Medium William Eglinton
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William Eglinton Medium
1857 - 1933
William Eglinton producing a fully materialised Spirit whilst in a trance state in 1878.
THERE IS NO DEATH by Florence Marryat
THE MEDIUMSHIP OF WILLIAM EGLINTON
In the stories I have related of Emily and The Monk' I have alluded freely to the wonderful powers exhibited by William Eglinton, but the marvels there spoken of were by no means the only ones I have witnessed through his mediumship. At the seance which produced the apparition of my sister Emily, Mr. Eglinton's control Joey made himself very familiar. Joey is a remarkably small man--perhaps two thirds lighter in weight than the Medium--and looks more
We put Mr. Eglinton into No.1, locking the connecting door with No.2, so that he had no exit except into our circle as we sat round the curtain, behind which we placed his chair. Joey having shown himself outside the curtain, informed us he was going through the locked door at the back into our bedrooms, Nos. 2, 3 and 4, and would bring us something from each room.
Accordingly, in another minute we heard his voice in No. 2, commenting on all he saw there; then he passed into No. 3, and so on, making a tour of the rooms, until he appeared at the communicating door of No. 5, and threw an article taken from each room into the entresol. He then told us to lift the curtain and inspect the Medium, which we did, finding him fast asleep in his chair, with the door behind him locked. Joey then returned by the way he had gone, and presented himself once more outside the cabinet, the key of the locked door being all the time in our possession.
Ernest is another well-known control of Mr. Eglinton's, though he seldom appears, except to give some marvellous test or advice. He is a very earnest, deep-feeling spirit, like his name, and his symbol is a cross of light; sometimes large and sometimes small, but always bright and luminous. Ernest seldom shows his whole body. It is generally only his face that is apparent in the midst of the circle, a more convincing manifestation for the sceptic or inquirer than any number of
bodies which are generally attributed to the chicanery of the Medium. Ernest always speaks in the direct voice in a gentle, bass tone, entirely distinct from Joey's treble, and his appearance is usually indicative of a harmonious and successful meeting. Daisy, a North American Indian girl, is another control of William Eglinton's, but I have only heard her speak in trance. I do not know which of these Spirits it is who conducts the manifestations of writing on the arm, with which Mr. Eglinton is very successful; sometimes it seems to be one, and sometimes the other. As he was sitting with our family at supper one evening, I mentally asked Joey to write something on some part of his body where his hand could not reach. This was in order to prove that the writing had not been prepared by chemical means beforehand, as some people are apt to assert. In a short time Mr. Eglinton was observed to stop eating, and grow very fidgety and look Uncomfortable, and on being questioned as to the cause, he blushed and stammered, and could give no answer. After a while he rose from table, and asked leave to retire to his room. The next morning he told us that he had been so uneasy at supper, it had become impossible for him to sit it out; that on reaching his room he had found that his back, which irritated him as though covered with a rash, had a sentence written across it, of which he could only make out a few words by looking at it backwards in a glass; and as there were only ladies in the house beside himself he could not call in an interpreter to his assistance. One day, without consulting him, I placed a small card and a tiny piece of black lead between the leaves of a volume of the Leisure Hour, and asked him to hold the book with me on the dining-table. I never let the book out of my hand, and it was so thick that I had difficulty afterwards in finding my card (from the comer of which I had torn a piece) again. Mr. Eglinton sat with me in the daylight with the family about, and all he did was to place his hand on mine, which rested on the book. The perspiration ran down his
Dear Mama,---I am so glad to be able to communicate with you again, and to demonstrate by actual fact that I am really present. Of course, you quite understand that I do not write this myself. 'Charlie' is present with me, and so are many more, and we all unite in sending you our love. Your daughter, Florence.
Mr. Eglinton's mediumship embraces various phases of phenomena, as may be gathered from his own relations of them, and the testimony of his friends. A narrative of his spiritual work, under the title of 'Twixt two Worlds, has been written and published by Mr. John T. Farmer, and contains some exhaustive descriptions of, and testimonies to, his undoubtedly wonderful gifts. In it appear several accounts written by myself, and which, for the benefit of such of my readers as have not seen the book in question I will repeat here. The first is that of the Monk, given in extenso, as I have given it in the eleventh chapter of this book. The second is of a seance held on the 5th September, 1884. The circle consisted of Mr. and Mrs. Stewart, Colonel and Mrs. Wyche Mr. and Mrs. Russell-Davies, Mr. Morgan, and Colonel Lean and myself, and was held in Mr. Eglinton's private chambers in Quebec Street. We sat in the front drawingroom, with one gas-burner alight, and the door having been properly secured, Mr. Eglinton went into the back room, which was divided by curtains from the front. He had not left us a couple of minutes before a man stepped out through the portiere, and walked right into the midst of us. He was a large, stout man, and very dark, and most of the sitters remarked that he had a very peculiar smell. No one recognized
The next apparition, being the seventh that appeared, was that of a little child apparently about two years old, who supported itself in walking by holding on to a chair. I stooped down, and tried to talk to this baby, but it only cried in a fretful manner, as though frightened at finding itself with strangers, and turned away. The attention of the Circle was diverted from this sight by seeing Abdullah dart between the curtains, and stand with the child in our view, whilst Mr. Eglinton appeared at the same moment between the two forms, making a tria juncta in uno.
Thus ended the seance. The second one of which I wrote took place on the 27th of the same month, and under very similar circumstances. The circle this time consisted of Mrs. Wheeler, Mr. Woods, Mr. Gordon, The Honourable Gordon Sandeman, my daughter Eva, my son Frank, Colonel Lean, and myself Mr. Eglinton appeared on this occasion to find some difficulty in passing under control, and he came out so frequently into the Circle to gather power, that I guessed we were going to have uncommonly good manifestations. The voice of Joey, too, begged us under no circumstances whatever, to lose hands, as they were going to try something very difficult, and we might defeat their efforts at the very moment
Joey now announced that they were going to try the experiment of showing us how the spirits were made from the medium. This was the crowning triumph of the evening. Mr. Eglinton appeared in the very midst of us in trance. He entered the room backwards, and as if fighting with the power that pushed him in, his eyes were shut, and his breath was drawn with difficulty. As he stood thus, holding on to a chair for support, an airy mass like a cloud of tobacco smoke was seen on his left hip, his legs became illuminated by lights travelling up and down them, and a white film settled about his head and shoulders. The mass increased.. and he breathed harder and harder whilst invisible hands pulled the filmy drapery out of his hip in long strips, that amalgamated as soon as formed, and fell to the ground to be succeeded by others. The cloud continued to grow thicker, and we were eagerly watching the process, when, in the twinkling of an eye, the
William Eglinton's powers embrace various phases of phenomena, amongst which levitation is a common occurrence; indeed, I do not think I have ever sat with him at a seance during which he had not been levitated. I have seen him on several occasions rise, or be carried, into the air, so that his head touched the ceiling, and his feet were above the sitters' heads. On one occasion whilst sitting with him a perfectly new manifestation was developed. As each Spirit came the name was announced, written on the air in letters of fire, which moved round the circle in front of the sitters. As the names were those of friends of the audience and not of friends of Mr. Eglinton, and the phenomenon ended with a letter written to me in the same manner on private affairs, it could not be attributed to a previously arranged trick. I have accompanied Mr. Eglinton, in the capacity of interpreter, to a professional seance in Paris consisting of some forty persons, not one of whom could speak a word of English whilst he was equally ignorant of foreign languages. And I have heard French and German spirits return through him to converse with their friends, who were radiant with joy at communicating with them again, whilst their medium could not (had he been conscious) have understood or pronounced a single word of all the news he was so glibly repeating. I
Some years ago, when I first became connected in business with Mr. Edgar Lee of the St. Stephen's Review, I found him much interested in the subject of Spiritualism, though he had never had an opportunity of investigating it, and through my introduction I procured him a test seance with William Eglinton. We met one afternoon at the medium's house in Nottingham Place for that purpose, and sat at an ordinary table in the back dining-room for slate-writing. The slate used on the occasion (as Mr. Lee had neglected to bring his own slate as requested) was one which was presented to Mr. Eglinton by Mr. Gladstone. It consisted of two slates of medium size, set in mahogany frames, with box hinges, and which, when shut, were fastened with a Bramah lock and key. On the table cloth was a collection of tiny pieces of different coloured chalk. In the front room, which was divided from us by folding doors, were some bookcases. Mr. Eglinton commenced by asking Mr. Lee to go into the front room by himself, and select, in his mind's eye, any book he chose as the one from which extracts should be given. Mr. Lee having done as he was told, returned to his former place beside us, without giving a hint as to which book he had selected. Mr. Gladstone's slate was then delivered over to him to clean with sponge and water; that done, he was directed to choose four pieces of chalk and place them between the slates, to lock them and retain the key. The slates were left on the table in the sight of all; Mr. Lee's hand
You chose, I think, he commenced, four morsels of chalk--- white, blue, yellow and red. Please say which word , on which line, on which page of the book you selected just now, the white chalk shall transcribe.
Mr. Lee answered (I forget the exact numbers) somewhat in this wise, The 3rd word on the 15th line of the 102nd page, he having, it must be remembered, no knowledge of the contents of the volume, which he had not even touched with his hand. Immediately he had spoken, a scratching noise was heard between the two slates. When it ceased, Mr. Eglinton put the same question with regard to the blue, yellow and red chalks, which was similarly responded to. He then asked Mr. Lee to unlock the slates, read the words, and then fetch the book he had selected, and compare notes, and in each instance the word had been given correctly. Several other experiments were then made, equally curious, the number of Mr. Lee's watch, which he had not taken from his pocket, and which he said he did not know himself, being amongst them. Then Mr. Eglinton said to Mr. Lee, Have you any friend in the Spirit World from whom you would like to hear? if so, and you will mentally recall the name, we will try and procure some writing from him or her. (I must say here that these two were utter strangers to each other, and had met for the first time that afternoon, and indeed as will be seen by the context I had a very slight knowledge of Mr. Edgar Lee myself at that time.) Mr. Lee thought for a moment, and then replied that there was a dead friend of his from he should like to hear. The cleaning and locking process was gone through again, and the scratching recommenced, and when it concluded, Mr. Lee unlocked the slates and read a letter to this effect:
My DEAR WILL,--- I am quite satisfied with your decision respecting Bob. By all means, send him to the school you are thinking of
I do not pretend to give the exact words of this letter; for though they were afterwards published, I have not a copy by me. But the gist of the experiment does not lie in the exactitude of the words. When I saw the slate, I looked at Mr. Lee in astonishment.
Who is it for? I asked.
It is all right, he replied; it is for me. It is from my cousin, who left his boy in my charge. My real name is William Tasker.
Now, I had never heard it hinted before that Edgar Lee was only a nom de plume, and the announcement came on me as a genuine surprise. So satisfied was Mr. William Tasker Edgar Lee with his experimental seance that he had the slate photographed and reproduced in the St. Stephen's Review, with an account of the whole proceedings which were sufficient to make any one stop for a moment in the midst of the world's harassing duties and think.
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Written by and © copyright of
© 1995 - 2013
Written by and © copyright of
© 1995 - 2013