Thomas Edison's Ghost Telephone

My interest in the paranormal has led me to a bizarre story: that is, Thomas Edison had supposedly been working on a telephone to talk to spirits on the other side. If anyone could’ve done it, it would have been Edison. Does anybody here on the board know what prompted him to do this, assuming that the tale is factual? How did he hope to accomplish this? Was Edison one to attend seances? Does anybody know how far Edison actually got in his quest to do this or why he may have abandoned this project?

I thought he was just going to stick his head under the ground and yell.

Afterlife is Truth. UFO’s are Truth. Intelligent beings live inside all planets including Moon, Earth etc.
The sad fact is that those in power know it all, hide it from us all who have right to know. Shame to so called intelligent humans.
Never mind what they do. You still can have faith and progress!!!

Moved from Cafe Society --> GQ for a factual description of Edison’s actions.

hussain1987, if you want to discuss your own beliefs about psychic phenomena, please start a new thread in Great Debates.

I have heard this also, but according to thisit was never true.

Remember that during Edison’s time séances were common, and lots of people were trying to communicate with the dead, most of them hucksters.

I heard somewhere that Marconi was trying to create a radio that would be sensitive enough to hear the voices of the dead. I don’t know whether that is true either, but it makes a good story.

First, a real scientist would have had to do it so Edison could steal it.

That’s unfair. We’re not talking about Bell here. A real scientist would have to do it for Edison, believing he would be paid more than he’d actually receive.

If it were possible, George Westinghouse would also have done it, and Edison would have gone around saying that Westinghouse’s phone led to demonic possession.

It wouldn’t be necessary for a real scientist to do it. Tesla could just do it instead.

Who could have known (at the time) whether A/C or D/C would be the way to go?

Maybe they could find out by electrocuting an elephant.

In fact, the project sounds a bit more up Tesla’s alley, dontchathink?

That would have been a trunk call, presumably.

The story I heard was that Marconi was trying to pick up sounds from the distant past - not the dead talking, but people talking a long time ago who were now dead.

The following link is a response to an Edison-bashing article but is an eye-opening read in its own right. Like most people I initially believed the legends of Edison as super-inventor, until it was widely debunked, but unfortunately the common debunk goes too far and needs to be tempered also.


(obviously this is a hijack, but its in the same context as most of the responses in this thread)

Malcolm and Angus Young?

Wow, did you make a telecommunications joke? I may have been the only person to get it, since I used to work in the field.

History Detectives did a piece on a PsychoPhone that they thought was a device Edison invented to record the afterlife. Honestly I can’t remember how it turned out, but there’s a video in the link.

Gee, you two make a twisted pair…

Not an answer to the OP, but if the OP is interested in the paranormal and Thomas Edison, I think s/he’d like the novel, Expiration Date, from Tim Powers. The ghost of Thomas Edison plays an integral role in the plot. Slow-starting—it is Tim Powers, after all—but a decent read.

Also an episode of the Simpsons.