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Spirit Identity by the Direct Voice
or
Striking Evidences of the Survival of Death
By Vice-Admiral W. Usborne Moore
INTRODUCTORY

Among the manifold phases of spiritism which have been exhibited in this country, the most satisfactory and provably genuine is that of the “direct voice.” We have had it with us in a mild way for many years through the mediumship of Mrs. Everitt, Mr. Cecil Husk, Mr. C. E. Williams, and Mr. F. Craddock; but English people as a whole did not know what was the “direct voice” until Mrs. Etta Wriedt came to Wimbledon as the guest of Mr. W. T. Stead in May, 1911.

The “direct voice” is the highest manifestation which has as yet been vouchsafed to man by the higher powers in the spirit world. Materialisation is very interesting from a scientific point of view. Trance utterances, clairvoyance, clairaudience, and automatic writing give us some valuable testimony, but in these phases no investigator can aver that the communications are wholly free from adulteration by the consciousness of the medium. In the case of the voice, however, there is only a slight trace of the personality of the psychic. It evinces itself occasionally by the mode of expression; the phrasings of the sentences are not always those which the speaker used in life. The actual voices could not be for two reasons: (1) the power to speak is collected from the sitters, and (2) the use of a metal trumpet destroys the individuality of the accents.

Identity is discovered by what the communicator says, the trifles that he talks about, and now and again by peculiar mannerisms. Some dozen people in this country have heard the direct independent voice when no trumpet is used, and when only the sitter can hear what is said. The message is not clairaudient; the speech of the spirit is objective, and issues from some position a few inches from the ear. This, in my opinion, is the crowning phase of spiritistic phenomena yet reached by mortals. To listen to an old friend talking to you for half-an-hour without the medium hearing a word of his or her statements, and of events which you and the spirit only know, maybe occurrences of fifty years ago, and only vaguely remembered by yourself, is an experience very rare and never to be forgotten as long as one, lives. It has been my privilege at least forty times to receive this proof of spirit power.

The Genuineness of Mrs. Wriedt

The first thing I ought to touch upon when describing the séances of Mrs. Wriedt is the proof of her genuineness. In the first place she is never in trance and talks naturally throughout every seance, often giving the names and descriptions of spirit visitors and indicating for whom they come. While talking she is often interrupted by a spirit voice, and the two are speaking simultaneously. Then the voices can be heard in full light as well as in darkness, though, for obvious reasons, the latter condition is best. Two voices have been frequently heard by me and others talking at the same moment about matters unknown to the psychic and to each other; occasionally three, and at very rare intervals four, one using the trumpet and two or three independently of it. A voice has been heard to sing and another to speak simultaneously, and one gentleman has heard it when the medium was downstairs in the drawing-room, forty feet distant, and the door of the seance room locked.

Objects are moved in the room, vases full of water and flowers passed about, chairs turned upside down and lifted over the heads of the sitters, flowers put into the hands of those present. I remember, at one seance, a full vase weighing ten pounds, from a table outside the circle, brushing past me and being placed in silence on a chair within it. Once, in 1913, a trumpet leapt from the floor in a good red light, dented itself on the back of a chair, and flew into the end of the room. In the dark phantasms and spirit lights of different sizes and colours can be seen by people who have no receptive mediumistic gifts, and occasionally faces brilliantly illuminated.

The medium, who is an uncultured person, does not know any language but Yankee; she cannot even speak proper English; yet the spirits have been heard to speak Arabic, Croatian, Servian, Dutch, French, German, Hebrew, Hindustani, Italian, Norwegian, Spanish, Welsh, Scotch, and Gaelic.

Still Themselves

The naturalness of all that goes on is, perhaps, the feature which is most impressive. I was once talking with an uncle of mine when he stopped suddenly and exclaimed, “Tchut, tchut, what was I going to say, I have dropped it;” then a pause, followed by “Oh, I remember,” and the voice went on as before. On another occasion I heard an old shipmate talking to a naval officer, and using some rather rough language. Suddenly something seemed to occur to him, and he said in a lower voice, “I say, Cap’n any ladies present?” “Several” was the reply, when the spirit cried “Oh, Lord!” and was not heard again. That same evening I listened to a voice trying to identify itself to another naval officer. After repeated efforts my friend, recollecting something, said, “Oh, are you So-and-so? “ “Who the *** do you imagine has been talking to you all this time was the unexpected reply.

On another evening a spirit had particular difficulty in making a rather dull lady know who he was. After the lady had persistently refused to grasp his identity, the voice appeared to turn wearily round the circle, saying in a despairing tone, “Is there anyone here who can make this creature understand?”

Singing familiar songs, whistling little airs and calling old nicknames are often used to bring to the sitters conviction of identity. The sole purpose of the spirit visitors appears to be to show that they are still alive. It is a passion with this gifted psychic to be the passive means of bringing children to their parents, and many scenes of the most sacred and touching character occur. Though her blank séances are about one in ten, I do not remember one sitting where the blessing of consolation for the loss of children was denied to a sorrowing father or mother.

Some of the Controls

Mrs. Wriedt’s control is the spirit of “Dr. John Sharp,” who was born in Glasgow and taken over to America by his parents in the eighteenth century when he was two months old. He became an apothecary farmer, and eventually died in Evansville, Indiana.

“John King” (Sir Henry Morgan of 250 years ago), the control of Mr. Husk, the blind medium, frequently managed Mrs. Wriedt’s séances in England. It was explained that he was better acquainted with English people than “Dr. Sharp,” who, however, was always in the background. He did not control in Scotland. We proved to our satisfaction that he was the same spirit who is so familiar to all those who have sat with Mr. Husk.

“Grayfeather,” a North American Indian medicine chief when in life, the control of J.B. Jonson, the materialisation medium, of Toledo, Ohio, U.S. America, visited me several times at Cambridge House, and often manifested at the circles. He was not heard in Scotland.

A captivating Indian spirit child, called “Blossom,” who lived and died in Florida, often enlivened our circles by her ready wit and repartee. Her quick replies and lively sallies always elicited much laughter which is one of the best conditions for successful séances.

Occasionally “Dr. Sharp,” “John King,” “Grayfeather,” and “Blossom” all manifested to the same circle of sitters.

The Admiral Testifies

I have several hundred convincing evidences in my notes, and will now relate a few as examples of what occurred in the presence of this remarkable psychic.

In 1912 Mrs. Wriedt arrived on the evening of May 5th, twenty days after the founding of the “Titanic.” After her supper she proposed a seance. Stead manifested, and gave three admirable tests of his identity, two to Miss Harper, and one to me; he also directly instructed us where his daughter was to sit on the following evening. The test he gave to me was unmistakable; he alluded to the conversation we had at Bank Buildings the last time I saw him. This conversation had lasted half-an-hour and ranged over a variety of subjects; but the chief topic was the approaching visit of Mrs. Wriedt to his house. He desired that certain conditions should be observed, and it was to one of these conditions that his spirit referred, with emphasis, on this evening.

During the last three years I have sat some seventy times alone with Mrs. Wriedt. We were in the habit of sitting some distance from one another; by leaning forward in our chairs as far as possible and stretching out our right arms to their fullest extent we were just able to clasp hands. I do not remember that we were ever closer than that. When the sitting began we sat upright in our chairs in an easy posture; a trumpet, mouth downwards, on the floor between us; plenty of flowers in bowls and vases on either side of me. Generally, within five minutes voices could be heard, and conversation would last for periods of between thirty and fifty minutes. On many occasions phantasmal forms, faintly visible, moved about between the psychic and myself, and on some six occasions there were beautiful spirit lights and etherealisations, i.e., heads and forms brightly illumined, but features not plainly visible. When the room appeared to me pitch dark the phenomena were poor; when, to my partially clairvoyant sight, the room was lighter, and psychic clouds could be seen, we always had a good sitting.

My guide always appeared as a phantasm, but could not always speak. It was curious to see her move back from me to the psychic or to the flowers to gather strength, and then return. That the forms were not hallucinations of my own was quite clear, for they moved their arms and could be seen crossing and recrossing each other. I soon found that “Iola” had developed a new power. She could appear to me without being seen by the psychic, and talk to me without trumpet and without a single articulate word being heard by Mrs. Wriedt. I could just catch the words, which appeared to emanate from a distance of six inches from my ear; but Mrs. Wriedt heard nothing at all, or only a slight swishing sound. On the other hand, the psychic often saw lights and spirit forms which I was unable to see.

In 1913 the psychic also allowed me to sit with her alone on the evening she arrived. “Iola” spoke first a few words of greeting; then “Dr. Sharp,” who brought with him another spirit, said, “Here is a lady who wishes to see you.” (Aside): “What did you say, madam? ... Oh, this is a maiden lady who says her name is Searle. She says she lived near to you when in life, and thought you were much deceived. Now she has come to see if there is anything in it.” (Aside): “What is it?” “Yes, yes; she also says that her niece is now doing her work, and doing it very well, but she does not wish you to tell her.” (A Miss Searle used to keep a small shop and post office three hundred yards from my house. She passed over in September 1912. Her niece, Miss Holmes, is now keeping the shop. I never spoke to Miss Searle on the subject of spiritism, but she was no doubt aware that I lectured once a year at the temple in the town.)

The private sitting I now describe is remarkable as a singularly good exhibition of the coarser type of physical phenomena. It took place on May 17th, 10.55 to 11.40. I had my two trumpets in the room. One was marked with the letter “I” on all its sections; the other was marked “F”. They weigh thirteen ounces and eleven ounces respectively. Mrs. Wriedt’s trumpet was smaller than either, and weighs not more than eight or nine ounces; but she preferred, as a rule using mine, made by Whiteley.

On this occasion the trumpet “I” was telescoped and lying on a top shelf of a bookcase behind Mrs. Wriedt; “F” was standing between us; our chairs were five feet apart.

First, “Dr. Sharp” manifested immediately the lights were switched off, and spoke clearly, talking chiefly about the condition of Dr. Peebles (whom he called “Our Pilgrim”), then ill in London. Then there was a long silence, after which “Iola” spoke for five or six minutes, using my trumpet for part of the time. She was followed by “Grayfeather,” who, after a brief conversation, said, “I am going to show you something, Chief. Take Mrs. Wriedt’s hands.” We both leaned forward in our chairs and clasped hands, her right hand in my left and my right hand in her left. There was a small square table one foot to my left, upon which stood a vase full of narcissi and water, weighing about three pounds. The room was pitch dark, as usual.

Presently a noise was heard as if a trumpet had fallen to the floor behind Mrs. Wriedt, then again dead silence. In, say, five minutes I heard “Grayfeather’s” voice from near the floor where the “F” trumpet had been standing between our extended arms: “Mrs. Wriedt, light up.” We disengaged our hands, the medium rose from her chair and switched on the lights. This is what we found: the small table standing two feet to my right; the vase of narcissi on the floor almost touching my right foot; Mrs. Wriedt’s trumpet standing on the floor to my left exactly underneath where we had last seen it in the light on the small table; my “F” trumpet telescoped and lying on the shelf of the bookcase near where I had last seen the “I” trumpet; and the “I” trumpet, drawn out ready for use, standing on the floor where “F” ought to be, between our arms.

The Indian had betrayed his movements only when he took the “I” trumpet from the bookcase; the three sections were loose inside of one another, and in drawing them out from the shelf he had let two of them fall on the floor. This it would be easy to do for anybody in full light. All his other movements were executed without my hearing the faintest sound. Mrs. Wriedt’s two hands ware firmly clasped in my two hands from the moment “Grayfeather” had directed us “to take hands” to the moment he said, “Mrs. Wriedt, light up.”

This is the most complete instance of telekinesis in the dark which I ever remember having witnessed. The drawing out and placing of one aluminium trumpet and the collapsing of another without sound, is a marvellous feat; and the movement of the table, the vase, and the small trumpet is a hardly less striking phenomenon. This will be enough of my private sittings. I pass on to the evidence of others.

An Australian Lady Testifies

A lady born in Sydney, N.S.W., who spent all her girlhood there, and who now resides in Devonshire, sends me the following: -

“I sat many times with Mrs. Wriedt, both in private and in general circles, and I will tell you of one or two interesting episodes. One day, in 1911, my sister and I had a private sitting at Cambridge House, and an entity announced himself through the trumpet as ‘George.’ We know several Georges who have passed over. My sister said, ‘Are you George Lloyd?’ Answer: ‘No.’ Question: ‘What is your other name?’ The spirit seemed to find great difficulty in replying to this positive question, so I said, ‘Where did you know us?’ Answer: ‘At Rose Bay. My name is George Smith. Your father brought me here.’ I was much puzzled, and the name given conveyed nothing to me; but my sister said, ‘Did you live at Rose Bay?’ Answer: ‘Yes, near your old home.’ (Our old home was at Rose Bay, one of the numerous little bays in Port Jackson; it is three miles from the city of Sydney, New South Wales.) Then the voice addressed me: ‘Where is your sling stone? You were a small little girl. You used to have a sling stone.’ Question: ‘Do you mean a catapult? ‘ Answer: ‘Yes, you were a little mischief.’ (I used to have a catapult when I was a small child; it is possible that I was a great nuisance to the neighbourhood.) Then, turning to my sister, he said, ‘I should not have known you; what have you done to yourself? You were always the sedate one.’ (This allusion is quite correct.) When the voice no longer spoke, my sister said, ‘Well, I am the only one who would remember him; you were too young. George Smith did live near us at Rose Bay. He was a contractor.’ (This was forty-six years ago.)

“The incident I am now about to describe occurred this year (1912). I went with my sister and had a private sitting with Mrs. Wriedt, again in the dark. One of my objects was to obtain a test from an ancestor of ours who had manifested on previous occasions, calling himself by his abbreviated Christian name.

Nipped in the Bud
“Before we left my sister’s house for Wimbledon, and unknown to her, I had written on a piece of paper the name of the ship in which our relative was lost, and the question, ‘What does this convey to you?’ I put the piece of paper in my handbag, and did not mention it either to my sister or to Mrs. Wriedt. When the lights were switched off, and the room in total darkness, I opened my bag softly, took the paper out noiselessly, and held it in my hand. A friend of ours came and talked to my sister; he suddenly said to me, ‘Put that on the table.’ (I was sitting near the large oval table where the flowers were.) I answered, ‘No, it is not for you.’ He repeated, ‘Put it on the table,’ which I did. When the spirit finished speaking, my ancestor made himself known in his usual way by giving his abbreviated first name. Then he said, ‘I am going to answer this question in a peculiar way, it is the name of a ship; she was destroyed, and I went to the bottom.’ We heard the crumpling of paper and the flowers being touched. At the end of the seance, when the lights were switched on, we found on the floor the paper my question was written upon wrapped round the stalk of a spray of rosebuds from which a bud had been broken off.

“My ancestor passed over one hundred and twenty-six years ago, at the early age of twenty-two. He was a naval officer; his ship was wrecked on the English coast. So I think we may say his life was nipped in the bud, as he tried to convey by showing us the mutilated roses.

“One afternoon, on my way to a seance at Cambridge house, I was walking up Bond Street rather in a hurry. To my annoyance a man kept walking alongside of me, trying to attract my attention. After a time he left my side, and I was able to walk on without molestation. I had no time, before I went into the seance room, to speak of it, even if I had thought of it or wished to do so. During the sitting my mother came to my sister and myself, and said, ‘My dear, what a horrid thing for that man to do this afternoon, to try and speak to you!’ I said, ‘Why, mother, were you there?’ She answered, ‘Yes, dear.’

“At every seance which my sister and I attended together, different spirits talked to us simultaneously, one generally with the trumpet and one without.

“(Signed) E.R. Richards”


 

Further Experiences Mrs. Jacob, Mrs. Richards’ sister, writes:­

“I beg to corroborate my sister’s account. I am six years, older than my sister, and certify to the fact that a contractor named George Smith did live a short distance from my father’s house at Rose Bay, Sydney. He must have known us by sight when we played about as children, and probably spoke to us now and then. My sister had a small catapult.”

“I agree with my sister that we cannot give details of the various conversations that we enjoyed with our deceased relatives and friends through the mediumship of Mrs. Wriedt, but I have pleasure in sending you what I consider a rather good proof of the nature of her extraordinary gift.”

“One day in August last (1912) I called upon her at her hotel in London, and was shown up into her bedroom. She had just returned from shopping, and was packing, as she was leaving for Norway the next day. It was broad daylight, and there was considerable noise, not only from the traffic in the street outside, but from the opening of parcels and cutting up and folding of paper. I asked Mrs. Wriedt if I might hold the trumpet to my ear and try if I could get a message. She replied, ‘Do, but I am sorry I must finish packing, and cannot help being noisy.’ She then continued what she was doing, and constantly walked about the room bringing things to fill her trunks. I sat down on one chair, resting the big end of the trumpet on the back of another, and put the small end into my ear. Only Mrs. Wriedt and I were in the room. Very soon I heard a voice greet me. It was my father. He spoke well and strong, and I had a conversation of several minutes with him. Presently I heard another voice as if speaking to him; two voices in the trumpet simultaneously, the second very low.

“I asked, ‘Who is speaking to you?’ Answer: ‘Your sister.’ Question: ‘Is she talking to you?’ Answer: ‘Yes.’ Question: ‘What is she saying?’ My father then spoke for my sister, and gave me her message. We three then talked about old days in Australia in quite a natural way. When my father left another relative came, and had a long talk with me.

“I should tell you that my father died in Sydney in 1891, and my sister in 1909. At Cambridge House I have had a voice speaking to me without the trumpet, the latter only being used towards the end of a sitting.

Holding the Trumpet
“When I held the trumpet to my own ear, as I did in Mrs. Wriedt’s bedroom, I found it difficult to keep

it steady, and tiring to maintain it in place. It made me wonder at the case with which the spirit people use it in the dark séances , and at the great patience which they exercise.

“I noticed that when Mrs. Wriedt was near me the spirit voice was stronger than when she was at the end of the room; so I tried to guide the trumpet towards her as she walked about. At one time ‘John King’ interposed, and gave me a message for her. I said to her, ‘You had better hold it yourself; he wants you.’ She stopped packing and took the trumpet. I could hear her questions and answers to him but not what he said to her. She told me that she could not make out what the voices were saying to me, only what I said to them.

“On September 6th, the night before Mrs. Wriedt left for America, I stayed with her at the Grosvenor Hotel, as she was leaving very early the next morning for Southampton by train. She had been ill and run down with a severe cold, and I was so sorry that she was going away alone, and in bad health, that I decided to see her away. She had been very busy packing and arranging all that day for her early departure next morning by the boat train, and went to bed tired, and fell asleep quickly. We shared the

same bed (a large double bed). I could not sleep for hours, it seemed to me; and, after laying quietly for some time, I suddenly felt impressed to raise my head and look to where she was sleeping, still and quiet. What I saw made me sit right up. Over her sleeping form, her head being on the pillow partly turned away from me, was another Mrs. Wriedt, just her head and shoulders, looking full face at me over her own sleeping body, over her chest. A white, soft, gauzy scarf was loosely over the head, showing the hair, which seemed much brighter and lighter in colour, the eyes intensely blue and bright, complexion clear. The eyes met mine; the face had such a sweet smile, and the expression seemed wistful. As I looked, wondering at her, the thought came into my mind: ‘You do look quite beautiful; you are not as beautiful as this in life.’ It was some moments before the vision faded. She was sleeping in the body peacefully through this phenomena.

“(Signed) M. Jacob.”

An Endorsement by Sir Wm. F. Barrett

Sir William F. Barrett, well known as one of the founders of the Society for Psychical Research, writes as follows:­

“When, after examination of the room, Mrs. Wriedt and Miss Ramsden entered, the door was locked, and one of the electric lights over our head was left on to illuminate the room. We sat on chairs adjoining each other; I sat next to Mrs. Wriedt, and held her hand. Miss Ramsden sat on my left. We asked Mrs. Wriedt to let us try in the light first, and at her suggestion Miss R. held the small end of a large aluminium trumpet to her car; the larger end I supported with my left hand. My body, therefore, came between the trumpet and the medium. I had previously looked into the trumpet, which was perfectly bare and smooth. Presently Miss Ramsden said she heard a voice speaking to her, and entered into conversation with the voice. I only heard a faint whispering sound, but no articulate words. To avoid the possibility of Mrs. Wriedt being the source of the whispering, I engaged her in talk, and while she was speaking Miss Ramsden still heard the faint voice in the trumpet, but begged us to stop speaking, as it prevented her hearing distinctly what the voice said. Miss Ramsden assured me afterwards there could be no doubt whatever that the voice in the trumpet was independent of Mrs. Wriedt, and I can testify that I watched the medium and saw nothing suspicious in the movement of her lips. She did not move from her place, and no accomplice or concealed arrangement could possibly have produced the voice.

“As I did not hear what the voice said, I have asked Miss Ramsden to add a few lines.”

(Note By Miss R. - ”The speaker claimed to be the bearer of a message from one of my relations who has died; he told me that, contrary to my expectations, I should receive a visit from a person who was named. This was fulfilled on the following Monday. Here I must add that if this is explained by thought transference, we must suppose it possible for Mrs. Wriedt to receive telepathic communications from people of whose existence she knows nothing; in this case the person was in a foreign, country. While holding the trumpet I could feel the vibration of the little voice inside. H.R.”)

“When the voice ceased speaking, the trumpet was placed with its broad end on the floor, standing upright, near Miss Ramsden. The electric light was now switched off, and the room became absolutely dark. A very loud man’s voice almost immediately called out: ‘God bless you, God bless you.’ Mrs. Wriedt said it was the soi disant ‘John King.’ I begged her to place her right hand on mine, which held her left hand. She did so, and I distinctly felt the two hands, my left hand being free.

“During every seance with her, Mrs. Wriedt remained perfectly normal, talking with me or others present, and not in the least excited. On this occasion, in a few moments, I felt something rather cold gently stroking my face, and as at a previous sitting when a rose was placed in my hand, the act was performed without any fumbling about. This was very curious, as the room was so dark that nothing whatever could be seen. I went to Mrs. Wriedt’s séances in a somewhat sceptical spirit, but I came to the conclusion that she is a genuine and remarkable medium, and has given abundant proof to others besides myself that the voices and the contents of the messages given are wholly beyond the range of trickery or collusion.”

The following are extracts from accounts by a Dutch lady, who has brought up her children to speak Dutch, English, and French with equal facility. She lost a little girl five years age, called Yvonne, who was able to speak Italian and German as well: -

Evidences of Identity

“On May 11th I had a private sitting with my sister and my two sons, when my little daughter, who passed over four years ago, at the age of twelve, spoke to us in a very clear voice through the trumpet. She called her brothers by their names, and said how pleased she was to see them. She asked if we remembered the ‘bunnies’ she had in the garden some years ago. ‘One of them is here with me,’ she said. It was so nice to hear her talk in the same way as she used to do when she was on the physical plane. After a few moments of silence we heard somebody touch the flowers, which were near to me in a vase. ‘I tried to give you a-flower, mother, but I can’t,’ she said. Before parting she gave’ me a kiss on my cheek. Without knowing it was my daughter’s birthday, Mrs. Wriedt invited us to a general meeting on May 14th. As soon as the lights were out my daughter’s voice was heard: ‘Mother, I thank you for the flowers.’ ‘They are for your birthday, darling,’ I said. ‘Yes, I know it,’ was her reply. An old aunt of mine spoke to us in Dutch, expressing her delight in being able to see us, and to talk to us.

“An aunt and a friend of mine from Holland were with me at a general circle on May 30th, when my daughter welcomed them in Dutch, talking with the same foreign accent as she did before she left us. The husbands of my aunt and friend came and spoke Dutch to them, also a son of my aunt, who died thirty-three years ago, at the age of six weeks. In 1913, on May 14th I had my first sitting, with my sister and my son, in a general circle, when my daughter, father, and grandfather welcomed us. They spoke partly in Dutch and partly in English, and seemed quite as pleased to see us, as we were to hear them. When in earth life my father could not speak English, and when I asked him how he learned it he replied, ‘Your daughter taught me.’ During a few moments’ silence my son began to whistle a tune, which was repeated by a spirit, who, however, did not reveal its identity.

‘Mr. Stead’ spoke in a very husky voice, and said to my son, ‘You are the young man who came to my office in a very depressed state of mind.’ This was rather remarkable, as it was the only time he met my son.

“On May 28th I induced my husband to come with me. He was greatly surprised at hearing his daughter say, ‘Father, how nice to see you.’ She was very much upset, and wept; but, returning half-an-hour later, she spoke in a clear voice. Her father asked her whether she felt lonely, but she replied in the negative, and added, ‘I can’t sit any more on your knee, father; you would not feel me I am so light now.

“An Indian girl named ‘Blossom’ spoke in a very clear, shrieky voice, addressing the gentlemen as ‘chief’ and the ladies as squaw.’ She nearly always came to our sittings, and we liked her very much.

“My husband and my nephew came with me on June 2nd. As soon as the lights were extinguished my daughter’s voice was heard. She started in Dutch, but continued in English. When her father asked her if she could still speak her different languages, she replied, ‘Yes, I do; but here we all speak one language, the language of thought;’ and added a few words in French and Italian. On June 11th my son and his uncle of eighty-two accompanied me. Several Dutch friends welcomed the old man, but unfortunately we could not follow everything that was said. My son and an elderly friend of his came with me on June 10th. The latter had not had much experience of spirit communion, and seemed rather surprised when several friends welcomed him in German.

“After my daughter welcomed us with a few words, Mrs. Wriedt remarked, ‘I see a name; it looks like “Gody.” Does anyone recognise that name?’ We answered her that we knew a Mr. Gody in Brussels, when a voice said, ‘It’s me; how can this lady see my name? She must be a witch!’

“We asked him how he knew we were there, to which he replied, ‘Your daughter told me to come for the sake of an experience, as it is all new to me.’ ‘Blossom’ spoke at the same time, and said to Gody, ‘Shut up, Gody; I am talking!’

“At our private circle sitting on June 21st when my sister, both my sons, and their old uncle were present, we first saw beautiful lights moving within the circle. My youngest son exclaimed, ‘There is “Yvonne,” right in front of me; I see her distinctly.’ ‘Yes, it was me,’ she said, ‘but you seemed rather scared.’ Turning to me, she asked if I would sing one of the songs with her we used to sing before she passed over; and, when I told her I could not sing any more, she sang a German song by herself in a soft, sweet voice. She spoke to her brothers about their work. Addressing her youngest brother, she asked if he remembered how he used to tease her and pull her hair. Before leaving, she told us she always speaks without the trumpet.

“Several Dutch people spoke to my old brother, but we could grasp very little of what was said; we find it rather difficult to, understand the spirits when they speak Dutch. (I think this can easily be explained, as the Dutch language is full of guttural sounds. One evening, when my son was with me, he took up the trumpet, at the end of the seance, and spoke through it to us, first in English, and then in Dutch; but this last language sounded very indistinct.)

“ ‘Blossom’ greeted us all separately. As usual, she was very bright, and asked us several questions. Pointing to my sister, I asked her, “‘Blossom,” do you know this lady?’ On her replying in the negative, we heard ‘Yvonne’s’ voice say to ‘Blossom,’ ‘She is my Tante’ (Dutch for “aunt”).

“My last sitting before Mrs. Wriedt went to Scotland was on June 28th, my sister and four lady friends being present. As usual, ’Yvonne’ was one of the first to welcome us. She spoke of her Uncle John, and said he was still very weak. ‘Pat’s’ voice was very strong that evening; after having talked to me about private matters, he spoke to the whole circle about the general situation in Great Britain. My sister’s husband, who passed over nearly five years ago, addressed his wife in Dutch; his voice was very weak and unintelligible. Next came my mother, who spoke in English; neither my sister nor myself recognised her personality, and later on, I heard from another medium that, as mother could not speak through the trumpet, she asked another spirit to speak for her. At the end of the sitting ‘Yvonne’ said ‘Good-night,’ and named all the sitters correctly, although she did not know any of them in her earth life.

“Our private sitting on August 7th was very satisfactory. We were only three, my aunt from Holland, my son Vivian, and myself. Almost immediately after the music stopped, we saw a beautiful light near the medium and soon after we heard Mr. Stead’s voice: ‘How do you do? I am glad to welcome you all here.’ His voice was much stronger and clearer than I ever heard him before. When I told him so, he replied, ‘I know more than most people about the laws of communication between the two worlds.’ He then had a long conversation with my son, and gave him good advice about his work. ‘Dr. Sharp’ came next, and talked with Vivian about the Organisation Society. ‘Yvonne’ welcomed her aunt in Dutch, while to my son and me she spoke in English. Her voice and way of speaking are always identically the same as they were in earth life. She asked Vivian if he was going to join his brother in Cowes (this was


A Psychic Dog

all the more surprising as none of us had told her that he was there). I asked her if she found it difficult to come and speak to us. ‘Not at all,’ was her reply; ‘it is lovely to come like this.’ My son told her we were going to the sea. ‘Yes, I know it; I shall go too,’ she replied. My aunt was very pleased when her husband, ‘who died twenty-one years ago, said to her in Dutch, ‘I am so glad to see you here.’ He went on talking about family affairs, but finding it rather difficult to understand him, she asked if he would speak English; but his reply, in Dutch, was ‘No, I prefer to speak Dutch, and he continued talking in this language. His son who passed over when he was six weeks old, was with him, and spoke very sweetly to his mother. When I asked him, ‘Do you know “Yvonne”? ‘ he answered me, ‘Yes, I am often with her, although I am in a higher sphere.’ . . . After this my daughter’s voice was heard. She only said a few words. She expressed her delight in saying to my nephew, ‘How do you do, Max? I am so glad you are here.’ I asked her an important question in Dutch, of a private character. She answered me in the same language, and showed her approval of what I asked her by a hearty natural laugh; she then whispered a few sweet words to me, and disappeared, saying ‘I will come again, mother.’”

E.F.S.

Travelled 6,656 Miles for Sittings

I have a friend, a mining engineer in the North of England, who is the practical head of several industries. He has been very successful in his sittings with Mrs. Wriedt. As his work prohibits him from being absent from his headquarters more than twenty-four hours at a time, he never managed to get in more than one private sitting and one general sitting on each of his visits to London. He got his rest on his return by the night mail. I find on inquiry that, during the springs and early summers of 1912 and 1913, he travelled in the aggregate no less than 6,656 miles. This, I think, will show you his earnestness in search for the truth. As he is a particularly keen and unemotional observer, I quote from his reports rather fully:

“This was the first sitting I had with Mrs. Wriedt this year, and I was uncertain as to what results I might get; but immediately the light was switched off my brother ‘Jim’ greeted me, and we fell into a conversation such as two brothers would who had been devoted to one another when both on this plane together. He immediately spoke of business matters, which were causing me anxiety at the time, and showed himself conversant with many of the details. Two gentlemen with whom I was closely associated in business were ill, one confined to his bed, and the other away travelling for the recovery of his health. After being satisfied that he had possessed himself of all the facts without my assistance, I ventured to ask my brother if he could give me an idea of what the future would bring forth concerning my two sick friends, when he said, ‘Wait a few minutes, and I will take “Dr. Sharp,” and he will see them and then tell you.’ In the interval a sister who had passed out as a child nearly forty years ago came and spoke to me, giving her name very clearly. She correctly told me the cause of her death, and also voluntarily reminded me of some little occurrences in our child life, and went away with the parting advice that ‘I was not to break my neck, as that machine thing I had went far too quickly.’ (I am guilty of driving at speed on the long straight roads of the North.)

“ ‘Jim’ and ‘Dr. Sharp’ now returned; the latter described the cause of the ill-health of my two friends in detail. The one in bed, he said, was hopeless, as he had a malignant disease, which would prove fatal in a few weeks; the other suffered from nothing more nor less than excessive cigar smoking (I knew he smoked heavily), and would be all right now for at least two years. I may say that the first case ended fatally on the last day of June, the second gentleman is now in his normal health.

 

‘Dr. Sharp’ also told me that he had paid a visit to my mother in passing, and described the cause of her ill health, which only slightly differed from the diagnosis of her medical man. This is practically all I can relate of this sitting, so much being of a private nature, yet so convincing to me that there is no death, and, that my own friends were talking to me. During the earlier part of the sitting I saw a luminous figure moving about near me, and on mentioning to my brother he said it was he… I find by my notes that this evening during the course of the sitting there was heard the heavy barking of a large dog, and as no one seemed to follow it up in any way, I asked Mrs. Wriedt to question ‘Dr Sharp’ as to what the reason of the barking was. ‘Dr Sharp’ said it was a large dog with a child who had come, a little boy with light curly hair. Presently the little boy spoke to his father, telling him he had come, and had brought the dog (naming it), and went on to speak of his little childlike effects which his mother had put away in a drawer… I may say that my notes were written within an hour or two of the sittings, and amplified the same night in the hours at my disposal during a long train journey north, whence I travelled in the morning.

“May 14th, 1913. Private sitting. A great deal of this sitting was taken up by my brother, who brought relatives whom I had never seen, and who were able to give me a detailed explanation of what had hitherto been family mysteries of seventy years ago. One of the principles expressed himself to me in a very testy manner because I had made efforts a few years ago to solve the riddle myself by making personal search in a distant and little-known country; but in the course of the conversation he became more mollified, and completed the missing link in the chain of history. This, to me, was what might be termed a most natural interview, and extremely convincing. At this sitting also came someone whistling in an absent-minded manner. I asked him who he was, but failed to get his name clearly. He then began to explain that he had been killed a month ago. I immediately recognised him as one of my employees, who was instantly killed at one of my works. He refereed to matters concerning his home, which he must have learned subsequent to his death, and which were correct. Later, another old man turned up and said he had worked for me many years ago at a certain colliery in the North. I could not call his name to mind, so asked him if he too had been killed. ‘Oh, no,’ he said, ‘I died of old age and rheumatics,’ and he went on to ask me if I did not remember telling him that he was too old to work down a pit, and I gave him an easy job. I said I was very sorry, but I could not call him to mind from among the thousands who had passed through my employ. He showed intimate knowledge of the place he spoke of, and which was perfectly correct, especially in describing its one rare and striking peculiarity, which for obvious reasons, I cannot particularise here.

“At the circle sitting in the evening there was a great deal of conversation between voices and the sitters, some of it being in French and Dutch. A sailor made himself known to a sea officer present, and seemed to enjoy calling to memory his escapades and punishments. The officer recognised him. ‘Blossom’ again came and spoke in her lively, childish way. Some of the sitters said they could hear her, but wished they could see her also. Instantly she said, ‘Me go squeeze myself, then you see me.’ In a moment I saw a column of light in the form of a girl, but it soon disappeared. ‘John King’ came and spoke to us all, and also ‘Mr. Stead,’ who, in answer to a question from Miss Harper, said that he was very busy and pulled about here and there, but he was very glad to see us all and bear testimony to the great return; that although they might try to stamp out’ Spiritualism, it would still keep bubbling up. ‘Julia’ also made a charming little concluding speech.

“May 21st, 1913. Private sitting. Again most of the sitting was taken up with my spirit relatives, speaking on private matters, which showed they had been following the events of the week, so far as they personally concerned me. The old gentleman who had expressed himself testily to me the week previous now came and apologised; he voluntarily told me much that was previously unknown to me, and made past mysteries perfectly clear. He advised me to profit by what he had told me, and avoid similar trouble. Someone came and spoke, but I failed to recognise him, when ‘John King’ broke in and said, ‘Have you a housekeeper? I said I had. ‘This man,’ he then said, ‘is her father, and he wants you

• understand that she is perfectly honest.’ I then recognised the name he gave, and he himself, lay his continued reiteration of the statement, evidently wished that there should be no shadow of doubt in my mind about his daughter’s honesty; he only desisted when I expressed agreement with his belief. He asked me how she suited me, and further gave good evidence of his knowledge and personality by saying that she was not strong, as she was so tall, etc. He begged of me to say nothing to her of his visit

• me, as it would only ‘scare her out of her wits,’ as she knew nothing of ‘this.’ It was some time after that it dawned in upon me that I had reprimanded her the previous day for disposing of certain papers she had thought useless, but which I wanted to preserve. I may have said more than was necessary, and

• old man had no doubt been listening. During this sitting I saw light floating about very similar in appearance to the glowing end of a cigar in the dark. I also saw clouds of light over the flowers on a table in the room.

A WARNING.

“June 4th, 1913. Private sitting. This was exceedingly successful, all my friends speaking with me at length. My brother urged me to cease, immediately, having business relations with a certain individual, and gave his reasons. I had good reason to be grateful to him at a very early date following. A spirit, giving the name of a certain schoolmaster, came to me, and said I was to inform a friend of mine, and a one-time pupil of his, that ‘if he and his wife heard some knocking in their room it was only he.’ Curiously enough, the first person I met the following morning (about three hundred miles from Cambridge House) was this particular friend, and the first thing he related was that he and his wife had been disturbed by unaccountable knockings during the night; I then gave him the message. Towards the end of the sitting I felt myself being touched and pushed, and spoke to Mrs. Wriedt, who answered me from a distance of at least two yards. I then told her that I was being touched and pushed. When I had done talking, someone spoke and gave his name. I failed to fix him for some time, until he described himself as being the builder, and once owner, of the house in which I now live. He said that he bad been feeling me to make sure it was true what they told him, viz., that he could come back.’ He said he was quite satisfied now. I asked him where he had got the money to build the house; he said by betting, and assured me that he had never robbed anyone. I knew he had been a prosperous bookmaker at one time. I suspect that the great event at Epsom had attracted him South, it being Derby day.

An Impertinent Spirit.

“The circle sitting in the evening was also a great success; voices spoke to most of the sitters. ‘Blossom’ again made herself heard, showing especial interest in Mr. Withall. A decided sneeze was heard in the trumpet. ‘Blossom’ said that it was a man who had ‘Fitznoenza.’ Mr. Withall suggested ‘influenza,’ ‘to which ‘Blossom’ assented. This child now began to monopolise the conversation, and Mrs. Wriedt politely begged her to retire and give others a chance; this not having the desired effect, Mrs. Wriedt spoke sharply to her. I am sorry to relate that ‘Blossom’ did not reply in very polite terms, and was then ordered away peremptorily; and even while going she threw remarks at Mrs. Wriedt which can described only as childish impudence. I mention it because it was such convincing evidence of voice phenomena, the heat shown by both disputants being so genuine. The others who were present will bear me out in this. Towards the end of the sitting I felt touched on the right leg. I asked Miss Harper, who was sitting to my right, if she had touched me, but she had not. Even while I was asking the question I felt touched on the left leg, and on inquiry of the lady on my left, proved that she had not moved. A moment later something seemed to come on my lap with a certain amount of noise indeed, sufficient for Miss Harper to ask me the cause of the noise, but I could not explain, as I felt nothing tangible. Just then my brother came, and said he ‘had brought the little dog, and it was on my lap.’ I could not feel it there, but on putting my hand down where I had felt my legs touched, it came in contact with what might be the cold nose of a dog. I called it by name, and immediately it gave a peculiar little yelp similar to the noise it made in its earth life when pleased. This was repeated three times in all, in answer to my calling it by name. At the close, ‘John King’ gave a discourse about the effects of thought and sound in the spirit world; how they were recognised and found their affinities by infinite shades of various colours.

“My last sitting was a private one in the afternoon of June 27th. Again I am sorry that the private nature of the conversation precludes me from reproducing it; but I may mention that I had written certain questions on a card, which I did not produce until I was in the darkened seance room. When my brother came I asked him if he could read the questions. He said ‘Yes,’ he could, and he must have done so, for he gave reasoned answers to them all. More than once, while he was speaking to me at length, Mrs. Wriedt broke in, saying that things were very quiet, and that he must have gone. I told her we were very busy talking. Her remark in answer was that it was very strange for she could not hear anything. The voice was speaking right into my ear, apparently without the use of a trumpet. This, up to the present, closes my experience of the voice phenomena.

“These researches have led one who, by his very calling, is compelled to be practical, to believe in the continuance of life after what we call death, and in the power of the still living spirit to communicate with us, if we do but provide the conditions, chief among these being love and belief. This narrative is from one who started years ago to prove the reverse, with the sure and, certain knowledge of the sceptic. - M.E.”

Pink and Cream

Nearly the last sitting I enjoyed with Mrs. Wriedt was in company with two American friends, Mr. and Mrs. Z., who had just landed from Holland. They had seen Mrs. Wriedt at Detroit four times. My friends have seen the following notes, and associate themselves with my description: -

Cambridge House, Friday, August 29th, 1913. Present Mrs. Wriedt, Mr. and Mrs. Z. (of Toledo, Ohio, U.S.A.), and myself. For a short time after the lights were switched off, the musical box continued playing the Russian National Hymn. Directly it stopped, “Edna,” the nun, manifested by throwing a little water into our faces. She gave Mrs. Z. a rose, and touched each of us on the face with the small end of the trumpet. It occurred to Mrs. Wriedt to suggest that the spirit should be asked, “What colour is the rose? Answer: “Hold it against your dress (addressing Mrs. Z.);… it is pink and cream.” Question: “You mean pink and white?” Answer: “No, I do not; pink and cream.” (At the end of the séance, when the lights were turned on, we found that the prettiest rose out of a bowl close behind my right elbow had been taken out; it was pink, shading off to cream. I had not heard any movement among the flowers.) “Edna” was seen by Mr. and Mrs. Z. ‘ and talked for two or three minutes with them.

“Dr’ Sharp” now came with a few words of hearty greeting; he was followed by “Iola,” who welcomed Mr. and Mrs. Z., and said she had manifested to then, in America, and would do so again. She gave a rough description of what she had said to them, which was not quite correct. Then we were visited by “Mr. Samuel Jones” late Mayor of Toledo. A very clear conversation ensued about his widow and other relatives. He told Mr. Z., in a confident manner, that he would come to England again. I said, “He tells me he will never come.” Answer: “Don’t believe a word he says.” (Laughter.) Then he repeated his assurance, and added that his widow and another lady would accompany the Z’s on the next occasion on which they crossed the water.

“Grayfeather” made himself known with his usual shout, “Me here!” and talked to us about his medium, J. B. Johnson, and other matters.

The advent of the spirit of “Mr. George Z.” was the great event of the seance. He had, apparently, accompanied his brother and sister-in-law during their travels in Germany and Holland. (They had arrived eight hours before from Holland.) He said, “I saw you at the Hague.” Question by Mrs. Z. “Did you see any of the notables about us at the Peace Palace? Answer: “You mean the Princess? “ Question: “That was the Queen?” Answer: “I did not see any Queen; I thought she was a Holland Duchess.” Then the spirit said, “I saw Will give you that amethyst necklace. When I saw it, I said right away, that is for you; I am glad you’ve got it; the amethyst is my favourite stone.” (Quite correct. Mr. Z. had given Mrs. Z. an amethyst necklace at Zurich; she was wearing it at the seance.) Shortly after our visitor said, “Who did you get those beads for? “ Mrs. Z.: For Frances” (her grand-daughter). “Oh!” (The beads were at the Cecil Hotel at the moment; they were purchased at Amsterdam.)

Comb Versus Barrette.

Again “George Z.” showed his knowledge of his relatives’ movements by asking, “Where did you get your comb?” For two minutes Mrs. Z. was puzzled, and could not think what her brother-in-law meant. Question: “I did not get any comb, George.” Answer: “Yes, you did; I saw it; the one with stones in it.” Mrs. Z. (suddenly recollecting) “Oh I do you mean the tortoiseshell barrette, for the hair? Answer: “It looked to me like a comb.” (I have a barrette on the table in front of me here. To me, a mere man, it looks like a comb, and I am sure that if I had been the spirit I should have expressed myself as he did. Mr. Z. had bought one at Cologne, which she showed me; it had no stones in it.)

But the quaintest evidence was to come. “George Z.” said, “What did you say ‘Did you ever see such a funny car? For? If I had been in the flesh I should have roared” (laughter in the trumpet). “Oh, yes, I should have roared.” (The Z’s landed for the first time in England on July 4th, 1913, at Liverpool. They tell me that when they were shown into the ordinary first-class carriage, which was to take them to Chester, it was so different to the carriages in the United States that Mrs. Z. exclaimed, “Did you ever see such a funny car?”) This spirit also asserted that the Z’s would make another visit to England.

“Silvermoon” now came in with a loud war-whoop, which he repeated. He showed his moon, a large disc, to Mr. and Mrs. Z., but I could not see it; any more than I could see “Edna” at the beginning of the sitting. He shouted a few unintelligible words.

We now had a visit from “W.T. Stead,” which was very evidential. He spoke loud, and welcomed my friends to, “his temple”; the manner was much as it always is in the seance room. He said to Mr. Z., “Will you tell Mr. Thompson how sorry I was not to be able to pay him a visit at Toledo? Mrs. Wriedt corrected, “You mean Mr. Johnson, Mr. Stead? “Yes, yes, Johnson.” (Short pause.) “Now, sir, will you give Mr. Thompson my regards, and tell him I am sorry that I did not see him?” (Mark this! Just before sailing in the Titanic Mr. Stead was exercised in his mind about inviting the Johnsons to England. It is well known to his private secretary and others that he seriously intended to send them an invitation to come to Cambridge House. Observe also his knowledge of where Mr. and Mrs. Z. live, though their real names are not given in my accounts of sittings with them in “Glimpses of the Next State,” his only earthly source of information.) He chatted for some few minutes, speaking two or three times to me and once to Mrs. Wriedt. I had not had a chance of talking to him since May 2nd.

“Iola” came again for a short chat. I saw her three or four times during the seance, but she did not make herself visible to my friends. I remarked, “Well, these pleasant meetings are over; this is our last talk.” Answer: “No, it is not; I shall speak to you.” Here “Dr. Sharp” came to wind up the seance. I said, “ ‘Dr. Sharp,’ what does ‘Iola’ mean? She says that I shall speak to her again.” “Dr. Sharp” (aside): “What did you tell him?” I heard “Iola” talking eagerly to him, but could not catch the words. Then “Sharp” said, “Well, Admiral, I may not see you again, so I will now say’ Good-bye,’ and thank you for all your kindness to my medium.” He continued thus for a minute or two, speaking in a very appreciative and warm manner, wished the Z’s a pleasant voyage home, and departed. This ended one of the most evidential sittings I have ever experienced.

(I refer those readers who may be interested in my séances with the Z’s at Toledo, Ohio, and Detroit, Michigan, to the accounts given in “Glimpses of the Next State.” “Iola’s” promise was fulfilled on September 13th.)

Mrs. Wriedt In Scotland

In Scotland Mrs. Wriedt’s séances were even more successful than in England. The Scotch voices of the spirits were most remarkable, especially to an English listener. Very occasionally, Gaelic was spoken. No Scotch spirit ever spoke in English unless he had lost his accent before he passed out, and no English spirit ever spoke in Scotch. I will give the record of a gentleman in Glasgow, as it is as good an instance as any I have in my notes:

A Glasgow Merchant’s Testimony
Mr. William Jeffrey, 15, Indian-street, Glasgow, keen in observation and of recognised business ability,

is the sole partner in one of the largest timber and sawmill businesses in that city. He had several séances with Mrs. Wriedt. In an interview with him Mr. James Coates took the following notes:­

“I became very much interested in Mrs. Wriedt’s mediumship, through reading in Light lately your account of the séances held in Rothesay in 1912, and determined to have some séances with her as soon as convenient. I met Mrs. Wriedt shortly after her arrival in Glasgow from London, and our first seance was held on July 2nd in my own house, 15, Indian-street, Glasgow. In addition to my people, I ‘phoned a few others, and made up the circle. There were seventeen present, all of whom I knew to be genuine people. As you wish, I will not touch upon what took place as far as the other sitters were concerned, but only with chat which appealed to me personally.

‘The first voice we heard was that of my wife, who welcomed to her house all there, addressing several by name, including Mr. Galloway, Mrs. Birrell, and a visitor from London, whom (in life) she did not know. Her voice, which was quite clear, said, ‘O Willie, I’m awfu’ glad to be here, an’ speak in my home to you and these friends.’ My wife (who usually spoke good English, could, and often did, lapse into old Scotch ways of speaking when either very pleased or talking to intimates) addressed us in her earnest, homely, and rapid way, ‘I trust you will have a pleasant evening.’ Then she went round and spoke to each member of the family. The voice never erred when a Bella’ or ‘Sally’ in a loving way, or prefixed ‘Mr.’ or ‘Mrs.’ to persons whom my wife would have addressed in that way in life.

“A voice which we recognised at once came close to me ‘Bill, Bill, how are ye? ‘Who are you, friend?’ I asked, ‘Neil, Neil; I’m Neil, man!’ followed by a hearty laugh. Neil McQuarrie was a relative by marriage, and had been for many years our cashier. He had a peculiar way of speaking, and at times was ‘verra braid an’ hamly,’ and his laugh was not like anyone I knew. For a little he spoke to his wife, about his children, each by name. There was no mistaking his references, and his kindly expressions, designed to cheer, conveyed a world of meaning. Mrs. White, who sat next to me whispered, ‘Do you think he’ll know me? ‘and immediately the answer came ‘Dae ye no think A ken ye, Annie White? Hoo are ye a’ in London? Charlie, hoo are ye keeping? But A’m surprised to see ye here. Ye’re nae sae lang-headed as Bill (myself), whom ye thocht was a wee bit off; but ye’ll get something tae-night that’ll convince ye.’ This was so like Neil, and he followed this outburst with genial laugh. It was his laugh at this point which made the recognition unmistakable. The voice came to me and thanked me for certain things I had done for him in life, and for his wife and child since. ‘I’ll not forget it, and ye’ll never lose by it.’ To my daughter (Mrs. Kerr) he said, ‘I hae tae thank ye for looking a’ter ma boys.’ Mrs. Kerr: ‘Do you think I have been too severe in chastising them?’ ‘Weel, no; they’re a bit self-willed an’ thro’ ‘ither; but that is because they’ve nae faither to gie them bit guidin’; min’ that. Ye’re doin’ quite richt; bit lead them whiles.’ Then he bid us all good-night.

“My daughter ‘Isa’ came next, and we all had a nice little talk; and she left sending out love and kisses to us all.

“Another voice came, saying ‘Jeffrey!’ ‘Who are you?’ ‘I’m Captain George Miller’s father.’ I said’ I did not know you.’ ‘Well, man, I ken ye fine, an’ wis wi’ ye an’ Captain George when ye wis on yer holidays in Orkney an’ Shetland last month.’ This was pretty much to the point. I asked, ‘What did you think of them? ‘ The voice: ‘It wasna much o’ a holiday for weather, but it pit a lot o’ backbone in ye.’ I hoped so, and said I would tell Captain George that he had been. ‘Man, ye needn’t fash. Ye might as well tell a log, for he will no believe ye.’

“Fifteen of the seventeen sitters present received messages. I think they were satisfied, and many were delighted. Owing to my wife being able to manifest so fully through Mrs. Coates some months previously, I had looked for her to make herself known according to her promise-on this occasion. Yet what took place was beyond my most sanguine anticipations. It was simply marvellous. The medium, Mrs. Wriedt, was a stranger, whom I met for the first time that morning. The seance was hurriedly convened by wire and ‘phone, and took place in a room hastily arranged for the purpose. If the results are not evidence for spirit return, then I am at a loss to know what could be more valuable or important.

“The next séance we had was on Thursday, July 3rd, and was held in one of the rooms of the Glasgow Association of Spiritualists, Berkeley-street Hall. I got a ‘phone asking me to come and bring a few others, as they were short of sitters. I ‘phoned to Mrs. McMaster, and she came by putting off an engagement so that, as a visitor, her presence was wholly unexpected. This lady had never been to a seance before. The very first voice which came was that of her husband, who had passed out nine months before. He came saving, ‘Nellie, Nellie! ‘ Mrs. McMasters replied, feeling it was him. ‘Is that you, pa?’ ‘Yes, dear,’ was the response. I said I thought the voice was like his, and suggested that she speak freely to it. ‘Yes, dear,’ giving kisses. ‘I am so pleased to come and talk to you. You were a good lass to me. I’m so glad to see you getting on so well. Give my love to Jeffrey.’ Mrs. McMasters: ‘You can give your love to Mr. Jeffrey yourself, for he is sitting next to me.’ The voice emphatically: ‘No, no; I want you to give my love to my little boy, Jeffrey McMaster.’ The whole of this conversation, and the circumstances under which it took place, were most telling. Before McMaster left, he said, ‘It was Bella’ (meaning my wife in the spirit world) ‘brought me here,’ and concluded by giving his love to his wife and messages to his family.

“Mrs. Jeffrey came in her pleasant way and had a homely chat and this was followed by a word or two from my daughter ‘Isa.’ There was one feature at this séance which impressed us namely, the free sprinkling of water upon us all. I mention this, too, as there was no water in the room. I did not see any, and Mr. Galloway, who had the preparation of the room, said there was none. Apart from this phenomenal the meaning of the sprinkling is, I am told, ‘blessing and purification.’

“We had another sitting in the same place, Friday evening, July 4th. There were present my daughter, Mrs. Kerr, niece, and myself. My wife came and spoke for a little while to all of us. I asked, ‘Bella, did you like the service I had at your funeral?’ ‘Oh, it was very nice indeed, but,’ with a laugh, ‘the minister said far more about me than he knew.’ (We did not think so, as my wife in her lifetime was a good friend to anyone in sickness and distress.) She thanked me ‘for the nice way you laid me to rest,’ and said she was ‘pleased to see all the folk had come to it.’ She finished with a little talk to us all about our affairs in a general way and some kindly counsel to myself. To my daughter, niece and myself what the voice sad was conclusive.

“The seance on July 5th was attended by my daughter, son-in-law, and niece. I mention these to indicate that I am not assuming nor imagining what took place, but give their evidence. Here again my wife appeared and spoke to my daughter and Mr. Kerr. This sitting was brought to a close by the presence of a sitter asking impertinent questions about tramways and flying machines over there. The trumpet was put down with a bang, and there were no more voices that evening.

“Monday, July 7th, Berkeley-street Hall. Mrs. Kerr and I attended. I had been thinking about ‘Bella,’ my wife, but the first to address me was very old friend named ‘Sterling,’ who had departed this life some twenty years ago. I asked him who brought him here. He said, ‘Mrs. Jeffrey; she is helping a lot of people to come.’ As he had only given his name, I said, ‘Are you the Mr. Sterling I knew long ago ‘Yes,’ was the reply. ‘Well, do you remember what was the matter with you before you died? ‘ I asked. He answered, ‘I was totally blind for five years.’ This was correct, and a strong bit of evidence to us. Mrs. Kerr: ‘Have you seen Mrs. Sterling?’ ‘Oh, yes, dear; we are very happy here. I need not detail what was said; all was correct.

“Mrs. Wriedt said there a spirit present who had shot himself. He was for Mr. Robertson, of Helensburgh. ‘Did he know a man like that? ‘ Mr. Robertson: ‘Yes; he was thought to have committed suicide by shooting himself.’ Afterwards the voice addressed Mr. Robertson, and he, satisfied as to the identity, asked, ‘Did the gun go off accidentally or intentionally The voice assured him that it was an accident. ‘Man, I had nae need to do it’ (commit suicide). Everyone seemed to think he had, but Mr. Robertson was always of the opinion it was an accident, and what the spirit said accorded with this belief. The man had been with him a night or so before his death, and told him, among other things, how nicely everything was going on in business and other matters; he was in a cheery mood. The voice insisted that the story of his suicide was not true. ‘Man, I’d nae need tae destroy masel’.’ Although this incident is not exactly personal, it so struck me, I thought I would mention it.

“My last sitting with Mrs. Wriedt in Glasgow was on Thursday, July 24th. There were eighteen present, including the medium, my daughter, son-in-law, niece, cousin and a friend. The first to speak was my wife, and after a kindly word and inquiry to each, said she was sorry that these meeting were coming to an end, and of the great comfort they had given her. I was to understand she was always with me. I asked her how it was she had spoken to me in all the sittings but one. (I had several sittings in Rothesay between July 7th and 24th.) She said it was because other relations wanted to speak to me, and ‘I did not wish to be selfish and monopolise the time and prevent others speaking to their friends. (She had brought many to the sittings.) She finished by bidding us ‘Adieu till we meet again.’

“A voice purporting to be Mr. Kerr’s mother spoke to us and to him. My daughter then spoke to the spirit, calling attention to the differences which had taken place between them owing to her engagement to her son. They had always been on most pleasant terms till within a short time of the marriage. The spirit answered in a clear but trembling voice, ‘Let bygones be bygones, dear. We will not talk about that, but you must allow for a mother’s feelings when she loses her only son.’ All very natural and very true.

“Another voice spoke, that of the late ‘Mr. Kerr’-my son-in-law’s father. He had been in spirit life some years. He gave us ‘his crack’ freely. Addressing his son, ‘Charlie,’ said he was ‘verra pleased tae sae th’ business progress he was makin’ in life. Many thanks tae yer ‘faither-in-law fer what he’s done fer ye. Ye hae had a better startin’ in life by faur than ever A had.’ Then addressing me, the voice said, ‘Thank ye, Jeffrey, for what ye hae done for me laddie, an’ ther’s ae thing A’ll sae fer him, he’ll ne’er gie ye a red face.’ After some friendly and kindly counsel he left.

“A voice saying, ‘Colin!’ ‘What Colin?’ ‘Colin Buchanan,’ and shortly afterwards, addressing Mrs. McQuarrie already referred to, touching upon some sad and private matters, which I knew were unknown to anyone in that room-never spoken of by me to my daughter or to the nearest friend. It went back into old history of forty years’ standing. This was a revelation in deed. The facts unfolded were of a character which cannot with propriety be given to others. I regret that this should be the case, for it is evidence of this kind which is so convincing. To say that we were all deeply affected is the least that can be said.

“Mr. Bothwell had a friend who had been drowned, who came and spoke to him. He entered into details about the fact of his passing out, which no one knew anything about. This gentleman was much surprised at what we had heard, as he had not believed that such communications were possible, In addition to the foregoing another voice may be mentioned, which to Mrs. McMaster. It was that of her daughter ‘Serina,’ who came giving this name by which she was called in life. She sent her love to all her friends, naming them one by one. She spoke particularly about her only sister, sending her a very pertinent and thoughtful message. She then came to me, and spoke to the rest of her friends, addressing each by their Christian name. There is no getting away from these facts, which came out in the presence of eighteen sitters. Everyone had a communication in that sitting, and some several. Not one of the voices that spoke that night blundered or was in error.”

CONCLUSION

I never once heard an evil spirit speak at Mrs. Wriedt’s séances, and I heard some hundreds of voices. People who ought to know better say they do not understand why spirits cannot tell us anything about the ‘other side.” It is not possible for them to answer all our questions, because they are operating in more than three dimensions. Try and imagine yourselves endeavouring to explain to a being who only knows of two dimensions how you build a house. You would find it impossible to make him understand. The principal object of our visitors is to convince us that their egos have survived the shock of death, and that they are happy. This object accomplished, they have little more to say. All psychologists know that identity can only established by trifles. Let us suppose that a statesman wishes to make an old schoolfellow comprehend that he still lives. Does he talk about his work, say, at the Foreign Office? What good would that do? Hundreds of people know the details. But if he says, “Do you remember when I punched your head behind the barn at the end of the cricket field?” this, if true, is what might be called striking evidence to his hearer that the individual he once knew is communicating.

All my researches, so far, go to show that the, Bible records contain true instances of spiritistic phenomena both in the Old and New Testaments. Take away the Virgin Birth, the physical resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, his ascension and the raising of Lazarus occurrences the evidence is of the most feeble character, and nothing is left which cannot be accounted for by ordinary instances of which are known to numbers of persons now living. The feeding of the four and five thousand with an inadequate supply of loaves and fishes has certainly not been duplicated in our time, but may not these have been extensions of the phenomena we now know as “Apports”?

Let us hope that the mysterious powers of Mrs. Wriedt, which are those of any living medium, may continue for many years to be the means of comforting the bereaved and preparing all those who witness them for the world in which they will find themselves when their spirits leave their mortal tenements.