by Mary Beth LoVecchio
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This was only my second physical phenomena séance. Both were with Australian Medium David Thompson. During the séance, there were twenty-five sitters around the walls of a completely dark, windowless room. Most of the sitters were known to me; however, there were a few strangers.
David had been bound to his chair by the wrists and ankles. His cardigan sweater had been buttoned up the front and secured with plastic ties and a gag had been placed in his mouth. (A couple of the sitters were asked to witness this up close.) David sat behind a black curtain in the corner of the room. All light were extinguished, music was played and we were all encouraged to sing along to raise the vibration. We were then told to hold hands with the person on either side of us.
After a few minutes, footsteps were heard emanating from a sheet of plywood lying on the floor in the center of the room. A deep, male, voice spoke from what felt to be at least six feet in the air. In old English he said, “My name is William Cadwell, I am a very close friend of young David here.” He walked back and forth on the plywood (footsteps could be heard). “If anyone has any question, I will be willing to answer them. Just speak out.” There was silence at first, and then Carla Gee (on my right) spoke up, asking about music in the Spirit World. William answered that it was magnificent and that you could literally feel the music and be a part of it. Then he said to Carla, “May I touch you?” Delightedly, she responded “Yes!” He came close and placed his huge hand upon her head. She remarked about its size and solidity.
William then went on to answer questions from others (Shannon, Melani and a few people I do not know). Each was touched by his spirit hand, either on the head or the cheek.
I was unable to think of a question (brain dead as I usually am in the presence of Spirit) and thought I would be overlooked by William and wouldn’t get my chance to be touched by Spirit. However, Spirit is apparently able to read auras in the dark, because he came over to me and said: “I would like to talk to the quiet one here – the one that they call “the president.” “That would be me,” I responded. William talked to me for what seemed to be at least five minutes, all about the responsibility of being “the president” [Editor: of the Spiritualist High Desert Church of Reno] and how one needs to get along with all types of personalities; that it was my job to teach people about Spiritualism and mediumship.
Then he said, “May I touch you?” My heart leapt into my throat. “Yes, please do,” I managed. He placed one large hand upon my head (It reached from my forehead to the back of my own rather large head). It was warm, it was solid and it was heavy (It reminded me of my husband John’s gigantic hand). “It’s true,” I exclaimed – Everyone laughed.
William then said it was time for him to step back so that someone else could come through. That someone else was Timothy – a young boy of seven or eight, who serves as David’s Joy Guide and who is also “in charge” of ectoplasm. (Ectoplasm is a protein like substance that emanates from the body of the medium and which Spirit uses to materialize.) Timothy is Irish and the music played for him was an Irish Jig. As the music played, Timothy put on a show by twirling a trumpet (he knocked Shannon’s glasses off of her face), and playing with drumsticks, both on the plywood and on the knees of the sitters. He is quite raucous and loves it when people laugh.
After Timothy played for a while, he said he wanted to bring someone else through. It was asked, “Who is Mary?” We only had one person with the name of Mary; Mary Akin who is one of the eldest in our congregation. The entity was her Father. He spoke lovingly to her in a soft, shaky voice. Mary had a little trouble hearing what was said, so the woman on her left, Tania, acted as “interpreter.” Mary’s dad expressed love and said he was sorry he had been so tough on her when she was growing up. She acknowledged this was true. He also said a schoolteacher named Simpkins wanted to tell her too that he was regretful for being so strict. (Mary had no clue at the time who this teacher was.) Her father also said that her mother was with him and remarked that Mary of late had been wondering when she would be crossing over to the Spirit World. (She is 87, I think). He told her it would not be “any time soon,” and with that he left us.
Timothy also stepped aside so that another could come through. This time it was gay icon of the 60s & 70s, “The Naked Civil Servant” Quinton Crisp. Circle leader Christine Morgan asked if anyone knew who he was. Several of us voiced affirmatives. Quinton said, “I’ll bet none of you have ever spoken with a dead homo-sexual before.” There was laughter.
I spoke up and said, “Oh, yes, I do it all the time.” Quinton quickly came over to me. “And whom might they be?” he inquired. I told him that “Some of my best friends had lived that life and I talk with them all the time.” (I, of course, was referring to the New York crowd, Tom and Bill and Charles and Arthur King.) “So,” Quinton teased “You are what they call a “Fag Hag”? “Proudly,” I said, “but that was life a long, long time ago.” “I’m just having fun with you, My Dear,” he said. Then he went over to the other side of the room to chat with Steve Atkins and his daughter.
When Quinton left, we were graced with the presence of the famous trumpet player and entertainer, Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong. He spoke in that unmistakable gravel voice and sang along with a recording of one of his famous songs, “Hello Dolly.” He also played harmonica which is not an easy task for one in Spirit. Everyone thanked him when he finished.
When Louie was done, William came back in to say good night. Soon after that, there was a loud “thud” in the middle of the room and we were told it was okay. The music played while David revived from the trance.
When a small light was turned on, it was found that David was outside the cabinet. The “thud” had been him landing after Spirit levitated him out of the cabinet. He was still bound at the wrists and ankles; however, the green cardigan which had been buttoned down the front and secured with plastic ties, was still on him but backwards, still buttoned with the plastic ties yet in place.
When we came out into the living room, everyone was dazed. It was hard to believe that we had been in séance for ninety minutes in the presence of our Spirit Friends.
I, for one, will remember this evening for the rest of my days.