Biography of Brooklyn Enigma Mollie Fancher Part 2

About the Brooklyn Enigma Mollie Fancher, biography and history of the paranormal wonder and her multiple personalities.

PEOPLE WITH STRANGE POWERS

The Enigmatic Mollie Fancher

Then she looked at her aunt and said, "Why, Aunt, what has become of your red cheeks? You are so old and changed."

Mollie was disoriented and frightened. Nine years had passed and she had no recollection of them. She looked at the needlework and letters and said, "These are the work of a dead woman."

This marked the beginning of Mollie's paranormal powers. For a reason that was never determined, her eyesight rapidly deteriorated until she was totally blind, but she suddenly found herself able to "see" without the use of her blind eyes. "Sometimes I seem to see through my forehead," she said. At other times she would observe events at a great distance. "Then," she explained, "the whole top of my head seems on fire with an influx of light; the range of my vision is very great and astonishingly clear."

Prof. Henry M. Parkhurst, a noted astronomer, studied Mollie's powers of clairvoyance over a period of several years, beginning in 1875. He wanted to know two basic things. First, did Mollie really have this apparent power or was some sort of trickery involved? Second, how did she do it? Mollie herself could give only a vague explanation. In a time when systematic study of psychic phenomena was unusual, Parkhurst was quite imaginative and careful in his approach.

He developed two kinds of tests and repeated them numerous times in collaboration with other investigators. In one, he would write out a letter and place it in a sealed, double-thickness envelope. In each case Mollie read it perfectly. In these tests Parkhurst guessed that perhaps Mollie was reading his mind, since he knew the contents of the envelope.

To determine whether Mollie was relying on telepathy or direct clairvoyance, he devised a more difficult test. The professor randomly clipped a page from an old court report. He did not read it or even look at it so that neither he nor anyone else would know the contents of the envelope. Again, when the envelope was in Mollie's presence, she read it with ease. Parkhurst was baffled but convinced.

Mollie also developed the ability to see events and people at a great distance--what we would now call astral projection, or out-of-the-body experience. "It seems to me," she said, "that I go to various parts of the city and country, and see persons and places, and know what is transpiring."

Mollie's aunt was shocked out of a deep sleep late one night in September, 1877, when her niece screamed, "He's dying, he's dying! Oh, my God, so much blood!" Mollie was watching her beloved younger brother perish in a grisly train accident miles away.

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