Ventriloquial Voiding of the Fairies (1827)

One of the most extraordinary instances we ever heard of the power of ventriloquism was effected, a few days ago, Mr. Gallaher, in Fethard, in the county of Wexford. A poor man, of the name of Finn, who was labouring dreadfully under hypochondriacism, hearing of Mr. Gallaher, asked his parish priest (the Rev. Mr. O'Flaherty) if he might apply to that gentleman, for the purpose of being cured. The clergyman, knowing that the man's disease lay solely in his imagination, thought he might be cured by the same means. He therefore recommended Finn to apply to this celebrated ventriloquist. Upon calling on Mr. Gallaher, Finn said that he used to be affliced by fairies, who were constantly going into his mouth, and after capering through his stomach, would then make their exit through his ears. "Oh! I see they are a great annoyance to you, my poor man," said Gallaher, "but I shall soon make them quit you." Gallaher then threw his voice successively into the man's mouth and ears, and at length brought it down to his stomach, and made it appear as if several people were making their escape out of the knee's [sic] of Finn's breeches. Finn fell down on his knees to bless the ventriloquist, and declares that they have never since troubled him; that he can now read his prayer-book in peace and quietness - a thing the faires never before permitted him to do. (From Tipperary Free Press)

The Times, 17th September, 1827, p. 2.

Compiled by Steven Connor. as part of The Dumbstruck Archive, a continuing, online supplement to Dumbstruck: A Cultural History of Ventriloquism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000).