Much is written about lights. Many people are intrigued by orbs, earthquake lights, sky lights like Hessdalen and many other similar phenomena all over the world. Some lights seem stationary and bound to certain places, others, like the Willow-the-Wisp and St Elmo’s fire appear suddenly when conditions are right. Then there are the ghost-lights, described in Welsh folklore, turning up as an omen of someone’s imminent death. Some of these lights have prosaïc explanations. Others go beyond human experience and may be alien or ghostly. Often it is believed that human souls manifest as orbs, but orbs can have a variety of causes.
There are lights though that are far less well known, and usually don’t show up on ‘light lists’ .One has to dive into old books to find them. These are the lights that have a psychic origin, and they happened to be connected to some mediums.
I wrote a lengthy article on those lights, much too long to place it here, but I will take some fragments from literature which are telling enough.
‘Spirit’ materializations have often been reported since the resurgence of spiritualism in the second half of the 19th century. Biologist A.R. Wallace (1823-1913), co-developer with Darwin of the theory of natural selection, described these manifestations as follows:
“These are either luminous appearances, sparks, stars, globes of light, luminous clouds, etc.; or hands, faces, or entire human figures, generally covered with flowing drapery, except a portion of the face and hands. The human forms are often capable of moving solid objects, and are both visible and tangible to all present.”
Astrophysicist Johann Zöllner (1832-1884) writes in Transcendental Physics (1881) p180
This is about a light observed during a séance with then famous medium Henry Slade (1835-1905). The light, bluish-white in appearance, seems to originate under the table. Zöllner contemplates the physical and optical properties of the light, and concludes on grounds of the shadows it casts that:
“The said phenomenon would thus point to another place as the point of issue, which cannot lie at all in our three-dimensional space. This contradiction is solved as soon as one presupposes the reality of a four dimensional region of Space, and admits that it is possible for those intelligent beings, who have showed us so much of their powers, also to divert rays of light, which are diffused in the direction of the fourth dimension, so that they fall in our three dimensional region of space.”
Zöllner regrets not having had a spectroscope to ‘examen the nature of the lights, as opportunity offers’ because the light is sometimes bluish-white, but the next time yellowish-red. These observations took place in 1878.
Another sitting with Slade, in December 1877, is extensively analyzed. Many things, mostly materialisations seem to happen at once.
“When I was still busied with the above observations and experiments, there suddenly emerged from above the upper border of the curtain, a half circular mass gleaming in phosphorescent light, of the size of a human head. It moved slowly to and fro at the same height from one side of the curtain to the other frequently; and gave us all the impression of appertaining to a luminous form close behind the curtain.”
Famous physicist William Crookes (1832-1919) writes in Notes of an Inquiry into the Phenomena called Spiritual, (London 1874)
“Under the strictest test conditions I have seen a solid self-luminous body, the size and nearly the shape of a turkey’s egg, float noiselessly about the room, at one time higher than any one present in the room could reach standing on tiptoe, and then gently descend to the floor. It was visible for more than ten minutes, and before it faded away it struck the table three times with a sound like that of a hard, solid body. During this time the medium was lying back, apparently insensible, in an easy chair.
I have seen luminous points of light darting about, and settling on the heads of different persons; I have had questions answered by the flashing of a bright light a desired number of times in front of my face. I have seen sparks of light rising from the table to the ceiling, and again falling upon the table, striking it with an audible sound. I have had an alphabetic communication given by luminous flashes occurring before me in the air whilst my hand was moving about amongst them. I have seen a luminous cloud floating upwards to a picture.
In his ‘Encyclopaedia of Psychic Science‘ Psychoanalyst Nandor Fodor devotes some space to the many luminous phenomena experienced in séances with Daniel Dunglas Home (1833-1886) (p. 207 ff)
Home’s lights are varied in appearance, and sometimes they reacted to questions, says Lord Adare (1841-1926), a well known Spiritualist and researcher in his book ‘Experiments in Spiritualism with D.D.Home’:
“We all then observed a light, resembling a little star, near the chimney piece, moving to and fro; it then disappeared. Mr. Home said: “Ask them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, if this is the work of God.”
I repeated the words very ernestly; the light shone out, making three little flashes, each one about a foot higher above the floor than the preceeding.”
Obviously there is some doubt about the nature and origin of the lights. Spiritualists in those days were well aware that the manifestations, lights or otherwise, were not necessarily from well meaning spirits of the dead.
Lord Adare continues: “The colour of the lights was sometimes blue, yellow, or rose. They did not light up their surroundings. Special effort was necessary to produce an effect of illumination.”
Stranger things were seen: “Once the top of his head glowed with light as if a halo surrounded it.” Someone described ‘tongues and jets of flame issuing from Home’s head’.
Adare saw Home’s extended hand become luminous. Witnesses often saw “luminous crosses in and out of doors in Home’s presence. They were variously globular, columnar, or star shaped.” schrijft Adare.
When Home was a guest in the house the Earl of Crawford (1847-1913), who, with Lord Adare, wrote a lot about his experiences with Home and presented a paper before the Dialectic Society, this happened:. “I Saw on my knee a flame of fire about nine inches high. I passed my hand through it, but it burned on, above and below. Home turned in his bed and I looked at him, and saw that his eyes were glowing with light. It had a most disagreeable appearance. The flame which had been flitting about me now left me, and crossed the room about four feet from the ground, and reached the curtains of Home’s bed. These proved no obstruction; for the light went right through them, settled on his head and then went out.”
A Dr. Grünewald, who wrote ‘Physikalisch-Mediamistische Untersuchungen’. tells us:
“A really difficult but nevertheless attractive field of investigation are the light phenomena which are visible directly at the body of the medium, only to disconnect themselves and become a materialisation.
In my career I have seen many amazing luminous materialisations.
Unforgettable is the impression of human shapes that slowly develop from a faint light into a figure with minor details of clothing visible. They resembled marmor statues, bathed in fairy light, but unlike statues their greenish white phosphoric light is continually moving. They are best compared to elvish veils, moved by a soft wind. In most cases the clothes are most perfectly formed, after some time disappearing in mist. “
PsyPioneer Vol. 4, No. 7, July 2008 published a report by parapsychologist Alan Gauld, on a sitting that took place at Scole on Jan 24, 1997. Eight sitters were present, among them researcher Montague Keen, Alan Gauld, and Robin and Sandra Foy, the last two a member of the original Scole group. ‘Diana’ is the medium.
Gauld tells us of the many precautions taken, and what happened next, after the table started shaking.
Lights then appeared above the table, approaching the sitters, erratic, like insects. “There was a small round central nucleus to these lights, surrounded by or merging into a small luminous coma I should guess the nucleus might have been 3/32 of an inch in diameter. One of the lights, which lasted a minute or so, had a coma that looked a bit like the tail of a comet, broadish and pointing upwards. (…) In color they were a bluish-white. (…) They did not throw any kind of beam, but a diffuse general illumination.”
There’s a gradual change in the behaviour of the light (Gauld never saw more than one at the same time). The light seems to grow in confidence, and sticks around longer, reappearing quicker after disappearing.
Exactly the same report comes from a séance on April 27 2010, with the ‘Felix Experimental Group’, ostensibly channeling Dr. Hans Bender, the well known German Parapsychologist who died in 1991. He announces that a power field needs to get built up, which takes about 5 minutes, in which the sitters see a pale illuminated area at the ceiling, getting gradually more pronounced. Excitement increases. “A light can be seen by all travelling the whole experimentation area of appr. 14 feet, vanishing and reappearing frequently. Its color is white and it is moving like an insect. Then it moves closer and closer to some sitters that their faces become visible by the shining of the small light” (Zerdin Phenomenal Magazine, issue 34, Aug. 2010, p. 15)
I’ll leave it for now, you don’t want to read 15 pages about these manifestations.
What are they? There are lots of secrets hiding in the light…