Sandra Champlain, author and host of We Don’t Die Radio, shares her journey from the fear of dying to a passion for sharing the news that we all survive death. Plus amazing stories of seances and physical mediumship!
Researcher and photojournalist, Shannon Taggart, shares stories from her 16 years of photographing Spiritualism for a project called SÉANCE: Spiritualist Ritual and the Search for Ectoplasm.
Check out Shannon’s work as you listen – SÉANCE: Spiritualist Ritual and the Search for Ectoplasm
Pssst… Want to leave voice feedback? Use the SpeakPipe Link!
On Saturday September 15th, Marilyn and I, along with two other sitters, held our first of two séances for this fall. A more detailed report and a video of the evening will be coming soon. But for now, are you interested in a preview?
Marilyn beautifully announced our intention that evening with the following words.
“We set our intention tonight to bring forth those from the past who have an interest in bringing forth evidence to this physical world that spirit exists – that we as human beings, divine human beings are able to make connections and to communicate with those in spirit. Our intention tonight is also to bring forth, without a shadow of a doubt, evidence and proof that we are divine beings of light.”
During the séance, I asked Sarah the following question. “Sarah, your book, Voices of Eternity, has inspired me and many others. I think all of us here are probably very anxious to find the answers to some of the same questions that you were asking of the other side before you crossed over. Can you share some of what you’ve learned since crossing over?”
During the séance, I asked Thomas the following question. “Just before crossing over, you mentioned to your physician ‘It is very beautiful over there’. Can you describe what you were seeing and what we should expect to see when we cross over?”
With her experiences with physical mediumship, Helen was asked if there was some kind of physical phenomena that she could produce for us.
Konstantin greeted us with so much information that we didn’t even get to a specific question for him.
During the séance, I asked Eileen the following question. “As a medium, you were involved with a lot of scientific experiments. Your health was reportedly affected by many of your trance sessions. Can you tell us anything you learned about the well-being of people on earth working in the paranormal or spiritual fields? Are there safety concerns?”
I have to first be honest and tell you that it isn’t exactly what I thought it would be. It seems to be more of a history of physical mediumship, with an occasional emphasis on the séance. Some of the bigger topics Elaine hits on are table tipping, psychic photography, opening the third eye, trance mediumship, medical clairvoyance, psychic surgery (which I found fascinating and hadn’t really heard of), trumpet séances, precipitated painting, and materialization. She does this while discussing many important mediums along the way.
Also, I have to very respectfully and honestly tell you that the editing in this book is absolutely horrible. There are so many terms misspelled, or spelled multiple ways within a single chapter even. An example of this would be “chakra” being spelled “charka”, “chaka”, and in the index it’s even spelled “chakas”. It reminded me of the day my mother innocently referred to them as “chokers”. 🙂 But also, there are several sentence fragments, missing periods, incorrect book titles… things like that. It distracted me a lot. It is an out of print book, and my copy is in good shape but is actually a discarded copy from the St. Louis Public Library. Did they not like it?
If you can get past all of the editing flaws and are interested in learning about the history of physical mediumship, you may want to check out this book. Actually, the book was written in 2007. Just last month, Elaine came out with a brand new book (which is also on my “to be read” shelf) titled The Art of Mediumship: Psychic Investigation, Clairvoyance, and Channeling. I’m sure I’ll share more on that when I get to it.
So there you have it. It’s not the most comfortable read in the world, but I’m sure I’ll refer to it in the future.
From the inside cover of her most recent book.
Elaine Kuzmeskus, M.S. is a nationally recognized Spiritualist medium, who has been a presenter at Lily Dale Assembly in New York and the Learning Annex in New York City. During her thirty-five years as a medium, she has conducted many well-publicized séances, including the 1997 Official Houdini Séance and a séance for the play “Blythe Spirit”, at New Haven’s Long Wharf’s Theater. Recently, Elaine was featured on Better Connecticut and the PBS special, “Things That Go Bump in the Night”.
She is also the director of the New England School of Metaphysics, Suffield, Connecticut, and the author of several books on mediumship including “Connecticut Ghosts” and a book on physical mediumship, “Séance 101”.
I’ve read a lot on paranormal and spiritual topics, but for some reason most of the books I read avoid the topic of “table tipping”. Or, at least they don’t get into the subject very deeply. Along with discussing séances, mediums, etc., the book I’m reading now (which is not necessarily spectacular) discusses table tipping a bit. If you’ve followed my Scole Experiment posts recently, you’ll know that some of the major phenomena for them involved the table in the room. Apparently, in one sitting, the table levitated completely off the floor, turned on its side, and spun around like a fan. Can you imagine? It was recreated and dramatized in the introduction of the Scole documentary video I posted.
But table tipping has roots way before Scole. Beginning in the middle to late 1800s, table tipping was just one of the phenomena being experienced by the Fox sisters, most famous for spirit “rapping” and really introducing modern Spiritualism to the world. Along with some EVP (electronic voice phenomena), I tend to get a lot of rapping in my home. Table tipping sometimes happens in a séance, usually involves a medium, and requires all sitters to gently place hands (sometimes just finger tips) on the top of the table. Usually a smaller, lighter table, and made out of solid wood. The idea is that spirits use your energy to rock or tip the table, making it easy to communicate.
Of course, this form of spirit communication involves a lot of trust. All the sitters must be able to trust that their fellow sitters are not causing the rocking or tipping themselves. I think this is probably why the practice has a lot of skeptics.
I’ve never been involved in table tipping. Have you? Thoughts? Feelings?
Enjoy these videos (there are also many others online) and discuss.
If you enjoyed the documentary video and my recent post on The Scole Experimental Group and their Scole Experiment, then you may just enjoy the book that chronicles and recounts the 5-year experiment of life after death, and many of the simply amazing experiences that few people have ever been lucky enough to see. And it all happened in the “scole hole”, a dark cellar in a Norfolk village in England.
The Scole Experimental Group was started by two mediums who joined several other spiritual individuals in what most probably know as a spirit circle, which is also similar to a séance group. One thing I didn’t know before reading this book was that the structure of the group and the experiments were pretty much organized and guided by their “spirit team”. The team was composed of around 6 main entities, but other spirit scientists and technicians were involved in the process. Most of their communications came by using the two mediums in trance, but this was not the case every time. Some of the phenomena were moving spirit lights, manifestations of hands and faces, being touched, surround sound-like voices speaking in the room, levitating objects, faces and pictures showing up on sealed photographic film, and some of the cooler experiences involved many gifts of apports (the manifestation of an object seemingly coming from nowhere). Most of these apports were historical in nature, and many of them, such as an old newspaper (see below for correction), were inspected and verified to be authentic.
What was the goal of this group? In his first visit, Manu, the “gatekeeper” and leader of the spirit team told the Scole Group that “The team of beings I represent is made up of many thousands of minds from the many other realms of existence. We will be working with your group to provide very tangible evidence of the reality of these other realms. Our plan is to pioneer important methods of communication between the dimensions using ‘energy’ rather than the more traditional methods such as ectoplasm.”
It might be easy to blow this group off and say that there is no way to prove any of this phenomena and the experiences were real, but there are a number of scientists, psychologists, parapsychologists, and other wise and educated professionals who were present and inspected and studied the experiments. Some of these individuals were connected with the highly critical Society for Psychical Research.
In future blog posts, I may have to share some of my favorite interesting parts from the book and some of my “aha” moments. As many of you know, I’m preparing for some possible séance experiments coming up soon, and this is just one of the books I’ve been researching in preparation for this next experience.
*Correction: I discovered a piece of information that is incorrect in this post. I mentioned an apport of a newspaper that was verified to be authentic. It turns out this wasn’t an apport. It was actually the photo of a newspaper, ‘The Daily Mirror’, from 1936. It manifested on sealed photographic film during a sitting. The following is from the caption of the photo in the book: “A copy of the original was obtained. It was almost identical to the photograph, with some minor differences which indicated it might have been from another edition on the same day. The newspaper was tested and proved to be genuine wartime paper.”