Annie Fairlamb, Mrs Fairlamb Mellon, J B Mellon,


 Medium Annie Fairlamb      England

 Medium Mrs Fairlamb Mellon

 Medium Mrs J B Mellon



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 Annie Fairlam Medium

1850  - 1938

Mellon, Annie Fairlamb (or Mrs. J. B. Mellon)

Some few pages may also be devoted to a summary of the very cogent objective evidence which is offered by the casts that have been taken from the bodies of ectoplasmic figures-in other words, of materialized forms. The first who explored this line of research seems to have been William Denton, the author of "Nature's Secrets," a book on psychometry, published in 1863. In Boston (U. S. A.) in 1875, working with the Medium Mary M. Hardy, he employed methods which closely resemble those used by Richet and Geley in their more recent experiments in Paris. Denton actually gave a public demonstration in Paine Hall, when the cast of a Spirit Face was said to have been produced in melted paraffin. Other Mediums with whom these casts were obtained were Mrs Firman, Dr Monck, Miss Fairlamb (afterwards Mrs. Mellon), and William Eglinton. The fact that these results were corroborated by the later Paris sittings is a strong argument for their validity. Mr. William Oxley, of Manchester, describes how on February 5, 1876, a beautiful mould of a lady's hand was obtained, and how a subsequent mould of the hand of Mrs. Firman the Medium was found to be quite different. On this occasion Mrs. Firman was confined in a lace net bag which went over her head and was fastened round the waist, enclosing her hands and arms. This would seem to be final as regards any fraud on the part of the Medium, while it is also recorded that the wax mould was warm, which shows that it could not have been brought into the seance room. It is hard to see what further precautions could have been taken to guarantee the result. On a second occasion a mould of the foot as well as of the hand was obtained, the openings of the wrist and ankle being in each case so narrow that the limb could not have been withdrawn. There seems to have been no explanation open save that the hand or foot had dematerialized.


This British Materialization Medium. Her first supernormal experience was at the age of nine, when she saw her brother at sea in danger of drowning. Later physical powers manifested in a violent trembling of hand and arm. This was followed, in the family Circle, by automatic writing with lightning-like speed, by clairvoyance, and by clairaudience. With bandaged eyes she would fall into a trance and describe events happening at the time many miles away, events which were subsequently verified.

In 1873 she and C. E. Wood were employed as official Mediums of the Newcastle Spiritual Evidence Society. In 1875 they sat for Henry Sidgwick and F. W. H. Myers of the Society for Psychical Research at Cambridge, England. The seances, which were held under the strictest test conditions, produced excellent results, but neither Sidgwick nor Myers chose to announce their observations in public.

In 1877 Alderman T. P. Barkas of Newcastle made successful experiments to obtain hot wax Spirit Moulds. Unknown to Fairlamb, he mixed magenta dye with the paraffin. The moulds were found to be tinted with magenta, which proved that they were not smuggled in ready-made.

After touring the Continent, during which German investigators found that she lost almost half of her bodily weight during materializations, Fairlamb went to Australia. There she married J. B. Mellon of Sydney but continued to give sittings at her own home. Charles W. MacCarthy, at whose residence Mellon often sat, became convinced of the reality of the phenomena.

On October 12, 1894, a disastrous exposure of her fraud took place in Mellon's house. T. Shekleton Henry, another Medium and a so called friend, grabbed "Cissie," the materialized Spirit, and found it to be the Medium half undressed. The missing pieces of garment were found in the cabinet. Mellon defended herself by saying that she seemed to shoot into the grabbed form and became absorbed. She was said to have suffered serious injury in consequence of the Spirit grabbing, and after her recovery she resolved never to sit in the cabinet again but always before the curtain in full view of the sitters.

The story of the exposure is told by T. Shekleton Henry in Spookland (1902), to which a rebuttal was published by someone under the pseudonym "Psyche" in A Counterblast to Spookland; or, Glimpses of the Marvellous (1895).

As late as 1931 Mellon was still active as a Medium. H. L. Williams, a retired magistrate from the Punjab, wrote to Harry Price (Psychic Research, June 1931): "As regards her (Mrs. Mellon), Dr. Haworth, a well-known doctor of Port Darwin, has testified before me that at Melbourne, in the presence of leading and professional men, he saw many times a spot of mist on the carpet which rose into a column out of which stepped a completely embodied human being who was recognised…." Sir William Windeyer, chief judge, and Alfred Deaking, prime minister of Australia, were, according to the letter, convinced that Mellon was genuine. Of course none of these men, however eminent, were trained observers.

She eventually settled in Australia travelling in between Sydney and New Zealand to do her demonstrations.

Cissie was a small negress of African origin who it is said use to abuse and beat the Medium. (This is the first time I have heard anything like this happening also it was not certain if the young Spirit form was from the Indian continent or from the African continent, I thought I should place it in here).

Pictured here with her materalised Scotsman Geordie guide. This reproduction was featured in Thomas Shekleton Henry's pamphlet "Spookland". 1894.

Slight additions from Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology


The Spirit form of Indian Syna, Ms Wood, Ms Fairlamb.


Annie Mellon and ‘Cissie,’ from a photograph taken at Edinburgh by Mr Stewart Smith on 3 September, 1890. Half-tone reproduction from Thomas Shekleton Henry, Spookland!, 1894, British Library, London 1894, British Library, London.


From the book "Materialized Apparitions' - E. A. Brackett


THE mediumship of Mrs. Fairchild differs from that of others inasmuch as she stands outside of the cabinet, under the influence of one of her controls, managing the seance with great skill and judgment, thus eliminating from her seances all chance of transfiguration or personation by the medium, forcing the skeptic or investigator to the conclusion that the forms are either genuine materializations or confederates.

The position of her cabinet, placed as it is between two rooms, is certainly open to criticism. A thorough examination of it, however, revealed no possible chance for the concealment of draperies or the entrance of a confederate.

In order to meet the objections which have been made to this arrangement she has drawn a light curtain across the corner of the room. Backed as it is by solid walls, the forms that come from this temporary cabinet cannot be confederates, and the skeptic may answer as best he can the question, What are they?

This cabinet, however, is only used occasionally, and the average visitor sees only what comes from the main cabinet. If this temporary arrangement is so successful, and I know it is, there is some force in the objection made against using the other. Every medium is in justice bound to give to visitors the best conditions possible. Mr. Whitlock thus describes seances held with Mrs. Fairchild, Sept. 12 and 19,1885.

“The medium was controlled in a few moments by 'Cadaleene,' a very interesting Spirit, who managed the seance with perfect nonchalance, selecting, with ease and correctness the persons whom the Spirits desired to come to the cabinet, thereby fulfilling the double office, with Mrs. Fairchild, of medium and manager.

"During this seance the Medium was outside, and in view of the audience, except on one or two occasions--when she went into the cabinet for a moment; and at the last, when her control, Cadaleene, who had promised to materialize, came out so perfect in action and voice that I shall never forget her grateful attentions as she knelt at my side. Time after time more than one form was out of the cabinet at the same moment, and in one case five persons, including a child.

One of the most convincing proofs of materialization was the following: A lady, whom we understood to be a relative of Col. Bailey, called him up to the cabinet and kissed him; and while he was standing with both arms around her, talking, she dematerialized. This occurred fully three feet from the cabinet, in sight of the audience, a dozen of whom must have been within six feet of the form, and some of them as near the cabinet.

The following Saturday, Sept. 19, we again attended her afternoon seance. At this seance we found Mrs. Isabella Beecher Hooker, of Hartford, Conn.; Mr. Thomas Hazard, of Providence, R. I.; Mr. John Wetherbee, of Boston, and many other well known persons, were present.

"What we have already written in reference to Cadaleene and her control of the medium, is equally applicable to this seance; also the expressions of confidence in reference to the cabinet. I had expressed to a friend, whom I met in the office of the Banner of Light, that while, to the best of my knowledge, after an examination, I believed Mrs. Fairchild's cabinet to be all right, still I would like to see the same results in a cabinet made by hanging a curtain across the corner of the room. Judge of my surprise when, after the séance had commenced, Cadaleene said, 'Mr. Facts-man, I heard what you told the brave, and you see we have the curtain across the corner, to show you what we can do.'

"The seance continued in the regular cabinet, as usual, for about an hour and a half. The light was good, and many spirits manifested their presence, among which the following interesting experience occurred: A gentleman, who does not choose to have his name mentioned, had a communication the day before from a Spirit-friend, in writing, through his own hand, promising to materialize at this seance. He told me that this spirit had not only fulfilled this promise, but had told him things that no other person knew but himself, and that he recognized her fully.

"Then came the crowning glory of the seance. The control, Cadaleene, still holding the Medium, directed that the gas be lit and the hall door opened. She then closed the sliding door in front of the cabinet, and fastened back the curtains which hung over it to form the front of the regular cabinet when in use, so that all might know if it was opened.

"The audience was then seated facing the corner where the curtains had been hung for a temporary cabinet, some near and in front of the door just mentioned, which could be seen by all present. The Medium, still under control, passed behind the curtain, but came out in a moment, followed almost immediately by a form dressed entirely in white. After this form returned to the cabinet, two others came out--one a lady, the other a gentleman,--and it was said a third was seen in the cabinet.

"All this time the Medium was controlled by Cadaleene, who was finding the friends of the Spirits with remarkable dexterity. Several others followed, and we might give names and personal experiences, but feel that our readers will appreciate most these special points of interest."

Mrs. Isabella Beecher Hooker, Mr. Thomas Hazard, and Mr. John Wetherbee have given graphic descriptions of these séances.

On Tuesday, Oct. 13, in company with William D. Brewer, I attended a private seance with Mrs. Fairchild. I examined the cabinet without being able to discover anything that would lead me to suppose that there was any chance for a confederate to be used. The seance lasted about two hours, during which time scarcely a minute passed that there were not forms out in the room, either to Mr. Brewer or myself; sometimes three or four at once. More than half the time the extemporized cabinet in the corner of the room was used. There appeared to be no difference between the workings of the two--the manifestations came as freely from one as from the other.

As I examined the walls and everything connected with the temporary cabinet, I have no hesitation in saying that the forms that came from or appeared in it were materialized beings. I was in this cabinet several times during the seance often with two forms at the same time. Once I sat between them, an arm around each, satisfying myself of their objective reality as well as if I had been walking with them outside in the room. While thus holding them, the one encircled by my left and whose right arm was around my neck, instantly disappeared, without the slightest indication of any movement;--she was there, and she was not there. Still holding the one encircled by my right arm, I rose and with my left hand drew the curtain aside, so that I could see everything behind it. There was not the faintest trace of the beautiful being that a moment before, I had so firmly held, and with whom I had been talking.

Similar things have occurred to me in various ways, so often that they produce no surprise, only an earnest desire to discover how or where the forms go, or possibly gain some knowledge of the laws governing these strange phenomena.

The force at Mrs. Fairchild's seances is mainly expended in materialization, and for that reason they are valuable to skeptics; but to the experienced investigator they offer nothing new. Many of the forms come heavily veiled, and there is an absence of that social and mental character which is ever the surest evidence of recognition.

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