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Two Worlds of Helen Duncan

Telling the true story of her many gifts of clairvoyance, clairaudience and precognition.

Life After Death

The Two Worlds of Helen Duncan

By Gena Brealey with Kay Hunter

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This is a reprint of the book first published in 1985 which has been long out of print but much sought after by those who want to know the true story of Helen Duncan, the woman behind the last conviction under the Witchcraft Act, in 1944. Written in two parts, the first part by her daughter Gena tells the true story of this remarkable woman. Her many gifts of clairvoyance, clairaudience and precognition have all been overshadowed by the publicity relating to the physical materialisation side of her mediumship. Nothing has been written before, of her unselfish love for humanity, her devotion to her husband and family, her personal and private joys and tragedies, her physical and emotional suffering. Gena relates the whole story of her mother's mediumship, her early life, the deterioration in her health and her ultimate passing, due in no small measure to the stress endured as a result of police prosecution and imprisonment. The second part of the book, researched by Kay Hunter details the trial at the Old Bailey in 1944 from the account made by Maurice Barbanell at the time.

Product Details
  • Paperback: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Saturday Night Press Publications (25 Nov 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-13: 978-0955705038
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 13.6 cm (5.5” x 8.5”)
Helen Duncan excerpt

“I’ve got to die of something,” she commented. “Don’t worry, Doctor.”

She had always adopted this philosophical attitude when faced with ill health. She always said we all die from lack of breath, and when her time came to face her Maker she would know she had done her best. This had been asked of her by Spirit in a vision she had in 1919, and she knew she would not be allowed to pass to the next world until her mission on earth was completed.

This belief gave her an inward calm and serenity which was readily apparent to all who came in contact with her. People were heard many times to remark that when she came into a room the sunshine came in with her. The family knew what was meant by this. They knew that it was a warm love for all mankind which flowered from her heart and lighted her whole being. Helen’s love showed itself in practical terms. There were many times when she helped with money when her sons or sons-in-law were looking for work. Little bits and pieces to make a home comfortable in those lean post-war years found their way to each home in turn. So too did the gifts of Spirit.

Gena visited her mother and father every day, and as soon as Helen was feeling strong enough after her illness she was travelling and working again, despite the doctor’s warning. She was invited to Stoke-on-Trent by Gert Hamilton, who owned a little grocer’s shop in Liverpool Road. In her flat above the shop she had converted one room into a séance room. In this little room some of the most evidential proof of spirit survival was given. At one sitting a young airman came to his mother. On his face was a strawberry birth mark, from his ear halfway across his cheek. A gentleman materialised, came out of the cabinet, and took his wife by the hand. Two fingers were missing from his right hand. His wife confirmed positive identification, and agreed when the spirit form told the sitters how he had lost his figures in a cutting machine doing his job in the printing trade. Another spirit materialised – a woman who asked for a torch. Gert, aware of the dangers, asked what the torch was for.

“I want my man to see me properly,” the spirit form replied.

When given the torch, the form shone it on her face. All present could see the face deformed by a hair lip. Everyone agreed that there was no way these deformities could have been faked, especially when Helen never knew who would be at any particular séance. To have “fixed” or arranged the many evidential materialisations would have required an organisation as big and efficient as the FBI. Helen never entered a séance room until all the participants were seated. When she came out of trace after the sitting she was given a glass of water and a cigarette, then she always left the room. Therefore she had no personal contact with the sitters.

Sometimes during a séance “Albert” would bring Helen out of the cabinet, stand beside her and ask if the sitters could see them both clearly. Albert was six feet one inch tall; Helen was five feet four inches. At other times he would open the curtains of the cabinet and ask the sitters if they could see Helen, who sat entranced, ectoplasm flowing from her mouth, nose and ears. When the sitters had confirmed what they saw, he would then show himself standing about four feet away from the medium, saying, “Now you can see us both.”

There are so many alive today who can confirm this because they were there. Of course, there were occasions when the phenomena were not as clear or well formed as this. Usually this either related to the quality of the sitters, who could not generate the correct level of harmonious love necessary, or it was because the medium was not feeling well. All who have knowledge of Spiritualism are aware that in order to perform our duties properly our bodies or “instruments” as our spirit friends term them, must be in good condition. There are, and were, many who have asked why Helen Duncan did not refuse to work if her health was below par. Helen Duncan above all, was aware of the hurt and disappointment of the sitters if she did not turn up for a séance. There were greedy and selfish sitters who thought only of their own satisfaction, and did not give a thought for the medium’s welfare.

For more information on Helen Duncan

Official Helen Duncan website

More eye witness accounts of her mediumship:

Centre Christian Spiritualist Church HELEN DUNCAN

Bolton Spiritualist Church

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