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Reproduced below is the text of an article about a test seance given by Gordon Higginson on 15th November 1974 at Stansted Hall. This seance is unique in that infra-red photographs of ectoplasm were captured and the seance was recorded onto tape and is available for download from this site.
We take first infra-red pictures at Higginson materialisation séance - Superb survival evidence given at two-world drama By Tony Miller
My most breathtaking séance-room experience came last week as I saw ectoplasm flowing from a medium’s mouth, swathing his chest and piling on the floor. This was a prelude to a young avalanche victim’s “solid” spirit return. She was one of two figures to appear at this Gordon Higginson materialisation sitting. The Stansted Hall, Essex, library where it was held, became a temporary two worlds cross roads. The sitting, which lasted 90 minutes, was packed with Survival evidence. Gordon's two spirit controls provided dramatic and sometimes unusual details.
Though a Spiritualist my attitude was deliberately that of a sceptical journalist. . Sitting about 6ft from the cabinet I later inspected it. Made of thin one ply board on three sides, I tapped it in several places to ensure there were no hidden panels. I also upturned the chair Gordon sat on. Of the hard -backed, padded seat variety, I found nothing abnormal about it. The medium, who wore a V-necked pullover, swimming trunks and trousers, was searched immediately before the demonstration.
The only light was a red bulb above the cabinet. This was dimmed as Gordon went inside. Within minutes, ectoplasm was to be seen. The curtains were fully opened. I noticed Gordon's hands were clenched between his, legs as the substance flowed.
Though only two figures appeared - their faces were not visible - a host of spirit communicators made their presence known. One outstanding feature of this remarkable seance was the difference in the controls' voices. Cuckoo, a child, spoke softly with, an impish tone. Paddy, an Irish adult, was loud and extrovert.
The demonstration began with an oriental guide's greeting through Gordon seated outside the cabinet. Death was only a "move from one scene to another," said this guide. "Those you love' and who have journeyed to our world have not left you. Where there is love, there is no separation."
The entranced medium was helped into the cabinet by SNU general secretary Ronald Baker who at on one side. On the other was well-known Blackpool, Lancs, medium Betty Wakeling.
Paddy started by saying a young woman wished to speak to a Betty. Four with that name responded. As clarification Paddy said the communicator was called Gillian. This brought an immediate response. 'That's my daughter," said Betty Gains of Baginton Road, Coventry, Warwicks. Paddy rightly added she was known as Gill.
He said though she was married it did not last long. I later discovered the reason. Gill, 24, died in an avalanche in 1969 in Austria. After her sister on earth was mentioned, Paddy said Gill would try to materialise. There were loud gasps as the “dead” woman stood outside the cabinet with Gordon.
Paddy referred again to the sister, calling her Logie. This was a nickname, said Mrs Gains. Her real name is Lesley. As additional evidence the guide said she married a David. "Gill says I'm to tell you her sister has two little ones," added the control. Did this mean children? Mrs Gains told me it applied to two dogs - "we call them children."
Laughter came with the next communication. Paddy said Gill married a David Burton, but this was a mix-up. Though like her sister she married someone with
this first name, Lesley's married name is Burton!
Then came superb evidence. Paddy asked about the initials BAC or BAG. Mrs Gains has been twice wed. Her first initials were BAC. They are now BAG. Her daughters, she said, "really could call me an old BAG!"
Twice, in a hoarse whisper, Gill spoke. Once she mentioned an orchid. Mrs Gains said it was taken from her daughter's wedding bouquet. She had pressed the flower.
It was then Cuckoo's turn to act as an Other-Side relaying agent. Gill wanted to speak about an Aunt Joan. This was acknowledged. Gill, said the mother, was very fond of her. Paddy returned and mentioned links with Coventry, Rugby and Kenilworth. Gill, I learnt, lived in the last area after marrying.
Mrs Gains, who said she was "quite convinced" of Gillian's spirit return, agreed "it was known" for the daughter to borrow her jewellery. Paddy rightly singled out a necklace. The recipient said only she and Gill knew of this. The guide asked about Bengo. Gill was anxious to add that name as further evidence. Mrs Gains said Lesley's dog is called this.
After the séance, Mrs Gains' said no one else knew she had pressed the orchid as, a keepsake. The initials given were a big family joke." She had looked at the necklace mentioned before leaving for her Stansted visit. Gill was always borrowing it. Mrs Gains called her evidence "conclusive."
California and the name Tom clinched the next message. I later interviewed the recipients spirit healer Thomas Averill and his wife of Christchurch Street, Ipswich, Suffolk.
Paddy named as links Ricky who lives in California with his wife Stella. Not content with this string of psychic hits, Paddy rightly said Stella was ill. Cuckoo broke in to say there was a Sacramento link. This coupled with an address which included "800 and something." There were two further digits. Canno was also mentioned. Averill later told me the full address is 812 Canno Drive, Sacramento. The healer was called after a grandfather, as Paddy said.
His wife showed me a letter from the relatives. During the communication it was said one had arrived the previous week. It was in her handbag. The communicator was Averill's great uncle Ricky, in the US Air Force, had been based in Suffolk, but left with his wife for California in June
Paddy said the next communicator wanted to speak to a Jenny. There were two present at the seance. But the one wanted knew Mari. When the recipient, who was deaf, answered, it transpired it was her birthday. What finer present could she have had but a message from Beyond?
Paddy gave the "dead" man's name. It was foreign, sounding like Shoeman - he was almost right in its pronunciation. The control said he linked with two women. One lived in Bristol, the other in Exeter, Devon. Their names both began with M. The recipient gave them as Mary and Mari. Confirming they were her nieces; she also agreed about visiting a May. Paddy rightly said this friend was looking after her two dogs. The Exeter relation, he added, lived in a road containing the word Briar. At first it was denied, but finally the name Sweet Briar Lane was established.
“There's a man here asking for Ann," said Paddy. "He's called Macauley." For Ann Macauley of Oldham, Lanes, it was the moving return of her husband, Frank. A Roman Catholic, he passed on 14 months ago aged 55. The "dead" man talked of Coalshaw. This forms part of the recipient's address. Frank managed to speak loudly. His wife was overcome with emotion. "You miss me" he said. "You never thought I’d come to you."
As evidence of his spirit pre sence the husband said he was with Ann "when you spoke to Emily next door about her husband." He and Ann "had some good times together, but you used to put me in my place. "I often' said there was no pleasing you. I hope you love me all the more for it now." Cuckoo said he had returned in his boots. "He wouldn't go anywhere without them," she said. This was confirmed by his wife.
Mrs Macauley told me she had discussed Survival with Frank, who tolerated her Spiritualism.' The spirit voice was "like his own." "I was always telling him he could not do anything right," she added. "I did not appreciate him then."
The next spirit communicator asked for a Gerald. "Can you hear me? It's your father." For Gerald Sowter of the Reigate Centre for Psychic and Spiritual Studies, Surrey, it was his parent's first spirit return, though he passed on in 1946.
Paddy mentioned a Worthing, Sussex, link which was recognised, as was "Hatch Lane." The control also referred to Sowter's sister's eye trouble. The recipient and her father all had sight problems. Paddy said the communicator talked of walls being demolished. One room had been made into two and two into one. Sowter told me this was done at his centre. As further evidence came mention of an old, big, family Bible and a hymn book given as a present. These were instantly recognised.
Sowter later said his sister communicated at a seance the previous day. It .began with mention of Windsor Castle, Berks. Then came St Anne's House, Clewer, This was her address.
Though his father, a non-Spiritualist, died nearly 30 years ago, he recognised his voice. "It sounded just like his." Sowter's wife, Irene, said "it was wonderful" to realise the father "knows exactly what's going on at our centre."
A fascinating aspect of this seance was the perfect interplay between the controls. Paddy made initial contact with recipients. He constantly showed concern that the messages were clearly understood. These were reinforced by further comment from Cuckoo. Paddy proved especially adept at giving names and addresses as evidence.
This is overdoing it
This seance was the fourth one held on consecutive days. It took place at 2.30 pm on a sunny afternoon with the result that some white light came through the curtained windows.
It was a tribute to Gordon's mediumship that it was even held because of an incident the previous night. Then a seance was specially arranged for a German film company. Instead of using the infra-red technique, the camera had a special lens which could operate, it was said, from the faint glow of the red bulb above the cabinet.
Yet the medium had a fairly large reddish "burn" on his stomach in the region of the solar plexus. It was still visible the next day. Gordon had a plaster put on it. The ''burn,'' PN was told, also caused him to be sick.
Nevertheless he agreed to carry on with the seance for which John Hughes, the PN photographer, had bought all the. necessary infra-red equipment. He visited Stansted Hall two days earlier and attended a sitting so as to arrange the best position for his photographs. Healer M.H. Tester, who is an expert photographer also took infra-red pictures from another angle. These also show the ectoplasm.
Was Gordon wise to have four materialisation seances on consecutive days? There is a limit even to his energy. After the last one he drove to London for his lecture at 7 pm as part of a course to Spiritualist .Association of Great Britain members. Then he motored to his Staffordshire home 150 miles away.
From Psychic News, 23 November 1974