In their office of ENIGMA CONSULTANTS S. L., Michael Schlimazl and Jacob Schlemihl deal with a client who asks them if they believe in extraterrestrials.
“Extraterrestrials? I'm afraid not. I'm not even sure the Earth is round. Half of the world's population would be living upside down. Do you know the headache that would cause that?”
“I think the Earth is shaped like a ball”, Jacob answers in turn.
“You see?, your friend is better informed”
“He means an American football”
Mr. Landgroom, director of The NYSM (New York State Museum), had contacted ENIGMA CONSULTANTS S.L. on the occasion of the donation of an extremely strange artifact. Although it was supposed to be over a thousand years old, this artifact did not look more than twenty. It had been found by a certain Jonas “Birdbrain” Kalgary in the basement of his house in the neighborhood of Canarsie, in Brooklyn.
According to his testimony, Birdbrain was digging a grave to bury an enemy of his whom he had
God does not exist, how many times have I got to tell you?! There is no God as there are no goblins or dragons or fairies or caviar cans at reasonable prices! Simply, they don't exist!
You’ll say I am a skeptic. But I’m not, I am a fervent believer. I believe in Science firmly! I have blind faith. If suddenly Heaven were to open and the smiling face of Divinity appeared, even then I would opt for Science, which says that Divinity does not exist. I don’t betray my beliefs at the first sign
Yesterday night, while I was in the middle of a brainstorming in a lively discussion with myself trying to find the unifying formula of Physics, plop !, I was suddenly illuminated by a very powerful beam of light coming from above. Due to my extreme mental concentration, for a moment I was dumbfounded thinking that they had just awarded me the Nobel Prize in Physics. I even got up and bowed ... until I started to get up and realized that I was being abducted again by those damn aliens. With a sw
Make way for Science! This is a question for Science, not for Religion or Mysticism or for ancient or modern sages who believe in non-existent things such as the Soul, the Spirit, God ...! Why does not God exist? Because it does not appear in the Catalog of the existing produced by Science! Do you have any idea of the number of years that it has taken scientists to develop this catalog? Because we have not made it by “eeny meeny mainy moe”, no. Each item in that catalog has been demonstrated at
The New York’s high society of the second half of 19th century, the so-called “The Four Hundred”, was very strict in everything related to etiquette. Everything had a correct way to be done. And the guru of The Four Hundred’s etiquette was a social snob called Ward McAllister. No one has managed to explain how such a dull guy (it's said that, when he told a joke, caused sobbing and even occasional suicide attempts) could had emerged as the benchmark for fashionable New York Society. Not only was
It is known that the famous gangster Al Capone flirted with the paranormal and that, in his luxurious apartment in Chicago, he used to perform mysterious rituals with Parmesan cheese during which he recited spells in an obscure Italian dialect. That's why one of the worst threats you could receive from him was to find on your doorstep a big piece of cheese. It is also suspected that he possessed clairvoyance skills, which would explain why Elliot Ness founded so difficult to hunt him down. To fi
Ernest Jennings never studied hypnosis techniques. He was just a born hypnotist. He didn’t need to use any technique, he just stared at you with that stupid face he had, and he got you under his control. However, he was not aware of his power until the day he went to ask for an autograph to Rita Hayworth after seeing her in the film “Charlie Chan in Egypt” and immediately she was signing not only the autograph but the marriage certificate by which both they became husband and wife. Naturally, sh
To relate the history of hypnosis we have to go back to 1760, when a German doctor settled in Paris observed that the power of attraction of the magnets could be used on the sick without being arrested by the police and put behind bars. The doctor in question was called Mesmer and his discovery was baptized, in a display of inventiveness, with the name of "mesmerism." Mesmer soon saw that magnets could be dispensed with and even the sick, so he began to practice mesmerism on healthy people throu
It seems that every day is Shabbat eve in Chelm for a week now. As soon as it starts to get dark, the villagers rush to lock themselves in their homes. Not to celebrate the arrival of the Shabbat, no. But to avoid bumping into the dybbuk! (Or into the Golem. Or into Frieda Zalmatscka the-frog-eater. Or into the gigantic frog that ended up eating Frieda Zalmatscka. Or into Frieda Zalmatscka the-frog-eaten.) Fortunately, the wise men of Chelm finally decided to reveal the existence of the Golem to
Like the rest of the country, New York in the thirties suffered a terrible social scourge: unemployment. Michael Schlimazl and Jacob Schlemilh had no material ambitions, hence much of their income was donated to charities that helped the unemployed and their families. The responsible for one of these charities, Father Gregory, priest of the Church of the Nativity, was the one who told them for the first time about a case of possession that affected his parish and that he had been managing unsucc
Scottish castles are really scary. Especially because of the low doors. After two days entering and leaving the infinite rooms of Castle Menzies in the Highlands, Holmes and I had got a tremendous headache. Those damn stone lintels! Holmes had the outlandish theory that the Middle Ages were populated by dwarves. However, the ghost we had seen the first night in the castle was of a larger stature, which led Holmes to think that the ghost that harassed Menzies family was not of medieval times; tha
Another of the famous expeditions of the Society for Psychical Research was the one organized to unravel the mystery of the Loch Ness “Monster”. I place the word monster between quotation marks because Conan Doyle was exasperated when he heard that they called it that way. He said that it was an inconsiderateness and a great lack of respect towards a creature that they didn't even know if it exists. “And how the hell do you want us to call him?!” Gurney blurted out. “The Enigma!”, he answered. T
Obviously the succubi do not exist. The problem is that they act as if they existed. The last week I went to sleep after an exhausting backgammon game and a succubus came in through the window to ask me for a few cents. I panicked and started to whimper in a corner while the succubus ate the carpet. When I opened my eyes again, the succubus had disappeared and the carpet was all bitten. Damn succubus!
Yesterday, for the first time, I gathered enough courage to face a
In one of the halls of the headquarters of the Society for Psychical Research in West Kensington, one of the most conspicuous debates of the celebrated Society took place. The subject of the debate was Numerology, and to elucidate it two prestigious mathematicians were invited: the English Professor H. D. Killyar and the American Daniel Sokorovitzi. In the hall only the presence of the secretary of the Society was allowed with the order to record all that was said. The senior staff of the SPR wo
It was his interest in sleepwalking that put the father of Psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud in relation with the Society for Psychical Research. One night Sir William Barrett was walking on the sidewalk after leaving a pub in Soho when he crashed into a man who walked with his eyes closed and arms outstretched. The man woke up at that moment, and a few meters behind him Barret heard a voice grumbling and complaining. It was Freud, who was following one of his patients in order to discover where he w
Misinformed people tend to believe that in the Society for Psychical Research everybody was very naïve and willing to believe in anything. That you could tell them that you were a vampire about to transform into a bat and they ran to close the windows for fear that you would fly away. And well, I will not deny that there was someone who was very credulous (talking about vampires, a certain member wore several strings of garlic as necklaces). But it was the exception. As a rule, they were eminent
When the senior staff of the Society for Psychical Research learned that the city of Savannah in Georgia had the largest number of haunted houses per square kilometer in America, an expedition was organized with that destination. They went to a real estate agent and asked him to rent the most enchanted house of all. The greatest specialist in haunted houses of the SPR was Frederic W. H. Myers, who for a whole year had lived with a ghost in his house in London: the spirit of a woman with an apron
Professor Stewart, distinguished member of the SPR, did not believe in coincidences. Gurney used to prod him, commenting on some coincidence that had happened to him. Then Stewart burst into a loud laugh and mocked him for being so gullible. “There is no need to believe in coincidences to explain the phenomena of the universe”, he used to say, “things are much simpler". According to him, everything obeyed a perfectly structured secret plan and in that plan there was no room for the slightest err
In the West Kensington spacious loft where the SPR files are gathering dust on the shelves, I discovered under old canvases a drawer full of folders that had been torn from their filing cabinet. It was, I think, a kind of graveyard where the cases over which someone intended to draw a thick veil finished their days. Among these, I found the case that I am going to refer now. Its protagonist was a young girl of the London high society. One day the president of the Society for Psychical Research r
William Barret came and went constantly from London to Brighton. Not for work reasons. Nor for pleasure. In fact, there was no reason whatsoever, simply he had that compulsion, he could not help it. One evening, in an after-dinner conversation he mentioned that, on each of his round trips, he sighted a very tall figure standing at the edge of the road saying goodbye with his hand as if in slow motion and with a swing of his whole body. This figure managed to stay always in the shade, so that Bar
Another of the warhorse issues of the Society for Psychical Research was what in the Victorian era was known as “sixth sense” and today is called Extrasensory Perception (ESP). For a whole day, through the laboratories of the SPR headquarters in West Kensington, dozens of volunteers paraded, with the help of whom it was intended to establish the frequency with which the “sixth sense” manifested among the population in general. They were given a choice of four alternatives: a circle, a square, a
Aaron Koperman, the famous teaspoon bender, received an invitation from the Society for Psychical Research to demonstrate his skills in a controlled environment. The invitation was accepted, and the night before the experiment, H. G. Myers surreptitiously burst into the large kitchen of the SPR headquarters in order to stock up on teaspoons. When the next morning Koperman arrived, Myers himself accompanied him to the laboratory where the experiment was to take place. For the control of it, had b
I will tell you how the Society for Psychical Research first heard about what we call today flying saucers or Unidentified Flying Objects (UFO), but in 1890 (when this story is placed) they still did not have a name. (The testimonies referred to them as "that"). It turns out that in Burnley, County of Lancashire, lived a man capable of interpreting the song "If Ever I Cease to Love" with the laces of his shoes. For Sir Henry Sidgwick, this was an unprecedented paranormal phenomenon. As Sidgwick
One day, during breakfast, Sir William Barret announced that he wanted to test his mediumistic gifts. Henry Sidgwick asked him what was he based on to suppose that he possessed such gifts. He replied that when he was ten years old, he once dreamed of his father and when he woke up he found his father in the family room sitting in his favorite chair reading “The Times”. Then, he suddenly lowered the newspaper and, pointing to his son with his finger, asked "Have you read the Bible?". This story h