In this book, Jule Eisenbud, psychiatrist and psychic investigator, revealed to the world the amazing story of Ted Serios, a sporadically employed Chicago bellhop and alcoholic who it was claimed could produce recognizable visual images on polaroid film by concentrating his mental energies. A typical “Serios performance,” often held in the respectable living rooms of curious followers of psychic phenomena, consisted of Ted showing up a bit late, possibly tipsy, then asking for something to drink. After he felt properly “prepared” Ted would leap into action, grabbing the polaroid camera (kept up to that point safely hidden to ensure that no tampering was possible) and holding it pointed at his head. Ted would then place a plastic tube called his “gizmo” over the lens and as he focused his mental energies into the camera. His face would turn red, veins would pop up on his forehead, and he'd begin sweating profusely and shaking violently. The shutter would be tricked and the print would be pulled and developed normally. Usually the result was all black or all white with no recognizable image.
This process could go on for hours, as Ted alternated between still calmness and agitated drunken excitement, often with no real success. Once in a while, Ted might even strip off all his clothes and stand naked, perhaps to show that he had “nothing up his sleeve” as it were. Usually just when the interested parties were ready to give up, Ted would produce a “hot one,” often a blurry soft-focused image of a building or a landscape, “miraculously” projected onto the film by Ted's mind. Several of these evocative images are reproduced in the book looking much like photo student pinhole pictures.
Was Ted Serios a true psychic projector, creating images by force of will alone? Or a skilled trickster/performer using some unknown method along with deliberately eccentric behaviours to fool his audiences into accepting these fuzzy photos as real manifestations of psi-phenomena? Dr. Eisenbud, who began as a skeptic of Ted's, ultimately came to believe in him, and promote him as the real thing.
Hardback: 260 pages