Spook Seance To-Morrow

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia

Spook Seance To-Morrow is an article published in the Daily Express on 6 november 1917.

Spook Seance To-Morrow

Daily Express (6 november 1917, p. 3)


"Daily Express" Special Representative.

Mrs. Marie de Marin Coates, better known as Mrs. Brenchley, a favourite medium of the late Mr. W. T. Stead, claims that she can describe the dead to a selected circle, and give messages to them from their departed relatives. She calls herself a normal clairvoyant and trance medium, but professes nothing in the way of materialisations or physical demonstrations. She admits she cannot "command" any appearance from the spirit world, and states that the chance of describing any spirit accurately is dependent on how long the spirit can remain stationary, as a spirit in an in-harmonious environment may not remain in repose long enough to be recognised by the most anxious inquirer.

I called on Mrs. Coates yesterday in the cheerful but prosaic environment of Braxted Park, Streatham Common. Immediately I entered the house I was greeted by a tremendous Persian cat with agate eyes, who jumped on my shoulder and purred strennuously. Mrs. Coates announced to me that she had foretold the assassination of King Alexander and Queen Draga of Serbia at a seance given by Mr. W. T. Stead.

Before Mrs. Coates became a spiritualist she was a Roman Catholic. She believes in the idea of a guardian angel. The particular good spirit who looks after her is Swedenborg. She gave me a faint shudder bv maintaining eloquently that the spirits of the evil dead have the power of returning and entering into the bodies of the unguarded living.

Mrs. Coates promised a little stance in the "Daily Express" office to-morrow in daylight and without any paraphernalia. All that she asks is a spirit of earnest attention on the part of her auditors and a comfortable chair for herself.


Further letters that have reached the "Daily Express" on the subject of Why Spooks Wear Clothes include another communication from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle:—

To the Editor of the "Daily Express."

Sir, — I do not think that there is anything to be gained by a discussion of the conditions of life after death conducted on comic lines. I am unable to determine whether your correspondents are arguing that there is no life after death, or merely that all spirits and angels are nude. To those who have actually seen the robed spirits with their own eyes the subject does not appear particularly humorous.

To any earnest inquirer I would commend a study of the numerous photographs of robed taken under strict test conditions in many different lands. A good example will be found on Page 76 of Hewat McKenzie's "Spirit Intercourse." I have had a similar one in my own family.

Windesham, Crowborough.


A person does not usually die in a day-time costume, but generally in a "nighty" or pyjamas. Why and when do they change if their spook forms appear in any other than the costumes they died in? I suppose a spook in pyjamas would not take? — F.R.S.E., F.G.S., London.