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by Vice Admiral W. USBORNE MOORE


The knowledge of immortality for one dollar—Mrs. Wriedt—Method of her seances—A brother officer identifies himself—Iola speaks, and refers to a Jonson seance—Josephine—Mr. Henry Clay Hodges accompanies me to a séance —The late British Consul-General for Cuba manifests—Obvious difference between American and English spirits—Over-anxiety to communicate prevents manifestation— Sir W. W. identifies himself—Dr. Sharp, Mrs. Wriedt’s control, speaks clearly at every séance —Commander Scott Willcox manifests—My guide tells me what I was doing the previous day—This happens several times—The pale lavender dress—A child grown up in spirit life—The spirit of Captain Calver, R. N.—The spirit of Captain Andrew Balfour, R. N.—Iola and my brother-in-law—Mr. Kaiser— Dr. Kurgan speaks—Tim, from Jonson’s cabinet—People of different degrees of spiritual advancement can live together in the spheres—Buildings formed by concentration of the vibrations—Dr. Thomson Jay Hudson manifests—Hester and William Hudson—The psychic and Dr. Jenkins speak at the same time—A spirit purporting to be Sir Isaac Newton—Dr. Richard Hodgson manifests—Good test of identity— Madam Julienne de Leamont—President Lincoln seen behind me.

DURING my investigations into the phenomena of spiritism I have never met with anyone whose mediumship has brought me so close to the next state of consciousness as Mrs. Wriedt, of Detroit, Michigan. I dislike introducing the subject of money into dissertations on communication with the unseen; but psychics must live, and there is just as much reason why they should be paid as parsons, lawyers, artists, doctors, or naval and military officers. Theirs is an exhausting occupation, and generally unfits them for any other. It is due to Mrs. Wriedt and to the Jonsons to say that they reduce their charges to a minimum. In each case the fee is one dollar if the séance is successful; if unsuccessful, these psychics refuse to receive anything at all.

Mrs. Wriedt lives in a detached wooden villa of her own design, 414 Baldwin Avenue, in a suburb of Detroit, nearly three miles from the City Hall. She is much sought after, and always busy; on an average, she receives four or five people a day. To ensure seeing her it is therefore necessary to make an appointment beforehand. She does not fall into trance, and often joins in the conversation going on between the sitter and her spirit visitor; she speaks sometimes at the same instant as her control or the other spirits. I have been much puzzled to know what she has to do with the manifestations; all I am really sure about is that her presence is essential.

The phenomena that occur are etherealisations and the direct voice through the trumpet; the former are more rare than the latter. It is possible to hear the voices through the trumpet in broad daylight or gaslight; but the operation is slow and unsatisfactory, and the investigator will find it best to sit in total darkness. The psychic is willing to sit anywhere in the room, the spot being chosen by the investigator, on either side of him, touching him, or opposite to him. I found it best to have her opposite to me, and distant three to four feet away. A trumpet is placed upright on the floor, between psychic and visitor. I will proceed to describe my sittings.

January 6,1909, 5:10pm Tried first in gaslight, putting the small end of the trumpet to my ear. There were undoubtedly voices in the tube, but I could only catch the names "William Roger Drake" and "Mary Ella." Cars were passing the house at intervals of three minutes, and it was impossible to obtain a perfectly quiet time; unfortunately, I had called just when the workmen were leaving the city for their homes. Mrs. Wriedt was impressed with the following messages from a spirit called " Mary ": "Thomas is here," and "Joan of Arc is one of our guides." The names ‘‘ Drake,’’ ‘‘ Mary,’’ and ‘‘ Thomas were quite familiar to me, as those of friends who had passed over many years ago. I do not know any Ella," and Drake’s Christian


names are wrong. Mary and Thomas are brother and sister. This sitting was a failure; but, at the invitation of the psychic, I returned at 8:15 p.m. to join a party who were booked for that time.

(82) The circle consisted of a Mr. and Mrs. Smith, a relative of theirs—a Mr. Andrews— the psychic, and myself. The trumpet was placed in the middle of the circle. We sang a little, and a voice from the trumpet joined in; this was the chief control, Dr. Sharp. A spirit then came to Mr. Andrews, speaking in low tones through the trumpet; she was related also to Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and was fully identified. Then came to me an old brother officer, Captain W. W. P., who identified himself satisfactorily, and spoke of the last materialisation séance  at which I had seen him; this was at Pinner, near Harrow. The curious thing about this communication was that the spirit said it was in Buckinghamshire we had met, whereas it was in a village two or three miles outside the limit of that county. I reminded him of a certain action of his that had enabled me to satisfy myself of his identity on that occasion. He said: "Yes, that was my adieu." (Correct; he disappeared directly afterwards.)

After this the former spirit held a long conversation with her friends. I heard them plying her with various questions; among others, what they had been doing that afternoon. They assured me later that all their questions had been answered correctly. The next spirit to manifest was Iola, who gave her Christian names, and also the name of a relative to us both, who had passed over fifty-five years before, as a child. She also gave my name, and referred to a séance of a few days before at the Jonsons at Toledo, saying: "Did you see mother?"

Q: "You could not speak?"

A: "No. But I held out my hands." (Correct) "Josephine spoke." (Correct)

Forms were seen clairvoyantly trying to build up, but none succeeded. It was a convincing séance , though in the dark, and I was satisfied that Mrs. Wriedt was a medium of remarkable power. The atmospheric conditions were of the best—freezing, dry, and clear. I understood that Mr. and Mrs. Smith had sat with this psychic before, but not for some time; Mr. Andrews had not met her before.

(83) January 8, 1909. 11:10 to 12:10. With Mrs. Wriedt alone, in the dark. Conditions excellent; freezing, dry, and clear. About fifteen minutes after the light was extinguished I saw a faintly-lighted cloud hovering about between the psychic and myself; this gradually developed into the full face of a man. I did not recognize it, but discovered later from "Dr. Sharp," the control, that the name was "George." The appearance of the etherealisation was similar to that we are accustomed to see in Sir Herbert Tree’s play when the ghost of Caesar appears to Brutus. The next two phantoms were those of relatives, one of whom passed over eighteen years ago, the other six years; the fourth was the mysterious "Josephine," who had come to me at a Jonson séance at Toledo. I asked her why she attached herself to me, and she answered through the trumpet, while still in sight: "To help you, in loving kindness."

This was the only time I had seen a form speaking with trumpet, and it reminded me of old medieval pictures. The spirit said Iola was with her. I thanked her for assisting Iola, when she said: "It is she who assists me." I learnt later that she was a spirit "healer."

The etherealisations came to an end, and for the rest of the séance the spirits spoke through the trumpet in the dark. After the disappearance of Josephine, Iola spoke for some time, first giving her two Christian names correctly.

She answered several questions, and described minutely and accurately what she had seen me doing at a certain time on the previous day. One reply struck me as most curious. I had asked her where she lived in her childhood, and she replied "Torrington"(faintly).

Q: "What was the name of the square?"

A: "Torrington."

(Now, the fact is she lived in the next square to Torrington Square, in London. This is like the W. W. P. case. He did not materialise in Buckinghamshire, but a few miles off, in Middlesex. This often happens in spirit communication, but the reason of it is difficult to fathom. Surely it would be more natural for Iola to remember the name of her own square than that of the neighboring one. I need hardly remind the reader that Mrs. Wriedt knew nothing whatever, normally, of me or my family or friends; she had never been to England, and the idea of her

being able to distinguish between two squares in London or two counties may be regarded as preposterous.) The above-mentioned " George" talked with me for a short time, and Dr. Sharp, the control, spoke for some minutes. His voice was as loud as that of a mortal, and he appeared sometimes to dispense with the assistance of the trumpet. He answered several questions, principally about my guide. I may say here that none of the voices can be identified as those of the friends who purport to be present; but the only voice which resembled that of the psychic was Josephine’s. The operation is like communicating with a relative or friend through a long-distance telephone.

January 9,1909, 1:40 to 2:40pm

(84) I was accompanied by the veteran spiritualist Mr. Henry Clay Hodges, editor of The Stellar Ray, also Two Thousand Years of Celestial Life (by "Clytina ") and Science and Key of Life (by Alvidas). Atmospheric conditions were not so good as on the previous day; it was snowing. After talking between ourselves for about twenty minutes, Dr. Sharp came and gave us some interesting information; and, among other things, denied the possibility of reincarnation. Then a man spoke through the trumpet in pure English, gave a name, and said he was, in earth life, a surgeon at Brighton; he declared that he knew me, but I have no recollection of him. Next came a Mr. W. 0. Shipman, a friend of Mr. Hodges, who identified himself, speaking in Yankee intonation and dialect; then my guide, with English accent, with whom I had a long chat. I asked her the names of one of my daughters, who was born on the anniversary of her death; the answer was correct.

Q: "What was I doing this morning?"

A: "Writing notes of your investigation." (Correct) "Then you thought it was a bad day, and you would not go out; so you wrote letters." (Correct) "Who was the man you were talking to?"

I said it was Mr. Hodges (whom I had fetched from his office). An introduction then took place.

Q: "I understand from Dr. Sharp that you are in the sixth sphere?"

A: "Yes. Sixth sphere, seventh realm."

Q: "How is my wife?"

A: "She has received your letter from the east."

(I found afterwards that there had been some anxiety about the delay in the arrival of my first letter from New York, which had not reached home until a few days before this sitting.) Then came "Clytina," who spoke very clearly, but in rather a stilted way, to Mr. Hodges in pure English. It seemed to me that her formal pronunciation was due to her wish to make sure that she was understood. She told me of two English friends who wished her to make them known to me; at present I have not been able to place them. Next came Sir A. G., our Consul-General for Cuba at the time of the Spanish-American War, who spoke of the Maine disaster. He had altered the view of that catastrophe which he held while in life, and went into long particulars about mines and wires that I could not follow properly, as I am not acquainted with Havana Harbour. He went on to say: "There were five in my family." (Correct) "Do you remember the last time we met?" I replied: "Yes; I dined with you at __." "Yes we sat and smoked and talked. You admired a worked cushion we had." (Mark this trifling detail! I had a faint recollection of the incident, and, on writing to England, found out from one of the people present that it was true.)

This latter detail is one of those insignificant bits of information which the superficial critic holds in contempt. "Is this, then, all that spirits can talk about?" he exclaims. To me, this item, which I could not recall without assistance 4 was more valuable than if my friend had described the various appointments he filled in life with distinction, because the latter details are common property, and could have been culled from a book of reference.

After Sir A. G. had departed, two friends of Mr. Hodges spoke through the trumpet—Mr. Dan Revell and Senator James McMillan. Both identified themselves to his satisfaction, and the latter quite a long conversation with him. Mr. Revell was one of the circle of seven who took in the messages from "Clytina" some years ago.


It is necessary to state here that there is a great difference between the language of the average American and Englishman; it shows itself in the idioms used, in pronunciation, accent, and specially In intonation Even among intellectual Americans true English is not usually spoken west of New York. I do not remember, for instance, ever having heard the word "Yes," though I have often heard as substitutes " Eyah," "Yah," " Yup," and "Yap." Now, during this séance , the Brighton surgeon, Sir A. G., "Clytina," and Iola spoke pure English; the friends of Mr. Hodges spoke Yankee, as was natural. My companion was much struck with this feature in the séance , and, after Iola had been talking for some time, involuntarily exclaimed, "No American lady ever spoke like that! " Neither the psychic nor her control speak good English. The voices, as I have said, were not the voices of my friends, hut the nationality of each speaker was apparent.

Mr. Hodges had not met the psychic, Mrs. Wriedt, for years. The positive condition induced by over-anxiety to communicate was never more apparent in my investigations than in Mrs. Wriedt’s séance s. At first, with some communicators, the name would run off into a confused, blurred sound, and it was not till after several attempts that it could be made out properly.

January 10, 1909, 11:10am to 12:10pm

(85) I asked Mrs. Wriedt if it mattered where she sat. She said, "Not in the least "; so I requested her to sit close to me on my left. The room, as usual, was pitch-dark; the only time I tried to hear voices in the light was on my first visit. The trumpet was about two feet in front of us. After we had been sitting talking together for ten minutes, various patches of cloud appeared, and wreaths of stuff of the consistency of cigar-smoke; once a luminous patch. The psychic said she saw an old lady facing us, but the illumination was not bright enough for me to identify it. This soon faded away, and I could see nothing but the door and walls, which I was able to make out through my temporarily clairvoyant vision. After a lapse of ten minutes a hoarse voice called through the trumpet, "Sir Walter," as I thought. After many questions, and some vexation expressed by the spirit, I found out that my visitor was a friend—Sir W. W.—who had passed over in 1905. After a time he began to speak more clearly, and said "he had died in Africa, where he went to do his duty." (Correct) He had felt unwell before leaving England.

Q: "Yes; you went to Bath and Aix-les-Bains." A: "When I was at Bath I remember crossing the bridge and thinking, ‘I wonder if I shall ever see this place again?’ But I little thought that I should go so soon."

Q: "How is Lady W.?"

A: "She is very well."

Q: "Your daughter was stopping with me not long since."

A: "Yes, I know; she takes an interest in the subject you are studying." (As far as I know, this is incorrect)

Q: "I have met your son Z. recently."

A: "Yes, he is a fine young man. Do you remember my writing to you from Africa?"

Q: "No, you did not write to me—perhaps to F.?"

A: "Ah! Very likely it was to him."

Q: "Can you see what F. is doing?"

A: "Oh yes; he is doing well."

Q: "Do you remember going with me to Husk?"

A: "Yes, quite well."

Q: "You did not care about him, but he is a medium?"

A: "Yes, he is; but I did not like his personality."

Q: "Do you remember what you said about him going to the railway station?"

A: "Humbug." (Correct)

I could not get, clearly, the place where this spirit died. The word was blurred; I heard the word "Government," I thought, and "Sir G." If I took this in correctly, it is a first-rate identification, for he passed over in a government building at that time occupied by a Sir D. G. He was evidently in a befogged condition. He admitted that he had opposed me on the subject of spiritism, but had now found out his error; he also declared that he wished his wife could reach a knowledge of such things, but he knew she would not until she ‘‘came over."


I cannot deny that it is possible a personating spirit may have been at work here. It is very improbable, for the identification was good, and the spirit did not assent to every suggestion, as a false spirit generally does; several times came "No, no, not that." In any case, fraud on the part of the medium was an absolute impossibility, for she could not, by any chance, have known the name of Sir W. W., my connection with him, the Bath bridge, his journey to Africa, where he died, or his repugnance to the subject while on the earth plane.

Sir W. W. was followed by Iola, who described to me minutely and correctly how I had been occupied in the hotel the previous evening. Among other things she said ‘‘ You had a little glass.

Q: "What do you mean?"

A: "A little beverage; ha! ha! ha!"

This was an allusion, I suppose, to some whisky-and-water I had taken before going to bed. Dr. Sharp followed. He said he was born in Glasgow, and died in Evansville, Indiana; the doctrine of reincarnation was not true; people in different spheres could live together. He chatted for some time, and, saying "Good-bye," threw the trumpet with great force on the floor.

The atmospheric conditions were bad. It was raining, and there was fog and a heavy atmosphere.

February 8,1909. 7:35 to 9:50pm. Atmospheric conditions very good.

(86) Dr. Sharp came first for a short conversation. Then Josephine, who, it may be remembered, I first met at the Jonsons’, in Toledo. She repeated that she came as a guide to help me. Q: "Are you helping Iola?" A: "Iola is more likely to be able to help me."

This was afterwards explained by Sharp, who said Iola was able to get closer to me, and then Josephine’s assistance came in.

Sir W. W. was quite strong; he laughed and talked louder than is usual through the trumpet. He repeated that his wife loathed the subject of spiritualism, and could not understand how I could tolerate such nonsense.

Q: "How about F.?" (a mutual friend). A: "Oh !" (laughter in the trumpet) "he jeered at it."

Q: "Yes; but I remember you and him jeering at me together." A: "Oh! yes; but I knew no better then. I am doing all I can to learn."

Iola followed, very strong, and talked for some minutes. She referred to having been with me at the house of "the light-haired young man," and said "she got mixed there." (The light-haired young man was Mr. Kaiser, another trumpet medium in Detroit. His séance s are described below. I quite understood her allusion to" getting mixed," and it furnished an excellent proof that she had been really present.) She again, at my request, described accurately what I had been doing the evening before. Here followed some private details, in the recital of which she gave the correct names of my wife and her brother.

Q: "Do you remember a séance at Toledo?" A:" At the young girl’s—yes. I put my hand on you; I touched her."

Q: "And the singing?" A: "Yes, yes !"

Q: "Do you remember R. Square?" A: "Yes, and our romps in the house."

(The young girl mentioned above is Miss Ada Besinnet, with whom I had sat a few days before and received a remarkable test from Iola. The "romps in the house" refers to some Christmas fun fifty years ago.) A new voice in the trumpet, " Scott, Scott"; then a blurred word.

Q: "What name?" A: "Scott W." (giving initial only; finally, "Scott Willcox." This was a man who died ten years ago in Southsea.) A curious incident now happened. Mrs. Wriedt was impressed, suddenly, to tell me to ask him how he came here this evening. I did so, and his reply was: "Mr. Henry Usborne invited me." (I do not know that I have in my notes any incident during my time in America more convincing than this. Mr. Henry Usborne is a brother-in-law of mine, who passed over in 1890.

Mind-reading will not account for it, for it never entered my head that this spirit would be hunting


up my acquaintances to bring them to a séance. The two men did not know one another in earth life; moreover, the psychic was entirely ignorant of my relatives, and the last thing she would guess at would be that my second Christian name—which she had seen in January—would be the surname of a near relative.) I then went on

Q. "You did not think much of this subject when in earth life?" A: "No! and I could not understand how you could take it up."

Q: "What are you doing?" ` A: "I am helping poor ignorant people to understand conditions when they come to this side."

As he went away I said," Good-bye, Scott Willcox." He returned, "My name is Willcox." "I said so." "Oh! I thought you said ‘Scott McDonell.’" "No." "Oh, I made a mistake. Good-bye." Dr. Sharp, who generally winds up a séance, so to speak, now gave a little address in a loud voice, not always, I think, through the trumpet. Among other statements was this: "My dear brother Moore, we have everything here — the most beautiful flowers and music; and I would specially mention—we have the animal kingdom." In answer to my questions, he declared that marriage was a "spiritual act," and that the spirit was generated at its consummation. It had no previous existence. The stars (planets?) influence the destiny of the spirit.

February 4,1909. 9:50 to 10:30am. Atmospheric conditions very good.

(87) First there were some etherealisations, the stuff which formed them apparently issuing from me, above my head. Several times the psychic said, "I see so and so over your head "; this preceded the appearance of an etherealisation in front of me. My father and mother came singly and together, but not distinctly. A sergeant in the army tried to manifest three times. He said I was a friend of his Colonel, but was unable to give the name; the Colonel had passed over, but he (the speaker) passed out first.

A minister in black coat and tie etherealised and gave his name as Stead. I presume it was Mr. W. T. Stead’s father, who made himself known at" Rochester.

Then phantoms came and went for about half-an-hour, perhaps a little more; then speaking through the trumpet began. I requested Mrs. W. to speak sometimes while the spirits were talking (in order to prove that the voice in the trumpet was not hers). This she did, not only on this occasion but others, and I was satisfied. The name of "Catherine" was given by the medium as a person who was present, but she did not manifest; this is the name of a sister of mine who died in early childhood. "Josephine" again made herself known; then a man called A. B., who told me he had arrived first in the third sphere, but his friends helped him to reach the sixth. He did not appear to be in any "realm." About the question as to whether people in different spheres could live together he was rather confused. I referred what he said afterwards to Iola, who laughed in the trumpet and said, "What does he know of the higher vibrations?"

Then came Iola and my brother-in-law together. The former spoke through the trumpet at the same time as the latter was saying into my right ear, "William, how are you, old chap?" My answer was:

"I cannot talk to two people at once." "All right," he said, "I only wanted to show this as a test"; and for a time I was able to devote my attention wholly to the trumpet. Iola again told me accurately of what I had been occupied about on the previous evening. Among other details she said she had seen me writing my notes, and was pleased to see how well I had understood what she had said "here" (meaning at Mrs. Wriedt’s). She and Mrs. Wriedt had a conversation, and four times she called the psychic by name in very distinct enunciation.

My brother-in-law also conversed with the psychic about the colours of dresses in the realms. "What colour does Miss Iola wear in her position?" "Pale lavender," was his reply. "What is your colour, Mr. Henry?" Answer: "Light red."

(The last picture painted in the presence of the Bangs at my first visit to Chicago was one of Iola dressed in a frock of pale lavender. I had this picture at my hotel in Detroit, but, of course, the psychic had never seen it, and nobody except the Bangs and myself had any interest in it at all. I considered this reply by the spirit remarkable and convincing.)

I questioned Iola about the pictures precipitated in the presence of the Bangs Sisters.


Q: "Were you present while your portrait was precipitated?" A: "I was there all the time, and the artists were doing the picture from me. There are three artists, one for drawing, one for colors, and one for magnetism."

Q: "Did you mark the profile portrait which has gone home?" A: "Yes. I inscribed it to G."

(This picture had no inscription that I could see when I left it at Chicago with the Bangs Sisters. When I arrived home I found the above statement to be correct.)

Iola also said: "What made the picture a success was your being present. Had you laid your gold watch upon the table, I could have extracted the essence and put a gold pin in my hair or dress. If you had taken roses with you to the séance  room, I could have put in roses. Spirits love the flowers."

February 6,1909. Atmospheric conditions good.

(88) Before any speaking in the trumpet began, the psychic saw the names of ‘‘Andrew,’’ ‘George, Catherine," and "Millais " (or "Millay").

The first name given through the trumpet was "Catherine." As I have before explained, I supposed this was a sister of mine who died in early childhood. She made this fact quite clear on the present occasion, and said that she had grown up in spirit life.

The second spirit to speak was a man called Calver, who identified himself well. In earth life he was a captain in the Navy. He gave correctly the town where he was living when he died, and said very distinctly: "We were both in the surveying service of the Military." If "Navy" be substituted for "Military," his statement is accurate, and I looked upon this as a good test. Before Calver spoke the psychic said, "I see a man with a reddish head." While I was talking to the spirit he said: "Yes, Redhill was where I lived, not Redhead." (He lived, after his retirement, at Redhill, near Reigate, in Surrey. What association there was in the medium’s mind between Redhill and a reddish head I do not know; but I suggest that she caught a word clairaudiently which led to the mistake.)

The next spirit who spoke to me was a man who had died at Southsea two years before, called Andrew Balfour, a retired captain in the Navy. He had been my first lieutenant twenty years before, when I commanded a ship in China, and we saw a great deal of one another for the four years preceding his death, when I practically managed his financial affairs, as he was physically unable to move about. He reminded me of a trifling incident that occurred in Chicago in January, which showed that he was acquainted with my doings in that city, and announced jocularly: "I must apologise for coming without an invitation. Ha! ha! ha!" This remark indicated that he was aware of what had taken place when Scott Willcox introduced himself on February 3.

Iola and my brother-in-law now came together, and both spoke through the trumpet. This was probably done for a test, but it was confusing; I asked the latter to quit, which he did, and I had a chat with Iola alone about matters of no interest to the reader. Such as it was, it assisted to complete the identity of the spirit.

In the course of this séance  a lady announced herself who had passed over twenty years. She said she was happy, and I thought it no harm to allude to a subject of some delicacy which had much troubled her in her last hours, and which hastened, if it did not actually cause, her death. I said, "Do you ever think now of James Montgomery?" The answer was, "Not now, but I do wish I had never met him"; then came a long, deep-drawn sigh in the trumpet, which made me feel very sorry I had touched the sore place in her memory.

Dr. Sharp now announced himself. He referred to my scepticism about my deceased acquaintance A. R., and said: "He has worked hard and made remarkable progress since he came over. He is in the sixth sphere, but in no realm at all. He told you the sixth, and he was right. There is a very wide difference between sixth sphere no realm and sixth sphere seventh realm [this in allusion to my expressed doubt that he could have reached a position equal to that of Iola]. We do not talk about ‘realms’ until getting to the sixth sphere. There are thirteen realms in the sixth sphere. Spheres are, as it were, conditions of place; realms are conditions of spiritual advancement."


While Sharp was talking, Henry (my brother-in-law) was speaking to me, first on my left side, then on my right side; and sometimes I could hear him talking to Sharp.

This was my last interview, on this visit, with my friends through the mediumship of Mrs. Wriedt. She was sitting about two feet on my right. At the end of the séance she put both of her hands into my right hand; and while I was talking to her I was struck on the head, left arm, and left breast by the trumpet, which was then thrown into the corner of the room behind her, where it fell to pieces. I have, in these pages, related all that it is possible publicly to record about my interviews with my relatives and friends through Mrs. Wriedt. The psychic was never in trance, and I cannot recall one single circumstance which led me to form any suspicion as to her integrity, though I was on the alert throughout. In that quiet room at Detroit I have heard, through the trumpet, the sounds of expression of nearly every human emotion except anger. Laughter, sighs, and utterances of disappointment were common. I have heard three voices talking at once, one in each ear and one through the trumpet; sometimes two in the trumpet. Dr. Sharp, being the most efficient speaker, would occasionally give a message for one of my visitors; and, if it were not accurately rendered, I could hear him being corrected: "No, no! I did not say that! I said ……" Then Sharp would correct himself to me, and say: "I made a mistake; what he wanted me to tell you was so-and-so." The regrets of the spirits at not being able to make themselves heard or understood were pathetic: "Oh, dear! why cannot I make him hear?" or, "No, no; I did not mean that! "—these and similar exclamations were common. Taking it altogether, I have never been present at such realistic séances; in fact, I often forgot that I was conversing with those whom we ignorantly speak of as "the dead."

Mr. A. W. KAISER. There is another trumpet medium (besides Mrs. Wriedt), who has been five years in Detroit—A. W. Kaiser, then living at 125 Alfred Street. He was thirty-three years of age. No etherealisations occur in his presence but the direct voice is nearly as good as at Mrs. Wriedt’s. I propose now to relate all I have in my notes respecting phenomena that occurred when I sat with him in 1909. He received his clients in a bedroom, and sat in the dark some three feet from them; the trumpet is generally standing on the floor between, or a little on one side of a line joining the two people. Five minutes or so are occupied, on sitting down, with music evolved out of an ordinary musical-box. January 9, 4 to 4:50pm. Atmospheric conditions not good; snowing.

The first spirit to come was my brother-in-law, who called himself " Harry," as he did occasionally at Mrs. Wriedt’s. He said, "Iola is here with me." Then came a Dr. Kurgan. He said he did not know me, but knew Mr. Hodges. He had lived in Detroit, and passed out not long ago in California; it was his wish that I should tell Mr. Hodges.

(I told Mr. Hodges, and he said the story was true. There would not be much in this if it were not that I had satisfied myself that the voice was not the voice of the psychic.)

Next came Iola, but she gave very little information; and then my mother, who stopped only to say a few words. After her departure a spirit called "Tim," one of the habitués of Jonson’s cabinet, announced himself, and spoke for a few seconds. He said he had seen me at a dark séance  at Jonson ‘s. (This is correct; it was on January 4)

Q: "Who was that tall woman at Jonson’s whom we called ‘Cleopatra’?"

A: "A great spirit from a high sphere."

Tim was followed by Dr. Jenkins, the psychic’s control. He has a strong, clear voice, not resembling that of Mr. Kaiser. I had a little talk with him

Q: "Please tell me, Dr. Jenkins, what it means when I am told that a spirit is in the sixth sphere and the seventh realm."

A: "The spheres are divided up into realms, seven in number."

Q: "Cases are numerous of a man and his wife being in very different conditions of spiritual development here on the earth-plane, though much attached to each other. If they are in different spheres, or realms, in spirit life, would they be able to live together?"

A:" Certainly. This will make no difference to their sharing a home."


Q: "Take the case of a man who has married twice."

A: "One wife will be attracted to the man more than the other."

Q: "What about the other one?"

A: "She will find happiness in another."

Q: "Why should not the three live together?"

A: "Two form the union."

Q: "Have you houses on your side?

A: "Yes. They are formed by thought, and are of different degrees of beauty, according to the development of the spirits who inhabit them. We have beautiful flowers and forests. Everything is far more beautiful than in your world. Good-bye. We have done all we can for you.

January 11,1909, 9:00 to 9:30am. Music for five minutes. Then Josephine spoke through the trumpet. She promised to help Iola to manifest at the Jonsons’. I questioned her as to her nationality; she said she was not an American, but had lived in the States some time before she passed over.

Iola now spoke, but, in our conversation, there was nothing of public interest. I asked her how many were then living in my home; and she said, "Three, I think." (This was correct.) Dr. Jenkins came last, as is usual with him. He explained, in answer to my queries, that beings live together in the spirit world in the same way as they do on the earth-plane, enjoying harmony and peace. Two people may be in different spheres, and yet live together. The reception rooms, and all large halls, are round; the materials of the buildings are formed by concentration of the vibrations.

Q: "Have you counterparts of everything in this world?"

A: "Yes; we have beautiful forests, and streams, and music such as is not understood at all on earth. Animals? Yes; but when they leave the body they cease to be savage and cruel. Our forests are full of animals. No spirit dies."

February 2,1909. Atmospheric conditions very good; freezing. (89) The evidential feature in this séance was the coming of Thomson Jay Hudson. I was not thinking about him particularly at the moment, and the announcement of his presence gave me great surprise. I thanked him for taking the message for Mrs. Georgia from Chicago in January, and we talked about the Bangs Sisters’ pictures, and our future meetings at Rochester. He spoke clearly, and remained about ten minutes. Apropos of the names given in Mrs. Georgia’s script, and to enable me to find out something about him in Detroit, I asked him if he had a sister in spirit life called " Hester" and a brother called "William." He replied, "Yes." "How could I find out in a normal manner? Would Mr. Hodges know?" He replied, " He most certainly would." (I found, however, that Mr. Hodges knew nothing of Dr. Hudson’s relatives, and very little of Hudson himself. It must be remembered that Hudson, though he lived and died in Detroit, held an antagonistic view to that of spiritualists.)

During this conversation I found that Hudson emphatically agreed with me that it was pure folly to endeavour to make converts to spiritism. The proper course was to let others know of what you had seen and heard in the course of your investigations, and there leave it.

The other visitors were my guide (Iola), my brother-in-law, my mother, and Dr. Jenkins, the controlling spirit. I asked my brother-in-law if, when he was talking to me about our relatives, it necessarily followed that our conversation was understood by other spirits around him. He replied: "No! It is possible to isolate ourselves."

Towards the end of the séance  I suggested to the psychic that it would be satisfactory if I could hear him speak at the same time as Jenkins; also that I should like the latter to speak from a position on the other side of me to that from which he spoke first. Both these requests were complied with.

It is the duty of every investigator to consider carefully, after every seance he attends, all possibilities of fraud. I can truthfully say this has been my universal practice. In considering the above record, imperfect as it is for some obvious reasons, I naturally took the chief feature, the


most apparently convincing fact of the interview—the manifestation of Thomson Jay Hudson. I had not mentioned his name to either Mrs. Wriedt or Mr. Kaiser, though I knew he was attending me, because of his promise made at Rochester and his success in carrying a message from Chicago to Mrs. Georgia. Normally, it was impossible for the psychics to know of this contract. He was not once in evidence at the house of Mrs. Wriedt, who lived in the same city with him for years; yet he manifests in the house of a young man who did not come to the city until three years after his death. As will be seen presently, he made his personality quite well known, and eventually proved at Rochester that we had talked together at Detroit.

During this séance  Jenkins said: "The more you study this subject [spiritism] in the earth life, the more ready are you to progress when you pass over —to advance in spiritual life."

February 3,1909. 10 to 11am. Atmospheric conditions very good. (90) Music for a few minutes, and then we waited a short time. It was quite fifteen minutes before I heard the trumpet moved, and then my guide spoke. She was followed by my father. These communications were not evidential. Dr. Hudson followed; he promised to try and carry my message the following day to Mrs. Georgia at Rochester. He said her play would be a great success, and will be much appreciated by the public. (Events proved that this was only partially true. In the following month a well-known manager in New York bought her play—her first; but, so far, I have not heard of it being put on the stage.) I inquired how it came about that Iola, who had been in spirit life over thirty-four years, was not able to identify herself so well as he, who had only passed over about six years.

A: "Because I studied this subject on earth, and when I left it I took great pains to find out more about it."

Q: "Is it correct that you have, in spirit life, a sister called Hester and a brother called William?"

A: "Yes."

Q: "Can you name anybody except Mr. Hodges who can confirm that at Detroit?"

A: "I cannot recall just at present."

Then came Dr. Jenkins, who spoke for some time. Among other things I asked him

Q: "How is it that my guide cannot answer anything important about her identity?" (meaning at Kaiser’s séance s). "When an important word comes, her voice, hitherto clear, goes off into an indistinct sound."

A: "You are very anxious to hear and she to give the word. This causes you both to become ‘positive,’ and the vibration is upset. Your relative is, as it were, looking through a cloud, and can only see indistinctly."

February 4,1910. 12 noon to 1pm. Atmospheric conditions very good. In company with Mr. Hodges.

(91) Voices, alleged to come from the following spirits, spoke with us: Mr. Hodges’s father, Iola, "Clytina, Sir Isaac Newton, Dr. Richard Hodgson, and Dr. Jenkins. In the case of Mr. Hodges’s father there was nothing evidential; Iola did not add much to what she had said before, nor did "Clytina." The latter said, "Alvidas is here." As a test, this was not of great value, as the medium was well aware of Mr. Hodges’s four years’ sittings with Mr. Cole, during which Alvidas was the chief communicator, and surrounding entities (Diakka—idle and frivolous spirits) would probably make use of this knowledge. The important features in the sitting were the visits of spirits purporting to be Sir Isaac Newton and Dr. Richard Hodgson. The former assumed an old, feeble voice. He said to me: "Sir Isaac Newton; I am pleased to be able to come. Since I passed over I have been studying the laws of gravitation, light, and colours; and I desire to impart this knowledge to the world I have left. It could be done if the proper circle could be arranged and conditions were good, in the same way as was done when the spirit who has just been here [Clytina] communicated her messages to your friend. The forces are becoming used up, and I cannot stop long now. Goodbye."

Q: "One moment, Sir Isaac. Can you tell me, in a few words, what is gravitation?" A: "Gravitation is a force generated by the rotation of the globes through ether."


Q: "May I take it that it would be covered by the term ‘ electromotive force,’ and that the ether is, so to speak, the armature?"

A: "That would cover the matter very nearly. Good-bye."

(I cannot, of course, assert that my visitor was Sir Isaac Newton; in fact, it appears, on the face of it, extremely improbable; but I can that the psychic was incapable of inventing this novel theory of gravitation. I had heard of it from one man in England, who is now working upon this hypothesis. As far as I know, no American has initiated any theory of the kind, and only one man in this country. This man is sanguine of success, but, as yet, has not published a single line regarding the matter; with the exception of his immediate family, I question if there are ten people who are aware of the nature of his studies. Personally, I do not see how he can be correct, for scientists have informed us over and over again that the ether of space is frictionless. If it were not so, it would appear certain that the globes would soon cease to rotate.)

It was, no doubt, to the presence of Mr. Hodges that the visit of the spirit purporting to be Sir Isaac Newton was due. He has been engaged for years attempting to wrest the secrets of nature from the Greeks of past ages, through the mediumship of Mr. Cole.

After Sir Isaac left, a voice came through the trumpet, "Doctor Richard Hodgson." I said: "I am delighted to see you; I have often wished to do so."

A: "Yes, I have tried to impress you on three occasions.

Q: "Please try and tell me something that I do not know, but which Hyslop or some other friend knows.
A: "Not long before my death I had a conversation with Hyslop, when I told him I thought I should be the next of our Society to leave this sphere." (There were a few other questions and answers, but they were not of public interest. Dr. Hyslop tells me that he does not remember the above statement of Dr. Hodgson in the form in which it is put; but of course they had many conversations when the future life and change to another state of consciousness were the theme of discussion.)

Dr. Jenkins, the medium’s control, said that Dr. Hudson was away trying to impress a "light" (medium) in another place, to whom I had sent a message. A few hours before I had concentrated on a message to Mrs. Georgia which I hoped that Hudson would carry. He also said: "He [Hudson] is preparing some good tests for the time when you sit again at Rochester."

Mrs. Georgia and I had agreed upon a date and time for the above message. It was sent from Mrs. Wriedt’s house at the time arranged (allowing for difference of longitude). Mrs. Georgia was entirely ignorant of the nature of the message, and of the city I should be in at the preconcerted date. The message was not carried as I had written it, but there is a knowledge shown in Mrs. Georgia’s script of my doings, and general evidence that Hudson was with me. (See Chapter V.) On this evening (February 4, 1909), at 5:15, Mrs. Wriedt came to my hotel, at my invitation, to see the picture of Iola in the "pale lavender dress." She told me that she had asked her control, Dr. Sharp, why he was not present at the morning’s séance. He replied that he had been occupied in helping Mr. Moore’s friends to go to him at twelve o’clock. She wanted to know what this answer meant. I told her that at the time mentioned I was with Kaiser. I found that the two psychics do not know one another; they live over two miles apart, and may have met in the same room, but are not on those terms which would lead to interchange of experiences with clients. I need hardly say that I did not supply either of them with the dates and times of my visiting the other.

February 5,1909. 9:50 to 10:45am. Atmospheric conditions not very good; a thaw; clear overhead.

My visitors on this day were my brother-in-law, Iola, Dr. Hudson, Dr. Hodgson, and Dr. Jenkins. (92) Iola told me she had seen me the previous night "reading the message." (It is a fact that I had taken up the message which I had tried to send in the morning, and read it carefully over in my room at the hotel; this was by way of emphasising the impression on Mrs. Georgia.) Hudson was strong. He said he had carried the message, but thought the "light" had not taken it all in. He knew he had impressed her, but thought she only got part of it; then he went on to say: "I have been trying to render the conditions good for you."


Q: "I want to find out by normal means who Hester Hudson is, and who William Hudson."

A: "That is what I mean. It is some time since I was known here, and I have failed to impress anyone."

Q: "Well! I have it from you that Hester was your sister and William your brother?"

A: "Yes." Hodgson came fairly strong.

Q: "Can you give me a test of your identity?"

A: "Yes; when we met at Boston, at Mrs. Piper’s, I said in her presence that when I came over this side, if allowed to communicate, I would try and improve the conditions for her."

Q: "I did not sit with you and Mrs. Piper."

A: "No, no. I said that in Mrs. Piper’s presence."

(As a matter of fact, I never sat with Mrs. Piper; but I think this statement, made on February 5, 1909, has something in it, for this reason. In page 2 of Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, June, 1909, I find that Professor William James writes: "Hodgson had often during his lifetime laughingly said that, if he ever passed over and Mrs. Piper was still officiating here below, he would control her better than she had ever yet been controlled in her trances, because he was so thoroughly familiar with the difficulties and conditions on this side.") Dr. Jenkins made himself known last.

Q. : ‘‘ Please explain about realms and spheres.

A: "I will try. We can explain a little to you about the first seven spheres. You could not possibly understand me if I tried to explain anything about vibrations beyond that. The spheres are not separated by strictly defined lines of demarcation. Realms are conditions, and you recognise the realm a person is in by the color he or she wears. Each sphere after the third has certain realms."

Q: "Then, if I am told that a person is in the sixth sphere and seventh realm, and that her dress is the color of pale lavender?"

A: "That is quite correct. The first sphere is one of darkness—not material darkness such as you understand it, but ignorance and absence of desire to rise. When a spirit once forms a desire to rise, it begins its progress towards a higher sphere."

Q: "Do these earthbound spirits in the first sphere impress those on earth for bad?"

A: "They do."

Q: "But I presume that they cannot do much physical harm?"

A: "No."

Q: "Is this on account of their ignorance of the higher vibrations?"

A: "Yes."

Jenkins went on to say: "The thoughts of mortals are very powerful. Supposing you want a certain spirit to come to a séance , or to be with you, all you have to do is to think of them—concentrate on them—a few minutes before."

Q: "The amount of success depends, I suppose, upon the rapport between you. If two people have been much attached to one another, they could establish rapport quicker than strangers?"

A: " Yes."

(Dr. Jenkins, Kaiser told me, was a Doctor of Divinity and Methodist minister... He passed over about 1894. He was well known to Kaiser’s father. He was turned out of the ministry on account of his spiritualistic views.)

This séance ends my experiences, on that visit, with Mr. Kaiser. I have not been able to record everything that passed here. Many minor messages I forgot before I could make notes; it was possible only to put together the salient points in each sitting. It will be observed that there are some contradictions and differences of opinion between Sharp and Jenkins. Private messages from Iola and some others have been omitted.

On January 10, 1909. I went with Mr. Hodges to the house of Mdme. Julienne de Leamont, 922 Cass Avenue, Detroit. The mediumship of this lady is of a peculiar kind. She has six empty globes on a stand, one, in the centre, much larger than the other five. When conditions are


favorable, these six globes become full of light simply through the psychic placing her hands upon them. On this occasion the atmospheric conditions were bad; it was raining hard; nevertheless the large globe was slightly, and one of the small globes almost fully, illuminated. After this manifestation there were whispers through a trumpet. Dr. Kurgan spoke to Mr. Hodges. When they had finished their chat I asked the spirit: "When you spoke to me yesterday, how did you know that I was acquainted with Mr. Hodges?"

A: "Because I saw you talking to him."

Q: "In his office?"

A: "Yes."

The room was dark, and there were six or more sitters. Towards the end of the séance one gentleman, who was known to be a psychic, said to me: "Sir, I see the form of President Lincoln standing behind you, holding an open book in his hand." For the last few days I had been trying to recollect a certain passage in Walt Whitman’s Ode to Lincoln. Not a soul beside myself knew this; I had never set eyes on the speaker before that evening, and then only for five minutes in the light. I could not help attributing this to something more than mere coincidence. Two days later I found the passage I required in the public library of Toledo.





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