THE FIRST phase of Mr. Webber's mediumship to produce materialized forms was the
creation of heads only, which were illuminated by means of the luminous plaques.
With this development came hands that were felt and seen by the sitters.
Looking into the heads full faced, they are seen to be of perfect formation;
hair, eyes, nose, and mouth being fully physical.
The faces are often full-sized, but now and again are much smaller than any
normal head, being about four to five inches high.
A white ectoplasmic cowl invariably surrounds the head, and the shape of
shoulders and garments can be glimpsed in the illumination.
The period of formation occupies only a few seconds. When the plaque first
illuminates the head it may not be perfectly formed, but it rapidly assumes the
The heads remain in the proximity of the medium, probably linked to the medium
by an ectoplasmic connection. They can, however, travel about six feet from the
medium in any direction.
After the head has formed and a short period of time has elapsed, the lips are
seen to move, and sounds like a preliminary struggle for articulation ensues.
This finally leads to the materialization speaking to the sitters. This speech
is usually perfectly audible, and the difference between that of a woman, a
child, a man, or a Guide is quite distinctive.
The forms of Guides build up strongly, particularly so with the controls of the
medium, in which case the voice is loud and clear.
These heads have been recognized very many times by sitters as the faces of
those whom they knew when on earth.
Guides are often able to give further details of their personality, either
showing head-dresses, colouring of features, or speaking in their own tongues.
Conversations have taken place in tongues other than English between a
materialized head and a sitter. If a person passed over as the result of head
injuries, bandages, and blood-stains are reproduced to add weight to the
Hands of all sizes are also seen by the plaques, and if in an instance of this
nature there had been a deformity in physical life, such as the loss of a number
of fingers or enlarged joints, these are faithfully reproduced.
Sometimes as many as five or six forms may be seen at a séance; at others, there
may be materialized only one head, or not any at all.
Jack Webber produces an
expanse of ectoplasmic material. White light was switched on one second
after photographic exposure.
The copious white ectoplasmic cowling is evidential of supernormal power apart
from the heads themselves. So voluminous is it that it would be difficult for
any person to secrete it. Mr. Webber is always open to a search; in fact, after
there has been shown excessive cowling or drapery, the Guide invariably asks the
chairman of the séance to search the medium before he leaves the presence of the
Frequently, hands are felt by sitters. They are full physical hands. The large
hand of a powerful man or the small hand of a child. They are, as a rule,
slightly wet, yet their temperature is warmer than the hands of the sitters
themselves. The latter through being linked for an hour or more are usually hot,
yet the materialized hand is the warmer. If the hands are of Chinese Guides, the
long nails which these Guides have can be felt by the sitters.
Sometimes the hands caress the face, hands, and arms of a sitter, or they may
play with the hair or an ornament.
There is another phase of materialization that is worthy of comment. In a dark
séance a cigarette lighter has been flicked on, and in the white flash there has
been outlined the solid form of a being with outstretched arm-one of the
At times, when the sitters are known to the Guide, or it is judged they will not
be alarmed by a little frivolity, jokes are played. On one occasion Mr. Bernard
Gray, of the Sunday Pictorial, who was present at the séance, had his
hair lightly tied to that of the author. If there should be spare rope or
string, a sitter may find himself or herself securely tied.
Thus the fact has to be taken into account that at times there may be present in
the circle the materialized forms of the medium's controls who are carrying out
work in connection with the phenomena. The author has not yet excluded from his
mind the work of controls in this state of being responsible for the joining of
two parts of a trumpet together, removing the spectacles from a sitter's face,
and perhaps assisting with the final stage of removing the coat from the medium.
At the present time , the developing circle is sitting in red light for
materializations, and the physical forms have been seen, felt, and conversed
with. During such phenomena the medium is often seen bound to his chair.
With materialization, at first a vague, shadowy form is seen, darker than the
prevailing light. This form then becomes denser, and the hands and head are held
to the red light for closer examination. The red light is about nine feet from
the floor, yet the materialized people are able to rise to it and expose their
heads in close proximity to the bulb.
Reuben and Paddy materialize most easily. At one circle Reuben materialized
perfectly. He took hold of the author's hand and passed it over his face. This
was repeated with other sitters. It was noticed that Reuben's hands were very
warm. A conversation also took place between Reuben and those present. Thus not
only is a physical figure present, but the lungs and larynx must also have been
The warmth experienced in materialization raises an interesting problem. From
whence does the warmth come? Ectoplasm as felt, is wet and cold, yet it is from
this substance that the forms build themselves. One reasonable hypothesis is
that the ectoplasm is in a state of very high vibration, and just as the
infra-red ray is the transition stage between light and heat (there is always
heat with the infra-red ray) so it may be that the condition of "vibration" (for
want of a more expressive word), which is used for the purpose of
materializations may give the heat that is certainly in evidence.
When a form has built up in the red light, its disappearance is of interest.
Standing full length in the centre of the circle, it is seen to diminish
downwards as if passing through the floor. The period of time necessary for the
disappearance is about two seconds. After the disappearance of a forth, throat
action is heard from the medium - gulp-like sounds, rather similar to those made
when ectoplasm is returning to the medium's body.
On the occasion previously referred to, when the red light was detached from the
fitting, it was used to light up the faces of materialized people, the lamp
being held close to, and almost touching, the faces, so that there could be no
possible doubt at all as to the form being present.
Three forms have been seen at the same time, in a moderate degree of red
light - two of the forms were full length, while the third, quite small, was of
Paddy, a boy of about ten years old.
At most séances a small spirit child, answering to the name of Matilda, skips
with a rope, and obeys requests for fast skipping, hopping, etc.
The following are extracts from published reports, by independent persons,
dealing with this phenomenon:
"Jack Webber gave four remarkable séances at Cambridge... He came alone and only
arrived a short time before the first séance ... so there was no chance of
anything being arranged beforehand. Several well-known people were present,
including in Indian Prince (Prince Deo), and the Dean of Trinity College. Some
members of the Cambridge Society for Psychical Investigation were present at
"The sittings were carried out under test conditions. No restrictions were made
as to the method of tying, in fact, he was tied so tightly one evening that some
of the sitters complained that it might stop his circulation. But Jack just
said: 'That's all right, let it go.'
"On three nights, materialized heads appeared, and although some of these heads
were perfectly formed they were considerably smaller than normal size. The most
remarkable materialization occurred when the head of an Indian came close to me,
the features showing clearly above the luminous slate.
"The head bowed, and when I asked him if he could tell me his name, he said 'Ranji,'
which, of course, was the name by which Prince Ranjitsinhji was known when he
was up at Cambridge at the height of his fame as a cricketer. I knew him quite
well when he was up at the University."
(Mr. A. J. Case, President of the Cambridge Research Society, reporting in the
Psychic News, August 12th, 1939.)
"For me, the most outstanding event of the séance was the materialization of two
faces. A luminous plaque rose from the floor, and came within a few inches of
my face: rising from it, partially concealed in what appeared to be a shining
band of material, some two inches wide, was the face of a woman - I should
estimate her to be between forty and fifty years of age: the face was perhaps a
little larger than three-quarters life-size, and near enough for me to observe
the fine moulding of the features, which were illuminated with the glow from the
plaque. Particularly, I noticed the nose and nostrils, which seemed to be
perfectly chiselled as from alabaster or some similar material.
"The face was quite solid - three-dimensional, without colouring, but obviously
alive; I encouraged it to talk while it floated there, resting on they plaque
which was quite unsupported. The lips moved in an attempt to answer me, but
produced strange 'ticking' sounds that seemed to precede any attempt at speech
on these occasions. Eventually the woman whispered: 'I have no pain now, I do
not suffer as I used to ... isn't it glorious ... Mother.' ... Then the plaque
withdrew and the face disappeared.
"The woman's face was remarkable for the fine moulding of the features - almost
like a piece of Greek sculpture; the absence of skin creases probably
accentuated this, and while it was obviously the face of a mature woman, there
was a suggestion of youthfulness about it. The eyes were partly in shadow, owing
to the lighting arising from the plaque, so that it was difficult to determine
whether or not they had been materialized yet during the whole time the face
remained there - a matter of several minutes - there was no suggestion of
"The second face which appeared after an interval also came across to within a
few inches of my face, supported by the luminous plaque.
"This time the strong masculine features were surmounted with a white, typically
Egyptian headdress: the long Roman nose gave the face a look of severity, and
the eyes - what I could see of them, looked piercingly into mine. This face was
unlike its predecessor in that there was a suggestion of swarthiness about it.
Pronounced facial ridges in the flesh enhanced the severe expression, and the
set of the jaw and mouth suggested a powerful character. Several times the head
bowed in front of me, and, projecting from the head-dress I noticed a triangular
device which stood out and threw a shadow back on the forehead. I heard other
sitters commenting on the 'hair'; they apparently overlooked this triangular
projection, which had its base in the head-dress, and apex standing well out
from the head. It seemed to be constructed from different material, and was
evidently not intended to be overlooked. I commented on it, and, after remaining
in front of me for a brief period, the head withdrew and disappeared.
"This, too, was solid, and three-dimensional in appearance, certainly more
life-like than the first, nearer to life-size, and without the mask-like
appearance that characterized the first, before it spoke.
"Needless to say, there were no sitters in the room resembling either face. I
later learned that the device in the head-dress corresponded to that worn by
priests and officials of the ancient Egyptian temples it apparently signified
rank in the temple - this no doubt explains the repeated endeavours of the head to
draw my attention to the device."
(Special reporter for the Two Worlds, published January 27th, 1939.)
"In the course of the séance there were five materialized heads shown against an
illuminated plaque; they came to within an inch of our faces. They were not more
than half the size of a normal head. Some of these were Guides who announced
themselves by name, and such names were quite unknown to Mr. Webber."
(W. H. Glaser, Two Worlds, March 3rd, 1939.)
"Three faces then materialized and came within a few inches of my eyes, and
they were definitely smaller than Jack Webber's face."
(Sid. C. Carter, Two Worlds, March 3rd,
Addendum, March, 1940
Plate No. 35: A
materialised hand produced at a sitting specially arranged for the Press.
In February, 1940, the Guide asked for the floor to
be covered with white powder. This was done. In the red light the medium and the
white floor was clearly seen. Materialized forms were seen more easily against
the white background. After the séance it was seen that the powder had not been
disturbed, proving that the physical materialized forms did not touch the floor,
but "floated." This peculiar gliding movement of materialized people has often
been commented on with other materialization mediums, and the above experiment
tends to confirm that they do not contact the floor. This raises an interesting
point, for as the materialized individuals are definitely physical for the time
being, they do not obey the law of gravity.
Plate No. 35 [right] was obtained in February, 1940, at a sitting; specially arranged
for the South London Press, when two editors and another representative were
present. The photograph shows a perfect materialized hand emerging (probably)
from the solar plexus region. On this occasion another photograph was secured
(and published by the newspaper) showing the medium's hands held by the two
editors, while the coat was removed from the body, similar to
Plate No. 6. This
newspaper published a laudatory article on the mediumship, as indeed has every
other newspaper that has investigated it. It is pertinent to remember that
newspaper men are, as a rule, of the hard, sceptical turn of mind, and
invariably extremely critical of physical phenomena, and attend with the idea of
"seeing through" the demonstration. On no occasion, however, has any newspaper
investigator even queried the genuineness of the mediumship - all have
testified to their bewildered amazement, and have reported the séances fairly.
The article above was originally titled 'Materialized Forms, Heads, Hands, etc'
and was taken from Harry Edwards's "The Mediumship of Jack Webber" (London;
Rider & Co., 1940).