Like a visitor from the past, Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, appears on Youtube in a rare interview

If the speaker comes as a surprise, this is just the beginning: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, spent more than 40 years of his life in “spiritual study and was one of the leading advocates of the existence of spirit life and communications with the beyond.” So in this rare and — as it is claimed — “only” interview with that enigmatic author, it is of great interest to hear him say, “What I am most often asked is how I came to write Sherlock Holmes stories and how I came to have psychic experiences.”

This is a video clip of 10 minutes uploaded on Youtube where we begin by seeing the tall, podgy author calling to his little dog as he covers his embarrassment while facing the camera.

He tells us how he came to write Sherlock Holmes stories. “It came about quite by misfire. I was a quite a young doctor at that time; head of scientific training. I used to occasionally read detective stories and what annoyed me in those old fashioned stories was that the detective always used to get at his results by some sort of lucky chance or fluke, or else it was quite unexplained how he got there…When I began to think about this I began to think of turning scientific methods, as it were, on to the work of detection. I used to, as a student, have an old professor called Bell who was extraordinarily good at detective work. He would look at a patient and hardly allow him to open his mouth…but he would make his diagnosis of the patient’s disease and also very often of his nationality, occupation and other points entirely by his power of observation. Naturally I thought if a scientific man like Bell should come into the detective business he would not get these things by chance, he would get there by building it up. So having once conceived that line of thought, it was up to me to devise the rest…”

The author says he identified a hundred possible ideas which could be indicators and then began writing small stories which started appearing month after month in The Strand. These stories got recognition as something different, something new. “So they (readers) began to buy the magazine and it prospered and if I may say, so did I…From that time Sherlock Holmes really took root. I have written more about him than I wanted to, but my hand has been forced continually by my friends, and so this monstrous growth has come out of the comparatively small seed. But the curious thing is how many people around the world are apparently convinced that he is a living being,” says the author and laughingly adds that he gets many letters addressed to Sherlock Holmes, “…even to his stupid friend Watson and many letters from women who say they want to be his (Holmes’s) housekeeper…”

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is more interested in talking of his spiritual experiences which he says began just about the time when Sherlock Holmes was being built up in his mind…about 1886-87. Over 41 years he says he has studied, read and written on this matter. “As I grow older the psychic subject grows stronger…I have not abandoned writing, I have to earn my living…but unlikely to write on Sherlock Holmes.”

Sir Arthur says psychic experiences form, “...the basis of all religions in the world.” He does not take opposition seriously and in the time of the war when young men were disappearing, he realised the overpowering importance to the human race to know more about the matter of mediums. “The highest purpose that I could devote my life to is to bring to others something of that knowledge and assurance I have acquired myself. I could fill a room from my house with letters I have received telling me how they have once more heard a vanished voice or felt a touch…” declares the author.

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