Mrs Ada Emma Deane, Mrs Ada Deane, Ada Deane, Ada Emma Deane, medium Ada Emma Deane, Ada Emma Deane medium, Ada Emma Deane spirit photographer, spirit photographer, Emma Deane,

 Medium Ada Emma Deane.  England. UK.

Emma Deane spirit photographer

 

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Emma Deane

  Ada Emma Deane  Medium.   England. UK. 

Ada Emma Deane posing in front of a camera, while the photograph is being taken by another camera and still it produced a superimposed image of someone from the Spirit World (bottom left).

 

 

A very well known person in her lifetime was Ada Emma Deane from Britain. Her forte as a Medium was Spirit Photography. It all started by Ada discovering a Spirit face on a photograph taken by her. Her career as a Photographic Medium was many times criticised and looked on with suspicion as in the early days she had to handle the plates being used for the purpose she said of them being magnetised. As time went by and the strength of her Mediumship improved this no longer happened, and she was able to produce images on the photographic plates without handling them and so the criticism lessened. At a sitting in the W T Stead Borderland Library in November 1924 Ada never had the photographic plates in her possession, neither did she handle them before the sitting, yet the images appeared again on the plates.

The Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research (ASPR) in 1921 put out a report about a remarkable sitting with Ada Deane and the director of the National Laboratories of Washington a Dr. Allerton Cushman, who had obtained on a plate that he himself had brought a striking portrait of his daughter who had died a year before.
A year later the Magic Circles Occult Committee published a claim that they had caught Ada in a fraud.

In many newspapers of the time publicity was given to the photograph taken at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London, on November 11 1922 during the two minute silence, and many Spirit faces appeared on the photograph. Ada was helped in this instance by Estelle Stead. The following three years the experiment continued, and many people came forward who recognized the Spirit faces on the photographs taken over the years.

In a Physical Seance 1923 through direct voice, using an un-named Medium, communication from H Dennis Bradley's brother in law W A who was in Spirit told H Dennis Bradley that he was on the photograph near the right hand top corner. The day after the seance  Bradley sought out a copy of the photograph and with the aid of a magnifying glass there amongst the 50 heads in the photograph in the exact place told, was a person who looked uncannily like his brother in Law W A.

The 1924 photograph of the Cenotaph was held up by the Topical Press Agency at the time as a fraud and it was said the photograph was a falsehood with the extras being the living sportsmen of the time, then the newspaper the Daily Sketch published the alleged fraud BUT omitted many truths and as is happening to this day they manipulated what had happened [ there is a very old saying in the press industry ; NEVER LET THE TRUTH GET IN THE WAY OF A GOOD STORY ]

Estelle Stead, in her booklet Faces of the Living Dead, printed some unpublished documents, among them Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's letter to the editor of the Daily Sketch. In it he states that he submitted the two sets of faces published in the Daily Sketch to Sir Arthur Keith, the greatest authority on anthropometric matters. Keith replied; "Not one of the photographs reproduced by the Daily Sketch is identical with any of the representations or photos reproduced in the Spirit photographs". Estelle Stead says in her booklet: "I have known Mrs. Deane and worked with her for the last four years and have the highest regard for her honesty and integrity of purpose. I know her cameras well, both inside and out, having examined them so often—also the dark slides used for these sittings. Both cameras and slides are continually left in my studio for days together, and I and others have plenty of opportunities to examine them at our leisure. The plates are always developed in my darkroom, and I can assure those doughty champions who explain so glibly how these are 'faked' that there are no developing dishes with transparent xylonite bases let into the dark room table, nor any concealed electric lights in my dark room. We use porcelain dishes, which are washed out after every sitting.

In the Journal of the ASPR (May 1925) is a written seance situation by Hereward Carrington about his experiences with Ada Deane on September 5, 1921:

"Upon six of my plates curious marks appeared. On two plates these marks are mere smudges, which are not evidential, though I think curious. On the next plate, however, the result is quite striking. I had silently willed that a shaft of white light should emerge from my right shoulder, and appear on the plate. Sure enough, upon development, a column of white light, surmounted by a sort of psychic cabbage, was distinctly visible. It will be remembered that this was upon my own plate, placed in the camera, and afterwards removed and developed by myself. The odd thing to my mind is why I should have willed so curious a thing: what prompted me to wish for it? Was it a pure thought photograph. Or did some external intelligence first of all impress upon my mind this idea, and afterwards produce the image upon the plate. A very similar result was obtained by a friend of mine, Miss M., the following year at a sitting with Mrs. Deane. She was looking intently at her own hand and thinking about it, during the exposure of the plate (thinking of her new ring, as a matter of fact, which had just been given to her) and when the plate was developed, a hand appeared on the sitter's head, surrounded by an ectoplasmic cloud. The resemblance to her own hand is quite striking, and it is certainly a feminine hand."

A year after Hereward Carrington some different results with Ada, unusual comet-like lights and a woman's face on plates he had brought along himself. They were secretly marked by X-rays, but since Ada had kept them for some time, he did not accept the pictures as evidential. BUT he writes down: "Nevertheless, I am inclined to regard these results with considerable interest for two reasons. In the first place, if these plates had been 'doctored' by Mrs. Deane in her own home, before the sitting, she would almost certainly have imprinted faces upon the plates instead of these bizarre lights, it seems to me. Further, knowing that Cushman was to have a sitting, and knowing of her own brilliant success in producing, at a previous seance, under excellent conditions, a psychic extra recognized by Cushman and members of his family as his daughter Agnes (the case is a celebrated one) she would, I submit, have seen to it that Agnes appeared. Again, these lights are intrinsically striking, interesting, when studied closely."

Sources:

Carrington, Hereward. The Physical Phenomena of Spiritualism: Fraudulent and Genuine. Boston, 1907. Reprint, New York: Dodd, Mead, 1920.

Coates, James. Photographing the Invisible. London, 1911. Doyle, Arthur Conan. The Case for Spirit Photography. London, [1922].

The History of Spiritualism. New York: Charles H. Doran, 1926. Reprint, New York: Arno Press, 1975.

A photograph taken by Ada Emma Deane of an unknown sitter with what is said to be a thought imposed Spirit Form onto a photographic plate, remembering it is the Spirit World that places the thought form onto the plates or photographic film.

A well-known BRITISH Spirit photographer, who started as a Photographic Medium when she was an elderly working woman of 58. In June, 1920, after being encouraged by a North London Medium, Ada had her first success on a photograph taken by her, and it produced an extra face. Her psychic career was the subject of much criticism and suspicion owing to her strange habit of keeping the plates by herself for "magnetising." This objection, however, lessened as the years passed by as, since November, 1924, Mrs. Deane in her sittings at the W. T. Stead Borderland Library never had the plates in her possession or handled them in any way before the sitting. It was, however, discovered even before that if the plates, unknown to herself, were exchanged the supernormal effects appeared just the same.

The Journal of the ASPR registered in 1921 a remarkable sitting which Dr. Allerton Cushman, Director of the National Laboratories of Washington, had with Mrs. Deane. He obtained on his own plate a striking portrait of his daughter who died the previous year. In the following year the Occult Committee of the Magic Circle published a report in which they claimed to have exposed Mrs. Deane. Wide publicity was given in the daily Press to Mrs. Deane's experiment in taking a photograph, on November 11, 1922, during the two minutes silence at the Cenotaph in Whitehall. She was assisted by Miss Estelle Stead. Many Spirit faces appeared on the plate. The experiment was repeated three successive years. Recognition was claimed in several cases. A remarkable communication was received by H. Dennis Bradley from the Spirit of his brother-in-law, W.A., as regards the photograph taken in 1923. As told in Towards the Stars the communicator said in the direct voice that he was in the right hand side of the photograph, not very low down. On the following day Bradley obtained a copy of the photograph. To his astonishment, among the fifty Spirit heads visible in the picture, he found one in the position described which, under the microscope, revealed a surprising likeness to W.A. Further, the 1924 picture drew extraordinary revelations. The Topical Press Agency declared in a statement that the Spirit extras were faked reproductions of their well-known photographs of living sportsmen. The exposure was published in the Daily Sketch, but the story was never fully told. Estelle W. Stead in her booklet, Faces of the Living Dead prints some unpublished documents. Among them Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's letter to the editor of the Daily Sketch in which he says that the two sets of faces, published in the Daily Sketch were submitted by him to Sir Arthur Keith, the greatest authority upon anthropometric matters and he said in his reply:
"Not one of the photographs reproduced by the Daily Sketch is identical with any of the representations or photos reproduced in the spirit photographs." It is the old saying in media circles why let the truth get in the way of a good story?
Estelle Stead herself gives the following testimony in the 1925 booklet:
"I have known Mrs. Deane and worked with her for the last four years and have the highest regard for her honesty and integrity of purpose. I know her cameras well, both inside and out, having examined them so often - also the dark slides used for these sittings. Both cameras and slides are continually left in my studio for days together, and I and others have plenty of opportunities to examine them at our leisure. The plates are always developed in my dark-room, and I can assure those doughty champions who explain so glibly how these are "faked" that there are no developing dishes with transparent xylonite bases let into the dark room table, nor any concealed electric lights in my dark room. We use porcelain dishes, which are washed out after every sitting."
Dr. Hereward Carrington writes in the Journal of the ASPR, May, 1925, of his experiences with Mrs. Deane on September 5, 1921:


"Upon six of my plates curious marks appeared. On two plates these marks are mere smudges, which are not evidential, though I think curious. On the next plate, however, the result is quite striking. I had silently willed that a shaft of white light should emerge from my right shoulder, and appear on the plate. Sure enough, upon development, a column of white light, surmounted by a sort of psychic cabbage, was distinctly visible. It will be remembered that this was upon my own plate, placed in the camera, and afterwards removed and developed by myself. The odd thing to my mind is why I should have willed so curious a thing: what prompted me to wish for it? Was it a pure thought photograph? Or did some external intelligence first of all impress upon my mind this idea, and afterwards produce the image upon the plate? A very similar result was obtained by a friend of mine, Miss M., the following year at a sitting with Mrs. Deane. She was looking intently at her own hand and thinking about it, during the exposure of the plate (thinking of her new ring, as a matter of fact, which had just been given to her) and when the plate was developed, a hand appeared on the sitter's head, surrounded by an ectoplasmic cloud. The resemblance to her own hand is quite striking, and it is certainly a feminine hand."


Next year Dr. Carrington obtained further curious results, peculiar comet-like lights and a woman's face on his own plates. They were secretly marked by X-rays but as they had been kept for some time previously in Mrs. Deane's possession he did not accept the pictures as evidential.
"Nevertheless," he writes, "I am inclined to regard these results with considerable interest for two reasons. In the first place, if these plates had been 'doctored' by Mrs. Deane in her own home, before the sitting, she would almost certainly have imprinted faces upon the plates instead of these bizarre lights, it seems to me. Further, knowing that Dr. Cushman was to have a sitting, and knowing of her own brilliant success in producing, at a previous séance, under excellent conditions, a psychic extra recognised by Dr. Cushman and members of his family as his daughter Agnes (the case is a celebrated one) she would, I submit, have seen to it that "Agnes" appeared upon at least one of these plates - and yet no Agnes appeared. Again, these lights are intrinsically striking, interesting, when studied closely."


In Proceedings, Vol. XLI, 1933, Mr. Fred Barlow, in a report on psychic photography charges Mrs. Deane with fraud. This was not unusual as the Christian church had such a hold over the media and the printing presses.

With slight modifications and additions, Sources from survival after death and with minor modifications, and from An Encyclopaedia of Psychic Science by Nandor Fodor (1934).

 

A photograph taken by Ada Emma Deane in1923 of Mrs Fillmore of Eltham being a Medium herself recognise the Spirit Extra as her control a Sister Alicia

 

Armistice Day Photographs

These Photographs were taken at the Cenotaph in London in the November of each year 1921, 1922, 1923 and 1924 on Armistice Day at the 11th hour.

Ada Emma Deane Armistice picture from 1922 which was taken at the exact moment of the Armistice on the 11 hour in which the Spirit Extras appeared.

 Ada Emma Deane Armistice picture also in 1922 on Armistice Day, taken just before the 11th hour of the 11th day.

 

 

The 1923 photo is notable for the fact that H. Dennis Bradley, having received a communication from his brother-in-law in the Spirit World to do so, found what he believed to be the face of his brother-in-law in Spirit, in the picture. This series of events are told in Bradley’s 1924 book Towards the Stars.

This 1923 Photograph caused a lot of controversy with the Daily Sketch claiming that all of the faces were those of famous sports stars of the day indicating the picture was a fraud. This was very strongly denied by Ada Deane’s friends and sitters and all that knew her work for what is was; GENUINE, especially Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. See below.

 

On the left Psychic likeness of Agnes, The daughter of Dr Allerton Cushman. A life like picture obtained by Dr Cushman through a surprise visit paid to Mrs Deane.

On the right a normal Photograph of Agnes Cushman for comparison with Fig 14.

Agnes Cushman.  The image from the photograph and one taken when she was alive side by side for comparison.

 

At the beginning of her work it was regarded as controversial because Ada it was said needed to hold the unexposed photographic plates to magnetise them. Some of her onlookers and people who were testing her felt that this was an opening for fraud, [this change as her powers increased] a view that was put forward in the American Journal of The Society for Psychical Research (ASPR), Vol 15 1921 p.364, saying that control of the experiments is … so unsatisfactory that at present it is impossible to arrive at any conclusions of value. A later ASPR Journal, however, took a different view, being more positive about her work, according to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in his review in Volume 2 of the History of Spiritualism. Doyle relates how a Dr Allerton Cushman, the then Director of the National Laboratories at Washington USA, in July 1921 made a surprise visit to the British College of Psychical Science, and had a photograph taken, which turned out to have an image of his deceased daughter imposed on it.

 

 

This is the Daily Sketch front page, which was claiming to expose the 1923 photograph by Ada Deane as a fraud.

In her 1925 booklet, Faces of the Living Dead, Estelle Stead published letters written to the editor of the Daily Sketch. These stated that the greatest authority on “anthropametic” matters, Sir Arthur Keith, had decided that the faces in the photograph were in no way identical to those published by the newspaper.

Ada Deane was subjected to considerable investigation. Whilst investigators such as Hereward Carrington were prepared to accept that something was happening, others continued to think it was pure fraud. Yet most of those who decided upon the negative view did so just because she held the plates for a while before use. However, when several investigators substituted their own plates without Mrs Deane’s knowledge they obtained results including all of the phenomena usually associated with her work.

As Martyn Jolly notes in Faces of the Living Dead (2006), Ada Deane became “one of Britain’s busiest photographic mediums, holding over 2,000 sittings, many of which were for ordinary people. “ One good example of this, in our personal library, is a photo taken in 1923 showing a Mrs Fillmore, of Eltham, with a Spirit extra recognised by the sitter as her control, ‘Sister Alicia.’

 

Mrs. Deane's mediumship is of recent date (her first Spirit Photograph was in June, 1920). She has obtained many recognized EXTRAS under test conditions, and her work is sometimes equal to the best of her predecessors in this branch. Recently she has achieved two very fine results. Dr. Allerton Cushman, a well-known American scientist and Director of the National Laboratories at Washington, paid an unexpected visit to the British College of Psychic Science at Holland Park in July, 1921, and obtained through Mrs. Deane a beautiful and well-recognized EXTRA of his deceased daughter. Full details of this sitting will be found recorded, with photographs, in the JOURNAL of the American Society for Psychical Research. The other result was on November 11, 1922, on the occasion of the Great Silence, on Armistice Day, in Whitehall, when in a photograph of the immense concourse of people gathered in the vicinity of the Cenotaph many Spirit faces are discernible, and a number of them were recognized. This was repeated on three successive years.

Modern researches have proved that these psychic results are not obtained, in some instances at least, through the lens of the camera. On many occasions, under test conditions, these supernormal pictures have been secured from an unopened box of plates, held between the hands of the sitter or sitters. Also, when the experiment has been tried of using two cameras, if any EXTRA appears, it is found in one camera, not in both. A theory held is that the image is precipitated on the photographic plate, or that a psychic screen is applied to the plate.

The author may perhaps say a few words upon his own personal experience, which has been chiefly with the Crewe Circle and with Mrs Deane. In the case of the latter there have always been results, but in no case were the EXTRA recognized. The author is well aware of Mrs. Deane's psychic power, which has been conspicuously shown during the long series of experiments held by Mr. Warrick under every possible test condition, and fully reported in the July 1925 edition of PSYCHIC SCIENCE. His own experiences have, however, never been evidential, and if he relied only upon them he could not speak with any certainty. He used Mrs. Deane's own plates, and he has a strong feeling that the faces may be precipitated upon them during the days of preparation when she carries the packet upon her person. She is under the impression that she can facilitate her results in this way, but she is probably quite mistaken, for the Cushman case was extempore. It is also on record that a trick was once played upon her at the Psychic College, her own packet being taken away and another substituted, in spite of this EXTRAS were obtained. She would be well advised, therefore, if she abandoned methods which make her results, however genuine, so vulnerable to attack.

For more Photographs by Mrs Emma Deane go to the photographs section where there are lot many more.

 

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