• FATE Magazine

Physical Phenomena at Camp Chesterfield - by Elaine M. Kuzmeskus

Fate Jul Aug 2013

"If you prefer blindness, keep your eyes closed. If you prefer deafness keep your ears closed. But if you are wise, you will open the windows of your soul so that you can become aware of that mighty, vast power of the spirit which will strengthen and en- courage you and make you know how life can be lived and enjoyed to the full." Silver Birch

Camp Chesterfield in Indiana is just the place to open your eyes to spirit. I know—when I served as a guest medium in June 2013, I experienced a memorable visit from spirit. The glowing mage of El Moyra with his cream-colored turban tied at the side, short, dark brown beard, and magnetic brown eyes appeared in meditation. The Ascended Master telepathi- cally assured me that he would present at my workshops. However, I did not "see" him again until the last day. It was a scorcher, so I rested a bit longer than usual before my seminar on physical mediumship. Apparently, Spirit was aware of my tardiness. Just as I opened the door of my room at the Western Hotel, there was the ethereal 6 foot, 5 inch form of El Moyra beckoning me to class! If you are open to the power of spirit, physical phenomena is possible. Camp Chesterfield, founded in 1886, has been home to many fine physical mediums including Mabel Riffle, Bertie Lilly Chandler, Clifford Bias, Lula Taber, James Laughton, Richard Zenor, Pansy Cox, Mamie B. Schultz Brown, and Bill English. The camp remains much the same as in its heyday in the 1950s when Indiana medium Don Kemp investigated mediumship. He attended a seance where he received five materializations: "I felt the first three visitations weren't authentic, but then my brother materialized followed by my Grandma. I knew they were authentic." Kemp's convincing detail was his brother's reference to Don's actual birthdate which had always been in dispute with the date printed on his birth certificate. Later, in 1960, psychic investigators Andrija Puharich and Tom O'Neill un- covered fraud at Camp Chesterfield with the aid of infrared photography. The film clearly revealed "spirits" emerging from trap doors to produce fraudulent materialization. Since then materialization mediumship at Camp Chesterfield has all but disappeared.

Trumpet Mediumship When I made my first visit in April 2005, trumpet mediumship was still being offered by Rev. Louise Irvine and Rev. Suzanne Greer. The highlight of the visit was Rev. Greer's trumpet seance. She proudly told the twelve assembled in her basement seance room, "It took me twelve years to sit in circle to develop trumpet." The medium then took her place in a small cabinet about the size of a telephone booth. Once the lights were turned off, the room was pitch dark. "If there is even a tiny speck of light, it can disturb the seance," Rev. Greer explained We sang cheerful tunes such as "Jingle Bells" to bring up the vibration for about five minutes. Soon the trumpet lifted and acted as a megaphone to the spirit world. The first spirit to come through was the medium's spirit guide, Penny. While my husband Ron could see the trumpet float around the room, I had to squint a bit. Suzanne obligingly low- ered the trumpet so we could all feel the trumpet tap us on our toes! Rev. Louise Irvine's Ascended Master Seance was also held in pitch darkness. For over an hour, the Ascended Masters spoke through two trumpets held mid- air by an invisible force. One Ascended Master, El Moyra, described his ashram which he placed over Darjeeling in India. The sitters were impressed with the seance, although one gentleman won- dered if the gemstone apports we received supposedly from spirit had been pur- chased instead at the local crystal shop.

No one questioned the sincerity of Rev. Patricia Kennedy, a medium who had studied with Austin D. Wallace. Her meditation classes were held in the Hett Art Gallery and Museum which houses the precipitated paintings of the Bangs Sisters. When Rev. Kennedy took us on a tour of the museum, she pointed out the precipitated portrait of Bernal Tobias, a blonde lad dressed in a frilly white blouse. Sadly, the four-year-old had diabetes and died on Christmas Eve. When the Bangs sisters did his precipitated portrait, "the canvas was placed in front of a window to be clearly seen, with black draperies on either side. At first appeared like a cloud and then took form." According to those present, the child's eyes were shut; then opened and closed several times before they finally remained open.

Spirit Card Seance A year later, I returned to do more research on the psychic phenomena at Camp Chesterfield. My husband Ron and I arrived just in time for the Sunday evening service. Rev. Glenda Cadarette was doing a flower séance. As she picked out a yellow gladi- ola, she gestured "To the lady in the back row—I feel as if I am holding a pen—you must be writing a book." This was true, as I was there to do research for Seance 101:Physical Medimship. Rev. Hoyt Robinette was also at camp that summer, and he graciously agreed to do a spirit card seance for about eight sitters. The seance began with Rev. Robi- nette holding his cobra basket upside down to show it was completely empty. Then he opened a new pack of 3 by 5 cards which he placed in the basket with a variety of colored pens and pencils with their caps on. My spirit card had these names on the front and a picture of two figures done in rust and green on the back. The unusual choice of colors did not make much sense until Connecticut Ghosts came out. The cover chosen by the publishers of the book was in rust and lime green with two puffs of clouds! On my third visit, I stopped by psychic artist Rev. Kennedy for a picture of my guide. The spry medium in her 70s closed her eyes for a moment to tune into spirit. Then we chatted a bit and she picked up a pastel and started sketching. In about an hour, she drew a portrait of my guide. was very pleased with the result—a picture of a Tibetan lama. Five years later in January of 2012, I returned to attend a trance seminar with Rev. Glenda Cadarette. She shared the story of how she had visited Camp Chesterfield because it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, but she was not the least bit interested in mediumship. However, she had a reading from one of the Camp's mediums which led her to Rev. Louise Irvine's circle. Rev. Cadarette is now one of Chesterfield's top trance mediums. She brought through the spirit of Elwood Babbitt, a Massachusetts channeler who had given me annual readings from 1982 to 2000. Rev. Cadarette said, "Elwood sends his greet- ing to three people here," which made sense as two of my spirit cabinet students were with me. There was no way Rev. Cadarette could have known about some- one with a name as unusual as "Elwood". She then conducted a channeled session for the New Year 2012. Her guide that year was inventor and futurist Nikola Tesla. For those interested in physical medi- umship, Camp Chesterfield in Indiana still offers development classes, trance seminars, and a superior museum filled with precipitated paintings of the Bangs Sisters as well spirit photographs. The camp is about an hour from Indianapolis. If for no other reason, the Hett Art Gallery and Museum is worth the trip. While you are there, check out the precipitated portrait of Rose Carson. Take time to count the roses—sometimes there are 12, other times 11 or 13!

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