Medium Cecil Husk
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Huskís seances are always held in pitch darkness. I will mention three good tests I obtained when sitting with that medium. When I took a friend to our rooms, I sometimes established him at then end of the oval table, four feet from Huskís left hand, which was held by a friend of mine. The candlestick was then put in front of him on the table, and he was asked to put a finger upon it, but not to resist its being moved. After the electric lights were switched off, and the person who did this had returned to his seat, the candle was blown out. In a few minutes I would feel the tap of a small hand on mine, and then the candlestick would be taken away from my friend and put down in the corner of the room with a clatter.
One night a guest of mine arrived in our room half-an-hour before the time appointed for the seance. She dropped her open purse on the floor and the coins rolled about on the carpet. Mr. Gambier Bolton and I picked up all we could find, and the lady declared herself satisfied that she had recovered all that was in her purse. Twenty minutes later the Medium (Husk) arrived. In the middle of the seance, "Joey", one of the spirit habitues of the Circle, came to my friend and said: "Mrs. Arnold, here is a penny you dropped on the carpet." At a subsequent seance I asked Joey how he knew the coin belonged to Mrs. Arnold. He said: "A Spirit, who was in the room when she dropped it, told me."
12On another occasion I was at Huskís house, and "Uncle" one of the controls, came, apparently in front of me, for a little chat. While he was speaking, I turned my head, first well to the left, and round to the right in order to see if I could exactly locate the position of the speaker. Uncle said to me: "Why are you turning your head about from side to side?"
From GLIMPSES OF THE NEXT STATE by Vice Admiral W. USBORNE MOORE
Cecil Husk was one of the many Mediums who worked in Victorian England, and provided excellent evidence of survival through physical mediumship. Cecil was aware of his mediumistic abilities from his early childhood, experiencing clairvoyance and being accompanied by the unexplained movement of objects. Fortunately, Cecil's father was a Spiritualist, and Cecil therefore did not suffer the fate of other mediumistic children who were victimized by unthinking parents. It was in his teen years that his abilities appeared to develop: he recorded how, at this time, 'On several occasions persons that I did not recognise would open the door, walk into the room where I happened to be sitting, and without a word would just walk out again'.(1) added that although no speech occurred, he gained an impression of what they wished to convey to him.
Cecil sought to develop his mediumship, sitting two or three times a week, and through this, table-turning was achieved. His father, a professional singer, participated in these activities, although his mother was somewhat unenthusiastic. Cecil followed his father into the musical profession, eventually becoming a member of the Carl Rosa Opera Company, and while travelling on tour, gave sittings to those who wanted evidence of survival: he conducted seances on a regular basis from 1870, and from 1875, was able to facilitate materializations. When he experienced diminishing eyesight, he abandoned his career and embarked upon a lifetime of professional mediumship. Cecil had five guides, the primary one being 'John King', who was often involved in the work of other physical mediums in the nineteenth century.
Under the guides' control, Cecils seances would be accompanied by 'the weird music of fairy bells which used to fly around the room playing tunes...[and] the heavy musical box which used to be wound up and lifted on to the table by unseen hands, and which then played its familiar melodies'. Moreover, the appearance of 'those Spirit beings...who were recognised by their friends and relatives'.(2) A considerable amount of information concerning Cecil's mediumship was supplied by Florence Marryat when she detailed what was witnessed during the different sťances attended from 1892. She described how, at the beginning of the sťance, the sitters would hear Cecil's controls talking among themselves in their endeavour to begin the phenomena. In the case of the apparel used by the materialized forms, she noticed that 'when the full form dematerialises in sight, and goes down through the floor, the drapery invariably is left behind for a few seconds till it follows suit'.
On one occasion when she attended a seance, John King explained how the process of materialization was a concerted effort and there was often difficulty in producing an exact replication of the person's physical body; this was, according to the guide, invariably because the spirits 'are in such haste that they render my task very difficult. That is why very often a spirit appears to his friends and they cannot recognise any likenesses. She relates one amusing incident when John Powles, a friend who had died, refused to use white apparel when he materialized. This led to an informative conversation between Marryat and John King: she asked him why white was preferred by most materializations and King replied that it was wholly unrelated to spiritual standing, as was often believed by sitters, but it helped to preserve the borrowed material form for a longer period of time. Marryat also reported how King refused to inform the sitters of who was about to materialize as he believed they should be recognized, and if this did not occur, it simply meant they had failed to attain sufficient strength and should make another attempt on a later occasion.
When Powles materialized, Marryat noted that he was dressed in tweed and 'looked exactly like himself and spoke quite distinctly'. One instance of quality evidence was when a young man materialized and walked up to a friend of Marryat, who was sitting next to her; however, the materialization was not recognized and was therefore asked what his relationship was to the sitter and he replied 'brother'. On then being asked his name, he replied, Willy. After the seance ended, Marryat, who had noticed some physical similarity between the visitor and sitter, asked the sitter whether he knew of any brothers who had died and he replied that he had. He acknowledged that he had almost forgotten that before he was born, his mother had given birth to twins who had died shortly afterwards. One had been named William. Supplying a further example of excellent evidence, Marryat went on to detail the reunion with her own mother who had died on 13 February, 1883. Very shortly before her death, the mother had asked Marryat to sing the hymn Rock of Ages, and also made it very clear that she did not want flowers at her funeral, but Marryat decided that she could not comply with the request and placed violets on her body as it lay in its coffin: she told no one of this. Years later, at a seance with Cecil, the room became filled with the scent of violets, so much so that the different sitters began asking which one was wearing violet scent or powder. Not long afterwards, Rock of Ages began to be heard. This was followed by a bunch of violets, still covered in dew, being thrust in Marryats face and the voice of her mother saying, You were very naughty to put flowers on me when I told you not to do so. Marryat seized the opportunity to ask her mother about her new life to which she replied that she was happy, but 'added that it is all so very different from what I imagined'.
Marryat also referred to a
seance when a young boy, who had died of food poisoning, materialized for
his father who was present. She details how she saw the boy and 'heard him
speak to his father of his home, mentioning everybody there by name,
enumerating the playthings and books he had left behind, and saying to whom
he wished them given'. This was one example of the many occasions when
parents were reunited with their children through Cecil's mediumship: 'I
have seen mothers and fathers at these sittings, with the tears pouring down
their cheeks, as they spoke with their children again'.(3)
One phenomenon that was often produced through Cecil's mediumship,
was the passing of matter through matter; one of the more unusual features
of this activity was the placing of a ring around his wrist. Dr George Wyld
provided an oval ring that was so designed that it was too small to be
fitted on the wrist by passing it over the medium's hand. Wyld held Cecil's
hand and then found the ring had been placed on Cecil wrist; he
subsequently produced a yet smaller ring of solid iron, and once again,
while Cecil's left hand was held, the ring was found to have been placed on
Cecil was examined by William Crookes, and three others, on 17 April 1885; after careful measurements were taken, it was noted that the internal circumference of the ring was 182.5mm, while the widest part of Cecil's hand, even after 'troughing', was 194mm. However, their conclusion was only that, 'we do not consider these conditions to be those best adapted', and 'we cannot infer that it is impossible that the ring should have come into the position in which we found it by known natural forces'.(4) In sum, this particular exercise did not produce any definite judgement.
In old age, Cecil recorded how, when the feat was accomplished, he 'felt a shock go through my arm, and immediately felt the coldness of the ring encircling my wrist'. He went on to relate how 'I suppose I must have had my arm tugged and pulled at by hundreds of people...who tried to take the ring off, but there was no way of moving it. I am very much thinner now than I was, but it still cannot be taken off'.(5) Cecil wore the ring until he died and indeed, according to Boddington, the ring, 'remained to his dying day a puzzle to conjurers and scientists alike'.(6)
When Cecil was interviewed about his mediumship, he revealed how the behaviour of some sitters had caused him ill-health and physical injury, e.g. they had pressed pins into him while in trance and turned on the light during a materialization seance. He had also suffered annoyance by mischievous Spirits although his Guides protected him from any harm in this respect. As so often happened in the era of Victorian physical mediumship, a cloud was cast over Cecil when, in 1890, some claimed that he had resorted to fraud at a public sťance. Again, as so often happened, there were claims and counter-claims, but the reality of the overall situation is surely demonstrated by the testimonials of those who sat with Cecil.
In the Annals of Psychic Science (July 1906), Henry Fotherby described the occasion when the materializations developed from a type of phosphorescent vapour in the air, and they were seen to have flecks of bright light, and made visible by the levitating luminous slates 'which rose by themselves from the table'.(7) Other witnesses testified to further paranormal activity, e.g. Gambier Bolton who saw, in his own house along with fourteen other investigators, Cecil levitated in his chair. When Admiral Moore attended seances conducted by Cecil in 1904, there was the movement of objects about the seance room, followed by the materialization of some fifteen persons.
Meads described an occasion when the Maharaja of Nepal visited this country in 1908 and had sittings with Cecil and Robert Boursnell, a medium through whom Spirit photographs were facilitated. Through the agency of both Mediums, those persons who appeared in the spirit photographs could be recognized when they also materialized through Cecil. Meads also attended a sitting with Cecil when materialized persons 'clearly showed their faces, but each gave her or his name'.(8)
Fodor relates an
amusing incident when a sitter, during a period when communicators were
speaking, asked whether they were using the medium's throat. Suddenly, a
bellowing voice boomed close to him: 'Do you think that this is the Medium's
throat? If so, he must have a long neck'.(9) It was also noted
that communicators spoke in various different languages. Furthermore, the
seances were sometimes accompanied by communicators singing in the different
tones, and with considerable volume; this occurred even when Cecil was
suffering illness. The extent of Cecil's mediumship is demonstrated by the
letters written by those who attended his seances: George Davis, writing to
Two Worlds, described how he had sat with Cecil during the previous four
He related how in one seance, a woman whose husband had died only recently was greeted firstly by her only son who had also died, and then her husband: 'Both forms were instantly recognized by several in the Circle'. He went on to report that, 'Three other forms appeared' accompanied by music being played. During all this time, Cecil sat with the other Circle members.(10)
One witness to Cecil's mediumship was Sir William Barrett, a prominent figure in the SPR, and a person whose testimony carries significant weight. When he reviewed his years of research, he referred to having had only one experience of witnessing a materialization: this was with Cecil. He recounted how he and others met in a 'almost bare room', that had been lent for the occasion. Cecil's legs were tied to the table and his hands were held by the sitter on either side. He went into trance, whereupon lights appeared and began to dart about the room, accompanied by object movement. A voice was then heard that said he was John King; Barrett recorded: 'suddenly right in front of me appeared a clothed human figure...The face was undoubtedly a living one, for I saw its eyes open and close and its lips move...[It was] quite unlike that of the medium'. Of this occasion, Barrett said it: 'seemed to be inexplicable by fraud'.(11) Sadly, Cecil's final years were spent in considerable discomfort. By 1917, he was bed-ridden, paralysed, and blind: however, he was given support by Spiritualists and well-wishers; through the setting-up of the Husk Fund, it was possible to support him financially and assist in the nursing that he needed.
When interviewed in 1917, he remained cheerful and spoke of the continuing contact with John King; he also mentioned that his control had become involved in ministering to the soldiers slaughtered on the bloodied fields of Europe in the Great War and were passing into the next world (N.B. in this war, up to sixty thousand soldiers could die in a single day). Cecil observed that due to this situation, John King 'always seems so full of business, and simply calls as he is passing through'.(12)
(1) International Psychic Gazette, February 1916,
(1) International Psychic Gazette, February 1916, p.141.
(2) Ibid., p.141.
(2) Ibid., p.141.
(3) F. Marryat, The Spirit World, (London: F. V. White and
Co., 1894), pp.194, 196,197,204,210,214 - 216,217,218.
(3) F. Marryat, The Spirit World, (London: F. V. White and Co., 1894), pp.194, 196,197,204,210,214 - 216,217,218.
(4) W. Crookes and Others, 'Report On An Alleged Physical
Phenomena', PSPR, December 1885, p.463.
(4) W. Crookes and Others, 'Report On An Alleged Physical Phenomena', PSPR, December 1885, p.463.
(5)I international Psychic Gazette, Ibid., p.141.
(5)I international Psychic Gazette, Ibid., p.141.
(6) H. Boddington, The University of Spiritualism (London:
Spiritualist Press, 1947), p.448.
(6) H. Boddington, The University of Spiritualism (London: Spiritualist Press, 1947), p.448.
(7) Cit., N. Fodor, Encyclopaedia of Psychic Science
(London: Arthurs Press, 1933), p.178.
(7) Cit., N. Fodor, Encyclopaedia of Psychic Science (London: Arthurs Press, 1933), p.178.
(8) E. C. Meads, The White Lotus (London: Unicorn Press),
(8) E. C. Meads, The White Lotus (London: Unicorn Press), pp.133-134.
(9 Fodor, Op. Cit., p.178.
(9 Fodor, Op. Cit., p.178.
(10) G. Davis, 'Materialisation Sťance', Two Worlds, May 1889,
(10) G. Davis, 'Materialisation Sťance', Two Worlds, May 1889, p.313.
(11 )W. Barrett, Death-Bed Visions, rev. (Wellingborough:
Aquarian Press, 1986), pp.163,164.
(11 )W. Barrett, Death-Bed Visions, rev. (Wellingborough: Aquarian Press, 1986), pp.163,164.
(12) Ct., International Psychic Gazette, August 1917, p.300.
(12) Ct., International Psychic Gazette, August 1917, p.300.
NB. With minor adjustments and additions This article appeared in the March 1998 NAS Newsletter,
British professional singer and member of the Carl Rosa Opera Company. Because of failing eyesight, Husk abandoned his vocation and, having been strongly psychic from early childhood, replaced it with professional mediumship.
Husk's materialization seances began about 1875 and were well known for the number and varied nature of the phenomena. John King was claimed as his chief control and had five subordinates: Uncle, Christopher, Ebenezer, Tom Hall, and Joey, (the latter apparently the same control as manifesting through Medium William Eglinton). Their voices, according to Florence Marryat, were heard as soon as the medium entered the cabinet. The subordinates prepared the manifestations for "John King."
One of Kings favorite phenomena was the demonstration of matter passing through matter. The threading of chairs or iron rings on the Medium's arms while the sitters held his hands was a frequently observed manifestation.
One experiment was carried out by George Wyld of Edinburgh and is described in his book Theosophy, or Spiritual Dynamics and the Divine and Miraculous Man (1884). For four years, Wyld had carried with him a specially made oval-shaped iron ring of five to six inches in diameter. Wyld hoped that it would be placed on his arm or on a Mediums while he held the Mediums hand. The size of the ring did not allow its passage over the hand. Wylds wish was finally satisfied by Cecil Husk in 1884. While Wyld held the left hand of the Medium, the ring was taken from his right; the Medium cried out in pain, and when the light was turned on it was found on Husk's left wrist. An hour later it fell onto the floor.
Encouraged by this success, Wyld had a smaller ring made. This was also put on Husks wrist while his hand was held by a friend. The ring was identified by microscopic markings. The Society for Psychical Research examined the ring and undertook to force it off if the Medium permitted himself to be chloroformed. When he refused they brought the verdict: We cannot infer that it is impossible that the ring should have come into the position in which we found it by known natural means. This verdict was based on experiments conducted on three other men by etherizing them and compressing their hands with metallic tape. The ring could not be passed over. Still the investigators concluded that they might have been successful in the case of Husk.
In 1890, through Cecil Husk's mediumship, Stanley de Brath made his first acquaintance with psychic phenomena. During the following year, at a public seance with about 20 sitters, Husk was exposed. In the light of an electric tie-pin he was seen leaning over the table and illuminating his face with a phosphorized slate. The spirit drapery that enveloped his head did not disappear. The attempt at an apology by Spiritualists who suggested that a case of transfiguration was taking place and that the drapery was apported instead of being materialized proved unacceptable.
In an article in the July 1906 issue of the Annals of Psychic Science, Henry A Fotherby describes an interesting materialization seance with Husk in which the phantasms appeared to develop from a sort of phosphorescent vapor in the air, dotted all over with countless minute points of bright light, like little glow lamps. They were rendered visible by luminous slates that rose by themselves from the table and cast a weird bluish light on the phantom faces.
Gambier Bolton recounted an instance when, in his own house in the presence of 14 investigators, the Medium, while tightly held, was levitated in his chair onto the top of the table. When Admiral Usborne Moore sat in an initial seance with Husk in 1904 a zither rose from the table and soared above the Circle. Its movements could be seen by the phosphorescent spots on its underside. After two or three swirls it dashed onto the floor and apparently went through, for faint music could be heard from underneath.
In the light of illuminated cards Moore witnessed the materialization of about 15 spirits. He later recounted that the faces were about two-thirds life size. John King always spoke in an extremely loud voice. This was not exceptional. When a sitter asked the control Uncle, Are you using the Medium's throat? the answer came in a bellowing voice close to him: Do you think that this is the medium's throat? If so, he must have a long neck. The voices spoke in many languages. The singing---tenor, bass, and all the shades between---went on in astonishing volume even when Husk had a cold.
Moore sat more than 40 times with Husk and only once suspected fraud. On that occasion conditions were poor and he was by no means sure that his doubts were reasonable.
Bolton, Gambier. Psychic Force. N.p., 1904. Moore, Usborne. Glimpses of the Next State. London: Watts, 1911.
From GLIMPSES OF THE NEXT STATE by Vice Admiral W. USBORNE MOORE
From GLIMPSES OF THE NEXT STATE
by Vice Admiral W. USBORNE MOORE
The first seance I attended was on November 16th 1904, in a private
room---a studio in Acacia Gardens, St. John's Wood. The Medium was Cecil
Husk, who is nearly blind. I believe he can see pictures or writing put very
close to his face, but for all the ordinary of life he is helpless, and has
to be attended out of doors by a member of his family. The table on this
Husk went into trance. The room was pitch-dark; the organist played a voluntary. In a short time lights were seen moving about over the table. I was only able to see one or two, but my psychic neighbours saw several; and the lady on my right asserted that she could see clouds very faintly illuminated. Scent was detected around us. Presently, an old, feeble voice, sounding from somewhere above and to the right of Husk, as I faced him, offered a Latin prayer, ending by the Benedict. This, I was told, was Cardinal Newman. He went round the table blessing the sitters individually; and after one final collective blessing, we hear no more of him. We then sang "Lead, kindly Light" to the accompaniment of the organ. Spirit voices, bass and tenor, joined in with great vigour from some feet above the Medium's head and on both sides of it. There were, I thought, three of these voices, and they were of a very fine quality; the big room filled with sound. Then a control called "Uncle" made himself known by voice, going round and greeting each member of the Circle. He spoke in a natural voice, but as if he had a small stone in his mouth.
Suddenly, a loud bass voice, coming from above and to the left of Husk, called out: "God bless you all". This was the chief control, "John King" whose name in earth-life was Henry Morgan, the famous buccaneer of the time of Charles II. He greeted everybody in the circle by name except me; I had to be introduced. He told me later that he was three times Governor of Jamaica, and was knighted by Charles II.
John Kingís advent is always the prelude to the materialisation's, but before they took place, the zither (usually known as "the fairy bells") was intelligently played by a Spirit whose name, I afterwards learned was Ebenezer. It rose from the table and soared above the Circle, performing all the time a definite tune. Its movements could be watched by the phosphorescent spots on its under-side. It rose to a height of many feet (I judged about ten) above the table, paused there a minute, then came down, and after two or three swirls over our heads, dashed to the floor. Apparently it went through the floor, for faint music could be heard underneath; after a short interval this became louder and louder, until a sudden change in the strength of the tune made us aware that was again in the room. After a few gyrations it was laid down gently on the table.
Materialisation's occupied about three-quarters of an hour. About fifteen Spirits materialised. Only the face and bust were visible. These showed by one of the illuminated cards held to the side of the face by the right hand. The women's faces were swathed in a sort of bandage below the nose. One sitter, who could not recognise his relative, asked for this to be removed; the card was dropped, and presently the form reappeared without the bandage, when he identified his visitor. This time the illuminated card was not held by the handle at the back, but by two small fingers which I saw clasping the side of it. The faces were about two-thirds of life size.
Three came to me. They presented themselves over the middle of the table about halfway between the medium and myself. One saluted three times with his illuminated card. I did not recognise it at first, but found out afterwards that it was Admiral T., and officer under whom I had served nineteen years before. The first and third appearances were the same. I could not identify them, and it was not until some months had elapsed that I discovered it was a stranger trying to influence me to bring him into touch with a member of my family.
A Hindu also appeared, either for me or my left-hand neighbour (Miss Bates). He sank down through the table; I watched him disappear until only his head was visible; the illuminated card (or "slate", as it is often called) fell over it, and he was gone.
One of Handelís solos was sung in a deep bass voice of great compass and power; the low notes were such as I had never heard before.
The last event of the materialisationís was a series of wafts of air,
lasting two or three minutes and closely resembling the effects of a punkah,
also loud scratches on the table. While
Before he departed Uncle came to each person in the Circle, addressing them by name, to say "Good night". The voice sounded to me as if coming from below my knees. In all subsequent seances the voices have all appeared to come from one and a half to two feet above the table. I cannot account for this; it may have something to do with the peculiar build and supports of the round table, which we never used afterwards.
During the evening, Craddock's guide "Sister Amy" was seen by clairvoyants standing behind him. She had several conversations with her Medium and his neighbours. During the singing of "Abide with me" I heard a very audible "good night" and learnt that it came from Amy, who was going away. She was unable to hear the singing, and the abrupt interruption was quite unintentional.
When this seance was over I was much astonished. I later attended some seances with Husk that were far more fruitful of phenomena and better in every way; but this was my first, and I felt great surprise that such manifestations should be neglected by scientific men, and that they were not better known to the public. The singing, materialisation's and direct voices all appeared to be quite genuine. I was not particularly affected by the spiritualistic aspect of the seance, though I saw one or two touching incidents of meeting with departed friends; the thing that disturbed me was the apparent indifference of the outside body of thinking people.
The next seance I attended was in the Psychological Society's Room, 67 George Street, Portman Square, on November 22, 1904, the Medium again Husk, and the Circle composed of sixteen sitters. The manifestations were very similar to those in St. John's Wood, but I saw John King several times plainly. He materialised the face and bus life-size and came to me four times; once two feet above my head. It was a strong face and very dark. I estimate the distance from the place where he materialised above my head to Husk's body in the chair in the Circle to be four feet across. Admiral T. came to me quite distinctly and spoke a few words; it was a fair likeness. The mysterious stranger who presented himself before also came, but I was not to know his identity until later. Cardinal Newman, as before, gave the "Gloria in Excelsis", and pronounced the Benedictine in the Italian style, as if there were an "h" after "c"; this I found, on enquiry, was his custom in life. Two of three materialised heads and busts presented themselves to each sitter, who, as a rule, identified them as departed friends. A lady sitting next to me identified her son, and when the illuminated card (slate) was dropped had a conversation with him. At the end of the seance there was a chant of Greek pre-sets that we did not hear on the previous occasion; it was very melodious and effective.
On November 29th 1904, I sat with Husk again in the same room with fifteen others in the Circle, including, as on two previous occasions, the Medium and his wife. The first manifestation was a series of cold wafts over the backs of our hands, which were connected to our neighbours' all round the table. The Cardinal came as on previous occasions, bestowing his blessing collectively and individually; on arriving and departing he exhibited a bight cross in front of each person. We sang "Lead, kindly light" as usual, one deep bass voice and two tenors joining in. The a fine voice sang part of a solo, "Rock'd in the cradle of the Deep". It collapsed, apparently through want of strength, before the second verse was finished. I said "That is Foli". Immediately three taps came on the table in front of me, indicating assent.
John King made himself known with the stentorian "God bless you all", and
greeted each sitter individually. His deputy, "Uncle" always comes at the
beginning of the seances, and goes round to each member of the Circle. The
materialisationís began soon after John arrived. He always presents himself
first, and is never satisfied until each sitter has seen him clearly. About
thirty-five or forty spirits showed themselves in form. They were all
smaller than life-size, but most of them were recognised. The face of a
woman came to me, the lower half of the face swathed in a bandage. I said,
"Are you a relative?" (emphatic bow of the head). "Are you my ----?"
mentioned a relative (no movement). Then the head swerved suddenly to the
left. I knew it by the profile and called out the relationship. It collapsed
and three knocks came on the table directly in front of me, indicating
assent. It was Iola.
Mr. Cecil Husk's seances have been the theme of many discussions amongst spiritists. I have sat with him over forty times, and have only once suspected fraud. On that occasion the conditions were bad, and I am by no means sure that my doubts were reasonable. Even supposing my first ideas were correct, there were good reasons for attributing the trick I thought I had witnessed to unconscious fraud. I have a great deal more to say about him on my return from America. In the meantime it is well to state what arguments might be alleged for and against his genuineness.
TEST SEANCE, PSYCHOLOGICAL
May 2, 1905. My testimony must of necessity be
somewhat similar to that of Admiral Usborne Moore, for we were so close
together (having only the Medium, Mr. Husk, between us) that I heard all
that "Uncle" said to the Admiral, and also the conference between "John
King" and "Uncle". I was conscious that Mr. Husk (in his unconscious
condition) was in a very awkward position, for my right little finger, which
held his left little finger, was twisted forward, and was painful and
uncomfortable owing to the vice-like grip of Mr. Husk (in his trance) upon
it. At the end of this particular seance my right little finger was in a
very swollen and inflamed state, in consequence of
"Uncle" then came to me, and asked me to rise from my chair when they (the Spirits) lifted their Medium. I did so, and, tall woman as I am, had to stand on tiptoe, still holding on to the Medium's hand. The lights were then turned up, when we all saw Mr. Husk, sitting in a chair, on the table at which we had all been sitting, just coming out of trance, and in a very dazed and bewildered condition, astonished to find himself in such a strange position. There were no materialisationís because of so much power having been used up in the levitation of the Medium. Some Spirits joined us in the singing of a hymn, and Foli sand the second verse of "Rock'd in the Cradle of the Deep."
Thus ended a thoroughly convincing proof of the power of this great Medium, used by his band of good spirit friends---one of the very great and many proofs vouchsafed to me. (Signed) E. A. K. Alleyne.
This was the last occasion upon which I saw Mrs. Husk. She passed over three weeks later, while I was abroad. She passed over three weeks later, while I was abroad.
May 29,1905. Circle of eleven people. A clairvoyant sitting next to me, whom I had never seen before, corroborated what other clairvoyants had said respecting a figure standing near me, which was certainly "Iola"; she materialised twice on this evening. The second time her head dropped slowly down from two feet above the table ; when the neck was level with the table the slate fell over her.
Husk was accompanied by an old friend, who sat next to him. The manifestations were much the same as usual in quality, but not so numerous.
(30) June 20. Circle of fourteen people. In the middle of the materialisations two new solos were beautifully rendered by male Spirits, who declined to give their names---"For Ever and for Ever" (by Tosti) and "The Childrenís Home" (by Cowen).
When Ebenezar took the Zither through the floor we heard the playing distinctly below. As it burst through the floor on its upward journey, I saw a light, or it may have been the phosphorescent patch under the instrument, as it touched the spare chairs at the side of the room. On this evening I heard, at one time or another, eight separate male voices, from base to tenor, and I saw faintly the figure of the Cardinal as he passed near me when giving the individual benediction.
On June 26,1905, I sat with the Medium Williams in a friendís flat in Eaton mansions.
On July 27 Circle of thirteen people. At our private room. Medium Husk. Uncle came to me and said : "I saw you last night sitting between Major and Mrs. R." (Correct). Williams and Husk are both controlled by John King and his deputy "Uncle." At one time these two Mediums worked together.
July 24. Circle of twelve people. I now sat two feet from the Medium's left hand, where I could obtain a more private view of any face that materialised to me. The zither on this evening altered its gyrations round the Circle at my request, and went from one person to another as I desired. When Iola appeared she reached out and touched me with the slate.
A Norwegian lady was spoken to by her mother in her native tongue.
A few days before this evening the room had been lent to some Parsees, who held a sťance with Husk as medium, the only stranger present being Mr. Gambier Bolton. I understood that the only language spoken by the spirits was that of the sitters. Uncle alluded to this circle, and said that all the time there was an animated discussion going on in the surrounding circle of spirits as to the propriety of doing away with the Towers of Silence in Bombay, where the dead are laid out on gratings to be eaten by vultures. Many of the unseen visitors were in favor of adopting the methods of Hindu cremation.
(31) October 17,1905. Circle of fifteen persons. Fifteen minutes or so after the materialisations began to appear I saw a light over Huskís head. This was corroborated by a clairvoyant in the circle, who saw this light detach itself from the medium as a form, and move to a position over me, where it floated very bright. Another lady, who was a stranger, also saw this light. It remained by me for nearly an hour.
On October 21, in my library at Southsea, my relative A. was sitting at a ouija board, when the word "Buller" was spelt out. At the sťance on October 23 Uncle said he came to my room on the previous Saturday night (21), and tried to impress A. When asked what he said, he replied: "Oh! I cannot remember exactly. Probably 'Iím your uncle,' or 'Uncle'; or perhaps I gave my name, 'Buller." Uncle always speaks as if he had a stone in his mouth. He certainly said "Buller." His correct name when in earth life was Muller.
Note the curious way the name came out in my room. The sensitive A. was playing with the India pointer, but it is evident the name came to him first clairaudiently. The hand only impressed the pointer at the command of the brain.
I was sitting on Husk's left, two feet from him. The left side of my head was touched several times. Even supposing Husk's right hand to be disengaged, it would have been impossible for him to have reached this distance without attracting the attention of the lady who sat between us. (32) November 7, 1905. Circle of fourteen people.
The clairvoyante, Mrs. Endicott, of Brixham, in Devonshire, was sitting on my left. Soon after John King came a white form was seen by her at my left shoulder, and she received the following messages:---(a) "I am sorry my sister has been ill. She is better now." (b) "Jam going to pay a visit with my sister." The figure seen clairvoyantly was Iola. Her sister had been ill, and was then better. The day following the sťance (the 8th) her sister went for a long distance into the country, to pay a visit of condolence and assistance to another sister who had recently lost her husband. It is hardly necessary to say that Mrs. Endicott was entirely ignorant of Iola or her sisters in earth life.
November 14, 1905. Circle of fourteen people. Several Spirits made themselves known to sitters by singing familiar tunes or playing familiar airs on the zither.
A small hand came round the left side of my head, and touched me several times.
November 27,1905. Circle of fifteen people. I sat next to Mrs. Imison (Nurse Graham), a well-known clairvoyante. She described a lady very near me on my right. As she had never been to a materialisation sťance before and was a stranger to us all, I think what she said from time to time may be taken as good evidence. With regard to the Spirit who stood near me, she corroborated the statements of all other clairvoyants whom I had met when sitting with Husk. She also told me she saw Uncle, the Cardinal, Ebenezer playing the zither, the angel choir, and the singers of the solos; she described the band of light which joined Uncle to the solar plexus of the medium, and, later, how this kind of band joined each materialisation to Husk. The power was very strong, for nearly the whole evening I felt wafts of air across my knuckles.
November 28, 1905. Circle of twelve people. Just
before John King came my left shoulder was gripped. I asked, "Who is it?"
The reply was the name of a man who had denied Spirit return in life, and
who, about six months before, had sat with me at one of Huskís seance s. He
continued, "Yes! I give in." The. curious thing was that this was the first
evening since his death that three of his friends were present together at a
seance . "Tom Cole," a Lancashire miner, announced himself, and sung a song
in the Lancashire dialect.
The zither, while being played upon, altered course at request, going from one person to another several times, and it went through the foot as usual.
February 12,1906. Circle of fifteen people. After Foli had sung "Rock'd in the Cradle of the Deep," the same gentleman alluded to above asked him to sing "The Diver," which he did at once correctly without accompaniment.
February 20,1906. Circle of ten people. I saw the zither return through the floor by flash of light or illuminated patch.
(33) February 26,1906. Circle of twelve people. Two women materialised without any bandage round the mouth. One was a near relative of mine who had passed over three months before. It was a very good likeness. A Spirit seen by two clairvoyants standing behind me. One of the two clairvoyants told me it was Iola.
The incidents that I have recorded in the foregoing pages are those which struck me as specially worthy of mention from my own point of view at one seat in large Circles. No doubt the other sitters observed phenomena that, from their point of view, were equally deserving of recognition. Judging by the insistence with which many of the members of our societies returned again and again to the seances, it is to be presumed that they had recognised their friends in the materialisations and believed in the genuineness of the other manifestations.
It would weary my readers to describe the phenomena
that habitually took place; they generally came in the same order and in the
same convincing way: (a) The greetings and blessing of Cardinal Newman; (b)
singing by the Circle with Spirit voices joining in; (c) playing on the
zither (fairy hells) ; (d) journeys of the zither, always playing a definite
tune, to parts of the room far beyond the reach of the Medium; (e) arrival
of John King; (f) materialisations; (g) singing of solos; (h) more gyrations
of the zither, playing all the time; (i) its rush through a wall, a floor,,
or a door, and its return; (k) often the chanting of Greek priests; (l) a
final hymn with Spirit voices again joining in. Whatever theories are afoot
about the aerial singing and the materialisations, and they are many, I am
not aware that anyone has had the temerity to profess to account for the
flight and management of the zither, or for the column of light seen by many
different clairvoyants standing or floating behind certain sitters. The
zither careers swiftly about and alters its course at the request of
individual sitters, never ceasing to play by fingers on its chords. If the
Medium had his right hand free, he could not control the movements of this
instrument and play it at the same time; nor could he control these white
forms. The "striking proof" is a test that is inexplicable by any theory of
fraud on the part of the Medium. Though some of the whispers through the
tube are "Husky," the voices of the controls, John King, Uncle, Joey,
Christopher (who lisps), and Ebenezer, do not resemble the voice of the
Medium in the slightest degree. Uncle talks the whole evening, and answers
all sorts of questions on the spur of the moment. There is never a jar nor a
tactless word, and John King remembers every sitter who has ever sat with
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