Billy's Séance (1911)
Short, Comedy · 16 December 1911
Billy is out for a stroll when he spies a prepossessing-looking young woman. He follows and she enters the office of a spiritualist. Producing a tip, he is initiated into the mysteries of table rocking and other occult practices and becomes interested. In the séance he is impressed with the idea that he is out to mystify his friends, and the soothsayer sells him a book, which explains all about it. Repairing to the club he cons the book and engages in experiments. The results are magical and he hastens to announce the fact to his friends. They are skeptical and treat his efforts lightly. They make all manner of sport of his demonstrations and Billy waxes wroth. He is rudely disturbed and casts about for a method of revenge. Adjoining the room is the electrical apparatus and Billy enlists the services of the electrician by means of a generous bribe. A wire is strung to the table and the plans carefully made to humiliate the unbelievers. They are called in and Billy pompously announces that he will give a table-rocking demonstration. He proceeds to do so solemnly and the friends place their hands on the table as directed. The current is turned on and they are imprisoned, being unable to move their hands from the table. Billy dances about in joy and his friends yell in agony. Billy declines to release them and takes keen delight in torturing his tormentors, but their cries reach the ears of two policemen, who rush in. The electricity is turned off and the friends accuse Billy of cruelty. Billy squares it with the cops by throwing a bundle of money on the table, but when they reach for it the current is again switched on and they cannot remove their hands from the table. The finale is ludicrous in the extreme.
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Moving Picture World synopsis
Cast: John R. Cumpson, Charles Arling
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