Medium Estelle Roberts

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 Estelle Roberts Medium


It may be fairly argued that all evidential seances are naturally memorable, and undoubtedly they are, and certainly so for those who actually gain the evidence forthcoming. Nonetheless, in modern Spiritualism's short history, there have been a number of seances providing outstanding evidence with which few could remain unimpressed. One such occasion was a seance with Estelle Roberts, details of which were given by Maurice Barbanell in his book, This is Spiritualism.(1) Despite the very considerable extent of his encounters with quality evidence, he referred to this as a 'most moving experience'.

Barbanell related how, halfway through the seance, Red Cloud, the guide of Estelle Roberts, advised him there was a girl who wished to communicate with regard to her mother. Barbanell asked whether he knew her, and Red Cloud simply replied 'No...but you can help her'. The trumpet then moved towards Barbanell and he could hear a young girl speaking; aware that encouragement often assisted communicators, he asked her to talk to him. Whereupon she 'very slowly, but distinctly' said that her name was Bessy Manning, and she had died during the previous easter from tuberculosis. She then added that Tommy, her brother, was with her; he had been killed in a road accident. She went on to explain that her mother, having read some of the accounts written by Barbanell, was praying that Red Cloud would bring her daughter to one of Estelle's seances.
Bessy then told Barbanell: 'Tell mother that I still have my two long plaits. I am twenty-two, and I have got blue eyes. Tell her I want her to come here. Could you bring her?', adding 'She is poor'. Barbanell assured Bessy that he would do his best and she thanked him and stressed how important it was, as her mother was very distressed having lost two of her children. Barbanell asked for the address where the mother could be contacted, and Bessy advised him this would be at '14 Canterbury Street, Blackburn'. He then discussed the matter with Red Cloud and it was clear that the mother was to be contacted and invited to the next seance.

Without delay or hesitation, in view of his absolute confidence in Red Cloud, Barbanell sent a telegram to a Mrs Manning at the address given saying: 'Your daughter, Bessy, spoke to us at Red Cloud's circle last night'. However, there was no reply to the telegram, and Barbanell therefore despatched a further one. A few days later, Barbanell received two letters from Mrs Manning; the first expressing her absolute joy on having received the first telegram saying, 'I laughed and cried all at once' and that the telegram, telling her of Bessy's communication, was worth 'more to me than untold gold'. In the second letter, she apologized that Barbanell had needed to send a second telegram but she explained that she lacked the funds to reply by anything other than letter (in fact she had other children and her husband was unemployed). Once again, she expressed her joy and said the telegrams were beyond value. She further explained that Bessy had died the previous easter and her son had been killed nine years earlier, and if she had not been helped by a Spiritualist family, 'I would have gone raving mad'.
At this stage, Barbanell viewed Bessy's seance communication: 'as flawless evidence for the after-life. No theories of telepathy or the subconscious mind can explain it away...Mrs Manning had never met Estelle Roberts, or corresponded with her or any member of her family'.

Barbanell arranged for Mrs Manning to travel to London and took her to where the seance was to be held. It was not long before Bessy was speaking with her mother, with the trumpet on one occasion falling to the ground with the excitement. After Bessy had told her mother that Tommy was with her, Mrs Manning asked whether she ever returned home. Bessy replied that she did and commented on how she saw her mother pick up her photograph and she would speak to, and kiss it. Barbanell reported that Mrs Manning later told him this was absolutely correct. Bessy continued by telling her mother that she had seen her talking with her father that same morning and referred to the subject of their conversation; this was followed by yet further evidence, all of which was correct.
Before Mrs Manning returned to Blackburn, Estelle Roberts gave her another sitting, when, once again, Bessy 'continued to prove her identity with detail after detail, none of which the medium could have known'. Only a matter of days later, Mrs Manning wrote to Barbanell thanking him for his involvement and supplying him with a statement that he could use: in this she detailed all that had occurred and confirmed that, 'I heard my own daughter speak in me, in the same old loving way, and with the self-same peculiarities of speech. She spoke of incidents that I know for a positive fact no other person could know'.
Barbanell added a note that after some years had elapsed, he attended another seance with Estelle Roberts and after Red Cloud announced that he had a visitor, Barbanell heard someone attempting to speak through the trumpet. After some encouragement, he heard: 'You helped me very much by enabling me to talk to my daughter'. Barbanell recognized the communicator as Mrs Manning who continued by saying, 'I have got Bessy and Tommy here. Can you tell my family?'. Barbanell wrote to the old Blackburn address but the letter was returned. However, he then received a letter from Mrs Smith, one of Mrs Manning's married daughters who had been told by someone about an article written by Barbanell regarding Mrs Manning's return. The daughter confirmed that her mother had suffered a seizure while alone, and by the time her children reached her, she was unable to speak before she died. The daughter said that her mother's passing was 'a cruel blow' but went on to express her joy on receiving news about her survival and successful communication.

Estelle Roberts added an amusing footnote to the account in her own book. She explained that Barbanell would recount the incident of Bessy Manning's return 'in the scores of lectures up and down the country' because of its remarkable evidential value. Eventually, he decided that he should no longer mention it as he had referred to it so often, and he realized that he would have to use later evidence. On the first occasion that he gave a lecture, this being in Blackburn, and omitted the account, 'he was approached by a woman whose face seemed vaguely familiar'. He suddenly realized that it was Mrs Manning who gently chided him saying, 'I thought you would have told them about my Bessy'.(2) Despite the omission in his later lectures, as the account is recorded in his book, Maurice Barbanell in fact continues to tell the world about the evidence of survival for Bessy Manning.

(1)Maurice Barbanell,
This is Spiritualism (London: Spiritualist Press, 1959), pp.54-61. (2)Estelle Roberts, Forty Years A Medium (London: Herbert Jenkin, 1959), pp.141-142.



From the page of Direct Voice 4 through the Mediumship of Leslie Flint

With this communication so began for George Woods, Betty Greene and their reel to reel tape recorder a 15 year series of regular sittings with the independent direct voice Medium Leslie Flint that culminated in over five hundred recorded first hand accounts from those passed on to the next stage of existence beyond the grave referred to by most as 'death.'

As a reward for her efforts Betty Greene presents these recordings to the world to enlighten mankind :


Estelle Roberts - 4489K - 24 minutes - recorded 1972
The famous Trance and Trumpet Medium herself she speaks in a whisper encouraging more Home Circles for development which is the backbone of this work

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