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Alfred Russel Wallace : Alfred Wallace : A. R. Wallace :
Russel Wallace : Alfred Russell Wallace (sic)

Extraordinary Manifestations in London (S137: 1867)

Editor Charles H. Smith's Note: Description of a seance Wallace took part in with the medium Miss Nicholl, printed in Benjamin Coleman's column 'Passing Events--The Spread of Spiritualism' in the August 1867 issue of The Spiritual Magazine (London). Original pagination indicated within double brackets. To link directly to this page, connect with: http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/wallace/S137.htm

     [[p. 349]] . . . Mr. Alfred Wallace informs me that he was present at a séance at Miss Nicholl's, in company with Mr. and Mrs. C. Pearson, Mrs. Berry, Mrs. Reeves, Major S. Geffcock, Mrs. Geffcock, and Mr. J. H. Gledstanes, when there came two showers of fresh flowers; among the first, was a fine water lily, which was given to him, though he did not particularly want it; when the second shower had come, the water lily had disappeared; a message then came, "The lily was for Julia." A lady at the table said her name was Julia, and curious enough, she had been to Covent Garden market that morning for a water lily, and could not find one. Later in the evening the missing lily was placed in her hand; afterwards each person found a small bunch of flowers had been placed before them, with a single strawberry upon each of the bunches.

     Mr. Wallace also informs me that on several occasions, lately, he and a friend have had some very extraordinary manifestations at Mrs. Marshall's.

     In a room, made perfectly dark for the purpose, they held long connected conversations with two spirits, one speaking in a loud whisper, and the other in a strong masculine voice; at times both voices, I am told by another person who was present, were heard speaking at the same time. These spirits gave the name of Katie and John King, and said they were the same spirits that accompanied the Davenports, and as one of the gentlemen who was present had often heard the voices in the presence of the Davenports, it is worthy of remark that he affirms, as I am told, that the tone and character of the voices heard at Mrs. Marshall's were the same as with the Davenports. If this be true, it is very important, and tends to destroy a theory I have formed, that as the voice necessarily obtains its power from the medium, it would present characteristics of that particular medium's tone [[p. 350]] and manner of speaking. But nothing can be more dissimilar than the ordinary speaking voices of the Davenports and Mrs. Marshall's. Another puzzling fact is stated by Mr. Wallace, he says that Mrs. Marshall having to attend a party, in another room, he and his friend were left alone with Mr. Marshall, and they obtained the same results as if the acknowledged medium, Mrs. Marshall, had been present, "the spirit kept up the conversation with them just as freely as it had done before."

     Mr. Wallace says, "We conversed with the spirits on a variety of topics--upon mediums, the progress of Spiritualism, the life in the spheres, and many other subjects, on all of which pertinent, witty, and very intelligent answers were given with great fluency and ease," and he adds that "many even who are Spiritualists will, I know, hardly credit these things as a reality, but to us who witnessed them repeatedly, the whole series of these manifestations stand out as the most authentic, as well as the most marvellous, we have ever witnessed."

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