The Book 4th Edition
“The ultimate in personal experiences came when
my wife Irene, who passed four years ago, manifested to
me on no less than four occasions with individual mannerisms
and characteristics so familiar to me. With her final visit
she brought a single red rose and kissed me. Well, what
can one say in the light of such happenings, except that
it was not only very moving but the most wonderful experience
of my life.”
Allan Crossley, Psychic Investigator.
While I wasn’t able to speak personally with Allan
before he died about his experience described above
I have been able to interview at length three other very
credible witnesses to the Rita Goold séances held
in Leicester, England, in 1982.
Michael Roll’s account is on the Internet at http://www.cfpf.org.uk/articles/mediums/fhaomm.html
and the online interviews with Pat Jeffrey and Gwen Byrne
are available at http://survivalebooks.org/russell/russbyrne.htm
together with extracts from a book that Gwen wrote about
her experiences being re-united with her “dead”
I have known all of them for a number of years and am convinced
of the truthfulness of their accounts. I am mindful that
in a court of law the testimony of four such witnesses of
unblemished character with no motivation to lie would be
sufficient to ensure the conviction of a person charged
But isn’t it all fraud?
Undoubtedly have been
some fraudulent mediums who tried to make money by fooling
the gullible, especailly when they are making a living from
their mediumship and the phenomena are not flowing naturally.
However there is also abundant evidence from top scientists
that physical mediumship is real, that direct voice mediumship
is real, that ectoplasm is real and that materialization
is real (See Chap. 7 on the Scole Experiments).
Professor Richet, winner of the Noble Prize for Physiology
studied materialization and writes of the phenomona in his
book Thirty Years of Psychical Research:
I shall not waste time in stating
the absurdities, almost the impossibilities, from a psycho-physiological
point of view, of this phenomenon. A living being, or living
matter, formed under our eyes, which has its proper warmth,
apparently a circulation of blood, and a physiological respiration
which has also a kind of psychic personality having a will
distinct from the will of the medium, in a word, a new human
being! This is surely the climax of marvels. Nevertheless,
it is a fact.
The archives of the (British) Society for Psychical Research
and the American Society for Psychical research contain
numerous accounts of materialization mediums who were investigated
for years by some of the top scientists and professors of
the day—people like Sir William Crookes, the greatest
chemist of the nineteenth century, Professor W.J. Crawford
and Dr Gustave Geley.
Professor W.J. Crawford was a lecturer in mechanical engineering
at Queen's University Belfast who conducted long and meticulous
studies of ectoplasm. He wrote three classic books: The
Reality of Psychic Phenomena (1916), Experiments
in Psychic Science (1919) and The Psychic Structures
in the Goligher Circle (1921). He found that during
materialization the weight of his medium dropped from 120
pounds to 66 pounds. Professor Crawford found that all of
the physical manifestations of his mediums—lifting
of tables, moving of objects etc. were achieved by the construction
of ectoplasmic rods, struts and cantilevers. In his Psychic
Structures he provides photographs of ectoplasm being used
to lift tables. In his expert opinion as a professor of
mechanical engineering: (Butler 1947: 78).
George Meek (1987) found that during materialization séance
there is a temporary weight loss from both the medium and
the sitters as a substance is withdrawn from their bodies.
In his own experiments he found a weight loss of 27 pounds—about
10 kilos—shared among the medium and fifteen physicians,
psychologists and others who made up the research team (Meek
Alexander Aksakof, the Russian psychic investigator, recorded
testimonies of ten witnesses the partial dematerialisation
of the body of medium Mme. d'Esperance’s body from
the waist downwards and, with the testimonies of those present,
published the full story in his A Case of Partial Dematerialisation
We are told that groups of scientists work in the afterlife
work with physical mediums to create communication between
the dimensions. They extract a mysterious substance from
the body of the medium and from the sitters and the furniture
and use it to make a mysterious substance called “ectoplasm”.
Ectoplasm can be manipulated into hardened rods and spirit
can direct these rods to move large object like tables and
chairs and levitate a person. It can also be moulded into
an artificial voice box or stretched out into flat like
a sheet of material with which spirits cover themselves
in order to lower their vibrations and become solid.
The word ectoplasm from the Greek meaning literally “exteriorized
substance” was coined by Professor Charles Richet,
Professor of Physiology at the Sorbonne in Paris, a winner
of the Nobel Prize and member of the prestigious Institute
de France who investigated it for thirty years.
Richet's conclusion was:
There is ample proof that experimental materialization
(ectoplasmic) should take definite rank as a scientific
fact. Assuredly we do not understand it. It is very absurd,
if a truth can be absurd (Richet 1927: 112).
In its primary stage he found that it is invisible and
intangible but even then it can be photographed by infrared
rays and weighed. In its secondary stage it becomes either
vaporous or liquid or solid, with a smell somewhat akin
to ozone. In its final stages, when it can be seen and felt,
it has the appearance of muslin and feels like a mass of
cobwebs. At other times it is moist and cold and, on rare
occasions, dry and hard. Its temperature is usually about
40 degrees Fahrenheit (Butler 1947: 75) which accounts for
the observation of drop of temperature around physical phenomena
Baron Von Schrenck-Notzing, a Munich physician, showed
that ectoplasm is composed of leucocytes—white or
colorless blood cells—and epithelial cells—those
from the various protective tissues of the body. During
materialization it is taken from the bodies of the medium
and the sitters (Stemman, 1975:57).
Baron Schrenck Notzing in Phenomena of Materialization sums
up hundreds of experiments conducted for a period of five
years with Eva C.:
In Munich, with the Polish medium Stanislawa
P., the Baron succeeded in making a cinematographic record
of ectoplasm as it flowed out of the medium's mouth.
We have very often been able to establish that by an
unknown process there comes from the body of the medium
a material, at first semi-fluid, which possesses some
of the properties of a living substance, notably that
of the power of change, of movement and of the assumption
of definite forms.
Skeptics claim that ectoplasm does not exist
and photographs of it are all faked, usually by the medium
rolling up cheesecloth in the mouth or anus prior to the séance
and pulling it out and making it walk and talk and assume
the shape of one’s dead relatives—a feat which
I for one would love to see one single skeptic actually demonstrate,
especially while tied hand and foot to their chair the way
most materialization mediums are!!!
But why can’t they turn on the lights?
One of the key properties of ectoplasm
is that some of its forms are extremely sensitive to light,
so much so that even flashing a torch drives the substance
back into the medium's body with the force of snapped elastic.
Bruises, open wounds and hemorrhage may result.
Fodor (1932) lists the following examples of mediums being
hurt by the sudden retreat of ectoplasm:
“Kluski received an open wound from
a violent retreat of ectoplasm. Conan Doyle quotes the
case of a medium who exhibited a bruise from the breast
to the shoulder caused by the recoil of the band. Evan
Powell, at the British College of Psychic Science, suffered
a bad injury on the chest owing to an unintended violent
movement of a sitter, touched by an ectoplasmic arm. Hemorrhage
may also result from sudden exposure to light. Dennis
Bradley speaks of an instance in which George Valiantine
got a black bruise, measuring about two inches by three,
on the stomach by the shock of returning ectoplasm when
a powerful electric light was suddenly switched on in
his garage which faced one of the windows of the seance
Because of this sensitivity to light, most physical mediums
have to work in the dark or in infrared light and those
responsible for their safety have to use absolute care in
selecting sitters who can be trusted to stay still and hold
hands during materialization.
During a recent materialization experiment with David Thompson
in Sydney Australia (07/08/06) I was present when one of
the sitters, startled by the medium’s chair being
levitated and dumped in the middle of the room at the end
of the session, let out a sudden scream. When the lights
came on the medium’s face showed a swelling near his
eye and a number of small cuts that had not been there before
the session. As he put it, a sudden noise creates an effect
similar to glass shattering. On another occasion (11/8/06)
the control, William, had to withdraw the ectoplasm quickly
as a curtain over one of the windows was beginning to fall
down. When David regained consciousness he knew what had
happened by tenderness in his stomach area and he spent
the next few hours nursing his stomach.
What evidence is there that all
this is real?
A recent series of experiments which produced all of the
above phenomena in abundance and was thoroughly investigated
was the Scole Experiment. (See Chapter 8)
Senior scientists and investigators who participated in
the Scole experiments included Professors David Fontana,
Professor Arthur Ellison and Montague Keen. Of course, over
the four years and five hundred sittings there were many
others who attended as senior scientists and guests in the
actual experiments: Dr Hans Schaer a lawyer, Dr Ernst Senkowski,
Piers Eggett, Keith Mcquin Roberts, Dr Rupert Sheldrake,
Professor Ivor Grattan-Guiness, all with scientific or other
relevant background and a host of other highly credible
witnesses who have had years of experience in dealing with
the paranormal. In the United States sessions were also
attended by a number of scientists. There were a number
of senior scientists from the space agency NASA and others
from the Institute of Noetic Sciences near San Francisco
as well as representatives from Stanford University.
Some of the most famous materialization mediums of the last
two centuries include Daniel Dunglas Home, who was investigated
in a laboratory by Sir William Crookes, Franek Kluski, the
Warsaw medium who was notable for materializing large numbers
of animals and mediumship was verified by Dr Gustave Geley,
who participated in Kluski's seances at the Paris Institut
Metapsychique International and by Prof. F. W. Pawlowski.
When you read the sheer number of testimonies of credible
witnesses of the phenomena of materialization you cannot
help but be struck by the sincerity of the witnesses and
the similarities in the phenomena. For example see the online
accounts of the following materialization mediums:
Elizabeth S and May E Bangs (known as the Bang Sisters)
of Chicago, Illinois,
Stella Cranshaw, better known as 'Stella C.',
Elizabeth Hope who worked under the pseudonym of Mme. d'Esperance,
The Eddy Brothers,
Helen Duncan (See Chap.11)
Alec Harris whose wife documented his mediumship in the
book They Walked Among Us.
Stainton Moses, an Anglican clergyman,
Estelle Roberts, http://www.harvestfields.ca/ebook/02/033/10.htm
Rudi and Willy Schneider,
Jack Webber http://www.fortunecity.com/roswell/seance/78/webr.htm
Evidence for materialization is substantive not only in
England and the United States but in other countries, such
as Brazil where materializations took place in daylight
in the presence of hundreds of hard-core skeptics.
Carmine Mirabelli (1889-1950) produced fantastic physical
phenomena witnessed by scientists from many parts of the
world which up until to-day have not been rebutted, nor
are they likely to be rebutted.
In 1927 there appeared in Brazil a book entitled O Medium
Mirabelli containing a 74 page account of phenomena which
occurred in broad daylight at times in the presence of up
to sixty witnesses at the same time representing the leading
scientific and social circles of Brazil. Among those who
gave their names as witnesses were the President of Brazil,
the Secretary of State, two professors of medicine, 72 doctors,
12 engineers, 36 lawyers, 89 men of public office, 25 military
men, 52 bankers, 128 merchants and 22 dentists as well as
members of religious orders ( Zeitschrift fuer Parapsychologie
1927 : 450-462).
The testimony of so many prominent credible witnesses cannot
easily be overlooked and in Brazil a committee of twenty
leading men, headed by the President, was set up to interview
witnesses and to decide what should be done to scientifically
investigate Mirabelli's powers. It was decided in 1927 to
mount a series of controlled investigations by the newly
established Academia de Estudos Psychicos using the same
controls as European mediums had submitted to.
The investigators divided into three groups. One group dealt
with dealing with spoken mediumship and had 189 positive
sittings (sittings which produced positive results). A second
group investigated automatic writing and had 85 positive
sittings and 8 negative sittings (sittings which produced
no results). A third group investigated physical phenomena
and had 63 positive and 47 negative sittings. Of the positive
sittings, 40 were held in daylight and 23 in bright artificial
light with the medium tied up in a chair in rooms which
were searched before and after (Inglis, 1984: 223).
Physical mediumship and materialization
At a well-attended seance in Sao Vicente the chair on which
the entranced Mirabelli was sitting rose and floated in
the air two meters above the floor. Witnesses timed its
levitation for 120 seconds. On another occasion Mirabelli
was at the da Luz railroad station with several companions
when he suddenly vanished. About fifteen minutes later a
telephone call came from Sao Vicente, a town ninety kilometers
away, stating that he had appeared there exactly two minutes
after he had disappeared from da Luz.
At a seance conducted in the morning in full daylight in
the laboratory of the investigating committee in front of
many people of note including ten men holding the degree
of Doctor of Science:
• The form of a little girl materialized beside the
• Dr Ganymede de Souza who was present confirmed that
the child was his daughter who had died a few months before
and that she was wearing the dress in which she had been
• Another observer, Colonel Octavio Viana also took
the child in his arms, felt her pulse and asked her several
questions which she answered with understanding.
• Photographs of the apparition were taken and appended
to the investigating committee's report.
• After this the child floated around in the air and
disappeared, after having been visible in daylight for thirty
• The form of Bishop Jose de Camargo Barros who had
recently lost his life in a shipwreck appeared in full insignia
• He conversed with those present and allowed them
to examine his heart, gums, abdomen and fingers before disappearing.
At another seance conducted at Santos at half past three
in the afternoon before sixty witnesses who attested their
signatures to the report of what had happened:
• The deceased Dr Bezerra de Meneses, an eminent hospital
• He spoke to all of the assembled witnesses to assure
them that it was himself.
• His voice carried all over the room by megaphone.
• Several photographs were taken of him.
• For fifteen minutes two doctors who had known him
examined him and announced that he was an anatomically normal
• He shook hands with the spectators.
• Finally he rose into the air and began to dematerialize,
with his feet vanishing first followed by his legs and abdomen,
chest arms and last of all head.
• After the apparition had dematerialized Mirabelli
was found to be still tied securely to his chair and seals
were intact on all the doors and windows.
• The photographs accompanying the report show Mirabelli
and the apparition on the same photographic plate.
At another seance under controlled conditions Mirabelli
himself dematerialized to be found later in another room.
Yet the seals put upon his bonds were intact as were the
seals on the doors and windows of the seance room (Inglis
Is the fact that there are so few
physical mediums today evidence of fraud?
Skeptics argue that the disappearance of physical mediumship
in the West at a time when the potential for electronic
investigation intensified is prima facie evidence that the
phenomena was always essentially fraudulent.
But it can be argued that the same development of electrical
applicances which increased the ability to investigate materialization
mediumship dramatically decreased the probability of it
developing. We know that light, heat and electricity and
closely related on the electromagnetic spectrum and that
ectoplasm and physical mediumship is highly sensitive to
We also know that the ability to be a physical medium is
very rare and is genetic—many of the famous physical
mediums came from a long line of mediums and had siblings
who shared their talent. But even if someone has the natural
potential it needs to be developed by a group or “circle”
of people who are prepared to meet regularly together and
sit in the dark for, say, an hour and a half every week
for a number of years.
Boddington (1992:10) claims it takes at least twenty years
to develop a physical medium. Often nothing happens for
two or three years. The Scole Group (see Chap. 8) sat for
three years as did the Harrison home circle. Leslie Flint,
the famous direct voice medium (See Chap. 15) sat with a
group weekly for seven years before anything significant
With the spread of electrical appliances and the development
of radio, television and computers how many people are willing
to show such patience today? In the late nineteenth and
early twentieth century when people had fewer distractions
from radio and television and computers and less interference
from electrical fields, physical mediumship was well known.
The Noah’s Ark Society for Physical Mediumship which
operated in England from 1990 to around 2000 was established
to provide a safe haven for mediums and to promote the development
of physical circles worldwide. In the United Kingdom there
are three well-known physical mediums who demonstrate their
gifts at public séances.
As well there a number of quietly run home circles in England,
South Africa, Spain, Malta and other countries where hundreds
of mediums and sitters are working patiently to develop
physical mediumship. At the time of writing I am not aware
of any physical mediums demonstrating publicly in the United
States although David Thompson is planning a tour there
On the Internet
More information can be obtained from the Arthur Findlay
and online from Physical Mediumship.co. UK http://www.physicalmediumship.co.uk/index.html
the Zerdin Fellowship http://www.zerdinfellowship.com/home.asp,
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