Posts Tagged ‘Percy Clifton’

26th October
written by Richard

A number of quite prominent San Diegans attended a seance given by Elsie Reynolds in a room at Dr. Barnes’s residence; Friday evening . . . a lady spirit was materialized and came into the audience to shake hands. A lady present, at an opportune moment, seized the spirit around the waist with one arm and clinched its wrist with the other hand. The spirit shrieked and attempted to tear itself away. . . . The seance ended abruptly.  –San Diego Union, January 20, 1889.

The religion of “Spiritualism” claimed millions of followers in the United States and Europe in the nineteenth century. Believers included Mary Todd Lincoln who hosted seances in the White House to reach her departed sons Eddie and Willie. Spiritualist demonstrations could also be entertaining, profitable for the “mediums,” and more often than not, fraudulent, as San Diegans would discover in the summer of 1888: The Spooks in San Diego

A Victorian era séance.

A Victorian era seance.