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vol. 1, p. 32
from Adyar archives of the International Theosophical Society
vol. 1 (1874-1876)


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< Spirit Materialization (continued from page 1-31) >

Compton—the material of Mrs. Compton's body appearing in a new form! the body of Mrs. Compton forming for the nonce the body of Katie—nay, body, clothes and all, of Mrs. Compton, used and worn in a ‘‘changed condition by Katie; a miraculous transfer—a wonderful transformation! How marvelous are I thy works, oh God! Where is the science of earth? How vain are the boasts of scientists! How little—very, very little, do know!

Confused and confounded I came out of the cabinet, found Katie just at the door, and passing so near as to brush her I went to my seat, full of wonderment, and almost consternation. Katie disappeared in the cabinet and closed the door after her. But she soon opened the door and came out again, and approaching me pointed with the index finger of her beautiful hand to my side coat pocket. In a moment I bethought me, took out the bouquet of flowers which I had brought for her, and removing the paper wrapper I placed the blossoms in her hand. Holding the bouquet out in her hand, so that we all could see it, she gradually receded some steps, when absolutely the flowers vanished from our sight—were dematerialized in her hands, and vanished from our view! Another wonderful marvel. How it is we know not. It may be of interest to the curious to note here that I afterwards saw my bouquet of flowers down stairs on the table in the parlor. How did it get there? What caused it to vanish ? and how came it on the table in the parlor? Somebody else must answer these pertinent and reaching questions—though I think none but a spirit can.

Again Katie entered the cabinet, and again appeared before us; she came to me, sat upon my lap and kissed me, and I must tell you, my dear Judge, her face looked as girlish and fresh and blooming as mortal ever knew, and her lips with which she kissed me were as warm, pouting and gushing as lips are wont to be. Leaving my lap, she again materialized a brilliant white handkerchief apparently from my knee. I then, as she stood before me, took my pair of scissors from my pocket and gave them to her. Then again called the voice, “If Katie cuts her dress, the same will appear in the dress of the medium.” “No matter,” said I, "I will get another one.” So, taking me at my word, Katie took the scissors by her thumb and finger, and, lifting up the left side of the skirt of her dress, deliberately cut out a piece about the shape of but larger than a good sized lemon, and, dropping the scissors upon the floor, handed me the piece of gossamer which she had cut from her dress. I took it, examined it, and laid it on the table beside me until the seance was through. Katie then disappeared within the door.

Still deeply engaged in the circle, and thinking of what had occurred, in wonder and amazement, I was startled suddenly by again hearing my name called several times at the cabinet door, “Col. Cross! Col. Cross! Dick! Dick!” Though sure of the voice, I asked “Who is it?” The voice replied, “Your brother Edward; l am coming out to see you; do not feel nervous.” I looked intently toward the door; it opened wide, and I saw the tall form of my brother come out and advance toward me. His dress was that of an American Colonel of Infantry—full regimentals—the same my brother wore at Fredericksburg, and when killed—he dying in my arms, on the field of Gettysburg. He came to within two feet of me, and, stopping, extended his right hand, and said plainly to me, “Dick, don’t you know me? Do you not recognize me? Don't you see my uniform? See my coat! it is the one I wore at Fredericksburg!” He pointed to a tear in the left breast of his coat, and said, “Do you not see this rent which I got at Fredericksburg by a piece of a shell bursting near me!” I, full of wonder, amazement, and singular recognizing sympathy, at first hesitatingly, then boldly said, “Yes, brother, I do know you, and I am glad that this great secret is, to me, at last made plain.” He said, “Oh, my brother, I live! I am not dead, though deprived of mortal life at Gettysburg. I am happy. Tell all my friends to believe.” I gazed at the apparition so intensely interesting, and I declare, there stood my tall brother, Col. Edward Everett Cross, in full uniform—cap and all. He again said, pointing to his shoulders, “Do you not see the eagles?” I looked, and, sure enough, I saw the insignia of hi. rank in the army, on his shoulder straps. He stood yet awhile, and then said, “Thank the medium for yourself and me. I will be with you often. Come to see me again. Good-night Good night.” He receded to the door of the cabinet, and disappeared. Oh, Judge, could I tell you all my feelings on this occasion! but I cannot! I have seen and talked with my dead brother!! On his disappearance in the cabinet, I heard my brother’s voice saying, “Look to the aperture.” I did so, and I tell you the fact, when I say to you that in the aperture I distinctly saw my brother’s face appear more plainly and distinctly than when out of the cabinet, some six or seven times—the light, too, by bis direction, being turned on more, and everything very visible.

But there was more yet in reserve, especially for me. Soon after the final disappearance of my brother the cabinet door again slowly opened, and before it a little girl-child appeared, and looking at me, called out “ Papa! papa!” I recognized her at once as my own child, whom I thought I lost some two years ago. On my recognition, the tiny form, as if not strong enough to hold long, retired into the cabinet. I have seen my brother and my child, living as spirits—not dead, but real and alive!

After these, several of my friends also appeared to me from the cabinet, and others of the circle, now gladdened by the appearance of friends; but I must hasten to tell you of the remarkable denouement. After the close of the seance, or rather after the spirits were through, I went into the cabinet to see the medium; and there she was, in a deep trance, sitting in the chair, sealed and stamped, as I had left her; but, as I desired, I looked at her black alpaca dress, to the left side, below the waist, and sure enough, there was a hole in her dress about the size of the piece Katie cut out of her dress, as the spirits had said. I took out my scissors, which I had picked up and put in my pocket, when Katie let them fall on the floor, and around this lemon-shaped orifice i cut out a larger piece from the dress of Mrs. Compton—a piece of her dress measuring about eight inches long, and five inches in breadth. And now. most wonderful to know and behold ! the piece of white gossamer which “Katie” cut out of her drew when appearing before the circle, exactly fitted in the hole in the piece of Mrs. Compton's black dress which I cut out in the cabinet.

The web and texture of this is downy and gossamer-like, and very soft and creamy white in color, quite unlike any material I ever saw. I have the piece of spirit dress with me, and any person can see it and examine who will.

Around the hole with which this exactly matched I cut a piece of Mrs. Compton’s dress (black alpaca) about an inch or two wide all around from the edges of the hole. To be fully appreciated both the pieces should be seen, and I will show them in their reality at any time. I asked the spirit Katie, when I got the piece of gossamer, “what it was made of.” She replied that “it was made of the fine substance of the alpaca cloth of Mrs. Compton’s dress”—the interior part of it, so to speak, with the hardness and grossness taken off—the substance of her dress almost spiritualized — made quintessential, perhaps. Is not this something for the poor scientists of earth to look after—if they can ?

I must not forget to mention that Mrs. Compton, the medium, after the seance, was in deep trance in the same condition, as to seals and sealing-wax and paper, as she was placed by me at the beginning—not having disturbed one of the frail fastenings, or moved one jot or tittle from the chair. I left the house fully convinced that there was no deception about all this, but it was a great fact and truth, and one which should at once command the attention of all humanity.

Next (Tuesday) morning I left Havana for New York City, and after my arrival there I had some more continued wonderful experiences, some of which I will note: “Katie,” the spirit, had told me in the last seance at Mrs. Compton’s that she would go with me, and if I called for her would manifest herself to me there through some medium. Accordingly, in company with my brother, Judge Nelson Cross, of New York,| I called upon the writing test medium, Mr. J. V. Mansfield, at his residence, No. 361 Sixth avenue, and got several test answers from him from spirit friends, he not knowing me or anything about me, my brother not introducing me, at my request. Finally, but somewhat doubtfully, I put a question, addressed to the spirit “Katie,” and folded up the writing and placed it before Mr. Mansfield. He took it and sealed it with paste, and sure enough wrote an answer from “Katie” of the following tenor: She thanked me for calling her by question, referred to her promise, and said: “The flowers (here a bouquet of flowers was drawn in lieu of writing the word) you gave me were indeed beautiful, they are not half so beautiful as those I will present to you when you come to our home,” and signed “Katie Brick.” This is a curious name, possibly assumed for gayety. From what I heard at Mrs. Compton’s, I thought her name was “Katie Brinck,” and so addressed her at Mr. Mansfield’s, but she signed “Brick.” When at the seances I asked her where and when she had lived oil earth. She said she was born and had lived near Concord, New Hampshire, (by the way, my own native State,) and had died there about seventy-five years ago. Of course, having been in the spirit-world so long, she had had much experience, and she said that this was the reason that she could so easily materialize, and her materializations always occurring first, were a great help and aid to the other spirits who followed her.

And now, dear Judge, as you know all the rest of my spiritual experience, (as you were with me,) which took place in New York, I leave it for you to tell, as remarkable and singular as it is.

Your friend,

Richard E. Cross