Does mediumistic ability exist within the circle of your family and friends? Here is how you may find it and put it to work.
by Dr. W. D. Chesney
The power of certain mediums to break through the veil and put us into communication with those we have loved and lost is unquestioned nowadays by many of us. I know it is possible to hold conversations with those who are living but invisible to our eyes—if certain conditions are supplied. And these conditions can be supplied.
Every reputable medium I have known has discovered his or her psychic gifts in home seances. The Eddys, the Davenports, the Crandons, the Currans of Patience Worth fame, all discovered their psychic capabilities in home seances, in their own “upper rooms.” Abraham Lincoln found that he was mediumistic in seances held in his Springfield home before he ran for the Presidency. Nettie Colburn Maynard, the medium who served Mr. Lincoln up to the time of his transition, developed her mediumship in her “upper room” in Bolton, Conn., a number of years before the Hydesville manifestations, in the “upper room” of the Fox family.
From the dawn of recorded history—possibly even longer—man has wanted a private spot where he may rest and meditate. He may wish to be alone to commune with his God. Or he may take Christ’s words to heart, that where two or three are gathered together in His name, He will be in the midst of them.
It must be clear to us that this “upper room” is now a symbol only, of privacy and safety. Earlier in our history a literal “upper room” was necessary because there a man could see his enemy approach before his enemy saw him. During the time that no man, outside the priesthood, could have or read the Holy Bible, it was essential that the layman read his forbidden book in an “upper room” so that sufficient time was available to hide the Book in case of interruption.
During the Pagan persecutions of the early Christians an “upper room” was still a necessity. Sometimes it was a loft over a ground floor; sometimes it was a cave or a catacomb, but symbolically an “upper room” none the less.
An “upper room” is necessary to many persons as a protection against the jibes and jeers of unbelieving friends and neighbors. But today, all over the world, families are holding seances and developing every phase of psychic phenomena—automatic writing, independent writing, direct and indirect voices, materialization and spiritual healings in home seances.
It is safe to assume that our departed friends and relatives are as anxious as we to break through the veil and to prove that there is no death. It was the spirits of those called “dead” who opened the way when the Foxes and Colburns were ignorant of any modus operandi for communicating with them.
The most important step is to eliminate the greatest curse of mankind—fear. One should be positive with Victor Hugo that, “The tomb is not a blind alley. It is a broad highway that closes on the twilight and opens on the eternal dawn of immortality.”
In the early 1880s a number of Abe Lincoln’s old friends used to visit Father’s offices in Kansas City and Topeka and as everyone of them knew of Mr. Lincoln’s psychic experiences and his profound belief in psychic communication between the seen and the unseen, it logically followed that they were interested in home seances.
We had about the largest house in Topeka—17 rooms, no bath rooms in those days. There were seven rooms on the first and second stories and one immense room on the third floor. My own grandfather was a red-hot Methodist and opposed to research in psychic matters so my father and the others decided to use the large room at the top of the house as their “upper room.” A large table and about 20 chairs were carried up there. An old reed organ that Father had sent out from Springfield, Ill., in the mid-1870s was there also.
As far as we knew not one of those comprising the circle ever had been mediumistic. The following information should be carefully considered for it will help to enhance the results and eliminate the dangers of your own home seances. May I say first that silly questions, to silly (earth bound) spirits, get silly answers. The opposite is equally true: sensible people, asking for sensible information from developed spirits, will bring sensible replies which positively prove that friends you thought dead still live and love.
Bear in mind that the act of physically dying does not confer gold crown, gold slippers, gold harp and angelic wings on the spirit of a good man. Nor is the spirit of an evil man automatically presented with a trident, cloven hooves, horns, and the wings of a bat. His spirit is just exactly the same in every way as it was one minute before his heart stopped beating in his physical body. It is a spiritual law that good attracts good. Evil attracts evil. Therefore, in seances held with respectable, earnest truth seekers and a medium controlled by good entities thus attracted, the information is good and, within limitations
imposed on the psychic which are comparable to a radio or television set, the information is dependable. Your radio or TV does not give uniformly good reception—neither does a medium.
An even dozen friends and old Lincoln cronies assembled in our “upper-room” at 1916 Lincoln Street, Topeka, that first night. We made a complete circle by clasping the hands of the persons next to us. My sister Mary played the old reed organ. I, being just a kid, was an innocent, ignorant participant. The kerosene lamp (we had no electric lights in our homes in those halcyon days) was turned quite low. Mary played church hymns on the organ to accompany the voices of the sitters. It was a rather warm evening as we began but before very long we began to feel currents of cold air where there should not have been any.
One very large man named Sain sat with us and was about the last man on earth one would consider psychic. His education was sketchy—I doubt if he had attended school five years in his life. But at the end of 30 minutes small, brilliant lights began dashing around the room and, without further ado, Sain was controlled and delivered one of the finest oratorial efforts I ever have heard. The entity, speaking through Sain’s vocal organs, identified himself as the great preacher and temperance lecturer, Lorenzo Dow. I know that Sain used words he himself had never heard before.
After this lecture some close relatives of various sitters gave convincing evidence of their spiritual identity by presenting evidence not known to the sitters, but which later was checked and found to be true.
During our third meeting, two weeks later, a voice absolutely unlike the voice of Sain addressed my father as Ez (short for Ezra) and identified himself as Abraham Lincoln. I heard more than one of those who had known Honest Abe in life whisper, “That sure is Abe Lincoln’s voice.” And it seems to me, as I recall the messages subsequently received, that from that time on I knew the grand character of the martyred President, Abe Lincoln, as no one can now know him.
The voice of Lincoln said to Father, “Ez, Major Ritchie is here with me and he wants you to tell John and Hale (Major Ritchie’s sons) not to attempt to force the return of the college grant because the college means a whole lot more to Kansas than to bear my name, Lincoln College.”
A fairly long conversation was carried on with Father who identified the voice, the wisdom, the intonation and the character as that of his old mentor, Abe Lincoln. After the circle had broken up for the evening Father gave us the history of the matter to which Lincoln’s spirit referred.
Major Ritchie had accumulated a large acreage on the southwest side of Topeka. Later he set aside some of this property to provide a perpetual fund to a college to be known for all time as Lincoln College. When hard times came on and it appeared that the college could no longer survive a wealthy miller offered to advance a large sum of money if the school name was changed to Washburn College. The Ritchie boys, John and Hale, came to Father and asked him to sue for the return of the endowment because of the breech of contract. In fact, right at the time of the seance my father was making a study of the situation pursuant to suing the college corporation.
Father accepted this message at face value and urged the Ritchie boys not to sue. In fact, he refused to sue, making the Ritchie boys his enemies for life. They did not sue but went behind Father’s back and settled a damage suit with the Kansas, Nebraska & Dakota railroad in order to avoid Father’s already earned fee.
It has been said, with some basis, that Lincoln wrote and issued the Emancipation Proclamation under the urgings of the spirit of Daniel Webster. And Carl Schurz, United States Senator from Missouri, admitted in writing that Lincoln’s spirit voice, heard at a home seance in Philadelphia, predicted correctly that he would hold that office despite the fact that Schurz at the time was a resident of Wisconsin. I knew Carl Schurz and can swear that this is true.
When we first began to hold seances in our Topeka home back in the ’80s my mother, a strict Methodist, was not very enthusiastic about it. But as she sat in the circle she had the most urgent desire—which she resisted for a long time—to pick up a pencil. The guides had told both my mother and my sister Mary that they could do automatic writing and later they did just that. The information that came through them was always factually correct.
One day, without saying a word, Father simply handed Mother a very old planchette, with ball bearings, to my best recollection, and Mother took her old lap board, placed a large sheet of wrapping paper on it, set the planchette on the paper, the fingers of her right hand on the planchette and almost immediately messages came through from deceased relatives and friends.
When Mother sat down to the planchette nothing could drive us younger children from the house. It surely kept us out of mischief for hours at a time. And let no one tell you we did not have juvenile delinquency in those days too. One of the marvels of Mother’s mediumship was that, using the planchette, she wrote—or the spirits wrote—at least ten times as fast as normally. Also the handwriting itself was entirely different for Mother always wrote in a small cramped hand, except when using the planchette. Mother’s mediumship remained with her until she joined Father in her 83rd year.
As we went from the ’80s into the Gay ’90s the weekly seances took on a sombre tone. Warnings were given constantly that some sort of disaster was going to strike our country. It seemed the spirit controls could not tell us the exact sort of disaster that was soon to come upon us. Father was urged to liquidate much of his income property but failed to do so. The disaster came in the form of the Panic of 1893. Our family lost most of everything we possessed. Still we were better off than many others who were reduced to absolute poverty.
Father had been told not to trade his business building at 1123–1125 Kansas Avenue. The spirit voice warned that if he did he would sustain quite a loss. He traded. He lost. He was told that he would remove his family from Topeka to Kansas City and, although at the time he had no such idea, we did move to Kansas City where he passed on in 1920.
In our seance group there was no reason for trickery or fraud and there was none.
I have attended home seances in many lands and my assurance that man cannot die has been reinforced through the years.
I wish to repeat my former statement: if you are searching earnestly, honestly, sincerely for the proof that man cannot die you can discover this truth in your own home seances.