6 Mar 2003
Last night my husband and I accompanied my sister and her husband to an auction as we often do on Friday evenings. We arrived in time to view the items for auction ahead of time. There didn't seem to be much of anything of interest at first. Just before I sat down I saw something that looked like an old gramophone or roll player. A roll player is an earlier version of a record player. The thing that really caught my eye was the large label inside the lid, it said "Psycho-Phone" in large golden letters. I thought if nothing else, this would be a good conversation piece as I liked the movie Psycho and the device was so unusual. I thought if the bids for it didn't go too terribly high I might bid on it just for that reason. I pointed it out to my husband and he was very excited to see it as he's been wanting a "roll player" and while this is a roll player, it's not your usual kind as we found out later.
Well, the bidding went on for quite a while as there was quite a crowd this evening and this item didn't appear to be going up for bid for some time. Many "new" people came to the auction this evening and I think that perhaps this item was being left to last to keep the bidders' interest. Being collectors of antiques and unusual items we were concerned that two couples in particular were waiting for the device to come up for bid. Sure enough, one couple got up and approached the auctioneer and specifically asked when this "device" might be coming up for bid. Well, the auctioneer put it up next. The auctioneer said he thought this item would be of extreme interest to the right person, especially people who know antiques and the like. Well bidding as slow at first then as I bid and another person kept bidding higher, more people started showing interest and they too entered a bid. Finally I won out and no one was more pleased than my husband! He was like a kid with a new toy, immediately starting to tinker with his "roll player".
At the end of this auction the auctioneer picks a number out of a box with all attendees bid numbers listed individually. Whoever is still in attendance has a chance to receive a monetary amount off the total of their purchases. The first number was called and then the second, none of these people were there and had apparently left early. Then, another number was called, it was our number 512!!!!! We ended up getting the Psycho-Phone and our other auction purchases for free!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Pleased as could be, we loaded the Psycho-Phone and other purchases into the car and headed home. Although it was late, I thought to myself, my husband is so excited about this I may get "on-line" and see what I can find out about the Psycho-Phone.
Well, it seems that the Psycho-Phone was made around 1927 or thereabouts and was apparently intended to communicate with the other side!!!!!!!!!!
According to the information I found on the website, these Psycho-Phones are quite rare. In fact, one was listed for sale for $5,000!!!!!!!!!!!!! We'd just gotten ours for free and were interested in everything we could find out about it.
While I spent the next few hours surfing the web looking for any information I could find my husband was busy, sitting in the floor examining his new toy! Inside the case of the Psycho-Phone was a letter. It was written on paper that was so aged the edges were tattered and quite brittle and discolored. The handwriting also had the characteristics of being written by someone older and in a fashion reminding me of the older eloquent handwriting we see in historical documents.
I found this letter quite interesting since it seemed to be written by someone that perhaps was a little deranged or at the very least not clear on their thought processes. The letter first started talking in detail about the person's health then abruptly changed to characterize their own personality. I guess it was also like today's dating services. Anyway, here's how the letter reads, please note it is not addressed to anyone or signed. The only indication of its origin is that there is a letterhead on the reverse side with the name of a Mothers Club (whatever that is) that was at one time was located near where we live as the name of the Mothers Club was also the name of a hereby town. Anyway, here is the letter, word for word, no spelling changes or anything.
I am sleeping soundly a sound peacefull refreshing sleep. I am growing more healthy every day. I enjoy drinking clean water or clean water flavored with the juices of pure fruit. Every morning I will get up in time to do a series of exercise to strengthen my body. My scalp is getting healthier every day as the blood flows abundantly to the very part of my scalp - my hair is growing luxuriantly dark and beautiful. My scalp is glowing with health and new beautiful hair is growing thereon. I am a good mixer & have a wonderful memory. I remember very good story or joke after hearing it once, and can repeat them whenever I wish, in a most amusing manner. I have a wonderful personality. I speak very fluently & express my thoughts very easily, naturally & convincingly. Wealthy educated people are attracted to me. I have a gracious easy pleasing way of meeting people and am well liked wherever I go.
This is the end of the letter, no signature, nothing!