"The mere use of the word 'spooks' for the spirits of our beloved dead is offensive and odious." Great content Arthur Conan Doyle handwritten letter signed in which he mentions famous spiritualist and his own two books on the subject.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) Rare Handwritten Letter Signed On Spiritualism, "A Conan Doyle", 4.5 x 3.5, on "Windlesham, Crowborough, Sussex" letterhead, postal card stamped and marked January 11, 1920. The British writer and medical doctor and in 1887 the creator of the Sherlock Holmes series, writes to H. S. Hodges Jr., of the Western Chronicle on his passion, spiritualism. In part: "...The article seems to be the usual ignorant abuse. What is this gentleman's opinion worth compared to that of Lodge, Crookes, Lambroso & Flammarion, to mention four only out of an army of expert investigators. [And] what is the use of challenging me to show [things] which I have already written two books. 'The New Revelation' and the 'Vital Message' to show. The mere use of the word 'spooks' for the spirits of our beloved dead is [offen]sive and odious." In good condition, with some abrasions in the text indicated by brackets [ ].
Doyle had a longstanding interest in the mystical. In 1887 he began a series of psychic investigations. These included attending around 20 seances, experiments in telepathy and sittings with mediums. Though he later wavered, he remained fascinated by the paranormal. During 1916, at the height of World War 1, a change came over Doyle's beliefs prompted by the apparent psychic abilities of his children's nanny, Lily Loder Symonds. This, combined with the deaths he saw around him, made him rationalize that Spiritualism was a "New Revelation" sent by God to bring solace to the bereaved. The New Revelation was the title of his first Spiritualist work, published two years later. In the intervening years, he wrote to Light magazine about his faith and lectured frequently on the truth of Spiritualism. His second book on Spiritualism, The Vital Message, appeared in 1919. In 1920, Doyle debated the claims of Spiritualism with the notable skeptic Joseph McCabe at Queen's Hall in London. McCabe later published his evidence against the claims of Doyle and Spiritualism in a booklet entitled Is Spiritualism Based on Fraud? which claimed Doyle had been duped into believing Spiritualism by mediumship trickery.
Doyle believed that many cases of diagnosed mental illness were the result of spirit possession. He debated the psychiatrist Harold Dearden, who was diametrically opposed to Doyle's views. He travelled to Australia and New Zealand on spiritualist missionary work in 1920, and continued his mission all the way up to his death, speaking about his spiritualist conviction in Britain, Europe, and the United States.