France 1846, and the Electric Girl.

Here is another story from the Paranormal series. When the unexplained phenomena meets science, the result(s) often turn out to be inconclusive. angelique-cottin

(January 1846) A fourteen-year old peasant girl from La Perriere in the Normandy region of France began distressing her friends with her strange powers. Angelique Cottin became known as the “Electric Girl” for the poltergeist-like effect she had on objects scuh as making a weaving frame dance around the room or a heavy table float through the air. Chairs moved away when she tried to sit on them. Beds wouldn’t stay still either and people received electric shocks when they came near her. Paper and pens flow off tables when she held out her left hand. Angelique also suffered convulsions and ionjuries due to the frequently violent movements made by her body. Her parents believed she was possessed and took her to church, but a priest convinced them the girl’s powers had a physical cause, not a spiritual one. The next step was examination by scientists in Paris, including famous physicist Francois Arago, who said the phenomena were genuine and the result of electro-magnetism.  Angelique Cottin 

Against the scientists’ advice, the Cottins decided to exhibit Angelique to paying customers. In april 1846- just a few short months after the ordeal began- the unexplained phenomena inexplicably stopped and she lost her electric powers for good. 

  • Story Source, Bizarre Phenomena (Meaning in Absurdity).

 

Few thoughts on this event:

The first is that Paranormal events usually don’t linger for a long time. When they characterize a person, it might last from a few minutes to hours, to some weeks, and in some cases few months. And it is perfectly human to first interpret those realities as supernatural, before any other explanation.

The second thought is on how quick we can turn events to serve as an advantage to us, no matter the cost. Such that Angelique’s parents had to turn her into a performer for paying customers. Guess their ‘poor’ state catalysed that decision though.

The last thought is on whether we can engineer this phenomenon in real life. If the scientist, Arago, interpreted the event as having an electro-magnetic cause, then maybe, we could devise a means to enable Humans manipulate electromagnetism and do wonders. Not the kind of wonders displayed by Electro in the Marvel Comic, Spider Man, though.

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