Helens Passing

Despite her declaration with in a few months she felt that strong call from the Spirit World to continue her work and was soon spending more time than ever in trance state. Perhaps too much so, for the quality of her seance’s since imprisonment appeared to have had deteriorated, even to the point where Spiritualism’s governing National Union actually withdrew her diploma at one stage.

Helen’s Spiritualist friends say that during his visits to her cell, Prime Minister Churchill made promises of making amends to Helen. True or speculative, it is a fact that in 1951 the damning 1735 Witchcraft Act which had been used to imprison Helen was finally repealed.

In its place came the Fraudulent Mediums Act and some four years later in 1954 Spiritualism was officially recognised as a proper religion by formal Act of Parliament. And Spiritualists everywhere knew why and they rejoiced that whilst frauds would be properly prosecuted the authorities, especially the police, would stop harassing true working Mediums.

They were wrong.

In November 1956 police raided a séance in the midlands city of Nottingham. They grabbed the presiding medium, strip searched her and took endless flashlight photographs.. They shouted at her that they were looking for beards, masks and shrouds. But they found nothing.

The medium was Helen Duncan and in their ignorance the police had committed the worst possible sin of physical phenomena; that a medium in trance must NEVER, ever be touched. As the Spirit World’s teachers have patiently explained so many times when this happens the ectoplasm returns to the medium’s body far too quickly and can cause immense – sometimes even fatal – damage.

And so it was in this case. A doctor was summoned and discovered two second degree burns across Helen’s stomach. She was so ill that she was immediately taken back to her Scottish home and later rushed to hospital.

Five weeks after that police raid she was dead.