Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Psychic Experiments: Hamilton House at 185 Henderson Highway (Part 2 of 2)

Guest Post Written by Linda Horodecki. 
Edited by Laura McKay, on behalf of Heritage Winnipeg Corp.
To follow up on this or any other articles on the blog, contact Heritage Winnipeg's Executive Director. 

Front view of Hamilton House. Photo courtesy of Linda Horodecki.
Continued from Part 1.

Publication

Dr. Hamilton wrote many articles on spiritualism as well as on medical issues, and there were many articles written about him. The next two photographs show an article he had written in Light: A Journal of Psychical, Occult, and Mystical Research, in which he explains the phenomenon of the C.H. Spurgeon image. The first photo shows part of the first page of the article and the second photo shows the lower portion. 

Left column - "The mass, attached to Mary M.'s face, had appeared after the medium had been searched and while her hands were being continuously held and had been so held for some time, and while the hands of all present were being held. It had appeared shortly after her head, face, and neck had been re-examined by four witnesses and nothing found thereon and it had been recorded by three cameras." Right column - "The face-form appeared to be alive, or better, to represent or reflect the appearance of an individual who was alive." Date of the article is Friday, October 13, 1933.

Photo taken by Linda Horodecki. Item from the Hamilton Family collection, Archives & Special Collections, University of Manitoba.

Photo taken by Linda Horodecki. Item from the Hamilton Family collection, Archives & Special Collections, University of Manitoba.

Visualization of Soldiers Lost in the War

Sir Oliver Lodge was a notable British physicist whose son Raymond was a soldier who died during the First World War. Lodge was interested in spiritualism, including attempts to contact his son Raymond. This is an enlarged view of the medium, Mary Marshall, with a teleplasmic mass attached to her face and chest that contained formations of the faces of Raymond Lodge and Jack Barnes (also died during WWI) during a séance on October 27, 1929. Raymond Lodge's face can be seen on the right side of the mass.

Photo taken by Linda Horodecki. Item from the Hamilton Family collection, Archives & Special Collections, University of Manitoba.

A lifetime portrait of Raymond Lodge.

Letters to the Hamiltons 

The Hamiltons sent and received many, many letters. One such letter shown in the following paragraph is from bereaved mother Mrs. Jean Rennie. Here are some excerpts: "Last January I wrote you asking you to let me know if my Dorothy came through at any time at any of your séances & I received your reply. I have written many persons concerning this matter... Mrs. Diwock's description of her was excellent. She told me what she was fitted for & what her work is in the spirit world, etc. It has comforted me greatly, for all the impressions I had of her was just the same as the mediums. I felt like writing you as you were kind to answer my letter."

Photo taken by Linda Horodecki. Item from the Hamilton Family collection, Archives & Special Collections, University of Manitoba.

Five face teleplasm from November 1928 containing images of five individuals, including that of Arthur Hamilton, who had died in 1919. 

Photographs of the medium, Mary Marshall, with a teleplasmic mass attached to her face that contained the faces of five spirits during a séance on November 25, 1928, plus photographs of two individuals. Photo caption: "Identification: Upper left, Raymond Lodge's maternal grandfather. Centre: Arthur Hamilton (d. 1919). Right unrecognized. Lower left, B.L.S. Right, David Livingstone." I believe in fact that the lower right photo represents Robert Louis Stevenson. The Hamiltons were great admirers of David Livingstone and Robert Louis Stevenson.

Photo taken by Linda Horodecki. Item from the Hamilton Family collection, Archives & Special Collections, University of Manitoba.

Note describing séance event: "Walter correctly describes L's [perhaps Lillian's] deceased father and brother. On April 14, Walter sees an old gentleman and young man present - see notes. Direct voice giving instructions so that all can hear clearly - we notice he cannot say 'Rs'. Voice fairly loud but hoarse." The séance note is attached to another sheet of paper with the date April 1929.

Photo taken by Linda Horodecki. Item from the Hamilton Family collection, Archives & Special Collections, University of Manitoba.

Séance observer's handwritten notation adjacent to automatic writing - "April 1929 - Arthur Hamilton writes."
Photo taken by Linda Horodecki. Item from the Hamilton Family collection, Archives & Special Collections, University of Manitoba.

Arthur Hamilton's automatic writing delivered via the medium and interpreted by a séance observer - "we want tell you that we love you."

Photo taken by Linda Horodecki. Item from the Hamilton Family collection, Archives & Special Collections, University of Manitoba.

August 22, 1926. More automatic writing, by a different individual who is identified on the next photo. There has been an attempt to decipher the handwriting:

Photo taken by Linda Horodecki. Item from Hamilton Family collection, Archives & Special Collections, University of Manitoba.

Automatic writing - signature of David Livingstone.

Photo taken by Linda Horodecki. Item from Hamilton Family collection, Archives & Special Collections, University of Manitoba.

Isaac Pitblado and appearance of spirit Lucy. This photograph is especially interesting, as it depicts the spirit Lucy, who appears to be seated in a chair. A modern viewer may wonder - did she have sufficient substance to sit in a chair, and was a chair put in place with the expectation that she would appear? Noted Winnipeg lawyer Isaac Pitblado participated in this séance. In the photo, Mr. Pitblado is controlling the hands of the medium, Mary Marshall, as well as the hands of J.A. Hamilton and W.B. Cooper, during a séance on March 10, 1930, in which the spirit Lucy materialized beside Mrs. Marshall. Lucy had been a nun living in a convent in Ireland and died in her 20s. 

Photo taken by Linda Horodecki. Item from the Hamilton Family collection, Archives & Special Collections, University of Manitoba.

There was a careful method followed for the completion of the séance. For example, in this instance, when the sitting was over, Dr. Creighton outside [the séance room] cut the cord containing his seal and unpadlocked the door whereupon the sitters all filed out and were checked as to number by Dr. Creighton. The men were then immediately inspected by Dr. Creighton and the ladies by Mrs. Creighton. Mr. Pitblado and Dr. TGH then returned to the séance room with W.E. Hobbs, and Mr. Pitblado himself withdrew two plate holders with the exposed film from two of the cameras and took them to the photographic dark room where he and Dr. TGH developed them.

Photo taken by Linda Horodecki. Item from the Hamilton Family collection, Archives & Special Collections, University of Manitoba.

Attendance record of séances May 1928 to May 1935.

The proceedings of each séance were carefully recorded in Séance Registers. There are many such Séance Registers in the Hamilton Family collection and this is a single page sample from 1927, containing detailed information regarding psychic activities. No doubt the RLS notation in this entry refers to Robert Louis Stevenson.

Photo taken by Linda Horodecki. Item from Hamilton Family collection, Archives & Special Collections, University of Manitoba.

All séance participants were required to sign affidavits attesting to the facts of the séance and that they did nothing to cause fraudulent séance results. The next two photos show the front and back of the affidavit of Donald B. MacDonald.

Photo taken by Linda Horodecki. Item from the Hamilton Family collection, Archives & Special Collections, University of Manitoba.

Photo taken of Linda Horodecki. Item from the Hamilton Family collection, Archives & Special Collections, University of Manitoba.

Dr. Hamilton spoke at many events about his psychic experiments. This is an article from a New York newspaper that resulted from his talk at Carnegie Hall in November 1929 under the auspices of the American Society for Psychical Research. 

Photo taken by Linda Horodecki. Item from the Hamilton Family collection, Archives & Special Collections, University of Manitoba.
Daily Sketch article dated October 3, 1932 including information submitted by Dr. Hamilton. He had presented some of his séance findings in London, England during the summer of 1932.

Photo taken by Linda Horodecki. Item from the Hamilton Family collection, Archives & Special Collections, University of Manitoba.
The next two photographs show a letter dated July 23, 1932 that Lady Conan Doyle wrote inviting Dr. and Mrs. Hamilton to visit her during their time in England. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was deceased by this time and I have been unable to locate any letters written by him in the Hamilton Family collection.

Photo taken by Linda Horodecki. Item from the Hamilton Family collection, Archives & Special Collections, University of Manitoba.

Photo taken by Linda Horodecki. Item from the Hamilton Family collection, Archives & Special Collections, University of Manitoba.
The Rt. Hon. William Lyon McKenzie King wrote to the Hamiltons on August 7, 1933 requesting a visit with them while in Winnipeg. He was Prime Minister of Canada off and on from 1921 to 1948 and was the Leader of the Opposition in 1933 when he visited them on August 20, 1933. Although McKenzie King didn't experience a séance, he discussed the psychic work and examined photographs. He recorded in his diary that the Hamilton experiments are "amazing beyond all words" and he believed "absolutely in all that Hamilton and his wife and daughter" had told him. He corresponded with the family for some time afterwards.

Photo taken by Linda Horodecki. Item from the Hamilton Family collection, Archives & Special Collections, University of Manitoba.

Photo taken by Linda Horodecki. Item from the Hamilton Family collection, Archives & Special Collections, University of Manitoba.
Dr. Hamilton's health began to fail under the heavy load of carrying out his practice, lecturing, composing papers, and carrying out twice a week sittings. He contracted influenza and suffered a heart attack and died on April 7, 1935. In explaining the teleplasm phenomenon, he said, "I regard teleplasm as a highly sensitive substance, responsive to other-world energies, and at the same time, visible to us in our physical world. Teleplasm constitutes an intervening substance, enabling transcendental intelligence, by ideoplastic or other unknown processes, to transmit the other-world concept of energy-forms, objective to them, and put them into terms of our world and understanding."

Photo courtesy of Linda Horodecki.


Psychic experiments continued after Dr. Hamilton's death, but in a much smaller scale. Dr. Hamilton himself was visualized during a séance on May 22, 1939 during which a teleplasmic mass containing the faces of Dr. Hamilton and a former romantic interest, Ms. Clelland, materialized above the head of the medium, Mary Marshall. From séance notes: "Medium in trance state: 'Oh, Lillian, I saw Dr. a young man with a pretty young woman who was not you.' Lillian - laughing: 'Oh that is all right - what did she look like?' Mary M. (medium): 'Yes, he knew her. He was once engaged to her. Her name was Lucile. You, Mrs. Hamilton, had nothing to do with the breaking of this engagement. She predeceased him and now he has met her on the other side. You know why the engagement was broken. No one else knows this but you.' "


Photo taken by Linda Horodecki. Item from the Hamilton Family collection, Archives & Special Collections, University of Manitoba.
The next photo is a close-up of Dr. Hamilton and Lucile Clelland. Note by Lillian Hamilton: "To say that I was amazed by this revelation is to put it mildly. TGH was engaged to a girl called 'Lucy' and it is true that I had nothing to do with the breaking of this tie. It all happened before I met him. TG spoke of this engagement - once - and that was during our honeymoon. He never again referred to this incident, until now."

Photo taken by Linda Horodecki. Item from the Hamilton Family collection, Archives & Special Collections, University of Manitoba.

A photograph of Lucile Clelland. Item from the Hamilton Family collection, Archives & Special Collections, University of Manitoba.


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