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 Medium Edward Wylie   India

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 Edward Wylie Medium   India

 sometimes spelt Edward Wyllie


Spirit photographer. He was psychic from his childhood, which was spent in Calcutta. He served in the Maori War in New Zealand with the rank of captain and settled in California in 1886 as a photographer. Spots and lights threatened to ruin his business until a lady, who had heard of Spirit Photography, examined his plates and suggested this explanation.

The Pasadena [California] Society for Psychical Research investigated the case on November 27, 1900, in Los Angeles. Their report stated: As a committee we have no theory, and testify only to that which we do know. Individually we differ as to probable causes, but unanimously agree concerning the palpable facts. The committee promised $25 to any Los Angeles photographer who by trick or skill could produce similar results under similar conditions.

The early scene of Wyllie s psychic photography was Sycamore Grove, near Los Angeles. He had to move from there as the psychic extras obtained were dissolute-looking men and women. It was suggested as an explanation that about 50 years earlier the place had been the scene of wild orgies. The authorities stamped them out, but the evil influences apparently clung to the place.

Wyllie was accused by P. A. Jensen in The Progressive Thinker of producing his Spirit faces by superimposing a prepared negative. The basis of the charge was that a suspicious negative had been found in a house where Wyllie had been. But according to James Coates in Photographing the Invisible (1911), Jensen had not been able to produce a single case where the negative in question had been used. Denied by Edward Willie.

Another charge was raised by a Dr. Woillard. He said that Wyllie, for a fee, taught him how to take spirit pictures. His method was to hold in the hollow of his arched hand a photo prepared with luminous paint, and to keep it over plates in the darkroom previous to exposure. He said that he found two such miniatures prepared with India ink and luminous paint and he also said that Wyllie had confessed. This was later denied by Wilie later.

As well as being a Spirit photographer, Wyllie was credited with powers of psychometry. He could obtain photographic "extras" through the influence of objects. James Coates sent him locks of his and his wife's hair. Two human heads were obtained on a photograph and one was recognized as Mrs. Coates grandmother. It was as a result of this experiment that Wyllie was invited to England.

Coates gave the following summary of his experiments: About 60 percent of the photographs taken exhibited psychic extras, and 25 percent of these were identified as those of departed persons. To all the subjects Mr. Wyllie was a complete stranger, and of the origins of the psychic extras or portraits he could have no knowledge; and except in the cases where flowers--roses and lilies--were produced there was a marked absence of symbolism in the photographs taken.

with slight additions from answers.com

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Edward Wyllie photograph1,Edward Wylie photograph 1

Photographs taken by Edward Wyllie in this photography album of Spirit extras', it was compiled by W J Pierce. In the photographs shown are :- sitter Arthur G. Krause and Spirit extra on the left, and on the right are extras that Pierce cut out off other photographs those who appeared in Wyllie's photographs. He pasted them onto a piece of card with the question "Who are they?". Wyllie then photographed the card and an answer replied "You ask more than I can do".
Pierce also conducted many experiments with Wyllie to determine who the extras were who appeared in his spirit photographs.

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Mr. Edward Wyllie (1848-1911) had genuine mediumistic gifts which were tested by a number of qualified investigators. He was born in Calcutta, his father, Colonel Robert Wyllie, having been military secretary to the Government of India. Wyllie, who served as a captain in the Maori war in New Zealand, afterwards took up photography there. He went to California in 1886. After a time spots of light began to show on his negatives, and as they increased threatened to destroy his business. He had never heard of Spirit Photography until a lady sitter suggested this as a possible explanation. Experimenting with her, faces appeared on the plate in the spots of light. Thenceforth these faces came so often with other sitters that he was compelled to give up his usual business and devote himself to Spirit Photography. But here he encountered fresh trouble. He was accused of obtaining his results by fraud, and this so wounded him that he tried to earn his living in some other way, but he did not succeed, and had to come back to work as a Photo Medium, as he was called. On November 27, 1900, the committee of the Pasadena Society for Psychical Research conducted an investigation with him at Los Angeles. The following questions which were asked, and answered by Wyllie, are of historical interest:

Q. Do you advertise or promise to get Spirit Faces, or something out of the ordinary for your sitters?

A. Not at all. I neither guarantee nor promise anything. I have no control over it. I merely charge for my time and material, as you see stated on the card there against the wall. I charge one dollar for a sitting; and if the first one is not satisfactory, I give a second trial without extra charge.

Q. Do you sometimes fail to get anything extra?

A. Oh, yes, often. Last Saturday, working all afternoon, I gave five sittings and didn't get a thing.

Q. About what proportion of such failures do you have?

A. I should say, with an ordinary day's business, they would average three or four failures a day-some days more and some less.

Q. About what proportion of the extra faces that do appear do you estimate are recognized by the sitter or friends?

A. For several months last year I kept a record on this point, and I found that in about two-thirds of the sittings some one or more of the extra faces appearing were recognized. Sometimes there would be only one extra face, and sometimes five or six, or even eight at once, and I couldn't keep a tally of them, but only of the total number of sittings, as shown by my book account.

Q. When a sitting is made, do you know as a psychic whether there will be any "extras" on the plate or not?

A. Sometimes I see lights about the sitter, and then I feel pretty sure there will be something for him or her; but just what it will be I don't know, any more than you do. I don't know what it is until I see it on the negative after it is developed so I can hold it up to the light.

Q. If the sitter strongly desires some particular discarnate friend to appear on the plate, is he more likely to get that result?

A. No. A wrought-up or tense state of mind or feeling, whether of desire or anxiety or antagonism, makes it more difficult for the spirit forces to use the sitter's magnetism towards producing their manifestations, so it is less likely that anything extra will then come on the plate. An easy, restful, passive condition is most favourable for good results.

Q. Do those who are Spiritualists get better results than disbelievers?

A. No. Some of the best test results I have ever had came when the strongest sceptics were in the chair.

With this committee no "extras" were obtained. An earlier committee of seven in 1899 submitted the Medium to strict tests, and four plates out of eight "showed results for which the committee are unable to account." After a minute account of the precautions taken, the report concludes:

As a committee we have no theory, and testify only to "that which we do know." Individually we differ as to probable causes, but unanimously agree concerning the palpable facts. We will give twenty-five dollars to any Los Angeles photographer who by trick or skill will produce similar results under similar conditions.

(Signed)-Julian McCrae, P. C. Campbell, J. W. Mackie, W. N. Slocum, John Henley.


Edward Wyllie photograph 2,Edward Wylie photograph 2

Edward Wyllie - Medium & Spirit Photographer
The photograph by Edward Wyllie features Mrs Shaw along with the Spirit image of Mrs James Coates's daughter, Agnes. Taken in1910.

At a seance with Wyllie, Mrs James Coates was controlled by a Spirit who explained the ethereal force of spirit memory that Spirits use to make contact:

"When we think of what we were like upon the earth, the ether condenses around us and encloses us like an envelope; our thoughts of what we were like, and what we would be better known by; produce the forms and features. It is here that the spirit chemists step in...using their own magnetic power over the ethereal matter they mould it so, and give to it the appearance such as we were in earth life."


Gelatin silver photograph, c.1910.

Edward Wylie Photograph Mrs Bentley

A Mrs Bentley in a photograph of herself and the Spirit of her deceased sister.

The photograph was taken by Edward Wylie.


Edward Wyllie photograph,Edward Wylie photograph,


A psychic photograph taken under best possible conditions.

The Subject is, Elsie Reynolds, a noted American materialising medium she was the one giving off fine auretic conditions.

The Spirit photographer Edward Wyllie was said to be in vigorous health and harmonising power.

The weather conditions of the finest; and lastly, the Spirit Intelligences capable of using their powers effectively.


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