The fraudulent medium Ronald Edwin confessed he had duped his séance sitters and revealed the fraudulent methods he had used in his book Clock Without Hands (1955).[164] The psychical researcher Tony Cornell investigated the mediumship of Alec Harris in 1955. During the séance "spirit" materializations emerged from a cabinet and walked around the room. Cornell wrote that a stomach rumble, nicotine smelling breath and a pulse gave it away that all the spirit figures were in fact Harris and that he had dressed up as each one behind the cabinet.[165]

In English-speaking countries, where these games are not played, tarot cards are used primarily for divinatory purposes, usually using specially designed packs.[1] The cards are traced by some occult writers to ancient Egypt or the Kabbalah but there is no documented evidence of such origins or of the usage of tarot for divination before the 18th century.[1]
Some Psychic Mediums can often also ‘smell’ a spirit, whether it’s their perfume or a familiar scent, giving further evidence that they can pass on during Medium readings. Many Spiritual Mediums are able to sense how the spirit ‘feels’, or how they felt at an important event in their life when they were living. This is often their emotional state at a particular time. A Psychic Medium may be able to link with spirits combining all of these gifts, providing a strong link so that you have as much confirmation as possible from your loved one. A Spiritual Medium uses their Psychic abilities to channel the thoughts, feelings and messages of someone in spirit but it is the Spirit who chooses to connect with the medium and connection cannot be guaranteed. When the connection does happen the Medium communicates like a messenger from the afterlife to the living world. Some Mediums also work in spiritualist churches offering platform readings.
The British medium Francis Ward Monck was investigated by psychical researchers and discovered to be a fraud. On November 3, 1876 during the séance a sitter demanded that Monck be searched. Monck ran from the room, locked himself in another room and escaped out of a window. A pair of stuffed gloves was found in his room, as well as cheesecloth, reaching rods and other fraudulent devices in his luggage.[77] After a trial Monck was convicted for his fraudulent mediumship and was sentenced to three months in prison.[78]

The fraudulent medium Ronald Edwin confessed he had duped his séance sitters and revealed the fraudulent methods he had used in his book Clock Without Hands (1955).[164] The psychical researcher Tony Cornell investigated the mediumship of Alec Harris in 1955. During the séance "spirit" materializations emerged from a cabinet and walked around the room. Cornell wrote that a stomach rumble, nicotine smelling breath and a pulse gave it away that all the spirit figures were in fact Harris and that he had dressed up as each one behind the cabinet.[165]


An online reading takes place via Skype or similar video link. It is carried out in real time, and you will pay up-front when booking the session. It is similar to a telephone reading but with two-way visual contact. It is much more like an in-person consultation. A good medium will try to put you at ease and connect with you on a personal level as it makes it more rewarding for both parties.
The exposures of fraudulent activity led to a rapid decline in ectoplasm and materialization séances.[199] Investigator Joe Nickell has written that modern self-proclaimed mediums like John Edward, Sylvia Browne, Rosemary Altea and James Van Praagh are avoiding the Victorian tradition of dark rooms, spirit handwriting and flying tambourines as these methods risk exposure. They instead use "mental mediumship" tactics like cold reading or gleaning information from sitters before hand (hot reading). Group readings also improve hits by making general statements with conviction, which will fit at least one person in the audience. Shows are carefully edited before airing to show only what appears to be hits and removing anything that does not reflect well on the medium.[200]
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