Flesh and Blood materialisations Barbanell on Alec Harris

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Flesh and Blood materialisations Barbanell on Alec Harris

Post by Admin on Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:25 am

'Flesh and Blood' Materialisations by Maurice Barbanell.

I can always appreciate the outlook of the honest sceptic because I was one myself. I began my investigation in my teens at a time when I was an agnostic after having been an atheist. I was not impressed at my first seance, but at the second one something happened which shattered my scepticism. I discovered, what I had never before known, that I was a potential medium. Later I will describe in detail what occurred - and the surprising sequel.

This is a necessary preamble to what I am about to relate. So far as the sceptic is concerned, especially one who is materialistic in outlook, the most convincing form of psychic phenomena is materialisation. At seances where this occurs, the 'dead' who return appear as seemingly solid figures endowed with temporary existence and in bodies which, to all intents and purposes, duplicate the outward physical appearance they had on earth. They are, when they materialise, "flesh-and-blood" human beings.

I want to stress they are not ghosts, apparitions, phantoms or spectres.

They speak, move and have heart and pulse beats. Nerve, sinew, muscle and cell are all there. The hand is solid when you grasp it; the fingernails are complete. The features can be identified, as also can the voice.

They are swathed and garbed in dazzling white raiment composed of the mysterious substance known as ectoplasm which mainly extrudes from the medium. He or she usually sits on a chair behind a "cabinet" that is a curtained-off enclosure in the room. Even when the materialisation moves many feet or yards away from the medium there is an invisible lifeline, the equivalent to an umbilical cord, which is attached to the materialisation.

When the power is weak - another way of saying that the psychic conditions are not at their best - the materialised face is veiled by the ectoplasm and the figure does not move very far away from the medium. When the conditions are good, the barrier between the two worlds is completely removed. Then, as have often been the case with me, I have had the remarkable experience of witnessing spirit return in its most 'physical' form. What has happened is that something akin to the process of birth has been accelerated from the normal nine months to a few seconds.

One of the finest materialisation mediums is Alec Harris, whose s'ances I first attended in Cardiff a score of years ago. On these occasions there is always a good red light. White light is always detrimental to this type of s'ance. There is an analogy with all processes of birth which are accomplished in the absence of white light and more often in the dark.

The spirit forms were clearly visible and I had sustained conversations with several of them. As it was my first experience of Alec Harris's mediumship, I approached it with my typical critical outlook. Though I was then, as I am now, a convinced Spiritualist, I do not possess the will to believe or incidentally the will to disbelieve. I still regard myself as an investigator with an exacting standard to be fulfilled before I will accept the results.

The difficulty with some investigators is that they inhibit the results by the wrong approach. They make it clear that the medium is fraudulent in their view unless he or she can prove genuineness. This atmosphere of suspicion towards mediums, who are by their very nature sensitive, is always a deterrent towards the production of worth-while phenomena.

I was glad to co-operate when Alec asked me beforehand to make a thorough examination of the s'ance room and the cabinet, which was merely a recess with some curtains across one corner. He invited me to search him, which I did. All he wore were a thin pair of trousers made of black material and a black vest. The choice of black was deliberate because the materialisations always appeared in dazzlingly white ectoplasm. I noticed that night as I have often done that the ectoplasm did not reflect the red light.

Before I describe this seance I must take you behind the scenes.

The reason for my invitation to be present had its origin en years earlier at a seance with a famous trance medium and clairvoyant, Helen Hughes. The sitter was Mrs. Harris. At that time she was told by Helen that if she and her husband would start a home circle with regular sessions they would one day obtain full-form materialisations. The prediction had been fulfilled. Because Helen and I were appearing at a public meeting in Cardiff we were asked to be present at an Alec Harris s'ance later that night.

It lasted two and a half hours. We did not start until 10.30 p.m. I counted twenty-seven sitters and I saw thirty spirit forms materialise. To this I must add that as most of the sitters had come by coach from the Welsh valleys about twenty-five miles away, few of us got to bed before 4 a.m.

Helen and I were given 'places of honour' immediately in front of the cabinet. Indeed, I was so close that several of the forms that emerged from the cabinet had to walk over my feet.

At this stage I should explain that I spent some years in the textile industry, and as a result became familiar with the feel of most materials. That night, and more than once, I handled the flowing ectoplasmic robing. These, though soft and silky to the touch, were unlike the texture of any material I have before and since examined. I also shook hands with two figures and report that their fists were firm and normal.

For Helen Hughes it was an outstanding occasion. One of the first to materialise was a young man, Douglas Hogg, a Battle of Britain pilot who had died on active service. He had since proved his survival to his parents through her mediumship. He showed his features distinctly and asked her to stand up so that he could talk to her face to face.

It was touching when, after gripping her by the hands, he thanked Helen for making it possible for him to convince his parents of his continued existence.

I was moved to observe that almost with reverence he kissed her on the forehead. She had no difficulty in identifying him because clairvoyantly she had seen him on many occasions.

Another spirit form to greet Helen was a Red Indian guide to whom I have often spoken when he entranced his medium. He appeared as a magnificent figure, far taller than the medium, complete with headdress. He spoke his name in a voice that was far different from that which normally issued through Helen�s lips. The cast of his features was characteristic of his race.

The highlight of the seance was the materialisation of a man known to several people present because he was one of their colleagues. For many years, they told me later, he had laboured for Spiritualism in South Wales. He came right out of the cabinet, and walked about ten feet to where two friends of mine were sitting. At first he did not give his name because he said he could be easily identified by his face and voice. He was speedily proved right.

This feat of walking away from the cabinet was demonstrated by other materialised figures, some of which would even sit in a chair and carry on a long discussion. Occasionally one of them would say that he must return to the cabinet for 'more rations'. We watched the figure walk back. A few minutes later he came out, moved across to his former chair, sat down and continued where he had left off.

I must mention that several materialisations turned round to display their backs and prove that they were indeed solid figures. One form stooped to straighten a rug which had been rucked by another materialisation.

When the curtains slowly opened to reveal one form I laughed at what I saw. 'What is the joke?' Helen asked me. 'Look and see,' I replied. She did - and joined my laughter. To dispose of any suggestion that the seance was fraudulent, Alec's guides had arranged to materialise a girl. She stood there, dropped her ectoplasmic veiling down to her waist and revealed her feminine form.

On another occasion a materialisation parted the curtains so that we could see his figure and the medium at the same time. Frequently throughout the s'ance I heard the medium conversing with communicators who were not then visible to us. This indicated that at intervals Alec was almost conscious.

Towards the end there was an impressive demonstration. One of his guides materialised and gave healing treatment to a sufferer. I should explain that in addition to his gift of materialisation, Alec for many years has also given proof of successful psychic healing, which incidentally attracts him more than anything else. Jokingly he has always said that as he is unconscious he does not know what happens at materialisation seances. When he gives healing at least he is aware of what transpires.

A few years ago Alec and his wife went to live in South Africa. I still get excellent accounts of his materialisation s'ances. One of his most frequent sitters is my friend, Vidie Carleton Jones, who became interested in Spiritualism after the passing of her husband, one of the leading figures in the gold-mining industry. For Vidie it is quite usual not only to see her husband materialise and to converse with him, but even to be embraced by him.

Perhaps the best testimony to this medium's materialisations comes from a medical man well known to me, Dr. Douglas Baker. He was allowed to examine the materialisations, which he told me had 'weight, could be embraced, had pulse beats, breathed, had intelligence of their own and personalities'.

In three hours at one seance he watched thirty different forms materialise and disappear. Some stayed as long as twenty minutes, answered questions and submitted to examination. He felt their bones. He volunteered they appeared normal in most ways except that some lacked colouring. Occasionally bare feet were visible.

Not one materialisation objected to his examination. He felt the pulse of several. Their hearts beat at 72 to the minute. He noticed that some figures had hair on the backs of their hands. One old woman who appeared had hardened veins clearly visible on the back of her hands. He even applied his stethoscope. Dr. Baker volunteered that the materialisations he saw at one s'ance ranged from a man six feet in height to babies in arms.
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Re: Flesh and Blood materialisations Barbanell on Alec Harris

Post by Left Behind on Tue Jun 12, 2012 3:14 am

Yes, it was a great Introduction to an excellent book. Smile

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