Physical Phenomena, Transfiguration and Materialisation Mediums

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Physical Phenomena

Distant Learning ProgrammeThis is part of our Distance Learning Project (DLP) specially written for us by Violet Kipling DLP3 part 2. Edited by Craig Hamilton-Parker. Click the logo on the left for more info about our online classes

It is not possible to relate all the types of phenomena that can be produced by physical mediumship as it is open-ended. The spirit operators will introduce new phenomena if the energies, or ectoplasm required to produce it, are available to them. They will also use computers, radios, televisions or other technology to get the message across.

It should be pointed out that physical phenomena translate as occurrences or events which can be witnessed using the physical senses. The source of physical phenomena when spoken of in relation to spirit and the spirit world is, of course, by the use of energies and other substances applied by spirit operators and guides of the medium.


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A little information regarding this particular phenomenon has been given in section one. It is the most exciting and amazing experience of which it is possible to be part and any opportunity to sit in a physical seance should be ‘grabbed with both hands!’

The details of how the seance room should be organised for this kind of phenomenon to take place is described in section 3.

It is usual for the medium to enter a state of deep trance in order that the guides can withdraw the ectoplasm from his or her body. Ectoplasm is a living cellular substance and early investigating scientists were given permission to ‘cut off’ some from a spirit lady’s dress for analysis. The problem with ectoplasm is that is part physical and part spiritual and does not remain in this world long enough for prolonged investigations to take place.

The externalised ectoplasm is then used to form a spirit person, or even part of a person, such as a hand. Students are referred to the small booklet produced by Tom Harrison called ‘Visits by our Friends from the Other Side.’

The book outlines the seances which took place in his mother’s house with her as the physical medium. In his lectures Tom relates an instance when one of the materialised forms (Granny or Aunt Agg) had not bothered ‘wearing feet’ as she wore a long skirt and did not need them. She did not do this when visitors were in the circle in case they were nonplussed by the fact that there were no toes peeping out from under her skirt.

The spirit people who materialise are solid for their own bodies are clothed in ectoplasm. The figure is always attached to the medium by an ectoplasmic cord through which nourishment flows to the medium.

The person manifesting appears to be breathing naturally and is warm to the touch, if permission is given for this to take place. The materialised figures speak to those present.  Tom likened the seance to a meeting of friends, and while no coffee and biscuits were served, it was a time of sweet communion with lots of joy and laughter.

The materialised figures can also show themselves at different times in their lives but they usually choose to look as they did when the sitters knew them.

It is said that today’s spirit operators are trying different energies to produce materialised forms and thereby remove the inherent dangers to which the medium is presently subjected. The same message is coming from different circles of this intention. If this is achieved it may be possible for more mediums to produce these phenomena instead of just physical mediums.


This phenomenon no longer appears to take place. What happens is that instead of a solid materialisation, there is an effect produced which looks like a hologram – transparent. This was due to lack of sufficient ectoplasm and energies but still very effective as all features are detailed and can be recognised.

Physical Phenomena

Direct and Independent Voice

A physical medium and a darkly lit room are required in order to produce the phenomenon of Direct Voice. The spirit operators use the ectoplasm and psychic energies to form a voice box which, in the early development of Direct Voice is used in conjunction with a trumpet. This is in order to concentrate the sound in one direction. Eventually the trumpet, the
bottom of which is painted with luminous paint, can be dispensed with and the voice then becomes independent and can be heard in any part of the room.

Sitters at the seance can hear the voices of relatives and remarkable evidence of survival has been given.

Again the medium enters a state of deep trance before the phenomenon starts but in later stages some mediums have been allowed to remain conscious and take part in the seance.



The conditions for the production of this phenomenon are very similar to those of materialisation. The medium goes into a deep level of trance and in order for the faces of spirit to be seen a dim red light must be used.

Ectoplasm is again used for this phenomenon to take place. The ectoplasm is fashioned into a mask and the communicating spirit’s face will appear upon it. In the majority of transfigurations the mask is usually in front of the medium’s face. It has been known, however, for the mask to be situated at the side and away from the medium’s face, but still attached by a thread of ectoplasm. When this happens it is possible for sitters to see both the communicating spirit’s face and also that of the medium.

When the mask is in place and the medium speaks quite often the voices are very similar to those of the people communicating. As with materialisations, the ages of the transfiguring spirits can be at whichever age they wish. Sometimes the face changes very quickly through various stages of the spirit’s life.

As with all physical phenomena, all people present should be able to see the masks change and the faces upon them. It is possible for clairvoyant people to see faces when transfiguration is not taking place so it must always be established that everyone present is seeing the same person.

Psychic Photography

Psychic Photography is the appearance of spirit people on a photograph. The spirit people use psychic energies and the required amount of ectoplasm in order to produce these images. Quite often, when this specialised mediumship is starting, small spots of light appear on the photographs and can be assumed, mistakenly, to have been caused either by camera or film defects.  With development these lights will eventually become small images or likenesses until, in time, full sized figures will appear.

It is said that spirit use thought energy to imprint their faces upon the ectoplasm.

William Hope, the wellknown medium from Crewe,  was an excellent Spirit Photographer and it was possible to book a private sitting with him wherein a photograph would be taken and upon development, a relative or friend of the sitter would be imprinted on it.

It is vitally important that all photographs on a film are developed, especially the so-called spoiled ones. Perhaps there are many spirit people who have been consigned to the wastepaper bin because they were classified as a double exposure. So don’t allow anyone to throw granny in the bin.

When people visited William Hope, they did so with the intention of obtaining a spirit photograph. There are, however, many examples of spirits appearing on snapshots taken by people totally unaware of the spirit world. In many cases, these ‘spontaneous’ appearances have transformed the lives of the owners of the photographs.

Psychic Paintings

For a psychic painting to be received it is necessary to have a medium capable of producing such. The medium will enter a state of trance and a painting would be executed by the spirit operators, sometimes in front of witnesses, as with the Bangs Sisters (see An Introduction to Mediumship and History of Spirit Communication) or at the end of a seance when the room was illuminated it would be discovered within the seance room.

It is wise to leave writing implements or painting materials available in the seance room when sitting for physical phenomena. If the energies are sufficient for the spirit people to available themselves of this equipment and create a painting or a manuscript, they will be happy so to do.

Slate Writing

This phenomenon was widespread during the late 1800s/early 1900s when physical mediumship was at its height. Two children’s slates, with a piece of chalk between them, would be bound together and left in the seance room throughout its duration. At the end of the seance, or upon earlier direction by spirit, the bonds would be removed and a message would be written upon the slates. There are many examples of these messages as photographs were taken at the time. There were also many ways in which the spirit people used any number of slates that were placed in the room.

Ectoplasm is used to cause an effect upon the slates and chalk and a physical medium is, therefore, required.


Levitation is the lifting of objects. The famous Scottish medium Daniel Dunglas Home was renowned for being able to levitate. In a room full of investigating scientists he was lifted from the floor, floated through the window, along the outside of the building and returned via another window. Needless to say this phenomenon did not take place at ground floor level. The witnesses present all gave written testimony to this event.

Levitation is when a trumpet lifts and flies around the room until it descends to the level of the person for whom there is a message, often tapping that person on the shoulder.

Many of the early circles used a table to communicate with spirit. Sitters would recite the alphabet and the table would lift off the floor, seemingly of its own volition, when the requisite letter was called.

Ectoplasm is fashioned by the spirit operators to form rods and balancing struts where required to move the table and keep its weight from affecting the medium.

It should be mentioned that it is also possible for the table phenomenon to take place in white light. This means, of course, that no ectoplasm is being used; just the psychic energies of spirit and the sitters. The table tilts from side to side while the alphabet is being recited and stops at the appropriate letter.

Much valuable evidence has been given through the agency of a table.


Percussion is sound. Bells and tambourines placed in a seance room will often be  rung or played by the spirit operators.  The Hydesville Rappings were percussion phenomenon as are all the various sounds made within a seance; eg the swish of a dress or scratchings as well as loud bangs.

Ectoplasm is required for this phenomenon and it should be pointed out a physical seance is not limited to one particular phenomenon. Many of the various phenomena listed can be witnessed in the same seance. Trumpets can rise, bells can ring and a vase of flowers can appear all at the same time.


The term Telekinesis means the movement of objects and this can be done without the use of ectoplasm or mediumship. It is possible to apply concentrated mind power to move an object and this has been done on numerous occasions.

If the objects are being moved in the seance room then the spirit operators are using the available ectoplasm to move them. Objects can be moved along surfaces or even levitate into the air and move across the room before falling into the lap of some unsuspecting sitter.

Many people have been given evidence of some directing intelligence in a circle by the movement of objects.


An object, or even a person, can be brought into a seance room without going through the normal physical processes, ie coming through a door or window. When something is brought in this fashion it is called an Apport. The objects are usually found in the physical world, such as pebbles, flowers, coins, books, badges etc.

It is said that using spirit technology it is possible for the spirit operators  to de-materialise an object, move it through walls and then re-materialise it where required.

Sometimes the objects are brought from far-off lands; at other times they are taken from other rooms within the house or garden. It has been known for a sitter to receive a bunch of beautiful flowers from spirit and then find out from which neighbouring garden they have been ‘borrowed’.

A medium is not always required for an apport to be received. It is possible to receive one while sitting on a bus in broad daylight; the object just appears in the hand.

The reverse of an Apport is an Asport. This is when an object or person is taken from the seance room and placed in some other location.         

Psychic Surgery

Psychic Surgeons are mediums usually entranced by spirit doctors who are purportedly able to put their hands into people’s bodies and remove diseased tissue. While it does not appear that ectoplasm is used, the effects of any successful operation can be physical. An X-ray can be used to witness the removal of a growth.

The majority of Psychic Surgeons live in hot countries and appear to have a high record of success. One of the most famous of all such people was Arigo – The Surgeon with the Rusty Knife. That is the name of the book, written by an English Doctor, who investigated him.

Arigo wrote prescriptions in Latin and used physical instruments, totally unsterilised, to perform operations. Arigo was a very spiritual man but he was a peasant and not very literate. He had thousands of people every day queuing at his door for help. He had to give up his occupation and rely on donations from grateful patients. He never charged for helping people but the donations helped him to devote his time to the sick.


A Communicograph is a small table whose surface has letters of the alphabet that can be illumined electrically. Beneath the table is a small pendulum that sways freely. When the spirit operators bring their influence into the circle the pendulum begins to swing, the electric circuit is closed and letters light up on the table – allowing a spirit message to be spelt out.

This piece of equipment is not normally used today but there are still examples of the Communicograph in Spiritualist Museums.

A medium would be required to provide the ectoplasm to swing the pendulum in order that the bulbs would light up the relevant letters.

Instrumental Transcommunication

It is possible for non mediums to obtain a physical phenomenon in the form of voices on tape. To produce this phenomenon sound vibrations are more important than mediumship. ITC is another name for EVP – Electronic Voice Phenomena which is the sound of voices on clean tapes that have been tuned into the white noise on radios. Anabela Cardoso of Spain is working very hard in this direction to encourage scientists to take a serious interest in her work and to this end, she is being successful. Some very eminent scientists from all parts of the world are investigating her tapes.

Anabela has been contacted, through the tapes, by a group of spirit people who call themselves Time Stream Station and some of the information received from them is in the monthly magazine she brings out. Anabela has also opened a website in order for people interested to obtain further information.

COPYRIGHT This article is part of our Distance Learning Project DLP – a course specially written for us by the great Spiritualist Violet Kipling and long time worker on this website and the charitable organisation  Rainbows End. No part may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner. This material may not be published as web pages or in email correspondence courses without the permission of the copyright owner. World serial rights are owned by the “Psychics and Mediums Network” (

About Post Author

Craig Hamilton-Parker

Craig is a TV medium, author and mystical teacher. I will approve and respond to comments that are short, well-written and on topic. For personal questions and experiences please post on our forums.
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