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Communicating with the Dead (Original)

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Author Topic: Communicating with the Dead (Original)  (Read 3128 times)
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« Reply #165 on: January 19, 2008, 03:01:41 pm »

Sandra Taylor

Member # 2492

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   posted 07-17-2005 10:05 PM                       
'Materializing' Methods'

Plate VI. Mrs. J. B. Mellon with her spirit guide 'Geordie', photographed at sťance, 1894.

Reports on 'materializing' mediums during the last fifty years in all parts of the world are riddled with exposures of fraud. I will mention a few of those cases which are educational as well as entertaining. The classic example is that of Charles Eldred, who travelled from sťance to sťance, taking with him his 'highly magnetized' arm-chair in which the various spirit entities materialized. It seems incredible that a medium under test should be allowed to use his own properties, and even his spiritualist dupes at last became suspicious of the number and variety of 'phantoms' which Eldred produced. At a sťance in London in 1906 both he and his chair were seized by Dr. Abraham Wallace. It was discovered that the back of the chair was really a box, with lock and key. In the box were found a collapsible dummy, yards of cheese cloth and scent (for 'spirit perfumes'), reaching rods, a musical box (for 'spirit music'), wigs and beards, etc. (See Plate V.)(22)

(22) See 'Exposure of Mr. Eldred,' Journal, SPR, Vol. XII, p. 242-52.

Amongst other exposures must be mentioned that of Harry Bastian whose 'materializations' in Vienna on February 11, 1884, were proved to be fraudulent(23). Frederick Fisher Craddock was caught at Manchester in 1879. His spirit guide 'Rosetta' was found to be Craddock masquerading in his shirt. Colonel Mark Mayhew also records(24) how another spirit, 'Abdullah,' was seized and found to be the medium(25) Madame d'Esperance was seized in Newcastle in 188o, masquerading in her underclothes as her spirit control 'Yolande.' A similar incident occurred at Helsingfors in 1893. Mrs. J. B. Mellon (Annie Fairlamb) was exposed in Sydney by Thomas Shekleton Henry(26), a young architect. Her 'guides,' 'Cissie' and 'Geordie,' were impersonated by the masked medium kneeling or standing. (See Plate VI.) 'Dr.' Monck, an ex-Baptist minister, was sentenced to three months' imprisonment in 1876 for fake materializations at Huddersfield. He had a trunk full of 'properties.' Miss C. E. Wood was caught cheating at Peterborough in 1882. She was found on her knees, semi-****, covered with muslin and impersonating an Indian spirit 'control' named 'Pocka.' In the same way Serjeant Cox exposed Miss Mary Showers in 1894. The spirit 'Florence' had her head-dress knocked off in the scrimmage - thus revealing the medium. Charles Williams (who 'worked' with Frank Herne, another medium) was caught out at Paris in 1874 and again at Amsterdam in 1879. When seized, the usual beards, cheese cloth, phosphorized oil, etc., were found on him. Einer Nielsen, the Danish medium, was accused of fraud at Oslo in 1922(27), and again in 1932(28). I sat with Nielsen in Copenhagen, with unsatisfactory results. William Eglinton, materializing medium, was exposed in London by Archdeacon Colley and again in Munich. Dr. Hodgson also accused him of conspiring with H. P. Blavatsky in producing Theosophical 'miracles'(29).

(23) Einblicke in den Spiritismus, by Erzherzog Johann [linz], 1884.
(24) Light, March 24 and 31, 1906.
(25) See 'Exposures of Mr. Craddock,' Journal, SPR, Vol. XII, pp. 266-8, 274-7. See Daily Express for May 16, 17, and June 21, 1906, for conviction of Craddock who was fined £10 at Edgware Police Court for fraudulent mediumship.
(26) Spookland, by T. Shekleton Henry, Sydney [1894].
(27) See Norsk Tidsskrift for Psykisk Forskning, Oslo, for 1922, Parts 2 and 3.
(28) See Copenhagen Press for April, 1932.
(29) Proc., SPR, Vol. Ill, 1885, p. 254.
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