A picture test is a mediumistic test in which a communicator predicts that a sitter will soon come into contact with or in possession of a picture or painting. In many such tests, the communicator claims that he or she will help to bring this about.
Like the BOOK TEST and NEWSPAPER TEST, the picture test was the invention of Feda, the spirit Control of Gladys Osborne Leonard, evidently with the view to providing evidence for Survival After Death. However, like those tests, the picture test is vulnerable to the charge that it represents no more than the Medium’s own psychic talents, or Super-PSI.
In one of the Leonard picture tests, Feda passed on a communication from Dora, the deceased wife of the sitter, the Reverend W.S. Irving. Through Feda, Dora said, “I want you to know you’re going to see a picture soon that will remind you of me in my earth life. I’ll influence matters so that you’re sure to see it.” Rev. Irving was at that time visiting Dora’s parents; on coming downstairs for breakfast the following morning, he was surprised to find a large portrait of Dora on the mantel. Dora’s mother explained that she had found it the day before, while he was at the sitting and had placed it there for him to see.
- Smith Susy. The Mediumship of Mrs. Leonard. New Hyde Park, N.Y.: University Books, 1964.