Volume 9, Issue 7, page 5

eo a ,.eance
ENEITHER Alice nor I ever had attended
a Spiritualistic seance. We've done
a bit of toying with the ouija, and
looked for " Thetans " three feet behind the heads of fellow Scientology students, but to actually "see"
or "hear" physical manifestations
from the "Other Side"... well, they
were in the same category as the
"Hubbard clears" which we've read
about, for the last decade or so, but which
never have gotten nearer to us than the
printed pages of an advertising brochure.

So, when Charles Rhoades called us one evening from Oklahoma City and told us that the
New Age Center was sponsoring Mrs. Bertie Lilly
Candler of Los Angeles in a materialization
seance, and that there were three reservations
open, we took two of them. Our decision was
helped by the fact it was being held the day
after The October ABERREE was to be mailed, we
hadn't met with the Oklahoma City group for
several weeks, and besides, how can one have a
magazine covering all facets of the psychic
front if the editor and publisher remain ignorant and unexposed to one of the diseases?
In Oklahoma City, when the rear door of the
Rhoades car on the publisher's side flew open,
we thought for a moment her appearance at the
materialization would be as an actor and not
an observer, but nothing fell out except her
purse, and it was empty. Well, about as empty
as a woman's purse ever gets.

About 20 persons were present, many of whom
we already knew. After a few pleasantries, and
coffee for some who thought it safe to drink
coffee, we gathered in a room in which chairs
lined the four walls. In one corner was a black
curtain behind which Jimmie Gordon, the materializing medium, sat, after being "frisked" to
the skin by two of us to prove that there were
no hidden gadgets for fakery. Not that we expected or suspected same, even tho we'd read
the series of exposes by Tom O'Neil in The
PSYCHIC OBSERVER. After all, it isn't every
editor who can go to such things with snooperscopes and the like, so we had to rely on our
five senses. They've been fairly reliable in
the past, and we had no reason to suspect they
might be playing truant tonight. Nor do we
think they did.

After the lights were extinguished, it was
a few minutes before I became aware that the
room was being bathed dimly in the light from
one red bulb -- much less powerful than I use in
the darkroom for developing negatives. But
one's eyes adjust in time, and shortly I could
identify the faces of neighbors leaning forward in various stages of expectancy. Mrs.
Candler, who says she no longer performs as a
materializing medium because of a "heart condition", sat at one side of the "curtain". She
suggested the "audience" start singing -- which
we did. (Some of the things a medium has to
put up with!) It -- the singing -- certainly could
have been improved with a bit of rehearsing.
Of course, in these days of singing commercials and "radio music", some tone-deafened
persons might have thought it good. We've
turned off worse on our own Enid stations.

The first "ghost" was so transparent and
flimsy that I began wondering if this was it --
if my story of the seance might read something
like: "We never had -- and haven't yet -- seen a
materialization". However, a bit more singing,
and the situation improved. "Ivy", who admitted she was older, but liked to "appear as a
child of seven because she could get away with
more", acted as interlocutor, calling up various members of the audience as various entities asked for them, and guiding the "conversations" in her high-pitched falsetto. There
were relatives, "Masters", Indian guides -- even
Edgar Cayce appeared before someone who had
known him back in Virginia Beach. Some of the
smoky light-blue figures were quite strong,
altho I was unable to distinguish any features,
even tho I strained my eyes, with and without
glasses. Except for size, the Indian who
towered to the ceiling looked little different
to me than the child, or adult "ghost" of more
normal proportions. I wondered if the quality
of the singing was affecting the quality of the
ectoplasmic image, but since I live in the
glassiest of houses, I could throw no stones in
this respect.
(Incidentally, to those of you to whom these
things are not new, don't let my unlearned
account bore you; there probably are other
ABERREE features you'd rather read.)
Eventually, someone -- "Ivy" or Mrs. Candler
-- asked: "Where's that newspaper man?" And I
found myself moving toward the curtain, hands
clasped behind me as instructed. I could feel
Alice moving along at my side.
"Them' s, a man with a big mustache and
white bushy hair here," Mrs. Candler said, by
way of introduction.

I could see nobody. "Hi! Bushy-hair," I
greeted. Nothing happened.
"Start singing something!" Mrs. Candler

Singing is something I seldom do even in
the privacy of our bathroom, but as a deadly
silence settled over the room, the "clown" in
me offered a facetious idea, probably prompted
by the fact two of the "Indians" had been
named "White River" and "Quiet River" ( "Quiet
River" being the Indian with the most to say)
and outside, thunder was rolling from the
gathering storm. "Row, row, row your boat" I
started, calling upon an old "round" learned
in school. The others in the room joined in.
"It's a good thing you decided to be a
newspaper man and not a singer," "Ivy" quipped. But I didn't mind. She could have said
worse. In front of us, "something" began to