Cahagnet, Alphonse

Cahagnet, Alphonse (1809–1885)

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Cahagnet was a cabinet maker who became fascinated with mesmerism and Spiritualism. His book The Celestial Telegraph, originally titled Magnétisme Arcanes de la vie future dévoilé in three parts. The first part appeared in 1848, the second part in 1849, and the third part in 1851. In Modern Spiritualism, Frank Podmore said of Cahagnet’s work, “In the whole literature of Spiritualism I know of no records of the kind which reach a higher evidential standard, nor any in which the writer’s good faith and intelligence are alike so conspicuous.”

The first volume included a summary of his experiments with eight somnambulistic subjects and spirit communications from thirty-six entities who claimed to have lived up to 200 years prior to that time. They furnished detailed descriptions of the afterlife and the spirit spheres.

The second volume covered a series of séances and included testimonies of sitters, many of whom were extremely skeptical at first. The medium at these sittings was France’s first Spiritualist medium, Adèle Maginot. She gave detailed descriptions of deceased and of still-living people known to the sitters. Cahagnet got the sitters to sign a statement as to what was true and what was not, after the séance. He went on to write The Sanctuary of Spiritualism (1850), Encyclopedia of Magnetic Spiritualism (1861), and The Therapeutics of Magnetism and Somnambulism (1883).

Sources:

Fodor, Nandor: Encyclopedia of Psychic Science. London: Arthurs Press, 1933
Podmore, Frank: Modern Spiritualism. London: 1902; reprinted as Mediums of the Nineteenth Century. New York: University Books, 1963