The strongest woman of the XIX century

In 1883, 14-year-old American Lulu Hurst became known throughout the country. She suddenly showed physical strength, which is difficult to even imagine. Lulu was only two years old, showing her amazing abilities, and scientists are still puzzling over the clue to her secret.

Lulu Hurst grew up in a small town in the family of a priest. Later, she claimed that she received an unusual “Force” during a storm with a thunderstorm. Several times speaking before the public in his hometown, Lulu came to the national level. Her ideas consisted of amazing power numbers.

A 14-year-old girl was called “Miracle from Georgia” and “Magnetic girl”. She became popular, earning more than most Americans for one year in one performance. At that time in the theatrical rooms, you could usually see magicians, comedians, dancers, singers, acrobats. All the more unusual was the spectacle of a teenage girl, who easily scattered strong men on stage.

At the end of the summer of 1883, a small community in the town of Cedartown, Tennessee, acted as host to the ever-growing string of visitors attracted by the desire to see with their own eyes the incredible exploits attributed to Lulu Hurst, 14, the timid, fragile daughter of a local Baptist priest.

Reporters from the Atlanta Constitution and the “Romum Bulletin” came, admired and wrote brilliant stories “about the amazing Lulu Hurst.”

It was impossible to avoid public speaking. Deeply religious parents strongly resisted this, but in a similar situation they were forced to yield to the insistent demand of the crowd, who wanted to see Lulu. With great reluctance, they nevertheless allowed her to appear before the Cedartown crowd, for which they removed the large hall.

It was September, and it was hot. The hall was crowded with people gathered from all sides. Honored guests, including judges, lawyers, doctors, bankers and members of the local magistrate, gathered on the stage lit with ten kerosene lamps. Father Lulu was to perform the role of steward of the ceremony.

A sturdy, strong man from among the spectators, voluntarily volunteered to participate in the performance, climbed onto the stage, and he was handed a folded umbrella. He grasped the umbrella’s handle firmly and pressed it to his feet, since before that he had been warned that the umbrella should not move.

Lulu Hurst, barely reaching his shoulder, stepped forward and placed her right hand on the umbrella. For a whole minute, in this grave silence, barely disturbed by the rustle of fans, this act was played out. As if the devil himself suddenly descended to the stage: a man and an umbrella began to move and twitch up and down, they began to be thrown from side to side.

Lulu’s hand continued to lie on the umbrella, and the farmer, clutching it with both hands, could do nothing: he was hurled along with the umbrella all over the stage. It was clear that the man lost the fight. The last jerk – and he flew into the arms of the respectable guests on the stage, and Lulu fell, hardly breathing.

The stunned spectators froze, opening their mouths. How could it happen that such a fragile girl tossed an adult male on the stage, despite all his efforts to stay in place?

The audience did not have time to recover, and the second issue was already being prepared. Three of the honorable guests stood close to each other, clutching at the walnut cane, holding it at the chest level. Lulu put the palm of her left hand on the cane, and after a moment these respectable people quite insolently flew upside down to the greatest pleasure of the public.

The play lasted more than an hour and consisted of variations on the theme “Girl and her power tricks that can not be comprehended”. The audience, including the reporters, dispersed in a state of excitement.

This public speech Lulu, instead of appeasing the audience, became widely known and led to the shower of numerous requests to repeat the performance. Naturally, Lulu Hurst soon received invitations from all major cities of the country. For two years, the attraction with her participation enjoyed the greatest popularity.

The puzzling sequence of events that first led Lulu to the Cedartown scene actually began two weeks before the speech described, namely after the thunder storm. Lulu and her cousin Laura went to sleep, but could not fall asleep, frightened by bright flashes of lightning.

Suddenly it seemed to them that some claps were heard. They searched the room, but did not find out where these strange sounds came from. When the girls crawled into bed, the claps resumed, this time right under the pillows.
They called parents Lulu and told them what was going on, but the parents, rummaging around the room, also found nothing. For several hours the searches and tapping of the walls of the room continued, until finally the adults calmed the girls, saying that perhaps this is due to lightning and a strong thunderstorm.

It seemed to everyone that a plausible explanation was found, and they calmed down, but only until the next night. The next night Lulu’s bed rang and thundered, tangible jerks and blows were felt if any member of the frightened family dared to put a hand on the back of the bed. Venerable Hurst called his neighbors – they got a man twelve.

Neighbors, also alarmed, tried and rallied, not knowing what to think. They clearly heard the blows and felt the walls of Lula’s bedroom shudder. It was only for someone to say: “Maybe someone is upstairs?” – as immediately, as if in confirmation, a terrible blow fell on the ceiling. In the end, the audience decided that someone had started a game with them. On the right answer, where the sound comes from, one blow followed, to the wrong one – two short knock.

This phenomenon is known as a poltergeist and almost always associated with children or, at least, with adolescents. In this case, one thing is quite clear: this activity is connected with the presence of a fourteen-year-old Lulu.

A truly poltergeist showed itself on the fourth day, when suddenly there began to be heard clapping under the pillow. The family visited her family, and Lulu took nothing and suspected nothing and gave her a chair. The relative threw herself against the wall, that she fell to the floor!

Others tried to hold back the spinning chair, but with the same result. There were four people in the chair, but they could not cope with the force that sat in the chair. She simply smashed the chair, and the stunned people remained sitting on the floor, hardly breathing. Lulu burst into tears and ran out of the house.

Such numbers Lulu has done countless times on stage for two years. Her second public appearance took place at the Guyves Opera House in Atlanta. The building of the opera was crammed with curious.

To the numbers worked out yet in Cedartown, Lulu added two more. In one of the new issues, Lulu touched two fingers of her right hand to the billiard cue, and two men could not cope with the cue, trying to press the loose end to the floor.

In front of the enthusiastic roaring crowd, Lulu ended the performance with the crown number: three men sat on a simple kitchen chair, riding each other. Lulu approached the chair, put her hands on the back and raised her hands up.

With a rise of hands, a chair with three riders rose to a height of about 6 inches from the platform. The chair hung in the air for two minutes, while a group of skeptical professors were busy measuring … and spreading her hands.

When Lulu appeared before the students of the medical college in Charleston, South Carolina, the stage was arranged so that everything could be seen from all sides, so that the stunt did not go away from the meticulous spectators who had seen the catch in advance.

About this presentation the next day wrote the newspaper Charleston News and Courier:

“… a more famous and skeptical audience can hardly be imagined. There is no doubt that the whole color of the scientists of the state gathered … But even among this public there was not one that could explain the riddle of the phenomenon … The interest in the performance was so great that there were no empty seats in Hibernian Hall. The audience, gathered in Charleston, was infected with skepticism.

All the seats were occupied, the brightly lit scene was clearly visible from all sides, and it was not necessary to count on deception. All that was happening was not only viewed from all sides, but also trusted representatives were present on the stage, ready to seize upon any hint of an impure game. ”

And this time Lulu’s speech before the learned men of Charleston had a tremendous success, which was repeated many times. Lulu gave a private presentation at the State Medical College in Augusta. Teachers and college students held out their hands to the subjects that Lulu had touched, and they were also heavily thrown aside.

The most impressive and representative appearance of Lulu before the audience took place in Washington, DC. Before the speech, Lulu was given a condition: she needed to undergo a thorough examination by leading scientists of the country. Lulu readily agreed.

This examination took place in the laboratory of Professor Graham Bell in the presence of twenty scientists, specially invited for this occasion.

Was Lulu’s strength a form of manifestation of electricity?

Lulu climbed the glass platform, isolated from the platform with glass tubes, but the “force” showed itself immediately. After that she appeared on a platform equipped with scales. Next to the weights, a man weighing 200 pounds sat on a chair.

Lulu leaned over, lifted a chair with a man from the floor, but the scales, instead of showing the total weight (Miss Hurst and the man she raised) showed only the weight of the last one !!! Amazed scientists suspected that the scales were out of order.

The scales were immediately checked, but they were in perfect order. The scales correctly showed the weight when Lulu and the man were standing on them, but it was worth Lulu to lift the latter, as if its weight was disappearing … or its weight fell to zero.

Scientists took Lulu blood for analysis, measured her height and weight, asked her a bunch of questions about her stunning abilities.

Lulu claimed that she personally did not know anything, where did it come from, the scientists themselves planted their hands, because after the experiments they were more puzzled than before.

The impresario, Charles Froomen managed to get Lulu to perform at the New York Wallach Theater. Lulu surprised and enraptured the numerous city crowd, having won in turn all the strongmen from the city athletic club. Five weeks she performed at full sold-out, and New York newspapers carried her up to heaven.

After the triumph in New York followed by a tour of the country with a stop in Boston, where she felt the fear of performing on stage. Then there were Chicago, Cincinnati, Milwaukee and finally Knoxville. By this time she had worked out another number under the curtain.

Spreading adult men like toys on the stage, she suggested that they take revenge: Lulu took a billiard cue, held it to her chest and, standing on one leg, turned to the confounded men with a proposal to move her from the spot – no one could do it.

In 1885, two years after the beginning of her speeches, Lulu Hurst told reporters that she stopped speaking and went to her home with her young husband to live like all other people. Offers from Europe and Asia remained unanswered. Lulu Hurst was enough.

The reasons that prompted Lula to leave the scene remain as vague as the very “power” that made her, fabulously rich for some two years.

After her dramatic and unexpected decision to leave the scene, Lulu flatly refused to give any explanation on this matter. But too many questions remained unanswered, too many scientists were stumped. In the end, she “explained”, but her explanation in no way clarified the whole of this story.

She said: “I was haunted by heavy thoughts that my” power “can put a lot of superstitions and illusions in the minds of people … As my glory grew, so did the superstition of people, and at the same time my doubts. Just an amazing force, obviously not explainable, but did not want to be looked at as something out of the ordinary and unnatural.

It was against me to be famous and supernormal. I met everywhere the spiritualists who pointed at me with a finger and said: “Here is a great medium,” although I was always against such a name, then I could not explain the nature of my “power”, but I always rejected such theories. My phenomenon was used to confirm all sorts of ridiculous and superstitious ideas and signs. I have long been burdened with this. ”

Such an obviously cheap trick caused a cheap effect. No doubt, this statement was written for Lulu some outsider, who did not know her closely and had no idea of ​​her mental abilities and education. And the parents themselves did not differ in learning. Someone prepared a statement for Lulu to get the girl out of a difficult situation. But the public continued to demand real explanations.

Then a new explanation appeared, further complicating the issue. Those claps, she assured, were nothing more than a “childish prank” – she simply pierced the pillow with a pin from her hat. And the tapping was heard because she knocked her foot on the steps. As for the frantic force that broke the chairs and flung people around, Lulu called it “a reflected force.”

When she was forced to speak more clearly, Lulu described this force as “an unidentified mechanical principle based on the effects of leverage and balance, causing this force with a reflection of the blow in the direction of the partner, and sometimes on itself.”

Information about the performances of the girl, weighing only 115 pounds (52 kg), is widely reflected in the relevant documents. Her numbers have received a high appraisal in her time. It is unlikely that in our time someone will be able to explain her amazing abilities. It is also quite clear that Lulu Hurst was not completely sincere with scientists and journalists who were looking for the answer to the riddle.

At the moment when the claps and tapping were heard in the parents’ house for the first time, sounds and noise were noticed even when Lulu was not in bed and could not “play pranks” by piercing the pillow with a hat-trick or knocking on the steps. Some of the blows were so strong that they resembled the blows of a blacksmith hammer, which completely refutes Lulu’s explanations.

During the tour Lulu was repeatedly subjected to a survey and a detailed survey by famous scientists.

From time to time, they wrote down Lulu’s response: “She knows nothing of the source of” power. “If she spoke the truth then two years later she said she was clearly untrue. All her arguments about the unknown principle of leverage and balance with the reflection of the force applied to her , Do not cost anything.

The solution to the mystery of Lulu Hurst lies, perhaps, in the religious beliefs of her father and uncle, who were priests.

As representatives of the church, they both opposed the use of incomprehensible forces by people associated with occult phenomena. The more Lulu gave representations, the more excited the minds of the common people and scientists, unable to give an explanation of what is happening. And all this eventually led to an explosion of passion spiritualism, and the church immediately felt this threat.

A year after the tour Lulu was interrupted by another factor. Wherever she went with her numbers, she and her parents were met by groups of priests and made it clear that everything she was doing was deeply troubling the church and they were praying for her to release this heavy burden. It was a well-organized pressure, from which neither parents nor Lulu herself could simply brush it aside.

After the parents left the case, Lulu continued to lead him for a while with the help of a young man, whom she subsequently married. Money flowed the river not only for the performances themselves, but also in the form of interest for advertising soap, soft drinks, cigars and even plows, which were called: “Strong as Lulu Hurst”.

With a lot of money, with her young husband, constantly forced by the parents to leave the stage, Lulu returned from the tour home, forever saying goodbye to the light of the ramp.

The first “explanation” of Lulu was prepared in advance without taking into account her abilities, gave him empty talk, ridiculed spiritualism. If we consider her second explanation to be true, then all previous statements will have to be recognized as lies. I’ll have to admit in this case that for two years she managed to lead her nose and fool the country’s leading scientists, and her parents seemed to be helping her. But this assumption should also be taken as insolvent.

With what do we stay? With numerous numbers Lulu and a lot of failures on the part of scientists to bring them under the laws of nature.