Etta Wriedt

Etta Wriedt

          of Detroit, Mich., powerful American direct voice medium, professional, charging a nominal fee of one dollar for a successful sťance, never sits in a cabinet, does not pass into trance and often joins in the conversation of the voices with the visitors. Admiral Moore heard three voices talking at once, one in each car, and one through the trumpet. Mrs. Wriedt only speaks English, but the voices know no linguistic limitation. Dutch, French, Spanish, Norwegian and Arabic were often heard. The control of Mrs. Wriedt is an entity called Dr. John Sharp, who says he was born in Glasgow in the XVIII century, lived all his life in the United States as an apothecary farmer and died in Evansville, Indiana. He takes great care of the medium - at the expense of the sitters. Admiral Moore found the strain so great on his system while sitting with the medium in Detroit that he did not recover his normal health till six weeks after he landed in Europe.

Mrs. Wriedt paid five visits to Britain. She came the first time in 1911, at the age of 51, on the invitation of W. T. Stead, and sat at Julia's Bureau. In 1912 and 1913 Admiral Moore made the arrangements of her coming. In 1915 and 1919 she sat chiefly in Rothesay, Scotland. Miss E. K. Harper, W. T. Stead's secretary, recorded nearly 200 sittings with Mrs. Wriedt. She often heard the direct voice in daylight. There were other features to her sťances as well: luminous forms, etherealisations gliding about the room in the darkness. Sometimes dogs materialised and barked.

John King claimed the responsibility for the physical phenomena in Britain. Flowers were taken from vases and placed in the hands of sitters in the dark in different parts of the room, invisible fingers touched the sitters and rapped by the trumpet to urge a hesitating person to answer promptly when spoken to, luminous discs, like the full moon and quite as brilliant, were seen to move round inside the circle. The sitters were often sprinkled with drops of water, wafts of cool air were felt and heavy objects were displaced. Stead frequently communicated and gave many particulars of his passing over. He said that he was struck on the head and never felt the actual sensation of drowning. Mrs. Wriedt could clairvoyantly read names "written up," as she put it, in the dark. When a name was recognised the voice was immediately heard from the trumpet. Once a name met with no recognition. Suddenly John King's voice broke the silence:

"You had better clear out, my friend, nobody knows you."

Admiral Moore was greeted by the voice of Grayfeather, the Indian control of J. B. Jonson, of Detroit, who had never manifested before through Mrs. Wriedt.

Sir William Barrett heard voices simultaneously with Mrs. Wriedt. Prof. Henry Sidgwick came through.

"Mrs. Wriedt," writes Barrett, "doubtless had heard his name, but he died before she visited England, and I doubt if she, or many others who knew him by name, were aware that he stammered badly. So I asked the voice: 'Are you all right now?' not referring to his stammering. Immediately the voice replied: 'You mean the impediment in my speech, but I do not stutter now' ... I went to Mrs. Wriedt's sťances in a somewhat sceptical spirit, but I came to the conclusion that she is a genuine and remarkable medium, and has given abundant proof to others besides myself that the voices and the contents of the messages given are wholly beyond the range of trickery or collusion."

Chedo Miyatovich, a Serbian diplomatist and member of several learned societies, sat with Mrs. Wriedt in the company of a Croatian lawyer friend, Mr. H. Hinkovitch, who had just arrived in London. Voices of deceased friends and relatives spoke to them in Serbian, Croatian and at a later sťance to which Frau Professor Margarette Selenka, of Germany, was a party, in German.

An attempt to throw discredit on Mrs. Wriedt's phenomena was made in Christiania in August, 1912, by Professor Birkenhead and State Chemist L. Schmelck. They averred that the noises in the trumpet were caused by lycopodium, a mildly inflammable powder used by druggists to coat pills. The facts, however, were very thin, other chemists held the report up to ridicule, moreover it became known that Prof. Birkenhead is extremely deaf and could not judge voices at all.

Source (with minor modifications): An Encyclopaedia of Psychic Science by Nandor Fodor (1934).



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