Thomas brothers (mediums)

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Thomas brothers

Tom and Will Thomas (B. CA. 1881) most well known as the Thomas brothers were two early twentieth century spiritualist mediums from Penylan, a village in the south of Wales. [1] [2]

Mediumship person said to mediate communication between spirits of the dead and other human beings

Mediumship is the practice of purportedly mediating communication between spirits of the dead and living human beings. Practitioners are known as "mediums." There are different types of mediumship, including spirit channeling and ouija.

Penylan district of Cardiff, Wales

Penylan is a district and community in the east of Cardiff, the capital city of Wales, known for its Edwardian era period houses and spacious tree lined roads and avenues.

South Wales Region of Wales

South Wales is the region of Wales bordered by England and the Bristol Channel to the east and south, mid Wales to the north, and west Wales to the west. With an estimated population of around 2.2 million, which is almost three-quarters of the whole of Wales, Cardiff has approximately 400,000, Swansea has approximately 250,000 and Newport has 150,000. The region is loosely defined, but it is generally considered to include the historic counties of Glamorgan and Monmouthshire, extending westwards to include Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire. In the western extent, from Swansea westwards, local people would probably recognise that they lived in both south Wales and west Wales. The Brecon Beacons national park covers about a third of South Wales, containing Pen y Fan, the highest British mountain south of Cadair Idris in Snowdonia.

The brothers claimed to communicate with a spirit guide called "White Eagle". They were tied up in their séances and when the lights were turned off, objects would move around the room. [3]

A spirit guide, in western spiritualism, is an entity that remains as a disincarnate spirit to act as a guide or protector to a living incarnated human being.

Séance attempt to communicate with spirits

A séance or seance is an attempt to communicate with spirits. The word "séance" comes from the French word for "session", from the Old French seoir, "to sit". In French, the word's meaning is quite general: one may, for example, speak of "une séance de cinéma". In English, however, the word came to be used specifically for a meeting of people who are gathered to receive messages from ghosts or to listen to a spirit medium discourse with or relay messages from spirits. In modern English usage, participants need not be seated while engaged in a séance.

Arthur Conan Doyle had attended a séance with the brothers in 1919, and declared the phenomena to be genuine. This was disputed by the magician Harry Houdini who found their mediumship act suspicious, noting there were methods of how they could have freed themselves from control. [4] The mentalist Stuart Cumberland, whom the brothers refused to their séances, told Houdini "there wasn't a chance of the Thomas brothers being genuine". [4]

Arthur Conan Doyle British detective fiction author

Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle was a British writer best known for his detective fiction featuring the character Sherlock Holmes. Originally a physician, in 1887 he published A Study in Scarlet, the first of four novels and more than fifty short stories about Holmes and Dr. Watson. The Sherlock Holmes stories are generally considered milestones in the field of crime fiction.

Harry Houdini American magician, escapologist, and stunt performer

Harry Houdini was a Hungarian-born American illusionist and stunt performer, noted for his sensational escape acts. He first attracted notice in vaudeville in the US and then as "Harry Handcuff Houdini" on a tour of Europe, where he challenged police forces to keep him locked up. Soon he extended his repertoire to include chains, ropes slung from skyscrapers, straitjackets under water, and having to escape from and hold his breath inside a sealed milk can with water in it.

Stuart Cumberland (1857–1922) was an English mentalist known for his demonstrations of "thought reading".

See also

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  1. Jones, Kelvin I. (1989). Conan Doyle and the Spirits: The Spiritualist Career of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Aquarian Press. pp. 124-126
  2. Lycett, Andrew. (2008). The Man Who Created Sherlock Holmes: The Life and Times of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Free Press. p. 402. ISBN   0-7432-7523-3
  3. Polidoro, Massimo. (2001). Final Séance: The Strange Friendship Between Houdini and Conan Doyle. Prometheus Books. p. 123. ISBN   1-57392-896-8
  4. 1 2 Houdini, Harry. (1924). A Magician Among the Spirits. Harper & Brothers. pp. 147-148