Written by Debbie Wojciechowski Spiritual Medium.
Regarding the modern day movement of Spiritualism, it started with the three Fox sisters in 1848 in America, when they decided to set up a code to communicate with the Spirit of a murdered peddler. Although Mediumship has been around for thousands of years, the first documented Mediumship was with the Fox sisters. Although one of the sisters, Margetta Fox, reported in 1888 that it was a fake (she did this for financial gain), she retracted the statement a year later.
Subsequently, in 1852 this phenomenon reached England through the demonstrations of a Boston Medium, Mrs. Hayden. As the public became more interested, Mediumship became more well known, particularly in England. In fact, Mediumship remains significantly more popular in England today than anyplace else in the world.
Regarding the importance of the history of Mediumship, is the remarkable story of a Physical Medium, Helen Duncan. Mrs. Duncan was a Scottish housewife who travelled throughout the UK during World War II holding seances and proving the existence of life after death. One night while she was demonstrating Physical Mediumship, the seance was raided by a police officer who blew his whistle and tried to grab the ectoplasm, claiming that it was a white sheet. Unfortunately, she was imprisoned due to her work and charged under the 1735 Witchcraft Act. Interestingly, she was visited by Sir Winston Churchill who informed her that he would make amends. Having served her time, she was released in September 1944. The Prime Minister replaced the Witchcraft Act with a Fraudulent Mediums Act in 1954. This was a formal Act of Parliament which recognized Spiritualism as a Religion. Unfortunately, the skeptics remained and once again the police raided Ms. Duncan while she was doing Physical Mediumship. When the police officer physically grabbed her during the raid, the ectoplasm withdrew quickly into her body, leaving 2nd degree burns across her stomach. Ms. Duncan passed away five weeks later due to the physical damage to her body. Of significance, is that Ms. Duncan was a leader for many Mediums to follow in her path. She changed the way that many people view Spiritualism, particularly in the UK. In addition, Ms. Duncan truly owned her gift of Mediumship and was proud of her work with Spirit.
Since the first documented event by the Fox sisters in Mediumship in 1848, the Spirit World has been active in producing evidence that there is indeed, life after death. Although 150 plus years have passed since the first documentation, and Mediums have become more well-known and understood for their work, there are those who remain skeptical. As my teacher and mentor Lisa Williams has stated, “As long as you have an open mind, and you’re willing to accept the information I’m about to give you, then that is all that matter to me.”
With the assistance of Spiritual T.V. shows and technology, I believe that Mediumship is much more accepted than several years ago. For example, the ghost hunter shows use EMF (Electronic Magnetic Field) devices to record Spirit. Also, the following T.V. shows have assisted in educating the public regarding Mediumship. These shows include, but are not limited too: Life Among the Dead with Lisa Williams, Crossing Over with John Edwards, The Ghost Whisperer, produced by James Van Praagh, The Long Island Medium with Theresa Caputo; and The Medium, based on the life of Allison Dubois. In addition, regarding the internet, an individual can locate information regarding both well-known Mediums and locally-based Mediums. From a personal point of view, I feel that more people are “searching” for spiritual answers and a connection to the other side. People want to know “What happens when we die?” and to have an opportunity to gain some peace of mind, either from an appointment with a Medium or through spiritual searching.