Medium Frederick Craddock
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Frederick Craddock Medium
The story of a materialized seal is printed in detail in Light (April 22, 1900), on the basis of Gambier Bolton's account before the London Spiritualist Alliance. The story goes as follows:
Being well known as a zoologist, Bolton received a note from an auctioneer asking if he would come to see a large seal that had been sent from abroad. "The poor thing is suffering; come round and see what you can do," wrote the seal's temporary owner, and being deeply interested in the welfare of animals of all kinds, Bolton at once obeyed. The poor creature had been harpooned, and was languishing in a large basket. He saw at once that it could not live, but wishing to do what he could to prolong its life, he dispatched it to the Zoological Gardens. Later in the day he called to see how it was faring, and found that it had been put into the seal tank. When Bolton visited the tank the seal rose from the water and gave him a long look, which, as he humorously suggested, seemed to indicate that the animal recognized him and was grateful for its treatment.
The seal died that night, and ten days later Bolton was at a seance at which Frederick Craddock was the Medium. A number of people of social and scientific repute were present. Suddenly someone called out from the cabinet: "Take this great brute away, it is suffocating me." It was the seal! It came slowly from the cabinet, flopping and dragging itself as do seals, which (unlike sea-lions) cannot walk. It stayed close to Bolton for some moments and then returned to the cabinet and disappeared. "There is no doubt in my mind," said Bolton, "that it was the identical seal."
Asking about the modus vivendi of animal materializations, Bolton obtained the following answer from the spirit controls: "Their actions are altogether independent of us. Whilst we are busily engaged in conducting our experiments with human entities who wish to materialise in your midst, the animals get into the room in some way which we do not understand, and which we cannot prevent; obtain, from somewhere, sufficient matter with which to build up temporary bodies; coming just when they choose; roaming about the room just as they please; and disappearing just when it suits them, and not before; and we have no power to prevent this so long as the affection existing between them and their late owners is so strong as it was in the instances which have come under our notice."
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 MEDIUMS CRADDOCK AND HUSK
Some investigators convinced that no trustworthy evidence can be collected from mediums who have once been detected in fraud---Author denies this---If such be the case, all records of materialisation’s in England are useless---Professional psychics imbued with Jesuitical doctrines---We all live by our wits---The psychic and the positive sitter form a battery---Both essential to success---Mental hostility bars all good phenomena---Mediums cannot commit fraud in trance---Sonmambules---F. Craddock---His exposure---Condemned because he refused to be searched---Nevertheless, an interesting curiosity---His mediumship not in question---Notes of genuine phenomena---But unsafe to sit with for spiritual evidences---Husk---His controls---Some incidents of seances when he was a medium---The Test Seance - Levitation of Husk---Foreign languages spoken by spirits---"Uncle" visits me at Southsea---Evidence through clairvoyantes sitting with Husk---The spirit of Signor Foli sings solos asked for on the spur of the moment---General remarks on Husk---The movements of the zither, white forms, the "striking proof", and the memory of John King inexplicable by any theory of fraud.
Two mediums whose seances I attended most constantly on my return to England were Messrs. Husk and Craddock. I have already described three sittings with the former, and will give some details of others; but, before doing so, I will state what I know of the latter. Those investigators who are convinced that no phenomena worth noticing can be obtained with a Medium who is at any time convicted of fraud will not regard the incidents of Craddock's seances as evidential of Spirit presence; but I must again remind them that, if a stainless record is to be the criterion of our faith, we shall find that we must put aside all evidence collected in this country for telekinesis and materialisation. Florence Cook, who was afterwards detected fraudulently personating Spirits, gave many genuine seances while under the strict supervision and fostering care of the Crookes. Katie King found no difficulty in manifesting in a genial, sympathetic atmosphere; when, however, her Medium was among hostile elements, the latter resorted to tricks to 'help out' the phenomena that occurred in her presence. The same may be said of nearly all the professional Mediums who have exercised their gift in England, where the dampness of the climate is inimical to success unless the conditions, mental and atmospheric, are of the very best.
One reason why psychics are so oblivious to the necessity for strict rectitude in dealing with their sitters in this vitally important matter of communication with the unseen, is that they know they generally possess the power required for genuine manifestation, and they think that a few lapses here and there make no difference to the truth of the reality of Spirit return. It is, of course, a most erroneous idea; but they have not the sense to see it. Rigid honesty is only to be found allied to sound common sense, and that is just the quality in which these negatives are entirely deficient. They are the most unpractical beings on earth; the word 'casual' is the only term that can be applied to them. Careless of engagements, hopeless in the matters of business, they drift about and alienate their best friends. I believe all this can be cured by early training; but, so far, we have not reached the stage of colleagues and schools of educating people who possess gifts not recognised in ordinary, everyday life.
Apropos of professional psychics, a friend, from whom I should have expected better things, said to me a few moths ago: "I suspect people who live by their wits." He was a man drawing a liberal stipend from a Government department for work well and conscientiously performed. But it was on the tip of my tongue to say to him: "Are you not living by your wits?" What brought you into the honorable occupation you now occupy? Your wits!" We all live by our wits, from the Prime Minister down to the newsboy, except that minority who exist by the wits of their fathers and grandfathers. If my friend had said "I suspect all people whose negative organisation is such that their wits do not tell them when they are on the borderline between honesty and dishonesty," he would have been nearer the mark.
Most materialisation Mediums can exercise their
genuine gift, if it is not actually in abeyance, when they sit with a
sympathetic Circle, several members of which are 'positive.' A true
It is a known fact that one psychic can seldom obtain messages or descriptions when sitting alone with another psychic. Both are negatives. You might as well expect to obtain a current by immersing two plates of zinc in acid or water; the battery is not complete. Communication with the next state will some day be proved to be due to natural law, and only an extension of wireless telephony, the instrument of propulsion being the forces inherent in the invisible Spirit bodies of both the earth Spirit and the discarnate Spirit.
All psychics are in danger of losing their power at a seance from the mental action of hostile sitters. They are usually in a state of self-imposed hypnosis. A man sits down in the circle and impresses them with a perpetually recurring suspicion, "You are going to deceive me." Eventually the thought becomes an active dynamic force, and the medium senses strongly, "I am going to deceive him." If he has in any way prepared for deception before entering the room, he will, under these circumstances, assuredly endeavour to commit fraud. It is unwise to condemn any Medium until you yourself have ascertained that he has in the room within reach, or about his person, articles which clearly prove his intention to deceive, before putting himself into hypnotic trance. In materialisation the Medium and the form are connected by a spirituous cord. This can be seen, as I have been told, by good clairvoyants. As the form advances further and further from its parent, the cord naturally becomes thinner. It is on record that some mediums always feel an impulse to leave the cabinet and follow the figure. This would be natural enough if we can believe that, by doing so, they diminish the tension of the cord.
Some investigators imagine that if a medium is in trance he cannot commit fraud. This is an error. If the intention is in his mind before entering the hypnotic state, he may or may not carry it out. Somnambulism is a kind of trance or hypnosis; it is notorious that, of the sleepwalker has formed a distinct purpose of performing some act before he lies down, he will be likely to carry it out after he goes to sleep. A relative of mine, a psychic, was a somnambule for several years.
One night, while returning to my house late, he imagined that he would be locked out, and might have to ring the doctor's bell, which communicates with the second floor. He found out that he could let himself in in the usual way; he put out the lights, went upstairs and to sleep in his room at the top of the house. About ten minutes later he descended (in his pajamas) the sixty-eight stairs, opened the inner door of the hall, descended five more stairs, unlatched the front door, which necessitated turning two handles simultaneously, and went out into the street (four more steps). He then came back, rang the doctor's bell and entered the house. By this time the gas had been lit on one landing, and my wife was standing on the next landing above. He took no notice of either the light or my wife, whom he passed at a distance of one foot. Steadily going upstairs, he entered his room, went all the way round the bed in the dark without stumbling, turned in, and reposed peacefully as before. After locking up the house, I went to him and woke him up. He was entirely oblivious of what he had done, and declared that he had never left his bed.
If this can be done by a somnambule, why should we
suppose that, if they have the contingency in view whilst in their normal
state, mediums should not commit fraud in trace? Craddock is a man about
forty-five years of age. He has several familiar spirits---Graem, a Canadian
doctor who is alleged to have lived late in the eighteenth century; Red
Crow, a North American Indian; Sister Amy, a Canadian nun of about the same
period as Graem; Alder, and
As regards the genuineness of Amy, if I had not satisfied myself of it in various ways the following incident would have sufficed. A long-legged and not over-scrupulous acquaintance once put out a leg when she was apparently standing close in front of him and showing her face by the illuminated slate. His leg swept in an arc under the form, and met with no resistance, showing that the phantom was not standing but floating a foot from him.
On March 18, 1906, a party of ten people, eight of whom were spiritualists, assembled, at the request of Mr. Craddock, in his house at Pinner, to take part in a seance; there was an invitation also to pay half a guinea for the privilege. After the dark section of the seance had proceeded for twenty-five minutes, Colonel Mark Mayhew, one of the sitters who had previously convinced himself of the fraudulent character of one of Craddock’s seances, seized a figure that was showing its face to him; the figure endeavoured to step back into the cabinet, and the sitter and form fell on the floor, the sitter being on top. A light was turned on and Craddock was found in the arms of Colonel Mayhew, looking the picture of terror. He was apparently in trance; for when he scrambled up into his chair he chattered volubly in the voice of Graem, his principal control. His wife rushed into the room, closed him into the cabinet and bandaged his eyes. The door was locked, the room was lighted up; and when the Medium emerged from the cabinet, which he did in about eight or ten minutes, he and his wife were invited to submit their persons and their room to a search, in order that the medium might clear himself from the imputation of conscious fraud. In the meantime, Colonel Mayhew found an "ever-ready" electric torch in the drawer of a table in the cabinet which was not there before the seance began.
The situation, then, was this: The Medium, who was supposed to be in his chair in the cabinet, had been detected wandering about four feet outside the curtains, personating a spirit to deceive a sitter. This was a prima facie evidence of fraud upon the Circle, which had been assembled to witness genuine phenomena. It was not necessarily conscious fraud on the part of the medium, as he might have been brought out in a somnambulistic condition by being on another plane of existence; but it was unquestionably fraud of some sort, and the sitters had a right to demand and explanation and a proof that no preparations had been made by Craddock, before he had entered the room, to simulate phenomena of Spirit return. The discovery of an electric torch, which has no function in a genuine seance, was evidence of conscious fraud; and it was strengthened by the assertion of Mrs. Craddock that the torch had been brought into the house by Colonel Mayhew, and placed in the drawer by him in order to discredit the Medium---an obvious falsehood, which deceived no one present. As to this, a letter appeared in Light of March 31, 1906, from an indiscreet friend, stating that Craddock had often shown this torch to him.
Though now in his normal senses, and able to
appreciate the true effect of his words and actions, Craddock refused to be
searched, offering instead to "give a test seance at the rooms of the
Alliance." He was asked three times to clear himself, but obstinately
refused, and showed a feverish desire to leave the room. Five men consulted
together, and decided that the refusal was sufficient evidence of trickery;
the door was unlocked and the medium was allowed to escape upstairs. To use
force would have been unseemly and unnecessary. Moreover, a search of
Craddock would have been incomplete, unless his wife had also been examined;
for she had enjoyed ample opportunity for secreting some of his accessories
about her person.
A sitter is only justified in breaking conditions if he is convinced that the medium has violated his part of the contract. He is liable to the charge of dishonorable conduct if it should be proved that the Medium is not guilty of conscious fraud. Moreover, if the seizure takes place late in the séance, when a deep cataleptic trance supervenes, and his pulse is very low, it is possible that the medium may be killed by the shock.
In this case the sitter was justified by the result; Craddock refused to give the only proof which would have cleared him. Had the search taken place, and nothing been found on Mr. or Mrs. Craddock, nor in the room, Colonel Mayhew would have been in an unenviable position. As it turned out, all spiritualists should be grateful to him for his prompt and decisive action. Up to this time no explanation has been offered to the public by Craddock, and no one present in the room that evening has attempted to defend him in the Press. The gravamen of the charge against him is that, having been detected outside the cabinet, he refused flatly the only test which would clear him of a deliberate intention to deceive those whom he had invited to sit with him. The events were reported in Light of March 24, 1906.
A theory has been started by a few irresponsible people that, when an astral figure is seized, the body of its medium, may fly to it and coalesce, thus inducing the captor to believe that he originally laid hold of the medium himself; but of this there is no proof whatever. It is true that a form may elude its captor and fly back to its parent; but for a human being to come hurtling through the curtains of the cabinet into the arms of the captor without the latter receiving any shock is a phenomenon which requires something more than mere assertion to obtain credence for it.
One naturally inquires at this stage: "If fraud was intended by Craddock, were his principal controls parties to it?" Of course they were. Whatever else may be a matter of conjecture, there can be no manner of doubt that truth and falsehood are terms in common to both this and the next state of existence. Graem, at any rate, must have known what was going on, and been in league with his Medium. Thus we must regretfully come to the conclusion that, for spiritual purposes, Craddock's mediumship is useless. Graem, intelligent as he is, is an undesirable associate. In the light of the exposure of March 18, 1906, I feel justified in saying that some of the materialisation’s which have appeared to me at various times, in two different rooms, have been Craddock disguised.
In justice to Craddock, one curious circumstance must be mentioned. When he masqueraded before his captor. Showing by his illuminated slate, he had a robe of some sort covering his collar and waistcoat. I saw him on the floor in the arms of the Colonel, in a good light before Mrs. Craddock touched him. Mayhew’s grip effectively prevented him from moving a finger; yet the robe was gone, and was not found afterwards during a search of the room. Some supernormal influence was at work that removed that robe; but it does not exculpate the Medium from the charge of entering the room with the intention of deceiving his sitters.
But this man is, none the less, a very interesting curiosity. The object of these remarks is not to attempt to reinstate him in the eyes of spiritualists, but to record certain phenomena I have witnessed which were, to the best of my belief, genuine. In my judgment, his offence is much aggravated by the fact that he is a real sensitive who had, from greed, prostituted a rare gift. Under strict test conditions, and with a fixed moderate income assured to him, it is very probable that a committee might obtain some very useful information by watching the phenomena which occur when he is in trance. He would, of course, be retained for this purpose alone, and prevented from giving seances to any but the committee.
In the following notes I have mentioned a sensitive
who is a member of my family, and who is here called A. He is a busy
professional man who has attended a few of Craddock’s seances, some at a
private house and some at Pinner. Since January 1906, he had become
suspicious, as he
The correlation between the communications in my room at Southsea (through A) by table, and the seances is pointed out as indicative of supernormal knowledge, and the consequent reality of the existence of the familiar spirits, which necessarily, would imply genuine mediumship on the part of Craddock. I have listened to these familiars through twenty-five seances, and I have not been able to detect a false note. Each has his or her idiosyncrasy of voice and manner. Even if the voices of Graem and Red Crow could be assumed, it would be impossible to repeat constantly the voices and special modes of speech of Alder, Sister Amy, Joey Grimaldi, and, least of all the French girl Cerise.
Craddock has no confederate, and whatever accessories he makes use of are carried on his person. His wife has never sat in the Circle when I have been at Pinner; she did not accompany him to the private house mentioned in these notes. Anybody was free to make such examination as he pleased at Pinner, or at the house referred to. In the latter a bead of gas in a red lamp was the only permanent light; at Pinner the red light was stronger.
On November 16th 1904. At a private house. Circle of thirteen people. Husk was the medium and Craddock one of the guests. Sister Amy, one of the controls of Craddock, stood behind him (a form being visible to the clairvoyantes in the room, and talked to his neighbours throughout the seance. The voice said "good night" audibly enough for me to hear it some feet away, in the middle of a hymn. During the evening she asserted that she could not hear the singing. There were three people between Husk and Craddock, and two between Craddock and me.
(16) At the above seance a face showed to me which I did not know. I described it in my notes this: "A firm and well-set face…. the impression of a military man who had seen active service." This same face appeared to me twice afterwards in another private room, when Husk was the Medium; but I was never able to identify it. ON February 6, 1905, A. accompanied me to a seance in the same room as mentioned above (November 16). The Medium was Craddock. A face resembling that of my puzzle appeared to me. I could not identify it. It then swept swiftly across to A., who instantly called "D.," the name of a messmate who had died in China. The spirit tapped the slate three times and patted A. on the head. D. has a thin face and light moustache; his gestures are those of a military man, bright and most active. I do not see how Craddock could personate this face and figure. He appeared subsequently at every seance attendee by A. or myself, and has communicated through the table at Southsea, once giving an address we wanted, which turned out to be quite correct.
Joseph Grimaldi (Joey) called out "That is Captain D., (the name given by A.), "and he has been impressing the Admiral to bring you, Mr. A." shortly after this another face presented itself to A. He recognised it. Joey said "I think that spirit was for you Mr. A., but he had a French name" (correct). The curious point about the Spirit was this. A. had only known him clean shaved; but he had appeared with a beard and moustache: A. had not seen him for a month before his death. ON inquiry it transpired that during his illness (enteric) his hair had been allowed to grow.
In the course of this seance I made a remark to a sitter respecting a certain Admiral, mentioning him by his nickname, not by his rank. Joey instantly called out, "Oh! We know all about him and his renown." HMS Renown is the name of the ship which a few years ago carried the flag of the officer in question.
A cardinal materialised in his robes. The face was distinct as he was holding the illuminated slate, and resembled that with which we are all familiar in the pictures of Newman. On March 13, 1905. At a private house. Circle of eleven people. A. present. Joey said to him: "We cannot all be violinists can we?" This little joke showed intimate knowledge of a most persevering but futile attempt made by A., as a boy, to learn the violin.
Joey materialised. The face was about half
life-size and very dark. When he came round to my neighbor in the Circle,
who is a distinguished author, he put out his tongue.
A face presenting itself to a sitter, the voice of a familiar Spirit talking in the cabinet, and the medium heard rubbing himself, occurred at the same moment. Simultaneous phenomena occurred at every seance; they will not always be repeated in the notes.
On April, 10, 1905. At a private house. Circle of thirteen. A woman's voice sang the last verse of 'Lead kindly light' in the cabinet.
(18) ON June 5m 1905. At a private house. Circle of thirteen. A. present. Joey said he had seen me writing in my room, writing my "article" (a short time before I had contributed an article to a magazine. He asked me "if I had been ‘Cæsaring’ in the Channel" (an allusion to the sinking of the Afghanistan by HMS Cæsar the flagship of Sir Arthur W. Moore, the previous day). He also told A. that there had been floods at Southsea that day. (Correct). Both of us were ignorant of the fact. When I returned home I found that the basement of my house had been full of water at two p.m.---a few hours before the seance.
On July 10, 1905. At a private house. Circle of thirteen people. Sister Amy made a remark to me alone, indicating precise knowledge of the character of a member of my family. It was the sort of remark which would not have emanated from anybody but a woman---and a refined woman.
(19) On July 17, 1905. At a private house. Circle of fourteen. A. present. Graem made the following remark: "You all know very well that you only have to hand up a telegraph wire on a tree, and all the other trees know about it." A few weeks before an American patent had reached England, the main feature of which is this: if a telegraph apparatus is attached to a live tree, at its base, anyone within a radius of twenty miles can open up communication by doing the same thing with another live tree; the aerials are the live trees. It is out of the question that Craddock could have known anything about this normally; not fifty people in the country had, probably, heard of it. One of the Circle happened to be a wireless telegraphist, whose duty it was to examine patents for his principals, and he told me that it had only quite recently been sent to him.
On October 16th, 1905. At a private house. Circle of thirteen. A Spirit tried to materialise from the floor at the feet or my neighbour. It rose about one foot nine inches, or two feet, showed its arm and drapery in front of the illuminated slate, and then collapsed.
(20) On October 29, 1905. At Mr. Craddock's residence in Pinner. Circle of five. I was the only person present who claimed no mediumistic gift.
The spirit of a relative of mine came to me three times, accompanied on each occasion by a girl, the alleged daughter of my neighbour in the Circle. On one of these visits my relative showed her face by an illuminated slate; and once I saw the face of the child as it was dematerialising at her mother's knee; it was less than half the size of the face of an adult.
Joey said; "General D. is here, and wishes me to tell you that he was not really selfish; he thought it best to keep the materialisation's to themselves, as the conditions would thus be better." (A conversation had taken place a short time before at Southsea between a lady and myself with reference to some seances she and her husband had held with General D. The lady had said: "The General was selfish and would not allow anyone into the Circle." Craddock could have known nothing normally of this conversation.
(21) On November 18, 1905. In my library at
Southsea. Table seance with A. alone. The name "Grimaldi" was spelt out. He
was asked what word he could give us next time we met him; he spelt out
"Money." This seemed appropriate, as he and I had been talking of the
psychic inquiry into the death of Miss Money at a previous seance at Pinner.
Grimaldi's presence is unmistakable. He whirls the table about on one leg, apparently to lift it off the ground. In spelling a word he taps one leg rapidly on the floor, until he comes to a letter; thus he would tap thirteen times for M., and so forth.
Sister Amy was in my room on this evening, and Mrs. Endicott's control, "Violet." I had written to Mrs. Endicott two days before, asking her to send Violet to me between none and ten p.m., December 2, and to write to me the same evening. Of course, no allusion was made to what we should probably be doing. The same evening, Mrs. Endicott wrote that Violet had been down, and had told her that there were many Spirits in the room and a seance was going on. The name "Violet" was tilted out at the table.
But to return to the Pinner seance of November 26. Craddock's pulse was tested before a physician before he went into trance, and found to be normal. At the end of the seance, after the forms had been absorbed, but before Graem left the body, the doctor whispered to me: "About forty, just consistent with life." During the seance Joey, showing his location by a small illuminated slate, came outside the Circle, and twice floated up to the ceiling (eleven feet). It was impossible for a mortal body to get through the cordon of chairs, or around the edge of the cordon, without one or two of the sitters being aware of it.
On December 3, 1905. At Pinner. Circle of seven. During the seance Joey, with a Spirit light, floated over our heads, four feet above us. I said to him at one time, "What were you doing last night at half-past nine?" He replied, "I went down to your house to see A." "Who was with you?" "Your brother and sister, Admiral T., and the band." (See account of seance in my room with A. December 2.)
A relative of mine materialised twice and each time brought with her a daughter of my neighbouring sitter.
An exquisite woman's voice sang a solo in the cabinet. (22) On December 4, 1905. At a private house. Circle of fifteen, half of whom were mediumistic. A. was present. The Medium arrived late, when the Circle was formed and everybody in their places. I sat next to an old fisherman, Mr. Endicott, who is clairvoyant. He had come from Devonshire to see Craddock for the first time, and had never been insider the room before. Directly the room was darkened Mr. Endicott described a form standing in front of me, and said after a long time: "She has now gone over to that gentleman near the cabinet (A.) and is bending over him." (Mr. Endicott had not seen A. before). A relative afterwards materialised twice to A. and myself, calling us both by name, showing her face also to Mr. Endicott.
Mr. Endicott described Red Crow and other Spirits. He also said that he saw in the Circle a little old gentleman wearing a skull cap and using a stick for walking about. (This answers the description of a Mr. Schafer, who once owned the house; and the description Mr. Endicott gave is precisely the same as that given by Mrs. Imison (Nurse Graham) a week before when Husk was the Medium. (Mr. Endicott and Mrs. Imison do not know one another).
The oriental spirits were specially active on this evening. I saw one, who brought his own light, fall forward and dematerialise at the feet of a lady three feet away from me. The illuminated slates were seen in the air four to eight feet above us and about seven feet apart. Apparently there were three or more Indian Spirits, for one of the slates---that nearly over me---was dropped from a height of eight feet above me, and caught by a Spirit below who was level with me head. Mr. Endicott could see the forms.
"Ora pro Nobis" was sung in the cabinet in a
woman's voice. Joey told A. he had been "Western-Parading" on Saturday night
and doing "hanky-panky" with the table. (see notes of December 2)
A short time before, through Mrs. Arnold, at Southsea, a Spirit had promised to appear to me "without slate." On this evening the same Spirit came to me without slate and identified herself.
A woman's voice sang solo in the cabinet. A sister of May came to me in a substantial woman’s dress, white sleeves, dark bodice and skirt. She invited me to take the skirt in my hand.
(23) On January 21,1906 at Pinner. Circle of seven. An astral form came very slowly and silently to me. By the spirit-light she carried, I was able to recognise the face of an old relative, and to distinguish the domino and delicate drapery. She bowed her head low to the name I gave her, as if in assent, spoke my name and allowed me to take her hand. This form was about 4ft. 6in. in height and the hand was the size of that of a child. Having remained nearly a minute, it sank slowly down and dematerialised at my feet. It was Iola. Joey, speaking to me from the cabinet, gave the names of certain Spirits who, he asserted, were present. One was a brother officer, another a friend who died about fifteen years ago and whom I had not seen for over twenty years, when I parted from him in the distant colony of the Fiji Islands (Joey said Grand Canary Islands). Both names, especially the latter, were uncommon ones.
After the seance Graem called for a sitter present to make passes before the medium, and for me to put my hands on this man's shoulders. The curtain was drawn around us. Graem gave directions through the mouth of Craddock. I distinctly heard Joey, Cerise and Sister Amy speak at this time in the cabinet. After two or three minutes, Graem having ceased to speak, Craddock gave a convulsive start and slowly came to life. Within twenty minutes he was able to leave the room. I remained in the house for a quarter of an hour, to complete my notes. On taking leave of Craddock I found him very dazed, and, apparently, surprised at seeing me in the house so long after the other sitters had left. When I shook hands with him the action seemed to give him pain.
(24) On February 11, 1906. Circle of ten. Six of those present are mediumistic, and all are spiritualists.
An astral form came silently towards me, bringing its own light, by which I recognised the face as that of Iola. It was about 4ft. 6in. high; face small, pallid and ethereal. The beautiful form dematerialised at my feet; the light did not disappear till it was fifteen inches from the floor. A little child touched all the Circle twice.
On February 18, 1906. Circle of twelve. A draped figure came to me silently, without light, on two occasions, merging and returning through the cabinet near which I was sitting, and called me by name. I took the hands, which were trembling violently.
Joey Grimaldi said to me: "I heard you talking with A. the other night about the Medium being brought out as Abdullah. Ii is not the Medium but his astral body, which we use to shape the form of the Spirits. He was wrong on that point. (It is a fact that such a conversation had taken place on that subject in my room at Southsea, A. and another sitter having seen trousers under Abdullah’s robe).
Joey said to me: "There is a Mr. B. here who thinks you can give a message to his wife. He would like her to know that he is still alive and watching over her." (Mr. B. was a Low Church minister at Southsea. I had heard of him, but not made his acquaintance, and did not know that he had left a widow. A few days afterwards I learnt, on inquiry, that his widow lived in strict retirement at Southsea.)
(25) Two materialised figures, after showing their
faces to me, fell sideways on the floor without a sound, their faces being
visible until they reached within a foot of the carpet.
(26) On February 25, 1906. At. Pinner. Circle of six. All sitters, except one, mediumistic. Sister Amy told me that she had been in my room at Southsea, when I was sorting papers into a bureau. (An American bureau had been given to me a short time before, and I had spent the best part of half a day sorting papers into it.) She also said that "the Doctor" (meaning Graem) was in my room when A. and I were discussing astralations. The Doctor thought we had made a mistake in one thing. (A. and I had often discussed both materialisation’s and astrals in my room.)
This evening there were no less than forty materialisation's. As many of them came out with a rush and showed immediately after one another, at one moment there being two faces showing to two sitters simultaneously, it is impossible they could all have been personations by Craddock. I have no doubt that most of them were genuine spirit forms.
(27) On March 8, 1906. At a private house. Circle of fourteen. I sat next to the curtain of the cabinet at one corner. The curtain use in this house is one continuous piece of stuff, and opens only in the middle of the front to admit of the ingress and egress of the forms.
After some delay, alleged to be necessary for the accumulation of power, the materialised forms (or what purported to be such) came out, apparently in a batch. Two faces showed to two sitters eight feet apart simultaneously, and there appeared to be other moving in the centre of the semi-circle. The presentation of faces followed one another with great rapidity up to the number of six or seven. I heard the medium rubbing himself in the cabinet at intervals while these forms were out.
The French Spirit, Cerise, spoke to me from just inside the corner of the cabinet. I asked her to take my hand. She said I was "too masculine", but she grasped my hand with the curtain between us. I asked her to take the hand of the lady on my left, and guided the lady's right hand with my left towards the corner of the curtain; her arm was touched, and her bare hand stroked by the bare hand of Cerise. I regarded this at the time, and do so now, as an instance of the passage of matter through matter; for there was no opening in the curtain through which Cerise could have passed her materialised hand. Dr. Alfred Russel Wallace mentions similar cases which came under his own observations in America.
On March 17, 1906, in my library at Southsea, I held a table seance with A. alone. Iola made herself known, and gave a message implying doubt as to her being present at a seance to be held on Thursday, the 22nd, at a private house in London.
Joey made himself known, swaying the table about in his usual violent manner. Not long after this A. experienced a sort of electric shock down his right arm, and said he felt impelled to write automatically. This was the first time he had felt such an impulse. The writing was illegible; the first words might read "Will you inquire?", but these words are not clear, the rest is scrawl. At the time we put the attempt at writing down to the influence of Iola, who had come earlier, and we did not connect Joey with it.
Sunday March 18, was the day of the exposure of Craddock. About twenty minutes before the Medium was seized I asked Joey: "What were you doing last night between 9.30 and 10 o'clock?" He replied "I was down in your room trying to make A. write." (Under no conceivable circumstances could Craddock have known, normally, of A. ’s attempt at automatic writing the previous night.)
The exposure put an end to the projected seance at the private house which had been arranged for the following Thursday. Thus, Iola’s doubt was explained.
The items I have recorded here are not a quarter of
those in my notes made at the time, which convince me that Craddock
possesses the gift of mediumship. Every man or woman who has sat with this
Medium ten times could furnish similar evidences if they have jotted down
their experiences within twenty-four hours of each séance; but if postponed
to a later date, their notes are of no use.
I have not sat with Craddock since his exposure. He is undoubtedly a psychic, but his guide Graem is not to be trusted, and one never knows when he may be again tempted to "help out" his seances by bringing into the room on his person drapery and articles that should have no place there. He was condemned, not because he was found outside the cabinet, but because he refused a test of honesty which the sitters had a perfect right to demand. We were all glad that he escaped imprisonment at the subsequent trial for fraud. The fine that was inflicted by the magistrates at Edgware crippled him for some time, taught him, I hope, the valuable lesson that "honesty is the best policy".
I pass on to a few brief descriptions of manifestations I saw when sitting with Husk in 1905-6. All the seances I shall refer to were held in our private rooms in St. John's Wood and in George Street, Portman Square. Many of the phenomena were precisely the same at one meeting as another; it is no use repeating these. I propose only to record those incidents at the seances which struck me as specially remarkable.
February 7, 1905. Circle of eleven people. In the middle of the materialisation’s Foli sang "Rock’d in the Cradle of the Deep" with special emphasis and power. The volume of sound filled the lofty room. He had strength to sing a few words of "Off to Philadelphia in the Morning" before he departed. The zither (known as the "fairy bells"), worked by the Spirit "Ebenezer", played round the circle over the heads of all the sitters, rose to a height of ten or twelve feet above the table, still playing a definite tune, then dashed through the floor, played beneath, and returned to the room as on previous occasions. The Captain D. alluded to in Craddock’s seances came to me; I said, "I am very glad to see you. Did you materialise for me before last night? I never met you in earth life, and did no know you." The head bowed and the slate dropped; then my hand was stroked three times, and a whisper came out of the darkness: "You are right Admiral; I came to you as a link of sympathy between me and A. My kind remembrances to him."
John King took great pains to dematerialise deliberately. I saw his head enter the table. The Spirit controls called "Uncle" and "Joey" talked until Husk was quite normal. One sitter asked Uncle, "Are you using the Medium's throat? If so he must have a long neck." (The sitter who asked the question was about four feet from the Medium). When we were singing, spirit voices joined in from above with great strength.
February 13,1905. Uncle was heard talking after Husk came out of trance.
February 14,1905. A gentleman who was present spoke to the Greek priests in Russian, and obtained brief but satisfactory replies. The room rocked under our feet.
February 21,1905. Circle of thirteen people. My relative A. recognised two friends in the materialisation's. One of the had, in life, a Jewish nose and was identified by that feature.
March 14,1905. Circle of thirteen people. I was
discussing with a lady the unevenness of the tops of the table. Uncle came
close up to me and said: "Admiral, it wants a good holystoning doesn't it?"
The word "holystoning" is almost unknown to any person outside of a
man-of-war. The decks of the old wooden vessels were holystoned once a week;
the effect was to make them smooth and clean. I thought this remark showed a
knowledge of trifling terrene matters that was extraordinary. No other
person in the room knew what the spirit was talking about.
March 20,1905. Circle of fourteen people. Two of the sitters were a good old German Jew and his niece. A voice came from the darkness speaking to them in Hebrew; four or five materialisation's appeared to them, all eventually recognised, and a favourite hymn was played on the zither. There was also, on this evening, an Indian, who spoke rapidly and fluently in Hindustani. Iola manifested to me outside the Circle, the slate being held for her by Uncle. I was sitting between Mrs. Husk and Mrs. Fairclough Smith; and the latter gave a correct description of my guide, but her name was never mentioned., March 28, 1905. Circle of twelve people.
John King gripped me by the left shoulder, and told me he had been "hunting up old records" and found out that he succeeded Lynch as Governor of Jamaica. There was a Richard Morgan who came before him as Governor; and the names were sometimes confused. He believed that he (Sir Henry) was Governor three separate times---not consecutively---but the would make further inquiries. (I have not been able to find out if this is correct---W.U.M.)
Mrs. Husk told me that the Spirit lady, who had attended at the Circle before, was floating, as it were, behind me. I asked her to find out her name; and about ten minutes later she gave me the earth-name of Iola---not that by which she was called by me, but the name she was called by only one or two members of the family. Uncle came up and told me that Mrs. Husk had got the name clairaudiently. After the departure of John King, the figure gradually faded away. A lady was sitting on my right, who was greeted by name by John King. I asked her when she had last seen him, and she said: "Two years ago." The memory of this control is truly remarkable, as I have often found out myself.
Joey spoke when Husk was out of trance; and as Husk was being led downstairs, Uncle was heard to say: "You ought to have a sentinel here." This was an allusion to a fumbling at the door during the séance.
April 3 1905. A Circle of fifteen people. There were three irreconcilable sceptics present, and it was somewhat extraordinary that the seance was as successful as it was. The only indication of want of harmony was a change in the usual order of presentation of the phenomena. Three materialisation’s took place as soon as Uncle had made himself known, and the voice of the Cardinal and the tunes on the zither were not heard till after these forms had collapsed. The phenomenon that Uncle calls the "striking proof" was much in evidence on this evening. The Spirit holding the tubes touches lightly the head of a sitter, and almost immediately afterwards the ceiling of the room. The tube is then dropped upon the table. In its fall it does not touch either the hands of the sitters or the illuminated slates or the zither on the table’ it alights on the table itself, and rebounds for a short distance. Two of the sceptics were give the "striking proof", and the tube was laid over their arms when the solos were sung, to show that it was not used for assistance during the singing. There were some twenty materialisation’s during the evening, most of which were recognised.
April 4,1905. Circle of fifteen people. On this evening, very early in the seance, soon after Uncle had made himself known, my guide touched me on the shoulder and gave me her earth name. I did not in the least expect her at this time, and the manifestation so early was a great surprise.
One lady of the society, who had made some mistake
as to the time of the meeting, came with her daughter to the door. Finding
that the séance had already begun, they remained outside, and heard the
Husk came, suffering from a bad cold. The singing was as good as usual, but the materialisation's were not numerous.
May 1, 1905. Circle of thirteen people. A Scotch Spirit came in, and sang with great fire and energy "Scots wha hae wi' Wallace bled."
(29) The Test seance. On May 2, 1905, with Husk’s concurrence, we held a test seance in our room in George Street. I sat between Husk and his wife, my left little finger being hooked to his right; and Mrs. Alleyne, a lady upon whom we could all rely, sat on his left, her right little finger being hooked to his left. The medium for ten years had been accustomed to having his wife or some friend with psychic powers sitting on his right. I am not gifted with any mediumistic powers; consequently conditions were much disturbed, and it was not expected that the seance would be as prolific of phenomena as usual. We were, however, all much interested in the experiment, which was to demonstrate how far the invisible powers would be able to make use of their Medium under such adverse circumstances.
The seance was held in the dark as usual. For about half-an-hour nothing happened, except that I was touched on my left shoulder. Soon after this, one of the sitters expressed a doubt of their being any Spirits in the room. The words were hardly out of his mouth when ten pairs of chairs standing against the wall were knocked down behind me. A little later Uncle made himself known, and then his nephew Christopher. John King manifested, by voice only, an hour and a quarter after we sat down, and greeted those whom he knew individually. He then held a consultation with Uncle, just behind Husk. Uncle said: "The Medium is in a bad position." (I think he had fallen over, with his head in front of Mrs. Alleyne.) John King said: "Yes, he is." And shortly afterwards left us, saying "he did not think they would be able to do much."
Foli sang one verse of "Rock’d in the Cradle of the Deep." Earlier in the evening two Spirit voices joined in our singing.
It must have been over and hour and a half after we sat down that Uncle came to me and said: "Admiral, don’t press so closely to the Medium." (I had kept our forearms together). I drew my elbow away a little. A minute or two elapsed when I heard a large chair placed with violence on top of the table, striking some object in front of me (the chair was a heavy one; the object, as I discovered afterwards, was one of the slates; the chair was back to me). Uncle then said, from behind Husk's back, to Mrs. Alleyne and to me: "Please rise when we lift the Medium." There was a "heave-ho," and Husk was lifted out of his chair at the table and placed in the chair on the table. He must have been taken over the back of it, because Mrs. Alleyne had to stand on tiptoe and I had to stretch my left hand as high as it was possible for it to go. It was a very neat job. I felt nothing touch my body or arm; but two or three times I heard Uncle exclaiming to Christopher. "Up with him," just as a mortal might do when lifting a heavy weight.
The lights were switched on, and there was the medium sitting mournfully on top of the table, back to me, coming out of trance. I immediately looked at the chair he had left. The front part of the seat plumbed the edge of the table"
During this seance there were no materialisation's, no Cardinal, and no playing of the zither (fairy bells). I attach the remarks of Mrs. Alleyne:
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