William Eglinton

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
William Eglinton

William Eglinton (1857-1933) was a British spiritualist medium.[1]


He was born in Islington, London. He claimed to materialize spirits in his séances.[2] It was discovered that the materializations were fakes.[3] The levitations of Eglinton were also revealed as tricks.[4]

In 1876 Eglinton was exposed as a fraud when the psychical researcher Thomas Colley seized the "spirit" materialization and cut off a portion of its cloak. It was discovered that the cut piece matched a cloth found in Eglinton's suitcase.[5] Colley also pulled the beard off the materialization and it was revealed to be a fake, the same as another one found in the suitcase of Eglinton.[6]

In 1886 the spiritualist John Stephen Farmer wrote a biography of Eglinton.[7]

Eglinton performed slate writing mediumship and his leading critics were the psychical researchers Eleanor Sidgwick and Richard Hodgson.[8] In 1886 and 1887 a series of publications by S. J. Davey, Hodgson and Sidgwick in the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research exposed the slate writing tricks of Eglinton.[9]

Eglinton was also involved with Madame Blavatsky in producing fraudulent Mahatma letters.[10]


  1. ^ Massimo Polidoro. (2001). Final Séance: The Strange Friendship Between Houdini and Conan Doyle. Prometheus Books. p. 51. ISBN 978-1573928960
  2. ^ Raymond Buckland. (2005). The Spirit Book: The Encyclopedia of Clairvoyance, Channeling, and Spirit Communication. Visible Ink Press. p. 125. ISBN 978-1578592135
  3. ^ Montague Summers. (2010). Physical Phenomena of Mysticism. Kessinger Publishing. p. 114. ISBN 978-1161363654
  4. ^ Barry Wiley. (2012). The Thought Reader Craze: Victorian Science at the Enchanted Boundary. McFarland. p. 35. ISBN 978-0786464708
  5. ^ Joseph McCabe. (1920). Is Spiritualism based on Fraud?: The Evidence Given by Sir A.C. Doyle and Others Drastically Examined. London: Watts & Co. p. 115
  6. ^ Roy Stemman. (1976). The Supernatural. Danbury Press. p. 62
  7. ^ John Stephen Farmer. (1886). Twixt Two Worlds: A Narrative of the Life and Work of William Eglinton. The Psychological Press, London
  8. ^ Ronald Pearsall. (1972). The Table-Rappers. Book Club Associates. pp. 109-110
  9. ^ Janet Oppenheim. (1988). The Other World: Spiritualism and Psychical Research in England, 1850-1914. Cambridge University Press. pp. 139-140. ISBN 978-0521347679
  10. ^ Hereward Carrington. (1907). The Physical Phenomena of Spiritualism. Herbert B. Turner & Co. p. 85

Further reading[edit]

Edward Clodd. (1917). The Question: A Brief History and Examination of Modern Spiritualism. Grant Richards, London. pp. 50–106

External links[edit]