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Report On Alec Harris's Seances

 As Published by Zerdini on

Reports of Alec Harris's Materialisation mediumship

The following is taken from the booklet, "Materialisation", by Harry Dawson:

"One or two supremely interesting examples standout in my memory from the many s'eances it has been my privilege to attend over the years. At one memorable sitting with Alec Harris there were with me Ernest Oaten, John Stewart and Ernest Thompson. During the proceedings a little stocky figure came out of the cabinet, and stood by Ernest Thompson who was a heavy man, fourteen stone. This little stocky figure proceeded to lift Ernest right off the floor. I myself was so fascinated I went down on my knees in order to watch the play of the muscles in the calves of his legs. As a physiotherapist I know something about muscles. At the same time the Austrian scientist in charge of the proceedings invited another member of the group to reach out and ascertain that the medium was still in his chair."

Mr. Dawson continues, saying: "The more I learn of these matters, the more vital it seems that a greater knowledge of the subject should be acquired and then we shall not be too hasty in our judgment. I do feel that it is dangerous to take the ignorant and uninitiated into the s'eance room. . ..

"On one occasion at Whitchurch, Cardiff, South Wales, sitting with the well-known medium. Alee Harris (who now resides in Johannesburg, South Africa), I witnessed a remarkable phase of this type of phenomena, and this was under the most stringent conditions imposed by the examining panel of observers. The curtains of the medium's cabinet suddenly swung wide open and we observed the medium slumped in his chair in deep-trance-indicated by certain signs known to the trained symptomatologist, one of whom was present.

The ectoplasmic form of the guide (Austrian scientist in Earth life) was visible to all of us. (Three red lights of 75 wattage.)

As we watched we saw the ectoplasm begin to emerge slowly from the medium's mouth, nose and ears, it rolled down his body on to the floor where it coiled itself into a sizeable mass and from the centre of this mass, it began to rise, just as if someone was pushing it upwards, it took the form of a little black boy (here I should mention that the mass as it first emerged was black in colour with white streaks in it). The figure finally presented itself perfectly, above the waist line, the eyes, squat nose and teeth when it smiled was perfect. After a short space of time it began to dissolve before our eyes, and slowly like a thick black snake it climbed back over the body of the medium and was absorbed through the same orifices of the body. There was a kind of phosphorescent light during the whole time, which rose and fell in intensity. This was indeed a most amazing night."

Here is another most interesting account, also by Mr. Dawson:

"Another example of the evidential return of a Spirit friend was recorded at one of Harris's s'ances at which certain members of the National Council were present; amongst them was Mr. Wilfrid Ely, B.Sc., M.S.N.U., a Minister of the Union.

During the s'eance, many figures appeared and one gave outstanding evidence to Mr. Ely. The Spirit who appeared and walked up to Mr. Ely gave him the Sioux Indian salute and spoke to him. Then taking Mr. Ely's hand and placing it upon the nose of the spirit-form, smiled.

Mr Ely immediately recognised his brother who passed as a result of wounds received in the 1914-18 war, for his brother had received an injury earlier in life which had disfigured the nose.

Mr Ely was profoundly moved, and was full of joy and emotion: and then confided to his colleagues on the Council the striking information that his father was a full-blooded Sioux Indian. This was a remarkable piece of evidence, as Mr. Ely had not disclosed his father's nationality. The name of the brother who appeared was John Henry Ely."

By Norman Blunsdon, Psychic News, January 31, 1959:

"C. K. Shaw, well-known Two Worlds contributor, left his "Corner" temporarily last week to enter the witness box and be grilled by the "counsel" Eric W. Stuart at the Marylebone Spiritualist Association. (now the SAGB)

"Asked the best form of mediumship for proving Survival he was most emphatic. "Materialisation," he replied. He recounted details of an Alee Harris seance.

" 'I was unknown to all present and had not expected anyone to materialise for me. My sister appeared. I looked into her face and eyes. It was my sister. I said, "Hallo Maud, what are you doing here?'

" 'I am making ectoplasmic rods.'

" 'You don't know anything about ectoplasm,' he said. 'If it is true, bring me one rod.'

"His sister disappeared and then returned with a large ectoplasmic rod.

" 'Can I hold it?' Shaw asked.

'Yes,' she said.

2 'It was solid to the touch,' Shaw stated. 'I tapped the fireplace and wall; it made a rapping noise. I examined the texture; it was like fine muslin!' "

Psychic News, November 24, 1962, gives the following account:

"When a fortnight ago, we referred to anti-Spiritualist comments made by Sir Shane Leslie in The Tablet, a Roman Catholic journal, we stated that there seemed good ground for a debate between father and son.

The son, Desmond Leslie, of flying-saucers fame, we added, had been to s'eances where he had communications from the "dead". This has brought the following letter from him.

" 'It is true that I have been to a number of s'eances, good and bad. Perhaps the most impressive were those given by the Alee Harris circle in Cardiff where full materialisations took place, sometimes two at once. The materialised beings could talk, sing and answer questions.

" 'They might for all the world have been a group of actors draped in cheesecloth except that (when we were allowed to touch them) their flesh was cold like the furniture in the room, and one of them dematerialised before our eyes.'

" 'Only one question remained unanswered' were they the actual spirits of departed men and women or were they manufactured by the fantastic power of the subconscious utilising a principle we know nothing about?"

" 'There seems no sure way of determining which. The evidence they gave was very impressive. One of them knew details of my life to which no one in the room could have had access, but it was still possible that these details originated in my own sub-conscious mind. . . .' "

Mr Leslie goes on to tell us: " 'Possibly the most valuable thing that happened during the Harris demonstrations was the dematerialisation of the medium himself. For about twenty minutes, he existed somewhere without a physical body, thus proving for the first time the existence of a soul. Had he been only a body he would surely have been dead when he was put together again. That, I think, was the most important demonstration of

Here is the account of an outstanding s'eance written by a friend of mine, Reg Britten, for Psychic News, June 27, 1964

"It was in 1945 that I had the honour of meeting Alee Harris, whom I found to be a gifted amateur materialisation medium. His ordinary occupation was a painter-foreman employed by the Ministry of Works in Cardiff.
"During the period when I was stationed locally in the R.A.F. I attended six of his s'ances. We were able to increase the power of the usual red light considerably, until it was sufficiently bright to enable us to see quite clearly.
Also we were able to see the medium clearly in his cabinet if the curtains were drawn back.

"The materialisations were every bit as solid as were the sitters.

In one instance, when I was kissed on the lips by my mother's materialised form, I could distinctly feel her warm breath on my face. On other occasions I had the opportunity of shaking hands with the forms. Their hands were warm and life-like. They gave as firm a grip as anyone in the room would have done.

"Solid and life-like as were these materialisations, they were frequently seen to dematerialise when the power was exhausted.
This process often took place in the middle of the room and quite a distance from the cabinet.

"On these occasions the form was seen to sink into the floor. The features would seem to melt and run as if they were wax before a fire. Quite often nothing of the form would remain except a small piece of white ectoplasm on the floor. It would then either be whisked into the cabinet along the floor or vanish as one watched.

"On one memorable occasion a form actually built up out of the floor within a couple of feet of where I was seated. I was able to watch the whole process of materialisation. My attention was drawn to what appeared to be a dazzling white handkerchief on the floor in front of me.

"Within seconds this piece of ectoplasm rose quickly from the floor as if there was a stick under it pushing it up, although the whole time the material seemed to grow in height, so that the edge of the ectoplasm was always touching the floor. When it reached about four feet it could be seen to have a head on top of it, but a "dead" face with eyes closed and very pale.

"Within the next couple of seconds it ceased to increase in height. The face took on the appearance of a bronzed skin with an aquiline nose and high cheek bones. The eyes opened to reveal a Red Indian with two black pigtails, a band round his hair with a single feather, another band above the elbow, and wearing grey trousers.

"He did not speak, but walked round the room and showed his features to all present, even stepping over the sitters" feet as he passed into the second row so that all might have a closer view of him.
"On another occasion a materialisation left the cabinet curtains drawn apart. We were patiently awaiting the next form to build up and were watching the medium sitting slumped in his chair, so that we would not miss seeing a form build up in the cabinet.

"Our surprise was intense when we all realised that the medium's chair was empty. Nobody actually saw him vanish, as we established when we discussed it after the sitting. One moment we all saw him, and the next his chair was empty.

"We sat and watched for about four or five minutes without anything happening. Then we all saw what appeared to be a grey cloud form at the top of the cabinet. This cloud sank slowly downwards until it almost reached the chair, when it seemed to swirl around the chair. And there was Alee Harris sitting in his chair head sunk on his chest, and breathing heavily.

"We were all a little dumbfounded at the end of the s'eance, but the medium's wife seemed to take it as a matter of course.
Her only remark when we discussed it was: "Now you know why we don't talk about this outside. They would say we were mad!' "





More Materisalisation from Alec Harris

From a Two Worlds reporter. May 16, 1959:

"A university graduate, who has done four years in medical school, describes in a South African newspaper how he examined materialised spirit forms and even felt their heartbeats.

"He is Douglas Baker, B.A., of the University of Cape Town . . .
"Louie Harris recalled, as Baker stated, how he was brought to the seance by a Johannesburg doctor, a convinced Spiritualist who is one of their friends. Baker said that a score of other sitters were present when he witnessed these materialisations. ...
"Baker testified that the materialisations had 'weight', could be embraced, had pulse beats, breathed, had intelligence of their own and personalities.

"Several, he says, occupied the room at the same time. In three hours, thirty different forms materialised and disappeared. 'Some stayed as long as twenty minutes, answered questions and submitted to examination.' Their bones could be felt. They appeared normal in most ways except that they lacked colouring ...

"They were all draped in what Baker calls 'Arabian garments'".

This, however, was the usual ectoplasmic covering. He says their bare feet were visible.

"They did not object to my examination. I felt the pulse of several. Their hearts were beating at about seventy-two to the minute. There was hair on the backs of their hands. One old woman had hardened veins on the backs of her hands."

Psychic News, August 20, 1960, tells us:

"Hearing a medical man testify in a public lecture to the reality of materialisations
was too much for a retired colonel, who was heard to say: 'What rubbish! Charlatan! The man should be horse-whipped!'"

"The lecturer was Douglas Baker, a medical graduate, who edits 'Aquarius Rising', which spreads a knowledge of psychic and allied subjects in South Africa.

"Baker reminds his readers that he has been trained scientifically in the rationale of what a human body is composed of and how it works. As quickly as these forms solidified from 'nothingness', they disintegrated while they spoke. Here, he says, was a challenge to the physiology he was taught in medical schools, that the human skeleton takes 22 years to materialise more or less completely."

Donald Maclean gives the following account in Psychic News,
February 13, 1965:

"A small seance room in Johannesburg provided its sitters with one of the most instructive demonstrations of Survival ever produced. The curtains of the cabinet were drawn back to show Alee Harris in trance, with ectoplasm flowing from him.

"Out of this ectoplasm, on each side of him, a spirit child began to materialise. Watching the fascinating spectacle in the light of three red bulbs, sitters saw the children grow in size and then diminish, as ectoplasm flowed to and from the medium. . . .

"Equally startling at the Harris materialisation circle was a healing guide who walked into the circle with a bright green-yellow sphere shining in front of him. This was a 'healometer'.

The guide held sitters hands, and their potential healing power was measured by the intensity of the light.

This last and most interesting account was in Psychic News,
June 5, 1965: as told to one of the reporters.

"To see his guide materialise was 'the finest sight I have ever witnessed,' Douglas
Johnson, the famous medium, told me last week.

"It was the unforgettable climax of his South African tour. As he volunteered to Alec Harris at the end of a two-and-a-half-hourmaterialisation seance, 'It was worth coming all these thousands of miles for this evening alone.'

"For Johnson that memorable evening was the personal highlight of a triumphal three-month tour of South Africa's major cities. It fulfilled two long-cherished dreams: a sitting with the world-famed, Welsh-born medium, and the joy of shaking hands and talking face-to-face with his own Chinese guide, Chang.

"Not normally fond of superlatives, Johnson, fit and deeply sun-tanned, told me: "It was really terrific. There must have been at least a dozen materialisations. Some materialised twice."

" 'I sat in the centre of the circle, within three feet of the medium. He could be seen entranced in the cabinet as each spirit entity walked out of it to greet members of the circle in the small room well lit by red light. They held up their faces towards the light to allow us to see them clearly.. .."

" 'Then the curtains parted and there was the enormous figure of a North American Indian guide. He was magnificent."

"This guide materialised in Indian robes and full feathered headdress. Johnson could hardly believe his eyes as the majestic figure walked forward from the cabinet to shake hands and chat with members of the circle.
" 'It was really terrific,' he repeated, 'as one materialisation followed almost on the heels of the previous one.' He counted at least twelve full materialisations ranging in size from men of over six feet to a young Cockney boy. ...

"His first surprise came when a woman sitting next to him was kissed and held in the arms of her 'dead' doctor-husband. Then he turned to Johnson, greeted him with a 'How do you do?' shook hands and thanked him for having helped his wife when she had earlier sittings in England. Johnson told me, 'His handshake was warm and living."

"Another poignant episode occurred when the more than six-foot son of a Jewish couple materialised. He greeted, embracedand chatted to his parents. Later they told Johnson that this sonhad been killed in his early twenties in an accident in Switzerland. . . .

"Next came Johnson's supreme seance experience. After an announcement that there was 'somebody for the guest visitor from England', the cabinet curtains again parted.

" 'There was a small, smiling Chinese figure. He asked me to stand up and I held his hands. Then he talked to me, telling meI was doing very good work out there. He knew I was very tired.

He assured me he would not let me become ill, but would see I was able to finish the tour.'

"Johnson easily recognised his guide because he has clairvoyantly 'seen' Chang from time to time... .

"Johnson, who has attended materialisation sittings with other mediums, said his South African seance with Harris was quite the best.

"He awards South African sitters top marks for their keenness and sincerity. 'They are genuinely interested in Survival. . . ."

"He was also pleasantly surprised to find that interest was equally keen among the young people'  a higher percentage than in England. Their numbers include medical students."



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