In The Audience:
Recollections of a public demonstration with Leslie Flint
by Alan Ernest Crossley
Based on his account from the book, A Journey of Psychic Discovery - first published in 1993.
On Saturday February 14th 1948 I had the opportunity to attend a public demonstration of 'independent direct voice mediumship', at Kingsway Hall in London. Demonstrating this type of phenomena in a public hall was quite new and somewhat experimental. Previously, this type of mediumship had always been demonstrated in private, with usually just a few people present.
On this occasion, instead of the séance being held in total darkness - which is normally essential in the case of direct voice mediumship - the house lights would remain switched on. However, the medium would be isolated from the audience inside a specially constructed wooden cabinet throughout the demonstration. This sound-proof and light-proof box was placed in full view of the audience for the duration of the demonstration.
Above: Kingsway Hall London with Leslie Flint's séance cabinet in place.
Three microphones were placed in front of the cabinet, to pick up the spirit voices emanating from within. The sound system was arranged, checked and tested by qualified technicians on the staff of the Kingsway Hall. During testing of the equipment they turned the amplifier up to its full capacity and, with a technician inside the cabinet shouting at the top of his voice, they failed to pick up hardly a sound.
The medium for this demonstration was Mr. Leslie Flint, a specialist in direct voice phenomena, and the hall was packed to capacity.
Leslie entered the cabinet, where he would remain for the next two hours. I remember he once told me that he suffered from claustrophobia, so I imagine he must have found the enclosed space something of an ordeal.
The chairman for this meeting was the Reverend Charles Drayton Thomas - a Methodist minister with considerable experience in physical mediumship. He gave a short talk to explain the modus operandi of the evening, then handed the meeting ‘over to the spirit world,’ as he put it.
Many other spirit communicators spoke during the demonstration and many were accepted by audience members without question, but the drama of the evening came towards the end of the demonstration.
Mickey had been busy bringing through one communicator after another, and enjoying jokes with the audience, when he suddenly became very serious;
“I have someone here who has only been on our side of life for a few hours. He is telling me that he is the policeman who was shot last night.”
Murmurs rippled through
the hall. The previous evening Police Constable Nathaniel Edgar had
been shot while questioning a burglary suspect. He died in hospital
hours later from his injuries. Yet in the Kingsway Hall one day
later, he was here to communicate from the spirit world.
Mickey continued. “He is asking for someone named Florrie. You're up in the gallery somewhere. Will you speak to him? It will help him get through to you.”
The response from the gallery was immediate; “I’m
Florrie, I'm his sister.”
Only heavy breathing could be heard coming from the loudspeakers at first. Then came a few words, gasped out in desperation. The voice was quite weak as PC Edgar attempted to convey a message to his sister.
“The man they are looking for is in a boarding house, the gun is hidden under the mattress in his room.”
The police officer
obviously had great difficulty in sustaining this communication and
when the voice faded completely, Mickey intervened. He explained that
someone who had passed only a few hours before, especially in these
circumstances, needed time to adjust to the new dimension - which is
why he was unable to communicate effectively.
Mickey soon brought the demonstration to a close because the power had all been used up. He concluded by telling the audience that we are all personally responsible for our actions, but that redemption is open to every soul by our own efforts.
While the audience sang a final hymn, two assistants entered the cabinet to help a very tired Leslie Flint out of the confined space, which he had endured for the past two hours. The experiment had been a success.
Permission to share this edited account was kindly given by Ann Harrison