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
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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
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."
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, .
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 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
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
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
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
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
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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