the famous Danish thought-reading couple, whose demonstrations at the London Alhambra caused much excitement, newspaper and scientific controversy. Mrs. Zancig could correctly name any article, number or word at which her husband cast a glance.
The Daily Mail arranged a series of tests on November 30, 1906, in their offices and published the conclusion that the performance was the result of true telepathy.
The Daily Chronicle differed, and considered a clever code system for sufficient explanation. The questions and answers were registered by gramophone. Nothing was discovered. W. W. Baggally had some
experiments. He concluded that although the alleged transmission of thought might possibly depend on a code or codes which he was unable to unravel, yet the performance was of such a nature that it was worthy of serious scientific examination.
SPR investigated on January 18, 1907. The result was not published. They appeared, however, sufficiently favourable to some of the members present to subsequently form an official committee to carry on further tests. The report says:
"While we are of opinion that the records of experiments in telepathy made by the
SPR and others raise a presumption for the existence of such a faculty at least strong enough to entitle it to serious scientific attention, the most hopeful results hitherto obtained have not been in any way comparable as regards accuracy and precision with those produced by Mr. and Madame Zancig ... Those who have only witnessed the public theatre performances, clever and perplexing as these are, will not appreciate how hard it is to offer any plausible explanation of their
The Zancigs claimed telepathy as explanation. Mrs. Zancig had well-developed clairvoyant faculties. At the British College of Psychic Science she passed successfully book-reading tests.
Harry Price, in his book Rudi Schneider, differs and writes:
"The Zancigs' performance took years of study to perfect, and several hours practice daily were needed to keep the performers in good form. I have the Zancigs' code in my library and know the hard work that both Mr. Julius Zancig and his wife put into their 'act,' a matter which I have discussed with Mr. Zancig himself."
Will Goldston, in
Sensational Tales of Mystery Men, London, 1929, speaks from the inside knowledge of a magician:
"The pair worked on a very complicated and intricate code. There was never any question of thought transference in the act. By framing his question in a certain manner Julius was able to convey to his wife exactly what sort of object or design had been handed to him. Long and continual practice had brought their scheme as near perfection as is humanly possible. On several occasions confederates were placed in the audience and at such times the effects seemed nothing short of miraculous. All their various tests were cunningly faked and their methods were so thorough that detection was an absolute impossibility to the layman."
(with minor modifications): An Encyclopaedia of Psychic
Science by Nandor Fodor (1934).