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Heart-stopping séances with Scott Milligan 
– literally!   by Sue Farrow
How did you spend last weekend? I spent 
mine in a dark room at the Arthur Findlay College with thirty-ish other people and a 
guy who was tied to a chair. His heartbeat seemed to stop several times, too, giving a few grey hairs to a nurse who was present. But more of that later.

The guy in the chair was physical medium Scott Milligan, 30 years old, and with a passion to restore physical mediumship to its former place at the heart of the Spiritualist movement.


“Dark séances?” I hear some of you cry. They’re not the ideal, I grant you. Alec Harris didn’t do them, nor Helen Duncan, nor Minnie Harrison. We all want light back in the séance room, and Scott wants it more than most. Who wouldn’t be overjoyed to see their ‘dead’ loved one walking towards them in enough light to make recognition a certainty?

Scott has been sitting since he was sixteen years old – week in, week out – but it took a bit of persuasion from both sides of life to get him to agree to it.

“I had a win on the lottery,” he says. “I went to buy a computer and the sales assistant encouraged me to have a tarot reading in the shop next door. I was really sceptical but the reader told me things about my life no one would have known.”

Some time after the reading, Scott went to a shop in Haywards Heath, and while there, noticed an advertisement for a Colin Fry trance demonstration.

“I didn’t think much more of it – trance kind of scared me,” he recalls.

But it seems a plan was afoot, whether Scott wanted it or not.

“I got a phone call out of the blue, but I thought it was a crank call, so I hung up!”

The caller was Brenda, from Colin Fry’s circle, and undeterred by the hang-up, she phoned straight back. Apparently, the late wife of Colin’s circle leader, John Austin, had manifested at a séance and asked that Scott be located.

Scott takes up the story: “I went to see John Austin and he invited me to sit. Brenda said she knew how to use the Ouija board. I wasn’t happy because I thought it could be harmful, but we sat and it spelled out ‘Scott Milligan – sit’ three times. Well, I sat, and nothing happened.

“Then I went and sat again with Colin. When the trumpet lifted I screamed! A child’s voice spoke and a child’s tiny hands touched me. As soon as I felt that touch, I fell in love.

“At the end of the sitting I ran out of the room and shouted, ‘Phone John – I’ll sit!’ At the first sitting we had raps and bangs. At the eleventh we had a voice coming from the ceiling. Then nothing for two-and-a-half years.”

These days his mediumship is extending and developing all the time. He’s his own harshest critic, constantly urging his spirit team to push the boundaries and experiment. And experiment they do, when conditions are right.

I was up close and personal in the two séances Scott gave over the weekend – less than a metre from the cabinet on each occasion – and made digital sound recordings of both.


At this AFC physical mediumship weekend, organised by the respected evidential medium Eileen Davies, Scott had two main spirit controls, though he prefers to describe them as friends. In common with many physical mediums, past and present, one control manifests as a child. He’s called Daniel – a likeable character, full of gentle humour and dedicated to putting new sitters at ease. He refers to himself as “the loveable huggable” and has lots of charm.

Though he takes on a child’s persona, it’s obvious from some of the things he says that he has knowledge well beyond a child’s. When one middle-aged sitter referred to him as “little sweetheart” he responded quick as a flash that he was old enough to be her father.

The second control was a complete contrast. 
An elderly-sounding man named Eric Robert Johnson, he’s the epitome of the well-spoken Englishman from a bygone age. Both he and Daniel seem to act as masters of ceremony on different occasions, but Eric is apt to deliver impromptu and thought-provoking philosophical addresses, an example of which we’ll publish in a future edition of PN.


A third regular visitor is a woman known as Frances, and she has a very particular function. Her responsibility is to test and “stretch” the ectoplasmic voice box which builds to the left side of Scott at some point during each séance. She’s a phenomenon in her own right, and fascinates me.

Imagine a trained singer with the vocal power to reach the back of an opera house auditorium. Add to that a vocal range which exceeds that of most professional singers, and it’s clear we’re not talking about Scott Milligan.

I’ll let you into a secret: A few months ago, Scott and I sat near to each other at a séance given by another physical medium. We were all asked to sing loudly, and we did. I can therefore testify that although Scott is a man of many talents, singing is not among them. Enough said!

The two séances featured a number of independent voice communications for individual sitters. One in particular contained a wealth of evidence from the sitter’s father, whose name was given, on the eve of her birthday.


Most of us are conditioned from early childhood not to inflict physical pain or damage on a fellow creature, human or animal. Not only that – we have (hopefully) an instinctive revulsion at the thought of doing so.

That’s how one sitter, named Thomas, felt when, in the first séance, he was invited to approach the medium and indulge in a bit of sadism! I was invited to join him on the other side of the medium. We were asked to take the medium’s wrists and feel his pulse, which slowed significantly until it had to all intents and purposes disappeared.

At this point, Thomas was asked to dig his nails as hard as possible into the medium’s hand. He was very reluctant to, and asked Daniel more than once if he really meant it. Daniel urged him on, and Thomas duly dug hard into Scott’s flesh. There was no reaction whatever from Scott, no sign that he was in any way affected by what was happening.

At the second séance the pulse experiment was repeated, but much more extensively. I again felt Scott’s pulse slow, weaken, and apparently disappear altogether. I asked Daniel if his medium was all right. “He’s all right and he’s going into tachycardia now,” he answered calmly. An anxious female sitter was heard to comment, “That’s not good!”

Physical Medium Scott Milligan
    Physical Medium Scott Milligan

It turned out that the sitter was a nurse. She was invited to approach the medium and take his pulse herself. She took his wrist and said, “It’s not good to have tachycardia.”

“That why we do it under control, girl!” replied Daniel. “You keep your hand there and we’ll see if we can slow it down for you.”

The nurse observed that she could feel the pulse slowing down.

“It’s very, very weak,” she said.

“Would you say it’s a normal rhythm?” Daniel enquired.

“No,” was the response.

“In your professional opinion, what are you getting?”

“I would say you’re slowing it down to a very, very shallow heartbeat. Very, very shallow. You’ve slowed the heart right down but there’s still enough pulse there to keep it going.”

Daniel requested the red light be turned on.

“It’s slowing down even more now,” said the nurse. “It’s still there, but it’s very, very faint.”

The pulse slowed further and the nurse asked how Scott’s blood was being pumped round.

“We’re slowing his natural heart down, but we’ve created a copy of his heart, which means we can pump the oxygen to his brain.”

“I can still feel it, though,” replied the nurse.

“Don’t worry, girl, we’ll sort it out,” said Daniel, attracting a lot of laughter. “I’m going to bring Mr Eric. He had an irregular heartbeat, so we’ll see if the medium reacts to his heart. That’ll be interesting, won’t it!”

Eric arrived and spoke with the nurse. “I’ve got a very faint pulse here, but so faint it’s almost like a flatline,” she told him.

“Would you like it faster?” he asked. “That would be good,” the nurse replied, her fingers still on 
Scott’s wrist. After a few seconds, during which Eric continued speaking with her, he asked, “What’s it doing now?”

“It’s speeding up quite nicely,” she said. “It’s almost getting back into a proper rhythm, I would say.”

I asked the nurse to count the beats out loud. The pulse had been restored to roughly 70 beats per minute.


 The word ‘apport’ is used to describe an object that is brought into the séance room by non-physical means. It derives from the French word apporter, meaning ‘to bring’.

Clearly, the apport phenomenon offers boundless opportunity for fraud among the unscrupulous, and for apports to have credibility it’s essential that every person in a séance room, especially the medium, has been thoroughly searched.

This was the case prior to Scott’s séances, both of which lasted more than two-and-a-half hours. He himself was searched by two independent checkers, selected randomly via two scrunched up paper balls, thrown backwards into the crowd of sitters. The two catchers became the searchers and checkers of the medium. They also searched the séance room and equipment thoroughly before Scott was allowed to enter, and later supervised his four-limb binding, via police-style cable ties, to a simple wooden chair provided by the AFC.

Three items were apported over the weekend. The first, in Friday night’s séance, was an old compass, enclosed in what appeared to be a casing of gold or gold plate, decorated with an engraving of an anchor. Both compass and anchor had been mentioned in the lengthy evidence given to the sitter prior to the arrival of the apport.

The second apport, brought on Saturday night, was for the person whose father had given detailed evidence to mark her birthday. That communication contained, among many other things, information that her father had passed before she was twenty-one. The apport was certainly tailor-made, being a silver filigree key bearing the words ‘Happy Birthday’, the traditional ‘key to the door’ immortalised in the song Twenty-one today.

The third apport was for me – a lovely silver object whose significance I was asked by Daniel to keep to myself.


 Scott has a busy schedule of public séances, but his development is an ongoing process. His range of physical phenomena continues to increase, with several instruments playing simultaneously, and with trumpets flying at great speed. His circle of eleven sitters meets each week on Wednesday evenings, even on the occasions when Scott himself cannot be present because of demonstrations or teaching commitments.

He wants a return to the physical mediumship of the past, but with lessons learned. “I’m fed up with past mistakes,” he says. “Physical mediums have burnt out. People have come and injured them, with a torch or in other ways. They can destroy a medium.”

He adds that his dream is of “materialisation in white or red light again.”

And he has another more worldly dream – to establish his own centre.

“I want to have a centre of excellence,” he says, “where we can concentrate on communication, where physical mediumship can be developed in a safe environment.”

He’d like it to be in his home town of Burgess Hill, and he commits much of what he earns to save for his centre. “There’s nothing else there for spiritual work,” he says. He’d also like his home circle to sit there. At the moment he has a one-and-a-half-hour journey on circle nights.

Scott is dedicated, determined and hardworking. If those three qualities count (and they should), his dreams for his mediumship and centre are likely to become reality. Let’s hope so.

• For further details 
of Scott’s work, visit: www.scottmilligan.net


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