Direct Voice via John Sloan

Question: How is it that you can speak to us on earth?

Answer: By materializing my etheric mouth and tongue.

Question: Can you tell me something of the method by which this is done?

Answer: I shall do my best to make you understand how this is done, but remember you cannot get a proper grasp of the difficulties we are faced with until you yourself come across to our side. However, I shall explain our methods as clearly as possible. From the medium, and those present, a chemist in the etheric world withdraws certain ingredients which for want of a better name is called ectoplasm. To this the chemist adds ingredients of his own making. When these are mixed together a substance is formed which enables the chemist to materialize his hands. He then, with his materialized hands, constructs a mask resembling the mouth and tongue. The spirit wishing to speak places his face into this mask and finds it clings to him, it gathers round his mouth, tongue and throat. At first, difficulty is experienced in moving this heavier material, but by practice this becomes easy. The etheric organs have once again become clothed in matter resembling physical matter, and, by the passage of air through them, your atmosphere can be vibrated, and you hear his voice.

Question: But how do you get this air? Are the lungs also materialized?

Answer: In a full materialization, yes.

Question: I have often heard two, or sometimes three, voices speak at once. Are other masks used in these circumstances?

Answer: Yes, on these occasions conditions are good, and the chemist has sufficient ectoplasm to construct several masks, which are all sometimes used at the same time. That accounts for your hearing more than one voice speaking.

Question: Where is this mask placed?

Answer: Usually in the centre of the circle. The chemist keeps as much ectoplasm as possible within the circle, but, when the quantity given off by the medium and sitters is small, it gathers about the floor, which accounts for voices coming from the floor when conditions are poor. On the other hand, when conditions are good and we have an ample supply, we can build right up to the ceiling, which accounts for the voices on these occasions coming from high up in the room.

Question: After the mask is completed, what do you do?

Answer: The person wishing to speak takes up his position in the centre of the circle, and presses into the ectoplasmic materialization and then commences to speak, moving his mouth and tongue just as you do when you speak.

Question: What about the trumpet?

Answer: This is used, not only to magnify the voice, but to enable it to be directed towards the person we wish to speak to. The trumpet is moved by materialized rods, and is controlled by one on this side whom we term the trumpet operator (Gallacher)

Question: Good evening, I take it that you are Irish.

 Answer: Yes, sir, right first time.

Question: Well, my friend, I want to know all you can tell me about your work in helping those on your side to speak to us on earth.

 Answer: When a spirit wishes to speak to you he takes on earth conditions from your surroundings. We always know when your meetings take place, when you are meeting. I am responsible for manipulating the trumpet. I have been standing beside you waiting to speak to you, and I am glad of the chance to tell you what I can.

Question: So you are responsible for the megaphones or trumpets?

 Answer: Yes, I deal with them entirely. When there is going to be a meeting, the chemist whom I work with generally lets me know when it is going to occur, and asks me to come along at the specified time. He supplies a substance, and also obtains a certain amount from the medium and the other sitters. It is the combination of this spirit—substance with ectoplasm, drawn from the medium and sitters, which enables us to materialize. If there is enough it allows the metallic instrument to go to all parts of the room, and voices to be produced. When I came tonight I first looked to see where I could best gather the most ectoplasm. The chemist gets it from me and adds his ingredients, and it is then conveyed to the most suitable place. I also speak for those who cannot do so, and also for those who may be a long distance away. These latter send me their messages as you send messages by wireless; these are picked up by a receiver and given to me; I then pass them on, giving the person’s name. I merely act as an Exchange.

  Question: Does that account for what is sometimes thought to be impersonation?

 Answer: I am the one who passes the message through, but you may sometimes think that I am not the right person speaking. I am the messenger to you from those who cannot speak.

 Question: I am glad of that explanation, not that I have ever experienced impersonation, but it is interesting and helps me to understand your difficulties. Now can you tell me anything more?

Answer: When spirits come into the circle to speak they actually, for the time being, partially materialize; their mouth and tongue being coated by the substance we make. There is a nexus between the medium’s larynx and the materialized mouth and tongue of the spirit speaking, which enables the words the speaker forms to be heard by you. We then feel as we did when on earth. The organs of speech take on a thicker form, our tongue thickens and so do all the other materialized organs. We cannot be heard by you until we again put on matter of slower vibration, and it is only when we find someone like the medium, who can supply us with this ectoplasm, which we fashion to our requirements, that we can again make you hear us. Ectoplasm alone, however, would be of no use without the chemical substance we supply from our side. It would not materialize without it.

Question: What is this substance?

Answer: The chemist is standing beside me, and tells me to say it is no use giving you its ingredients as they would mean nothing to you on earth. He says, however, that the finished product is a substance by which material things can be moved. Nothing can be moved without it. All physical bodies are composed of many different ingredients from which we draw the substance you call ectoplasm.

Question: I once put my ear right up to the medium’s mouth when a voice was speaking, and heard a hissing sound. My father’s voice was speaking at the fat end of the circle to my brother, yet no words came from the medium’s lips, only a soft hissing sound. At other times, when I have done the same thing when a voice was speaking, I have heard nothing. What was that hissing sound I heard?

 Answer: From the medium’s mouth is projected a materialized ectoplasmic tube to carry the vibrations of his larynx to the spirit speaking. The medium’s larynx is used to vibrate the atmosphere,
the spirit’s materialized mouth, throat and tongue to form the words. You were fortunate to hear this hissing. Your scientific men interested in the phenomena would have been glad to have had your experience, as it is something to give you a start in getting some real knowledge of how the voice is produced.

Question: Can you tell me something more about the mask which you enter when you wish to speak?

Answer: You can call it a mask or a dummy. We gather the ectoplasm from the sitters into what I might term an urn; not a physical urn. If you wait a moment I shall try and show you it. (Sloan’s hands and feet were still controlled. I waited, and gradually there appeared high above his head a luminous object which assumed the shape of a large flower-pot, and then faded away.) Did you see it? (Yes, I replied.)

Well, we gather the ectoplasm into this, and the chemist adds his ingredients. The finished product is matter slow enough in vibration to vibrate your atmosphere. The mask, until it is entered by the spirit wishing to speak, is incapable of speaking itself. The spirit has to tune down his organs of speech, and thus contact between these and the mask becomes established. When the magnetic or psychic power is strong enough, there is no difficulty in obtaining sufficient cohesion between the speaker’s organs and the mask. When cohesion is established, the ectoplasmic material moves with the vocal organs of the spirit. It is exactly as if we coated our mouth and tongue with this material. It sticks to them and moves with them.

Question: Has this mask weight; would it affect a balance?

Answer: Yes, it has. The ectoplasm taken from the sitters has weight, and the sitters’ weight is reduced in proportion to the amount that is withdrawn. If you were to sit on a weighing-machine during the sitting you would find your weight decrease. The ectoplasm is returned to the sitters at the end of the séance and they become normal. [This has been proved correct by experiment.]

Taken from On the Edge of the Etheric by Arthur Findlay



Direct Voice by Arthur Findlay

To obtain the Direct Voice we require, in conjunction with those in the etheric world, to make the necessary conditions, or otherwise the phenomena will not take place. They on the other side require our co-operation just as much as we require theirs. We are the passive, and they the active co-operators. We require an individual, the medium, possessed with certain vital forces, or substances, to some extent more than normal. To these we, the sitters, supply our own normal vitality.
That constitutes our part in the proceedings, while the rest is done by those who are working with us beyond the veil. As my investigations progressed, so was I impressed with the complications of the procedure in the etheric world which were necessary to produce the conditions to make communication possible. A group of etheric men who are expert in the handling of organic chemical substances work along with us. Immediately we assemble they get to work to do their part.
The group consists of a director of operations, one or more chemists, one who moves the trumpet in the direction an etheric communicator wishes to speak, and one who gathers the substances from the medium and the sitters by connecting them up with the chemist who draws from them the necessary material. This extends from the medium and the sitters to a central point, and the substance drawn from them is gathered by the chemist into an etheric bowl into which he also adds etheric substances of his own. Another of the group helps etheric newcomers to speak, telling them what to do; others keep away those whose only interest in the proceedings is curiosity, and Whitefeather, to whom I have already referred, considers himself the most important of all, as he is detailed off to give warning when a séance is to take place, so that all the operators may be present and at their posts.
Such is a general description of the modus operandi of the direct voice, on the physical and on the etheric sides of life, but, given the necessary conditions, what is the explanation of all that takes place?
First of all, we must accept their statement that the etheric body is in every way a duplicate of the physical body, both as regards all internal and external organs. In etheric life, communication takes place in the same way as in earth life. The vocal organs vibrate their atmosphere, the tongue moves, the lungs draw in and expel the equivalent to our air, everything proceeds as it proceeds here on earth, the only difference being that it is all taking place in matter of a much finer structure and at a much more rapid rate of vibration.
Thus their vocal organs, though they can operate in their etheric world, cannot do so in our grosser world. Their texture is too fine for them to have any effect on our atmosphere. New conditions must be created in which vibrations are slower. To obtain these, absolute darkness, or subdued red light, is necessary, as the rays of white light break up and disintegrate those finer forces and substances with which they work. The best results are obtained when the nights are clear, and the atmosphere is free from moisture. At the best the conditions permitting speech are very finely balanced, and, besides the foregoing, the sitters must be in good health and harmonious amongst themselves.
Now let us imagine that we are sitting in a circle, the medium being with us, that by singing we have vibrated the atmosphere for about a quarter of an hour, when suddenly a voice, clear, distinct and away from the medium, breaks in upon us, and, after giving name and earth address, engages one of us in conversation. What has actually happened? It was this question that was always uppermost in my thoughts after I became accustomed to these strange conditions. Was it the medium impersonating someone, or an accomplice among the sitters? For many reasons I became satisfied that this voice did not proceed from any human being, but that there was a personality behind it, which was not one of this world, present in the room. I therefore set myself to find out what actually was the cause behind this effect, and, by a series of questions and answers, over a period of time, was told the following, which, for the sake of brevity, I shall put in my own words.
The chemist, to whom I have already referred, after mixing the substances he obtains from the medium and sitters with his own ingredients, takes the finished preparation and with it first materialises his hands and then forms a rough mask in the likeness of a mouth, throat and lungs. This, when finished, is placed in the most suitable part of the room, often in the centre of the circle. The etheric person (whom we shall call in future the etherian) wishing to speak then presses into this mask, slow in vibration, and with it clothes or covers his mouth, throat, tongue and lungs. These organs then take on a thicker or heavier condition, the tongue requires more exertion to move, but with a little practice it all becomes possible. The speaker then, for the time being, has taken on the necessary conditions to make himself once more such as we are, so far as his capacity to form words which we can hear is concerned.
He is again to this extent an inhabitant of matter, slower in vibration, so that when he speaks he produces the same effects on our atmosphere as we do when we speak. He and we are in the same room, within a few feet of each other, he standing speaking to us, and we sitting, answering. He hears us and we hear him. This condition lasts only for a short time, not often for more than ten minutes. When dematerialisation begins the material falls away, and, though his mouth may continue to speak, he is not heard. This briefly is what they mean by saying that they take on earth conditions from our surroundings.
All direct voice mediums possess a certain vital force, or substance, all sitters have it in a lesser degree, and to this is added, by the etheric chemists, other etheric forces or substances, the combination of which is a material sufficiently slow in vibration to vibrate our atmosphere. The only thing we cannot understand is how the speaker clothes himself with it, or absorbs it. What is the exact effect which is produced when he presses into it and becomes covered with it? Some day we shall doubtless find out the explanation, but what I write is in substance all that has been told me.
When I have asked for further details I have been told that I would not understand, and must be content with such information as has, so far, been given to me. So I had to be satisfied, but here I again repeat that often I have put my ear quite close to the medium’s mouth and heard nothing beyond his regular breathing, though a voice was speaking to someone at the time, and only my personal friends were present in the Séance Room of the Glasgow Society for Psychical Research.
On one occasion the communicator told me that the medium’s larynx was being used, and that his voice was being carried by a psychic tube to the trumpet, which magnified it so that we could hear it. In other words, he was making use of the medium’s lungs and larynx and mouth to save the necessity of materialising these organs, but even then I did not hear the medium speaking.
This information was made clearer by replies to further questions. When a voice speaks through the trumpet it is not always independent of the medium, and does not always proceed from a materialised entity in the centre of the circle. The power is not always strong enough to maintain this form of communication throughout the entire sitting. What happens is this. The communicator who wishes to speak controls the medium and speaks through him. The communicator has not, however, the same control over the medium as his regular controllers, and the voice produced is sometimes not above a whisper. The voice is conveyed from the medium’s mouth by means of a materialised ectoplasmic or psychic tube to the trumpet, which amplifies the voice so that it can be heard. Speaking under these circumstances the speaker stands behind the medium, whose etheric body for the time being is detached from his physical body; in other words the medium is in trance. The communicator is thus able to control the medium’s vocal organs.
There is an etheric connecting link, which has the same effect on the medium’s muscles as the atmospheric waves have on two tuning forks tuned to the same pitch. As the vibrations of one act on the other, so the two sets of vocal organs, those of the etheric speaker and those of the medium, act in unison. Thus what the etherian says the medium says, both sets of organs working in harmony.
That information satisfied me up to a point, but the question was how the sound was produced. Our lips form the words, our larynx causes the sound. I then asked what caused the sound, and was told that the medium’s larynx was used for this purpose, and that the sound was conveyed from it by means of the etheric tube to the trumpet. It was made clear, however, that what was carried from the medium to the trumpet was not air from the medium’s lungs. The larynx is used to cause the sound, but not by means of air passing through the vocal chords. The atmosphere is vibrated by a method of their own, and I was told I must accept the fact that the larynx was used to produce the sound, which was carried to the trumpet from the etherian who was speaking.
There is no question, my informant insisted, of the messages in any way being influenced by the medium’s mind, as his mind does not come into the question at all. They do not act through the medium’s mind, but directly on his vocal organs. The mind of the etheric speaker is in complete control, and the medium’s brain is switched off for the time being. What we sometimes hear, therefore, is the medium’s voice through the trumpet, though it sounds quite unlike his own, as it always does in trance, and this form of communication is different from the Direct Voice, because the voice is conveyed to the trumpet and not produced quite apart from the medium. At times they tell me that they can convey the voice into the trumpet right across the circle.
At Sloan’s séances we have, therefore, three different forms of communication. Firstly, trance utterances. Secondly, by means of the method just described; and thirdly, the best of all, voices from etheric men, women and children who have materialised their vocal organs and lungs and speak as we do, without any connection whatever with the medium, except the ectoplasmic substance necessary for materialisation which they borrow from the medium and sitters.

The trumpet is moved by materialised rods, made by a combination of these substances supplied by the medium, the sitters, and their chemist. It can he moved also by a materialised hand, and the larger end is used to rest the materialised mouth on, inside the trumpet, thus directing the voice in the direction the speaker desires to speak without his requiring to move from the place where he has materialised. Either end of the trumpet can be used, whichever suits their purpose best. When the trumpet is not used it means that the substance is sufficient, and the power strong enough, to enable one or more materialisations to take place, usually in the vicinity of the person to whom the communicator wishes to speak. Thus, I have heard, on occasion, two and sometimes three voices speaking to different people at the same time.
Not always, however, is the person present who purports to speak, as those who have passed through what is called the second transition, on to a higher plane of thought, find it difficult, if not impossible, to communicate. They, however, can communicate with those in the lower plane, their messages being picked up and passed on by some Etherian present at the séance. This, I think, is often done, even by those on the surface of the sphere bordering this earth who find communication difficult by means of materialising their own vocal organs. An Irishman in etheric life, named Gallacher, told me that much of his time at a séance was occupied in taking messages and passing them on. He calls himself the “telephone exchange”.
I asked once if the materialised vocal organs could be touched and had weight, and was told they could be, and that they had the weight that we, the sitters, had lost during the sitting. If we each sat on a weighing machine we would find our weight during the séance gradually decreasing, and, as the séance neared an end, as the ectoplasm was returned, so would our weight return to normal. The experiments by Dr. Crawford, and others, have proved this statement to be correct. This ectoplasm, which they draw from us, is useless unless it is mixed with ingredients supplied by the chemist, as materialisation could not take place from ectoplasm alone.
This ectoplasmic-etheric combination is, I am told, the preparation required, not only for materialisation, but for the movement by those in the other world of all physical objects. They can move nothing on earth without it. Our bodies are composed of the ingredients from which they draw this substance called ectoplasm. I have found it impossible, however, to get any detailed information as to what are the chemical ingredients of the substance they add to the ectoplasm. The chemist would not tell me, as he said I could not understand even if he did. I asked once if the thoughts of the medium in any way coloured the communications which came by means of the direct voice, and the reply I received was, “Certainly not”.
As to what takes place when the medium speaks in trance, I am told that the etherian wishing to speak gathers ectoplasm from the medium, and thus gets control of his vocal organs. So far as Sloan is concerned, his brain is not used in any way. What happens is briefly this. The ectoplasm forms the connecting link between the etherian speaking and the medium’s vocal organs, and, as the etherian speaks, so the medium’s vocal organs move. Here materialisation of the mouth, throat and tongue does not take place, the medium’s vocal organs being used to vibrate the atmosphere, and form the words spoken by the controlling etheric man, woman or child.
My claim for this book is that it gives an explanation, both logical and reasonable, of how the phenomenon of the Direct Voice occurs, and one which should appeal to everyone. Evidence, such as is contained in the next four chapters, may not in itself be sufficient to convince the average individual, but, when a logical explanation can also be given, an acceptance of the phenomenon is much less difficult. I have created conditions so as to make fraud and impersonation impossible, and, by persistent enquiry, have obtained information about the Etheric World, its inhabitants, and how communication takes place which should satisfy the average individual.
This has never been attempted before, to my knowledge, in the same systematic way, but it must be remembered that I have dealt with hard facts all my life. I have required a knowledge of economics and mathematics in my business life, and, outside of this, my special interest has been in physics. I have therefore approached this subject in a matter-of-fact way, and have obtained information which makes the phenomena, to any unbiased person, both reasonable and natural. Consequently this enquiry should help to raise the study of psychic phenomena to a higher plane of thought, and be another stepping stone towards its being ultimately placed on a strictly scientific basis.

From: On the Edge of the Etheric pp 86-95







From: On the Edge of the Etheric pp 86-95







From: On the Edge of the Etheric






Behind The Scenes Of A Direct Voice Séance

By Sylvia Barbanell

Because of the success Red Cloud (spiritual guide of Estelle Roberts) has achieved in wartime with his voice séances, I thought that a statement by him on what happens “behind the scenes” would be of interest. When Red Cloud was approached by my husband and myself, he said it would be difficult to convey what happened in a spirit world that had different dimensions, but he would do his best.

“There are some things I can tell you,” he said, “but some are impossible. Let me put it like this. When a scientist is in his laboratory, and he is testing the various elements, he is very secluded and does not let others into his laboratory. Well, in this new group we have formed we are experimenting still. We are experimenting along lines of electricity and ether, that we may be able to accomplish the direct voice later on without a material body, because it causes a certain amount of interference and waste. Under those conditions, in the first instance, we must be careful in our experiments.

“I have my group. In it I have a scientist who was very well known in your world in his day. He has come in since I started this new series of voice circles, which you must admit are better than the old ones. Then there are some doctors and the four boys. The scientist and I gather a certain amount of ectoplasm from the medium and a little—very little—from the sitters. Some of this we have managed to keep. That is difficult for you to understand because you have the idea that ectoplasm always must return to its source. This small quantity, such a fraction, we have solidified and retained. We draw on it when we are ready and put it into the trumpet when we are using the trumpet.’’

Would it be correct to say,” Red Cloud was asked “that in addition to the ectoplasm, which has gone back to the medium after every séance, there is a small proportion which has been retained by you”

 “That is right,” was his reply. “It is so fractional that it is not missed. We have moulded it into a larynx, able to expostulate, so that sound can be transmuted in an understandable form to your ears.”

“So you have actually constructed a model larynx,” my husband said to the guide. “and kept it in stock, as it were, one that is not connected with the medium?”

“That is what I want you to remember, ‘Red Cloud answered. “Now, then, we use electricity from the ether. We take rods from the magnetic belt and connect them with the larynx.”

“What exactly are the rods?” he was asked. “Are they made of ectoplasm, too?”

The guide said: “They are electrical. They are something like electrical waves with insulating tapes of ectoplasm over them, which we draw from the medium and which have to return to the medium.”

“Is the purpose of the rods to enable the trumpet to move?” he was asked.

“No. Sometimes there is one rod, sometimes there are two rods. It depends on the conditions in operation, the condition of the body, atmospherics, etc. These affect the life—ray of electricity, as they do in your world, because we have to strike the vibration of your world.”

“Is it the same kind of electricity that we have in this world?” was the next question.

“It is,” said Red Cloud, “but the revolution of it is quicker until it strikes your vibration of electricity. When we have attached those rods to the larynx in the trumpet, the voices are struck on the electrical vibrations at the other end of the rods— not the trumpet end—and vibrate through the larynx, which converts them into audible sound in your world.”

“At what stage does the projection of the voice take place?” the guide was asked.

“It takes place twice,” said Red Cloud. “First, from the astral—we do not have to have a conductor for that, we use our own—then, it strikes down to a lower vibration, and then it strikes through the electrical rod into the mouthpiece of the larynx. Hence you get the boys’ voices.”

“So two distinct operations are required to bring the vibration down to earth’s level and then to make it audible?”

“Yes, for the larynx is inside the trumpet.”

“And where does the spirit speaker stand, at the trumpet or the other end?”

 “The other end, sometimes right at the side of the medium.”

“Where the rod is connected to the medium?”


 “Then that electrical impulse travels up the rod into the larynx and so we hear the voice?”

 “Quite right.”

“What does the spirit speaker have to do in order to make himself heard? Does he think, or actually speak?”

“In the voice circles, we have built, just outside the ether, a box, or case, large enough for a man to stand in. Sometimes you have heard them say they have been asked to stand in the box, haven’t you? Well, they stand there and we fix over their ears and their mouths an electric rod, and they strike on the rod through which they strike to the earth.

“But they often stand near the medium. It depends on how calm they are and on the kind of voice we want to put through. Some are more capable than others. You know that in your world you have speakers and speakers. But they do speak. You have to be a long time in our world before you conduct conversation only by thought. You have to use your lips to voice your thoughts—well, it is the same here. We certainly talk.”

“Why are a trumpet and rods necessary? Why can’t you have a larynx at the side of the medium, or build it up over the medium’s larynx, and let them speak direct into that?”

 “Now, listen. That is just what I was coming to. I told you we were experimenting. In your world there is a man I know. .

Here Red Cloud was referring to Sir Ernest Fisk, one of the world’s experts on radio communication. Sir Ernest, who was associated with Marconi in his pioneering experiments, has stated that he considers one day wireless communications with the dead will be achieved.

Sir Ernest has spoken to Red Cloud and the guide said of him:
“We are experimenting along his lines. Eventually, instead of using the box, the electrical machine will be built in your world by which voices will be heard directly from the ether space. We shall then be able to manifest the vibration sufficiently to strike the heavier forms of ether of your world through wireless telegraphy.”

“And that will dispense with the medium?” was the next inquiry.

“Yes, later on, but not yet. You are aware that always there are voices in space. You have proved that earthly voices and music can be picked up on certain wavelengths. Well, it will come about. Tell him he is right. The time will come, just as your wireless came, but it is still in the experimental stage.”

“But why can’t you have a larynx over the medium’s and dispense with the rods?”

“We cannot at present. We would have to form certain electrical rods which might interfere with the grey matter of the medium.

“What purpose does the trumpet serve from your point of view?”

“For one thing, you must have elements of conduction. We must have conduction to help hold the electricity together, something like a little cabinet to hold the ectoplasm, otherwise it would disintegrate. That is why I ask for water to be poured through the trumpet – it is a conductor.”

“So it is in cabinet form to condense and break down everything to make it audible to us?”

“Quite right. You appreciate also that we are dealing with the electrical vibrations of all the people in the room.”

“What exactly, as far as you can describe it, is it that you put over the ears and mouth of the people who speak, and why is it done?”

“It is done, first of all, to distract their attention from what is going on round them, and also to cause them to lower their vibration just a little to touch the rods sufficiently to express themselves clearly.”

“It is really the means of enabling them to concentrate on talking to the exclusion of anything else?”

“Yes, we do not want them to be put off by the others, or by any outside noise. You have external distractions; well, we have the noise of the universe around us.”

“It is a means of isolating them?”

“Yes, exactly.  It is a substance used from our sphere and not from yours at all.  It is a means of insulation by a substance which you cannot understand, a form of solidified ether.”

“It seems to me similar to the kind of apparatus that airmen use to communicate with one another.”

“Yes, it is similar. It is also a means of preventing the communicator from being interfered with by the conventional things of our world. You know the interferences and atmospherics you get when the rays are crossed by some vehicles.”

“So the communicators talk just as naturally as they would here when they get into the box?”

“Yes, except when they break down.”

“Does it require an effort on the part of the speaker?”

“Yes and no.  It is all according to the nature of the person and his ability to overcome self-consciousness. Every personality is different.”

“Is it largely emotional stress that makes them break down sometimes?’’

“Not always, sometimes they become self-conscious without any emotional stress. Some are successful, like Henry Segrave; he has grown quite accustomed to it, like I have. But to some, when they hear your voices, it strikes such a chord in their memory that the emotion rises and they give it up.”

“Would you describe it as a difficult task for the average communicator to speak in the direct voice?”

“Yes, it is, but remember, it is only in its infancy. Men like Oliver Lodge are endeavouring with their earth knowledge to do what they can to help this subject forward.”

“How far are the speakers rehearsed beforehand?”

“We have to put them through their paces.”

“Do you cross-examine them beforehand?”

“Yes, but it is not done out of any disrespect or lack of love, but merely to make them practised.  We put them on once or twice to see if they are capable of holding it. If they break down, we put them back a bit, but we always promise to let them come back and try again.”

“Do you rehearse the evidence?”

“Yes, but sometimes if the earth person becomes emotional that immediately has the effect of causing the voice to withdraw.”

“When a question is asked which the spirit does not answer, is that because that question has been unrehearsed?”

“That is true. They can sometimes answer spontaneously; it is all according to their personality. They are so keyed-up to get over what they want to say, that sometimes your questions make them feel they want to run hack and find out the answers, and then it all breaks down.”

“Obviously they are not completely normal while communicating, keyed-up with the excitement of what they are going to say.”

“Yes, but it is all according to the personality of the communicator.”

“Is the duration of the séance determined by the amount of strain it causes to the medium?”

“Exactly, I have often said to you: ‘I must go away now.’ That is when the doctors come and beckon to me that it is time the medium returned to her body.”

“Why does the trumpet go down with a bang?”

“When we disconnect and withdraw the rods from the trumpet it has nothing to hold it up.

 The voice and the box are often at the medium’s side. You will notice the trumpet often ends there – in the box. Then the rods and larynx are removed and it comes down. It is just the law of gravitation.”

“How is the trumpet manipulated?”

“It is held up by an electrical ray.”

“Not by rods?”

“It is the same thing really.’’

“Who actually manipulates the trumpet?”

“I do.’’

“When Bill Castello is talking to his father and mother and the trumpet goes right over to them, is that you or Bill moving it?’’

 “I move it for Bill.”

“But Bill is not at the small end of the trumpet; his voice is still striking the rod near your medium?”

“Yes, quite right, that is the position. When the boys sometimes say: ‘Let us get it up a bit higher,’ they are all just giving a bit of power.”

“So the ‘transmitting station’ is by the side of the medium, and the loudspeaker is the trumpet?”

“Yes, that is a good way of putting it.”

“Your methods are a great improvement on the old ones.”

“Yes, all things must improve. Credit must be given to the pioneers of 50 years ago, but there has never been work like that you have had in the past 20 years. Everything must go on, if it is for the good of mankind. You do not think good men are going to sit down there and forget all about their life efforts, do you?”

“Do you get any interference at the voice séance?”

“Yes. You may wonder why I do not allow my medium to have them too often. I believe she has told you the condition of the astral world is chaotic. The result is that we find, very often, there are so many wandering round our world. That is something we have to watch out for.

 Many men, lying unconscious in hospitals, are wandering in the astral world. If they can get to know of a circle being held, they are just like normal beings over here and they endeavour to join in. And they could do so and talk just as easily as one who is really over here for good.

 That is one thing we have to be careful about. It is not deliberate interference, but due to their natural desire.”

“How are they attracted to a circle?”

“They just hear somehow. News travels here, too, and they all rush to see what is going on, just like any man would.”

“How do you keep them out?”

“We have watchers. That is why your mediums should not work half so hard as they do.”

“And yet the demand at present is greater than ever.”

“Yes, but they should wait until the conditions settle down more.

“Does the one communicating hear all that is said? Do you hear what is said?”

“I can, but not the others, only the one inside the box. They cannot strike through so clearly into your world and they only get a distorted view of what is going on, if at all. You get a word here and there, but not a great deal, if you are not in the box actually speaking. But I hear it all.”

“It all really comes down to a question of vibrations.”

“Yes, and the greatest difficulty of all is to strike the vibration between our rate and your rate, so that the link operates between the two at the right moment. That is tricky.”

“That is done by electrical impulses?”

“Yes, it is purely a scientific question. You may have noticed that sometimes the boys’ voices become slurred, that is, when they try to speak their words become slurred as they strike the lower rate of vibration, and it becomes sound without articulation.’’

“Is that why we do not always get the distinct characteristic tones of the speaker, but there seems to be the sound of Estelle’s voice in the background?”

“That is due to the striking between the two rates. If you could listen from our world you would hear their own characteristic voices, but the medium’s characteristics are in the ectoplasm. It is impossible to cut that completely out.”

“Yes, I suppose it is inherent in the ectoplasm, in the larynx you build.”

“Yes, you cannot have it otherwise, except when I talk. I am in complete charge. After all, the boys cannot understand it as well as I do.”

“Is it right to call it a larynx, is that the most suitable description?”

“We call it the articulation box.”

“What happens to the larynx that is retained, the piece of ectoplasm that does not go back into the medium?”

“We take it away in a little case we have, because it is solidified, not in your sense, but in the etheric sense; that is, once again, a transmutation of matter.’’

“With the direct voice, when the spirits speak, is that not astral projection?”

“No, the person has to be there in order to speak; nobody else can do it for them. It is not actually his voice, he is there behind it, but I suppose it is a form of projection.”

“We can understand that. It is no more the actual voice than a gramophone record of my voice would be actually mc.”

“Yes, that is right.”

Recommended reading: Some Discern Spirits by Sylvia Barbanell






Doctor Examines Spirit Larynx

Mrs Perriman was the medium used by Noah Zerdin when he held public meetings for “The Link of Home Circles” to demonstrate the Direct Voice. This extract refers to the construction of a spirit larynx witnessed by a medical doctor.

At two experimental sittings, we introduced a special type of fluorescent screen to assist the spirit world to demonstrate “etheric television.” As it was an experiment, we did not know whether it would meet with success or not, but we were always ready to try anything new if it meant increasing our knowledge of the operation of psychic laws.

There was no demonstration at the first sitting, which was mainly given over to instructions and personal messages to the sitters.

At the next sitting, Belle, (Guide of Mollie Perriman) was the first to speak. She had a cheery word for each sitter, and announced: “I am going to bring my little blue bird. I want you to see it, and hear it sing.” At first we were unable to see anything, although we could hear a faint whistle. After a while, we observed a light appear and take the form of a bird. When it was fully formed, it took to flying round the room and whistling a shrill note.

Flora spoke, and told us to move the big luminous screen, which was resting on a chair, to a position where it would not reflect its light on the medium. Soon the shadow of a cross was thrown on the screen. “I have brought the cross from the mantelpiece and put it back again,” said Belle. The cross referred to was an apport brought at a previous sitting. It is a solid piece of work in green marble, and weighs nearly half a pound.

Belle told us she was going to try to do something.

“Look!” she said. We saw lights appear behind and above the screen. The number of lights increased, and there was one extra large patch of luminosity. On the screen we observed a shadow, but we could not define any shape. Another large light appeared, and the mass of lights began moving about the room.

Belle said she was going to get something. We saw the trumpet, illumined by reflected light from the screen, sail up to the ceiling. “I’m going to do something else,” said Belle. She carried some roses from a vase on the mantel piece, held them in front of the screen, and touched one of the woman sitters on the head. “I can see your little hand holding the rose, Belle,” said this sitter.

A spirit voice told us that they were ready to experiment. The screen, which weighs over fourteen pounds, began slowly to rise. Higher and higher it went until we heard it knock against the ceiling. It remained there for some time, the luminous side being visible to us. Then it began to descend, revolving very quickly in space. It then went from one side of the room to the other at a quick rate. Following these gyrations it gradually descended and came to rest on the chair. Not a sound was heard.

Then we were told that an attempt would be made to materialise the spirit larynx used for speaking. Within a foot of Dr. Coulthard’s face, there appeared a materialised structure showing movement of different parts as the control spoke through it. “I am talking to you,” he said, “and I want you all to see how this works. Now I am up here.” We heard the voice coming from the ceiling. “Now I am coming right away, here, in front of you.” The voice descended from the ceiling and spoke to the doctor. “You saw the larynx manipulated, doctor?”

“Yes,” was the reply.

“Then I would like you to express your opinion,” he was asked.

Here is Dr. H. Coulthard’s report on the materialised larynx:

“Striking proof of the modus operandi of the direct voice phenomenon was given me at a Mrs. Perriman séance a few days ago, when a complete ectoplasmic larynx was materialised less than two feet in front of me.

“I was able to see the whole of the working parts of the larynx, and have no hesitation in declaring, as a medical man, that the structure I saw was an exact replica of a human larynx.

“This remarkable experiment was made by one of Mrs. Perriman’s controls. I was sitting two chairs away from the medium, and the séance room was so arranged that it was impossible for Mrs. Perriman to move from her seat. Directly in front of her had been placed a new instrument with which we were experimenting.

“I heard the voice of the control talking in front of me. Then there appeared straight in front of me and about eighteen inches away, a phosphorescent replica of a typical anatomical larynx. It was shown in such a position that I could see clearly its construction.

“Inside the larynx there were the vocal cords or folds. These cords, when one is speaking, move from side to side. When the voice is not being used the cords are motionless. While I was looking at this spirit larynx, I heard the control talking. As he spoke, the vocal cords moved in exactly the way I would expect if I were able to watch a human larynx at work. The spirit varied the pitch of his voice, speaking sometimes high and sometimes low. These changes were all accompanied by the appropriate movements of the cords. The distance between the cords varied as the pitch varied.

“I am convinced that it would have been impossible for the medium to have produced such a model as I saw. Even if she were able to get out of her chair, and in front of me, she would still have to work the model without her hands being visible. She would require considerable technical knowledge, which I am sure she does not possess, to be able to move the cords exactly as they should be moved when the voice was speaking. Besides, the voice was distinctly that of a man.

“The larynx seemed to me to be floating. The phosphorescent nature of the substance naturally made it a trifle blurred, but it was sufficiently clear for me to certify that it was in all respects similar to a human larynx.”

Recommended Reading:  Broadcasting from Beyond
by A.E. Perriman

When You Hear The “Dead” Speak

By Maurice Barbanell

NOBODY knows exactly how direct voice is produced. Perhaps the explanation involves concepts of time and space that are beyond our understanding, which is limited to happenings in three dimensions.

When I once asked Red Cloud, the guide of Estelle Roberts, who in my long experience has produced the most evidential voice communications, how the results were obtained, he did so, but I could not understand it. I had his description reported verbatim, which I have read many times, but am still unable to comprehend the mechanics of this form of mediumship. It may be that varying methods are used with different mediums.

One of its most intriguing aspects is that it is “catching.” After Frank Decker, the American voice medium, had visited our home circle, he advised us to put a trumpet in the circle at the next séance, saying that he thought that sufficient “power” would be left behind to provide an impetus for us. We followed his advice and, sure enough, it happened. The trumpet, on which we had placed luminous paint, rose from the ground. That was the beginning of our own direct-voice phenomena which continued regularly thereafter.

Similarly Dennis Bradley, after many séances in his home with George Valiantine, another excellent medium, developed his own voice mediumship which functioned successfully and regularly. Once he said to Hannen Swaffer, who attended all these séances, “Do you realise that you and I know more about the direct voice than anybody living today?” Swaffer replied, “I don’t know what you know, but all I know is that I sit on a chair in the dark and we hear voices.”

Not even the communicators are able to explain in a manner that we can understand what they do to make themselves heard seeing that they no longer possess the power of speech or the physical equipment connected with it. I remember a communicator who, on being asked how he spoke, replied that he went into a kind of box and did the equivalent of our shouting into a hole, and we seemed to hear him.

In Arthur Findlay’s book, “On the Edge of the Etheric”, which features outstandingly successful voice sittings, there is an explanation by the mediums guide. He said that ectoplasm, to which other ingredients were added, was used to construct a mask resembling the mouth and tongue into which the communicator placed his face and created something similar to his old voice. No clue was given as to what these other ingredients were. Nor was it explained how this process of materialising the voice was actually done.

It may be, as this guide said, we shall never know until we pass on. Obviously something similar to a human larynx has to be constructed in order that non-physical beings can produce physical results. Obviously, too, most of the “power,” whatever that may be, is drawn from the medium.

In 40 years’ experience of psychic phenomena, I have never come across any more evidential than the sustained results we obtained with Estelle Roberts. Red Cloud was always superb in his production of irrefutable evidence. Yet even when I recognised the distinctive intonation in a friend’s voice when he communicated, I could detect traces of what sounded like Estelle’s voice.

The technique in this form of communication must be difficult. You could tell from the movements of the trumpet before any voice was heard whether the spirit speaker was a beginner or an expert. With novices it was uncertain, inclined to wobble and dropped at the end of their talk with a bang. With experienced speakers it rose vertically with great speed, and when they had finished it gracefully and silently returned to the floor.

Sir Henry Segrave, who said that the technique was far more difficult than his motor racing, could, at first, only stammer out a few words with silences in between them. After a few months, so perfect was his mastery, that the trumpet would move over to his wife’s ear while he whispered into it and maintained a long conversation.

Not only did communicators have to learn the process but sitters had to acquire some understanding. According to Red Cloud, before communicators were allowed to return at his séances he drilled and rehearsed them in what they were going to say, to make sure that what they said was unmistakable evidence of their identity. Thus we were told always to encourage them to speak and never to bark questions like, “Who are you?” “Whom do you want?” “When did you die?” which inhibited results.

At Estelle’s voice séances we always played the same gramophone record with its tunes from “Rose Marie,” the musical comedy. Red Cloud, who should know, said that these musical vibrations helped. Awkward silences by self-conscious newcomers would be a deterrent. Before each communication we were encouraged to chat among ourselves, while the record played.
Then would come Red Cloud’s voice, “Hold on,” and we stopped chatting, the music was made softer, while another visitor broke the silence of death.

The séances were always held in complete darkness. Occasionally when a chink of light could be seen coming through the door, Red Cloud would ask that this be covered. I have heard some Spiritualists say that the darkness was unnecessary and that similar results could be obtained in red or blue light. When I put this point to Red Cloud he replied, “You give me the conditions and I will produce the results.” No fault could be found with this logic.

In varying degrees of red light, with other mediums, I have heard spirit voices either through a trumpet or seemingly independent, coming out of space in different parts of the room. On rare occasions, the medium, not in trance, as is usual, would converse with communicators.

In America they have a variation of this phenomenon in what they call solar-plexus voice mediumship. Hazel Ridley demonstrated it in Britain on one visit from the USA. I have heard this voice phenomenon several times and frequently in good artificial light or daylight. The voice seemed to emanate from the direction of the medium’s solar plexus, but a few inches away from it, and you could carry on a conversation with it. A curious feature is that most of the mediums who developed this form of mediumship were either born or developed in the region of Niagara Falls. Was it the rushing water that produced the necessary power? I do not know.

When it is efficiently developed, direct voice is perhaps the most satisfactory form of spirit communication, especially when you obtain it in your own home. Alas, in this age of speed and bustle, when too many people are trying to get nowhere faster, so few have the patience, as the Hodges of Brighton did for many years, to sit, week after week, to unfold this priceless gift, so dramatic in piercing the iron curtain of death.


By Maurice Barbanell

“I want to talk to my wife. I am William Reane . . .”

“Don’t you know me, Nellie darling? It is Mowbray . . .”

 “I want to speak to my husband. I am Mary Sharpe . . .”

 “I want to talk to my husband, Florence Eyles speaking . . .”

 “Father, it is Jack Waddington speaking . . .”

“I am Arthur Wilcox . . .”

THESE were the opening statements made by the spirit voices when they spoke at a Red Cloud Direct Voice circle. The medium was Estelle Roberts.

 The evidence that came through proved that life goes on, and, where suitable instruments can be found, the “dead” return to speak to those whom they knew here.

The seance began with Jackie, who generally is the first to speak after Red Cloud has announced his presence. He was followed by a voice which said, “I want to talk to my wife. I am William Reane.”

“Darling, is that really you speaking?” he was asked.

 “Listen,” the spirit voice replied. Do you remember we said that, if I could get back, I should tell you about the daisy chains. You filled my hands with daisies in the coffin.”

 “Yes, I did,” confirmed the sitter. “Oh! how wonderful.”

“Thank Dorothy for all she has done for me,” asked the voice. “I am happy that you published my poems.”

“I am so glad you know about them,” exclaimed his wife.

 Then the spirit voice of the husband gave her another piece of evidence. “Tell me about Chloe,” he said.

“Do you mean our dog?” asked the sitter, in amazement.

“Yes, of course,” was the reply.

“I want you to know,” the voice went on, “that I am quite happy. You said if I could only give you the symbol of the daisy chain.”

 “I put daisies in his hands in his coffin,” volunteered the sitter. “How wonderful he should remember.”

The next communication was full of evidence.  There was present in the séance room a woman whose son had returned at an earlier seance to thank Lady Segrave for some help she had given his mother. When he spoke this time, he gave his mother scores of proofs of his survival. Every time she referred to his death, he pulled her up. She corrected herself by saying, “I beg your pardon. I mean since you left me.”

 Just before he went, she said, “Goodbyebut he insisted that it was only to be “Au revoir.”

 “Nellie,” called the next voice. “Don’t you know me, darling? It is Mowbray. I have May here with me – my sister.”

 “I know,” was the answer. “Give her my love.”

“It is wonderful to hear your voice again, after all these years,” the spirit voice continued.

Then he gave more evidence. “Do you remember we were only together ten days, and then – death?”

“Yes,” was the answer.  “On our honeymoon.”

The voice of the spirit husband comforted her, but she assured him that she was “happier than I have been for years and years.”

“Do you know who else is here with me?” her “dead” husband asked “Wait a minute while I go out and let him speak to you. Don’t be unhappy, he added. “You have been my bride all your life.” The sound of kisses was heard coming through the trumpet.

“It has been simply wonderful to see you, darling,” the sitter told him.

“God bless you, my darling bride,” was his answer.

Then, as often happens, Red Cloud volunteered further evidence. Addressing the wife, he said, “He tells me he died of typhoid fever.”

“Yes, quite right,” was the sitter’s reply.

 The next voice announced itself as “Father, Father William.” He was very excited, and dropped the trumpet for a few minutes. There seemed to be some confusion.

 Soon he spoke again. I want my daughter. Just a moment, and I will make myself known. My wife’s name is Louisa Teresa. My brother’s name is Henry. My sister is Amelia. My other sister is Connie, and the other one is Emily.”

“Now,” he asked, “have I made myself clear’?”

 “Yes, wonderfully clear,” was the answer.

 “It is many years since I spoke to you,” the spirit voice went on. “I have not come for long, but I wanted make it clear who I was.”

The next spirit voice announced itself as “Bert,” and asked for his wife.

He told her of the spirits who were with him, giving their names as Gladys, my dear little girl,” and added that “Charlie and Tim are here with me.”

He asked for his love to be given to someone named Evie, and promised to come back and talk again some day.

I want to speak to my husband,” said the next spirit communicator. I am Mary Sharpe. I am trying to speak to you, dear, but it is not easy.”

‘Come and try,” said her husband. ‘I am trying. . . . You know why I wanted to speak so badly today.”

“I would like to hear you say why,” sitter said.

“Because it is my daughter’s birthday,” the reply came, clearly and distinctly.

 “Yes, that is good,” acknowledged sitter. “That is very clever of you to hit on that, because no one knew about it here. . . . I wanted you to bring something like that, that no one knew only ourselves.”

“Yes,” the spirit wife replied, “I told you who I am.”

“Yes, but I am going to be very strict with you. You told me to insist upon proof.” So she gave him some more proofs.

 “You know, dear, I was only twenty-eight when I died,” she said. “I died with appendicitis and peritonitis.”

“That is quite right.”

“Have I got to prove any more’?” asked the spirit voice.

“No,” was the reply. “I think you have given splendid proof.” In spite of that, she told him, “I have been here about twenty years.”

“Your daughter is a young woman now,” her husband said. “I suppose you are as proud of her as I am.”

 “As proud as I am of you,” was the spirit’s reply. “I love you always. I tried hard, as I did not want you to go away disappointed.”

I should have been disappointed,” husband told her, “but I should have known that there was no fault on your side.”

Then there came a voice which said, “I want to speak to my husband. I am Florence Eyles speaking.”

“Do you recognize me, Flo’?” she was asked.

“Of course I do,” came the reply. “That is my husband. . . Tell me, how is Tornmy?” she asked. Then she enquired after Pat, Gladys, Maurice, and said, “Those are my children.”

 She gave her husband some advice about her daughters, and told him that she heard his prayers every night.

“Don’t you worry about me,” she insisted. “I am happy, as long as you are. I will stick it out if you do.”

 Before the spirit wife left, she told her husband, “Don’t you worry about Pat. I will look after her and guide her.”

“That is what I ask you to do every night,” her husband said.

 “I know you do,” was the reply. “It is no easy task to leave a man with two boys and two girls.”

The spirit voice that followed spoke to a clergyman, who was seated next to me.

 “Father,” the spirit voice said. “It is Jack Waddington speaking.”

 “It is wonderful to hear you, my boy.”

 “Is it not wonderful to hear them all, Father’?” his son asked. “Give my love to mother.. . .I was with you on your birthday, a few days ago. . . . I want you to know that I am helping you.”

The father was overjoyed at his son’s return. There was another surprise in store for him, for the spirit son told him, “I have a friend here who wishes to speak to you, Father. Just hold on a moment.”

 Then we heard, “Most difficult, and yet I am making a big effort tonight.”

“Is that my friend’?” asked the clergyman.

 The spirit then gave his name, “The Rev. Alexander White. I have come here tonight to make myself known to you, because I am inspiring you in your work for God and humanity.”

“Were you at Edinburgh’?” asked the clergyman.

 I was,” came the reply. “I have also been described to you by a medium.”

“Where was it you were described to me’?” he was asked.

 “ Somewhere near the sea,” came the answer. “I want you to know that I am with you when you read my book, and I shall help you in all your work. Do not be afraid of truth.”

“I loved your writings and sermons,” the sitter volunteered.

 “I am happy to have this great privilege of speaking to you,” the spirit answered. “God will watch over you and yours, if you will do your work for God and Man.”

Before he went, he pronounced his benediction, “May the great God keep you within his presence.”

“It is the great Alexander White,” the clergyman told me. “One of Scotland’s finest preachers.”

“I am Arthur Wilcox speaking,” announced the next spirit voice.

“Hullo, Lil,” he added, attracting the attention of the sitter to whom he was speaking. “Do you know who is here with me tonight’? . . . I have had a deuce of a job to keep him quiet – my brother Tom.”

He made several enquiries after friends, named George and Alice, and volunteered the information that “I was with you when you had the operation. I was quite close all the time.”

“I know,” he was told. “I could not have got through without that knowledge.”

He sent his love to his “two kiddies.”

“You know,” he added, “I had to be a soldier. I had to fight.. . .I thought I was doing the right thing.”

When he had gone we were told that it was the first time he had spoken, and that he had passed over eighteen years ago.

The spirit voice that followed confirmed that he had appeared on a spirit photograph which had been taken recently. He sent a message to someone named Margaret, whom he wanted to thank for allowing him to speak through her.

 The next voice addressed a woman seated close to me, whom I learned was an old Spiritualist. He gave her a symbol and encouraged her in a new venture she had recently undertaken.

 He was immediately followed by a spirit voice who announced that she was this woman’s sister-in-law. She cleared up some difficulties connected with a will, which she explained had troubled her.

 “I want to speak to Bill ——-,said the next spirit voice, asking for a friend of mine who had only recently become interested in Spiritualism.

The voice gave its nickname as “Digger,” and was delighted because of her success in coming through.

 “Go back and tell my daughters I have spoken,” she said. “Please be sure and tell Ethel I am not part of her subconscious mind. Tell Daisy I am very much alive, and want to get into contact with her.”

She indicated that she knew all that was happening around him, and even suggested that he might name a new boat after her.

She had tried to speak at a previous seance, but had failed to get through, and was very proud of her achievement on this occasion.

Used as I am to the high standard of evidence obtained in Red Cloud’s circle, I was astonished at the amount of proof which was received by those present.

Words are inadequate to describe the drama in some of the conversations, the humour, the pathos, in fact, the humanness of it all.

For nearly two hours, death had been defeated, and the voices of the living “dead” had spoken to their loved ones and friends.

Woman Materialises In Wedding Dress

Roy Brandon, a Fleet Street journalist, sat with Helen Duncan many times. This is his story. It has been said that occasionally Mrs Duncan resorted to fraud. Brandon replied that she always insisted on test conditions — and accepted any condition imposed. ‘All I can say is that if she ever attempted to cheat the result would have been utterly ludicrous, and the fraud palpable to the meanest intellect. I knew Mrs Duncan well. I was aware of all her little frailties. But I revere her memory, as I do that of Albert, the perfect guide. For through her wonderful gift, and with Albert’s aid, she brought comfort to thousands of mourners.’

THE SÉANCE WAS HELD under strict test conditions. Six female sitters accompanied Mrs Duncan to another room, where the medium completely undressed, donning light séance garments which had been inspected previously by the other sitters.

Brandon’s wife was a witness to this operation.

The first form to emerge from the cabinet was a woman — the mother of one of the sitters. Before she appeared Albert stated that she had been many years on the spirit side of life.

The materialised form then appeared and held a conversation with her daughter. At one point, referring to a relative with her on the Other Side, the mother said, ‘Two or three days ago you said you didn’t care which of us came — so I came first!’

‘Quite true’, the woman admitted.

Then a man with a white beard manifested and spoke to his daughter. The latter left her seat to examine the figure, and announced that she was perfectly satisfied.

Following this came an emotional moment, tense and dramatic. The materialised form of a dark, handsome young man came from the cabinet. At his appearance a young woman started to her feet with a half-smothered cry. ‘Mark!’ she exclaimed, in instant recognition.

The form tried to speak, but was obviously overcome with emotion. ‘I love you’, he managed to say at last, and was then drawn back into the cabinet.

‘I was afraid of that’, Albert commented. ‘This boy is a Jew. He is very emotional. I must tell you that he knew he was “dying”. Almost at the last, you took his hand and said, “Do you know me dear?”

‘That is so’, the sitter admitted.

‘He suffered with kidney trouble’, Albert informed her. ‘He became very thin, and during the last few days his feet began to swell. He had a diabetic condition.’ In response to pleadings, this spirit made two further attempts to leave the cabinet. Finally, with an effort, he stepped clear of the curtains and drew himself up to his full height.

‘Can you see me?’ he asked. Then he handed the woman a note which he had written on a pad in the cabinet. The sitter announced her complete conviction that the materialised form was Mark, her husband.

At the conclusion of the séance she said to Brandon, ‘My husband was very emotional. The personality was his undoubtedly, apart from the fact that I at once recognised his features. This is the greatest moment of my life.’

Before sending the next form out of the cabinet, Albert, the medium’s guide, addressing one of the sitters, said: ‘I have a lady here for you. She passed to our side soon after marriage.’ After volunteering other evidential details, Albert, speaking to the same sitter, added: ‘Earlier this evening I overheard your conversation in which mention was made of “cheesecloth” and “gauze”. I want you to take particular notice of the dress worn by this lady. It is certainly not cheesecloth!’

The spirit then made her appearance. Manipulating a pocket torch she directed a beam of white light over her face and dress so that she could be seen quite clearly by all the sitters. As the white light shone on her features and gown the sitters were moved to murmurs of amazement and admiration. Judged by its
sheen, the gown was of satin.

The woman addressed by Albert immediately claimed recognition and, in the course of the conversation which ensued, the spirit volunteered the statement that she was showing herself in her ‘bridal gown’. The spirit form spoke quickly and in a cultured voice. Once, in response to a remark that she was ‘looking more beautiful than ever’, she said: ‘You see, dear, I have no make-up on!’

Then an astonishing thing happened. The sitter flashed a question.

‘Have you got your baby?’ she asked

‘Yes — here with me’, was the instant reply, and the spirit form moved swiftly into the cabinet to return in a few seconds holding a baby in long clothes!

As a parting shot, when bidding adieu to her friend, the spirit said: ‘I am perfectly happy. I wouldn’t change places with you for anything!’

Among other forms to materialise were several children, one of whom a little boy named Ronnie, wrote his name on a piece of paper which he handed proudly to his mother.

Another voice was heard from within the cabinet. This spirit did not materialise, but instead used a ‘voice box’ to communicate with one of the sitters.

During the séance another of Mrs Duncan’s controls, the irrepressible Peggy, came out and sang to them. Peggy frequently appeared at these sittings. On this occasion she sang ‘Misty Island’ then, addressing Brandon she announced she would sing his favourite song, and right away obliged with ‘You Are My Heart’s Delight’.

Someone handed her a box of chocolates. Peggy ate some, then very generously suggested that the other sitters might like to join her. She insisted on them having a chocolate each.

When the power was nearly spent Albert told them that he was going to let them see the ‘voice box’ referred to above. The curtains were drawn aside to reveal Mrs Duncan, still in trance, standing erect, with ectoplasm moulded into the shape of a cone at her mouth. This ectoplasmic cone was about a foot in length, and the wide end was tilted towards the ceiling.

At a subsequent sitting, the ‘voice box’ was again shown high above and quite separate to the medium who, on this occasion, was still seated in her chair.

In all, 13 spirits materialised at this sitting.

The following is a statement by Miss Jeanette Strom, who attended the sitting:

‘I have had the most amazing experience of my life. Tonight I was privileged to see the materialised spirit form of Agnes Sakoshansky, a Russian Jewess, who came to this country when she was a very young girl. A refined, cultured young woman of rare beauty, she was a very dear friend of mine. I was in close touch
with her right up to the time of her passing, which occurred shortly after her marriage. She passed with her baby unborn.
‘Her features were so clearly defined in the white light that anyone who had known her could easily have recognised her. The charm of manner, the voice, the every gesture of the materialised form was characteristic of Agnes.
‘It was true what she said about her bridal gown. She was married in white satin. ‘Even more evidential was the incident of the child. When I spoke to her about her baby she immediately replied, “I have the baby with me”. She went straight back into the cabinet and only a second or so could have elapsed before she returned with the infant in her arms.
‘I would take my oath in a witness box that the spirit form I saw and spoke with was Agnes Sakoshansky.
(Signed) Jeanette Strom

In the long history of Spiritualism there is hardly a medium of note who has not at some time or another been accused of fraud. It is probably the easiest thing to do. Admittedly, the intricacies of mediumship are many and varied. To the uninitiated, to the hardened sceptic, to the alleged researcher who lacks understanding of this vast subject, to these people the simple and easy answer is that all mediumship is fraudulent.