Thoughtograph, Albin O. Kuhn Library and Gallery, U. of Maryland Baltimore County, 1966

From The Chronicle Review:

In the early 17th century, the metaphysician Robert Fludd pictured the interior of the brain as containing an eye in the same position as the imaginative soul. He labeled this organ the “oculus imaginationis” and pictured it radiating a tableau of thought-pictures or phantasmata, which are then projected on to a screen in a perceived space beyond the back of the head.

If such phantasmata could be photographed, what would they look like? Strange as it may seem, such “thought” photographs do exist, and a selection of them are on display in an exhibition through March 27 at the Albin O. Kuhn Library and Gallery at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County.

“Psychic Projections/Photographic Impressions: Paranormal Photographs from the Jule Eisenbud Collection on Ted Serios”  features a series of images produced by Theodore Judd Serios (1918-2006), a bellhop from Chicago who appeared to possess a genuinely uncanny ability. By holding a Polaroid camera and focusing on the lens very intently, he was able to produce dreamlike pictures of his thoughts on the film; he referred to these images as “thoughtographs,” and many striking examples are on display in the exhibition.

“Ted Serios and Psychic Projections”, Mikita Brottman, The Chronicle Review