Leaves from the Book of Memory (4)
The production of perfumes, which appeal to the nostrils, is not an uncommon experience in the séance room, but it is not often that perfumes are obtained in liquid and tangible form.
One of the most remarkable mediums for this class of phenomena was the late Mr. H. T. Batten, of Bolton, Lancs., who went to Canada, and passed away in Toronto a few years ago.
I had the pleasure of sitting with Harry on a number of occasions. He would pass into the trance state, and his guide would say that he was going to produce perfumes.
The sitters were free to name any perfume they cared to. The entranced medium sat at a table and his hands would start in motion, thumping and slapping the table from time to time and going through motions as though he was gathering, something from the air — mixing or kneading an invisible substance on the table.
This quaint conduct would go on for two or three minutes, of course all in fair light.
Then he would ask for a handkerchief.
The perfume rolled from his hands as though it were a form of perspiration. “Jockey Club”, “Lily of the Valley”, “Musk”, “Wallflower”, ‘White Rose” - any perfume you asked for was produced in three or four minutes.
If these had been secreted before the séance and merely produced in response to requests, the medium would have had to have, literally, a storehouse of innumerable scents.
With this idea in my mind, on one occasion I asked for “onions,” thinking that no previous preparation would have included such a perfume in any repertoire.
But sure enough the scent of onions was forthcoming I used to go to the séances armed with six or eight or more handkerchiefs.
All of them would be saturated until they were actually wet with perfume — perfume that was so strong that it persisted for weeks, even after repeated washings of the fabric. One peculiarity was that scents would follow one another in rapid succession.
Yet, on the following day, as the various handkerchiefs showed, each perfume was distinctly itself,
Another medium in whose presence perfumes are obtainable, is Mrs Platt, of Oldham.
In her case the séance is generally a darkened one. On several occasions I have sat next to her in the séance room. Her hand has been stretched out to me and I have held it, with my fingers in the palm of the hand.
The hand has been perfectly dry, and yet while my fingers were still in contact perfumes have oozed out of the skin, or been deposited, until it became a veritable stream.
In this case, too, there is often a choice of perfumes offered to the sitters, one or two of them being rare perfumes of an oriental type, which, as far as I can discover, are quite original and would be difficult to imitate.
A few years ago, efforts were made to catch in liquid form some of this perfume. Five or six different varieties were secured, some of which are still retained at the Britten Memorial Institute in closely sealed vials.
Whether these perfumes are actually apported or whether they are extracted from the medium’s body, I have never been able to discover, but the flow is fairly copious.
I have had as many as six handkerchiefs saturated in one evening when sittingwith Mrs Platt.
Such phenomena may not be evidence of spirit identity, but they are evidence of the production of material by means that are outside human knowledge.
Anointing With Oil
On reviving my memories of past events that may be of interest, I recall my attendance at a séance held at the house of Mr Thompson, at Mount Florida, Glasgow.
It was held on a Sunday evening, after the public services. A small company of us had really assembled for supper, but someone suggested a séance.
A lady present was suffering from a heavy bronchial affection, and was coughing badly. One of the mediums there, Mrs McLean, was known as a clairvoyant and healer, and was drawn to the sufferer.
Passing under control, she began to stroke the chest. (We were, of course, sitting in full light.) Then she paused and held out her right hand.
Slowly in the palm of the hand there formed a viscid, oily deposit of a smoky grey colour, and of strong aromatic perfume.
about a tablespoonful, and this was gently rubbed into the chest. A dozen times
at least the hand was held out, and each time it was filled with this peculiar
I took the precaution of taking my handkerchief and wiping the hand quite dry on several occasions, but, under my very eyes, there oozed up this strange liquid.
In the course of ten minutes or more the breathing of the patient had considerably improved, and by the close of the séance her breathing was quite normal, and the distressing cough had ceased.
Meeting the lady some months later I was told that there had been no return of the bronchitis, from which she had suffered intermittently for a number of years.
Mrs Mann, Surrey Road, Bournemouth, writes me concerning the production of healing oils, which I mentioned in The Two Worlds recently: “At the Branksome branch of the Ashley Road Christian Spiritualists’ Church, Mrs Hoare is doing very successful healing work directed from the other side of life by the late Mr Macbeth Bain. He brings her different-coloured oils of an aromatic character with which to anoint the patients, and the oil is distinctly seen in broad daylight oozing out of her hands, just as described by Mr Oaten in the case of Mrs McLean, of Glasgow.”
The mention of Mr Macbeth Bain reminds me of an incident which happened over thirty years ago. I went over from Portsmouth to visit Macbeth Bain, who was staying at Ventnor, but when I called at the boarding house he was out. I decided to wait for him.
Presently he came limping in. His trousers were tucked up to his knees, his feet bare, and the big toe of the right foot was badly crushed and bleeding.
He told me that he had been walking barefoot amongst the rocks when a large stone had rolled down and crushed his toe.
The toe had burst on either side of the nail, and was badly pulped. I called for hot water and washed it,and was anxious to dress it, but this he would not allow.
“Oh, no, it will heal of itself,” he said.
He threw himself down in an armchair his right leg resting over the arm, so that the foot was in full view.
We entered into conversation, and as I talked to him I saw a green salve gradually deposited on the toe. It looked very much like Zambuk, and was of the consistency of ointment.
He watched and smiled. I watched and wondered. The whole toe became covered with the substance, and Bain claimed it had soothed him and stopped the pain.
The fact is that two days later he had his boot on and visited me in Portsmouth.
James L. Macbeth Bain was the founder of the Healing Brotherhood, and himself a remarkable healer.
I am glad to know that he is still carrying on his good work even though he works from another world and through an intermediary.
As published by Zerdini on the Website: http://www.spiritualistchatroom.forumotion.com