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Plate 17.

The Jack Webber is roped to the chair. His hands are help by two sitters. His coat. previously stitched up from lapel to skirt, is drawn through the Medium's body, illustrating the process of de-materialization and the passage of matter through matter. More in photographs.

[See chapter X1V in Mediumship of Arnold Clare by Harry Edwards]

Photograph by Leon Isaacs.

 

 

From the book "Is Death the End" - John Henry Remmers

Chapter XI
MATERIALIZATION

Materialization is the highest phase of physical mediumship, and its development should not be attempted until at least three years of effort have been applied to the unfoldment of other phases. My reasons for this conclusion are as follows: A good independent voice medium is seldom, if ever, developed in less than two years. An additional year is usually required to bring the voice mediumship up to its best unfoldment, providing the medium is not harassed by financial cares or inharmonious environment. And as materialization (when the manifesting personalities speak) surpasses in magnitude the independent voice, it seems only logical that it should follow as a natural sequence. Those who have never witnessed materialization should read the writings of Professor Crookes regarding his experiments with the medium Florence Cook and the manifesting personality Katie King; also "The Phenomena of Materialization", by Baron Schrenk Notzing, "Clairvoyance and Materialization", by Dr. Gustave Geley, and the more recent experiments of various investigators through the mediumship of Mr. Jonson, of California.

My own experience in witnessing this most marvelous phase of manifestation has been limited to five occurrences, one of which, however, was of such nature that it afforded every opportunity for the most careful observation. This seance took place in my own home and under conditions where fraud of any kind was impossible. This experience brought to me such realization of the reality of the next dimension and the survival of personality that no contrary argument of any nature could ever alter my convictions. And when I read or listen to the silly postulations which oppose this Truth, I cannot at times refrain from laughing aloud. Ninety-nine percent of the opposing arguments are not only actually stupid, but highly refreshing, in that they always serve to point out clearly the critics' absolute ignorance regarding the subject. The seance in my home came about in the following manner: I had heard that the medium in whose presence I had witnessed the unusual demonstration of the ectoplasmic envelope was also a very fine materializing medium. I asked her if she would favor me with a seance of this kind. She replied in the negative, adding that the after-effects upon her physical organism were unpleasant, and she had given up seances of this nature entirely.

Several months passed, and the occasion arose where I could favor the lady. In appreciation she expressed a desire to repay the kindness, and I suggested a materializing seance. She agreed, and voluntarily offered to hold the seance in my own home under any conditions which I might desire. A date was set. The seance was to take place in the evening, and on the afternoon of the same day I made such arrangements as I felt would eliminate every possibility of fraud and at the same time in no manner hinder genuine results. I had read a number of scientific books regarding materialization, thereby gaining to some extent knowledge of the rules governing the procedure. I had no intention of tricking the medium; my whole attitude was one of fairness, inspired by a desire to gain further knowledge, if possible, in this field, the most worthy of all human endeavors.

The room in which the seance took place is located on the second floor of a dwelling which was at that time our home. The house was erected under my own personal supervision; this fact at once eliminates the foolish assertions of secret trap-doors, etc., which are often proposed as an explanation for the manifestations. The room which was used for the seance measures eleven by twelve feet (see drawing). It is plastered and papered throughout. The ceiling is low, not more than eight feet, and has no opening of any sort. In the center of it there is fastened an electric light fixture. At either end of the room there is a plastered closet. The closet on the south wall is large and has but the one door opening into the seance room and a small opening, fourteen by thirty inches which serves as a vent. Both the door and the vent were locked on the afternoon of the seance. The closet on the north wall measures three by three feet and the ceiling is of such nature (due to a slope in the roof) that a person of ordinary height can just stand erect in it. After a fair-sized arm-chair is placed in the closet, very little room is left for body movements. This closet has but one opening, and this into the seance room; the opening measures two feet four inches by six feet. It is finished with a regular door frame, but had at the time no door. With the exception of this opening, the entire closet is plastered throughout, and no one on earth could enter it otherwise than through this opening.

This closet I chose as the cabinet. Two curtains the length of the opening were fastened at the top of the door frame, and arranged so as to part in the center. On the west wall of the room there is a large window consisting of two stationary sash and one movable one between them. Its distance from the ground is about twenty-five feet. This window I locked and covered with a frame upon which was tacked black oilcloth. This arrangement not only served to keep out all light rays, but also prevented any one from entering through the window. Five plain wood chairs were placed before the cabinet (as shown on drawing) and within the cabinet I placed a willow arm-chair. This chair was selected purposely for the medium because of its peculiarity of being extremely noisy when anyone sat in it. It was impossible to move in the chair and avoid the squeaks which came from it. The floor of the cabinet was of wood, having no covering of any sort. The photographer's lamp containing a twenty-five watt electric globe was inserted in the fixture in the center of the ceiling and its distance from the cabinet was six feet. The light from this lamp was directed squarely upon the curtain.

About seven-thirty that evening the medium and her husband arrived. After a half hour of conversation, she accompanied Mrs. Remmers to our bedroom and there, in the presence of my wife, changed her attire, putting on an ordinary house wrapper. The two again joining us, we went directly up to the seance room, where the medium, who is almost six feet tall and weighs close to two hundred pounds, crowded into the small cabinet and seated herself in the squeaky chair. The little group which formed the half-circle before the cabinet, as indicated on drawing, consisted of Mrs. Remmers, the medium's husband, Ellsworth, our boy, a young lady friend, and myself. After carefully locking the door which led into the hallway and placing the key in my pocket, it was impossible for any individual on earth to enter the room unobserved. Mrs. Remmers occupied chair No. 1, the medium's husband No. 2, Ellsworth No. 3, our friend No. 4, and I, No. 5. In the red light emanating from the photographer's lamp one could distinguish without difficulty the features, limbs and clothing, and observe easily all movements of every sitter. Mrs. Remmers and I purposely sat opposite each other and directly next to the curtains. Our positions gave us the advantage of having between us every manifestation, and also afforded excellent opportunity of hearing every sound caused by any movements the medium might make. Our chairs were within a foot of the curtains and not more than four feet apart. Our physical senses were keenly alert. Imposture under these conditions could not have been attempted without detection. The medium's husband is a tall man weighing more than two hundred pounds. I placed him almost directly opposite me, and no move on his part could escape my attention.

For a few minutes the medium moved about in her chair, coughed violently for a time, then all grew silent. This silence continued for five minutes or more, when I noticed slight movements at the bottom ends of the curtains. These movements continued, and finally grew to such extent that it appeared as though both curtains were being blown out into the room by a strong draught.

The curtains actually stiffened out at an angle greater than forty-five degrees. Gradually they dropped back into place and then proceeded to bulge in the center as though being held at either end. I have since learned that this was caused by the uncontrolled energies emanating from both sides of Life, and that heavy curtains should always be used to assist the operators in concentrating these energies within the cabinet. The curtains used on this occasion were of a very light material.

Shortly after this interesting occurrence, the curtains parted and there appeared before us the slender form of a woman. She was attired in a white robe of the most exquisite laces, and emanating from her whole being there came a radiance the like of which I have never seen. The manifestation informed us that she was one of the medium's guides, and then gave a short talk on the wondrous beauties of Life beyond the earthplane. I paid no attention to what she was saying but arose and studied her carefully. In no manner did she resemble the medium. Two people could not have been more opposite in features and physique. After a brief interval she bid us adieu, and while the curtains remained closed, vanished before our eyes. But in less than ten seconds a boy's head and shoulders appeared between the curtains and, laughing, he invited his mother and me to come close, study his countenance from all sides, so that every particle of doubt regarding his survival would be eliminated. The boy submitted to every test requested, asking me repeatedly if I could see the cap he wore. This incident of the cap should be of profound interest to the student, because that very day, as a test, I had, mentally, without the knowledge of anyone on earth, expressed a desire that the boy, if he materialized, would wear a cap similar to the one he wore last while upon the earth-plane. The cap which I treasured was locked in a cedar chest in another room of the house. The medium had never seen it. And yet, at this materialization John wore a cap similar in every detail to the one locked away in his cedar chest, and he was especially eager that I observe this fact closely! Mr. Critic, what have you to say regarding this? And furthermore, would a medium practicing deception invite a careful scrutiny of her features?

I have heard critics say that under such conditions and environment people give full sway to their imagination and conjure out of nothing the image which they desire. Granting that such may be the case with some, is it not also possible that there are others with whom this does not happen, others who are just as rational and keen in their observations as the critic? Does he alone possess the power of clear and calm discernment? Most of my life has been spent in the fields of civil and structural engineering; if one is not trained to think and observe accurately in these fields, then I do not know where such training may be acquired. The one question addressed to a critic of this kind invariably closes the discussion, and it is this: "Have you ever witnessed a materialization?" Nine times out of ten the answer is: "No, and I don't want to!" There you have it!--the old prejudice which, like the clam, enjoys only the narrowness of its own little world.

Directly following the manifestation of our boy, the first wife of the medium's husband materialized, stepped away from the cabinet and stood directly before him. Their conversation was of the most endearing nature. In the nobler Life beyond, petty grievances do not exist. There, Love is the governing factor. Jealousy is only of earth; the nearer we approach God the less of it we know.

The manifesting personality I have just mentioned had hardly reentered the cabinet when a slim masculine form appeared. The rapid appearance of each personality is worthy of attention. The most clever actor, with all sorts of assistance and trappings, could not have accomplished these lightning-like transformations. The slim masculine form who now stood before us and conversed happily with his sister, Mrs. Remmers, was fully attired in evening clothes. I studied carefully the entire manifestation, from the wavy hair down to the patent leather shoes. Unbelievable, isn't it? Well, I can only tell you what I have seen. If you question my sincerity or qualifications as an investigator, then apply your own effort and investigate for yourself, just as I did. These facts will some day grip men on earth with astonishing effect; thus far, only a minority know that they are true.

Almost instantaneously following the manifestation of Mrs. Remmers' brother, the form of a girl appeared. She was not more than four feet six inches tall and generally small in physique. This personality walked about among us for ten minutes or more, chatting happily with all present, especially Ellsworth, for whose pleasure she danced gracefully about the half-circle. Could the medium, who stood almost six feet and weighed nearly two hundred pounds, have accomplished this? How? As the girl stood between Mrs. Remmers and myself, I took hold of her garments and asked my wife to do likewise. We examined the substance; it appeared white in color, and felt soft, warm and life-like. I then took a firm grip upon it, and suggested that Mrs. Remmers do the same, and not leave go under any condition. Now came the supreme test! We held on firmly, and only by means of force and considerable disturbance could a fraud have dislodged itself. But the girl before us only chuckled, then vanished, leaving our clenched hands empty. The mysterious radiant matter had vanished with the manifestation. Such an experience is worth a lifetime of effort here, and once having had it, we laugh at the bugaboo men call "Death". Asleep in the grave? Ah! The so-called dead are more alive than we!

Thus far, and throughout all that occurred, not a sound came from within the cabinet. The medium made not the slightest move. She was, as I know today, in deep trance. All of the talking, with the exception of a few words from the control, was done by the manifesting personalities outside the cabinet.

I relaxed, sat back in my chair convinced that the Medium had absolutely nothing to do with the manifestation, but was only serving as an instrument for the use of Intelligences whose knowledge is far superior to our own.

Seven other personalities manifested, among them my wife's mother, the mother of our friend, my sister, and my grandmother on my mother's side. The known likeness between my wife and her mother was remarkably apparent. I had lived with my grandparents from the time that I was twelve years old, or a period of thirteen years, and came in close contact with them up to the time of their transition. No one knew the face or the voice of my good grandmother better than I. She had been a mother to me for almost twenty years. German was her favorite language, and in German we conversed. The medium does not speak nor understand this language. Several others materialized but were strangers to me; therefore I cannot vouch for them, but the recognition of those I did know was unmistakable.

The seance lasted almost two hours; there had been considerable conversation of an intimate nature throughout. As the control brought the manifestations to a close, he instructed us to open wide the curtains, observe the medium in trance, and inspect the cabinet. Mrs. Remmers and the young lady held the curtains wide apart while I entered the cabinet. I found the Medium in deep trance with her head hanging over the side of the chair; the independent voice of the control instructed me to feel the hands and face of the Medium, which I did. Both were extremely cold and clammy. Throughout the entire seance the medium's husband did not leave his chair. After a short period, the medium emerged from the trance. I unlocked the hall door and switched on the light. When the medium left the cabinet she was exceedingly pale and weak. Noting this, Mrs. Remmers and I insisted that she and her husband remain as our guests for the night.

I shall only mention that my own dear mother materialized and spoke to me. The manifestation was perfect, resembling in every detail the cherished memories of her loving countenance and delicate form. That which transpired between us is sacred to me. I cannot write about it.

God bless you, mother mine!

May the glory of thy radiance ever shine Throughout the Eternities. And in this darker place of fears Amid its mockery and sneers, May it guide me to be true, Thinking ever, dear, of you!

Those who have never experienced such manifestations as I have just related may involuntarily question their reality, especially the statement regarding the materialization of garments as worn by Mrs. Remmers' brother. I shall try to show that it is not impossible.

First, let us consider the source of any piece of cloth with which we are familiar. For example, the wool which composes a man's attire. We all know that this wool came from the body of the sheep; and through a process known to us as physical nature this body came from various elements, all of which had their origin in the ether. Conceding this to be a fact, would it not be possible to produce the same things out of the same ether by a shorter process as yet unknown to us? Are we not, of this earth, constantly doing the same thing, by newer methods, shortening the process of physical nature? Today, through the proper application of radium, a plant can be made to grow and blossom before your very eyes. Would anyone have believed this a century ago? It is, even at this period of our development, extremely difficult for the majority of men to comprehend anything beyond the realms of dense matter and the slow processes of nature as we ordinarily experience them. Dense matter is in reality nothing more than an illusion compared with that which is, in fact, The Reality, and with a few simple words this truth can be substantiated. Let us consider briefly this substance which appears so real to the majority of men. Let us see what it is actually composed of

What is matter? It is a substance composed of atoms held together by Cohesive Force.  What are atoms? Intricate particles, untold numbers of which go to make up the smallest quantity of matter visible to the eye of man.

What constitutes an atom? Gases.

What do we mean by gases? Ether.

And what is ether? No one knows. And yet within it exists the mystery of all Life, Intelligence, and the Power which creates worlds and all that is!

The materialization of discarnate entities fully attired in clothing of their own choice is a fact. To assert that this is not possible is but a futile effort to limit the Unlimitable! The most difficult part of the whole situation at present is that the intelligences of the next dimension are making use of energies and elements of which we of earth as yet know nothing.

At this period of our development we simply cannot comprehend such energies and elements. Gradually, however, this situation will be altered, just as similar ones have been altered through all the past ages. As the centuries unroll, Man moves onward, constantly gaining knowledge and constantly smashing such barriers which oppose his forward march. Slowly but irresistibly the "Preconceived Result" is being accomplished.

My own meager understanding regarding the production of materialization is as follows: A portion of the energy used is drawn partly from the sitters, but mainly from the medium. This energy is then vitalized with other energies and elements as yet unknown to us, and the combination is concentrated within the cabinet. The discarnate entity moves into this combination of energies and elements and his ethereal body absorbs them, thereby temporarily taking on a nature similar to our own. As to the actuality of materialization I quote the following from Sir William Crookes' writings

"One evening I timed Katie's (the manifesting entity's) pulse. It beat steadily at seventy-five, whilst Miss Cook's (the medium's) pulse a little time after was going at its usual rate of ninety. On applying my ear to Katie's chest I could hear a heart beating rhythmically inside, and pulsating even more steadily than did Miss Cook's heart when she allowed me to try a similar experiment after the seance. Tested in the same way, Katie's lungs were found to be sounder than her medium's, for at the time I tried the experiment Miss Cook was under medical treatment for a severe cough."

The ethereal or spiritual body is an exact counterpart of the material one, and through the process of full materialization this ethereal body absorbs the energies and elements concentrated in the cabinet, and for a time takes on a nature very similar to that of our own physical bodies. Under conditions where there is not enough psychic stuff or radiant matter present for manifestations of this nature, artists and sculptors of the next dimension create, out of that which is at their command, replicas of the living ethereal entities. These replicas do not, of course, speak; are usually half-size, and very often, although clearly recognizable, somewhat distorted. Further than this I cannot at present comprehend the process. My experiments have been limited, but I hope to delve deeply into this phase at some future time when I shall be privileged to experiment in my own home through the unfoldment of our own powers.

At most, I can only repeat at this writing that Materialization is an absolute fact, and when the conditions are good, personalities of the higher realms stand before us radiant and alive. There are many who have learned, through their own investigations, that these things are true.

 

 

From "Miscellaneous Essays and Letters" - Thomas R. Hazard

Rematerialization of the Soul

Of all the discoveries or inventions, whether of men or the" Spirits," that have transpired in the nineteenth century, that of the physical materialization of departed souls, so as to asks themselves tangible to physical sense is, perhaps, the most remarkable. For some years past, I have been repeatedly told by my Spirit wife, that before my coming to join her and our children in the unseen world, she and they would be able to clothe their soul forms so perfectly with the habiliments of earth, that they would return and remain with me in the old home for hours together, and be as tangible to my senses as they were in earth-life.

Since I was first told this, what is called "Spirit Materialization" has had its commencement, and in many scores of instances my Spirit friends, have, under favorable conditions, shown themselves to me in their full forms, Sometimes as mere shadows, and at others with wonderful distinctness so that I could recognize their individuality beyond a doubt.

I think that the most remarkable instance of this kind that I ever witnessed occurred a short time since in the city of Boston, in the presence of a lady Medium of a highly sensitive organization, who, on that account, taken in connection with the unrelenting war against the "Mediums" that are used by the angels for their beneficent purposes, prefers that her name should not be revealed to the public.

I called recently one evening on this lady and her husband, merely to pay a social visit. They were not citizens, and had but a day or two before taken the apartments in which they were located in a public building by the week. Partly in jest, I proposed that the husband and myself should sit outside, whilst the lady sat within a little closet that opened into the room and see what would be the result. My request was finally acceded to.  A shawl was tacked and drawn across the open doorway of the closet, and the medium took her seat inside, whilst I sat immediately in front within two feet of the curtain. The moon was shining through the large windows, shielded by the gauze-like curtains, directly into the room to render, with a little gaslight, everything in it quite distinct.

As this was not the seance I have referred to as being so remarkable, I will not now dwell, but simply say that the form of my wife was first presented, looking almost as natural as when in earth-life. She opened the curtain several times, and whilst she held the fold back with her left hand, she patted and fondled my hands and head with the other, and finally stooped over and put her arms around my neck and kissed me, her dark, luxuriant hair hanging down in long ringlets beside her cheeks, just as she wore it in early womanhood. My wife remained with me several minutes and when she retired, my recently departed daughter, Gertrude, opened the curtain and saluted me tenderly. Her hair, complexion, form, and height responded with hers on earth, though her features were not so distinct and fully materialized as those of her mother. Before leaving, she put her arm around my neck and kissed me.

When Gertrude retired, her sister Fanny, who passed away last February, came next with all her distinctive attributes of hair, complexion, contour of face, height, person, etc., with surprising exactitude. She also patted me on the head, and fondled my face and hands, but did not acquire sufficient power to kiss me. When Fanny left, her sister Anna appeared, unlike all the others, with dark hair and clear brunette complexion, corresponding with her earth-form and accompaniment. She too fondled my face, hair and hands, but did not kiss me. When Anna retired, her sister Mary came next, who passed away in New York some thirty-five years ago, aged two years and three months. Mary was taller than either of her sisters. Her hair and complexion were both light, corresponding with their earth characteristics. She was remarkably erect and graceful in figure and has a most remarkable expression of countenance.  She did not either kiss or touch me as the others had done.

During the time my wife and daughters were visible, I repeatedly observed the Medium in her seat; her garments were dark. Shortly before the close of the seance, two male spirits presented themselves, dressed in dark clothes (the others had all appeared in the purest white) who purported to be, the one a friend and the other a family connection of mine, as I have no doubt they were, although their features were not sufficiently distinct enough for my recognition. This seance proved so satisfactory that I arranged to come to the same place the next evening but one and repeat the experiment, knowing from long experience that spirit manifestations occur in apartments that become magnetized (so to speak) by a continued presence of the medium, through whose occult powers they proceed.

On this evening instead of sitting close to the curtain, the lady's husband and myself sat some four feet away. We had not been seated five minutes before my wife walked out of the closet in full form, clothed in a beautiful white robe, that entirely enveloped her feet and trailed on the floor. As on the previous evening, I took her hand in mine and found it, as is often the case with materialized hands to be of a velvet-like feeling and very cold. This I remarked to the spirit, and asked her if she could not make her hand as material and warm as when in earth-life. After retiring within the folds of the curtains several different times to obtain materializing power (as the spirit alleged) from the person of the Medium, and again reappearing, she at length rapped out by the alphabet these words: "sit sideways," the magnetism of our eyes when meeting hers being prejudicial, as most candid investigators of the phenomena soon learn by experience to be a general rule. After we had changed our positions to correspond with this request, it was again rapped out, "do not touch me." Hitherto, as my wife reached out her hand to me, I had generally taken it in mine. This I now forbore to do, and was amply repaid for my forbearance.

The conditions seemed to be now almost perfect, and there was not a ripple of doubt or suspicion in the minds of any present, to disturb the harmony. Those not acquainted with the wonderful phenomena of Spirit Materialization, can have but little conception of the extreme nicety and delicacy of the conditions through which alone it can be successfully conducted. The steady gaze of a doubting or over critical eye, upon a partly materialized spirit, may render all its efforts to fully materialize abortive; whilst a vindictive, malignant thought, cast by some vicious or ignorant individual present in the circle towards the helpless entranced Medium, may prove as fatal to the manifestations as would the kick of all infuriated jackass to the procedure of the nicest chemical experiment, if the blow of the brute was directed to the shattering, in a thousand pieces, the nicely arranged apparatus, or planted fully in the face of the operator, at the moment he was about to exhibit the wonders of his art. There were none of these depressing or malign influences present on this occasion, and my wife was able to draw sufficiently upon the vital elements of the Medium, to present herself almost exactly as she appeared when in earth-life. She came out of the closet during the evening no less than twenty-three different times; and moved about with almost the same ease she was accustomed to when in her earth home, passing to and fro in front and behind our seats so naturally, that a stranger to the phenomena could not have suspected her to be other than of mortal mould.

I was suffering at the time from the effects of a severe cold, on which account my wife manifested much solicitude, and repeatedly manipulated my head and chest with her hands, retiring ever and anon into the dark closet to recuperate her powers and gather the necessary healing elements to impart to me. More than once she threw her arms around my neck, and tenderly embracing me, pressed her lips to mine in a succession of kisses; her hung, dark hair hanging down the sides of her face in luxuriant curls, exactly as she used to wear it in early womanhood. From the very first, her lips and face had been of a natural temperature, whilst her hands, as before stated, being probably less fully materialized, were at first unnatural in their texture, and very cold. As the evening progressed, both of these peculiarities gradually subsided, so that for an hour or so before the close of the seance, her hands and fingers assumed, both to the eye and touch, a delicate appearance, whilst their temperature became of the natural warmth. The feeling imparted by their long manipulation of my hair, face, and chest, was soothing and delightful, and very perceptibly diminished the disagreeable sensations caused by my malady.

Once (and once only, until the close), during the evening, my wife's earth form was dematerialized for a short time. Whilst she held the curtain apart in one hand, her whole form was distinctly to be seen standing just within. It gradually sank downward, as if passing through the floor, until it disappeared, and the curtain closed for a short time, when it was again opened and my wife walked out and came to me as before. On one other occasion my wife remained passive within the closet, whilst a female Indian spirit (a familiar of the Medium) manifested. The Indian walked out in great strength, clothed in a picturesque costume of several colors. I asked her to let me look at her moccasin, when she lifted up one foot for me to examine it. The moccasin looked and felt like cloth, and I asked the spirit to make one for the occasion, of hair or such material as the Indians generally wore. She closed the curtain for a few moments, and again came out, and presented her foot, which was then covered only with a stocking, but as she manipulated it with her hand, it became gradually encased in a moccasin, made apparently of a material resembling both feathers and hair. The lady Medium remained entranced within the closet about two hours and a half, two-thirds of which time at least, my wife was fully materialized, and to be plainly seen by both myself and the gentleman who sat beside me.

At the close of the seance, the Medium's spiritual guide told me that the reason why my wife had occupied nearly the whole evening, was in consequence of the solicitude she felt on account of my indisposition, regretting that she had not the power to minister to my wants now, so fully as she used to when in earth-life.

Upon the whole, this "spirit seance" was, of all the hundreds I have been present at, one of the most entirely satisfactory. Nor can I, after witnessing what I there did, doubt but that our friends in the spheres above will soon perfect the science of materialization to the degree that will admit of their returning to earth (as promised) under the proper conditions (which must be awarded to them by their earth friends in order to insure success), and remain for hours together with congenial minds, as palpably and as really as they ever walked the earth in their society, before their departure from mortal life.

My wife seemed in every respect as real and life-like as I ever saw her on earth. To so fully materialize, she had, probably with the consent and assistance of the Spirit Guardians of the Medium, abstracted a full half or more of the elements of her life, and had the materialized spirit, when thus clothed upon, been recklessly seized upon by some ignorant man, with but little development of aught but the most brutal instincts, and resolutely held in his grasp, the Medium would, from necessity, have been found dead in her chair, or, with frenzied shrieks, striving to escape from his embrace, half dead with fright, and suffused in her own blood (by force of Spirit Law not understood by mortals).

 

 

from "Eleven Days at Moravia" - Thomas Robinson Hazard

A few days before I left, there came to Moravia a Trance Medium from Rochester, by the name of Gilbert G Eaton, one of whose controlling spirits professed to be the notorious Capt. Kidd, who did not seem inclined to say much about his earth career, but admitted that he had, when in earthlife, a hard, determined will. He further stated that he always thought he was condemned to death on insufficient testimony, and that the piracies for which he suffered were committed on Spanish vessels, with the approval or connivance of the British Government, until complications became so serious that it was deemed expedient to sacrifice his life to appease the Spaniards. In reply to a query concerning his entrance into Spirit-life, he stated that when he came to consciousness he found himself wandering in a darksome, dreary desert, where no vegetation other than stinted, unsightly shrubs was to be found, and where the spirits he encountered were each and all so repulsive and loathsome to each other, that no two or more ever cared to meet or associate. In this forlorn condition he passed what to him seemed centuries of earthlife, when his spirit became so broken and overpowered with suffering, that in an agony of despair he threw himself upon the ground and cried earnestly on God for deliverance. Then for the first time he saw in the far-off distance a bright spot in the shape of a small anchor, from which trailed within his reach a thread of light. Guided by this he succeeded in reaching the anchor and from that point was enabled to see and communicate with his mother, through whose loving counsel and assistance he was started on the road of progress, and through the strength of the same strong will-power that had, when misdirected, sank him so low in hell, he was enabled--when this was rightly directed--the sooner to reach the place he now occupied in heaven.

This was the substance of what Kidd stated, but whether true or false, or whether it may have been some other spirit personating Kidd or not, he certainly did subsequently give us a most graphic relation of the mode pursued by spirits in showing themselves at Moravia. He told us in terse and definite language, remarkably free from the redundancy that frequently characterizes mediumistic communications, that the Spirits who show their limbs and faces at the aperture, are actually within the cabinet (though invisible to material eyes) in their own proper persons, and that the limbs and faces that are shown undergo a chemical process, analogous to that adopted by mortals in coating or galvanizing specimens of wood or other substances and metals, with the wash of another kind of metal. He stated that this material coating for the spirit-form is collected by the spirits and partially prepared during the dark circle, from the aura or effete particles that are constantly passing from the human body; the cold breeze that is so often felt by the persons present being a part of this aura, and that the consistency or efficiency of the material depends upon the degree of harmony that prevails in the circle.

He further stated that these effete particles cannot be used by the spirit chemists until they are vitalized so as to make them partake of the quality of living flesh; and, to do this, it is necessary to pass them through, or bring them in contact with, a human organism possessing certain qualities or properties such as appertain to Mrs. Andrews, who always sits opposite the aperture during the process of collecting, preparing and passing the material into the cabinet. Mr. Eaton's controlling spirit also asserted that the manufacturing of this occult material requires that certain elements should be abstracted from every organ of the medium; and that, on some occasions, where the manifestations required high coloring, the spirit artists had drawn as many as four ounces of actual blood from her veins. It was said, further, that, should any material substance--especially, if in a fluid or semi-fluid state--be brought in contact with the spirit-faces or limbs that are exhibited, the coarser particles of such substance will necessarily appear on the person of the medium, the pores of whose skin operate similarly to a fine sieve, or strainer, and, on the return of the elements that had been subtracted from her system, exclude the coarser particles of the foreign substance. This coating of the Spirit, Eaton's controlling guardian stated, was of too delicate a quality to resist for any great length of time the chemical effects of light; though the Spirits seemed confident that they should soon perfect and improve the processes so as to enable them to walk out of the doors of cabinets, and greet their earth-friends as naturally as when they were clothed with mortal flesh.

 

 

From the book Dawn of the Awakened Mind
John S. King, M.D.
Founder and President of the Canadian Society of Psychical Research

An Effie Moss Materialization Session

I next come to the record of some of the more interesting phenomena witnessed in the Moss seances, which I was privileged to attend, and shall number them consecutively, for convenience sake in subsequent examination or analysis of them. Someone has said that those who deny the existence of occult phenomena are simply ignorant, for they have been scientifically proven repeatedly to have occurred. One has only to read the writings of Sir William Crookes of England, as well as other scientific men to be convinced of the truth of the foregoing statement. The selection and maintenance of an hypothesis to account for the phenomena will give rise to a greater difference of opinions.

With those who attended these seances with me as investigators, as well as in my own case, no question existed after the first seance, as to the presentation of phenomena, however much we might be at sea in accounting for them. Though I have passed the meridian of my physical life, I am free to confess, that I have not yet attained intuitive or any other kind of knowledge, warranting my denial of the possibility of occult phenomena. In fact I am not prepared to deny the possibility of anything that I cannot disprove.

The reader, while perusing the narration of the facts herein recorded, will have his or her own theory or hypothesis to account for the phenomena in individual cases. Whatever hypothesis may be adopted, it would seem that it must be one which, while impervious to the shafts of criticism, will account for the existence of some natural law, not fully comprehended, though possibly conjectured. The phenomena continue to present here and there, and intelligent inquiring minds will continue to desire to solve the problem, which will account for them, and lay bare the truth.

After all who wished to do so had examined the window, ceiling, floor, walls, and curtains constituting the improvised cabinet without contents, except one plain wooden chair for the Medium, they assumed a position in the horseshoe Circle, as already explained in detail. The Medium, who was dressed in a plain dark dress, without anything superfluous on the outside, next raised from a seat in the Circle, adjoining the cabinet space, where she had been constantly under the close scrutiny of every sitter from the first opportunity she gave them, until she stepped inside the cabinet which I have described in detail, and took her seat on the plain wooden chair, at the north end of the cabinet space. All being seated, the conductor pulled down the curtains, and took his seat in the Circle. Those present then joined in singing familiar hymns, and shortly after the manifestations began. It is not my purpose to refer to all the manifestations, but to such only as made a marked impression on my mind. A few apparently human forms appeared, one at a time at the opening of the curtains, and were presently recognized by one or another of the sitters, as purporting to be that of near relatives or friends; and would engage in conversation in some instances in a whisper, in others audible to all present. Some of these advanced either alone, or by the hand of some one from the Circle, out in the room and up to individual sitters, myself among the number.

(1) In one instance what appeared to be a brisk young girl, who came out of the cabinet, called one of the little girl sitters from the circle, and standing adjacent to where I sat, asked me to examine the little girl's hair and face, which I did. The former (the girl from the cabinet) then asked me to take her own hand, in mine, which I likewise did, after which she placed my hand upon her head and asked me to examine the hair, which I found to be long, black, coarse in fibre and the quantity abundant. This apparition, materialized form, or actual human girl, whichever she was, claimed to be the spirit of an Indian girl. She next permitted me to feel her feet, which were encased in a pair of moccasins; and while I was observing her stature, features, eyes and mouth, she chatted pleasantly; and gave all present an evidence of her agility, by running and jumping upon the floor, finishing by asking me if I thought the big medium could make herself up like a little Indian girl, with small hands and feet like those I felt. I had to admit my disbelief in the possibility of the large and heavy medium diminishing her size and weight in that manner, or to such a degree. This form disappeared by way of the cabinet.

(2) Another manifestation or apparition was that of a little girl dressed in white, at the opening of the curtains, who wanted to know if the sitters thought she was the Medium, when almost immediately the medium appeared at her side, having the same appearance she had when first entering the cabinet, and the two stood side by side before the curtains, the medium being apparently in a trance state. This little girl in white retired into the cabinet, as did the medium also. We were informed that the medium claimed that this was Lily, one of her band of spirits that helped to build up the so-called materialized forms.

This same little cabinet spirit Lily, pretty as a Christmas doll, said to me in the presence and hearing of all the sitters in that seance : Dr. King, when Mrs. Moss passes over to spirit side of life, then I'll come and join your band. Chapter XXXIII, December 24, 1912, contains the record of the fulfillment of the promise, after eighteen years' time.

(3) Another manifestation of peculiar interest was the appearance of a form which was recognized by sitters as a perfect duplication in physique and manner of speech, of a well-known citizen, who had passed out of the body after having been for some time an editor of a farmers' paper published in the same city of London, Ontario. I was invited to approach the cabinet, but I did not recognize the form or features, for I had never seen or known the said editor in the physical life; and consequently would not recognize this materialized representation of him; but he claimed brotherhood and designated my status in the brotherhood. I had not made myself known fraternally to any one present, nor had I any insignia or symbols, or anything about me to indicate that I was a fraternity man or brother. In response to his invitation I entered with him into the cabinet, and to my astonishment he did certainly prove himself a brother. I may add that while this testing and proving was in process in the cabinet with curtains closed, I could see the medium seated on the chair, her eyes closed, and apparently in a deep trance state, as was her usual condition during a seance. The form, which proved itself to be a brother, was surrounded by a certain degree of illumination, which made the cabinet as well as the form of the medium, distinctly visible to me. Coming to the outside of the cabinet again with me, this form's grip was strong, substantial, and real, yet seemed to melt away while still I held it, and after first taking three irregular steps from the cabinet, gradually dissolved from view as white or grayish smoke or vapour, entering the carpet at that point.

(4) Another manifestation alleged to be that of a minister, having a portly and easily recognized form, was claimed by several of those who knew him in the physical form, to be a preacher who formerly preached in South London Methodist church. The form appeared in the black clothing, as was the custom of the minister in the physical form, and addressed those present in a manner familiar to those who had listened to his pulpit utterances; but added that had he known what he now knew he would have been enabled to teach and preach with a much clearer knowledge of the truth. I was privileged to take the ghost's hand and look well into his countenance, and witness the movement of his lips and of his eyes, and hear the breath movements of his speech. He disappeared by way of the cabinet from which he came.

(5) Another of the many manifestations at this seance was that of an alleged actress, suitably clad in garments of a creamy white color, who claimed to have passed out of the physical form in Brooklyn one hour after completing her part in an act or play at the theatre. Her stature was taller than that of the medium and much more spare. Her voice was strong and sweet. She addressed those present for several minutes, exhorting them to a proper life and good deeds for humanity. After concluding her address she favored the company by singing in a magnificent manner a song which would have required great natural capability, and much culture for so fine a rendition, on the part of a human singer. Had the window been open, the singing could have been heard easily a block away. I was also permitted to approach this manifestation, and shake hands with it, and saw its features most distinctly. This form disappeared into the cabinet from which it had made its first appearance.

(6) During one portion of the seance, when all was quiet, the room hitherto dimly lit suddenly became darker. Almost immediately after, within the circle of the sitters, and about one yard from my chair, I noticed a light upon the carpet, phosphorescent in appearance, about the size of a 25-cent piece or English shilling, which soon became more extensive, and apparently rose as a vapor from which evolved curling flame like white and purple light, until suddenly it took on tangible form, and developed what all the sitters agreed upon, as being beyond doubt a beautiful young woman, clad in draperies of creamy white, bearing supported or suspended above her head a purple ball of light, which, however, seemed physically separate from any connection with the head; and which illumined the entire room, and simultaneously the air was impregnated with odor of a most delicate and agreeable perfume, resembling nothing I had ever before inhaled. All over the draperies and coverings of this apparition were small star-spangles as if they were most brilliant electric star lights. This manifestation differed in appearance from the others preceding, inasmuch as they had a substantial, every-day, solid, life-like physical body and raiment, such as we are accustomed to look upon in our every-day experience; while this female materialization, perfect in physical form, seemed attired in vestures and draperies most unusual, but in themselves beautiful and well adapted in their application, giving an angelic cast to the entire figure. She took my hand as if for salutation, held it firmly as if for support, for perhaps half a minute, and apparently until fully materialized, and explained that she had the power to appropriate material from the medium, and from my own and other sitters' composition, to form a body to occupy; and by aid of other Spirits likewise formed the vestures, and draperies worn, of thought creation from particles of matter in textures in the room, and also from the air. The hand appeared natural to the sight, and the touch or grip revealed feeling, solidity, and motion. Her stay was brief, and her departure was as if she had dissolved into mist or white smoke, and was drawn downwards and absorbed into the carpet. This particular form, materialization, or apparition neither entered nor approached the cabinet. Some of the more experienced sitters explained that this form was that of an advanced spirit, and one long since passed to spirit life; but none there were who claimed to have ever seen her before; nor did she give any indication at this sitting as to her human personality or her angelic home. (This was Egyptia, my alleged guardian spirit, as I subsequently learned from her.)

I may here remark that I shook hands and conversed with the majority of the forms appearing at this sťance, listened to the messages conveyed to individual friends in the room, or to the more general exhortations and advice regarding the real objects and purposes of life. All this to me was passing strange, and unaccountable on ordinary or natural lines of investigation; as I shall attempt to show in discussing the various hypotheses.

Being acquainted with the existence of the phenomena of hypnotism, which I had for several years been able to induce and utilize for physiological, therapeutical, and psychical purposes, I naturally sought to satisfy myself that this was not sufficient to account for all the phenomena heard and witnessed by all alike. The more personally interesting manifestations to which I could apply critical tests as being more conclusive, and more evidential in character to me at least, I will allude to in detail.

PHENOMENA EVIDENTIAL IN CHARACTER TO ME

(7) The event in this seance and in a subsequent one, of the deepest personal interest to me, as affording not only more support, but in my judgment the strongest evidential support of the spiritual hypothesis, as contrasted with any other hypothesis that I have considered or that can be offered, I shall now describe. I have said this case engaged my deepest interest; but I may add that the most conclusively convincing tests possible were presented to my judgment, as I shall presently show. Among the forms to appear at the parting of the curtains of the improvised cabinet, was that of an apparently old lady, above medium height, build and weight, slightly bent forward, whose hair was silvery white, whose face was directed towards myself, to whom she seemed to beckon, but in no single particular resembling the Medium. Several remarked to me, You are wanted, Doctor, and I arose and advanced close to the form, my face being within a few inches of the face presented, which appeared illuminated so clearly and distinctly that I could see individual hairs hanging across the temple. I beheld the form and features, the perfect physical resemblance, and physiognomy of my own mother, who passed out of the physical life, as the result of an accident in my own and her own home, some nine years previously. So natural, so human and life-like was the apparition that it formed a perfect duplicate of my mother---as perfect a view as her mirrored reflection in life, while it possessed tangibility, solidity, weight, moved the eyes as if looking into mine, grasped my hand as really as ever it was grasped, and used the mouth to speak and I heard her breathe. I stood a few moments to test myself, as to whether I was awake or dreaming, or in a hypnotized state. Up to this point, though I had recognized what I have stated, I had said nothing. I then spoke aloud in the hearing of all present and said Who is this? The form then stepped forward from the cabinet and in a similar characteristic and affectionate manner to that of my mother when in my home said, so that all present could hear what she said, My dear boy, do you recognize me? I replied by asking Is this the one I am thinking of ? The apparition before me said : Yes, I am still alive, and am pleased to see you here, and I bring you proof of my existence. The form patted me on my cheek, kissed me, and said, Your Pa is here with me. He only recently came to me out of the body, and was extremely weak. The form then explained that he, the father, was not yet able to gather the forces necessary to manifest himself, but would do so at another seance if I would remain. All this was heard by the others present, as all assented when asked if they heard distinctly. I at this point explained to the sitters in this seance, that my mother passed out of the physical between eight and nine years previously, while my father had only passed out about two months anterior to this occasion; and as I was a stranger to them all, as well as to the medium, with the single exception of the gentleman in whose house we were meeting--that of Mr. MacRoberts (and I had only twice before met him, many miles from my home)--and therefore all were ignorant of the dates of death of my mother and father, and of any other data concerning them. The materialized manifestation claiming to be that of my mother, also spoke to me in a whisper, and the utterances were those peculiarly characteristic of my mother, and such as no other human being could imitate or know and use them. She took my hand, stepped out into the circle, and was seen and heard by all therein, and spoken with by several. As one or two among the many evidential tests of personal physical identity, or duplication thereof, I give the following.

My mother had for many years carried the evidence of rheumatic arthritis in the lower two rows of the joints of her fingers on both hands, they being, as she used to term them, hickory-nut joints, and her habit was, when not specially using her hands, or when she had company or went out, to wear thin silk gloves or mitts over them, a size or two larger than would otherwise be necessary, on account of large joints, to prevent their being noticeable by others. My mother was also accustomed to wear about the shoulders a light comforter or shawl of old-fashioned pattern and size, to prevent chills from the draughts, she claimed. On this occasion, exact duplications of the old-fashioned silk gloves and shawl were worn by this manifestation, apparently as real as I had ever seen them, and further, and even yet more conclusively convincing, myself and others looked for the hickory-nut jointed fingers, and sure enough the evidence was convincing, tested by sight and touch of more than one-half of the sitters present. Corroborative inspection likewise demonstrated the existence in the eye of a brown spot on the white of the globe of the left eye; and a cluster or cord of silvery hair hanging over the left temple to the left ear, from the upper part of the forehead of the demonstrating apparition, which stood before us and talked with us. Both of these latter features were distinctly noticeable, and had in my mother's life-time been examined and commented upon, by those who knew her, and to myself they were in this instance a perfect duplication or reflection in the animated apparition which I am now describing.

Space forbids my speaking in further detail. As the manifestation was about to go it gave me a parting kiss, and said Goodbye in a precisely similar manner to that which my mother always adopted, when we parted with each other during her physical existence.

 

 

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