As soon as one associates spiritualism and mediumnity, what remains to be engraved in memory is the era of the charlatans and their famous shows more and more breathtaking. If some authentic mediums have lost their careers by trying to defraud like charlatans, others on the other hand, have nevertheless maintained an infallible reputation. Daniel Dunglas Home is part of this rare list of mediums of the spiritualist era and his story has faded into the air of the times.
Daniel was born in Scotland on March 20, 1933, his mother Elizabeth was a famous prophetess and her gifts were well known, the gift was family since two of her uncles also had the gift. The gifts of young Daniel also develop very early but lives it badly, indeed he considers that this gift is a curse and does not manage to live normally. He has 8 brothers and sisters and Daniel will announce the precise death of two of them a few months earlier before their death, Mary drowns at the age of 12 in a river and Adam during a navigation towards Greenland.
(Daniel Dunglas Home, public domain credit)
<img class=” image-7060 alignleft” src=”https://www.hellystar.com/fichiers/2018/05/Daniel_Dunglas_Home.jpg” alt=””” width=”365″ height=”276″ />His penniless parents, Daniel is adopted by his aunt Mary Cook and her husband. When Daniel is barely ten years old they emigrate to the USA to settle in Connecticut in the city of Greeneville. He is a shy student and has only one friend Edwin, they make a heavenly pact in which the first who dies will come into contact with the other.
Daniel and his family have to move 250 km away and then he loses contact with his only friend. A few months later, he is awake in the middle of the night and sees at the foot of his bed his friend Edwin, he then understands that his only friend is no longer of this world and tells his aunt who refuses to believe him. However, a few days later a letter announces the death of the young child by dysentery.
A few years later he and his family returned to Greeneville to settle there while his mother and siblings settled 19 km from the Cook home in the town of Waterford. Elizabeth predicted her time of death at 12:00 in 1850. He then has a vision of his mother in 1850, at 12h, she had just died. Daniel is lost by his abilities and turns to religion, he adheres to weyslenaism. He does not feel in his place because for his church he is possessed by the devil whereas for him, it was a gift from God. Because in the meantime, blows and slaps are heard in the family house and for the priest it was Daniel’s fault.
For two years the phenomena didn’t stop and one table had even moved by itself. Due to the pressure of the neighborhood disturbed by the noisy knocking of the house Daniel and his aunt had to decide to move. It is at the age of 18 that Daniel, under the pressure of one of his friends, shows his talents of medium during the spiritualist sessions. A table was moving by itself and nobody could stop it. Daniel also possesses at that moment to heal pain with his hands: the gift of magnetism. He travels to heal people for free but gets paid to travel and communicate in spiritual sessions. His popularity does not stop growing but he does not get used to it, he is a shy sickly young man.
Daniel refuses the money of his gifts believing that they should be shared according to God’s will but manages to live properly thanks to the gifts of money received by wealthy people. Daniel moves with several people to whom he does several spiritualist sessions a day and even the most Cartesian sceptics do not notice any fraud, the room was always bright and Daniel’s hands in evidence, he also manages to make objects and tables move. In 1852 he was seen levitating from the ceiling twice.
(Levitation of Daniel, credit Louis Figuier, The mysteries of science)
<img class=” image-7061 alignright” src=”https://www.hellystar.com/fichiers/2018/05/Daniel-Dunglas-Home-levitation.jpg” alt=””” width=”320″ height=”453″ />His public is becoming more and more critical and despite attacks, no one is able to demonstrate his fraud. Daniel refuses to commercialize his gift and can therefore not be qualified as a charlatan by his relatives, besides he was part of the high society.
p style=”text-align: left;”>He travels everywhere but tired by his popularity he decides to take studies in medicine to have a legitimate job, he meets Dr. Hull who offers to pay him for his medical classes and money for his sessions, but Daniel refuses again every penny. But he fell ill with tuberculosis in 1854 and had to stop studying and using his gifts that weakened his body.
Daniel decides to return to England, where he meets William Cox who is fascinated by Cox’s gifts and offers to move free of charge to his private mansion in London, but Daniel is exhausted by his illness.
He nevertheless manages to animate sessions and once again he is victim of mockery from a septic, a poet named Robert Browning who shoots him in one of his poems. William Crookes claims to have seen his friend levitate more than fifty times surrounded by a halo of light. But Daniel continues to exhaust himself from his illness as he is more and more known and asked. He performs before Napoleon III or Queen Sophie (Netherlands).
They are amazed and admire the medium. Daniel married twice, his first wife, Alexandria de Kroll, was also a medium. She died of tuberculosis in 1862 and he had a son with her named Gregory. He remarried Julie de Gloumenile in 1871.
He ceased his career at the age of 38, exhausted by tuberculosis, which killed him on 21 June 1886 at the age of 53. He is buried in the old cemetery of Saint-Germain-en-Laye.
(Ufo space credit)
<img class=”image-7062 alignleft” src=”https://www.hellystar.com/fichiers/2018/05/db00595ee4651df772c14bf8cee7bbaf.jpg” alt=””” width=”357″ height=”479″ />The major controversy arose at the end of the career, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle believed that Daniel possessed types of mediumnity, in particular clairvoyance and mediumnity with physical effect, that is to say that he was able to influence matter with his psyche.
Daniel tracked down the fraudsters and felt that they should do their sessions in the light, like him.
Despite this, witnesses say Daniel fraud himself and that on a few occasions, his sessions would have taken place in the dark, something that was often contested since Daniel was always making sure to have the brightest room.
He was also accused after his death of having cheated on numerous towers and of having had objects to help himself, but strangely, these things were not found and even when during an exhibition of the SPR (society for psychical research) these objects were not found.
According to James Randi, the objects had existed and would have been present at the time of the exhibition, but nobody saw them, not even those who catalogued the articles or Home’s wife.
What is certain is that Daniel Dunglas Home has never accepted a penny of his gifts and that only the sceptics refuse to see in him an authentic medium. Its history has been almost totally forgotten by time.
Image credit on the front page:
- Jan Sloos