Kolkata: A Wiccan priestess here has claimed to have successfully experimented with a replica of the controversial `Spirit Machine` which is believed to have been devised by Thomas Edison to communicate with spirits.
In her new book `Spirits I have known`, enchantress Ipsita Roy Chakraverti says Edison, the famous American inventor credited for inventing the motion picture camera and the phonograph, had also come up with a `spirit machine` of which little is known.
A probable model of the machine, which the author brought from the US, has a photoelectric cell that can register the slightest presence of ethereal mist or spirit activity when a strong beam of light strikes its active surface. An accompanying phonograph-like box records and playbacks spirit voices.
It is widely believed that Edison and his assistant Dr Miller Hutchinson were working to build a machine to achieve spirit communication but little is known whether they were successful or not.
"Edision`s instruments worked at a frequency that would be able to pick up the waves at which spirits were detectable," writes Chakraverti.
The author, considered an authority on the supernatural,
says using the device she recently conducted a successful experiment in her physic lab in Kolkata when a lawyer approached him to contact the spirit of his dead wife.
"I wanted to conduct the experiment, but in private. My students and I were a small group, pioneers in the field of psychic research in India. I did not wish this area of study to turn into a gimmick. If the general public found about the machine, there would be a deluge of people pleading to contact the other world," she writes in the book published by Harper Collins.
The author, an expert in western witchcraft tradition and the Indian science of `Dakini Vidya`, says she has been researching Edison papers and other journals of the time which talked of his theory on the supernatural.
"The great scientist had strongly believed that if we ever succeeded in establishing communication, it would be by scientific means," Chakraverti says adding that he believed that our bodies were made up of thousands of entities.
"When the physical body died these entities left, they departed but did not die, surviving as `life-units` which could be communicated with," writes the author of two other books on supernatural `Sacred Evil` and `Beloved Witch`.
The book, priced at Rs 350, is a collection of nine gripping tales of true encounters between the supernatural and the Wiccan therapist.