Materialisation Medium.

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Left: A flashlight photograph of a self-luminous materialised ectoplasmic spirit-form of an old man, taken after having gained special permission from the medium's spirit guide, known as Albert Stewart.

Note that there's a visible umbilical link at the side of the form's head, which joins it to the body of the Scottish Physical Medium, Mrs Helen Duncan.

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Helen Victoria Duncan was born on November 25th 1898, and passed into the spirit world on December 6th 1956, five weeks after the police injured her when she was arrested in a state of deep trance during one of her materialisation seances. When in trance, a medium's body is often in a highly-sensitive and vulnerable condition.

Helen Duncan was a materialisation medium in whose presence the so-called 'dead' appeared to their loved ones in temporary physical forms and often spoke with them and embraced them.

In the Second World War, Helen Duncan's mediumship provided irrefutable evidence of the survival of the soul after death. In one of her seances a 'dead' sailor fully materialised wearing his naval cap on which was written the name of his ship HMS Barham. He stated that his vessel had been sunk in enemy action - a fact which the British government categorically denied - but the 'dead' man had spoken  the truth: HMS Barham had indeed been sunk but the British War Office had not yet received this official news.

Modern Spiritualists claim that Helen Duncan was then arrested as a spy, on the authority of none other than Winston Churchill, Britain's war-time Prime Minister: they believe that the government of the day feared that her brilliant mediumship might pose a threat to national security, especially as they were then planningthe D-Day landings and they didn't want these secret details to be released by 'dead' servicemen who appeared at Helen's seances.

In 1944, Helen Duncan was tried at the Old Bailey in London under the antiquated 1735 Witchcraft Act, and millions of people have come to believe that she was found guilty through a miscarriage of justice. Forty witnesses testified to experiencing her genuine abilities and at least 300 others were prepared to take the stand and vouch for her mediumiship. Helen offered to hold a seance in the courtroom under strict test conditions to prove that her abilities were genuine but the Judge denied her request, fuelling speculation and a government conspiracy theory. Helen Duncan was imprisoned for nine months.

Later, in 1951, the outdated Witchcraft Act was replaced by the Fraudulent Mediums Act, which at least recognised the existence of genuine mediumship; and following this in 1954 a British Act of Parliament officially recognised Spiritualism as a religion.

There is still an active campaign to clear Helen Duncan's name, visit:
The Official Helen Duncan Website.
There's also an informative book about Mrs Duncan's mediumship and life, written by Alan Crossley:
The Story of Helen Duncan.

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