My Husband Comes Back
From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia
The article was published almost one year after Arthur Conan Doyle's death on 7 july 1930. It was followed by Ultra-Violet Ray and Scrutiny of Writing Show Message is Spurious, by Hubert R. Erlbrookes in the same issue.
My Husband Comes Back
A Famous Author's Widow Tells of a Message from the Dead
(Reading time: 11 minutes 15 seconds.)
The newspapers of the world carried recently the announcement of Lady Conan Doyle that she had received a written message from her dead husband. "Anyone," she said, "can see it is genuine in the light of the evidence."
Here is the message, and Lady Doyle's own story of what occurred. They are presented without prejudice, and as a matter of wide interest. And in the same way, as a matter of (further interest, there is presented on page 18 the report of a widely-known handwriting expert whom Liberty invited to examine a copy of the message. The reader is invited to weigh for himself the evidence thus laid before him.
Psychic photography offers strong evidence of the thinness of the barrier between this earth plane of existence and the etheric vibration of life.
The sensitive photographic plate can register so much more than the retina of the human eye. That is why it is so valuable as a material witness for the truths of spirit return. Unfortunately, there are very few strongly developed photographic mediums.
People often ask what are the qualities which constitute a medium. The basis of all physical phenomena is ectoplasm — a substance which the human frame emits, although we are unaware of it, just as we only see our breath emitted on a frosty day, though it is functioning so all the time.
Some scientific investigators put all the sitters at a séance on weighing chairs, and each during the séance will register the loss of from one to one and a half pounds in weight and the medium will register a gain of twelve pounds or more. Each sitter has given out ectoplasm which returns at the end of a seance. When there is enough, the spirit people can demonstrate their presence by using the power supplied — for ectoplasm is the half-way house, as it were, between spirit and matter.
The spirit entity will use that power to make ectoplasmic rods, by which it will make raps or lift things. At a physical phenomena sitting, under the most rigid test conditions with a red light in the room, a large wooden table was levitated into the air and remained there. Then four men got on to it, but could not get it down. It remained suspended in the air until the spirit entity who was controlling matters from the psychic side lowered it at the request of the sitters.
A photographic medium is one who gives out enough special ectoplasm, called the photographic ray, for the spirit folk to use in impressing their faces on the plate with the human sitter.
The Rev. Charles Tweedale, a clergyman in Yorkshire, for many years an experienced investigator in Spiritualism, who has strong mediumship in his own family, at one of their home seances had a message from a spirit control on the "other side" on the 9th of July, 1930, saying that my husband would try to show himself photographically the next week.
On July 14 Mr. Tweedale had a sitting with the great psychic photographic medium, Mr. Hope of Crewe. I will now quote Mr. Tweedale's own account of it :
"Monday, July 14. Sat with that wonderful psychic, Mr. William Hope of Crewe, under good test conditions. I took a new, unopened packet of plates, loaded the slides and signed the plates myself, carefully inspected the camera, lens, slide, and background. After loading the slide, I put it in my pocket and proceeded to the camera and thence back to the dark room after the exposure, where I developed the plates myself, and Hope was never allowed to touch them or place his hands over them.
"On the first plate are three faces in cloud banks of ectoplasm around my head, upon which one face is partly superimposed. They are clearly recognizable as pictures of Sir Arthur, thus fulfilling the forecast of July 9."
The two sitters in the next photographs hoped to get someone belonging to them, but my husband, to their astonishment, appeared by them.
In connection with this medium, a professional photographer had an interesting experience.
The photographer in question was not a Spiritualist. He was, in fact, a great skeptic, and he thought he would test out the medium, expecting to find the psychic power nonexistent. He took his own plates and even his own developer, etc., and developing dishes for the experiment. He examined the simple camera inside and out, and no hands but his own touched the plates.
He sat in a very light place (with a glass roof). It was twelve o'clock on a bright summer day. The medium kept the cap off the lens for twenty minutes — she always waits to hear clairaudiently from the spirit control how long to expose a plate. The professional photographer said it was simply absurd to expect anything on the plate with so long an exposure and so brilliant a light. He said to her, "The plate will be jet-black. It could not be otherwise." Well, he carried it into the dark room and developed it himself, when suddenly he gave a great cry, for there on the plate by him was an extra face — splendidly clear — the face of a near relative who had died two years previously.
From that day, after that overwhelming personal proof of survival, the photographer went on investigating and is now a very ardent Spiritualist. And so the ball of knowledge rolls.
My elder son, Denis, had a photograph taken by Mr. Hope. It was taken at the British College of Psychic Science. My son took his own plates, upon which he put a private mark, and did everything himself, and when he developed the picture, there was his dear father's face over his shoulder.
A few weeks later, when Mr. Hope was again at the Psychic College, my younger son, Adrian, and I went.
Mr. Hope had no idea we were coming for a sitting, as he is never told the names of the sitters at the college. The secretary only says to him, "We have an appointment booked for you at eleven o'clock, Mr. Hope, and another at three P. M." Nothing more. You take your own plates — he always prefers that — and examine the camera thoroughly.
After a simple prayer, my son and I took the plates out of the packet, put private marks on them, put them into the carrier, put the carrier into the camera, took them out of the carrier, and developed them ourselves — and on the first plate was the face of an old friend who passed to the other side two years ago. On the second was a message in my husband's own writing across the plate. No hand but my own and my son Adrian's touched those plates.
Now, my husband at a private seance a month previously had said to my son Denis that he wanted me to have a psychic photo taken and that he would try to write a message on the plate — and he succeeded !
The message is :
- MY DEAR ALL OF YOU:
- I have greatly looked forward to this, but I cannot come in contact as I ought. There lies the difficulty.
- My greeting to you all. You are indeed doing God's work.
- ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE.
I will explain what he means. There are two explanations. The first is that my husband, having found a psychic source to write through in his own handwriting, naturally wanted to write something from his heart to as all — something expressing his deep love and tenderness for me and the family — but had he done so, it would have been much too sacred and precious to us to have given it to the world — just as much that has come to us from him through other channels has been, and therefore has not been published.
Now he saw a most valuable chance of proving to the world his continued existence in another vibration of life, and so he had to write something which I could let the world see, with the wonderful evidence of his signature.
The second explanation is that he wanted to impress upon us all the great difficulties in connection with communication, as our knowledge and methods are at present experimental and imperfect. A lot has still to be done in achieving perfect means of transmission but all those who knew my husband's writing will at once recognize that no hand but his wrote that message on that photographic plate.
This is definite and tangible evidence of the personal survival of my husband — the handwriting of a so-called "dead" man from the other side, done under the most rigid test conditions.
Truly there is no death — only transition into another sphere of life.