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PN Editor attends 
David Thompson physical mediumship Séance by sue Farrow
   

On Monday 8th April I attended a remarkable séance, given by physical medium David Thompson. Regular readers will know that I’m a bit of an old hand where physical mediumship is concerned, but for various reasons I’d never before had the opportunity to sit with David.


The Doris Ann Centre

The séance, attended by about 30 people, was held in Oswestry, deep in the Shropshire countryside, at the Doris Ann Centre (DAC) founded by Bill Gardner in memory of his late wife.

“My road down the physical started about a year after our son died following a drowning accident,” Bill told Psychic News. “One morning, just after the sun came up, I woke up and my son was standing by my bed. I wasn’t dreaming – he really was there for a couple of seconds. I was a believer before then but that confirmed to me that our loved ones can come back to visit us.”

After Bill’s much-loved wife died following a long illness, he continued his search for evidence.

“Ann was such a caring person. She helped others in lots of ways. I doubted a lot during her illness and asked why it had happened, but then found peace after she passed,” he said. “I travelled to churches all over the world, sat in séances, read a lot of books and asked a lot of questions.”

One of Ann’s first messages to Bill was that she was sorry she hadn’t listened to him about survival after death, and that she now knew he was right.

“How fitting, then, for me to build a centre in her name to help others to learn about the world of spirit, to help others as Ann did, and to bring to our little corner of England physical séances which had never been seen here,” Bill explained.

“After sitting with David Thompson and getting more proof, I knew I had met a man who was honest, a pleasure to be with, and a wonderful physical medium.”

The evening began with an informal and interesting talk by David on his work as a physical medium, the work of his home circle – the Circle of the Silver Cord – various historical aspects of physical mediumship, and a number of related issues.

He later handed over to his circle leader Christine, who explained the various conventions of the physical séance room: not to reach out and touch any manifestation or levitated object; not to grasp any spirit hand that might touch one; to keep feet tucked in; and the reasons for these and other similar requirements. She encouraged people to ask questions and not to hold back if there was something they wanted to know. Both inside and outside the séance room, it was clear that transparency is important to her.


The séance room

Having first been searched and scanned with a metal detector, I entered the DAC’s purpose-built séance room, which needs no blackout, and examined it over a period of 15-20 minutes. It’s rectangular and has a much higher ceiling than an average domestic room. Thirty or so chairs are arranged around three walls, with a sturdy curtained cabinet against the fourth. Walls and floor revealed no trapdoors, hatches or other means of covert entry/exit.

I examined the sides, back and roof of the cabinet, inside and outside, and also the curtains. I upended the chair on which David Thompson would sit, checking its seat, legs and arms for hollowed out cavities, and finding none. Carpeting was also examined. A large board lay a few feet in front of the cabinet, extending several feet out into the room. Again I checked for possible hollowed-out cavities and found none.


Sitter-searches 
and seating

All other sitters, including a number of first-timers, were searched and scanned with a metal detector, after which David Thompson invited me to decide who would sit where. All but five sitters were unknown to me and I seated people at random. David’s circle leader Christine Morgan sat to his left, and Keith, a regular sitter who had charge of the CD player which would provide music for the singing, sat to his right. I was seated next to Christine. She explained that throughout the séance she would wear a small luminous brooch on her shirt, making her whereabouts known at all times. Under her chair were small felt-like bags containing a small torch, a séance trumpet, a luminous ping-pong ball, a bell and a harmonica. 
I examined each carefully, as did Eric Hatton, who was seated next to me.


Medium’s restraints

Craig, a first-time sitter who had been invited to act as an independent checker, was handed a sealed package of large cable ties. He confirmed that the package had never been opened. I was handed a similar package of smaller ties and confirmed that it, too, had not been opened. On Christine’s instructions we selected four and eight ties respectively.

Craig and I then examined a scarf that would be used to gag David during the sitting, his cardigan and pockets. As we watched, David then slid cable ties through the cardigan’s buttonholes. Having been searched, he was then secured to his chair by Christine, using double-tie restraints to all four limbs as Craig and I watched. The gag was put in place and its knot secured by a further cable tie.

Finally, using pliers, Christine cut a length from the overhang of each tie. These pieces were retained throughout the séance by Eric Hatton, who was seated next to me. Craig and I were asked to describe what we had witnessed as David was strapped into the chair, and to confirm whether we were happy with the séance room and the restraining process. We both indicated that we were.

The door was then locked and the light turned out.

 

 
Physical medium David Thompson

    Physical medium David Thompson
 

The séance

Christine offered an opening prayer, after which music was played via the CD player and everyone sang along.

First to manifest was the control named William, whose voice appeared to come from a position in excess of six feet above the floor. Christine asked everyone to hold hands at this point. William welcomed the sitters and then greeted Bill, whose séance room we were using.

Bill was seated at the furthest point from the cabinet, and William’s voice now came from that area of the room, still at a height I estimated to be over six feet. David Thompson himself is nowhere near that height. Christine then introduced me to William, who seemed to be swiftly in front of me. Checking that I was satisfied with the manner of David’s restraint, he then asked if he could touch me.

A very large hand rested immediately on top of my head. There was no fumbling or hesitation about finding my head in the pitch darkness. (I had earlier examined David’s own hands, which in my opinion were somewhat smaller than the average man’s hand.) Others were later touched in the same way. All remarked on the unusually large size of the hand.


Questions and answers

William then invited questions from sitters, answering five in all. The answers were detailed and all questioners seemed satisfied with the answers they received. Topics included esoteric aspects of Plato’s writing; the future of physical mediumship in respect of ‘new energy’; geography; William’s life on earth; and the implications of modern medicine and medical technology being able to keep someone alive artificially.

This last question was my own. Space doesn’t allow me to include William’s answers in this report, but extracts will be published in a future issue of PN.


Visible phenomena

William having withdrawn, the CD was played again, with sitters singing along. After a short time, a lively child’s voice, recognised by many as a child named Timmy, spoke, greeting Christine and Bill, and enjoying playful banter with others he seemed to know.
Christine remarked that there were plenty of toys for Timmy to play with and asked what he would like. He requested the trumpet, and Christine held on to me with her left hand while bending down to pick it up. I confirmed to sitters that she remained in contact with me as she placed the trumpet between herself and the cabinet. Her small luminous brooch was also visible throughout this process. We had all ceased to hold hands during the singing, but were now asked to link them again.

Lively music was played, in the style of an Irish jig, and the trumpet was soon airborne. Three aspects of this phenomenon were particularly noteworthy:
• The trumpet rose close to the ceiling on numerous occasions – an estimated height of about twelve feet
• It flew a considerable distance from the cabinet – an estimated distance of between twelve and fourteen feet
• It travelled at very high speed throughout the demonstration, finally swooping down, without warning, to a precision landing in Christine’s lap

At the end of this impressive display, Christine asked if people’s hands were still linked. All answered that they were.


Luminous ball and tiny fingers

After a pause, Timmy spoke again, saying, “It’s all right, I haven’t gone, I’m just waiting a moment for the ectoplasm to settle so that I can materialise.” He then asked Christine for the ball.
She answered that she would get it, and did so, keeping hold of me with her left hand while reaching down with her right. Throughout this process, and at all other times when there was a need for her to carry out a task during the séance, she described exactly what she was doing. At no point during the sitting was she out of physical contact with me.

Timmy asked that the ball be given to me, and Christine placed it on the palm of my right hand. It was luminous, sufficiently bright to illuminate a significant area of my palm. All other sitters were holding hands at this point, as I was with my left hand. Since my right hand was otherwise occupied, Christine and I remained in contact via our knees.

Timmy then announced that he intended to materialise, and almost immediately I heard a voice directly in front of me, which seemed to come from a position about three to four feet from the ground. As the voice spoke, I felt a touch on my right hand, and in the light of the luminous ball I clearly saw tiny fingers, which then proceeded to take the ball from me and carry it to other sitters. As he did so, people would call out in surprise at what they were seeing.

Timmy having finished his rounds, Christine informed sitters that she was bending down to put the ball away in its bag.

Various personal communications followed, with Timmy acting as master of ceremonies. One in particular I should like to have reported here, but it was deeply personal and I was not able to obtain the sitter’s permission to quote it.

Music followed these messages, and people were told to unlink hands, after which Timmy said goodbye.

The séance room with cabinet.
The séance room with cabinet.


Live music

Christine then said, “Can we go to Mr Armstrong’s song please?” and asked us to join hands again. A low, gravelly voice began to sing along with the recording, amid cries of “Well done, Louis.” The spirit visitor chatted with one or two people and then asked for his harmonica. Still holding my hand with her left, Christine reached under her chair for the instrument, which was then swiftly removed from her outstretched hand.
Sounds were heard of a harmonica being played (quite well, it seemed) in the centre of the room, and shortly afterwards the visitor took his leave.

At this point, William asked Christine to allow David to be inspected. Christine turned on her small light and asked Craig and me to accompany her to the cabinet. Pulling the curtains aside she invited us to inspect David’s bindings.

Craig and I were able to confirm that these were all in place, and the gag still in position and secured. We returned to our seats and the light was extinguished. William then explained that the séance was now at an end, saying: “I bid you all good evening. May I say God bless you, whoever your God may be.” After being thanked profusely by the sitters, he asked Christine to play “the coming-out music” so that David could emerge from his trance state.

David having returned to consciousness, though sounding a bit groggy, Christine closed the séance with a prayer.

A low light was switched on as Craig and I accompanied Christine to David’s new location a few feet in front of the cabinet, where, still bound in his chair, he had apparently been levitated. All his bindings were in place, as was his gag, complete with cable tie through the knot. Interestingly, his cardigan had been turned back-to-front, though each of the cable-ties through its buttonholes was still in place.
A final check against the cable-tie cut-offs retained by Eric Hatton throughout the séance, revealed a perfect match 
in all cases.


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