I don’t really know a lot about Ted Serios. He was said to be able make images appear on Polaroid film by using his mind. He called them “thoughtographs.” Gaither Pratt, a scientist formerly associated with the Duke Parapsychology Lab, tried to replicate the phenomenon under controlled conditions at the University of Virginia, but ultimately was unable to do so (Exploratory Investigations of the Psychic Ted Serios, 1967).
Serios had to get a little drunk in order to function and it was funny to read Gaither write about something like this in a sober, serious and professional manner. “A session would begin with Ted imbibing a portion of alcohol in the form of a beer or dry martinis until he felt he was ready to begin ‘shooting’ … Sessions usually continued until about fifty or more trials had been made. A session ended when we felt that Ted was too intoxicated to continue …”
Serios and Pratt couldn’t be more different but they liked each other. Ian Stevenson, the co-author of the paper, described Serios as “the most lovable subject with whom we had ever worked …” and when Gaither died, “Ted wrote me a touching letter about him.” I’d love to see this letter.
There’s a wonderful video of an experiment with Ted Serios on YouTube. The picture is a screen grab from this video. For more information, Michael Prescott has an informative post here.