A Mediocre Medium


A Heywood correspondent writes:— A well-known Manchester spiritualist had an unlooked for adventure at the house of a medium in Heywood the other evening. The Manchester gentleman is what is known in spiritualistic parlance as a materialiser—that is, he professes to be able to make the spirits of the departed visible to their friends. Within the past two days he has held two dark séances in Heywood for materialisation. Both were well patronised by a number of young men determined if possible to put to the test the abilities of the medium.

The first séance passed off without any untoward occurrence. At the second a charge of 1s 6d was made for admission. Seventeen persons attended with the intention of catching “the spirit.” A cabinet was provided for the use of the medium in a dark room. The medium said that materialisation could not take place that evening, but the spirit who often controlled a local medium would manifest its presence by removing articles of furniture from the room. To prevent the feat being performed by the medium his hands were dusted with flour.

A circle was formed, and one of the party took up a position favourable for spirit catching. The lights were put out, and the room was soon pervaded by a phosphorescent luminosity. The supposed spirit also began to move about, and removed a bowl, with which he touched the back of the hand of the person posted to intercept him. This individual did not take advantage of the opportunity presented, and having his feet stretched out the spirit stumbled, but managed to get out of the way before the circle was broken.

The gas was lighted, and the medium told the audience to draw their feet well up and better results would be gained. The lights were put out a second time, and the supposed spirit made another appearance, and again touched the individual selected to make the capture. The latter took hold of the materialised spirit, which proved to be the Manchester medium.

The 17 persons who had paid for admission pounced upon him, and demanded back the admission money before they allowed him to depart. In order to escape out of the clutches of his tormentors, he gave up to them his watch, which they hold, a purse presented to him by Rochdale spiritualists, and 7s 1d in money. The watch is said to be of the value of £1 8s. The affair has caused a commotion in spiritualistic circles.

The Dundee Courier and Argus, Wednesday 26 March 1884


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