Paris occult. The alchemists of the shadow, spirit inspired, mages sulphur, trackers ghosts and astrologers, visionaries, Bertrand Matot, Parigramme, 128 p., 19,90 €.

Paris, 1857. A famous medium in scotland, Daniel Dunglas Home, is back in Europe after being made known to the United States. The empress Eugenie immediately request to meet with him. One winter evening, he went to the palace of the Tuileries. Received in the private apartments of Napoleon III, his wife and a few close friends, it imposes the silence. Suddenly, “huge furniture that six men were raised with difficulty to remove the carpet, in the spring, began to shake,” said the princess de Metternich. The chairs, the chairs fly. The crystals of the chandeliers chime, the piano begins to play alone, and then a hand appears on a table. “It is the hand of my father ! “exclaimed Eugenie. The emperor the key to turn and the loose strongly : “God, this is cold ! “

It’s hard to believe now, but the West (including France and especially its capital) was seized, by the mid-Nineteenth century, a fascination for the occult sciences. At the time, “it is almost more a show of the good parisian society, where we don’t worry about dancing on the tables to communicate with the dead,” says Bertrand Matot, librarian, in his beautiful album Paris occult.

The Congress of spiritist international

The war of 1914 amplifies the vogue for the occult. This time, it is “Madame Fraya” who is called to the ministry of war. The enemy will not be in Paris, promises. The future gives him reason. During these years, ” the press identifies the Germans to the devil, spiritualists, and clairvoyants are competing predictions patriotic and when the dead are buried, mothers, wives and sisters still seek to communicate with…