In Randi's Prize I briefly cited a Turkish case of responsive 'raps'. Here is the original letter sent to the SPR (Journal 13, 1907, pp. 15-16)
TALAS, CESAREA, TURKEY, February 22nd, 1905.
I am an Armenian Protestant, a graduate of Central Turkey College in Aintab, and now a teacher in the American Boys' School in Talas. I am very much interested in psychology, and should like you to know the result of my investigation, which I am still carrying on.
In Cesarea there is a house in which a man, 24 years old, lives with his wife. The man has a gloomy and peculiar look. He talks when asleep, sometimes swoons. He is a poor, common, uneducated man. Before he moved into this house he was told the house was haunted by a ghost. He says he did not mind it. He worked in the dark and damp cellar of a room in the house a long time.
About two months ago he began to hear some scratching sound on the mat on which he sat. Finding no animal or a man that could make the sound, he was startled, also his wife and others. Then there was heard in the floor and in other parts of the room some raps, which the people in the house found to be able to answer questions. So many men and women visited the house and asked questions, which were answered rightly.
I went too, and asked many questions whose answers I knew. The number of the raps was right. I must tell you that I asked the questions in English, and no one of the persons knew English there. Some of the questions were: "How old am I ?" "How many pounds did I pay to the rug-seller to-day ?" etc. Although a few of the answers were wrong, most of them were right.
Then I began to ask some questions whose answers 1 did not know, but the answers were not right. For example, I took a handful of money without looking at my purse and asked, "How many piasters have I in my hand?" I repeated this three times, and the answers were two less than in my hand; that is, the number of raps were 25, 7, 39, instead of 27, 9, 41, which were right. Yet I heard a scratching after the raps in all cases when the answers were wrong. I asked, "If you are a ghost rap five times," and the answer was five raps. I said again, if you are a girl's ghost, rap so many, etc.
I asked many questions that I need not mention to you, as I have not any definite idea of them. But the following points are especially to be noted. (1) The man mentioned seems to be a medium because (a) the raps will occur in his presence, (b) around him, and (c) if he asks a question the raps are more intense, (d) and, according to his statement, when he is sure that the answer will be right, it is so, otherwise wrong. (2) The man has some peculiar look and mental state as stated above. (3) In the presence of sceptical people this will not occur in general. (4) The raps were weak at the start, then it grew louder and more frequent, now it grows weaker. (5) The raps are louder and more frequent in the night than in the daytime. (6) I tried to find out if there is any fraud in the matter, but I could not find anything. (7) Hundreds of people visited the house without paying anything.
LEVON S. SIVASLTAN.