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by Vice Admiral W. USBORNE MOORE


Mrs. Wriedt in her prime as a psychic—Nothing happens unless there is somebody with her who can speak and hear—Her daily routine—A public seance—Her personality evinces itself only in one way—Records of my sittings in January and February, 1911—Voices of the so-called "dead" not identified—William James— Richard Burton—The suicide—Voices can be beard in full light— Darkness best—Edna Silvermoon My sister Catherine—Dr. John of Ontario arrives—Voices in English and German heard simultaneously-Galileo-Greek and Latin spoken —Ada Newton—Her message to her father—Dr. Graham of Toronto—His comments on the operation of nephrocolopexy at the hospital—Ada Besinnet sits with Mrs. Wriedt for the first time—Pansy— Iola manifests at every seance —She shows familiarity with my surroundings at Portsmouth—Mr. R., a deaf farmer, sits with me—Two voices again speaking at the same time—No jealousies in Spirit life—Professor E. J. Stone, F.R. S.—My guide knows what I was doing in another city two days before—Dr. Sharp, the control, affirms that he was at Chicago with me—Iola: "I cannot make out why you do not see me "—Grayfeather pays me a visit at Detroit—His warning about Jonson—Testing Iola as to what she could see in my room—Mrs. Wriedt at New York—The Medium, Mr. A. W. Kaiser—Has developed considerably since 1909—Dr. Jenkins, his chief control—Catherine and others helping to prepare conditions for final experiments with Jonson—Sir Isaac Newton— Personating spirits—Gravitation and anti-gravitation—High Spirits impress mortals—Lombroso- Experiment with Dr. Jenkins—Anti-gravitation and the musical note—Good-bye from Jenkins— Epilogue.

IN the beautiful city of Detroit, in the State of Michigan, there are nearly half a million inhabitants. Over one third of these are intelligent Roman Catholics, conscientiously opposed to the display of psychic phenomena. In a pretty villa, built to her own design, three miles from the City Hall, lives, unmolested, Mrs. Wriedt, a so-called "trumpet medium," whose mysterious power I have described in Chapter VIII. of this volume. She has done more good, probably, than any medium in the world, in being the passive means of affording consolation to the bereaved, and in bringing hundreds to the certain knowledge of the proximity of the spirits of their relatives who have passed the change we call "death." For my part I can only say that, in her presence, I obtained evidence of the next state of consciousness so clear and so pronounced that the slightest doubt was no longer possible. I left her house in February, 1911, in the condition of mind of a man who no longer fosters "belief," but who knows what is his destiny when the tomb closes over him and his spirit leaves the earth plane.

Mrs. Wriedt is forty-nine years of age, a slightly built, delicate woman, much subject to bronchitis and nenritis. Last year (1910) she had what she was told by the physicians was neuritis at the base of the brain, and would have died had it not been for the benevolence of Mr. C. A. Newcomb, an investigator into psychic matters, who summoned a celebrated specialist and saved her life. Since her recovery her power has been more remarkable than before her illness; I was fortunate enough to sit with her, on this, my third, visit to the States, when she was in her prime as a psychic.

When she heard I was in the neighborhood she wrote to me asking me to become her guest. I accepted this kind invitation, and spent twenty days in her house, where I occupied a room near the séance-room. Incidentally I may mention that I was more comfortable in this house than I was in 1909, when I put up at the two best hotels in the city.

She keeps no servant; assisted by her husband, she does all the work of the house during intervals between her séances. In my opinion this is beneficial to her, for it completely diverts her attention from psychic matters: probably her life is wisely guided by her control, Dr. Sharp, and other good spirits. She cannot see one half the people who apply for sittings, but she does her best to give satisfaction to all; the poor are often admitted for nothing. Her usual fee for each sitter is one


dollar; but, once a week, she gives a public séance, when nobody is expected to pay more than half-a-dollar. It is on these occasions that the poor are often invited to join the circle without paying any fee.

Mrs. Wriedt cannot obtain phenomena when sitting by herself. About twelve years ago she was asked, as an experiment, to sit with seven deaf mutes from Flint, Michigan. No one in the room could utter an articulate word except herself. Two of the sitters were frightened because they were touched by the trumpet; no other results were obtained. Of course, it was not to be expected that the sitters would hear anything; but the point of the story is, that the psychic did not hear a word herself. If there is but one child in the room, who can prattle and hear normally, manifestations take place.

My experiences with this wonderful medium in 1909 were insignificant compared with those on this, my third, visit to America. All my relatives that I wished to hear from spoke to me at some time or the other, touching upon all sorts of subjects of family interest. Iola talked daily at considerable length, often standing before me, a radiant figure in white garments but features invisible, clearly enunciating her sentences in pure English. As I have said in a previous chapter, Mrs. Wriedt speaks Yankee; English was not spoken by any spirit friends of American sitters. Most of my sittings were with the psychic alone, when Iola would manifest and explain matters which happened as much as fifty years ago.

When I was a boy, a family tangle took place which puzzled me very much. Up to this time (1911) I had not even suspected the real truth. My guide, in the course of four or five interviews, solved the enigma, and brought three witnesses from spirit life who spoke at some length to prove that she was right. Dates were given and motives explained. I possessed just sufficient knowledge of what had taken place at that time to be able to assure myself—now that light was thrown upon certain incidents—that all they said was true. No one living knows anything about it except myself; but I am certain that the explanation, given with great earnestness and wealth of detail, by these visitants from the next state of consciousness, is the correct one.

If I had no other experience to record in support of the doctrines of spiritism, this story, told in clear accents and exhibiting intimate knowledge of terrene life, with all its mistakes and failures, would have been sufficient to settle my belief for ever. It might form the subject-matter of a novel with a good moral.

Before giving an account of my sittings with Mrs. Wriedt, I will endeavour to describe the routine of an average day in her house.

At 6am., she and her husband rise, see to the work of the house and prepare breakfast. Breakfast about 8 or 8:30. Mrs. Wriedt clears away the table and proceeds to do the rooms. A telephone bell rings. Perhaps Mr. Wriedt is able to answer it; more likely he has gone out to do the shopping. "Is that Mrs. Wriedt?" "Yes." "Can you give me a sitting?" "I am sorry to say I am not able to see anyone for ten days." "Can you not see me for half-an-hour?" "No, madam." "What do you charge for a sitting?" "One dollar." "Waal, I guess a really good sitting is worth one dollar!" Then Mrs. Wriedt goes upstairs to her rooms. Knock at the front door. "Can I see Mrs. Wriedt?" "No, sir; I am Mrs. Wriedt, and I am full of engagements for ten days." After some attempt at persuasion this visitor departs. The rooms being finished, say by 10.30, Mrs. Wriedt assures herself that her husband is in the house, and then comes to me: "Admiral, I think now we can have a sitting, and we will have another, if you wish, this evening." We sit, say for forty-five minutes. Then Mrs. Wriedt prepares the dinner, lays the table and answers, perhaps, two or three telephone calls; sometimes these calls are requests for sittings, but not infrequently chats with friends who are in trouble, and sure of the immediate sympathy of the psychic. Dinner at twelve or soon after. At halfpast one, after the table is cleared, Mrs. Wriedt attires herself for the afternoon. At a quarter to two or two o’clock a party is let in for a séance , promised days before, and remains an hour or an hour and a half. During this time two or three people are admitted into the drawing-room by Mr. Wriedt to wait their turn. Telephone calls answered by Mr. Wriedt at the rate of about one every hour. The first sitters having departed, the second group are taken upstairs (no interval between), and another séance  takes place. Mr. Wriedt comes to have a chat, and we both hear distinctly the loud voice of "Dr. Sharp," the control (forty feet off), through the locked door of the séance room. Possibly Mrs. Wriedt is then able to give me a half-hour conversation with my friends in the next


state ; then she goes down and prepares the tea, her husband having reported to her the telephone calls that came through during the afternoon. Tea takes place about six or a quarter past six. At eight o’clock there is always a séance, arranged for long beforehand, which generally lasts two hours. And so the day’s work ends, and the psychic gets to bed about eleven o’clock. One night I sat in a public circle, when there were twelve persons present besides the psychic and myself. Two young people, brother and sister, sat on my left; they had been invited by Mrs. Wriedt, as they were too poor to give the ordinary fee. "Black Hawk," an Indian spirit, gave a warwhoop when phenomena were going very slowly, which frightened one lady so much that the door had to be opened and water sent for to restore her. Another lady, on hearing the prattling voice of her little child, not long since dead, fell back in her chair, weeping for joy. Her neighbor tried to pull her round by saying: "Try and compose yourself madam, or you will destroy conditions for other sitters." The sobbing then ceased. As the sitters filed out of the room, some of them paid the psychic, who never asks for her fee; the bereaved mother did not give anything. I took the liberty of asking Mrs. Wriedt how much she had received that evening. She told me three and a half dollars. Three people had slunk out of the room without giving a cent; yet all had some friend from the "other side" who came to talk to them, and the séance  lasted two hours.

The failures to obtain phenomena when Mrs. Wriedt is present are about five per cent. If she does too much during the day, "Dr. Sharp," her control, does not speak in the evening, and no spirits manifest. Her average takings during a year when she is not ill are seven dollars a day. She has, however, some kind wealthy friends who would never allow her to be in want, so richly do they value the blessings she showers around her.

I generally sat alone with Mrs. Wriedt; the strain was great. My physical system was much drawn upon, and I became ill. This was the inevitable payment for extraordinary phenomena. "Dr. Sharp" would not allow his medium to be depleted, and I, being the only sitter, had to suffer; I did not recover my full, normal health till six weeks after I had landed in England.

The usual order of proceedings was as follows: I brought bunches of narcissi or some other flowers into the room, and placed them on a small table. Having ascertained that I could hear the voices in broad light through the trumpet (though with difficulty), we decided to sit in the dark—Mrs. Wriedt on a chair opposite me, and about four feet distant, the table with flowers on my left (generally), and opposite to it a vacant chair, completing a sort of circle, in the centre of which was placed a telescopic trumpet. After a few minutes phantoms could be seen about, near us; they appeared first close to the flowers, and returned to them from time to time for strength. I did not once identify a face, though others did; but I knew who was before me by the height, build, and speech of the spirit, for they often spoke with the trumpet while standing.

Mrs. Wriedt will sit anywhere her sitters wish, but the above plan was found to answer best. "Dr. Sharp," the control, who spoke sometimes through the trumpet and sometimes without, usually manifests early in the séance  in a loud, clear voice; and he often comes back at the end of the séance  to say "Good-bye," or to explain some doubt which has arisen from the ambiguous utterances of one of the spirits.

After the phantom phase is over, and "Dr. Sharp" has finished talking, whispers are heard through the trumpet, and conversation takes place. When I sat alone this used to go on from forty to fifty minutes. The "Good-bye" of "Dr. Sharp" was the signal for opening the door; if he did not return, we waited five minutes after the last communication, then asked to be told by raps if the séance  was over. In the case of no reply we assumed it was no use waiting longer. My notes were made, immediately, in the back drawing-room. I only once attended a public séance , but I often used to sit in my room in the evening, reading and writing, while large séance s were going on between 8 and 10pm., and heard distinctly the voices, not only of "Dr. Sharp," but of other spirits. Curiously enough, no phantoms ever appeared to me in my room, and even my guide was only able to make herself known by knocks.

In the description of some of the séance s now to be related, names of eminence will appear from time to time. Every investigator knows how we are baffled in psychic work by spirits who personate; and I am not prepared to assert that those who came were the distinguished men


they purported to be. I prefer to keep an open mind on the subject. I may say, however, that, considering the small number of investigators about, and the anxiety on the part of the inhabitants of the spirit world to make their existence known to the people on the earth plane, I do not see any inherent improbability of even Galileo coming to the séance-room of Mrs. Wriedt to make himself known.

Mrs. Wriedt is never in trance. She joins in the conversation with the spirits, and often gives the name and description of a spirit coming before that spirit makes itself known. Her personality evinces itself only in one way: the expressions used by the spirits. My friends spoke pure English, but occasionally their sentences were framed in a way they never used in life. For instance, my guide would reply to a question, "How is so-and-so?" by saying, "Oh! he is getting along all right!" During her life on the earth plane I do not suppose that "Iola" ever made use of such an expression. My mother has been heard to say, "So-and-so is lonesome "—a word which certainly was not in her vocabulary when in this life.

I have already reported that I was never able to identify my visitors by their voices; it is like hearing a message through a long-distance telephone.

January 1,1911. Arrived at Detroit, and took up my quarters with the Wriedt’s. There was a séance at 9pm. Sitters, Mr. and Mrs. Newton, Mr. H. C. Hodges, and myself. Atmospheric conditions bad.

Their two children in spirit life came to Mr. and Mrs. Newton, Mr. Hodges was visited by three spirits who talked in unmistakable Yankee, and I by "Iola," her brother, and the brother of a relative by marriage, who all spoke pure English. "Iola" referred to the séance  of the previous evening with Miss Ada Besinnet.

Monday, January 2,1911. Time, 10:50 to 11:50am. First came "Dr. Sharp," loud and distinct. He cleared up the identity of one of my visitors the previous night. Then came Sir W. W., who brought Mr. W. E. Gladstone. There were many large, round, illuminated discs and some fullform phantoms. Throughout, I could never identify any spirit by its face, but I could see that there were features. I very nearly recognised the complete face of Mr. Gladstone; his was a tall form, and remained some two minutes. After he had disappeared, he spoke through the trumpet. I need not say how surprised I was at this apparition and voice. I had never spoken to Mr. Gladstone during his earth-life, and saw no reason for his coming to me, except, perhaps, the fact that one of his distant relatives is a friend of mine, and an ardent inquirer into psychic phenomena; also that I always admired him as a man and a great statesman, and had often thought of him during the recent political struggle. He stopped about twenty minutes, and talked about the present position of affairs, about Queen Victoria, King Edward, and our Sovereign King George. He said: "In my time we used to flatter ourselves that no one could follow us, but we were mistaken. What do you think of the present Cabinet?" I replied: "In my opinion, sir, it is the most brilliant Cabinet that has ever ruled Great Britain; but I wish the Chancellor of the Exchequer would express himself with more moderation, as it would give him more influence." He said: "I do not agree; he must speak out very straight at this juncture. His speech on the Catholic danger was admirable; there must be no religious predominance. We must have Home Rule." He spoke in the highest terms of the present Government, and sent messages to Mr. W. T. Stead.

(Note.—Mrs. Wriedt and her husband know nothing of English politics. Mrs. Wriedt had heard a good deal of Mr. Stead.)

The medium then said: "I hear the name F—. Someone connected with F is coming." I replied (recognising the name as that of a near relative): "Is it the elder or the younger of the two daughters in spirit life?" A voice: Good morning, Uncle; I am E__" (surname blurred).

Q: "Are you E__ S__"

A: "Yes…

Q: "Are you happy?" A: "Very much happier than on earth."


Q: "Do you often see Iola?"

A: "Auntie? Oh, yes"

There was a talk about her sister in spirit life, and my niece left. (Note the evidence of identity in this case: the acknowledgement by E__ S__ that she was a daughter of F__, a niece of mine and a niece of Iola—all correct.)

Then came a man who could not give me his name, but said he had known me in some foreign place, where I dined with him; we had smoked "in the conservatory." He said: "Before you reached home I had passed out. You were ordered to go to this place. You were my guest. I died suddenly."

Q: "Are you Richard Hodgson?"

A: "No. It was not in America." (I have not yet identified my visitor, but think I know who it was.)

(102) January 2,1911. 7:15 to 8:15pm. With Mrs. Wriedt alone in the dark. After some relatives had come, the psychic heard the names Henry and James (Henry is a brother-in-law of mine). Then a voice came to me through the trumpet, "I am Professor James." We discussed the experiments of Professor Hyslop with Miss Ada Besinnet that were to take place in a few days. After this he said: "Do you think that Stead would like me to attend his circle? I know his son over here." I replied: "Yes; I will ask him." "Thank you. A happy New Year to you."

The psychic said, "I hear the name ‘Alexander.’

I replied, "I know two Alexander’s." A whisper through the tube: "I am Alexander Usborne; M.’s girl Iola brought me here." We had a little chat about his kindness to me as a boy, and he departed with New Year greetings.

Sir Richard Burton then manifested. I said: "You were interested in this subject when in life." Answer: "Yes, I was." Question: "It was a pity that your wife destroyed your manuscript." Answer: "A great pity; but women do queer things at times." Then followed New Year greetings. After a few minutes the psychic said: "There is a man here who has been shot "—(pause)—" he shot himself. He appears to me to have committed suicide." A whisper through the trumpet: "George. I was with you in the Penguin." I at once said: "You are George ; do you not regret your rash act?" Then came this remarkable answer: "No, I do not. I was" (emphatically) "impelled to do it" (a groan). "Admiral, she would not marry me, as I had not enough money; and there was a richer man than I in the background" (a groan).

Question: "What sphere are you in?"

Answer: "The fourth."

Question: "What are your duties?"

Answer: "I help where I can. Admiral, help me with your thoughts. Good-bye."

(This incident took me back twenty years, to a day when an officer under my command shot himself in his cabin. An inquiry was held, and some papers found clearly proving that he had recently received a letter from a girl who had withdrawn her promise to marry him. I do not believe he is in the fourth sphere, or anywhere near it; and, if he maintains his unrepentant attitude, it will be many a long year before he gets there.)

The psychic then said: "I hear the name of C." A voice: "I am Mr. C." Question: "Are you the architect?" Answer: "Yes." Question: "I did not know you in your earth life, but I often hear of Mrs. C." Answer: "Yes, my wife is a wonderful woman—wonderful! but she is now losing her intellect." (The lady in question is nearly one hundred years of age. Mr. C. was brought by Iola, who spoke at the same time as he did, independently of the trumpet.)

The psychic: "I hear the name of ‘Greenleaf.’ I do not know if I have got it quite right." A voice:

"Greenfield. I am Mrs. M." Question: "Which Mrs. M.?—there are two." The spirit indicated her residence, and said: "I have met you." (There are two Mrs. M.’s—sisters; both are alive. I had met this lady twice. "Greenfield" is the name of my son-in-law, who is a connection of Mrs. M., and it was evidently used to attract attention. This seems to be a case of an earth spirit traveling during sleep. The time in England was about 2 a.m., January 3. A talk with Iola about family matters closed the séance .)

Thursday, January 12, 1911. Sitting with Mrs. Wriedt alone, from 2:15 to 8:40pm.


First I tried the trumpet in full light, putting the small end to my left ear and balancing the open end on the back of a chair, Mrs. Wriedt sitting close to me on my right. I heard the voices of "Dr. Sharp" and "Iola" quite satisfactorily. This done, we put the lights out and sat in the dark; nothing occurred for half an hour, after which two phantoms were seen close to me, but the faces were not recognisable.

The voices commenced with that of my guide, with whom I had a conversation of about twenty minutes; then a sister came who had died at two and a half years of age, and grown up in spirit life. Both alluded to a séance  they had attended to meet me at the Jonson’s two nights before. Next came an old clergyman at whose school I attended between the ages of six and ten and a half years. He gave the name of Thompson, and followed this up by "John Thompson." The latter, his son, is alive. " Dr. Sharp " straightened the matter out thus: "The man who came was a Dr. Thompson; he was a minister, a doctor of divinity, or something of that sort. You were at his school with his son John Thompson; in order to attract your attention he called out ‘John Thompson,’ but the latter was not manifesting, it was his father."

(103) January 13, 1911, 2:30 to 4pm. Sitters were my old friends Mr. and Mrs. Z., their two nieces, and myself. This was a marvelous séance. My friends are old residents of Toledo. They had long wished to sit with Mrs. Wriedt, but one thing and another had prevented it, and it was destined for me to bring them together. I had sat with them in some other séance-rooms many times, and knew the names of their relatives in spirit life and their guides. Mrs. Wriedt had never seen them, and knew absolutely nothing about them. The three ladies are mediumistic.

In a few minutes phantoms began to appear. There were several for the Z. party, one of which was a nun, who is the guide of Mrs. Z. She gave her correct name, "Edna," was fully recognised, and talked some time. Standing in front of us, she pronounced a benediction in Latin, and then repeated it in English.

An Indian guide, called " Silvermoon," gave his customary war-whoop in the middle of the séance , then exhibited a large illuminated disc, and, after a short talk, disappeared. Every relation of the Z.’s in spirit life that I ever heard of came and spoke through the trumpet. They correctly mentioned by name several people in earth life, as well as those in spirit life. I was introduced to all.

A spirit, name unknown, joined in a song we were singing at the time. The only phenomena for me were an etherealisation, which bowed at the name of "father," and my sister Catherine, who said: "I am fifty-six years old as counted in earth life." (On my return home I looked in the family Bible, and found that she was born December 7, 1853.) She also said: "Iola is sitting on that chair beside you." There was a vacant chair between the flowers and myself. This display of spirit power was the more remarkable because the atmospheric conditions were not good; it was thawing.

January 14,1911— 4:50 to 5:50pm. Sitting with Mrs. Wriedt alone. I had now tried the voices in the light three times, and the process was so slow that I decided to work always in the dark. In the light I was not able to distinguish clearly any other voices than those of "Dr. Sharp" and "Iola."

Four spirits manifested—a Miss Maria Havergal, a judge (whose name I could not catch, much to his irritation), Catherine, and "Iola." The last-mentioned spoke for half an hour, standing in front of me, the radiant form being visible, but not the features. After the séance  I was impressed with the name of the judge.

Slight thaw, the weather improving. The little household was increased in the night by the arrival of Dr. John, a physician from Ontario.

Sunday, January 15,1911—11:50am Dr. John and I sitting with Mrs. Wriedt. One beautiful phantom appeared, but was not recognised. Then Mr. Gladstone spoke, principally in praise of Mr. Lloyd George and his " speaking out "; he also sent advice to Mr. Stead. We were then interrupted,


and had to open the door; on closing it again no phenomena took place. The séance  only lasted about fifteen minutes.

After dinner a party of ten sat with Mrs. Wriedt from 2pm to 4:15pm. From 4:40 to 5:45 Dr. John and I had a good séance  with her. First came "Dr. Sharp," who explained his absence in the morning by saying that he was, at that time, attending a ceremony of the elevation of Dr. John’s mother to the sixth sphere. It was her earth birthday.

(104) The old lady then came in, voluble, pleased, and very excited, speaking chiefly in German, but sometimes in English. She described to her son what had happened, which relatives were present at the ceremony, and so forth. Let my readers think of some scene they have witnessed when an elderly lady has spent an exciting day, made enjoyable by the love and compliments of her relatives and friends, and wishes to describe it to some near relative who was not able to be present, and they will understand the interview between a mother in spirit life and a devoted son in earth life. It was as natural as possible to me. Sitting there in the dark, I forgot that the loud, clear voice in front of Dr. John was that of one long since dead.

The next visitor was a guide of Dr. John, Dr. L., who spoke for a short time to him, and also to me.

He was followed by a sister of Dr. John, who repeated much of what her mother had said, and held a conversation of quite ten minutes with her brother in German. Her voice was loud through the trumpet. While this was going on, my guide was talking to me in low tones direct, without the assistance of the trumpet. Two spirits were demonstrating at once in different languages!

We now got the judge of the day before, who turned out to be Sir William Dobson, once Chief Justice of Tasmania. He was still nettled at my failure to catch his name on the former occasion. We spoke a short time of mutual friends, and he departed. With him a niece of Dr. John reported herself, speaking in English. Again two conversations were going on at the same time with two different sitters.

Galileo now announced himself plainly, and spoke loudly through the trumpet in English. He said: "I invented the telescope, and was persecuted for my beliefs." He spoke bitterly of his persecution, and declared: "They burnt me at the stake." I said:

"Oh, come, not quite so bad as that." He replied:

"Well, they wanted to." He mentioned Marconi, and said: "He is not making perfect one thing at one time, but is branching off into experiments." (I have no idea to what he was alluding.)

Q: "The fact that the world is round was well known, was it not, to Plato, Pythagoras, and Hypatia?"

A: "Plato knew it, but was afraid to speak out. We do not know Hypatia by that name; we call her " (Name blurred; I could not catch it.)

Q: "I mean Theon’s daughter."

A: "Yes, I know; Theon’s daughter."

Q. (by Dr. John): "How did you get the idea that the earth moved round the sun?" (Galileo then went into a long description of a vision he had in his room, the language he heard during the vision, and a scroll that was exhibited for him to read. In doing this he used both Greek and Latin. I was unable to follow, and I do not think Dr. John was more fortunate, for he spoke quickly and not very concisely.)

Q: "Is Mars inhabited?"

A: "Mars is inhabited, and will some day come into contact with the earth by means of electricity."

Q: "Do the etheric waves in wireless telegraphy pass over or through the earth, mountains, and seas?"

A: "Over. They are met above by a layer of etheric resistance, and deflected down again." (This is the best interpretation I can give of what he said.)

Q: "Is there a planet beyond Neptune?"

A: "No."

Galileo was followed by Iola’s father, with whom I had a talk about family matters, very convincing as to identity, but of no interest to the public.


During this sitting the atmospheric conditions were perfect; the air dry and still; thermometer So to 150; sun out nearly all day.

Monday, January 16,1911. Half-an-hour’s sitting with Mrs. Wriedt alone at 11am. "Dr. Sharp" came, and said he thought we had better put it off, as I was not well enough; but eventually he allowed "Iola" to come in. My guide stood before me in phantasmal form, and gave me much information about past family history. I asked her if she remembered the fun we used to have as children in the holidays at a certain house in London. She replied:

"Oh, yes; but I talked with you about that two years ago." (It is true that Mrs. Georgia’s script of February,1909, contains references to this matter.)

(105) Monday, January 16,1911. Dr. John and I sat with Mrs. Wriedt from 4:50 to 5:50pm. First came a childish voice to me: "I am Ada Newton, and I want you to tell my Poppa that brother has taken from me the ring he gave me, as he wants to give it to Poppa himself." Question: "What is the ring like, dear?" Answer: "It was a little, thin, gold-banded ring." Question: "Was there any mark on it?" Answer: " Yes; inside there was a one and a four and a ‘k.’" Question: "Mrs. Wriedt will tell your mother, dear." Answer: "I want you to tell my Poppa."

Interval of quite fifteen minutes. Then "Dr. Sharp" came. He asked me if I was not feeling bad in the legs. I said "Yes." He said I was often drawn upon, but ought to recover my magnetism ten minutes after leaving the séance-room, adding: "You will be all right if you take that medicine." (Thanks to Dr. John, I had doubled my ordinary gout prescription at 9am) I said : " I believe I have what is called the ‘ healing gift.’" " Not much now," he replied. "Too much of your vitality is gone. Ten or twelve years ago you had that power."

Then came two spirits together—a sister of Dr. John, speaking loudly through the trumpet, and "Iola," in the direct voice. I explained to the latter how I had come to understand some of her conversation in the morning; the voice of Dr. John’s sister effectively prevented anyone hearing my guide’s talk with me, for the two conversations went on simultaneously for ten minutes. Next Dr. Graham, formerly a personal friend of Dr. John, and a famous physician in Toronto; he passed over eleven years ago. He said: "Wasn’t that an excellent operation this afternoon? Did you notice how careful he was not to pull the bowels and kidney too much to the left, so as to avoid straining the connection with the bladder? I have never seen an operation better performed. What skill ! Are you going down tomorrow? You should do so."

(At three o’clock Dr. John had returned from witnessing the important operation of nephrocolopexy at the hospital. He was much interested; the operation had been conducted by the man who invented it, and it was successful. He took the advice of Dr. Graham, and altered his plans, remaining another day, and attending the hospital the next morning.) The séance  closed with a visit from "Iola’s " mother. The atmospheric conditions were perfect.

Mrs. Wriedt and I communicated with Mrs. Newton over the ‘phone about Ada’s message. The real truth was explained to me by Mr. Newton on January 22,1911. On December 29,1910, at one of Jonson’s séance s, Mr. Newton gave his daughter in spirit life a small ring, which she took away with her into the cabinet. Presently she returned, and exhibited the ring on her finger. Mr. Newton gave her instructions to find the original owner of the ring in spirit life and give it to her; it once belonged to a lady very dear to him. He went on to say that he did not know of any mark inside the ring ; but, if there was, he felt pretty sure it had been so much worn that it would not now be visible.

Fate willed it that I should be a witness of the sequel to this touching little incident. By an accident, I was able to attend a séance  at Jonson’s on February 3, in company with the Newtons. Their son materialised, and approached his father, saying, in very low tones: "Grandma Newton sends her love." The father held out his hand; the ring was dropped into it. He immediately handed it to me, and, when I got sufficient light to examine it, I found it exactly as described by Ada, and inside" " Ada came after her brother, but was hardly able to speak.

I was told by those who were present that the materialisation of Ada on December 29 was a most beautiful sight; she had a wreath of flowers on her head, and brought flowers in her hands. On February 3 (when I saw her) she was also very pretty. The point of this story is that the "little thin, gold-banded ring" had been worn all her life by Mr. Newton’s mother. This fact was unknown

to me, to the Jonsons, and to Mrs. Wriedt. I felt gratified at being allowed by the spirit guides of the Newtons to participate in this neat test.

Tuesday, January 17,1911. Sat with Mrs. Wriedt alone at 11am. The only spirit that manifested was "Iola," with whom I had a brief conversation; it was practically a failure. At 4:50 p.m. we tried again. "Dr. Sharp" came, and "Iola." We had a discussion on the impressions that have appeared during the last seven years on some of my old photographs. She declared that the power to do this was derived from one of the members of my household who is a psychic. "Dr. Sharp" advised me not to sit the following day, as I was too weak. By this time I was so depleted that I could barely stand on my legs, and I took his advice.

(106) Sunday, January 22, 1911. 2 to 4pm. With Mrs. Wriedt. The party consisted of Miss Ada Besinnet (the famous young medium of Toledo), Mr. and Mrs. Murray Moore (her adopted parents), two of their Detroit friends, and myself. It is a singular fact that the Moores and their charge had never met Mrs. Wriedt, and it was reserved for me to bring them together. I sat next to Miss Ada. Her control is an Indian called "Black Cloud "—he speaks through her mouth. She was falling into trance by my side when I heard a low voice: "Me no send you to sleep. Me go." The young lady remained awake from this moment to the end of the sitting.

"Dr. Sharp" came twice, and about ten spirits of relatives and friends of the party satisfactorily identified themselves.

My guide came early, and had a talk with Miss Ada; then went to the other end of the circle and identified herself to Mrs. Moore. She and Miss Ada sang together a bar or two of an Indian song. Another spirit sang a few bars of "Home Again" with the young psychic. "Silvermoon" turned up again (he often functions in Miss Ada’s séances), gave his warwhoop, talked a little, showed his illuminated disc, and disappeared.

To me the most interesting feature in this séance  was the demonstration of an Indian girl called "Pansy." "Pansy" had been one of the familiar spirits of Maggie Gaule, and, since that psychic's lamentable death in 1910, was more or less free to move about on her own account. Her present occupation seems to be to follow Professor Hyslop in his investigations, and to make fun of him. After announcing herself, she said she came with Chief Jim (James Hyslop). She went to Mrs. Moore, and said: "I want to tell you something, but you no tell anyone else—a secret between you and me. Now" (turning the voice to us), "you people, put your fingers in your ears while I talk to squaw." (Of course, we did nothing of the sort, but listened attentively.) "Do you know who put ideas into your top-knot to answer Chief Jim?" (A roar of laughter from all.) "I tell secret to squaw" (indignantly). "You people no listen; put your fingers in your ears, I tell you." Then, to Mrs. Moore: "Do you know who put those things into your top-knot to say to Chief Jim? It was Maggie Gaule." She said several other funny things which delighted the whole party. (James Hyslop had just left Toledo, after an exhaustive examination of Miss Ada Besinnet, and had engaged in several discussions with Mrs. Moore, who often combated his arguments.) Atmospheric conditions perfect.

(107) Monday, January 23,1911. With Mrs. Wriedt alone, 7:10 to 8:10pm. After twenty minutes’ waiting, I had a long talk with my guide. She said : " How I wish I could write a little letter to you occasionally, and put it in the care of Miss Searle." (I am sure Miss Searle will forgive me if I say that I could not, for a minute or two, understand what "Iola" meant.) Question: "I do not quite understand." Answer: "Miss Searle—the little postoffice." (The nearest postoffice to my house is a shop kept by a Miss Searle. I consider this as a remarkable test, as it is evidence of my guide’s familiarity with the neighborhood in which I live.)

Again: "How I wish we could take a little walk along the path from Southsea to Portsmouth." (This is also a good test. Once, and once only, I walked with Iola from Southsea to Portsmouth. This was in 1861, and the present fine road was not then made; there was merely a path.)

Dr. Sharp came and straightened out some of the talk, which I did not understand. Atmospheric conditions perfect.


Tuesday, January 24,1911. With Mrs. Wriedt alone, 5 to 5:40pm. Catherine came for a few minutes; then Iola, who sang a few bars of a song. Question: "If I place a line of cards on the bureau in my room, can you take up one of them?" Answer: "I cannot do that, because you are not a materialisation medium." She then gave me a report of my wife’s health, which I found out afterwards was correct:

I then referred to Mrs. Georgia, who was in hospital at Rochester. She said, " She is much better."

Question: "Do you think her power will return?"

Answer: "Oh, certainly, as her physical strength returns."

Question: "Is it worth while my going to Rochester?"

Answer: "I think not. She would not have sufficient power."

Question: "Do you see much of?" (my married daughter).

Answer: "Every day."

Question: "Do you know which of her children was born on your birthday?"

Answer: "The second" (correct).

Question: "What is her name?" A pet name was given, which was correct.

Wednesday, January 25,1911. With Mrs. Wriedt alone from 6:30 to 6:55pm. Atmospheric conditions bad. Weather close and muggy. Thaw.

All I got on this occasion were some fine spirit lights about the size of fifty cent pieces, generally level with, or below, my knees. The medium, however, saw a form and the name of a young woman which she said was "Victoria." This was my third failure with Mrs. Wriedt. (108) Thursday, January 26, 1911. Atmospheric conditions bad. An old farmer, Mr. R., came to visit Mrs. Wriedt, and, I think, with the hope of a sitting; there was also another visitor, whom we got rid of. Finding Mr. II. was very deaf, especially in his left ear, and a very good sitter, I suggested to the psychic that he should join a séance to help me out a little with his magnetism. He was invited, and given the seat of honour next to the flowers, while I sat on his left and the psychic opposite. Time, 2:30 to 3:30pm. Dr. Sharp came for a few minutes, and then sent my guide, who talked for some twenty minutes, standing in front of me—a thin, small phantom. Mr. R.’s son came in and talked to his father independently of the trumpet, at the same time that Iola was talking to me—two voices at one time.

Among other things Iola said, "Your smoking will not prevent my visiting you here or at home." I said: "Are you quite sure? That thought had been in my mind today." Iola: "Yes, I know that; it will not hurt me."

(Observe here that I had asked no question. My guide answered a mental query I had put to myself when strolling about during the day. This is the third or fourth time that Iola has replied by voice to my thoughts of hours before.)

Soon after a voice came: "William, William."

Question: "Yes; what is your name?"

Answer: "Roberts."

Question : "‘Robarts,’ you mean."

Answer: "No." Then a voice in my left ear from my guide: "It’s all right. It is ‘Robarts.’

Question "How are you, A __?" (calling him by his Christian name).

Answer: "Am I intruding?"

Question: "No; very glad to see you."

Answer: " Williams you have no idea how much we are all trying to help you. I thought at first you would consider me intruding."

Question: "No, A; glad to see you."

Answer: "I will come again some day. Goodbye."

(The last visitor was a connection of mine by marriage, but we were practically strangers. A curious point in the interview was that he gave the name by which his family was known in the early part of last century. We had quite a conversation about his daughters in spirit life. The husband of the youngest of the daughters had just married again.)

Q: "How is H__?" A: "Very well."

Q: "Does she know of the latest changes with regard to her little boy?"

A: "Yes, and she is very glad."


(The daughter H__ came in later.)" So glad to see you, uncle."

Q: "Very glad to see you, H . Have you heard of the new arrangements about your little son?"

A: "Yes; I like her very much indeed. There are no jealousies in the spirit world. Goodbye, uncle. I was brought by father."

(Note [1] I had not said a word about her husband marrying a second wife; [2] the knowledge of our relationship, which she gave correctly.)

An acquaintance of Mr. R’s, who only died about a week before, came to him and talked volubly for about five minutes.

Then came Sir W. W., to whom I said: "Well, Sir W., I have had a talk with you before; you brought Mr. Gladstone the other day."

Answer: "Yes, I was glad to do so; he was our Premier on earth, and is a Premier here.

 Question:" You and I did not agree on this subject when you were on this plane?"

Answer: "No; but I am now much obliged to you, and glad of the correspondence which
took place then. I wish you every success. Good-bye."

There were many good spirit lights, some the size of half-crowns. (As I anticipated, I was not drawn upon at all during this sitting; but Mr. R. went downstairs, threw himself into an arm-chair, and slept for an hour and a half. At tea I told him how much he had assisted me, and he said: "Waal, waal, I had a powerful lot taken out of me; but if I did you any good, I guess I am real glad.")

Friday, January 27,1911. With Mrs. Wriedt alone, 9:30am. to 10am. Atmospheric conditions bad; thaw and a little rain. Plenty of flowers on the table.

The psychic said: "I see a short, thick-set man, with a beard; he is good-looking; he tried to etherealise." (Not recognised.)

My guide attempted to materialise near the flowers and about the room; she tried hard to show her face; after nearly fifteen minutes’ waiting, she spoke for some twenty minutes about matters of no interest to my readers, but convincing to me, as all her utterances clearly showed that she was acquainted with all my actions, and had knowledge of what was going on at my house (proved later).

Mrs. Wriedt said: "I see the name of Stone." A voice: "My name is Stone." Question: "I only know of one ‘ Stone.’ He was Astronomer Royal at the Cape of Good Hope. Answer: "I am he, and I am very glad to be here this morning. I thought I would come on the strength of our old acquaintance. Mr. Gladstone told me of you; he is much interested in these phenomena."

Q: "Is G. right in supposing there are stars [of the first magnitude] which have no parallax?" A: "He is."

Q: "I have lately spoken with Sir Isaac Newton, and he said that gravitation could be opposed by the vibrations of a musical note (See ‘‘ Kaiser séances.)

A:" Ha! ha! Newton would find that pretty hard to explain himself."

Q: "Is there a planet beyond Neptune?"

A: "Yes, but it is uninhabited." (I mentioned Galileo, and Stone said: "Ah, he is a well-known spirit here.")

Q: "Do you know anything of Mars?"

A: "Mars will some day be connected with the earth by electricity. The inhabitants are small, short, and dark; they have organisms to withstand the rarefied atmosphere and intense heat. I am still working on astronomical problems. Good-bye."

(109) Tuesday, February 7, 1911. With Mrs. Wriedt alone, 1:30 to 2:30pm. Only my guide and Dr. Sharp manifested. Iola gave me an account of my wife’s health, which, on my arrival in England, turned out to be correct.

Q: "What did you see me doing on Sunday afternoon?"

A: "You were with Mr. and Mrs. Z."


Q: "Where did I go with Mr. Z.?"

A: "To Mrs. J." (Correct)

Q: "Yes, but where else?"

A: "To some young people—nieces, I think."

Q: "What did we talk about when I was with Mr. and Mrs. Z.?"

A: "As far as I could make out, about the Bangs test and the phenomena generally."

(What had happened was this: Mr. Z. called for me in his motor early in the afternoon, and we paid visits, first on his sister-in-law and elderly widowed nieces, of whom Mrs. J. was one, who all lived in the house of Mrs. J.; then upon his two young daughters, who lived in houses at a quite different part of the city. We then went to Mr. Z.’s house, where he, Mrs. Z., and I had a long conversation. It was chiefly about the extraordinary reminiscences of Iola, who had for weeks been giving me accurate information respecting happenings of nearly half a century ago. The Bangs test and the phenomena generally were, no doubt, touched upon. This incident shows that mind-reading accounts for very little, since I had the doings of Sunday afternoon at Toledo, fifty to sixty miles off, clearly in my upper consciousness, and they were not quite accurately revealed by the voice; it also shows that even a guide does not see or hear everything, but only absorbs a general knowledge of what affects her charge in daily affairs.)

Dr. Sharp came to say a few words. He was present when the picture was precipitated at Chicago, and admired it; the Bangs Sisters, he declared, were much exhausted. He again extolled them for the good they were doing.

Tuesday, February 7,1911. With Mrs. Wriedt alone, 7:15 to 8:25pm. First Dr. Sharp, who assured me that he was with me at Chicago, and that his face was imprinted on the canvas near me; also the face of Iola’s father.

Then came relations and friends, who spoke of private matters. The fact that the faces of Iola’s father and my father were imprinted on the canvas at Chicago was fully confirmed. My guide spoke of my father by his Christian name (a peculiar one) without any hint from me. Atmospheric conditions good.

Wednesday, February 8,1911. With Mrs. Wriedt alone, 9:15 to 10:50am. Dr. Sharp manifested at the beginning and end of the sitting. Iola talked on private affairs for at least half-an hour. There were many attempted etherealisations. My guide made up particularly well in form; the face was visible, but, try as I would, I was unable to distinguish the features clearly enough for identification. She often complained, in tones of real concern, "I cannot make out why you do not see me."

(110) Saturday, February 11, 1911. With Mrs. Wriedt alone, 1:15 to 2:15pm. Dr. Sharp came with hearty greetings. Alluding to some recent sittings at Toledo, he said: "They have drawn upon you badly, Admiral. It had to be done; the force must be got from someone. I am going to bring an Indian to you."

Then followed some questions and answers on the subject of materialisation. (I had been with Jonson the evening before. Jonson was not well; he thought be had lumbago.) An astonishing incident now occurred. "Grayfeather" (who is Jonson’s control, and who had never visited Mrs. Wriedt before) spoke in a loud voice:

"Chief from across the big pond, I want to say something to you. My medium not fit for anything for one or two weeks. I sorry. I do my best for you, and can do no more. I no kill my medium for anybody. You understand, chief. Joe (Mr. Jonson) he worse than he was yesterday. I impress you to come away. He not know I here; he not know you here. I find out from ‘sweet angel’ where you come. It is his kidneys, not lumbago, and he been bad ever since he hang that paper on wall. I do no more for you. I sorry."

Q: "How about Mr. Jonson’s heart, Grayfeather?"

A:" He got no heart, and his kidneys all in trouble. Squaw Jonson sick too."

Mrs. Wriedt said: "I wonder if that is a correct account." I replied: "I believe it."

Grayfeather: "I never tell lie. If I say I can do nothing, I can do nothing."


I said: "I remember your telling me a perfectly true story two years ago, Grayfeather. Thank you for your communication. I shall write to your medium this afternoon. Tell me, Grayfeather, how was it that my guide was able to pull her hand away from mine the other afternoon?"

Grayfeather: "I help her, and I draw from your legs to keep her on her feet. I draw much from you; if I not draw from you, spirit [form] go all to pieces."

Q: "Then it is injurious to your medium for a form to dematerialise quickly?"

A: "They should fall very slowly. Chief, may I come to you across the big pond?"

Q: "Very glad, Grayfeather, if you will. Thank you very much. Good-bye. I hope to come back in two years."

A: "I not sure Joe be here then" (mournfully). "When he go, I go too." (One remarkable feature in "Grayfeather’s" visit was that his voice direct was very similar to his voice when he speaks through the organism of Jonson at Toledo. At the close of the sitting I wrote to Mr. Jonson, giving him a full account of "Grayfeather’ s" warning. I followed this up with a visit on Monday, February 13, p.m., and found him then fully disposed to take his disease seriously. We cancelled all engagements, and I have not seen him since.) My guide came in for a long chat.

Q: "Do you know where I was yesterday?"

A: "Yes."

Q: "There was one phenomenon at Jonson’s?"

A: "Yes, the trumpet; I said ‘Iola.’" (Correct)

Q: "Where was I in the evening?"

A: "At the sweet young girl’s." (Correct, Miss Ada’s séance.)

Q: "Who wrote those notes to me?"

A: "The medium wrote all those; automatic writing."

Sunday, February 12,1911. With Mrs. Wriedt for half-an-hour a.m. Dr. Sharp came first. "I am sorry for the state of your legs. You have been terribly drawn upon You are going to Rochester."

Q: "How do you know that, Doctor?"

A:" Iola told me. That medium (Mrs. Georgia) is much better, and I think you may get something."

Then a talk with my guide, chiefly about impressions on old photographs. Grayfeather came in unexpectedly. "Chief, I sorry your legs so bad." In answer to my inquiries about Jonson he said: "He go about, he smile, he make things pleasant, but he ought to be on slab; in his bed. I come, chief, to magnetise your legs."

(I was wondering if I could get back safely to Toledo. My train was to go in an hour. After the séance  I felt better than I had felt for a long time, and accomplished my journey and afternoon engagements without difficulty.)

Tuesday, February 14,1911. With Mrs. Wriedt alone, 2:15 to 3:15pm. Dr. Sharp spoke loudly and well about Jonson, Dr. John, and Grayfeather’s messages. He said: "We hope to do without any operation. We don’t want him to die, you know. Dr. John has got your letter, and is much pleased."

Q: "Why should a distinguished historical character such as Galileo come to me?"

A: "No personations could come to you. If Galileo felt he could help those that come after him in the same work, he would do so. Mr. Gladstone came to you, to Col. , and many others Before the control had finished talking Iola spoke, and Sharp said: "I guess I had better go now." I then had a long talk with my guide.

Dr. Sharp came back and gave me some very interesting information about my son and other members of my family.

On this occasion Mrs. Wriedt had a whim to supply the flowers herself, and, at some inconvenience, she had gone out and bought a heap of narcissi and other flowers. As Iola was going away she said: "Thank you, Mrs. Wriedt, for all you have done, and for the flowers."


Wednesday, February 15,1911. With Mrs. Wriedt, 11:30 to 12:15. Conditions not very good; thaw.

My guide alone came at this sitting. When we sat down the psychic exclaimed: "Oh, there is a wonderful light at your knees." As Iola told me she had brought Grayfeather with her, I assume this was the "treatment" going on. According to a preconcerted understanding, I tested Iola about three cartes-de-visite I had placed against the bureau in my room the previous evening.

Q: "Whose photos were those, and how were they placed?"

A: "The one of me holding a letter was on the right; the one holding a hat was in the centre, and the crinoline one on the left." (Correct)

Q: "The one on the left was your sister?" (a little girl in the old-fashioned crinoline dress).

A: "Yes, yes, I said so. With the two ponies." (This puzzled .me for a minute or two, till I remembered that on the table at which the figure stood there were two bronze statuettes of horses.)

Q: "I cannot understand. Ponies?"

A: "Yes, two little horses on the table."

Iola talked for thirty-five minutes about family matters. Among other things she said: "I wish you to stop Sunday in Rochester, and speak in the church." I replied: "I am afraid I cannot do that, as I have business in New York on Monday." (A mistake, as it happened; the appointment was for Tuesday.)

Iola: "Well, I do not wish to ask you to do what is inconvenient."

(After the sitting was over I looked at my notebook, and discovered my error. The next day I expressed my regret at having refused to stop at Rochester, and told her how the mistake occurred. She said: "I knew that, but did not press my request, as I was uncertain if something new had not occurred to change your original plans.")

Thursday, February 16,1911. With Mrs. Wriedt alone, 11:30 to noon. My guide gave a good account of what I had been doing the previous night—" visiting, dining with friends, talking." She also gave a correct description of how the cards were arranged on the bureau on my return home. Before she spoke a man talked, who said he was the father of an Admiral F. in our navy.

Q: "Do you wish me to tell your son?"

A: "Oh, no; he wouldn’t understand." (I did not see the use of this visit. The name was quite correct; there is such an officer, and I know him.)

(111) Thursday, February 16,1911. With Mrs. Wriedt, the psychic, and Mr. and Mrs. Z., 2 to 3:45pm.

Dr. Sharp came first. He talked well for some time, and said Grayfeather would be sent for. Many etherealisations, but none very satisfactory to me.

About twenty minutes after we sat down Iola came, and, after throwing about a few drops of water from the flowers, some of which touched Mrs. Z. and me, made a very neat little speech, thanking the Z.’s for their kindness to me during my stay at Toledo.

Pansy again. It is quite beyond my power to give any idea of what this Indian girl said. With her "yahs" (for "yesses ") and her chuckles, and her talk about Chief Jim, whom she called a " sticking plaster," she kept us laughing for ten minutes. Her manner was inimitable. She declared that her friend "Maggie Gaule" had manifested since her death in New York, where she had many friends.

Then came:Several relatives of Mr. and Mrs. Z., and two friends. Silvermoon, with his usual war-whoop and dirge; he showed a faint disc, and departed.

Edna, the nun, who etherealised and talked to the Z. ’s.

Grayfeather, who implied that Jonson was no worse. "I think I see him scratch paper this morning; maybe to Dr. John. Squaw Jonson she fright about Joe. He do the best he can for himself." Then to me: "Chief, I magnetise your legs. I go across and see your wigwam; it sits on rough bottom. House all shut up. Your wife, she go out. I see her put her bonnet on. I think three


squaws inside. I see room down low, with big fireplace. Three pictures of Iola there. I go upstairs round and round and round, and find your sleep room; big bed with knockers on it; wood bed."

Q: "No, Grayfeather, not wood; the knobs look like gold."

A: "That no gold, chief—that lacquer."

Q: "Did you see Hypatia and Cleopatra?" (meaning the pictures).

A: "No! What I care for those squaws?"

(I have three precipitated pictures of my guide in my library in the basement, and one copy; the "round and round and round ‘‘ is rather expressive, as there are five flights of stairs from this room to my bedroom; the wood bed I do not understand.)

Thursday, February 16,1911. With Mrs. Wriedt for about half-an-hour. My guide came, and talked exclusively of family matters.

Friday, February 17, 911. With Mrs. Wriedt alone, 11 to 12.

Conversations with Iola and her father about family matters. I left for Rochester in the afternoon. (112) It so happened that Mrs. Wriedt came to New York on a visit to friends on February 23. The lady of the house most kindly accorded me permission to have a sitting with the psychic in private on February 24. It took place in the morning, between 10:50 and 11:15. Atmospheric conditions perfect.

My guide had, by this time, become very proficient in using the direct voice, with and without the assistance of the trumpet; but I hardly expected her to show the amount of power that was exhibited on this occasion. After a short interval—say five minutes—she made herself known through the trumpet, and spoke for fifty minutes on certain important private matters. I asked her what I had been doing the previous evening, and she gave me an exact description of how my time had been employed, beginning in this way: "At 8:20 we called at a house in "; then followed a little story showing a fair general acquaintance with the inmates of the house, and evincing an accurate knowledge of their aims in life. It left me in no doubt as to her presence with me on that visit. Dr. Sharp then came for five minutes, and gave me a hearty send-off, in his usual genial manner. I sailed the next morning for England.

In closing my experiences with Mrs. Wriedt in America, I must add a few comments. I am without any receptive mediumistic gifts, and claim no more natural powers of hearing and seeing than the average man of my age. I am conscious that, during the sittings I had with this gifted psychic, I may have missed much which younger men, or those even slightly endowed with clairaudient and clairvoyant powers, would have heard and seen. Often it happened that others heard messages which I did not, and saw full forms and faces that I was unable to distinguish. It must not be supposed, therefore, that I have been able to give a wholly fair estimate of what usually takes place in her presence.

No psychic ever brought me so near to the spirit life. It is to Mrs. Wriedt that I owe the absolute knowledge of the near proximity of my friends who have passed over, and I feel greatly indebted to her for making it so easy for me to obtain that knowledge. It is a possession of priceless value; it outwears all time, and places the fortunate man who has it in a position of certainty that death has no sting and the grave no victory; that what is, is right; that all things work together for good; and that our brief span on earth, acquiring our individuality, is but the introduction to a higher life of greater possibilities of usefulness and expansion.

Mrs. Wriedt believes there are no such entities as evil spirits. Not one has ever entered her room. It took me some time to explain to her that their name is legion, and that it is owing to the vigilance of Dr. Sharp they are warned off her premises. The utterances of spirits in her presence exhibit all the human emotions except anger. Moderation, tact, and loving-kindness are the watchwords. She is indeed blessed in having been the passive instrument of consolation and rest to hundreds, and hope to thousands who have come within the influence of her psychic power. It is to


be hoped that her frail life may be preserved for many years. I am most grateful also to her hearty control, Dr. Sharp, whom I look upon now as an old friend. A. W. KAISER.

I have written of this psychic in Chapter VIII. He is an honest, manly young fellow. Since 1909 he has developed considerably. His phase of medium-ship is the "direct voice" through the trumpet in the dark; no etherealisations. The interviews are short.

He lives at 297 Cass Avenue, Detroit. I found he did not remember me until we were nearly through the first séance , when the communications from the spirits who spoke to me reminded him of our former meetings. He does not go into trance, and hears all that goes on, like Mrs. Wriedt. Monday, January 23,1911. Alone with Kaiser, from 10 to 11am. Atmospheric conditions perfect.

Iola came and talked about the next meeting at the Jonsons; then a brother of mine; then Kitty, one of the habitues of Jonson’s cabinet, who said she would do her best to get the conditions right for my next experiments at Toledo.

Next came a brother-in-law; then an Indian girl, guide of Kaiser, called " Leota "; she introduced herself by a little piping note, "Who! who! who!" but had little to say. Grayfeather then made himself known: "Me help you; me try to make good conditions for you to sit with my medium." He was followed by my sister Catherine, who said: "We are all here."

Q: "The other day, at Jonson’s, after kissing you, I put my hand on your shoulder, and found nothing. How was that?"

A: "I was just beginning to dematerialise."

Finally, Mr. Kaiser’s control, Dr. Jenkins, who spoke well and clearly, and moved about at my request over and on either side of me, showing that he could speak from any part of the room. The psychic sat facing me, our knees about two and a half feet apart.

(113) Tuesday, January 24,1911. With Kaiser, 10:23 to 11am. First Iola and her brother; then Dr. Richard Hodgson, with greetings.

Q: "Do you know what Hyslop has been doing recently?"

A: "Yes; investigating." (Name run off into a blur.)

Q: "Investigating what?"

A: "At Toledo, investigating Ada."

Q: "Do you mean Ada Besinnet?"

A: " Yes."

(Two days before Professor Hyslop had left Toledo, after a week’s sittings with Miss Ada. He has since published a report on her remarkable mediumship.) Then came Catherine, who said that she, too, was trying to help to make good conditions for my final experiments with Jonson. She was followed by Sir Isaac Newton. I repeated our conversation of February 4, 1909 (see Light, 1909, page 314, and Chapter VIII. of this book), which he confirmed. I said:

"We are always in a difficulty about personations." He replied: " There are such things as personations, but they never come to earnest minded investigators."

Q: "Do you know if the 'Cleopatra' and ‘Hypatia’ who come to me are personators or not?"

A: "I cannot tell unless I investigate; but, as they come to you, I cannot believe they are."

Q: "Is there a planet beyond Neptune?"

A: "There is; and astronomers on your side are, I believe, now looking for it."

Q: "Galileo came to me the other day, and said there was not. Do the etheric waves in wireless telegraphy pass through or over the earth and mountains?" A: "As ether is everywhere, they pass through everything; the vibrations of etheric waves for wireless telegraphy are analogous to X-rays, which, as you know, can pass through solid obstacles. There are differences of opinion on our side, as on yours. Many men of science are working away here, and making experiments on the earth plane. They impress mortals."


Q: "There is a friend of mine in England, living in Wiltshire, who has worked long on the gravitation theory you gave me last time we met."

A: "Yes, I know; I impressed him."

Q: "I mean Admiral F."

A: "Yes. I have been working long here on gravitation and anti-gravitation."

Q: "I doubt if my friend realises that he is being impressed."

A: "Perhaps not; but that does not matter to us as long as the impression is effectual."

Then came "Blackfoot," one of Kaiser’s Indian guides, and Leota, with her little pipe, "Who! who! who !" Both said they would try and help conditions for the Jonson experiments. Finally, the control, Dr. Jenkins, made himself known, and said: "We are trying to make conditions perfect for the Jonson materialisations

Q: "Can you talk behind me while I hold the medium’s hands?"

A: "I will try." (This experiment failed.)

Atmospheric conditions excellent. (114) Wednesday, January 25,1911. With Kaiser alone, 10.20 to 11am. First, three relatives manifested; then Tim O’Brien, one of Jonson’s habitués, who came to explain that he and all were doing their best to make conditions perfect for my experiments at Toledo.

He was followed by Lombroso, the Italian scientist, who said that at present he was working in the fourth sphere. He desired to say that "He was satisfied with the expression of the truth he had given on the earth plane." (This was repeated at my request.) He went on to say that "astrological conditions were now specially favorable for psychical development." I observed that "Eusapia Palladino did not possess psychic power equal to the mediums in this neighborhood," to which he agreed.

Lombroso was followed by Leota, with her "Who, who!" pipe; then came Blackfoot, who was emphatic:

"Me make conditions good for chief, and help him in experiments with ‘ Doctor’ [Jenkins] and at Jonsons."

Finally, Dr. Jenkins. I asked him about personating spirits. He said: "They do not come to earnest-minded investigators. Your development here will lift you speedily in our life." He hoped to bring Sir Isaac Newton tomorrow.

Q: "Will you endeavour to talk behind me when I have hold of both the medium’s hands?"

A: "I will try."

I drew my chair close up to Kaiser’s chair, and controlled both his hands on his knees. After an interval of about ten minutes Dr. Jenkins spoke distinctly, first behind and above my left ear, then behind and above my right. He then said: "I wanted you to hear me on both sides" ; the trumpet was dropped upon our joined hands, hitting my head on the way.

Atmospheric conditions good. (115) Thursday, January 26, 1911. With Kaiser alone, 10:12 to 10:45pm. Atmospheric conditions bad.

Blackfoot, the Indian, grunted out greetings, and said he thought Sir Isaac Newton was coming; he had said he would.

A brother of mine, not often in evidence, came with promises of help.

Then Sir Isaac Newton. I asked him to be so good as to tell me what he had meant on a former visit about anti-gravitation. He replied: "We are investigating the forces which can be generated to oppose gravity. There are such forces. For instance, supposing you get a musical note of equal vibrations to those of gravity, you have a force sufficient to oppose gravity. If you get a musical note the vibrations of which exceed those of gravity, you have a force anti-gravitational." At my request he repeated the words 'musical note’ twice.

He continued: "Construct a bell and strike it. The ‘sound’ vibrations from that bell meet the normal sound vibrations and overcome them. I am impressing your friend on this subject." (I wrote my notes in the next room immediately the sitting was over, and I conclude that both Kaiser and I were to some extent impressed still by the spirit we had heard talking so clearly a


few minutes before. I am sure that I took in accurately the words of the message. Kaiser agreed. We thought he might mean: "There are musical vibrations which, when set in motion, enable objects near to overcome the force of gravity." But I cannot offer any explanation. I affirm that the words I have repeated were used, and there I must leave it.)

Q. (to Sir Isaac): "Am I right in supposing that psychic demonstrations are performed more easily in this neighborhood, around the great lakes of America, than elsewhere?"

A: "Yes; this is on account of the electrical conditions."

Then Leota piped her "Who, who !" and said she was helping to make conditions right. She was followed by Dr. Jenkins, who said: "We shall do little this morning, as we are collecting spiritual forces to help you in your investigations in the near future. I will visit you in England; the whole spiritual world will assist you in your work, I know, and will help the beautiful spirit who attends you. Good-bye."

As I have explained above, the final experiments alluded to in these notes that I wished to carry out with Jonson were never completed, on account of his serious state of health. My guide had spoken twice of her apprehension that Jonson’s condition would not permit it, and so it turned out. There is not a doubt in my mind that Mr. Kaiser is a true psychic. He is now thirty-five years of age, and has plenty of time to develop into a medium like Mrs. Wriedt; he is well guarded by Dr. Jenkins, and I think he will do so. This medium, also, is good to the poor, and admits many without payment. I wish him every success, and a long life of usefulness in the exercise of his gift.


WHEN I said "Good-bye" to Mrs. Wriedt in New York, on February 24, I little thought to see her again for some years. I knew that it was unlikely I should be able to leave England for many a long day, on account of the precarious state of my wife’s health; in future, I should have to depend upon mental impressions by my guide for communion with the spirit world. It happened, however, that Mr. W. T. Stead invited her to spend some time at his country home near London in May, June, and July,1911; owing to his courtesy I was able to again enjoy the privilege of hearing "The Voices" and obtaining further evidence of spirit action through her mediumship. Mrs. Wriedt arrived at Mr. Stead’s house at 1pm., Tuesday, May 23, and, after tea, two ladies and I induced the psychic to give us an opportunity of testing her gift in a highly magnetised room on the first floor of the house.

It was expected that the power of Mrs. Wriedt would be considerably reduced by the change of climatic conditions, if, indeed, it did not disappear altogether. She had spent two days in a fog at sea; had just been driven across London by her host; and everything around was entirely new to her. The house, it is true, was in a very quiet situation about three hundred feet above the river Thames, and the psychic influences within the house of the very best.

We entered a pitch-dark room at 5:5pm., and sat till 6:20. Before we had been long in our chairs "Julia" spoke through the trumpet, giving Mrs. Wriedt a hearty welcome. She was followed by Mr. William Stead, who also greeted the psychic; he conversed very plainly and sent messages to his father. "Julia" invited me to her "Bureau" meeting on the following evening.

Then came "Iola," with whom I made an appointment for eleven o’clock on the following morning. I specially wanted to get some information about my family. After she had agreed to come she spoke these enigmatical words: "There have been many changes." Before her voice was heard the psychic said: "I see the name of____ " (Iola’s earth-name). She also saw the name of Stuart Knull, which, no doubt, was Sir J. Stuart Knull, the late Lord Mayor of London. I knew him when he was in life, and so did my father. The spirit assented to his name.

Very faint forms were seen near the cabinet by Mrs. Wriedt and the two ladies, who are both mediumistic. I saw one only; the psychic exhibited good clairvoyance to both of the ladies. Weather dry and hazy.


This trial was, to us, most satisfactory. It was certain that Mrs. Wriedt’s gift was not in abeyance, and we arranged for three séance s on the following day—(1) a private one for me at 11 a.m.; (2) a sitting for a distinguished officer, who lived some twenty miles off, at 2 p.m.; (3) Julia’s Bureau-sitting in the evening.

Wednesday, May 24,1911. I sat with Mrs. Wriedt alone, from 10:50 to 12:15.

First came Iola’s mother, speaking very low; I could not understand her. To my great astonishment Grayfeather came in with his loud voice, to explain that Grandma had just been speaking to me about "the little papoose." "It was in her charge; in the ‘Kindergarten.’ It had suffered no pain, having died in its sleep. I was to tell its father."

(Twelve days previous to this sitting my youngest granddaughter, aged five months, had been suffocated, as we thought, in a fire which broke out over its cot. The evidence at the inquest went to show that its little life was ended before the fire reached it. The psychic knew nothing whatever of this catastrophe, and the ladies in the house only knew the bare facts, which they had not spoken of to Mrs. Wriedt.)

Grayfeather’s voice was loud and much the same as at Detroit. He said his medium (Jonson) was better. Dr. John had done him good. "He not go to bed till late last night." (At noon in England it is 6am Toledo.) The Indian promised to magnetise me and make it possible for me to sit three times that day, without injury.

Then came Iola, who talked for half-an-hour about private matters. She confirmed what Grayfeather had said about the baby being in the charge of the relative mentioned, and said it was taken for its own good. Physically it was a normal child, but psychically not. Had it grown up, it would have been very mediumistic; it would grow up and develop in the spirit world.

Q: "But is not the earth experience necessary?"

A: "No; it will be brought up here."

Iola thanked Mrs. Wriedt for the handsome frame which she had bought for her picture at Detroit. She said: "Oh, Mrs. Wriedt, you spent too much money on that frame." (This is remarkable knowledge of what she had seen at Detroit a fortnight before. The information was quite correct.)

Iola was followed by Dr. Sharp, who said he would assist the spirits at the afternoon séance , but could not manifest himself if he was to speak at "Julia’s bureau" meeting in the evening. The last spirit to manifest was Mr. W. E. Gladstone, who gave me kind promises of help. He spoke of Iola and of a mutual friend. (The voices both on this occasion and on the evening of the 23rd were low down; with this exception it was a very good séance .)

Wednesday, May 24,1911. 2:50 to 4:15pm. Sitters, the two ladies of the house, Sir H S , his friend, and myself. Four spirits talked volubly, but were unable to identify themselves to the complete satisfaction of Sir H__S__ . His friend’s wife, undoubtedly, came to him. Iola manifested, and told the visitors she had seen them looking at her picture. I do not quite know whether she was referring all the time to her last portrait, now exhibited in the lecture-room of the London Spiritualist Alliance, or to the pictures in my library. Both gentlemen had seen them all. Once she said to Sir H__ "Did you not see the wreath around my head? "—which would refer to the picture on exhibition.

I told one of our visitors the story of how Grayfeather tried to instruct me in January,1909, as to how to behave at a séance ; my little joke was only halfway through when there was a loud shout in front of me, "Me here !" and the Indian was in our midst. He said very little more, but subsided.

One of the ladies had a distinct talk with her husband in spirit life, much to her pleasure and to that of her daughter who was present.

The anxiety of the spirits to identify themselves to Sir H__ caused a blurr in trying to pronounce their names. I hope that he and his friend will sit with Mrs. Wriedt again.

The meeting in the evening consisted of the members of Julia’s bureau and myself, presided over by Mr. W. T. Stead. There were ten people present besides the psychic. All were mediumistic.


except one gentleman and myself. The atmospheric conditions were excellent. We sat from 7:15 to 9:15 p.m.

One the party sat in the cabinet and took shorthand notes; he accomplished his difficult task with skill, and it is mainly owing to him that I am able to give my detailed account.

After the religious observances usual when Julia’s meetings take place, the room was made pitch dark; there were two aluminum trumpets on the floor. Mrs. Wriedt first saw a lady who had died of dropsy, and the initial "E." She was identified by me as Grandma—who had charge of my little granddaughter, and who had spoken to me at the meeting in the morning.

We then sang, and one of the spirits joined in, using one of the trumpets. "Julia" next spoke through the trumpet and greeted the circle, concluding with " my dear Mr. Stead." The voice was rather faint. She proceeded:

"I am going to help you in every detail..Success, success ! Victory is won. Mr. K__ , our cup is full. I am very happy tonight. I am happy to speak to Mr. Stead. I will not detain you. Good-day, I will come again."

Then Dr. Sharp (Mrs. Wriedt’s control). "Good evening, friends I am a Scotsman; we had better bide a wee. How do you do, Mr. Stead? How do you do, brother K? Well, well; this is a happy meeting. How do you do, ladies?"

Mr. Stead: "I thought, after you were impersonated in New York the other day, that you might be impersonated here."

A: "No one could personate in this room! Truth prevails; mediums, I will come again."

Mrs. Wriedt described an elderly gentleman whose name was John Cooper. This is the name of an old school fellow of mine. When I said so, three hard knocks sounded on the table. A lady received good evidence of the presence of her son. Then came Mr. W. T. Stead’s son William, who had a long talk with his father, of a strictly evidential character. It was one of the best episodes in my collection. No reasoning adult could doubt that here were a father and son talking face to face.

During the whole of this remarkable séance raps were going on all round the room—on the table, on the walls, on the floor. Wafts of air blew round the circle in the faces of the sitters: this phenomenon I have frequently experienced at Husk’s séances, but not of the same strength. Frequently two, sometimes three, voices spoke at the same moment in different parts of the circle. It was somewhat confusing.

The spirit known as "Uncle," of Mr. Husk’s band, spoke and identified himself. It was said that John King was present. Ebenezer (another of Husk’s band) constantly talked through the trumpet.

A Voice: "Good evening, good evening. I am Stuart Mill." Mr. Stead: "John Stuart Mill! It is the first time you have been here?" A: "It is the first time I have had the opportunity of introducing myself."

Q: "You were the member for Westminster. Do you know what they have decided over the Women’s Suffrage Bill today?"

A: "Yes! I am quite interested, and I want to see it win."

Q: "You will win."

A: "Yes; I shall do my duty, and protect the rights of women here."

Q: "They had a meeting today to decide whether they would give facilities for the Women’s Suffrage Bill."

A: "They will give them. I shall see to that."

Q: "Mr. Asquith is opposed to it."

A: "Yes; but he is not the ruling power of the world."

Q: "He is Prime Minister."

A: "He has a lot to say; but I am going to try and move the Press."

Q: "And your friend Lord Morley?"

A: "Yes, he is staunch " (Much lost here on account of a spirit talking at the other side of the circle.)

Q: "You are quite sure you are going through with that Bill?"

A: "Victory! Must win. Fight for the right, stand for the just."


Miss Frances Havergal (a cousin of my wife) here came, but, instead of speaking to me, conversed with a man two feet on my left. She was not able to say much.

(Mr. Stead objected to two spirits talking at once, as he thought it confusing for his stenographer. He said to the spirit: "You can take away one trumpet if you like.") After a private communication from a young man in spirit life to his mother in earth life, a loud voice was heard to say: "I come, I come; me Grayfeather. How do you do, big chief on big paper?"

Mr. Stead: "I am glad to hear you speak."

A: "Me here, big Chief Steady; me talk to you a little, and then me go. Me no care."

Q: "Can you hit me on the head with the trumpet?"

A: "Yah." (Mr. Stead was lightly touched with the trumpet.)

There was some talking at the opposite side of the circle with spirits, which irritated Grayfeather, who said: "Me telle shutte up; me say man in box no can write, he not hear" (meaning the stenographer in the cabinet). "Me say this, Chief Steady. You going to have much run about; not eat much. You go here, go there, talk—talk—talk."

Mr. Stead: "I am afraid I have a lot to do."

A: "You are going to go off here, another country."

Q: "What am I going to talk about?" A: "War—fight—fire !—really, yap. One time more before you shut eye [death]. You go round big place. You going to lose a chief by-and-by, and you going to be bad in your heart about it." (Here another voice mentioned the name of a great statesman.) "Me heapy glad to come."

Q: "Do you find this as good as Detroit?"

A: "Heapy much better. How do you do, K __?" (a professional medium who was present). To the circle : "Me telle shutte up; hear what they say to little squaw with shawl on her neck" (an elderly lady present) ; "your heart sick with stomach—all your trouble come from that. Me want to say you get flutter, flutter heart, and it splutters—from nerves—bad stomach cause. Well, good-bye, Chief Steady; good-bye, Chief Moore; good-bye, chief in box. Me go across pond."

(I have related this at some length, assisting myself with the stenographer’s notes, because I consider it a very remarkable incident. Grayfeather, as I have frequently reminded the reader, is the control of Jonson at Toledo, Ohio, a materialising medium of great power. He was with us only while Jonson did not require his services—i.e., from 5am. to 2pm., Toledo time. He manifested three times on this day—(1) 11am.; (2) 3pm.; (3) 8pm., English time, and his voice was often raised to a shout. On two occasions at least he might have been heard at the front door of the house; yet, to him, the surroundings were utterly strange, and his only friends in the room were Mrs. Wriedt and myself. He quickly discerns the other medium in the room, Mr. K , and gives his whole attention to the master of the house. He calls the cabinet a "box," which is his invariable custom when using the organism of Jonson. Though coming from a city four thousand miles distant to a place where he is a perfect stranger, he is able to talk about the death of an English infant; to tell me in whose care it has been placed; to show a knowledge of the occupation of an English man of letters; to foretell the death of an English statesman; to report upon the health of his own medium, and to diagnose the condition of an English lady. He is tender, sympathetic, prescient, and dictatorial by turns. Take it all in all, this day was full of the most marvellous instances of invisible power, and shows what even the North American Indian spirit can do when placed in the most favourable surroundings. In this case the atmospheric conditions were of the best; the house quiet, and far removed from all disturbing influences; the séance-room one which was never used for any other purpose; plenty of flowers in it; and not a man or woman present who did not fully believe in the facts of spiritism.)

Mrs. Wriedt (to Mr. Stead): "Do you know the name of a man called W __?" Mr. Stead: "Yes. G__ W__ ,the Member for C__." Mrs. W.: "He is here." Mr. Stead was hit on the knee. Voice: "I am G__ W__."

Q: "How are you?"

A: "I don’t know—I don’t know."

Q: "Do you know where you are now?"

A: "I am with you. Are you Stead? What a change—what a change!"

Q: "Can we help you at all? Do you remember the fight?" A:" I often wished to speak to you, but thought—I knew that many times… [here the conversation with other spirits on the opposite side of the circle drowned the voice]…You were mistaken; I wanted you to tell me something."

Q: "You never gave me the chance."

A: "I am now where I know it all."

Q: "Have you any message to send to any friends?"

A: "They would scoff at it.

A still tongue makes a wise head. I am where death does not end.

Q: "At the same time, you have left people behind here. There are a dozen candidates for your seat to. day. ‘

A: "I am not worrying over that."

Q: "Have you no preference for one candidate over another? Who would you like to succeed you’…? (Mr. G__ W__ ,a member of Parliament, died about a week before this sitting.) Mr. W. E. Gladstone now came in, and gently reproved Mr. Stead for his precipitancy in publishing his message in extenso. He referred to Mr. Lloyd George. "I did say to Admiral Moore today that I wanted to see him." (Correct)

Q: "You want to see him, himself?"

A: "Yes, and I will explain to him why I said what I did."

Q: "He would very much like to talk to you on the situation."

A: "Lloyd George has done very well. He did beautifully. I am at his back, and will help him through. He is a clever young man.

A voice: "Bjõrnstjerne Bjõrnson." Mr. Stead: "Try and speak through the trumpet; we shall be delighted to hear if you have any message for Mrs. Ankers."

Mr. K__ : "The astral of Ella Ankers is here, and said to Miss S A

Voice: "I came to interrupt, and tell Mr. Stead that she is here, and everything is going on well; and the reason that the interruptions went on was they had to use the lady at the same time as this person was using the trumpet."

A spirit now came in who gave the name of Von Bussow. He seemed to be an Italian by his speech. And I think M. Berteaux manifested (he was the Minister for War in France, and had been killed by the accidental swerving of an aeroplane a few days before).

Cardinal Newman now came in, and gave a benediction in Latin. He said: "My acolyte is here." We then sang, and a spirit joined in through the trumpet.

Hands were touching the sitters all the evening, but I received none of these manifestations. A spirit came who whistled "Believe me, if all those endearing young charms" through the trumpet, and afterwards sang it as a duet with his daughter, who was present.

A Voice: "I thought I would do it so that you could hear. How are you, Harry?" (the lady’s husband). "God bless you."

A Voice: "Mr. Stead and gentlemen, it gives me much pleasure to be here in the presence of such an intelligent audience. It is a considerable time since I heard our good statesman speak, and it is a long time since I heard you."

Mr. Stead: "I don’t know who you are, but I take it on trust." A: "I am Sir Henry Irving."

Q: "Have you any message for my girl?"

A: "I want you to understand, friends here this evening, it is well—it is well with the work you have begun; and you will end with the finest career that any man in this city—in this continent It is well with you, it is well with me. All will be well on this earth. These flowers on the table are white; I do not know their names, but I will call them lilies" (a few lilies and a large number of narcissi).


"The lilies in the valley will wither, The flowers in the forest decay; True love lasts for ever and ever, When all else fades away. "You have formed a chain."

Mr. Stead: "Have you any word for my daughter?"

A: "Best wishes, tell her, from Dante."

Q: "I do not understand. Do you mean the Italian poet Dante?"

A: "Oh! It is well."

Another Voice: "It is better for her to take the step and break the link. Remember, there is a coming day, not far away."

Iola now manifested to me. I introduced Mr. Stead to her; they greeted one another. Mr. Stead: "Do you know Julia?"

A: "I love her."

A member of the circle said: "Rupert was speaking to us through the other trumpet at the same time." Mr. K__ : "Dr. Quain is here, and says ‘that the power is getting exhausted. Close your circle.’"

In a few minutes we turned up the lights and went downstairs to supper. While the meal was going on raps and thumps were experienced all over the room; in the table, on the floor, and on the walls. I sat at the end of the table, and the only way that I can describe the noises under my chair is that they appeared to be like the blows of a hammer shoring up the floor from underneath. After supper we sat round and listened to clairvoyance from Mr. K , and clairaudient messages from the same source; the percussive noises had ceased.

So ended what was, perhaps, the most convincing of all the public experiences in my education. Mrs. Wriedt had been under Mr. Stead’s roof thirty-two hours; she had given four successful sittings, and all doubt as to the exhibition of her gift in the English climate vanished into thin air. How long it will last is another matter. Mr. Stead sat next to her the whole evening.

On the morning of Thursday, May 25,1911, a doctor from South Africa came to Mr. Stead’s house by appointment. He had been introduced to Mr. Stead as a gentleman sorely in need of comfort, owing to the sad loss of a sister who had been killed in an accident some two months before. He was three-quarters of an hour late, which distressed him very much. He got nothing. After sitting with him for twenty minutes Mrs. Wriedt ran down to me (I had just arrived), and asked me to come up to the séance-room and help, which I was only too glad to do. We three sat for half-an-hour talking of the conditions required, passivity, and so forth, and directing the gentleman’s attention to certain salient points which we considered indispensable to a person in his position if his desire to get into touch with his relative was to be achieved. So far as phenomena were concerned the sitting was a failure.

It so happened that Mr. Stead had, with great consideration, said to me on my parting with him the previous night: "Tomorrow, ask anybody you like." I therefore cordially invited the disappointed sitter to return at 6:30pm., telling him that Mrs. Wriedt had never known two blanks in one day, and it was highly probable that he had been made to arrive late on purpose so that we could meet.

The afternoon was spent by Mrs. Wriedt and me in London. We went to the London Spiritualistic Alliance rooms, then to a well-known doctor (A. W.) in Harley Street, finally to the Royal Academy and my club. Directly she entered Dr. A. W.’s consulting-room she began correctly describing his friends and patients, together with the various diseases of the latter. Dr. W. is an investigator into psychic phenomena and a nerve specialist; his room is charged with psychic influences, and it is a common thing for loud raps to occur when he is discussing spiritism with his friends. I was hardly prepared, however, for this involuntary s4ance; at last I tore the psychic


away, with a promise from the doctor that he would attend the sitting at Mr. Stead’s house in the evening. We got back by six o’clock, and by 7:10 all the members of the circle had arrived. Thursday, May 25,1911. 7:20 to 9:15pm. Circle of seven men and three women, including Mrs. Wriedt. Atmospheric conditions good; a dry, starlight night. The chief interest in this séance  lay in the success obtained by Dr. K., the gentleman from South Africa. One of the sitters was a Bengali gentleman; at least half-an-hour was taken up by an Arabian trying to make himself known to him without success. Dr. Sharp came in and tried to straighten matters. He said that our spirit visitor was an " Arabian knight" and a guide of the Bengali sitter; but we could not make much of it. Sharp talked a good deal to Dr. A. W. He said (what he has told me before more than once) that he was born at Glasgow (Dr. A. W.’s native town).

Two friends came to Dr. W., and talked in a Scotch accent, but he could not identify them; perhaps he has done so since.

Iola manifested, and spoke to the Bengali gentleman and to Dr. W. She evidently thought the Indian guest ought to have attention as the greatest stranger. It was curious that she kept close to Dr. W. for strength and did not come near me, though she said, "I am standing in front of you." I asked her to bring a certain spirit in the morning.

An unhappy spirit came to Dr. K. After several abortive attempts she was able to give her Christian name. I have never heard a more human conversation than that which now took place.

Q. (from Dr. K.): "Are you happy?"

A: "Yes, dear (sobs in the trumpet), now that I see you are happier than you were. I am happy to see you. Oh! Robert, what an expense I was to you, and who is now to look after your clothes? Robert, it was hard to be cut off from you so suddenly—hard—hard—to go. (There was evidence here of that well-known fact in psychic history of the unhappiness of spirits who know that those they love on earth are feeling their loss acutely.)

Dean Swift spoke. In answer to a question from me he said he was in the fifth sphere, second realm.

Q: "What is your color in the second realm?"

A: "What you would call ‘dove’ colour."

He gave a very good discourse on the benefits of spiritism. Dr. Sharp now came in for the second time, and spoke loudly and clearly without the trumpet. He dwelt upon the destiny of little children who pass into spirit life and are brought up in the "kindergarten" or "celestial" sphere. I thought this was intended for me, so I asked him: "Who has got charge of our little one?" The reply was immediate, " Grandma—," thereby corroborating information given, with great precision, by Grayfeather and Iola.

(The voices on this evening were higher up in the room than those on previous occasions, showing the increasing power of Mrs. Wriedt as she became accustomed to her environment.) The final act of the séance was that the trumpet hit the stenographer, who was sitting at a table writing shorthand in the dark eight feet from the psychic. When the lights were lit it was found in three pieces on the floor.

Friday, May 26,1911. With Mrs. Wriedt alone in the dark. 11:50 to 12(noon). A quantity of narcissi on the tables.

Iola came first, and talked with clear enunciation on all sorts of private matters for about twenty minutes. Then came an etherealisation at the flowers. I tried hard to identify it, but was unable to see more than a little head. The psychic said she could see a small baby face. Iola came back and said it was our infant brought by her mother, who could hear everything I said. She then went away to try and bring a spirit called "Lucille," whom I had asked for, but returned in about fifteen minutes saying she was unable to find her. She then entered into further conversation until the power was exhausted. I returned to Southsea in the afternoon.

Here ends the narrative of my education in spiritism. I may see and hear many more phenomena through Mrs. Wriedt and other mediums, but I do not consider it necessary to record them for the public. I am not sure that I have not been, already, too diffuse. At any rate, I have given what I know to be true.


If my experiences are of any use to those who are "sitting on the gate," I rejoice; if I have given a word of comfort to the bereaved, I am more than repaid for my trouble. I entered the investigation from scientific motives, and not on account of any need for comfort myself, for I required none. No man has been more blessed than I in freedom from bereavement of those he loves. Yet I am bound to confess that, during my seven years of investigation, I have gradually assimilated a philosophy on this grand subject of the future state of consciousness, which takes the place of orthodox religion. Of this I propose to speak in the final chapter.


 Thank you for calling in.

May your God go with you, ALWAYS.



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