from "Eleven Days at Moravia" - Thomas Robinson Hazard
A few days before I left, there came to Moravia a trance-medium from Rochester, by the name of Gilbert G. Eaton, one of whose controlling spirits professed to be the notorious Capt. Kidd, who did not seem inclined to say much about his earth career, but admitted that he had, when in earthlife, a hard, determined will. He further stated that he always thought he was condemned to death on insufficient testimony, and that the piracies for which he suffered were committed on Spanish vessels, with the approval or connivance of the British Government, until complications became so serious that it was deemed expedient to sacrifice his life to appease the Spaniards. In reply to a query concerning his entrance into spirit-life, he stated that when he came to consciousness he found himself wandering in a darksome, dreary desert, where no vegetation other than stinted, unsightly shrubs was to be found, and where the spirits he encountered were each and all so repulsive and loathsome to each other, that no two or more ever cared to meet or associate. In this forlorn condition he passed what to him seemed centuries of earthlife, when his spirit became so broken and overpowered with suffering, that in an agony of despair he threw himself upon the ground and cried earnestly on God for deliverance. Then for the first time he saw in the far-off distance a bright spot in the shape of a small anchor, from which trailed within his reach a thread of light. Guided by this he succeeded in reaching the anchor and from that point was enabled to see and communicate with his mother, through whose loving counsel and assistance he was started on the road of progress, and through the strength of the same strong will-power that had, when misdirected, sank him so low in hell, he was enabled—when this was rightly directed—the sooner to reach the place he now occupied in heaven.
This was the substance of what Kidd stated, but whether true or false, or whether it may have been some other spirit personating Kidd or not, he certainly did subsequently give us a most graphic relation of the mode pursued by spirits in showing themselves at Moravia. He told us in terse and definite language, remarkably free from the redundancy that frequently characterizes mediumistic communications, that the spirits who show their limbs and faces at the aperture, are actually within the cabinet (though invisible to material eyes) in their own proper persons, and that the limbs and faces that are shown undergo a chemical process, analogous to that adopted by mortals in coating or galvanizing specimens of wood or other substances and metals, with the wash of another kind of metal. He stated that this material coating for the spirit-form is collected by the spirits and partially prepared during the dark circle, from the aura or effete particles that are constantly passing from the human body; the cold breeze that is so often felt by the persons present being a part of this aura, and that the consistency or efficiency of the material depends upon the degree of harmony that prevails in the circle.
He further stated that these effete particles cannot be used by the spirit chemists until they are vitalized so as to make them partake of the quality of living flesh; and, to do this, it is necessary to pass them through, or bring them in contact with, a human organism possessing certain qualities or properties such as appertain to Mrs. Andrews, who always sits opposite the aperture during the process of collecting, preparing and passing the material into the cabinet. Mr. Eaton's controlling spirit also asserted that the manufacturing of this occult material requires that certain elements should be abstracted from every organ of the medium; and that, on some occasions, where the manifestations required high coloring, the spirit artists had drawn as many as four ounces of actual blood from her veins. It was said, further, that, should any material substance—especially, if in a fluid or semi-fluid state—be brought in contact with the spirit-faces or limbs that are exhibited, the coarser particles of such substance will necessarily appear on the person of the medium, the pores of whose skin operate similarly to a fine sieve, or strainer, and, on the return of the elements that had been subtracted from her system, exclude the coarser particles of the foreign substance. This coating of the spirit, Eaton's controlling guardian stated, was of too delicate a quality to resist for any great length of time the chemical effects of light; though the spirits seemed confident that they should soon perfect and improve the processes so as to enable them to walk out of the doors of cabinets, and greet their earth-friends as naturally as when they were clothed with mortal flesh.
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