The Law Of Psychic Phenomena - online book

Bringing a scientific basis to research of the paranormal, spiritual & psychic.

Home | About | Alternative Health | Contact

nounced in 1872 that a hypnotic state could be induced in other animals besides the hen. Preyer shortly after began to interest himself in the question, and made a series of experiments like Czermak's. Preyer, however, distinguishes two states in animals, catalepsy, which is the effect of fear; and the hypnotic state. Heubel, Richet, Danilewsky, and Rieger, besides the authors mentioned above, have occupied themselves with the question.
" Most of the experiments have been made with frogs, crayfish, guinea-pigs, and birds. I have made many with frogs. This much is certain: many animals will remain motionless in any position in which they have been held by force for a time. There are various opinions as to the meaning of this. Preyer thinks many of these states are paralyses from fright, or catalepsy, produced by a sudden peripheral stimulus. In any case they vividly recall the catalepsy of the Salpetriere, also caused by a strong external stimulus." l
The experiments of Kircher, above mentioned, were undertaken with a view of demonstrating his theory that animals possessed great powers of imagination. The chalk mark, he held, represented to the imagination of the hen a string with which she supposed herself to be bound. In his day, of course, nothing was known of hypnotism. It has since been demonstrated that the chalk mark has nothing to do with the production of the phenomenon. The same result follows when the chalk mark is omitted. The writer has hypnotized a pet rooster by Braid's method without using any violence whatever, or even touching the fowl. He was exceedingly tame, and it was only necessary to hold a small object directly before his eyes; when his attention was attracted, he would gaze steadily upon it, and in a very few minutes would go fast asleep. This could not have been a catalepsy caused by fright, nor could it have been the result of a belief in his inability to move, nor a peripheral stimulus caused by friction against the skin, nor could it have been suggestion. In fact, there is no legitimate conclusion apparent except that it was a true hypnosis, identical with that produced on human beings by Braid's methods.
1 Moll on Hypnotism, p. 213.