Spirit Controls


John King

          THE MOST romantic spirit control. He claimed to have been Henry Owen Morgan, the buccaneer, who was knighted by Charles II. and was appointed Governor of Jamaica. He first appeared with the Davenport Brothers in 1850, and was first seen in the flash of a pistol fired by Ira Davenport in the dark. He remained as spirit manager with the Davenports throughout their career and in typtology or direct voice gave them sound advice in difficult positions. His activity was multifarious. While faithfully serving the Davenport Brothers he took charge of the performances in the Koon loghouse in the wilds of Ohio. Here he assumed an august mien. As the head of a band of 160 spirits he claimed descent from a race of men known by the generic title Adam, and having as leaders "the most ancient angels." They signed their communications as King No. 1, No. 2., etc., and sometimes: Servant and Scholar of God. In his last incarnation he strayed from the path of virtue and became a redoubtable pirate. He communicated in direct voice through a trumpet, his own invention, and through direct scripts. The tone of these writings was sanctimonious and upbraiding, i.e.: "We know that our work will be rejected by many, and condemned as the production of their King Devil, whom they profess to repudiate, but do so constantly serve by crucifying truth and rejecting all that is contrary to their own narrow pride and vain imaginings."

The Telegraph Papers of 1856 published a psychometric reading of the writing of John King by Mrs. Kellog and Miss Jay of New York to whom the paper was handed in a sealed envelope. Mrs. Kellog became entranced and said:

"A person of great might and power appears before me - a power unknown. I cannot compare him to anyone on earth. He wields a mighty weapon. I can neither describe nor explain the influence that emanates from him. I can only compare it to one of whom we read in the Bible. It seems like unto one who 'rules the world.' It does not seem to have been done by any human being. It does not seem to me that a mortal could have been employed even as the instrument for this writing. This is beyond human effort."

Miss Jay had given similar reading:

"It must be a power so far exalted in the scale of development as to grasp the great laws that govern all material combinations. He does not seem to be of the earth, but to belong to another race of beings, whose spiritual growth has continued for ages."

In the early years of British spiritualism it was the aspiration of many mediums to secure his influence. Mrs. Marshall was the first, Mrs. Guppy, Miss Georgina Houghton, Mrs. Firman, Charles Williams, William Eglinton and Husk followed, whilst in America he was claimed by the Holmeses and Mme. Blavatsky in her early career as a spiritualist. Solovyoff even suggests that Mahatma Koot Hoomi was John King transformed by the addition of an Eastern garb.

On March 20, 1873, in a daylight sťance of Williams, John King manifested so successfully that a sketch was made of him by an artist. A week later he appeared again in solid and material form. He was usually seen in the light of a peculiar lamp which he carried and which illuminated his face and sometimes the room. In Paris, on May 14, 1874, a young man tried to seize him. John King eluded his grasp and left a piece of drapery behind. The medium was found entranced. On being searched no paraphernalia for a make-up was discovered.

In comparatively recent times* John King took charge of the physical phenomena of Mrs. Wriedt in London. He greeted the sitters of Williams' and Cecil Husk's circle by their names. W. T. Stead once found a mislaid manuscript through communication in automatic writing from John King. Quite recently* Feda, the control of Mrs. Leonard, informed H. Dennis Bradley during a sťance of his own that John King often helped with the voices and that the volume of his own voice is enormous.

* This biographical sketch was written in 1934.

Of all the public activities of John King, his association with Eusapia Paladino was the most memorable. Scientists all over the world made his acquaintance and found him ever anxious to produce good and convincing phenomena. He said in many messages that Eusapia Paladino was his reincarnated daughter but he seldom spoke, if so only in Italian and through the entranced medium.

A curious story of his appearance in strong light was told by Chevalier Francesco Graus, an Italian engineer, in a letter to Vincent Cavalli, the letter being published in Luce e Ombra in April, 1907. At the time of the narrative Eusapia worried herself ill over the theft of her jewels. She was so affected by the reproaches of the police inspector that she fainted. The table began to move and rapped out: "Save my daughter, she is mad."

"A minute later" - writes Graus - "in full light, a phenomenon occurred which I shall never forget. On my left, in the space separating me from Mme. Paladino, appeared the form of an old man, tall, rather thin, with an abundant beard who, without speaking, laid the full palm of his right hand on my head, which he squeezed between his fingers as if to draw from it some vital fluid, and when he saw fit he raised his hand and spread over Eusapia's head the fluid he had withdrawn from my brain. He repeated this operation three times in succession, then the figure dissolved. Mme Paladino immediately returned to her normal state. I remained for three consecutive days in such a condition of cerebral prostration, on account of the fluid that had been drawn from me, that I could not carry on the smallest intellectual work."

The identity of John King with Henry Owen Morgan, the pirate, has never been satisfactorily established. Conan Doyle had in his possession a contemporary picture of the buccaneer king but it bore no resemblance to the tall, swarthy man with a noble head and full black beard, who presented himself in materialised form. But he adds in a remark that a daughter of a recent governor of Jamaica was confronted in a sťance in London with John King. He said to her: "You have brought back from Jamaica something which was mine." She asked: "What was it?" He answered: "My will." It was a fact. Her father brought back this document.

To Admiral Moore, in a sitting with Cecil Husk on March 28, 1905, John King said that he had been hunting up old records and found that he succeeded Lynch as Governor of Jamaica. There was a Richard Morgan who came before him as Governor and the names were sometimes confused. He believes that he was governor three separate times - not consecutively - but he would make further inquiries.

A correspondent to Light (June 29, 1912) looked up the official handbook of the island and found that he succeeded Sir Thomas Lynch in 1673, Lord Vaughan in 1677 and the Earl of Carlisle in 1680. The other Morgan to whom he referred was Colonel Edward (not Richard) Morgan and he was Deputy Governor in 1664.

Through Mrs. Wriedt in Julia's bureau in London John King gave many particulars in regard to his earth life in Jamaica and made beautiful bugle calls through the trumpet, saying that was how he used to call his men together, in the old buccaneering days, one most terrific blast illustrating his signal to fight.

In February, 1930, John King manifested in Dr. Glen Hamilton's circle in Winnipeg and carried on a dialogue with "Walter" who controlled another medium, feigning that they were aboard the pirateship amongst a crew of ruffians. This play-acting had a psychological purpose: the recovery of past memories and the imagining of a sailing ship which was afterwards objectively built out of ectoplasm.

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



Some parts of this page The International Survivalist Society 2004