Tag Archives | Spiritualism

Study Suggests Mediumship May Be A Distinct Mental State

seanceAttempting to contact the dead puts people into a unique mental state, the Daily Grail reports:

A new study co-authored by Dean Radin and Julie Beischel has found that electrocortical activity during mediumistic ‘communication’ is distinctly different than during other contemplative moments such as thinking about living or imaginary people.

The research was done to explore two questions: possible correlations between the accuracy of mediums’ statements and the electrical activity in their brain; and the differences in mediums’ brain activity when they intentionally evoked four different subjective states.

To do so, the researchers collected psychometric and brain electrophysiology data from “six individuals who had previously reported accurate information about deceased individuals under double-blind conditions” (ie. mediums).

The researchers conclude[d] that the differences in electrocortical activity “suggest that the impression of communicating with the deceased may be a distinct mental state distinct from ordinary thinking or imagination”.

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The Strange and Mysterious History of the Ouija Board

Original_ouija_boardThe last time we posted a story about ouija boards (How Ouija Boards Work) our commenters had some nasty back and forth. I’m sure you’ll be civil this time, right? From Smithsonian.com:

In February, 1891, the first few advertisements started appearing in papers: “Ouija, the Wonderful Talking Board,” boomed a Pittsburgh toy and novelty shop, describing a magical device that answered questions “about the past, present and future with marvelous accuracy” and promised “never-failing amusement and recreation for all the classes,” a link “between the known and unknown, the material and immaterial.” Another advertisement in a New York newspaper declared it “interesting and mysterious” and testified, “Proven at Patent Office before it was allowed. Price, $1.50.”

This mysterious talking board was basically what’s sold in board game aisles today: A flat board with the letters of the alphabet arrayed in two semi-circles above the numbers 0 through 9; the words “yes” and “no” in the uppermost corners, “goodbye” at the bottom; accompanied by a “planchette,” a teardrop-shaped device, usually with a small window in the body, used to maneuver about the board.

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Sir Arthur and the Fairies

via The Public Domain Review 8970056301_fc37167f90_o

In the spring of 1920, at the beginning of a growing fascination with spiritualism brought on by the death of his son and brother in WWI, Arthur Conan Doyle took up the case of the Cottingley Fairies. Mary Losure explores how the creator of Sherlock Holmes became convinced that the ‘fairy photographs’ taken by two girls from Yorkshire were real 

In the winter of 1920, readers of the popular British magazine the Strand found a curious headline on the cover of their Christmas issues. “FAIRIES PHOTOGRAPHED,” it said. “AN EPOCH-MAKING EVENT DESCRIBED BY A. CONAN DOYLE.” The Strand’s readership was well acquainted with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; most of his wildly popular Sherlock Holmes stories had appeared for the first time in its pages. The great man’s claim that fairies –real fairies – had been photographed in the north of England by two young girls was greeted with wonder, but unfortunately for Conan Doyle, most of it was of the “what can he be thinking?” variety.

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Texas Teen Says Ouija Board Commanded Him To Attempt Murder

demdike-stare-forest-of-evilThe Daily Mail journeys to the dark side:

A teenager charged in the stabbing of his 14-year-old friend told police a Ouija board made him do it.

[He] was charged with attempted murder after stabbing his friend with a 4-inch knife on February 29. He pulled the weapon on the friend in a wooded area behind a high school in Weslaco, a small town along the U.S-Mexico border at the southern tip of Texas.

The victim was treated in intensive care for three days for a severe cut to his intestine, Weslaco police spokesman J.P. Rodriguez said. He added that the alleged assailant has no history of mental problems or criminal behavior.

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“Shadow Land”: Memoir of a Medium

Elizabeth d'Esperance as YolandeElizabeth d’Espérance, one of the star mediums of the Victorian era, penned a fascinating memoir filled with rich descriptions of altered states and otherworldly visitations. An often-overlooked, first-person account of the 19th century seance from the perspective of the medium herself, Shadow Land is the subject of a recent review at VictorianGothic.org:

Elizabeth d’Espérance grew up in a tired old house on the East End of London, filled with dark, oak-paneled halls and desolate, forbidden rooms that compelled her to explore. “I was very fond of wandering about from one empty room to another,” she wrote,

“and of sitting with my dolls on the broad low window seats, whence I would be fetched with an exclamation of horror and wonder by our servant, who considered my liking for the haunted rooms as “uncanny” and unnatural, threatening me with the ghosts and their vengeance if I persisted in invading their domains by myself.

“I could never quite understand nurse’s remarks about the lonelines of the rooms, though her threats about the ghosts frightened me.

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Spiritualism was the Psychedelic Movement of the 1870s

Spiritualism…complete with altered states, free love, and millenarian ideals. In this piece, Victorian Gothic discusses “The Lighter Side of Victorian Spiritualism”:

“One important and often overlooked aspect of Victorian mediumship is that it could be enormous fun,” says Alex Owen in The Darkened Room: Women, Power and Spiritualism in Late Victorian England. This is the picture that emerges when one looks particularly at the “star mediums” of the 1870′s, who were known for performing theatrical, full-body materializations for eager audiences.

In a dim seance room, the medium would enter a closed cabinet wherein she would tap the mysterious psychical forces that would allow her to manifest one of her spirit familiars. This familiar would then emerge to from behind the curtain to entertain the assembled sitters. Each medium had her own repertoire of otherworldly entitles at her command, each with his or her own distinct personality, speech patterns, favored tricks and antics.

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Ghosts and Loyd Auerbach

The Infinite and the Beyond — Podcast: Episode #017 — Ghosts and Loyd Auerbach

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In the latest episode of The Infinite and the Beyond, we speak to Parapsychologist Loyd Auerbach about his experiences as a paranormal investigator. Loyd runs the Office of Paranormal Investigations out in California and has been consulted and featured on many shows dealing with hauntings and the paranormal. Loyd talks to us about being a parapsychologist and ghosts, educational opportunities, investigating, and we even discuss some of the current television shows that depict paranormal investigation.

I share some of my own personal ghost stories, one of which occurred when I was very young and the other when I was much older. My interest in the paranormal started from this very early experience as a child; while the other experience taught me that you never know when you’re being watched and by whom.

We learn about famous escape artist and medium debunker Harry Houdini in A Corner in the Occult. Can you untie knots with your toes? Houdini could! Learn about this famous magician, his battle with the spiritualist movement during the early 20th century and why he is spotlighted in this episode’s edition of A Corner in the Occult.

Also in the episode, I read listener email. We see which listener won a copy of Jeva Singh-Anand’s book Bed Time Stories for the Faint of Heart. And in The Essence of Magick Series we discuss the ideas behind magickal intent and learn about what makes it up and how it applies to greater scope of one’s existence and not exclusively to the practice of magick. This is a real fun episode. I hope enjoy it!

To message the show please go here.

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