Case I: A Psychical Invasion (Dr. John Silence) by Algernon Blackwood (1908)
Tuesday’s Tale of Terror June 28, 2016
“Thought is dynamic and can accomplish material results.”
“All perception is the result of vibrations; and clairvoyance simply means becoming sensitive to an increased scale of vibrations.”
—Dr. John Silence
If you as a reader are at all fascinated by the psychic byways of life, Dr. John Silence is the guy for you. He was one of the first psychic detectives in fiction, a doctor of psychical research who works pro-bono. How convenient, right? Case 1, A Psychical Invasion is a murky supernatural tale. We are in Algernon Blackwood style here where time and space blur and evil entities prevail.
When an author of humor, Felix Pender, loses his ability to laugh, when his laughter turns evil and menacing, Dr. Silence is on the scene. Is the house of the author haunted by a former tenant? Or is the author a victim of psychical invasion? Animal clairvoyance plays nicely in this suspense where human thought is a dynamic that can exist in our world for 100 years.
Algernon Blackwood, born in England, was a reporter for the New York Times in 1895 and is best known for his novella The Willows (1907). Here Blackwood is quoted in Peter Penzoldt’s The Supernatural in Fiction (1952):
“My fundamental interest, I suppose, is signs and proofs of other powers that lie hidden in us all; the extension, in other words, of human faculty. So many of my stories, therefore, deal with extension of consciousness; speculative and imaginative treatment of possibilities outside our normal range of consciousness. … Also, all that happens in our universe is natural; under Law; but an extension of our so limited normal consciousness can reveal new, extra-ordinary powers etc., and the word “supernatural” seems the best word for treating these in fiction. I believe it possible for our consciousness to change and grow, and that with this change we may become aware of a new universe.” Algernon Blackwood
Read the John Silence short story at Ebooks.adelaide.edu.
Listen to the Librivox Recording at Librivox.org.
Also audio is available on YouTube.com
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