Spirit Controls

Katie King

Katie King

          THE FAMOUS spirit control of Miss Florence Cook. She claimed to be the daughter of John King, but of her identity even less proof is available than of her father's. She began to manifest in the Cook house when Florence was a girl of 15. She was seen almost daily, the first time in April, 1872, showing a death-like face between the curtains. Later her materialisations became more perfect, but it was only after a year of experimental work that she could walk out of the cabinet and show herself in full figure to the sitters. She was a nearly permanent inhabitant of the Cook household, walked about the house, appeared at unexpected moments, and went to bed with the medium, much to her annoyance. When Florence married, complications arose. According to Florence Marryat, Capt. Corner used to feel at first as if he had married two women, and was not quite sure which of the two was his wife.

According to all accounts she was a beautiful girl. William Crookes had forty flashlight photographs of Katie. In most of them she noticeably resembles Miss Cook, but Crookes had no doubt of her independent identity.

"Photography was inadequate," he wrote in Researches into the Phenomena of Modern Spiritualism, "to depict the perfect beauty of Katie's face, as words are powerless to describe her charm of manner. Photography may, indeed, give a map of her countenance; but how can it reproduce the brilliant purity of her complexion, or the ever varying expression of her most mobile features, now overshadowed with sadness when relating some of the bitter experiences of her past life, now smiling with all the innocence of happy girlhood when she had collected my children round her, and was amusing them by recounting anecdotes of her adventures in India?"

Her name was Annie Owen Morgan. She was about twelve years old when Charles I. was beheaded. She married, had two children and committed many crimes, murdering them with her own hands. She died quite young, at the age of 22 or 23. Her attachment to Florence Cook served the purpose of convincing the world of the truth of spiritualism. This work was given her on the other side as a service to expiate her earthly sins. On her farewell appearance, after three years of constant manifestations, she declared that her years of suffering were now over, she would ascend to a higher sphere from where she could only correspond with her medium through automatic writing at long intervals, though clairvoyantly Florence would be able to see her.

In her early manifestations in the Davenport sťances Katie King was apparently far less spiritual than at the time of the Crookes records. Robert Cooper, describing a direct voice consultation of the spirits by the Davenports, writes:

"The next minute a shrill female voice was heard immediately in front of us. It was like that of a person of the lower walks of life and talked away, like many persons do, for the mere sake of talking. It was intimated that it was 'Kate' who was speaking. There was a great attempt on her part at being witty, but according to my ideas on such matters, most of what was said would come under the category of small - very small - wit."

In another passage he writes:

"Unlike John, Kate will talk any length of time, as long in fact as she can find anything to talk about, even if it be the most frivolous nonsense; but I must do her the justice to say that she talks sensibly enough at times, and I have heard great wisdom in her utterances, and satisfactory answers given to profound philosophical questions."

The "Katie" who assisted "John King" in the sťances of Frank Herne and Charles Williams is apparently not identifiable with Katie King, as the former, after the materialisation of a negro hand, was described as a descendant of that race. Her voice was like a whisper but perfectly distinct. The transportation of Mrs. Guppy to the room of Williams was put down to her achievement.

A rather dubious Katie King manifested through the mediumship of Mr. and Mrs. Holmes of Philadelphia. Dr. Henry T. Child and Robert Dale Owen have seen her materialise on May 121 1874. Robert Dale Owen believed that she was identical with the control of Miss Cook, though her features differed from those in the photograph of the London Katie. The nose was straight, not aquiline and the expression was more intellectual. Crookes, who had seen a photograph of the Philadelphia Katie, had no hesitation in declaring her as a fraud. To justify her appearance in America the Philadelphia Katie King declared:

"Some of my English friends misinterpreted my parting words. I took final leave not of your earth, but of dear Florrie Cook, because my continuance with her would have injured her health."

A rather limp explanation which was further disproved by the circumstance that Florence Cook, under the control of another spirit, Marie, continued her materialisation sťances without injury to her health.

In October, 1930, Katie King unexpectedly manifested in Dr. Glen Hamilton's circle in Winnipeg. Photographs were taken. According to Dr. Glen Hamilton:

"Obviously it is wholly impossible to say whether or not this Mary M-Mercedes-Katie King is the same being as the entity appearing in the experiments of Crookes and others. We have the word of the controls in this case that it is so and we have seen how, so far, these controls have repeatedly established the fact that they know whereof they speak... While there are, I may say, some points of similarity to be traced between Katie as photographed by Crookes and Katie as photographed in the Winnipeg experiments, both faces for instance being rather long in formation, the eyes in both being large and luminous, the angle of the jaw in both being rather pronounced, the later Katie is so much younger in appearance, her beauty so much more apparent that it is evident that we cannot use the earlier record of her presence in any way as conclusive proof that there is any connection between the two."

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



Some parts of this page The International Survivalist Society 2004