MARCH 22, 1922
GIRL PLAYED GHOST AND KINDLED FIRES ON CALEDONIA FARM
Dr. Franklin Prince, American expert, who has been investigating the cause of mysterious outbreaks of fire on the farm of Alexander MacDonald at Caledonia Mills, in his official report just issued expresses the belief that Mary Ellen, the 15-year-old adopted daughter of Alexander MacDonald is responsible for the fires.
The report discredits the theory advanced that the fires were caused by wireless waves and says:
"The fires were undoubtedly set by human hands judging by the unmistakable signs left in the house. The burns are never found on the wall paper higher than the reach of a person five feet tall, which is the height of a girl in the family. Over the bed, which fills one end of the room, they are never higher than such a person kneeling could reach. In muddy or dewy weather one would not wish to stand on the bed."
"But," the report continues, "I am emphatically of the opinion that the girl was not mentally culpable. She is mentally exceedingly young for her years, and within the past year has had singular "dream" states from which it was difficult to rouse her. It is very probable that she was the victim of altered states which were shared by two persons, and were not assignable to any known existing cause."
Certain experiments made on Mr. Whidden, newspaper reporter, who first reported the mysterious fires confirms Dr. Prince in his belief that it is possible for a person to act under psychic obsession. Mr. Whidden claims that when Dr. Prince performed his test, he, Whidden, was seated at a table and provided with pencil and paper, and that for two hours he was under the control of some unseen power, which answered questions asked by dr. Prince. Many of these manifestations took place in the presence of several witnesses, all of whom testify to the truth of statements made by Whidden.
The report concludes:
To sum up, in my judgment, the fires were caused by the hands of the girl in the family, and presumably also the loosing of cattle, etc., also were performed by her at unnoticed opportunities, although I do not expect the neighbors ever to credit this. The acts were, however, almost certainly without culpability on her part, owing to her having been temporarily in abnormal states of consciousness. Possibly, but not probably, there was instigation of the acts by a discarnate intelligence through telepathic contact upon her mind. The sounds and other impressions hared by Messrs. Carrol and Whidden were, judging by the signs which they bear in common with other and much larger investigated occurrences of a similar kind, supernormal. This does not necessarily mean spiritualistic, as it may be that some force not yet understood by science of a psycho-physiological character was in operation."