left in copy at his residential address.
Cost: 9.10 francs.