William James does not believe in ghosts; he does not believe in the survival of the spirit after death. His close friend and fellow psychical researcher, Richard Hodgson, makes yet another attempt to convince him otherwise in May 1906: ‘I think you are very sceptical. If you can give up to it, William, and feel the influence of it and the reality of it, it will take away the sting of death.’2 But James is unyielding. The fact remains: Richard Hodgson is dead; he passed away six months earlier, back in December 1905. And dead is dead. There is no such thing as spirit return. James tells him: ‘I wish that what you say could grow more continuous. That would convince me. You are very much like your old self, but you are curiously fragmentary.’3 As much as he wishes it were true, James remains unconvinced that the words coming out of the medium’s mouth actually belong to his deceased friend. He requires concrete proof and the only thing at his disposal is a jumbled text, whose origin is uncertain, whose truthfulness is unverifiable; a spectral voice, as such unbelievable. Hodgson insists: ‘Yes but you must not expect too much of me, that I could talk over the lines and talk as coherently as in the body.’4 But James does not believe. He tells the ghost, unequivocally, he does not believe in ghosts, in him, in this. This is not happening.