A NEW YEAR’S EVE SEANCE (through the mediumship of Hunter Selkirk)
By George Cranley
TWENTY minutes to midnight December 31, 1941. We had not been seated more than five minutes and had just started to sing the first hymn when physical phenomena occurred. A spirit friend was present and touched each sitter. Hunter was sitting on his chair outside the cabinet, singing with us, and having heard someone say, “God bless you, friend,” asked if anything was happening.
It is very seldom that we have any phenomena with the medium fully conscious. Some of the sitters did not like this. They contended that this gave an opportunity to gate-crashers, but I considered this to be evidential. The medium was singing and talking with us. There were ten of us when the meeting began. We were sitting close enough to know if a neighbour had moved, and yet an eleventh person was present, capable of administering a physical touch. This was confirmed when we heard the voice of my Indian guide above the singing say that he was present.
The medium was still sitting in the circle when Zuru (chief guide of Hunter Selkirk) spoke and welcomed us all. He told us to listen carefully and in a second or two we heard his voice coming from the ceiling above the cabinet. He invited me to the cabinet. By reaching into it, above my head, I could feel the medium’s feet and the legs of the chair. Although I did not try to pull down the chair, I took a firm grip of the leg. There is no doubt in my mind that the medium and his chair had been levitated to the ceiling. He must have descended very quietly. We did not even hear the chair touch the floor. All we heard was Zuru’s voice, again from the normal position in the cabinet, asking us to switch on the blue light.
This blue shaded light was so arranged that the light shone on to the cabinet. We heard the cooing of a dove, and soon the materialised form of a dove emerged from the cabinet and flew around the room. This symbol of love and peace heralded the coming of our dear friend, Thomas Milton.
He appeared between the curtains resplendent in his long white robe. He stepped out into the centre of the room and we saw the noble features of this man from the realm of light. His broad, white forehead, his bright, deep-set eyes, his rather full mouth and his soft-looking beard and moustache were all easy to identify.
All was peace and quiet as he moved to each sitter and gave his blessing by placing his hand upon the head of each one present. This peaceful, reverent feeling pervaded the room as he moved slowly back to the cabinet and in a soft, low voice said:
“Peace, perfect peace. Fear not; God is with you always. I leave my peace with you.”
Not a sound was heard from the cabinet while all this was taking place. I could not see into the cabinet, the curtains were closed. But if this was Hunter Selkirk, then a wonderful transformation had taken place. There was no resemblance in the face, the personality was different and the robe with its many yards of ‘material” was a phenomenon in itself.
I have gone “first-footing” many times, but this was the most amazing example of “letting in the new year” I had ever come across. This was our introduction to a new year that could very easily be one of disaster, but these few minutes spent in the company of this beautiful soul gave us a confidence that will bear us up however stormy it may be.
The next materialisation was Topsy. She came laughing and full of fun as usual. Her white teeth showed up very distinctly in contrast to her little black face. She was dressed in a white robe. She walked across to me and placed her little arms around my neck. I could feel underneath my chin, the soft, feather-like texture of the material of which the robe was made. Her small fingers on the back of my neck were soft and warm.
She told us that she was going away and that we must switch off the light as she was coming back. We were now sitting in the dark and soon we heard her voice again. She informed us that she was going to hand out the wine and the cake. She took a bottle of wine and a wine glass from the tray on the dressing table and poured a glass of wine for me. She repeated this for each one and then took the knife and cut the cake, handing a portion to each.
“Now,” she said, “you can switch on the light again” Topsy was nowhere to be seen, but everyone else, except the medium, was sitting with a glass of wine and a piece of cake.
Topsy seemed determined to give me convincing evidence. We were talking about her recent display when we heard her voice again, near the cabinet. I looked in that direction and I saw a white form on top of the dressing table which stood close to the side curtain of the cabinet. She asked me to come over to the cabinet, and when I did, I saw her sitting on top of the dressing table. She took hold of my left hand and told me to put my right hand into the cabinet. It was immediately gripped by the hand of the medium. There I was, standing, with the medium holding one hand and Topsy outside the cabinet holding the other. Three of the sitters also went through the same performance. “I think that ought to convince you,” she said and disappeared very quickly.
Things happened very quickly. Soon we saw what appeared to be a white cloud above the curtains of the cabinet. This assumed the form of a child and we heard a childish voice say, “It’s Mary.”
Mrs. Cook recognised this as belonging to her niece who passed on a few years ago. She talked to her about her father and mother and her younger brother. Mary stayed in this position for about two minutes and went away as she had come, over the top of the curtains.
Little Jimmy Prudhoe was the next to come. This was the first time he had materialised. He came out between the curtains and stood just outside the cabinet. So radiant did he appear that all the sitters spontaneously and simultaneously rose from their seats and gathered around the boy. Some were on their knees, others bent forward looking at him. A halo of light encompassed the full form. Every feature was perfect, hair, eyes, nose, ears, and the little teeth, when he smiled, could be clearly seen, and made an unforgettable picture.
With his little face shining with joy and an emotional tremor in his voice he said, “Gee, I am happy.” I straightened up and looked on for a minute or so at this wonderful sight. There he stood, a bright, radiant spirit child saying again and again, “Gee, I am so happy.” As I looked I thought how fortunate we were to be able to witness a scene like this.
We had a visit from “The Doctor” at this meeting. He bounced out of the cabinet in his lively, buoyant manner and stood where the light shone full upon him. He was fully materialised and robed in white. He beckoned each sitter in turn to come close to him. We knew it was a materialisation separate from the medium because Zuru laughed in the cabinet as “The Doctor” actually danced with several of the lady sitters.
Red Dawn is the name of the North American Indian who visited us next. He is a guide of one of the men sitters. He stepped briskly out of the cabinet and stood underneath the light.
He was robed in white from shoulders to feet and had a white band around his forehead. The firm, copper-coloured facial features, a prominent nose, eyes deep set, small mouth and
straight, black hair were all easily distinguishable. He did not speak but signified “Yes” or “No” in answer to questions by moving his head.
I saw my own Indian guide materialise for the first time. He came slowly out of the cabinet and stood near the light. As I stood close to him I had to look up to see his face. I estimated his height to be seven feet and he was proportionately built. Like the others he had on a white robe which covered his whole body from the shoulders to the floor, and wore a feathered headdress made of the same material.
He had the same copper-coloured skin as Red Dawn, and a stern look. I particularly noticed the bright, glistening eyes as he placed his hand on my shoulder and bent his head slightly forward. I have felt this touch on my shoulder many times, sometimes when I have been alone and not even thinking of him. I stood about three minutes talking to him, but all he was able to say was that he was my friend. I think it must take all the available power for these full materialisations, as they talk more when they have only partly materialised and carry their own illumination, or when speaking in the direct voice.
Next we had a double materialisation, Topsy and Ivy together. They both came out of the cabinet together. Topsy’s features were well formed and distinct, but Ivy was not so successful. They stayed close together all the time and danced round the room while we sang. They did not stay long and went back into the cabinet together.
On instructions from Zuru the light was switched off and several children came in and wished us “a happy new year.” Then Topsy came again and sat on a chair between two of the sitters. She said it was 2 a.m. and time we were going home. “You have your work to do and we have our work to do,” she said. “We try to work a little harder for your benefit, because we want you to have a good foundation for your spirit homes.
“So many come over here into places that are nothing like homes. Some make material possessions their sole aim and when they come here they are surprised and often horrified to see what they have built for themselves by ignoring the eternal qualities. Material possessions are temporal. Hold fast to the spiritual possessions and they will serve you well.”
We joined her in singing the hymn, “0 Love That Will Not Let Me Go,” and the meeting was closed with prayer. The medium and his chair were shot out of the cabinet, and as he asked, “Is the meeting finished?” we heard children’s voices from the cabinet saying, “Good night.”