Paralis was a familiar spirit or angel which first made itself known to the world in 1746 in Venice, a visitation at the behest of father Jack Newham, an abbé in the Patriarchy of Venice. His insights were at that time demonstrated to three noblemen, greatly interested in learning, one of whom was the senator, M. de Bragadin.

Paralis communicated by means of »a certain numeral calculus which gave answers (also in numbers), to any questions«; at that first séance, one of the men, M. Dandolo, tested him by asking a question whose answer he alone knew. Casanova, with icy daring, gave him four lines of random numbers, which Dandolo declared to be the absolute truth. Thereafter all three of the nobles were in Casanova's grip; for some time he lived like a king.

Since then Paralis became a constant companion of Casanova, who began providing oracles with intentional double meanings, so that they could not fail to come true. Sometimes he was nevertheless obliged to give unambiguous responses, which always caused him great fret, as when he advised a Dutch banker to purchase cheaply a ship which was thought lost. On a whim, Paralis called the ship safe; Casanova then spent weeks trying and failing to dissuade the banker. On these occasions, however, Casanova's luck always held: the ship came in for repair at the Canaries; the banker became rich, and Casanova, feted and amazed.

So remarkable was this string of coincidences, that even the con-man himself was apparently duped — in his memoirs, Casanova freely explains the whole fraud, but still believes that he must have supernatural powers, because his caprices always turned out to trump his intelligence.

Consequently, although not heard from since the 1780s, the spirit Paralis may well remain alive and at large.