A Helen Duncan Seance
Lucy Hale Describes A Helen Duncan Seance


Lucy Hale was a medium in England for some 60 years. John Hardaker began recording her trance sessions several years ago, and has transcribed many of them. The transcripts are available on his web site:
This account is offered as a first person account of a typical Helen Duncan seance. It was recored in Lucy's own voice in July of 1990. It includes the unique 'behind the scences' examination, that few would ever have been able to participate in.
This account is but a small section from LUCY'S LIFE STORY, we encourage to visit this site and learn more about her great work.
My friend, Win, was evacuated to Wellington, near Taunton, and I spent quite a few weekends with her, going to the church at Taunton. It was during this period that I had the opportunity of attending two seances given by the renowned Helen Duncan, the materialisation medium. On the first occasion the meeting was held in a small room as the usual venue at the church was being redecorated. There were about thirty people present, the front row of chairs being only three feet from the cabinet where Mrs Duncan was placed. The cabinet was a temporary affair made out of black curtains suspended by ropes from the ceiling, the only illumination being a red light.
The meeting opened with the singing of a hymn and a prayer and then Mrs Duncan, who was sitting on a wooden chair, was completely enclosed within the curtains. After about a minute a white band, like a ribbon, some eighteen inches wide, slid out from under the front curtain and slowly raised itself to an approximate height of four feet, thickening as it did so. It seemed as though two arms came out of the sides of the white column and pushed aside some of the white stuff, revealing the face and head of a young man whose eyes and hair were brown. A woman in the front row recognised the image as her husband, an RAF pilot, who had been killed shortly before. They started to talk together just as they would have done if they had been parted for a short while. I had no doubt that it really was a spirit form that we were seeing. The pilot said good-bye to his wife and the white column sank back onto the floor and proceeded to retreat into the cabinet.
After a few words from Mrs Duncan's guide, Albert, the ribbon emerged as before to once again reveal a figure which, after saying a few words to one of the people, disappeared in the same way. This happened ten of so times though none of them spoke to me. Some of the figures showed their faces while others revealed their head and shoulders. Each of them was distinct enough to be recognised by one of the sitters. Throughout the seance Albert spoke in between the "visits", sometimes saying who was coming next or telling a joke to lighten the atmosphere. It was a very interesting experience and a convincing display of this form of mediumship.
On the second occasion the seance was held in the main hall but this time I was too far back to see the figures distinctly. Again all of the spirit forms were accepted by members of the audience. At the beginning of this session another lady and myself were deputed to act as invigilators; we accompanied Mrs Duncan to an ante-room where we watched her strip and put on her black clothes. There was no possibility of her being able to secrete butter muslin or cheese-cloth about her person and I am convinced that she was perfectly genuine despite all that was said about her later.
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