As psychic powers or ways of communicating with spirits go, being able to lift living room furniture a few feet off the ground in the dark has to be one of the more useless and absurd. And yet it was a thing that persisted in the repertoire of mediums for several decades. I’ve mainly been enjoying these pictures as exercises in domestic surrealism rather than as documentation of unknown powers. They’re from a (long out of print, 1981) book called Photographs of the Unknown, which seems to be associated– although not by name– with Fortean Times. In the photo above I like the fact that couple on the right are gripping each other’s hand apprehensively while the fellow on the left is still nonchalantly puffing away on his cigarette. The position of his left hand suggests slight annoyance that his ashtray has just been whisked away telekinetically.
You can see that this photo was once torn in half by somebody. Perhaps it didn’t show what they wanted it to… or perhaps it showed all too clearly what Palladino was doing.
This last one is my favourite. It’s almost like a monochrome Martin Parr photo, with the addition of bondage and random levitation. How come I never get invited to any parties like this?