Etta Wriedt,

 Medium Etta Wriedt.     USA.

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 Etta Wriedt Medium

1859- September 13, 1942

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American professional Direct Voice Medium who charged a nominal fee of one dollar for a successful seance. She never sat in a cabinet, did not pass into trance, and often joined in the conversation of the voices with the visitors.

Admiral Usborne Moore, author of The Voices (1913), heard three voices talking at once, one in each ear, and one through the trumpet. Wriedt only spoke English, but the voices knew no linguistic limitation. On occasion Arabic, Croatian, Serbian, Dutch,
French, German, Hebrew, Hindustani, Spanish, Italian, Norwegian, Welsh, and Gaelic were heard. It is said that over twelve different languages at different times came through her from the Spirit World and yet the lady herself could only master English in her local Yankee twang.

Etta Wriedt's Spirit control was an entity called "Dr. John Sharp," who claimed that he was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in the eighteenth century, lived most of his life in the United States as an apothecary farmer, and died in Evansville, Indiana. He took great care of the Medium--often at the nervous or psychic expense of the sitters. Moore found the strain on his system so great while sitting with the Medium in Detroit that he did not recover his normal health until more than six weeks later.

Wriedt paid five visits to England. She came the first time in 1911, at the age of 51, on the invitation of W. T. Stead, (then editor of a psychic journal “Borderland”) and held séances at Julia's Bureau. (Stead, died the following year, 1912, on the Titanic). She came again in 1912 and 1913 when Admiral W. Usbourne Moore made the arrangements. Again in 1915 and 1919 but during this time her sittings were mainly confined to Rothesay, Scotland.

E. K. Harper, W. T. Stead's secretary, recorded nearly 200 sittings with Wriedt. She often heard the direct voice in daylight. There were other features to the seance, such as luminous Spirit forms gliding about the room in the darkness. Sometimes dogs materialized and barked.

Another control of Etta Wriedt during some of the five trips she made to Great Britain was that of the famous “John King” or better known as “Sir Henry Morgan” of 250 years ago, whist in England he claimed responsibility for the physical phenomena. in Etta's seances. King at that time was the control of Mr. Husk a blind Medium who used to manage Mrs. Wriedt’s séances whilst in England. He explained that he was better acquainted with English people than Sharp, and he would be able to obtain better results from the English sitters. However Sharp, was always in the background, and on visits to Scotland, Sharp took over control again. During these seances flowers were taken from vases and placed in the hands of sitters in the dark in different parts of the room. Invisible fingers touched the sitters and rapped by the trumpet to urge a hesitating person to answer promptly when spoken to. Luminous discs as bright as the moon were seen to move inside the Circle. The sitters were often sprinkled with drops of water, felt wafts of cool air, and saw heavy objects displaced.

Mr William Jeffrey, a merchant from Glasgow, became so interested in Mrs. Wriedt’s mediumship, that he invited her to a number of seances in his own home. The first voice that was heard was that of Mr. Jeffries wife, who welcomed all there to her house, addressing several by name including Mr. Galloway, Mrs. Birrell, and a visitor from London. Her voice, which was quite clear, said: “O Willie, I’m awfu’ glad to be here, an’ speak in my home to you and all these friends.” My wife addressed us in her earnest, homely and rapid way, “I trust you will have a pleasant evening.” Then she went round the room and spoke to each member of the family. The voice never altered when talking to a Bella or Sally in a loving way, or prefixed ‘Mr.’ or ‘Mrs.’, to a persons whom my wife would have addressed in that way. Fifteen of the Seventeen sitters received a message, I think they were satisfied and many were delighted. Owing to my wife being able to manifest through Mrs. Coates some months previously, I had looked for her to make herself known according to her promise on that occasion. Yet, what took place was beyond my wildest anticipations. It was simply marvelous. The Medium Mrs. Wriedt was a stranger, whom I met for the first time that morning. The seance was hurriedly convened by wire and phone, and took place in a room hastily prepared for the purpose. If the results are not evidence for Spirit return, then I am at a loss to know what could be more valuable or important.
Mrs Wriedt was the proof of her own genuineness. She was never in trance and talked naturally through all of her seances, often giving the names and descriptions of Spirit Visitors, and indicating for whom they have come to communicate with. While talking she was often interrupted by a spirit voice, and the two would talk simultaneously. Then the voice can be heard in full light as well as in the darkness, though, for obvious reasons the latter condition is best. Two voices were often heard speaking at the same moment about matters
unknown to the medium or each other. Sometimes three, and on very rare occasions four. A voice has been heard to sing whilst another one talked. One gentleman was reported to have heard it when the medium was downstairs in the drawing room, forty feet in distance, with the séance room door locked.

She often heard the direct voice in daylight. Sometimes dogs materialised and barked.

From the Spirit World, "W. T. Stead," who died in the Titan-tic tragedy, frequently communicated and gave many particulars of his passing over. He said that he was struck on the head when the Titanic sank and never felt the actual sensation of drowning.

Wriedt could clairvoyantly read names "written up," as she put it, in the dark. Once a name met with no recognition. Suddenly "John King's" voice broke the silence: "You had better clear out, my friend, nobody knows you." Moore was greeted by the voice of
The psychical researcher William F. Barrett heard voices simultaneously with Wriedt. "Professor Henry Sidgwick" came through. Barrett stated: "Mrs. Wriedt doubtless had heard his name, but he died before she visited England, and I doubt if she, or many others who knew him by name, were aware that he stammered badly. So I asked the voice 'Are you all right now?' not referring to his stammering. Immediately the voice replied 'You mean the impediment in my speech, but I do not stutter now' … I went to Mrs. Wriedt's séances in a somewhat skeptical spirit, but I came to the conclusion that she is a genuine and remarkable medium, and has given abundant proof to others besides myself that the voices and the contents of the messages given are wholly beyond the range of trickery or collusion."

Chedo Miyatovich, a Serbian diplomat and member of several learned societies, sat with Wriedt in the company of a Croatian lawyer friend, H. Hinkovitch, who had just arrived in London. Voices of deceased friends and relatives spoke to them in Serbian, Croatian, and at a later seance in German when Margarette Selenka of Germany was present.

An attempt to discredit Wriedt's phenomena was made in Christiania in August 1912, by one Professor Birkenhead and state chemist L. Schmelck. They averred that the noises in the trumpet were caused by lycopodium, a mildly inflammable powder used by druggists to coat pills. Other chemists held the report up to ridicule, and it became known that Birkenhead was extremely deaf and could not judge voices at all.

Wriedt died in Detroit, Michigan, September 13, 1942.

Sources (With modifications) Nandor Fodor Encyclopaedia of Psychic Science
The Survivalist Society
Vice-Admiral W. Usbourne Moore Spirit Identity by the Direct Voice with sight alterations.

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A King's Who's Who Biographies
Henrietta "Etta" Wriedt (1860-1942)

Mackenzie King first met Etta Wriedt, a "direct-voice" medium from Detroit, in 1932, through Mary Fulford. King attended séances with Emma Wriedt at the Fulford home in Brockville, and she came to Ottawa to conduct séances at both Laurier House and Kingsmere. King also visited her in Detroit and had sittings with her there. This photograph of Mackenzie King, Etta Wriedt and Joan Patteson (from left to right) is from King's personal collection.
A noted "direct-voice" medium from Detroit, Etta Wriedt was well known in spiritualist circles on both sides of the Atlantic. Mackenzie King met her in February 1932, through Mary Fulford of Brockville. King attended séances with Etta Wriedt at the Fulford home. Later, Etta Wriedt made a number of trips to Ottawa to conduct séances at both Laurier House and Kingsmere, where King and Joan Patteson communicated with deceased family members and friends, and King's political mentors, such as W.E. Gladstone and Sir Wilfrid Laurier. King also visited Etta Wriedt in Detroit and had additional sittings with her there.

Etta Wriedt died in 1942, and her obituary was printed in the September 16, 1942 edition of the New York Times

source The diary of William Lyon Mackenzie King

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Mrs. Wriedt was born in Detroit some fifty years ago, and is perhaps better known in England than any American Medium. The reality of her powers may best be judged by a short description of results. On the occasion of a visit to the author's house in the country she sat with the author, his wife, and his secretary, in a well-lighted room. A hymn was sung, and before the first verse was ended a fifth voice of excellent quality joined in and continued to the end. All three observers were ready to depose that Mrs. Wriedt herself was singing all the time. At the evening sitting a succession of friends came through with every possible, sign of their identity. One sitter was approached by her father, recently dead, who began by the hard, dry cough which had appeared in his last illness. He discussed the question of some legacy in a perfectly rational manner. A friend of the author's, a rather irritable Anglo-Indian, manifested, so far as a voice could do so, reproducing exactly the fashion of speech, giving the name, and alluding to facts of his lifetime. Another sitter had a visit from one who claimed to be his grand-aunt. The relationship was denied, but on inquiry at home it was found that he had actually had an aunt of that name who died in his childhood. Telepathy has to be strained very far to cover such cases.

Source The History of Spiritualism by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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